“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” ~ John 10:27
Several years ago, Dan Brown’s fictional tale, The Da Vinci Code, rocked the box office and stormed the bookshelves as a New York Times Best Seller. This saga explored realms of the unknown-concerning the life of the most popular man ever known, Jesus Christ.
The author was well researched and very detailed. Moreover, in all actuality, he used facts to conjecture his illusory anecdote. Regrettably, Mr. Brown lied. Take for instance the tomb he claimed to belong to Jesus’ family in South Jerusalem. More specifically, this tomb supposedly held Jesus’ wife Mary Magdalene, and His children. Nevertheless, scholars have actually proven that this tomb has nothing to do with Jesus Christ at all. In reality, Jesus’ body has never been discovered. Nor is there any credible evidence suggesting that He was ever married, or had children.
One aspect of The Da Vinci Code is to curtail the divinity of Jesus Christ to a mere ordinary man. Moreover, the narrative explores the widely-stretched critic of the Gnostic Gospels, in an attempt to discredit Scripture.
According to Dan Brown…
“The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definite version of the book…more than 80 gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relative few are chosen for inclusion- Matthew, Mark Luke, and John among them…the Bible, as we know it today, was collected by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great.” ~ The Da Vinci Code
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THIS QUOTE IN FURTHER DETAIL…
But first let’s review: Last week, More Than Judas discussed the facts concerning the Bible: The science of Historicity has proven that of the 6,000 copies of original manuscripts, the Scriptures are 99.5% textually pure. The remaining percentage is made up of grammatical errors, misspellings, the repetition of words, or other variant mistakes. Doctrinal matters were not affected. Additionally, MTJ reasoned that even though there is more evidence supporting the Life of Christ than Homer’s Iliad, Aristotle, Caesar, Herodotus Plato and all the others combined- none of these well-known historical figures are debated, questioned, or minimized as much as Jesus Christ.
“…and Scripture cannot be broken…” ~ John 10:35
THE OTHER GOSPELS
Given the context of the quote, the number eighty more than likely refers to the circulation of other gospels throughout this timeframe. For starters, this number is grossly exaggerated. Nonetheless, the Church thoroughly examined the selection of the Gospels.
Not only was an association to Jesus Christ a requirement, the author’s doctrinal perspective must have declared Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Secondly, Jesus must have been deemed both Man and God by the writer (Many of these gospels questioned Jesus’ Hypostatic Union. Therefore, if the author wrote a “gospel,” yet declared Christ as only a mere man and not simultaneously God, this text would have been eliminated from the selection to choose from). Lastly, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ after being crucified at Calvary must have been affirmed.
In order for an author to be included in the Bible, there had to be a joining relationship with Jesus, or mentor who personally walked with the Man who claimed to be God. Apostolic or prophetic authorship was a necessity, in order to be included in the Bible.
Matthew- A Disciple who walked with Jesus Christ
Mark- A close friend and mentee of Peter, an apostle who also walked with Jesus Christ.
Luke- Paul’s mentee, a physician and close friend who he discipled.
Paul- An Apostle once known as Saul, but after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus became a Christ Follower and wrote most of the New Testament.
THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS
Another aspect of The Da Vinci Code is its use of the Gospel of Judas. This text is considered a Gnostic Gospel, false teaching, or otherwise referred to as the Pseudo-graphical Writings. Scholars and historians have identified the rise of Gnostic sects in the second century and beyond. These factions fashioned these documents specifically to mock Jesus Christ’s divinity as Lord and Savior.
Specifically, the Gospel of Judas creates a secret scheme that both he and Jesus were aware of, and extols the betrayal as Jesus’ instructions. In other words, Judas really was a swell guy and was only following the directives of his leader. Obviously, this refutes the Bible’s New Testament Gospels and their accounts for what occurred before the Resurrection.
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:17
Sadly, many people have adopted a Da Vinci Code-like perspective toward The Bible. Rather than considering the work of scholars and Church Fathers, who have spent their entire lives pouring before Scripture, they have chosen to trust their misguided presumptions, agendas, and fictional authors such as Dan Brown. Furthermore, many Christians do not believe in the authority of Scripture.
Yet, the life of Christ and His existence hinges on Scripture. In the end, if we as Christ Followers diminish the inspiration, infallibility, inherency and authority of The Word of God, then Jesus’ life and Lordship are being called into question.
“St. John makes the denial of the incarnation of the Son of God the criterion of Antichrist, and consequently the belief in this truth the test of Christianity.”
Prayer: Father God, I pray that the life of Jesus shines through me today. Lead me by Your Word. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.