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Jesus and the Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians
By Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

The traditional history of Christianity is at best hopelessly inaccurate and at worst a pack of lies. This is the conclusion we came to in our book The Jesus Mysteries. After years of painstaking research we could find no evidence that there had ever been an historical Jesus. We suggested that this is because Christianity did not begin as the cult of a 1st century Messiah, but rather as a Jewish adaptation of the ancient Pagan Mystery religion. The gospel story is not a miraculous biography, but a synthesis of Jewish myths of the Messiah Joshua (Jesus in Greek) with ancient Pagan myths of a dying and resurrecting Son of God , in which we already find all the significant details of what will become the Jesus story. We are now convinced that the so-called Gnostic Christians, far from being irrelevant heretics as they are portrayed by the Roman Church, were in fact the original Christians who were responsible for consciously creating the Jesus myth.

The idea of some sect 'making up' the Jesus story may seem strange today, but this is because we no longer think of myths in the same way as did our ancestors. To us myths are irrelevant fantasies, but the ancients regarded them as profound allegories encoding mystical teachings. Mythical motifs represented philosophical principles. They were an archetypal vocabulary with which to think. Creating new myths was a way of exploring new ideas. Reworking old myths and syncretising them to create new ones was a major preoccupation of Pagan, Jewish and Christian Gnostics. Epiphanius, for example, describes the Christian Gnostics as using 'allegorical interpretation' to freely 'recompose' Jewish scriptures and 'Greek epic mythology', which are precisely the two sources used to create the Jesus myth.

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