The Da Vinci Code claims that after Constantine had pulled together the Bible he had all the other gospels gathered up and burned. Not all was lost, however!

'Fortunately for historians,' Teabing said, '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.' (55.317)

Once again Dan Brown's accuracy in describing these documents is pretty sloppy.

First of all, the Dead Sea Scrolls are Jewish texts and contain nothing at all about Jesus or the Christian community (or, for that matter, anything about the Grail).

They are dated between the second century BC and the first century AD and have been invaluable to New Testament studies not for what they say about Jesus but because of what the light they shed on religious thought in first century Judaism.

Apart from the fact that they were found in a similar climate and at a similar time as the Nag Hammadi Texts it is entirely misleading to speak of them together; they are different in nearly every sense.

Brown's accuracy is not much better with the Nag Hammadi Texts, found in Upper Egypt. They are not, as Teabing states, scrolls but codices, or books. They are written in Coptic and were found in 1945 and they do contain information about Jesus though only five are named 'gospels'.

What is significant to note is that the majority of the codices (thirteen all together with forty-five separate works) reflect ascetic Gnostic thought. In order to understand why this is significant we need to understand something of Gnosticism.