Da Vinci Ehrman, Bart D. Truth Term Paper

Pages: 3 (933 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Da Vinci

Ehrman, Bart D. Truth or Fiction in the Da Vinci Code: A Historian Reveals What We

Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

The author of Truth or Fiction in the Da Vinci Code: A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine is a scholar of Early Christianity who enjoyed Dan Brown's book the Da Vinci Code, and the film based upon the wildly popular work of fiction. However, Bart Ehrman stresses that Brown's work is imaginative, not factual, despite Brown's claims in the introduction to his novel. The novel tells the tale of a longstanding 'cover-up' by the Vatican of the fact that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene, had a child by her, and thus has mortal descendants. The Vatican uses a secret organization called the Priory of Sion to perpetuate the orthodox doctrine of Christ's chastity, according to Brown.

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In detailing Brown's inaccuracies, Ehrman presents a compelling and readable account of how what we think of as modern, institutionalized Christianity came into being. Contrary to Brown's assertion, the Emperor Constantine did not control the creation of the Christian canon, much less try to cover up Christ's humanity as expressed in the currently canonized gospels. The process of canonizing the books of the Christian Bible was a long one, and involved much discussion and debate between many competing sects. Many of these sects were later deemed heretical. But the majority of the heretical gospels excluded by the church patriarchs at the council of Nicaea did not conceptualize Jesus as a more sexual and human being. These gospels saw Jesus as even more divine and ethereal, as entirely removed from the realities of the world, in contrast to the more human, suffering Jesus of the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John.

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The Gnostics, for example, saw the world as evil and inherently riddled with imperfections and sin, while Jesus was pure, and this ideal is reflected in the gospels written by Gnostics. The more mainstream representations of Christianity exemplified in the current canon saw the world as fundamentally good because it was created by God, despite humanity's sinful nature. As the result of the Fall of Adam, Jesus came to right the wrongs done by humanity's many transgressions. That did not invalidate the fact that Jesus was both human and divine, and the earthly as well as the heavenly aspects of Jesus were both real and good.

The current canon contains two competing strains of Early Christianity that were eventually fused into one. One strain suggested that Christ was human and suffered the travails of the world like a mortal man. The other strain stressed the importance of the spiritual aspects of the crucifixion and how Christ justified humanity before the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Da Vinci Ehrman, Bart D. Truth.  (2007, December 10).  Retrieved October 21, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/da-vinci-ehrman-bart-d-truth/954294

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"Da Vinci Ehrman, Bart D. Truth."  Essaytown.com.  December 10, 2007.  Accessed October 21, 2020.