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Mary Magdalene Part 2

The Council of Nicaea

Brown’s book claims that in A.D. 325, a group of bishops rewrote history in a meeting convened by the newly converted Roman emperor Constantine. Constantine wanted to unify his empire, and the bishops sought greater control of the church. To achieve their objectives, according to Brown, they introduced two new claims: Jesus was divine, and the Bible was infallible.The Da Vinci Code, National Geographic sums up the evidence: "Brown’s assertion that the divinity of Jesus Christ was an invention by the Roman emperor Constantine in A.D. 325 is widely dismissed by scholars—Christ’s divinity had already been described in the New Testament."2

Brown mixes together an ounce of historical fact with a pound of speculative fiction to form a potent brew of semi-realistic heresy. Indeed, it is correct that there was a council of Nicaea and there were power plays in the empire, but these did not change the divinity of Christ nor the authority of the Bible. For instance, Brown’s Professor Teabing asserts that before the council, the prevailing view, promoted by a bishop called Arius, was that Jesus was human. Teabing states that at the council, the majority of bishops overruled Arius’ belief that Jesus was a mortal prophet by a "relatively close vote." Brown neglects to mention that Arius believed that Jesus was God’s supreme creation. He also believed that Jesus was sinless, that He created the universe, and that He was much more than a mere man.

Still, the "relatively close vote" was actually 316 to 2! There is abundant evidence that Jesus was regarded as divine in both the New Testament and in early Christian writings.

In commenting on The Da Vinci Code, National Geographic sums up the evidence: "Brown’s assertion that the divinity of Jesus Christ was an invention by the Roman emperor Constantine in A.D. 325 is widely dismissed by scholars—Christ’s divinity had already been described in the New Testament."2