Da Vinci Code Truth
Da Vinci Code Truth – The Manuscript
People are wondering if Brown’s book contains Da Vinci truth. The introductory note of the book says, “all descriptions of documents and secret rituals are accurate.” Is this a true statement? Is there such a thing as Da Vinci Code truth?
The book begins with the murder of Jacques Sauniere, the curator of the Louvre Museum in Paris. The curator, a Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, an ancient secret society, wrote a cryptic message prior to his death. French police summon experts to decipher this message -- Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor, and cryptographer Sophie Neveu, the estranged granddaughter of the murdered curator. What they find is a dangerous secret linking the curator to evidence that disproves the deity of Jesus Christ and could threaten the existence of the church. They discover that artists and thinkers have planted clues in numerous places for centuries. Langdon and Neveu race through Paris and England attempting to solve this centuries-old mystery while being chased by the police.
So how much of The Da Vinci Code is truth? When asked how much of his book is based on “reality in terms of things that actually occurred,” author Dan Brown said, “Absolutely all of it. Obviously, Robert Langdon is fictional, but all of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies -- all of that is historical fact.”1 “I began as a skeptic. As I started researching The Da Vinci Code, I really thought I would disprove a lot of this theory about Mary Magdalene and the Holy Blood and all of that. I became a believer.” 2
Da Vinci Code Truth – The Claims
In The Da Vinci Code, Brown presents the following as fact:
- Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and her womb was the Holy Grail. Jesus and Mary Magdalene had offspring together. The truth about Christ and Mary Magdalene has been kept alive by a secret society named the Priory of Sion that was led by great minds like Da Vinci.
- The gospels are not historically accurate. The Roman Catholic Church instigated a cover-up of some 80 gospel accounts that shed new light on the identity of Jesus.
- The early church did not believe that Jesus was divine. Instead, they “voted” for His divinity at the council of Nicea in the fourth century.
Da Vinci Code Truth – Are the Gospels historically accurate?
One of the key points put forward by Brown as Da Vinci code truth is that the Bible cannot be trusted. Certain portions of the literature that Brown proclaimed as “Bible” do have fallacies. The early books called the Gnostic Gospels often disagree with the inspired gospels of God’s Word. Historians and theologians have studied these writings for thousands of years since the second century when they first surfaced. The church fathers speak of the heresies of these groups: Irenaeus (ca. 130-200), Hippolytus (ca. 170-236) and Tertullian (ca. 160-after 200), all write about the Gnostics. The writings were rejected by early church fathers because they did not correspond with the clear teachings of the 27 other books that were already being considered as the canon of Scripture.
Brown claims that the church knew of more than 80 gospels, but only chose four. The Nag Hammadi Library (published in 1977) is considered one of, if not the best resource on biblical and extra-biblical history. This library lists a total of 45 titles, and not all of them were gospels. Another collection, The Gnostic Scriptures (by Bentley Layton) has just short of 40 works, only three of which have the title gospel. Many of these overlap the same works in the Nag Hammadi list. At best, there were 60 works, and the strong majority were not gospel accounts.
Have these extra “gospels” provided new information on the identity of Jesus -- information that contradicts the four inspired gospels? Yes, but not for the reasons that Brown proposes. He claims that these extra writings defined Jesus as merely a man and not divine. That is simply not true.
As honest seekers study the question, "Is the Bible true?" and consider its prophetic record, the historical evidence, the archaeological evidence, and learn of its authorship, they will discover that the Bible is inspired and can be trusted.
Da Vinci Code Truth - The Lie: Jesus Was Not God
Is this a Da Vinci truth or a Da Vinci lie? In the book, Brown claims that the core beliefs of Christianity had not been formulated until the time of the Council of Nicaea in the fourth century. This is a strange claim since the New Testament books give a clear understanding of orthodoxy and core beliefs.
By the time of the Council at Nicea in A.D. 325, history shows us that the central faith and belief system of Christianity had long been established. The council came together to affirm what the bishops and church leaders had been teaching for 200 years. They rubber-stamped the gospels by a vote of 218 to 2, which is not “a relatively close vote” as Brown claims. In fact, Paul asserted to the deity of Jesus almost 300 years prior to the Nicene Council and Constantine.
The similarity and concise understanding of Jesus’ identity as the Son of God and salvation are written quite clearly by Matthew, Mark, Luke, Peter, John, James, and Paul in the first century. The Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus) are incredibly clear about what constitutes true salvation and sound doctrine.
Study for yourself: Is Jesus God? Did He come to earth as God to save humanity from eternity in hell? Did He die on the cross for you personally?
1 The Today Show: June 9, 2003.
2 Good Morning America: November 3, 2003.
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