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The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code: A Challenging Response to the Bestselling Novel Paperback – April 21, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Through Dan Brown's book The Da Vinci Code, you discover a lot of shocking facts about history and Christianity . . . or do you?

The Code: Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, whom he named leader of the church before his death.

The Truth: This claim has no support even from the Gnostic Gospels mentioned in Brown's book, let alone from historical data.

The Code: Since the year 1099, a supersecret society called "The Priory of Sion" has preserved knowledge of Jesus and Mary's descendants.

The Truth: Today's "Priory of Sion" was founded in the early 1960s by a French con man who falsified documents o support the story of Jesus' "bloodline."

The Code: As a "Priory" leader and pagan goddess-worshiper, leonardo Da Vinci coded secret knowledge about Jesus nad Mary into his paintings.

The Truth: Da Vinci had no known ties to any secret Societies. Any obscure images in his paintings likely reflect his personal creativity.

Probing, factual, and revealing. The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code gives you the straightforward information you need to dig through the fiction and unearth the facts.

About the Author

As a nationally recognized authority on cults and religions, Richard Abanes has spent more than ten years in the field as an author and journalist. In 1997 he received The Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America for his "outstanding work on intolerance in North America." Among his dozen-plus books is the bestselling Harry Potter and the Bible, as well as One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church, and Journey Into the Light: Exploring Near Death Experiences. Abanes has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television programs including those on BBC radio, MSNBC, Fox Television Network, and ABC. He has spoken at events held by numerous organizations including The Simon Wiesenthal Center, Mensa, and the Skeptic Society.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers; English Language edition (April 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736914390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736914390
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,742,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just finished reading "The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code" by Abanes and LOVED it (for reasons I will explain).
But first, and this is hysterical-ABANES INSERTED A CODE INTO THE INTRODUCTION OF HIS BOOK. I couldn't believe it until I noticed certain letters that seemed to make words. And, as I continued to piece together the letters, sure enough, it all created a sentence with a message for readers. I won't spoil it for anyone, but it's there as plain as any code can be. You have GOT to try to figure it out. Way to go Abanes. This shows, at least to me, that Abanes has a sense of humor and is keeping all of this in perspective.
Now, on to the serious critique. Abanes shows in his very concise, fun-to-read, and highly informative book that Dan Brown, for all of the PR on his novel, is not only not a scholar, but actually seems to have deliberately misrepresented key historical documents and historical events. This is shown beyond debate.
One example, is how Abanes pulls two quotes from Brown's novel where a character quotes Leonardo Da Vinci's scathing words supposedly about the Bible (see Da Vinci Code, p. 231). Abanes, however, actually tracked down these citations and shows that in their context they have NOTHING to do with the Bible!!!! There is no way Brown could not have known that Leonardo was not talking about the Bible. It is very clear from the writings.
This is only one example of how the research in this book is phenomenal. I encourage everyone who wants to get into this type of fun stuff to get Abanes' book. I am very, very impressed.
As much as Brown's fans and critics of books like this one from Abanes are screaming about how ridiculous it is that anyone would be troubled about a work of fiction, Abanes smartly documents places where Dan Brown is saying that what he wrote is absolutely true (p. 9). I'd love to see Brown and Abanes in a debate. Now that would be fun.
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Format: Paperback
In a postmodern culture that often relativizes religious truth, it becomes harder to tell the different between fact and fiction. In the introduction to The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code, Richard Abanes notes that, "too many readers of The Da Vinci Code have already responded to the novel by trustingly embracing it as historically accurate." (9) Abanes' response is to compare the historical inaccuracies of the novel with the facts.

Richard Abanes groups his analysis into five main categories, each comprising a chapter of his book. These are roughly historical revisionism, the canon of scripture, the Christian view of women, the history of the Priory of Sion, and Leonardo Da Vinci. Each chapter has a very structured order- an introduction, a series of claims by the novel countered with the facts, and a conclusion.

Some will note that the last two chapters aren't so much a defense of Christianity as they are correctives of general history. There's an explanation in Abanes' conclusion. "This is not even a `Christian' issue. The issue is fact versus fiction. Truth verses lies. Accuracy versus inaccuracy. In other words, The Da Vinci Code would still be just as offensive if its misrepresentation of historical facts were used to attack Buddhism, Islam, or any other world religion instead of Christianity." (77)

The great strength of this book, as with other books by Richard Abanes, is the depth of research. Historical research is a skill that Abanes has refined well, in this case to the point of providing facts that many critics haven't uncovered. He's also very straightforward with his arguments. For instance, in discussing Dan Brown's confusion of male and female symbols with Egyptian ones, Abanes asks, "But why would Magdalene be associated with an Egyptian cow?
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Format: Paperback
Despite all the hype surrounding it, the DaVinci Code is really nothing new. For the longest time, enemies of the Christian faith have tried to falsely ascribe its teachings to pre-existing pagan beliefs. Abanes shows the essential differences between pagan and Christian teachings. Decades ago, the feminists had developed an elaborate mythology, not founded on facts, of onetime global goddess worship. This has been repeated by the DaVinci Code, and Abanes exposes the baselessness of this feminist pseudohistory. Likewise, Abanes exposes the long-rejected error of "older" gospels giving an authentic alternative view of early Christianity. Then, besides showing the fact that recognition of the Deity of Jesus Christ long predates Constantine, Abanes also debunks the alleged powers of the Emperor Constantine in enforcing Christian doctrine. Abanes also shows how the persecution of witches has been greatly exaggerated.
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Dan Brown explicitly states in the beginning of his novel "The Da Vinci Code" that "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate." In a Today Show interview on June 9, 2003, Brown confirmed that his intention in writing "The Da Vinci Code" was to "challenge certain long-held beliefs or truths about religion." Therefore, those who make claims that "this is only a work of fiction" are clearly uninformed on the issue.

While I've disagreed with Abanes' conclusions in other writings ('Harry Potter and the Bible'), 'The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code' draws upon documented historical fact rather than Abanes' personal opinion, and thus is the same data provided in numerous other books published to answer Dan Brown's flaw-riddled conspiracy theories.

The reason I recommend this book above the others that I've read ('Breaking the Da Vinci Code' by Darrell Bock, 'Cracking the Da Vinci Code' and 'The Da Vinci Codebreaker' by Garlow and Jones, 'The Da Vinci Deception' by Erwin Lutzer, 'The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction' by Hanegraaff and Meyer, 'Cracking Da Vinci's Code: The Student Edition' by Palmer and Dunn, and 'Fear Not Da Vinci' by Flory, Monroe, and Gasque) is that the information here is concisely presented; Brown's claims are quoted verbatim from 'The Da Vinci Code' and reproduced in shaded boxes (with page references), followed by the facts which contradict Brown's claims. It is an ideal "quick reference guide" for those interested in discussing the issues that "The Da Vinci Code" book and/or movie raises.

Abanes' book is also the only among these volumes I've already mentioned which deals with the person of Leonardo da Vinci to any degree.
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