The Truth about the Da Vinci Code
by A Coptic Orthodox Believer
Once again, Satan is launching one of his fiery darts at the core of our
Christian belief. Through the Da Vinci Code novel, he is deploying his
favorite cunning device that is instilling confusion and doubt in the
minds of the believers.
In this paper, I will present a concise "synopsis" of the novel,
followed by an outline of the false claims being asserted by the author
with a response and refutation to these assertions.
The Da Vinci Code has sold 40 million copies, and a motion picture
version has hit theaters on May 19, 2006. The plot deals with surprising
discoveries of the "facts about Jesus Christ and Christian history."
The story of the book which is a murder mystery novel that took place in
Paris and London is built around certain "constructs" that assert the
Jesus was not the divine Son of God, but a mere man whose true mission
and identity have been distorted. Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married
and had a child who escaped to France. Their descendants survive to this
day. Jesus then desired that Mary Magdalene becomes the leader of the
church. The teachings of Christ throughout the years were revised by
other men like Peter. Jesus was turned into "God" in order to protect
the Patriarchal system.
The Catholic Church along with the rest of Christianity has worked
together to maintain this 2000 year cover up. Millions throughout
history have been misinformed about what Christianity truly is; and
finally, these secrets have been known by a select few (such as Leonardo
DaVinci, who attempted to present these facts to the world through
"clues" incorporated into his paintings). The secret of Jesus' "True
Identity" is maintained by a group known as the "Priory of Sion" that
has existed since 1099. Documents found in Paris in 1975 confirm its
existence. Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci were Grand Masters in
III. Why is it Called Da Vinci Code?
In this novel, Leonardo Da Vinci is portrayed as head of the conspiracy
guarding the "truth" about Jesus Christ. He is said to have planted
various codes (secret symbols) in his work, particularly in his famous
painting of the Last Supper.
According to the novel, this painting depicts Jesus' alleged wife, Mary
Magdalene, next to him as a symbol of her knowledge of his true
teaching. In reality, the figure that Dan Brown identifies as Mary
Magdalene is John the Evangelist, who traditionally has been regarded as
the youngest of the apostles and so is often pictured in medieval art
without a beard.
IV. The Author
The author is Dan Brown. He is a former English teacher who has authored
three previous books. Digital Fortress, Deception Point and Angels &
Demons. He claims to be a Christian-of a sort. A "Frequently Asked
Questions" page on his web site www.danbrown.com contains the following
exchange when asked if he is a "Christian":
"I am, although perhaps not in the most traditional sense of the word.
If you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get
three different answers. Some feel being baptized is sufficient. Others
feel you must accept the Bible as immutable historical fact. Still
others require a belief that all those who do not accept Christ as their
personal savior are doomed to hell. We are all trying to decipher life's
big mysteries, and we're each following our own paths of enlightenment.
I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the
more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long
work in progress."
V. Why Should We, Christians, be Concerned?
The writer goes to great lengths to convey the impression that it is
based on fact. He even has a "FACT" page at the front of the book, one
page ahead of his prologue, where he states, "All descriptions of
artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are
accurate." The book also states, "Almost everything our fathers taught
us about Christ is false" (p. 235). Therefore, the concern stems from
the author's claim that the DaVinci Code is based on "fact." Though the
book is a novel, its content distorts the core teachings of our
Christian faith. For us, Christians, if the truth about our Savior isn't
worth defending, what is?
VI. Claims Attacking the Core of Our Christian Faith
Below are some of the claims promoted by the book that clearly attack
the core of our Christian Faith:
Jesus was viewed as man and not as God until the fourth century, when he
was deified by the emperor Constantine. Until that moment in history,
Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet... a great and
powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal... By officially endorsing
Jesus as the Son of God, Constantine turned Jesus into a deity (p.233).
Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and they both had a daughter. Mary
Magdalene was pregnant at the time of the crucifixion. For the safety of
Christ's unborn child, she had no choice but to flee the Holy Land... It
was there in France that she gave birth to a daughter. Her name was
The Gospels as we know it today is based on false testimonies and
fabrications. The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God... The
Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor
Constantine the Great (p. 231). The New Testament is false testimony (p
345). The New Testament is based on fabrications (p 341).
VII. Response and Refutations
In summary, throughout his novel, Brown is attacking 2 core issues:
a) The Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
b) The Authenticity of the Holy Bible.
Below we will provide concise answers to the above mentioned
Christ is deified by Constantine in the 4th Century.
Constantine had called the Council together to settle a dispute that had
taken place when Arius, an Alexandrian priest, began to deny the
divinity of Christ. It was the bishops of the Council of Nicea led by
our 20th Pope, St Athanasius, who reaffirmed the historic Christian
position against Arius and his followers. Additionally, Christ's
divinity is stressed repeatedly in countless passages in the New
Testament which precedes the time of Constantine the Great by more than
To name a few examples:
Jesus' opponents sought to kill him because he "called God his Father,
making himself equal with God" (John 5:18).
Jesus said: "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am" (John
8:58), applying to himself the personal name of God "I Am" (Exodus
Thomas falls at Jesus' feet, exclaiming, "My Lord and my God!" (John
There are also affirmations of Jesus' deity in the writings of the Ante
Nicene church fathers. In the early second century, Ignatius of Antioch
wrote of "our God, Jesus the Christ" (Ignatius of Antioch; Ephesians
Jesus Married Mary Magdalene and They Both Had a Daughter.
The reason that Brown and a handful of others (mainly New Age authors)
have tried to identify Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus is obvious:
She is one of the few women disciples of Christ whose name we know, and
whom we don't know was married to someone else. If one wants to force
Jesus into the role of being married, Mary Magdalene is one of the few
prominent and (seemingly) available women to be pushed into the role of
being his wife.
To support his claim, Brown appeals to two of the Gnostic (Apocryphal)
Gospels: The Gospel of Philip and The Gospel of Mary. These 2 gospels,
among many more, have been rejected by the early Church Fathers for
their unorthodox content regarding the message of the "Good News." They
are considered non-canonical and heretical.
What is intriguing is that even these Apocryphal gospels do not claim
that Christ was married to Mary Magdalene. This was a personal
interpretation of the author to add some zest to his novel. Once again
Brown offers his own interpretation of the gospel of Philip. On page
246, the excerpt reads: "the companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene".
He claims that the Aramaic word for "companion" literally meant
"spouse". That is not true according to Aramaic scholars. And, even more
importantly, the Gnostic gospel of Phillip was not written in Aramaic.
It was written in Coptic!!!!
Moreover, the authors of the New Testament regularly depict the Church
as "the bride of Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:21-33;
Revelation 21:9-10). This metaphor would never have developed if a
flesh-and-blood "Mrs. Jesus" was living down the street. Only if Christ
was celibate would the Church have come to be depicted metaphorically as
The Gospel is Based on False Testimony and Fabrications.
The Holy Bible is not the product of man but is rather God inspired.
Biblical inspiration may be defined as God's superintending of the human
authors so that, using their own individual personalities and writing
styles under the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the result
being a perfect and errorless recording of the exact message God desired
to give to man.
"For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke
as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21). This verse
informs us that "prophecy [or Scripture] never had its
origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were moved by
the Holy Spirit."
What about Dan Brown's claim that the New Testament is based on
The statement is patently false. The New Testament is not made up of
fairytales but is rather based on eyewitness testimony. In 2 Peter 1:16
we read, "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made
known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were
eyewitnesses of His majesty." 1 John 1:1 affirms, "That which was from
the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,
which we have looked at and our hands have touched, this we proclaim
concerning the Word of life." So convinced were these and other
eyewitnesses that they ended up giving their lives in defense of what
they knew to be true.
Last Word...How Did We Obtain the Holy Bible as we know it today?
It was precisely when certain writings appeared claiming to be
Apostolic, but were unrecognized by the Church as authentic, that
efforts were made to make "an approval list" that is the "canon" of the
Between 170 A.D. and 220 A.D. the four Gospels and St. Paul's epistles
were formally recognized as "canonical", and within a century after
that, the New Testament as we know it today was formally recognized as
the "canonical text". It should be noted that what made the books
canonical was their inspiration by the Holy Spirit and their use in the
life of the early Church as "inspired text".
This acknowledgement of an official "canon" might never had taken place
if other writings had not appeared which claimed to be written by
Apostles but were unknown to the Church in its worship and teaching.
These false books are the books referred to by some as the "Lost Books
of The Bible" or "Apocrypha". The majority of these Apocryphal books
were intended to distort the message of the Christ. These deceptive
writings were tainted by the heresy of "Gnosticism".
In summary, the Holy Bible was written BY the Church and IN the Church
and FOR the Church within the confinement of Holy Tradition.
Consequently, it is the Church which recognizes what is canonical
through its use in her worship and teaching. The Holy Bible and Church
Let's accept the challenge that this book / movie presents to us. Let's
take what could be a detriment to the church, and turn it around to
become an opportunity to share the Truth about our Lord and Savior Jesus
These attacks and allegations concerning the divinity of our Lord and
the authenticity of the Holy Scriptures are not foreign to the Church.
It is just another fiery dart from Satan (Ephesians 6:16) attacking the
Bride of Christ (Revelation 21:9). However, we, Her beloved children,
should not be "ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11) but instead
we should "resist him, steadfast in the faith" (1 Peter 5:9) by putting
on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) knowing that the gates of
Hades shall not prevail against her (Matthew 16:18).
My beloved brothers and sisters, let us "Watch, stand fast in the faith,
be brave, be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13). Let us transform this fiery
dart into a blessing by becoming well grounded in "the word of truth,
the gospel of our salvation" (Ephesians 1:13) as it is inspired by the
Holy Spirit, canonized by the Church, lived by the saints and
interpreted by the fathers.
Glory be to God Forever.
Isn't It Strange
We seem to have low priority when it concerns spiritual matters, but
high priority for everyday matters.
Our Savior taught by His example and in His teaching that we are to
come unto God through faith, addressing Him as our Father. We are to come before God respecting Him and
acknowledging that parental relationship, which denotes authority and
submission, reverence, dependency.
The Hour of Glory
No human mind can begin to fathom the eternal love of the Father toward
His chosen children of grace. That hour of perfect obedience by His only
begotten Son unto death, even the death of the cross, was ever before
the Father from eternity. Had it not been for these covenant promises,
Adam would have sunk eternally into hell the instant that he sinned.
Loving God Alone
God has endowed the soul with two main faculties: the understanding
and the affections. We have
been given a sound mind, which means that we can understand the
difference between right and wrong and can pass judgment. Our
affections incline us to do or not do.