Historicity of Christ

Da Vinci Code

"The Da Vinci Code" is a novel written by Dan Brown based on the recently discovered Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient documents found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt. Is Jesus mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls? Are the Dead Sea Scrolls a "Christian record," as Dan Brown suggests?
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Da Vinci Code

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Sowing doubt is the labor of Lucifer. Doubt destroys God’s ability to deliver because the standard God has established requires our faith as part of the deliverance equation. James 1:5-8:

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

The double minded cannot overcome their obstacles. Doubt is a mixture of faith and unbelief. It is the lukewarm concoction that God spews out of His mouth. Matthew 13:57-58 reads:

57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Doubt destroys God’s ability to deliver.

Jesus speaks in Matthew 7:15 of ravening wolves:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

These false prophets are people who pretend to be servants of God supporting the Gospel message. But these pretenders have and are destroying God’s pleasant portion. Jeremiah 12:10:

Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

God’s pleasant portion is the children of childlike faith. Hebrews 11:6: "But without faith it is impossible to please him:..." These pretenders stand in the world’s pulpits peppering the Word of truth with a generous amount of "what if" and "but if," “the theologians say,” "and in the original Greek and original Hebrew," or that the original signatures of the Scriptures are Holy Writ but not the majority-text Authorized Version that you read, or that the Red Sea was actually the Sea of Reeds, or that the Bible was written for the people of its day and not this modern generation, or that it was billions of years and not six days, and so on and so forth. These pulpit pretenders are sowers of doubt. They are ravening wolves who devour God’s pleasant portion who are the children of childlike faith.

Has this ugly spirit of unbelief caused you to doubt the veracity of the Word of God? Has it robbed you of childlike faith? At the time of the writing of this feature, there are nearly 300 GodSaidManSaid subjects that prove the supernatural authorship of the Word of God and every Thursday eve, God willing, it grows by one. For the past 6,000-plus years, the world’s most educated canal minds have challenged the validity of the God book and have failed miserably every time. The anti-God crowd is hoping for a champion, for a missing link, for some phenomenal discovery, but the deeper they dig, the more their findings support the incontrovertible God of the Scriptures. Would you like to return to the beauty and simplicity of childlike faith? Do it today. Click on to "Further With Jesus" on this website for immediate entrance into the Kingdom of God. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, John 12:23-25:

23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

GOD SAID, Matthew 27:57-66:

57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.

62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

GOD SAID, Matthew 28:1-7:

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

MAN SAID: Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, even if there was such a man in history. These stories are simply myths promoted by Christianity.

Now THE RECORD: The visitor to GodSaidManSaid asked, "What about The Da Vinci Code?" The Da Vinci Code is a novel written by Dan Brown. Since it was published in 2003, it has been on the New York Times Best Seller list and has ranked as a best seller in nearly 150 countries. The Da Vinci Code is presently being made into a movie to be released in May of 2006. Among other distortions, the author claims that Jesus Christ had married a follower of his, Mary Magdalene, whom Mr. Brown claims bore children to him. This blasphemy was printed earlier: In 1982, in a book titled Holy Blood, Holy Grail, which went on to speculate that the offspring of this farcical union can be traced to the monarchs of France.

Blasphemous stories circulated about Jesus are certainly not new. In Matthew 28:11-15, we read:

11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,

13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

The Jewish authorities, in the days of Christ and today, take the position (if you press the issue) that the Lord was a bastard (fatherless child) and a sorcerer. If he was virgin-born, then Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled in Him and therefore they instigated the crucifixion of their Messiah:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Secondly, if He performed all the marvelous miracles recorded in the Scriptures, this would in fact be the endorsement of God—and again they have crucified their Messiah. Take note that they did not deny His existence or the miracles. They simply attributed them to fornication and sorcery.

Back to Mr. Brown’s blasphemy. Washington, D.C., trial lawyer and author C. L. Parshall weighs in on The Da Vinci Code in a feature article in the January-February 2006 issue of IMG titled "Scrolls, Souls, and the ‘Da Vinci Effect.’" Parshall chose to deal with just two of the historic distortions Dan Brown promotes in his book:

(1) That the Dead Sea Scrolls are part of the ’earliest Christian records;’ and

(2) That the ancient, heretical documents found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, are a more faithful historical record of Jesus than the New Testament Gospels.

The Da Vinci Code portrays itself as a factual accounting of the ancient records, citing and fully misrepresenting them. The first issue Parshall raises concerns the Dead Sea Scrolls which were discovered in the caves of Qumran near the Dead Sea in Israel. The following excerpt is from Parshall’s article:

As to the first point, the "seer" of Brown’s book, a character named Sir Leigh Teabing, solemnly opines:

"These are photocopies of the Nag Hammadi and Dead Sea Scrolls, which I mentioned earlier," Teabing said. "The earliest Christian records. Troublingly, they do not match up with the gospels in the Bible." [End of quote]

Evidently, Mr. Brown was unaware that the Dead Sea Scrolls have nothing at all to do with the New Testament and the life of Christ. Again from "Scrolls, Souls, and the ‘Da Vinci Effect:’"

The Dead Sea Scrolls consist of, among other things, 225 Old Testament manuscripts, about 215 of which were discovered in 11 caves at Khirbet Qumran near the Dead Sea in Israel; the other 10 were found nearby at Wadi Murabba ‘at, Nahal Hever, and Masada. They contain every book of the Old Testament, with the exception of Esther. The latest dates from around A.D. 68; the earliest, from around 250 B.C. They represent the oldest version of the Old Testament in existence.

So, is Jesus mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls? No. The Qumran religious community during the first century was not Christian; it was a remote and separatist desert sect of Judaism. Most scholars believe it was a part of, or related to, the Essenes; and there is a virtual "consensus" among Dead Sea Scrolls scholars that those scrolls do not address Christ or the early church:

The Qumranites . . . existed during the time of the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth (26-30 A.D.). But none of the Dead Sea Scrolls refer to Him, and they do not mention any follower of Jesus described in the New Testament.

The bottom line is that the Dead Sea Scrolls are in no sense a "Christian record," as Dan Brown’s novel suggests. Nor do they contradict the New Testament. [End of quote]

Not only are the Dead Sea Scrolls not Holy Writ, but the ancient scrolls found at Nag Hammadi are not Holy Writ either. Mr. Parshall writes:

Quite different from the Dead Sea Scrolls are those ancient texts found at Nag Hammadi in 1945 by an Egyptian peasant who later sold them the following year to a dealer in Old Cairo. None of them are "New Testament": they contain none of the books from Matthew to Revelation. In fact, they contain sayings and accounts of the life of Christ that resulted from Gnostic heresy in the centuries following the original New Testament autographs. That heresy sought to re-explain the meaning of Christ’s ministry from the philosophical perspective of speculation and paganism.

Parshall writes:

The Da Vinci Code, however, promotes these Gnostic gospels as more authentic than the four Gospels of the New Testament. Nothing could be further from the truth. [End of quote]

B. Layton, in his book The Gnostic Scriptures, published in 1987, dates the Nag Hammadi texts at around 350 A.D., which is 250 years after the writing of the Gospels of the New Testament.

Finally from the IMG article:

It is noteworthy that even the Nag Hammadi "experts" have concluded that those texts were "buried . . . by unknown persons, [for reasons] . . . not specifically known," and we know nothing about the original source of the information contained in them; and what is true of the "Gospel According to Phillip" is also true of the other Nag Hammadi texts: their authorship and the identity of their compilers "are completely unknown."

From an objective, historical standpoint, to base any conclusions regarding the life of Jesus Christ on the "Gnostic" texts from Nag Hammadi, or to contend that they eclipse the New Testament record, is nonsense.

Rather than the early church concealing the truth about Jesus by suppressing the "Gnostic" versions discovered at Nag Hammadi (the theory of The Da Vinci Code), precisely opposite is the case: the New Testament versions, written by eyewitnesses or from eyewitness sources, were more reliable and generally accepted because they were accurate. The heretical counterfeits penned much later were soundly (and wisely) criticized and rejected as deceptive, dangerous distortions of the truth. [End of quote]

The Dead Sea Scrolls are not New Testament, nor are the ancient Nag Hammadi texts, written 250 years after Christ, the truth. The Bible is the Word of God preserved for our eyes, for this very day. H. Morris, in his book Many Infallible Proofs, writes:

If we can believe anything at all that has been preserved for us from ancient history by the writings of men of those days, we are more than justified in believing that our New Testament was originally written in essentially its present form by the traditional authors. The world’s foremost Biblical archaeologist, William F. Albright, has said: "In my opinion, every book of the New Testament was written by a baptized Jew between the forties and eighties of the first century A.D."

Then again Morris writes:

No wonder then, in view of the combined evidence of the empty tomb, the numerous appearances, the change in the disciples, and the authenticity of the records, not to mention the testimony of two thousand years of Christian history, that such a man as Thomas Arnold, formerly Professor of History at Rugby and Oxford, one of the world’s great historians, could say:

I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better, fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair enquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died, and rose again from the dead.

In like manner, Simon Greenleaf, one of the most skilled legal minds ever produced in this nation, top authority on the matter of what constitutes sound evidence, developer of the Harvard Law School, after a thorough evaluation of the four Gospel accounts from the point of view of their validity as objective testimonial evidence, concluded:

"It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact."

The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction based on fiction, not to be confused as a viable contradiction to the Word of God.

GOD SAID, Matthew 28:1-7:

1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

MAN SAID: Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, even if there was such a man in history. These stories are simply myths promoted by Christianity.

Now you have THE RECORD.




References:

Authorized King James Version

Morris, H., Many Infallible Proofs, Master Books, 1984

Parshall, C.L., "Scrolls, Souls, and the ‘Da Vinci Effect,’" Israel My Glory, Jan./Feb. 2006

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