The Bible, Corporal Punishment and Human Guilt - Part 4

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 7 July 2004 0 Comments
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I have just finished reading Dominic Crossan's book, "Jesus, A Revolutionary Biography." Coupled with your writings, it made much sense, at least to me. I note with interest a recent entry in the New York Times, regarding the hysteria with which Christian clergy are responding to Dan Brown's book "The Da Vinci Code." It would seem this hysteria parallels that which you have recounted so well in your last book. I would appreciate your comments and thoughts regarding this book and the clergy's reaction to it. Thank you for all of your work. It means so much to so many of us.


Dan Brown is a brilliant storyteller and The Da Vinci Code is a good read. He makes assumptions and educated guesses to carry his narrative. There is nothing wrong with that. He makes no claim that he is writing nonfiction!

But those who want to turn it into history and those who are threatened by its implications are both amusing to me.

Was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene? I believe a case can be made for that and I did it in a book entitled, Born of a Woman: A Bishop rethinks the Virgin Birth and the Place of women in a Male-Dominated Church. That book came out in the early 90s so that idea is hardly new. But Dan Brown builds a story of mystery and intrigue around that possibility. He does it well. I suggest these clergy get a life and enjoy good fiction.

-- John Shelby Spong




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