A novel is a novel, and novelists succeed through the skillful exercise of the imagination. However, this particular novel imagines the best of American scholarship (Harvard) and the finest of British scholarship (Oxford) agreeing on what are presented as facts regarding the origin of the Christian faith.
This one hour lecture was originally delivered at Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA in April 2004. It succinctly reviews the origins of the four Biblical Gospels, the formation of the Canon, the council of Nicea, the role of Constantine and the emergence of the Gnostic gospels in the 3rd to 5th centuries. It then compares established historical facts with the imagination of the novelist that created the mystery thriller, The Da Vinci Code. In the 16th century Theodore Beza of Switzerland wrote, "The Bible is an anvil that has broken many hammers." This lecture reviews the facts of the "anvil" that are important for any fair evaluation of the claims of the various characters in the novel.
Kenneth E. Bailey, Th.D., an ordained Presbyterian scholar, is an author and lecturer in Middle Eastern New Testament Studies. He currently serves as the Canon Theologian of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. For forty years he taught in seminaries and institutes in Egypt, Lebanon, Jerusalem and Cyprus. For ten years he was Research Professor of Middle Eastern New Testament Studies at the Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem.
Dr. Bailey has published seven books and over 150 articles in the field of New Testament, and his writings have been translated into numerous languages. He is the author of the scripts for two professionally produced feature-length films. He continues publishing in the field of New Testament and is active as a lecturer across America and around the world. He resides in New Wilmington, PA.