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Da Vinci Code Reality Check No. 3: Dan Brown Flunks Patristics

It’s astonishing that the finest minds in patristic and biblical studies have felt compelled to set aside their important work to respond to Dan Brown. But, since they’ve done it — and done it so well — we should read what they have to say. Jesuit Father Gerald O’Collins, a venerable prof at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, took his razor to the Code and sliced it up for our amusement and apologetic recycling. So did Chrysostom scholar Margaret M. Mitchell, who chairs the Early Christian Lit department at University of Chicago Divinity School.

They’re good reading for us, and for people we know who’ve been troubled by the Code.

3 thoughts on “Da Vinci Code Reality Check No. 3: Dan Brown Flunks Patristics

  1. Thanks for the links. It’s hard to decide how to react to the book and movie in polite company. My last assay was to say it’s fiction, just read it that way and ignore the historical pretentions.

  2. I have seen many books that refute the Da Vinci Code but I am finding it difficult to find scholarly books on the history of the gospels. Do you know of any that cover the councils that ratified the gospels? I can’t find ANY. What books would you recommend that refute the oft-heard nonsense that the gnostics were a better, but equal, form of early Christianity? Thanks, Mrs. Anne Moore

  3. What a great question — and a great need! A few resources come to mind. Brevard Childs of Yale has put together a succinct summary in his excellent little book Biblical Theology: A Proposal. Henri Daniel-Rops did the same thing, way back when, in What is the Bible? Many of the big names in evangelical scholarship contributed to a good study of the canon called The Origin of the Bible. They confront rather frankly some of the problems Luther introduced when he began to question the canon. A simple, apologetical treatment is Henry G. Graham’s Where We Got the Bible. I’ve also put your question to some folks I respect. I’ll let you know what I hear.

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