(More Bible Studies Available At www.marktabata.com)
It is written:
1 John 4:1-Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Through the years, I have been blessed to work with people from various religious and spiritual backgrounds. Since moving to Kentucky in 2005, many of those individuals have come from various contexts of pagan and occult based religious persuasions.
One thing that has been commonplace among many deals with various conspiracy theories regarding Christianity, many of them based on Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code, and an alleged church council that took place behind closed doors and which resulted in the formation of the New Testament and various cardinal beliefs of the Christian religion.
Let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Teabing paused to sip his tea and then placed the cup back on the mantel. “More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relative few were chosen for inclusion—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John among them. “Who chose which gospels to include?” Sophie asked. “Aha!” Teabing burst in with enthusiasm. “The fundamental irony of Christianity! The Bible, as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great…Indeed,” Teabing said. “Stay with me. During this fusion of religions, Constantine needed to strengthen the new Christian tradition, and held a famous ecumenical gathering known as the Council of Nicaea.” Sophie had heard of it only insofar as its being the birthplace of the Nicene Creed. “At this gathering,” Teabing said, “many aspects of Christianity were debated and voted upon—the date of Easter, the role of the bishops, the administration of sacraments, and, of course, the divinity of Jesus.” “I don’t follow. His divinity?” “My dear,” Teabing declared, “until that moment in history, Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet … a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.” “Not the Son of God?” “Right,” Teabing said. “Jesus’ establishment as ‘the Son of God’ was officially proposed and voted on by the Council of Nicaea.” “Hold on. You’re saying Jesus’ divinity was the result of a vote?” “A relatively close vote at that,” Teabing added. “Nonetheless, establishing Christ’s divinity was critical to the further unification of the Roman empire and to the new Vatican power base. By officially endorsing Jesus as the Son of God, Constantine turned Jesus into a deity who existed beyond the scope of the human world, an entity whose power was unchallengeable. This not only precluded further pagan challenges to Christianity, but now the followers of Christ were able to redeem themselves only via the established sacred channel—the Roman Catholic Church.” Sophie glanced at Langdon, and he gave her a soft nod of concurrence. “It was all about power,” Teabing continued. “Christ as Messiah was critical to the functioning of Church and state. Many scholars claim that the early Church literally stole Jesus from His original followers, hijacking His human message, shrouding it in an impenetrable cloak of divinity, and using it to expand their own power. I’ve written several books on the topic.”” (Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code: Featuring Robert Langdon, 251-253 (Kindle Edition); New York, NY; Doubleday a division of Random House, Inc.)
Several claims are made here which are worthy of investigation.
First, it is claimed that the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) were four of over eighty gospels of the life of Jesus. It is further declared that these four Books have no more standing in Christianity than the other “gospels.”
Second, we are told that Constantine was the one who decided which books went into the New Testament at the Council of Nicaea, nearly three hundreds after Jesus Christ had died.
Third, the assertion is made that the Deity (Godhood) of Jesus was an invention of this mysterious Council of Nicaea.
Let’s study each of these claims. When we do, we will quickly and easily see that the Da Vinci Code and the conspiracy theories of the Council of Nicaea are indeed righty termed “fiction.”
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.