Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Da Vinci Code (Or the Bible, Which is true?)

The Bible predicts that a time would come when many will no longer be able to distinguish truth. Is that time now?

1 Tim 3:16 – 16 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

What are the key issues regarding the Da Vinci Code? Why is this book so popular? If the book is not true then why do many Roman Catholic and Evangelical Christians fight against it? Surely Dan Brown has a right to his view as does anyone else. Why are Christians fussing about Dan’s expression of his right to free speech? These are some of the questions that people are asking about Dan Brown and his book.
First of all, If you have read Dan Brown’s book or have watched the movie entitled the Da Vinci Code, we wish to thank you for spending some of your valuable time to consider the historical claims that Dan makes regarding the person and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many manage to go through life unaware of the claims made about the Christ. We believe that any reason that a person contemplates this famous man in history is a good reason as the answer you come up with will have eternal consequences on your life.
Many think they know the claims made about the Lord Jesus Christ, but in fact they have never read the Bible from cover to cover. Because of this they are at a disadvantage when they read only Dan Browns book as their source of information and they are in danger of falling prey to the kind of deception the Bible is talking about in the above quoted passage.
Dan Brown has touched a chord with many people. He has challenged them to examine information presented about the man called Jesus. Unfortunately Dan reinforces a negative and sceptical view of who Jesus is. By that I mean that Dan encourages the reader to have doubts about who Jesus is. For the remainder of this tract we are going to refer to the sceptic as meaning any who doubt the claims of the Bible made about the Christ. That Person may be Dan Brown or another like him. Perhaps that person describes you.
The purpose of this tract is to make a positive case in support of the claims made in favour of the Lord Jesus Christ. The positive case for Christ is based from two sources; 1) the Bible, 2) and the witness of those who have come to know the God of the Bible in a personal and meaningful way in their lives. The Bible makes some pretty powerful claims about itself. It tells us that the when someone hears the words from this book it will not be without having an effect on their lives.[1] The Bible claims to be the word of truth and more powerful than a two edged sword, but many people never experience that power because of doubts which have been given them about the Bible itself. For that reason we would like to tell you a bit about the Bible.

The Bible Proves itself by Fulfilled Prophecy
1. The Bible is made up of 66 books which were written over a 1500 year period of time on 3 separate continents by many different authors during many different centuries.
2. The Bible is divided into two sections.
a) The first section was written prior to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth. We (Christians) call it the Old Testament, because it testifies of a future coming Christ (Anointed One).
b) The part of the Bible written after the coming of the Christ is called the New Testament, because it records the fulfillment of the Old Testament predictions regarding the Christ and it records what is called the gospel (good news) about Christ.
3. The rule for the writing of the Old Testament was that the writer must first establish his credibility as a Prophet of God with his peers so that his peers would be willing to listen to him.[2]
a) Many remember Moses for the 9 miraculous plagues that he pronounced against Egypt in order to gain freedom from slavery for the Jewish Nation. What is more significant than the miracles themselves is the fact that with 100% accuracy he predicted ahead of time each of these plagues. This is why Moses is considered to be the greatest prophet who ever lived preceding the greatest one, the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why the first five books of the Old Testament that Moses wrote are considered as canon (a guideline that rules over us) of scripture by both the Jews and Christians today.
b) God gave Moses special instructions that if someone makes a prophecy and it doesn’t come true he must die [3] for this offence.[4]
c) The Lord Jesus Christ did not exempt himself from proving He was a prophet. He made the greatest fulfilled prophecy ever. He predicted His own death and resurrection. [5]
d) By the Bibles standard;
i. Mohammed the founder of Islam would not qualify as a prophet of God because he never made a prediction which could be verified during his lifetime.
ii. Nostradamus and Jean Dixon would fail as prophets for the simple reason they failed to be 100% accurate in their predictions. Jean Dixon, for example, predicted that the Vietnam War would turn into World War III.
4. The rule for the writing of the New Testament is that the person writing it must have personally and physically met Jesus. [6]
a) Any book written by non eye-witnesses to the resurrection of Christ are also false gospels. Dan Brown asks why other gospels are not included in our Bibles today. The reason for their omission is simply because it is easily proven that the writers of those “other gospels” never met Christ. Even though the “gospel of Judas” for example is supposedly written about the disciple who betrayed Jesus it is freely admitted by its proponents that it was written two centuries after Christ’s Resurrection by a ghost writer who wrote it as though Judas had written it. [7]
b) Some sceptics argue that Just as the “other (Gnostic) gospels” are not first accounts, the New Testament claim to be a first hand account but a story that was passed down for 2 or 3 centuries before being recorded.
i. The Bible however does make claim to be written by eye witnesses. For example, the apostle Paul who wrote more than 50% of the New Testament claimed that the majority of 500 persons who saw Jesus after his resurrection are still alive at the time of the writing of his letter in the bible.[8]
ii. The Dead Sea Scrolls is a name commonly given to 7 copies of the Old Testament written in Greek (Septuagint) dating to 200 BC and 19 other Hebrew scrolls some dating to as much as 500 BC which were first discovered in the 1940’s. Sceptics prior to this had claimed that the Septuagint was corrupted in its translation from the Hebrew by Christians to make it agree with Christ as Messiah. That is now proven not to be the case as the oldest copies date to 200 years before Jesus was born.
iii. Prior to this discovery the oldest Manuscript of the Old Testament called the Masoretic text dated only to 1000 AD. This caused many sceptics to argue that the Bible changed over the years. That too has also been proven to be a false claim, since comparison of the 500 BC manuscripts virtually match the ones from 1000 AD, even though there is a 1500 year difference in the age of the manuscripts.
iv. There is strong evidence that the original writing of the New Testament was completed prior to the year 70 AD for 2 reasons; a) History records the Great Dispersion in 70 AD in which the Temple that Daniel and Jesus predicted would be destroyed occurred. Yet this event is not mentioned anywhere in the NT. b) Christians fled from Jerusalem because of this event as far south as Ethiopia, and as far north as Russia, bringing the New Testament with them. Today we find Manuscripts of the New Testament in Russia and in Ethiopia which agree with over 99.5% accuracy. There is no explanation other than this event of how they got there and no way Christians could have collaborated on any changes to the text after that event. [9]
The Christ, the Anointed One of Fulfilled Prophecy
We know today that the Old Testament Prophecies were not tampered with (see previous comments on this). It should therefore be of interest what the OT has to say are the qualifications for the Christ and to consider whether Jesus met those qualifications. Here is a short list;
1. He must be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 - Septuagint rendering) - Fulfilled Luke 1:27
2. He will be called the Christ (Several places in the OT including Dan 9:25 - Septuagint rendering.).
a) History records that Jesus has been labelled as the Christ (meaning Anointed One.)
3. He would be cut off (martyred) exactly 483 years after Artexerxes decreed to restore Jerusalem (Dan 9:25-27). The command was given in BC 457, and Jesus died exactly 483 years after that. See our Tract
4. He will be cut off from his people prior to the Temple in Jerusalem being destroyed. Dan 9:26-27.
a) Jesus Was Crucified in AD 27. b) The Jerusalem Temple was destroyed in AD 70 and never rebuilt.
5. He would be beaten and bloodied beyond recognition. Isaiah 52:14 -15. History bares this out.

The Resurrection and the Cult which followed
Christians were called “Atheists” by the Romans who believed in many Gods and not just one triune God of the Christians. Christians, like Christ are willing to lay down their lives [10] rather than recant what they had witnessed either physically or since that time spiritually by the indwelling of Holy Spirit in their lives. [11]
Another label Christians were given is “the Cult of the Resurrection” because they began to hold a supper meeting celebrating the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on the first day of the week (the Lord’s Day). Many Christians still commemorate it to this day, although few celebrate it at the supper hour (6 pm) as was practiced for the first two centuries.

Sceptics Quoting Sceptics
Dan Brown quotes sceptical writings from others that were written in the 3rd and 4th centuries. The problem is that Dan Brown does not seek to prove that these writings were accepted in the day when they were written. All he actually proves is that there have historically been other sceptics. If I found a document saying that Abraham Lincoln was not murdered I would have to do some serious investigating before I believed it to be a true document. First I would want to know how old that document was. In Dan’s case his documents are late dated to the 3rd century and not possibly eyewitness accounts. Second I would want to know if the document was received well when it was written or if it was considered to be a hoax at the time it was written. Just because I find a document doesn’t prove that it is a true document.

Gnostics who are they?
It’s a little known fact that Gnostics existed prior to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Prior to the birth of Jesus the Gnostics worshiped a goddess they named Sophia. The gospels that Dan Brown quotes from are called Gnostic Gospels because it is a well known fact that they were written by the Gnostics. Dan Brown himself is a modern day self-professed Gnostic. He has posted at his website that he desires to promote the idea of “Sacred Feminine” goddess worship.

A word to the reader
We would like to assist you in any way that we can to explore the Bible and the claims about Christ. Please let us know where you are in your spiritual journey and send us your questions.

You may contact the person who handed you this tract or the tracts author.
Bible Door Tracts
273 Manchester Drive, Newmarket, ON, L3Y 6J4 Canada and
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Copyright 2006 © Bible Door Tracts.
Check the web for this tract along with other similar ones _is_a_great_day_sm.pdf

This tracts author is Ray Luff of Bible Door Tracts. The opinions contained in this tract do not necessarily represent the opinions of Riverdrive Park Bible Chapel where Ray is in fellowship. All Bible references are from The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson unless otherwise noted.
[1] Psalms 55:11
[2] There are two exceptions in the Old Testament where we cannot prove the book was written by a Prophet. The book of Esther and the The Song of Solomon.
[3] Deut 18:20-22 - 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord,  if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it  presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
[4] A verifiable example today of this punishment being given is the tomb of 300 false prophets were killed for not having their prayers answered to their gods to rain down fire on their alters. The only Prophet that God answered was Elijah. If you visit Israel you can go and visit that tomb.
[5] John 2:15;21
[6] The Apostle Paul did not meet Jesus physically in person until after Jesus was resurrected but the account of his physical encounter is made in scripture which is why we accept the Paul as qualified as a writer for much of the New Testament.
[7] In order to try to put those “other gospels” on an equal playing field with the ones included in the Bible Dan in order to give credit to the “other gospels” sometimes called “Gnostic Gospels” must discredit the early dating of the ones that are included in the Bible by claiming that they were not written by eyewitnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ either.
[8] 1 Cor 15 – 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
[9] Fragments of the gospel of John have been found dating to AD 115.
[10] In the first two centuries many thousands of Christians were fed to the Lions at the original Olympic games and were offered up tied to a stake and burned alive as Roman Candles by Nero. [11] John 14:15-21; Eph 1:13; 4:30

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine mentioned 2012 last night to me and it's the first I heard about it so I jumped on here out of curiosity. I think it's kind of sick and sounds like a bunch of skeptical jargon.
I choose to live every day like it is the last because let's be real, WHO THE HELL KNOWS what is going to happen or when it's your time to go on. The past is history, the future is a mystery and now is a gift, thats why it's called the present. It's not healthy to sit around and trip out about when you will die. Stop wasting your time you have now.
]doomsday 2012
[/url] - some truth about 2012