Cracking the Da Vinci Code - THE

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Cracking the Da Vinci Code - THE Powered By Docstoc
The Perfect Storm . . .
The Plot:
  Jacques Saunière is murdered in the Louvre.

  His niece, Sophie Neveu (New Wisdom), and
    Robert Langdon, Professor of Religious
    Symbology, unravel two mysteries

     1) Who killed Jacques Saunière, and why?

     2) The identity and location of the Holy Grail.
The Holy Grail:
  1) Mary Magdalene who was the “chalice” that
    carried the offspring of Jesus.

  2) Historical documents that prove that Jesus was
    actually married to Mary Magdalene and that
    they had children together.

  3) The identity of Jesus‟ heirs, up to the present
History of Christianity as presented in
     The Da Vinci Code
  Constantine and the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325):
     Invented the divinity of Christ.
     “Commissioned and financed” our current Bible.
History of Christianity as portrayed in
     The Da Vinci Code
  Constantine and the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325):
     Invented the divinity of Christ.
     “Commissioned and financed” our current Bible.
  Mary Magdalene took the children of Jesus to
    Europe where they eventually established the 6th
    century Merovingian Dynasty.
  After the 11th century, all these secret truths,
    coupled with the worship of the divine feminine,
    were passed down through secret societies.
     The Knights Templar and Priory of Sion
  Leonardo Da Vinci was Grand Master of the Priory
    of Sion from 1511-1519.
  Throughout—Catholic Church tried to eradicate.
Cracking the Code: Question 1
  Did a secret society, or an association of secret
    societies, keep pagan goddess worship alive
    and protect the secret knowledge of Jesus‟ wife
    and children throughout the Middle Ages?

  Along the way did they provide esoteric clues to
    what they were doing?

  Was Leonardo Da Vinci a Grand Master of one of
   the societies?
No medieval secret societies propagating:
  Druidism, etc.

No Rosicrucianism or Freemasonry before the 17th
No Priory of Sion
  Les Dossiers Secrets were forged by Pierre Plantard in
  the 1960s
Leonardo Da Vinci
The Last Supper (Milan)
 Detail of John

The Last Supper
Saint John the Baptist
Virgin of the Rocks
Historiographical Problems

  Coincidence Becomes Connection
  when you take a conspiracy approach to history
Historiographical Problems

  Coincidence Becomes Connection

                     “One must synthesize . . .
                     it is not sufficient to
                     confine oneself exclusively
                     to facts.”
Historiographical Problems

  Coincidence Becomes Connection

                     that cannot be ignored
“The connection changes the

       Umberto Eco, Foucault‟s Pendulum
“The connection changes the perspective”
“The connection changes the perspective”
Conspiracy theories are attractive—
they offer
  secret knowledge.
  believable explanations to historical events.

And they are virtually impossible to disprove.
Historiographical Problems

    Coincidence Becomes Connection

    Similarity Becomes Equivalence

    Biases Color Conclusions
Cracking the Code: Question 2
  Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene?

  Did early Christians revere Mary Magdalene as the
    representation of the sacred feminine?

  Was Orthodoxy a patriarchal power grab?

  Was the memory of Mary smeared by the church
   in order to discredit those who worshipped her?
Mary Magdalene, Jesus‟s marriage, and the
 sacred feminine?
                      No mention of Jesus
                      being married to Mary in
                      the orthodox or the
                      Gnostic gospels
                      All Jewish men were not

                      Christianity was firmly
                      rooted in Judaism—No
Cracking the Code: Question 3

                    Did the
                    Emperor Constantine:
                         Falsely convert?
                         Invent the divinity
                         of Jesus?
                         Rewrite the Bible?
                         Destroy scores of
                         authentic gospels?
The Da Vinci Code, pp 231-234

“Jesus was a historical figure of staggering influence,
  perhaps the most enigmatic and inspirational
  leader the world has ever seen. As the prophesied
  Messiah, Jesus toppled kings, inspired millions,
  and founded new philosophies. . . .
  Understandably, His life was recorded by
  thousands of followers across the land” (231).
Constantine was a “lifelong pagan who was baptized
  on his deathbed, too weak to protest. . . .
  Unfortunately for him, a growing religious turmoil
  was gripping Rome. Three centuries after the
  crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Christ‟s followers had
  multiplied exponentially. Christians and pagans
  began warring, and the conflict grew to such
  proportions that it threatened to rend Rome in
  two. Constantine decided something had to be
  done. In 325 a.d., he decided to unify Rome under
  a single religion. Christianity.” . . . “Constantine
  was a very good businessman. He could see that
  Christianity was on the rise, and he simply backed
  the winning horse” (232).
Constantine called the Council of Nicaea where
  “many aspects of Christianity were debated and
  voted on—the date of Easter, the role of bishops,
  the administration of the sacraments, and, of
  course, the divinity of Jesus. . . . Until that
  moment in history Jesus was viewed by His
  followers as a mortal prophet . . . a great and
  powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal. .
  . . Jesus‟ establishment as „the Son of God‟ was
  officially proposed and voted on by the Council of
  Nicaea” (233).
“Because Constantine upgraded Jesus‟ status almost
  four centuries after Jesus‟ death, thousands of
  documents already existed chronicling His life as a
  mortal man. To rewrite the history books,
  Constantine knew he would need a bold stroke.
  From this sprang the most profound moment in
  Christian history. . . . Constantine commissioned
  and financed a new Bible, which omitted those
  gospels that spoke of Christ‟s human traits and
  embellished those gospels that made Him godlike.
  The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up,
  and burned” (234).
“Fortunately for historians, some of the gospels that
  Constantine attempted to eradicate managed to
  survive. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the
  1950s hidden in a cave near Qumran in the
  Judean desert. And, of course, the Coptic Scrolls in
  1945 at Nag Hammadi. In addition to telling the
  true Grail story, these documents speak of Christ‟s
  ministry in very human terms. Of course the
  Vatican, in keeping with their tradition of
  misinformation, tried very hard to suppress the
  release of these scrolls. And why wouldn‟t they?
  The scrolls highlight glaring historical
  discrepancies and fabrications, clearly confirming
  that the modern Bible was compiled and edited by
  men who possessed a political agenda—to
  promote the divinity of the man Jesus Christ and
  use his influence to solidify their own power base”
The Conversion of Constantine (AD 312)
  No reason to believe it wasn‟t authentic.
  Perceived by Christians at the time as a miracle.

The Council of Nicaea (AD 325)
  No one was arguing that Jesus was simply “a
   mortal prophet.”
  Debated how Christ was divine . . . not whether.
  Belief in the deity of Christ, and attempts to
   explain it theologically, go back to the 1st and
   2nd centuries (e.g. Ignatius of Antioch and
Gnosticism and Gnostic Gospels

  Dualistic—High unknowable God who didn‟t create the evil
    physical world. Many spiritual emanations between God
    and creation.

  Salvation by realizing (having the knowledge—gnosis) that
    one is essentially divine and releasing the divine spark
    within to escape this evil physical world and reunite with
    the spirit world.
Gnosticism and Gnostic Gospels

  Nag Hammadi Library —13 codices (books) found in a
   jar near the Egyptian village of Nag Hammadi in 1945
    Contains 45 different Coptic texts—some Christian
     some not.
    Includes Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Philip, Gospel of
      Truth, Apocalypse of James, Acts of Peter and the
      Twelve Apostles, etc.
Gnosticism and Gnostic Gospels

                      A majority position?

                      More reliable than the NT?
                      Full of info about Jesus
                          being married to Mary?
                      More focused on Jesus‟
                      Less patriarchal—more
Formation of the Canon
  Canon—a “rule” or “standard”—The list of
   authoritative Christian texts.
  The Muratorian Canon (written c. 180, not 325!)
  Generally standardized by the end of the 2nd
  Finalized at a council in Rome in 382.
Formation of the Canon

  On what basis?
    Apostolicity (close association with the
    Texts of widely recognized value.

  Not the work of one man or one committee!

  We have a strong foundation.

  We need to listen to our culture.

  Be ready to share our understanding of Jesus.

   But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be
   prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you
   to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do
   this with gentleness and respect . . .
                                                1 Peter 3:15