The DaVinci Code

The DaVinci Code
As Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Christ this coming weekend, many question the reliability of our treasured gospel accounts. Even many who call themselves Christians have been swept away into a sea of doubt by Dan Brown’s work of fiction, the The DaVinci Code. Although I have not taken the time to crack open the book myself, all the talk has my curiosity meter twitching. How can the firm reality of the biblical record be undermined by a novel that admits to being a work of fiction?

This weeks White Horse Inn program tackles the topic, Faith, History & The DaVinci Code. Mike Horton talks to Paul L. Maier, history professor and author of The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction. Maier characterizes the historical claims of the novel as “falsehood piled upon distortion.” He literally laughs at most of the so-called historical claims found within Dan Brown’s book. For example, Dan Brown’s historian character doesn’t even date the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls accurately, not to mention the fact that he completely fabricates the scrolls content.

Darrell L. Bock, New Testament professor at Dallas Theological Seminary also provides a full length Critique in his book, Breaking The Da Vinci Code: Answers to the Questions Everybody’s Asking. Some of these questions include:

  • Who was Mary Magdalene?
  • Was Jesus Married?
  • Would Jesus Being Single be Un-Jewish?
  • Do the So-Called Secret, Gnostic Gospels Help Us Understand Jesus?
  • What Is the Remaining Relevance of The Da Vinci Code?

If you want a quick introduction to the key points, let me suggest, Not InDavincible: A Review and Critique of The DaVinci Code by internet apologist J. P. Holding. The radio show “Issues Etc.” recently interviewed Holding on the subject and you can catch the audio on his Tektonics web site.

The fiction of The Da vinci Code even made it onto the table at last months Biblical Reliability Conference hosted by the University of Minnesota. Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary presented a two part lecture: 1. The DaVinci Code: Was There a Plan to Suppress “Secret” Gospels? and 2. The DaVinci Code: Was There a Conspiracy to Concoct a Divine Jesus? You can listen to the two hour talks yourself, but at the end of each talk he offers the simple answer to each question – “no.”

6 Comments

RE: “Was There a Plan to Suppress a ‘Secret’ Gospels?” and “Was There a Conspiracy to Concoct a Divine Jesus?” Craig Blomberg “offers the simple answer to each question – ‘no.'”

Of course he offered the “simple answer.” As an actively secular American, I can offer some perspective on this point: when do Christians offer complex answers to any problem? Quite frankly, I think the fundamentalist movement supresses such intellectual approaches. In fact, I’ve never once managed to engage in a productive debate with any Christian because complex answers seem to conflict with the simplistic mentality proferred by the ancient texts of long-extinct cultural paradigms.

The complex answer to each of those questions — and history is complex, not simple — is “yes.” Christians believe what they want to believe. That doesn’t mean their beliefs are true (i.e., valid and reliable).

The number of esoteric, gnostic, apocryphal, or non-Nycean texts floating around the world is enormous. The history of occultism (i.e., the Rosicrucians, Freemasons, Knights Templar/Malta/Teuton, Golden Dawn, Mormonism, etc.) is long and illustrious in Western civilization. Up to recently, the predominantly white, Christian men who dictated social hierarchy from various priestly or bureaucratic positions of charismatic leaderships managed to keep these texts hidden. Not until the 1910s-20s did esoteric texts begin to get republished and circulated. It’s taken this long for the facts to sink in:

Christianity has long supressed historical fact by calling it “heretical.” Now, with agnosticism, atheism, and secularism spreading faster than any one “Great Religion,” Christians just look anti-intellectual in so vociferously denying the real history (the bloody, cheating, lying, slaving hypocricy) of “the Church”. I think if Christians want to save their religion, they need to give up the Church. It’s bad news and we non-Christians hate it. We will never stop hating it and you will never win us over to your faith so long as you allow the continued proliferation of such a reprehensible institution.

Not that “The Da Vinci Code” is a prime example of an argument against Christianity, but it does point out (within a fictional narrative) the existence of many of the texts and traditions… any of which has at least as much basis in fact as the KJV. That is: before you can convince me that Jesus was not married to Mary of Magdalene, you have to convince me that Jesus every lived. Before you can convince me that the supressed gospels are full of lies, you have to convince me that the Bible is not.

Highly unlikely, given that Fundamentalism has forsaken the intellectual pursuit of truth.

What it comes down to is this: Fundies want to build their Christian utopia of Zion, and the rest of the world is getting sick of it. We want Christians in politics to shut the f**k up about God. Jesus has NO place in MY government and we will do everything we can to stop the Fundie revolution cold.

And guess what, Fundies? We’re smarter than you, better educated, healthier, less prone to violence or sodomy, and we’ve been waiting almost a thousand years to claim our individual freedom from the tyranny of unholy Church-State marriages.

Zeno,

Craig Blomberg did offer a final answer of “no,” but his 2 hour talk, where he engaged several issues extensively belies your claim of a simplistic surface treatment. If you follow the links in my entry, you can read and listen to a good bit of in depth interaction on the subject.

What proof does Zeno offer that I,as a Christian, have a lesser intellectual capcity than a non christian? Christians more prone to violence and sodomy? What utter nonsense.
No proof is offered to back these claims yet he accepts it as fact? No wonder, with so little to support the argument, do people like him support notions of Christ not being who he claimed to be. There are more historical documents and literature in place supporting the events described in the gospel than what there is supporting the existence of Napolean and the battle of Waterloo. Yet no one denies that Napolean existed and did what we what we claim as historical fact?

There is much that science, archaelogy etc. can never explain. For centuries the most educated men and women have worked to build a unifying theory that can explain the mechanisms and interworking of the atomic building blocks of nature… yet non has been validated as yet.

Prove to me how the big bang could have been? Well we see evidence thereof in that galaxies phase shifts imply they are moving away from us… implying that millions of years ago everything was in one place…. yet by chance I sit here today typing away on a PC designed by some boffins in Japan somewhere…. to believe and accept this requires even more faith and belief in the unknown and unproven that simple Christianity… and what is simple Christianity…

1.) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind
2.) Love your neighbour as you love yourself…

simple…aint it

i have a book written that i am trying to get published. i believe it will make de vinci look bad, and my book is all facts and comes from the holy bible.does any one know who the publisher of devinci code is.
thanks
harvey wray