Decoding The Da Vinci Code Deception

Dr. Shelton L. Smith

Dr. Shelton Smith — Editor, Sword of the LordFrom its initial release in 2003, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown quickly became a runaway best seller in the secular markets. It has now sold more than 36 million copies. That number is sure to spiral even higher this month (May 19) when Sony Columbia Pictures releases a major film based on the book.

The movie has superstar appeal attached to it because it is directed by Ron Howard (Andy Griffith’s Opie) and features Tom Hanks.

While we continue to encourage  Christians and everyone else to steer clear of Hollywood’s theaters (whatever they’re doing), we are well aware that most Americans and even many Christians are just not that serious about the stand they take. But despite the popularity factor, we believe these theaters are not good places and that we should not be going there.

Nonetheless, The Da Vinci Code (both book and movie) is a major assault on the credibility of the Christian faith and must be dealt with as the aggressive adversary it is.

Though the book and the movie are both absolutely fictional, its author claims it is historically accurate. In order to perpetrate his thesis, he has to diminish the reliability of the New Testament. Obviously if the Bible be true, his work is quickly relegated to a mish-mash of nonsense.

The other thing which he does is implicate the Roman Catholic Church as the prime player in covering up the information which would have exposed Jesus as a fraud.


Now on any given day we may have significant issues with Roman Catholicism which we will feel it necessary to confront, but in this case Dan Brown has carefully spun a web of deception in which he needs players. The Roman Catholic Church was his choice of villains.


In the movie,  Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is called to untwist the baffling clues and ciphers surrounding the murder of an elderly curator of the Louvre in Paris. He is joined in the investigation by cryptologist Sophie Neveu, the curator’s estranged granddaughter.


The investigation uncovers a secret society called the Priory of Sion. The group, whose members have included Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton and Victor Hugo, guards a secret that, if revealed, would destroy Christianity.


The secret is that, among other things, Jesus was not actually divine but was voted as such at the Council of Nicaea in 325; He married Mary Magdalene and the couple had children; and He intended for Mary Magdalene, not the apostles, to lead the church.


To preserve their version of the “truth” da Vinci and other artists in the Priory of Sion embedded clues in their art, particularly da Vinci’s The Last Supper.


Opus Dei, a powerful organization within the Roman Catholic Church, is ready to use any means, including murder, to insure that the “real” Jesus remains a secret.


A subtheme is the story’s assertion that the Roman Catholic Church intended to suppress women and the knowledge that sex is the “sole means through which man could become spiritually complete and ultimately achieve gnosis—knowledge of the divine” (The Da Vinci Code, p. 308).


Brown’s theories draw heavily on alternative views of the historic Jesus such as the Gnostic Gospels and the work of the Jesus Seminar [Ed. note: a radical, liberal think tank], as well as pagan beliefs that predate even the Greco-Roman world.


The premise of The Da Vinci Code is simple: Jesus was not divine and the Church is lying. To prove his case, Brown spins a yarn that reinterprets real and imagined events including the Council of Nicaea, the search for the Holy Grail, the development of the biblical Canon, the art of Leonardo da Vinci and the person of Mary Magdalene (


The cleverness with which the Brown book is done is significant. Any time you take real people, real places and real events from some era of history and reset them into a fictional context, you are going to make it very difficult for the average person to separate fact from fiction. This is exactly what has happened with this book and will happen with the movie version of it.


The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown combines a murder mystery with a conspiracy theory that challenges the foundations of Christianity. In this fictional story, Brown’s protagonists discover that the Holy Grail is actually Mary Magdalene. According to their sources, Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus, the mother of Jesus’ child, and the chosen leader of Jesus’ church. This information has been kept from the world through a plot instigated by Emperor Constantine to hijack early Christianity for his own purposes. The conspirators commissioned a revised set of gospels promoting the deity of Christ while destroying more accurate documents portraying Jesus as only a great moral teacher. As one of Brown’s fictional experts states, “almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false.”


The Da Vinci Code movie, directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, is scheduled for a May 19 release. Its release will introduce a broader audience to the disturbing claims of the novel.


It is obvious there is an agenda here. It is an all out attack on the deity of Christ, His character, His life, His ministry and everything He represents. But please remember it is without basis in fact, it is fiction, a clever literary fabrication, a lie.


To set the record straight, let me refer you to these New Testament passages:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” —John 1:1–5,14.


“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels, he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thine hands; They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?” —Hebrews 1:1–13.


“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” —Hebrews 4:14,15.

On this historically reliable, God-given, divinely inspired and preserved, truly trustworthy Book, the Bible, which is the Word of God, I rest my case!


I take my stand with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, not Dan, Ron and Tom!


These johnny-come-lately’s with their Christ-rejecting agendas are popping up everywhere these days. They have a world view that makes no place for God or anything connected to Him. Therefore they devise ways to try to disenfranchise the Christian faith knowing that they will have smoother sailing with their own plans if there are less of us to call their hand.


They are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2nd Timothy 3:7).


Their crusade is open and blatant. The Bible says in these last days, “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2nd Timothy 3:13). We are seeing this very thing unfold before our eyes in 2006.


So cheer up, folks, and let’s stand up to be counted. There is a war going on against us and we must be willing to show up for whatever battles are waged against us! Amen!

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
—2nd Thessalonians 1:8

Ye Must Be Born Again!