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Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code: A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine (2004)

by Bart D. Ehrman

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5721340,960 (3.77)14
Presents an appraisal of some of the claims that are directly made or are embedded in the successful work of popular fiction by Dan Brown, ""The Da Vinci Code"". This wok discusses the historical truth behind the claims made in ""The Da Vinci Code"". It focuses on the historical Jesus, the development of the early Christian church, and more.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Christianity
  BooksInMirror | Feb 19, 2024 |
In his usual somewhat repetitive but detailed fashion, Ehrman goes about demolishing Dan Brown's claim of the truth of all the documents he based The Da Vinci Code on. It turns out Brown had no understanding of the documents his "experts" in the novel talk about, totally misrepresenting their content and meaning. For example, he claims that the Dead Sea Scrolls contains gospels, which they do not. The contents are all Jewish documents. He claims the word "companion" used to describe Mary Magdalene's relationship to Jesus meant spouse in Aramaic, again showing his ignorance of the non-canonical gospel he was using as his source, which only survives in a Coptic translation from Greek--not Aramaic. And the Coptic translation borrows the Greek word, which is quite common and quite clearly does not mean "spouse". The truth, of course, is that Brown stole the whole idea for his book from one published a few years earlier: The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. Still, Ehrman's explanation is interesting and he does a good job as his own narrator in the audiobook version. ( )
  datrappert | May 25, 2022 |
Skirta tiems, kurie įtikėjo Dan Brown'o sąmokslo teorijomis :) ( )
  mantvius | Aug 29, 2016 |
Found the facts behind the book really interesting - opened up a different way of viewing religion and the church
  JulesMcKay | Nov 12, 2011 |
Substance: Ably confronts Brown's claims and debunks almost all of them. Brown is correct in only a few instances, mostly where non-specialist scholarship is irrelevant. Ehrman's point-by-point deconstruction (not quite a fisking) is illuminating. From a "practicing Christian" viewpoint, he falls into the camp of the symbologists rather than the literalists.
Style: Not as straight-forward as I prefer, but covers the territory.

Original LCC derived from Brown; refiled with LCC for works on the New Testament in re Jesus per se. ( )
  librisissimo | Jan 26, 2011 |
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Presents an appraisal of some of the claims that are directly made or are embedded in the successful work of popular fiction by Dan Brown, ""The Da Vinci Code"". This wok discusses the historical truth behind the claims made in ""The Da Vinci Code"". It focuses on the historical Jesus, the development of the early Christian church, and more.

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A staggeringly popular work of fiction, Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has stood atop The New York Times Bestseller List for well over a year, with millions of copies in print. But this fast-paced mystery is unusual in that the author states up front that the historical information in the book is all factually accurate. But is this claim true?
As historian Bart D. Ehrman shows in this informative and witty book, The Da Vinci Code is filled with numerous historical mistakes. Did the ancient church engage in a cover-up to make the man Jesus into a divine figure? Did Emperor Constantine select for the New Testament--from some 80 contending Gospels--the only four Gospels that stressed that Jesus was divine? Was Jesus Christ married to Mary Magdalene? Did the Church suppress Gospels that told the secret of their marriage? Bart Ehrman thoroughly debunks all of these claims. But the book is not merely a laundry list of Brown's misreading of history. Throughout, Ehrman offers a wealth of fascinating background information--all historically accurate--on early Christianity. He describes, for instance, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (which are not Christian in content, contrary to The Da Vinci Code); outlines in simple terms how scholars of early Christianity determine which sources are most reliable; and explores the many other Gospels that have been found in the last half century.
Ehrman separates fact from fiction, the historical realities from the flights of literary fancy. Readers of The Da Vinci Code who would like to know the truth about the beginnings of Christianity and the life of Jesus will find this book riveting.
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