Item description for Solving The Da Vinci Code Mystery (Popular Insights) by Brandon Gilvin...
Overview Few mystery novels have stirred as much interest and sparked as much discussion as Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code (Doubleday, 2003). Christians and non-Christians alike are drawn in by secret societies and intrigued by the notion of Mary Magdalene as Jesus' wife and the scandal of a massive cover-up by the church. But The Da Vinci Code is fiction, right? Drawing on the Bible, non-canonical texts, and a wealth of historical thought and contemporary scholarship, Solving the Da Vinci Code Mystery helps readers to separate fact from fiction. It provides a context for understanding what we really know about the history of Christianity and the church. Rather than just discrediting and debunking the theories posed in the The Da Vinci Code, Solving the Da Vinci Code Mystery uses Dan Brown's postulates to explore the importance of many of the issues raised, including the loss of a sense of the sacred feminine in mainline Christianity, the importance of non-canonical gospels in early Christian communities, and the issues at play in the debates at Nicea and other early ecumenical councils.
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Studio: Chalice Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Jul 31, 2004
Publisher Chalice Press
Series Popular Insights
ISBN 0827234570 ISBN13 9780827234574
Availability 0 units.
More About Brandon Gilvin
Brandon Gilvin currently serves as the associate director for Week of Compassion, the relief, refugee, and development ministry fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He is the author of Solving the DaVinci Code Mystery and co-wrote Wisdom from the Five People You Meet in Heaven with Rev. Heather Godsey. He has worked in congregational ministry and with ecumenical organizations based in Nairobi, Kenya and Toronto, Canada. Heather Godsey is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) working in children's ministries and as a college chaplain.
Brandon Gilvin currently resides in Lexington.
Brandon Gilvin has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Solving The Da Vinci Code Mystery?
To Go A Step Beyond Sep 26, 2004
If you loved DaVinci Code or if you hated it, you must admit it did get a reaction from you....which in itself is one definition of a successful novel. Many readers have found themselves more interested in the information detailed in Dan Brown's books, and if so, this book is a good choice to begin to learn about the amazing history of the Christian Church.
Especially Gnosticism and the early Christian Church, and especially the creation of the New Testament Bible. For a different review....here is my review of books that build on these interests, especially the "lost" books of the New Testament Bible and the concepts of Gnosticism.
Nearly all knowledgeable Biblical scholars realize there have been a wide range of writings attributed to Jesus and his Apostles..... and that some of these were selected for compilation into the book that became known as the Bible.....and that some books have been removed from some versions of the Bible and others have been re-discovered in modern times.
The attention focused on Gnosticism by Dan Brown's DaVinci Code may be debatable, but the fact is that increased attention on academics tends to be predominately positive, so I welcome those with first-time or renewed interest. At least first-timers to Gnosticism are not pursuing the oh-so-popular legends of the Holy Grail, Bloodline of Christ, and Mary Magdalene.
This is great......I seldom quote other reviewers, but there is one reviewer of Pagels' books who confided that he had been a Jesuit candidate and had been required to study a wide range of texts but was never was told about the Nag Hamadi texts. He said:
"Now I know why. The Gospel of Thomas lays waste to the notion that Jesus was `the only begotten Son of God' and obviates the need for a formalized church when he says, `When your leaders tell you that God is in heaven, say rather, God is within you, and without you.' No wonder they suppressed this stuff! The Roman Catholic Church hasn't maintained itself as the oldest institution in the world by allowing individuals to have a clear channel to see the divinity within all of us: they need to put God in a bottle, label the bottle, put that bottle on an altar, build a church around that altar, put a sign over the door, and create rubricks and rituals to keep out the dis-believing riff-raff. Real `Us' versus `them' stuff, the polar opposite from `God is within You.' `My God is bigger than your God' the church(s)seem to say. And you can only get there through "my" door/denomination. But Jesus according to Thomas had it right: just keep it simple, and discover the indwelling Divinity `within you and without you.'"
Here are quickie reviews of what is being bought these days on the Gnostic Gospels and the lost books of the Bible in general:
The Lost Books of the Bible (0517277956) includes 26 apocryphal books from the first 400 years that were not included in the New Testament.
Marvin Meyers' The Secret Teachings of Jesus : Four Gnostic Gospels (0394744330 ) is a new translation without commentary of The Secret Book of James, The Gospel of Thomas, The Book of Thomas, and The Secret Book of John.
James M. Robinson's The Nag Hammadi Library in English : Revised Edition (0060669357) has been around 25 years now and is in 2nd edition. It has introductions to each of the 13 Nag Hammadi Codices and the Papyrus Berioinensis 8502.
The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (0140278079) by Geza Vermes has selected works....a complete work is more difficult to achieve than the publisher's marketing concept indicates. His commentary generates strong reactions.
Elaine Pagels has 2 books (The Gnostic Gospels 0679724532 and Beyond Belief : The Secret Gospel of Thomas 0375501568) that have received considerable attention lately. For many, her work is controversial in that it is written for popular consumption and there is a strong modern interpretation. She does attempt to reinterpret ancient gender relationships in the light of modern feminist thinking. While this is a useful (and entertaining) aspect of college women's studies programs, it is not as unethical as some critics claim. As hard as they may try, all historians interpret the past in the context of the present. Obviously there is value in our attempts to re-interpret the past in the light of our own time.
If you want the full scholarly work it is W. Schneemelcher's 2 volume New Testament Apocrypha.
Also, to understand the Cathars......try Barbara Tuckman's Distant Mirror for an incredible historical commentary on how the Christian Church has handled other points of view
A guide for the perplexed... Aug 15, 2004
There is a difficulty inherent in modern society -- the lines between fact and fiction are often blurred, and we as moderns (and post-moderns) are subjected to ever increasing amounts of information often without an increased capacity for scrutiny and analysis. Also, time-honoured texts are recast in various media, and the revision becomes more real than the original -- ask many people and they will recount the stories of Moses, the Passover and the Ten Commandments from a Cecil B. DeMille film more accurately than from the Bible itself. It is upon such phenomena that authors like Dan Brown of the 'Da Vinci Code' capitalise -- that people in the know are often permissive of the willing-suspension-of-disbelieve, while another group will right readily believe. So let it be written, so let it be believed...
Dan Brown's 'Da Vinci Code' has taken the reading world by storm in many ways -- it has spawned lectures, continuing education forums in colleges, seminaries and churches, and has even warranted television 'documentary' specials. Of course, the rumours and 'facts' Brown uses are not really new -- the book 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' several years ago speculated on the descendents of Jesus or his family being forerunners of the French royal line. Brown weaves these kinds of juicy rumours into a mystery novel which then makes the mystery a layered one -- where is the real mystery? What is truth? -- more than just a question for Pilate (and you can look that one up...).
Brandon Gilvin rose to the challenge of presenting what we do and do not know about various issues that arise in Brown's text. In some ways, Gilvin presents corrective; in other ways, he presents alternative theories, interpretations, or overlooked facts that are relevant to the Da Vinci discussions. He concentrates on six particularly crucial topics. The first is canonical formation -- who wrote the Bible? Was it Constantine alone? Who was involved? The second involves the dogmatic construction around (and beyond) Nicea -- just who decided that Jesus was divine (or who would think he wasn't) and why? The third and fourth questions are (pardon the pun) intimately related -- were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married, and did their offspring form the basis of a European royal or protected line? The fifth question is one of conspiracy theories that would put any grassy knoll to shame -- has the church (in particular, the Roman Catholic church) been conspiring to withhold secrets about Jesus for thousands of years? Finally, how can Christianity and the Da Vinci Code coexist?
These are crucial questions, for some of them, Gilvin gives a very broad overview. For example, the subject of canonical development is the subject of countless volumes, hundreds of thousands of pages of text produced in scholarship each generation on the subject -- here it is neatly contained in twenty or so pages. This brevity is deliberate. Gilvin envisions his book to be useful not only to the solitary reader, but also as the basis for discussion groups in churches, schools or reading groups, and to this end provides questions and suggestions for further reading.
This is a good companion for those reading the Da Vinci Code. Not quite the key to the mystery, but a definite plus in deciphering toward the truth.
Solving the DaVinci Code Mystery Jul 20, 2004
This is a much-needed fair and clear examination of some of the claims made in Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code. As a minister, I can attest to the furor that book created among people who weren't sure how much of what Brown claimed is fact, and what is fiction or embellishment. I was impressed with the ease with which Gilvin was able to clearly and honestly articulate the debates surrounding each of Brown's claims, and to be a fair arbiter of truth. While written from the perspective of faith, Solving the DaVinci Code Mystery isn't a mere apology; neither is it overly skeptical of the claims of faith. It strikes a nice balance, always returning to the best of contemporary scholarship, and never fails to elucidate the most difficult of questions. I would recommend this book for personal use, or for use in academic or church settings.