If your friends are interested in the person of Jesus, whether because of reading The Da Vinci Code or for another reason, the best place you can point them is to the New Testament Gospels. Let's return to Elizabeth's conversation.

'But what about the other claims? What about the Bible? Did Constantine write a new one? Lucy asked.

'No. There wasn't really any need to. Besides the Bible was around a lot earlier than Constantine. There is evidence that the Gospels as we have them were already considered authoritative as early as the second century - two hundred years before Constantine.'

'Really?' said Lucy.

'Really.' Elizabeth replied.

'So what about those other stories about Jesus in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Texts?' Lucy inquired.

'First of all, the Dead Sea Scrolls are Jewish documents which don't mention Jesus or Christianity at all.' Elizabeth began.

'They're not Christian?' Lucy exclaimed.

'No. So much for accurate descriptions of documents eh?' Lucy nodded as Elizabeth continued. 'Second, while the Nag Hammadi texts do talk about Jesus it isn't the human Jesus that The Da Vinci Code contends.'

'It's not?'

'Not as such. It's pretty complicated but, as far as I understand it, they reflect a completely different type of teaching which emphasised the spiritual Jesus. They, the Gnostics that is, believed that you were saved by receiving the secret, spiritual teaching of Jesus.'

'So what did the other Christians believe?' Lucy asked.

'That's kind of the point. The Gnostics weren't really Christians. They believed absolutely different things about Jesus, the world, and salvation. If you'd like I can lend you a New Testament and you can see for yourself what the Christians believed. We can read it together and I'll try to answer any questions you might have.' Elizabeth said.

'I think I'd like that. The Da Vinci Code has really piqued my curiousity about Jesus. Was he really married to Mary Magdalene?'

'I don't think so, but I'll have to get back to you on that one.'