The Plot: Jacques Saunière is murdered in the Louvre. His niece, Sophie Neveu (New Wisdom), and Robert Langdon, Professor of Religious Symbology, unravel two mysteries simultaneously: 1) Who killed Jacques Saunière, and why? 2) The identity and location of the HolyGrail.
The Holy Grail: 1) Mary Magdalene who was the “chalice” that carried the offspring of Jesus. 2) Historical documents that prove that Jesus was actually married to Mary Magdalene and that they had children together. 3) The identity of Jesus’ heirs, up to the present day.
History of Christianity as presented in The Da Vinci Code Constantine and the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325): Invented the divinity of Christ. “Commissioned and financed” our current Bible.
History of Christianity as portrayed inThe Da Vinci Code Constantine and the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325): Invented the divinity of Christ. “Commissioned and financed” our current Bible. Mary Magdalene took the children of Jesus to Europe where they eventually established the 6th century Merovingian Dynasty. After the 11th century, all these secret truths, coupled with the worship of the divine feminine, were passed down through secret societies. The Knights Templar and Priory of Sion Leonardo Da Vinci was Grand Master of the Priory of Sion from 1511-1519. Throughout—Catholic Church tried to eradicate.
Cracking the Code: Question 1 Did a secret society, or an association of secret societies, keep pagan goddess worship alive and protect the secret knowledge of Jesus’ wife and children throughout the Middle Ages? Along the way did they provide esoteric clues to what they were doing? Was Leonardo Da Vinci a Grand Master of one of the societies?
NO No medieval secret societies propagating: Paganism Witchcraft Druidism, etc. No Rosicrucianism or Freemasonry before the 17th century No Priory of Sion Les Dossiers Secrets were forged by Pierre Plantard in the 1960s
Leonardo Da Vinci 1452-1519
Detail of John The Last Supper (Milan)
Saint John the Baptist (Louvre)
Virgin of the Rocks (Louvre)
Historiographical Problems Coincidence Becomes Connection when you take a conspiracy approach to history
Historiographical Problems Coincidence Becomes Connection “One must synthesize . . . it is not sufficient to confine oneself exclusively to facts.”
Historiographical Problems Coincidence Becomes Connection “synchronicities” that cannot be ignored
“The connection changes the perspective” Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum
Conspiracy theories are attractive— they offer secret knowledge. believable explanations to historical events. And they are virtually impossible to disprove.
Historiographical Problems Coincidence Becomes Connection Similarity Becomes Equivalence Biases Color Conclusions
Cracking the Code: Question 2 Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene? Did early Christians revere Mary Magdalene as the representation of the sacred feminine? Was Orthodoxy a patriarchal power grab? Was the memory of Mary smeared by the church in order to discredit those who worshipped her?
No mention of Jesus being married to Mary in the orthodox or the Gnostic gospels Mary Magdalene, Jesus’s marriage, and the sacred feminine? All Jewish men were not married. Christianity was firmly rooted in Judaism—No goddesses!
Did the Emperor Constantine: Falsely convert? Invent the divinity of Jesus? Rewrite the Bible? Destroy scores of authentic gospels? Cracking the Code: Question 3
The Da Vinci Code, pp 231-234 “Jesus was a historical figure of staggering influence, perhaps the most enigmatic and inspirational leader the world has ever seen. As the prophesied Messiah, Jesus toppled kings, inspired millions, and founded new philosophies. . . . Understandably, His life was recorded by thousands of followers across the land” (231).
Constantine was a “lifelong pagan who was baptized on his deathbed, too weak to protest. . . . Unfortunately for him, a growing religious turmoil was gripping Rome. Three centuries after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Christ’s followers had multiplied exponentially. Christians and pagans began warring, and the conflict grew to such proportions that it threatened to rend Rome in two. Constantine decided something had to be done. In 325 a.d., he decided to unify Rome under a single religion. Christianity.” . . . “Constantine was a very good businessman. He could see that Christianity was on the rise, and he simply backed the winning horse” (232).
Constantine called the Council of Nicaea where “many aspects of Christianity were debated and voted on—the date of Easter, the role of bishops, the administration of the sacraments, and, of course, the divinity of Jesus. . . . 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” (233).
“Because Constantine upgraded Jesus’ status almost four centuries after Jesus’ death, thousands of documents already existed chronicling His life as a mortal man. To rewrite the history books, Constantine knew he would need a bold stroke. From this sprang the most profound moment in Christian history. . . . 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” (234).
“Fortunately for historians, some of the gospels that Constantine attempted to eradicate managed to survive. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the 1950s hidden in a cave near Qumran in the Judean desert. And, of course, the Coptic Scrolls in 1945 at Nag Hammadi. In addition to telling the true Grail story, these documents speak of Christ’s ministry in very human terms. Of course the Vatican, in keeping with their tradition of misinformation, tried very hard to suppress the release of these scrolls. And why wouldn’t they? The scrolls highlight glaring historical discrepancies and fabrications, clearly confirming that the modern Bible was compiled and edited by men who possessed a political agenda—to promote the divinity of the man Jesus Christ and use his influence to solidify their own power base” (234).
The Conversion of Constantine (AD 312) No reason to believe it wasn’t authentic. Perceived by Christians at the time as a miracle. The Council of Nicaea (AD 325) No one was arguing that Jesus was simply “a mortal prophet.” Debated how Christ was divine . . . not whether. Belief in the deity of Christ, and attempts to explain it theologically, go back to the 1st and 2nd centuries (e.g. Ignatius of Antioch and Tertullian).
Gnosticism and Gnostic Gospels Dualistic—High unknowable God who didn’t create the evil physical world. Many spiritual emanations between God and creation. Salvationby realizing (having the knowledge—gnosis) that one is essentially divine and releasing the divine spark within to escape this evil physical world and reunite with the spirit world.
Gnosticism and Gnostic Gospels Nag Hammadi Library —13 codices (books) found in a jar near the Egyptian village of Nag Hammadi in 1945 Contains 45 different Coptic texts—some Christian some not. Includes Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Philip, Gospel of Truth, Apocalypse of James, Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles, etc.
A majority position? Gnosticism and Gnostic Gospels More reliable than the NT? Full of info about Jesus being married to Mary? More focused on Jesus’ humanity? Less patriarchal—more egalitarian?
Formation of the Canon Canon—a “rule” or “standard”—The list of authoritative Christian texts. The Muratorian Canon (written c. 180, not 325!) Generally standardized by the end of the 2nd century. Finalized at a council in Rome in 382.
Formation of the Canon On what basis? Apostolicity (close association with the apostles). Texts of widely recognized value. Orthodoxy. Not the work of one man or one committee!
Conclusions We have a strong foundation. We need to listen to our culture. Be ready to share our understanding of Jesus. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect . . . 1 Peter 3:15