There are hundreds of historical mistakes made by the Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code. None of it would be particularly important in a work of ‘fiction’, except that Brown claims that all the background material is ‘true’. He continues to maintain that view even in the face of numerous assaults by historians, art experts, & religious scholars. There are numerous historical problems; also, art & architectural blunders were made in the book. However, my ‘top ten’ will key in on false religious/historical claims (included: page numbers for where the claims are made in the book):
1. ‘Sex Ritualism’ played a major part in early Jewish & Christian worship. (p.309)
There is no factual basis for this claim. In fact, the people who surrounded ancient Israel all had religions which had some form of sexual ritualism, but the ancient Hebrew faith had numerous teachings and prophetic pronouncements against their people participating in those ‘false’ religions. The early Christians lived among the Greeks & Romans who had numerous ‘sexual’ cults, temple ‘prostitute’ priestesses, and city-wide official orgies. The early Christians were expected to reject those practices when they converted to Christianity.
2. The ‘Sacred Feminine’ was part of the early Jewish & early Christian faith.
Again, totally false. The early Hebrew religion was monotheistic, they believed in only one God. The early Christians were a continuation of the Hebrew faith. There was never a ‘godess’ in either religion, although the surrounding cultures were dominated by matriarchal paganism.
3. The Jewish sacred name of God–YHWH, is derived from the name ‘Jehovah’, a combination of the masculine ‘Jah and the pre-Hebraic name for Eve, ‘Havah’. (p. 309)
Totally false. YHWH, is derived from the Hebrew verb-‘to be’.
4. Jesus was viewed as a prophet & just a man, before he was deified by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD by a close vote. (p. 233)
The four gospels that taught the ‘divinity’ of Jesus were written between 50-90 AD. The NT epistles were written in the same time frame, and also taught that Jesus was divine. All within the lifetime of the original observers of the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles. Numerous writings of the early church Fathers (1st-4th century writings) also supported the divinity of Christ. The Counsel of Nicea didn’t debate the divinity of Jesus, that was considered a given. The Counsel was convened to come to an understanding about the ‘Eternity’ and eternal nature of Jesus. The final vote was 300-2, in favor of recognizing the co-eternal relationship between the Father & the Son.
5. Jesus married Mary Magdalene, it is a matter of historical record. (p. 244)
There is no record or early reference of Jesus marrying anyone. The reference cited by Brown is the so-called ‘Gospel of Phillip’ an apocryphal gospel of the 3rd century, written 200 years after the fact. Also, the ‘Gospel of Mary Magdalene’ is cited coming from the same time period. No historical scholar would contend that there are any historical facts, of the 1st century, contained in these two late references.
6. The New Testament is based upon fabrications & lies of the Church (p. 267,341,407).
It is the other way around, the church is based upon the teaching of the New Testament. The authentic New Testament writings were written in the first century by the Apostles or those who were close to them.
7. Over 80 gospels were written, but only four were included in the Bible. (p. 231)
There were around thirty so-called ‘gospels’ written, however, only four were actually written in the first century by those who were Apostles or close to Apostles, & actual observers of the ministry of Jesus. It was only those four, came to be recognized as authoritative by early Christians, and later were included in the New Testament. The other ‘gospels’ were written in the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th centuries.
8. Constantine upgraded Jesus to divine and tried to destroy thousands of documents which chronicled his life as a ‘mortal man’. (p. 234) He chose the New Testament books.
Early Christians from the 1st century on believed in the deity & the humanity of Jesus. Constantine did not originate any Christian teaching, nor did he attempt to destroy early Christian writings. Constantine had nothing to do with the composition of the New Testament.
9. The ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ were found in the 1950’s, containing writings which Constantine attempted to destroy. (p. 234) The Vatican tried to suppress the release of these scrolls. 9p. 234)
The ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ were found in 1947. They did not contain ‘Christian’ writings & the Vatican did not try to stop their publication. They were Old Testament & early Jewish cultic writings.
10. The feminine looking person next to Jesus in Da Vinci’s Last supper was Mary Magdalene.
There is no basis in fact for this claim. John the Apostle was close to Jesus & was characterized as quite young or effeminate in numerous paintings of that time period.
(major source: “The Da Vinci Code Fact or Fiction?, By Hank Hanegraaff & Paul L Maier. ‘Da Vinci Code’ page references were found in this book, pg. 2-40.)