The Da Vinci Code

Discussion in 'Community' started by ksz, Dec 20, 2003.

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  1. ksz macrumors 68000

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    #1
    This latest novel by Dan Brown continues to be on various Best Seller lists with 4.3 million copies in print. It's currently #1 again at Amazon and is being made into a movie to be directed by Ron Howard and released in 2005.

    Having just finished the book, I came across two articles in the December 22 editions of US News and World Report, and Time Magazine that serve to balance or to temper some of the statements made by the author.

    Nevertheless, I found the book to be a masterpiece. Intensely stimulating, engrossing, and electrifying. And it is spectacularly well articulated...Brown is a master storyteller.

    Without giving away the plot, I'll just say that the book is based on historical research into the pre-Catholic Gospels (gospels are biographies of the life of Christ and there are many such biographies). The book is in some ways about the search for the Holy Grail. Do you really know what the Grail is? If not, you'll find out (or at least one account of it). Do you understand the symbology captured in the paintings of Da Vinci? Do you know the significance of the Mona Lisa? Or the Last Supper? Or Madonna on the Rocks?

    Do you know how today's Christian beliefs came to be? Do you know the real history of the early church? The real history of Jesus? And His wife? And their daughter? The Dark Ages weren't so called for no reason (pun intended).

    The book has sparked a renewed interest in religious history and the search for the truth. If, as is said, history is written by the victorious, our popular account of the history of Jesus was fabricated by the early church which emerged victorious over the pagans (and pagans aren't what you have been told they are). The early church burned 5 million women at the stake for being witches, undertook the Crusades to wipe out any remnants of the Old Ways and Old Books, and otherwise attempted genocide against the pagans.

    How much of this is fact, how much is fiction, how much is a reasonable extension of fact? If the basic assertions are true about the life of Jesus and the "nature" of Jesus (man or divine manifestation), then it has the potential to uproot some of the most fundamental pillars of Christian/Islamic thought.
     
  2. scem0 macrumors 604

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    I have the book sitting right next to me right now.

    I haven't read it yet though, I'm reading 'Stronghold' by Melanie Rawn at the moment. But I look forward to reading it, I only hear good things about it.

    scem0
     
  3. evil macrumors 6502

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    #3
    my parents both loved the book.
    i never read it.
     
  4. krossfyter macrumors 601

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    #4
    ive heard of this book but never got into looking into seeing what it is about. sounds interesting according to what you posted.

    so does this book serve as another one of those books, albeit very popular, to futher perpetuate the idea or belief that Jesus isnt what judeo christians believe Jesus to be?

    or is it a book that serves as a critical analyzes of the history of the church and a search for truth?... meaning... is it neutral or does it swing a baised ideology?
     
  5. Squire macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Haven't read it yet but it sounds interesting. Have any of you read The Genesis Code by John Case. I enjoyed it. It was a real page-turner. (I believe it also hit a few best-seller lists.)

    Squire
     
  6. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

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    #6
    I was going to aks for this from my families christmas grab bag and then i found out my aunt (who happens to be a nun got me) I switched it to a DVD, Pirates of the Carribbean I think
     
  7. hvfsl macrumors 68000

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    #7
    Lol, this is going to get flamed soon. The problem is this book is basing a lot of its evidence on asumption. It all comes down to this anyway, ether Jesus was the son of God or it is all made up. There have been thousands of books writen like this, even before Jesus about the Jewish faith, so I dont this will be the last, so I dont agree 'it has the potential to uproot some of the most fundamental pillars of Christian/Islamic thought'. Since people have been writing books like those for hundreds of years.

    And the reason the Dark Ages were called the dark ages, was mainly because there was very little technological or social advancement at that time.

    And as for Islam, it will be just one for reason for them to hate the West and think they are the devil.
     
  8. ksz thread starter macrumors 68000

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    That's quite a simplification. The book is not written to debate the divinity of Jesus or to mock the church. It's not anti-God or anti-anything. The author seems to have a genuine desire to uncover the truth and bases his work on previous publications such as The Templars Revelation, The Woman with the Alabaster Jar, The Goddess in the Gospels, and Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

    When confronted with the possible implications of the "truth", one of the protagonists begins to ask some serious questions and get seriously nauseated, but she is quickly comforted by another protagonist who says calmly something to the effect that mankind needed to establish a belief system, any belief system. One belief system is as good as another as long as it promotes and values life and nature. So the author is not necessarily condemning the actions of the church for allegedly subverting the truth and pursuing a violent campaign to eradicate it. Instead, he would rather incite among his readers a sensible, objective, and unbiased interest in finding a more accurate account of history. I think he wants his readers to be more enlightened.

    Islam is a continuation of the Judeo-Christian traditions. Whatever hate there might be against the West is political, not religious, but cultivated and perpetuated by so-called religious extremists. Their agenda is not to further their religion, but their own opportunities. The "Jihad" has been perverted beyond recognition..there is no religious excuse for the behavior being carried out in the cause of Jihad.

    The Quran states, as a means of proclaiming its authenticity, that if any statement it makes can be shown to be false, then the entire Quran must be disregarded as the work of man, not of God. The Quran states that Jesus had a "miracle" conception; he had no human father. If historical texts can demonstrate convincingly that Jesus had a human father, what will that do to the religion of Islam?

    If convincing evidence of the real history of Jesus existed and it so contradicted currently held beliefs, should that evidence be publicized? This is one of the conflicts in the book, and the author professes no viewpoint of his own. There are those who say yes and those that say no and those that say not yet: mankind is not ready for the truth. Mankind has established a status quo and a delicate tolerance among competing religions, but religious fervor continues to run high. Perhaps it's better to live in ignorant bliss at this time in man's history than to re-evaluate our existence, our beliefs, our identities to such an overwhelming extent. The author has no agenda in this regard; again, he wants to enlighten his readers to other possibilities -- or more aptly, other probabilities that have some basis in fact.

    Other books have dealt with this subject and more will in the future. It's not about an overnight change, but about a reassessment of what has transpired over the last 2 millennia. Problem is, previous books were met with relatively little public attention. This one is not a dull history book, but a gripping story interlaced with all the historical evidence the author has been able to muster. I fully expect the euphoria to subside, but I also expect the quest for historical evidence to continue not only unabated, but with renewed zeal.

    And why do you think that was?

    I am planning to read one of the four references I listed above starting with The Templars Revelation. This subject is intriguing to me mostly from an intellectual perspective (I'm not a religious person). I'll check out The Genesis Code as well.

    Funny, I was in Paris three months ago and visited the Louvre and Notre Dame for the first time. Also visited Westminster Abbey and went for a ride on London's "Millennium Eye", all of which are mentioned in the book. Wish I had read the book first. I would have paid much greater attention to the Mona Lisa, Madonna on the Rocks, and the tomb of Sir Issac Newton.
     
  9. krossfyter macrumors 601

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    This book does sound interesting but upon further reading of some of the concepts or subjects it takles has given me more of an idea of what kind of book this is in my perspective. I think that this book proves that some misguided theories never entirely fade away. They just reappear periodically in a different disguise. While some things about this book are unique the basis is not of course.... the central claim this novel makes about Christianity is that almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false.
    I may just read it for the hell of it... even though im not into mystery suspense thrillers. I do however respect the intellectual aspect of this piece even though i totally disagree with the claims it makes or tries to make.
     
  10. ksz thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #10
    What I've posted are my interpretations of a narrow aspect of the book.

    By the way, how can you disagree with claims you haven't read? I encourage you to read the book and draw your own conclusions.
     
  11. krossfyter macrumors 601

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    Well someone could disagree with the claim of the bible that there is a God without reading it.

    Furthermore I looked into what this book deals with and apparently the basis of this book that I mentioned above seems to be a consistant one from what I have seen. But we cant believe everything we read on the net and I should read this book for myself to be certain... you are right.
     
  12. ksz thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Fair enough.

    (BTW, when I say I'm not religious, I should add that I'm not anti-God either.)
     
  13. krossfyter macrumors 601

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    I completly understand that. I am not one to say that somebody is anti God because he or she isn't religious. I dont consider myself religious and I am pro God. This world is full of different people and different views that defy a lot of cookie cutter classifications ie stereotypical views. I am trying my best with the belief I embody to respect all people regardless of their belief system. While it looks like I wouldnt agree with the author of the Da Vinci Code on some issues and what seems to be the basic essential claim of the book... i can still read it and respect this book and its claims but simply not believe in them myself. I am one of those free thinking Christians I guess you could say. If this thread hadn't existed I probably would have never considered reading this book. Thanks for sharing this book with us.
     
  14. revenuee macrumors 68020

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    Grrr ... There is no one named Da Vinci

    This is the first thing they tell you in any basic level art history class.


    His name is Leonardo

    Da Vinci means - of Venice

    there were lots of people walking around with Da Vinci after there name.
     
  15. krossfyter macrumors 601

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  16. ksz thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #16
    And in fact Dan Brown never refers to him in this way other than on the cover. He's always referred to as simply Leonardo or Leonardo Da Vinci.

    EDIT: Correction; Dan Brown often refers to him as Da Vinci, but it's completely unambiguous that he means Leonardo Da Vinci. So this is really not an issue.

    That is what makes meaningful debate possible!

    A google search result posted automatically under this thread led to the following interesting article:

    http://www.explorefaith.org/daVinci/1.html

    It's from a decidedly Christian perspective, but offers a fair rebuttal, including an admission of the church's less pleasant actions.

    For example:

     
  17. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    Let's face it, "The Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci Code" is no where near as snappy as "The Da Vinci Code"
     
  18. krossfyter macrumors 601

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    interesting link. i understood most of what it says except for this part....

    "All that notwithstanding I think the principle reason that classical Christianity endures to the present is the fact that the easy way was not the way chosen. The fact that the church chose the way of paradox and ambiguity as the most authentic way to live in the mystery of God revealed in Christ is the most telling reason for the enduring power of its life and message. Even in the church there is a desire for certainty. That is the human condition. The courage to face paradox is the most authentic expression of the Christian life. I believe that this is the life for which people unconsciously search. That is why I suspect that six hundred people showed up on a Wednesday night to talk about a novel. "

    im not clear on this. what church choose the way of paradox and ambiguity? by classical christianity does he mean the catholic church... or is he being broad? and what is this paradox and ambiguity that he is mentioning?
     
  19. krossfyter macrumors 601

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    #19
    or the Leonardo Code for that matter. Good point.
     
  20. ksz thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #20
    This is taken from the second rebuttal in the link, written by John Sewell, an Episcopal Priest. I was confused by this as well. I think what he means is something like this:

    When you read a book, you take the descriptions provided and enact an elaborate mental motion picture. No two people enact the same visions in their minds. So the book adapts to the reader; the reader takes their own experiences, desires, beliefs, and other subjective elements to create an image that is truly their own. In this way, the book speaks individually to each individual. If this is the "ambiguity" the Priest is referring to, it would make sense: each reader would take the allegories and metaphors and other descriptions in the Bible and make them their own. If the Bible is too strictly and specifically stated, it might lose its hold on a lot of people, for they might no longer be able to relate it to their own experiences, desires, hopes, fears, and wishes. But if that is true, then the Bible is open to all kinds of interpretation...and hence we have all kinds of religious denominations.
     
  21. ksz thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #21
    What confuses me about John Sewell's article is this quote:

    This is saying that there is no certainty, only faith. So if I am certain God exists, I am contradicting faith and I cannot be certain. So if I cannot be certain God exists, why should I have faith that God exists? Really doesn't make sense.
     
  22. krossfyter macrumors 601

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    #22





    wow that was a damn good interpretation/understanding of what he is saying.
    makes sense.
     
  23. krossfyter macrumors 601

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    #23
    i think where you may be getting confused is in the area of semantics. your definition of certianty is not his definition. substitute certain for objective fact and it becomes clearer....

    certianty - objective fact

    faith - belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence

    doubt- to tend to disbelieve or distrust.

    it has become impregnated in our current society that faith is the opposite of doubt and vice versa. i think that that is really misleading when you look into what the definitons of these terms really mean. i think most people who have faith have a tendency to doubt at times but but still remain optimistic (faithful) about what they are believing in... doubt is what makes ones faith come alive. if however you are certain that there is a God... through semantics you kinda are saying that you have evidence... that it is an objective fact much like anything that can be tested with imperical evidence (science) i guess. so while there is nothing wrong saying you are certain (to a point) that God exists.... when you really disect its not really a good way of saying what you are trying to say. a better way of saying that would be... i have faith God exists... faith because i cant prove it... faith because i cant really defend it as objective fact (all certainty) in a cosmopoliton sense.
     
  24. ksz thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #24
    Thanks for clarifying. But if Christ proclaimed he is the Son of God, or at least if he stated that the Heavenly Father exists, then isn't Christ telling us that He (Christ) was *certain* of God's existence? And if Christ was certain, and indeed if Christ is the Lord Himself, then shouldn't we be certain too?
     
  25. Sabenth macrumors 6502a

    Sabenth

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    #25
    Relgion and books

    Aint Read this book aint religous but what iam reading here has me intrested. not to become relgious but to see what all this books about.
     
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