“The Priory of Sion, according to The Da Vinci Code, is one of the oldest secret societies still in existence. It is the Priory that has been charged with guarding the secret of the true Holy Grail, starting in 1099 when the Knights Templar discovered long-lost documents beneath the ruins of Solomon’s Temple. Leonardo da Vinci was Grand Master of this society, says Robert Langdon, from 1510 to 1519. The only problem is this: It is all a hoax. Brown relies on a 1982 publication, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, for his information on the Priory of Sion. The authors relied on documents provided them by Pierre Plantard, who spent time in jail for fraud in 1953. Plantard and three other men started a small social club in 1956 called the Priory of Sion, taking the name from a nearby mountain. Their club’s ‘cause’ was the call for more low-cost housing in France. The club dissolved in 1957, but Plantard held on to the name. Through the 60’s & 70’s Plantard created a series of documents ‘proving’ the existence of a bloodline descending from Mary Magdalene, through the kings of France, down to the present day to include (surprise!) Pierre Plantard. He began using the name Plantard de Saint-Clair saying the Saint Clairs were direct descendants of the line of Jesus and Mary. In 1993, Plantard’s name came up in light of a political scandal involving a close friend of then French president Francoois Mitterand. When called upon to testify, Plantard, under oath, admitted he had made up the whole Priory scheme.” James Garlow - Cracking Da Vinci’s Code.
Fiction Indeed? “Be it said to Brown’s credit: the literary category for Da Vinci
is fiction indeed.” Paul Maier in The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction?
It Didn’t Happen? “Brown claims that Jesus wanted the movement that followed Him to be about a greater awareness of the ‘sacred feminine’. He says that this movement, under the leadership and inspiration of Mary Magdalene, thrived during the first three centuries until it was brutally suppressed by the Emperor Constantine. There is no evidence to suggest that this is true. It didn’t happen ...Credible scholarly sources also suggest that much of Brown’s other assertions - about everything from the nature of the Grail myth to the Priory of Sion, to the role of goddess worship in the ancient world - just are not supported by the evidence that’s out there.” Amy Welborn in De-Coding Da Vinci
The Books of the Bible. “Constantine did not collate the Bible. The O.T. had been compiled even before Jesus’time. The N.T.’s formation began by the end of the 1st Century (about 90 or 100) - almost 2 hundred years before Constantine. In fact, recognizing which books of the N.T. were authoritative was a century-long process within both the Eastern (based at Constantinople) and Western (based at Rome) Churches. They independently agreed on which books belonged in the NT.” Richard Abanes in The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code.
The Gnostic Gospels. “Some of [Dan Brown’s] most important texts are the various Gnostic gospels, which he uncritically accepts as accurate accounts of Jesus’ life....They were late arrivals, which is one reason why church leaders rejected them...They lacked authority since their authors were neither (a) apostles of Jesus, nor (b) persons associated with apostles of Jesus... No one really knows who wrote the texts.” The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code.
Claim vs. Counterclaim. “Nowhere in serious scholarly work do we find anyone taking seriously the suggestion that Jesus’ mission was all about sending forth Mary Magdalene
to carry His message of the ‘sacred feminine.” Amy Welborn in De-Coding Da Vinci
Breathtaking Nonsense? “There is no convincing evidence for ... Israelite men coming to the Temple to experience the divine and achieve spiritual wholeness by having sex with Priestesses...Brown explains that the Holy of Holies ‘housed not only God but also His powerful female equal, Shekinah.’ A word not found in the Bible but in later rabbinic writings, Shekinah refers to the nearness of God to His people, and NOT to a female consort.
It is also breathtaking nonsense to assert as a ‘fact’ that the sacred tetragrammton, YHWH,
was ‘derived from Jehovah, an androgynous physical union between the masculine Jah
and the pre-Hebraic name for Eve, Havah.’” Gerald O’Collins, Jesuit Scripture scholar
Not the Enemy? “Christianity does not declare that Eve caused humanity’s downfall.
The Church teaches that the Fall came through Eve and Adam - particularly Adam, because
he deliberately chose to disobey God. Hence the Bible teaches that ‘since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection... For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be
made alive’ (1 Corinthians.15:21-22). Furthermore, according to Christianity, women are not
the enemy of mankind. Jesus and His followers consistently sought to elevate women
to a place of equality with men. Robert Abanes in The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code
Breaking the Mold. “I agree that historically the Church can be faulted for not giving women their rightful place in Christian ministry... Jesus did reject those cultural taboos that put women in a disrespected place as second-class citizens of the Kingdom. Women in Scripture are equal with men, though their roles are different. Jesus broke the mold, elevating women to a place of respect and honour.” Erwin Lutzer in The Da Vinci Deception
Saint or Demon? “Brown suggests, repeatedly, that Mary Magdalene was marginalized and demonized by traditional Christianity. It simply makes no sense. Christianity, both East and West, has honoured Mary Magdalene as a saint, they have named Churches after her, prayed at her purported tombs, before what was believed to be her relics, and ascribed miracles to her. How in the world, in what universe, is that demonizing? Answer: It’s not.” Amy Welborn.
The Future Marriage of Jesus. “Of course, someday Jesus will be married. Jesus is now engaged to us, the Church - His Bride. He would not have been married on earth, knowing that His coming Marriage is in Heaven. On that day, we, along with Mary Magdalene, will
be invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, where the Marriage is consummated, not in
a physical sexual union, but in the most blessed and intimate union of fellowship imaginable.”
Erwin Lutzer in The Da Vinci Deception
The Official Religion. “Church historians agree that next to the events in the New Testament, the most important event in the history of Christianity is the conversion of Emperor Constantine to Christianity in AD 312. But did he invent the divinity of Jesus? Before the Council
of Nicaea, was Christ believed to be just a remarkable man? There is not a single shred
of historical evidence for such a notion.” Erwin Lutzer in The Da Vinci Deception
Deciding Divinity? “The Council of Nicaea had nothing to do with deciding Jesus’ divinity. By the end of His earthly ministry, Christ’s divinity was already being acknowledged.
The Jews who chose to reject Jesus understood very well His claims, which they described as making Himself out to be God.” Richard Abanes in The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code.
Clear in Word and Deed? “Jesus made it clear by word and deed that:
to KNOW HIM WAS TO KNOW GOD, to see Him was to see God,
to believe in Him was to believe in God, to receive Him was to receive God,
to reject Him was to reject God, and to honour Him was to honour God.” John Stott