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‘Jesus, Mary and Da Vinci’

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Nov. 3 — The best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code has sparked a vigorous debate by raising a number of provocative questions — most notably, was the historical Jesus really a married man? Could he have even been a father? Do his direct descendants still survive today?

In an hour-long ABCNEWS special, "Jesus, Mary and Da Vinci," Elizabeth Vargas explores these and other controversial theories about the lives of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, who some scholars believe was not a prostitute, as she is often portrayed, but rather Jesus' wife — and perhaps even the mother of his child. "Jesus, Mary and Da Vinci" airs Monday, Nov. 3 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Da Vinci Code, a mystery novel that claims to be based in part on historical fact, contains claims that Mary Magdalene was Jesus' wife, that she fled Jerusalem following his crucifixion carrying their child, and turned up in France, where Jesus' descendants ultimately married into French royalty. This story, it is said, was long protected and perpetuated by a secret society of some of the most famous men in history, including Leonardo da Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton.

In an effort to separate fact from legend, Vargas travels to the Holy Land, Italy, Scotland, France and other locations around the world to investigate what evidence exists to support some of these extraordinary claims. She interviews religion and art history scholars, as well as a Scottish aristocrat who says he thinks his family married into Jesus' bloodline in the 12th century.

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