The DaVinci Code

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Evolver
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The DaVinci Code

Post by Evolver »

I just finished reading The DaVinci Code.

As an action story, it's not bad. Like all of Dan Brown's books, it races along without the burden of character development.

But it does raise a lot of questions.

I was wondering how accurate the details of the story are. Can anyone verify the things he brings up?

I did notice that he juxtaposed the titles of "Madonna of the Rocks" and "Virgin of the Rocks", two similar DaVinci paintings.

But what of:

All the pagan symbolism of DaVinci & others art?

The Church's systematic eradication of matriarchal worship (Brown states that The Crusades were driven by this)?

The development of matriarchal words to have a negative connotation? I'll have to go back for specific words, but if anyone else remembers, it'll help.

The Masons, the Knight of Templar, & all as keepers of Paganism.

Just wondering. I know it's just a book, but how much is based on truth?
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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: The DaVinci Code

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

Evolver wrote: The Church's systematic eradication of matriarchal worship ...
The Church co-opted matriarchal worship. What do you suppose all that Mary stuff is?
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Evolver
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Re: The DaVinci Code

Post by Evolver »

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Evolver wrote: The Church's systematic eradication of matriarchal worship ...
The Church co-opted matriarchal worship. What do you suppose all that Mary stuff is?
In the book, Brown says that Mary was a much more powerful figure, and the church transformed her into a whore to devalue her. I never heard that one before.
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Re: The DaVinci Code

Post by Pyrrho »

Evolver wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Evolver wrote: The Church's systematic eradication of matriarchal worship ...
The Church co-opted matriarchal worship. What do you suppose all that Mary stuff is?
In the book, Brown says that Mary was a much more powerful figure, and the church transformed her into a whore to devalue her. I never heard that one before.
Biblical tradition tends to identify Mary Magdalene with the prostitute who was being stoned and with the woman suffering from hemorrhages who touched Christ's robe and was healed, but there is nothing in the Gospels that says all three were the same woman. Legend has it that those references were removed, but other gospel-like stories from the early days of Christianity do not link Mary Magdalene with the other two women.

Mary Magdalene was the first to see Christ after he left his tomb. Had the church wanted to devalue her, they could simply have left that out of the Gospels.
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Post by Doctor X »

The latest Skeptic has a good article about it.

It is pure fiction.

As noted, there is no evidence--in the NT texts--of MM being really anything--even a prostitute. Later extra-biblical texts seemed to have made a connection. She "seems important enough to have been mentioned" perhaps to later authors.

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Re: The DaVinci Code

Post by Marian »

Pyrrho wrote: Mary Magdalene was the first to see Christ after he left his tomb. Had the church wanted to devalue her, they could simply have left that out of the Gospels.
Could they have simply dumped that though at the time when she's remade into a whore? It would leave a pretty big hole in the story I'd think, plus many people know the gospels at that point, and have copies. And that's pretty much her exit from scripture (in the bible), which is weird, considering what a large role she had. And some of the gnostic gospels mention her in even greater detail. (I think it's in the Gnostic gospel of st. Thomas IIRC).

Since you can't edit her out completely (too many people, too many copies, etc.), and you can't edit her out as being the first to see Jesus (because I think it would leave too large a gaping hole and I think their goal wasn't to directly lie, but rather fit various aspects of the stories to their own world views and further lessen her role and by extension the role of women in the Church (all my opinion anyway based on what I recall reading) it's much easier to simply discredit her. Seems to have worked for the apostles, who edged her out after she told them she saw Jesus.

Making her a whore discredits her nicely. Especially since there's no evidence to back the whore assumption, there's not even an inference of it. (Yeah yeah I know, there's not a whole lot of evidence, or none at all, for most of the other things either ;)). I've heard experts express that they think it's far more likely (though again, speculation) that if she was anyone else, she was the sister of Lazarus. She was obviously a woman of means though, and independant. (No mention of a husband, or anyone else holding her back as she follows Jesus).

I don't know why they speculate she was the sister of Lazarus. Since that sister (Mary) is clearly mentioned, you'd think it be just as easy to add a clear connection. Why not just take her as face value as a seperate character in the story?

I've always thought of her as an apostle pushed out after the death of Jesus, and later discredited further by the Church later on. I also recall reading stories about her journey to France, and preaching there. Whether or not that happened, there's really no good evidence of it, other than stories. I believe there's a Church that is supposed to be her burial site as well (in France) but again, no validation for it.

Anyway that's just some opinion based on things I've read, perhaps some of it is inaccurate or incorrect.
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Post by Doctor X »

I wonder about this:
. . . plus many people know the gospels at that point, and have copies.
during the time of composition of the Synoptic Gospels and Jn. A little yes . . . a little no. "A little yes" in that Lk--of "Lk-Acts"--admits to relying on sources to set the record straight. "A little no" in that he cleary did not expect to be in a book with Paul who contradicts his version--his softening of the arguments between Paul and the Jerusalem Group.

Lk and Mt both use Mk as a source and have no problem rewriting him. Neither expected to be there with Mk. Neither knew of one another--how else would they come up with contradictory and mutually-exclusive birth stories, journeys, genealogies, et cetera.

Both Mt and Lk used "Q" a saying source which has some connection to the later "Gospel of Thomas." So Q was "popular enough" for these guys to have it. Mk--the earliest--seems not to known of it/cared for it. I believe some scholars try to argue he knew of it, but that is a very minority opinion.

Furthermore, it seems clear that either Mk used a source for his passion narrative or, as one scholar Burton Mack puts it, "made it up." Both are very possible since the passion of Mk is short on details and very short on actual facts. Mt and Lk and probably Jn use Mk as a source for the passion, but add to it. For example, does Judas hang himself? Enjoy his profits? Explode? I opt for the last, but Hollywood does not . . . sadly.

[ZZZzzZZZZzzzZZzz--Ed.]

My point is that preserving the documents are not important to the writers--they freely rewrite/use sources without any attribution to provide their political/theological version. In the Synoptics and Jn the disciples are COMPLETE idiots--something you would not expect in documents endorsed by said idiots!

Marian brings up an interesting thing about tradition. {TRAdiTION!} [Stop it!--Ed.] Indeed!

A big area is:

1. Is it a nasty story?
2. Is it a nasty truth glossed over, heightened?

For example, assuming Junior existed, was he actually executed? Those arguing the first can point to other myths--hey, your "mythic founder" has to be sacrificed.

Those for the second note, "why would you make it up? Execution is dishonorable!"

So, do the righters try to clean up a "nasty tradition" or a "nasty truth?"

There are others:

Claiming to Destroy the Temple--true claim or a bit of retrojective prophecy--since the Romans squished it before the earliest gospel

Hey, Your Cock, Peter--true story, old tradition, or a real nice way of "sticking it" to the disciples--hence whatever remained of their group/opinions?

Rejected--certainly did not make the history books. Are the reasons "excuses"--certainly the stories of the "power" of the Jews and the wishy-washiness of Pilate are not true.

Et cetera. . . .

Then [ZZZZZzzZZZZZZzzZZZZZ--Ed.] all of that goes out the window if someone else writes a later book. The Passion of Mel Gibson is an example: how many know he adapted much of the story from the "visions" of some nutcase Nun over one hundred years ago?

Early authors may never have considered Mary M a "whore"--even if she existed--but it became tradition.

Mk refers to a family--brothers and sisters. Leave aside the whole "Historical Junior" problem--whether or not Paul is arguing with the actual brother James: clearly early writers had NO PROBLEM with Junior having siblings. . .

. . . tell THAT to the Inquisition and dogma that hold Mary with the Cherry was "forever clean, a virgin, blah . . . blah." Joseph may have been thick, but he would not believe that excuse more than twice. . . .

Bottom line is, historically, we do not know.

We can say "this idea fits the stories and explains why blah blah" but that is hardly any evidence.

We know if Junior existed what he taught was not controversial to the Romans or the Romans would have wiped out his followers--they clearly did not. Paul apparently visits them with no problem. We know he was not worth independent or contemporary comment. One can criticise that by stating that "he did but it did not survive" but I doubt that given stuff on other figures, like Pilate, Herod, and Shlomo the Flatulent [Stop that!--Ed.]

The other characters become even more uncertain.

Why this is all so much fun. . . .

I recommend Gore Vidal's Live! From Golgotha for an even more evil conspiracy. . . .

--J.D.
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