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Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answers to the Questions Everyone's Asking Hardcover – April 21, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Sadly, in our day and age, very few Christians, much less the general population, have any knowledge of the literature of the Early Church, except perhaps for the New Testament itself. It is because of this general ignorance that so many seem to readily buy into Dan Brown's "code behind the code."
As I read "The Da Vinci Code" nearly a year ago, I was totally engrossed in the mystery, but as the story progressed, I was increasingly appalled at the "history." As an amateur student of Church history, I couldn't help but wish for a single volume I could recommend to help counteract the erroneous views of Christian development that Brown promotes. "Breaking the Da Vinci Code" is one such volume.
While each "code" could have a scholarly work written about it (and indeed many have been), Bock does a good job of addressing popular misconceptions about Mary Magdalene, whether or not Jesus was married, the Gnostic gospels, the development of the New Testament, and other related issues.
It is significant that this book is endorsed by well respected Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Christian scholars. Personally, as an Orthodox Christian, I found Bock's statements to be, for the most part, thoroughly orthodox (small "o"), in the sense of C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" (another book I would also heartily recommend).
For further reading, I would strongly urge readers to take a look at "Ecclesiastical History" (also published as "Church History"), written by Eusebius in the 4th century.Read more ›
His explanation of the theological view of the Gnostics is perhaps the most enlightening. The Gnostics were a now-forgotten early Christian group, that postulated the road to Heaven was through intense study, knowledge, and enlightment, which were only achieved by a select group of intellectuals. They also generally viewed Jesus and Christ as two entities, seeing a separation between the Savior and the man.
Clearly these Gnostic views are almost unrecognizable to "orthodox" Christians of our era, where salvation is based on belief and forgiveness of sin, and God had one Son who suffered on the cross. However, Brown's characters lean heavily on them.
Professor Bock also delves deeply into the code that says Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had a blood line that extends to modern France.
These are not new theories. The French descendants have been talking about this for centuries. Many other books in the last 20 years have expressed this. Even the 1970's musical Jesus Christ Superstar, now endorsed by the Vatican, hints at a relationship beyond that of teacher and apostle. However, Bock analyzes carefully all Biblical and non-Biblical sources and finds no evidence whatsoever that Jesus was married or had descendants. This seems to be the one fact that all Biblical scholars agree upon.
The other DaVinci codes are similarly dissected in great historical perspective, involving every known source, and all are found to be lacking. Dan Brown has written an interesting thriller, but it has no basis in history, as the Vatican is now proclaiming as well.Read more ›
All in all, of the many books out there seeking to get at the real truth behind Dan Brown's international blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code, Bock's book is the second best, just edged out by Olson and Miesel's The Da Vinci Hoax. Bock's book is so good because he possesses an extensive knowledge of what is called the New School of New Testament studies, thus properly contextualizing and laying the groundwork for a thorough discussion of The Da Vinci Code. Plus, he seems to take the challenge Brown's book presents to both historical and modern-day Christian understanding very seriously. And because he's so careful in his analysis, his conclusions rest on firm footing.
Bottom line, both books come to basically the same conclusion: There is little or no evidence for the claims to historical accuracy that Dan Brown presents both in The Da Vinci Code and in his subsequent interviews. The plain fact of the matter is that on every front the evidence points in the direction of historic orthodox Christianity and away from Brown's revisionist history. All the sensational claims Brown makes--from the marriage of Mary Magdalene to Jesus, to the superiority of the so-called Gnostic Gospels to the Canonical Gospels, to the idea that the deity of Jesus was a fourth-century construct of the Council of Nicea--are masterfully exposed for the frauds and fabrications they are.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Too much attention is paid to the original book. I should not have ordered this book which was recommended by anotherPublished on September 20, 2013 by Mary S. May
On a rainy May morning of 2005, a large gathering of people convened at Blackhawk Free Evangelical church in Madison to hear one of the foremost New Testament scholars, Ben... Read morePublished on February 5, 2010 by Robert A. Deyes
Bock is partly correct in his title - he does give answers, but not to the questions that everyone is asking about The Da Vinci Code. Read morePublished on June 26, 2007 by Dan Panetti
This book is really an essential. It covers everything from the theory of Jesus being married to Mary Magdalene, to the Canonization of the Bible, to the Secret Gnostic Gospels. Read morePublished on January 18, 2007 by Raffee Parseghian
This book thoroughly addresses the claims about Jesus made in The Da Vinci Code. The buzz on the street is that the Da Vinci Code is based on texts found in Egypt half a century... Read morePublished on August 19, 2006 by D. MILLS
Anyone who has read Dan Brown's novel knows that he is presenting more than just well written fiction. Read morePublished on August 15, 2006 by M. Felker
I agree that the book "lost" its references somewhere.. but besides that, I have to say that the book contains a good material. Read morePublished on July 2, 2006 by S. Jasin
Bock's book reads a lot like a narrative. He easily disposes of the nonsensical claims of the DaVinci Code. Read morePublished on June 27, 2006 by Jan Peczkis