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Responding To The Challenges Of The DaVinci Code

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Title: Responding To The Challenges Of The DaVinci Code


1
http//www.davincicode.org.sg
  • Responding To The Challenges Of The DaVinci Code
  • Rev. Dave
  • Geisler
  • Meekness and Truth
  • Ministrieswww.meeknessandtruth.org

40 million copies sold, translated into 44
languages
2
Introducing The Da Vinci Code
  • Why has this novel caused so much controversy?
  • Jesus never claimed to be God.
  • Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had a
    child.
  • The New Testament was a product of man to achieve
    ones political agenda.
  • Almost everything we have been taught about Jesus
    is a lie.

3
Why be concerned with a novel?
1. First word FACT
  • All descriptions of artwork, architecture,
    documents, and secret rituals in this novel are
    accurate (Dan Brown).

2. Many people are taking what he says as fact.
4
Introduction toThe Da Vinci Code
  • Story begins with a murder in the Louvre.
  • The Priory of Sion guards an ancient secret that
    could discredit biblical Christianity.
  • The location and identity of the Holy Grail.

5
Responding To the Challenges of the DaVinci Code!
  • Dan Brown has given us a greate opportunity!
  • Hes raised questions that each person must deal
    with in their own spiritual journey.

6
Three ways Dan Brown has given us a great
opportunity!
  • Hes raised the issue of what is true faith.
  • Hes raised the issue of whether we can trust
    the Bible to give us a true picture of Jesus.
  • Hes raised the issue of who Jesus really
    claimed to be and proved to be.

7
Have you ever wondered why so many Christians are
questioning their faith as it relates to The
DaVinci Code?
1. Many Christians no longer understand what is
involved in Biblical Faith!
8
A Misunderstanding of Faiths Relationship to
Reason
  • About one out of four (26) born again
    Christians believe that it doesnt matter what
    faith you follow because they all teach the same
    lessons.
  • Born Again Christians, 2000, George Barna, Barna
    Web-site

9
A Misunderstanding Of What Is Involved In
Biblical FaithExample The DaVinci Code
  • But you told me the New Testament is based on
    fabrication. Langdon smiled. Sophie, every faith
    in the world is based on fabrication. That is the
    definition of faithacceptance of that which we
    imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove.
  • Dan Brown, The DaVinci Code, p. 341

10
Christianity is Based on a Historical Event
  • And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching
    is useless and so is your faith.
  • I Corinthians 1514 (NIV)
  • Our faith is only as valid as the object in
    which it is placed.

11
Have you ever wondered why so many Christians are
questioning their faith as it relates to The
DaVinci Code?
1. Many Christians no longer understand what is
involved in Biblical Faith!
  • 2. If you tell a story that is mostly conjuncture
    yet you hold it together with a thread of truth,
    many will have difficulty sorting out what is
    true and what is error.

3. Sometimes merely the sheer number of
accusations may cause some to question whether
Dan Brown may be on to something.
12
"I have here in my hand a list of 57 people that
were known to the Secretary of State as being
members of the Communist Party, and who,
nevertheless, are still working and shaping the
policy of the State Department. (9th, February
1950 See http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCar
thy
On February 20, he claimed 81. When Soviet
archives were opened, they only found five people
on his list.
Joseph McCarthy
13
How should we respond to the DaVinci Code?
1. We should not be afraid of the truth.
  • Then You shall know the truth, and the truth
    will set you free. (Jn. 832 N.I.V.)

2. We should use the questions that Dan Brown
raises to help us evaluate the strength of our
beliefs.
  • We should use interest in Jesus life as an
    opportunity to plants seeds of the gospel (1 Cor.
    36).

14
Major Claim 1
  • The Bible as we know it today, was collated by
    the Roman Emperor Constantine.
  • More than Eighty gospels were considered for
    the New Testament, and yet only a relatively few
    were chosen for inclusion Matthew, Mark, Luke,
    and John among them.The Bible as we know it
    today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor
    Constantine the Great (D.C. p. 231)(who) omitted
    those gospels that spoke of Christs human traits
    and embellished those gospels that made Him
    godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed,
    gathered up, and burned. (D.C. p. 234)

15
Fact Check
  • Response
  • Actually there are a little more than 50
    Pseudepigraphal gospels Books rejected by
    virtually all)
  • See General Introduction to the Bible by Geisler
    and Nix, p. 302 (listed on p. 309-311)
  • Yet many are known only by name and others by a
    few scattered citations in the church fathers.
    General Intro. p. 302
  • There were only twelve other gospels in
    circulation during this general time, and these
    clearly not inspired Scripture.
  • (See Ron Rhodes, p. 13 Crash Goes The Da Vinci
    Code. http//www.ronrhodes.org/DaVinci.html for
    more details on this point)

16
Major Claim 1
  • Response
  • There is no evidence that any of these gospels
    were written in the 1st Century during the period
    that nearly all New Testament scholars say the
    New Testament was written.
  • Irenaeus Bishop of Lyons (2nd century) - who sat
    under the teachings of Polycarp, who was a
    disciple of John the Apostle) said, Matthew
    published his Gospel among the Hebrews (i.e.,
    Jews) in their own tongue, when Peter and Paul
    were preaching the gospel in Roman and founding
    the church there.
  • (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, in The Ante-Nicene
    Fathers, vol. 1, eds. James Donaldson and
    Alexander Roberts (Grand Rapids, MI Eerdmans,
    1993), 3.1.1.
  • Historians believe that Paul was in Rome between
    60-64 A.D.

17
Major Claim 1
  • Question
  • Are these gospels earlier then the four New
    Testament Gospels?
  • Response
  • There is no evidence that any of these gospels
    were written in the 1st Century during the period
    that nearly all New Testament scholars say the
    New Testament was written.
  • Most liberal as well as conservative biblical
    scholars accept that the whole New Testament was
    written in the first century.

18
Major Claim 1
  • The Bible as we know it today, was collated by
    the Roman Emperor Constantine.
  • Question
  • Are these gospels earlier then the four New
    Testament Gospels?
  • The Earliest of these is the Gospels of Thomas
    but most scholars date no sooner then the early
    second century.

19
Major Claim 1
  • Question
  • Are these gospels earlier then the four New
    Testament
  • Gospels?
  • Response
  • Not even liberal theologians believe that The
    Gospel of Thomas was written by the biblical
    Thomas, and that The Gospel of Philip was written
    by the biblical Phillip.
  • The Gnostic Gospels cannot really be called
    Gospels.
  • Neither The Gospel of Truth nor The Gospel of
    Philip, as case examples, contain an orderly
    account of the birth, life, deeds, and
    resurrection of Christ.
  • Ron Rhodes, Crash Goes The Da Vinci Code. p.
    20 http//www.ronrhodes.org/DaVinci.html

20
Major Claim 1
  • Was the Bible as we know it today, collated by
    the pagan
  • Roman emperor Constantine?
  • The O.T. cannon was already accepted
  • The Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament
    was created between 250 and 150 B.C. (See N.
    Geisler and W. Nix, General Introduction the
    Bible, p. 24)
  • In A.D. 90 Jewish Scholars meet in Jamnia to
    affirm the 39 Old Testament books (None of the
    Apocrypha was accepted)

21
Major Claim 1
  • Was the Bible as we know it today, collated by
    the pagan
  • Roman emperor Constantine?
  • By 200 A.D. the majority of the New Testament
    Books had already been accepted by Western
    Christendom.
  • The list of 27 New Testament books was not
    officially accepted in the West until the council
    called The Synod of Hippo in A.D. 393.

22
Major Claim 1
  • Question
  • How did the books of the New Testament become one
    volume and why were certain books and letters
    left out?

23
Jesus Determines Which Books To Accept As Part
of Sacred Scripture
  • Jesus confirmed the Old Testament
  • Jesus defended himself from Satans attacks three
    times with the phrase, It is Written (referring
    to the Old Testament, Matt. 44ff).
  • 2. Jesus said it is easier for heaven and earth
    to pass away than for one stroke of the letter of
    the Law to fail. (Luke 1617)

24
Jesus Promised the New Testament
1. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would teach
the apostles all things and lead them into
all truth.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father
will send in My name, He will teach you all
things, and bring to your remembrance all things
that I said to you (Jn. 1426). However, when He,
the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you
into all truth for He will not speak on His own
authority, but whatever He hears He will speak
and He will tell you things to come (Jn. 1613).
25
The Holy Spirit will guide
2. Jesus promised the Apostles that the Holy
Spirit would guide what they wrote.
  • Above all, you must understand that no prophecy
    of Scripture came about by the prophets own
    interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin
    in the will of man, but men spoke from God as
    they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2
    Peter 120-21

Note The Greek word for carried along is used
in Acts 2715-17 to suggest that the ship was
carried along by the wind.
26
Jesus Promised the New Testament
  • 3. The Apostles claimed to continue in Christs
    teaching, being directed by the Holy Spirit.
  • 4. The qualification for being a member of the
    twelve apostles was that they must be an
    eyewitness of the ministry and resurrection of
    Christ (Acts 121-22)
  • 5. The New Testament church itself is said to be
    built upon the foundation of the apostles and
    New Testament prophets. (Eph. 220 cf. 35).
  • 6. The Apostles claimed the divine authority for
    their words (JN. 2031 I JN. 11 41, 5-6).

27
Jesus Promised the New Testament
  • 7. Peter acknowledged all Pauls writings as
    scriptures (2 Peter 315-16).
  • 8. Apostle Paul says in 1 Thes. 24 that "we" are
    entrusted with the gospel.
  • 9. Apostle Paul quoted from the Gospel of Luke
    (Luke 107) and refers to it as scripture. (1
    Tim. 518)
  • 10. Luke claims to give an accurate account of
    what Jesus began to do and teach. (Luke 13-4)
  • 11. Therefore only books and letters that were
    associated with an apostle or associate were
    considered acceptable into the New Testament
    Cannon.

28
The Apostolic Fathers recognized these writing
as coming from the Apostles
Question But how do we know we have the correct
books?
  • Between 70 150 is the period called the
    Apostolic Fathers
  • Some of the Apostolic Fathers knew some of the
    apostles
  • Clement is understood to be a Disciple of Peter.
  • Polycarp was known to be a disciple of John.
  • The Apostolic Fathers specifically quoted from at
    least 17 books and letters in the New Testament.
  • A.D. 125 Polycarp quotes Ephesians twice and
    refers to it as Sacred Scripture.

29
We have lists of Authoritative Works that
confirm some of the accepted writings
  • A.D. 140 Marcion compiled a canon that included
    one Gospel (a large portion of Luke that had been
    altered and 10 of Pauls letters.
  • He did not believe in the supernatural.
  • A.D. 180 Muratorian Canon Fragment (23 books)
  • A.D. 185 Irenaeus recognized 22 books and letters
  • A.D. 200 Tertullian recognized 22 books and
    letters
  • A.D. 225 Hippolytus recognized 22 books and
    letters
  • A.D. 230 Origen recognized 24 books
  • A.D. Eusebius lists 22 books

30
List of Authoritative Works
  • A.D. 367 Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, lists
    the 27 books and
  • letters of the N.T. we now have today.
  • A.D. 380 Amphilocius of Iconium lists 22 books
    and letters
  • A.D. 382 Synodin in Rome Pope Damascus lists 27
  • A.D. 397 3rd Council of Carthage, lists 27 books
  • A.D. 1442 Council of Florence lists 27 books
  • A.D. Council of Trent lists 27 books

31
Common agreements from all lists
  • All lists accepted the 4 New Testament Gospels as
    the true Gospels (except Marcion)
  • All accepted Pauls letters as authoritative
  • Remember Dan Brown said these issues were decided
    in 325 at the Council of Nicaea.

32
The Four New Testament Gospels Were Considered
As Authoritative By the Early Church
  • Justin Martyr (A.D. 150)
  • 15 times referred to the Gospels as the
    memoirs of the Apostles. (Justin, Dialogue with
    Trypho, chapters 100-107) )
  • He cites stories or quotes found in these four
    gospels.
  • When referring to these memoirs he never cites
    a story that is
  • found in the other N.T. gospels.
  • Irenanus (A.D. 185)
  • Gospel is quadriform (Four Forms)
  • See Against Heresies 3.11

33
Even Those Considered Heretics Used The Four
Gospels
  • Ebionites used a shorten form of Matthew (2nd
    Cent)
  • (They denied the Divinity and the virginal birth
    of Christ they clung to the observance of the
    Jewish Law)
  • Marcion used Luke (A.D. 140)
  • (They believed that the god of the Old Testament
    was not the true God , a secondary deity, a
    demiurgus, who was god, in a sense, but not the
    supreme God)
  • Valentinus (Gnostic) used John (A.D. 110)
  • Titian (Gnostic) combined Matthew, Mark, Luke,
    John into the Diatessaron. (A.D. 172)
  • (This was the first attempt to combine the four
    into one continuous Gospel. Yet none of the other
    so called Gospels were included)
  • H left out the parts that show Jesus' humanity.
  • He did not add anything we do not have today, he
    only left out parts.
  • He still quoted verbatim about 79 of the
    gospels.
  • Why didnt these Gnostics use other Gnostic
    Gospels?

34
Certain Gospels Were Rejected By The Church
Prior to Nicaea (325 A.D.)
  • Origen (A.D. 185-254) wrote
  • I know a certain gospel which is called the
    Gospel according to Thomas and a Gospel according
    to Matthias, and many others have we readnever
    the less among all these we have approved solely
    what the church has recognized, which is that
    only the four gospels should be accepted.
  • Cited from Darrell Bock's book Breaking The Da
    Vinci Code (p. 119) where he quotes from Origin's
    "first homily on Luke 11, according to the Latin
    translation of Jerome. 

35
How do we know the books we have are the correct
ones?
  • The four New Testament Gospels were written early
    and any factual inaccuracies would have been
    spotted
  • New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg points out,
    the standard dating accepted by liberal scholars
    sets Mark in the 70s, Matthew and Luke in the
    80s, and John in the 90s.
  • Blomberg, says these dates are well within the
    lifetimes of eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus,
    including hostile eyewitnesses who would have
    served as a corrective if false teachings about
    Jesus were going around.
  • Craig Blomberg in Lee Strobel, The Case for
    Christ (Grand Rapids Zondervan, 1998), 33.

36
New Testament books were recognized early on!
  • In I Tim. 518 the Apostle Paul cites an Old
    Testament reference and a New Testament reference
    and calls both of them Scripture. (Deut. 254
    and Luke 107)

The Apostle Pauls writings were regarded as
Scripture by Apostle Peter (2 Pet. 316).
37
  • Every single New Testament book was referred to
    prior to 150 A.D., with the possible exception of
    Philemon and 3 John. (General Intro. 423-425)
  • Irenaeus (170-202 A.D.) made about 1,800
    quotations and references from the New Testament,
    (except possibly Philemon and 3 John) and his
    writings show the books in his New Testament were
    the same as ours today.
  • Clement of Alexandria (wrote 193-217/220 A.D.)
    made about 2,400 quotations and references of
    every New Testament book except Philemon, James,
    2 Peter, and possibly 3 John.
  • Cyprian (200-258 A.D.) made about 1,030
    quotations and references from the New Testament.
    His quotes include every book except Philemon and
    2 John, and possibly 3 John, which are the three
    shortest books in the New Testament.
  • For the preceding, see General Introduction to
    the Bible p.425-427 for more info.

38
What do we do with Dan Browns claim (in the
mouth of Teabing) that the Nag Hammadi texts are
the earliest Christian records (245).
  • Remember that every book in the NT is earlier.
  • What are the Nag Hammadi text and when were they
    written?

39
What are the Nag Hammadi texts?
  • Discovered at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945.
  • They were an important archaeological find.
  • Yielded 52 Coptic works only five however were
    called gospels.
  • Gospel of Truth, Thomas, Egyptians, Philip, and
    Mary.
  • A few of the texts are cited in The Da Vinci Code
    to prove that Jesus was married to Mary
    Magdalene.
  • Gospel of Mary (2nd C.)
  • Gospel of Philip (3rd C.)

40
When were the Nag Hammadi texts written?
  • The Nag Hammadi texts were written no earlier
    than A.D. 400. ( See Craig Blomberg, Where Do
    We Start Studying Jesus in Jesus Under Fire, p.
    23)
  • Many are Gnostic.
  • The earliest fragments of the Gospel of Philip
    are dated by most scholars as no earlier than
    180-200 AD. (See Philip Jenkins, Hidden Gospels
    (Oxford Press, 2002), p. 139.
  • This means that the Nag Hammadi texts do not meet
    the criteria of being ancient or apostolic.
  • Furthermore the Gospel of Philip is a Gnostic
    text, and Gnostic thought would have no place in
    first century Palestinian Judaism.

41
Who were the Gnostics?
  • In a nutshell, Gnostics were people who believed
    that every Christian was a christ and therefore
    every Christian was divine.
  • Jesus was thus christ and divine only in this
    sense, not in any unique sense.
  • The Gnostic Jesus was believed to not free us of
    our sins, but to free us from our ignorance
    because we dont realize who we really arewe are
    divine!
  • Brown believes the Gnostics were the original
    disciples who came before those we now consider
    to be Jesus disciples, such as Peter, James, and
    John and etc.

42
The Gospel of Thomas 114
  • Simon Peter said to them (the disciples), Let
    Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of Life.
    Jesus said, I myself shall lead her, in order to
    make her male, so that she too may become a
    living spirit, resembling you males. For every
    woman who will make herself male will enter the
    Kingdom of Heaven.
  • (cited in Darrell Bock, Breaking The Da Vinci
    Code, p. 75

43
QuestionWhat Should We Conclude About The
Other Books That Were Not Included?
  • The Gospel of Thomas
  • The Gospel of Peter
  • Apocalypse of Peter
  • The Gospel of Hebrews
  • The Gospel of Barnabas
  • The Gospel of Phillip
  • The Gospel of Mary
  • And many others

44
What Should We Conclude About The Other Books
That Were Not Included?
  • These gospels were written neither by apostles,
    nor by companions of the apostles. All of these
    people were dead by the time these documents were
    written.
  • 2. They were written in the second and third
    centuries and therefore did not exist when the
    gospels were written in the first century.
  • The only book thought to exist prior to the
    middle of the 2nd century is the Gospel of
    Thomas.
  • The earliest fragments of the Gospel of Philip
    are dated by most scholars as no earlier than
    180-200 AD. (See Philip Jenkins, Hidden Gospels
    (Oxford Press, 2002), p. 139.

45
What Should We Conclude About The Other Books
That Were Not Included?
  • 3. Their teachings differ from the four gospels
    (Not Orthodox).
  • They teach a different view of God, Christ, man,
    salvation, and what happens to a person after
    death. These gospels are not consistent with the
    original teachings of Jesus and His earliest
    followers.
  • Simon Peter said the them Let Mary go forth
    from among us, for women are not worthy of the
    life. Jesus said Behold, I shall lead her, that
    I may make her male, in order that she also may
    become a living spirit like you males. For every
    woman who makes herself male shall enter into the
    kingdom of heaven.
  • The Gospel of Thomas, p.114

46
What Should We Conclude About The Other Books
That Were Not Included?
  • Unlike the four canonical gospels, these gospels
    were never widely accepted or recognized as
    authentic and inspired by the early Christian
    church.
  • They were never read in Christian assemblies.
  • They were not included in the list of accepted
    books and letters.
  • They are not the subject of commentaries.
  • 8. Some were specifically rejected by the church
    from being in the New Testament Canon.

47
What Should We Conclude About The Other Books
That Were Not Included?
  • 9. Even the non-canonical gospels cited by Brown,
    when examined very carefully, are seen NOT to
    support his theories.
  • 10. Nowhere do these gospels actually teach that
    Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene that he
    fathered a child by her that Jesus intended Mary
    to lead the church after his death.

48
Why arent these books in the Bible?
  • This naturally raises questions about the nature
    of the New Testament canon.
  • What is the canon?
  • The cannon is the list of those writings which
    were acknowledged by the church as documents of
    the divine revelation. F.F. Bruce
  • What sort of criteria did the early church
    fathers apply as helpful aids in recognizing
    those writings which were truly inspired by God?

49
Principles for Discovering Canonicity
  • Canonicity is determined by God and discovered by
    man
  • Criteria
  • Is the book authoritative - does it claim to be
    of God?
  • Is it prophetic- was it written by a servant of
    God? (2 Pet. 120-21 Heb. 11)
  • Is it authentic-does it tell the truth about God,
    man, etc.? (Acts 1711)
  • Is the book dynamic-does it possess the
    life-transforming power of God? (Heb. 412 2
    Tim. 316-17)
  • Is this book received or accepted by the people
    of God for whom it was originally written - is it
    recognized as being from God?
  • Principles taken from Norman Geisler, From God
    to Us, p.67-71

50
Principles for Discovering Canonicity
  • Canonicity is determined by God and discovered by
    man (Principles taken from Norman Geisler, From
    God to Us, p.67-71)
  • Criteria
  • Is the book authoritative - does it claim to be
    of God?
  • Does it say Thus says the Lord
  • Unless they were convinced of Divine authorship,
    the book was rejected

51
Principles for Discovering Canonicity
  • Canonicity is determined by God and discovered by
    man
  • Criteria
  • Is it prophetic- was it written by a servant of
    God? (2 Pet. 120-21 Heb. 11)
  • Inspired books came only through Spirit-moved men
    known as prophets
  • Paul argued in Galatians that his book should be
    accepted because he was in fact an apostle not
    from men nor through man, but through Jesus
    Christ and God the Father. (Gal. 11)
  • 2 Peter was questioned because it was written in
    a different style than 1 Peter until it was
    accepted that he dictated his letter to someone
    else who recorded what he said. All 2 Peter was
    claimed to have been written by Simon Peter (2
    Pet. 11)

52
Principles for Discovering Canonicity
  • Canonicity is determined by God and discovered by
    man
  • Criteria
  • Is it authentic-does it tell the truth about God,
    man, etc.? (Acts 1711)
  • The Apostle Paul considered the Bereans more
    nobel because they searched the Scripture to see
    whether what Paul taught them was consistent with
    Gods revelation in the Old Testament. (Acts
    1711)
  • The letter of James was questioned because it
    seemed to contradict Pauls teaching on
    justification by faith not by works.
  • Others questions Jude because of its citation of
    an Pseudepigraphal book which was rejected by
    virtually all (Vv. 9, 14)

53
Principles for Discovering Canonicity
  • Is the book dynamic-does it possess the
    life-transforming power of God? (Heb. 412 2
    Tim. 316-17)
  • Is this book received or accepted by the people
    of God for whom it was originally written - is it
    recognized as being from God?
  • Since communication and transportation was what
    it was in ancient times, sometime it too much
    time and effort on the part of the later church
    fathers to determine this.

54
Why Certain Books Were Questioned
  • Hebrews Doubted because the author was unknown
    (but it did have Apostolic authority).
  • James Doubted for apparent contradiction with
    Pauls teaching that salvation was by faith alone
    apart from works.
  • 2 Peter - Doubted because style of writing was
    different than 1 Peter.
  • 2 and 3 John - Doubted because the author is
    called elder not apostle. (Yet Peter was also
    called an elder and an apostle (1 Pet. 51).
  • Jude Doubted because it referred to two
    non-canonical books (The book of Enoch and the
    Assumption of Moses).
  • The Book of Revelation Doubted for its teaching
    on a thousand year reign of Christ and
    apocalyptic literature.

55
QuestionWhy did the church need to recognize
certain writings as authentically inspired and
others as spurious?
  • Because they believed that the writings of the
    prophets and apostles were truly the Word of
    God. Therefore only those recognized as such
    should be preserved.
  • The rise in Heretic writings led early Christians
    to clearly define what had been recognized as
    inspired. Therefore there was a need for agreed
    upon cannon or list of authentically inspired
    books.
  • The persecution of Emperor Diocletian in his
    edict in A.D. 303 (The edict of Diocletian)
    called for the destruction of the sacred books of
    scripture by Christians. As a result, Christians
    needed to know what were the books that were
    truly inspired by God to know that were worth
    suffering persecution for.

56
Summary 1
  • No evidence that these other gospels were
    written prior to the middle of the second
    century except for the Gospel of Thomas that is
    dated no earlier than the early second century.
  • Yet virtually all scholars believe that all four
    New Testament Gospels were written in the first
    century.
  • The four gospels and Pauls letters were
    recognized as authoritative since the middle of
    the second century 150 years prior to the
    council of Nicaea.
  • The debate over other disputed books was not
    solved at the council of Nicaea. It wasnt till
    A.D. 367 when Athanasius, Father of modern
    orthodoxy, listed the 27 books and letters of the
    N.T. that this issue was mostly resolved. Yet it
    was not officially accepted in the West until The
    Synod of Hippo in A.D. 393.

57
Major Claim 2
  • 2. The Bible has evolved through countless
    translations additions and revisions.
  • Response
  • Multiple checks and balances have occurred to
  • insure this did not occur.

58
Are the N.T. documents based on Fabrications?
  • 2 Pet. 116 says,
  • For we did not follow cleverly devised tales
    when we make known to you the power and coming of
    our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses
    of His Majesty.
  • I John 13 says,
  • What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you
    also, that you also may have fellowship with us
    and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and
    with His Son Jesus Christ.

59
Challenges to the Christians Faith in the
DaVinci Code
  • p. 234 According to Browns character, Leigh
    Teabing, Constantine commissioned and financed a
    new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke
    of Christs human traits and embellished those
    gospels that made him godlike.

60
Major Claim 2
  • 2. The Bible has evolved through countless
    translations additions and revisions.
  • Response
  • Is this true?
  • How do we know that the Bible is Reliable?
  • How do you know the Bible has been accurately
    translated from the original?
  • Couldnt they have accurately recorded a bunch of
    lies?
  • How do we know that the Bible is not just a myth
    that developed over time?

61
Bibliographical Test
It examines the textual transmission by which
documents reach us.
  • The number of copies
  • The time interval between the original and the
    existing copies
  • The degree of accuracy of the copies

62
Bibliographical Test
It examines the textual transmission by which
documents reach us.
  • The number of copies

63
The New Testament has more Copies!
5,686
64
The Number of Copies
  • There are
  • 5,686 hand written Greek N.T. manuscripts
  • 10,000 Latin Vulgate
  • 9300 Old Latin, Slavic, Arabic, Anglo Saxon, etc.
    Other Languages
  • A total of 24,970 i manuscript copies of
    portions of the
  • New Testament exist today
  • i McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands A
    Verdict P. 34

65
Bibliographical Test
It examines the textual transmission by which
documents reach us.
  • 2. The time interval between the original and the
    existing copies

66
The Amount of Time
Earliest Manuscript Copy
Modern version
Autograph (No longer extant)
X
Question is it better for X to be longer or
shorter?
67
The Amount of Time
  • Answer the SHORTER the time difference (X)
    between the earliest manuscript copy (EMC) and
    the original copies (I.e. autographs) the less
    likely for the earliest manuscript copy to have
    undergone additions and therefore less scribal
    error.

Modern version
EMC 135 AD
Autograph 60 AD
X 75 years!
68
The Time Test
69
The Time Interval
  • The N.T. has earlier manuscripts closer to the
    time of original composition.
  • For example
  • John Ryland fragment (117-138 A.D.) - one
    generation
  • Bodmer Papyrus (150-200 A.D. ) - whole books
  • Chester Beatty Papyri (250 A.D.) - most of the
    N.T.
  • Codex Vaticanus (325-350 A.D.) - nearly all the
    Bible

70
John Rylands fragment
  • John 1831-33 - A.D. 117-138 One generation
    from original
  • It was carbon-14 dated what some say is 110-150
    A.D.
  • It contains a few verses of the Gospel of John,
    John 1831-33 and a second piece, John 1837-38.
  • Since it was found in Egypt, which is some
    distance from the traditional composition in Asia
    Minor, we can confirm that the gospel of John was
    written before the end of the first century.

71
Codex Sinaiticus, 340 AD
Contains half of the Old Testament books and all
the N.T. except a few verses such as Mark 169-20
and Jn. 753-811.
72
Codex Vaticanus
  • Contains almost the entire Bible old and new -
    A.D. 325-350
  • It includes most of the LXX version of the Old
    Testament and most of the New Testament in Greek.
    Missing are I Tim. through Philemon, Heb. 914 to
    the end of the N.T. and the General Epistles.

73
Degree of Accuracy
  • Even with 25 thousand NT manuscripts, they are
    so close that we are virtually certain of 97 -
    98 of the New Testament.
  • Almost ½ are 1 and 2 word variants for spelling,
    adding the, etc.
  • None of these affect doctrine.
  • For details www.Bible Query.org

74
Degree of Accuracy
  • If Comparative trivialities such as changes of
    order, the insertion or omission of the the
    article with proper names, and the like are set
    aside, the words in our opinion still subject to
    doubt can hardly amount to more than a thousandth
    part of the New Testament.
  • B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort, The New Testament
    in the Original Greek, Vol. 1, p.2

75
Degree of Accuracy
  • A. T. Robertson suggests that the real concern
    of textual criticism is of a thousandth part of
    the entire text.
  • A. T. Robertons, An Introduction to the Textual
    Criticism of the New Testament, 1925, p. 22

76
Something To Consider!
  • If Christians corrupted the New Testament
    writing why would they leave in so many
    embarrassing incidences in the New Testament that
    would leave the leaders in such a bad light?
  • Multiple times there was no understanding in what
    Jesus taught (Mark 923, Luke 1834, John 1216).
  • Peter denied Christ three times.
  • They are rebuked Peter was called Satan by
    Jesus Himself (Mark 833), and Paul rebuked Peter
    for being incorrect on doctrinal issues
    (Galatians 211).
  • They were doubters some even doubted after
    seeing the resurrected Christ (Mathew 2817).
  • Why would they have women finding Jesus tomb
    empty?
  • Women were not considered reliable witnesses and
    their testimony of events carried no weight in a
    court of law. Including women as the first
    witnesses to the resurrected Christ would only
    have hurt their case if they were trying to pass
    off a lie.

77
Summarizing the Implications!
  • Within the first few centuries of Christianity,
    there were thousands of copies of the Bible
    dispersed over a large part of the world. To
    successfully revise or make a change in the
    Bible, all these copies would have to be
    meticulously gathered (assuming people around the
    world would be willing to surrender them, an
    impossible-to-believe scenario), and then the
    changes made.
  • Ron Rhodes, Crash Goes the Da Vinci Code. p.
    12

78
Summary 2
  • The amount of copies, the time interval between
    the original and the first copy, and the degree
    of accuracy of the documents, the external
    documents that confirm the details of the New
    Testament, all these combine to show that the New
    Testament we have today is a near perfect
    representation of what was originally written.
  • Only 5 of the New Testament has ever been
    questioned and with Textual Criticism we can be
    certain that 97 to 98 is accurate.
  • No part in question has an impact on any major
    doctrine or practice.
  • See The Reliability of the Bible,
    www.meeknessandtruth.org andwww.inerrancy.org
    for more details.
  • (Keith Elliot and Ian Moir in Manuscripts and
    the Text of the New Testament page 8 says "Most
    modern textual critics can agree on the bulk of
    the text (some 95 per cent of it, perhaps). It is
    the remaining 5 per cent or so where disputes
    occur and differing conclusions may be found.)

79
Claim 3
  • The doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God was
    invented and approved at the Council of Nicaea in
    325 AD. (D.C. p. 233)
  • Speaking of the council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.
  • My dear, Teabing declared, until that moment
    in history, Jesus was viewed by his followers as
    a mortal propheta great an powerful man, but a
    man nonetheless. A mortal.
  • Not the Son of God? (said Sophie)
  • Right Teabing said. Jesus establishment as
    the Son of God was officially proposed and voted
    on by the council of Nicaea.
  • Hold on. Youre saying Jesus divinity was the
    result of a vote?
  • A relatively close vote at that, Teabing added

80
Claim 3(continue)
  • Teabing says,
  • Because Constantine upgrades Jesus status four
    centuries after Jesus death, thousands of
    documents already existed chronicling His
    (Jesus) life as a mortal man. To rewrite the
    history books, Constantine knew he would need a
    bold stoke. From this sprang the most profound
    moment in Christian history. (D.C. p. 234)

81
Claim 3
  • Questions
  • Did Christians only view Jesus as just a great
    man?
  • Was the vote a close one?

82
Fact Check
  • Nearly every scholars holds that the Gospels and
    Pauls letters were written in the 1st cent.
  • If these Gospels and letters refer to Jesus as
    the divine Son of God, then we know Christians
    thought of him this way more than 225 years prior
    to Nicaea.
  • The earliest reference to Jesus as Son of God is
    by Paul in Romans 13-4

83
Fact Check
  • Jesus was born from the seed of David according
    to the flesh, was declared the Son of God with
    power according to the Spirit of holiness by his
    resurrection from the dead Jesus Christ our
    Lord. Romans 13-4
  • By at least A.D. 60 we know that Jesus was being
    thought of as the Son of God.
  • Yet scholars recognize that these verses are an
    earlier oral tradition which Paul included in his
    letter.
  • This means that the belief that Jesus is the Son
    of God had to be even earlier than A.D. 60

84
Jesus Asserted He was God By
  • Jesus said I and the father (we) are one (Jn.
    1030 N.I.V.)
  • He who has seen me has seen the father.
  • (Jn. 149 N.I.V.)
  • For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity
    lives in bodily form. (Colossians 29 N.I.V.)
  • For by him all things were created things in
    heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
    whether thrones or powers or rulers or
    authorities all things were created by him and
    for him. (Colossians 116 N.I.V.).

85
Further Clarification of 3
The doctrine that Jesus is the Son of God was
invented and approved at the Council of Nicaea in
325 AD. (D.C. p. 233
  • This is a half-truth. The Council of Nicaea did
    seriously consider alternating views of Jesus.
  • The choice was not between human versus God
    but as eternal versus created.
  • The most important theological belief refined at
    the Council of Nicaea was in response to the
    heretical views of Arius and his followers who
    maintained that Jesus was not divine by nature,
    but was created in ages past by God.

86
Summary of 3
  • DaVinci Code The Doctrine that Jesus is the Son
    of God was invented and approved at the Council
    of Nicaea in A.D. 325 (p. 233)
  • Fact Check
  • Jesus himself asserted He was God in a number of
    ways.
  • Within 30 years of Jesus crucifixion Paul and
    even earlier traditions were presenting Jesus as
    the divine Son of God.

87
Summary of 3(continue)
  • Response
  • Constantine was a key figure and his rule was a
    turning point in Christian history.
  • The Nicene Creed was an important affirmation.
  • The Nicene Creed merely expressed in more
    technical terms what Christians had believed for
    many years.
  • The Council of Nicaea did not debate over
    whether Jesus was divine or mortal but whether he
    was co-eternal with God the Father?

88
Summary of 3
  • DaVinci Code It was a rather close vote?
  • Response
  • In actuality only two out of 318 bishops at the
    Council did not sign the resulting creedal
    statement affirming the full deity of Christ and
    condemning any view of Him that was less! Yet
    there were only 28 that were clearly Arians from
    the outset.
  • See Roger Olsen, The Story of Theology, p. 153.

89
Major Claim 4
  • Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene it was
    covered
  • up.

90
Supposed Proof From The DaVinci Code that Jesus
was married, p. 245 -246
  • These are photocopies of the Nag Hammadi and
    Dead Sea scrolls, which I mentioned earlier,
    Teabing said. The earliest Christian records.
    Troubling, they do not match up with the gospels
    in the Bible. Flipping toward the middle of the
    book, Teabing pointed to a passage. The Gospel
    of Philip is always a good place to start.
  • Sophie read the passage
  • And the companion of the Savior is Mary
    Magdalene. Christ loved her more than all the
    disciples and used to kiss her often on her
    mouth. The rest of the disciples were offended by
    it and expressed disapproval. They said to him,
    Why do you love her more than all of us? (246).

91
The DaVinci Code, p. 245 -246
  • The words surprised Sophie, and yet they hardly
    seemed
  • conclusive. It says nothing of marriage.
  • Au contraire. Teabing smiled, pointing to the
    first
  • line. Ask any Aramaic scholar will tell you, the
    word
  • companion, in those days, literally meant
    spouse.
  • Langdon (A Harvard University professor)
  • concurred with a nod.
  • Sophie read the first line again. And the
  • companion of the Savior is Mary Magdalene.

92
Fact Check
  • What about the statement Christ loved her
    more than all the disciples and used to kiss her
    often on the mouth.
  • Actually this portion of the manuscript is
    damaged. We dont actually know where Christ
    kissed Mary.

93
Fact Check
The actual text quoted has many gaps (due to
being damaged) that Brown filled in with an
obvious agenda
  • And the companion of the () Mary Magdalene. ()
    her more than () the disciples () Kiss her ()
    on her (head? hand? Cheek? Mouth?). (Gospel of
    Philip 6332-36

It could be referring to a kiss on the lips,
but it could be referring to a holy kiss like
Peter refers to in 1 Pet. 514 when he says
greet one another with a holy kiss.
94
The Gospel of Philip
  • It is possible that the kiss is symbolic.
  • For it is by a kiss that the perfect conceive
    and give birth. For this reason we also kiss one
    another (Philip).
  • Jesus said, He who will drink from my mouth
    will become like me (Thomas, 108).

95
Fact Check
  • Response
  • This statement is not valid
  • ? Although it does mean spouse in Aramaic, the
    Nag Hammadi manuscripts were not written in
    Aramaic.They were written in Coptic and Egyptian
    language and they imported the use of a Greek
    term koinonos. companion
  • ? This term can mean wife in a spiritual sense,
    but its not the common Greek term for wife. The
    word for wife or spouse is gyne.
  • ? Koinonos is most often used in the NT of a
    partner, Joint owner, colleague,
    accomplice, companion. (2 Cor. 823 1 Pet.
    51)
  • ? Luke uses this term to describe James and John
    as Peters business partners (Luke 510).
  • ? Contrary to Teabings claim, the statement that
    Mary was Jesus companion does not at all prove
    that she was His wife

96
Major Claim 4
  • Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene it was
    covered
  • up.
  • Response
  • Although it was typical for Jewish men to marry,
    some of those who didnt to better serve God were
    highly regarded (Example John the Baptist).
  • Jesus talks about eunuchs for the kingdom
    (Matthew 1910-12) and appears to model it after
    Himself.
  • The Essenes were known for their emphasis on
    celibacy (Josephus, Antiquities 18.1.5.21 Jewish
    War 2.8.2.121-122 Philo, Hypothetica 11.14-18).

97
Major Claim 4
  • Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene it was
    covered up.
  • Response
  • There is no indication in the New Testament or
    early Christian writing that Jesus was ever
    married.
  • The New Testament does mentioned his mother,
    father, brothers and sisters. Yet Jesus being
    married or having a wife was never mentioned.
  • Jesus was always portrayed as being single

98
Other Evidence To Consider
  • Mary is not tied to any male anywhere when she is
    named in Scripture.
  • Jesus shows no special concern for Mary Magdalene
    at the cross.
  • Other disciples were married, but Jesus is not
    named especially when it would have helped
    reinforce the point that Paul was making (1
    Corinthians 93-6).
  • This is my defense to those who sit in judgment
    on me. Dont we have the right to food and drink?
    Dont we have the right to take a believing wife
    along with us, as do the other apostles and the
    Lords brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and
    Barnabas who must work for a living?

99
Other Evidence To Consider
  • Notice what the text does not say
  • Dont we have the right to take a believing
    wife along with us, as do the other apostles and
    the Lords brothers and Cephas, (and even Christ
    himself?)

100
Who was Mary Magdalene?
  • Mary was from the town of Magdala.
  • Mary traveled with Jesus (entourage).
  • Mary was at the cross, at the burial, and at the
    resurrection.
  • Mary was delivered by Jesus from the seven demons
    that possessed her (Luke 82)
  • Mary was not a prostitute
  • Confused with prostitute (Luke 736-50) who
    washed the feet of Jesus.

101
Jesus Other Women
  • Unlike other Jewish leaders, Jesus did have some
    close relationships with other women.
  • Several women (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and
    Susanna) helped support (financially) Jesus and
    the disciples. (LK. 83)

102
Who were the Priory of Sion?
  • Dan Brown says,The Prior of Siona European
    secret society founded in 1099is a real
    organization. In 1975 Pariss Bibliotheque
    Nationale discovered parchments known as Les
    Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of
    the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton,
    Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.
    (1st page, DVC)

103
Who were the Priory of Sion?
  • According to Dan Browns DaVinci Code the Priory
    of Sion were guardians of an ancient secret -the
    location and identity of the Holy Grail.
  • According to Brown the holy grail is not the cup
    of Christ but the womb of Mary Magdalene, which
    held the sacred bloodline of Christ. It is
    claimed to have been founded in Jerusalem in 1099
    by a French King.
  • According to Brown the organization is watching
    over the descendents of Jesus and Mary and
    waiting for the perfect time to reveal its
    secrets to the world. Yet because of its constant
    threat from the Roman Catholic Church, the
    organization has supposedly hidden its secret
    messages in literature, paintings, and even
    architecture so that only certain people can
    decipher the hidden meanings.

104
Who were the Priory of Sion?
  • Facts
  • According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia the
    Prior of Sion was founded in 1956 in France as a
    organization by Pierre Plantard that provided
    information for low-cost housing.
  • In the 60s Plantard published forged documents
    at the Bibliotheque nationale de France in Paris
    in order to fabricate the belief that he was of
    the blood line of the French Kings and directly
    related to the bloodline of Christ.
  • Yet in 1993 Plantard had to admit under oath in
    court that he had fabricated everything
    concerning the Priory of Sion. He was ordered to
    cease and desist all activities related to the
    promotion of the Prior of Sion. He died on Feb.
    3rd, 2000 in Paris in obscurity.
  • An associate of Plantard also conceded that
    Plantard made the whole story up.
  • This has been documented thoroughly by a several
    French books in the 90s and in a BBC Documentary
    in 1996.
  • (See James Garlow and Peter Jones, Cracking
    DaVincis Code (Colorado Springs, CO Cook
    Communications, 2004), p. 112. for more details)

105
What about Leonardos painting of the last
supper?
What does a painting painted almost 1500 years
after Christ have anything to do with determining
whether the New Testament is a reliable record of
what Jesus said and did?
  • Mary Magdalene is claimed to be in Leonardo Da
    Vincis painting The Last Supper (244). V-shape
    is the symbol for the Holy Grail.

106
How should we respond to the DaVinci Code?
1. We should not be afraid of the truth.
2. We should use the questions that Dan Brown
raises to help us evaluate the strength of our
beliefs.
107
How should we respond to the DaVinci Code?
1. We should not be afraid of the truth.
  • We should use the questions that Dan Brown raises
    to help us evaluate the strength of our beliefs.
  • We should use interest in Jesus life as an
    opportunity to plants seeds of the gospel (1 Cor.
    36)

108
Responding To the Challenges of the DaVinci Code!
  • People will ask us
  • What do you think about the DaVinci Code book or
    movie?
  • Strategic Response
  • 1. I think it raises some very important issues
    that each person must decide in their spiritual
    journey.

109
Important Issues Dan Brown raises!
  • He raises the issue of what is true faith, of
    whether we can trust the Bible to give us a true
    picture of Jesus, and whether Jesus really
    claimed to be and proved to be God.

110
Other Problems that His Theory Creates
  • Yet at the same time his theory has actually
    raised a bunch of other problems.
  • Follow-up Question
  • Did you know that many Christians were persecuted
    for their beliefs for the first 300 years of the
    church?
  • Do you think it is possible that the early
    Christians could have been willing to die for
    beliefs they knew were untrue?

111
Other Problems that His Theory Creates
  • Follow-up Question
  • If Dan Brown is right, how could Christians
    have wiped away any traces of the real Jesus from
    both religious and secular literature ?

112
Could this even be possible?
Consider these facts
We have over 36,289 quotations from early Church
Fathers concerning the New Testament.
How could all these citations be tampered with?
113
Could this even be possible?
Consider these facts from Secular Writings
Lucian of Samosata, (also called Lucian the
Greek) was a second century satirist, wrote about
Christ, The Christians, you know worship a man
to this daythe distinguished personage who
introduced their novel rites, and was crucified
on that accountYou see, these misguided
creatures start with the general conviction that
they are immortal for all time, which explains
the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion
which are so common among them and then it was
impressed on them by their original lawgiver that
they are all brothers, from the moment that they
are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and
worship that crucified sage, and live after his
laws. (The Passing Peregrinus 11-13 as cited in
Josh McDowell, The New Evidence that Demands a
Verdict, p. 121.
114
Could this even be possible?
Consider these facts from Secular Writings
Pliny the Younger was a governor of Bithynia who
killed many Christians for their faith. He
wrote Emperor Trajan in 112 A.D. saying, they
affirmed, however, that the whole of their guilt,
or their error, was, that they were in the habit
of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was
light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn
to Christ as to a god, Epistles 10.96.
115
Extra-Biblical Secular Sources
  • Writer Date Subject
  • Cornellius 112 Death of Jesus at the hands of
    PilateTacitus
  • Lucian 2nd cent. The new cult of Christianity
  • Flavius 66 Life/Death of Jesus
  • Josephus
  • Suetonius 120 Christ-The reason for Jews
    expulsion from Rome
  • Pliny 112 Christians bound not to sin - Jesus
  • Thallus 52 Histories-Darkness at Christs death
    (eclipse)
  • Philegon 1st cent. DarknessEclipse
  • Mara Bar- 73 Calamities brought by deaths.
    Socrates, Serapion Pythagorus, and Jesus

116
Story of Jesus from secular writers
  • Jesus lived during the time of Tiberius Caesar.
    He lived a virtuous life. He was a wonder worker.
    He had a brother named James. He claimed to be
    the Messiah. He was crucified under Pontius
    Pilate. An eclipse and an earthquake occurred
    when he died.
  • He was crucified on the eve of the Jewish
    Passover. His disciples believed that he rose
    from the dead. His disciples were willing to die
    for their belief. Christianity spread rapidly as
    far as Rome. His disciples denied the Roman gods
    and worshiped Jesus as God.
  • Taken from Dr. Norman Geislers PowerPoint
    lecture Twelve Points that Prove Christianity is
    True (Order the CD at www.normgeisler.com)

117
Other Problems that His Theory Creates
  • Follow-up Question
  • There are two pillars of Christianity that are
    not even questioned by Dan Brown in his book.
    They are That God exists and that Jesus really
    did die on the cross.
  • Furthermore it is a well established fact of
    history that Jesus tomb is empty.
  • Can you think of any way of explaining the fact
    of the empty tomb and yet believe that Jesus was
    in fact just a man as Brown claimed in his book?
    (See DVC p. 233)

118
Other Problems that His Theory Creates
  • Follow-up Question
  • Do you think it is possible that Jesus Christ
    could be something more than what the book
    portrayed him to be?

119
Other Problems that His Theory Creates
  • Follow-up Question
  • One of the key questions that Dan Brown does not
    address is that whether Jesus died willingly or
    not.
  • If Jesus did not claim to be the Son of God, why
    do you think Jesus did not speak up before
    Pontius Pilate put him to death?
  • Can I share with you why he did this and why it
    makes a difference?

120
Taking the initiative
  • 1. What do you think about the DaVinci
    Code?2.     Why do you think speculation about
    how Jesus lived stirs so much passion?

121
Implications
  • If the bible actually gives us an accurate
    picture of Jesus.
  • If Jesus really demonstrated that He was God
  • What difference should this make in our life?
  • If Christianity is not the greatest story ever
    sold but the greater (true) story ever told
    then I should

122
  • Responding To The Challenges Of The DaVinci Code
  • Rev. Dave
  • Geisler
  • Meekness and Truth
  • Ministrieswww.meeknessandtruth.org
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