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The da Vinci Code and the New Testament. FACT or FICTION?. Chuck Gianotti March 2006. Best-Seller. NY Times Best-Seller list Other languages Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, etc. The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”. Begins in the Louve in Paris Curator murdered.

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The da Vinci Code and the New Testament

FACT or FICTION?

Chuck Gianotti

March 2006


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Best-Seller

  • NY Times Best-Seller list

  • Other languages

    • Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, etc.


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The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”

  • Begins in the Louve in Paris

    • Curator murdered.

    • In dying moments scribbles out a code.

  • Main Characters

    • Harvard Prof. Robert Langdon (symbologist)

    • Sophi Nevue (French cryptologist)

    • Prof. Teabing (the scholar of the book)


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The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”

  • A secret society (Priory of Sion) established ~900 years ago

  • Leonardo da Vinci (1500’s)

    • A leader of Priory of Sion

    • Passed the “secret” in various art works

      • e.g., “The Last Supper”


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The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”

  • The “Secret”:

    • Jesus was not divine

    • Mary Magdalene…

      • Was wife of Jesus Christ

      • Was chosen by Jesus to lead His church

      • Fled to France and had Jesus’ child

      • Descendants of Christ & Mary lived secretly protected by Priory of Sion


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The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”

  • Catholic Church…

    • Is destroyed if this “secret” is revealed

    • Thus tried to cover-up for 2000 years

    • Destroyed the “Gnostic” writings that contained the truth.

  • Constantine (4th cent.) manipulated Christianity to secure & remain in power


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The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”

Brown asserts:

  • The Church (Council of Nicea, 4th cent.)

    • Voted to make Jesus divine (p. 233)

    • Decided which of 1000’s of books would become the bible (p. 234)


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The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”

  • In the end, Christianity is discovered to have usurped the lost golden age of pagan goddess-worship along with sexual “innocence” and freedom destroyed by an anti-feminist Christianity.


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The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”

Fictitious Teabing: “The Bible is a product of man … not of God … 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 “ p. 231


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The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”

Ficticious Langon speaks of: “… thousands of ancient documents as scientific evidence that the New Testament is false testimony…” p. 341

“Understandably, [Jesus’] life was recorded by thousands of followers across the land … More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament …” p. 231


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The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”

  • Presented as fact-based

    • “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” Dan Brown (Intro)

  • Media supports this notion:

    • “The most amazing thing about his novel is that it’s based on fact”

    • “One of the many qualities that makes The Da Vinci Code unique is the factual nature of the story.”


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The Da Vinci Code “for Dummies”

  • From Gospel of Philip

    • “And the companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene. Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her mouth.” p. 246

    • “As any Aramaic scholar will tell you, the word companion, in those days, literally meant spouse.” p. 246

  • From Gospel of Mary Magdalene

    • Jesus chose Mary Magdalene to lead His church pp. 247-248


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Why is The Book So Popular?

  • Brown is an excellent story teller.

  • Written like an historical novel.

  • It plays the “x’ card

    • Politics card

    • Feminist card

    • Intellectual elite card

    • Conspiracy card

    • Suspicion card


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Foundation for life?

Dan Brown’s “facts” must be examined because …

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:3 (ESV)


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Foundation for life?

  • Some reactions:

    • “It really makes you wonder if the Bible was all made up?”

    • “Reading that kind of book bothers me, shakes my faith.”

    • “The book came up in conversation with my hair-dresser and I didn’t know what to say.”


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A Response

“Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, …” Luke 1:3


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A Response

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)


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A Response

  • “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8-9

  • “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16



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Definitive version of the Bible?

Fictitious Teabing: “The Bible is a product of man … not of God … 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 “ p. 231


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Definitive version of the Bible?

  • Two professors are figments of Brown’s imagination.

  • Brown is not theologian or historian.

  • He cites over 30 people who had an influence on this book, not one is an historian, theologian or expert in he development of NT documents.


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Definitive version of the Bible?

“At the beginning of the 2nd century the four Gospels were already considered authoritative to the exclusion of others and were regarded as a closed collection and accepted throughout the whole Church.”

Dr. Darrel Bock, Research Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theo. Seminary


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Definitive version of the Bible?

“It is not possible that the Gospels can be either more or fewer in number than they are. For, since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four principal winds . . . it is fitting that [the Church] should have four pillars, breathing out immortality on every side, and vivifying men afresh . . . He who was manifested to men, has given us the Gospel under four aspects, but bound together by one Spirit.”

Iranaeus (A.D. 178)


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Definitive version of the Bible?

“Wherefore it behooves us also to live according to the will of God in Christ, and to imitate Him as Paul did. For, says he, ‘Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.’ ”

Ignatius in quoting 1 Corinthians 11:1.

(~A.D. 100-107)


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Definitive version of the Bible?

  • Muratorian Canon (late 2nd cent.)

    • 22 NT books were accepted as authoritative by almost all churches.


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Definitive version of the Bible?

“Although the fringes of the emerging canon remained unsettled for generations, a high degree of unanimity concerning the greater part of the New Testament was attained among the very diverse and scattered congre-gations of believers not only throughout the Mediter-ranean world but also over an area extending from Britain to Mesopotamia. By the end of the third century and the beginning of the fourth century, the great majority of the twenty-seven books that still later came to be widely regarded as the canonical New Testament were almost universally acknowledged to be authoritative.” Dr. Bruce Metzger, Princeton Theological Seminary


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Are there 1000’s of ancient documents disproving the NT?

  • No historical evidence

  • Early church held to only 4 gospels (fixed by end of the 1st century)

  • Other so-called gospels have been dated from 2nd – 4th centuries.

  • So-called “Gnostic” books were discovered in 1945. Dated to AD 400.

  • Odd to use the word “scientific” for what cannot be observed or repeated!!


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Constantine and the Council at Nicaea (A.D. 325)

Fictitious Teabing: “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


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Constantine and the Council at Nicaea (A.D. 325)

“[Constantine] was the chief instrument for raising the church from the low estate of oppression and persecution to well deserved honor and power.”

Philip Schaff

History of the Christian Church


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Constantine and the Council at Nicaea (A.D. 325)

  • “[Constantine] was the chief instrument for raising the church from the low estate of oppression and persecution to well deserved honor and power.” Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church

  • Convened 100’s of Church leaders from broad geographic areas to settle the Arian controversy.

  • Commissioned Euebius to compile 50 copies of the collection of authoritative books.


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Early Church and Jesus

Fictitious Teabing: “Council of Nicaea … until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet . . . a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal…Jesus’ establishment as ‘the Son of God’ was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea…” p. 233

“What I mean is that almost everything out fathers taught us about Christ is false.” p. 235


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Early Church and Jesus

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11


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Early Church and Jesus

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1, 14


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Early Church and Jesus

For in him [Jesus] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. Colossians 1:19

For in him [Jesus] the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. Colossians 2:9


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Early Church and Jesus

“[The Apostles] Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand.”

Clement of Rome (~A.D. 100)


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Early Church and Jesus

“… Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sins suffered even unto death, [but] whom God raised from the dead, having loosed the bands of the grave.”

Polycarp, mid-2nd cent.)


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Clearing up Misconceptions About the Historic Church

And when [the Apostle Paul and associates] had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Acts 14:23

This letter is from Paul and Timothy … to all of God’s people in Philippi, who believe in Christ Jesus, and to the elders and deacons. Philippians 1:1 (NLT)


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Clearing up Misconceptions About the Historic Church

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:16-18


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Clearing up Misconceptions About the Historic Church

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter [petros], and on this rock [petra]I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Matthew 16:16-18


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Clearing up Misconceptions About the Historic Church

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11

But when Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. Galatians 2:11


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Clearing up Misconceptions About the Historic Church

Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father. Galatians 1:1


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Clearing up Misconceptions About the Historic Church

But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.” Matthew 20:25


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Brief History of Church

  • Geographic centers developed with bishops over each area.

  • Regions began to compete for influence

  • A.D. 313-590, bishop of Rome came to be acknowledged as “first among equals.”

  • A.D. 490, Gregory of Rome, claims supremacy

  • Belief arose that this primacy was a direct succession from the Apostle Peter.


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Brief History of Church

  • Peter never claimed supremacy as pope

  • No historical proof that Peter founded the church in Rome.

  • No evidence in 2nd generation Christian writings that Peter had authority over all the churches or passed on his apostleship.

  • No bishop claimed papal authority until AD 590


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Brief History of Church

  • Brown claims the Vatican foisted this conspiracy at Nicea in A.D. 325.

  • But, that was 265 years before the 1st Roman Bishop asserted control over the churches in A.D. 590!

  • The Roman Catholic church did not exist then as we know it today.


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Mary Magdalene and Jesus

Fictitious Teabing: “…the early Church needed to convince the world that the mortal prophet Jesus was a divine being. Therefore, any gospels that described earthly aspects of Jesus’ life had to be omitted from the Bible. Unfortunately for the early editors, one particularly troubling earthly theme kept recurring in the gospels. Mary Magdalene. More specifically, her marriage to Jesus Christ … It’s a matter of historical record.” p. 244


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Mary Magdalene and Jesus

Gnostic Gospel of Philip (2nd Cent.): “And the companion of the [...] Mary Magdalene. [...] loved her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples [...]. They said to him "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The Savior answered and said to them, "Why do I not love you like her?”


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Mary Magdalene and Jesus

  • Gospel of Philip actually written in Coptic (ancient Egyptian), which is a translation from Greek

    • “companion” [koinonos] = friendship/fellowship

  • Original manuscript damaged (Gospel of Philip 63:33-36)

    • “and the companion of the [ ?? ] Mary Magdalene [ ?loved? ] her more than [ ?all? ] the disciples [ ?and used to? ] kiss her [ ?often? ] on her [ ?? ].”


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Mary Magdalene and Jesus

Fictitious Teabing:

“The threat Mary Magdalene posed to the men of the early Church was potentially ruinous. Not only was she the woman to whom Jesus had assigned the task of founding the Church, but she also had physical proof that the Church’s newly proclaimed deity had spawned a mortal bloodline. The Church, in order to defend itself against the Magdalene’s power, perpetuated her image as a whore and buried evidence of Christ’s marriage to her, thereby defusing any potential claims that Christ had a surviving bloodline and was a mortal prophet …The evidence is substantial.” p. 254


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Mary Magdalene and Jesus

FictitiousTeabing: “The royal bloodline of Jesus Christ has been chronicled in exhaustive detail by scores of historians.” p. 253


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Mary Magdalene and Jesus

And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. (Matthew 8:14)

Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas [Peter]? (1 Corinthians 9:5)


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Was Mary to Be the Chief Apostle?

Fictitious Teabing: The threat Mary Magdalene posed to the men of the early Church was potentially ruinous. Not only was she the woman to whom Jesus had assigned the task of founding the Church, but she also had physical proof that the Church’s newly proclaimed deity had spawned a mortal bloodline. The Church, in order to defend itself against the Magdalene’s power, perpetuated her image as a whore and buried evidence of Christ’s marriage to her, thereby defusing any potential claims that Christ had a surviving bloodline and was a mortal prophet…The evidence is substantial.” p. 254


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Was Mary to Be the Chief Apostle?

Gospel of Thomas 114:

“Simon Peter said to him, “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.” Jesus said, “I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.”


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Was Mary to Be the Chief Apostle?

  • None of the 27 NT books (written within 20-60 years of the time of Christ) gives even a hint of this.

  • No evidence in the 2nd generation church writers

  • Mary M. not included in any list of apostles.

  • Mary M is never mentioned again the NT after resurrection


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Was Mary to Be the Chief Apostle?

The Apostles were not anti-women

  • Male writers who recorded Jesus’ respect and honor for women.

  • Mary M. was 1st at empty tomb.

  • Paul highly commended Priscilla and Aquilla.

  • Recorded prophetess daughters of Philip.

  • Paul spoke of Euodia/Synyche as fellow-workers.

  • Male who wrote Gal 3:28.


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Absolute Truth

Gnosticism

Holy

Pure

Emanations

Demiurge

(God of Bible)

Sinful

Creation

Material

Unpure

Physical


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Gnostic Texts?

Biblical Response

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)


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Gnostic Texts?

Biblical Response

Paul refers to the “. . . understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.” (Colossians 2:2-4)


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Gnostic Texts?

Biblical Response

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. (Colossians 2:8-9)



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Did Christianity Suppress Sex?

  • People may suppress it

  • Fundamentalist preachers may condemn it

  • But, God designed it (within marriage)

  • Song of Solomon celebrates it.


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Conclusion

Therefore, since we have … Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Hebrews 4:14


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“Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them

will be like

a wise man who

built his house

on the rock.”

Jesus Christ

in Matthew 7:24


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