The Da Vinci Code: Debunked and Junked!|
William H. Kennedy
The author of Lucifer's Lodge provides a brief essay in which he effectively debunks the heresies inherent in the blasphemous trash book by Dan Brown called The Da Vinci Code which questions the blood lineage of Jesus Christ and the heresy that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.
"There were blood relatives of Jesus but they were cousins on his mother's side of the family who were called Desposyni. According to Fr. Malachi Martin in Decline and Fall of the Roman Church none of these descendants were ever named "Jesus" (most likely to clarify that they were descended from Christ's cousins and not from Christ Himself.)"
Dan Brown's blockbuster book The DaVinci Code makes some unfounded and bizarre claims concerning the life of Christ and the history of European nobility. The ultimate concern of this essay is to debunk these claims and junk Brown's book as being misinformed. I will address the two major flaws in the book:
Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and fathered children
Nowhere in the New Testament or surviving literature from the time of Christ does it mention Jesus having wed. Brown's devotees make much of the fact that most Rabbis were married during the first century and that to be addressed with the term "Rabbi" (teacher) a cleric would have to be married by Jewish custom. Brown fails to understand the complexity of the social structure in Palestine during that turbulent era. According to New Testament scholar Prof. Richard A. Horsley in his book Bandits, Profits and Messiahs (1999) the Roman occupation caused various forms of radical extremism within the Jewish community. Part of this extremism involved the emergence of celibate wandering Jewish teachers who considered all forms of sexual activity to be corrupt. John the Baptist is the first obvious example of such a teacher and then Jesus who, unlike the others, had very different ministries but lived essentially the same celibate lifestyle.
The Essenes were an example a Jewish monastic group who also believed that all sexual relations were just plain evil. According to their surviving documents, called the Dead Sea Scrolls, they waited for a Savior figure who would be a celibate member of their cult and who would rise up and destroy the Sons of Darkness (Romans). This unmarried figure is called the "Teacher of Righteousness". Consequently, there were celibate Rabbis during the time of Christ who were accepted as legitimate Jewish clerics. Hence, the bachelor Rabbi Jesus son of Joseph would have been accepted as authentic by the Jewish community of his day without being wed.
There were blood relatives of Jesus but they were cousins on his mother's side of the family who were called Desposyni. According to Fr. Malachi Martin in Decline and Fall of the Roman Church none of these descendants were ever named "Jesus" (most likely to clarify that they were descended from Christ's cousins and not from Christ Himself.)
These relatives of the Christ held power in the Eastern Church for a time but were completely disenfranchised by Pope Sylvester I who did not consider a biological connection to Christ as holding any merit. Jesus gave all earthly authority to Saint Peter who was not related to Jesus and was originally picked out of a crowd of destitute fisherman. The Desposyni faded into the general population and all word of them is lost after their demotion by the Pope in 325 AD.
The Royal Houses of Europe believe themselves to be descended from Jesus
This odd notion can be traced to the political machinations of Pope Paul I (757-767). During his pontificate the Vatican was besieged from all sides by roving Lombard hoards, a hostile Eastern Emperor and the emerging threat of the Islamic Empire. His only allies were the Franks (Merovingian and Carolingian cousins) whose military prowess could save the Holy See from these encroaching enemies. The Byzantine Emperors claimed succession from Julius Caesar. In 476 AD the Western Empire fell to the Germans and the royal symbols (standards) were sent to Byzantium where the Eastern Emperor assumed all titles of the Western Holy Roman Emperor. The Muslim princes claimed noble descent from Muhammad.
As a means to upstage these hostile elements Paul I declared that the Frankish Kingdom was now the "New Israel" and addressed Frankish rulers as "David" and "Solomon".
This was not a matter of blood - no surviving documents state that the Franks were of Jewish blood. The Pope used a right called translatio imperii - the right of the pontiff to transfer the titles of a royal house to anyone he chooses. (Pope Sylvester transferred the titles of Julius Caesar to Constantine even though he was not a blood descendant of any of the Roman Emperors). This was long established when Paul I bestowed the titles of the House of David unto the Franks. It would have been a familiar policy to the Eastern and Islamic Empires.
When Charlemagne attacked the Eastern Empire in 806 AD he most likely saw it as a war between the House of David and the House of Caesar. Charlemagne was called "The New David" by the Petrine Office. Courtiers manufactured genealogies for nobles which traced their families back to Noah and Adam. After Charlemagne's death his heirs would have been aware of this Davidic connection and may have considered it to be a biological link over a few generations when European royal families (who all claim descent from Charlemagne) concocted far-fetched genealogies and taught them to their off-spring as hard facts. Being Christian they would have read the Gospels and noticed the genealogy of Jesus tracing his family back to David and may have believed that they were related to Christ via their connection to the House of David. They most likely lost the knowledge of the transference of power from the Pope and saw themselves as direct
blood descendants of King David and being in the same family as Jesus.
Brown attempts to claim that the Franks were descended from the Despoysni but the odds of this would be astronomical and there are no surviving documents which mention this as a fact. It is merely a misunderstanding of the translatio imperii right evoked by Paul I who never claimed that the Merovingians were Jewish or from the family of David and Jesus.
If Paul I suspected that the Franks were descended in any way from Jesus he would have bestowed upon them the title of "House of Christ" as opposed to the "House of David". It would have given him an even stronger form of propaganda to use against the Eastern Empire and potential Muslim invaders. Nor would it hinder belief in Catholic theology if it were made clear that they were descended from Jesus' cousins. However, this was not the case. It was the realpolitic and Vatican propaganda (Romanita) of Paul I's reign which generated this weird notion of Europe's nobility being of Davidic origin. The myth-making and Chinese whispers of royal houses may have carried this idea in some form up to modern times (Mormons) but it has absolutely no basis in fact.
It is clear then that The Davinci Code is based on a flawed understanding of Petrine history and, consequently, is debunked and can be heaped onto the junk pile of bogus ideas.