Bible Question:

Why is Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code, trying to change the truth? I was reading about the Da Vinci Code at the website. Why is this person trying to change the truth about everything we have learned? I am Catholic and everything this guy is saying is wrong.

Bible Answer:

The Da Vinci Code was written by Mr. Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code was a number one New York Times bestseller that is clearly anti-Christian. In answering your question, we will briefly look at the author’s religious views and then provide some insights into the book itself.

The Author

It is clear from the author’s own words that he is not a real Christian. In fairness to Dan Brown, it is possible that he is only a cultural Christian. While Dan Brown claims to be a Christian, he openly states the following, “I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long work in progress.” A Christian is one who has found the truth, because Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Christians either believe that Jesus is God and follow Him or they do not. Here is the full quote from his website.

Yes. Interestingly, if you ask three people what it means to be Christian, you will get three different answers. Some feel being baptized is sufficient. Others feel you must accept the Bible as absolute historical fact. Still others require a belief that all those who do not accept Christ as their personal savior are doomed to hell. Faith is a continuum, and we each fall on that line where we may. By attempting to rigidly classify ethereal concepts like faith, we end up debating semantics to the point where we entirely miss the obvious–that is, that we are all trying to decipher life’s big mysteries, and we’re each following our own paths of enlightenment. I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long work in progress. (http://www.danbrown.com/novels/davinci_code/faqs.html)

Mr. Brown has missed several important facts in the Bible that should end his quest. God does not want us to explore other religions – they are lies from the pit of hell.

. . . if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (NASB) Gal. 1:8-9

. . . let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead . . . And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. (NASB) Acts 4:10-12

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. (NASB) 1 John 5:13

The first passage tells us that if anyone preaches anything contrary to what is taught in the Bible, that person will be punished by God. God does not want anyone teaching anything contrary to the teachings found in the Bible. Since that is true, then we should avoid investigating other religions as a possible source of truth. The second passage tells us that the only true faith and salvation are found in only one person – Jesus Christ. God cannot be found in any “religion” outside of Jesus Christ. The third passage says that the Bible was written so that we might know the truth and so that we might know if we have eternal life. But Mr. Brown has unfortunately missed all of these points.

The Book

The “Da Vinci Code” is filled with at least 53 major historical inaccuracies as documented by Richard Abanes in his excellent book titled, The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code. His book lists misquotes, numerous factual errors, apparent falsification of quotes, and incomplete research. Ben Witherington III makes this observation,

Our concern isn’t so much with Brown’s ability to describe art or architecture accurately . . . but rather with his handling of ancient documents and his treatment of early Christian history. In these realms he is . . . a purveyor of errors of both fact and interpretation, including some mistakes that even the amateur student of religious history should never make. He can’t hide behind the disclaimer that “this is fiction” because his very first page intends to give the impression that this a novel grounded solidly in history. (Witherington, Ben. The Gospel Code. Intervarsity Press. 2004, p. 16-17).

After the title page of the book, we read this statement.

FACT: . . . All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.

(Brown, Dan. The Da Vince Code. Doubleday. 2003)

But the author has made numerous serious biblical and historical mistakes in his book. Numerous reputable, credible, scholarly websites have addressed his errors and books have been written already which demonstrate that his research is incompetent and lacks scholarship. Dan Brown has made positive assertions about a subject that he did not understand. The author claims in his book that he has searched everything carefully, clearly indicating that he wants us to believe that he is a qualified author and researcher. Yet, he lacks the professional expertise to make the claims that he does. He is a secular author who conducted research into a religious subject with which he is unfamiliar. He is not what he claims to be – an expert about the Bible. Mr. Brown’s formal education was at secular schools such as Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy. Professionally, Mr. Brown was an English teacher before he wrote he wrote his first novel, Digital Fortress.

It is obvious from his book and his own website that he does not believe the Bible and does not believe that Jesus is God. He states in his book that Jesus was not God. He has rejected Jesus Christ since he contends that people hundreds of years later decided to fabricate the concept that Jesus is God (p. 233-234). But his research is faulty. He is not a credible student of the history of Christianity, the Dead Sea Scrolls, or the Nag Hammadi, to which he refers to support some of his points. By claiming that he is speaking the truth, he is a false teacher.

God predicted that many men and women would claim to be Christians even while denying that Jesus Christ was and is God. This occurred even during the time of the apostles. The Apostle John provides a test by which we can determine if a person is really speaking for God and is a real Christian.

. . . if someone . . . does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. (NLT) 1 John 4:2-3

The test is a simple one. Does he or she believe that God took on human flesh? That is, did Jesus Christ came in a real human body? That is the test according to 1 John 4:2. Today, many men and women claim to be a Christian. Many are offended by even a suggestion that they might not be a Christian. Many do not realize that a person is not a Christian because they were born into a “Christian” family, live in a country that was once characterized as being a Christian nation, were born in the “Bible Belt,” or grew up in a particular church. A person is a Christian only if they are depending upon Jesus to forgive their sins (Acts 4:12), and only if they have submitted themselves to Him (Rom. 10:9).

Conclusion:

You aksed, “Why is this person trying to change the truth about everything we have learned?” The answer is that he has been deceived by the evil one (2 Cor. 4:4). We should pray for Mr. Dan Brown that he eventually comes to the truth that Jesus really is God.