Did Leonardo da Vinci hate the Bible?

Written by Darren Hewer

Sophie read the words.

Many have made a trade of delusions
and false miracles, deceiving the stupid multitude.

-LEONARDO DA VINCI
“Here’s another,” Teabing said, pointing to a different quote.

Blinding ignorance does mislead us.
O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes!

-LEONARDO DA VINCI
Sophie felt a little chill. “Da Vinci is talking about the Bible?”

Teabing nodded. (Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, Chapter 55)

If Leonardo was really referring to the Bible, these are very harsh statements. But as I was surprised to discover, neither quote actually is about the Bible!

His first comment, in context, is about alchemists who claimed that they could change lead into gold. His second comment, in context, refers to the foolishness of what he called men?s “own opinions”, “lascivious joys”, and “vain splendour”. Brown completely misrepresented Leonardo?s writings to make it seem as if the great artist detested the Bible. (Richard Abanes, The Truth Behind The Da Vinci Code)

In these passages, Brown misuses Leonardo Da Vinci’s statements. Don’t take our word for it, read the actual quotes from Leonardo’s own notebooks! See sections 1207-1208 (“Against alchemists”) and 1180-1182 (“On foolishness and ignorance”).

Do you think Brown is justified in taking Leonardo?s quotes out of context? If this part of Code is inaccurate, what about the rest of it? Though the book is a thriller and “fiction”, most authors try to be accurate in their research for their stories. Is it okay that Leonardo’s words are taken out of context for the purpose of furthering the plot?

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7 Responses to “Did Leonardo da Vinci hate the Bible?”

  • Hi Briana, thank you for your comments!

    You say that these are not errors, but “his own interpretation” and that I “feel Dan Brown was wrong”. But I don’t “feel” that he was wrong, I demonstrated it. As per the introduction to his book, “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.” Since it’s demonstrated above that he has totally misrepresented Leonardo Da Vinci’s work, this violates his own statement at the beginning of this book.

    “You cannot deny that Mary Magdalene had her own gospels or that in other gospels ( which were taken out by the church) said she was a high figure.”

    I do actually deny that Mary Magdalene “had her own gospels” if you mean documents written by herself. We do have writings which focus more on Mary, but these were written 80, 100, or more years after the gospels we find in the New Testament, so there’s no reason to trust them instead of the ones in the New Testament.

    I also disagree that these were “taken out by the church”. They couldn’t have been taken out because they were never “in” the Bible. If you mean that they were somehow repressed by the church, we don’t (as far as I know) have any evidence of any kind of organized oppression of documents.

    For anyone who’s interested in this subject there’s a good video on the subject here.
    http://www.leestrobel.com/videoserver/video.php?clip=strobelT1090

    Some stuff to think about, anyways. :)

  • Briana says:

    I think it is inaccurate to make such harsh assumptions about Dan Brown’s work. Yes you may be able to pick out little mistakes he made ( which in my opinion are not errors but his own interpretation) but the over all idea of history being rewritten into false things is correct. You cannot deny that Mary Magdalene had her own gospels or that in other gospels ( which were taken out by the church) said she was a high figure. It leaves me in wonder how people stand by something that not only lies to them, but beats down time and time again the most sacred thing of all, women. So yes, say you feel Dan Brown was wrong about those two quotes, but you cannot deny the large case he, and many many others, have built against our religions

  • Ty says:

    If it wasn’t for Brown’s “Fact” page, none of this would matter and no one would care. The thing is, this is just one of about 20 similar errors and misrepresentations in the book. A short search on the internet will show you many things you just swallowed when you read The Da Vinci Code.

  • Jane Doe says:

    Fiction is fiction.

  • Sean says:

    emmzee – thank you. i would have never looked for his notebooks online.

  • Paige says:

    Some people don’t care whether or not they are representing truth to others. I think this may be Brown’s stance. This phenomenon around this book is really a wake-up call for people to search for truth themselves. Others can point the way to truth but it is really every person’s own responsibility to search for, find, acknowledge, and embrace truth for their own personal selves. Thank you for this info Emmzee, I was waiting to read something along these lines.

  • sheldon says:

    Very interesting Emmzee, I never even questioned those quotes.

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