Monday, May 29, 2006

What's the Fuss?

I read The DaVinci Code fairly early on, before there was much of an uproar. I enjoyed the read and didn't perceive it as an attack on Christianity because IT IS FICTION.

When I did start hearing about some churches and christians taking offense, I was a bit surprised because, after all, IT IS FICTION. The DaVinci Code is available in the library under the Fiction category. The writer wrote it as a piece of fiction. Therefore, what he claimed or didn't wasn't a big concern for me because, as I've noted, IT IS FICTION!

I finally went to see the movie last night and it occurred to me that there's another reason why I wasn't bothered by The DaVinci Code.

There's nothing wrong with it from a Christian point of view!

Even if every word in The DaVinci Code were true [SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVE MANAGED NOT TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE CONTROVERSY YET!] and Jesus did marry Mary Magdalene and fathered a child, there's nothing unbiblical or un-Christian in the thought. Yes, it's extrabiblical. Yes, it is against our understanding of Jesus as a single man. But if it were true, there's nothing in the notion that should hurt anyone's faith.

Gospel writer John himself tells us, "There are many other things that Jesus did, so many in fact that if they were all written out, I do not suppose that the world itself would hold the books that would have to be written." It could be entirely possible that this story could be one of those unwritten stories and it would do nothing - NOTHING - to invalidate the Gospel as we know it.

What such a story does is challenge our traditions, and for those with a huge investment in the traditions of the church, I suppose this story is a bit threatening. But there is nothing in this story - which, by the way IS FICTION - that ought to worry anyone's little head a single bit.

Sleep soundly church. If you're having nightmares, I'd suggest it might be a chance for you to evaluate your dependencies upon traditions, as opposed to what is actually contained within the Bible.


Sylvia said...

I don't think the question is whether Brown's "fiction" invalidates the Gospels but whether his book has any validity (it doesn't) and whether the Gospels invalidate it (they do).

Dan Trabue said...

[I knew my good virtual friend Sylvia and I disagreed on this as we spoke over on her blog. Great minds need not always think alike...and, of course, my mind's not that great anymore, anyway.]

Sylvia, I understand the lack of validity of the book, I just don't get why any Christian would spend any time at all in opposition to it as nothing that I can tell within the book is antibiblical or antichristian. Does it have some misinformation in it? Sure. I just don't see any grievous misinformation.

D.R. said...

Dan, I posted this over at my blog, but felt I should repost it over here for the sake of your readers:

Dan, I suggest you actually read some of the criticisms of Dan Brown's book by conservative Christians. One is Colin Hansen's fine but brief article at ChristianityToday.Com. He says this early on:

Brown claims "almost everything our fathers taught us about Christ is false." Why? Because of a single meeting of bishops in 325, at the city of Nicea in modern-day Turkey. There, Brown argues, church leaders who wanted to consolidate their power base (he calls this, anachronistically, "the Vatican," or "the Roman Catholic church") created a divine Christ and an infallible Scripture—both novelties that had never before existed among Christians.

Now, I have to admit that I haven't read Dan Brown's book or seen the movie. Though I plan to do both eventually. But there are people that are accepting this as fact. And that is problematic and demands a response as well. Al Mohler wrote an article on this phenomenon entitled, "'Da Vinci Christianity' -- Is Anyone Buying the Message of The Da Vinci Code?"

And speaking of Mohler, he recommends an article by Larry Hurtado called, "Ungodly Errors:
Scholarly gripes about The Da Vinci Code's Jesus

Reading these two articles and re-examining the claims of Brown in his book should help you to understand why Christians are responding and should continue to do to The Da Vinci Code.

Dan Trabue said...

Thanks for the info Daniel. But in fact, while some characters in the story make the case that the church invented a divine christ, others argue against it. In fact, the main character's position, as best as I recall, is that, "Why couldn't Jesus have married and still been divine?" It is the "bad guy" in the story who makes the case that it was all a big lie.

If we are going to spend time and energy decrying what villains or some characters in a book support, then I reckon we better criticize the Narnia series (after all, the white witch tries to deny Aslan's righteousness and power) and the Bible itself, right?

Dan Trabue said...

I've checked out the first two articles and they're more of the same criticisms I've seen already.

Because some of the characters (none of whom seem to be heavily invested Christians and some of whom are quite hostile to the church) in the book argue that Jesus was married and fathered a child, that the book is spreading claims antithetical to Christianity.

That is simply not the case.

It is a historical fact that some have argued a more gnostic view of Jesus and that is presented. Others take a more divine view of Jesus and that is presented.

If Jesus' church can survive 2000 years of sometimes intense persecution and even more insidious co-opting of Jesus' Message by those opposed to it, then I honestly don't think Brown's little work of fiction can put a dent in her.

The fact that some characters in the book didn't believe in the divinity of Jesus is hardly cause for alarm.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I read The DaVinci Code fairly early on, before there was much of an uproar.

And I read Laurence Gardner's "Bloodline of the Holy Grail" many, many years ago, when I was young and into Arthurian romance. I find the alternative scriptures, gnostic texts and appocrypha and non-canonized gospels fascinating. And if I were Christian, I just don't think I'd feel threatened by anything that "updates" my understanding of Christ. I don't know. Maybe I would feel differently. I've never been a big fan of organized religion with all the trappings and ritualizations. I think I could believe in the divinity of Jesus and not see a conflict in the notion that he married Mary Magdalene.

I've also heard years ago, about the possibility that Judas was not the super villain that the New Testament makes him out to be. And I find that idea much more intriguing, and makes for a good story. If one puts any stock in such things as the Gospel of Judas, I just don't see how it's a conflict with the underlying teachings...and since the five gospels included in the New Testament aren't all consistent with one another, I don't see why something like the Gospel of Judas can't be reconciled to "fit in" with canonized works.

I haven't seen or read Brown's work, but then I don't read much fiction these days nor go to the movies that often anymore.

Dan Trabue said...

Thanks for the thoughts, wordsmith. I'm with you, it can be interesting to think about "all the stories about Christ that went untold," and about "other" sources about the life of Jesus and, as a Christian, I can read it all and not be threatened. I don't get those who do feel threatened.

DR said:
"The Da Vinci Code is once again an incongruent parallel. Narnia clearly deals with the problem of evil and the vanquishing of it."

While you maybe "haven't read anything that puts the spin on the book as you have," that could also be because you're reading the wrong folk - people who are needlessly tilting at windmills.

I have read the book and, one could certainly make the case that Langdon (the hero) IS dealing with "vanquishing evil" and while the book isn't making a case for the divinity of Christ, it's not trying to do so, as it's fiction.

Nonetheless, the main character in the book seems deeply moved by the revelations as he understands them, he seems to find more faith rather than less - more reason to believe rather than not believe.

I don't recall how it is handled in the book, but in the movie the hero winds up on his knees with bowed head at the thought of what he's learned.

I'd have thought most traditionalists would have liked that.

Dan Trabue said...

A follow up thought or two:

Daniel said:
"Your reading of the book seems to be a minority."

No, just in a minority of the few more worried evangelicals out there - apparently millions of Christians have read and loved the book and found no problems with it (probably because they took it as fiction). Just a point of fact.

Further, I reckon if something Brown wrote were contradictory of Jesus' teachings, I might be a bit more upset. Still, if Brown (or anyone) wrote a story that said that Jesus was a mother-beating drug dealer, it probably wouldn't bother me because it would be fiction and why would I worry about that?

Now when some evangelicals and others purporting to be followers of Jesus say things such as "Respect for human life sometimes requires the taking of human life." (as Mohler did in his defense of war) and states THAT as a "christian" fact, THAT is troubling because
he's putting it forth as fact not fiction.

That to me seems to be the main difference. I just don't worry myself too much with what fiction writers are saying. And, in this case, the gist of the story is that Jesus married and fathered a child - which takes nothing away from my faith even if it were true. Some characters within the story further suppose that Jesus' divinity was a fiction created by the church and some characters disagreed with this.

I don't have the book or I'd look it up but Langdon's position is, "why couldn't Jesus have married and still been divine?" and he points to all the good done by the church as evidence of Jesus' divinity or at least the divine nature of Jesus' teachings. Pretty convincing to me.

And while I don't think Jesus married (this is FICTION, I'll say again), it wouldn't hurt my faith if he did. Why should it?

As to your argument, Daniel:

"you have to agree that some believers might find Brown's "facts" compelling or at least worrisome to their faith. Others considering Christianity might quit doing so based on a popularization of the "evidence" Brown presents."

I'd have to say that while I agree that some believers have in fact found what they've heard about DVC worrisome, I see no reason why they should.

I think I could state as a fact that the Mohlers of the world are doing much more serious and long-lasting harm to the credibility of the church than this one little piece of fiction.

Anonymous said...

Dan, You mention Mohler's views related to taking of life and war. Is there not some hypocrisy in bringing this up, when most liberals favor abortion? I feel great concern when church people have no problem with messing around with the deity of our Savior. During my life thus far, I have seen so much compromise relating to biblical fact and the culture, that I feel heartsick. We need to understand all the different sides of God's nature and when we do, we will be in awe and reverence. Marilyn

Dan Trabue said...

"During my life thus far, I have seen so much compromise relating to biblical fact and the culture..."

Me, too, Miss Marilyn. And that's why I'm saddened and embarassed and outraged when church folk talk about War in the name of the Prince of Peace. You think Mohler makes a legitimate "christian" point with his Orwellian war argument?

I don't really want to change subjects - my point was that there is nothing to worry about with this book and I don't understand why church folk would spend time worrying about it when there were serious attacks on Jesus' teachings from right within the church and that we ought to begin within the church itself if we want to look for troubles.

Has reading the Brown book caused you to question Jesus' deity? If not, quit worrying about it. If so, why? (Or are you another critic who hasn't read the book?)

Son of Lilith said...

My problems with The DaVinci Code:

1. It's a pot-boiler posing as good literature. Not cool. I've read better work by my classmates.

2. Dan Brown said "what's the big deal" until he saw how much buzz was generated by the controversy. Did he started saying things "It's exhaustively researched and I'm a believer." This fueled his own fire. Not cool.

3. It has no citations, no bibliography, no dispaly of academic integrity at all, yet people are treating it as such. NOT COOL.

4. People are claiming to find spiritual depth in it, despite a lack of spiritual content.


If Brown had've shared your sentiment my friend ("Doesn't matter, he's still Jesus") then I would've applauded him for making a powerful spiritual statement. Instead he wrote a glorified drug-store Harlequin (I put it down half-way through it was so bad.) and cashed in on controversy.

And I don't plan on wasting my time and money on the movie.

However, despite all of its flaws, I must say that every home should have a copy.

Because, you know, you never know when you'll run out of toilet paper.

Dan Trabue said...

There's no accounting for tastes, I suppose. I enjoyed reading the book thoroughly, found it to be a page-turner (and liked Angels and Demons even better). No, it's not Shakespeare, but it was a fun read for me.

And I'm not saying that there was any significant positive spiritual message, just that I don't any significant negative spiritual message, either.

The one caveat I'll grant is one of Sylvia's points (I think), that the book IS pretty hard on parts of the Catholic Church and even moreso towards Opus Dei. I sorta doubt that they're hiring assassins within Opus Dei...

One point you make, SOL, that the book had no "academic integrity at all, yet people are treating it as such." Perhaps on all the talk shows and such, I don't really follow that. In the real world that I inhabit though, most folk who've read it have enjoyed it as a fun mystery and naught else. Just fiction.

Dan Trabue said...

One other point, SOL, you said:

"People are claiming to find spiritual depth in it, despite a lack of spiritual content."

That doesn't really sound like you. You seem to be well aware that people can find spiritual messages in all sorts of places. Just because you found no spiritual content in the half a book you read doesn't mean that others don't.

(I didn't, I found a good mystery and some provoking thoughts. But if some folk find any sort of uplifting spiritual message therein, good for them, I say.)

Anonymous said...

Dan, I believe there are some harsh words in the last verse of Romans 1 for people who condone evil and I think deception is evil.....(Brown's book.) Marilyn

D.R. said...

Dan, I find it interesting that your criticized Marilyn (and me to some extent) for not reading the book. After all, aren't you the one that made a decision about the meaning of the text of Romans 1 without being aware of the Church Father's teaching on homosexuality or the historical and semantical significance (or even the Biblical one) of para physin -- "contrary to nature", as well as admitting that you had no clue as to what the Early Church taught about homosexuality?

And are you also the same person who uses the Early Church's policy of no participation in the military as your most ardent defense of Christian pacificism? Don't you find that a bit hypocritical? After all, you accept the Early Church on one set of beliefs and yet reject them on another without due consideration? (And before you claim I have done the same, I challenged you before to point me to where you found pacificism in the Early Church so I could read them for myself). Have you even read those original documents by the Early Church or like the homosexuality issue, just aligned yourself with those who have told you what the Early Church thought?

My point is that we all trust others' opinions at times. We can't read everything. But Dan Brown's own words regarding how he believes what he wrote ("The only thing fictional in "The Da Vinci Code" is the characters and the action that takes place. All of the locations, the paintings, the ancient history, the secret documents, the rituals, all of this is factual.") seem to suggest that a critical eye is needed, even if one hasn't read the book in its entirety.

Son of Lilith said...

I guess what's really annoying me is Dan Brown's pompous attitude. And the fact that books like The DaVinci Code get heaps and heaps of praise when truly powerful books with obvious spiritual depth (anything by Neil Gaiman or Charles de Lint for starters) is scoffed at so often as "fantastical drivel."

You are right about the talk show circuit. Most true literature buffs that have read it have had the reaction of "Oh, a good mystery and little else" or share my feelings.

But the sad thing is that people watch these talk shows and put stock in them.

Every college professor in American could say that a book is wonderful, but if Barbara Walters or Star Jones says it is garbage then by God it is garbage in the mind of the populace.

Plus, I will be honest: DaVinci Code Mania is wearing EXTRAORDINARILY thin.

I will break bread with you on one point: why is the church so concerned? I mean, if the Chrisitan Church feels it can be destroyed by a single book by a single arrogant author then I say the Church is insecure. Except for the slanderous bits; I sympathize with that.

D.R. said...

Son of Lilith,
I don't think the Church (at least the Evangelical one) "feels it can be destroyed by a single book by a single arrogant author", in fact, quite the opposite. Evangelicals believe that The Da Vinci Code's brand of Christianity is weak and easily dispelled, but deceitful nonetheless. As you have accurately pointed out, people tend to ignore scholars and focus on popularized media characters. Even Christians are susceptible to such willful ignorance. That is why the Church should respond to silly accusations like "The NT was made up by the Council of Nicea in 325" or that Constantine himself decided that Jesus should be divine.

The Christian faith is not based on myths or rumors or an experience one has at age 12 (or as the Mormon's teach -- a "burning in the bosom"), but rather Christianity is based in the fact that Christ was the Son of God, God-incarnate, the Second Person of the Trinity, who came through being born of a Virgin (Mary) lived, taught, did miracles showing His divinity, and then was crucified on a cross for the sins of all who put their faith in Him, and then was resurrected in 3 days, ascending to the Father where He (ALONE! w/the Holy Spirit) perpetually interceeds for His people.

Those are the facts of the Gospel message. When someone comes along like Dan Brown and popularizes what many "scholars" already believe about Jesus (that He wasn't divine, wasn't the Son of God, and that the NT was made up by the Church who supressed other "authoritative" documents), then the Church must reassert its core beliefs and answer this challenge. Again, the book is not the problem, it's the popularization of the beliefs upon which it is based, which as I said earlier, Dan Brown himself believes.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, I reckon I'm mainly talking about the book as I'm not one to follow talk show or pop culture commentary much. I don't know that Brown has or hasn't said.

I suspect (nothing against Brown or his people - just standard operating procedure) that anything he has stated is mostly designed to promote his book. If a publishing company thinks a fight with "the church" will help promote the book, then by all means let's get in a fight with the church.

Having said that, I can understand the concern by some that the book is promoting Jesus-as-not-divine. The only thing is, in reading the book, that is a minor point. The main point of the mystery is whether or not there is a crypt with Mary Magdalene in it and if a descendent can be found with matching DNA.

THAT'S the gist of the mystery and the story and why I don't understand the uproar. The Nicea Council's supposed actions are just sort of background material and not central to the plot.

Marty said...

I think I'll pipe in here a sec. I got bored reading this thread...yawn...sorry Dan. Hey people, this is a movie with Tom Hanks! He's my favorite actor. I haven't had the opportunity to see it, but I'm planning to this weekend, just cause Tom Hanks is in it. It has to be good for that reason alone.

Dan Trabue said...

Marty, sit down. I have some bad news. Tom Hanks just isn't that good in this movie.

There. I've spake the ultimate heresy. I'm sorry.

Dan Trabue said...


To get back to an unrelated comment that I'll address briefly. You said:

"And are you also the same person who uses the Early Church's policy of no participation in the military as your most ardent defense of Christian pacificism?"

No. I use Jesus' clear teachings as my most ardent defense of Christian pacifism. One can't get around "Love your enemies," and "Overcome evil with good," and find support for killing your enemies unless you torture the english language and Jesus' clear intent.

But you asked for some record that you may look up in support of the notion of early church pacifism. I'll offer the following as a sampling. I'm no church historian, I just know what I've read and what stands to reason and here's the kind of stuff that I've read before:

Yale church historian Roland Bainton writes, 'From the end of the New Testament period to the decade 170-180 there is no evidence whatever of Christians in the army. All of the East and West repudiated participation in warfare for Christians.' Guy F. Hershberger adds, ‘It is quite clear that prior to about AD 174 it is impossible to speak of Christian soldiers.' None of the Christian leaders in the pre-Constantinian era (313 AD) approved of a military career for disciples of Jesus Christ.

Many early writers spoke of this pacifism. Such as Tertullian who wrote, ‘the divine banner and the human banner do not go together, nor the standard of Christ and the standard of the devil. Only without the sword can the Christian wage war: for the Lord has abolished the sword.’ (On the Chaplet 11-12) Origen wrote, ‘You can not demand military service of Christians any more than you can of priests. We do not go forth as soldiers.' (Against Celsus VIII.7.3 about 240 AD)

Justin wrote ‘We ourselves were well conversant with war, murder, and everything evil, but all of us throughout the whole wide earth have traded in our weapons of war. We have exchanged our swords for ploughshares, our spears for farm tools. Now we cultivate the fear of God, justice, kindness to men, faith, and the expectation of the future given to us by the Father himself through the Crucified One.' (Dialogue with Trypho 110.3.4 about 160 AD)

Hippolytus (218 A.D) states that soldiers who become Christians are not allowed to kill and must refuse to obey orders to kill. He also says that judges who want to become followers of the Christ must resign or be rejected by the church. (‘The Apostolic Tradition’ 16).

There, I've pointed to where you can find it and accused you of hypocrisy ("Don't you find that a bit hypocritical? After all, you accept the Early Church on one set of beliefs and yet reject them on another without due consideration?")

And yes, I think it is okay to reject earlier teachings when we have a better revelation - we know longer accept slavery even though the early church found it acceptable. We no longer find it acceptable to dash the enemies' babies heads against rocks even though that is recorded in the OT.

God is still alive and still revealing God's nature to us. Hallelujah for that!

Marty said...

Oh man, Dan. Didya havta go and ruin it for me. I suppose things like that are better known ahead of time. I'm still gonna go see it, so I can see what all the brewhaha is about. It won't change my opinion of Tom Hanks. He's the greatest. And it won't change my opinion of the Bible either.

Think I'll leave the doctrinal aspect to the rest of yers. I'm all doctrinaled out these days.

Dan Trabue said...

Let's save the war discussion for another time, since it's off-topic. Although I will respond one more time, where you quote that grandmackdaddy of orwellian peacemaking:

"we must honestly acknowledge that peacemaking will sometimes lead to war. In the final analysis, war is the worst option imaginable, until it is the only option left." [ie, war is peace, hate is love, etc]

And also in reference to your defense of loving our enemies in Japan and Germany by killing them and their children:

I believe I understand your point, but am not sure you really mean it. I think you're saying that because there are some "bad guys" in Japan, let's say, who'd bomb us and kill our children, then because we love them and because we love our children, we must bomb them and their children and do so in love.

Is that the gist of what you're saying and do you truly mean that? You think that this is in keeping with Jesus' message to love your enemies and overcome evil with good?

You can believe as you wish about war-as-solution, but as for me, I am free because God alone made me free.

And I will repeat for the millionth time (although not necessarily to you, DR) that pacifists are not talking about "doing nothing," and repeating that diabolical lie is groundless and just plain wrong.

Have you even read about Just Peacemaking/Non-Violent Direct Action? Do you know the history, the theory, the successes? If you wish to be a follower of the Prince of Peace and if you truly don't desire war, don't you think you owe it to yourself to explore other ideas before discounting them?

Now, back to the topic at hand, if you're suggesting that Brown wrote the DVC to purposely try to discredit the church, then wouldn't he have the HERO taking the discrediting position? Usually, when one has an antagonist in a story, the author is using the antagonist to represent the bad ideas and the protagonist to represent the good ideas.

If Brown was trying to discredit the church, I think he should have tried a bit harder. Ultimately, it would be my guess that Brown was trying to do little else beyond sell a book. I could be wrong, it's just my guess.

Dan Trabue said...

I'll pass on further comment on war/peace for now except to recommend Glen Stassen's (former SBTS prof) book, Just Peacemaking as a starting point. And, for the record, Stassen does not define himself as a pacifist but as a Just Peacemaker. Many consider this a definitive book on the topic.

As might be exected, the mennonites write an awful lot of good material on the subject. An online reading source can be found here:

While I haven't read that fully, it looks like a lot of the right stuff.

Art Gish is a great activist and writer whose book The Hebron Journal: Stories of Nonviolent Peacemaking is pretty cool. (There's a story about Gish who is currently working for peace in Israel from a few years ago where he took the Bible pretty literally to great success. An Israeli soldier caught a Palestinian boy out past curfew on a cold night. The soldier took the boy's coat and made him stand there. Gish came along and offered to escort the boy home safely but the soldier would have none of it, so Gish took off his jacket too and stood with the boy on the cold night. Then he took off his shirt and pants and...and the soldier stopped him and sent them both home! A simple but great little story of peacemaking.)

Finally, the Quakers are a good source of info and they have a well-defined series of webpages on what exactly we see as the alternative to war in a violent world. Check it out here:

I very much appreciate your honor in your willingness to look at this and I take back all those bad things I said about you behind your back, Daniel...

On your DVC comments, let me just say that although Langdon "might be a traditionalist, but the clues lead to a conspiracy by the Roman Church," Yes. This is true. But the conspiracy was the existence of a "royal bloodline" and of the grave of Mary Magdalene. WHY they chose to keep this a secret has to do with the Nicean meetings but, at least in my reading, only marginally about whether or not Jesus was less than divine.

I've not researched Brown's book or anything, I'm just telling you what I read.

Son of Lilith said...

Everyone head to here if you please.

D.R. said...

Thanks for the links and the resources. I am sure SBTS has the Stassen book, so I will have to go check it out. I will also look at the links when I have some time. I do want you to know that I am for radical actions and for following Christ's words in the Sermon on the Mount. I am not a "Free Grace" advocate (theological term used to describe a group of people who hold to dispensationalism and generally don't believe that the Sermon on the Mount and other texts are able to be lived out currently), though there are many of those sorts of people in Christendom. And I support separations between church and state, though I advocate for a high degree of free exercise.

That being said, I support the State's right to enforce the law and to secure itself from threats both within and without by using force if necessary. I think I represent where most Christians stand though I will readily admit that many very vocal Christians who call themselves Evangelicals often go too far and thus incriminate us all. In my support of Mohler, I think he is where I am at. Part of the reality of everything is that some of us are quite embarrassed about what has happened over the last few years in politics and we had wished it would be much different. However, we also don't believe in jumping ship just because things aren't going our way or because some have ruined it for others.

If nothing else, I hope all these discussions have taught us that living the Christian life is messy. It's not always cut and dry, even when we want it to be. There is balance needed, as well as a re-evaluation of our beliefs and understandings necessary at all times. We must be willing to listen and also to stand our ground.

I am sorry as well that I have been rude and harsh at times, but one thing that we both have is passion and that, my friend, is a good thing, especially it is passion for the Glory of God.

D.R. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

D.R. said...


Go check out this link to a post by Dr. Mike Adams. While it is hilarious what some of these people believe, it is also sad and reveals why some feel the need to answer what they perceive as challenges to faith in The Da Vinci Code. If nothing else, his comment about Barnes & Noble is worth it.

Dan Trabue said...


Son of Lilith said...

"There are many other things that Jesus did, so many in fact that if they were all written out, I do not suppose that the world itself would hold the books that would have to be written."

I was just wondering were you found that statement. I'd like to point it out to my literalist/fundamentalist/"If it ain't in the Good Book it didn't happen by God in Heaven" parents.

Son of Lilith said...

From the funny (if pretentious...two wrongs don't make a right, sir) column:

Q: Did you hear that they have uncovered evidence that Adam had another wife before Eve?

A: No. But, please, tell me more.

Q: She was not subservient to Adam so he divorced her and married Eve. Since Eve was more submissive they put her in the Bible.

A: Well, that’s certainly impressive research. When you got your Master’s Degree at Duke, I assume there was a “Dr. They” who uncovered all of this information. Or maybe there was a They Institute of Historical Research.

Q: Why do you have to be so crass and cynical?

A: I’m only joking. But when people talk about what “they” have discovered or research that “they” have done, I find that “they” generally don’t know what the hell “they” are talking about.

From Wikipedia:

The passage in Genesis 1:27 — "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (before describing a mate being made of Adam's rib and being called Eve in Genesis 2:22) is sometimes believed to be an indication that Adam had a wife before Eve.

Okay, I'll admit that Wikipedia is only as good as the person writing the article (which can be anybody) so let's go straight to the horse and take a look in it's mouth, shall we?


Gen. 1:27 (NIV)

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Gen. 2:22 (NIV)

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

Okay, not PROOF POSITIVE that Lilith existed, but certainly interesting none-the-less.

If Dr. Adams is going to debunk conspiracy theorists then perhaps he need do his own research. Otherwise I put him in the same category as Mr. Brown: self-important clods.

Son of Lilith said...

Of course, there are TWO tellings of creation in Genesis, and the two mentions of women appear in the two different tellings (meaning they could quite possibly be the same woman).

But ah, the very fact that there are two tellings of Creation should make anyone go "hmmmm..."

I've never had a problem discussing things like the bloodline of Jesus (to bring this back to something relative to the topic). What I do have a problem with is Dan Brown's arrogant attitude.

I would pay good money to see a talk show host say "Um, Mr. Brown, the Merovingian legend has been around since, I think the Middle Ages. All you have done is popularize it. That doesn't make you an innovator."

Dan Trabue said...

SOL, that's John 21:25 - the last verse of the book of John.

"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."


D.R. said...


Before you go and trash Dr. Adams here for making his statement about the woman convinced that "they" have found evidence, remember that you even admit yourself that any supposition made on the basis of Wikipedia (the most unreliable encyclopedia of all time) and an introspective reading of the text void of any history of interpretation in the regard of two wives of Adam is most slim at best.

Dr. Adams' problem with the lady was not so much that she was setting forth a theory, but that she was convinced of it without any real evidence. She had not one shred of proof, yet believed "they" had discovered such a truth about Adam. The man mocked the woman not because of her inquiry, but her assurity that such evidence existed, though she knew of none, nor could she defend her proposition. That was his very point in saying what he did about her "research."

It wasn't so much that he thought the theory itself was crack-pot, but rather believing the theory without substantive evidence was a crack-pot thing to do.

And besides that, he knew very well she couldn't prove that the first woman was divorced because she wasn't submissive. And that was crazy.

Marty said...

Ok, I saw The DaVinci Code today. It was entertaining, however a bit violent, and held my attention throughout, least until the final scene...that was pretty lame and just left me shaking my head and saying "oh brother". But all in all it was a great afternoon at the movies watching an on the edge of your seat mystery. Dan, Tom Hanks' expressions and body language were great...just ask my deaf husband.

Wembley said...

The only reason this is such a big deal is because of all the hype about the book.

The things Brown talked about in the book have been tossed around by scholars and writers of fiction and nonfiction alike for years. Why wasn't there a big uproar about Daughter of God? Or Lamb? Or about a hundred others?

I don't know how or why the book got so very popular, I thought it was kind of sophomoric. I am not a philosopher and I am certainly not a scholar in religious matters, but the first time the possibility of Jesus having been married was presented to me I fell in love (pardon the pun) with it immediately. Jesus, as the most infinitely loving person, taking part in what the church heralds as one of the most loving and sacred and beautiful acts possible? Yes, I would believe that.

Anonymous said...

the possibility of Jesus having been married was presented to me I fell in love (pardon the pun) with it immediately. Jesus, as the most infinitely loving person, taking part in what the church heralds as one of the most loving and sacred and beautiful acts possible? Yes, I would believe that.

I am sorry to see people accepting things for the truth, just because it appeals to them and their sentimental side. There is truth and there is deceit and we must ask God (If we are His) to give us the spirit of discernment. What makes us feel good is not necessarily the truth. Marilyn

Wembley said...

I never said that I accepted the possibility of Jesus having been married as absolute and utter truth. If you call having a soft spot in my heart for images of Jesus doing good and loving things, okay- sure it appeals to my "sentimental side". It is a beautiful idea, and I would certainly believe it. I haven't yet seen enough evidence for or contrary to it.

But considering everything I have personally come to understand about Jesus, it seems like something He would do. That doesn't make it true because I say so. I'm just saying it makes sense to me.

What makes me really sad is people denying these sorts of possibilities completely. While I say the idea makes sense because of what I know about Jesus; Jesus is also God, and as such is infinitely mysterious. He could have been married or unmarried, and honestly I don't have a big emotional or spiritual investment in it either way. You're right, what makes me feel good is not always the truth. But making me feel good does not also preclude it from being the truth.

Wadard said...

Now, I have to admit that I haven't read Dan Brown's book or seen the movie. Though I plan to do both eventually. But... [snip]


How stupid is this woman to get her knickers in a knot over something she has not read. Toooo funny.

Listen Mr Payne Hollow, I really liked your article. I come from a Christian tradition but don't practice because I haven't been able to seperate what I can verify by observation or deduce with intellect, or understand from history and archeology, from the orthodoxies that I am told to believe as truth

The reason why the Church can't stand the Da Vinci Code, and you touched on it but dared not speak its name, is that, beyond the fictitional and unprovable claims hides a very real truth, and that is that there used to be women priests, and as everyone knows - this is what the churcah is scared of, the theological enfranchisement of women.

Here is what a Harvard Professor of religious studies, Bovon, said:

"These traditions are different in many ways from later Church practices. For example, instead of the Eucharist with its ceremonial consumption of bread and wine, Philip’s fellow Christians simply sat down to a common meal of vegetables and water. Church leadership was democratic rather than hierarchic, and men and women served equally as priests. In fact, the manuscript describes Philip and the apostle Bartholomew traveling from town to town with Philip’s sister, a woman named Mariamne. Bovon believes this woman to be Mary Magdalene."

Women as priests - that's what these men are afraid of - plus their bloody history in asserting mail dominance.

Wadard said...

let that read "male dominance", and what I mean is that church is afraid that the revelation of the extent of the cover-up of the bloodshed that went into making the the church a Patriarchy, at the expense of women.

You might also find that a woman pope would be less conerned with accumulating material wealth, and more concerned with spiritual riches than the males that hve been rulling the church for 780 years. Just a thought.

Dan Trabue said...

Welcome to Payne Hollow, wadard. I think we'd get along fine, please stop back anytime.