Da Vinci Code

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by fromtheright, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. fromtheright

    fromtheright
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    I recently finished reading it and am curious if there were threads here on it. Though I found it intriguing and don't know enough about the history to know one way or the other, the implications of its thesis are terribly troubling.
     
  2. mioque

    mioque
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    "Watershed at Nicea
    Brown is right about one thing (and not much more). In the course of Christian history, few events loom larger than the Council of Nicea in 325. When the newly converted Roman Emperor Constantine called bishops from around the world to present-day Turkey, the church had reached a theological crossroads.

    Led by an Alexandrian theologian named Arius, one school of thought argued that Jesus had undoubtedly been a remarkable leader, but he was not God in flesh. Arius proved an expert logician and master of extracting biblical proof texts that seemingly illustrated differences between Jesus and God, such as John 14:28: "the Father is greater than I." In essence, Arius argued that Jesus of Nazareth could not possibly share God the Father's unique divinity.

    In The Da Vinci Code, Brown apparently adopts Arius as his representative for all pre-Nicene Christianity. Referring to the Council of Nicea, Brown claims that "until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet … a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless."

    In reality, early Christians overwhelmingly worshipped Jesus Christ as their risen Savior and Lord. Before the church adopted comprehensive doctrinal creeds, early Christian leaders developed a set of instructional summaries of belief, termed the "Rule" or "Canon" of Faith, which affirmed this truth. To take one example, the canon of prominent second-century bishop Irenaeus took its cue from 1 Corinthians 8:6: "Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ."

    The term used here—Lord, Kyrios—deserves a bit more attention. Kyrios was used by the Greeks to denote divinity (though sometimes also, it is true, as a simple honorific). In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint, pre-dating Christ), this term became the preferred substitution for "Jahweh," the holy name of God. The Romans also used it to denote the divinity of their emperor, and the first-century Jewish writer Josephus tells us that the Jews refused to use it of the emperor for precisely this reason: only God himself was kyrios.

    The Christians took over this usage of kyrios and applied it to Jesus, from the earliest days of the church. They did so not only in Scripture itself (which Brown argues was doctored after Nicea), but in the earliest extra-canonical Christian book, the Didache, which scholars agree was written no later than the late 100s. In this book, the earliest Aramaic-speaking Christians refer to Jesus as Lord.


    "Fax from Heaven"?
    With the Bible playing a central role in Christianity, the question of Scripture's historic validity bears tremendous implications. Brown claims that Constantine commissioned and bankrolled a staff to manipulate existing texts and thereby divinize the human Christ.

    Yet for a number of reasons, Brown's speculations fall flat. Brown correctly points out that "the Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven." Indeed, the Bible's composition and consolidation may appear a bit too human for the comfort of some Christians. But Brown overlooks the fact that the human process of canonization had progressed for centuries before Nicea, resulting in a nearly complete canon of Scripture before Nicea or even Constantine's legalization of Christianity in 313.


    Another rival theology nudged the church toward consolidating the New Testament. During the mid- to late-second century, a man from Asia Minor named Montanus boasted of receiving a revelation from God about an impending apocalypse. The four Gospels and Paul's epistles achieved wide circulation and largely unquestioned authority within the early church but hadn't yet been collected in a single authoritative book. Montanus saw in this fact an opportunity to spread his message, by claiming authoritative status for his new revelation. Church leaders met the challenge around 190 and circulated a definitive list of apostolic writings that is today called the Muratorian Canon, after its modern discoverer. The Muratorian Canon bears striking resemblance to today's New Testament but includes two books, Revelation of Peter and Wisdom of Solomon, which were later excluded from the canon.

    By the time of Nicea, church leaders debated the legitimacy of only a few books that we accept today, chief among them Hebrews and Revelation, because their authorship remained in doubt. In fact, authorship was the most important consideration for those who worked to solidify the canon. Early church leaders considered letters and eyewitness accounts authoritative and binding only if they were written by an apostle or close disciple of an apostle. This way they could be assured of the documents' reliability. As pastors and preachers, they also observed which books did in fact build up the church—a good sign, they felt, that such books were inspired Scripture. The results speak for themselves: the books of today's Bible have allowed Christianity to spread, flourish, and endure worldwide."

    Copyright © 2003 by the author or Christianity Today International/Christian History magazine.
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/newsletter/2003/nov7.html
     
  3. fromtheright

    fromtheright
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    mioque,

    Thanks very, very much. I came into the Da Vinci Code with strong views against paganism, which it seems to exalt, and by implication seems to argue that Jesus promoted. As I said, it's an intriguing book but it's nice to see some good history to counter it.
     
  4. rsr

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    Excellent article, mioque.
     
  5. dianetavegia

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    Scientific Refutation of the Bible Codes

    by

    Brendan McKay and Friends


    This is the main web site which examines the Bible Codes (also called Torah Codes) from the point of view of the mathematicians and other experts who have examined them critically.

    A brief summary of the codes claims is that the Hebrew text of the Bible (especially of the Torah, the first five books) contain intentional coincidences of words or phrases that appear as letters with equal spacing. More details of the claims from the Jewish point of view can be found here, and from the Christian point of view here. Both those sites present a pro-codes viewpoint.

    A brief summary of the result of our very extensive investigation is that all the alleged scientific evidence for the codes is bunk. This page presents much of the evidence for that assertion.

    ......... read LOTS more at the link below


    http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/torah.html
     
  6. Ben W

    Ben W
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    It was on the news the other day that they are making a film of the Da Vinci Code and that Tom Hanks is to take the leading role. I think that this film will cause alot more contraversy than The Passion did. Still sometimes even negative publicity to the church can work out ok for the church.
     
  7. Rachel

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    Yeah, Ben W I heard that too. With such a great cast and director many people are going to see this movie and I'm sure many are going to believe it hook line and sinker. ugggg
     
  8. Gib

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    Tom Hanks does not strike me as a Robert Langdon.
     
  9. Phillip

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    I read the book. Last week the history channel had a special in which they spent the first 50 minutes telling the story of the blood-line and other "facts" that the author wrote.

    They spent the last 10 minutes saying that his history was all wrong and should not be considered.

    The scary part is that Brown wrote a non-fiction book trying to push his theory. I have it also and he goes into more detail.

    I predicted, when it came out, that it was going to be a very dangerous book. Now, the film is even worse. I'm saddened that they have a cast like Tom Hanks to play in the film--that means they will put big advertising money behind it.

    His whole theory goes right to the heart of Christ's diety. Imagine the Holy Grail being a little girl (his daughter) containing the blood of Christ.

    Also, the history channel proved him quite wrong regarding the history in Europe and the Da Vinci theory. They also nailed the "feminine" side of Christianity that Brown pushed as non-historical and that nobody ever practiced that until Brown came along and put the theory together.

    SAD! [​IMG]
     
  10. Ben W

    Ben W
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    What is probably a good thing is that there are several books out by Christian authors debunking the Davinci Code with clear checkable references. Yet I can garantee you that those books will not be made mention of in the media!
     
  11. superdave

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    At first I thought, who cares, Dan Brown is a fiction novelist, but He really seems to believe this particular yarn. I have skimmed one of the Christian books that fact-checks his theory, and it is obviously fraught with pieces that don't fit, whether you want to evaluate it from the scriptures, or from secular historical records.
     
  12. Phillip

    Phillip
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    You are correct. In fact, I have a non-fiction book that Dan wrote to support the two fiction books he wrote. Like all of his fiction books he plays very loose with the facts and puts things together that are totally unrelated.

    The History Channel had a good show on the Da Vinci Code in which they presented the book's view for about 50 minutes. Then in ten minutes it shattered every factoid that Dan used, coming to the conclusion that it was all a bunch of fiction with absolutely NO historical support.

    Good for the History Channel (a secular program and network.) [​IMG]
     

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