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The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God? Paperback – September 25, 2001
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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 They show--successfully, I think--that what started out as a mystical Gnostic Christianity was ultimately superceded by a Literalist Christianity (by which they mean Christians who intepret the Jesus stories as literal, historical events rather than mythological analogies and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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I Share and have Shared this Book with Each and Everyone I possibly can. It is a Deeply Truthful and Inspiring Understanding of the Christ Consciousness Within All of Us, and They... Read morePublished 7 days ago by kelly awenrose kelleher
Fascinating book. A real eye-opener. Great condition. Thanks.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
An outstanding book deeply researched. Recommended reading for all needing to understand past and current international events. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Don Lomax
Great book love these authors really give you something to think aboutPublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
This is (for me) an absolutely fascinating book. Extremely well written and cram packed with intriguing arguments ALL well referenced and most germane to Freke's argument. Read morePublished 3 months ago by paul wildman
Impressed, and do not wait as long as I did by neglecting this title on your 'maybe-someday' Wish List. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bill Hilly
A very impressive scholarly work that breaks down classical historical writings throughout the time philosophers have recorded anything. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Barbara Longue