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Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answers to the…
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Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Asking (utgåvan 2004)

av Darrell L. Bock

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
713323,880 (2.94)2
Many who have read the New York Times bestseller The Da Vinci Code have questions that arise from seven codes-expressed or implied-in Dan Brown's book. In Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Asking, Darrell Bock, Ph.D., responds to the novelist's claims using central ancient texts and answers the following questions: Who was Mary Magdalene? Was Jesus Married? Would Jesus Being Single be Un-Jewish? Do the So-Called Secret Gnostic Gospels Help Us Understand Jesus? What Is the Remaining Relevance of The Da Vinci Code? Darrell Bock's research uncovers the origins of these codes by focusing on the 325 years immediately following the birth of Christ, for the claims of The Da Vinci Code rise or fall on the basis of things emerging from this period. Breaking the Da Vinci Code, now available in trade paper, distinguishes fictitious entertainment from historical elements of the Christian faith. For by seeing these differences, one can break the Da Vinci code.… (mer)
Medlem:Randle
Titel:Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Asking
Författare:Darrell L. Bock
Info:Thomas Nelson (2004), Hardcover, 208 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Apologetic, Christian

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A book of this kind ought to have been unnecessary, but the fact is, many in the general public fell for Dan Brown's self- serving fraud by taking Da Vinci Code for a work of non-fiction.

Darrell Bock seeks to refute the wild claims and suppositions of Brown's lightweight novel by considering such issues as the identity of Mary Magdalene, the marital status of Jesus, the significance of the gnostic gospels, and the history of the New Testament. Bock draws primarily on work by theologians, and his arguments are therefore based on religious ideology and dubious assumptions that the biblical accounts are true, despite their many contradictions. Nevertheless, he offers an interesting, if ill-informed, counterweight to such scholars as Elaine Pagels in putting gnostic works into context.

A credible historian would have written a very different work, albeit one no less critical of the Da Vinci Code. This book is likely to be well regarded by Christians seeking reassurance that they need not question their own religious beliefs. Others will look to works of a more scholarly nature for dispassionate, objective evaluations of the historical evidence. ( )
7 rösta danielx | Nov 28, 2009 |
Not Bad. ( )
  charlie68 | Jun 5, 2009 |
INTRODUCTION

Darrel Bock writes “Breaking The Da Vinci Code: Answering the Questions Everyone’s Asking” in response to Dan Brown’s historical fiction, “The Da Vinci Code,” which has sold over 4 million copies. Bock notes that Brown’s final sentence in his book ends with, “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” The goal of Bock’s book is to clarify truth from fiction, which he does by examining biblical and extrabiblical material on the 325 years following Christ’s birth, thereby breaking seven codes found in Brown’s book. Darrell Bock is a research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. It should be noted that he approaches this evidence from this perspective as compared to Dan Brown’s perspective of a writing a historical fiction novel.

CODE 1: WHO WAS MARY MAGDALENE?

The key woman investigated in this book is Mary of Magdala. The Da Vinci Code identifies her as the “wife of Jesus and the mother of His children.” Bock begins refuting Brown’s statement by first examining the references to any Mary mentioned in the New Testament. It should be noted that most of the women are identified in conjunction in relation to some male except for Mary Magdalene and another unknown Mary. Only eleven passages in the New Testament mention Mary Magdalene and Bock addresses each of these passages noting that she was a disciple of Christ, was present at the cross during crucifixion and as Jesus was laid to rest, and a witness to the resurrection.

Key texts are examined outside the Bible noting that one of the church Father’s Hippolytus identifies her as an apostle to the apostles, which Bock clarifies as being the first witness to the resurrection. A key Gnostic text, the Gospel of Philip, identifies Jesus kissing Mary, which Bock clarifies as a kiss of fellowship. A section in the Gospel of Mary Magdala identifies her as possibly having a special relationship with Jesus but no familial connotation is noted. “There is no clear text outside the Bible indicating that Jesus was married or that Mary Magdalene was His wife.” Bock concludes by noting that Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute but was a “faithful disciple and a witness to the cross, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

CODE 2: WAS JESUS MARRIED?

The Da Vinci code describes a group called the Opus Dei, whose goal was to “cover up the ‘fact’ that Jesus had a family and children.” Bock notes that there is no evidence indicating the marriage of Jesus and there is overwhelming evidence that conservative and liberal scholars agree that Jesus was not married. However, no text declares that He was single but there were many opportunities for gospel writers to include information about Jesus’ marriage if it was true. Jesus’ divinity would not be in question even if he had been married. Luke 8:1-3 indicates that Jesus traveled with Mary but she cannot be linked exclusively to Jesus.

Other texts outside the Bible indicate that Mary had a special relationship with Jesus but none indicate marriage. The argument that a good Jew would be married can be countered by the fact that Jesus was not a rabbi in the technical sense and Jesus' own words indicate in Matthew 19:10-12 that he modeled what he taught, which was to be a eunuch for the kingdom. It should also be noted that in the Qumran community that some Jewish men and women lived single together in the wilderness.

Noting information about Jesus not being married, Bock presents the case for Jesus’ singleness. There was never a male counterpart tied to Mary Magdalene when she was named. In 1 Corinthians 9:4-6 Paul does not indicate a reference to Jesus in a minister’s right to marry. The only Mary that Jesus showed concern for at the cross was his own mother.

CODE 3: WOULD BEING SINGLE MAKE JESUS UN-JEWISH?

The Da Vinci code claims that Jesus, a Jew, must be married because Jews condemned celibacy. Bock notes a text by Josephus in Antiquities 18, where practices of celibate Essenes are described. Also noted by Josephus in Jewish War 2.8.2.121-22 is the Essenes’ concern about marriage and fidelity to such an extent that celibacy seems to be encouraged. One has to admit that Jesus was different. He challenged some traditions, affirmed others, and added to others. Jesus involved women in his ministry, which was not typical in those days. It is apparently clear that being single was a practice among some respected Jews and that this would not diminish his Jewishness.

CODE 4: DO THE SO-CALLED SECRET, GNOSTIC GOSPELS
HELP US UNDERSTAND JESUS?

One of the characters in The Da Vinci Code, Teabing, indicates as fact that there are more gospels than one finds in the Bible. The gospels he is referring to entail what is known as the Gnostic gospels. The Gnostic gospels viewed “that some Christians had access to mysteries or advanced, exclusive teaching that other Christians did not possess.” This knowledge, gnosis, was received by special revelation. Bock shares a portion of the Gnostic text the Apocalypse of Peter 82:17-83:15 that demonstrates Gnostic-like view of deity as “the Pleroma, the pure, heavenly, immaterial fullness that is truly and completely divine.” They also made a distinction “between the Savior’s physical (corporeal) body that suffered on the cross and the true, incorporeal body that is pure light, which saw the Savior suffer.” Thirdly, all these teachings were mysteries.

There was also a dualism in Gnostic literature were there was “the eternal, supreme, transcendent Father who is utterly spiritual and had no contact with anything material.” The opposite of Him was “the Creator of the physical world, a fallen, wicked, arrogant being often called the Demiurge, or ‘maker,’ who falsely believes himself to be the only god.” Gnosticism also believed in a divine feminine.

Another significant view of Gnosticism was their view of the work of Jesus. They identified a “living Lord and Savior Jesus and the human substitute Jesus. One was spiritual the other was material. The true Jesus did not suffer on the cross. “The picture of a Jesus who lacked genuine humanity and did not know suffering is distinct from that of other Christians.” Relating to views of spirituality one was “rooted in Jesus (that of John’s gospel) and one rooted in the divine potential in each one of us (Thomas’s gospel).”
It is clear through this brief survey of literature that the Gnostic gospels and the gospels of the New Testament were quite different. Not only is that evident in today’s time, but it was also clearly evident in their time. Bock spends some significant time with this issue because of the undercurrents of some individuals trying to rewrite the Christian story.

CODE 5: HOW WERE THE NEW TESTAMENT GOSPELS ASSEMBLED?

Teabing makes another claim in The Da Vinci Code that Constantine financed the writing of a Bible that excluded some pertinent works in establishing the Council at Nicea. Bock affirms that Constantine was a key player in Christian history and that Nicea was instrumental in affirming certain Christian beliefs, which eventually formed the Canon of Scripture. Two key texts written between A.D. 50-68 by Paul in 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 and Philippians 2:9-11 affirmed Jesus as Christ and Lord. The Gospel of John in chapter one gives evidence of Jesus’ divinity. Biblical authors, not Nicea, affirmed that Jesus was God. The establishment of the Canon of Scripture is vital to a firm belief in the Bible.

The clarification and affirmation of what constituted the Canon has been a source of contention for some. Bock claims that the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have always been viewed as authentic because of their widespread use in the centuries prior to Nicea as well as their affirmation as the threat of false teaching arose. Some key texts emphasizing these issues were the Muratorian Canon and Against Heresies, a writing of Irenaeus. Other church fathers affirming the gospels were Justin Martyr, Tatian, and Origen. The clarification of certain writings of early Christians to be burned by order of Emperor Diocletian also gives evidence to those documents, which Christians deemed authentic. It is clear that the gospels were affirmed and accepted as true Christian documents long before the Council at Nicea.

CODE 6: DOES MARY’S HONORED ROLE AS APOSTLE
MATCH THE CLAIMS OF THE NEW SCHOOL?

The Da Vinci Code “claims a special leadership role in the church for Mary Magdalene that was later suppressed” is a claim presented that distorts reality. One of the issues surrounding Mary Magdalene is the lack of solid evidence, which gives rise to much speculation and a wide array of unsubstantiated interpretations. Bock identifies an underlying theme of Dan Brown and other Neo-Gnostic scholars who claim that “Christianity needs a new story because the old one was bad history in which the suppressed losers were denied a hearing. Injustice needs correcting. We need to look at the evidence from a fresh historical angle to save those who have not been able to speak for themselves through the centuries.” “In effect, the ancient church is called a liar.” Neo-Gnostic and Classical Christian views cannot both be right.

Biblical materials do elevate the view of women in their particular cultural situation. Bock notes the role of Philip’s daughters as prophets in Acts 21:9 and Anna’s role as prophet in Luke 2:36-38. Jesus apparently affirmed women be allowing them to be disciples such as Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42, Mary Magdalene, Susanna, and Joanna in Luke 8:1-3, Priscilla in Acts 18:26, and the likelihood of women deaconesses in 1 Timothy 3:11.
However, there are some limitations to the role of women found in the Bible. Jesus had twelve male disciples. Matthias, a male, replaced Judas in Acts 1:15-26. Generally speaking, the Bible did elevate the role of women, especially in comparison to their surrounding culture. Some claim that there was a specific move to suppress women in the early church, especially the role of Mary Magdalene. One should note, however, how the Roman Catholic Church has venerated Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Mary Magdalene has been identified as the apostle to the apostles. Mary Magdalene was with a group of women when she arrived at the tomb and her and the other women were apostles in the sense that they bore the message of the resurrection to the other apostles. The issue about Mary in the Gospel of Mary arguing with Peter really appears to be about whom can receive revelation. It does not appear to be about gender. Mary Magdalene was affirmed as one of the first persons along with other women to witness the resurrection “although she was not given an office in the church for that role.”

CODE 7: WHAT IS THE REMAINING RELEVANCE OF “THE DA VINCI CODE?”

The Da Vinci Code as critiqued by Bock through historical material has found the novel deficient in its claims. Two claims in the novel, related to women, are valid. Mary Magdalene was not historically found to be a prostitute and Jesus did elevate the view of women. The danger of a book like this novel is that people in general embrace what they read without critically considering the evidence or the agenda behind the books or authors they read. The Christian faith has been rooted in factual recorded historical events that provide objective verifiable proof of its claims. This book by Bock has provided ample evidence for the traditional view and ample proof to contradict the claims of liberal scholars and the claims found in The Da Vinci Code.

CODE 8: THE REAL JESUS CODE.

This book has centered on some key figures and some key texts. The key text was the Bible and the key figures were Jesus and Mary Magdalene. One would do the biblical text injustice to miss how Mary Magdalene was influenced by Jesus and believed in Him as her Lord and Savior and was an actual witness to his death, burial, and resurrection. Just as the life of Mary Magdalene was transformed by an encounter with Jesus Christ the reader of this book can also embrace, believe and receive the eternal life that can only be found in a personal relationship with Jesus.
1 rösta benphillips | Jan 31, 2009 |
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Many who have read the New York Times bestseller The Da Vinci Code have questions that arise from seven codes-expressed or implied-in Dan Brown's book. In Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Asking, Darrell Bock, Ph.D., responds to the novelist's claims using central ancient texts and answers the following questions: Who was Mary Magdalene? Was Jesus Married? Would Jesus Being Single be Un-Jewish? Do the So-Called Secret Gnostic Gospels Help Us Understand Jesus? What Is the Remaining Relevance of The Da Vinci Code? Darrell Bock's research uncovers the origins of these codes by focusing on the 325 years immediately following the birth of Christ, for the claims of The Da Vinci Code rise or fall on the basis of things emerging from this period. Breaking the Da Vinci Code, now available in trade paper, distinguishes fictitious entertainment from historical elements of the Christian faith. For by seeing these differences, one can break the Da Vinci code.

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