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The Jesus Mysteries Hardcover – 1999

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: THORSONS; 1St Edition edition (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0722536763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722536766
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #998,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an interesting book, have several other books by these same authors and did find it to be a little confusing and hard to follow at times, all in all a good book, found some of the correlations to be hard to follow.
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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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Format: Paperback
Co-authors Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy have also collaborated on Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians, The Complete Guide to World Mysticism, The Hermetica: The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs, and Wisdom of the Pagan Philosophers (Wisdom of the Masters).

They wrote in the first chapter of this 1999 book, "When we first began to uncover such extraordinary similarities between the story of Jesus and pagan myth we were stunned... To account for the wealth of evidence we were unearthing we felt compelled to completely review our understanding of the relationship between Paganism and Christianity... We have become convinced that the story of Jesus is not the biography of a historical Messiah, but a myth based on perennial Pagan stories. Christianity was not a new and unique revelation but actually a Jewish adaption of the ancient Pagan Mystery religion." (Pg. 2) They add, "While the Jesus Mysteries Thesis clearly rewrites history, we do not see it as undermining the Christian faith, but as suggesting that Christianity is in fact richer than we previously imagined. The Jesus story is a perennial myth with the power to impart the saving Gnosis, which can transform each one of us into a Christ, not merely a history of events that happened to someone else 2,000 years ago." (Pg.
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