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Thread: Da vinci Code

  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default Da vinci Code

    Many of you know that the movie, the Da vinci code is coming to theaters next month.

    I'd like to point out that the book and the movie is a novel, complete fiction, although Dan Brown, the author would like you to believe otherwise.

    Truth is, the movie and the book are based on Gnostic scrolls that were written in 250-450 AD, many years after the original gospels were written.

    The movie claims that Christians at that time were trying to cover up these "real gospels," when in reality, that's not true at all. These gospels came out years after the 4 gospels, and as I said, they were written by Gnostics, who were an anti-Christian cult at the time. So, it's obvious they were trying to find any way not to make Jesus appear to be a deity, and to deny what actually happened.

    Anyhow, the Catholics actually have sdome good things to say about the issue.


    It's important to note that many of the issues mentioned in the movie have been completely debunked. For example, take the Mona Lisa for instance. The movie claims the name was from Leonardo Di Vinci and named a god and a goddess. Truth is, Leonardo never named the painting that. Everyone who's ever taken a university Humanities class knows that. The name Mona Lisa came many many years later and meant beautiful Lisa.

    Anyways, this should be an interesting thread of discussion.

  2. #2
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    I think it's interesting the movie claims that Leonardo's "The Last Supper" had a pic of Mary Magdalene. There are 13 people in that painthing. 12 disciples and Jesus. Where in the world did they come up with this lie? Something else interesting, they found a copy of the painting later that Leonardo himself had made that had the names of all of the people written above the figures. The figure they claim was Mary Magdalene was John, the disciple.


    The sad part is this bookis written so well, it's deceiving many.

  3. #3
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Why the 'Lost Gospels' Lost Out

    Recent gadfly theories about church council conspiracies that manipulated the New Testament into existence are bad—really bad–history.

    In Dan Brown's best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, villain Leigh Teabing explains to cryptologist Sophie Neveu that at the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325) "many aspects of Christianity were debated and voted upon," including the divinity of Jesus. "Until that moment," he says, "Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet. … a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless."

    Neveu is shocked: "Not the Son of God?"

    Teabing explains: "Jesus' establishment as 'the Son of God' was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicea."

    "Hold on. You're saying that Jesus' divinity was the result of a vote?"
    "A relatively close one at that," Teabing says.

    A little later, Teabing adds this speech: "Because Constantine upgraded Jesus' status almost four centuries after Jesus' death, thousands of documents already existed chronicling His life as a mortal man. To rewrite the history books, Constantine knew he would need a bold stroke…Constantine commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ's human traits and embellished those gospels that made Him godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned."

    Unfortunately, this passage of fiction has raised questions for many readers because it appears to be an accurate historical summary embedded in an otherwise fictitious account. It is anything but that.

    The novel expresses in popular form what some scholars have been arguing or implying for years. Twenty years ago, Elaine Pagels wrote The Gnostic Gospels, a book that introduced the larger public to the other "Christian" writings that arose in the early centuries of the church. Regarding the books of the New Testament, Pagels asked, "Who made that selection, and for what reasons? Why were these other writings excluded and banned as 'heresy'?"

    For Pagels this wasn't a rhetorical question, but one designed to get readers to question the very authority of the New Testament.

    Other books—like The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (2003) and The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (1997)—have been similarly skeptical.
    The issue of canon—what books constitute the final authority for Christians—is no small matter. If the critics are correct, then Christianity must indeed be radically reinterpreted, just as they suggest. If they are wrong, traditional Christians have their work cut out for them, because many seekers remain skeptical of claims to biblical authority.
    Let us examine whether revisionist authors' claims stand up to the historical test.

    'Heresy' In the Beginning
    Pagels is a history of religions professor at Princeton University. Her book explores a number of ancient texts that teach Gnosticism—the collective name for many greatly varying sects that believed that matter is essentially evil and spirit good, and that God is infinitely divorced from the world.

    Where Judaism and Christianity emphasize the role of faith and works in salvation, and salvation of both body and spirit, gnostics taught that the soul's salvation depended on the individual possessing quasi-intuitive knowledge (gnosis) of the mysteries of the universe and of magic formulas.

    Pagels admits that the gnostic texts were rejected by the orthodox, but she claims that it wasn't until the period of great councils (325 and after) that "orthodoxy" was defined as opposed to "heresy." Thus fourth-century religious politics decided "orthodoxy." As one character in The Da Vinci Code puts it, "Anyone who chose the forbidden gospels over Constantine's version was deemed a heretic. The word heretic derives from that moment in history."

    But was there really no such thing as "orthodoxy" before the fourth century? Is it really the case that Gnosticism was harshly suppressed without being given a fair trial?
    First, there is no strong evidence to suggest that gnostic Christians vied with the orthodox from the beginning. Even what is probably the earliest gnostic document, the Gospel of Thomas, seems to have come from a period after the New Testament books were already recognized as authoritative and widely circulated.

    The Gospel of Thomas, in fact, draws on most of these documents, adding some new ideas about Jesus and about the faith. All other major gnostic texts—like the Gospel of Truth, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Gospel of Mary, and so on—are clearly written in the second and third centuries.

    Church Fathers Irenaeus and Tertullian addressed Gnosticism in the second century in works titled Against Heresies and The Prescription Against Heretics. And the Muratorian Canon (a list of New Testament writings from late second century) says this: "There is current also an epistle to the Laodiceans, and another to the Alexandrians, both forged in Paul's name to further the heresy of Marcion, and several others which cannot be received into the catholic Church. For it is not fitting that gall be mixed with honey." In other words, it is historically false to say that the councils of the fourth and fifth centuries invented or first defined "heresy."

    Revisionist historians like Pagels also argue that there was no core belief system, later called "orthodoxy," in the first century. This is a strange claim, because anyone who has read the letters of John, for example, knows that discussions about orthodoxy and heresy were heating up in the New Testament period. Paul's letters, too, show distinctions being made between truth and error. By the time we get to the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy, and Titus), there is a strong sense of what is and is not sound doctrine, particularly in terms of salvation and the person of Jesus Christ.

    Furthermore, the early church viewed the Old Testament as both authoritative and inspired, as 2 Timothy 3:16 shows. This is an important point in regard to Gnosticism. The earliest churches had already recognized the Hebrew Scriptures as canon, a set of authoritative and divinely inspired texts. Notice how much of the Old Testament is quoted in the New Testament books—all written to edify churches across the ancient world.

    Gnosticism fundamentally rejected Jewish theology about the goodness of creation, and especially the idea that all the nations could be blessed through Abraham and his faith. When the church accepted the Hebrew Scriptures, it implicitly rejected Gnosticism before it had a chance to get started. Thus we are already at a watershed moment in the development of early Christianity, one that could not allow Gnosticism to ever be regarded as a legitimate development of the Christian faith.

    New Testament scholar Pheme Perkins points out how rarely the Gnostic literature refers to the Old Testament: "Gnostic exegetes were only interested in elaborating their mythic and theological speculations concerning the origins of the universe, not in appropriating a received canonical tradition. … [By contrast] the Christian Bible originates in a hermeneutical framing of Jewish scriptures, so that they retain their canonical authority and yet serve as witnesses to the Christ-centered experience of salvation."

    She puts her finger on one of the main reasons gnostic texts could never have been included in the canon—they largely rejected the Scriptures the earliest Christians affirmed, the Hebrew Bible.

    The formation of authoritative apostolic texts, moreover, was already occurring in the New Testament period. We see this in 2 Peter 3:16, which says of Paul: "He writes this same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures … " Even if this text was written in the earliest years of the second century (as some New Testament scholars think), it makes plain that there was already a collection of Paul's letters that were considered authoritative and on a par with "Scriptures."

    In other words, by the New Testament period, there was already a core of documents and ideas by which Christians could evaluate other documents. The New Testament documents already manifest a concept of "orthodoxy," or at least criteria by which truth and error could be distinguished. Among the second-century lists of authoritative Scriptures, never are gnostic texts listed—not even by the unorthodox Marcion in about 140. There was never a time when a wide selection of books, including gnostic ones, were widely deemed acceptable.

    A good example of this is Serapion of Antioch (a bishop from 190 to 211), who let some of his flock read the Gospel of Peter in church—until he read the book himself. He concluded that it had a heretical Christology, teachings about Jesus that did not conform to other ancient apostolic documents. Or compare the Apocalypse of Peter with the canonical gospel portraits of Jesus' Passion. The gnostic text depicts Jesus as glad and laughing on the cross, a radiant being of gnostic light (81:10-11).

    Pagels's suggestions to the contrary, gnostic texts were never seriously entertained by many Christians as legitimate representations of the faith.

    E Pluribus Unum
    Another revisionist historian is Harvard professor Karen King, author of The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (2003). In this book, she is right in affirming that the earliest Christians grappled with a number of issues. She denies, however, that there was a core set of beliefs shared by most followers of Jesus.

    For example, listen to why she thinks the Nag Hammadi codices (third- to fifth- century gnostic manuscripts from Egypt) are so crucial to a revision of the history of early Christianity: "These writings are of inestimable importance in drawing aside the curtain of later perspectives behind which Christian beginnings lie, and exposing the vitality and diversity of early Christian life and reflection. They demonstrate that reading the story of Christian origins backwards through the lenses of canon and creed has given us an account of the formation of only one kind of Christianity, and even that only partially. The fuller picture lets us see more clearly how the later Christianity of the New Testament and the Nicene Creed arose out of many different possibilities through experimentation, compromise and very often, conflict."

    The fourth- and fifth- century councils and creeds aside, the essential question is, What do the earliest documents about the rise of Christianity say?
    As any good historian knows, the documents closest to the source of the rise of the movement are likely to reveal most about the origins of a religious group. Documents by eyewitnesses or those in contact with eyewitnesses are our primary sources. These documents happen to be the New Testament itself, plus a few other first century works like the Didache and 1 Clement.

    King's argument—that the earliest churches held a wide spectrum of beliefs—is an argument entirely from silence. We have no evidence of Marcionites or gnostics running around in first-century churches. This is not surprising, since the Jewish presence in those churches was still considerable and the New Testament documents, with the possible exception of Luke-Acts, were written by Jews.

    King urges us to "accept that the norm of early Christianity was theological diversity, not consensus." King also seems to completely ignore the existence of core beliefs about Jesus, his life and death, and his resurrection that united the earliest churches. What Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:1-3 has good claims to being true. This was the tradition that Paul and other apostles were passing down everywhere about Jesus and his death and resurrection.

    She ignores masterful studies, like that of J.D.G. Dunn on The Unity and Diversity of the New Testament, which show that theological diversity was hardly the "norm" of the early church. To the contrary, the early church battle cry was akin to "E pluribus unum." Hear the way it is put in Ephesians—"There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all" (Eph. 4:4-6).

    Note the Trinitarian flow and flavor of this text, speaking of our relationship with Spirit, Lord, and Father. It was not the later councils that imposed on the church the notion of the divinity of Christ or a Trinitarian way of thinking about God. The raw, initial articulation of this thinking had already emerged in the New Testament. Unity around this set of core beliefs made Christians stand out from other religious groups in the first century, in the eyes of both Jews and pagans.

    But wait a minute, say the critics. We don't have the original New Testament documents. All we have are copies of copies. What if there were orthodox monks who deliberately changed the text while copying it, shaping it according to their own theology, so that our New Testament is a far cry from the originals?

    The Non-Problem of Copies
    Though we have close to 5,000 original-language manuscripts containing text from part or all of what we now call the New Testament, no two copies are exactly alike. The question for many, then, becomes whether there was some sort of conspiracy to change the originals to make them conform to the orthodoxy taught in the fourth- and fifth- century churches.

    As noted earlier, this question has taken popular form in The Da Vinci Code, where "thousands of documents" supposedly chronicled Christ's life as "a mortal man." Constantine supposedly destroyed these gospels and "embellished" the four Gospels to make Christ appear more "godlike." Is there any truth to this?

    Bart Ehrman is a specialist in New Testament text criticism—the study of partial and whole manuscripts to reconstruct original texts. In his Orthodox Corruption of Scripture (1997), Ehrman meticulously explores what he calls the orthodox corruptions of Scripture. This enables him to document how, in response to various heresies (including Gnosticism), some scribes added or subtracted from the text to highlight the true humanity or true divinity of Christ. I emphasize highlight, because Ehrman does not suggest, as The Da Vinci Code does, that new ideas were simply imported into the text. For example, sometimes the word Christ is added to the name Jesus to emphasize his exalted status even from birth. It is not as though a foreign idea is sneaking into the text. The vast majority of these enhancements are not to be found in our modern translations (niv, nrsv, the New Living) because text critics have demonstrated they were not part of the originals.
    The most important observation to be made is that none of the "corruptions" or corrections was carried out in a systematic way. We have no evidence of a systematic conspiracy by the orthodox church to doctor the text of the New Testament, particularly the Gospels, in order to prop up a new Christology. Yes, certain overzealous individuals, Ehrman shows, were even prepared to create forgeries to support their own view of orthodoxy. But well before the canonization of the New Testament, many Christians had the established apostolic testimony to evaluate the authority—or not—of the various copies floating about.

    In fact, on the whole, Christian scribes were notably conservative in how they handled their copies. Worried that a verse might be misunderstood, sometimes they would seek to clarify that which could be overlooked, distorted, or misconstrued. Sometimes they would find alternate readings in the margins of the manuscripts they were copying from, and they would include both readings lest they leave out the correct one. These scribes had a profound sense that they were copying the sacred Scriptures, and they did not want to leave anything out that the originally inspired author had included.

    If Ehrman had left his discussion at that point, there might not be any objection to his argument. But he goes on to plow the same furrow as Pagels and King; he too writes revisionist history, arguing for a wide array of beliefs at the church's beginning. The struggle over an emerging orthodoxy, in his view, was not solidified until the fourth century.

    How much more solid Ehrman's book would be if it had come to grips with works by Martin Hengel that deal with both early Judaism and early Christianity. There could hardly be a scholar better grounded in primary source texts, both orthodox and heterodox.
    From the outset of his The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ (2000), Hengel stresses that "primitive Christianity has no knowledge of the abrupt distinction between theology and history: The truth lies between a 'historicism' which is hostile to theology, and a 'dogmatism' which is hostile to history."

    Hengel shows that the titles on the canonical Gospels—"according to Matthew," and so on—likely were already in place by at least 125. This would mean they circulated together, because the titles imply a distinction between, for example, Luke's rendering and Mark's. Indeed, the collection of four Gospels together may have been one of the first such collections to circulate in one codex or book.

    Harry Gamble, in Books and Readers in the Early Church (Yale, 1995), shows at length that Christians in the second century quickly took to the codex (book form) rather than individual papyrus scrolls to more easily circulate multiple documents at once. He demonstrated that Paul's letters also circulated in a collected form early in the second century. This is not just because these documents were popular. It is also because they were seen as representative apostolic texts that faithfully presented the earliest and most authentic evidence and interpretation of Christianity and its founder.

    It is no accident that, in about 180, Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, could already speak clearly and definitively about the fourfold Gospel, specifically citing those of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He does so as he is opposing things he deems heretical. Thus, already in the second century, he has a strong sense of what amounts to orthodoxy when it comes to the story of Jesus.

    Even before Irenaeus, from the middle of the second century, we have the witness of Justin Martyr, the great opponent of Marcion and his aberrations. In his Dialogue with Trypho (160), he calls the canonical Gospels "the reminiscences" of the apostles and says they were read and used in worship in his day. Nothing comparable is said about any other gospels, not even the Gospel of Thomas.

    We can say without hesitation that various books that were to become part of the New Testament were already seen and used as authoritative and acceptable in the second century in various parts of the church, both Eastern and Western—and that their listing as authoritative in the early fourth century was without serious debate.

    In the end, the gnostic gospels and other gnostic documents were never even considered for inclusion in the Christian canon. Other, non-gnostic books that did not make it into the canon were debated rather heavily—namely, the Shepherd of Hermas, 1 Clement, the letters of Ignatius, and, most surprisingly, the Wisdom of Solomon. It is noteworthy that not a single document written after about 120 was ever considered for inclusion in the canon, not least because such documents were not written by people in direct touch with the apostolic tradition, much less with the apostles themselves.

    Hence, contrary to Pagels and others, the case was never that the gnostic documents were excluded or deleted. Rather, they were never serious contenders for inclusion in the canon, either in the Eastern or the Western church. As the canon list of Athanasius in 367 demonstrates, even in the home region of the Nag Hammadi texts none of those texts was ever included in a canon. None ever appeared in any authoritative list, and it is perhaps also suggestive that when the Nag Hammadi texts were found, they were found without one single canonical book included with them. This should tell us something about how they were separated from and viewed differently from canonical books.

    The New Gnostic Faith
    Some 20 years after she wrote The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels penned the beautifully written Beyond Belief. In a particularly candid and confessional part of the book, Pagels talks about how she had been alienated from Christian faith while in high school: She was part of an evangelical church when a Jewish friend died, and her fellow Christians told her that since the friend was not born again, she was going to hell.

    Though this turned her off from the church, she maintained a lively interest in New Testament studies and the early church. While doing doctoral work at Harvard, she had an epiphany. She was reading the Gospel of Thomas when she came across this saying of Jesus: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you."

    She comments: "The strength of this saying is that it does not tell us what to believe but challenges us to discover what lies hidden within ourselves; and with a shock of recognition, I realized that this perspective seemed to me self evidently true."

    Her comparison of the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of John reveals how far down this road she has traveled. In John, there is an "I-and-Thou" relationship, a vine and branches relationship, that involves an integral connection between the divine and human without identification of the "I" with the "Thou." But in Thomas, it is a matter of "I am Thou." The self is deified and is seen as the finish line of faith.

    Here we find the appeal to personal impressions or experience as the final authority. The believer is not asked to believe specific things that come from without (by revelation), nor to submit to any authority but the self. Instead, we are to be the measure of ourselves and to find our own truths within us.

    In this book, we see Pagels's story of suffering and feeling betrayed, and her long spiritual journey to a reconfigured form of Christianity—reconfigured as self-actualization. And it is evident that the gnostic texts have helped lead her in that direction.

    Pagels is not a disinterested scholar when she writes about Gnosticism. Her spiritual journey entices her to look at the gnostic texts in a particular way, and to postulate an early and widespread authority for them—and then to suggest that the process of New Testament canonization was arbitrary. Orthodox scholars are similarly tempted in their own direction. I know I am. So we are wise to recognize this potential bias in evaluating any argument. But in the end, we still have to make arguments based on history, not on silence.

    I don't know the personal story of the other scholars who argue for a vital and early Gnosticism in the church. It really doesn't matter. They might want to argue that Gnosticism should have won the day, or that the church today should resurrect Gnosticism as a valid Christian expression. But their attempt to show that the process of forming the New Testament was somehow arbitrary and manipulative is a failure, and it seems to be driven by something other than historical scholarship.

  4. #4
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Breaking the Da Vinci Code:

    Perhaps you've heard of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code This fictional thriller has captured the coveted number one sales ranking at Amazon.com, camped out for 32 weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller List, and inspired a one-hour ABC News Special. Along the way, it has sparked debates about the legitimacy of Western and Christian history.

    While the ABC News feature focused on Brown's fascination with an alleged marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, The Da Vinci Code contains many more (equally dubious) claims about Christianity's historic origins and theological development. The central claim Brown's novel makes about Christianity is that "almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false." Why? Because of a single meeting of bishops in 325, at the city of Nicea in modern-day Turkey. There, argues Brown, church leaders who wanted to consolidate their power base (he calls this, anachronistically, "the Vatican" or "the Roman Catholic church") created a divine Christ and an infallible Scripture—both of them novelties that had never before existed among Christians.

    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.

    In addition, pre-Nicene Christians acknowledged Jesus's divinity by petitioning God the Father in Christ's name. Church leaders, including Justin Martyr, a second-century luminary and the first great church apologist, baptized in the name of the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—thereby acknowledging the equality of the one Lord's three distinct persons.

    The Council of Nicea did not entirely end the controversy over Arius's teachings, nor did the gathering impose a foreign doctrine of Christ's divinity on the church. The participating bishops merely affirmed the historic and standard Christian beliefs, erecting a united front against future efforts to dilute Christ's gift of salvation.

    "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.

    Ironically, the process of collecting and consolidating Scripture was launched when a rival sect produced its own quasi-biblical canon. Around 140 a Gnostic leader named Marcion began spreading a theory that the New and Old Testaments didn't share the same God. Marcion argued that the Old Testament's God represented law and wrath while the New Testament's God, represented by Christ, exemplified love. As a result Marcion rejected the Old Testament and the most overtly Jewish New Testament writings, including Matthew, Mark, Acts, and Hebrews. He manipulated other books to downplay their Jewish tendencies. Though in 144 the church in Rome declared his views heretical, Marcion's teaching sparked a new cult. Challenged by Marcion's threat, church leaders began to consider earnestly their own views on a definitive list of Scriptural books including both the Old and New Testaments.

    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.
    Though unoriginal in its allegations, The Da Vinci Code proves that some misguided theories never entirely fade away. They just reappear periodically in a different disguise. Brown's claims resemble those of Arius and his numerous heirs throughout history, who have contradicted the united testimony of the apostles and the early church they built. Those witnesses have always attested that Jesus Christ was and remains God himself. It didn't take an ancient council to make this true. And the pseudohistorical claims of a modern novel can't make it false.

  5. #5
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Cracking The Da Vinci Code Series

    Northwest Baptist Church
    3030 NW 23rd St.
    Oklahoma City, OK

    Sundays, 10:50 AM
    April 23rd-May 21st, 2006

    Hear Craig Etheredge delve deep into the meaning behind The Da Vinci Code.

  6. #6
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    What's Up with Da Vinci

    Dan Brown has sold 40 million copies worldwide of the thriller, The Da Vinci Code, which is soon to be released as a blockbuster movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks. The book centers around a murder mystery of a museum curator. So what’s the big deal? In this book, Brown weaves historical people and places with fiction, creating a sense of credibility, to layout a series of falsehoods about Jesus and the church. The book promotes the thought that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and produced a “holy blood line" that exists today. It supports the notion that Jesus did not die on the cross and in fact lived for many years. Also, the themes of “the divine feminine,” ancient heretical Gnostic writings of the first century, and beliefs embraced by today’s practice of witchcraft are supported in the book. Since The Da Vinci Code, sales of Gnostic writings are on the increase, and The Gospel of Mary Magdalene has now sold over 100,000 copies. While Da Vinci is fiction, thousands of people are reading it as actual history and fact.

    Erwin Lutzer, Pastor of Moody Bible Church in Chicago commented, "The Da Vinci Code is the most serious assault against Christianity that I have ever witnessed." What is the truth concerning the claims of The Da Vinci Code? During this new sermon series, I will be talking about the book, the movie, and how you can decipher the truth. This series, Cracking the Da Vinci Code, will run through May 7. I hope you will join me for this relevant series. I can guarantee you will learn something new and strengthen you faith!

    See you Sunday - Craig

  7. #7
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Unlocking The DaVinci Code Simulcast

    Attend a national simulcast event on Sunday, May 21 from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Gym. This FREE event, shot from the Louvre Museum in Paris, is hosted by Lee Strobel (The Case for Christ), Mark Mittelberg (Becoming a Contagious Christian), and Dr. Erwin Lutzer (The Da Vinci Deception). Preregistration is not necessary; childcare is not available.

  8. #8
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    More on the Truth of The Da Vinci Code — Discussion Forum

    Have questions about issues raised in The Da Vinci Code? Join Pastors Terry Feix and Matt Anderson for an informal question and answer forum next Wednesday, April 26, from 6:30-7:45 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

    Crossings Community Church
    14600 North Portland Oklahoma City, OK 73134 Phone: (405)755-2227

  9. #9
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    April 16 - May 7

    The movie, The DaVinci Code, compels you to “seek the truth.” But what is TRUTH?
    We invite you to be part of a four-week series on “TRUTH” beginning Easter weekend.

    April 16 • What is Truth? part 1 — What is Truth?
    April 23 • What is Truth? part 2 — Fiction, Fact, and Faith
    April 30 • What is Truth? part 3
    May 7 • What is Truth? part 4

  10. #10
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    All sermons from The Da Vinci Code Series at Corssings Community Church are also available online at: http://crossingsokc.org/

  11. #11
    MadMonk Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Like you said, its a novel. It's Interesting reading but, still a work of fiction. I can't believe people think this is real.

  12. #12
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Quote Originally Posted by MadMonk
    Like you said, its a novel. It's Interesting reading but, still a work of fiction. I can't believe people think this is real.
    You'd actually be surprised. May people don't realize that Gospels like the Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Phillip, etc. upon which the novel are based, were written after the cannonization of the Bible, and were written by Gnostics.

    If you read the book, it's very well written. I could easily see how people could be led to believe some of the claims made there, many of which have been debunked by Biblical scholars in every field.

    Dan Brown, the author of the novel, has said himself, he believes it's more than just a novel. That's why the trailor to the movie states, "Seek the Truth." Well, that's exactly what I've done and I've found that most of what's in the Da Vinci Code is absolutely false.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Stop....breath.....let people read this novel and think what they will. If they're silly enough to believe a work of fiction, then so be it. I really didn't even find it that entertaining, much less life changing.

  14. Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Good grief, Patrick. I saw that this thread had 12 replies...who knew that only 2 of them were from someone besides you?

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book...loved every moment of it. And, while I knew it was a work of fiction, it made me do more research into my beliefs and what I'd always been taught. So for me, it became a catalyst to learn more about Christ.

    What is amazing to me is the uproar in the Christian community about this book. It's a novel...why is everyone getting in a wad about it? The responses to it (such as posted above numerous times), makes it look like there IS something to hide.

  15. #15
    CaptainAmerica Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Everyone is getting in a wad about it, because although it says FICTION on the label, only the extra literates read the label, everyone else says, hmmmm that guy is reading it, and reads it to, without reading the FICTION label. I havent personally read it, but i am sure it is also presented as Pure and simple fact in the book, instead of the fictional tone that i look for in FICTION books

  16. #16
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    1. I had to make multiple posts to present all of my information. 1 post is restricted to only so many characters.

    2. Dan Brown has already stated that his goal is to try to sway people away from the church. In the book (I've read it), and in the movie he pruposely distorts the truth, and does so in a way to deceive people.

    3. The impact this book has had? Well, several ministers and one of the leaders of Campus Crusade for Christ stepped down after reading the book, saying they weren't sure of their faith any longer.

  17. #17
    {la_resistance} Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    I haven't read but dear old Mom has. She says that it is presented in a decent manner as a fiction book yet the verbiage somehow pulls
    the novel in a nonfiction direction. As for the Gnostics, I don't remember them being nonchristian I do remember them having some weird quircks....well looks like its time to fact check-sorry Patrick.

  18. #18
    CaptainAmerica Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Fact check Fact check

    Definition of Gnostics from google's wonderful define:

    Christian and non-Christian groups of the second and third centuries. Although there were many types, they all seemed to think that the individual can obtain spiritual liberation from the bodily world of ignorance and illusion through gnosis or insight and identification with the divine. Their ideas challenged the unity of the church because they denied the goodness of creation and the humanity of Jesus Christ.

  19. #19
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Thanks Captain America. You saved me the trouble of having to go get the definition.

  20. #20
    CaptainAmerica Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    No problem ill do it anytime, although i would like it if the person challenging any defintion given, gave their definition.

  21. #21
    {la_resistance} Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    I will:
    the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis.

    Thankyou Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia

    Sorry Patrick, but I was raised to fact check if there is a doubt.

    And to CA I was gone tonight at a comedy show at OU.

  22. #22
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Quote Originally Posted by {la_resistance}
    I will:
    the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis.

    Thankyou Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia

    Sorry Patrick, but I was raised to fact check if there is a doubt.

    And to CA I was gone tonight at a comedy show at OU.

    Hopefully, you'll be around here in 2 years for the next presidential election, so you can do all the fact checking for us!

  23. #23
    {la_resistance} Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    I did that in last years' election and burned myself out....There's a lot of crap to weed through. But hopefully I will feel like this guy>>>>>>>:tweeted:

  24. #24
    {la_resistance} Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    arg...I can't use the smiley i want...

  25. #25
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Da vinci Code

    Quote Originally Posted by {la_resistance}
    arg...I can't use the smiley i want...

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