Is The Da Vinci Code True?
Part II – Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church, the Bible
It never fails to astound me that the claims of the Da Vinci Code are still floating around and being touted as true in certain circles. After all, scholars and historians have had a field day with this book showing that its “facts” are either horribly skewed or entirely erroneous altogether. Let’s look at a few of its common myths against Christianity.
What the Da Vinci Code claims: Jesus was a mere man, not God or the Son of God. It wasn’t until the year 325 A.D. that the emperor Constantine made Jesus divine by a vote at the Council of Nicaea. Before Constantine, everyone held that Jesus was human, not divine.
What the real truth is: This assertion is completely unfounded and easily disprovable. It’s difficult to imagine where Dan Brown could deduce this conclusion from. Certainly not from history. Certainly not from the writings of the earliest Christians who are crystal clear on the matter. The real fact is that belief in Jesus’ divinity was unanimous until the 300’s when a rebellious priest, named Arius, broke from that belief (Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 8, Pg. 14-15). His heresy of making Jesus a creature was the first belief to change what had always been held. That is why the Council of Nicaea was started – to deal with Arius and his corrupt doctrine (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1989, vol. 1, Pg. 549, 557). Even non-Christian pagans in Jesus’ day knew that His followers believed Him to be divine.
Belief in the divinity of Jesus goes back to the first century Bible times. Here are a few passages from the Bible demonstrating the divinity of Jesus (Jn. 1:1, 5:17-18, 20:28; Heb. 1:8; and Col. 2:9). Still doubt it? Read the writings of the earliest Christians. The history is black and white.
What the Da Vinci Code claims: At the Council of Nicaea, Constantine (with the Catholic Church) created a new Bible, only choosing those books which made Jesus a god while removing and destroying the rest.
What the real truth is: Dan Brown’s complete lack of historical knowledge shines through brilliantly here. The Council at Nicaea had nothing to do with choosing the books of the Bible or its canon. That particular council would not take place for another 50 years. The list of Biblical books would not be decided upon officially until the Catholic Councils of Hippo in 393 A.D. and Carthage in 397 A.D. with no help from Constantine (Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 2, pg. 194; Encyclopedia Britannica, 1989; vol. 14, pg 814). The most prominent early church historian, Eusebius also affirms these same facts in his work, “Church History.”
The Catholic Church used certain criteria for choosing the specific books that would make up the canon of the Bible while rejecting others.. They are as follows:
1. They had to be written within the first century, the apostolic age, the time eye-witnesses were still around (which rules out all Gnostic Gospels)
2. The authors of the manuscripts had to be known and authenticated. They couldn’t just have the “name” of an apostle on there.
3. The manuscripts could not contradict anything that had been taught or passed down since the time of Jesus and the Apostles. The teachings contained within had to be in line with the oral tradition faithfully passed preserved and passed on.
Dan Brown makes no bones about his feelings toward the Catholic Church for rejecting the Gnostic Gospels. However, to show what kind of “Gospels” these are, here is a quote from the “Gospel” of Thomas; “Simon Peter said to them, ‘Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life. Jesus said, ‘I myself shall lead her in order to make her a male, so that she may too become a living spirit resembling you males; for every women who will make herself male will enter into the kingdom of heaven’” (vs. 114).
Women have to become men to get to heaven? It should be obvious as to why the Church rejected this book and others like it.
What the Da Vinci Code claims: Constantine invented the Catholic Church to obtain power around the year 325 A.D.. The Emperor Constantine made Christianity what it is today.
What the real truth is: Not really Mr. Brown. The truth is that the Catholic Church traces its history and lineage back to the time of Jesus, not Constantine (Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 12 pg. 490). It doesn’t take a scholar to observe these historical facts. Look in almost any Encyclopedia under P for “pope” or “papacy,” and there will be a list of 264 popes in chronological order going back to Peter the Apostle, the first pope. In fact, history shows that there were over 30 Catholic popes long before Constantine was even thought of by his mother.
One could also research the catacombs, the underground burial chambers in Italy where the earliest Christians used to worship to escape persecution. These catacombs are filled with dead popes and bishops who were buried there and a whole host of Catholic art and writings which demonstrate that Catholics were around long before Constantine.
Moreover, we have the witness of countless church leaders, bishops, priests and laymen, all Catholics, and all who were around long before Constantine. Anyone can research their writings which are available in libraries or on-line. It doesn’t take much research at all to discover the truth. Here are just a few of the early Catholic leaders: Ignatius (Bishop of Antioch, 1st century), Justin Martyr (2nd century), Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyons), Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Hippolytus of Rome, Cyprian (Bishop of Carthage) and many more. Again, the history is back and white.
What the Da Vinci Code claims: Constantine gained control and power by mixing Pagan religions and Christianity together creating a hybrid religion. The miter, altars, doxology, and the act of “god eating” all came from pagan mystery religions.
What the real truth is: Yes, the Catholic Church did Christianize some pagan things, discarding the inconsistent parts. However, it is important to note that the Catholic Christian faith evolved from the Jewish religion, not paganism. So, candles, the doxology, altars, incense and other things cited above that critics call “pagan” actually came from Judaism. These holy things are all over the Bible, for example; i.e. Is. 6:6; Ex. 25:29; Rev. 6:9, 5:8, 8:3, etc.
What the Da Vinci Code claims: The Knights Templar were formed to protect the secret of the Holy Grail. When they became wealthy and powerful threat against the Vatican, Pope Clement V convicted them and burned them all as heretics.
What the real truth is: The Knights Templar were the militaristic arm of the Catholic Church who protected pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. Dr. Helen Nicholson, a Templar Historian, states that the Templars were a military institution founded in 1120 A.D. to serve God by defending other Christians. She affirmed that the Templars had no Grail secret, and that the pope himself found no credible evidence of heresy. In 1314, he dropped all charges. (Interviewed on Discovery Times Channel documentary).
It is widely known that the wicked King Phillip IV actually wiped out the Templars in the night using military force. So much for Dan Brown and his baseless conspiracy theories.
Is the Da Vinci Code True?
Well, it is sad that this blog section on the Da Vinci Code is complete, and yet, I have barely scratched the surface on the blunders of this book. There are literally countless other claims that could be addressed, but they are the same old thing. Books like this concoct whole theories out of weak evidence and a lot of guesswork. Saying that people “stole the information,” or “burned it all,” or “killed everyone who knew about it,” while at the same time providing no credible sources is dishonest at best. So, when someone asks you, is the Da Vinci Code true, you will know what to respond.