I am sure that most everyone has heard of and/or read and seen "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. I believe that whenever someone comes out with huge claims against something, before we believe them, we need to dig deep and find out for ourselves whether it is true. I wanted to share some of the information I have found on the subject.
The first thing to look at is what exactly is Dan Brown claiming in "The Da Vinci Code."
"1.) Jesus was married to Mary Magdeline.
2.) The four Gospels were chosen from among several that existed in the fourth century because they presented a divine Jesus.
3.) The divinity of Jesus became orthodoxy by a close vote at the council of Nicea in AD 325.
The key to the novel is that many in the Church knew that Jesus was married and to protect his divinity conspired to not let that become known, even to the point of murder. " ~Darrell L. Block
"...it's central conspiracy theory, which, very simply put, sees Jesus married to Mary Magdelin. After Jesus' death, Mary then supposedly fled with their child, and became, over time, a symbol of the 'sacred feminine'of ancient paganism." ~Melinda Christian
"According to Mr. Brown's fictional historian, Leah Teabing, the Roman Emperor Constatine picked through the ancient gospels and chose the ones that suited his political agenda, thus creating what we now have as the Bible..." ~Melinda Christian of christiananswers.net
There are many things that Dan Brown claims in his novel and I would like to share some information as to why these things are not true. Christian historians and non-Christian historians agree that the history Dan Brown claims is behind his novel, is false.
"...one need only delve (and not even very deeply) into the “historical” basis for this tradition to be convinced that it is, indeed, fiction.
Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln [writers of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail, where Dan Brown got some of his information] make this startling admission concerning their own research:
'We sought only to winnow through [the gospels] — to locate certain fragments of possible or probable truth… fragments that might attest to a marriage between Jesus and the woman known as the Magdelin. …In order to find them, we realized, we would be obliged to read between lines, fill in certain gaps, account for certain caesuras and ellipses. We would have to deal with omissions, with innuendos, with references that were, at best, oblique.'"~Melinda Christian
Here are excerpts from an article by Matthew J. Slick. He quotes an exerpt out of the book and then answers it.
1. Quote: "The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book...more than 80 gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relative few are chosen for inclusion-- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John among them... the Bible, as we know it today, was collected by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great." p. 231
A. Response: This is a very gross error. The Bible is not the product of "countless translation, additions, and revisions." The Bible is translated from copies of original documents, which have been static since before the council of Nicea.
B. Response: The Bible was not produced at the Council of Nicea by Constantine. The Old Testament documents were collected and known as an inspired work long before the Christian church was ever on the scene. The New Testament documents were written by the eyewitnesses of Jesus' Ministry or under the direction of those who were. The Christian Church knew which documents were authentic and which were not with only a few books in dispute. At the initial formation of the Christian Church, the Christians were under Roman rule and did not have the freedom (due to initial persecution) to produce an "official" Bible. But that did not prevent them from knowing which documents were penned by the apostles themselves and which were spurious forgeries, of which many were in existence and are undoubtedly included in the "80 gospels" that Brown mentions.
2. Quote: "With the help of Jesus' trusted uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalene secretly traveled to France, then known as Gaul. There she found safe refuge in the Jewish community. It was here in France that she gave birth to a daughter. Her name was Sarah." p. 255
Response: There is no evidence for this whatsoever in history. It is an invention, a fabrication.
3. Quote: "...the Piscean ideal believe that man must be told what to do by higher powers because man is incapable of thinking for himself. Hence it has been a time of fervent religion. Now, however, we are entering the age of Aquarius-- the water bearer-- whose ideals claim that man will learn the truth and be able to think for himself." p. 268
A.Response: Notice the appeal to astrology as truth. This is inherently problematic since astrology is unverifiable, highly subjective, and is full of ambiguous speculations.
B. Response: It is interesting that Brown inserts pagan ideas and pagan concepts into the dialogue among his characters in an attempt to support the storyline. His comment leaves a person with the impression that religion, in particular Christianity, does not want people to learn the truth or think for themselves. This cannot be further from fact. The Scriptures teach us to learn the facts and to be very responsible in our decisions and to think critically. Brown misrepresents, at the very least, the Christian faith.
C. Response: Following are scriptures telling us to think, to use our minds.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself," (Romans 14:5).
4. Quote: "Admittedly, the concept of sex as a pathway to God was mind-boggling at first. Langdon's Jewish students always looked flabbergasted when he first told them that the early Jewish tradition involved ritualistic sex. In the temple, no less. Early Jews believed that the Holy of Holies in Solomon's Temple housed not only God but also his powerful female equal, Shekinah. Men seeking spiritual wholeness came to the temple to visit priestesses--or hierodules-- with whom they made love and experienced the divine through physical union. The Jewish tetragrammaton YHWH -- the sacred name of God -- in fact derived from Jehovah, an androgynous physical union between the masculine Jah and the pre-Habraic name for Eve, Havah." p. 309
A. Response: We know of absolutely no documentation whatsoever supporting the idea that the early Jews considered the holy of holies a place where a female deity would dwell. Such an idea is without merit, is ridiculous, and is in direct contradiction to the historic/biblical account for the purpose of the Holy of Holies - to offer blood sacrifices to the Lord. This is such a preposterous idea that we are surprised Mr. Brown inserted it into the story at all -- even knowing it is a fictional book.
B. Response: Brown makes a very fundamental error in his research regarding the tetragrammaton YHWH. It is not derived from a masculine and feminine set of words. Instead, YHWH is the English four letters that most closely represent the four Hebrew characters that designate the name of God which is derived from the Hebrew verb "to be." "To be" is not feminine in the slightest. It is simply a verb. When God gives his own name in Exodus 3:14 he says, "I AM that I AM". Again, the "I AM" is from the verb "to be" which is where we get YHWH. Brown is completely wrong on this.
5. Quote: "the next time you find yourself with a woman, look in your heart and see if you cannot approach sex as a mystical, spiritual act. Challenge yourself to find that spark of divinity that man can only achieve through union with the sacred feminine." p. 310
A. Response: This is a very subjective statement. Of course, it is just a fictional character giving a fictional opinion. But, the problem is that with the overall context of undermining biblical truth and historical fact, this comment takes on a more distracting meaning as it moves a person to think emotionally instead of using his mind...the very thing Brown, via his characters, accuses the church of not wanting. See point 3 above.
B. Response: Sex is mystical? Where Brown did this? Throughout ancient history, when men have been in charge of religious practices, temple prostitution as often arisen as a "privilege" and a "sacrament" of getting in touch with the divine goddess. What makes Brown think that ancient temple prostitution practices and sexual union are somehow true mystical events?
6. Quote: "... every faith in the world is based on fabrication. As the definition of faith -- acceptance of that which we imagined to be true, that which we can prove." p. 341
A. Response: No, this is not true. Christianity is based on fact: the reality of the nation of Israel, archaeological verification, eyewitness accounts recorded in written form regarding the birth of Christ, his ministry, his miracles, his teaching, his death, his burial, and his resurrection. Brown could not be further from the truth. He repeatedly makes it a logical and unsubstantiated assertions as though their fact and then continues to build arguments upon them. This is a fallacious way of trying to establish the point.
7. Quote: "those who truly understand their faiths understand the stories [i.e., Virgin birth of Jesus] are metaphorical." p. 342
A. Response: This is not true. Christianity is not based on metaphorical stories with hidden meanings. It is based on historical facts, i.e., the actual life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The witnesses recorded what they actually saw and wrote down actual events. Brown's character's assertion is (admittedly fictional) and completely erroneous.
Following is a brief and partial list of some of the many errors found in the Da Vinci Code.
1. A partial list of errors in the Da Vinci Code
A.The Bible is the product of "countless translations, additions, and revisions."
i.The biblical documents are static, unchanging, and we have multitudinous copies of them from the first, second, and third centuries.
B. The Bible was assembled by Emperor Constantine.
i. The Bible was assembled before Constantine and the Council of Nicea in 325. The council only "officially" recognized what the early church had known since the time of the apostles; that the Bible, in the New Testament books, were authentic and inspired. Emperor Constantine did not establish the Bible, or decide what books went in, in any way. This is another fabrication and denial of historical facts.
C. There were 80 additional gospels
i. Though there were a few gospels circulating which claimed to be authentic but the early Christians knew were not, there is no where close to 80. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were known to be written by the apostles and or those under direct teaching of the apostles. This is why the gospels were acknowledged as authentic and it had nothing to do with political power.
D. Opus Dei members have monks.
i. They do not.
E. The deity of Christ was invented by the Council of Nicea
i. The deity of Christ is found in the scriptures in the New Testament Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; 28:9; John 9:35-38; and Heb. 1:6 as well as the Old Testament:
a. b. Exodus 6:2-3, "God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am the Lord; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord, I did not make Myself known to them." Compare with "Not that any man has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father," (John 6:46). The point is that God Almighty was seen, but not the father. He was the pre-incarnate Christ who is seen in the Old Testament, who is defined in nature.
c. 1 Cor. 1:2, "to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours."
i. The phrase, "call upon the name of the Lord [YHWH]" is used in the OT only in reference to God (i.e., 1 Cor. 1:2. It says that the church "calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus." Why is a phrase used ONLY of God in the OT, applied to Jesus in the NT?
ii. The LXX translates "call upon the name of YHWH" as "call upon the name of the Lord [kurios]." The phrase "call upon the name of the Lord is applied to Jesus.
F. Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene who is to be worshipped as a goddess.
i. There is absolutely no historical evidence for this.
E. Early "Christians" practiced goddess worship.
i. There is absolutely no historical evidence for this.
G. YHWH is derived from two Hebrew words, one masculine and the other feminine.
i. No, it is derived from the single Hebrew word "to be"
H. The Dead Sea Scrolls contained the earliest Christian writings
i. This cannot be true since the DSS's were written before Christianity existed.
I. Christianity borrowed its ideas from pagan sources
i. Similarities between Christianity and other religions does not mean Christianity borrowed from them or they borrowed from Christianity. Similarities exist in all religions. The assertion is a common one that has no basis.
"Basic Christian Doctrine" by Matthew Slick, www.carm.org/basicdoc.htm.
Also for more information visit www.christiananswers.net and type Da Vinci code in the search engine.