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The Jesus Mysteries: The Original Jesus Was a Pagan God
~Timothy Freke , Peter Gandy
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List price: £7.99
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Average customer rating: 4 out of 5
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Sales rank: 6,499

Product Information

Media: Paperback
ISBN/ASIN : 0722536771
Manufacturer : HarperCollins
Release data : 06 March, 2000

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  • A selection of product reviews

    1 star1 star1 star1 starNo star    Interesting, stimulating

    The argumant that Christ comes in the tradition of ancient Persian gods is an interesting one. The authors argue well about the similarities of Christianity and the older rites.
    It's good to have such studies. I am an evangelical and I am not horrified! I can only say this: read this as an interesting study into the history of parallel and ancient religions. I don't think it can make much difference to one's faith when faith is concerned with a living God. Whether there is a continuous tradition with older religions is only a point of argument. Whether you have a personal faith in Jesus Christ as your living God is a matter that is entirely different from the historical view points of Timothy Freak. After all it is only a theory, as there are thousands of them. The authors want to be sentational, they are, they are colourful. Read this... with a pinch of salt!
    Their other book on Jesus and the godess is much in the same vein, interesting about the ancient rituals and the link with the Gnostics.
    I went on to read a book on the Gnostics. Unfortunately their elitism does not appeal to me. Christ appeals to all, not just to a little elite. It's good to be aware of these kind of theories. It's good to read them and then take stock.
    Mind you theories cannot replace what the heart feels, they cannot replace universal love.

    1 star1 star1 starNo starNo star    well researched, but the conclusion wasn't 100% convincing

    There were a few 'nuggets' within the Jesus Mysteries which I found fascinating.

    The idea of birth/death cycle and freeing your soul from its flawed physical existence is traditionally held to be a tenant of 'Eastern' thought, yet here were Christians in the Roman World that embraced the same beliefs. And though it is becoming more widely known that the early christians adopted a lot of ideas from Pagan religions, this book really highlights how few unique Christian beliefs there really are.

    At the same time, I thought that the authors didn't present their conclusion, that Christianity as we know it was the invention of Hellenised Jews who wanted to copy existing religions, too convincingly.

    They really only skim over the alternative explanation of church history - that there was 'someone' called Jesus around whom a religion acceptable to the Greek and Roman world was built - before dismissing it and moving on to their theory.

    1 star1 starNo starNo starNo star    A slick critique of Christianity, but handle with care...

    Here Freke and Gandy have compiled a vast amount of material supporting a traditional critique of Christianity. This critique states that modern Christianity, far from being based in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, developed from early pagan religions based in myths. The critique concludes that the historical claims of the New Testament are misunderstood if taken literally, that Jesus never lived, let alone died and rose again. The book is extremely accessible, even persuasive, but unfortunately coloured by personal prejudice. The result is not a balanced assessment of the evidence, but a frontal assault on the Christian faith. Contestable evidence is frequently presented as conclusive, and the speculation of one chapter is often treated as established fact in the next. Christian responses to the authors' arguments are never so much as considered, even where they are available. What results is a strong statement of the critique, but the book is far too one-sided to be treated as authoritative.

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