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29-05-2006, 01:43 PM
The Truth About the Da Vinci Code

I. Introduction

Once again, Satan is launching one of his fiery darts at the core of our Christian belief. Through the Da Vinci Code novel, he is deploying his favorite cunning device that is instilling confusion and doubt in the minds of the believers.

In this paper, I will present a concise “synopsis” of the novel, followed by an outline of the false claims being asserted by the author with a response and refutation to these assertions.

II. Background

The Da Vinci Code has sold 40 million copies, and a motion picture version will hit theaters this month on May 19. The plot deals with surprising discoveries of the “true” facts about Jesus Christ and Christian history.

The story of the book which is a murder mystery novel that took place in Paris and London is built around certain “constructs” that assert the following:

Jesus was not the divine Son of God, but a mere man whose true mission and identity have been distorted.

Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had a child who escaped to France. Their descendants survive to this day.

Jesus then desired that Mary Magdalene become the leader of the church. The teachings of Christ throughout the years were revised by other men like Peter.

Jesus was turned into “God” in order to protect the Patriarchal system.

The Catholic Church along with the rest of Christianity has worked together to maintain this 2000 year cover up.

Millions throughout history have been misinformed about what Christianity truly is; and finally, these secrets have been known by a select few (such as Leonardo DaVinci, who attempted to present these facts to the world through “clues” incorporated into his paintings).

The secret of Jesus’ “True Identity” is maintained by a group known as the “Priory of Sion” that has existed since 1099. Documents found in Paris in 1975 confirm its existence.

Sir Isaac Newton and Leonardo Da Vinci were Grand Masters in this organization.

III. Why is it Called Da Vinci Code?

In this novel, Leonardo Da Vinci is portrayed as head of the conspiracy guarding the “truth” about Jesus Christ. He is said to have planted various codes (secret symbols) in his work, particularly in his famous painting of the Last Supper.

According to the novel, this painting depicts Jesus’ alleged wife, Mary Magdalene, next to him as a symbol of her knowledge of his true teaching.

In reality, the figure that Dan Brown identifies as Mary Magdalene is John the Evangelist, who traditionally has been regarded as the youngest of the apostles and so is often pictured in medieval art without a beard.

IV. The Author

The author is Dan Brown. He is a former English teacher who has authored three previous books. Digital Fortress, Deception Point and Angels & Demons.

He claims to be a Christian-of a sort. A “Frequently Asked Questions” page on his web site www.danbrown.com contains the following exchange when asked if he is a “Christian”:
"I am, although perhaps not in the most traditional sense of the word. If you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers. Some feel being baptized is sufficient. Others feel you must accept the Bible as immutable historical fact. Still others require a belief that all those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior are doomed to hell. We are all trying to decipher life’s big mysteries, and we’re each following our own paths of enlightenment. I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long work in progress."

V. Why Is it So Popular?

The novel has gained tremendous popularity once released because it addresses issues that feed into our culture:

Sexuality and Sexual Rituals
New Age movement. Jesus is a great teacher. He is one among many this is very appealing to today’s culture.

VI. Why Should We, Christians, be Concerned?

The writer goes in great lengths to convey the impression that it is based on fact. He even has a “FACT” page at the front of the book, one page ahead of his prologue, where he states, “All de******ions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate."

The book also states, “Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false” (p. 235).

Therefore, the concern stems from the author’s claim that the Da Vinci Code is based on “fact.” Though the book is a novel, its content distorts the core teachings of our Christian faith. For us, Christians, if the truth about our Savior isn’t worth defending, what is?

VII. Claims Attacking the Core of Our Christian Faith

Below are some of the claims promoted by the book that clearly attack the core of our Christian Faith:
Jesus was viewed as man and not as God until the fourth century, when he was deified by the emperor Constantine.
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… By officially endorsing Jesus as the Son of God, Constantine turned Jesus into a deity (p.233).

29-05-2006, 01:44 PM
Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and they both had a daughter.
Mary Magdalene was pregnant at the time of the crucifixion. For the safety of Christ’s unborn child, she had no choice but to flee the Holy Land… It was there in France that she gave birth to a daughter. Her name was Sarah (p.255).

The Gospels as we know it today is based on false testimonies and fabrications.

The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God… The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great (p. 231).

The New Testament is false testimony (p 345).

The New Testament is based on fabrications (p 341).

VIII. Response and Refutations

In summary, throughout his novel, Brown is attacking 2 core issues:
a) The Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
b) The Authenticity of the Holy Bible.
Below we will provide concise answers to the above mentioned allegations.

Christ is deified by Constantine in the 4th Century.
Constantine had called the Council together to settle a dispute that had taken place when Arius, an Alexandrian priest, began to deny the divinity of Christ. It was the bishops of the Council of Nicea led by our 20th Pope, St Athanasius, who reaffirmed the historic Christian position against Arius and his followers.

Additionally, Christ’s divinity is stressed repeatedly in countless passages in the New Testament which precedes the time of Constantine the Great by more than 200 years. To name a few examples:
Matthew 1:23, 28:18-20
Mark 2:5-7 and Isaiah 43:25
Luke 5:21, 22:70
John 1:1, 5:23, 17:5, 20:28
Philippians 2
Colossians 1:15, 2:9
Titus 2:13
Hebrews 1:8
Jude 25
Revelation 1:17-18

There are also affirmations of Jesus’ deity in the writings of the Ante Nicene church fathers. To cite few examples:
Justin Martyr (100-165 AD): "...the Father of the universe has a Son; who being the logos and First-begotten is also God" (First Apology 63:15).
Irenaeus (130-200 AD): (referencing Jesus) "...in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, . . ." (Against Heresies I, x, 1)
Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD): "Both as God and as man, the Lord renders us every kind of help and service. As God He forgives sin, as man He educates us to avoid sin completely" (Christ the Educator, chapter 3.1)
Tertullian (150-225 AD): "...the only God has also a Son, his Word who has proceeded from himself, by whom all things were made and without whom nothing has been made: that this was sent by the Father into the virgin and was born of her both man and God. Son of Man, Son of God, ..." (Against Praxeas, 2).

Jesus Married Mary Magdalene and They Both Had a Daughter
To support his claim, Brown appeals to two of the Gnostic (Apocryphal) Gospels: The Gospel of Philip and The Gospel of Mary. These 2 gospels, among many more, have been rejected by the early Church Fathers for their unorthodox content regarding the message of the “Good News”. They are considered non-canonical and heretical.

What is intriguing is that even these Apocryphal gospels do not claim that Christ was married to Mary Magdalene. This was a personal interpretation of the author to add some zest to his novel.

Once again Brown offers his own interpretation of the gospel of Philip. On page 246, the excerpt reads: “the companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene”He claims that the Aramaic word for “companion” literally meant “spouse.” That is not true according to Aramaic scholars. And, even more importantly, the Gnostic gospel of Phillip was not written in Aramaic. It was written in Coptic!!!!!

Moreover, the authors of the New Testament regularly depict the Church as “the bride of Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:21-33; Rev. 21:9-10). This metaphor would never have developed if a flesh-and-blood “Mrs. Jesus” was living down the street. Only if Christ was celibate would the Church have come to be depicted metaphorically as his bride.

The Gospel is Based on False Testimony and Fabrications
The Bible is not the product of man but is rather God inspired. Biblical inspiration may be defined as God’s superintending of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities and writing styles under the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the result being a perfect and errorless recording of the exact message God desired to give to man.

"For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).

There are more than 5,000 different ancient Greek manu******s containing all the New Testament that have survived to our time. These are written on different materials.

Chester Beatty Papyri contains most of the NT writings is dated AD 250.

Older Papyrii, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Siniaticus

The Bodmer Papyri contains most of John and dates AD 200.

Rylands Papyri found in Egypt, containing a fragment of John and dates AD 130.
In 2 Peter 1:16 we read, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

29-05-2006, 01:47 PM
Last Word...How Did We Obtain the Holy Bible as we know it today?

It was precisely when certain writings appeared claiming to be Apostolic, but were unrecognized by the Church as authentic, that efforts were made to make “an approval list” that is the “canon” of the New Testament.

Between 170 A.D. and 220 A.D. the four Gospels and Saint Paul’s epistles were formally recognized as “canonical”, and within a century after that, the New Testament as we know it today was formally recognized as the “canonical text”. It should be noted that what made the books canonical was their inspiration by the Holy Spirit and their use in the life of the early Church as “inspired text”.

This acknowledgement of an official “canon” might never had taken place if other writings had not appeared which claimed to be written by Apostles but were unknown to the Church in its worship and teaching. These false books are the books referred to by some as the “Lost Books of The Bible” or “Apocrypha”.

The majority of these Apocryphal books were intended to distort the message of the Christ. These deceptive writings were tainted by the heresy of “Gnosticism”.

In summary, the Holy Bible was written BY the Church and IN the Church and FOR the Church within the confinement of Holy Tradition. Consequently, it is the Church which recognizes what is canonical through its use in her worship and teaching. The Holy Bible and Church are inseparable.

IX. Which Came First?

THIS CLASSIC RIDDLE (“which came first: the chicken or the egg?”) is very much to the point here.

It should be apparent that the Church long precedes the Bible as an integral collection of books.

Thus, it is quite certain that the Church founded by Our Lord was not “based on the Bible.” The Church created by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost had no Bible as we know it… and didn’t have to have it to be truly the Church.

We can say if every single copy of the Bible in existence were destroyed, the effect upon the Church would be minimal (although the context in which such an event could occur might not be!).

But the converse is not true. If there were no Church [but we are assured this will never come to pass… “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against her” (Matt 16:18)], the Bible would not be sufficient to provide what is needed for our salvation.

If we doubt the truth of this, consider what happens when people attempt to create their own “churches” based upon their own, private interpretations of the Holy ******ures.

X. Conclusion

Let’s accept the challenge that this book / movie presents to us. Let’s take what could be a detriment to the church, and turn it around to become an opportunity to share the Truth about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

These attacks and allegations concerning the divinity of Our Lord and the authenticity of the Holy ******ures are not foreign to the Church. It is just another fiery dart from Satan (Eph 6:16) attacking the Bride of Christ (Rev 21:9) However, we, Her beloved children, should not be “ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor 2:11) but instead we should “resist him, steadfast in the faith” (1 Pet 5:9) by putting on the full armor of God (Eph 6:11) knowing that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against her (Mat 16:18)

My beloved brothers and sisters, let us “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” (1 Cor 16:13). Let us transform this fiery dart into a blessing in disguise by becoming well grounded in “the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation” (Eph 1:13).
As it is inspired by The Holy Spirit, canonized by the Church, lived by the saints and interpreted by the fathers.