Was Leonardo Da Vinci a member of the “Priory of Sion,” a secret society reaching all the way back to the Crusades? Does his famous painting, “The Last Supper,” contain a hidden code about this society’s most precious secret? Did Jesus father children by Mary Magdalene? What was the Holy Grail?
The best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown has stirred the popular imagination by cleverly interweaving theories about such questions with a fast-paced fictional narrative. Many readers have been so swept away by the drama of this murder mystery that they have accepted Brown’s fictional reconstruction of Christian origins and medieval history as established fact.
New Testament scholar Robert M. Price, a member of the Jesus Seminar, examines the creative uses of history in Brown’s novel, showing that, however intriguing Brown’s fictional speculations may be, the real facts behind the novel are even more fascinating. What does the best historical evidence say about the possibility that Jesus might have survived the crucifixion? How did the Gospels come to be accepted as the established accounts of Jesus’ life and why were other Gnostic traditions suppressed? How did the Roman Emperor Constantine figure in the development of Christian dogma? What was Mary Magdalene’s role in early Christianity and how was it adapted in later attempts to develop a “sacred feminine” element in Christianity?
These are some of the important questions about Christianity that Dr. Price pursues in this engrossing discussion of Christian history. Price combines sophisticated historical analysis with completely accessible and witty prose in this enlightening, factually based sequel to Brown’s speculative bestseller.