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Thiering, Revelations and da Vinci

By Murray Bourne, 16 Jan 2005

I have just finished reading The daVinci Code and I loved it!
In Uni days I took the class "Biblical Studies" as an interest elective. The lecturer was Barbara Thiering and I felt at the time that she did an excellent job of revealing several belief-shattering concepts to us...

  • most societies have creation stories that are similar to the one(s) appearing in the Old Testament
  • there are other flood stories out there (Utnapishtim from the Gilgamesh Epic comes to mind) - move over Noah
  • the Bible's contents were decided in committees via votes
  • there were many other sacred writings that were rejected for various reasons by the committees
  • the Dead Sea Scrolls helped to sort fact from fiction in the accepted biblical accounts

While my friends in that class did not perceive a conflict, I found it all to be profoundly disturbing. This notion (held since childhood) that God somehow dictated the bible was established in our minds by the stories of Moses receiving the 10 Commandments, God talking through the burning bush and Saul/Paul hearing the voice of God on the road to Damascus.

To find out that the Bible was all a man-made notion was quite something at that age - especially having had quite a deep involvement in church up to that point.

And now to read the wildly successful daVinci Code - complete with interesting mathematical and other mysteries throughout - was very satisfying.

It seems inevitable that people need some kind of religion. Why are many of those religions perverted so badly in the hands of men (usually men - few religions give women much power) and end up causing a lot more harm than good?

Some possible answers...

  • power
  • greed
  • money

Hmm... same list of reasons that people go into politics and business...

See the 5 Comments below.

5 Comments on “Thiering, Revelations and da Vinci”

  1. Tang Kim Seng says:

    It's interesting to know of someone like Barbara Thiering who would speak so boldly about the truth when she revealed those belief-shattering concepts. She impressed me as someone sensible and logical, as she approached the subject matter based on facts rather than belief. In the ancient days of say, Joan of Arc, Nostrademeus or Martin Luther, such relevations would have been branded as heresy - a risky business treaded with caution by many, except for a few bold ones who made their names in the history books.

    I believe all religions are intrinsically good. Otherwise, why the large followings ? But I also agreed that some were perverted so badly in the hands of men due to power, greed and money that they became no different from say, politics or business.

    This reminded me of one of Mel Brooks' madcap movies where he tried to make fun of the ancient past. There was a scene where Moses came down from Mount Sinai holding 3 instead of 2 tablets. Then, he tripped and one of the tablets was shattered. Oops! Anyway, this explained why there were only 10 commandments instead of 15. Another scene he made fun of the Inquisition doing their infamous stuff on the Jews! Maybe he was trying to push his luck even further, but I wasn't amused. He was later scorned by the critics and media for his anti-semitic views. Ahh, risky business indeed!

  2. fred says:

    But Mel Brooks is Jewish...?

  3. Honey says:

    Well if the Bible account is correct, then of course other societies have creation and flood stories. All nationalities have descended from Noah, so many would have this historical information handed down from one generation to the next in some form or another. I don't see how this is anything but convincing evidence in support of the Bible being factual.

  4. Reynir says:

    Honey (and others who might give similar replies):

    I doubt very much that anyone wants to go into a religious argument with you so please just drop it and seek the facts yourself if you REALLY want to know. Most of the time when one gets into such arguments with people of Abrahamic religions they act out the intellectual version of covering their ears and screaming "LALALALALA", because deep down they simply WANT to continue believing that their particular interpretations of their Bible/Qu'ran/Torah is the absolute truth and that all the other holy writings and interpretations of the world are lies or stubborn mistakes.

    Freeing oneself from a religion, especially one of the Abrahamic ones, with their safeguards like "if you think doubtful thoughts you'll go to hell", is a slow process, and nobody can push you into it (I know from firsthand experience). So I say just go forth and live a long and happy life no matter what you choose or don't choose to learn.

    Oh and yes Mel Brooks is jewish.

    Oh and btw I'm not an atheist... I'm quite open to the idea of God in some of the many and splendid meanings (a voyeuristic and sadistic sky-daddy is not one of my favorites, though). And personally I would salute anyone that would launch a successful religion that EMBRACED the modern sciences instead of opposing and undermining them. I mean have you heard how Carl Sagan talks about those things? It´s awesome... nothing short of spiritual!

    Also, check out this Carl Sagan quote:

    In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, "This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed"? Instead they say, "No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way."

    Seriously... if somebody made a religion that contemplated the REAL universe, not some small, imaginary one that was created in a few days a few thousand years ago, it'd be the greatest religion ever!

    This one is rather nice though: was originally founded by christians, but they now seek to unite the major religions of the world through the good stuff that they have in common. Respect, compassion, etc...

  5. Peter Rossfour says:

    Just read my book "The Jesus Parallel" and you will find what you are looking for. The "Church" has for centuries brainwashed people into believing all kinds of things. Its quite simple really, God is not "Up there" somewhere but really inside each and everyone of us. "Seek and ye shall find!" - just look inside of you!
    Peter Rossfour.

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