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AP: As Film arrives, "Da Vinci Code" debate renews


Zguy28

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I thought this was a very good article on subject that is not likely to go away soon.

sourceAP.gifUpdated: 4:14 p.m. ET April 24, 2006

A line from Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" tells you why it's easily the most disputed religious novel of all time: "Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false."

With 46 million copies in print, "Da Vinci" has long been a headache for Christian scholars and historians, who are worried about the influence on the faith from a single source they regard as wrong-headed.

Now the controversy seems headed for a crescendo with the release of the movie version of "Da Vinci" May 17-19 around the world. Believers have released an extraordinary flood of material criticizing the story — books, tracts, lectures and Internet sites among them. The conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei, portrayed as villainous in the story, is among those asking Sony Corp. to issue a disclaimer with the film.

Bart Ehrman, religion chair at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, likens the phenomenon to the excitement in the 19th century when deluded masses thought Jesus would return in 1844.

The novel's impact on religious ideas in popular culture, he says, is "quite unlike anything we've experienced in our lifetimes."

To give just one example, Ben Witherington III of Asbury Theological Seminary is following up the criticisms of the novel in "The Gospel Code" with lectures in Singapore, Turkey and 30 U.S. cities. He's given 55 broadcast interviews.

Assaults on "Da Vinci" don't just come from evangelicals like Witherington, or from Roman Catholic leaders such as Chicago's Cardinal Francis George, who says Brown is waging "an attack on the Catholic Church" through preposterous historical claims.

Among more liberal thinkers, Harold Attridge, dean of Yale's Divinity School, says Brown has "wildly misinterpreted" early Christianity. Ehrman details Brown's "numerous mistakes" in "Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code" and asks: "Why didn't he simply get his facts straight?"

The problem is that "Da Vinci" is billed as more than mere fiction.

Brown's opening page begins with the word "FACT" and asserts that all descriptions of documents "are accurate."

"It's a book about big ideas, you can love them or you can hate them," Brown said in a speech last week. "But we're all talking about them, and that's really the point."

Brown told National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition" during a 2003 publicity tour — he declines interviews now — that his characters and action are fictional but "the ancient history, the secret documents, the rituals, all of this is factual." Around the same time, on CNN he said that "the background is all true."

Christian scholars beg to differ. Among the key issues:

Jesus' divinity

Brown's version in "Da Vinci": Christians viewed Jesus as a mere mortal until A.D. 325 when the Emperor Constantine "turned Jesus into a deity" by getting the Council of Nicaea to endorse divine status by "a relatively close vote."

His critics' version: Larry Hurtado of Scotland's University of Edinburgh, whose "Lord Jesus Christ" examines first century belief in Jesus' divinity, says that "on chronology, issues, developments, and all the matters asserted, Brown strikes out; he doesn't even get on base."

He and others cite the worship of Jesus in epistles that Paul wrote in the 50s A.D. One passage teaches that Jesus, "though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped" and became a man (Philippians 2:6).

Historians also say the bishops summoned to Nicaea by Constantine never questioned the long-held belief in Jesus' divinity. Rather, they debated technicalities of how he could be both divine and human and approved a new formulation by a lopsided vote, not a close one.

Rest of Article Here:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12465681/

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I love the end of the article though.

British Justice Peter Smith, who recently backed Brown against plagiarism charges, perhaps best summed up the situation in his decision:

"Merely because an author describes matters as being factually correct does not mean that they are factually correct. It is a way of blending fact and fiction together to create that well known model 'faction.' The lure of apparent genuineness makes the books and the films more receptive to the readers/audiences. The danger of course is that the faction is all that large parts of the audience read, and they accept it as truth."

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Say what you will, but The Da Vinci Code has started a trend of debating everything about the Bible.

Mostly by people whose only frame of reference is...

The Davinci Code :doh:

Don't believe me? check out a few of the religious debate threads. If ES posters had to site sources for their posts, Dan Brown's name would be all over those threads.

Pretty funny, actually.

.....

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Guest sith lord
Mostly by people whose only frame of reference is...

The Davinci Code :doh:

Don't believe me? check out a few of the religious debate threads. If ES posters had to site sources for their posts, Dan Brown's name would be all over those threads.

Pretty funny, actually.

.....

Look at The National Geographic and A@E channels. It seems like they have a religous program every week that challenges the Bible.

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Guest sith lord
is it me or do they show all the good parts in the trailer?

Actually, that can be said about most movies these days.

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is it me or do they show all the good parts in the trailer?

The movie looks great, I can't wait to see it.

All politics / religious debate aside, it is a great plot. I think Ron Howard will do it justice.

I hope they make Angels & Demons, too. Much better book, and it would make an awesome movie.

...

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Look at The National Geographic and A@E channels. It seems like they have a religous program every week that challenges the Bible.

Oh I definitely think you are correct, no argument there.

But I also think the book has sparked a real interest in religion, too. Many people see it as 'mysterious' again.

As a believer myself (and a Catholic), I think the debate overall is a healthy thing. :2cents:

..

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Say what you will, but The Da Vinci Code has started a trend of debating everything about the Bible.

I, for one, think this is a great thing. There are a lot of literalsits out there that never thought to question any of it. I suspect you didn't mean that as a good thing, but if your faith can't be questioned, how strong is it?

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To the people up in arms about this book, remind me again what bestseller list it was on for 3 or so years?

FICTION

So get over yourself and enjoy the easy to read and fast paced fluff novel.

The problem that people have with it is not the FICTIOUS story line, but that he, Brown, claims that the historical information and documents are FACTS, despite the many inaccuracies that are apparent in these so called facts.

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Look at The National Geographic and A@E channels. It seems like they have a religous program every week that challenges the Bible.

And they had theses shows on before Dan Brown wrote the DaVinci Code.

Using that book as a source for facts is stupid IMO, but there's nothing wrong with questioning anything.

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Inaccuracies based on what? The people who "translated" the text of the bible from language to language?

To some of us, the all time best seller on the Fiction List, will always be the King James version of the Bible. :D

As an aside, does anyone watch 24? Doesn't Jack Bauer tell us that the events that take place each episode happen between x hour and y hour? Do you really think they are actually happening? :silly: Or do you take his word for it as fact?

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Oh I definitely think you are correct, no argument there.

But I also think the book has sparked a real interest in religion, too. Many people see it as 'mysterious' again.

As a believer myself (and a Catholic), I think the debate overall is a healthy thing. :2cents:

..

totally agree :) It gives us a chance to defend our faith and spark an interest.Could even start a revival in this country from a book that it totally and utterly false. :applause: (The good Lord works in 'mysterious'ways.)

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Guest sith lord
And they had theses shows on before Dan Brown wrote the DaVinci Code.

Using that book as a source for facts is stupid IMO, but there's nothing wrong with questioning anything.

Yeah, but these kinds of shows have really picked up since The Da Vinci Code. They're everywhere.

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I am strong in my faith and that will NEVER waiver.

With that said, I loved the book. it was a great and entertaining read. I look forward to the movie.

Leonard Washington, I have the same question. Is the trailer giving out the best parts? I am also a John Grisham fan and love his books but when they turn his novels into movies, they are nowhere near the book and I wonder if the same will be said of this movie.

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Yeah, but these kinds of shows have really picked up since The Da Vinci Code. They're everywhere.

I think more people notice them now, but trust me, I've always watched them, because that kind of thing interests me and I was watching them long before the book.

But I do agree that people are probably more aware.

IMO, it's a good thing because the bible is not a fact book. As time goes on, more things are being proven and refuted.

Better translations etc...

For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone could take the bible as being complely literally fact considering all the factors involved. :2cents:

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Inaccuracies based on what? The people who "translated" the text of the bible from language to language?

To some of us, the all time best seller on the Fiction List, will always be the King James version of the Bible. :D

As an aside, does anyone watch 24? Doesn't Jack Bauer tell us that the events that take place each episode happen between x hour and y hour? Do you really think they are actually happening? :silly: Or do you take his word for it as fact?

Historical inaccuracies, not just Biblical ones. You don't have to be religious to know the history of when, where, and how things happened.

I am not trying to say that I am upset about the book; I am not. I liked the book. I was just trying to answer the question about why people are getting so upset about this book/movie.

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IMO, it's a good thing because the bible is not a fact book. As time goes on, more things are being proven and refuted.

Better translations etc...

For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone could take the bible as being complely literally fact considering all the factors involved. :2cents:

This is why a fundamental Christian doctrine is "Special revelation" along with "inerrancy"

Special Revelation: God reveals things to certain people whom he has chosen. Included in this is faith in the written Word of God or Scripture.

Biblical Inerrancy: the Bible is without error in its context. Not word for word. That is why there are different translations, some are literal word-for-word, some paraphrase, and some translate the text to modern grammar and language form to make it easier to read.

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To the people up in arms about this book, remind me again what bestseller list it was on for 3 or so years?

FICTION

So get over yourself and enjoy the easy to read and fast paced fluff novel.

It's not the people who understand exactly what you say, that the book is in the fiction section, that get people, as you say, up in arms.

It's the people who read the book and have a sudden "spiritual epiphany". It's the people who force the Louvre to put up a sign asserting that nothing is under the floor, so please stop trying to dig it up. It's the people who take the book seriously, even though it's fiction, a propensity Brown encourages by passing off his sloppy scholarship and citation of long discredited sources as "FACT" at the beginning of the book.

Brown, of course, is a very smart salesman. He knows that every time he repeats that his book is based on "FACT", people are going to wig out, and he gets more free publicity.

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Biblical Inerrancy: the Bible is without error in its context. Not word for word. That is why there are different translations, some are literal word-for-word, some paraphrase, and some translate the text to modern grammar and language form to make it easier to read.

More specifically, the doctrine of inerrancy argues that the original texts are without error, not the copies or translations. The idea that translations are without error could be disproved with two minutes and a copy of the Watchtower translation.

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