Recently (about 10 minutes ago), I was asked a question “Have I read the Da Vinci Code?”
There’s only one answer to it, “yes, I have.”
This friend of mine, let’s call him Manu for simplicity’s sake, wanted to know whether I liked it. When I admitted I, in fact, DID like the book, he DEMANDED why, seeing as I am a Christian and it goes against the Vatican.
First of all, I am not a Catholic… The Vatican does not really matter in the whole scheme of the “Malankara Orthodox Syrian Christian” community. The speciality of us MOSC (oh c’mon you DON’T expect me to type that entire thing out!) is
1) There are two factions and there’s a faction war. I really don’t care about it.
2) They’re mostly based in Central Kerala (the achayans) and if you meet another MOSC, they usually start talking about their family names and if you got a maximum of 3 generations back, you’re completely likely to find common relations!
Okay, now back to the Da Vinci Code. The first time I read it, I was very scared. It challenged a lot of beliefs I held and that’s not an appetising thought for anyone. So, I set out to discover the truth and the search was even more interesting than the book.
Let’s face it, the DVC is a very gripping book, but it can hardly be classified as great literature, or even good fiction. It’s hardly the sort of book you’d choose to read if, say, you were on your deathbed.
It comes under the head of what I like to call sensationalist literature. It’s fine in its own way, but when it starts to erode whole belief systems, then it’s time to be wary of those kind of books. The main problem is that, unlike pamphlets distributed by Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Da Vinci Code has been on the best seller list for a long time. You read the DVC and suddenly feel you’ve a hold on the Church history, which is not necessarily true. After I read long and deep about every single disturbing fact in the book, I made some discoveries.
1) The Gospel of Mary Magdalene was not written in even the first century A.D. Nor is the version given in the book completely accurate. The conclusions drawn by Dan Brown from that passage are pretty flawed too.
2) The Merovingians were wiped out. Any claim to Holy Blood can be thought of like Queen Elizabeth claiming that she is a descendant of Odin from one side, and from Antenor, cousin of Priam of Troy, on the other. Who can dispute it with any finality, right?
3) Dan Brown used relatively harmless sects. Most of Opus Dei’s members are normal godfearing Catholics. Accusing the Vatican of subversive activities is a universal favourite, anyway! The Priory of Sion is a relatively new sect (and does not trace its roots to the Knights Templar) and is a…. FRENCH PRACTICAL JOKE! (an oxymoron, perhaps!)
4) The Gnostic Gospels were written during the 3rd and 4th Century A.D. The Nicae Convention mooted that the 4 Gospels ACTUALLY included in the New Testament were most accurate. More importantly, they did not vote on the divinity of Christ, but whether he was in any way inferior to the Father, being the Son. The resolution passed stated that he was the equal of the Father and not by one vote either. Remember the “Vishwasa Pramanam”?
5) The word Jehovah is a corruption of the actual word Yahweh (or Yehovah). The Jews never wrote the word for God, in fact whenever the Old Testament contained the word, it was substituted with the consonants YHWH. People just added vowels. When asked to read the Bible in a synagogue, they use the word Adonai ( Lord) instead. I am not entirely sure where Shekinah fits into the whole picture, though.
I guess, a lot of you must have read the article in The Week, of a Malayali painter reinterpreting The Last Supper using common sense and the Vitruvian Man (a deadly combo!). No matter how Leonardo (yeah! Da Vinci means of Vinci, so calling him Da Vinci is like calling me Trivandrum!) painted his masterpiece, it does not necessarily mean that his ideas are true.
One of the important facts that the book DOES highlight, is the fact that Mary Magdalene was, in fact not a prostitute. She is called the disciple of disciples in the Bible. This could just as much be a grand design to kill the Sacred Feminine,as well as a plain old misunderstanding.
A really huge blunder. Nowhere in Genesis is it mentioned that the Fruit of Knowledge is an Apple! Chew on that awhile, please!