The Gospel Code
Dan Brown's international bestseller The Da Vinci Code has raised many questions in the minds of readers.
The Da Vinci Code, in blurring the lines between fact and fiction, popularizes the speculations and contentions of numerous more serious books that are also attracting wide attention. How should we respond to claims that we now have documents that reveal secrets about Jesus, secrets long suppressed by the church and other religious institutions? Do these new documents successfully debunk traditional views about Jesus and early Christianity?
Ben Witherington III confronts these claims with the sure-footedness of a New Testament scholar, yet in the plain language that any interested reader can follow. He takes us back to the early centuries after Jesus' death and tells us what we can really know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, the canonical Gospels and their Gnostic rivals.
"Here's a much-needed antidote to the history-twisting misinformation that, unfortunately, has seeped into popular culture in recent years. Thanks, Ben, for setting the record straight!"
"Ben Witherington won't stop at refuting the historical errors of The Da Vinci Code. He will not rest until he refutes the novel's spiritual error as well. Witherington names the narcissism at the heart of the Gnostic revival and offers the New Testament's God-centered good news in its place."
"Unlike so many critiques that carefully mince words, Ben Witherington explains exactly why currently popular attempts to treat the historical Jesus in a revisionist manner are so wide of the mark. Beginning with a bang by noting 'seven deadly errors' right on through the conclusion, Witherington pulls no punches while showcasing his wonderful sense of humor. Here the reader is treated to an excellent evaluation, making points that many of us wish were made far more frequently. This book is simply a delightful read."
"In these few pages, an eminent New Testament scholar not only explodes the follies of The Da Vinci Code but also dissects the claims of certain scholars to find in the Gnostic Gospels a historically authentic Jesus and an alternative Christianity. Timely and compelling!"
Witherington's The Gospel Code is a welcome response to this runaway phenomenon. Witherington shows time and again why Brown's "novel claims" find so little support in sober scholarship. Here are superb introductions to the New Testament data and to the Gnostic and other post-Biblcal literature. Witherington does an excellent job of clarifying the truth with strong historical and textual support.
"Other publishers have already offered Da Vinci responses. Still, this more extensive, reasoned treatment may have the staying power that other instant books lack."
Part 1: Veni, Vidi, Da Vinci
1. A Novel Idea?
2. No Weddings and a Funeral
3. Tell Me the Old, Old Story
4. His Story, History and the Canon's Story
Part 2: Mary Magdalene and the New Gnosticism
5. Something About Mary
6. Those in the Know
7. Doubting Thomas
Part 3: Did the Canon Misfire?
8. Consulting the Canon Professors
9. Reading Borg Again for the First Time
10. What If God Was One of Us?
Postscript--Truth Decay in the Twenty-first Century
A Select Bibliography