Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Da Vinci Code - Fact or Fiction?

The Da Vinci Code.

The effects of the book and movie are pointing out one of the problems that is associated with our current method of teaching students in our school systems,

They teach “information” instead of “how to think critically about information”, meaning we are teaching them “what to think” instead of “how to think.”

Notice the kinds of “lack of” critical thinking that people are using when asking about the “information” in the movie and book….

1. Do you believe Jesus was married?
2. Do you believe the Catholic Church is hiding documents?
3. Do you believe the Nag Hammadi Texts contain truths that have been hidden from us?
4. Do you believe Jesus has descendants in Europe alive today?

Notice that the kinds of questions that are being asked are about “belief” instead of asking about any historical “facts” that may be available to collaborate the claims in the book and movie.

Also, notice that Leonardo was never known as “da Vinci.” He was known as a name and a town similar to others in early history, Names like “Jesus” of Nazareth. He was known as Leonardo, “of Vinci”, a little town in the heart of Tuscany, Italy.

Mr. Brown’s book has too many errors and lies to mention here, but I will name a few:

1. On page 234, he tries to say that the Nag Hammadi codices that Brown mistakenly calls the “Coptic Scrolls” were suppressed by the Catholic Church so that they would not be released. There is no proof of this statement that I am aware of. He claims that he has a cache of “secret documents”, but that does not prove they are ancient or if they are forgeries. If they are readily available to Brown, why are they not available to others? A reference to these supposed documents from outside the collection would be needed to authenticate them.
2. On page 245, he tries to say that the “Dead Sea Scrolls” are the “earliest Christian records.” They are practically the only surviving Christian records from before the first Century, but they are not the earliest documents. A mistake or a Lie?
3. On page 234, he says the Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered in the 1950’s. They were first discovered in 1947. A mistake or Lie?
4. On page 248, he says Mary Magdalene was from “the House of Benjamin.” I am not aware of any other claim like this. What is his source for this claim?
5. On page 231, he says that more than eighty gospel accounts were “considered for the New Testament” by the early church. Nobody else makes this claim. He himself calls his book a work of fiction.
6. On page 233, he says Jesus was not considered divine but was “viewed by his followers as a mortal prophet..” This statement conflicts with all known accounts of Jesus that I am aware of, including the four Gospels.

These “statements” are never shown with references to back up his claim and in fact, many of his claims are refuted by historical external documents, such as the secular book by Flavius Josephus written in the First Century. Josephus was commissioned by the Romans to write about history and to include the account of the life of Christ. Josephus was a Jew who did not believe in Jesus and yet gives a very good account that is important in understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Jewish history. See Wikipedia under Flavius Josephus.


At 11:03 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Interesting stuff. It's nice to have you back in the blogosphere.

I read the book and didn't really enjoy it much. The claims about the Catholic Church's suppression of the "real" story about Jesus are a whole lot of nothing and, unfortunately, that's what sells.

It makes no sense to me how the symbolism in DaVinci's paintings has any relevance to the truth or untruth of the Bible. It's not as if DaVinci was one of the disciples or around at the relevant times. Just because he may or may not have put Mary Magdalene in a painting proves nothing about her relationship with Jesus.

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Thanks ii.

I agree, that symbolisms in a painting that was painted long after Christ, does not mean he had any "secret" knowledge, and if he did, why would he expose it in that way?


At 7:58 AM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

The fact is, like so many other things, it is an answer we will never know. To burn brain cells over whether DaVinci was part of a secret cult that had the "real" info about Jesus and that he used his paintings to reveal some of the secrets (and you can only accept this point if you accept Dan Brown's interpretation of the paintings), is a true waste of time.

There are far more important things to concern one's self with like who will win American Idol - Taylor or Catherine? :-)

At 8:13 AM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

I agree; good to have you back. Too many silly people have been heard from in your absence :-).

It's obvious to me that any work of fiction needs to be treated with a certain skepticism; Brown claims his book relies on histroical fact, though, so that invites some probing. And while he goes out on a limb with some of his ideas - the priory of Sion, which in the book is the ancient organisation that guards the grail, was started in the 1950s per Wikipedia - his description of the editing process that resulted in the bible is not inaccurate. It's also historically likely that Jesus was married - it would have been noted had he not been for the sheer anormality of it.

But who cares, especially us devastated Eliotistas?

:-), StS

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

We all need to have some fun...I like Taylor :)

He sounds like Michael McDonald..:)


At 8:29 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I don't have a problem if Jesus was married.

Only people who think sex is a four letter word in all cases have a problem thinking that there is something wrong with a person who is part human and part God being married.

The Bible talks about God having all kinds of Human traits, being jealous, angry, loving, pleased, etc. Some people ask why not the trait of pro-creation?


At 8:30 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Oh, and thanks for the kind words.

I missed you guys also.


At 4:04 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

I'm still pretty ticked off at America for voting off Chris Daughtry so I'm not watching anymore. :-( He should have won.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Yeah, Daughtry rocked. The remainders are tedious by comparison.

:-), StS

At 6:43 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

FAR- Check out Bayside Chruch's Website... it is chock full of information about de-bunking the Da Vinci Code...


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