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Debunking The Da Vinci Code's Attack on the Bible

 

Dan Brown's "fact based fiction"

There continue to be false teachers in our day who attack the teachings of scripture and even the foundations of Christianity itself. One such book which I address in this section is a book written by Dan Brown in April of 2003, entitled "The Da Vinci Code" which was later made into a movie directed by Ron Howard (released in May of 2006). On the surface, "The Da Vinci Code" is a well written action adventure story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. But one does not have to read very far to see that Dan Brown had more in mind than just a good work of fiction. As you will see in the material that follows, he clearly seeks to undermine the foundations of our Christian faith. Many of the challenges that he raises in this "fictional" work have already been addressed in my article on How God Produced the Bible, so by rebutting Dan Brown's assertions (as given through his fictional characters) we will be, in effect, reinforcing the material presented there on how God produced the Bible.  I am greatly indebted to James White for much of the information in this last section as I borrow extensively (even shamelessly quoting some of his jokes) from an article on his website that deals with this subject. [1]


 

Introduction - "It's Fiction, Dummy!"

Question: Are we making a mountain out of a mole-hill? Should we just laugh at the The Da Vinci Code, enjoy the story, and ignore the statements it makes about the Scriptures, Christ, the apostles, the Church, etc.?
Answer: It is important to keep in mind that The Da Vinci Code is presented as fiction based on facts. The book itself begins by stating that what it says about art, architecture, and documents, is accurate. It is important to keep in mind that The Da Vinci Code is presented as fiction based on facts. The book itself begins by stating that what it says about art, architecture, and documents, is accurate.

 

Note the “fact” page in the front Dan Brown’s work of “fiction”:

 

“Accurate” is not a word we normally use when we are talking about "fiction“! And that brings us to the key issue: no one is arguing that Langdon or Teabing actually exist. They are the fictional characters. But the assertions these characters make in the story are presented not as fiction, but as unquestioned historical facts . On his web page, Dan Brown makes the following statement which, I believe, shows that he fully believes the things that the characters in his book state. He said:

"I am not the first person to tell the story of Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail. This idea is centuries old. I am one in a long line of people who has offered up this alternative history. The Da Vinci Code describes history as I have come to understand it through many years of travel, research, reading, interviews, exploration ."

These are not the words of someone who is merely offering fiction without factual basis. He presents his assertions regarding the untrustworthiness of the Scriptures as historical facts: and he clearly believes this to be true, and the movie presents these accusations as historical facts as well.  

Some Background

 

DVD cover for "The Da Vinci Code" movie starring Tom Hanks.

The Da Vinci Code is not one big long attack upon the Christian faith. In fact, if you fall asleep for about ten minutes in the film...ok, and run to the bathroom a little later for another couple of minutes...you'll probably miss the main objectionable portions. But the problem is that the anti-Christian material in the book is absolutely central to the plot. And since it is central to the theme, it is the main thing the reader, or the movie-goer, takes from the experience. "What if...?" The main part of the book/movie in which this anti-Christian material is found comes as Langdon and Sophie are running from the police, bearing the cryptex, the key to the location of the Holy Grail. They go to Leigh Teabing's residence. Teabing is an eccentric old man, an expert on the Grail legends, and far more involved in the entire story than Langdon and Sophie know. In any case, they enter into Teabing's library and there “educate” Sophie, who we later find out is actually a descendant of Mary Magdalene and Jesus and therefore part of the “royal bloodline”. The fundamental nature of the book's attack upon the Christian faith can be seen when Teabing and Langdon begin weaving their conspiracy theory in an attempt to “enlighten” Sophie.

Responses to Attacks Made in The Da Vinci Code Against the Bible

“The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven”

 

A scene from The Da Vinci Code where Teabing (center) with some help from Langdon (played by Tom Hanks on the left) "enlightens" Sophie with his ideas on how the Bible originated.

"And everything you need to know about the Bible can be summed up by the great canon doctor Martyn Percy." Teabing cleared his throat and declared, "The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven." "I beg your pardon?" "The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book." [2]  

 

He is not even arguing against the true Christian view of the Scriptures! This is what we call a “straw man” argument. God did not, in fact, "fax" the Bible down. He did not produce it through automatic writing, either. As Peter put it, "For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21).

No Christian argues that the Bible fell “magically from the clouds”. Nor does anyone deny that God used men (apostles and prophets) to produce the scriptures. But what the Bible does claim is that God sovereignly controlled the writing of these men in such a way that the words which they wrote were the very words of God – i.e. “God breathed” (2 Tim 3:16). Dan Brown seeks to deny this, but so far he has offered no evidence.

The Bible is a historical record – but it is much more than that. The Bible has been translated into many languages so that people can read it in their own tongue. What he implies here is that somehow the Bible has significantly changed (“evolved”) over time and that somehow translations have something to do with that. This is not the case. God has preserved thousands of ancient manuscripts so that we can determine what the original writings say with great accuracy. All good translations are based on these manuscripts and are therefore accurate representations of God’s words.

Christians throughout the world today all use the same definitive version of the Bible that was largely defined within less than 100 years of when it was originally written. By 367 A.D. it was explicitly defined to the point that Athanasius lists the exact books that we still have in our Bibles today.

Some Historical Background on the Roman Empire and Early Christianity

 

Statue of the Emperor Augustus [3]

Painting of the Council of Nicaea [4]

Before dealing with the next two attacks on the Bible by The Da Vinci Code , it is important that we take a brief look at the history of the early church. Brown's characters make a number of assertions about the history of this period and much of it is demonstrably inaccurate as we will show.

The Roman Empire: Geographical Birthplace of Christianity

Map of the Roman Empire at its Greatest Extent [5]  

 

The “birth” of New Testament Christianity (marked by the incarnation and ministry of Jesus Christ) took place in the Roman Empire. The initial spread of the Christian church (brought about primarily by the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul as recorded in the book of Acts) also took place in the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire remained in place (though in varying forms) throughout the first 1400 years of church history – eventually becoming controlled by the Roman Catholic Church – a gradual spin-off of true Christianity. Through much of its history, the Roman Empire was ruled by a series of emperors. As we are about to see, these emperors impacted the church in a variety of ways.

Persecution of Early Christians by the Romans

 

An artist's depiction of early Christian martyrs - The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer by Leon Gerome (1824-1904)

In its first three centuries, the Christian church endured regular persecution at the hands of Roman authorities. But the persecution was not constant from the time of Christ until 300 A.D. Persecution came in waves. The Roman Empire was generally quite tolerant in its treatment of other religions. The imperial policy was generally one of incorporation - the local gods of a newly conquered area were simply added to the Roman pantheon and often given Roman names. Even the Jews, with their one God, were generally tolerated. But religious beliefs were valid only if they could be shown to be old and in line with ancient customs; new and innovative teachings were regarded with distrust. Because Judaism was so opposed to idolatry and were unwilling to worship other gods – it seemed to outsiders (at first) that Christianity was just another sect of Judaism. This provided Christianity with a certain level of protection up until the middle of the second century. As it became more evident over time that Christianity was distinct from Judaism (due in part to the large number of Gentiles coming into the church), the Romans began to see it as an outside religion. It has been customary to count ten major persecutions in the early church. These ten persecutions are:

  • Persecution under Nero (64-68)Persecution under Domitian (81-96)

  • Persecution under Trajan (112-117)

  • Persecution under Marcus Aurelius (161-180)

  • Persecution under Septimus Severus (202-210)

  • Persecution under Maximinus the Thracian (235-38)

  • Persecution under Decius (250-251)

  • Persecution under Valerian (257-59)

  • Persecution under Aurelian (270–275)

  • Severe persecution under Diocletian and Galerius (303-324)

  • Christian persecution ended under the reign of Constantine I

The Emperor Constantine I

 

Bronze statue of Constantine I in York, England, near the spot where he was proclaimed Emperor in 306

Constantine I (AD 280-337), son of a Roman general (who later became a Western Roman Emperor) was proclaimed emperor by his troops in 306, and ruled an ever-growing portion of the Roman Empire until his death. His mother, Helena, was a Christian and played a very influential role throughout her son's life. Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother’s Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life. Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian. Writing to Christians, Constantine made it clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian God alone. Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first Christian Roman Emperor. His reign was a turning point for the Christian Church. In 313 Constantine announced toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan, which removed penalties for professing Christianity (under which many had been martyred in previous persecutions of Christians). Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built various church buildings, granted privileges (e.g. exemption from certain taxes) to clergy, promoted Christians to high ranking offices, and returned property confiscated during the Great Persecution of Diocletian. Although the changes put in place by Constantine were a relief to the early Christians, Constantine set a bad precedent for the relationship between church and state. To his credit, Constantine believed that the emperor did not decide doctrine – he believed that was the responsibility of the bishops. But Constantine believed that it was his role to enforce, by the power of the sword if necessary, the decisions made by the bishops. Constantine was mistaken in taking on this role: true Christianity cannot be produced by the power of the sword! In later centuries this power was greatly abused by the so-called “church” and resulted in the persecution and death of many true Christians by unbelieving religious authorities.

The Council of Nicaea – A.D. 325

 

Ruins of Hagia Sophia in present-day Iznik, Turkey, where the Council of Nicaea met [6]

Constantine is also known for having called the first “universal council” (a meeting in which all the major church leaders gather together to resolve serious issues) since the council of Jerusalem that is described in Acts 15. The Council of Nicaea is often misrepresented by cults and other religious movements. To understand why the first universal council was called, we must go back to around A.D. 318. A popular preacher in the city of Alexandria by the name of Arius began teaching that Christ, though highly exalted, was nevertheless a created being and therefore "there was a time when the Son was not”. About three years later (in 321), Arius was declared a heretic by a local council. But this did not end the matter. Arius simply moved to Palestine and began promoting his ideas there. Arius found an audience for his teachings, and over the course of the next few years the debate became so heated that it came to the attention of Constantine, the Emperor. Constantine recognized that a major division like this in the Christian church could cause problems in his empire. So in the summer of 325, Constantine called for a meeting or council of church leaders from churches throughout the empire to meet in Nicaea, (now known as Iznik, in modern-day Turkey), a place easily accessible to the majority of them. Leading bishops in the various churches agreed to come because they recognized the serious nature of the issue being discussed.

 

Location of the Council of Nicaea

 

Approximately 300 bishops attended the Council of Nicaea, from every region of the Empire except Britain. Constantine had invited all 1800 bishops of the Christian church (about 1000 in the east and 800 in the west), but only 250 to 320 bishops actually participated. The participating bishops were given free travel from their home churches to the council (and back), as well as free lodging during their stay – courtesy of Constantine and the Roman government! These bishops did not travel alone; each one had permission to bring with him two priests and three deacons; so the total number of attendees would have been above 1500. While a few other minor issues were discussed at the Council of Nicaea (such as what date they should celebrate Easter) the major issue discussed was the deity of Jesus Christ . Note it was only recently that Christ’s deity had been questioned – Arius’ teacher Lucian (AD 240 – 312) is said to be the real author of idea that Christ was a created being. Prior to this time the early church had believed the teachings of scripture which tell us that Christ is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. And this was the majority view of the bishops who attended Nicaea as the final vote on this topic would later show. Note also that a topic that was not in question at the council of Nicaea was which books belonged in the New Testament. When arguing over the deity of Christ, the delegates at this council quoted from the same books of the New Testament that we use today ! There is no record of this ever being questioned during the council. Nor is there any record of delegates quoting from the “Gnostic gospels” that have become so popular among heretics in our day.

 

The Nicene Creed of A.D. 325

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; he suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

And in the Holy Ghost.

But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable' — they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.

 

With the above information in mind we now resume our response to extracts from The Da Vinci Code :

“The Bible as we know it today was collated by the pagan Roman emperor Constantine the Great”

 

Teabing as portrayed in The Da Vinci Code movie.

"Jesus Christ was a historical figure of staggering influence, perhaps the most enigmatic and inspirational leader the world has ever seen. As the prophesied Messiah, Jesus toppled kings, inspired millions, and founded new philosophies. As a descendant of the lines of King Solomon and King David, Jesus possessed a rightful claim to the throne of the King of the Jews. Understandably, His life was recorded by thousands of followers across the land….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.”    [7]

 

Brown says Jesus was the "prophesied Messiah". Is Brown admitting here that the OT contains valid prophecy - divine prediction of future events - and that Christ fulfilled those prophecies? Would it not follow then that God could protect the New Testament as well? Brown needs to listen to the words Jesus spoke to his disciples soon after His crucifixion:

And [Jesus] said to [his disciples], "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27)

Jesus “toppled kings”? As sovereign God He has certainly done so, but Jesus' earthly ministry was only noticed by men as high as Pilate and Herod, surely not Caesar in far away Rome.

Jesus has indeed inspired hundreds of millions, but only through the testimony of His teachings as recorded in the very documents Brown has already undercut and will soon identify as little more than politically-motivated lies.

More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament? This is an utterly bogus claim – the four Gospels that we have in our NT are the only ones written in the first century. Even if we count all the Gnostic gospels (written after the first century), there were far less than this. But still, one wonders what happened to the “thousands” of others recorded by these anonymous followers of Jesus? Brown here seems to contradict his own claims!

We have to almost chuckle at the next line: “yet only a relative few were chosen for inclusion—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John among them.” Matthew, Mark, Luke and John among them? Hmm...what others once were in these relative “few” that were “chosen” outside of the four canonical gospels? We aren't told. This is probably just a mistake that the copy editors did not catch (since it would require some level of biblical knowledge to recognize it, and that is surely not something that marks off The Da Vinci Code).

Between the death and resurrection of Christ (appx. AD 33) and the Council of Nicaea (AD 325) almost a full three centuries passed. During the vast majority of that time the Christian church was an illegal or banned religion, under the persecution of the Empire. But early Christians were writing during this time, and we have sufficient amounts of their writings to get a pretty good idea of what they believed and what they viewed as Scripture. Brown will ignore all of this material and simply make things up as he goes along when it comes to this topic and especially to the issue of the deity of Christ.

The claim that Constantine “collated” the Christian Scriptures, though tremendously common, is likewise just as tremendously wrong. There isn't a shred of historical basis for making such a claim. The closest you can possibly come is to note that Constantine paid to have a number of Bibles copied. The fact of the matter is the canon was not an issue of discussion at Nicaea – the Deity of Christ was. And this issue was settled using the New Testament as we know it today – not the Gnostic writings.

Brown calls Constantine a pagan. But Constantine did not remain a pagan - he converted to Christianity and put a stop to Christian persecution that had been going on for centuries prior.

“Jesus' divinity was the result of a vote?”

 

The Council of Nicaea as portrayed in The Da Vinci Code movie.

“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 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. [8]    

What!? “Until that moment in history (A.D.325), Jesus was viewed by his followers as a mortal prophet. . . Not the Son of God”?! This is utterly false, as the both the New Testament writers, (writing long before A.D.325 - see chart below) and a number of the early church fathers (also writing A.D.325 - see the chart below) identified Jesus as both the "Son of God" and "God" on a number of occasions as the citations below clearly demonstrate:

 

Timeline demonstrating that the New Testament which identifies Jesus as both the Son of God and God was written long before the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325

 

Jesus identified as the Son of God in the New Testament (long before The Council of Nicaea in A.D.325):

Matthew 14:33 - Then those [Jesus’ disciples] who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God .” (written between A.D. 50-70)

Mark 14:61-64 - the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus . “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked. "You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" They all condemned him as worthy of death. (written between A.D. 50-70)

Luke 1:34-35 - “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. (written between A.D. 50-70)

John 1:32-34 - Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God .” (written no later than 85 A.D.)

John 20:31 - But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God , and that by believing you may have life in his name.


Jesus identified as the God in the New Testament (long before The Council of Nicaea in A.D.325):

John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word [=Jesus cf. vs.14] was God .

John 1:18 - No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only , who is at the Father's side, has made him known

John 20:28 - Thomas said to him [Jesus], " My Lord and my God !"

Romans 9:5 - Christ, who is God over all, forever praised!

Titus 2:13b - Our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ

Hebrews 1:8 - But about the Son he [the Father] says, "Your throne, O God , will last for ever and ever

1 John 5:20 - And we are in him who is true-- even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life


 

Timeline showing a number of church fathers who identified Jesus as the Son of God before the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325

 

Jesus identified as the Son of God by a number of early church fathers (before The Council of Nicaea in A.D.325):

  • A.D. 108 - Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David according to the flesh, being both the Son of man and the Son of God . . . that we should live for ever in Jesus Christ. [9]

  • A.D.120-140 - But may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Son of God , and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity; [10]  

  • A.D.150-155 - In these books, then, of the prophets we found Jesus our Christ foretold as coming, born of a virgin, growing up to man’s estate, and healing every disease and every sickness, and raising the dead, and being hated, and unrecognised, and crucified, and dying, and rising again, and ascending into heaven, and being, and being called, the Son of God . [11]

  • A.D. 180 - And others39 of them, with great craftiness, adapted such parts of Scripture to their own figments, lead away captive from the truth those who do not retain a stedfast faith in one God, the Father Almighty, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God . [12]

 

Timeline showing a number of church fathers who clearly identified Jesus as God before the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325

 

Jesus clearly identified as God by the church fathers (before The Council of Nicaea in A.D.325):

  Ignatius of Antioch – A.D. 108

Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to her who has been blessed in greatness through the fulness of God the Father, ordained before time to be always resulting in permanent glory, unchangeably united and chosen in true passion, by the will of the Father and of Jesus Christ, our God, to the church which is in Ephesus of Asia, worthy of felicitation: abundant greetings in

Jesus Christ and in blameless joy. [13]

 

For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to a dispensation of God, from the seed of David, yes, but of the Holy Spirit as well. [14]

 

Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her that hath found mercy in the bountifulness of the Father Most High and of Jesus Christ His only Son; to the church that is beloved and enlightened through the will of Him who willed all things that are, by faith and love towards Jesus Christ our God. [15]

 

I give glory to Jesus Christ the God who bestowed such wisdom upon you; for I have perceived that ye are established in faith immovable, being as it were nailed to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, in flesh and in spirit, and firmly grounded in love in the blood of Christ, fully persuaded as touching our Lord that He is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, but Son of God by the Divine will and power, truly born of a virgin and baptized by John that all righteousness might be fulfilled by Him, truly nailed up in the flesh for our sakes under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch (of which fruit are we--that is, of His most blessed passion); that He might set up an ensign unto all the ages through His resurrection, for His saints and faithful people, whether among Jews or among Gentiles, in one body of His Church....Let no man be deceived. Even the heavenly beings and the glory of the angels and the rulers visible and invisible, if they believe not in the blood of Christ [who is God], judgment awaiteth them also. [16]

Melito Bishop of Sardis, Sermon – A.D. 180

And so he was lifted up upon a tree and an inscription was attached indicating who was being killed. Who was it? It is a grievous thing to tell, but a most fearful thing to refrain from telling. But listen, as you tremble before him on whose account the earth trembled!
He who hung the earth in place is hanged.
He who fixed the heavens in place is fixed in place.
He who made all things fast is made fast on a tree.
The Sovereign is insulted.
God is murdered.
The King of Israel is destroyed by an Israelite hand.
This is the One who made the heavens and the earth,
and formed mankind in the beginning,
The One proclaimed by the Law and the Prophets,
The One enfleshed in a virgin,
The One hanged on a tree,
The One buried in the earth,
The One raised from the dead and who went up into the heights of heaven,
The One sitting at the right hand of the Father,
The One having all authority to judge and save,
Through Whom the Father made the things which exist from the beginning of time.
This One is “the Alpha and the Omega,”
This One is “the beginning and the end”
—the beginning indescribable and the end incomprehensible.
This One is the Christ. This One is the King.
This One is Jesus. This One is the Leader.
This One is the Lord.
This One is the One who rose from the dead.
This One is the One sitting on the right hand of the Father.
He bears the Father and is borne by the Father.
“To him be the glory and the power forever. Amen.” [17]

Concerning the last assertion of Brown's character (Teabing) that “Jesus' divinity was the result of a vote... A relatively close vote at that.” Here are the facts:

  • Almost all the bishops agreed with and signed the creed affirming the deity of Jesus Christ.

  • Only two Egyptian bishops, Theonas and Secundus, persistently refused to sign, and were banished with Arius to Illyria.

  • We do not know exactly how many bishops were at Nicaea, but estimates range from about 250 to 320.
    If we take the smallest number, 250 – that would make the vote 247 to 3

  • That would be 98.8% for, 1.2% against!

  • This is "relatively close"?

 

References

1. ^ James R. White, Alpha and Omega Ministries, http://vintage.aomin.org/tdvc.html
2. ^ The Da Vinci Code , p.231
3. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Statue-Augustus.jpg
4. ^ http://wanweihsien.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/
5. ^ http://www.thejournal.org/studylibrary/maps/greatest-extent-of-roman-empire.html
6. ^   http://www.bts.edu/trobisch/turkey2001/TroasEtc.htm
7. ^ The Da Vinci Code , p.231
8. ^ The Da Vinci Code , p.233
9. ^ The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians – Chapter 20
10. ^ The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians - Chapter 12
11. ^ The First Apology of Justin Martyr – Chapter 31
12. ^ Irenaeus Against Heresies – 3:6
13. ^ The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians – Chapter 1
14. ^ The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians - Chapter 18
15. ^ The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans – Chapter 1
16. ^ The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrneans - Chapter 6
17. ^ James R. White; The Forgotten Trinity ; (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1998) p.184-185