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***Breaking the Da Vinci Code

Answers to the Questions Everyone's Asking

by Darrell L. Bock, PhD

Reviewed June 5, 2004.
Nelson Books, Nashville, Tennessee, 2004.  188 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (270.1 BOC).

I have to admit that I loved the book The Da Vinci Code, as a gripping and fascinating adventure story.  However, I only enjoyed it as a work of fiction, and I didn’t believe its assumptions for a minute.  I got my bachelor’s degree from Biola University, so I knew about the historicity of the New Testament and didn’t think that the basic beliefs were made up centuries after the facts.

I’m glad that Breaking the Da Vinci Code is out and is also a bestseller.  Darrell L. Bock is a scholar who has studied the ancient documents of the New Testament and the Gnostic writings for years.  He looks at the historical evidence to show that the assumptions of The Da Vinci Code are pure fiction.

Christianity is based on a historical event, the Resurrection.  This event is testified to in the Gospels.  Darrell Bock looks at the abundant historical evidence that the church accepted the Gospels as authoritative long before the Council of Nicea.

He also looks at the Gnostic writings that are used in The Da Vinci Code to claim that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.  He shows how scarce any such evidence is.  He does point out:  “In a canon supposedly selected to shut women out, the role of women is affirmed.  If the canon had really sought to suppress the role of women, then it would have removed all evidence that women were the first to hear about Jesus’ resurrection, something none of the four Gospels do because they seek to tell the story truthfully, even if it runs against the cultural grain of the first century….  Nothing shows this affirmation more than the Resurrection accounts.  The story of the four Gospels stands in contrast to the culture around them, which did not regard women as reliable enough to be witnesses.  All four Gospels insist that Jesus first appeared to women.  This detail, running against the larger, ancient culture as it does, is one of the key evidences that these Resurrection stories were not invented by a church trying to give Jesus a higher status than He really had.  Had believers merely invented these appearance-and-empty-tomb stories with the hope that they would convince the culture about Jesus, they would not have unanimously picked women to bear the story’s burden to be true.”

I hope that many people who have read The Da Vinci Code will also read this book.  The Da Vinci Code is fiction, so it doesn’t have to present evidence for its views.  It makes an exciting tale, but it’s good to see the evidence and know that it is only that:  an exciting tale.

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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