Comparing Dan Brown's Codes
with Bible Codes
By R. Edwin Sherman
On perhaps a dozen occasions after telling someone that I was researching possible codes in the Bible, I would be asked, "Is that like what's in The Da Vinci Code?" Such a common question deserves a full reply.
One of the reviews of Bible Code Bombshell on Amazon (written by Steven T. McCarthy) is entitled, "Move Over Dan Brown, the Big Dog's in Town." Was Mr. McCarthy right in his comparison, or was he exaggerating? How impressive (or unimpressive) are Dan Brown's code examples when compared with Bible code discoveries. Which are more intricate, extensive and substantive?
The following table provides a summary comparison.
For additional information on the range of types of codes, read An Introduction to the Range of Types of Bible Code Phenomena.
As a starting point, let's take a tour of most of the codes presented in The Da Vinci Code.
1. Three Anagrams
The message "O, Draconian devil!" (page 43) is an anagram (or scrambling) of "Leonardo da Vinci!" (page 98). The message, "Oh, lame saint!" is a scrambling of "The Mona Lisa!" Sophie finds a message scrawled across the painting of the face of Mona Lisa: "So dark the con of man." (page 124). She figures out (page 134) that this is an anagram for "Madonna of the Rocks," a well-known painting of da Vinci.
2. A Two-Letter Set of Initials
Sauniere had written "P.S. Find Robert Langdon" after his two anagrams (page 67). The P.S. was a two-letter abbreviation for "Princess Sophie," a nickname Sauniere had given to his granddaughter, Sophie Neveu, the heroine of the novel.
3. Usage of a Traditional Hebrew Encoding Scheme
Sophie recalls "the famous Hebrew encoding scheme, the Atbash Cipher" (page 304). In this scheme, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet is substituted for the first letter, the second to last letter is substituted for the second letter, and so forth. If this scheme were used with the English alphabet, for example, XZY would be a code for CAB. On page 320, Sophie realized that Sauniere had used atbash to encode Sophia on the Priory keystone. B-P-V-M-Th was code for Sh-V-P-Y-A.
4. A Nebulous Four-Line Poem Where the Punctuation Had Been Changed
On page 337, a poem is discovered, the lines of which possibly reveal the location of a missing orb:
In London lies a knight a Pope interred.
His labor's fruit a Holy wrath incurred.
You seek the orb that ought be on his tomb.
It speaks of Rosy flesh and seeded womb.
On page 392, Robert Langdon realizes that the punctuation of the first line of the poem had been changed from the intended original version: "In London lies a knight. A. Pope interred." A. Pope was Alexander Pope, a famous English poet who wrote an epitaph for Sir Isaac Newton. Langdon realized this because other parts of the poem appear to allude to Newton.
Dan Brown's code examples are quite simple, making them easily accessible to a very wide readership.
Do any of these example codes bear any resemblance to Bible code phenomena that researchers have searched for in recent years? We see the following:
We are not aware of any Bible code researcher who has presented an example of an anagram as a possible code.
Initials often appear as part of reference to a person in a Bible code. For example, we found T. Hanks as an ELS related to The Da Vinci Code rather than Tom Hanks or just Hanks. Other examples are D. Brown and A. Tautou. This bears some similarity to Dan Brown's usage of a two-letter set of initials.
We are not aware of any Bible code researcher who has presented an example where atbash is used in a possible code.
4. Changed Punctuation
In decoding the Bible for possible ELSs, the researcher is confronted with a string of Hebrew letters, and he must insert spaces and punctuation between the letters in an effort to derive the longest ELS consisting of good Hebrew that is possible from that string. Often there are alternative ways that spaces can be inserted, and/or punctuation can be changed — resulting in a different translation. This is directly similar to Robert Langdon's revision of the first line on the poem described under the fourth type of codes in the novel. He changed the first line to read, "In London lies a knight. A. Pope interred."
It is clear that the number of parallels between the types of codes presented by Dan Brown and Bible codes is quite limited. For those readers well acquainted with the novel but not with Bible codes, it would be best to read the article, An Introduction to the Range of Types of Bible Code Phenomena.
Dan Brown's Agenda
Dan Brown has a powerful ability to create credible persona who very strongly state seemingly authoritative opinions about controversial matters. Yet, he claims that he is merely writing fiction.
For example, on page 231 Teabing tells Sophie, "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."
Then on page 341, Langdon appears to summarize the author's essential view of religion: "Every faith in the world is based on fabrication. That is the definition of faith — acceptance of that which we imagine to be true, that which we cannot prove."
The essence of Bible code research is just the opposite of this. Such research focuses on potential proof for the authenticity of the Bible — proof of a kind and certainty that historians could only dream of attaining. If the literal text is affirmed, then all of Brown's suppositions are simply not true.
On page 256, Sophie remarks that historians could not possibly confirm the authenticity of the genealogy of Christ's bloodline through Mary Magdalene. Then Teabing retorts, "No more so than they can confirm the authenticity of the Bible." He continues, "History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books . . . As Napoleon once said, 'What is history, but a fable agreed upon?' " Finally Teabing drives home Dan Brown's agenda, "In the end, which side of the story you believe becomes a matter of faith and personal exploration."
Dan Brown's novel and the movie should be recognized for what they are: fiction. As we have seen in the article, The Da Vinci Code: What Bible Codes Have to Say, it is quite remarkable that so many lengthy codes that clearly criticize the novel and movie have been found with comparatively little searching. This is not a coincidence. The discovery of Bible codes was intended to send a message to this generation.
Enjoy finding your own Bible codes.
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