Was Dan Brown Right? Was Jesus Married?

Who is Jesus? Was Jesus a real person? Why did Jesus die? Is Jesus God?

A GodWords reader asked a series of questions:

The DaVinci Code talks about The Last Supper as a symbolic depiction of what is most likely truth. It never claims to be the exact image of the people that were there. You mention that some of the the things depicted in the painting are nontraditional for the day. Well, Jesus would have been married because it was expected of traditional Jewish men to be married and homosexuality was cause for stoning, which would have been the assumption made.

Ellie

While Dan Brown suggests that it’s a symbolic depiction, I think it’s important to ask “how does Dan Brown know that?”. The answer is simple: he doesn’t. There’s no historical evidence that indicates that The Last Supper is what he says it is. I think he’s making it up…he made up a lot of stuff that’s in his book. The “inaccuracies” in Dan Brown’s book are too numerous to mention in a single post. Let’s just say that there’s plenty of evidence that he was counting on his audience being ignorant. Here are a few short examples:

  1. It’s NOT a matter of historical record that Jesus married Mary Magdalene. Not even Gnostic gospels make that claim.
  2. The Dead Sea Scrolls say nothing about Jesus. They’re pre-Christian, and decidedly Jewish.
  3. Langdon (the main character) mentions “scholars of Aramaic” with reference to the Gospel of Philip…but the opinions of “scholars of Aramaic” are worthless when it comes to the Gospel of Philip. It’s not Aramaic, it’s Coptic.
  4. Brown’s depiction of Gnostics is exactly backwards. He says that they considered Him simply a man…but Gnosticism is based on the idea that the physical world is entirely evil. No Gnostic would have considered Jesus good or worthy if He were simply a man…they would only have revered Him as a purely spiritual being.
  5. The Priory of Sion isn’t an ancient order…it was founded in 1956 by a convicted fraud named Pierre Plantard who made it all up. He forged documents and pretended that it was really a legitimate ancient and secret society. It’s a matter of public record that it was simply a small group of friends…something that Brown probably doesn’t want his readers to know.
  6. Brown writes of the Knights Templar being burned at the Vatican in Rome…but the Popes weren’t even IN Rome at that time. The Vatican didn’t exist! They were in Avignon, France until 70 years after the fact. A small bit of homework will show that Brown is simply wrong on a great deal of what he claims are facts.

I’d like to even give Brown credit for being imaginative…but I can’t. I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail in 1986 or so, and it would be kind to only say that Brown plagiarizes heavily from it. That book was interesting fiction too, despite its claims. Let’s be honest here: Dan Brown is making a mint off people who don’t know any better. There’s nothing wrong with writing fiction…but when you present that fiction as spiritual fact you paint a large target on yourself. I think it’s a shame that this book has gotten so much attention, as it’s chock full of garbage. I get a steady stream of emails from people who wonder whether it’s all true. They do what Dan Brown intends: they question the legitimacy of their faith based on lies, distortions, and inaccuracies.

I find the logic in your statements about marriage intriguing. You seem to be suggesting that Jesus “would have been married” because that was common. To be sure, marriage was indeed common…but you’re not suggesting that every Jewish male at that time was married, are you? Paul was single, and he was an exemplary Jew. John was likely single, as were other disciples. John the Baptist was single, and he was respected by the Jews of his day…no one accused him of being homosexual, did they?

I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve gotten from those whose faith is shaken because they don’t know that Brown’s book IS fiction. If he were here, I’d demand an explanation from him. I wouldn’t hesitate to lay at his feet the blame for a lot of his readers suffering from sleepless nights and days spent worrying whether they’ve been duped into faith. I’m sorry to say it, Ellie…but you appear to have uncritically bought into Dan Brown’s game. I hope you’ll take the time to do a little more research. There are plenty of unbiased sources of information out there to turn to…plenty of atheists have debunked the book, so you don’t have to rely on those who may have a religious bias. Facts are generally pretty easy to spot, and lies are even easier.