Item description for The Books the Church Suppressed: Fiction and Truth in "The Da Vinci Code" by Michael Green...
Overview About 1,500 years ago, a group of Christian leaders voted in the books that appear in today's Bibles. Here, Dr. Green poses the following question: How do we know that a group of people didn't push through their own agenda like "The Da Vinci Code" suggests?
Publishers Description About 1500 years ago, a group of Christian leaders gathered and quite literally voted in the books that appear in our Bibles. So what happened to the books that weren't voted in? How do we know that a group of sinful people didn't push through their own agenda like "The Da Vinci Code" suggests? This highly readable book explores the New Testament canon--its development, the people involved, the groups that tried to influence the decisions, the rejected books, and why the whole issue matters.
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Studio: Monarch Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.9" Width: 5.16" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.48 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2006
Publisher Kregel Publications
ISBN 0825460964 ISBN13 9780825460968
Availability 0 units.
More About Michael Green
Michael Green is a senior research fellow at Wycliffe Hall, a college within Oxford University in England. He is also an evangelist, a Bible teacher, and the author of more than sixty books, including The Message of Matthew and Asian Tigers for Christ. Green was formerly on staff at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His biography has recently been published in the UK by HarperCollins.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Books the Church Suppressed: Fiction and Truth in "The Da Vinci Code"?
Wide Angle View of the Code Oct 1, 2006
Canon Michale Green adds his thoughts to the onslaught of publications on Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code by considering the much balyhooed gnostic texts in The Books the Church Suppressed. This proves a welcome addition to this crowded genre as the numerous errors of Brown's revisionist history have been throrougly refuted elsewhere. Here Green examines the history and beliefs of the gnostics, the errors of the neo-gnostic movement in promoting the gnostic texts as viable alternatives to the canonical New Testament Scriptures, and the agenda of those who advocate such revisionist thinking.
After an introductory chapter, Green gets right to work by using the next six chapters detailing the development of the New Testament Canon. The New Testament Gospels were in fact written in the first century - long before the gnostic works that would distort the message in a quasi-pagan manner and these four were accepted universally by the Church very quickly. There were some disputed texts within the New Testament and these were debated over the next few centuries but none of these dealt with disputes between orthodox Christians and the gnostics who had no lineage from the Church of the Apostles.
Then Green turns to the proposed alternatives in gnosticism. Pointing out their late writng, their rejection of the Jewish foundations of the Church in favor of a highly pagan outlook, and the rejection of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, Green demonstrates the reasons for the Church's rejection of gnosticism and why this system is contrary to what Jesus actually taught. Claims that gnosticism enhanced the roles of women and gave us a more human Jesus are thoroughly refuted. The gnostic texts often are highly mysogynistic and their rejection of the physical world as a good necessarily rejects any earthly human Jesus for an etheral figure who only "seemed human". Green then explains how this sharp dualism has a corrosive effect on Christian faith, practice, and morals.
In the last few chapters, Green covers the reason other texts were rejected as canonical, the agenda of those promiting the distortions of the message of the Da Vinci Code and other books promoting all or part of its message, and the importance of forcefully meeting the challenge. For a step back from the minutiae of the claims of Dan Brown's book and a wide-angle view of the greater issues behind the neo-gnostic movement in general, The Books the Church Suppressed is essential reading.
Sorting fact from fiction Feb 10, 2006
There are a number of good books out which critique the many fallacies and inaccuracies in Dan Brown's best selling novel. The books by Darrell Bock and Ben Witherington come to mind here. But this volume does not cover all the ground that those volumes do, but instead focuses on a more marrow topic. And that is the contention made by Brown that the early church suppressed many books which denied the deity of Christ and offered a more feminist version of spirituality.
Indeed, argues Green, Brown seeks to undermine the authority and authenticity of the four gospels and the New Testament, while at the same time elevate the authority of a whole range of spurious Gnostic writings. Thus Green here performs a two-fold task: defending the reliability of the Bible, especially the four gospels, and examining Gnosticism and its many expressions.
And Green is well placed to do this. He is a new Testament scholar who has written over 40 books. However, people might complain, "Why all the fuss over a novel". Well, not only has this been a best seller, with a blockbuster film soon to follow, but Dan Brown claims it is based on fact.
Thus many people are being led astray by the false clams and inaccuracies of his book. Moreover, while Brown is a novelist and not a scholar, there are a number of feminist and Gnostic scholars who he depends upon. And it is their scholarship especially that needs to be debunked. Therefore Green spends as much time critiquing the work of Elaine Pagels and Karen King as he does Brown.
The first half of this book examines the case for the reliability of the New testament, the reason why we have four gospels, how the canon was developed, and why there are 27 New Testament documents, and not more. Other scholars have made this case before (such as F.F. Bruce) but Green does a nice job of summarizing the evidence and nicely compiling the data. It makes for an impressive case for the Bible's authority in general and the gospels historicity and authenticity in particular.
In the second half of this book Green examines Gnosticism in detail. He shows how at odds the ideas of Gnosticism are from the claims of the New Testament, and how foolish is the notion that the Gnostic writings are somehow on a par with the New testament and were suppressed by the church. The Gnostic writings have nothing to do with the real Jesus, and they were rightly regarded by the early church fathers as heretical.
In this very helpful book Green shows that the real agenda of Brown is not just to get rich off of writing a best seller, but to overthrow historical Christianity and supplant it with a rival feminist/Gnostic/pagan worldview. As such it is a real threat to those who embrace biblical Christianity.
This volume unfortunately will never become a best seller like The Da Vinci Code. But it deserves to be widely read. The flood of misinformation, distortion and factual error in the best seller needs to be exposed. And Green has done a very good job of doing just that.