DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, Excerpts
Three centuries after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Christ’s followers had multiplied exponentially. Christians and pagans began warring, and the conflict grew to such proportions that it threatened to rend Rome in two. In Constantine’s day, Rome’s official religion was sun worship – the cult of Sol Invictus, or the Invincible Sun – and Constantine was its head priest. Unfortunately for him, a growing religious turmoil was gripping Rome. Constantine decided something had to be done. In 325 AD, he decided to unify Rome under a single religion, Christianity. Historians still marvel at the brilliance with which Constantine converted the sun-worshipping pagans to Christianity.
To rewrite the history books, Constantine commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ’s human traits and embellished those gospels that made Him godlike. More than eighty gospels were considered for the New Testament, and yet only a relative few were chosen for inclusion – Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John among them. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned. Any gospels that described earthly aspects of Jesus’ life were omitted from the Bible.
As part of the Vatican’s campaign to eradicate pagan religions and convert the masses to Christianity, the Church launched a smear campaign against the pagan gods and goddesses, recasting their divine symbols as evil. The newly emerging power took over the existing symbols and degraded them over time in an attempt to erase their meaning. In the battle between the pagan symbols and Christian symbols, the pagans lost; Poseidon’s trident became the devil’s pitchfork, the wise crone’s pointed hat became the symbol of a witch, and Venus’s pentacle became a sign of the devil. The symbolism of the pentacle has been distorted over the millennia through bloodshed.
Nothing in Christianity is original. By fusing pagan symbols, dates, and rituals into the growing Christian tradition, he created a kind of hybrid religion that was acceptable to both parties. The pre-Christian God Mithras – called the Son of God and the Light of the World – was born on December 25, died, and buried in a rock tomb, and then resurrected in three days. December 25 is also the birthday of Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus. The newborn Krishna was presented with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Even Christianity’s weekly holy day was stolen from the pagans. Originally Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan’s veneration day of the sun – Sunday.
Egyptian sun disks became the halos of Catholic saints. Pictograms of Isis nursing her miraculously conceived son Horus became the blueprint for our modern images of the Virgin Mary nursing Baby Jesus. And virtually all the elements of the Catholic ritual – the miter, the altar, the doxology, and communion, the act of “God-eating” – were taken directly from earlier pagan mystery religions.
So strong was the Church’s fear of those who lived in the rural villes that the once innocuous word for “villager” – villain – came to mean a wicked soul. The term pagan became synonymous with devil worship – a gross misconception.