The Da Vinci Code

"Mary Magdalene and the Da Vinci Code"      It appears that the time is ripe today in America for the further degradation of basic morality and to the introduction of all manner of false doctrines and cults. It is evident that there is presently an obsession with Mary Magdalene. Much of this focus has been gendered by Dan Brown’s best seller, The Da Vinci Code. In this study, we shall explore the Mary Magdalene of the Bible, the relative Da Vinci Code, and make some final applications of the learned biblical principles.      The Mary Magdalene of the New Testament. There are numerous women in the Bible named Mary. In fact, "Mary" is found about 51 times in the New Testament. There was Mary the mother of Jesus; Mary the sister of Lazarus; Mary the mother of Mark, sister of Barnabas; and a Christian in Rome named Mary, to mention some (Matt. 1: 16; Luke. 10: 39; Acts 12: 12; Rom. 16: 6). Then there was Mary Magdalene.      Mary Magdalene is first mentioned in Luke 8: 1-3. She appears to have been from the town of Magdala; hence, Mary Magdala, as some refer to her. In this passage we read of certain women accompanying Jesus and the twelve. We are told that Jesus had healed these women and that they "…ministered unto him of their substance." Mary Magdalene was one of the women. We next observe Mary Magdalene at Jesus’ crucifixion (Matt. 27: 55, 56). The last view we have of her is subsequent to Jesus’ resurrection and prior to his ascension (Matt. 28: 1-10, Mark. 16: 9, John 20: 11-18).      The view that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. First, all we reliably know about Mary Magdalene is what we read in the New Testament. There are prostitutes mentioned in the scriptures, but it appears that the practice was not to provide their names (cp. Luke 7: 37, John 8: 3). When Mary Magdalene is mentioned, her name is freely supplied, as seen in the foregoing references. Notwithstanding, some believe that Mary Magdalene is the prostitute of Luke 7: 37. Some contend that the same woman is present in Luke 7: 37 and John 8: 3 and that the woman is Mary Magdalene. "Pope" Gregory declared in 591 A. D. that Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany (Lazarus’ sister), and the sinner of Luke 7: 37 are all the same. Hence, the origin of the view that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute (see addendum). As one even casually reads Luke 7: 36 through Luke 8: 3, it is apparent that the account of the woman of Luke 7: 36 and Mary Magdalene are two different instances, involving two different women and circumstances (notice "…it came to pass afterward…." in Luke 8: 1). The fact that Mary Magdalene was a demoniac out of whom Jesus cast seven demons, does not prove that she was a prostitute (Luke 8: 2, Mark 16: 9).      The Gospel of Mary. Based on the presentation we have of Mary Magdalene in the scriptures, she was an outstanding disciple of Jesus who stayed with him to the end. However, there is not a scintilla of evidence that Mary Magdalene enjoyed the status of apostolic equality or perhaps even ascendancy over the twelve as is being assigned to her. A fragmentary manuscript that bears the name "Gospel of Mary" is now being exaggerated in an effort to advance the cause of the book, the Da Vinci Code. The so called Gospel of Mary was discovered in Egypt in the middle of the twelfth century, along with fragments of the Gospel of Thomas. In this manuscript, Mary Magdalene is presented as teaching the apostles and being loved by Jesus above all his disciples. The Gospel of Mary is replete with Gnostic tenets and advocates that Jesus’ soul only was resurrected, in harmony with Gnostic views about matter (see John 20: 26-29). The Gospel of Mary is dated at between 125 and 175 A. D. Hence, it appears to have been written after the life of Mary Magdalene and, therefore, is not only marred by teaching that is inconsistent with the scriptures, but is also of apparent spurious authorship.      Many believe that the Da Vinci Code is going to re