Breaking the Da Vinci Code - Lesson 1

Breaking the Da Vinci Code

This lesson examines the popular novel and movie, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, and its implications for Christian identity and traditional beliefs. In this lesson, we'll look at the historical and cultural background of the novel, the accuracy of the portrayal, the theology behind the code, the literary genre, and the implications that the novel has had on Christian identity, traditional beliefs, and cultural relevancy.



Darrell Bock
Breaking the Da Vinci Code
Lesson 1
Watching Now
Breaking the Da Vinci Code

NT120-11: Breaking the Da Vinci Code

I. Overview of the Da Vinci Code

A. Introduction

B. Historical and Cultural Background

C. Summary

II. Analysis of the Da Vinci Code

A. Accuracy of the Portrayal

B. Theology behind the Code

C. Literary Genre

III. Implications of the Da Vinci Code

A. Impact on Christian Identity

B. Challenges to Traditional Beliefs

C. Cultural Relevancy

  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, exploring its historical and cultural background, accuracy of the portrayal, theology, literary genre, and implications on Christian identity, traditional beliefs, and cultural relevancy.

While the movie was certainly less than successful, the book has been read by over 120 million people, and 10% to 30% believe its message. This seminar was given by Dr. Darrell Bock at Elmbrook Church, and we are thankful for the opportunity to share it with you.

Dr. Bock is the Research Professor of New Testament Studies and Professor of Spiritual Development and Culture at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has earned a B.A. from University of Texas at Austin, a Th.M.from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen. He has also done postdoctoral study at Tubingen University in Germany.

Dr. Bock's book, Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Asking, was on the New York Times best seller list and can be purchased at Amazon

Dr. Darrell Bock
Breaking the Da Vinci Code
Lesson Transcript

Dr. Darrell Bock is a research professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is an accomplished New Testament scholar, focusing particularly in the study of Jesus and the Gospels. He's been at Dallas Seminary for 23 years. I have for years used his commentaries, found them to be some of the most usable practical commentaries, for instance, his commentary on the Gospel of Luke and others. He's the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, is a corresponding editor for Christianity Today, and he's quickly becoming one of those scholars that people turn to in the media to get a scholarly take on things. You know, when you see Diane Sawyer and other people interviewing different people. He is called upon as a conservative evangelical biblical scholar to give his opinion on that. So his life has gotten very, very busy since he wrote Breaking The Da Vinci Code. And I think in the months to come, you're going to see his face more and more in that role of spokesman spokesman. And he does a great job at it. Breaking The Da Vinci Code is a New York Times best seller, and its influence is beyond the English world. Now in that about ten different languages, it's been translated into ten different languages all over the world because people are both reading The Da Vinci Code, but they're also wondering what to make of it. And that's the subject of Dr. Bach's presentation this evening. Would you please join me in welcoming Dr. Darrell Bock. Well, it is a real pleasure to be here. This is, I think, my my second trip to Wisconsin this year. And it is my third or fourth trip in my lifetime. I have yet to see blue sky in Wisconsin. I've been told that it exists.

Last week I was in Miami of Ohio at the University of Ohio. It was a beautiful day. This sound is giving me a little bit of a ring. Anyway, it was a beautiful day and I'm now convinced that there is a bubble roof that goes over the state of Wisconsin, though. But I will tell you, I'm leaving tomorrow evening, so you're probably going to get your blue sky back. I really do appreciate the opportunity to be here. And I thought what I would do to start off with is kind of tell you how I got into this gig. And so to start off with, I'm going to tell you a little bit of the story of The Da Vinci Code and how we got here. And it all starts with a figure named Muhammad Ali, not the boxer, okay, but a bedouin who found a group of. What? Clay vessels. Clay pots that had manuscripts in them in a desert in Egypt called Nag Hammadi. And these pots contained a variety of manuscripts of about 50 different books that were discovered in 1945. And scholars poured over them for several decades, and most people didn't even know they existed. Or if they did exist, though they didn't really care until 1979 when this book was produced. A book by Elaine PAGELS called The Gnostic Gospels, and this book won several awards, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book Award. And it was the first attempt to popularize the finds that no commodity, including these extra biblical gospels, these missing gospel, these secret gospels. And and so this book did reasonably well. But it but it still was a little too early that our culture and what it was about didn't turn this really into a bestseller, was just a recognized book.

Elaine PAGELS teaches religious studies at Princeton University. There's going to be a subtheme that's going to go through this lecture tonight, and it's going to be that we're not just talking about the novel. We are talking about a cultural phenomena that has been in the works for several decades. Second book that I'm going to mention to you is an academic book. It's called Ancient Christian Gospels Their History in Development. It's written by Helmut Custer, who was John H. Morrison, professor of New Testament and WIN Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the Harvard Divinity School. And in 1990 he produced this work. It was the technical work on the extra biblical gospels, and it basically argued that we needed to rewrite the history of early Christianity and was very technically laid out. Elaine PAGELS was a student of Dr. Clusters. In 2003, Elaine PAGELS wrote a second book called Beyond Belief The Secret Gospel of Thomas. And by that time things had changed. This book, very well written, became a New York Times bestseller, and it was basically a comparison of the secret gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of John and the relationship between the two historically. So that's 2003. Now, every book that I'm going to mention to you after this was written this year. The first is a book called Misquoting Jesus The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. This is written by Bart Ehrman, who chairs the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. And this is one of several books that he's put out. He put out another one called Lost Christianity Earlier, and he put out yet another book that was entitled Let's See Here, Lost Scriptures, the books that did not make it into the New Testament.

Well, this one is entitled Misquoting Jesus, The Story behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. It's basically about New Testament textual criticism. The New Testament Textual criticism is the study of the manuscripts that are behind or underneath the production of the Bible in the production of Bible translations today. It's a very technical area that he has written about in very popular terms and has tried to suggest that we really have trouble getting back to the original version of the Bible, at least in certain passages. And if you had asked me five years ago that someone would write a book on New Testament textual criticism and it would become a New York Times bestseller, because this currently is a New York Times bestseller, I would have that in my house and I would be homeless right now. The next book is came out three weeks ago. It's entitled The Gospel of Judas, that is produced by National Geographic. It's written by Rudolf Casler, Marvin Meyer and Gregor First. And the forward in this book is by Bart Ehrman. And this book has been floating near the edge of the New York Times bestseller list for the last few weeks since it came out. And the last book that I'm going to mention to you that also is doing very well is the book by James Tabor. He is chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is the well known archeologist who did his work, his Ph.D. work at the University of Chicago. And this work is entitled The Jesus Dynasty The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family and the Birth of Christianity. And this is an attempt to argue about the historical Jesus and that there was a conflict between Jesus's family and James and Paul, and that Paul is responsible for what became Orthodox Christianity and really redefined Christianity.

What Paul thought is not what Jesus and James taught. Now we've got a series of these books and all that. The Da Vinci Code is is an attempt in popular terms to cross over from what is going on in university campuses around the country. Many of them, not all of them, but many of them, and bring the discussion into the popular square. The reason this is so important and the reason this has changed this has happened in the last few years, I think is because of something else that is going on. And that is the nature in which the way in which media has changed today. Today we have cable television. In 1979, when Elaine PAGELS wrote her original work, all we had basically were the were the three main networks. Now we've got Fox, we've got UPN, we've got WB, and then you can go to niche cable channels whose specialty is history. Discovery Channel. National Geographic History Channel. History Channel. International. And that's just to name a few. You've got CNN that occasionally does historical documentaries. You've got Fox that occasionally does historical documentaries. And all these channels need time to fill. So what's happening is, is that universities and history channels are combining together to produce special after special after special on Jesus, which is repeated again and again and again on television. And most of them come at the subject of Christianity from the angle that is similar to these books. All Dan Brown did was to sloppily take what was going on in the university and turn it into a novel situation and try and do a crossover work into the public square. And when I read The Da Vinci Code for the first time, I immediately recognized this, which is one of the reasons I decided to write about it, because there's more to The Da Vinci Code than simply a piece of fiction.

And that's what I want to highlight for you tonight. So let's take a look at the at the next part of this one to tell you a little bit about my involvement with the book. Involvement with the book started about three years ago. The book came out in March 2003. Immediately hit the bestseller list and about the end of the summer, Beliefnet.com. How many of you know what Beliefnet.com is? Just give me a show of hands, A handful of you. The geeks just raise their hands. And Beliefnet.com is the general religion site. You can get anything and everything at Beliefnet.com. You can get Christianity, you can get Judaism, you can get Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, you can get transcendental meditation, you can get yoga, you can get Pilates, which I thought was pilot when I first thought. Anyway, you can get just about anything on this site. And so they ask people about what's going on in religion. And so they called me one day for an interview and they said, Dr. Bach, have you heard about The Da Vinci Code? And said, Yes, I've heard a little bit about it. Have you read it? I said, No, I haven't. I've read other books in my spare time. And. And then they asked me, Well, can we ask you some questions about Jesus? You do know a little bit about Jesus? Don't cross that a little bit. And so they launched into an interview, and for about 40 minutes we had questions and answers. And I went home that day and told my wife, Sally. I said, I got to ask the strangest set of questions today and thought it would pass. Three weeks later, I was in the office of the president of our seminary, a man named Mark Bailey, and he was telling me about a visit to the dentist that he had and he's getting his teeth worked on.

And they were discussing The Da Vinci Code. And I was having trouble processing this conversation because I was thinking about the picture of him having his teeth worked on and having this conversation at the same time. It just didn't work. And he said to me, You know, my dentist is a very strong Christian, and as a result of reading this book, he has questions. And so we started to talk about it. So I went home and told Sally, I tell Sally everything. I'll tell her about you all when I go home. And I told her, I said, you know, I got asked some very strange questions by Mark today is this Da Vinci Code thing? And I thought, well, not in a few weeks and it'll pass. And then about three weeks later, this was in the early fall of that semester. I'm in my office doing what boring things professors do, which is grade papers and read and that kind of thing. And I got a phone call. It was a phone call from ABC News. And they said, we're doing a special on The Da Vinci Code and we'd like to ask you some questions. And the way this works when it's done on television is they do a pre-interview over the phone and then they make the decision whether they're going to come film you or not, or they're going to fly you up to New York and film you. And so I did the pre-interview and I decided they were coming and they were going to film myself and one of my colleagues, Jeff Bingham, who teaches historical theology. So this time I didn't wait to go home. I picked up the phone and called Sally. She always knows that that's serious.

And so she picked up the phone and I said, ABC News called today. They're coming in town to film. They're going to do a special on The Da Vinci Code. I guess I should read the book. And so so I picked up the book to read it, read it that night. That upset my wife because it takes her longer than one night to read something like that. And and I was off and running ready to do the interview. Well, the day of the interview. On Good Morning America, they interviewed Dan Brown. And Charles Gibson asked Dan Brown this question. If you are writing a piece of nonfiction, would you change anything? And he said, No. I carefully researched this book. I went into this book researching the theories that I discussed, hoping to disprove them. And I became a believer in these theories and I and I and so I wouldn't change a thing. In fact, he said it like an evangelist might say it. I thought the organ was going to start flying and people were going to start coming forward. And I made a mental note in my head that if I had the chance, I would write a book about this because I teach this stuff every year. And I knew what he was claiming to be. Fact and nonfiction, in fact, was not. But I didn't do anything about it. And so about three weeks later, I was visiting my daughter, who was working as an art history major at the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens at the time. It was about a week and a half before Thanksgiving, and I got a call from Thomas Nelson. And Thomas Nelson was the chief vice president of acquisitions, and he said, Your name has been recommended to us as a candidate for potentially writing a book on The Da Vinci Code.

Would you consider writing a book on The Da Vinci Code for us? And I said, What kind of publication schedule are you on? Because I did have commitments at the time. And he said, Well, we really like you to produce this book as soon as possible. And so I went, okay, well, as soon as possible. What does that mean? He said, As soon as possible, just with a little different emphasis. And I thought to myself, This conversation isn't going anywhere very fast. And so I said, Well, what exactly do you mean? He says, As soon as you get us this manuscript, we will put it into a fast publication track, immediately edit it, get it back to you. We want to get it out as soon as we can. Would you consider doing it? And so I said, Well, I said, I have Thanksgiving and I have Christmas break. Let me see what I can do during during that time. Because I have thought about this. I thought about what the outline should look like, that kind of thing. I'll give it my best shot and hopefully you'll have something by the end of the year. And we virtually worked out the agreement. So within a week it was Thanksgiving break and with 60 of my wife's closest relatives around me, because our family gets together at Thanksgiving, it's a big deal. I wrote Breaking The Da Vinci Code in five Days. Now, that sounds unusual, but it really isn't, because as I said to you, I teach this stuff. It was just a matter of organizing it into a manuscript and putting it out there and figuring out how to deal with the book. And so I wrote in five days, in fact, I got the manuscript to the publisher before the publisher got the contract.

To me, that's a mistake. And. There's something about lawyers, but I won't go into that. Marty Giving academics a hard enough time tonight and so we produced it in the book came out and I have been busy on the road literally ever since. What I want to do for you tonight is to walk you through key issues related to this book and try to explain to you the relationship between what Dan Brown is doing, the history and what's going on culturally. And so for that reason, let's take a look at the next part of the slide here, the roots of this novel, The Da Vinci Code. Go back to work called Holy Blood, Holy Grail. That was written in 1982 by three writers. And as I've already suggested to you, its roots also go back to some recent early church scholarship. Now, you know about the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail because two of them sued Dan Brown at the beginning of the year in Britain. They lost the case. They were never going to win it. Holy Blood. Holy Grail is mentioned in the novel Holy Blood. Holy Grail is is the well-known book that's a piece of nonfiction. And he named the authors. He did everything he could in the context of a official of a fictional work to give them credit for the work that he did. So I wasn't surprised when he won the case. And it happened to only be an accident. That right as that lawsuit was coming to an end, one of those authors released another book that isn't a part of this stack, but is part of the genre called The Jesus Papers that argued that Jesus Christ survived the crucifixion. They went to Egypt and then he wrote a piece of paper that he heard about third hand and was alive in A.D.

45. And the moment I heard that theory, I said, This man doesn't know anything about crucifixion. The next part of the slide, please, if you'll show it to everybody. Let's talk about the book. How many of you have read the book? Okay. It's about 35% or so. I didn't see what happened at Westbrook. I'm sorry. But anyway, we start with the key woman in our study, Mary Magdalene, The Da Vinci Code. She is the wife of Jesus and the mother of his children. A secret the church wanted to cover up to protect the divinity of Jesus. The premise of the book is this The Jesus was married and the church wanted to cover up the fact that Jesus was married. Because had people known that Jesus was married, they would have immediately known that Jesus was not God. And that would undercut the theology of the church. In this book. She also is directly associated with the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail as a set of legends that are associated with the Cup. It was allegedly at the Last Supper. And the hypothesis is that the story of the Holy Grail really points to the holy bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene coming into France, because we know all good things eventually end up in France. Da Vinci knew the secret and painted it in his painting The Last Supper. And because I knew that you would want to know about the secret of Da Vinci, we brought a painting here. I sketched this in my spare time. Just kidding. This is nicely provided by the fine staff here at Allen Brook. I guess they meditate on this in their spare time when they're not planning services. And as you can see here, there's the V and Dan Brown argued that the V here, this painting, by the way, is a fresco.

It's painted on a wall in a church in Milan. You can see it today. I saw it about a year ago, back almost exactly a year ago. And this V is supposed to be the symbol of the feminine. And this figure right here who has traditionally always been associated as being a very young apostle John, who's likely to be in his teens when he joined Jesus as a disciple, instead is said to be Mary Magdalene. And this painting comes at the moment when Jesus is announcing that someone is going to betray him. We learned three weeks ago not only was that Judas, but that Judas and Jesus had a secret deal. And so anyway, this is the painting The Da Vinci has painted, and this is supposed to be a feminine figure because of the symbol of a V, which points to a woman. And that's supposed to be Mary Magdalene. When I wrote Breaking The Da Vinci Code, I got started to get emails from art historians because when I wrote the book, I only talked about what I felt comfortable talking about. And that was the early history of the church. So I didn't discuss the art in any detail. I didn't discuss Priory design or or Knights Templar or anything like that, because I'm not an expert in those areas. I didn't feel I had the right to speak in an area in which I did not have expertise. So these art historians started to send me emails and one of them was a man named Robert Baldwin who taught at Connecticut College. He's an associate professor of art history. And he said and he offered to show me a pamphlet that he had written on Da Vinci, His take on art, I couldn't resist.

And so he sent this to me over the email. And it basically argued that Da Vinci, that Dan Brown was as good about Da Vinci and art as I'm going to argue he is about historical theology tonight. And I said, can we have three paragraphs of this piece and use it in subsequent printings of our book? And he graciously accepted. And so in the back of some of the hardback editions and in the back of all the paperback editions of Breaking The Da Vinci Code are the three paragraphs that he wrote about art history coming from someone who has studied art history and who can comment on this. And he says that Dan Brown's take on art is is not very good. All right. Let's take a look at the glitziest part of the claims that Dan Brown is going to make. I'm going to go through basically four questions tonight, which Jesus married. And we're going to look at the text associated with this. Then we're going to look at what Dan Brown has to say about Jesus's divinity. And when the church embraced Jesus's divinity, which is said to be the fourth century. Then I'm going to look at the issue of where our gospels came from, the four gospels that made it into the New Testament. We're going to talk a little bit about how that worked. And then at the end, I'm going to talk about the theology of these sacred gospels. Okay, We're going through those four questions. That's where we're headed. The first question is, was Jesus, Mary? There are three key texts now in the novel. Dan Brown alludes to all three of these passages, but doesn't discuss them in very much detail. What I'm going to do for you tonight is to bring you those passages that you can look to see what they say.

The first one is a text from Hippolytus. He is a church father of the late second century. He wrote a book about the song of songs or the Song of Solomon. And in the early church, the view was, is that this was a spiritual picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church. So in the midst of discussing this book, he starts to discuss the role of women who follow Jesus. And he says this less the female apostles doubt the angels. Christ himself came to them so that the women would be apostles of Christ and by their obedience, rectify the sin of Eve. Christ showed himself to the male apostles and said to them, It is I who appeared to these women and I wanted to send them to you as apostles. Now, if you pay real careful attention to the way I've done this, you'll see that the Earth on female apostles is italicized. If you can't see that, you need to see your eye doctor. And if you look at that, that's important because that's plural. Any professor worth his salt will refer to grammar whenever he has the excuse to do so. And so this plural means that what Hippolytus is talking about is the apostles, plural to the apostles, speaking about the 12 or the male apostles. Whereas Dan Brown talks about Mary as being the apostle singular to the apostles, plural, because the point that he's trying to make is, is that she had a church office and that her role was very much equal to that of the 12. And that that role in part comes from her special relationship to Jesus Christ. Well, I need to take you back through this quote to explain to you what apostles means.

What apostles means in this passage is very clear, and it is the generic use of apostle coming out of the Greek language and out of a Hebrew context and not a technical usage. And here's what it means in everyday usage. It simply means someone commissioned to speak on behalf of someone else. For example, over the last few weeks, we've had a change in the apostle for President Bush to the United States. That is, we switched from Scott McClellan to Tony Snow. Tony Snow is now the press secretary for the United States, and he speaks on behalf of the White House when he speaks. There's a little sign over his head that says White House, Washington, D.C. And we care about what Tony Snow says now, not because he speaks this Tony Snow, but because he speaks with a message that represents the White House and that represents George W Bush. This is exactly how the term apostle is used in the time of Jesus. And basically what this text by Hippolytus is saying is this, that Jesus and the Angels commissioned these women to take the message of the empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus to the apostles. And all the women are included. There's no office involved. It's simply a function that's being described. And so this first text really doesn't count in the scheme of things. The the second text related to marriage is this one. This is from the Gospel of Philip. I'm sure you had your devotions in it this morning. I put the diversification on here in case you decide to check it in your Gideon Bible when you go home. And this is the Gospel of Philip chapter 63, verses 633 to 36, and this has and mentions an undefined special relationship that Jesus had to Mary Magdalene.

Now, I put two versions up on the slide. The first version on the top is the translation into English of the original text with all the manuscript gaps included. The second translation on the bottom is a full restored translation that's done on the basis of the context in an attempt to make sense out of the text. I want you to see what we're dealing with here. The top citation reads this way with all the gaps and the companion of the and there's the textual gap. Mary Magdalene, another textual gap, loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her blank. That is what I call a strategic gap. We do not know from the text explicitly which part of Mary was cast. It has to be supplied contextually. Was it the mouth? Which would indicate some level of affection. Was that the cheek that would indicate a holy kiss? Which the Bible sometimes talks about? The gospel of Philip itself is the problem. This is the second to third century text. It doesn't go back to Philip. It probably tells us nothing about this talk of Jesus or anything about him. So the text itself has questions because of the likeness of the date. And people who who interpret this passage suggest that it has to do with a spiritual relationship that Jesus has with Mary Magdalene. The phrase companion here can mean everything from spouse all the way over to spiritual sister in Coptic. And so Coptic is a language of Egyptian that uses Greek letters. And so there are lots of questions about this text. Here is the argument, however. Here's the argument for marriage, and it goes like this. There was no such thing as PDAs. Between men and women in the first century.

Now, when I say PDA, I'm not talking about the little Palm Pilots that you hold, okay? All the young people know what I'm talking about. This refers to public displays of affection. All right. There were no PDAs. There were no public displays of affection in the first century between men and women. So if Jesus kissed Mary on the mouth. They must. Must've been married to her. That's the inference. That's the argument. We look back at this text. The full translation reads like this when it's restored in the companion of the Savior's Mary Magdalene. But Jesus loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples were offended by it and expressed disapproval. That's the second text that argues that Jesus is Mary. Notice that it does not say anywhere explicitly that Jesus was actually married. Next text. Next Hex comes from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Another gospel that I'm sure you've read recently. And so that's why I'm bringing it to your attention. This Gospel Chapter 1710 to 1821 discusses a report that Mary Magdalene engages in after after she has seen the Lord. And in this gospel, which also is a second or third century gospel. So it doesn't really go back to Mary. In this gospel, Jesus appeared to Mary and told her secrets about the afterlife. And so she's excited because she's learning new stuff. And so like a good young theologian who's learning new theology, she rushes to the 12 and starts to tell them what Jesus told her and the 12 react. And it's at that point that we pick up the text. And Andrew answered and said to the brethren, Say what you wish to say about what she has said.

I at least do not believe that the Savior said this, for certainly these teachings are strange ideas. Peter speaks up next. Peter answered and spoke concerning these same things. He questioned them about the Savior. Did he really speak with a woman without our knowledge and not openly are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did he prefer her to us, though? Peter's not happy because Jesus revealed this to a woman as opposed to the 12 little commercial break. There's the rest of the passage. Then Mary wept and said to Peter, My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I have thought this up myself in my heart, or than I am lying about the savior? So Levi steps in to defend Mary. Levi answered and said to Peter, Peter, you have always been hot tempered. That's the one line of this passage that's probably true. Peter, you have always been hot tempered. Now I see you contending against the woman like the adversaries. But if the Savior made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Savior knows her very well. This is why he loved her more than us. Rather, let us be ashamed. Put on the perfect man. Separate as he commanded us and preach the gospel, not laying down any other rule or any other law beyond what the Savior said. And with that, the Gospel ends. The argument is this because the text says the Jesus love Mary Magdalene more than the disciples, He must be married to her. That's the argument. Let's summarize. No text explicitly says that Jesus is married. In fact, I don't know of a text anywhere. It says that Jesus was explicitly married to anybody. The meaning of the text that might infer it.

And I'm giving you the two texts out of hundreds of text that might in for it are very unclear. They come from like gospels. These are gospels that generally emphasize the spiritual relationship between Jesus and those who follow him. And the manuscripts in some cases have gaps that we have to fill in. What's sort of clouded out by the picture there is, is that we're talking about two texts total that even infer that out of hundreds of tax. Now, how many taxed are we talking about? Well, I couldn't bring you my library as much as I wanted to. And so I took a picture. And that's what you see up there is the picture in the middle row with kind of those gilded titles on the back cover are are on the spine, rather. These are the anti Nicene, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers. This is a collection of 36 volumes of material on the early church, the first five centuries that written by Orthodox people, by people on the fringe of the Christian movement, including heretical writings. It's the whole shooting match. I actually don't have about nine of these volumes. So if I were to take this picture and extend it out, it would go another nine volumes that way. I need to tell you about these books. Each of these volumes is hundreds of pages each. Each of these volumes is small font, hundreds of pages each. Let me define small font for you. If you are over 40, you are wearing glasses, and if you are over 30, you might be wearing glasses. To read this book and the footnotes you're reading wearing glasses no matter what because they're so small. So hundreds of pages each small font, single spaced. Hundreds of pages, each small font, single spaced, double column.

My point here is we've got a massive amount of taxpayer. And not a single one. Not a single one says that Jesus was married to anybody. Beliefnet.com, after the original ME interview, came back to me a few months later and said, Would you mind writing a piece, a thousand words or less, on the question was Jesus, Mary? The premise is that anyone under the age of 25 isn't reading more than a thousand words at any one time, and so they limit us to a thousand words. I get worried when they ask an academic to write. And so so I agreed to do it. And then I asked John Dominic Crossan to write an article on the same topic was Jesus, Mary. Now, John Dominic Crossan is not a conservative. He led the Jesus seminar movement. And if you have your ears open about what was going on in the nineties, the Jesus seminar was that group that got together to vote on the words of Jesus with colored beads. Remember that read already? This Jesus said exactly that. Pink to me. Jesus said something sort of like that. A great beat that Jesus probably didn't say that, but maybe it's the evangelist words and it might go back to Jesus in a black bead. Mitt didn't say that About 50% of the words in the Bible, they write it in black. So he's not a conservative. So we had I was asked to write representing conservatives and he was asked represent at right representing the non conservatives. And the way this usually works is it becomes the point counterpoint situation that they put up on the net to put the two views next to one another. So I basically went about writing my thousand words, trying to put together all the arguments, some of which I've talked to you about tonight, about why I thought Jesus wasn't married John Dominic Cross, and didn't bother to make an argument.

He used a proverb. And here's what he said. If it acts like a duck, quacks like a duck. Walks like a duck. It must be a camel. Here's what he was saying. All the evidence that we have says that Jesus was not married, acts like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck. Yet we have some people arguing that Jesus was married. Must be a camel. Now I tell my classes that when you get a conservative Jesus scholar and a non conservative Jesus scholar and Carson is on the edge of that spectrum. Agreeing about something related to the historical Jesus. It's probably true. So that's the case that relates to the most glitzy claim in the book that Jesus was married. And there's absolutely no historical evidence whatsoever that Jesus Christ was married to anybody, including Mary Magdalene. Let's go on to some of the other topics. So we'll move on here. There are important implications for The Da Vinci Code in light of this. For example, the base element of the novel's claim is lost because if Jesus is married to Mary Magdalene, there's no conspiracy, there's no cover up, etc., etc., etc.. Not only that, but we need to ask and consider the question What if Jesus were married? Had Jesus been married? Would it have resulted in the kind of concern that Dan Brown is expressing? And I think the answer to that question is no. Had Jesus been married, it simply would have been an affirmation of his humanity, just like other things that he did. He slept. He got tired. He grew in knowledge. In fact, when ABC did the special, they asked three of us this question and didn't tell any of us that they were going to ask the others of us this question.

I think they were fishing for something. And the question was this had Jesus been married, would it have been a theological problem for the church? And I was asked this question. My colleague Jeff Denham was asked this question, who teaches historical theology at Dallas, and then Father Richard O'Brien and Notre Dame University was asked this question. Neither none of us knew it was going to be asked it. All three of us gave ABC the same answer. I was told this later. We all said it would make a difference. All it does is show humanity. Now, granted, there might have been some practical problems. You know, if you had a real descendant and people knew it was a descendant of Jesus, what commotion that might have created, etc.. But theologically speaking, it didn't automatically cancel out the idea that Jesus could be divine simply because he was married. That's the point that I'm making. All right. Here's the real issue. The real issue is not whether Jesus was married, even though that's the glitziest part of the novel. The real issue is associated with other claims that the novel makes that I'm going to turn our attention to now. The first is that the divinity of Jesus is a product of the fourth century and was the result of a close vote at the Council of Nicaea in 83, 25 and the early part of the fourth century. A second key claim of the book historically is that the Gospel before Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were selected from A.D. Gospels and and they were not settled. That is the four Gospels. That's a typo. There were not settled on until Nicaea. That's the second key claim. And what we have going on here is an effort to redefine Christianity and to suggest that orthodoxy, Orthodox Christianity is a light phenomena.

And it came after a period in which there was a diverse faith that expressed itself with greater variety in the first century, and we lost access to those other expressions of Christianity after the fourth century. And that's what we've been rediscovering. This has been called the alternative Christianity theory or the lost Christianity theory. And that's what all these books that I mentioned to you write about in one way or another. So the argument is Jesus came, he ministered, he died, He may not have been resurrected. And when he died, there was the Big bang. And the Big bang in the early history of Christianity is, is that there were these variety of expressions of Christianity with no one having in an account better claim to represent Jesus out of these groups. And finally, in the fourth century, one group one. And that's what became Christianity. And the mantra that comes with this is this that I'm sure you've heard over and over again since The Da Vinci Code. And it goes like this. History is written by the winners. We don't get to hear what the losers say. And so now that we have read, we have rediscovered the writings of the losers. It's time to let the losers speak and contribute to this understanding of history. And so we need to rewrite history. But the basic mantra is this History is written by the winners. And underneath that, you're supposed to read. That means we get a skewed take on history because it is the perspective of the winners. It's not a well-rounded look at history. That's the view. Now there's a reply to this mantra that's just as simple as the mantra itself. And it goes like this. Sometimes the winners deserved to win.

So that's what I'm going to spend the rest of our time talking about. I'm going to try and show you why the winners deserve to win in this particular case. Here we go. Let's talk about whether or not the church lied about Jesus. Here's the claim. It comes from pages 231 to 235 of the novel. And really the novel is cleverly written because it's a neat story. It's a good murder mystery. Everybody likes murder mysteries. It has great exotic locations. It pulls you 230 pages into the story, and then it starts dropping this history on you. And it does in a very concentrated way for several pages. The claim is this Jesus was made divine in the fourth century by those who won an ecclesiastical fight at the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. I want you to remember this. Okay, so I'm going to visualize it for you. There was an ecclesiastical fight in A.D. 325 at Nicaea, and the Orthodox scored a knockout punch. And they won. And the losers lost by kick out. I don't know what round neck, but they won. Constantine, emperor of the Roman Empire in the early fourth century, converted to Christianity. And as a result of that conversion, Christianity went from being a persecuted religion to being accepted religion in the Roman Empire. It was a very important point in church history. Costing commission and finance the new Bible, which omitted those Gospels that spoke of Christ's human traits and embellish those gospels that made him godlike. The earlier Gospels were outlawed, gathered up and burned. That's a quote from the novel. More claims. The claim continues that now Carmody and the Gospels found there show that a more diverse Christianity existed than people think in the early period.

That's this loss Christianity theory that I've already mentioned to you. Here's another quote from the book The Modern Bible was compiled and edited by man who possessed a political agenda to promote the divinity of the man, Jesus Christ. And he used his influence to solidify their own power base. Another quote from the book Almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false. And the emphasis there in the italics comes from the novel. So what do we make of these claims? Now there are three correct claims in the novel. The first is that Constantine was a key figure and his rule was a turning point in Christian history. There's no doubt about that. Christianity went from being persecuted to be accepted by the most powerful political and social force at the time. That made a big difference for Christianity. That claim is true. The second claim is, is that the Nicene Creed was an important affirmation in the history of the faith and was in part an effort to control what was to be believed. That's also true. A creed is a statement by a religious group that says this is what the group affirms. And so if you affirm it, you become a part of the group. And if you don't affirm it, you're outside the group. So there is an element of control that's involved and creeds, that's part of what creeds do. So there's that element of truth to what Dan Brown is saying as well. Third, the collection of text into an official list that became the canon of Scripture. And by canon of Scripture, we're talking about the New Testament books, 27 books of the New Testament gain momentum in this fourth century period. That's also true. In fact, the first figure church figure to mention the 27 books of the New Testament that you and I carry around in our Bibles was a man named Athanasius, who was writing in A.D.

367. That's 42 years after the Council of Nicaea. But here's what the code does not tell you. And now it's my turn to tell you some secrets. We're going to rotate around three questions which Jesus made Divine in 8325. How do we get the four gospels? And are the extra biblical text pro female? And how do these texts compare to traditional Christian texts from before A.D. one A.D.? Those are the three questions we're going to look at. Here's the first one Jesus in the Secret Gospels. Now, I need to tell you that Dan Brown missed this completely. Most secret gospels have a divine Jesus. They do not have a human Jesus, as Dan Brown claims. So the novel is wrong here in several ways. First of all, the Gospels are not a secret. These gospels were written about by church fathers starting in the middle of the second century. And they wrote about them and they described and in fact, R.A., who wrote in 8180, was so accurate about his description of one of these texts that when the non commodity texts were dug up and people started to read the apocryphal line of John, people went, That's what Ernest described back in 180. Now, if that's the case that we've actually known about these gospels for 1800 years. That's not secret and that's not hidden. Even more than this. Many of the tax, as I mentioned to you, have a divine Jesus, not a human one, as the novel claims. I've already told you that the Gospel of Thomas is an important book in this discussion. Extra Biblical gospel is the one that Elaine PAGELS focused on in her book Beyond Belief in 2003. The Gospel of Thomas is a fascinating, ancient text. It's an early second century text, and if you read it, you'll find about 25% of it.

You'll read it in you go. That sounds familiar. And the reason it sounds familiar is it sounds like stuff in Matthew, Mark or Luke. Another 25% of that gospel you read, you go, That sounds sort of familiar. And the reason it sounds sort of familiar is that kind of sounds like Matthew, Mark and Luke. And then another 50%, you go, I've never read that before. It doesn't sound anything like Matthew, Mark and Luke. So it's an interesting mix in terms of text. And Dan Brown was claiming that this is one of the gospels that was excluded because it presented a human Jesus. Well, let me tell you about two things in this gospel, because the Gospel of Thomas is the collection of 114 alleged sayings of Jesus. Here are two of those things. The first is saying 13 and the Gospel of Thomas saying 13. And the Gospel of Thomas is the equivalent in Thomas of the Confession of Peter at Caesarea Philip II. The confession of Peter at Caesarea. Philip II goes like this. Who do you say that I am? Jesus asked at Azaria Philip II. After asking who the crowd say that I am, and Peter says, You are the Christ of God. And that becomes the compassion around which Jesus says he will build the church. In Thomas. It goes this way. Jesus asked, Who do you say that I am? And one of the apostles answers, You're an angel. And another possible answers. You're a philosopher. And then Thomas answers. And Thomas says, This your name? You are an honorable in terms of describing who you are. Jesus is so impressed with this that he tells Thomas directly that he has He has a he drink a drink from living water, in effect, and then he takes him off to the side and he starts to tell him some secrets.

He comes back, that is Thomas to the rest of the 12 and the 12. Want to know? What did he tell you? Thomas. Does this. If I tell you, you will pick up stones. And if you pick up stones, they will burn you. So we have the crispy apostles, or at least the prospect of it. This tax is separating Thomas away from the 12 says that he has special knowledge and in this special knowledge is something he can't share with the rest of the apostles. And that special knowledge is that Jesus is indescribable. That is not a human Jesus. To guarantee this. We have saying 77 in Thomas where Jesus says this I am the all. Lift a stone and I am there. Split a piece of wood. And I am there. That is not the sign of a human figure. The last time I checked, omnipresence was not an attribute of humanity. So the gospel of Thomas, one of these excluded gospels that Dan Brown says is excluded because it has a human Jesus, in fact, has a quite divine Jesus. Other texts have a Jesus who is so divine. He can't be human. In one of these texts. The apocryphal art of Peter. Peter has a vision in which Jesus is laughing in heaven as the crucifixion is going on. And the reason He's laughing is because they think they're crucifying him when they are crucifying a substitute. And so he tells Peter that they think they're crucifying me, but they're crucifying a substitute. And at the suggestion of the passengers, Jesus is laughing because he's faked them out. That's a very different picture of the cross. That's a very different picture of Jesus than what we get in the Gospels. And that's a Jesus who is so divine.

He can't be human. He can't die on the cross. That's what some of these texts do. So Dan Brown has this raw. What about the issue of there being 80 gospels there? Not any gospels with a human Jesus. In fact, today there are only about 24 gospels that have the name gospel attached to them that we have found. And most of them have a divine GS. In fact, I'm not aware of a single text that explicitly has the human Jesus in any of this material. And so the real numbers are we've got about 24 gospels. And if you add in those works that aren't called gospels, that the just discussed some aspect of Jesus's ministry on Earth for his appearances after his resurrection alleged to do that, the number goes up to 35 max. So that's an exaggeration. What about Nicaea? Here. Brown airs again. The Council of Nicaea was called by Constantine to gather the bishops of the existing Christian world to write a creed. They didn't vote on the divinity of Jesus. They wrote a creed. So the story doesn't go like this. Imagine CNN was back there in the fourth century. In Anderson Cooper 360 comes on and Anderson Cooper says he can go to bed. We're counting hanging chads. Tomorrow, we will know whether or not Jesus is divine. We will have the final vote. See, Dan Brown says it was a close vote at Nicaea. They never voted on the Theory of Christ. And I see they never voted on anything. All they did was try to create a when the Creed was done, they affirmed it by signing on to it. Somewhere between 216 and 316 bishops were at Nicea. They wrote The creed that we recite as the Nicene Creed in churches today.

It's in two versions, a version that comes from last year and 325, and another version that comes from Constantinople, written at the end of that century. And some churches say one version and some churches say the other. But here's the point. When it came time to sign on to the Creed, all but two of the bishops signed on to the Creed. So that is a vote of 214 to 2 to 314 to 2. That's not close. What they did discuss at Nicaea was this not if Jesus was the Son of God, but how Jesus was the Son of God, a man named Arius, who purported a view that became known as Arianism argued that Jesus was the first created being, and then God elevated him to the status of Sonship, and he was always subordinate to the Father, even though he was a son of God. That view was rejected at Nicea. What was accepted then I see was the idea that Jesus is eternally related to the Father, and that was was affirmed in the creed. And that's what 214 to 314 of the bishops, all but two signed on to. At that point, the Nicene Creed was not an attempt to establish theology. The Nicene Creed was an attempt to explain what the theology of the church had been. And that's why the vote wasn't close. There's an agenda here. And the agenda is let's make Jesus like any other religious great. Let's not focus on his uniqueness. A divine, unique Jesus messes things up. So Jesus, the Gospel, beat it. It's not a light. And it wasn't a close, but in fact, it was quite early. Jesus was worshiped from the start. Now I'm going to cite for you tax. That come from the Bible, but I am not citing them because they come from the Bible.

What I'm about to say to you is very, very important. It's an important distinction. I'm not signing this tax because they are in the Bible. I am citing them because they are our earliest witnesses to what Christians believed in the first century. I'm talking about a period anywhere from 275 years to 245 years before the Council of Nicaea, when Constantine was only a thought in the mind of God. Here they are. First Corinthians eight five and six says, Although there may be so-called gods in heaven on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is one God, the Father from whom all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. Now, what's important is this is written by Paul, who was taught as a Jew and believe and continued to believe after he became a Christian. There's only one God. And he's saying, if we look out there at the Greco-Roman world, there are many gods. But for us, for us Christians, there's only one God. But we can talk about him as father and we can talk about him as Lord Jesus Christ. And the Father is involved in creation and the Lord Jesus Christ is involved in creation. That was written that text was written in the late fifties. That text is about 275 years or so before the Council of Nicaea. Another text is John one one in 14. You know it well in the beginning, once the word and the word was with God and the word was God. This is CNN. And the word became flash. That's verse 14. This was written by John, a second witness from the first century.

He's writing about 235 years before the Council of Nicaea, when Constantine is merely a thought in the mind of God. A third witness comes from a hymn from Philippians two, 5 to 11. Now, hymns are important in the early church because they were sung. It's how theology was taught. Theology was taught in the early church before there was a New Testament by these little short memory verses like this First Corinthians passage that I've just shown you. Or in hymn nick materials that people sang. Think about how you learn the words to songs that you know. You don't go back to your room and say, you know, Professor Bach told me I need to learn the four verses of just as I am without one play. And you sit down and say, We're going to learn it for tomorrow so I can pass the exam. Now what happens with a hymn is you sing it again and again and again and eventually you learn the words. And sometimes all you need to do is hear the tune and the words kick in. Well, that was true in the ancient church when one of these hymns comes from Paul. It was written in about the sixties and Philippians 252 11 says this. It says that Jesus did not view divinity as a thing to be grasped on to. Rather, he emptied himself, took on the form of a human being, died a death on the cross. God exalted him. And one day every knee will bow and every time will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. Now that Christ every knee will bow and every time confess comes out of the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, where the God of Israel is being described.

So what Paul has done is he has substituted Jesus Christ into a passage to talk about the God of Israel. Tells you something about how Paul views this. Paul wrote this about 230 years. No, sorry. 270 years before the Council of Nicaea. When Constantine was merely a thought in the mind of God. The last passage on the list is Hebrews one three. This text says, and we don't know who the author of Hebrews is, is an unnamed person. He's the third witness from the first century, and he says that Jesus Christ is the very stamp of divinity. The very imprint of divinity is what that says. Finally, there's this text. And this text goes back to Jesus himself. It is the trial scene of Jesus, where Jesus is asked by Caiaphas, Are you the Messiah? And He answers in Mark. Yes. And you shall see the son of man seated at the right hand of power, coming with the clouds of heaven. That's Mark 1462. And what Jesus is saying is this because Son of Man was his favorite way to refer to himself. This is a figure out of Daniel seven son of man. It means simply son of a human being. It's a way of talking about a human being. But this is an interesting human being because he rides the clouds. Look at the passage again. It says, Coming with the clouds of heaven in the Old Testament. Only the God of Israel. Or descriptions of foreign gods rule the clouds. This is a magic carpet ride of a different color. And so what Jesus is saying in the people who listened to him got it. He said, You're going to see the son of man exalted and park at the right hand of God, the Father.

Someone's going to share the glory of the God of heaven. Regardless of what you do with me. And one day you'll see him riding on the clouds, paraphrased. That means I may be the defendant on trial here, but one day I will be your judge. And when the Jewish audience heard this, the Jewish leadership heard this. They were, to use the German phrase nicht frau, which means not happy. And in fact, it was this saying of Jesus, you will see the son of man seated at the right hand of power coming on the clouds of heaven. It was this sign of Jesus that ended up getting Jesus crucified because they were having trouble getting credible witnesses to take the pilot. Which tells you how deep Jesus Christ commitment was to go to the cross for you and me. He supplies the testimony that takes him to the cross. Because when the Jewish leadership hears this, they hear Jesus claim that he has the right to share God's presence and glory in heaven. And remember, there's only one God. They got it right in terms of what Jesus was claiming their mistake was, they misjudged Jesus. Here's what I am saying. What I am saying is this. The belief that Jesus was divine goes back to the earliest documents because the idea itself goes back to him by 83, 25, the idea that Jesus was divine was already ancient history. All the Council did at Nicaea was to define what was believed in a more precise, philosophical and theological way. What the church had always believed. Dan Brown is wrong about the idea of Jesus's divinity coming. Oh, I forgot to tell you something. It's not just Christians who tell us this. Non-Christians tell us this.

Pliny the Younger wrote the Emperor Trajan in about AD 117. Pliny is examining. Christians were being persecuted at the time, and he's trying to figure out when he can grant a Christian amnesty. And so he writes, the Treasurer said, I hear that if a Christian vows before an image of Caesar and offers allegiance to him, that true Christians won't do that. So if someone does that, even though they claim to be a Christian, if they're willing to do that, I'm giving them amnesty. Is that okay? And he's asking for outrageous advice, if that's okay. In the midst of describing this, he talks about people having gone into Christian worship services in Bosnia. Now, Bettina is located in what is Asia minor today, right smack in the middle of Turkey. What does modern Turkey? And he says they sing hymns to Christ as God. Written in A.D. 117. This is 200, almost 220 years before the Council of Nicaea, when Constantine is a. But in the mind of God, that's all. Let's talk about the four gospels now. I'm going to go through these last two areas more quickly. Karen means reader standard. And these are the books that define the faith. They are the standard of the faith. And there was a long period deciding what books constituted the New Testament that, as I mentioned to you, that didn't come that discussion didn't come to an end until the latter part of the fourth century. But here's what Dan Brown did not tell you. This is another secret just for us. What was debated about the cannon in the fourth century were not the gospels. What was debated about the cannon in the fourth century were books like. Second John. Third. John. Jude. Hebrews James.

In Revelation. Particularly Revelation because it was so different than everything else. The four Gospels were well-established by A.D. one A.D. They were the first books to surface and be recognized by the church at the beginning of this process, not centuries later, as Dan Brown suggests, by 8180. The four Gospels had clearly established themselves as the key witnesses to Jesus. As several ancient witnesses make clear, all these witnesses date to the late second century and early third century, where 125 to 100 years before Nicaea, when Constantine is merely a. You got it. When Constantine is merely a thought in the mind of God, in some its apostolic roots that make them important. Here are the five pieces of evidence real quick. Justin Martyr called these works not just gospels, but he call them apostolic memoirs. The name gospel hadn't been entirely established for these works yet. And so what else were they called? They were called Apostolic memoirs. These are the memories of the apostles that we're looking at here. Aeneas, writing in A.D. 180, spoke about the fourfold gospel as the gospel. He was talking about Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We know this from works that he wrote where he has this very famous phrase that the four fold gospel is the Gospel Tatian. This is my favorite. Tatian had a better idea. He just had a bad public relations guy. Here's Tyson's idea. Tyson came along and said, you know, there are four gospels before gospels this confusing Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And they tell the story in a different way and they tell it in a different order. Let's do something different. Let's tell it in one running order. Just make one account and we'll call it the DIA test Iran, which simply means through the four.

Well, he issued this book. And the church did use it some, but it never replaced the four gospels. Why? Because the four Gospels were too well established to be replaced. Tatian issued the test, Aaron, in A.D. 170, when Constantine was merely good. What a talented group. Moratorium Canon. The first list of our canon that we have written at the end of the second century only lists four gospels. Origin writing in the beginning of the third century, early two hundreds, about 100 years before. And I still, you know, at a time when Constantine was, you know, don't need to go through it, you got it. OC Origin said there are certain gospels we don't read in the churches because they are not well received. He name to the gospel Matthias which we have never found, and most interestingly, the Gospel of Thomas. The most ballyhooed of these secret gospels. I will not go through these quotes. Let me tell you what Elaine PAGELS has to say about Nakamoto now. This comes from the Gnostic Gospels. She wrote this in 1979. The Nakamoto sources discovered at a time of contemporary social crises concerning sexual roles challenge us to reinterpret history and to reevaluate the present situation. What I like about Elaine PAGELS is she's honest. She tells you exactly what she's trying to do. She tells you exactly what this wing of scholarship is trying to do. They aren't hiding anything. They're being very honest about it. Let's look at the tax. He claims to cause us to change the way we see Christianity. But first, I want to give you the take of a Roman Catholic scholar who wrote the review on the Gnostic Gospels for the New York Times. His name is Father Raymond Brown.

He taught at Union Seminary in New York City. It's not exactly known as a conservative seminary. And he wrote this in November of 1979. And he basically argued that when Christians tried to name the books to recognize the books that belonged in the New Testament canon, what they were doing and this is at the bottom of this quote, we're rejecting the other books. And they were rejecting, quote, only the rubbish of the second century, adding later on in the review, it's still rubbish, close quote. I'm glad Father Brown didn't have an opinion about this material. Now let's look at some of these taxed real quickly. One taxed as the Gospel of Thomas 114. We're now looking at the question, is this material so pro female? Here's the last saying in the Gospel of Thomas, the much ballyhooed Gospel of Thomas. Here's what it says. And I'm warning you, this is not politically correct. Simon Peter said to them, Let Mary go away from us. Four women are not worthy of life. Okay. I just wanted to see if you were listening. Jesus said, Lo, I shall lead her so that I may make her a male. That she too may become a living spirit resembling emails for every woman who makes herself a male will enter the kingdom of heaven. That's Jesus responds. I knew you were going to make that your life versus. Now, let me tell you what the scholars do with this who like this material. They will say that saying 114 is the gloss means it was added later. To which my simple response is. That's convenient. The second way they handle it. And this is a little more honest. The second way that they handle it is to suggest that this text is really about the reconciliation that happens in the end when God makes us all one and brings us all together and He makes us all one.

And there's no real differentiation among restored human beings at the end. And it's a figurative way to say it. And that could well be what Thomas means. But here's the problem. It's still being done through male lenses. This is not a pro female text. In fact, one Scandinavian writer said it doesn't make any difference how you spin this text. This text is not good for women. Next text comes from Apocryphal of John. It's about the creation I'm summarizing here. I'm going to tell you about the Divine Feminine. Now this is the last thing I'm going to do. I'm going to tell you about the Divine Feminine. And then basically what happens is, is that so? Fear? This is the word for wisdom. This is a divine feminine figure, because in scripture, wisdom is sometimes portrayed as the woman. Figuratively. Sophia is an eon herself now, and eon in these Gnostic texts is a light or a or a sub god, what's sometimes called a demi urge or an artisan. Not God himself, but an emanation, a light emanation from God. And she conceived of a thought for herself. And she seeks to conceive that is, she seeks to create without her consorts consent. Now, listen to this, ladies and gentlemen. What this text is saying is this Sophia acted on her own. She didn't check with the boss. What she produced was imperfect and different from her appearance. This is an apocryphal content for a lion faced serpent called y'all. Probably you've never heard of him. The first Archon, the first spiritual power to take power from his mother ten, 9 to 19. He is also called the Great Ruler. Here is the start of evil. According to this work emerging from an arc independent of the highest God and a woman, Sophia acts on her own.

She repents and asked for forgiveness for having done this. Delta boss moves to create the first man with Chapters 15 and 16 detailed by part. Later, the command of the father, mother of mother, father of all sins, five wives to all to bath to tell him to breathe into the being a breath unknown to him. You all to bath present through the body an element of power from his mother. The being moves and comes to life. The Archons will have power over the natural and perceptible body, but in him that is in the human being was an epi noi a way of referring to ideas of the mind hidden in Adam. That was the correction of the mother's deficiency. If you listen to what I am saying, what I am saying is this. That in the creation story of the apocryphal end of John, one of these extra biblical texts. Is the idea that the Divine Feminine is responsible for creation. The creation is not the product of God. The Father is to create. It is the product of the Divine Feminine. And the Divine Feminine went on her own and botched the job so badly that the matter that was created in the world was corrupt. In fact, it's so corrupt it can't be redeemed. That's very different than the picture of Judaism and Christianity, which says that the creation is the work of God directly and that the original creation was good. In other words, the reaction to this material would have been negative, not so much because of what it taught about Jesus, although it could be negative for that reason, but also because of what it taught about God. In August. I'm going to I'm going to do a second book called The Missing Gospels called Unearthing the Truth Behind Alternative Christianity.

And I'm going to lay these texts side by side on different topics so you can see clearly the difference between them. My belief is if people will read this extra biblical stuff rather than just have them talked about, they will see the difference. You can make the call. Summary of this is this The creation is bad in this extra biblical material. It's the product of a failed effort. In fact, often it's the product of a failed effort of the Divine Feminine. It's a little bit like my walking into the kitchen and saying to my wife, You know, the reason why we're in this mess. It's all your fault. Traditional Christianity said that the creation was good in these extra biblical text. The body is corrupt and not redeemable. It's not able to be inhabited by God. In traditional Christianity, the world has fallen because of sin, but the body is God's temple, sacred and redeemable. That's why we can have an incarnation. God can and dwell the body. Jesus laughs at those who think they crucified him in some of these tracks. But in traditional Christianity, Jesus consciously went to his death. For us, salvation in these extra biblical text, the issue is self-knowledge, knowing the secrets. That's why some of these texts, these texts are called said to be from Gnostic Christians. The word gnostic means gnosis. It's the word for knowledge. And the idea is there's a special knowledge that other people don't have. It's an elite kind of theology. In traditional Christianity. Jesus calls on us to believe in God's work through Him. In this extra biblical text, these lost texts, these hidden texts, the key is what you know, the secret knowledge for the religious elite. That's Thomas being taken to the side and being given a secret.

Or in the Gospel of Judas. As we learned three weeks ago, it's Judas having this position distrusting the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Judas. Don't agree on who the top apostle is. In traditional Christianity. The Bible is an open book for all to read and study. Here is what I am saying to you that the difference in the secret Gospels and traditional Christianity is as much about God as it is about Jesus. That orthodoxy can be shown by a consistent theology running through the period of these texts. That theology that orthodoxy was taught to Christians before there was a functioning Bible, before there was a functioning canon by thought short theological summaries like some of those I showed you about Jesus. The hymns, like some of those that I showed you about Jesus or worship sayings tied to the Lord's table and baptism. When it was celebrated, it was explained to the audience what was being done and what was symbolized. In other words, the roots of the gospel reach back to the apostles and their circles. Witness Which brings us back to Mary. This is why Mary Magdalene matters. Mary Magdalene matters not because she was the wife of Jesus and had his children. Mary Magdalene matters because she was among the first witnesses of the empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And let me tell you why the resurrection cannot be created story Because some people want to make the resurrection a legend. The resurrection is not going to be a creative story because the first appearance is in the Gospels that take place with reference to the resurrection happened to women. And in first century culture, a woman could not be a witness. Now think about it. If you were creating a story to try and convince the culture that something was true and you were making it up.

Would you have the first witnesses be someone who wouldn't qualify as witnesses? It doesn't make sense. The reason women are the first witnesses to the resurrection is because that's the way it happened. It cut against the cultural grain. Here's what I am saying. The reason Mary matters is because she is among the first of the great witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And today. Christians who understand who Jesus Christ is. Occupy the same position today as Mary does. My prayer for all of us is this. But as we interact with a culture that is trying to change the definition of Jesus and what Christianity is, that we will be prepared as witnesses to testify to the living Jesus, just as Mary did, because that's what makes her important. And that's what makes us important, as God makes us is children. You've been very attentive. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Very, very interesting. And if you feel as though you've been drinking from a fire hydrant, his book is a little bit more like drinking from a water fountain. But it's it's fascinating. It's it's it's such interesting times in which we live in which so many people are interested not just in the text of scripture, but all of this other stuff that's going on. And why were they saying it? What was going on? I'm just going to take about 5 minutes to ask two or three follow up questions. Some people, some submitted some questions on some cards, and then we'll be dismissed for the evening. One person asked a question again, it's about Jesus being married or not married, and it's kind of a a question from silence. The Bible does not ever directly say Jesus was never married.

How could I Or should I convince someone that this was not true? Good. It's a good question. There are two important there are three important passages here. The first is a passage in first Corinthians nine, in which Paul is defending the right of the apostles to have support for their spouses. If Jesus had been married, that would be a perfect text to mention that Jesus was married and that he and Mary Magdalene were supported in the ministry as husband and wife. It doesn't happen. Now, some people will say that's an argument for silence, and they'll go to the second key passage, which is first Corinthians seven in first Corinthians seven. Paul is arguing that he would prefer that people be single. And so the argument sometimes says, well, if Jesus was single, it would have been perfect time for Paul to mention it. So it's kind of a counterpart to the first Corinthians nine. But the argument is this What actually Paul says is, is that he prefers that people be single, but if they get married, they don't send. And Paul mentioned the exact example of Jesus singleness in this passage. He probably would have said too much because he wouldn't have left the out of the possibility of getting married. The most important passage, however, is the passage where Jesus talks about being a unit for the kingdom. It's a figurative passage, and the idea here seems to be that Jesus has taken on the role of religious dedication and has remained unmarried as He has pursued the call of God. And he's urging that others may also have to share in that call. And so the idea here is, is that Jesus wouldn't have made a statement like this unless he had been willing to take that path himself.

The hard path, if you will, himself, that Jan Brown mentions in the book that a Jewish person, a Jewish male, would have to be married. It's one of the arguments that he makes. But in fact, the one exception for being married that was acceptable in Jewish culture was when you were religiously dedicated to a task. We know this from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the scene community. So there are several hints that suggest that Jesus was in fact saying all by the things that he taught and the things the apostles said or didn't say about him. Another point here that's often raised is, is that the whole tradition of celibacy for the priesthood in Roman Catholicism, which people discussed as to whether they like or don't like, but the reason for that supposedly, according to tradition, goes back to the fact that Jesus himself was not married. So there are several elements of historical argument related to the biblical text that suggest that Jesus was married. He's right. There's no explicit passes that says that he was single. There's no explicit passages. Says he was married. Oh, I forgot one passage. This. This was told me by a woman, this is a great observation. When Jesus appears to Mary and John, she cries out Albany. Rathbone He means my rabbi. Now I'm going to illustrate this for you to bring across the force of this. I've been married to 30 years to a lovely woman named Sally. And in 30 years she has called me lots of things. But the one thing she has never called me when I have surprised her is my teacher, my professor. That is not the response of a married woman to someone to whom she is married. If I hear your name in.

This is New Testament studies. I heard a historian say, you know, for all the people say, this is a novel. This is a novel. This is a novel. Ron Howard, the director of the movie, coming out there saying it's fiction. It's this fiction is fiction is fiction. But I heard a historian make a very interesting point. He said, you know, it's like this. There are a lot of novels based in World War Two. In a novel, you have foreground characters, which, of course, are fictional. But there's a background that was World War Two. What if somebody wrote a World War Two set novel in which the foreground characters were fictional, but the background history had Hitler winning the war, and Churchill and Roosevelt ending up as war criminals. That's basically what Da Vinci Code is doing. That's right. Playing with the historic facts. But one key difference is playing with a period of history. Unlike World War Two, which everyone knows well enough to know what the real result is, all you have to do is look around. It's dealing with a period of history about which people don't have much knowledge. And this I can't make a more important point to you tonight than this. Distinguish the writer of this book from the people who read it. The people who read it are being told about a period of history at 100 to about 8350 that they don't really have, generally speaking, much background. And I think I've said this to some of you before, but I'll say it again that the some knowledge of church history for most people goes like this. There was Jesus, there was the Apostles, there was A.D. 100. We wave to Augustine as we go by him. We wave to Calvin and Luther.

And then there's Billy Graham. Who? And that's the sum total of what people know about church history. And so Dan Brown comes into this gap that exists between the Book of Revelation and Augustine, and he says, here's the history. And most people, generally speaking, trust authors who say they've been careful about their work to to deal with them sincerely and directly and to be sincere about their work and to tell them the truth. And because there's nothing in that black hole to feel that they don't know any differently. And so the reason we're doing these kinds of seminars around the country is because what we want to do is to say, here's what's really going on between 103 50 in the history of the church. And to fill in the black hole and to let you know that there's a whole nother take on this history and that the whole other take on this, the reason it's the fire hydrant is because there is plenty of evidence coming at you about this stuff. That says that the church and its understanding of history is fundamentally accurate. And that's what I'm trying to convey to you tonight. If you don't remember one detail, except that you got baptized tonight with a lot of history coming out of a fire hydrant. Okay. I've accomplished what I've set out to do because the impression that I want you to have is there's a lot of evidence behind all this. What Dan Brown did was try and fill a black hole with something. But the something that he filled it with was historically empty. Thank you for listening to this lecture. Brought to you by biblical training, dawg. Your prayers and financial support enable us to provide a biblical and theological education that all people around the world can access.

Blessings. As you continue to study and live out your faith and as you grow in your relationship with the Lord.