Skip to comments.'Da Vinci Code' errors: A quick list
Posted on 05/09/2006 11:22:42 AM PDT by Conservative Coulter Fan
We are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts. It is OK for a novelist to create a fictional story and even a fictional setting if he wishes. What you can't do with impunity is create a fictional foreground and fictional background, the latter of which you claim is based on fact. That is precisely what Dan Brown has done. His novel, "The Da Vinci Code," claims to be based on facts, but his "facts" are just as much fiction as his fiction.
Upon examination, "The Da Vinci Code" is chock full of errors. Some are unimportant; others, if true, would spell the end of Christianity. Here is a short list of "Da Vinci Code" errors. More errors from the book are rebutted on the new documentary special, "The Da Vinci Delusion," which airs May 13 and May 14 nationwide. For listings, go to www.davincidelusion.tv.
Error: The book tells readers that "The New Testament is false testimony."
Rebuttal: The New Testament was sealed with the apostles' blood. They put their money where their mouths were. The Greek word for "witness" as in the idea of witnessing to the truth about Jesus is "martyro," from whence we get the word martyr. Why? Because so many witnesses to Jesus, e.g., the apostles, were killed for testifying about what they themselves saw. Brown glibly ignores this history and, instead, exalts the questionable writings of second-, third-, and fourth-century Gnostic Christians, who were sexual libertines for the most part. (Other Gnostics were strict legalists.)
Error: The doctrine that Jesus was divine was created by a pagan emperor in the fourth century, Constantine, for the purposes of manipulation: "It was all about power."
Rebuttal: After the Resurrection, Christians worshiped Jesus because He was divine. They called Him "Kurios," the Greek word for "Lord." In the Septuagint the Greek translation of the Old Testament that Jesus and the apostles had (translated roughly 150 B.C.) the word used for Yahweh is Kurios. For a Jew to say that a human was Kurios was absolutely forbidden.
Error: No one believed, prior to the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 that Jesus was divine.
Rebuttal: Again, in the Gospels, written in the first century, we see that Jesus was divine. This is why He was delivered up to be crucified. The Jews accused Him of blasphemy, which is why they arrested Jesus and had a "trial" among themselves: Dan Brown's view that the early Christians believed Jesus was only a mortal rests on historical quicksand. From the very beginning, Christians worshiped Jesus as the Son of God. "Cracking Da Vinci's Code" authors Jim Garlow and Peter Jones have compiled a list of several Church Fathers all of whom wrote before the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 affirming this most basic Christian doctrine that Jesus was divine. Those Fathers include: Ignatius (writing in A.D. 105), Clement (150), Justin Martyr (160), Irenaeus (180), Tertullian (200), Origen (225), Novatian (235), Cyprian (250), Methodius (290), Lactantius (304), and Arnobius (305). Furthermore, one of the earliest Christian creeds was "Jesus is the Lord" (Kurios) (1 Corinthians 12:3).
Error: Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, and the Gnostic gospels teach that.
Rebuttal: There is the flimsiest of evidence for that. There is one passage in the pseudo Gospel of Philip, written about A.D. 250, long after Philip the apostle had died, that claims Jesus often kissed Mary Magdalene on her ________ (where he kissed her is obscure in the manuscript). The word could have been mouth, cheek, forehead, or whatever. Even liberal scholar Karen King of Harvard University observes that this is referring to a holy kiss that is asexual in nature. Just like it says in the Bible, greet one another with "a holy kiss" (Romans 16:16). Let's also remember that this was written more than 200 years after Christ. So even Dan Brown's sources from antiquity don't make his case for him.
Error: In "The Last Supper," Leonardo da Vinci allegedly painted Mary Magdalene seated next to Jesus.
Rebuttal: One of Dan Brown's proofs is that John looks so feminine, but John is often portrayed in such a way in art because he was young. Go to any cathedral and look at the stained-glass images of John. Just as you can identify Peter because he is holding keys, and you can tell Andrew because he is holding a Cross like an X (the kind on which He was crucified), so you can tell John by his feminine looks. But suppose it were the case that Leonardo intentionally painted Mary Magdalene next to Jesus instead of John, because Jesus and Mary were allegedly married, and Leonardo was in on the secret, then where is the "beloved disciple" John? He is not in the picture. Where is he? Under the table?
Error: The Gnostic gospels uniformly teach the "sacred feminine" the pagan idea that sex with a woman is the route to a relationship with God.
Rebuttal: Unlike the four Gospels, the Gnostic gospels can be actually degrading to women. The Gospel of Thomas declares that a woman cannot be saved unless God first changes her into a man (the very last verse of Thomas, 114).
Error: The Priory of Sion, which looms large in the novel, was created in 1099 by the Knights Templar.
Rebuttal: The Priory of Sion was created out of whole cloth in 1956 by a French anti-Semite con man, Pierre Plantard. In 1975, documents were found in the Biblioteque Nationale in Paris that allegedly proved the Priory is as old as 1099, and that Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton and other luminaries secretly presided over it. These documents were proved to be fakes.
Error: Christianity was based on pagan religions such as the mystery religions. Specifically, Dan Brown states: "Nothing in Christianity is original. The pre-Christian God Mithras called the Son of God and the Light of the World was born on Dec. 25, died, was buried in a rock tomb, and then resurrected in three days."
Rebuttal: Dan Brown has it exactly the opposite. The mystery religions more often borrowed from Christian themes including the ones that Brown mentions. In ancient cultures, there was always the myth of the dying and resurrecting god essentially "winter" and "spring." However, these are never alleged to have been real history. In contrast, on such and such a day (some scholars, including Dr. Alan Whanger, retired professor of Duke Medical Center believe April 7, A.D. 30) Jesus Christ was crucified and laid in a tomb in Jerusalem. He came out alive with a resurrected body in three days (as Jews count it two days as we would count it).
Going further on the mystery religions, note what authors Carl Olson and Sandra Miesel write in their book, "The Da Vinci Hoax":
Unfortunately for Brown and the authors of "Holy Blood, Holy Grail," there is little or no evidence that most pagan mystery religions, such as the Egyptian cult of Isis and Osiris or the cult of Mithras, existed in the forms described in their books prior to the mid-first century. This is a significant point, for much of the existing evidence indicates that the third- and fourth-century beliefs and practices of certain pagan mystery religions are read back into the first-century beliefs of Christians without support for such a presumptive act ...
Was there any fact-checking?
There are so many errors among the alleged "accurate depictions" of "The Da Vinci Code" that historian and first-rate scholar Paul Maier just has to shake his head. He notes, "Detailing all the errors, misinterpretations, deceptions, distortions, and outright falsehoods in "The Da Vinci Code" makes one wonder whether Brown's manuscript ever underwent editorial scrutiny or fact-checking."
Amazingly, we live in the Information Age, yet we live in an age of massive disinformation. The Bible says Satan is the "the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2). The Bible also says that in the end times, "men will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears" (2 Timothy 4:3). Is that not happening in our own day?
I trust that out of all of this, God, who is able to turn all things to our good, will use it to give opportunities for us to share the true Gospel of the true Savior, who gave His life and shed His blood that we might be forgiven and redeemed and saved by His grace through faith.
The new documentary special, "The Da Vinci Delusion," airs May 13 and May 14 nationwide and is available now on DVD from Coral Ridge Ministries.
D. James Kennedy, Ph.D., is senior minister of the nearly 10,000-member Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and president of Coral Ridge Ministries, a Christian broadcasting organization which reaches more than 3 million people weekly by radio and television. He also is the author of more than 60 books, founder and president of Evangelism Explosion a lay evangelism training program used in every nation on earth and founder and chancellor of Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Dan Brown cares about as much about factual historical evidence as Oliver Stone does.
The book is fiction. Why people are falling for any part of it shows they don't understand Scripture.
Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory. But simply put, we have an author that has weaved enough plausibility into a story to convince people of its "truth".
It is sad that people are not solid enough in their apologetics to resist this.
The book is filed under "fiction". Remember that, those of you who start to falter.
Perhaps he can do such a study on the new Tom Clancy novel being published in 2 or 3 weeks. It's similar... it's a story of fictional characters with a backdrop of present day locations, technology, and events! Amazing... And the big thing is, being fiction, it's entertainment, but not reality.
Fiction can have errors? Isn't that like sour cream expiring?
The book is a work of fiction. It's the press and some of the history channels that are picking it apart. There are lots of these books out right now that are off-shoots to Davinci. People who are lazy may not recognize it's a work of fiction, but most intelligent, sound-minded individuals recognize it for what it is--FICTION.
To elaborate, if fiction is erroneous, does that make it truth? How can fiction be wrong?
Dan Brown's book is dangerous only because most people are pathetically gullible, not to mention amazing ignorant of what the Bible teaches.
1. James the brother of John, was killed by Herod's sword.
2. James the Less was killed by a mob in Jerusalem.
3. Matthew was slain on a sword in Ethiopia.
4. Philip was hanged in Phrygia.
5. Bartholomew was flayed alive in Armenia.
6. Andrew was crucified in Achaia.
7. Thomas was run through with a lance in Eastern India.
8. Thaddeus was shot to death with arrows.
9. A cross went up in Persia for Simon the Zealot.
10. Another cross went up in Rome for Peter who was crucified upside down as he did not feel worthy to be crucified as Christ was.
11. Matthias was beheaded.
12. Only John escaped a martyr's grave.
A fair record, is it not, for eleven weaklings who once ran to hide? All over the then known world they set up their myriad of steeples to the sky; they left a church for Christ in every nook and corner of the earth, as they knew it.
From Frank S. Mead, The March of Eleven Men
Also, three things: 1. No one; the Romans, the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees, the Sadduccees; no one doubted the tomb was empty. 2. See above for how seeing the risen Christ changed his disciples. 3. The Jews, a "stiff-necked people" who change very little, changed the day of worship to Sunday to worship the resurrection of Christ.
Would you be so sanguine if the lies were about you instead of Jesus and His Church?
All is resolved with metaphor. Consider the 'woman' to be mankind -- the church, -- the bride. The feminine spirit, rather than male/female anatomy. Everyone knows that the bride is feminine and the bridegroom is masculine. The marriage makes the two, one -- cleaving one flesh.
Adam was the Son of God. Eve (the mother of all living) was taken from his side. Another metaphor.
The crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascencion of the Son of God was real and happened on earth, an historical event. A natural event to compare with the spiritual event. A roadmap to understand the meaning of how each person re-attaches to God in a spiritual sense. But first, we die daily and follow the same path as the Savior in a spiritual way. Jesus went through the physical death for all of us, making our re-union with God a very real possibility before we die a physical death.
A brief reminder,
"Codes" It's a book, a novel, that's all.
The Bible is also a book. Not one word in the Bible was ever written by any person who ever saw, spoke with, heard or touched Jesus.
So before we slam Mr. Brown, let's not forget the origins of the Bible.
The Bible itself says otherwise.
It is entertainment of the sort that aims to defame. As if someone, fie hundred years from now, set out to discredit George Washington by asserting that he was the illegitimate son of George II and asserted that Alexander Hamilton was his paramour.
D James Kennedy bump
Well, the problem is that this work of "fiction" makes claims to certain facts...
Anyone who changes their faith based upon a work of fiction was never very faithful in the first place. And any religion that cannot withstand debate, analysis, 'what if' is already pretty rocky to begin with.
Same as the new "Judas Gospel" that they've been talking about recently. I think that is a fiction as well, but it will produce great debate (theological and otherwise). "What if" Jesus asked Judas to betray him so he could fulfill the Father's plan? Do you think that Christianity is going to collapse because someone asked a sticky question, because someone asked "what if" Jesus married and had children? Please. It'll make it stronger than ever (IMO).
Where? Since it was written well into the 2d Century, who was still alive?
Since they were all dead for decades before the Bible was written, it's pretty simple!
Okay, I told myself last night. ONE MORE FREAKIN' POST DENOUNCING THIS MOVIE AND I'LL DEFINITELY GO SEE IT.
As far as I know, Tom Clancy doesn't do that, at least not on the same scale.
How would people react if someone made a movie about MLK in which he was portraied as a murderer? I don't think people would take very kindly to that. I certainly wouldn't.
I'm no fan of Kennedy, but he nails it here.
Nonsense. The Synoptic Gospels were written somewhere between 60-75 AD. That's between 30-45 years of Jesus' departure from the Earth, which took place in approximately 30 AD. Since the synoptic evangelists were around 20-30 years old when Jesus left the Earth, their Gospels were written within their plausible lifetimes. Granted, they would have to have lived to be 50-70 years old, which was not all that common in those days, but it was not exceedingly rare, either.
John's Gosepel was written somewhere around 95 AD. John was a teenager when Jesus walked the Earth. If he was 15 at that time, that would make him about 80 years old when he wrote his gospel. Yes, he would have had to live to a ripe old age that few people managed to reach, but not such an old age as to render his authorship implausible. There are other sources that attest to John's longevity.
twice more and I'll buy the DVD. :-)
What goes around comes around. Would you be so sanguine if a book made you look like a lunatic raving conspirator like the NT made the Pharisees look?
Or those authors who have written of actual people and events as a fictional 'friend' (Reagan bioigraphy, God and Generals, etc). Again, real people and events, false story.
i guess we'll agree to disagree.
I have asked on several of these DVC threads why the Church didn't go bananas over the Body, a MUCH more "sacrilegious" movie.
They don't make up false, slanderous stories about real people who command the respect and reverence of millions.
What would you say to a novelist who turned George Washington or Benjamin Franklin or any other of our national heros into a cold-blooded murderer?
Or those authors who have written of actual people and events as a fictional 'friend' (Reagan bioigraphy, God and Generals, etc). Again, real people and events, false story.
Okay, but in each of these cases, the fiction does not materially change the true character of the people involved. Nor is anything slanderous made up about them.
If you are going to have a debate, decide what is debatable. It is being presented in a sensational manner as though the manuscript revealed new information about Christ. What it reveals is the exact contents of the "gospel." We now have a manuscript that substantiates what Irenaeus wrote ca. in 180 AD. in his outline of its contents.
Because Brown's book has a much wider audience.
The notion that the New Testament was written in the 2nd Century was asserted by the first modernist Biblical critics, but no one, not even modernists, think that is the case any more.
You obviously have no knowledge whatsoever of the authorship of the Bible. Only the 2 books by Luke, Luke and Acts, might possibly have been written by someone who was not personally aquainted with Jesus.
This book makes my blood boil!
It is fiction indeed, but do you know how many people are believing this garbage????
I have never heard of anyone or read any writing that would substantuate your false claim. If you have a valid source for this statement please provide it. If not, then please admit that this is just your own uninformed opinion.
I don't believe Mark was a direct eyewitness. Wasn't he brought into the Church by Peter?
Yet his Gospel was said to have been written between 55 and 70 A.D.
None of the gospels mentions the destruction of the temple and the Romans destroying Jerusalem in A.D. 70. That was a pretty big deal. This suggests that the Gospels were all finished before 70 A.D.
Probably the same number who believe Michael Moore's "Farenheit 911".
Mark was an eye witness. The Last Supper is believed to have been held at his home. Also notice Mark 14:51-52.
Many Bible secholors believe that Judas first brought the soldiers who arrested Jesus in the garden to Mark's house. That would be very logical since that was the last place where Judas had known Jesus was. That being the case, it is further believed that young Mark, probably a teenager at the time, ran in his bedclothes to warn Jesus. Many believe that he is the young man who ran from the Garden naked. Only Mark records this. Mark was also probably one of the ones who witnessed the resurrected Christ.
Wasn't he brought into the Church by Peter?
No. Read Acts 12:12 When Peter was released from jail he went to Mark' house. In Acts 12:25 we find Mark and Barnabas as companions of Paul when he returned to Antioch from Jerusalem.
Read Acts 15:37-40. Here we see a dispute between Paul and Barnabas over Mark. Mark had started out with them on the first missionary journey but had not finished the journey. Now Barnabas wants to take him again on the second missionary journey but Paul says no. This resulted in Paul and Barnabus going on separate journeys, Mark going with Barnabas.
Read Col. 4:10. Here we find that Mark was with Paul when Paul wrote Colossians. They had evidently reconciled by that time.
Read II Tim. 4:11. This was written just before Paul's death. Notice that he ask Timothy to bring Mark with him when he comes to Paul in Rome because by this time Mark had grown into a strong advocate for the church and Paul considered him useful for the ministry.
The Scriptures associate Mark with Paul rather than Peter. Mark was without a doubt an eyewitness to many of the things he would later write about in his Gospel and a companion of Paul.
I hope you find this useful.
Then why does Brown make this claim at the book's beginning... all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.
This is why there is an outcry.
Brown is a despicable liar and a coward.
When called on his "accurate" secret rituals and documents, he and his apologists throw up their arms and say "it's fiction.....it's fiction........"
He can't have it both ways.
This is like all the liberals who swore that the "Passion of the Christ" was going to cause Christians to beat and kill Jewish peoples in retaliation.... When all is said and done, it'll be just a footnote in Pop Culture.
I think your bible ignorance is showing. What about John's Gospel or the Apocalypse or 1st and 2nd Peter, The Epistle of Jude or 1st 2nd or 3rd John? They all knew Our Lord quite well. Not to mention the conversation that Paul had with Him on the road to Damascus.
Sorry, Eastbound. We all understand that the Gospel of Thomas wasn't calling for sex-change (er, sex-mutilation) surgery. The point was that women should stop being like women: if you read it, they were to become sexless. The gnostic gospels, far from preaching female empowerment, preached that feminity was evil.