A Coptic Christian Focused response to “The Da Vinci Code”
Since its release in 2003 as a book followed by a major Hollywood movie released in 2006, Fifty million hardback copies of “The Da Vinci Code” have sold. Seven million paperback copies also are now in circulation.
“The Da Vinci Code,” a movie from Sony Pictures is based on a bestselling novel by Dan Brown to attack the doctrines of the deity of Christ, the reliability of the gospels, and the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
The Da Vinci Code movie also claims that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had a child whose descendants are still alive.
In both the book and the movie, the central character is one who does not appear in either, and that is Jesus Christ.
Because of that, many of our friends and bystanders continue talking about who Jesus is and why He came. Many of our acquaintances employ seeing, perhaps for the first time, an explanation about who Jesus is and why He matters, and our vast concern is that the entire story manifested in this movie is a lie.
The interest in this book and movie should remind us that there is a spiritual battle continue going on right now, not only between darkness and light, and between the lie and the truth, but also between death and life. Our numerous concern, therefore, should not be simply that people might be confused, but that people would be deceived and kept captive by a story that is an anti-Gospel, a false gospel, the very thing that the Apostle Paul warned against when he said, “If I or even an angel were to come to you preaching any other gospel, let him be anathema.”
So what was the exceptional story, according to “The Da Vinci Code?” Dan Brown pens that Jesus Christ was a mortal teacher, that He was crucified, but that before He died He married Mary Magdalene and had a child with her. Following the crucifixion, Mary Magdalene and the child believably went to Gaul, which is now named France, and instituted the Merovingian royal dynasty.
The Da Vinci Code: Constantine The Christianity Founder Theory
Essentially, Dan Brown wants you to accept, or at least he has written a novel to suggest, that Christianity is based upon a huge lie, that the original historical truth about this mortal prophet was buried by Emperor Constantine in A.D. 325 to bolster the power of his regime. And thus, Christians throughout the ages have been engaged in an exercise of mass delusion.
Yet The Da Vinci Code ignore the facts, as the four gospels remained in circulation among the Christian communities and used in worship in the first century. St. Ireneous mentioned them before the oldest copy of Nag Hammadi was ever drafted.
Now, it is the church’s responsibility to anathematize. That is something we don’t argue about very much, and clearly to declare as false anything which stands against the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. We live in a harmonious age when people want to nod, smile appreciatively at everything, and not pass judgment on anything. Amid such an age, though, the church is commanded to say “no” and to identify the false as false. Otherwise we cannot truly honor the truth.
The Da Vinci Code: The Bible is a product of man
Leigh Teabing says: “The Bible is a product of man, my dear, not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds, man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times and it has evolved through countless translations, editions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.”
This is one of those insidious assertions that makes sense only to sinners because in effect, that one paragraph has just indicated that we do not have to take the Bible as the Word of God. It is just a human-composed document, says the “Da Vinci Code” book.
The truth is, the Holy Bible is the only book owning the handwriting of God by His fingers. The Book of Exodus reveals this truth: “When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.” Exodus 31:18, NIV; see also Exodus 34:1-2; Exodus 34: 28.
Moreover, the fulfillment of the prophecies points out to its divine origin. For example, it is very prominent in the Gospel of St. Matthew to find the representation, All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet and related expressions as in (Matthew 1:22; 2:15; 2:23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35; 21:4; 27:35, NIV). Such evidence to the prophecies of the Old Testament, as being fulfilled precisely in the New Testament, leads to profound convection of the Godly revelation of the Holy Bible.
“For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:21
The Da Vinci Code: Eighty Gospels Were Considered For The New Testament. Four Were Chosen
Teabing goes on: “Understandably, his [Jesus] life was recorded by thousands of followers across the land. More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relative few were chosen for inclusion — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John among them.”
First of all, there are only five of what so-called gospels in Nag Hammadi writings, not 80 as Dan Brown claimed. The early church did not accept these writings as they did not bound with the canonization standards.
Besides, the so-called Nag Hammadi library has been discovered in 1945 near Nag Hammadi in Egypt. The oldest copy of these writings was written after 150 AC. Most of these writings have been written between 200 AC – 300 AC. By the 100 AC, all the New Testament have been compiled, more than 50 years before the oldest copy of Nag Hammadi writings.
Jesus’ life was not recorded by “thousands of followers.” Most of the people who lived during that time were illiterate, and they were not going home and writing down gospels or biographies of Jesus.
Moreover, the assertion that some sort of committee considered 80 gospels and chose a few — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John among them — is nonsense. There simply was no committee that sat down with 80 gospels and said, “We like this one, but we don’t like that one.” Such an assertion has no basis whatsoever.
The Bible has been written through 1500 years by more than 40 writers with different cultural backgrounds. Some of them were kings like David and Solomon, shepherd as Amos, a priest as Zechariah, prophets as Samuel and Isaiah, lawmaker as Moses, army general as Joshua, fisherman as Peter and John, philosopher as Paul and physician as Luke.
The Canonization of the New Testament books was completed in the first century. This was long before Constantine to become an emperor and the oldest copy of the Gnostic writings to be written.
The four gospels were in circulation among the Christian communities and used in worship in the first century. St. Ireneous mentioned them before the oldest copy of Nag Hammadi was written.
Moreover, there are only five of what so-called gospels in Nag Hammadi writings, not 80 as Dan Brown claimed. The early church did not accept these writings as they did not with the canonization standards
Furthermore, the Bible has been written in different places. It was written in Sinai desert, Judea wilderness, the cave of Edlam, the prison of Rome, the island of Patmos, the palaces of Zion, the bank of Babylon’s rivers and Jerusalem after its restoration.
If you can imagine a library of 73 books written in such a wide period with such diversities of time, places, and culture and still have the harmony and unity between their pages, it would be only Gods Book, the Holy Bible.
The Da Vinci Code: Jesus Not the Son of God? Right!
Teabing said. “Jesus’s establishment as the Son of God was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325,” Teabing added. ‘Many scholars claim that the early church stole Jesus from His original followers, hijacking his human methods, shrouding it in an impenetrable cloak of divinity, and using it to expand their power.
He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father, who is in heaven.'”
There could not be a bigger historical lie. That council is one for which Christians ought to be very thankful, for it was there that the church identified heresy as heresy and preserved the Gospel of Christ.
In the early fourth century there arose a presbyter in the church of Alexandria by the name of Arius, who began to teach that Jesus Christ was not the pre-existent Son of God, but that there once was a time when the Son was not.
On the other side of the controversy was a bishop named Athanasius. Here was a man who understood the truth, and who also understood that his responsibility as a shepherd of the sheep was to warn his people about this false teaching.
At one point, one of Athanasius’s advisers said to him, “Athanasius, the entire world is against you.” In reply, Athanasius said, “Well, if the entire world is against Athanasius, then Athanasius will be against the entire world.”
In Latin, Athanasius’ phrase has been summarized as “Contra Mundum,” “against the world.” Surely that is one of the greatest statements in the history of Christianity, and Christians should feel invigorated by the courage of Athanasius. If necessary, Contra Mundum, against the world! If the world is against the Gospel, then the world will have to understand that we must be against the world.
The bishops of the church came together, adopted a creed to separate the truth from the error, and of the more than 300 bishops in attendance at the Council of Nicea, only two refused to sign that creed. By any measure, three hundred to two is not a close vote.
Da Vinci Code vs. Coptic Orthodox Christians
The Da Vince Code #1 :: How do you know that Jesus was never married?
There is no wife at the cross; it is Jesus’ mother, and she is given into the care of one of His disciples. The entire context there is of one who was not married. Also, of course, had Jesus truly been married, it is impossible not to recorded and reported by the enemies of the Gospel, as well as by its friends.
The historian will need to consider any evidence suggesting Jesus was married as well as evidence that he was single.
Brown provides two strands of evidence. He first cites the gospel of Phillip and describes a Jesus who loves Mary more than all the disciples. He adds that the gospel of Phillip refers to Mary as “the companion of the Savior” and that every Aramaic scholar agrees that the word “companion” means “spouse.”
First, the gospel of Phillip is a Gnostic gospel that is dated to the late second century at the earliest. That is about a hundred years after the last of the New Testament Gospels had been written.
Moreover, the lone existing manuscript of the gospel of Phillip is dated to the fourth century and, due to several holes in it, words are missing. To get a text that supports his thesis, Brown reconstructed the text, adding words that are absent from the manuscript.
The Da Vince Code #2 :: The Coptic “koinonos” Doesn’t Mean “Spouse”
A second problem concerns the word “companion.” The gospel of Phillip was written in Coptic, not Aramaic. And the Coptics had borrowed the Greek word employed here for companion (koinonos), which usually meant friend, colleague rather than “spouse.”
When “The Da Vinci Code” claims that “the early Jewish tradition involved ritualistic sex…. in the temple,” why didn’t the author mention how inconsistent this was with God’s Seventh Commandment (“You shall not commit adultery,” Exodus 20:14), which was given before the Jews even had a tabernacle or temple for worship?
The Da Vince Code #3 :: Where is The Apostle John
The other strand of evidence Brown provides is Leonardo da Vinci’s rendition of “The Last Supper,” in which the person standing next to Jesus, usually thought to be the disciple John, instead is said to be Mary Magdalene. Leonardo supposedly is clueing his viewers to the marital relationship between Jesus and Mary.
First, if the character standing next to Jesus is indeed Mary Magdalene, then we are left with one of the 12 disciples missing. Furthermore, even if Leonardo believed Jesus had been married to Mary Magdalene, how much weight should a sober historian award to the unsupported belief of a Renaissance artist who lived more than 1,500 years after Jesus? It certainly should not be preferred over historical reports written within a generation or two of Jesus.
Now, If “The Last Supper” painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, the person at the right hand of Jesus is not the Apostle John but Mary Magdalene, then where is John? He was the most beloved disciple. Is he then left out of the picture?
So what is the evidence for a single Jesus? Ancient documents make no specific statement that Jesus was single. Is what is written about Jesus more consistent with a married or single Jesus? Although Jesus is said to have a mother, father, brothers, sisters, a cousin (John the Baptist), and 12 disciples, he never is mentioned as having a wife.
The Da Vince Code #4 :: Jesus Entrusted The Care Of His Mother Mary. And Not His Wife?
Moreover, according to John’s Gospel, while on the cross Jesus entrusted the care of his mother to his beloved disciple. John also reports that Mary Magdalene was there, too. However, no further plans were made for her care. This would be very odd if she was Jesus’ wife.
The Da Vince Code #5 :: Paul Deafening Silence
The most powerful evidence that Jesus was single comes from a deafening silence. In 1 Corinthians 9:5 Paul writes, “Do we [i.e., Paul and Barnabas] not have a right to take along a believing wife, as do the rest of the apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Peter?” It appears that all of Jesus’ disciples, all of his blood brothers, and even the lead apostle, Peter, were married. If Jesus had been married to Mary, we certainly would expect Paul to have mentioned it here, since it would have provided the ultimate example for his point.
The ‘Da Vinci Code’ Heretical Inheritance
The great problem is that our spiritual enemy, Satan, has no problem clouding the minds of people to the point that they will accept this work of fiction as truth and at the same time reject the Word of God. We are in a spiritual battle which is manifesting itself in the debate over “The Da Vince Code.”
What we are experiencing now in the modern age is that the old heresies are coming up all over again. It is a bit like rewinding history, and all the ancient heresies that were tried long ago, opposed by the church, and declared by the church to be false, they are coming back.
The way the world views Jesus Christ is not primarily dependent upon Hollywood and what it says or does. The world will formulate its feelings about Jesus by looking at His People and how we follow Him.
The Da Vince Code | Who is the author Dan Brown?
Dan Brown is an American author who constantly attacked the Catholic Church. In all his novels, Dan Brown centers on secret associations and groups who know of the truth that disclaims the official proclaimed lies. He also focuses on the apparent change of the members of these groups to murderers and assassinators. Out of this tendency arises his novel especially in his novel “Angels and Demons”.
It is finicky to disassociate the author of Da Vinci Code from the Masons. He adopts their views in the secret associations which fuel his novels. He also embeds many beliefs of the Masons in the tongues of his movie characters. The Masons fight every religion and are idiosyncratic in their darkness. The Masons, which implies the free builders, don’t submit to a belief in God or any prophets.
The Da Vince Code | Who is Mary Magdalene?
She is from Magdal. Christ healed her by releasing her from seven devils that possessed her. Mary was one of the ladies who served him in Galilee (Luke 8:1-2). She was present during the crucifixion. St. Mark says that Jesus Christ appeared to her first after his resurrection when she visited the tomb and found it empty. (Mark 16:9). The apostle John appends that Christ gave her a message to carry to the brothers (John 20 11-18).
After Christs’ resurrection, Magdalene continued in the service of the apostles. Mary received the Holy Spirit and appointed by the apostles as a deaconess to teach the women and aid in their baptism. Magdalene suffered great persecution and many outrages at the hands of the Jews. In the book of her apostolic life it is reported that she has sailed from Palestine to France where she lived a life of prayer on the outskirts of the city. The narrative mentions that she has followed the apostle John to Ephesus where she departed and was buried in a cave.
The remains of Magdalene were transported from one place to the other. Mary Magdalene remains is now in a church in France. Her hair is in the monastery of the Virgin Mary in the Shehet Syrian Monastery. Many Christian seek this monastery to seek the blessing of this apostolic servant who reposed in peace while in the service of the disciples. The Coptic Orthodox Church commemorates her departure on the 4th of August.
Delivered to you by COPTICNN™ | Coptic News Network on 2020-05-27 from California, United States of America
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