The Claims of The Da Vinci Code.
- Constantine collated a new Bible to support the new Christianity.
- The new Bible portrays an exclusively divine Jesus.
- The Nag Hammadi Texts and Dead Sea Scrolls are examples of earlier, more reliable information about Jesus.
Where to find this information: Chs. 55, 58
According to The Da Vinci Code, once Constantine had 'upgraded' Jesus' status he was faced with a huge problem. Thousands of Jesus' followers had recorded his life with more than eighty gospels considered for inclusion in the New Testament.
The new Bible which Constantine commissioned 'omitted those gospels which speak of Christ's human traits and embellished those gopsels that made him godlike.' (55.317)
Teabing goes on to say that fortunately some of those original texts have survived in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Texts. Are these claims truthful?
As we have already seen, Constantine the Great, did not create a new hybrid Christianity in the fourth century, nor did he 'upgrade' Jesus from mortal prophet to divine being.
Therefore, there was no reason for him to commission a new Bible.
But what about the Bible that we have now? If Constantine didn't collate it, who did?
In this chapter we want to answer two questions:
- What evidence is there for the antiquity of the Gospels?
- What do the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Texts have to say about Jesus?
Before we turn to theses questions we need to begin with an important definition and an equally important observation.
Though The Da Vinci Code talks a lot about 'the Bible' what Dan Brown is really talking about are the Gospels and possibly the rest of the New Testament.
The Bible is of course made up of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is is the Jewish Scriptures and was inherited by the new Christian community. This means that Teabing's assertion that Christians were somehow responsible for the book of Genesis is utterly incorrect (56.322).
To my knowledge there are no references to the epistles or the book of Acts in The Da Vinci Code because its primary concern is with uncovering the 'true' story of Jesus.
So, when you read 'Bible' you might want to substitute 'New Testament' or, more specifically, 'the Gospels'.