It became a worldwide bestseller that has sold over 80 million copies and been translated into 44 languages and its not the Bible nor is it one of the Harry Potter books. As of 2010, The Da Vinci Code was the best selling English language novel of the 21st century. It is described by its author Dan Brown in this way, “A renowned Harvard symbologist is summoned to the Louvre Museum to examine a series of cryptic symbols relating to Leonardo Da Vinci’s artwork. In decrypting the code, he uncovers the key to one of the greatest mysteries of all time…and he becomes a hunted man.”
Though it has been assailed by historians for its innumerable historical inaccuracies, The Da Vinci Code, found in the fiction section of your local bookstore, contains a thrilling and engaging story but as the reader wades into the middle of the book he finds a Christian deconstructionist and atheistic agenda with such statements as:
- “The marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene is part of the historical record.”
- “The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine”
- “The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven…The Bible is the product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.”
My family and I lived in Sweden during the popular rise of the book in Europe and most people we spoke to had read the book, and were quick to give their assessment of it as true! When asked if they had ever read the Bible, most said “NO.” Why were they so quick to believe Dan Brown’s fiction and equally quick to dismiss the Bible? Well, atheists have two basic principles, as Doug Wilson says: 1) There is no god. 2) We hate him. Skeptics and critics over the years have sought to destroy confidence in the authority, accuracy, compilation and preservation of the Old and New Testaments even though there is strong, sufficient and adequate rationale to have confidence.
Christian Apologist Bernard Ramm says of the Old Testament Biblical manuscripts: “Jews preserved it as no other manuscript has ever been preserved…they kept tabs on every letter, syllable, word and paragraph. They had special classes of men within their culture whose sole duty was to preserve and transmit these documents with practically perfect fidelity- scribes, lawyers, masoretes.”
Distinguished research professor of Philosophy and Christian Thought, John Warwick Montgomery says of the New Testament, “to be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.”
The Bible, God’s revealed Word, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, were given to us by God as the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him are indisputably trustworthy! The all-powerful, able-to-do-anything God has revealed Himself in The Scriptures because His heart is filled with the love for His people. Martin Luther said, “When God speaks to humanity, God always speaks in baby talk.” Luther goes on to explain that God speaks to us in this way out of a deep desire for us to know Him and understand Him. This is the essence of the Word of God: God making himself known and God’s sheep recognizing his voice. While we know that historically, the Church has divided over the interpretation of Scripture, the Church has never divided over the canon of Scripture itself, which book was to be included in the Old or New Testaments. Each accepted Book of the bible:
- Claimed Divine Authority
- Gained Universal Acceptance
- Had Authenticity of Authorship from a Prophet or Apostle of God
- Possessed a Life-Transforming Dynamic
- Had consistency of the Christocentric message
The Bible is God’s self-witness as it is God’s intention to rule His Church by a Book and it should be understood that if God would desire to lead His Church by a Revealed Word, a constitution of sorts, this all-powerful, eternal God would be able to make these books easy to identify, as they were.
The main presupposition of the Christian is that the Scriptures are true! As John Frame has stated in his book, Apologetics to the Glory of God, “The Ultimate proof, the ultimate evidence, is the Word of God. Eyewitnesses are important, but they die, and memories of them fade. Only if their testimony is preserved in God’s written word will that testimony have continuing value down through the history of the world.” For the Scriptures do not need external confirmation, they are God’s self-revelation.