Jesus and the Goddess
The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians
By Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
The Jewish Goddess
Although later rejected by mainstream Jews, there had always been a Jewish Goddess tradition. At one time Israelites had
the Goddess Asherah, as the consort of the
Jewish God Jehovah. In the 5th century BCE she was known as
Anat Jahu. In texts written between the
4th and 1st centuries BCE, such as
The Sophia of Solomon, and
The Sophia of Jesus the Son of Sirach,
she becomes God’s companion and co-creator Sophia. The Jewish Sophia is the lover and inspiration of the good and the wise.
She is ‘an initiate in the Mysteries of God’s Gnosis’, who teaches her followers to become ‘friends of God’ - the
ubiquitous name used by Pagan, Jewish, and Christian Gnostics. The Sophia of Solomon assures us
‘Sophia shines brightly and never fades. She is readily discerned by those who love her, and by those who seek her she is found. She is quick to make herself known to all who desire her Gnosis.’
The Jewish Sophia literature talks of a mythical ‘Good Man’ - no one in particular - who is the Goddess’ envoy on earth.
Moses was pictured as such an envoy. According to the Exodus myth, when he passes on his authority to Joshua (Gk: Jesus)
he also receives ‘the Spirit of Sophia’. For the Christian Gnostics, their mythical hero Joshua/Jesus is likewise Sophia’s
envoy who comes to reveal her Wisdom which leads to Gnosis. Hence ‘the secret’ that Paul proclaims in his Letter to the
Colossians is ‘Christ in whom is hid the treasures of Sophia and Gnosis.’
In the Jewish Sophia literature the Good Man is persecuted by his own people for preaching Sophia’s wisdom and condemned to
a ‘shameful death’. But he is vindicated afterwards and confronts his persecutors as their judge in heaven, where he is one
of the ‘Sons of God’. In the hands of Christian Gnostics this figure of the Good Man is transformed into Jesus the ‘Son of
God’, who comes they say ‘so that Sophia might be proclaimed', is murdered by his misguided kinsmen, but is vindicated by
his resurrection to heaven where he becomes the divine judge.
In our view the evidence clearly suggests that Christianity was originally a synthesis of pre-existing Jewish and Pagan
spiritual philosophy and allegorical mythology, and that central to that tradition was the myth of the Goddess Sophia.
The eradication of the Christian Goddess by the patriarchal Roman Church has left us all motherless children. Women have
been denied a sympathetic rapport with the Divine Feminine. Men have been denied a love-affair with a female face of Deity.
Spirituality has become part of the battleground which separates the sexes, when it should be the sanctuary of eternal
fellowship. The original Christians, however, practised ‘partnership spirituality’. They were noted for valuing men and
women equally, as expressions of God and Goddess. They saw the division of the sexes as a correlate of that primal
polarity which is the basis of life. A duality which when made One, as in the act of love, brings the bliss of mystical
union that they called ‘Gnosis’.