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The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God? [Kindle Edition]

Timothy Freke , Peter Gandy
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This astonishing book completely undermines the traditional history of Christianity that has been perpetuated for centuries by the Church. Drawing on the cutting edge of modern scholarship, authors Tim Freke and Peter Gandy present overwhelming evidence that the Jesus of the New Testament is a mythical figure.

Far from being eyewitness accounts, as is traditionally held, the Gospels are actually Jewish adaptations of ancient Pagan myths of the dying and resurrecting godman Osiris-Dionysus. The supernatural story of Jesus is not the history of a miraculous Messiah, but a carefully crafted spiritual allegory designed to guide initiates on a journey of mystical discovery.

A little more than a century ago most people believed that the strange story of Adam and Eve was history; today it is understood to be a myth. Within a few decades, Freke and Gandy argue, we will likewise be amazed that the fabulous story of God incarnate -- who was born of a virgin, who turned water into wine, and who rose from the dead -- could have been interpreted as anything but a profound parable.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Freke (a philospher and author of books on spirituality) and Gandy (who is studying classical civilization) believe that first century Jewish mystics adapted the potent symbolism of the Osiris-Dionysus myths into a myth of their own, the hero of which was the Jewish dying and resurrecting godman Jesus. Therefore, the story of Jesus is a consciously crafted vehicle for encoded spiritual teachings created by Jewish Gnostics. We are unaware of this, they claim, because the Roman Catholic Church destroyed evidence of the connection between Christianity and the pagan mysteries. They make their case by offering an examination of mystery religions, especially Greek, pointing out the many parallels between them and what they see as the Gospels! message about Jesus. Freke and Gandy are familiar with a significant amount of recent biblical scholarship, though they rely mostly on Elaine Pagels!s work on the Gnostics. This book will obviously be controversial, but the authors are quite informed, as demonstrated by their extensive notes and bibliography. A list of related web sites, a Who!s Who, and an index add to the book!s usefulness. Recommended as an important book in the debate on the historical Jesus."David Bourquin, California State Univ., San Bernardino
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“A wonderful blend of detective story, historical research, and clear thinking, The Jesus Mysteries explains in accessible form what has been known to scholars for centuries. The time for the inner mysteries of Christianity to be brought out of the closet is long overdue, and this book is a powerful and courageous voice for the cause.”
-- Roger Housden, author of Sacred America and Sacred Journeys in a Modern World

“The Jesus Mysteries -- ‘Book of the year.’ ” Daily Telegraph

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 818 KB
  • Print Length: 360 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0609807986
  • Publisher: Harmony (December 18, 2001)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1IW2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,261 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
429 of 476 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jesus Mysteries--Recommended! September 30, 2000
The church father Tertullian said the questions that make people heretics are these: Where does humanity come from, and how? Where does evil come from and why? He could have added, Where do religious beliefs come from, and what gives them their authority? In The Jesus Mysteries, authors Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy take on these heretical question with some surprising results. In an interview with Harpers, the authors had this to say about their new book: "During the centuries leading up to the birth of Christianity various cults known as `Mystery Religions' had spread throughout the Pagan world.  At the centre of these Mystery cults was a story about a dying and resurrecting godman who was known by many different names in many different cultures.  In Egypt, where the Mysteries originated, he was known as Osiris, in Greece as Dionysus, in Asia Minor as Attis, in Syria as Adonis, in Italy as Bacchus, in Persia as Mithras.  The more we discovered about this figure, the more his story began to sound uncannily familiar. "Here are just a few of the stories that were told about the godman of the Mysteries. His father is God and his mother is a mortal virgin. He is born in a cave or humble cow shed on the 25th of December before three shepherds.  He offers his followers the chance to be born again through the rites of baptism.  He miraculously turns water into wine at a marriage ceremony. He rides triumphantly into town on a donkey while people wave palm leaves to honour him.  He dies at Easter time as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. After his death he descends to Hell, then on the third day he rises from the dead and ascends to heaven in glory. His followers await his return as the judge during the Last Days. Read more ›
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107 of 119 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Brave Book March 29, 2002
Abandon all hope ye who enter here! This is one of the most dangerous books I've come across in a while and I urge all open-minded Christians to steer well clear of this tome lest they uncover the truth behind Christianity and perhaps even discover the God of the Universe who exists beyond traditional religion in the process!
Seriously, though, I found The Jesus Mysteries to be one of the bravest and most thought-provoking pieces of work I've come across in years. It is a lucid and exhaustively researched expose of the history of Christianity and its battles with Gnosticism put forth in laymen's terms that really gets the mind racing and the heart pumping. In it, Freke and Gandy make an excellent case for the idea that Christianity is actually a Jewish version of earlier Pagan Mystery Religions then in vogue in the Roman Empire with Jesus but a mythological character designed to reflect earlier Pagan mangod beliefs. They show--successfully, I think--that what started out as a mystical Gnostic Christianity was ultimately superceded by a Literalist Christianity (by which they mean Christians who intepret the Jesus stories as literal, historical events rather than mythological analogies and metaphors as did the Gnostics) that denied the very mystical, mythological underpinnings that created the movement in the first place. Their reports on some of the early church fathers and their complicity in destroying what they consider to have been the original "true faith" of Gnostic Christianity are brutal, especially in using these men's own writings and words against them, and their overview of the role of the Catholic Church in suppressing all belief systems that were at variance with their own is nothing short of savage.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jesus Mysteries - Highly Recommended December 12, 2000
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a revelation - not about the truth or fiction of an historical Christ, but about the phenomenon of Mediterranean culture known as Mystery Cults and their impact on the formation of Ancient Christianity. This thesis is not new with the current authors, but never has it been carried with such clarity for the general reader interested in Ancient Christianity but largely ignorant of its cultural milieu.
The influence of the Mystery Cults on Judaism didn't start with Christ. It may have even predated the influence of Alexander the Great; there's a strong argument that it reflects the influence of Egyptian religion and older religions that arose in the Mediterranean family of tribes and nations. These arguments cannot be discounted or dismissed because of the use the authors have put them. The book relies on the most recent studies by archeologists and Bibical scholars, two fields that have virtually exploded in the last 20 years with more accurate pictures of the Meditarranean cultures and writings and more accurate datings of familiar events. In fact the notes and the bibliography alone are worth the price of the book.
This book has led me on a wonderful voyage of exploration and discovery. If there are any out there who would like to plot their own voyage, I encourage you to get the book and start now on your trip. You won't be disappointed.
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60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshingly Complete View October 12, 2000
By A Customer
Many will see the basic premise of "The Jesus Mysteries" to be the similarities between Christianity and the earlier Pagan Mystery Religions. This concept is not new and has been turned into a strawman and somewhat refuted by certain Christian Apologists.
What makes this work unique is the completeness of the story, from the Pagan origins of the themes of Christianity, to the Mysteries' influence in the areas surrounding the first known Christian churches, to the earliest debates within the church over the "heretical" views of Gnosticism. Earlier works on this subject left many questions unanswered, but the complete story from Freke and Gandy leaves no stone unturned.
Critics will attempt to knock out a few legs of their argument, but the completeness of the argument means it has a solid foundation that can handle a few valid criticisms. The criticisms I've seen so far, however, resort to ad-hominem attacks against the credibility of the authors (such as "they don't have a degree in Theology, so how could they write about Jesus", which would be like saying that the only ones capable of criticizing one of Bush's speeches is a life-time member of the Republican party), nit-picking about how hard it is to find the books they reference, or thinking that by refuting a single claim, one can refute the entire work.
But none of the criticisms of the theory have convinced me that their basic premise is not entirely feasible -- at least as feasible as someone walking on water and raising the dead.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This book may change you.
This is a book for people who have an open mind and who take spirituality seriously. Even if you are a serious student, the book contains an overwhelming amount of facts and data. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Ron
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jesus Mysteries is a well-researched, well-written book comparing...
The Jesus Mysteries is a well-researched, well-written book comparing the stories of Jesus in the New Testament to Egyptian mystical teachings and other ancient teachings. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Deborah Woods
1.0 out of 5 stars Rehash of discredited Theology
Poorly written with nothing new to contribute to an age-old discussion. The author even has the effrontery to cite himself as one of his "authorities."
Published 6 months ago by Leonard Lindell
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
Lots of smoke and mirrors, no smoking gun and extremely weak scholarship by some lightweight popularizers of myths from the fringes of academe. Read more
Published 6 months ago by John J. Blossom
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmasking The True Foundation For Christianity?
The overall thesis presented in this book is that the actual beginnings of Christianity do not go back to any historical person, e.g. Read more
Published 7 months ago by The Scholarly Serpent
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely unbiblical
This author says that Jesus the Christ wasn't ever really born. Stay far away from all of his books. Read more
Published 9 months ago by William Mooney
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but difficult to confirm
Kindle version is not set up to jump to footnotes, making it virtually impossible to assess the validity of the book's many assertions. Read more
Published 9 months ago by J Stephen Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Every one should read this.
I found this book to be a real page turner. Surprising information that most "Christians" are probably unaware. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Bill Kamer
1.0 out of 5 stars Misrepresentations Of Mythology, History, And The Bible
The basic premise of this book is that Jesus Christ never existed as a real person.

If someone is going to make a shocking, outrageous statement like that they need to... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jeff Marzano
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasic history
This book is full of examples of pagan gods and how their stories correlate, almost exactly, with Jesus. Even down to the things Jesus and his followers "supposedly" said. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Quaking Aspen
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