People love the story of The Da Vinci Code. According to NBC News, the movie was number one in the box office in the US and held the second biggest opening ever. The novel itself sold over one million copies. This story has sparked debate and raised a very strong reaction of disagreement from the church, with many historians claiming it’s ‘facts’ are inaccurate.
This story shakes up people thoughts and gets them to begin to really think through knowledge they might have taken for granted of Jesus, the Bible and the Church. The Author of The Da Vinci Code said, “You don’t have to believe a single word of this story to enjoy it, to engage in the debate, to remain open-minded to perspectives that make us think, perspectives that challenge us to ponder why we believe what we believe.”
The author argues on the first page of his fiction novel that all the facts contained in this novel are true. Though, there is a total irony in this claim coming out of a fiction book. The author does say outside of the book that although the character is fictitious, the ideas are based off real research. The book brings up a lot of controversial ideas from the existence of a cult protecting the church, a secret heir to Jesus, mysterious parchments found in a French library containing genealogies and mysteries hidden beneath Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous paintings. Read on if you want to hear fifteen of the secrets revealed in the Da Vinci Code that are still unanswered.
16. Is there A Secret Volt Hidden In The Rosslyn Chapel?
There is a Chapel in Scotland named the Rosslyn Chapel, initially known as the Chapel of St Matthew. This is the chapel where the last scene of The Da Vinci Code takes place. Dan Brown said about Rosslyn Chapel, “When I decided to write The Da Vinci Code, I knew that its finale would have to take place at the most mysterious and magical chapel on earth – Rosslyn.” Many people have found this chapel very mysterious and have created theories about it. The main idea derives from a letter Marry Queen of Scots wrote to Sir William St. Clair referring to a secret they would keep in the chapel. This has sparked a lot of theories, but the dominant one found in The Da Vinci Code is that the Holy Grail is hidden in a secret vault behind the chapel. This was apparently handed from Jesus to Joseph of Arimathea when he was in prison. There are also carvings in the chapel that relate to Athurian legends relating to the Holy Grail, perhaps secret code?
15. Does a Secret Society Dwell in the Chapel?
As you can see from looking at the pictures above, the Rosslyn Chapel looks magnificent and mysterious. You could easily imagine a large vault hiding deep down inside. In The Da Vinci Code there is a Secret Society living in this chapel protecting a secret about Jesus.
The novel suggests that there’s a secret society dwelt in this chapel protecting and hiding the bloodline of Jesus. The owners of the chapel refuse to open up the hidden vaults and explore all of these possibilities. They say that they have not only ancestors buried down there they don’t wish to disturb, but that it’s also been filled in with dirt and would be a risk to the building’s integrity to dig down there.
14. Is The Catholic Organization, Opus Dei, A Cult?
The Da Vinci Code talks of a secret sect or cult in the Catholic church. Some people believe the Catholic organization Opus Die is a modern day cult. They have come under much controversy with people believing they practice religious brainwashing and self-mortification. The movement has claimed to grow to about 87 thousand members around the world. This movement is not for nuns, priests or monks, but for those who believe every man or woman should aspire to be a saint. It’s divided into two groups, one group of the normal working class that help the organization by giving a LOT of money to the organization, millions going to the Roman Catholic Church, and the other are called Numeraries, many of these members commit themselves to a life of celibacy, practice regular fasting and wear on a daily basis what is known as a cilice; a barbed chain strapped around their leg as a painful reminder of their sin, a form of penance, and a helpful tool in resisting their sexual and sinful temptations. Claims have also been made that they bring members in by over the top flattery and affection. If a large Catholic cult exists today, then maybe the cult in The Da Vinci Code isn’t such a crazy idea.
13. Was Da Vinci Hiding A Secret Message In The Mona Lisa?
The Mona Lisa, now over five hundred years old, is an incredibly famous painting. Even if you have no idea who Da Vinci is, you would have seen the painting and felt some intrigue. This painting is featured in The Da Vinci Code when Tom Hanks’ character finds a secret message hidden in the face of the lady.
The identity of the lady painted in this picture is still not known and it has sparked many ideas. Silvano Vinceti, president of Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage said that even though you can’t see it with the naked eye, if you look at the Mona Lisa with a magnifying glass, you’re able to find hidden letters and numbers in the lady’s eyes. An old book discovered in an antique shop also claims the Mona Lisa has secret code hidden in her eyes. Some people have theories that the Mona Lisa is a painting of the artist himself and want to dig up Leonardo’s tomb to piece together his skull and recreate his face. This begs the question, what does the code in her eyes mean?
12. Was There A Secret Message In The Madonna Of The Rocks?
According to Dan Brown’s website, Leonardo Da Vinci actually painted two versions of the Virgin of the Rocks. His famous Madonna of the Rocks was an original painting for the Confraternity of a church in Milan, San Francesco Grand. This was meant to be a centrepiece. Unfortunately, even though they gave Leonardo very strict instructions for the painting, when he gave this to them they were horrified (this painting can now be found in Paris at the Louvre). Apparently it looked like it had unchristian hidden meanings in the work and the nuns had him paint it again. This second painting, Virgin of the Rocks is displayed in London’s National Gallery. Perhaps, as Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code has suggested, Leonardo was trying to hide secret messages and hidden agendas in his art. If even the church at the time thought his art was too obviously hiding unchristian themes in it, then how much more might he have hidden without them being aware. If anyone liked and trusted the painting it should have been San Francesco Grand as Leonardo was following their very instructions.
11. Who Was Actually Sitting To The Right Of Jesus In The Painting Of The Last Supper?
Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper sets itself apart from all other works of The Last Supper. His was the first to have men without halo’s at the table. In all other paintings of this evening all thirteen men had Halo’s, but Leonardo painted all of them, including Jesus, without halo’s, depicting their simple humanness, trying to show that these were ordinary men.
In the novel and movie The Da Vinci Code, they claim that instead of John sitting next to Jesus’ right in the painting, that this was actually Mary Magdalene. This is mostly based on the shallow impression that the figure looks very feminine compared to all the other men sitting at the table. Mary was one of the followers of Jesus and so it seems logical to some that this feminine looking character is her. Additionally, an ancient book, the Gospel of Mary, presents Jesus and Mary as having a close relationship.
10. Should The Gospel Of Mary Be Included In The Bible?
The ancient text, the Gospel of Mary, according to the National Geographic “is found in the fifth-century papyrus book, written in the Coptic language, that appeared on the Cairo antiquities market in 1896″. It was purchased by a German scholar and first published in 1955. Other pieces of the gospel of Mary, which date back to the third century and were written in Greek, were also found in Egypt. King estimates that the original gospel of Mary was written between A.D. 125 and 175. In contrast, the Gospels in the New Testament were written in the first century.
However, about half of the text is missing and what remains is contradictory to the other gospels in the New Testament of the Bible and most Christians dismiss this book. As a historian, King says that though she doesn’t comment on whether this should be included in the New Testament, she believes this text teaches us that there must have been intense doctrinal debate occurring in the times of the early Church.
9. Is The Holy Grail Really A Cup?
As you can see from the image above, people generally believe the Holy Grail was a cup. This is the cup Jesus drank from and has miraculous powers. Though this isn’t what everyone believes. Some people think the Holy Grail is actually a dish or a stone, others think something different altogether. The Da Vinci Code suggests that Leonardo was trying to tell us something completely different in his painting of The Last Supper. The Da Vinci Code suggests that if Leonardo was painting Mary Magdalene sitting to the right of Jesus in this very famous meal, that perhaps the key to the Holy Grail isn’t found in a physical object, but in Mary Magdalene herself. The Da Vinci Code claims that Mary was the Holy Grail.
8. Was Mary Magdalene a Prostitute?
Mary Magdalene was an admired and famous woman to many. Though there isn’t much written about her in the Bible, some people believe she sat to the right of Jesus at his table, some believe in the spiritual instruction in the book written about her, the Gospel of Mary. The fact alone that she has a gospel written about her shows that she was admired and respected by people and yet there is a strange claim, not recorded in any text, that she was actually a practicing prostitute. Some say the Catholic leaders started saying that she was a prostitute so that people wouldn’t listen to or respect her teachings. According to The National Geographic, “Beginning in the fifth century, Catholic leaders began referring to Mary Magdalene as a prostitute, perhaps because they wanted to undermine the capacity of women to appeal to Mary Magdalene for legitimacy and leadership.” There are claims that this was an attack against women in general.
7. Were Mary And Jesus Secretly Married?
Was there a special bond between Mary and Jesus? In the Gospel of Mary there is a reference to Jesus kissing Mary. Though parts of the text are literally missing so we don’t know how or where Jesus kissed her. It reads something like, Jesus kissed Mary on the blank blank. Keep in mind that it was Jewish custom to kiss everyone as a greeting. Even Judas greeted Jesus with a kiss before he betrayed him.
As stated in The National Geographic, “according to Karen King, a history professor at Harvard University’s Divinity School and one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ never married—for one thing, no text identifies them as man and wife.” King continues to say that there is simply no evidence that such a relationship existed. So why did The Da Vinci Code believe that they were married?
6. Did Jesus Secretly Have A Child?
The theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married goes even deeper than that. In fact there is an old legend that Jesus and Mary had a child named Sarah. The Da Vinci Code suggests this as one of its main themes. This helps conclude Dan Brown’s idea that Mary was the Holy Grail, as her child continues the lineage of Jesus to this very day. This theory says that descendants of Jesus are still alive on this earth today. The National Geographic opposes this idea strongly in an article that states that “many scholars scoff at Brown’s appeals to scholarship, arguing that the bloodline theory has been around for centuries and thoroughly discredited as a fraud.” So why was Dan convinced that Jesus had a child?
5. Was Leonardo Da Vinci A Member Of A Secret Society?
Brown suggests in his novel that Leonardo Da Vinci belonged to a secret group called the Priory of Sion. Secret documents or Dossiers Secret provided information claiming Leonardo’s membership in this group. These were discovered in the French Library in the 1970’s. Richard Leigh was one of the first to observe these documents. It contains a list of grand masters who were to make sure the secret of Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s child stays hidden, but it was also the duty of all members to keep this information passed down through the generations. The non-fiction book ”Holy Blood, Holy Grail” written in 1982 claims the existence of the Priory of Sion passing down the ‘true’ secret of Jesus and Mary through many generations.
4. But Was There Really A Society Passing Down The Lineage of Jesus and Mary’s Child?
How did the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail get the idea that there was a cult passing down an unknown lineage of Jesus and Mary through many generations and keeping it a secret? They stumbled upon some old documents in the french library containing a story based in Rennes le Chateau, a village in the South of France. The character Sauniere gained wealth after renovating a church. This left many people questioning his integrity, wondering what he was hiding as he started off as a poor priest. Some people came up with the theory that he must have found secret documents hidden in the church that had a trail to treasure and this was where his great wealth came from. Though the author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail believed that he hadn’t found treasure, but instead had found a parchment of evidence of this secret society hiding the line of Jesus and Mary for hundreds of years. They believe he gained such great wealth by then blackmailing the church with the secret knowledge he now had over them. The old parchment in the library is said to contain the letters “Sion” and “PS,” meaning Priory of Sion.
3. Does The Priory Of Sion Still Exist Today?
The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail went back to the library to stumble upon documents that included a genealogy with Kings and Queens being descended through the line of Jesus and Mary. They followed this line till they came upon a man Pieree Plantard, a French man who claimed to be part of the Priory of Sion. The authors interviewed Plantard as follows:
Lincoln:Can you tell us whether the Priory of Sion still exists today.
Plantard: At this moment Priory of Sion still exists.
Lincoln: Monsieur Plantard, you have supported the Priory of Sion.
Plantard: We have supported Sion and Sion has supported us.
Lincoln: We? Who are we?
Plantard: We. I am speaking of the Merovingian line.
2. Was This A Huge Hoax?
Bill Putnam was an archaeologist who with many others, claimed the story of Plantard was made up. He said that these secret documents were made by the French man Plantard after hearing the old tale of the priest gaining wealth after renovating an old church. He said that Plantard was an eccentric man that created all these documents as a con linking himself to French Royalty; he actually believed he should be the King of France. Putnam said, “It’s the greatest hoax in my experience”.
Additionally, the priest that got rich actually had nothing to do with secret documents of Jesus lineage. Instead, he was suspended from the pulpit for selling mail-order prayers for the dead. So all theories circulated from this original legend had to be a farce. Unless of course you believe that this was just another cover up for the church and another secret never to be really known.
1. Were People Just Seeing What They Wanted in Da Vinci’s Art?
David Nolta, an art historian, said that though people have seen certain letters in the painting of the last supper, he can see almost every letter of the alphabet contained in this painting and it would be taking on a weak conclusion to read into a supposed letter M and letter V. He also said that though the figure to Jesus’ left, said to be Mary and not St. John, is rather feminine, most artists at the time of Da Vinci depicted St. John in this same feminine way.
The old documents from the French library that these theories originated from were proved to be a hoax and artists like David Nolta agree that you can read any sort of code you want into Leonardo’s paintings, as almost ever letter appears hidden somewhere.