The B-List: So what was Leigh Teabing talking about, anyway?

Speaker: Categories: May 04, 2012


1 MP3 file or 1 CD [ 1hr, 19min, 52sec]


The Da Vinci Code is built around the claim that there were many early gospels, which the patriarchs of the Church eventually suppressed—and which would surprise us if we had and read them. Parts of this theory are true, and parts are not—but which is which? First, a quick overview of

non-canonical “gospels:” general characteristics, variety of viewpoints, connections back into various aspects of Jesus’ life, driving motives. And a look at the stages in the preservation of the memories about Jesus.

Then we’ll look at the actual text of certain of the earliest non-canonical gospels—a process that’s both entertaining, intriguing and serious. We sample materials from the only two serious contenders for pre-New Testament gospels: (a) The Gospel of the Nazareans, and (b) that fascinating, mysterious source called “Q” – a pretty clear example of a “gospel behind the gospels.”

So what do we learn from these sources, that we didn’t know before?


A third-generation Adventist, John grew up in the Philippine Islands and graduated from Walla Walla College and Andrews University prior to a pastoral internship in Napa, California. He then spent five years at Hong Kong Adventist College, where he chaired the theology department.

After earning a PhD at Vanderbilt University, John returned to Asia in 1978, where he taught at the Far Eastern Division’s theological seminary. He has been with Loma Linda and La Sierra Universities since 1987 and served as Dean of the School of Religion at La Sierra from 1990 - 2007 when he returned to his first love, full-time teaching.

John’s areas of expertise are New Testament studies and Asian religions. A well-known preacher and public speaker, he is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Adventist Society of Religious Studies. His extracurricular interests include several languages, folk music of several traditions, and conducting adventuresome study-tours “to obscure places like Tibet and the Silk Road.”


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