Christians and "The Da Vinci Code", Part 3
In part 2, we looked at the Gnostic Gospels, the "sources" Brown used as the basis for his so-called "historically accurate" book, "The Da Vinci Code".
This article will look at some of the more obvious mistakes Brown made in his "research".
- Leonardo da Vinci
Brown is purported as saying "Most scholars agree that even Da Vinci's most famous pieces -works like the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and Madonna of the Rocks - contain startling anomalies that all seem to be whispering the same cryptic message."
Exactly which scholars said this?
A quick search of the Internet shows only various "pro-Brown" web sites repeating the phrase above. At the time I wrote this article, no "scholar" was available as a source to Brown's statement.
Also, as pointed out by Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel, in their article "Facts vs. Fiction in 'The Da Vinci Code'"1, "no scholar would ever refer to the great Italian artist as 'Da Vinci', since his given name was 'Leonardo'; 'da Vinci' indicates the province he was from". A very remedial mistake for someone who claims to have done "extensive" research.
What are some of the "anomalies" and why is Brown the only one able to see them?
One such "anomaly" is with the person seated at Jesus' right in the painting "The Last Supper". Brown contends that this person is actually Mary Magdalene, but taken in context, this is easy to refute.
In the 1500's, it was customary to show young males as effeminate or with female characteristics, and most, if not all, artist of the time did this.2
Brown continues with his "John is Mary" contention with the statement that the character has a "hint of a bosom".
When I studied high-resolution images of "The Last Supper", the only "bosom's" I could find were the ones in Brown's imagination.
- The Merovingians founded Paris
This mistake was very easy to find and I was very surprise that Brown made it. I studied this back in eighth grade world history. Paris was a village called "Lutetia Parisiorum" and wasn't heavily populated until after the Roman conquest.
This in itself is not a big mistake, but when one considers statements from Brown that all of his historical information is true, it tends to draw into question all of his so-called historical facts.
- Name of God
Having recently completed a study on the Names of God3, I found this tidbit quite humorous. Brown's character, Robert Langdon, explains that the Jewish name for God, YHWH (pronounced as Yahweh), is actually "the masculine Jah and the pre-Hebraic name for Eve, "Havah."
In actuality, YHWH is the word LORD (all capitals), the covenant name of God. It occurs over 6,800 times in the Old Testament. It is also the name of God, too sacred to be uttered, abbreviated (….. ) or written "YHWH" without vowel points.4The word Jehovah is derived from this.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls
Brown states in the book that the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the 1950's and that they contained Gnostic texts. On both accounts, Brown is wrong.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947, near the village of Qumran, about twenty miles east of Jerusalem on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. A Bedouin shepherd, following a lost goat, threw a rock into a cave near the shore of the Dead Sea and heard the sound of breaking pottery. On further examination, he discovered a ceramic pot containing leather and papyrus scrolls.
Over the next ten years, eleven other caves around the Dead Sea were found to contain thousands of scroll fragments dating from the third century BC to AD 68, representing hundreds of works. These works contained a vast collection of Jewish documents that were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, including parts of manuscripts from every book in the Torah (Hebrew Bible), except the Book of Esther.
Scholars believe they were written almost one thousand years earlier than any previously known biblical manuscripts. The scrolls also contain the earliest existing biblical commentary, on the Book of Habakkuk, and sectarian documents that represent the beliefs and community rules of the Jewish sect.
Written hundreds of years before Jesus was born, no New Testament or Gnostic works were present. Brown's "research" and "truth" once more fall flat on its face.
With this kind of "painstaking research" into the supposed facts that form the basis for "The Da Vinci Code", it is clear to everyone but the most avid Brown supporter, that this book is clearly fiction, in every aspect, cover to cover.
Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian Family
1. Facts vs. Fiction in 'The Da Vinci Code' by Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel
2. The Last Supper - A Study of the Painting by Leonardo Da Vinci by John and Shelia Chapman (JayDax Computer Information Centre)
3. God's Names by Steve (Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian Family Web Site)
4. The Names of God by Lambert Dolphin