What's Wrong with The Da Vinci Code?

October 2015 version

 

 

   The Da Vinci Code is a best-selling book telling about amazing discoveries about the New Testament, Mary Magdalene, and the nature of Christianity in general. The preface says claims it is only a fictional account, but the author has subsequently said that if he were writing a factual account he would not change a thing. So this should be judged as a factual representation. But critics claim there were things not only sensationalized, but made up out of thin air, and ignoring evidence against the story line. So who is right: to put it nicely, is The Da Vinci Code fundamentally "factually-challenged" or not?

 

   Careful investigation has led me to discover three main problems:

1. The Da Vinci Code was actually plagiarized from an earlier fictional cartoon, based on recently discovered documents in the Vatican.

2. The purported author, Dan Brown, is not actually a man but a woman, and no hospital records can prove this wrong.

3. If you look very closely at "his" photograph in the book, the author was not even a human woman, but actually an alien from Mars!

 

   OK, so these statements are not really serious, but how could you tell? Can you actually disprove that 911 was not caused by Jewish people, Elvis still appears on earth today, or that people never walked on the moon? Actually, the three preceding wild claims about The Da Vinci Code are not all that much wilder than what it claims, in the face of a mountain of historical evidence.

 

How Can You Tell?

 

   Joking aside, how would an objective person, regardless of their religion, be able to decide:

1) If the New Testament books in general have through all these centuries been reliably preserved with their contents free from significant change.

2) If the contents of the gospels are substantially accurate, or if there is reason to consider them all just fiction.

 

   We cannot do scientific experiments on history to prove or disprove a point, whether we are talking about George Washington living in Mt. Vernon, or George Washington chopping down a cherry tree. But we can prove things from a legal perspective, as if in a court of law. However, we do not want to be like a juror in a court case who calls a defendant innocent saying, "the only evidence the prosecutor had was the video of him doing it." So what kind of evidence would do critics say demonstrate for the traditional story of Jesus?

 

Bible Writers and their testimony should at least count for something, to even the most partial critics.

 

Stability of Scripture: Were books rapidly brought into and taken out to New Testament, or did it simply all "gel" into the same thing we have today?

 

Early Bible Manuscripts do not prove the accounts in them are true, but they can prove that the accounts themselves have been preserved without significant error.

 

Early Christians: Many early Christians wrote about these events, and usually the testimony of two people is believed as credible. However, we have many more than that.

 

Non-Christians: To look at all the evidence, see what Jews, Romans, Gnostics, and other non-Christians who lived soon after this time wrote about these things too. Some of this is particularly interesting.

 

In all cases, we need to look at both what is said, teachings and actions (including miracles) that are attested or denied, and the general credibility of who is saying it.

 

Have I left anything out, or do you agree that this covers the bases on determining how much we can trust the New Testament and the four gospels?

 

 


Early Christians Tell Who Wrote the N.T.

Cr   1 Clement (of Rome) (16 pgs)           97/98 A.D.

Ig    Ignatius (21 pgs)                          c.110-117 A.D.

Pa   Papias disciple of John (3pgs)        110-113 A.D.

Ba   Epistle of Barnabas (13 pgs)          100-150 A.D.

Di   Didache (Teach. of 12 Disc.)(5 pgs)  c.125 A.D.

Dg  (anonymous) to Diognetus (6 pgs)    c.130 A.D.

JM  Justin Martyr (119 pgs)               c.138-165 A.D.

He   Shepherd of Hermas (47 pgs)               160 A.D.

Ae   Athenagoras (34 pgs)                         c.177 A.D.

Th   Theophilus [Antioch] (33 pgs)168-181/188 A.D.

       -his harmony/commentary on the gospels is lost

Ir     Irenaeus (264 pgs)                         182-188 A.D.

Mu  Caius & Muratorian Canon (3 pgs)   c.210 A.D.

CA  Clement of Alexan. (424 pgs) 193-217/220 A.D.

Te   Tertullian [Rome]  (830 pgs)         198-220 A.D.

Te5 5 Books in Reply to Marcion(24 pgs)c.207 A.D.

Hi   Hippolytus, (233 pgs)                 225-235/6 A.D.

Or   Origen (622 pgs)                            225-254 A.D.

Nv  Novatian (39 pgs)                           250-257 A.D.

an    Anonymous against Novatian(7 pgs) c.255 A.D.

And Treatise on Rebaptism (11 pgs)

Cp   Cyprian and friends (270 pgs)     c.246-258 A.D.

Not shown are Melito of Sardis (d.177/180) [Mk,Lk,1Cor,1Th,Heb] and Julius Africanus (232-245 A.D.).

W = Books and quotes mentioned by name or by writer

J = Books only mentioned as the words of Jesus / Savior

S = Mentioned as scripture or by the apostle(s).

Q = quote of 1 or more verses. 1/2  = quote of 1/2 a verse

A = Allusion.  4G = Mention of 4 gospels, - = no reference


Writer

Cr

Ba

Ig

Pa

Di

Dg

Po

JM

He

Ae

Th

Ir

Mu

CA

Te

Te5

Hi

Or

Nv

an

Cp

New T.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

W

-

-

-

W

-

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

Gospels

-

-

-

-

-

W

-

W

-

-

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

Mt

J

Q

Q

W

Q

A

Q

J

¼

Q

Q

W

4

G

I

W

W

J

W

J

J

W

Mk

J

1/2

-

W

-

-

1/2

J

-

-

-

W

I

W

W

W

W

-

W

W

Lk

1/2

Q

-

-

Q

-

Q

J

Q

Q

Q

W

W

W

W

W

J

W

W

J

W

Jn

-

A

A

-

-

A

-

J

-

-

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

No gospels referenced besides 4. Irenaeus explicitly says there can be only 4. Muratorian Canon & Origen likewise.

Acts

¼

A

-

-

-

-

Q

A

1/2

-

Q

W

W

W

W

-

Q

W

¾

W

W

Rom

Q

-

-

-

-

-

Q

-

-

-

Q

W

W

W

W

-

W

W

W

-

W

1 Cor

W

-

¼

-

-

-

Q

-

-

S

Q

W

W

W

W

-

S

W

W

-

W

2 Cor

-

A

A

-

-

¼

A

-

-

-

-

W

W

W

W

-

W

W

W

-

W

Gal

-

-

-

-

-

A

¼

-

-

-

-

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

-

W

Eph

-

-

W

-

-

-

Q

Q

-

-

Q

W

W

S

W

-

S

W

W

S

W

Php

-

-

-

-

-

A

W

-

-

-

-

W

W

W

W

-

W

W

S

W

W

Col

A

A

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Q

-

W

W

W

W

-

W

W

S

-

W

1 Th

A

-

Q

-

-

-

Q

-

-

-

-

W

W

W

W

S

W

W

-

-

W

2 Th

-

-

-

-

-

-

1/2

-

-

-

-

W

W

S

W

S

W

W

-

-

W

1 Tim

A

A

¼

-

-

A

Q

-

-

Q

Q

W

W

W

W

-

W

W

W

-

W

2 Tim

-

-

-

-

-

-

Q

-

-

-

-

W

W

W

W

-

Q

W

-

-

W

Titus

1/2

-

A

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

W

W

W

W

W

1/2

W

Q

-

W

Phm

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

W

-

I

W

-

W

-

-

-

Heb

Q

Q

-

-

-

-

-

-

1/2

-

Q

W

-

W

Q

-

A

W

-

S

A

Jms

Q

A

-

-

-

-

-

-

1/2

-

-

Q

-

Q

Q

-

-

Q

-

1/2

-

1 Peter

Q

-

-

A

¼

A

Q

-

1/2

-

-

W

-

W

W

-

Q

W

-

-

W

2 Peter

A

A

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

¼ 

-

¼

-

-

¼

X

-

-
W

1 John

-

-

1/2

A

-

-

1/2

-

-

-

Q

W

I

W

W

-

-

W

W

W

W

2 John

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

I

W

W

A

-

-

M

-

-

W

3 John

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

m

-

-

-

Jude

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

A

W

W

W

-

-

W

-

Q

-

Rev

Q

-

A

?

A

-

-

W

-

-

-

W

W

W

W

W

W

W

-

W

W

Writer

Cr

Ba

Ig

Pa

Di

Dg

Po

JM

He

Ae

Th

Ir

Mu

CA

Te

Te5

Hi

Or

Nv

an

Cp

Time

97/98 A.D.

150 A.D.

168 A.D.

200 A.D.

225 A.D.              258 A.D.

Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria also mention the Preaching of Peter.

 

We do not know who wrote Hebrews. The writer must have been known to his hearers though, based on Hebrews 13:18-24.


What Counts as a Quote or Allusion?

 

In looking at the numbers in the following table, it is good to understand what is considered a quote or reference. Here are examples.

 

Allusion: 1 Clement ch.58 p.21 says that God chose us to be a "peculiar people". This unusual phrase is found in Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9, but this is not counted as a quote; only an allusion.

 

1/2 Quote: Romans 12:5 "So in Christ we are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." 1 Clement ch.46 p.17: " ... a height of madness as to forget that 'we are members one of another'". This counts as 1/2 a quote of Romans 12:5

Athenagoras' 1/2 quote is from both Titus 1:12b and Callimachus.

 

Quote: 1 Clement ch. 34 p.14: "...For [the Scripture] saith, 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which He hath prepared for them that wait for Him.'"

1 Cor 2:9 says "However, as it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.'"

So even though there were a few introductory words, at the beginning, and it is "wait for" instead of "love", this is counted as closer to a full quote than ¾ of a quote.

 

Each of 1 Clement's quotes from the gospels is from more than one gospel. 1 Clement's single quote from Revelation (22:12) is also in Isaiah 40:10 (minus the middle part), and Isaiah 62:11b. So this does not prove that Revelation was written by then.

 

Reference and Allusion: 1 Clement (written to the Corinthian church) ch.47 p.18: "Take up the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul. What did he write to you ... he wrote to you, concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because even then parties had been formed among you."

 

Reference and Quote: "John says, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God," shows... Then he says, 'The word was God; all things came into existence through Him, and apart from Him not one thing came into existence.'" Theophilus of Antioch To Autolycus ch.22 p.103.

Stability of Scripture

 

Question: Did these writers mention any other books written after Christ or not? The answer is that Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, and others who wrote against Gnostics mentioned many other teachings and books: as frauds and heresies. Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, and others mentioned and alluded to many Greek philosophers in their writings (as did Paul), but never as scripture.

 

Early church writers were not isolated, as later church fathers earlier church fathers positively. Two exceptions are that Tertullian did not think much of the Shepherd of Hermas, and later writers did not like some of Origen's writings. Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria also mentioned the Preaching of Peter. The Muratorian canon says that some but not all Christians accepted the Apocalypse of Peter.

 

The Muratorian Canon (last half of the second century) was not an official document, but it is an important one. This describes the books of the New Testament. It mentions four gospels, Luke and John by name, and every book of the New Testament, except for 1 and 2 Peter and a letter of John.

 

In contrast there are about 70 other books written at that time. The early church wrote a lot against Gnosticism and recognized these other books as forgeries. In the diagram below, only one of the left-most lines can be true.

 


Preservation of Scripture - Early Bible Manuscripts (pXX means papyrus number XX)

110/117-125/138 A.D.

p52 (=John Rylands papyrus)

John 18:31-33, reverse 18:37-38       

4 verses

100-150 A.D.

p104 (=p. Oxy. 4404)

Matthew 21:34-37,43,45(?)

5.5  verses

100-150 A.D.

p46 (=Chester Beatty II)

70% of Paul and Hebrews

1,680 verses

c.125 A.D.

p87 - handwriting like p46.

Philemon 13-15,24 (part),25b with gaps

4 verses

2nd century

p98 (=p. IFAO Inv. 237b [+a]

Revelation 1:13-2:1

  9 verses

100/125-150/175 A.D.

p66(=Bodmer II) p14/15, p75

92% of the Gospel of John

808.5 verses

c.150-175 A.D.

p4 + p64 + p67

(p4) Lk 1:58-59; 1:62-2:1,6-7; 3:8-4:2,29-32,34-35; 5:3-8; 5:30-6:16; (p64) Mt 26:7-8,10,14-15,22-23,31-33; (p67) Mt 3:9,15; 5:20-22,25-28

95 verses

c.175 A.D.

p90

John 18:36-19:7

12 verses

177 A.D.  -  97% (855/878) of the Gospel of John, 70% of Paul and Hebrews (persecution of Aurelius)

mid to late 2nd century

p77 and p103

Mt 23:30-39; Mt 13:55-57; 14:3-5

    16 verses

mid to late 2nd century

p109 (=P. Oxy. 4448)

John 21:18-20, 23-25

6 verses

150-200 A.D.

p32

Titus 1:1-15; 2:3-8

  21 verses

c.200 A.D.

p1

Matthew 1:1-9,12,14-20; 2:14?

16.5 verses

ca.200 A.D.

p23 Urbana

James 1:10-12, 15-18

7 verses

late 2nd/early 3rd cent.

p38

Acts 18:27-19:6, 12-16

13 verses

late 2nd/early 3rd cent.

p108 + uncial 0189

(p108) Jn 17:23-24; 18:1-5 (0189) Acts 5:3-21

7+18 verses

200-225 A.D.

p29

Acts 26:7-8, 20

3 verses

200-225 A.D.

p45 (= Chester Beatty I)

Matthew 71 (7%), Mark 147 (22%), Luke 242 (21%), Jn 84 (10%), Acts 289 (29%)

833 verses

early 3rd century

p5

John 1:23-31,33-40; 16:14-30, etc.

47 verses

early 3rd century

p30

1 Thessalonians 4:12-13,16-17 etc., 2 Thess.

25 verses

early 3rd century

p107 (=p. Oxy. 4446)

John 17:1-2, 11

3 verses

1st half of 3rd century

p111 (p. Oxy. 4495)

Luke 17:11-13, 22-23

5 verses

Early to mid 3rd century

p106

John 1:29-35; 40-46

14 verses

200-250 A.D

p39

John 8:14-22

9 verses

225-250 A.D.

p13

Hebrews 2:14-5:5;10:8-22,29-11:13,etc.

110 verses

3rd century

p9

1 John 4:11-12, 14-17

9 verses

3rd century

p20

James 2:19-3:2; (part of 3:3); 3:4-9

16 verses

3rd century

p40

Romans 1:24-27;1:31-2:3;3:21-4:8, etc.

36 verses

c.250 A.D.

p22

John 15:25-16:2; 16:21-32

17 verses

250-6/251 A.D. Severe Persecution by the Emperor Decius across the entire Roman Empire

3rd century

p27

Romans 8:12-22,24-27; 8:33-9:3; 9:5-9

30 verses

3rd century

p28  + p35

(p28) Jn 6:8-12, 17-22 (p35) Mt 25:12-15,20-23

11+8 verses

3rd century

Papyrus Antinoopolis 2.54

Matthew 6:10-12 (part of the Lord's prayer)

3 verses

3rd century

p109

John 21:18-20, 23-25

6 verses

3rd century

p113 + p114

(p113) Romans 2:12-13,19 (p114) Heb 1:7-12

3+6 verses

3rd century

p115

Rev 2:1-3,13-15,27-29; 3:10-12; 5:8-9; 6:5-6; 8:3-8,11-13; 9:1-5,7-16,8-21; 10:1-4,8-11; 11:1-5,8-15,18-19; 12:1-5,8-10,12-17;13:1-3,6-16,18;14:1-3,5-7,10-11,14-15,18-20; 15:1,4-7

119 verses

mid 3rd century

p37

Matthew 26:19-52

34 verses

mid 3rd century

p49 + p65

Ephesians 4:16-29; 4:31-5:13

29 verses

mid 3rd century

p80 + p91

(p80) John 3:34, (p91) Acts 2:30-37; 2:46-3:2

1+12 verses  

3rd century

p69

Luke 22:40, 45-48, 58-61

   9 verses

3rd century

p70, p101

Matthew 2:13-16; 2:22-3:1; 11:26-27, etc.

  19 verses

3rd century

p95 (= PL II/31)

John 5:26-29,36-38

    7 verses

before 256 A.D.

Uncial 0212 (Dura Parch. 10)

Diatessaron Mt 27:56-57; Mk 15:40,42; Lk 23:49-51; Jn 19:38

8 verses

250-300 A.D.

p47 (=Chester Beatty III)

31% of Rev. 9:10-11:3; 11:5-16:15; 16:17-17:2

125 verses

257-260 A.D. Persecution under the Roman Emperor Valerian

mid/late 3rd century

p18

Revelation 1:4-7

4 verses

c.260 A.D.

p53

Matthew 26:29-40; Acts 9:33-38,40; 10:1

23 verses

285-300 A.D.

p12

Hebrews 1:1

  1 verse

late 3rd

p15/16

(p15) 1 Corinthians 7:18-8:4

(p16) Philippians 3:10-17; 4:2-8

27 verses

15 verses

late 3rd century

p17

Hebrews 2:12-19

8 verses

late 3rd century

p110 (=p. Oxy. 4494)

Matthew 10:13-15, 25-27

6 verses

284-305 A.D.

p50 (=p. Yale 1543)

Acts 8:26-32; 10:26-31

13 verses

c.300 A.D.

p72

1 Peter 1:1-5:14; 2 Peter 1:1-3:18; Jude 1-25

191 verses

ca.300 A.D.

p24 + p78

(p24) Rev. 5:5-8; 6:5-8 (p78) Jude 4-5,7-8

8 + 4 verses

ca.300 A.D.

p92

Ephesians 1:11-13,19-21; 2 Thess. 1:4-5,11-12

10 verses

ca.300 A.D.

p102 + uncial 0162

(p92) Mt 4:11-12,22-25 (0162) Jn 2:11-22

6+12 verses

ca.300 A.D.

uncial 0171 (=p. PSI 2.124)

Mt 10:17-23,25-32;Lk 22:44-50,52-56,61,63-64                                                

30 verses

ca.300 A.D.

uncial 0220 + uncial 0232

Romans 4:23-5:3; 5:8-13 (0232) 2 John 1-9

12+9 verses

303-305 A.D. Great Persecution under the Roman Emperor Diocletian


Verses Christians referenced before 258 A.D.

Writer

Mt

Mk

Lk

Jn

Ac

Paul

other NT

95/96 A.D. Persecution of Roman Emperor Domitian

Clement R.

    7

  2

  1/2

    0

 ¼

    4

   9¼

Ignatius

 3 1/2

  0

    0

    0

   0

 3 1/2

     1

Didache

13

0

1

0

0

0

¼

Diognetus

    0

  0

    0

    0

   0

 3¼

     0

E. Barnabas

 3 1/2

  1/2

 1 1/2

    0

   0

    0

     1

2 Clement

3-5

  0

0-2   

    0

0

1

1/2

Polycarp

 9 1/2

  1/2

    7

    0

2 1/2

22 1/2

   14

Didache

  17

  0

    5

    0

   0

    1

    0

Justin Martyr

  57

  2

  32

    2

   1

    0

    0

Hermas

    2

  0

    1

    0

  1/2

    0

    2

177 A.D. Persecution of Marcus Aurelius

Athenagoras

    5

  0

    4

    0

   0

    1

    0

Christians of Vienna/Lyons

0

0

1

1

1/2

1

1/2

Theophilus

    5

  0

    1

  1/2

   0

    7

    0

Melito of S.

    0

  1

    1

    0

   0

    1

    0

Muratorian

    0

  0

    0

    0

   0

    0

    1

Irenaeus

223

18

130

109

 88

291

 82 1/2

202 A.D. Persecution of Septimus Severus

Tertullian

65+

hundreds

Clement A.

181

  3

116

  77

 38

 623

 178

Hippolytus

95

24

 66

  80

  1

130

 53

Theodotus

8 1/2

0

2

0

0

4 1/2

0

J. Africanus

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Origen

hundreds

250 A.D. - Severe Empire-wide Decian Persecution

Novatian

  4

 0

  1

 57

0

  37

   1

2 Treatises

15

2¼

7 1/2

17

23

8

12 1/2

Cyprian

209

20

101

110

 59

689

166

Cornelius

1/2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Moyses

7

0

0

0

0

1

1

Firmilian

1

1/2

1

3

0

4 1/2

1

7th Carthage

4

0

0

3

0

7

0

257-260 A.D. - Valerian persecutes Christians

 

Tatian, A Gnostic Non-Christian (died 172 A.D.)

 

Tatian, a pupil of Justin Martyr, later was a leader of the Encratite Gnostics. He wrote a harmony of the Gospels called The Diatessaron, or "the Four".

Quotes 79% of gospel verses in the Diatessaron

Mt

Mk

Lk

Jn

Other

819

76%

402

59% 

919

79%   

855

97%

   0

 

Jewish Non-Christians

 

Jewish Talmuds refer to Jesus in a number of places. See Evidence That Demands a Verdict volume 1 p.85-87 for quotes from the Babylonian Talmud, Tol'doth Yeshu, Barailu, The Amoa 'Ulla', Yeb. IV 3, and Baraita. See also Tractate Sanhedrin.

 

Josephus wrote 93/94 A.D., wrote about Jesus and His half-brother James. While the Latin version has some later additions, the Arabic edition still shows Josephus had a positive view of Jesus and James.

 

 Roman Non-Christians

 

Lucian of Samosata, 2nd century satirist, wrote about Christ, "...the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world....Furthermore, their first lawgiver persuaded them that they were all brothers one of another after they have transgressed once for all by denying the Greek gods and by worshipping that crucified sophist himself and living under his laws." (The Death/Passing of Peregrinus 11-13)

 

Cornelius Tacitus (c.55-c.117 A.D.) the Roman historian wrote about events in Rome and Great Britain from 15-70 A.D. In Annals 15:44 he wrote of Nero torturing the hated Christians. "Christus" was executed under Pontius Pilate, but this "most mischievous superstition" still broke out, and Christians were killed in cruel ways.

 

Suetonius, (120 A.D.) wrote, "As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome. Life of Claudius 25.4

 

Pliny the Younger was a governor of Bithynia who wrote to Emperor Trajan in 112 A.D. if he should actively seek after Christians to kill them, or simply kill the ones they discovered. He says Christians met before dawn, sang a hymn to Christ as to a god, and promised not to do evil. Epistles 10.96.

 

Phlegon was a Carian Greek writer and freed slave of Emperor Hadrian. He wrote soon after 137 A.D. that in the 4th year of the 202nd Olympiad [33 A.D.] there was "the greatest eclipse of the sun" and that "it became night in the sixth hour of the day [noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicea." The Case for Christ p.111

 

Other Non-Christians

 

Thales/Thallus was a Palestinian historian referenced by Julius Africanus (writing 232-245 A.D.). He wrote of the darkness at Christ's death.

 

Mara Bar-Serapion was a Syrian who wrote his son after 73 A.D. to emulate the wise men of history who died for what they believed in, such as Socrates, Pythagoras, and the wise King the Jews executed.

 

Summary

 

Many are not aware of the historical evidence.

It is false to call Gnostics Christians, especially those who believed in Hercules and Hermes along with Jesus

37 Early Church Fathers before 258 A.D. show we have the right books preserved

Tatian's Diatessaron before 172 A.D. quotes 79% of the gospel verses

7 Jewish Talmuds plus Josephus mention Jesus

5 Roman sources (112-137 A.D.) refer to Christ or darkness at the time of the crucifixion

2 other non-Christian sources show the darkness at the time of Jesus' death and the executed wise king of the Jews

50 Early Bible Manuscripts not later than 300 A.D. show we have the right books preserved


Scorecard of Preserved Bible Manuscripts Before 150 A.D.

 

The early Roman persecutors did their best to destroy all the Bible manuscripts, but despite them, these have survived and are in museums today.

Mss.

p52

p104

p46

p87

M

 

p64/67

p4

Mt

-

5.5

-

-

10

-

19

-

Mk

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Lk

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

95

Jn

4

-

-

-

-

-

367.5

-

Ac

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rm

-

-

235

-

-

-

-

-

1Cr

-

-

432

-

-

-

-

-

2Cr

-

-

254

-

-

-

-

-

Gal

-

-

140

-

-

-

-

-

Eph

-

-

150

-

-

-

-

-

Php

-

-

 84

-

-

-

-

-

Col

-

-

 79

-

-

-

-

-

1Th

-

-

 17

-

-

-

-

-

2Th

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1T

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2T

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Phm

-

-

-

4

-

-

-

-

Heb

-

-

290

-

-

-

-

-

Jms

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jde

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rev

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Mss.

p52

p104

p46

p87

M

 

p64/67

p4

 

Preserved Bible Manuscripts 170-225 A.D.

 

Mss.

p90

p68

p71/103

p32

p1

p23

p38

0189

Mt

-

-

16

-

16.5

-

-

-

Mk

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Lk

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jn

12

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Ac

-

-

-

-

-

-

13

18

Rm

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Cr

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Cr

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Gal

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Eph

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Php

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Col

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Th

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Th

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1T

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2T

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tt

-

-

-

21

-

-

-

-

Phm

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Heb

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jms

-

-

-

-

-

7

-

-

1Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jde

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rev

-

9

-

-

-

-

-

-

Mss.

p90

p68

p71/103

p32

p1

p23

p38

0189

 

Mss.

p29

p45

p5

p30

p39

p13

p9

p20

Mt

-

71

-

-

-

-

-

-

Mk

-

147

-

-

-

-

-

-

Lk

-

242

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jn

-

84

47

-

9

-

-

-

Ac

3

289

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rm

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Cr

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Cr

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Gal

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Eph

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Php

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Col

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Th

-

-

-

18

-

-

-

-

2Th

-

-

-

6

-

-

-

-

1T

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2T

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Phm

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Heb

-

-

-

-

-

110

-

-

Jms

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

16

1Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

9

-

2Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jde

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rev

-

9

-

-

-

-

-

-

Mss.

p29

p45

p5

p30

p39

p13

p9

p20

 

 

Mss.

p27,40

p22

p27

p28

p35

2.54

p37

Mt

-

-

-

-

8

3

34

Mk

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Lk

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jn

-

17

-

11

-

-

-

Ac

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rm

36

-

30

-

-

-

-

1Cr

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Cr

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Gal

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Eph

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Php

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Col

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Th

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Th

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1T

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2T

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Phm

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Heb

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jms

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jde

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rev

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Mss.

p27,40

p22

p27

p28

p35

2.54

p37

 

 

Mss.

P49+65

P80

P91

P69

P70,101

P95

Mt

-

-

-

-

19

-

Mk

-

-

-

-

-

-

Lk

-

-

-

9

-

-

Jn

-

-

-

-

-

7

Ac

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rm

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Cr

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Cr

-

-

-

-

-

-

Gal

-

-

-

-

-

-

Eph

29

-

-

-

-

-

Php

-

-

-

-

-

-

Col

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Th

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Th

-

-

-

-

-

-

1T

-

-

-

-

-

-

2T

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tt

-

-

-

-

-

-

Phm

-

-

-

-

-

-

Heb

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jms

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

3Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jde

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rev

-

-

-

-

-

-

Mss.

P49+65

P80

P91

P69

P70,101

P95

 

Mss.

P47

P18

P53

P12

P15

P16

P17

P50

P72

Mt

-

-

12

-

-

-

-

-

-

Mk

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Lk

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Ac

-

-

12

-

-

-

-

13

-

Rm

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Cr

-

-

-

-

27

-

-

-

-

2Cr

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Gal

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Eph

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Php

-

-

-

-

-

15

-

-

-

Col

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Th

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Th

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1T

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2T

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Phm

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Heb

-

-

-

1

-

-

8

-

-

Jms

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

105

2Pt

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

61

1Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

3Jn

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Jde

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

25

Rev

125

4

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Mss.

P47

P18

P53

P12

P15

P16

P16

P50

P72

 

 

Book of the New Testament

Total verses

Matthew

1,071

Mark (exc.16:9-20)

661/ 678

-- Mark 16:9-20

---

Luke

1,151

John (exc.7:53-8:11)

879

-- John 7:53-8:11

---

Acts

1007

Romans

433

order: Rom 16:25-27

---

1 Corinthians

437

2 Corinthians

257

Galatians

149

Ephesians

155

Philippians

104

Colossians

95

1 Thessalonians

89

2 Thessalonians

47

1 Timothy

113

2 Timothy

83

Titus

46

Philemon

25

Hebrews

303

James

108

1 Peter

105

2 Peter

61

1 John(excl. 1Jn5:8)

104

2 John

13

3 John

14

Jude

25

Revelation

404

Totals

7,955

 

 


Notes

 

An apologist is a person who defends a point of view or a religion, showing that religion to be correct and others wrong.

 

The Da Vinci Code was a piece of fiction that was not too bad until page 55. Since Dan Brown later said that if he were writing a factual story he would not change a thing, and that is why we are critiquing what he claims in the book about early Christianity.

 

Trying to find out what books of the Bible somebody accepts by simply looking at their quotes will certainly give correct answers on what they accepted, but not necessarily give the correct answer for everything they accepted. For example, 3 John is an extremely short book, and have you ever written something quoting out of that? That simply means you had no reason to quote it in what you wrote, not that you do not accept it as scripture.

 

Gnosticism was the attempt to combine Greek thought and Christianity. Most of the alleged 66 other gospels were Gnostic. Here is what Tertullian (200-220 A.D.) said in his On Prescription Against Heretics ch.7 p.246 gives a likely reason: "What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the Church? What between heretics and Christians? Our instruction comes from the 'porch of Solomon,' who had himself taught that 'the Lord should be sought in simplicity of heart.' Away with all attempts to produce a mottled Christianity of Stoic, Platonic, and dialectic composition! We want no curious disputation after possessing Christ Jesus, no inquisition after enjoying the gospel!"

 

"The Bible is a 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." P.231

 

More than 80 gospels were considered for the New Testament. (p.231)

 

 


Quotes from Non-Christians

 

Suetonius, the Roman historian and court official who wrote about 120 A.D., says "As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus (another spelling of Christus, i.e. Christ], he expelled them from Rome. Life of Claudius 25.4

 

Cornelius Tacitus (c.55-c.117 A.D.) was a Roman historian who wrote about events in Rome and Great Britain from 15-70 A.D. By his contemptuous tone, he certainly was no friend of Christianity. In Annals 15:44 he wrote: "...But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration [fire of Rome] was the result of an order [of the Emperor]. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired...."

Tacitus (c.55-c.117 A.D.) in Histories book 5 also discusses the origin of the Jews, and their "exile" from Egypt by Pharaoh under "Moyses" in order to cleanse the land of Egypt. These quotes are from The Annals and The Histories by P. Cornelius Tacitus, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc. 1952.

 

Mara Bar-Serapion was an ordinary Syrian man who wrote a letter to his son, Serapion, sometime after 73 A.D. He encourages him to emulate the wise men of history who died for what they believed in, such as Socrates, Pythagoras, and the wise King the Jews executed. The document is in the British Museum, and F.F. Bruce mentions this in The New Testament Documents : Are They Reliable.

 

Lucian of Samosata, (also called Lucian the Greek) second century satirist, wrote about Christ, "...the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world....Furthermore, their first lawgiver persuaded them that they were all brothers one of another after they have transgressed once for all by denying the Greek gods and by worshipping that crucified sophist himself and living under his laws." (The Passing Peregrinus -also called The Death of Peregrine 11-13) (quoted from Evidence That Demands a Verdict vol. 1 p.82.)

 

Pliny the Younger was a governor of Bithynia who killed many Christians for their faith. He wrote Emperor Trajan in 112 A.D. asking if he should continue to kill the men, women, and children simply for not worshipping a statue of the Emperor. Pliny says of Christians, "they affirmed, however, that the whole of their guilt, or their error, was, that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft, adultery, never to falsify their word, not to deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up." Epistles 10.96. (quoted from Evidence that Demands a Verdict vol. 1 p.83.)

 

Phlegon was a Greek writer from Caria and freed slave of Emperor Hadrian. He wrote soon after 137 A.D. that in the fourth year of the 202nd Olympiad [33 A.D.] there was "the greatest eclipse of the sun" and that "it became night in the sixth hour of the day [12:00 noon] so that stars even appeared in the heavens. There was a great earthquake in Bithynia, and many things were overturned in Nicea." (The Case for Christ p.111.) The entire quote according to The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics p.384 is: "Jesus, while alive, was of no assistance to himself, but that he arose after death and exhibited the marks of his punishment, and showed how his hands had been pierced by nails" and later "the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in who reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquake which then took place" in both Origen 4:455 and Julius Africanus 18.

 

Thales/Thallus was a Palestinian historian mentioned by Julius Africanus (writing 232-245 A.D.) Julius says, "This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun." (The Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.6 p.136) The context is Julius discussing Christ's crucifixion fulfilling Daniel 9, from the time of Artaxerxes' decree.

 

See a critical view of the Da Vinci Code at

http://www.answeringinfidels.com/content/view/60/1/

 

 

  1. The Bible as we know it today was collated by the Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. and not until then.
     
    2. The Bible has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions.
     
    3. Christianity borrowed from other religions for some of its essential beliefs.
     
    4. The doctrine of that Jesus is the Son of God was invented and approved at the Council of Nicea in AD 325.
     

List of References by Christians

 

Aland, Barbara et al. The Greek New Testament Fourth Revised Edition. 1998. 918 pages.

 

Austin, Bill R. Austin's Topical History of Christianity. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 1987. 527 pages.

 

Comfort, Philip Wesley. Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament. Wipf and Stock Publishers. 1990. 222 pages.

 

Comfort, Philip W. and David P. Barrett. The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 1999, 2001. 697 pages.

 

Comfort, Philip W. and David P. Barrett. The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts. Baker Books 1999. 652 pages.

 

Comfort, Philip Wesley (editor) The Origin of the Bible. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 1992. 308 pages

 

Garlow, James L. and Peter Jones. Cracking Da Vinci's Code : You've Read the Fiction, Now Read the Facts. Victor. 2004. 252 pages

 

Malaty, Fr. Tadros Y. The School of Alexandria Book One Before Origen. 1995 507 pages.

 

Price, Robert M. The Da Vinci Fraud : Why the Truth is Stranger Than Fiction. Prometheus Books 2005 296 pages.

 

Richardson, Cyril C. (editor) Early Christian Fathers. Macmillan Publishing, Inc. 1978. 415 pages.

 

Roberts, Alexander and James Donaldson (editors) Notes by A. Cleveland Coxe. Ante-Nicene Fathers 9 volumes plus Bibliography and Index. Hendrickson Publishers. 1994

 

Witherington III, Ben. The Gospel Code : Novel Claims About Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Da Vinci. InterVarsity Press. 2004 208 pages.

 

List of References on Gnosticism

 

Barnstone. Willis (editor) The Other Bible. HarperSanFrancisco. 1984. 742 pages.

 

Barnstone, Willis and Marvin Meyer. The Gnostic Bible. Shambhala 2003. 860 pages.

 

Barrett, C.K. editor The New Testament Background. HarperSanFrancisco. 1956, 1987, 1989. 361 pages.

 

Layton, Bentley The Gnostic Scriptures : Ancient Wisdom for the New Age. Doubleday 1987 530 pages.

 

Lupieri, Edmondo. The Mandaeans : the Last Gnostics. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company 1993, 2002. 273 pages.

 

Meyer, Marvin W. (translator) The Secret Teachings of Jesus : Four Gnostic Gospels. Random House 1984. 129 pages.

 

Robinson, James M. General Editor. The Nag Hammadi Library Harper & Row Publishers. 1977. 493 pages.

 

List of References of Non-Christian Works

 

Bawer, Bruce. Stealing Jesus : How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity. Crown Publishers, Inc. 1997 340 pages.

 

Brown, Dan. The Da Vinci Code. Doubleday 2003. 454 pages

 

Ehrman, Bart D. Lost Christianities : The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Oxford. 2003 294 pages.

 

Funk, Robert W. Bernard Brandon Scott, James R. Butts. The Parables of Jesus : Red Letter Edition : The Jesus Seminar. Polebridge Press. 1988. 107 pages.

 

Hennecke, Edgar. Translation edited by R. McL. Wilson.  New Testament Apocrypha. Volume one: Gospels and Related Writings. Westminster Press. 1959. 531 pages.

 

Mack, Burton L. Who Wrote the New Testament? The Making of the Christian Myth. HarperSanFrancisco. 1995. 326 pages.