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The Phenomena Guide to the Da Vinci Code Guides

By DAVID V. BARRETT     March 10, 2006

© Doubleday
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is one of those publishing phenomena that authors and publishers dream of. It sold millions of copies in its first year and is about to be released as a major film. But why did it become so huge? After all, as a murder-mystery thriller it's not bad, but there are hundreds more just as good or better. And why has it attracted so much antagonism? It was even banned in the Lebanon, because some Catholics there felt it was "an insult to our dignity and beliefs".

The answer, of course, is its subject matter. It deals with a multitude of religious ideas that are fundamentally different from the story of Christianity we were all brought up with. Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, and they had a child; their descendants became the 5th-8th century Merovingian kings of France; and after the Merovingians were replaced by the Carolingians (Charlemagne's dynasty) the sacred bloodline of Jesus and the Magdalene was protected through the centuries by a secret society, the Priory of Sion, right up to the present day. Add to this the idea that the Holy Grail isn't an object but the sang real, the Royal Blood, the fruit of the Magdalene's womb, and you've got a pretty potent mix of ideas. And clues to all this are contained in the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci.

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citizenk41 3/10/2006 2:38:53 PM
Sadly, considering the number of married adults who sexually abuse their children, I don't think wessmith's idea is the solution to the Catholic church's apparently ongoing sexual abuse problem.
rblakeney 3/17/2006 1:15:07 PM
If Jesus had a wife or a child is not really the issue. He could have and as westend mentions, "It changes absolutely nothing about his teachings." Nor is it that people don't want God to be humanized since Jesus is shown to be fully human throughout the Gospels. Truth is the issue. According to all the historial documents (New Testament and extra-Biblical material from around his life time and shortly thereafter AD30-100), a wife and child is never mentioned. Now, that doesn't have to precude a family, but then again there isn't one shred of evidence that he did have one. And, according to the story, Jesus and Mary left for France. Yet, according to every historical document from that time, Jesus died on the cross. What is at issue is the truth of the Gospels. Books like "The Da Vinci Code" are fine as fiction. The problem comes when they want to act like they are telling the truth. The truth is they are pure speculation. They can't be backed up by a single shred of evidence. Think about it, not even the Romans or the Jews who investigated and wrote about Jesus ever say he was married, had a child, or that he moved to France. None of them say anything about being married or having a child. They all say he died on the cross. The institution of organized christian religions are not discredited because they are not based upon a lie. The church is based on the only historial documents we have. I like what barsoom says, "Some people refuse to believe that they have been deceived." However, I doubt we'd agree about who's been deceived.


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