Monday, May 15, 2006

Debunking the DaVinci Code

Here are some things to keep in mind when reading the DaVinci Code. There are more, but this is all that I got in an e-mail:

The divinity of Christ The Da Vinci Code says...
Jesus is a great man or prophet in the earliest historical sources but was later proclaimed divine at the Council of Nicaea.
The Da Vinci Code overlooks...
Jesus is called "God" (theos) 7 times in the New Testament. He is called "Lord" (kyrios) in the divine sense numerous times. No serious historian argues that these texts postdate the Council of Nicaea.

The Council in fact was held to confront the heresy of Arius that affirmed that Jesus was not God

Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls The Da Vinci Code says...
The Dead Sea Scrolls along with the Nag Hammadi documents are the earliest Christian records.
History Says...
The Dead Sea Scrolls are purely Jewish documents; there is nothing Christian about them. There is also no evidence that any of the Nag Hammadi documents existed before the late second century A.D., with the possible exception of the Gospel of Thomas.

Jesus and Mary Magdalene The Da Vinci Code says...
"One particularly troubling theme kept recurring in the [Gnostic] gospels. Mary Magdalene. . . More specifically, her marriage to Jesus Christ" (p. 244).
History Says...
The Gnostic Gospels, a collection of anonymous writings that blended pseudo-Christian ideas with esoteric spirituality, say nothing about Mary and Jesus being married.
Furthermore, the four gospels and early Christian literature say nothing of Jesus being married. The best conclusion is that he simply was not.

How the Bible was collated The Da Vinci Code says...
"The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine" (p. 231).
History Says...
The Bible was not collated by Constantine, who died in 337 A.D. The Old Testament existed prior to even Jesus' day. And the New Testament, although it started coming together by the end of the first century (about 90-100 A.D.), was not formalized until about 393-397 A.D. (after Constantine's death).

The alleged "new" Bible commissioned by Constantine The Da Vinci Code says...
Constantine "commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ's human traits and embellished those gospels that made him godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up and burned" (p. 234).
History Says...
First, there was no "new" Bible commissioned by Constantine. The emperor simply requested that Eusebius (the Bishop of Carthage) make fifty copies of the already existing and widely accepted scriptures. Second, no evidence suggests that Constantine or anyone else "embellished" Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Third, there were no gospels burned by Constantine. Although some texts written by Arius were burned, none of them were gospels. Fourth, there were no gospels "earlier" than Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Finally, as previously noted, the gospels in our Bible clearly depict Christ's "human traits," which is consistent with the Christian teaching that Jesus was 100% deity as well as 100% human.

Sources about Jesus used in the Da Vinci Code The Da Vinci Code says...
"The royal bloodline of Jesus Christ has been chronicled in exhaustive detail by scores of historians" (p. 253).
The Facts Say...
Following this comment about "historians," Dan Brown lists four books written by various authors: Margaret Starbird, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince. But none of them are historians. Starbird has an M.A. in comparative literature and German. Baigent holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and is pursuing an M.A. in mysticism. Leigh is a novelist and short story writer. Lincoln gained notoriety as a BBC television personality and scriptwriter. And Picknett, along with Prince, is involved in occultism, the paranormal, and UFO studies.

The Jewish name for God The Da Vinci Code says...
"The Jewish Tetragrammaton YHWH-the sacred name for God-is, in fact, derived from Jehovah, an androgynous physical union between the masculine Jah and the pre-Hebraic name for Eve, Havah (p. 309).
History Says...
YHWH was not derived from "JEHOVAH." The term actually predates "JEHOVAH" by thousands of years. Brown, in fact, has it backwards-i.e., "JEHOVAH" was derived from YHWH. It is merely the sixteenth century Latinized form of YHWH with "a," "o" and "a" (the vowels from adonai, "my Lord") inserted between each consonant (Latinizing the word changed the "Y" and "W" to "J" and "V."). As for the word Havah, there is nothing "pre-Hebraic" about it. This is simply "Eve" in Hebrew and it appears in the Old Testament.

The Church's teaching on sex The Da Vinci Code says...
Sexual union between man and woman through which each became spiritually whole had been recast as a shameful act by the Church to 'reeducate' the pagan and feminine-worshipping religions.
The Church teaches...
The marriage bed is treasured and honored as pure (Heb. 13:4). Sexual activities and pleasure are normal, expected, and encouraged within a marriage. Sexual union is a divine moment for a husband and a wife -- a representation of the image of God that defines us. God established boundaries around sex to protect it and maximize its joy.

Celibacy in the times of Jesus The Da Vinci Code says...
Celibacy did not exist in those times.
History says.
John the Baptist was celibate and so were those belonging to the group of the Essenes. St. Paul lived and advocated it.

Anti-feminism and the Catholic Church The Da Vinci Code says...
The Catholic Church has been patriarchal and anti-feminist
The Church teaches.
It's surprising that the author does not know how much the Church honours Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The Catholic Catechism explains that man and woman are radically equal in dignity as human persons and at the same time complementary to each other insofar as they are masculine and feminine (cf. CCC 369).

The human side of Jesus The Da Vinci Code says...
"[A]ny gospels that described earthly aspects of Jesus' life had to be omitted from the Bible" (p. 244).
The Bible Says...
The gospels in the New Testament present many "earthly aspects" of Christ's life such as his physical frailties (hunger, fatigue, death); emotions (anguish, outrage, love); and relational interactions (with his mother, friends, and followers).

Feminism The Da Vinci Code says...
Leonardo's worship of the goddess and the feminine can be seen in his Mona Lisa painting. That name comes from two Egyptian deities: the god Amon and the goddess Isis, whose "ancient pictogram was once called L'ISA. The title Mona Lisa, then, is really "an anagram of the divine union of male and female (p. 121).
History Says...
Leonardo Da Vinci did not even name this particular painting. None of his works, in fact, were titled by him. The Mona Lisa was catalogued by author Giorgio Vasari in his book Lives of the Artists (1550). It was he who first called it the Monna Lisa, which in English was shortened to Mona Lisa. It simply means Madame Lisa, and refers to the likely subject: Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo.

Opus Dei The Da Vinci Code says...
Opus Dei is a secret organization with members who are monks
The facts say.
Opus Dei (Latin for "work of God") is not a secret organization. It is an official Roman Catholic institution founded in 1928 by St. Josemaria Escriva, a Spanish priest. Its purpose is to help ordinary lay people seek holiness through daily work and their ordinary duties. Opus Dei members are mostly lay people. Only a small percentage is clergy. Opus Dei members have great appreciation for the religious vocation, but in fact there are neither monks nor monasteries in Opus Dei.


Adapted from Differences between book and Bible, (http://www.cbn.com/specia/DaVinciCode/)

The responses are in most part from The Truth Behind The Da Vinci Code
(http://www.parable.com/cbn/item_0736914390.htm) by Richard Abanes

1 Comments:

Blogger 888 said...

It certainly will take a long time and a lot of effort to correct all the mistakes in the Da Vinci Code.
Well Done!

-Bruce

7:49 AM  

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