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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Which Written Records about Jesus Are Trustworthy?

Don Stewart :: Could the Church Have Conspired to Hide the Real Message of Jesus?

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Could the Church Have Conspired to Hide the Real Message of Jesus? (Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The DaVinci Code)

Which Written Records about Jesus Are Trustworthy? – Question 8

Over the years a number of people have claimed that the church conspired to cover-up the real story of Jesus. In recent times, two books written on the subject have gained wide popularity: “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” and “The DaVinci Code.”

Is there any evidence that the church was actually involved in a cover-up of the events surrounding the life of Jesus? What do these books allege to tell us? Since these claims have achieved popularity in the secular press it is important that we have some type of response to them. We can make the following observations about this issue.

Holy Blood, Holy Grail

In 1982, the book “Holy Blood Holy Grail” was released. This book became a best-seller. Basically, it details a complicated conspiracy theory about Jesus supposedly fathering a child through Mary Magdalene. After Jesus’ crucifixion, the mother and child fled to what is today France. The bloodline of the child was then intermingled with the locals though marriage. These descendants eventually founded the Merovingian Dynasty of Frankish Monarchs. This means that these kings were actual physical descendants of Jesus. Though this dynasty was deposed in the 8th century, the bloodline which goes back to Jesus still continues to this day. According to Holy Blood, Holy Grail, they may be awaiting the moment to reveal this truth to the world and restore the ancient Holy Roman Empire! Such was the conclusion of the authors of this fictional work.

The DaVinci Code

“The DaVinci Code” has similarities with “Holy Blood, Holy Grail.” In each of these books there is no lack of secret societies, cover-ups and conspiracies. In the DaVinci Code, the code to unlock these secrets is supposedly found in Leonardo’s most famous paintings. Hence we have the name the DaVinci code. According to this fictional account, DaVinci was supposedly a member of a secret society which guarded the real truth about Jesus. This society included such notables as Victor Hugo and Sir Isaac Newton.

Although the DaVinci Code acknowledges itself to be a work of fiction, it claims to be accurate in all the historical details it presents. Indeed, it claims to have unraveled the greatest conspiracy in the last 2,000 years. However, the book contains a number of factual errors which unfortunately, the biblically illiterate public does not recognize.

The Fictional Story

Like the fictional account in Holy Blood, Holy Grail, in The DaVinci Code, Jesus supposedly was married to Mary Magdalene and fathered children through her. This truth about Jesus and Mary has always been known by the leaders of the church. They have helped perpetuate the fraud that Jesus is God the Son. Indeed, according to this fictional account, Jesus was not declared to be God until the council of Nicea in A.D. 325.<

To make this story of the divine Jesus acceptable, the church tried to destroy the true gospel accounts of Jesus and substituted false ones in their place. These false gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, portray Jesus as the divine Son of God rather than the human teacher He really is.

Recently, some of these “true” gospels have been unearthed. These scrolls which Constantine attempted to destroy managed to come to light in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt. These scrolls supposedly show the glaring discrepancy between the true story of Jesus and the false one which we find in the four gospels. The fraud of the church is now supposedly there for all to see.

These secret Gnostic Gospels purportedly give us the true account of Jesus. This is the story of the DaVinci Code. Such a message, which denies the fact that Jesus is the one way to reach the one God, has struck a responsive chord in the lives of millions who want to find a way to reject God’s truth. Now supposedly they have an historical basis for their unbelief.

What Is the Truth?

Such are the claims of these fictional works. But what is the truth? We can make the following points.

The Truth about Mary Magdalene

The truth of the matter is that Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Jesus. The Bible teaches that she was there at the tomb on Easter Sunday when Jesus came back from the dead. However, there is no evidence whatsoever that she was a prostitute, that she was married to Jesus, or that there was any romantic involvement between them. Indeed, there is no evidence that Jesus was married to anyone. At the time of Christ it was not necessary for godly Jewish males to be married. So this alleged connection between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is mythical. This is one major problem with these conspiracy theories.

The Truth about the Gospels

Second, the idea that the four gospels were only made authoritative by the church in the fourth century is laughable. Such claims reveal no understanding whatsoever of the historical situation. For one thing, the New Testament documents were all written by either eyewitnesses or those who recorded eyewitness testimony. The four gospels were received immediately by the followers of Jesus. They were not chosen out of some eighty gospels which were circulating at the time. By the middle of the second century the four gospels were circulating as a unit. There was never any doubt about their authoritative status neither were there any rivals.

The Nag Hammadi finds are not accurate accounts of the life of Jesus but rather are the writings of the Gnostics. Gnostics were a secretive sect which held a number of heretical or false beliefs. Their teachings were rejected by the church long before the time of Constantine.

There are further problems. The claim of the DaVinci Code is that Constantine embellished the four gospels to make Jesus godlike. Yet this is not supported by the facts. Indeed, not only were the four gospels written during the lifetime of Jesus’ immediate disciples and by His disciples, we today possess manuscript copies of about two thirds of the entire New Testament; copies which were made before the time of Constantine! The text reads the same in manuscripts which were copied both before and after the time of Constantine. No embellishments were made.

What the success of these books demonstrates is the desire of people to escape responsibility before God. If Jesus is not the One whom the four gospels make Him out to be, then we have no accountability to God for how we view Jesus.

If however, He is the One whom the New Testament says that He is then everyone, including the authors of these two fictional books, are going to stand before Him someday to be judged.

Summary – Question 8
d the Church Have Conspired to Hide the Real Message of Jesus? (Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The DaVinci Code)

When people do not want to accept the clear teaching of the New Testament with respect to Jesus Christ they come up with alternative explanations. One such popular view is a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theories such as found in such books as “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” and ‘The DaVinci Code” are popular with many. Indeed, these theories supposedly provide evidence that the New Testament account of Jesus’ life and ministry is not what actually occurred.

According to these theories, Jesus fathered a child or perhaps children through Mary Magdalene. In addition, Jesus is not the divine Son of God but rather merely a human teacher. Supposedly the church has known this all along but has covered it up in an effort to exercise control over the people. The upshot is that Christianity is not a God-given faith but rather a human-made effort to deify a man who was a simple teacher.

According to the DaVinci Code the real story of Jesus is found in the Nag Hammadi gospels rather than the four gospels. The true story has now been found!

Obviously, if what these writings are saying is true then the Christian faith is not what it claims to be. The historical belief of the church is that Jesus Christ is God the Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He came to earth to reveal to us what God is really like.

When one looks at the evidence it becomes clear that the traditional belief of Christians fits the facts while these other accounts are fictional. A number of points can be made.

First, the four gospels were immediately accepted by the New Testament believers while these other works were soundly rejected. Those who knew which works were authoritative sources of the life and ministry of Jesus received the four gospels as authentic but rejected all of these other works. There is no evidence anywhere of some cover up.

In these authoritative works we find that Jesus Christ is revealed as God the Son who became a human being. The gospel writers did not deify Him. Indeed, He has been, and is, the eternal God!

Furthermore, in the four gospels, there is no indication whatsoever that Jesus had any children with Mary Magdalene or for that matter any had romantic relationship with her at all. This is another myth perpetuated without any evidence at all.

What all this means is that the God of the Bible does exist and thus humans are answerable to Him. Therefore, each of us must make a decision for or against Jesus Christ for He is the One who will determine our eternal destiny.

Could the Message of Jesus Have Been Changed by His Own Disciples? ← Prior Section
What about the Claims That Jesus Never Said Most of the Things Attributed to Him in the New Testament? Next Section →
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