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The Da Vinci Code’s ignorance of … everything6 min read

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Okay, I will stop beating a dead, or at least dying, horse. While the movie racked in over $77 million the first weekend, the film critics, or as I like to call them – our evil right-wing Christian pawns – panned the movie as dreadful.

This lets us know why Sony kept the movie away from film critics as long as possible – they wanted to get at least one good weekend out of it before the bad reviews broke the Code momentum.

Still I can’t help but to throw one last swift kick to the gut of the story’s inherent ignorance of vast amounts of knowledge. So here is a brief round-up of the myriad of mistakes in The Da Vinci Code.

The Washington Post has a good primer on a few of the topics where intelligence and knowledge depart from The Da Vinci Code.

For one, as the Washington Post story points out, DVC is ignorant of the Gnostic gospels and teachings, the foundational material of the story’s premise.

Even skeptical scholar Bart Ehrman points out the inconsistencies within the novel. While DVC claims that the four canonical Gospels portray Jesus as divine, but the Gnostic writings show Jesus as more human. As Ehrman wrote, the Gnostic writings portray Jesus “in even more divine terms than do the four in the canon.”

The vast majority of the Gnostic didn’t even believe that Jesus was a physical being. They taught that he was completely spiritual. That was their dispute with the early church, not Jesus divinity, but His humanity.

Gnostic writings, contrary to DVC, held women in very low regard. They did not teach the sacred feminine. In fact, it was almost the opposite.

The Gospel of Thomas says that women must become a man to “enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Thomas 114) In Zostrianos 131:5-8, femininity is called “unclean.” In Testimony of Truth 68:6-8, it is called nature’s “dark vagina.” Paraphrase of Shem, teaches Gnostics to “flee from the insanity and fetters of femaleness and embrace instead the salvation of maleness.”

Related to the low view of women is Gnosticisms low view of sex, completely contrary to DVC’s claims.

Apocryphon of John says, “Sexual intercourse continued due to the ruler of this world. He planted sexual desires in the woman that belonged to Adam. He produced through intercourse copies of the bodies, inspiring them with his spirit of opposition.” The Book of Thomas the Contender says that sex produces beasts, so Gnostics must “abandon bestiality” and that a curse is on “you who love intimacy with womankind and polluted intercourse with it.”

DVC also adds words to Gnostic writings to make them more conducive to the theories espoused. The novel claims the Gospel of Philip says, “The companion of the Saviour is Mary Magdalene. Christ loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her mouth.”

Dan Brown’s problem is that the available text does not say this. The original actually reads: “And the companion of the […] Mary Magdalene. […] more than […] the disciples, […] kiss her […] on her […].” Is it possible that Brown’s quote is correct? Maybe, but we don’t know and he bases much of his story on his own filling in the blanks.

Not to mention the fact that earlier in the Gospel of Philip, the writer speaks of the virtue of a kiss, then notes: “For this reason we also kiss one another.” Seems fairly common and not unusual for someone to kiss another person in greeting.

That is even if you take the Gospel of Philip at face value. The writing does not claim to be from Philip the Apostle. It is given that name because he is the only apostle mentioned. Besides, the earliest the book could have been written was 180 AD, but most likely it was written much later – possibly even fourth century.

Also, it couldn’t have been an “early source” for the life of Jesus as DVC claims because the writing quotes several of the New Testament writings dating it clearly after them.

I hate glossing over so much, but this post could be a book if I detailed all of the errors from the novel. Taking the history mentioned in the book, virtually everything he says about Constantine, The Inquisition, the Roman Catholic Church, the Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the founding of Paris, the Rosslyn Collegiate Church in Roslin, Scotland, the secret organizations, origins of iconography, the early Church, the canonization of Scripture, etc. is all either blatantly false or drastically exaggerated.

Dan Brown even gets simple things wrong like the basic direction of buildings from one another in Paris and the number of glass panes in La Pyramide at the Lourve. It actually has 673, not the 666 claimed in the novel.

Hopefully this drives home the point, to anyone who half way considered anything proposed in The Da Vinci Code as truthful. If you can’t trust Dan Brown to tell you which direction the Jardin des Tuileries is from the Louvre (east, not west as DVC says), why could he be trusted to give an accurate picture of anything, much less challenge historical thinking for 2,000 years.

As a commenter said earlier, skeptics and atheists should be the ones angry with Dan Brown, not Christians. He makes it seem as if the arguments posed by non-Christians are weak, childish and terribly easy to rebuff. What passes for an assault on Christianity from this novel, is actually an assault on truth and history, regardless of one’s beliefs.