The Da Vinci Code (possible spoilers)

I did a search and didn’t find any references to this book on the boards. I’ve read the book and although I liked it, I wouldn’t count it as outstanding literature. From what I’ve read about the book, Dan Brown seems to have done extensive research into the material contained in the book. Without making this a great debate, I’m wondering how much of the book is historically accurate? Are the Books of Philip and Mary Magdalene actual documents? Are there references in the Dead Sea Scrolls that directly contradict current bible passages? How much of his references to Da Vinci are true versus speculation?

try searching the boards for “DaVinci Code” rather than “Da Vinci Code.”

I can’t speak for the books of Philip and Mary Magdalene, but when I was reading this book, I did a little research on the paintings, and it appears that what he says about them (the two versions of Madonna on the Rocks, and the incongruent horizon in the Mona Lisa, for instance) is true.

Also, there really is an Opus Dei, a presonal prelature of the Vatican - they’ve got a webpage at - and they do appear to be as creepy as portrayed in the book. For instance, on the webpage, there is a section detailing the various types of member of Opus Dei, one of which is Numeraries, which are celebate men and women who live the in the Opus Dei centres. Which, hey, if the monk thing floats your boat, that’s fine, but I was disturbed that they felt it necessary to go on: "The principal task of the women assistant numeraries is that of the domestic responsibilities in the centres of the prelature, which constitute for them their ordinary professional activity. "


I was actually appalled at the portayal of Opus Dei in the book, to the extent that I know a number of Catholics involved in the movement…and they really just aren’t as creepy as Dan Brown’s albino monk. Most of 'em are ordinary joes who use O.D. as a networking/shared faith avenue.

I was also baffled by

the revelation at the end of the book that the Vatican was denouncing Opus Dei and asking it to form its own breakaway church. While I can imagine a situation where the Vatican would denounce a rogue sect, it seems kinda ludicrous for them to tell anybody “go break off from us.”

The author has a pretty cool web site that includes photographs of the buildings and paintings referenced in the book, including the two versions of MotR. The “challenge” is pretty fun, although the reward is nothing to write home about.

Most of his conspiracy theories about the Grail and the Priory of Sion was lifted (or at least refers to) the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail which may or may not be total hokum.