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Pagan Christs Hardcover – January, 1996

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Barnes Noble (January 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880291419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880291415
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #452,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By PHILIP A. STAHL on September 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
`Pagan Christs' is actually a more approachable (simplified) version of another work, `Pagan Christs: Studies in Comparative Hierology' (1928) and should be viewed in that context. Indeed, the explanatory scholarship and arguments are detailed in the earlier book, and it is logical to assume one would have read it before coming to `Pagan Christs'.

Having said that, I believe the more natural step is to read `Pagan Christs' FIRST - then go to the more compendious volume for the scholarly details, logical arguments etc.

The key or core theme exposed in this book - and Robertson's other effort- is that Christianity is not a unique God-man religion. Many others preceded it and there is solid evidence that Christianity's scribes (who put together the New Testament) liberally copied from the earlier efforts. Some common themes, commonalities include: Jesus was born of a Virgin ("Anahita") like his predecessor Mithra (Mithras), also - like Mithra- Jesus suffered a public execution, was buried, and "ascended" into heaven.

Followers of Mithra consumed a sacred meal ("Myazda") which was completely analogous to the Cathololic Eucharist. In addition, those who refused to partake of the body and blood of Mithras were condemned to everlasting perdition. This is not amazing or astounding since "theophagy" (eating the god) dates far back into antiquity (p. 33). In any case, the eucharist, burial and resurrection are all Mithraic in origin (p. 53).

In his excellent expose article (`How Jesus Got A Life', The American Atheist, June, 1992, p.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By "xcatalystx" on October 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Was Jesus of Nazareth a historical figure? The answer to this often unaksed question is usually assumed to be "yes". In Pagan Christs John Robinson researches this dilema with unconventional and startling results. By looking at the origins of Christianity, pre-Christain and non-Christain religious rituals and the existing historical documents pertaining to the life of Jesus of Nazareth, Robinson attempts to answer this important question and address the common assuptions about Christianity's supposed founding figure. Was Jesus of Nazareth a unique phenomenon? Did he even exist, or is he purely mythological fiction? What of the pre-Christian crucifiction rituals and mythology in the ancient world? Robinson ties all of these important questions together in his quest to reveal the existence, or the fiction of Jesus of Nazareth. Robinson's work is guarenteed to challenge your assumtions about the figure of Jesus, and to change the way you view the accounts of his life and death.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By B. BOESENBERG on July 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Mr. Robertson asserts clearly and with much evidence that Christianity is little more than recycled ideas from the Pagan past. In fact there are no new ideas in it! Hillel Judiaism originated the "Do unto others..." philosophy, hundreds of gods were born of virgin moms, were killed unjustly for their beliefs, and rose again to power and glory. The story of the christ predates Jesus by several hundred years in a Passion Play that was told and retold all across the ancient world well before anybody named Jesus may have been born. And Mr. Robertson doubts Jesus was any more real than Hercules.

If you want to think for yourself this is a book for you.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By OwenE on May 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I liked this book, or at least I liked the first chapters which were specifically about the christian myth. The later chapters were less interesting to me. What I most valued in this book was that it assumes Jesus was a mythic figure and that was the thesis I was trying to research. So many scholarly books on this subject are willing to say that the main figures of religions no longer practiced are mythic but when they get to Christianity they won't step up to the plate and say Jesus was mythic too.
I thought the idea that the gospels were a morality play originally dramatised, rather than read narratively, was helpful.
It's a little book. It's a good place to start if you want to start somewhere where the author isn't afraid of his controversial position.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Harkius VINE VOICE on April 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book, while very thorough, is not terribly useful. The problem is that the book uses some seriously specious logic, along the lines of the argument that if something could be fake, than it is. Strangely enough, Appolonius is the only messiah-like character who is considered authentic by the author. However, there are more greivous problems even than this. For example, the author assumes that many of the teachings of Middle Eastern prophets and messiahs came from India originally. I don't personally know that he is wrong, but I am fairly sure that most people in the Middle East had little or no contact with people from India, especially since there existed, many years later, stories of men who existed solely on steam, people with beaks, etc.
The view of the author that Buddha was a messiah as well was interesting, but wrong. Buddha never claimed to be a messiah, he merely claimed that he had become enlightened. As far as I know, he never even claimed that his teachings were original. Buddhism is more centered on enlightenment, rather than on discovering the life of Buddha.
The author spends a significant amount of time tracing back the ideas of New World religions to Asian origins. However, his method (including calling a shared zodiac of four of twelve symbols "remarkable") was a bit disheartening.
Don't get me wrong, though. There are points in this book's favor. It is very informative, and it has quite a bit of anthropological data about God-making and myth-derivation. However, the book is still incredibly dense. It is only 170 pages, about what I read in an average sitting, and it took me several days to finish it.
I would definately recommend this to people searching for a discourse on alternate, mainly Pagan, prophets and religious leaders, but I don't know that I would recommend it to anyone past that.
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