Seventh-Day Adventist Church

South Shields Adventist church We are normal every day people from Sunderland and South Shields who aim to understand more about Jesus by reading the Bible.


Mary Magdalene Part 3

The Origin of the Bible

According to a character in The Da Vinci Code, "The Bible is a product of man, my dear. Not of God. … The Bible as we know it today, was collated by the pagan Roman emperor, Constantine the Great" (231). This is pure fiction. There is plenty of evidence that the canon (list of authoritative books) of the Bible was well established by the fourth century. One of the earliest evidences comes, ironically, from a Gnostic sect. Around the year 160, a Gnostic leader, Marcion, referred to the authoritative books of the apostles and mentioned many of the books that are in our New Testament today. The irony is that Brown tries to use the Gnostics to paint an alternative view of history.

In recent times, a canon was discovered (the Muratorian Canon) that dates back to A.D. 190 and includes virtually all of today’s New Testament. By the fourth century, the only books in dispute were Hebrews (because it does not have a clearly defined author), 2 Peter (because it sounds so much like Jude), and Revelation (because of its mystical character). The reality is that the early Christian church revered and protected the Scriptures. Indeed, at the Council of Nicaea, the question of the books of the canon was not even on the agenda!

The claims in Brown’s book about Mary Magdalene are even more obviously spurious. Although Mary Magdalene is portrayed as a close and understanding friend of Jesus in both the Scriptures and other historical sources, there is absolutely no evidence of her being married to Jesus. Brown simply made this up, along with his fictional characters. (If you want a better understanding of Mary Magdalene and her role in Christ’s life, we suggest Doug Batchelor’s book, At Jesus’ Feet.)