Wow… I couldn’t get through the first chapter. I wasn’t impressed with the writing or the narrator. At least it’s fiction and I know it’s fiction. Many of the ideas Dan Brown proposed in the book have been around for ages and were nothing new or nothing that he discovered or came up with.
I’ve heard people say it’s a good page-turner and a fun and easy read. Others have said it’s dribble and not take it seriously, but I’ve heard others think it’s the best piece of literature out there.
Hard to say since I haven’t read it and probably won’t. But I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of-- as long as you know it’s fiction.
Get the book **The DaVinci Hoax **by Carl Olsen and Sandra Miesel. It’s easy to read and really shows up the shoddy scholarship that underpins Dan Brown’s book. By the time you finish it, you will be strengthened in your faith and have learned some history.
There is a problem, but it is not really the fault of Dan Brown. He wrote a reasonably entertaining mystery revolving around supposed secrets suppressed by the Church. Whether or not you like or appreciate the craft of his mystery writing is fairly subjective.
The problem lies with the Church. More specifically with the current state of catechesis within the Church. Perhaps I should say “lack thereof.” The faithful are NOT being instructed in their faith. When something like this comes along, people mistake it for real information, and think they are learning about true history of the Church.
Yes, there are historical underpinnings in his fictitious work which he wants you to assume to be true. But that the faithful don’t know the difference is not his fault. It’s ours.
This is the style he writes with. Short choppy chapters make you feel as thought the book is moving at a good pace (think James Patterson, I’ve heard). He writes from an intellectual point of view, but not very intellectually. There is a lot of material out that that makes Brown look like a fool. There is a lot more that makes him look like a liar.
I especially “like” the scene where Langdon puts up an argument against the Catholic Church establishment theory. It’s convincing when you have both sides portrayed with one clear winner until you realize that one side was written intentionally weak.
I saw the movie, wasn’t as terrible as everyone said. Then again I didn’t know it was a comedy. I also read “Angels and Demons”, which started out with a bang (pun intended) but got pretty ridiculous, obviously false and predictable.
Well there are a couple of things to consider in regards to the logic of Jesus having children:
His apostles left their families to follow Jesus. If Jesus did entertain having a relationship with Mary Magdalene, it would have to be part-time to his preaching. His apostles who left their families (who had no welfare benefits) would definitely have been following someone who put a relationship before his mission. Jesus was a responsible person, entrusting his mother to John as he was dying on the cross. If Jesus had a child he would also have entrusted his bride and future child as he was dying.
Jesus was the suffering servant. Jesus came to die as the unblemished lamb to atone for our sins. If Jesus did have a relationship on the side, it would also be part-time to this mission.
If Jesus did have a child, it would be the son/daughter of the son of God… who would likely be heralded by his apostles and made king/queen… and not be hidden. This son or daughter would also then have power over sins and do miracles.
Point 3 then completely contradicts the book of ACTS… in which the “Holy Spirit clothed the believers from on high”. There would be no book of ACTS, nor the beginning of the church as we know it, if Jesus had offspring. A reading of the book of ACTS completely swerves away any notion of this.
Amazingly enough, the beauty of fertility which is a recurring theme in pagan religions and is worshipped in the book is a perversion of the reality of the beauty of love and sex which God has designed. Through love and sex, we imitate the image of love which God had planned, and through it new life is created… a reflection of God’s desire to create man and the universe.
Hey Aaron. I watched the movie on TV the other night, and it certainly is captivating. But honestly, your response is only emotional, and I totally understand that, that was the intention. You have to realize the intention of the writer was to cause stir of emotion, that’s what sells books. Maybe this is a chance for you to read up on the actual historical aspects of the books claims. I know nothing about the subject, but I honestly don’t think Dan Brown did either, he just took some theories and twisted then around to make a best seller. I feel very confident, that you will find that his actual knowledge is faulty at best. Look at it as an opportunity to learn something new you can use to back up your faith as a Catholic.
One of Dan Brown’s points which is totally false, but he mentions it as if it were an established historical fact is that Constantine collated the Bible and decided what would be in it.
Now, what does THAT tell you?
Brown also drags in the non-existent Priory of Sion, even though Pierre Plontard admitted under oath that it was a coax he cooked up.
Another egregious error is how the ashes of the leaders of the Knights Templar were “thrown into the Tiber.” This in fact took place during the reign of the AVIGNON popes, and I can assure you that their remains would NOT have been thrown into the Tiber.
And so it goes.
I read DVC with a read pen in hand marking his historical errors, and it bled on every page.
For a refutaiton of DVC from a SECULAR source, please go here:
Dan Brown is a clever writer in the “pot-boiler” genre. I’ve read all of his books and they are admittedly “good reads” within the “pot-boiler” genre. He bases his premise on a group of “pseudo-historical” group of books which came out back in the late 70’s - early 80’s. You can find books in this genre which deal with the “discovery” of Noah’s Ark, Atlantis, the Holy Grail, etc. Likewise, you can find books about Area 51, Ufos, etc. However, as the X-files put it - the truth is out there. It is. It is just not what you expect. Dan Brown’s works are fiction without basis in historical fact. He’s out to sell books.
I read the book, not because I wanted to read it, but my mom was getting into arguements with my dad over it (it’s his favorite book), and she was basically losing the arguements because she didn’t know much about the book. I read it so I could tell my dad that the book was trash. Well, I even I didn’t realize how bad it was. The beliefs he portrays in the books didn’t anger me because I knew it was just a bunch of lies, I just shook my head at it. But the writing style made me laugh out loud. I didn’t find the characters engaging, just lifeless, and I didn’t see anything intellectual in it at all. It seemed like it was written in monotone. I was eaither laughing or yawning. I was so happy to return that one to the library.
I’m sorry if I sound rude about the writing style, but I’ve read so many well written quality books that I was just appalled that critics actually called this book well written! It’s truely the worst written book I’ve ever read. Because it wasn’t even well written I never for a second believed any of the ideas that he wrote about, or ever even doubted the church.
Read the Da Vinci Hoax like someone else said. Then read a good quality novel, so you can see what a truely well written book is like.
I read it as well (before I became Catholic:) ) and I happened to catch the movie the other night. I do agree that it was a page turner as I wanted to know what happened next, same with the movie, although it was waaaaayyyyy too long and kind of boring. As far as the outlandish ideas and such in it, its rubbish. It didn’t shake my faith but I can see how it might if you were succeptable and looking for answers.
Educate yourself a bit more. Read some of the Gnostic gospels for yourself. Read good scholarship about the Council of Nicea. Most of the historical claims in the book are sheer hogwash and are agreed to be so by all scholars, whatever their bias.
A good place to start is this interview with Bart Ehrman. Ehrman is no longer a Christian in any sense (he grew up evangelical, then was an Episcopalian for a while). His books by and large have a bias against traditional Christianity (he’s written two books, *The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture *and Misquoting Jesus, about the problems in the transmission of New Testament manuscripts, and another book, Lost Christianities, about the very groups Brown talks about in the book). But he’s a sound and honest scholar, so he finds Brown’s claims laughable, and has written a book on it which you can read if you find the interview helpful: Truth and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code.
I loved Nancy Drew books when I was a kid. I saw a whole collection of them at Costco one year and wish I’d bought them.
It’s amazing how not a great piece of fiction and supposedly a bad movie, has sparked such controversy. I guess it’s good in that it’s making people think. Hopefully, to think about learning and investigating the actual truth and not taking Dan Brown’s work as truth though.
Here are a few fun fact to make it clear how out-there Dan Brown’s made-up world really is:
He suggests that the early Church despised Mary Magdalene. Fact: Mary Magdalene has always been highly respected in the Church. He says the term Holy Grail is actually sangrial, and that Gnostics sought this “grail”, or bloodline, from pre-Medieval days. Fact: Quests for the Holy Grail began in Medieval France. Saint Grail is Old French for Sacred Vessel, from Latin gradalis, dish. Brown says there were over 80 Gnostic gospels, all of which said Jesus was just a human being, and all but a few of which were destroyed by a conspiracy. Fact: There is no evidence to suggest there were ever any more than 30 Gnostic texts in ancient times, and all were written well after the canonical Gospels. There is no evidence of any suppression of Gnostic books. Only a tiny minority of those 30 could possibly be called “gospels”, and none shows Jesus as only a man. All show Him as God. None suggests He was ever married or had any children. None shows Him making Mary Magdalene His successor. None. Brown says the witch trials were a Catholic conspiracy to kill off smart women and pagans. Fact: There is no historic reason to think any victims of witch hunts was particularly smart or a pagan. Most showed symptoms of dementia. The Church stood in defense of the accused nearly the whole time, and most of the accusers were women. Some of the accused were men. And so on. The misstatements in The DaVinci Code could fill more books than have been written about it. It’s a fun subject to research.
I have to say that I am completly amazed about the “Hype” that surrounds this book.
It was an entertaining read, it certainly wasnt the best book that I have read, but it passed the time. I honestly dont get all these conspiracy theories that have been comming up about the cathloic church and I dont get why cathloics feel the need to refute these claims.
It is a work of fiction, its not real.
Some of the ideas in the book are plausable, but that is part of the appeal of the story. Fiction can be based on real life or historical events, making the world in the book like an alternate reality of our own. But at the end of the day, the story is fiction and is even presented as such.
The best argument against people who choose to go for the conspiracy thing is simply to say: “You do realise that it is fiction and was never meant to be taken as something other than a work of fiction?”
If they want to continue with their “ideas”, let them. Just remind them every now and then that it is in fact fiction and is presented as such. Trying to refute their claims simply encourages them.
I wouldnt feel bad about the book making you question your faith, apparently you are not alone in that. Just remember that the story isnt real and move on.
Of course it is a work of fiction. Those who write books refuting the claims of the novel are quite keenly aware of that. The first Question in Amy Welborn’s book “The DaVinci Code Mysteries” (It’s a Q & A book) is “The Da Vinci Code is a novel. Don’t you understand that?”
To which she replies: “Yes, we do. But amazingly, and perhaps unfortunatley, millions of readers of The Da Vinci Code have come to believe, for whatever reason, that the assertions that this work makes about history reflect the real work and opinions of serious academic scholars. They don’t.”
The reason Catholics need to refute the claims in this book is not because we take them seriously but because there are many other people who *do *take it seriously. We wouldn’t be very good disciples of Christ if we sat idly by and allowed people to be misled by Dan Brown about who Jesus Christ really is.
But the novel starts with a “Fact” page, and he includes a list of resources consulted. This is enough to convince people that it is historical fiction. Thus, even though the reader fully recognizes that the characters and events are fictitious, they accept the historical backdrop without question. After all, on the surface it looks like an impressive bibliography and the reader is left with the impression that Dan Brown has done some serious research.
First off, I don’t quite understand how trying to refute their claims only encourages them. Encourages them to do what? To question the validity of Dan Brown’s history and christology?
We would be very lax Christians indeed if we sat back and did **nothing **while MILLIONS of people read this novel and believe what it says about history and about Jesus. In this case, our silence would be deafening and would only lead people to believe (falsely) that we have no problem with the claims the novel makes.
Perhaps you are blessed with an excellent understanding of history and a good grasp of the distinction between fiction and reality. If so, then you are very fortunate. The truth is, there are many people out there who are not like you and who *do *believe what the novel says. They simply cannot easily dismiss it as “move on.”
I have friends who are having an awful time trying to convince their grandmother that what the book says about Jesus and Mary Magdalene isn’t real. You may laugh a thought of a little old lady foolishly believing what the book says is true, but it is a very sad situation. What’s even more sad is that her situation is not unique.