Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Da Vinci Code Fever!

The movie adaptation of the bestselling book, the Da Vinci Code, will be shown in local theaters sometime next week. The book, which was written by controversial novelist Dan Brown, has already sold 50 million copies worldwide and has spawned a whole literature of books on Catholic conspiracy theories and “alternative” versions of Christianity. The movie adaptation, which was produced at a budget of $125 million, promises to be a worldwide blockbuster just like the book. I read the book a couple of years ago and I could not wait to watch the movie to see if it will live up to the book. I will refrain from discussing the Da Vinci Code’s plot so as not to spoil the fun for those who haven’t yet read the book.

I have always been curious about the histories of religions and conspiracy theories involving the Catholic Church ever since I read the book “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” sometime in the late 1980s. I recall that I had to wait for my father, who was also an avid reader, to finish reading the book and he would tell me snippets of information concerning the author’s theories about the Knights Templar, Mary Magdalene and her supposed marriage to Jesus Christ. When I finally got to grab the “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” from my father, I was disappointed with the book author’s verbose prose and undulated style of writing. It was really very hard to read.

Most of the theories presented by Dan Brown in the “Da Vinci Code” are nothing new. Most of it you can read in the “Holy Blood, Holy Grail.” But the genius of Dan Brown lies with the way he weaved the different information available in a way that readers found entertaining to read. Although his book ultimately questions many basic beliefs of Christianity, what really grabs me is his effortless way of mixing art, religion and crime into a fictional novel.

The movie version of the “Da Vinci Code” is just one of several “setbacks” that the Roman Catholic Church has suffered in recent times. The “Da Vinci Code” was first published in 2003 and it caused worldwide consternation among conservative Christians. Then in April 2005, the whole world was jolted when Pope John Paul II passed away. Pope John Paul II, the first non-Italian and one of the longest-serving popes in recent history, was universally loved and respected by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The new pope, Pope Benedict XVI, openly admitted that it would be very hard for him to fill the vacuum left by Pope Paul II’s death. Certain quarters in the Catholic Church hierarchy are concerned over the new pope’s perceived “ultra-conservatism.” Just recently, the Vatican’s move to ban the holding of hands during the “Our Father” and strict adherence to Catholic dogmas elicited some consternation to some Catholics here in the Philippines. Here in the Philippines, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, the archbishop of Manila has denounced the book as blasphemous, but stopped short of calling for a ban.

Then just recently, National Geographic announced their discovery of the “Gospel of Judas” in Egypt. Said to be written around 300 AD, the “Gospel of Judas” would make us believe that Judas was actually the greatest of all the disciples because, with his betrayal of Jesus, he caused the crucifixion and ultimately the salvation of man. The said Gospel quotes Jesus saying to Judas: “you will exceed all of them (the disciples), for you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.” Religious scholars now believe that there were initially more than 30 Gospels in the Bible and not only four (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and that the early Roman Catholic Church eradicated these other “gospels” to impose a simpler, more “standardized” Christian canon.

How should a Christian deal with all these emerging information?

I believe that all these information coming out will ultimately be good for the Christian faith. “Non-religious” people are again talking and debating about Christian doctrines whereas before, only Bro. Eli Soriano, the Iglesia ni Cristo and other fundamentalist sects are heard keenly discussing religious doctrines. I believe that you have to constantly challenge and question your beliefs for your faith to be truly meaningful. Faith untested is shallow. Ordinary Christians must therefore analyze critically these new information and decide for themselves whether to believe it or not. Church leaders cannot and must not dissuade their flock to explore these new information coming out, for God values faith rooted in informed choice more than religious belief based solely on ignorance and blind obedience.

2 comments:

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Iloilo City Boy,

There is a way to verify the truth...

Pay close attention, profundity knocks at the door, listen for the key. Be Aware! Scoffing leads to blindness...

Why would the Creator of all knowledge and wisdom want you to remain ignorant through faith and belief? Isn't it more likely you have been lied to by people who don't what you to understand their lies? Read 2 Thessalonians 2:11 and contemplate why it is in the New Testament. Could people who understood the truth back then tried to warn others in subtle ways?

There's a bit more to the story of the Vatican's reaction than most are yet aware of. Read my missive below to understand what they truly fear. It's not the DaVinci Code or Gospel of Judas per se, but the fact that people have been motivated to seek out the unequivocal truth about an age of deception, exactly when they expect me to appear. The Gospel of Judas and DaVinci Code controversies are allowing people to take new stock of the Vatican/Papacy and the religions Rome spawned.

Remember, "I come as a thief..." ?

Yes, the DaVinci Code novel is better than the movie. Both are no more accurate as a literal version of history than is the New Testament. In other words, none of them is the literal truth, which is a key fact of the story and ancient history. The primary sub-plot is about purposeful symbology being used to encode hidden meanings, exactly like the Bible and related texts. Arguing about whether the DaVinci Code, Gospel of Judas, or the Bible are accurate history is a Machiavellian red herring designed to hide the truth by misdirecting your inquiry away from the heart of the matter.

Want to truly understand why we can't let the Vatican succeed at telling us what to think about ancient history? There is a foolproof way to verify the truth and expose centuries-old religious deceptions. It is also the common thread connecting why the ancient Hebrews, Yahad/Essene, Jews, Gnostics, Cathars, Templars, Dead Sea Scrolls, DaVinci Code, and others have all been targets of Rome’s ire and evil machinations. What the Vatican and its secret society cohorts don’t want you to understand is that the ancient Hebrew symbology in all of these texts purposely encodes and exposes the truth about them. Furthermore, the structure of ancient symbology verifiably encodes the rules to decode messages built with it. This is what they most fear you will discover.

If the Bible represented the literal truth or even accurate history, there would be no need for faith in the assertions of deceptive and duplicitous clergy and their ilk. Wisdom and faith are opposing concepts, because wisdom requires the unequivocal truth where faith obfuscates and opposes it. Religion is therefore the enemy of truth and wisdom.

It is undeniable the New Testament is framed by ancient Hebrew symbolism and allegory. The same is evidenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic texts, biblical apocrypha, DaVinci Code, and other related texts. All ancient religious, mystical, and wisdom texts have been shrouded in mystery for millennia for one primary reason: The ability to understand their widely evidenced symbology was lost in antiquity. How do we finally solve these ages-old mysteries? To recast an often-used political adage: It’s [the] symbology, stupid!

It is amazing the Vatican still tries to insist the Gospels are literal truth. It is beyond obvious they are replete with ancient Hebrew symbology. Every miracle purported for Jesus has multiple direct symbolic parallels in the Old Testament, Apocalypse, Dead Sea Scrolls, and other symbolic narratives and traditions. This is the secret held by the ancient Gnostics, Templars, and Cathars, which is presented with dramatic effect in the DaVinci Code. None of these narratives or stories were ever intended as the literal truth. That is a key fact to unraveling ages-old mysteries.

Likewise, the following Washington Post article (The Book of Bart) describes how many changes and embellishments were made to New Testament texts over the centuries, unequivocally demonstrating they are not original, infallible, or truthful.

It's no wonder the Vatican fears the truth more than anything else. Seek to understand the symbolic significance of my name (Seven Star Hand) and you will have proof beyond disproof that Jews, Christians, and Muslims have long been duped by the great deceivers I warned humanity about over the millennia. What then is the purpose of "faith" but to keep good people from seeking to understand truth and wisdom?

Now comes justice, hot on its heels... (symbolism...)

Not only do I talk the talk, I walk the walk...
Here is Wisdom!!

Revelations from the Apocalypse

Iloilo City Boy said...

Seven Star Hand,

Thank you for your comment. Truly, much information remains hidden and we all have much more to learn regarding our faith. Church leaders should not hinder their flock from discovering the truth but should in fact act as "enablers" to knowledge.