by Bill Nugent
I don’t want to bore you with another long list of historical inaccuracies and fabrications contained in the recent book, The Da Vinci Code. Lee Strobel, Paul Meier and other Christian scholars with stronger minds than mine have already done so. Let me share with you a quirky perspective on this that I hope you’ll find interesting.
The discussion of The Da Vinci Code has spilled out of the religious community and is now a hot topic in the secular world as well. What is of extreme importance and significance is that even the secular, major media has rejected the historical claims of The Da Vinci Code and has been very bold in doing so. The new Gnostics who back The Da Vinci Code heresy have overplayed their hand. Their errors are so strident and obvious that even scholars not sympathetic to traditional Christianity are compelled to speak out!
You may have seen the recent 60 Minutes segment hosted by Ed Bradley which boldly exposed the errors of The Da Vinci Code. The 60 Minutes TV program is known for its liberal perspective yet pointed out the obvious and blatant errors of The Da Vinci Code. Even our local Gannett newspaper, The Journal News, had a front page article that described the errors presented in The Da Vinci Code.
This whole Da Vinci Code episode has served to flush out the Gnostic opposition and bring them out into the open. A major line of attack against the Bible has been the claim that the biblical view of Christ as divine Son of God was not the majority view of the early Christians. Christian scholars have gone to great effort and done much research and writing to expose the falseness of this claim. A good example of this Christian scholarship is a book titled The Historical Jesus by Gary Habermas D. D., Ph. D. which counters Gnostic attacks on Christianity. The best historical evidence shows that the earliest Christians believed in the divinity of Christ.
Because of the recent uproar over The Da Vinci Code, many people, including scholars, are taking a much closer look at the Gnostic Gospels that Da Vinci Code enthusiasts use to make their case. Scholars agree that the Gnostic Gospels such as The Gospel of Philip, The Gospel of Thomas and others were written in the second or third centuries, long after the time of Christ and the apostles. The Gnostic writings contain mostly dialog and very little in the way of historical narrative. Much of the dialog is strange and some even anti-feminist such as the passage in The Gospel of Thomas in which Peter is alleged to have said “females don’t deserve life.”
A major difference between the Gnostic Gospels and the New Testament Gospels is that the Gnostic Gospels make no appeal to the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. The Gnostic Gospels attempt to connect Jesus to the Greek philosophical tradition. The traditional Gospels connect Jesus to the Hebrew scriptures as the promised Messiah of Israel who came in fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies. The traditional history of Jesus is the accurate history of Jesus. Jesus said of His church: “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” God saw to it that the accurate history of Christ and the early church was preserved in the inspired writings of the New Testament.
The Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, contains over two thousand predictive prophecies. These prophecies and their fulfillments are like God’s signature on His holy book. James Kennedy Ph. D. has stated that there are 26 books such as theKoran, The Book of Mormon, The Hindu Vedas, etc., that are claimed to be inspired. Not one of these 26 books has anything that even begins to approach the Bible’s record of prophecy and fulfillment of prophecy. Christianity is a rational faith. It is not a blind faith but is a reasonable faith based on hard evidence given to us by God in the form of fulfilled prophecies and also by miracles that are performed even to this day in the name of Jesus.
The very fact that the Gnostics have shot themselves in the foot by reason of the sensational claims of The Da Vinci Code gives us an opportunity. People are interested in talking about Jesus. We can start a conversation by just asking them what they think of the Gnostic claims regarding church history. We then explain to them how the Bible and no other book contains a huge number of prophecies and fulfillments. This proves that the Bible and not the Gnostic Gospels is the true inspired word of God.
My major sorrow and regret over The Da Vinci Code is that there are some fence sitters and people on the fringes of Christianity that will be deceived by the naked errors contained in that book and movie. I pray that all this public discussion of the errors ofThe Da Vinci Code will open the eyes of those being deceived and that they will turn to Jesus; the real Jesus of the Bible.