As the motion picture “The Da Vinci Code” draws in millions to theatres around the world, the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida, is hosting the most comprehensive exhibition on the Bible in the world and the only museum exhibition in the world with sidebars specifically addressing the historical foundations in the novel from an academic perspective. “We invite patrons to come and see the exhibit, then see the movie,” says Craig Salazar, Ink & Blood Chief Operating Officer. “People need to decide for themselves what is true and what is fiction. We believe that Ink & Blood will help people ‘break the code’ and learn the historical facts.”
“The Da Vinci Code” on its first page contends that accounts of historical documents in the book are true. Referenced documents include the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gnostic Gospels (sometimes called the “Lost Gospels”) and the New Testament. The exhibit, which includes authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments—considered the greatest archeological discovery of the last century by most scholars—and a fragment of the Gospel of St. John—one of less than 50 fragments of the New Testament in existence before the 4th century—are on display at the exhibition and discussed in detail in terms of their history, significance, and now as they relate to “The Da Vinci Code.” With nearly one-hundred artifacts in total which examine the formation of the Bible over thousands of years, people are encouraged to do as the movie trailers suggest–“Seek the Truth.” “This response in the Ink & Blood exhibit includes eight additional panels and seven new stops on the exhibit’s audio tour with accurate, scholarly information that specifically assist patrons to ‘break the code’ of the wildly popular, best-selling work of fiction, The Da Vinci Code,” added Salazar.
The exhibition also addresses the novel’s story that fourth century Roman emperor, Constantine I, made the mortal Jesus divine and selected the books of the Bible. Other topics explored are the Priory of Sion, Da Vinci’s famous painting, “The Last Supper”, and the accuracy of Biblical texts maintained over thousands of years. “There are many misconceptions about the history of the Bible. ‘The Da Vinci Code’ is creating an awareness of some of these misconceptions as well as adding others,” said Dr. William H. Noah, founder and chief curator of Ink & Blood: Dead Sea Scrolls to the Enlglish Bible. “The exhibition already provides a comprehensive history of the Bible, but we wanted to expand the exhibit to give visitors the opportunity to review the historical facts, view the priceless artifacts, and decide for themselves.”
Ink & Blood is an unprecedented exhibit that includes nearly 100 Hebrew, Greek and Latin manuscripts and related artifacts. Those pieces together tell a unique story–the complete history of the Bible, with an emphasis on the Bible in English version. The exhibition also contains material relevant to students of English literature, Spanish and Hebrew as well as American and European history, art and archaeology. Some of the other authentic artifacts include a 15th Century Wycliffe New Testament—-the first translation of the Bible into English, first editions of the King James Bible, and 500-year-old pages from Gutenberg’s Bible, the most famous and valuable book ever printed.
To learn more about the exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Sciences visit www.moas.org or call (386) 255-0285.
Related facts and quotes about Spirituality in America:
83% of Americans identify themselves as Christian.
ABCNEWS/Beliefnet Poll, 7/18/01
53% of a national sample of adults who have read The DaVinci Code from cover to cover stated that the book had been helpful in their “personal spiritual growth and understanding.” …
So it is in the midst of this environment of confusion that this blockbuster movie will offer attractive heretical propositions. Entering theaters essentially as biblical illiterates, millions of adults are vulnerable to the seductive religious arguments it will propose.
Exerpts from “Christians and the Da Vinci Code” by George Barna, The Barna Group
23% of poll respondents in an ongoing poll at BeliefNet.com, a multi-faith e-community website, believe that Jesus was married to Mary Magdelene. 28% believe Jesus was married but not necessarily to Mary Magelene.
45% of adults read the Bible during a typical week, not including when they are at church.
The State of the Church: 2005, The Barna Group
Many religion statistics about the US and other countries can be found at: