Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Debunking Da Vinci Code # 1

Yesterday I introduced The Da Vinci Code for those who aren't familiar with the book. Today I begin a series of blogs to debunk the false claims of this book (and upcoming movie).
If there is a religious message in The Da Vinci Code, it is this: you can experience God through sex, so worship the “sacred feminine,” for the Holy Grail is actually Mary Magdalene, who was the wife of Jesus Christ.
Such claims distort the Bible’s teaching that sexual union is expressed with joy and satisfaction that is pleasing to God only within the bonds of a marriage commitment, a union which resembles the marrage of Jesus to the church, not Jesus to Mary Magdalene (Ephesians 5:22-33).
The Da Vinci Code claims that the marriage of Jesus Christ to Mary Magdalene is a matter of “historical record.” On page 246 the book cites The Gospel of Philip, which says Jesus kissed Mary of Magdalene, his “companion.” What the book fails to mention is that this was a heretical gospel written over two hundred years after the time of Christ, and of all the hundreds of Christian and pseudo-Christian writings of the early centuries, this is the only passage that even implies Jesus had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene. One questionable passage by a late “gospel” with an heretical agenda is hardly a matter of “historical record.”

5 comments:

Bloodiest of Ladies said...

Pardon my ignorance, but I'd be interested to know when each of the books of the Bible (capitalised for politeness sake) were completed. I think I recall hearing (or, more likely reading) that some were written quite a time after Jesus lived.

There are other books that would likely suggest a romantic relationship between Jesus and Mary. One being "The Nag-hammadi Scrolls" written by a Jewish sect called the Essines (pardon the spelling) which at the time of Jesus were on equal but seperate standing with the Sadducess and the Parashes.

In the opinion of some theologens (again pardon the spelling) Jesus himself was a Essine becase of the similarities between his teachings and theirs.

One might also say the Bible is among the books which suggests a relationship between them. Jesus was, many times in the Gospels, called "Rabbi". To be considered a Rabbi in the Jewish temple one must be married.

And not to sound as though I'm addressing this with a mean or spiteful spirit, but there are many things in the Bible which are mentioned only once. They are commonly spoken about as fact. I've, more than once, had to pull out a dictionary and show someone the definition of the word "know". You've a beautiful 'voice' for writing, but the end sounded a bit like "My fantasy is better than yours".

Brother Bob said...

Trudy,
1. There is not space enough here to discuss the dates of all 66 books of the Bible, but I will assume that you are mainly interested in the four gospels. Of course, there are different opinions between conservative and more liberal Bible scholars, but the evidence points to Mark being written first, in the 60's A.D., and Matthew and Luke written around A.D. 70-80, and John written after A.D. 90. Liberal scholars used to insist that John was written much later in the second or even third century, but then a papyrus fragment of John was found in a remote village in Egypt dated about A.D. 125. For this gospel to have traveled to this area of Egypt by that date, means John must have been written near the end of the first century, and most scholars agree the other gospels were written earlier than John. In contrast, all of the gnostic pseudo-gospels referred to in "The Da Vinci Code" are second, third and fourth century writings.
2. You've got things mixed up about the Nag Hammadi Scrolls.
These were scrolls found in Egypt, written in Coptic, dating from the fourth century or later, and were a library of Gnostic writings. Thus these scrolls were not written at the time of Jesus, they were not written by Essenes, and thus they were not Jewish writings.
3. Some people have compared John the Baptist to the Essenes, because of his isolationist tendencies, but Jesus actually had much more in common with the Pharisees than the Essenes.
4. There is one interesting connection between Jesus and the Essenes, however. You insist that Jewish rabbis had to be married. However, Essenes valued being single and their rabbis could be unmarried. Jesus was certainly not a "typical" Jewish rabbi, and violated many social norms by his revolutionary teaching, so it's not unrealistic to think Jesus would not follow the common (though not univesal) practice of rabbis being married.
I hope this clarifies some of your questions.

Bloodiest of Ladies said...

You're right, I buggared the ref there, although I'm just about sure I've read somewhere that the NH's were believed (at least) to have been written by the Essenes. That'll teach me to debate you with only the information I keep stored brainway, eh?

But in the defense of my ever-floundering pride, I didn't suggest that they were written at the time of Jesus.

My point with the question about the books of the Bible was that many were written very late (I believe, I will stop stating things to be known to me unless I actually concern myself to go look them up now....) I don't know about as late as the Gospels presented in the NH's but late nonetheless. Yet, there is no question called to them.

I don't know enough about the sects to decide which Jesus would have had more in common with, I've just heard different people mention that he had tendancies in common with the Essenes.

(A side note on that one. I love John the Baptist!! He's written to have had a wonderful personality.)

O.k. hold on a moment here. I didn't 'insist' anything. And pleae don't do that. I stated a common rule, that you agreed with. If there were exceptions, which I assumed there were or the idea of a celibate Christ wouldn't have lasted this long, then state them, you did, very good. I've posted my thoughts (however poorly put together) here in open space, for you and anyone else who cares to dissect and correct. But I posted them how I meant them to be taken. I use the English language well, and if I'd meant to 'insist' anything the statement would have been "I insist..."

Brother Bob said...

Trudy,
You said, "To be considered a Rabbi in the Jewish temple one must be married."
With the use of the word "must," I must insist that you were insisting. ;)

Bloodiest of Ladies said...

I think it's probably unreasonable how much I laughed at that. But you don't get to insist that I was insisting!! :) O.k. if I must insist something (oh no I said must again) I insist that I'm going to go and find those books this morning, since it seems I didn't do it yesterday. Boy, I'm an insistant sort.