A recent poll showed that more Americans than ever are open to the idea of Jesus as a husband and father, the Knoxville (Tenn.,) News Sentinel reported.
The poll, conducted by Scripps Howard and Ohio University, interviewed 1,031 adults by telephone Oct. 7-24. Forty percent of respondents admitted that it is possible early church leaders withheld critical details about the life of Jesus. This withholding of information is one of the central ideas behind Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," a worldwide bestselling novel and hit movie.
Nearly one-third of respondents aged 18 to 24 believe it is possible that Jesus had children and 18 percent said they thought it was likely that Jesus was married, the newspaper reported. Both of these claims are asserted in Brown's novel.
Very few people, however, accept "The Da Vinci Code" as completely true, the survey found, but increased public skepticism has led to an increased questioning of authority, religious scholars told the News Sentinel.