It never ceases to amaze me how critics of the bible are so quickly to accept and promote ideas based on the slimmest of margins, even complete conjecture. Yet, they will argue aggressively the overwhelming evidence that comprises the New Testament manuscript evidence. Why? I believe it is because if you are against Christianity today, you are a friend to the world. If anyone can come up with the slightest doubt or conspiracy regarding Christian belief and Jesus Christ, they will be held up as a hero. One such hero is Dan Brown, the author of the Da Vinci Code. Brown says on one had that the book is a novel, then just inside the cover claims everything he has written is based on facts.
- Da Vinci Code Book Sales among the best of all time – 80,000,000 copies
- Da Vinci Code Movie Gross – $217,000,000
When in reality they are myths. Myths that the world quickly embraced as facts because it spoke against Jesus Christ.
Myths can be harmful. Especially when so many Christians and potential Christians have so little in the way of credible facts regarding the religion. The Da Vinci Code is one of these books that rocked the faith of many peripheral and probably many committed Christians as well. What is popular is not always true, often it is the opposite. The myths if they are counter Christian, are hailed as possible while the actual facts are kept suspect by the media. For example the Gnostic gospels are deny the deity of Christ among some other major differences to Christianity. How many of those do historian have?
- Gospel of Thomas – One copy in Coptic plus three Greek fragments. Even with so few, the copies differ significantly between the Coptic and Greek
- Gospel of Judas – One copy
- Gospel of Philip – one copy
- New Testament – 5,800 Greek, 10,000 Latin, 9,800 copies in other languages. There are 2.6 million pages of New Testament writings. 1.3 million Greek alone. Add to that, scripture quotes from the early church fathers has been cataloged in Germany at 1,000,000,000
2.6 million pages of New Testament manuscripts and 1,000,000 scripture quotes by early church fathers, but the skeptics want to embrace one or two copies of unverifiable texts written centuries later. Why? Because they contradict the known bible and they put Jesus in a poor light along with every other Christian. I think this was the point of the Da Vinci Code. Brown made a youth version of the book to “inspire” exploration into the myths of the bible. The media seemed to be excited too.
Here is an NBC DATELINE piece called, “Secrets Behind the Da Vinci Code“.
“That scene, from the opening pages of “The Da Vinci Code” is, of course, fiction. But readers are told right from the start that “all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” … and it’s caused millions of readers to wonder how much they really know about Jesus and a woman named Mary Magdalene.”
There is no doubting that Christianity is under attack in schools, Politics, Muslims and a new wave of radical atheists [That will be another post]. So is it any wonder when anyone comes out with an anti-Christian story, it is swallowed up by secular society. Unfortunately, Christians get caught up in the undertow. Fortunately, truth always stands up to scrutiny and this popular attack on Christian beliefs is no different.
“Although they’re not Biblical texts, experts still believe that they give us significant insights into Christian history. In these apocryphal texts we might have genuine traditions about Jesus that for one reason or another didn’t make it into the New Testament.”
Even though the author Dan Brown, admitted that the book is fiction, he claimed that it is based in fact. What are some of the myths the public eagerly accepted as truth?
“Myth” – Emperor Constantine Concocted the Deity of Jesus:
- At the council of Nicea, Dan Brown asserts that Jesus was not considered divine until Constantine invented it in 325 AD. There are so many factual errors in the Da Vinci Code, Biblical textural scholar and bible critic Bart Ehrman, wrote his own book, “Truth And Fiction In The DaVinciCode“, illuminating the fiction in Brown’s book. Ehrman said in his introduction [p. xiv] that it is not true, Jesus was considered by the church long before the Council of Nicaea. Ehrman goes on to cite Paul’s declarations of Jesus divinity in writings 250 years before Nicea [ps. 15,16].
- Papyrus 52: Is a papyrus writing of John that has been dated by at least three scholars
independently to be middle 2nd century, or around 150 AD. This is 175 years before the Council.
- Papyrus 66: is another manuscript that is dated by most scholars to between 100 AD and 150 AD. Long before the Council of Nicea. It shows that early Christians believed Jesus to be divine. The manuscript shows John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
This myth that is still being quoted as fact by laypeople today. It is total fabrication according to both New Testament biblical scholars and skeptical scholars alike. It is interesting that those who discount the vast amounts of documentary evidence for the reliability of the bible, wholeheartedly are ready to accept this drivel without any foundational support what so ever? This is the bias that Christians have faced the world over for millennia.
- “Myth”- Jesus Kissed Mary on the Mouth: This Dan Brown took from the gospel of Philip which no scholars believe was written by Philip and no scholars take seriously. Brown inserted the word “mouth” into the text because the actual text has a hole where the actual word should be.
- Here is what the BBC said about the gospel of Philip. “But the Bible isn’t the only source. In 1945 at Nag Hammadi, in southern Egypt, two men came across a sealed ceramic jar. Inside, they discovered a hoard of ancient papyrus books. Although they never received as much public attention as the Dead Sea Scrolls, these actually turn out to be much more important for writing the history of early Christianity. They are a cache of Christian texts”
Really? The BBC doesn’t actually cite any experts to support this claim but they are very willing to promote obscure writings over the time tested, scrutinized and critically analysed tens of thousands of authentic manuscripts.
There are many more grievous errors in the fictitious novel and if you are interested, check out the links below.
Professor Bart Ehrman; Expert in biblical Textural Criticism and bible skeptic
Professor Ehrman was so affected by the Da Vinci Code factual errors he wrote a book called “Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code” to correct the record. Below are a list of the books most grievous errors from his introduction. An online copy can be read here;
Some Factual Errors in The Da Vinci Code i . Jesus' life was decidedly not "recorded by thousands of fol- lowers across the land." He didn't even have thousands of followers, let alone literate ones (p. 231). 2. It's not true that eighty Gospels "were considered for the New Testament" (p. 231). This makes it sound like there was a contest, entered by mail. . . . 3. It's absolutely not true that Jesus was not considered di- vine until the Council of Nicea, that before that he was considered merely as "a mortai prophet" (p. 233). The vast majority of Christians by the early fourth century acknowledged him as divine. (Some thought he was so divine he wasn't even human!) 4. Constantine did not commission a "new Bible" that omit- ted references to Jesus' human traits (p. 234). For one thing, he didn't commission a new Bible at ali. For another thing, the books that did get included are chock-full of references to his human traits (he gets hungry, tired, angry; he gets upset; he bleeds, he dies . . .). 5. The Dead SeaScrollswerenot"foundinthe 1950S" (p. 234). It was 1947. And the Nag Hammadi documents do not teli the Grail story at ali, nor do they emphasize Jesus' human traits. Quite the contrary. 6. "Jewish decorarti" in no way forbade "a Jewish man to be unmarried" (p. 245). In fact, most of the community be- hind the Dead Sea Scrolls were male unmarried celibates.
7. The Dead Sea Scrolls were not among "the earliest Chris- tian records" (p. 245). They are Jewish, with nothing Christian in them. 8. We have no idea about the lineage of Mary Magdalene; nothing connects her with the "house of Benjamin." And even if she were, this wouldn't make her a descendent of David (p. 248). 9. Mary Magdalene was pregnant at the crucifixion? That's a good one (p. 255).
- Did the Early Church Muzzle the Canon (short) – Daniel Wallace Ph.D Biblical Scholar; Video (4:46)
- Did the Early Church Muzzle the Canon – Daniel Wallace Ph.D; Video (26:57)
- Breaking the Da Vinci Code – Darrell Bock, Ph.D Biblical Scholar; Video (55:00)
- Da Vinci Code & Gnostic Gospels – Dr Gary Habermas Ph.D Scholar; Video (30:07)