Author of the Month

The Jesus Mysteries: Was the 'Original' Jesus a Pagan God?
By Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

Timothy Freke has a honours degree in philosophy and is an authority on world spirituality and the author of more than twenty books. Peter Gandy has an MA in Classical Civilisation. For more information about the authors, their books, lectures and seminars, visit

On the site where the Vatican now stands, there once stood a Pagan temple. Here Pagan priests observed sacred ceremonies which early Christians found so disturbing that they tried to erase all evidence of them ever having been practised. What were these shocking Pagan rites? Gruesome sacrifices or obscene orgies perhaps? This is what we have been led to believe. But the truth is far stranger than this fiction.

Where today the gathered faithful revere their Lord Jesus Christ, the ancients worshipped another godman who, like Jesus, had been miraculously born on the 25th of December before three shepherds. In this ancient sanctuary Pagan congregations once glorified a Pagan redeemer who, like Jesus, was said to have ascended to heaven, and to have promised to come again at the end of time to judge the quick and the dead. On the same spot where the Pope celebrates the Catholic mass, Pagan priests had also celebrated a symbolic meal of bread and wine in memory of their saviour who, just like Jesus, had declared

"He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made one with me and I with him the same shall not know salvation."

When we began to uncover such extraordinary similarities between the story of Jesus and Pagan myth we were stunned. We had been brought up in a culture which portrays Paganism and Christianity as entirely antagonistic religious perspectives. How could such astonishing resemblances be explained? We were intrigued and began to search further. The more we looked, the more resemblances we found. 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; to question beliefs that we previously regarded as unquestionable and imagine possibilities which at first seemed impossible.

Our conclusion is that the story of Jesus is not the biography of an historical Messiah, but a myth based on perennial Pagan stories. Christianity was not a new and unique revelation but is actually a Jewish adaptation of the ancient Pagan Mystery religion. This is what we have called the 'Jesus Mysteries Thesis'. It may sound farfetched at first, just as it did initially to us. There is, after all, a great deal of unsubstantiated nonsense written about the 'real' Jesus, so any revolutionary theory should be approached with a healthy dose of scepticism. But, although this book makes sensational claims, it is not just fanciful speculation. It is firmly based upon years of meticulous scholarly research and in our book we provide extensive references so that people can check our sources for themselves.

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Timothy Freke's and Peter Gandy's The The Jesus Mysteries

Join us in January, in The Mysteries forum, for a discussion of the original "Mysteries" -- and how it relates to the birth of one of the world's five great religions. Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy are the featured Authors of the Month at for January 2002. Pick up a copy of The Jesus Mysteries and join the discussion!

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