Critical Resources for "The Da Vinci Code"

By now you have probably heard of or even read "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown. It has been on the Bestseller list for weeks - but which Bestseller list? Fiction - NOT non-fiction! This is because the entire book is fiction, despite any claims of the author to the contrary. Its claims cannot be accepted uncritically, as one must distinguish fact from fiction. Since it has raised a number of theological issues and unfortunately even caused some Catholics to question their faith, here are few resources which will help you critically read and refute the book.
By Fr. Gary Coulter - Contact me Go to Fr. Coulter's Homepage Sign-in the Guestbook

Read two talks I have given based on the resources found below: Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction? and Who is Mary Magdalene?
Also see my page of resources and reviews for Angels and Demons

Recommended Resources

Sandra Miesel "Dismantling The Da Vinci Code" Crisis Magazine, Sept. 1, 2003
http://www.ewtn.com/library/ISSUES/DAVINCDE.HTM
Sandra is a Catholic, journalist, medievalist and an authority on esoteric groups and beliefs.

Carl E. Olson
Book: The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors of The Da Vinci Code by Carl E. Olson and Sandra Meisel
Author of "Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"? A Catholic Critique of the Rapture and Today's Prophecy Preachers

"Cracking the Anti-Catholic Code", Envoy Magazine
Part 1: http://www.envoymagazine.com/planetenvoy/Review-DaVinci-Part1.htm
Part 2: http://www.envoymagazine.com/PlanetEnvoy/Review-DaVinci-part2-Full.htm
These lengthy articles contain numerous references and additional sources.

The Da Vinci Hoax speech
Recording of a speech given by Carl Olson, with a description and then de-bunking of the Da Vinci Code.

The Truth Behind "The Da Vinci Code" Interview with Zenit.org
The Da Vinci Code: History or Heresy? Two CD interviews with Carl Olson and Jim Burnham.
The Da Vinci Code's Sources Did Dan Brown really borrow from Holy Blood, Holy Grail? - Feb. 2006

News Analysis of the Nov. 3rd, 2003 ABC news special "Jesus, Mary and Da Vinci", National Catholic Register, November 16-22, 2003
http://www.carl-olson.com/articles/tdvc_abc_ncreg1.html

The Cardinal and the Code in the February 22, 2004 National Catholic Register on Cardinal Francis George's response to the book. (Read Cardinal George's Column of Dec. 7, 2003)

Amy Welborn

Books:
De-coding DaVinci: Get the Facts Behind the Fiction of The Da Vinci Code by Amy Welborn
De-coding Mary Magdalene: Truth, Legend and Lies by Amy Welborn

A Catholic Response Pamphlet: The facts behind the fiction from Our Sunday Vistor

Read her articles on "The Da Vinci Code"
http://amywelborn.com/reviews/davinci.html
A to-the-point, take-no-prisoners review.

The Da Vinci Fallacy interview with Zenit.org

Our Sunday Visitor - osv.com has many other great resourses including:

A free broucure: A Catholic Response: The DaVinci Code

Book: The Da Vinci Deception by Ted Sri, Mark Shea, and others
Read an Interview with Mark Shea: Dissecting "The Da Vinci Code" from Zenit, Feb 23, 2006

Steven Kellmeyer has a good book: Fact and Fiction in the Da Vinci Code also available in a Free PDF Version
And an excellent Audio Presentaion (Free MP3)
See also his excellent site on Scriptural Catholicism

Cracking The Da Vinci Code Catholic Answers Special Report 2004
http://www.catholic.com/library/cracking_da_vinci_code.asp

JesusDecoded.com - U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops - March 9, 2005
U.S. Catholic Bishops offer accurate information on the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity - see Press Release

History vs The Da Vinci Code
A site which desire to examine the TDVC from a historical perspective, not a religious one. (Yes, even atheists are opposed to its rewriting of history.)
See this Chapter by Chapter Guide

Rev. T. G. Morrow, STD The Da Vinci Code: A Critique Catholic Faith Alive 2005
http://cfalive.org/ReadDaVinciCode.htm

Bishop Robert C. Morlino - The Da Vinci Code: Serious cautions about this book , December 18, 2003
http://www.madisoncatholicherald.org/2003-12-18/bishop.html

Michael S. Brown "The greatest story ever sold" The American Conservative, October 6, 2003
http://www.cruxnews.org/rose-davinci.html
A review done by the author of four Catholic books, including the NY Times bestseller Goodbye, GoodMen.

The Da Vinci Code and The New Evangelisation Editors, FAITH Magazine, May-June 2006
http://www.faith.org.uk/Publications/Magazines/May06/TheDaVinciCodeAndTheNewEvangelisation.html (or PDF Version
Joe Carola SJ Irenaeus Adversus The Da Vinci Code FAITH Magazine, May-June 2006
http://www.faith.org.uk/Publications/Magazines/May06/IrenaeusAdversusTheDaVinciCode.html
The Faith Movement is taking off in Britain. You can see why with good articles like these.

Massimo Introvigne The Da Vinci Code FAQ, or Will the Real Priory of Sion Please Stand Up? Center for Studies on New Religions
http://www.cesnur.org/2005/mi_02_03d.htm
Interview on the historical errors of "The Da Vinci Code" by this author of an upcoming book (in Italian) on the topic

Leadership U - The Da Vinci Code: Of Magdalene, Gnostics, the Goddess and the Grail
http://www.leaderu.com/focus/davincicode.html
Note the long list of other resources at the end of this article, including topics on the Bible, the Jesus Seminar, and the Bible Code.

Ben Witherington III, Bible scholar
Mary, Mary, Extraordinary - http://www.leaderu.com/theology/maryandjesus.html

Catholic Enquiry Office (London)
Life4Seekers.co.uk
Web page filled with information about the real St. Mary Magdalene

www.CatholicCompany.com has many books, resources and CDs for sale.

Jim Snapp The Da Vinci Code - Seriously? Feb. 7, 2004
http://www.curtisvillechristian.org/DaVinciCode.html

The Da Vinci Code: Criticism and Commentary
http://www.ratzingerfanclub.com/da_vinci_code/ - Links to numerous websites, articles, blogs and resources.

Collin Hansen "Breaking The Da Vinci Code" Christianity Today, Nov. 7, 2003
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/novemberweb-only/11-3-52.0.html - So the divine Jesus and infallible Word emerged out of a fourth-century power-play? Get real.
See other articles from Christianity Today On the DVC Book and On the DVC Movie

Charles Colson, "The Da Vinci Conspiracy: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction" January 20, 2004 Breakpoint Commentary
http://www.pfm.org/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=11415&TEMPLATE=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm

Chuck Colson, The Da Vinci Hoax: A Tour de Distortion March 8, 2006
http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=739
He also includes links to other articles and books

Father Andrew Greeley "DaVinci Code is more fantasy than fact" National Catholic Reporter, Oct. 3, 2003
http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2003d/100303/100303m.htm
Although his review contains some dubious statements, Father Greeley points out that the book is anti-Catholic and full of ridiculous errors, stating, "Brown knows little about Leonardo, little about the Catholic church, and little about history." He is entirely correct.

Bruce Boucher "Does The Da Vinci Code Crack Leonardo?" New York Times
http://www.newagepointofinfinity.com/new_page_10.htm
An art historian demonstrates that Brown's novel is full of big holes in the art department.

Elizabeth Lev Debunking "The Da Vinci Code: Leonardo's Real Intention"
http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/lateran-museums-debunking-the-da-vinci-code
A teacher of art history analyzes da Vinci's "Last Supper" (see second part of the article).

Father Manfred Hauke "Da Vinci Code's" Devilish Gaffes Zenit Interview June 7, 2006
http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/da-vinci-code-s-devilish-gaffes
A response to some of the worst accusations against the Church.

Margaret M. Mitchell "Cracking the Da Vinci Code"
http://marty-center.uchicago.edu/sightings/archive_2003/0924.shtml
Associate Professor of New Testament at the University of Chicago Divinity School and the Chair of the Department of New Testament and Early Christian Literature.

Byron Barlowe, "The Da Vinci Code: Of Magdalene, Gnosticism, the Goddess and the Grail" Leadership U, Jan. 7, 2004.
http://www.leaderu.com/focus/davincicode.html

"Jesus, Mary and Da Vinci: Exploring Controversial Theories about Religious Figures and the Holy Grail" ABCNews.com, Nov. 3, 2003
http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=84590

Dr. Darrell Bock
The Good News of Da Vinci Christianity Today, Jan 5, 2004.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/january/23.62.html
How a ludicrous book can become an opportunity to engage the culture.

Was Jesus Married to Mary Magdalene? : A Counterpoint to 'The Da Vinci Code' ABCNews.com, November 12, 2003
http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=84645
"All the Available Evidence Clearly Points to an Answer of 'No'"

Book: Breaking the Da Vinci Code (Nelson Books, 2004)

Deciphering the Da Vinci Code: A Symposium - Dr. Darrell Bock and various others
http://www.nbctexas.org/media/davinci.htm
A three-night symposium on all aspects of The Da Vinci Code: Mary Magdalene's relationship to Jesus, the biblical canon, sex, goddess worship, The Jesus Seminar, oppression, "The Church, the Academy and the Culture," spiritual trends in America and more. A full array of lectures and Q&A sessions via streaming audio and PowerPoint slide shows.

Mark L. Bailey, D. Jeffrey Bingham, and Darrell L. Bock The Implications of The Da Vinci Code Dallas Theological Seminary
A 3 Part Podcast http://www.dts.edu/media/podcasts/

Dr. James Hitchcock, "The Da Vinci Code's Shaky Foundation: Gnostic Texts," Arlington (VA) Catholic Herald, 2003
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/135/story_13519.html

Dr. Peter Jones, Christian Witness to a Pagan Planet
Another Gospel? The Da Vinci Code Revisited
Author of Cracking DaVinci's Code by James Garlow and Peter Jones

Ronald Nash, "Was the New Testament Influenced by Pagan Religions?" Christian Research Journal, Winter 1994
http://www.equip.org/free/DA242.htm

Answers To The Da Vinci Code, Timothy Paul Jones, Coral Ridge Ministries
A 12 page booklet of evidence why the book is wrong. Audiotapes also available on the same page.

Cardinal Justin Rigali and Fr. Gregory Fairbanks The Truth About 'The DaVinci Code' Archdiocese of Philadelphia May 17, 2006
Several talks and articles at http://www.archdiocese-phl.org/davinci/davinci_index.htm
A 60 minute DVD which is, indeed, based on fact and which points out the errors of the "facts" presented in the The Da Vinci Code.

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer Da Vinci: Read Between the Lines Human Life International, March 22, 2006
45 min. audio presentation: http://www.hli.org/da_vinci_64.mp3

60 Minutes CBS News The Priory Of Sion - April 30, 2006
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/04/27/60minutes/main1552009.shtml
This investigation concludes this was not an historical 13th century secret society, but a 20th century good old-fashioned fraud.

Drew Dyck Engaging Da Vinci Code Disciples Boundless Webzine (Focus on the Family)
http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001257.cfm

Brian Onken - "Holy Blood, Holy Grail"
A critical review of this book by Michael Baigent on which DVC is largely based
http://www.equip.org/free/DH028.htm

Eric Metaxas Screwtape On The DaVinci Code 2004
An essay in the style of C.S. Lewis
http://www.ericmetaxas.com/?p=40

G. K. Chesterton Orthodoxy (1908)
http://www.ccel.org/c/chesterton/orthodoxy/orthodoxy.html

The Catholic Response to "The DaVinci Code" - The Catholic Distance University an online seminar to respond intelligently to a number of the historical and theological errors asserted as truth in this book, as well as to other modern-day heretical challenges (e.g. New Age gnosticism).

A video by Johnnette Benkovic with Sandra Miesel: "De-Bunking the DaVinci Code" Living His Life Abundantly
http://www.lhla.org

More Books (I haven't read):

Nancy De Flon, John Vidmar, 101 Questions & Answers on the Da Vinci Code and the Catholic Tradition (Paulist Press, 2006) Erwin Lutzer, The Da Vinci Deception (Tyndale, 2004)

Richard Abanes, The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code: A Challenging Response to the Bestselling Novel (Harvest House, 2004)

Hank Hanegraaff and Paul Maier, The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction (Mass Market Paperback)

James Garlow and Peter Jones, Cracking Da Vinci's Code: You've Read the Fiction, Now Read the Facts (Audio book also avilable)


New Spanish Resources - para desmontar los bulos hist—ricos y artâstico del best-seller de Dan Brown El secreto de El C—digo Da Vinci,æ una web de juegos y pistas que lo que hace es "descodificar" los errores de la novela de Brown

La estafa del C—digo Da Vinci (tambien en formato Word y PDF).


What does Roger Ebert think about The Da Vinvi Code? Here is a statment he made in his review of "National Treasure":

"That I have read the book is not a cause for celebration. It is inelegant, pedestrian writing in service of a plot that sets up cliff-hangers like clockwork, resolves them with improbable escapes and leads us breathlessly to a disappointing anticlimax. I should read a potboiler like The Da Vinci Code every once in a while, just to remind myself that life is too short to read books like The Da Vinci Code." Ah, c'mon Roger - it's just a novel!


And from the horse's mouth:
http://www.danbrown.com
http://www.randomhouse.com/doubleday/davinci/

By Fr. Gary Coulter - Contact me Go to Fr. Coulter's Homepage Sign-in the Guestbook