Theologian Michael S. Heiser, PhD Challenges Claims of The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code has become an international phenomena with 45 million books in print, and is coming to theaters May 19 in the major motion picture starring Tom Hanks. While presented as fiction, the novel makes claims of extensive research that are, at best, challenging to traditional Christian teachings.
Among the ideas presented as fact in The Da Vinci Code are that Jesus fathered a child by Mary Magdalene (a bloodline that allegedly continues today), that the early Catholic church concealed this and invented the doctrine of Jesus’ divinity,
and that the church intentionally rejected any texts that hinted at this history from inclusion in the Bible, in part to suppress the role of women.
“The novel relies primarily on the teachings of Gnosticism, an early Christian sect,” according to Bellingham-based theologian and Academic Editor for Logos Bible Software Dr. Michael S. Heiser, Ph.D. Heiser holds advanced degrees in Ancient History, Semitic Languages, and Hebrew Bible, and says he is very familiar with the Gnostic texts and the “conspiratorial” version of history The Da Vinci Codeis based upon.
He plans to examine, and where appropriate, to rebut, the claims of Brown’s novel from both historical and theological perspectives via a one-day conference held at Hampton Inn’s Fox Hall in Bellingham, Saturday April 22nd. Heiser will present a series of 45-minute lectures targeted at specific claims of the book. Scheduled sessions include an overview of Gnosticism, an examination of the evidence for Jesus’ alleged marriage, a historical view of the idea that Jesus is God prior to Constantine’s third-century declaration of such, the Gnostic view of women, and a working overview of how texts appearing in modern Bibles were selected.
Dr. Heiser discussed the claims of The Da Vinci Code for three hours in December before a national audience on the popular late-night radio show Coast to Coast AM with George Noory. At the request of an out-of-state sponsor* who heard the program (and is working with Faith Reformed Church in Bellingham, where Mike attends), he agreed to present the one-day conference to record for DVD.
Dr. Michael S. Heiser holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an M.A. in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania (major fields, Ancient Syria-Palestine and Egyptology). Mike is a member of The Evangelical Theological Society, The Society of Biblical Literature, & The Near East Archaeology Society. Mike’s Academic Honors include: Scholarship recipient: Wisconsin Society for Jewish Higher Learning (1995, 1996, 1998) The National Dean’s List (1996) Selected to: Who’s Who Among America’s College Teachers (1996) Fellowship recipient: James L Weinstein Fellowship in Hebrew Studies (1995) Scholarship recipient, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Ancient History (1992).