Sermons and devotional messages

The Historical Record rebuts DaVinci lies

& shows the authority of the Bible!

See Who defines the Kingdom of God? & The Kingdom of God

Five reasons not to see The DaVinci Code

In The DaVinci Code, author Dan Brown makes countless false and deceptive claims. Here are a few of his statements:

1. "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” (p.1)

That's not true! Brown's information about historical dates, documents, secret societies, and significant events are distorted and falsified (whether intentionally or due to carelessness) throughout the book.

On this page, we will only examine Brown's lies about the Bible. We prefer not to even mention his blasphemous assaults on the nature, ministry and character of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

2. “Constantine commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ’s human traits and embellished those gospels that made Him godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned…. Anyone who chose the forbidden gospels over Constantine’s version was deemed a heretic." (p.234)

The opposite is true. The Biblical gospels point continually to the humanity of Jesus. They showed that He was born into a poor family as a human boy with the same needs as all other babies. He grew up as an ordinary child, worked with His father as a carpenter, and needed food and water to survive. He grew tired and weary, felt pain, bled, wept at the death of His friend Lazarus, then "humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death." (Philippians 2:8)

In contrast, the apocryphal books and Gnostic "gospels" are full of mystical events that clash with Biblical truth and presents Jesus as a miracle worker who killed, blinded, or created life at a mere whim -- much like the mythical Romans gods of their times. [See Anne Rice re-imagines Jesus and Christian leaders applaud]

3. "Fortunately for historians, some of the gospels that Constantine attempted to eradicate managed to survive. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the 1950s hidden in a cave near Qumran in the Judean desert.” (p.234)

Wrong again! The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1946, not in the 1950s. Hidden by the Jewish Essenes, they contained important old documents that verified what already had been included in the Old Testament Canon. No "gospels" -- true or false -- were included! 

4. “More than 80 gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relative few were chosen for inclusion – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John among them…. The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great.” (p.231)

No, the early church never considered "more than 80 gospels." Nor did Constantine. The Roman emperor merely affirmed the four gospels that had already been accepted by the Christians everywhere.

In the first decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus, those who were eye witnesses to His ministry and death shared the "good news" (gospel) with all who would listen. As the truth about Jesus was heard and discussed in diverse lands and cities, Christian communities grew and spread in all directions. Belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord -- and as the fulfillment of the Old Testament law and promises -- breached all kinds of national and cultural boundaries.

To preserve the actual accounts -- and to better communicate the events they had witnessed, the early apostles began to write down what they had seen and heard. Other eyewitnesses showed their agreement.

By the end of the first century (from 25 to almost 60 years after the resurrection), the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were all written and confirmed by the work of the Holy Spirit. Those four documents became the only accepted gospels -- the only treasured and authoritative documents describing the life and teachings of Jesus. 

But heretical teachings had already begun to spread and were stirring confusion -- even in some churches. As the apostle Peter warned the new believers:

"...there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed...." 2 Peter 2:1-3

The apostle Paul refuted some of those early Gnostic teachings in his letter to the Colossian Christians. Later, near the end of the second century and several generations after the four trustworthy gospels had been written, the Gnostic “Gospel of Judas” was apparently written. [see Slandering Jesus] Full of obvious distortions of well-known facts, it was quickly rejected by the followers of Jesus. Other Gnostic writings appeared during the next centuries, but none found acceptance among true Christians. All proved contrary to the known documentation and to the witness of the Holy Spirit.

The common Gnostic heresies included a denial of the resurrection and faith in a mystical feminine spirit as part of the Gnostic godhead. [See Our Father in Heaven or Our Mother the Earth? and The Mystical Kabbalah] Christians were accused of having invented the story about the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus in order to perpetuate their movement after the death of their leader. Of course, such an accusation makes no sense when you consider that...

  • The first eyewitnesses to the resurrection were women. In contrast, the men (His disciples) were afraid and ran away. Why would the men who wrote the gospels want to perpetuate such an embarrassing story?

  • Jesus revealed Himself to many more during the time between His resurrection and Ascension. Those eyewitnesses gladly traveled to distant lands and faced deadly dangers to share the good news about Jesus and His promises. Why would they leave the comforts of home if they doubted the resurrection?

  • Apparently all the disciples except John faced torturous death for their faith. If they had actually falsified the facts behind the gospel, why would they willingly face hatred, loss, imprisonment, and cruel death for it?

The section below shows the criteria used by the early Christians to determine a gospel's validity:

"How the New Testament Canon Was Chosen"

Excerpts from Unleashing God’s Word in Your Life (Chapter 8)

By Pastor John MacArthur, 2003

"...the word 'canon' ... comes from the Greek word kanon, meaning 'a rod or bar,' 'a measuring rule, standard, or limit.'3 This Greek term kanon originally came from a root word that meant 'a reed.' In Bible times a reed was used as a Hebrew unit of measure. So, the word came to mean, in a metaphorical sense, a measuring rod, or standard....  The Bible is our standard—efficient, sufficient, infallible, inerrant, and authoritative. As God’s standard, it is binding and determinative in evaluating any other writing, concept, or idea."

How the New Testament Canon Was Chosen

"Tests used by the early Christian church to determine New Testament Scripture were somewhat the same as those used for the Old Testament books."

1. "Was the book authored by an apostle or someone closely associated with an apostle? be inspired it had to be written by an apostle, someone who had walked and talked with the Lord or someone who had been a close companion of an apostle. For example, Mark was not an apostle, but he was a close associate of Peter. Luke, the only Gentile writer of the New Testament, was not an apostle but he worked closely with Paul who was an apostle through his special experience on the Damascus Road....

2. "Another test applied by the early church was content. Did the writing square with apostolic doctrine? In those early years of the church, heretics such as the Gnostics would try to slip in a phony book, but none ever made it. If it didn’t square with apostolic doctrine, it didn’t pass. The doctrinal aberrations were too easy to spot....

3. "A third test asked if the book was read and used in the churches. Did the people of God accept it, read it during worship, and make its teachings part of daily living? ...

4. "And the final test determined whether the book was recognized and used by the next generations after the early church, especially by the apostolic fathers. Church leaders, such as Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Eusebius, Athanasius, Jerome, and Augustine, used and approved the apostolic writings. It is important to note, however, that the church leaders did not force certain books on the church. No one man or group of men made a certain book canonical. God determined the canon; man discovered it through long and steady usage. The canon finally emerged through the combined conviction of church leaders and church members working in harmony and guided by the Holy Spirit.

"As with the Old Testament, a formidable group of apocryphal New Testament books also sprang up. These included the Epistle of Barnabas, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Gospel of Nicodemus, and the Shepherd of Hermas. There were also 'Gospels' of Andrew, Bartholomew, Thomas, and Phillip. But all these failed to make the final New Testament canon because they failed one or more of the key tests of authenticity...."

How the Old Testament Canon Was Chosen

"Two basic tests were used to determine whether a book belonged in the Old Testament canon: (1) Was it inspired by God, written by a prophet or someone with the gift of prophecy? (2) Was it accepted, preserved, and read by God’s people, the Israelites?"

What Happens When You Add “More Revelation”?

"The apocryphal books of the Old and New Testaments (also called the pseudepigrapha, “false writings”) were only the first attempts to add “other revelation” to Scripture. Down through the centuries, and into our present day, different individuals and groups have claimed their works and writings are equal to the Bible in authority and inspiration. ...

"The Mormons have put three such works on par with the Scripture: Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and the Book of Mormon.... The Christian Scientists have elevated Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures to a scriptural level....

To Sum It Up

"The 'canon of Scripture'... includes the sixty-six books that have been determined to be the infallible rule of faith and practice for the church for all time. Since the close of the New Testament canon in the fourth century, some people have wondered if we shouldn’t be able to add to the canon. After all, God has continued to act and speak since those first centuries through the Holy Spirit of Christ. But Revelation 22:18 clearly states: 'For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.'...

"To abandon, or even downplay in the slightest way, the uniqueness of Scripture as the only truly inspired Word of God is to invite a spiritual free-for-all."

Copyright © 2003 by John MacArthur

Order John MacArthur's book from Grace to You website at

See also Five reasons not to see The DaVinci Code,

Slandering Jesus, Who defines the Kingdom of God? & The Kingdom of God

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