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Author Topic: My Issues with THE DA VINCI CODE  (Read 9147 times)
Dennis
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2007, 10:49:15 AM »

I read the book, thought it was a pretty good story, watched the movie, the book was better, but then they usually are. When I was a young boy I was taught that Jesus started His teaching at the age of 30, at the age of 33 He was crucified, rose from the dead 3 days later, and from there on we have Christianity. (Don't mean to offend, just making a long story short.) For me it has always been fun to think about those 30 years. Did Jesus have a normal childhood, did He play with His friends ? What about adolescence, did He have a girlfriend, was He your standard issue teenage boy, just dying for a chance to explore the difference between girls and boys ?  Did He get married, have children ? Who did He marry ? Did He always know who He was, or did He wake up one day at the age of 30 and say to Himself "I am the only begotten Son of God, for the next 3 years I must spread his word to the people, then be tortured and die so that these people may have eternal life with my Father in Heaven."
I find all of these questions interesting and fun to think and talk about, but I also realise that there is no way to know the answers, and no reason to be upset when others make up stories about these questions, because that's all they are, just stories, just fiction.
South Park had an episode dealing with Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of Christ" and along with all the cheap shots and tasteless jokes there was a lesson at the end. One of the boys reminds the people that the minor details of the Jesus's life are not important, what is important are His teachings and trying to live by them each and every day.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2007, 10:51:46 AM by DENNIS » Logged


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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2007, 11:36:29 AM »

Thanks for your comments, AllHallows.  I did indeed read the book, but not wanting to put any money in Dan Brown's pocket, I borrowed someone else's copy, so I  had to do the quote from memory.   I believe it was substantially correct, but I am sorry if I gave the impression that I hadn't actually read it.
You made it perfectly clear that you read the book indianasmith; my comments directed to you are so noted, but the last thing I wrote is a general observation and directed at anyone who has commentary about any book that he has not read.  When I contribute to any thread on any website, I read all of the prior postings before adding my own. 
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« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2007, 01:23:47 PM »


 a general observation and directed at anyone who has commentary about any book that he has not read.


So, directed at ME perhaps??    Twirling

I did not read the book.  I did not comment on THE BOOK - I commented on the comment made by IndianSmith.

As I re-read this thread, I see comments from those that read the book and those that did not.  From those that did not is comments about why they did not read it and comments about the hype surrounding it.

From your statement above, am I to infer that because I have not read this book that I should not comment about the hype and the way 'some people' have reacted to it?

Just curious...not offended.... Wink
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2007, 01:53:01 PM »

So, directed at ME perhaps??    Twirling
As written, my comments are general.   Twirling

I did not read the book.  I did not comment on THE BOOK - I commented on the comment made by IndianSmith.
Well, I'm not sure I agree with that assertion, but I'm not interested in a debate.   Smile  I myself am often mis-read... 

From your statement above, am I to infer that because I have not read this book that I should not comment about the hype and the way 'some people' have reacted to it?
You may infer such, but that was not my inference.  You for one noted the impact the book has had on popular culture and you're right.   First hand observation or intelligence is always worthy. 
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« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2007, 02:18:54 PM »

Sorry about that AllHallows, I thought you were implying that I hadn't read it, and one of my pet peeves is people mouthing off about books they've never read or movies they've never watched.  (The latter is a bit more understandable, considering that these days trailers give away pretty much the whole movie!)  That's why I have aboslutely no comment about the Harry Potter books - I haven't read any of them yet.  I have, however, seen all but the most recent movie and will comment on all the ones I've seen.  Peace?
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« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2007, 02:32:01 PM »

Sorry about that AllHallows, I thought you were implying that I hadn't read it...  Peace?
Never implied you did not read the book.  I actually read what you wrote and understood you had read the book. 
Always: PEACE.   Smile
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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2007, 02:36:41 PM »

Excellent.  Nice avatar, BTW - Gene Wilder will ALWAYS be Willie Wonka to me.  The Johnny Depp version reminded me too much of Michael Jackson.  Eeeew.
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« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2007, 07:28:19 PM »

I saw the movie, but haven't read the book. I do know that every conspiracy and theory that's stated  in the movie has been around for centuries. The part about Constantine and how the bible was put together is the most truthful thing in there.  The author simply wrapped all these ancient conspiracy theories into a modern mystery novel format.

I grew up in a very fundamentalists church, but when I married a Catholic we compromised and became Methodists.  Now we don't have much to do with organized religion (too much dogma).  I have real problems with people of any religion ( including atheism) that push their faith on other people because they own the truth.

Most Christians I have known in  my life were people trying to make it through life the best they could with their faith to help them along.  Faith can do wonders for people, I know this personally.


Christians have the same problem a lot of other groups do, a very vocal minority claiming to speak for everyone.  These folks do a great disservice to the whole.

Ulthar, I would make one comment about the evolution debate. A lot of folks put too much emphasis  on the when and how and not enough on the who and why. 

 


 
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indianasmith
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« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2007, 09:45:41 PM »

Trekgeezer, you raise a number of interesting points, some of which I can agree with, but not this statement: "The part about Constantine and how the bible was put together is the most truthful thing in there. "

Unfortunately that is altogether NOT true, although many modern critics have tried to assert it. Let me explain where I am coming from.  I have devoted a good part of my life to studying the origins of the New Testament, because if it is NOT trustworthy and reliable in its statements about Christ, then I have thrown my life away on a lie.  My personal motto is actually a quote from the atheist Huxley: "Any doctrine that will not bear investigation is an unworthy tenant in the mind of an honest man."

Now to explain my disagreement:
Constantine obviously embraced Christianity for political reasons, as Brown asserted.  It had become the largest religion in Rome despite being illegal and subject to the death penalty, and by legalizing it and cozying up to Christian leaders, Constantine would win the loyalty and love of some of his most honest and decent subjects.  Once he had issued the Edict of Milan legalizing Christianity, he consulted with Eusebius, one of the leading churchmen of his day, on exactly what constituted Christianity and how to distinguish it from Arianism, a Gnostic sect that mainstream Christians  condemned as a cult.  Eusebius summoned the Council of Nicea in 324 AD and they sat down and worked out a Confession of faith that remains the standard for most of the world's Christians to this day, the Apostle's Creed.  (NOTE - there was NEVER any dispute, at Nicea or at any other church council, that Christ was the Word Incarnate and the Only Begotten Son of God.  What was put to a vote was the NATURE of Christ's divinity - was He one in substance or one in form with God?  It was decided by a vote of 312- 3 that He was one in form AND substance with God the Father.  That's the "extremely close vote" that Dan Brown alluded to.  A real nail-biter, huh?)
  What the Council of Nicea did NOT do was choose the New Testament canon.  Constantine asked them to draw up fifty complete copies of all Christian scriptures to be disseminated to every major city of the Empire.  The New Testament canon was already 90% agreed on at that point.  All four gospels had been universally accepted by the church since very early in second century AD.  Ignatius, writing in 115 AD, commented that the four gospels were as sure and steadfast as the four corners of the earth (an old phrase alluding to the four cardinal directions, not a belief that the earth was square!).  Acts, Revelations, and the major epistles were also all universally recognized by all churches by the end of the second century (almost 150 years BEFORE Constantine).  What was found, during and after Constantine's time, was that there was some disagreement about whether or not II Peter, II and III John, Jude, and Philemon belonged in the NT or not.  That's only five out of the 27 canonized books, and in terms of length, less than 10% of the total manuscript length of the NT.   Those are the five shortest books in the whole New Testament, and because of their brevity were not as widely circulated and known as the others.  Also, some in the Eastern churches said that I Clement and the Shepherd of Hermas, two early Christian works, should be counted as Scripture.  Finally, in 400 AD, the Council of Hippo met to settle the dispute.  The five books I mentioned were all included because they met the trifold test the council established:  1.  they were authored or at least sponsored by one of the original Apostles, 2. they were recognized by the early church as being inspired works, and 3. they conformed doctrinally with all the already recognized scriptures. Clement and Hermas were commended as excellent Christian works that were profitable reading, but because they were not written by the original apostles, they were not considered to be Scripture.
  The Gnostic Gospels - the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel to the Hebrews, and abou ten or twelve others - were condemned, PRIMARILY because they were forgeries.  Written, for the most part, two to three centuries after the time of Christ, they were both historically useless (in fact, rather than presenting Jesus as a mortal man, as Teabing claims in Brown's book, they almost all presented him as a pure spirit being that never had a physical body!) and doctrinally bizarre.  NONE of the Gnostic gospels was actually written by the disciples whose names were attached to them, nor within the lifetime of any of the Twelve.  The earliest Gnostic gospel, that of Thomas, was written around 140 AD, 110 years after Jesus' crucifixion.
   Brown claims that Constantine supervised the Council of Nicea, ordered them to declare Jesus a God when the early church had not believed that He was, superintended the selection of the New Testament canon, and ordered the destruction of all alternate versions of Jesus' life.  None of those claims are true.  Constantine was happy to let the Christians pick their own Scriptures and write their own creed.  All he wanted was a unified church whose leadership would support him, and that was what he got.  His legalization of Christianity was a mixed blessing - believers were finally free to publicly preach and meet together, and their Scriptures and leaders were no longer in daily danger of being burned.  But he got the church intimately involved in the power politics of the Empire, which eventually resulted in the New Testament church being corrupted into the heavily politicized and Scripturally ignorant Roman Catholic church of the Middle Ages.



  Sorry to have been so longwinded, but if I am going to blatantly contradice someone, I feel I owe them an explanation of why I disagree with their opinion.  Hope that wasn't too much!
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« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2007, 07:36:58 AM »

The only point about the bible that I've ever tried to make is that it was put together by men and written by men.  You've obviously done a lot of reading on the subject.

I don't think people should get so worked up over Brown's book, even he has proclaimed many times that it is a work of fiction.
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« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2007, 08:19:29 AM »

I wasn't able to get to this site yesterday, and I seem to have missed some good stuff.  TongueOut

Very nice history lesson, indianasmith. I for one appreciate the thoughtfulness of the response.

In response to Allhallowsday's comment about people making comments about books they haven't read (this isn't a flame; just a minor defense on my part): I made it clear that I had not read the book and only commented on the information from the book that I was familiar with: the Priory of Sion and its conspiracy claims (in case anyone is interested in a report of the Priory of Sion's debunking, here is a Wikipedia link that covers the subject quite well). In general, I would agree with the idea that one shouldn't make assertions about books without reading them; I personally wish people who have never read the Bible would not make such confident assertions about it (not a comment aimed at you, Allhallowsday; I just get a bit irked at people on a couple of other websites I read that constantly make ignorant, snarky remarks about Christianity, Christians and the Bible). This sentiment includes Christians who have never read the Bible, which, unfortunately, seems to be a growing number of them.

Trekgeezer: Yes, Brown repeatedly proclaimed that his book was a work of fiction. In most interviews I saw/read, I personally got the impression that this proclamation was just to cover his backside, and that he believed most of the claims he made to be true and was presenting a fictional account of someone discovering the "truth" about Jesus. In other words, he was presenting a "history" lesson in a fictional setting. As I said before, I would never be in favor of censoring him or anyone else, but I always found his claim that "it's just a piece of fiction" to be a bit disingenuous.
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« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2007, 11:36:45 PM »

First, I have avoided posted in this thread long enough, and what I say here is solely my opinion and thoughts. For the record my brother is a Southern Baptist preacher, so yes Thanksgiving can be interesting.

I find it interesting that the Gnostic Gospels are called forgeries, in the utmost respect this label has been placed on them by the "The Church" primarily because it contradicts many of the dogmas of organized religion. As I have seen it many Christians have tendency of cherry picking the Bible as to what works for them and what doesn't, what they choose to believe and what they don't. I'm not saying ALL Christians just many of the ones I know. This finely crafted art of selective religion holds true for church leaders both modern and those of antiquity as they cherry pick what books of the Bible are to stay and what books are to go into the dust bend of history. The Nag Hammadi Library, Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Mary all parts of the Gnostic Gospels are early Christian writings, additionally the there are other lost books of the Bible that have been culled through history by various early Popes and other Religious leaders. These included but are not limited to The Acts of Paul and Thecla, The Secrets of Enoch, The Psalms of Solomon, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Laodiceans, The Odes of Solomon, The Letter of Aristeas, The Gospel of Nicodemus and about 20 more. Now then again with respect to the church they will tell you these books are non-canonical text and therefore not worth the papyrus they are written on.

Early Christian leaders removed or dismissed what they could not control or want and in cases where religious fact contradicted other religious fact they threw together a Council to solve these issues, namely the Council of Nicea where they solved that little issue with 3 Gods (Polytheism) verses 1 God (Monotheism) when the Bible stated no other Gods but one. So slice of pie we have the Holy Trinity, 3 rolled into 1. Sort of a buy 1 God get 2 free special. OH I'll burn in the fiery pits for that one or if I'm Catholic I can just pay off the Pope and smoke a turd in purgatory, then poof off to heaven.

Anyway before I get long winded and make a bunch of people mad, which IS NOT my intention. I'll just ask, why doesn't the Christian church take all the writing in question and put them before their flock and let them decide? What are they afraid of? (I have an answer for that.)
As I ask my brother "The Gospel of Thomas (Gnostic) Jesus says "I am the light that shines over all things. I am everywhere. From me all came forth, and to me all return. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me there."  so what's wrong with that message other then it undermines the need for the church (Organized religion), because it says and confirms God is everywhere you look not just in the church between 9am and 11am on Sunday provided you tithe 10%? Which again some of the church will tell you you are required to give 10% (of your adjusted gross income) when in fact it mean to deprive yourself of 10% of your wealth, which is everything not just cash to give to others. Meaning time, property, money to anyone of God's children. Ok I'm getting off on a rant ...

See my BIG issue is not with Christianity, but organized religion ... I could bore you to tears more so than I have already with why, but I won't. I respect everyones belief and how they choose to believe, it's your business. But I take exception when Religious leader start telling people what to and how to believe. Faith is individualized, religion is not and in there lays the differences.

I do realize I'm off topic somewhat and said nothing of the book in question, book is fiction it never claimed to be the gospel. Take it as such. Many Christians need to spend a little more time understanding and reading their own book(s) and stop worrying about other one.

I have NO proof of what I say anymore then Religious leaders have proof of what they say, you're just going to have to take it on faith.

Done now, I really hope no one is offended as it is not my intent ... alright,  I'll be looking for cover.

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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2007, 05:31:52 AM »

 When people knock on my door,trying to soft soap a religion on me, I simply reply, "Thanks...but I already believe in God. I just don't believe in Church."  I don't need a religion to play referee between me and God.
  More death and hatered and pain has been because of organized religions butchering others of different faiths. I won't be a part of that.
If I am to be damned because I am not babtized, kiss someones ring, bow to a wall or speak in tounges...well so be it. If it makes others feel good about themselves-more power to 'em.  Thumbup
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« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2007, 07:39:20 AM »

I respect others beliefs as long as they don't try to force me to believe it.  I was always trouble in Sunday school because I questioned too much.

There is a tendency among Christians to pick the parts of the bible to judge others by, while living by the ones they think apply to them.

There's no counting the atrocities that have taken place in God's name that he had nothing to do with.

A comment and I'm done with this thread.

One thing the bible should teach anyone who reads it, in 6000 years humankind hasn't changed much.

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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2007, 08:27:52 AM »

Cheeseflixz, RCMerchant, and others,

I am sorry that you have had enough bad experiences with organized religion to make you so bitter about it. I can understand that attitude to some degree; I personally am extremely independent in my thought processes and, like trekgeezer, I caused problems in my Sunday School classes because I never was one to tow the line simply because I was told to. I guess I'm more of an infiltrator, though; I am willing to stay within the confines of my little part of organized religion in order to try to make them understand that you can't pick and choose biblical principles to suit yourself. One of Jesus's main teachings was to look out for the best interests of others before yourself (that whole "love your neighbor" thing). He never said anything about one person exercising authority over another through fear or intimidation; leaders were always to lead by serving. Some Christians get this; many do not.

Since this thread is becoming more heated than productive, I, too, am going to be done with it barring any direct questions. Cheeseflixz, there are answers (legitimate ones, even) to most if not all of your questions, but it's pretty obvious that your mind is set, and it is not my place to argue with you here or anywhere else. Peace now and always.
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