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The DaVinci Code

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Master Vigil, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone read this book? It's great!!! It talks about how constantine ruined the christian church by deifying christ. And how the early christians only thought of him as a man. But constantine threw out most of the gospels and wrote his own, creating a male dominant religion instead of a goddess worshipping christianity as jesus wanted it. It was an amazing idea, and it made me think... I know that constantine fused pagan and christian ideas together during the council of nicaea, I wonder what else he did?
     
  2. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Uhhhhhhh Master....... you do realize it is a FICTIONAL book, right?
     
  3. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    Yeah, it's fiction, but he did draw on some real life theories and ideas which made it all the more interesting, IMO. As I've said before, I really enjoyed the book, and will be reading Angels and Demons when I can find the time.
     
  4. dolly

    dolly Member

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    If I remember right, it's also based on manuscripts with questionable crediblity.
     
  5. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    I liked the book too and realise it`s fiction but it led me to check out some of the things he writes about.

    Much of which is on target but..much of which is way off base too.

    He stretches some facts pretty far but it is fiction...
     
  6. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    Just some but not all.

    It depends on your point of view.

    if you are Catholic the gnostic gospels cannot be credible because the Church says they aren`t.

    As an atheist and someone who studies religious texts I don`t see how they are any less credible than the 4 gospels in the NT other than the fact that Constantines Nicene council said they weren`t.
     
  7. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    linwood,
    You're too smart to get duped by this book...... you must not have done much research. Science and logic are thown out the window by Mr. Brown.... can't imagine you have much respect for this kind of "history"

    http://www.catholic.com/library/cracking_da_vinci_code.asp

    The author's web page (www.danbrown.com) lists a partial bibliography for the book, including titles such as:
    • Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln
    • The Messianic Legacy by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln
    • The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh
    • The Goddess in the Gospels: Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine by Margaret Starbird
    • The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail by Margaret Starbird
    • The Templar Revelation: Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince
    • Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
    • When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone
    • The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future by Riane Eisler
    These titles represent works of New Age speculation that run counter to established history, focus on alleged secret societies and conspiracy theories, attempt to reinterpret the Christian faith, and are imbued with radical feminist agendas. Historians and religious scholars do not take these works seriously.

    The author of The Da Vinci Code does take them seriously. As the list reveals, he is particularly dependent on the works by Margaret Starbird and the trio of authors Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. An additional, particularly important source for Brown is the book The Templar Revelation.


    Do some more reading on that link above....... you don't have to be Catholic to doubt this kind of garbage.

    Scott
     
  8. dolly

    dolly Member

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    No, I mean historically inaccurate. http://answers.org/issues/davincicode.html

    Eh. As far as I'm concerned, it is a badly written fiction novel. The characterization isn't that good, the pacing sucks, etc. It is if he wanted to write a nonfiction but knew it's sources weren't good, so he tried to pull off a fiction. It just doesn't work, IMO.
     
  9. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    oh..no.

    I believe the book is absolute fiction Scott I don`t consider it any type of history reference.

    I don`t buy into his particular conspiracy theory whatsoever as he lays it out.

    His theories are not supportable but they were fun and to me thats what fiction is about.

    I can see how it would upset someone who believes in the institutions he was involving but it`s not difficult for me to believe the Catholic Church hasn`t always been on the up & up with it`s statements and doctrine and would go to great lengths to hide truths.

    That pretty much a proven fact in more than one affair .

    My appreciation for the book came from the fact that it was a fast paced thriller and some of his references led me to investigate some things I had no knowledge of before such as the Masons and the Knights Templar.

    His book also led me to certain parts of the Gnostic Gospels and I think it`s a good thing for people to see that in the beginning of Christianity there were many differences among the believers.
    Differences like the OP has pointed out..that the Gnostics gave women an equal footing in the church while the Orthadoxy gave them a subserviant role.

    I will admit that sadly many people who read this book will do what I accuse many Christians of doing with the Bible and that is to merely read it and take it as truth without any reflection or study at all.
     
  10. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    To begin with I find the idea of a Christian apologist giving a critique of any books historical accuracy absolutely hilarious.
    He also misleads a bit...

    Odd..the last time I was in Barnes & Nobles there was a HUGE section with nothing but Bibles in it.
    Since this is exactly what the writers and publishers themselves say of the Bible I`d say this guy is being a bit more than hypocritical.

    I`m not saying all Christianity was originally matriarchal but saying ALL Christianity was originally patriarchal is patently untrue.

    Many Gnostic sects gave equal time on the pulpit to women as well as men.
    I cannot find a single instance in Valentinian Gnosticism where anybody is actually running the sect man or woman.

    Read the Gospel of Mary and tell me Mary isn`t an equal among the apostles sitting at that campfire.

    Of course you could argue that Valentinus himself led the sect but he didn`t seem to put himself above anyone else in any sense other than that he had progressed further on his spiritual journey than others.

    I will agree that Dan Brown is more than shady for having put a dsiclaimer of fact at the beginning of his book.

    He is wrong for asserting that his work is fact, I had not thouth of this objection to it because it has been awhile since I read it and I took it as complete fiction.
     
  11. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    linwood,

    Have you done a lot of research about the Gnostic heretics? Are you sure?
    "Matter is evil!" was the cry of the Gnostics. This idea was borrowed from certain Greek philosophers. It stood against Catholic teaching, not only because it contradicts Genesis 1:31 ("And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good") and other scriptures, but because it denies the Incarnation. If matter is evil, then Jesus Christ could not be true God and true man, for Christ is in no way evil. Thus many Gnostics denied the Incarnation, claiming that Christ only appeared to be a man, but that his humanity was an illusion. Some Gnostics, recognizing that the Old Testament taught that God created matter, claimed that the God of the Jews was an evil deity who was distinct from the New Testament God of Jesus Christ. They also proposed belief in many divine beings, known as "aeons," who mediated between man and the ultimate, unreachable God. The lowest of these aeons, the one who had contact with men, was supposed to be Jesus Christ.
    Women in leadership positions are a historical FACT in the CATHOLIC Church. Mary's influence has been the subject of several Catholic books...... suprised you don't know that reading about Valentinian....
    You must be reading a summary of someone elses research...... Gnostics did not have anyone running the sect because matter (ALL HUMANS) were evil....... women+men equally EVIL........ oh yeah..... that sounds JUST like the Christian Gospel.

    Linwood...... you gotta read some stuff for yourself and not just take quips from questionable sources.

    Peace,
    Scott
     
  12. civilcynic

    civilcynic Member

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    The main thing that I felt was thought-provoking about the book was the concept of Jesus being married. It is true that during that time period, Jewish men of Jesus' age were married....Not being married was very, very unusual........any thoughts?
     
  13. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    I`ve read English translations of many of the Gnostic Gospels ( not all of them) themselves and yes I have read a few books on what others thought of them.

    Just as I have the Bible.

    Your opposition to the Gnostics is based in your current beliefs and echo some of the same reasoning the Orthodoxy used to proclaim them heretics.

    The belief that all matter is evil doesn`t seem such a stretch to me considering the Christians today teach that all humans are born into sin.

    Sin, Evil, the difference is relative.

    You have to remember Scott I don`t give the Gnostics anymore validity than I do orthadoxy, I`m an Atheist, I think you`re both wrong.

    :)

    The truth of the matter is that many of the very first people to call themselves followers of Christ believed in these gospels.
    Just because Catholic canon denies them as heretics doesn`t make their beliefs invalid.
    Just because they didn`t see him as you do doesn`t make their beliefs invalid.
    Yes both were equally evil..EQUALLY...not like the Christian ideology today where woman bears the greater burden of original sin.
    The overall point is that men were not seen as superior to women as in todays Christian dogma...they were equals.

    You are relating orthadox Christian dogma to Gnostic Christian dogma and yes they are worlds apart.
    The Gnostics didn`t see the same things in the text as orthodoxy does they did`t believe the trinity, the did`t see Jesus as God himself and yes they thought God had female attributes.
    Many of them disagreed with each other as Christians do today.

    Really?
    Paul himself forbid women to speak in a Church, arguably the wives of the clergy.
    If the wives of the clergy had no voice then how can the female clergy have a voice?

    Oh..wait..I forgot, there is no female clergy.
    Why is that?

    I`ve been to quite a few Catholic masses in my lifetime and I have never..not once..seen a woman at the altar.
    I`ve never seen a woman give sacrament, I`ve never seen a woman give Mass.

    The leadership roles for women are inequitable, a woman can never bring herself to any position of power even close to that a man can.
    You can`t even argue this point until there is a woman cardinal giving Mass.

    When discussing the Gnostic Gospels I don`t think the documents found at Nag Hammadi are considered "questionable" sources by any biblical scholar.
    I have been reading these documents in their English translations

    I read alot of stuff, if John Ashcroft had knowledge of the contents of my library the black helicopters would be hovering over my house right now.
    :)

    The difference between what I read and what you read is that when I read something I don`t have to filter it through Catholic canon before I retain it.

    "Knowledge will bring enlightenment!!" was another cry of the Gnostics.
    The whole theology was based on a heirarchy of enlightenment, the more "truth" they became aware of the more spiritually powerful you became.

    Perhaps I am a bit biased towards these disowned Christians much of their dogma mirrors my own beliefs.
     
  14. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    I don`t have a problem with it but..I`m an atheist.
    :)

    There are some parts of the Gnostic Gospels that heavily alude to a physical relationship between them which is one of the reasons the Gnostics were seen as heretics to the orthadox church leaders.

    The Gospel of Mary makes mention of Jesus loving her more than the other apostles.

    Another gospel speaks of Jesus kissing her on the lips don`t recall which one offhand.
     
  15. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    Actually there is a large difference between sin and evil. Sin is a transgression against God, Evil is a mental state.

    The wives were forbidden from contradicting the clergy in church.

    I believe that it is tradition, the apostles were all male, ordained priests (apostalistic successors) are male. Correct me if I'm wrong SOGFPP
     
  16. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    Thats not what Paul said, thats your interpretation of what Paul said.
    Paul said women should not speak out in church...period.

    He didn`t even specify that this only pertained to clergy it is simply assumed since he was speaking to the clergy at the time.
    This means a reasonable argument could be made to show that Paul didn`t think any woman should speak out in church.

    Hardly a tolerant point of view.

    Again we`re fluxed by our personal understandings of the Bible Mr.Emu
    :)

    But since you mention it the edict to forbid contradiction is the swan song of the pursuit of knowledge.
    If you cannot question you cannot learn.
    If you cannot learn then you are trapped into simply repeating what is told to you as if it is truth without really knowing anything about it.

    That is exactly the point..it`s Orthadox tradition not Gnostic tradition.
    The Gospel of Mary is a great argument that some early Christians saw Mary herself fas one of the apostles.
    She was an equal among them.

    You cannot judge the Mormon church by the edicts of the Lutheran sects.
    This is what you are doing when you judge the Gnostics by the Canon of the Catholics.

    They are two distinct different points of view.

    For a person who holds them both to be myth they are equally valid
    That is someone who is judging them by each seperate philosophy that they espoused not by the philosophy of their detractors.
     
  17. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    1 Cor. 14:34-36

    The verse taken in context clearly shows the meaning to be questioning the clergy. Such as Are you really speaking the word of God? or Does the word of God come only to you?

    No there is a thing called context. When you take words out of it they can mean anything.

    Never said it was gnostic tradition, you ask why only men could be priests(I thought you were reffering to orthodoxy). The answer is tradition.

    If you look at different Math books, 4 of them say 1+1=2, then you look at another one and all of the sudden you read 1+1=3, are you going to start believing that 1+1=3? Take out all the religiousness of the gosples, and you have the life of a man named Jesus. If four versions have 12 apostles, and one has 13, the one is wrong not the four.

    She was equal, just not one of the twelve apostles.
     
  18. Feathers in Hair

    Feathers in Hair World's Tallest Hobbit

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    Not that this is at all on topic, but I've always found it interesting that Mary, after the crucifixion, was the one who remained till all was over, and the Jesus' body was taken down and laid in Joseph's tomb, and then (from what I remember) the first person to see him after his resurrection.

    I think Jesus actually treated her in a preferential manner, either to prove to his apostles the idea of equality, or of loving those who have sinned... Or maybe simply because he knew her soul and was a compassionate being.
     
  19. Ardhanariswar

    Ardhanariswar I'm back!

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    i agree with featherinhair. nowadays people in christianity are way tooo dogmatic. they should look upon jesus and examin what he did, rather than claiming he is divine and becoming extremly ritualized in everything, in mass, and too concerned if the host contains wheat or not.
     
  20. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    Above Paul is addressing the clergy and he uses the words YOUR women.
    So I can see that he may very well be meaning the clergys wives and nobody else.
    But then he goes on to say....

    ...for it is a shame for WOMEN to speak out in church.

    Can you not see how this can be interpretted to to mean all women?

    It`s like me telling my neighbor "Hey! Stop your dog from crapping on my lawn because it`s not right for dogs to crap on peoples lawns!!"

    I am speaking of a particular dog but to justify my words I`m using the entire dog population as an example.

    Now..my only confusion comes in the next verse....

    I admit I` don`t really know how this relates to the previous verses.
    If it does affect the meaning of the previous verses I could use a little Christian input to help me see how.
    If it changes the meaning of those first two I`ll concede the point and never raise it again.
    I am keeping it in context if I don`t and use each verse seperately then the point I was making is senseless...I have to keep it in context or it doesn`t work.

    I know you didn`t Mr.Emu and I didn`t mean to bite your head off about it if it seemed that I did.
    I also know it`s traditional Catholic canon.
    I claimed the Gnostics held both men and women as equals in their church and that the Catholic church suppressed women.
    Scott countered by claiming the Catholic church does put women in positions of power as if that equated equality.
    If a woman cannot hold the same office as a man in any organization due to their rules/laws then there is no gender equality within the organization.
    That was the point I was making.

    The gospel of Mary doesn`t claim Mary as an apostle it simply treats her as an equal among them in ways that the gospels of the Bible do not.

    However the 4 accepted Gospels don`t exactly match up seamlessly themselves.

    She has a voice among them, she dares to contradict them and and some take her side in defense.
    Have you read it?
    It`s really a short read as it doesn`t exist in entirety and it`s pretty interesting.
    Take you all of 20 minutes to check it out.

    http://www.gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm

    The really cool thing I just noticed and hadn`t remembered is it starts off at the end of a chapter that was lost and it seems they are discussing the nature of the universe..
    You only get 2.1? verses of this conversation and they move on to the rest but the crappy part is that in verse 25 Peter says..

    It`s like missing the one part of a movie that really explains everything.
    It`s extremely ironic that it was cut off in a manner so that we don`t get to hear the secrets of the universe.
    Almost a sick joke.
    :)

    But at least read verse 21-22 it sounds like genetics to me.

    This is very apparent in the Gospel of Mary.
    All the apostles seem to agree Jesus "loved her best" even if it makes some of them mad.
    You should check it out too feathers if that concept has interest to you.
    Remember though this gospel was rejected/destroyed by the Catholic church and isn`t a part of currently accepted Christian dogma.


    This is exactly how it seems the Gnostics were if you like the idea of that kind of Christianity you should at least check out a couple of these Gospels.
     
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