Furthermore, Brown says that the church -- run by men -- hoped to hide the truth about her relationship with Jesus.
In "The Da Vinci Code," Brown says that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were actually. married. Brown is a novelist, not a religious scholar, but is it possible that some of his claims are correct?
The Rev. Richard McBrien, a Catholic scholar, says there's no factual basis for the belief that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. "That common belief is simply false," McBrien said.
The Gospels describe Mary Magdalene as someone who had been possessed by devils and had been healed by Jesus.
McBrien said that "we have to appreciate what demons were in those days." Because health problems were so frequently misunderstood, people who were sick were often said to be possessed by "demons."
Unfortunately for Mary Magdalene, she is also introduced in the Bible right after a story about a prostitute whom Jesus forgives for her sins. And in the year 591, the pope at the time -- Gregory the Great -- gave a big Easter sermon declaring that Mary Magdalene and the unnamed prostitute were, in fact, the same person
The Vatican eventually corrected that impression -- but not until 1969 -- 1,378 years later. The damage to Mary Magdalene's reputation was done.
Karen King, author of "The Gospel of Mary," said, "As historians, we can't really say what people's motives were. What we can do is we look at the effects. And the effects were clearly to undermine women's authority in the church."
Many scholars say that real clues in the Bible about Mary Magdalene have been suppressed.
"When Jesus rose from the dead, according to the accounts in the New Testament, in three places he appeared to Mary Magdalene first," McBrien said. "She was the primary witness, even over Peter. So she had all the credentials to be an apostle."
But does any of that mean that "The Da Vinci Code" is right -- that she was Jesus' wife and the mother of his child?
There is little evidence to support Brown's claim, but there are some scholars -- even Catholic ones -- who are willing to entertain that possibility.
"If someone came in and said, 'Look, we have evidence now, it's incontrovertible evidence that Jesus was married. Guess who it was?' I'd say it's only a short putt to Mary Magdalene. If he was married, it's obviously Mary Magdalene," McBrien said.
"Good Morning America" Weekend anchor Bill Weir reported from Temple Church in London, home of the Knights of Templar.
The Temple Church, built in the 12th century, is one of only three surviving examples of round churches in Britain. It is also the home of the Knights of Templar, a sect of warrior monks formed in 1119 that protected the pilgrims going to and from the Holy Land during the Crusades.
The Knights then became the American Express of their day -- holding vast sums of money for kings and popes on both sides of a war.
But were the Knights of Templar also the caretakers of Mary Magdalene, as Brown's book claims? Was she the secret of their order, the very reason they were formed?
Robin Griffith-Jones, the Reverend and Valiant Master of the Temple, says absolutely not. He has written an upcoming book called "Da Vinci Decoded" which debunks the best seller.