Here goes the quotation (my emphasis):

Teabing chuckled. "The ivory towers of Harvard have made you soft, Robert. Yes, the clergy in Rome are blessed with potent faith, and because of this, their beliefs can weather any storm, including documents that contradict everything they hold dear. But what about the rest of the world? What about those who are not blessed with absolute certainty? What about those who look at the cruelty in the world and say, where is God today? Those who look at Church scandals and ask, who are these men who claim to speak the truth about Christ and yet lie to cover up the sexual abuse of children by their own priests?" Teabing paused. "What happens to those people, Robert, if persuasive scientific evidence comes out that the Church's version of the Christ story is inaccurate, and that the greatest story ever told is, in fact, the greatest story ever sold"

Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code

Is this sentence to be taken literally? Or does it mean something else?

  • “The greatest story ever told” is a common-ish way to refer to the Bible. Replacing told with sold just emphasises that the telling of that story is not just done in order to tell it, but to get it sold for your (=the church’s) own purposes. It's conspiracy theory, which is what Dan Brown is all about. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 21 '14 at 11:19

Author Dan Brown never met a cliché he didn’t like.

The greatest story ever told has long been a phrase used to describe the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Greatest Story Ever Told (based on the 1949 book The Greatest Story Ever Told published) was a 1965 film of the life of Jesus Christ.

"What happens to those people, Robert, if persuasive scientific evidence comes out that the Church's version of the Christ story is inaccurate, and that the greatest story ever told is, in fact, the greatest story ever sold."

Brown's character is asking, what if the Catholic Church perpetuated (or, if you will, perpetrated) a myth on the people by knowingly suppressing the facts of the story to make it more appealing to people, that is, selling them the story?

protected by tchrist Nov 14 '16 at 4:01

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