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The Da Vinci Truth


In Luke 4 Jesus quotes Isaiah, 'The spirit of the Lord is on me ... is much more inspirational, much more dynamic, much more interesting and much more loving. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Da Vinci Truth

The Da Vinci Truth Sorting the facts from the
nonsense Fr Dominic Howarth, Youth Chaplain 7th
June 2006
DVC fact or fiction?
  • Fact The Priory of Sion, founded in 1099, is a
    real organisation (DVC, page 3)
  • TRUTH The Priory of Sion was a fabrication by
  • four Frenchmen in 1956
  • - One has multiple convictions for fraud
  • - One admitted the hoax in a BBC interview
    in 1996

DVC fact or fiction?
  • Fact All descriptions of artwork, architecture,
    documents and secret rituals in this novel are
    accurate (DVC, page 3)
  • TRUTH There are 91 statements presented as fact
    in the DVC. Of these 15 are true, 7 are
    partially true, and sixty nine are false. That
    is one factual error every nine pages.
  • For example …

DVC fact or fiction?
  • this Louvre pyramid, at President Mitterands
    explicit demand, had been constructed of exactly
    666 panes of glass … the number of Satan (DVC,
    page 40)
  • TRUTH The website of the manufacturer of the
    glass for the architect, I M Pei, tells us
    there are 673 panes of glass. The person who
    does not tell the truth about small things … !

DVC fact or fiction?
  • The Bible as we know it today was collated by
    the pagan Roman Emperor Constantine the Great … a
    lifelong pagan until 325AD (DVC, page 313-314)
  • TRUTH There are multiple historical texts and
    works of art which verify that Constantine
    converted in 312AD.
  • TRUTH The Bible was indeed collated over a
    period of time, but this finished well before
    Constantine and had nothing to do with
    Constantine. More on this later.

DVC fact or fiction?
  • We have the male god, Amon, and the female
    goddess, Isis … once called LIsa. … Put them
    together and you have AMON LISA. Ring any
  • Mona Lisa … somebody gasped
  • … Her name is an anagram of the divine union of
    male and female. And that, my friends, is Da
    Vincis little secret and the reason for the Mona
    Lisas knowing smile. (Art lecture by Langdon,
    DVC, page 168)
  • TRUTH Leonardo knew the painting as La
    Gioconda after the person who is in it and
    never called the painting the Mona Lisa, so
    this theory is completely false and groundless.

But its just a novel lighten up!
  • Dan Brown begins the novel with a page of
    facts. In November 2003, on NBC, he said
  • I began the research for the DVC as a sceptic. I
    entirely expected the research for the book to
    disprove the theory. After numerous trips to
    Europe and about two years of research I really
    became a believer

But its just a novel lighten up!
  • Brown presents it as if it is fact
  • People believe it to be true
  • It matters because it presents a false, distorted
    and malicious picture of Christianity, of things
    that we hold to be central to our life and faith.
  • Here are some more of the facts in the DVC …

What the DVC is teaching
  • Jesus Christ was not God, but only a man
  • Jesus married Mary Magdalene, and they had a
    child MM was pregnant at the crucifixion
  • The early Christians believed Jesus was only a
    man until the 300s AD
  • In 325AD Emperor Constantine used his power as an
    Emperor to make people believe Jesus was God.
    This is what the DVC says …

What the DVC is teaching
  • Teabing Until 325AD Jesus was viewed by his
    followers as a mortal prophet … a man … Jesus
    establishment as the Son of God was proposed
    and voted on by the Council of Nicaea.
  • Sophie Hold on. Youre saying Jesus divinity
    was the result of a vote?
  • Teabing A relatively close vote at that
  • There is nothing that is more central to our
    faith than the truth that, in fact, Jesus Christ
    was, is and will always be God. This is what
    Jesus said, what the Bible says, and what
    Christians have always believed.

What the DVC is teaching
  • But Dan Brown says …
  • The Gospels were edited later to support the idea
    the Jesus was God
  • Other gospels existed which show Mary Magdalene
    did marry Jesus and that MM, not Peter, was
    directed by Jesus to set up the Christian Church.
  • The Priory of Sion exist to protect the true
    bloodline of Christ, and to speak the truth about
  • AND the Catholic Church have known about this for
    the whole time and have acted as ruthless
    murderers to suppress the truth about Jesus

If it was any other faith … If it was my family
… We need to get the facts, and we need to
stand up for what we believe.
So here and now, it is time to tell the truth
about Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, and the
Catholic Church
Who are Opus Dei ?
  • They were founded in 1928, and now have 83,000
    members. Their founder is now a canonized Saint.
  • They are an integrated organisation in the
    Catholic Church, not a sect.
  • Its members are just that members, not monks
  • It does not ask people to live a monastic life,
    away from the world. In fact, it encourages
    people to work and contribute as Christians in
    daily life.
  • They are not as transparent as they could be with
    regards to finance, or openness of membership

Who are Opus Dei ?
  • In the DVC there are graphic and hideous scenes
    with Silas. The violent use of whip and cilice in
    the DVC is appalling and in no way consistent
    with how Opus Dei would want people to live.
    Jesus way is gentle, loving and kind.
  • Discipline, however, is part of the Christian
    tradition, for example fasting. Also part of life
    for actors, musicians, sportsmen. To be good at
    anything takes dedicated effort and so it is
    with faith.
  • So what is true mortification, if it is not
    beating yourself up!? …

Who are Opus Dei ?
  • The founder of Opus Dei, St Josemaria Escriva,
    said mortification is …
  • Your friendly conversation with the person you
    find boring and tactless that daily effort to
    overlook one irritating detail or another in the
    persons who live with you. … this, with
    perseverance, is indeed solid interior
  • Opus Dei are not perfect who is? But nor are
    they ruthless, violent or murderers. They try to
    live hard-working Christian lives including
    generous charitable actions and support for

When were the Gospels written ?
  • A simplified, but accurate timeline, agreed on by
    almost all Christian and non-Christian
    historians, based on documentary evidence
  • 30s AD Jesus dies
  • 50s AD First letters of St Paul, (starting with
  • Q document sayings of Jesus
  • 65AD Marks Gospel written down
  • 80AD Matthews Gospel written down
  • 80AD Lukes Gospel written down
  • 90 100AD Johns Gospel written down

When were the Gospels written ?
  • It is complex to explain the writing of the
  • In first century, traditions passed on by
    stories, word of mouth. Not many written
  • So vital that Gospels written down within a
    generation of Jesus death eye witness
    accounts fact they were put in writing shows
    their significance.
  • Differences between some of details in Gospels
    because so geographically spread and written for
    a different audience writers had slightly
    different emphasis. But remarkable similarity.

But what about the extra gospels ?
  • The Biblical Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke and
  • Yes, there are other gospels.
  • They are published, and available in print
  • The Church has never tried to deny or suppress
  • They are called Gnostic or apocryphal
  • None of these gospels refers to a marriage
    between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, or that they
    had a child.
  • BUT why are they not in the Bible? …

Why are the extra gospels not in the Bible?
  • Look at it this way

Friends 1994 2004 Gospels 65 100AD
Why are the extra gospels not in the Bible?
Friends 1994 2004 Gospels 65 100AD Joey 2004
2006 But if Joey had been a Gnostic
gospel (Philip, Thomas, Mary Magdalene) it would
have been Joey 2054, and possibly Joey 2254
Even more new and invented character
details! Even less to do with the original!
Why are the extra gospels not in the Bible?
  • They were written later anywhere from 150 to
    300AD centuries after Jesus death.
  • They were written after the Gospels that are in
    the Bible had been established as credible and
    widely used.
  • They are very different from Matthew, Mark, Luke
    and John example of Jesus and the sparrows
  • We know all this from many writers of the time,
    e.g. Ignatius of Antioch (100AD) refers to
    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John by name and says,
    It is written

But surely there is a code in the picture. That
bit is right, isnt it?
  • Everything about the Holy Grail is discussed in
    the excellent Tony Robinson DVD, The Real Da
    Vinci Code. As he concludes, there is nothing in
    this at all, it is a medieval myth.
  • For Dan Brown, the Holy Grail is Sang Real,
    Royal Blood, and the clue to whose blood it is
    was given to us by Leonardo da Vinci, in the
    painting of the Last Supper. Lets see …

But surely there is a code in the picture?
  • No code! Just a evocative picture of the scene in
    John 1321-24
  • Jesus was deeply disturbed and declared, In all
    truth I tell you, one of you is going to betray
    me. The disciples looked at each other, wondering
    what he meant. The disciple Jesus loved was
    reclining next to Jesus. Simon Peter signed to
    him and said, Ask who it is he means

  • The Last Supper has been analysed by art
    historians for decades.
  • No respected art historian backs any of the
    conclusions in the Da Vinci code.

The Last Supper was painted for Dominicans,
fighting heresies. It is unlikely Leonardo would
have included an extra heresy in a picture for a
Dominican dining room! The Last Supper follows
the Gospel accounts it is the moment already
quoted from John 13, backed by references in Mark
and Matthew definitively to The Twelve being
present at the Last Supper with Jesus. But what
about the figure that looks like a woman? …
This painting is also by Leonardo It is
entitled John the Baptist and was painted
1513-1516 The Last Supper was painted
  • Leonardo was trained in Florence. Paintings of
    effeminate looking men were very normal in his
    era and especially from the school of Florence.
    The painting above is just one example of
    hundreds from the time. There is no reason at all
    to think the disciple in The Last Supper is
    anyone other than John, the beloved disciple.

A little look at the real Mary Magdalene
  • Mary Magdalene is depicted in the Gospels as
  • A woman of courage (Jn 1925) standing at the
    foot of the cross of Jesus
  • A careful woman, noting the details of where
    Jesus was laid (Mk 1547)
  • A woman of reverence, going to anoint Jesus (Mk
    161, Lk 241-10)
  • A woman who was the first witness to the
    resurrection (Mk 169, Mt 289, Jn. 2011-18)
  • So why would anyone think badly of her?

A little look at the real Mary Magdalene
  • Mary Magdalene is also referred to as having
    seven devils cast from her (Mk 1610, Lk 81).
    In the 590s AD Pope Gregory the Great accentuated
    this, linking her with the woman in Luke chapter
    seven, and thus giving her the reputation of a
  • Only in recent decades has this been challenged.
  • BUT in the Eastern Church they have always viewed
    Mary Magdalene well. There are many churches
    dedicated to her, and all that is positive about
    her in Scripture is seen as a model for us.

A little look at the real Mary Magdalene
  • And lets again emphasise that in no Gospel,
    Biblical or apocryphal, does anyone ever write of
    Mary Magdalene as marrying Jesus or as carrying
    his child.
  • That is entirely invention, with no basis in
    history at all.
  • Mary Magdalene deserves to be remembered as
    courageous, reverent and the first witness to the
    Risen Christ.

The most serious claims of all Jesus was a man,
not God No Christians believed Jesus was God
until the 300s AD when Constantine forced them to
believe it The Church voted on it in 325AD and
by a close vote decided Jesus was God
Jesus was not just a man
  • We believe Jesus was fully human and fully divine
    uniquely God and human. That means Jesus knows
    us, through and through, he understands us as a
    human, and loves us as God. It is this love that
    meant he died for us, and this love that meant he
    triumphed over death.
  • We believe it now, Christians have always
    believed it, and it is what Christ said …

Jesus was not just a man
  • I and the Father are one (John 1030)
  • The Father is in me and I am in the Father
    (John 1038)
  • In Luke 4 Jesus quotes Isaiah, The spirit of the
    Lord is on me … for Jews this is a clear
    reference to Jesus as Messiah, Son of God so
    clear is it that they try to kill him there and
    then for his blasphemy
  • St Paul says, Christ is above all, God, blessed
    for ever. (Romans 95)
  • Early Christians write much about this around
    100AD Ignatius of Antioch speaks of Jesus Christ
    our God

So what did they vote on in 325AD ?
  • Yes the DVC is right (!) that there was a
    Council at Nicaea in 325AD. And the Bishops did
  • They were responding to a man called Arius, who
    was gathering followers who believed that Jesus
    was a god - more than a person and created by
    God - but not actually God.

So what did they vote on in 325AD ?
  • The Bishops realised that there had to be some
    clarity about what it meant to call yourselves a
    Christian what were the basic and defining
    beliefs. One of these is that Jesus is fully God.
  • The vote to confirm this was 316 2 (not close
    as the DVC says)
  • The vote was not saying anything new it was the
    Bishops confirming what Christians have always
    believed, because as we have just seen - it was
    what Christ said.

Some final truth
  • The Catholic Church is not perfect. St Peter was
    impulsive, doubted Jesus at times, even betrayed
    Jesus. In the letters of St Paul we read about
    divisions in early Christian churches, and we
    have made mistakes throughout history
  • In 2000AD the Pope read a Mea Culpa letter of
    sorrow and apology to many groups who Catholics
    have treated badly through the ages
  • But the Church is and has always been full of
    people trying our best to live like Christ. For
    example …

Some final truth
  • The Church provides 27 of all AIDS care in
    Africa today
  • The Church runs schools across the world, giving
    education where in many cases there would be none
  • The Church promotes life, both by opposing
    abortion and euthanasia, and by championing peace
  • The Church works hard across the world to end
    poverty, through its agencies Cafod and Caritas
  • We believe Jesus Christ is fully human and fully
    God, that he died for us, rose from the dead, and
    now lives eternally
  • We believe in the power of prayer, and the truth
    found in love for God and for each other, always.

The Greatest Truth
  • The reason Dan Brown gets it so wrong is summed
    up in the final dialogue between Sophie and
    Langdon in the film. Twice, Langdon says, What
    matters is what you believe.
  • It is certainly important that we shape our
    beliefs, important that we have beliefs that we
    value. But actually
  • what matters is what is true
  • The Da Vinci Code is fiction. If Dan Brown had
    just done some simple research he would have
    discovered that the truth is much more
    inspirational, much more dynamic, much more
    interesting and much more loving. The truth is
    awesome, challenging, life-changing and
    astonishing. We need to tell people the truth.
    People deserve to know the truth.
  • The Truth is Jesus Christ.