HOLES IN THE CODE – A few of the many problems with the gospel according to Dan Brown.

by Greg Hartman

Any honest historian will admit that research often raises more questions than it answers, but The Da Vinci Code has holes you could drive a Mack truck through. Here are just a few of the many, many problems with the gospel according to Brown:

• Brown carries on a great deal about the Gnostic Gospels and how it describes Jesus and Mary’s romance, but he doesn’t give much detail. There isn’t any.

Brown had only two passages to play with. One, in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, mentions that Jesus loved her more than all the other disciples — but there is no hint of this being romantic love.

The other, in the Gospel of Philip, might mention Jesus kissing Mary. I say might because the passage is missing numerous words; its meaning is doubtful. And nothing suggests that this was anything more than a kiss of fellowship as practiced in the early church (Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20).

Even if you believe the Gnostic Gospels are accurate and trustworthy — even though there’s every reason not to — that’s pretty slim evidence.

• Brown insists that Jesus had to have been married with kids, because it was unheard of for Jewish men to be single, especially rabbis.

Although Jesus’ disciples sometimes called Him “teacher” or “rabbi,” He wasn’t really a rabbi, and single Jewish men were not as unusual as Brown claims.

Besides, even a casual reader of the Gospels can see how often Jesus cheerfully violated tradition. Brown himself dubs Jesus “the original feminist,” so it’s hard to understand why he insists Jesus couldn’t possibly have broken this particular tradition.

• Somehow Brown overlooked a passage from the Gospel of Thomas claiming women can’t get to heaven unless they turn themselves into men first. So much for the Gnostic Gospels’ feminism.

• After cooking up his own version of history and theology, Brown unaccountably tosses in a dash of paganism: The early church, he says, used sex for worship — an idea found nowhere in his beloved Gnostic Gospels, although the Bible does mention, and condemn, pagan shrine prostitution.

After radically revising church history and theology, in other words, Brown revises his own revisions with a healthy dose of sexual immorality.

That’s hardly surprising. Sex sells, both for books and movies. The book has little graphic sex (the movie may not show similar restraint), but it does tell the reader that the church — the “real” church, as Brown defines it — has no problem with believers practicing all the immorality they like.


This article appeared in the May 2006 issue of Breakaway magazine. Copyright © 2006 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.


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