This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," May 16, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Some new meanings are explained and "secrets unlocked" in "The Da Vinci Code." But how much of the movie is actual factual?
Here with what she says are the five biggest flaws in the story, freelance writer Amy Welborn. She's also the author of "De-coding Mary Magdalene: Truth, Legend and Lies."
Let's start there, Amy. Mary Magdalene. "The Da Vinci Code" says Jesus and Mary were married. True or false?
AMY WELBORN, AUTHOR, "DE-CODING MARY MAGDALENE: TRUTH, LEGEND AND LIES": False. There's no evidence in the Gospels that Jesus was married to anyone, much less Mary Magdalene.
GIBSON: Is there any suggestion that they might have been?
WELBORN: No, there isn't. The Gospels are really forthright about Jesus' family relationships, about the relationships that he had with people in his town.
They name the apostles, his friends. They name Mary Magdalene. They give a high position to Mary Magdalene in the Gospels, actually. If they were going to hide her — I mean, if they were married, there's no reason for them to hide that relationship at all.
GIBSON: Well, you know, the theory behind the book is that the marriage is denied because the Catholic Church wanted the religion to be centered around men and wanted to push her out of the way. I mean, that's explicitly stated in "The Da Vinci Code."
WELBORN: Right. Right.
And, you know, that vision of early Christianity in "The Da Vinci Code" is based on nothing from the first four centuries of Christian history. You know, "The Da Vinci Code" is a book that purports to tell the history of early Christianity and then doesn't cite any sources directly related to the first century in telling that story.
And so, the truth is that, you know, Mary Magdalene did play an important role. And if they wanted to hide her role, they did a really bad job because, of course, in all four of the Gospels, Mary Magdalene is the first person to discover the empty tomb. It's on her witness that the entire Christian message rests.
So you would think if they were up to hiding her relationship and her importance, they would have taken that part out. But they didn't.
GIBSON: OK. But then there's this other one that is related to Mary Magdalene, of course, which is, not only were they married, they had a daughter, and Mary Magdalene and the daughter went to Europe. And there are still descendants of that daughter.
WELBORN: That's all just a 20th century fantasy and fabrication.
Some writers write, you know, sort of fantastical meditations on that possibility. But there's no evidence in the scriptures. There's no evidence from early church history.
There is a legend in the West that Mary Magdalene did go to Provence in France to help spread the Gospel. In the East, the legend about Mary Magdalene post-crucifixion and resurrection is different.
But there's no hint in anything before the 20th century that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married or had a child or anything like that.
GIBSON: In the little bit of time left, spin off the three other major flaws.
WELBORN: Well, the first major flaw is that Constantine invented Christianity, or that the early Christians didn't believe that Jesus is Lord.
Again, a simple look at first century texts, like the letters of Paul, who had a very high Christology, show how false this is. What were the early Christians arrested for and dying for? Were they arrested and dying for, you know, a rabbi with a girlfriend? No. They were arrested and dying for proclaiming that Jesus was Lord.
GIBSON: Amy, the last two, real quick, before I run out of time.
WELBORN: Very quickly, the idea that Leonardo encoded all this stuff into his paintings. The Priory of Scion is a fraud. It was invented in the 1950s.
And the other major mistake would be that, you know, related to Opus Dei, for example, the character of Silas, who was an albino Opus Dei monk. Opus Dei is a lay organization. They don't have monks, and they're not intent on world domination.
GIBSON: OK. All right. Thank you very much, Amy Welborn.
WELBORN: You're welcome.
GIBSON: She's the author of "De-coding Mary Magdalene: Truth, Legend and Lies."
Thanks a lot, Amy.
WELBORN: Thank you.
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