The Da Vinci Code
I know I hype a lot of books on here, but very rarely do I read a novel that makes me want to do further research. That’s exactly what happened while reading The Da Vinci Code. On the surface level, the novel is about a granddaughter who is trying to figure out who murdered her grandfather. However, as the story unravels, I started to question things I had taken for granted related to Christianity. I started to wonder if there really was any truth to notion that many aspects of Christianity like the divinity of Jesus was the result of a vote by the Council of Nicaea. Also, did the pagan Roman emperor “Constantine the Great” really fuse pagan symbols, dates, and rituals to create a hybrid religion from the cult of Sol Invictus and Christianity? Furthermore, do we really go to Church on Sundays because Constantine shifted the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday so it could coincide with the pagan’s veneration day of the sun? Is it not because God created the world in six days and on the seventh (Sunday), he made it a day of rest? Is Jesus really the Son of God? And what was his real relationship to Mary Magdalene a decendent from the House of Benjamin? Was she really his wife who gave birth to his child? Or is she really just a prostitute as it portrayed in the bible today. Was the Holy Grail, a woman also believed to be Mary Magdalene? All of these questions and many more popped into my head while devouring this book. In addition, there were times when I ran to my computer to look up great arts of work referenced in the book. For example, I checked out an image of the Mona Lisa painting because I wanted to see if on closer inspection she looked more like a hermaphrodite. In addition, I also looked for an image of The Last Supper painting, because I wanted to see if there really was a woman sitting to the right of Jesus. Beyond these questions related to Christianity and a renewed interest in art, I now have this desire to learn more about cryptology, secret societies like The Priory of Sion and Opus Dei which is a prelature of the Catholic Church. So my friends, this was definitely a great find. Thanks to my former boss for recommending and my best guy friend for purchasing from my wish list; and if you don’t already own, run (not walk) to the bookstore and buy a copy. It’s a thought provoking read.
November 12, 2004 at 3:58 am
It’s the best… I can’t even force myself to stop reading it… One hell of a good book… In fact, maybe the best… Awesome!!!
October 26, 2004 at 12:31 am
I am a TRUE Christian, and I have no trouble saying that, historically and biblically, the Da Vinci Code is correct on most (not all) points it makes. First, the issue of the Council of Nicea. The Encyclopædia Britannica relates: “Constantine himself presided, actively guiding the discussions, and personally proposed . . . the crucial formula expressing the relation of Christ to God in the creed issued by the council, ‘of one substance with the Father’ . . . Overawed by the emperor, the bishops, with two exceptions only, signed the creed, many of them much against their inclinatin.” “Constantine had basically no understanding whatsoever of the questions that were being asked in Greek theology,” says A Short History of Christian Doctrine. At that council there was no mention of the holy spirit, but the seed of the Trinity was laid, almost 300 years after Jesus was on the Earth, by a man who had no interest in religion, except for the fact that if he didn’t stop the arguments between the different religions it would tear his empire apart. The only thing he understood was that religious division was a threat to his empire, and he wanted to solidify his domain. The Encyclopedia Americana comments: “Fourth century Trinitarianism did not reflect accurately early Christian teaching regarding the nature of God; it was, on the contrary, a deviation from this teaching.”
Just in case you’re using John 1:1 as a justification, here’s an excerpt from a noted biblical reference work.
Some translations render John 1:1 as saying: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Literally the Greek text reads: “In beginning was the word, and the word was toward the god, and god was the word.” The translator must supply capitals as needed in the language into which he translates the text. It is clearly proper to capitalize “God” in translating the phrase “the god,” since this must identify the Almighty God with whom the Word was. But the capitalizing of the word “god” in the second case does not have the same justification.
First, it should be noted that the text itself shows that the Word was “with God,” hence could not be God, that is, be the Almighty God. (Note also vs 2, which would be unnecessary if vs 1 actually showed the Word to be God.) Additionally, the word for “god” (Gr., the·os´) in its second occurrence in the verse is significantly without the definite article “the” (Gr., ho). Regarding this fact, Ernst Haenchen, in a commentary on the Gospel of John (chapters 1-6), stated: “[the·os´] and [ho the·os´] (‘god, divine’ and ‘the God’) were not the same thing in this period. . . . In fact, for the . . . Evangelist, only the Father was ‘God’ ([ho the·os´]; cf. 17:3); ‘the Son’ was subordinate to him (cf. 14:28). But that is only hinted at in this passage because here the emphasis is on the proximity of the one to the other . . . . It was quite possible in Jewish and Christian monotheism to speak of divine beings that existed alongside and under God but were not identical with him. Phil 2:6-10 proves that. In that passage Paul depicts just such a divine being, who later became man in Jesus Christ . . . Thus, in both Philippians and John 1:1 it is not a matter of a dialectical relationship between two-in-one, but of a personal union of two entities.
Second as to the Sabbath, this was part of the Mosaic Law Covenant between God and the Israelites. As such the Sabbath was not to be followed anymore after Jesus came to Earth, because as the Apostle Paul said at Romans 7:4, “So, my brothers, YOU also were made dead to the Law through the body of the Christ, that YOU might become another’s, the one’s who was raised up from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.” He also stated at Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the Law, so that everyone exercising faith may have righteousness, ” and stated at Colossians 2:14, “He has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the torture stake.” (Circumsion was also part of the Mosaic law but was also abolished. See Colossians 2:11.) So when Sunday was established as a special day, it was clearly not because Christians had been commanded to do it. It was again for political purposes. Also the original Sabbath was a day of rest for ALL. However there is a difference in the Sabbath instituted by the Emperor. It was not until 321 C.E. that Constantine decreed Sunday (Latin: dies Solis, an old title associated with astrology and sun worship, not Sabbatum [Sabbath] or dies Domini [Lord’s day]) to be a day of rest for ALL BUT THE FARMERS.
Other statements, such as beliving that Jesus was not God’s Son, not a divine being, or ‘just a man’, are patently wrong. Let’s ask a few questions.
1) Was Jesus Christ simply a good man?
Interestingly, Jesus rebuked a man who addressed him with the title “Good Teacher,” because Jesus recognized not himself but his Father to be the standard of goodness. (Mark 10:17, 18) However, to measure up to what people generally mean when they say that someone is good, Jesus surely must have been truthful. Indeed, even his enemies acknowledged that he was. (Mark 12:14) He himself said that he had a prehuman existence, that he was the unique Son of God, that he was the Messiah, the one whose coming was foretold throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Either he was what he said or he was a gross impostor, but neither option allows for the view that he was simply a good man.—John 3:13; 10:36; 4:25, 26; Luke 24:44-48.
2) Was Jesus merely a prophet whose authority was similar to that of Moses, Buddha, Muhammad, and other religious leaders?
Jesus himself taught that he was the unique Son of God (John 10:36; Matt. 16:15-17), the foretold Messiah (Mark 14:61, 62), that he had a prehuman existence in heaven (John 6:38; 8:23, 58), that he would be put to death and then would be raised to life on the third day and would thereafter return to the heavens. (Matt. 16:21; John 14:2, 3) Were these claims true, and was he thus really different from all other true prophets of God and in sharp contrast to all self-styled religious leaders? The truth of the matter would be evident on the third day from his death. Did God then resurrect him from the dead, thus confirming that Jesus Christ had spoken the truth and was indeed God’s unique Son? (Rom. 1:3, 4) Over 500 witnesses actually saw Jesus alive following his resurrection, and his faithful apostles were eyewitnesses as he began his ascent back to heaven and then disappeared from their view in a cloud. (1 Cor. 15:3-8; Acts 1:2, 3, 9) So thoroughly were they convinced that he had been raised from the dead that many of them risked their lives to tell others about it.—Acts 4:18-33.
3) Why, then, did the Jews in general not accept Jesus as the Messiah?
The Encyclopaedia Judaica says: “The Jews of the Roman period believed [the Messiah] would be raised up by God to break the yoke of the heathen and to reign over a restored kingdom of Israel.” (Jerusalem, 1971, Vol. 11, col. 1407) They wanted liberation from the yoke of Rome. Jewish history testifies that on the basis of the Messianic prophecy recorded at Daniel 9:24-27 there were Jews who expected the Messiah during the first century C.E. (Luke 3:15) But that prophecy also connected his coming with ‘making an end of sin,’ and Isaiah chapter 53 indicated that Messiah himself would die in order to make this possible. However, the Jews in general felt no need for anyone to die for their sins. They believed that they had a righteous standing with God on the basis of their descent from Abraham. Says A Rabbinic Anthology, “So great is the [merit] of Abraham that he can atone for all the vanities committed and lies uttered by Israel in this world.” (London, 1938, C. Montefiore and H. Loewe, p. 676) By their rejection of Jesus as Messiah, the Jews fulfilled the prophecy that had foretold regarding him: “He was despised, and we esteemed him not.”—Isaiah 53:3, JP.
Before his death, Moses foretold that the nation would turn aside from true worship and that, as a result, calamity would befall them. (Read Deuteronomy 31:27-29.) The book of Judges testifies that this occurred repeatedly. In the days of the prophet Jeremiah, national unfaithfulness led to the nation’s being taken into exile in Babylon. Why did God also allow the Romans to destroy Jerusalem and its temple in 70 C.E.? Of what unfaithfulness had the nation been guilty so that God did not protect them as he had done when they had put their trust in him? It was shortly before this that they had rejected Jesus as the Messiah.
Another topic that has been made the point of ridicile in this thread is God’s name. The original Hebrew uses the letters equivalent to YHWH. Latin had no seperate letters for Y ow W, so they used the closest approximations, J and V, therefore JHVH, or Jehovah. You can find this name in most Bibles which were printed throughout the ages at Psalms 83:18. It has been taken out of many newer Bibles by religious *mis*leaders who do not want people to know God’s real name.)
July 4, 2004 at 10:21 am
well the da vinci code is a good book, with interesting insights into the mysterious past.
ALL doesnt seem fictional, and i do get the feeling that history is changed by powerful or powerhungry people. the truth can never be changed and those who seek will come by it.
But a new world with a better understanding of humanity and our mistakes is always welcome…
June 10, 2004 at 7:16 pm
It makes me just absolutely sick to my stomach that a NOVEL, written for ENTERTAINMENT purposes would even DARE to question anything that the Bible, the ONE AND ONLY BOOK OF TRUTHS, teaches us about our GOD, the one true God!There should be no question as to whether or not the Bible tells us the truth and nothing but. I don’t care what Mr. Leonardo Da Vinci painted in his paintings, or sculpted, or whatever! He was NOT there as Christ walked this earth and taught us about God. He was NOT there as Christ was nailed by his hands and feet to a wooden cross, his BLOOD dripping on the dirt beneath him. He was NOT there as the romans beat him ceaselessly and mercilessly untill there was almost no skin left on his frailed body. Da Vinci was NOT there as the romans rammed a spear into Jesus’s abdomen, water spilling forth to the ground. Everyone can have their theories, and their beliefs as to what may have happened. That does NOT make them true! And as for the Gnostic gospels, they were NOT written at the time Christ walked this earth. Disbelievers and conjerors of the imagination have fooled all of you into believing something that may very well send you to Hell. If you would just accept Christ for who he is, what he has done, and what it is said in the Bible that he WILL do, you could be at peace, and have joy, and not wonder whether you are going to be damned. If I wasn’t a Christian, maybe I would cash in on the unbelievers’ foolishness to believe everything but the truth. I could write a book and all of you would believe it, and someone else would then write a book and all of you would believe THAT, and then someone else would also take the opportunity to earn some money, write a book, and all of you would believe that. Listen to yourselves people!
May 11, 2004 at 5:12 pm
I love when those knowledgable in Christian history get so offended when another viewpoint is expressed. Are you so sure that you are right about everything that there is no way anyone else could possibly be correct. lol.
“I take everything that utalizes(sp? gather you meant utilizes) brain cells seriously.” Sure you do, but actually you mean anything that stimulates your own close minded brain, since you follow up with this.
“This smells of Wiccan and other pagan philosophies and showed no sign of getting better.” hmm those pagan philosophies deeply pre-date the Christian ones though dont they? So who are you to make a comment essentially saying its not worth reading since its not christian enough to your taste.
One thing I notice on all write ups by people commenting on what crap this book is or on how its all made up stuff, you all say that he and paganism is wrong because you are christian and right. lol nice egos, because God (whoever that is) knows you cant be wrong. btw I was raised Catholic, hehe so yep I wasnt one of those pagans growing up, but ive studied many religions because im more intereted in learning and making my own conclusions rather then being told by the church what i should believe. God did give us free will after all, right?
Theology major, what about the dead sea scrolls? They were carbon dated and known to be from the correct timeline, yet they portray jesus was a man not a divine being…how do you explain that? What hehe they lied way back then just cause they wanted to? Or are they all fakes cause they may actually not agree with what the bible says.
The book is a work of fiction with some basis in fact and viewponts from a person with a different belief system then most Christans. Those of you who seem angry at him need to grow up and realise that written history is exactly how he said it was: “the victor writes the history” That doesn’t mean there arent other written or known histories, it just means that what is commonly known is based on who had control. Sorry if you dont like that, but thats how it is.
The book is a fun read, i dont believe all in it, but he makes some interesting points. If I am curious enough about it I will do the research on my own and come to my own conclusions, but will not just bury my head cause it goes against my beliefs.
April 6, 2004 at 3:22 pm
Why doesn’t Dan Brown write a smear book on Islam?
April 2, 2004 at 6:54 am
All of you have way to much time on your hands,try liveing life for awhile stop reading one day.
March 10, 2004 at 10:20 am
Hello Ursula: I am Kristopher, of the ‘free peoples’ Oregon, ’bout five miles south of Little Beirut. Bless our meeting, and thank you.
I surfed here,looking for a list of the PofS Grand Maestro’s. I was reminded of many other details worth delving into.
“The Medici…”(a PBS,4part’Empires Special) is available through Netflix, on one CD, without interruption.
An interesting backdrop, to the secret times.
January 17, 2004 at 4:04 am
I have a degree in theology and am familiar with original sources like the Gospel of Thomas that are referenced in the book.
Very simply – the author doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Merovingians founded Paris? ‘YHWH’ is derived from ‘Jehovah’?! Countless Templar bodies were thrown in the Tiber?!! This book depends upon the reader not knowing anything about the subject and hopes that they only refer to his (horribly flawed) ‘reference’ works he mentions.
Do yourself a favor and consider virtually everything in the book as pure fiction.
January 14, 2004 at 8:52 pm
Having just finished the book my feeling is that Dan Brown is really not convinced that his ideas need be considered anything more than one concept of Christian history. Certainly, the history as it is believed today for the most part cannot be anything more, itself. The early centuries do little to offer any rigorous proof of these present concepts. What we do know for sure dates much later. How can one think that the writings of men so much later than the actual occurrences would be in any way accurate?
January 14, 2004 at 2:44 pm
This book may be great reading but it is mediocre writing, at best. It reads like a grown up Hardy boys adventure with the predictable and cliched cliffhanger at the end of every (short) chapter. Brown is not trying to write a great book here, he is trying to SELL books. Fortunately for him, the general public–especially modern day biblio-heads–cannot distinguish between great writing (Dickens, Austen) and great marketing (Brown, Grisham). But it sells and makes money and everyone over at the publishing house is smiling. My advice to holly_dolly8 up there is this: I was an English major in college, and this book in no way warrants use for support in a thesis. Go after the scholars on this one. (I hope you weren’t planning on citing the book in your paper.)
January 11, 2004 at 10:13 pm
If anyone finds any factual evidence regrading the posted questions please let me know! It is what I am doing my senior thesis paper on. I read the Da Vinci Code and it is great.
January 8, 2004 at 10:21 pm
I agreed with your opinion Ursula. Wholeheartedly. I found it to be not only great entertainment, but also curiosity & thought provoking. Made me want to go out & do some research myself.
And some of the resulting comments on your post do indeed go to show that research into the topics presented in the book is going to be interesting.
My dad recommended the book to me. When I asked him if he had any “leads” on research material related to the book he said he’d mail me a book on some of the subjects.
I’ll let you know the title as soon as I get the book!
January 5, 2004 at 4:28 pm
I take everything that utalizes brain cells seriously. I just put this book to rest after only reading half of it. Why? I am familiar with Jungian Psychology and the sacred feminine concept, as well as alot of the perverted thinking that was supposed to be a part of the early “thinkers”. This book is crap and smells to high heaven, I felt I best stop before I had a book burning of my own. This smells of Wiccan and other pagan philosophies and showed no sign of getting better. If there are any Christian that read this trash go to the Epilogue and see for yourself.
December 15, 2003 at 4:43 pm
Read the book a couple of weeks ago. It’s a page-turner, with a crisis every 2 minutes as in the Indiana Jones movies. But don’t take the “religious” stuff seriously. There are a few intriguing “maybe’s” but a lot more claims are total historical fabrications easily checked by reference to any serious works on theology, history, or art. The “Constantine” stuff is way over the edge into fantasy. But a good, light-weight way to burn some time on a plane or on vacation. I enjoyed it.
October 30, 2003 at 2:23 pm
I loved the DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. What a wonderful testament to the idea that we need academics to research and preserve historical facts and traditions. What if there were no educated people out there spending their time reminding us of truths long paved over with lies and distortions? It was a treasure to read.
August 22, 2003 at 10:42 am
angles & demons was another great read by dan brown! well, actually, i haven’t read the da vinci code, but will as soon as i make my way through a few other books – always got a backlog!
August 22, 2003 at 8:10 am
Wow, makes me excited to read it! I agree with you; the history of early Christianity, *particularly* the Nicean Council, is fascinating. If you’re interested, I can recommend some books (although they’re all rather scholarly/boring) on the subject.