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The Jesus Mysteries: The Original Jesus Was a Pagan God Paperback – March 6, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Thorsons (March 6, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722536771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722536773
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Rarely have the roots of Christianity been disentangled to such disturbing effect. I shall never be able to read the gospels in the same way again.' ROGER BOULTON, presenter of Radio 4's The Sunday Programme 'A provocative, exciting and challenging book.' The Rt Revd JOHN SHELBY SPONG, Bishop of Newark

About the Author

Peter Gandy is a classical scholar with a particular interest in ancient Western spiritual traditions. He is currently studying for an MA in classical civilization at London University. He has been researching this subject intensively for over 5 years. He is the author of 'The Complete Guide to World Mysticism' and 'Hermetica'. Tim Freke is an authority on world spirituality. His books include: The Illustrated World Scriptures, Tao Te Ching and Principles of Native American Spirituality. He worked with Alan Aeira on the famous documentary on the Kogi people of Colombia.

Customer Reviews

This stance will undoubtedly upset some readers.
Kev Lehane
It is well written and well documented and deals with a broad range of subjects all of which impinge on our knowledge of religion.
Dr. James Gardner
I bought this book out of curiosity, and was astounded by it's content.
Mr P. J. Ruane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on January 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is not an attack on Christ, it is rather an exaltation of the universal Christ principle.
I found that everything that ever disturbed me, or rang false, about the gospels was washed away by the authors' Jesus Mysteries Thesis. I also realised why I have been so strongly drawn to Gnosticism over the years- it was the original faith, a faith hyjacked and perverted by an authoritarian, worldly, imperial, bureaucracy.
There have been many Christs in many cultures: Osiris, Dionysis, Attis, Adonis, Bacchus, Mithras.... The central theme to all their stories was a son of God coming to earth, to learn, teach, and grow before being crucified on a cross of matter, and returning to the place from whence he came. This was also the central mystery in all cases: we are to realise that we too descended from another place and that we are to learn, grow and teach before we return there. This is the great truth to the Christ principle.
How could this truth be a threat to anyone with a spark of spiritual insight?
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Gavin Rumney on January 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
At first I feared this would be another book in the Michael Baigent or Barbara Thiering mold. But the fact that John Shelby Spong, George Wells and Alvar Ellegard were all willing to say nice things about it convinced me to give it a go. I'm glad I did.
Christianity developed, according to the thesis, as a Jewish adaptation of the mystery religions that were common in the First Century. Jesus was a mythical figure with no solid historical existence. Gnostic Christianity was truest to this original understanding, but the growing literalist tradition ultimately supplanted it.
Sound a bit hairy? The case is put strongly, and builds on the work of scholars like Elaine Pagels. While the authors are not specialists in the field of Historical Jesus/Early Church studies, they have produced a well documented and tightly argued case that can't be dismissed too lightly. This book will reach an audience not usually exposed to concepts like these, and it seems to mesh in several essentials with earlier studies. After completing it I had the same mixture of astonishment and conviction that I felt after reading Ellegard's Jesus - One Hundred Years Before Christ. If you want a swift kick in your Christian comfort zone, this is the place to start.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Robinson on November 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a scary book for Christians who believe in the uniqueness of the Christian message or the inerrancy of the Bible.
The book shows quite conclusively that most of the events in Jesus' life, from the virgin conception to his resurrection and ascention are copied from prior mythical "godmen" who were worshiped by surrounding Pagan cultures.
Yeshua of Nazareth is simply the Jewish equivalent to Egypt's Osiris, Greece's Dionysus, Italy's Bacchus, Persia's Mythra, etc.
Still, by identifying which parts of the Gospels are pure Pagan myth, we can strip them away and get closer to the historical Jesus.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kev Lehane on November 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Freke and Gandy have done a spectacular job in writing a succinct, well-argued, credible history of the origins of christianity. Their extensive survey and reasoned analysis of comtemporary scholarship leads them to reject as implausible the idea of a literal, historical christ. This stance will undoubtedly upset some readers. However, to get stuck with the issue of whether or not they are right about this - and it seems likely to me that they are - is to miss the bigger (and better) picture. For if there was no Christ, then the question has to be: What was all the fuss about? In addressing this question, they open a door of understanding onto what they have called, "The Jesus Mysteries." With integrity and insight, they have begun an exploration into the true meaning of Christ and Christianity. It is compelling stuff. I can only hope they continue. And I for one look forward to reading another book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Craze on November 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I thought this was going to be another rehash of the sort of Holy Blood Holy Grail thing but I was wrong. I really enjoyed this book both from an educational point of view and from a religious one as well. I had always believedthere was something fundamentally wrong with Christianity and this book explianed why I had never really been able to make sense of something that generated the Spanish Inquisition amongst other forms of horror and torture. A good read from cover to cover. I was hel spell bound and enthralled, mesmerized and fascinated. It must have taken consideable research and effort and the hard work shows. A good book that deserves to be read by all those who try to convince us they are right - you know who I mean. Anyone reading this book will surely need to get a life now if they are still believing claptrap.It was sensationalised or too dramatic - just the right balance of truth, facts and plain common sense. Good book indeed.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The evidence these guys present looks pretty solid to me - every point they made was backed up by not one but several references to experts in this field.
It is clear the evidence points to a big hole in the heart of "Literalist" Christianity, and it is ruthlessly exposed, but Freke & Gandy never once attack the truth of the spirit behind it all.
No wonder the authorities the authors refer to have kept their heads down over this.
As an open-minded Christian, I was rocked and then uplifted by the revelations held here. There are many other Christians who require the certainty of the outer forms - and an authentic history - for their belief. They'll have to either ignore The Jesus Mysteries completely, or do the "Please Close Your Mind Before Opening This Book" trick.
This is a well written, easily read book that every thoughtful, spiritually-inclined Christian will read.
It is a book that every Christian should read!
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More About the Author

Tim is an internationally respected authority on world spirituality. He is the author of over thirty books that have established his reputation as a scholar and free-thinker. He became well known for his groundbreaking work on Christian Gnosticism with his close friend Peter Gandy, including The Jesus Mysteries, which was a top 10 best-seller in the UK and USA, and a 'Book of the Year' in the UK Daily Telegraph.

In his latest book, The Mystery Experience, Tim presents a revolutionary approach to spirituality. He creates a new language of awakening, which makes profound ideas simpler to understand, so it's easier to experience a real transformation of consciousness.

Tim runs Mystery Experience Retreats throughout the world in which he guides people directly to an experience of oneness and all-embracing love that naturally arises in the 'deep awake' state.

Website: www.TheMysteryExperience.com
Events: www.themysteryexperience.com/events/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTimFreke
Twitter: www.twitter.com/TimFreke
Google+: plus.google.com/113011961119357996655

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