I read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code recently. It is a fascinating and fast paced book with a complex plot. I enjoyed reading it. The book is obviously a fictional story, but I was also intrigued by its many references to early Christian history. It was often difficult to discern where the author had departed from real history and added his own spin to make the story line work.
A meaningful analysis of this topic is well beyond the scope of a blog post. But I found in our local library a reference which interested persons might find useful. It is Breaking The Da Vinci Code, by Darrell L. Bock, PhD. This book is a thorough, academically based treatment of the main themes of Brown’s book. It digs into much detail on early church history, the Council of Nicea, the Gnostics, and the person of Mary Magdalene. Needless to say, it refutes the assertion that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had children. What I found more interesting and useful though, was the historical evidence that the divinity of Jesus and the prominence of the four gospels in our Bibles were well established and accepted throughout Christendom long before Constantine and the Council of Nicea.
Dan Brown seems to have been influenced heavily by contemporary writers who promote a modern version of Gnosticism. Elaine Pagels and Stephan A. Hoeller are two of the most well-known authors. On the other side of the discussion are a few authors who provide well-researched and well-reasoned responses. One such author is Frederica Mathewes-Green, who has written an article entitled “What Heresy?”, among others. You can read her article at http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2003/novdec/4.22.html .
Select the Bibliography link on the blog home page for more resources.