Robert Langdon, Harvard Professor of symbology, receives an urgent late-night call while in Paris: the curator of the Louvre has been murdered. Alongside the body is a series of baffling ciphers. Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, are stunned to find a trail that leads to... read more
Robert Langdon is in Paris and is caught up in a crime scene. The french police believe he is the murderer of Jacques Saunière because Jacques Saunière wanted to meet him the day before. At the crime scene, Jacques Saunière laid down clues to find something but Robert nor the police knew what... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Robert Langdon is in Paris and is caught up in a crime scene. The french police believe he is the murderer of Jacques Saunière because Jacques Saunière wanted to meet him the day before. At the crime scene, Jacques Saunière laid down clues to find something but Robert nor the police knew what those strange clues meant. Sophie arrives at the scene and tell Robert to escape. They both escape being arrested by the French Police and run around the country, uncovering many clues as they go along.
They later find out what many of the clues meant. They learn that Jacques Saunière is actually trying to tell them to protect the secret of the Holy Grail. They also found out that Jacques Saunière was actually from a secret society that tried to protect the secret. But now that the keeper of the secret has died, it is in danger of dying out. Meanwhile, the organization that killed Jacques Saunière, Opus Dei, also wants to find the secret of the Holy Grail.
Finally, Robert and Sophie find an old friend called Leigh Teabing. Teabing is glad to help them but in reality, he is actually the head of Opus Dei and wants to keep the Grail for himself. It is revealed that the Grail is a woman named Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail is her tomb. In addition, Jesus and Mary had a baby, and that blood line still runs on today.
Robert and Sophie safely escape the clutches of Opus Dei and they took down Teabing. They learned that Sophie is actually a descendant from Christ. Robert then kneels down at the tomb of Mary and prays.
“The vestiges of pagan religion in Christian symbology are undeniable. The Egyptian sun disks became the halos of Catholic saints. Pictograms of Isis nursing her miraculously conceived son Horus became the blueprint for our modern images of the Virgin Mary nursing Baby Jesus. And virtually all the elements of the Catholic ritual - the miter, the altar, the doxology, and communion, the act of "God-eating" - were taken directly from earlier pagan mystery religions.”
“History is always written by winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, 'What is history, but a fable agreed upon?'”Teabing
“Leigh, you lie entirely too well.”Robert Langdon
“Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.”
“British judge man’s civility not by his compassion for his friends, but by his compassion for his enemies.”
“The blind see what they want to see.”
“...every faith in the world is based on fabrication. That is the definition of faith—acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove. Every religion describes God through metaphor, allegory, and exaggeration, from the early Egyptians through modern Sunday school. Metaphors are a way to help our minds process the unprocessible. The problems arise when we begin to believe literally in our own metaphors.”Robert Langdon
“The Da Vinci Code is simply "an entertaining story that promotes spiritual discussion and debate" and suggests that the book may be used "as a positive catalyst for introspection and exploration of our faith."”Quote by Dan Brown
Measure the distance from the tip of your head to the floor. Then divide that by the distance from your belly button to the floor.Highlighted by 91 Kindle customers
Measure the distance from your shoulder to your fingertips, and then divide it by the distance from your elbow to your fingertips. PHI again. Another? Hip to floor divided by knee to floor. PHI again. Finger joints. Toes. Spinal divisions. PHI. PHI. PHI. My friends, each of you is a walking tribute to the Divine Proportion.”Highlighted by 82 Kindle customers
“men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.Highlighted by 79 Kindle customers
Nowadays, few people realized that the four-year schedule of modern Olympic Games still followed the cycles of Venus. Even fewer people knew that the five-pointed star had almost become the official Olympic seal but was modified at the last moment—its five points exchanged for five intersecting rings to better reflect the games' spirit of inclusion and harmony.Highlighted by 77 Kindle customers
face of Mona Lisa look androgynous, but her name is an anagram of the divine union of male and female. And that, my friends, is Da Vinci's little secret, and the reason for Mona Lisa's knowing smile.”Highlighted by 73 Kindle customers
‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?' ” He smiled. “By its very nature, history is always a one-sided account.”Highlighted by 72 Kindle customers
13-3-2-21-1-1-8-5 O, Draconian devil! Oh, lame saint!Highlighted by 71 Kindle customers
Echoes of the tragedy still resonated in modern culture; to this day, Friday the thirteenth was considered unlucky.Highlighted by 49 Kindle customers
Symbologists often remarked that France—a country renowned for machismo, womanizing, and diminutive insecure leaders like Napoleon and Pepin the Short—could not have chosen a more apt national emblem than a thousand-foot phallus.Highlighted by 40 Kindle customers
sénéchaux, was almost as sacred as the ancient secret they protected.Highlighted by 17 Kindle customers
- Dan Brown conflates Gnosticism with the Pagan idea of the sacred feminine; in historical reality, these ideas are antithetical to each other, as Gnosticism believes in a duality where the spiritual is good and the physical, including the human body and sex, are tainted and evil. Gnostic tradition also holds that Mary Magdalene’s high status and greater wisdom are results of the fact that she had “made herself male”, possibly meaning that she has freed herself from the constraints of gender. The identification of her with the sacred feminine is therefore impossible.
- Brown’s characters repeatedly claim that the four canonical Gospels were written after the Gnostic gospels, which were later suppressed. However, the Gnostic gospels are dated to the late second, or early third century A.D., while the canonical gospels are consensually agreed to have been written in the last half of the first century A.D., or the early second at latest.
Errors in Specific Chapters:
- Brown claims that da Vinci’s “Madonna of the Rocks” portrays an infant John the Baptist blessing a kneeling infant Jesus. However, this is extremely unlikely, as the figure who is kneeling is clearly older than the figure who is blessing him, and all traditions hold that John was born before Jesus. It is also claimed that the Milanese church who commissioned the painting rejected it because of these details. In actual history, the painting was rejected because da Vinci wanted more money for it than was originally agreed. Brown further says that the second version of the painting was done to mollify the commissioning church, and in it “everyone was arranged in a more orthodox manner.” However, the only difference between the first and second versions is that in the second version the angel Uriel no longer points to John the Baptist.
- Early in the chapter, Leigh Teabing claims that the historical Jesus toppled kings. However, no king’s rule actually ended during Jesus’ lifetime as a result of his activities.
- Teabing claims that “More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament”. In actual fact, only about twenty books were available to choose from, and some of them were not gospels at all.
- Teabing tells Sophie that the contents of the Bible were chosen by the Roman emperor Constantine I. Later in the chapter, it is similarly claimed that Constantine commissioned a new Bible, and that he chose only those books which “made <Jesus> godlike.” This is a false picture of history, as the Old Testament was accepted by Christians from Jewish tradition, and the contents of the New Testament had already been circulating together as a unit (as well as in separate combinations) among the Christian community for centuries by the time Constantine came to power. In actual history, Constantine did commission new Bibles, but the contents had been agreed upon by the church to be authoritative and apostolic long before. Teabing also claims that the earliest gospels were the ones which spoke of Christ in merely human terms. However, the earliest known gospels were the four that were accepted as canonical, all of which spoke of Jesus as both human and divine. While Constantine did take action against certain sects of heretics, there is no mention in history of earlier gospels, and we know that the Gnostic Gospels were written later than the canonical ones (see errors in chapter 58 below). Further, Constantine's actions reflected the consensus that had already crystallized within the church regarding the authenticity of the Gnostic gospels, including their rejection, which took place in the second century. Though Constantine did help Christianity to spread, he did not form the process that led to its doctrines.
- Teabing says of Constantine, “He was a lifelong pagan who was baptized on his deathbed, too weak to protest,” making it seem that the baptism was forced. In actuality, baptism upon one’s deathbed was not an uncommon practice, stemming from a fear that sins committed after baptism might compromise one’s salvation.
- Teabing tells Sophie that Constantine “decided to unify Rome under a single religion: Christianity.” In actuality, Constantine continued to allow worship of various pagan gods and associated customs through most of his life, and even confirmed the privileges of certain Pagan priests shortly before his death.
- Teabing suggests that the Nicean Council was held in order to “strengthen the new Christian tradition.” However, Constantine actually convened the council upon recommendation of a synod, for the purpose of confronting the Arian heresy. There is no evidence that the canon was ever discussed there. Further, the issue of which Christian texts were considered authoritative and which were not was decided long before the exact nature of Christ’s divinity, as it is understood today, was formally agreed on, in the Council of Chalcedon in 451.
- Teabing confirms the idea that “Jesus’ divinity was the result of a vote”. This is historically false. The roots of this idea are found in the earliest Christian texts: both Paul’s letters and the four canonical gospels contain numerous references to Jesus as God (“theos”) and as Lord in the divine sense (“kyrios”). Moreover, the Council’s actual concern was over a technical issue: whether Jesus had a divine substance that was like God’s, or whether he shared his substance with God — in other words, whether he was a divinity similar to God, or whether he actually was God. The idea of his divinity had been accepted by Christians long before and was present in their earliest documents.
- Leigh Teabing claims at the end of chapter 55 that “both the Bible and our standard Grail legend celebrate this moment <the Last Supper> as the definitive arrival of the Holy Grail.” While this is true of Christian legends and traditions, nowhere in the Bible is the Holy Grail ever mentioned. Historians believe that the first Holy Grail legends did not occur until the romances of the 12th and 13th centuries.
- Teabing claims that the early church defamed Mary Magdalene as a prostitute in order to cover up her role as Christ’s spouse. However, the connection of Mary Magdalene with the “woman taken in adultery” in the Gospel of John did not occur until the papacy of Gregory I in the sixth century, which was at least two centuries after Gnosticism (the source of the idea of Magdalene as Christ’s spouse) was officially rejected as heresy, and even longer since the first rejections of Gnosticism as heresy by the early Church fathers.
- Chapter 58 also contains Teabing’s claim that Jesus could not have been unmarried because “the social decorum during that time virtually forbid a Jewish man to be unmarried. According to Jewish custom, celibacy was condemned…” This ignores the fact that certain Jewish sects (e.g., the Essenes) that advocated celibacy actually predated Jesus, as well as the example of the Jewish prophets, and the specific example of John the Baptist.
- Teabing states that the Nag Hammadi and the Dead Sea scrolls are the earliest Christian records. This is absolutely false, as the Dead Sea Scrolls are purely Jewish and have no Christian content whatsoever, while there is no evidence that the Nag Hammadi documents existed before the late second century A.D., except perhaps the Gospel of Thomas. In contrast, the four canonical Gospels are agreed by historians to have been written in the mid to late first century A.D., while the actual earliest known Christian records are the letters of Paul, which are known to have been written, at the earliest, 20 years after the death of Jesus.
- In this chapter, and later all throughout the book, it is claimed that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, an idea based on the Gnostic Gospels. However, the relevant portions of these gospels are unclear. The kiss cited in the Gospel of Philip which Teabing shows Sophie actually represents, in a Gnostic reading of the passage, a spiritual relationship and not a sexual one, as Gnosticism abhorred sexuality as defiling. Brown’s excerpt contains the phrase “used to kiss her often on the mouth,”, despite the fact that in the extant Philip texts the word “mouth” does not occur, as the word in that place is illegible. Philip also contains the line “for this reason we all kiss each other,” making it clear that the kiss is neither romantic or sexual in nature, but spiritual.
- Teabing shows Sophie that the Gospel of Philip calls Mary Magdalene “the companion of the Saviour,” and claims that in Aramaic the word “companion” meant “spouse.” However, this gospel was written in Coptic, not in Aramaic, and the Coptic word in question (koinōnos) is neither synonymous with “wife” nor “spouse”, but is a generic term.
- Robert Langdon shows Sophie the gesture of Peter in “The Last Supper”, and says it is “the same threatening gesture” as that of the angel Uriah in another of da Vinci’s paintings, “The Madonna of the Rocks”. However, in the latter painting, the gesture has only the index finger extended, in an act of pointing, while in the former, all fingers are extended, as if reaching or making a rhetorical gesture.
- Teabing states that Mary Magdalene was from the Tribe of Benjamin. This is unlikely, as there is no mention of this in historical sources. Further, Magdala (Magdalene means “from Magdala”) was located in northern Palestine, while the Tribe of Benjamin resided in the south.
- Leigh Teabing tells Sophie that “A child of Jesus would undermine the critical notion of Christ’s divinity”. However, the idea of Christ having a wife and children does not contradict Biblical ideas about divinity. Mark 10:1-12 shows that Jesus speaks of sexual union as a good, healthy and God-intended act, and Mark 9-10 shows that he adored children. Gnosticism, being an ascetic sect, had problems with these things, but not the Biblical Jesus. Christian doctrine has also said that Jesus was fully human (and therefore capable of marrying and having children) as well as fully divine, ever since the councils of the fourth and fifth century, an idea that is based in the canonical gospels.
- In chapter 60, Teabing states that the rose was a symbol for Mary Magdalene. However, the rose was actually a symbol for Mary, the mother of Jesus, and for Jesus himself. The former is seen in the word “rosary,” the term for the structured prayer form of 150 Hail Marys, and the latter is a more visual symbol; the blood-red color symbolized Christ’s shed blood, and the thorns symbolized his crown of thorns.
- In chapter 60, Teabing claims that Joseph of Arimathea was Jesus’ uncle. This claim is legendary rather than historical.
- Sophie claims that the Merovingians founded the city of Paris. The Merovingians were actually a Frankish dynasty that emerged in the fifth century A.D. Paris, on the other hand, was founded in the third century B.C. by a tribe of Celtic Gauls called the Parisii.
- Robert Langdon says, “Every faith in the world is based on fabrication…Those who truly understand their faiths understand the stories are metaphorical.” However, Christianity has from the beginning claimed to be based on historical fact and eyewitness reports. These types of stories could not have been conflated in the ancient mind, as all ancient and traditional cultures had sharp distinctions between myths, metaphorical fables and fairy tales on the one hand, and historical accounts on the other.
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