Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
The Da Vinci Code XVIII
01/04/2006 - James WhiteWe have been examining the biblically relevant claims of Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code. We are currently examining his claims regarding the alleged documents contained in four trunks, hidden together with the sarcophagus of Mary Magdalene, and what they allegedly contain. We are dealing with pure fiction here, of course---despite Brown's claim that the references to historical documents in his book are based upon serious research. In the immediate preceding section we saw Brown once again excusing the utter lack of historical basis for his assertions on the idea that the "other side won" and got rid of all the documents...except the ones he won't show us, but somehow knows something about anyway. We continue,
"The Sangreal documents simply tell the other side of the Christ story. In the end, which side of the story you believe becomes a matter of faith and personal exploration, but at least the information has survived. The Sangreal documents include tens of thousands of pages of information. Eyewitness accounts of the Sangreal treasure describe it as being carried in four enormous trunks. In those trunks are reputed to be the Purist Documents---thousands of pages of unaltered, pre-Constantine documents, written by the early followers of Jesus, revering Him as a wholly human teacher and prophet. Also rumored to be part of the treasure is the legendary "Q" Document---a manuscript that even the Vatican admits they believe exists. Allegedly, it is a book of Jesus' teachings, possibly written in His own hand."
We've already seen Brown's allegation of wholesale corruption of the biblical text, and, of course, we've refuted those allegations. So, while first we have the assertion that Constantine gathered up and burned all the "pure" gospels, now we have the assertion that at least some survived in these "Purist Documents" with claims that these are the "unaltered, pre-Constantine" documents. Amazing how much is "known" about documents no one has ever seen. We have documents from the early followers of Jesus, such as Ignatius, who revered Jesus as God. Who are these "other" followers? Were they thrown to the lions like Ignatius was? If not, then why don't we have even more of their writings today? Constantine would not have had the capacity or ability to gather up documents written two centuries before he rose to power! Once again we find Brown's theory founders upon the simplest reflections based upon the truth of the historical situations to which he refers.
Next we have a gratuitous and highly inaccurate reference to the theoretical "Q" document. "Q" comes from "quelle," the Germ word for "source," and refers to a collection of sayings, not necessarily written down as a singular document, upon which Matthew and Luke allegedly relied in "filling in the blanks" when they were "copying" from Mark. The material found in Matthew and Luke but not in Mark is supposedly from this collection of sayings, though, of course, no one has ever seen such a document, and most agree it would have been a collection of oral sayings anyway, not a written document copied and handed down. I find no reason to follow the majority in supposing the existence of a Q document anyway: if you dig down into where the theory came from, it finds its origins in non-believing scholars who look upon the New Testament documents as primarily (or even merely) human products and discounts the supernatural aspect of revelation. It seeks to explain the documents without reference to their spiritual nature, i.e., in opposition to the very teaching of the authors of Scripture themselves. It can't be that God would have a purpose in guiding Matthew, Mark, or Luke, or that a body of Jesus' teachings could be supernaturally preserved to which they would have access; no, it must all be explained in a natural way.
When Brown refers to the Vatican and the Q document, and that the Vatican "admits they believe [it] exists" the accurate statement would involve the past-tense, specifically, "admits they believe it existed." He would be referring to Roman Catholic higher scholarship that would embrace the Q theory fully, but it does not follow that they would believe the document to continue to exist, or that it ever existed in written form in the first place. And the idea that "Q" was in Jesus' own hand is another Brownian myth on the same level as most of the rest of the foolishness he has made millions on in this book.