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Transcribed passages from Da Vinci Code appear in red below. And corresponding passages from Rock Prophecy follow in blue.

So, with these insights in mind, it becomes clear while reading Da Vinci Code, that the entire Holy Grail tale hinges upon a few brief passages in the book:

DC 2003: Nobody is saying Christ was a fraud, or denying that He walked the earth…Jesus Christ was a historical figure…As a descendant of the lines of King Solomon and King David, Jesus possessed a rightful claim to the throne…the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene is part of the historical record…His life was recorded by thousands of followers across the land.

Every bit of spin surrounding the Holy Grail depends on this premise that Jesus was, not only a real person, but one who left behind a trail of information about himself that has been verified as fact. But since this premise doesn't connect, since it is speculation without proof, it is therefore impossible to know the lineage of Jesus. We can't even confirm that Jesus isn't a character of fiction. Da Vinci Code omits consideration of the issue. The author simply allows readers to assume it's a closed case as to whether Jesus is a fictional character or a man who really lived. But that case is far from being closed.

Even with regards to the first story about Jesus, the Gospel of Mark, written around 40 years after the Crucifixion, we have to go into the future another 155 years beyond that before we get to the first copy of the gospel that survives to this day - that's 195 years following the death of Jesus during which we have no copy of his story. That earliest copy that still exists today was altered during those 195 years. In the world of New Testament times, "communal authoring" was the common practice. People added on to, and deleted parts from, passages that they liked or disliked. The earliest copy of "Mark" doesn't even contain a name to identify any author. There were probably dozens or hundreds of people who altered it before someone finally found a copy that has managed not to be destroyed to this day. And the other gospels are even further removed from the time of Jesus than Mark's.

In the first century, thirty percent of children were dying before age one. Another thirty percent would die before age six. So sixty percent of all children are dead by age six. If you made it to age six, and you were a peasant, your life expectancy would be approximately 25 - 30 years…the point being that peasant life in Galilee in the first century was very, very tough.

- Prof. Marcus Borg - Oregon State Univ. - ABC News 6.3.00

Forty years after Jesus died, when Gospel of Mark was written, most of the people who would have remembered seeing Jesus were already dead. They were likely in their teens or older when they were with Jesus 40 years earlier, which would make them around 60 years old when "Mark" was written. Few peasants in that region lived to age 60. It is just as likely that the Gospel of Mark was either fiction, or based loosely on a real person whose story was extensively embellished. We will likely never know (at least not in this life).

The above paragraphs about the evidence for Jesus are not extensive, yet these few key insights seem to be known by so few people. Once aware of the facts, most of the Holy Grail connections we read in Da Vinci Code appear absurd, or crafted for fools. Given what is known today, a person who claims that Mary Magdalene is a fictional character cannot be proved wrong. Likewise, there is not a single shred of evidence to confirm any of the other following statements in Da Vinci Code:

DC 2003: …see the title of the family tree…Mary Magdalene is here…near the top of the genealogy…She was of the House of Benjamin…Magdalene was of royal descent…it was not Mary Magdalene's royal blood that concerned the Church so much as it was her consorting with Christ, who also had royal blood. As you know, the Book of Matthew tells us that Jesus was of the House of David. A descendant of King Solomon - King of the Jews. By marrying into the powerful House of Benjamin, Jesus fused two royal bloodlines, creating a potent political union with the potential of making a legitimate claim to the throne and restoring the line of kings as it was under Solomon…Not only was Jesus Christ married, but He was a father. Mary Magdalene was the Holy Vessel. She was the chalice that bore the royal bloodline of Jesus Christ. She was the womb that bore the lineage…she had physical proof that the Church's newly proclaimed deity had spawned a mortal bloodline…the royal bloodline of Jesus Christ has been chronicled in exhaustive detail by scores of historians.

The claim that "scholars of that era chronicled Mary Magdalene's days in France" is misleading. Surviving copies of the Gnostic gospels date from around 300-400 years after Jesus died. These 1600-year-old texts are copies translated from earlier copies, but scholars disagree sharply about when the originals were written. Most scholars agree that the Gnostic writings are derivative of the Gospel of Mark, reactions to the "Mark" blockbuster. That story had caught on like Harry Potter and dozens of other writers jumped on the bandwagon to record their own spin offs on the Jesus story. It was a period in Roman history that centered on the Roman Jewish War of 66 C.E. and these writers all looked back some 40 years to the time they all believed Jesus lived. At this point it didn't matter whether or not Jesus had been a real person - it was the story that had become a rallying point following the Roman Jewish War. That story said everything so many people wanted said. A perfect fit had been born, a perfect hit, and dozens of competing writers acknowledged this with their own versions of it, some of them taking just fragments of Mark and spinning their whole tale around one of the characters in Mark, like Mary Magdalene, or Thomas, or Nicodemus.

But the point is that nothing at all exists that can confirm or prove that Jesus was a real person. And the same goes for Mary Magdalene. That she is a work of fiction is a likelihood, and a probability, not explored in Da Vinci Code. Yet it's the main conclusion supported by facts, and suggested by Harry Potter.

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