Summary: Comparison of the Gnostic and Canonical Gospels demonstrate that we CAN trust the bible as we have it


MAY 21st 2006 • Chris Rowney

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It is easy to make a claim in a single sentence… and if that claim is what people already do, or WANT TO believe, then not much is needed to substantiate the claim..

The suggestions underlying the DaVinci Code are widespread and widely believed,

Namely that

“The things we have been told about Christ are all wrong”

or that

“the church is a horrible corruption of whatever Jesus originally meant it to be.”

Unfortunately just saying back “That’s not true” is not enough –

Because like all the most believable falsehoods a bit of truth helps the Da Vinci Code along

It is TRUE that in the fourth century the church produced a document finalising a list of the books we use in our New Testament

It is TRUE that other writings exist than the ones in our Bible and

It is TRUE than in 325AD a great debate took place that concerned the divine nature of Jesus.

But a measure of truth about these things, does not make the assumption that therefore the Christian Church is based on lies and deception true.. but it does make the job of explaining why a little more long-winded.

Today will be a little bit longer than usual - maybe 40 to 45 minutes - and will contain a lot of information

IN a way – it is an excuse to teach you a bit of the history of the church, of how we came to use the bible that we do, and how and when what we believe about Jesus was established.

I DON’T expect you to remember it all or to learn it, but the reason I want to go through it all is that I hope by the end you will be able to go away and feel confident that the things you have been taught in church about the Bible and about Jesus ARE trustworthy, and based on REAL history.

You may all be people who don’t really care about the Da Vinci Code – or what other people believe – but if you were to speak to people in the street – you would find many who share the basic assumption that the church is based on falsehood – and to say to them just believe – or believe because the bible says it – is useless. Because why should they believe the bible – when one of the things they think is that the bible is just a made up book and that it was compiled 400 years after the events of Jesus life? So today I want to help you know why it is worth believing what you, as Christians believe already.

Now - to the message for today! This book – not an especially well written or ground breaking book – is the biggest selling hardcover novel of all time. A friend on holiday at a resort last year jokingly tells me that around the pool each day were about 23 people sitting reading… and 20 of them were reading the Da Vinci Code!

So.. What is the Da Vinci Code?

The code in its title refers to secret messages hidden in works of art by Leonardo Da Vinci, who the book claims was once head of an underground organization that protected a secret so shocking it would change to world.

The secret is supposedly that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, and had children, descendents of whom live to this day.

The real problem however is that this idea is tied up in a bigger suggestion that Christianity is based on lies –

That For the first few hundred years Jesus was NOT considered to be God, but just a mortal man

That the church ‘voted’ to make him a God in 325Ad when they deliberately suppressed other gospels that tell us Jesus was just a man, and that Christianity was meant to worship gods and goddesses – not just one creator God, -but somehow the ‘divine’ that we can find in all of us – and that this is somehow tied up in a greater respect for sexuality.

It is all a quest for the ‘Holy Grail’ – the cup used at the last supper )or so legends about King Arthur say) Holy Grail in French is SAN GREAL and one of the twists in understanding used in Dan Brown’s book (as have others before him) suggest we divide the French phrase wrongly, it is really the Sang Real (Royal Blood) and is the bloodline of the descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene – and the special object to be sought is the tomb where the bones of Mary Magdalene lie. (DISCLAIMER – the holy grail as a cup is a legend from the 11th century – and as for it being a bloodline – just fiction!)..

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