‘Da Vinci’ author: I left out even more

Decided against including theory Jesus survived crucifixion

CONCORD, New Hampshire (AP) — Though “The Da Vinci Code” was contentious enough to produce 10 books attempting to discredit it, its author said he left out what likely would have been the most controversial part.

Dan Brown said that when he wrote the best seller that dissects the origins of Jesus Christ and disputes long-held beliefs about Catholicism, he considered including material alleging that Jesus Christ survived the crucifixion.

The Da Vinci Code

So error-laden is The Da Vinci Code that the educated reader actually applauds those rare occasions where Brown stumbles (despite himself) into the truth. […] In the end, Dan Brown has penned a poorly written, atrociously researched mess.
Source: Dismantling The Da Vinci Code By Sandra Miesel, Crisis, Sep. 1, 2003

While speaking at a benefit Tuesday for a New Hampshire writers’ group, Brown said the theory is backed by a number of “very credible sources,” but that he ultimately decided it was too flimsy.

“For me, that was just three or four steps too far,” he told the crowd of more than 800 people.

Brown’s discussion of his book, during which he answered audience questions, was a rare public appearance for him. He has declined most requests for media interviews this year, saying he is focusing on writing the sequel to his book.

He said the new book, set in Washington, D.C., would focus on the Free and Accepted Masons, a secretive fraternal organization. He said the architecture in Washington is soaked in symbolism and plays a major role in the novel. He also said the dust jacket of “The Da Vinci Code” contains a code that reveals information about the sequel.

But Brown spent much of the evening discussing the controversy that has surrounded “The Da Vinci Code.”

Since the book was published in March 2003, liberal and conservative writers have cited numerous errors. A key assertion in “The Da Vinci Code” — that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and that sinister Christians suppressed information about it — comes from a 1982 book titled “Holy Blood, Holy Grail,” which a New York Times reviewer called “rank nonsense.”

Brown said he is grateful his book is generating so much debate. He said apathy is a constant threat to the study of the uncomfortable relationship between science and religion.

The book casts unflattering light on the Catholic Church, accusing church leaders of demonizing women for centuries and of covering up the truth about the Holy Grail, which Brown says is Mary Magdalene herself.

Many critics have taken issue with Brown’s claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child who was whisked away to France after Jesus’ crucifixion.

But Brown, who was raised Christian, said that theory does not detract from Christianity’s message.

“In my mind, the possibility that Jesus might have married Mary Magdalene in no way undermines the beauty of Christ’s message,” he said.

“The Da Vinci Code” has sold 7.5 million copies worldwide and is expected to be made into a movie.

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Associated Press, USA
May 19, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday May 20, 2004.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at Amazon.com.