Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Da Vinci Hoax and the Real Jesus

With the Da Vinci Code movie about to come out, I think it wise to reflect on evidence for the historicity of Jesus (and not some watered down Jesus Seminar version).

As most of you know, the Da Vinci Code portrays the historical Jesus as an elaborate hoax of the church.

Nick Knisely points out one of the many problems with this view: if Jesus was a hoax, He sure wasn’t a very convenient one. Surely, a church-made hoax wouldn’t say so many things that made everyone uncomfortable. He wouldn't talk about splitting up families, for example. He probably would give clearer instructions about how the church was to be run, in line with how church authorities wanted it to be run, of course. Putting spit-made mud on a blind man’s eyes probably wasn’t the sort of sacrament or anointing the church had in mind. And, yes, He might also be a bit more other-worldly in line with church depictions of Him after the first century.

And that’s not to mention the disciples’ part in a hoax. Surely, a hoax would portray them as more heroic than how they appear in the Gospels. Peter denying Christ three times certainly doesn’t bolster Petrine Supremacy for one thing.

The whole Jesus story is just too inconvenient to be a likely hoax.

As Knisely concludes, “What we do have is a very different sort of Messiah than we might dream up for ourselves. And that would tend to indicate that we didn't make this up - we have inherited this truth.”

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