After three years of releasing the controversial novel “Angels and Demons” which discusses the famous Illuminati Trail, Dan Brown released another book that challenges his readers in unravelling the more secrets of the church. The Da Vinci Code follows the journey of Professor Robert Langdon, who is accused accidentally for killing the museum curator due to a mysterious message seen beside his body and the riddles that come later in the novel. The story itself notes three mysteries that are attached to the mystery of the Holy Grail, its relationship with Christ, its influence in the Catholic Church and what it is. Although it may seem that these facts are noted to be true and valid in the novel, these arguments can be contested with the worldview and evidences seen in the real context. This is supported with Sophie Neveu’s role, which balances the amount of uncertainty and faith as she discovers the secret behind the Grail.
The biggest argument raised in the novel is the fact that Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ married and produced an descendant as noted in the discussions of Teabing while explaining the existence of the Holy Grail to Sophie. Sophie of course believed that the Holy Grail is a cup which is the accepted standard on what it is. In one line, she noted while speaking to Langdon in the park“I thought the grail was a cup. You just told me the Sangreal is a collection of documents that reveal some dark secret ”, which proves the worldview that the Grail to many is the Cup. This concept of the Holy Grail is the Cup can be noted from the times of Medieval England, especially in the tale of King Arthur. However, Teabing’s statement shows us that the Grail is Mary Magdalene herself. In one line, he stressed “When Grail legend speaks of ‘the chalice that held the blood of Christ’ it speaks, in fact, of Mary Magdalene- the female womb that carried Jesus’ royal bloodline”. In an earlier statement, we see that Teabing stated that “The Holy Grail is not a thing. It is, in fact a person ” when he asked Sophie about the Last Supper. Looking closely on the other details written in the novel, there are some possible truths that can say Jesus is actually married and it could be Mary Magdalene. This single point can even be cemented by Christ’s Jewish background. Those written in the Gnostic Gospels can also contain some fact if they are written by the New Testament characters they represent as they seem to be personal version of the events in the Bible which the original Gospels did not mention. In one of the lines “And the companion of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene. Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often in the mouth “Why do you love her more than all of us?”” it shows that there is a sign of jealousy in the part of the disciples. This can even explain why Judas Iscariot decided to betray Christ for some money. His jealously with Mary’s relationship with Christ could have emulated his betrayal.
Rationally speaking, this can be possible given how the story writes it in a sense that it is plausible. The facts noted in the story have placed answers to the gaps seen in the Bible just like the betrayal of Judas and the reason why the name Mary appears in several key passages in the Gospels. But, looking closely on the original documents which these statements are based, it does not hold truths in them. One example is Mary Magdalene’s identity. In the New Testament, a reader could indicate the numerous times the name Mary is stated. There is a Mary who was in the time of the crucifixion, the anointing and even in the resurrection. She, however, was not noted as at the same degree with the apostles, she was a supporter of Him and His teachings. She was not connected to anyone in the disciples as seen in the genealogy of the apostles noted in the gospels. She was just a observer and a supporter, nothing more than that. In terms of the Gnostic Gospels, the credibility can be questioned given the time of its publication. The lack of chronological order, the false sentiments and the passages makes the Gospel ineligible to be used as a basis. One can also challenge to the argument that Jesus married because He is a orthodox Jew because His duty in teaching the Kingdom of God proves that he is not going to marry. There is also no evidence which could even affect the fact that He is married to someone.
With regards to the Church’s position regarding the supposed marriage and relationship, including the presence of the Priory of Sion acting as the other argument, their position is justified as seen in other novels as they exemplify the righteous and the adverse side of the novel. In this case, the right side is emulated by the Priory of Sion and the wrong side is emulated by the members of the Church, especially the members of the Opus Dei as in the novel. Critically thinking this sensible perspective these two actors play in the novel, it is rational for the Church to keep those people who will terminate its name away from the prying eyes of the public. Sophie questioned why the secret was held for so long “But how could a secret that big be kept quiet all these years? ” In Teabing’s words upon explaining the cover-up done by the Church, “they (the Church) could never have survived public knowledge of the bloodline. A child of Jesus would undermine the critical notion of Christ’s divinity and therefore the Christian Church.” This statement alone solidifies the notion the Church could have reacted should the Grail legend be true. This same reaction is similar to how the Church saw Science, especially in times of the Enlightment Era. One such evidence to this is the past story “Angels and Demons” wherein the Church was unwilling to accept Galileo’s claims regarding the planets and burned down his Diagramma, labelling him and his followers heretics. But, one will remember Pope John Paul II’s apology a decade later, which accepts Galileo’s works and has accepted the realities behind it. The Priory of Sion, according to the novel, serves as the balance. It is logical to conclude that Dan Brown decided to include the group to neutralize his attack on the church and show that there is a group that holds the truth. This group in the novel challenges people to question and doubt what they know and allow them to accept the fact they support in the story.
Looking at Sophie Neveu’s role, she shows readers how serious she is in processing the ideas they are slowly uncovering. She does not simply assume the facts given to her by Langdon and Teabing are true, because not only does it contradict what she knows, she wishes to see the evidences proving its credibility. She had her reservations once she investigated the Louvre with Langdon. She even openly disagreed when Langdon pointed out that Fache might have used the hidden message as a ploy signalling that she knew her grandfather wants to tell them something “The Fibonacci sequence? The PS? That had to be my grandfather ”. Although she was skeptical upon their mission in discovering the mysterious signs Sauniere left them, she was open to the discussion as the evidences are explained to her. She acts as the reader’s viewpoint as she was the judge in determining what must be true and what must be doubted.
Brown, Dan. The Da Vinci Code. New York: Doubleday International, 2003. Print.