Dan Brown’s fictional best seller, The Da Vinci Code, sat
at the top of the best seller’s list for weeks. Goddess
worshippers and Christian haters around the globe have not
only given it rave reviews, but offer it up as proof that
Christianity is a lie. You might be wondering how a
fiction novel can have such an impact. It can because
Brown makes the claim that the book is based on fact. In
bold letters in the front of the book Brown alerts the
reader that what they are about to read, while being a
fictional story, is based on historical fact. Many have
argued that we shouldn’t be so concerned about a work of
fiction, and in one sense they are right. If people knew
their history, their Bibles, and studied their own
religion thoroughly, we wouldn’t need to be concerned
about this book. However, many of the numerous factual
errors and boldface lies in Brown’s books won’t be obvious
to the general public. Brown knows that the majority of
readers will accept his conspiracy theories and
distortions of history, because he knows most people don’t
know, for example, what the Gnostic gospels even are.
Most people wouldn’t pick up on the fact that Brown can’t
even get the date of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery
right. To counter Brown’s attempt to deceive the lost and
attack Christianity, I have compiled a list of some of the
errors found in the Da Vinci Code. It is by no means an
exhaustive list, but it will give you an idea of the poor
scholarship and deceitfulness of Dan Brown. Hopefully, it
will also equip you with some of the information you will
need to battle the revival of paganism that has, no doubt,
been helped along by this book.
Error #1: More than once in the book, the
protagonist, Teabing, makes the claim that the canonical
gospels are not the earliest gospels. Instead, he claims,
the suppressed Gnostic gospels are the earliest written
gospels and the canonical gospels were selected from among
80 other gospels.
First, there were only less than half that many books
written about Jesus life. The two Gnostic gospels Brown
relies on most heavily weren’t written until the second
century A.D., long after the New Testament gospels were
written. It makes sense that the Gnostic gospels came
about in the late second century, as this is when Gnostic
thought was most prevalent. However, the New Testament
was complete before the end of the 1st Century.
As a side note - The Gospel of Peter, one of the very
Gospels that Brown claims as an earlier writing, blames
the Jews for the crucifixion. Another Gnostic Gospel, the
Gospel of Thomas, claims women must become men in order to
receive salvation. Apparently Brown’s Gospel is not only
anti-Semitic, but also chauvinistic.
Error #2: The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in
This one’s priceless. It seems Brown can’t even get a
simple date right. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered
in 1947, not in the 1950’s.
Error #3: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gnostic
texts found at Nag Hammadi are the earliest Christian
Another howler. The Dead Sea Scrolls are strictly Jewish
documents. They don’t contain any gospels or anything
even mentioning Jesus. There is also absolutely no
evidence that any of the gnostic documents were written before the
late second century AD anyway.
Error #4: Jesus Christ never claimed to be divine
and was never worshipped as a deity until the Council of
Nicea in 325 A.D.
This is just plain false. Jesus is called God (theos)
seven times in the New Testament and is called Lord in the
divine sense several times. Everyone knows that the texts
of the New Testament predate the Council of Nicea, and
that these were first century beliefs.
Error #5: Christianity borrowed its beliefs from
the pagan religion of Mithraism. Mithraism worshipped the
pre-Christian God Mithras, called the Son of God and Light
of the World, who was born on December 25th,
died, was buried in a rock tomb, and then resurrected in
Scholars of Mithraism would strongly disagree with Brown
on all of these points. Nowhere is Mithras given the
title Son of God and the Light of the World. Brown
apparently made this up because it sounded good. Mithras
was born on December 25th, however this proves
nothing. The New Testament never associated December 25th
with the birth of Christ. The early Christians chose to
celebrate the birth of Christ on this day intentionally to
oppose the pagan mid-winter festival of Saturnalia. They
never claimed Jesus was actually born on that date. The
claim that Mithras died and was buried in a rock tomb is
just not true. Scholars will tell you that in Mithraism
there is no death of Mithras at all. So, there was no
rock tomb and no resurrection.
Error #6: Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.
The New Testament never mentions Jesus being married or
even suggests it, so Brown uses one of the Gnostic
gospels, the Gospel of Philip to support this claim. We
only have fragments of the text he uses as his support and
that text reads as follows:
“And the companion of the…Mary Magdalene…her more than…the
disciples…kiss her…on her…” (Philip 63:33-36). Philip
58-59 seems to indicate that the kiss would have been on
the lips. In 1 Corinthians 16, Paul mentions this kind of
chaste kiss of fellowship, and this is likely what is
meant here. However, we need not rest on that argument.
The protagonist in Brown’s book claims that the word
“companion” in this verse actually means spouse because
that’s what the Aramaic word really means. I kind of feel
sorry for Brown here. This document wasn’t written in
Aramaic. It was written in Coptic. The word used for
companion is koinonos and it means companion, not spouse.
Error #7: Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath
of Saturday, but Constantine changed the day to coincide
with the pagan veneration day of the sun.
Once again, Brown is just flat wrong. All available
evidence shows that Christians were honoring Sunday as the
Sabbath long before Constantine. Brown may be confusing
Paul’s trips to the synagogue on the Sabbath to preach to
the Jews. If you wanted to preach to the Jews about
Jesus, where would you find a large gathering of Jews to
preach too? Perhaps the synagogue on the Sabbath? In any
case, it is clear from scripture that the Christian
Sabbath is on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor.
There are many more errors found in Brown’s book, but this
should be sufficient to demonstrate that his scholarship
is poor, his theories are not based on fact, and, in my
opinion, his intention is to discredit Christianity by
promoting goddess worship and paganism based on heretical
texts. It’s important that Christians expose these kind
of attacks on our faith, and imperative that we educate
people on the true history and message of the Word of
God. We have an advantage. Because our faith is built on
God’s Word and on truth, we can depend on facts to present
our case. We don’t have to resort to lies, conspiracy
theories, and revisionist history.