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by Timothy Freke

Why Were the Teachings of the Original Christians Brutally Suppressed by the Roman Church?• Because they portray Jesus and Mary Magdalene as mythic figures based on the Pagan Godman and Goddess• Because they show that the gospel story is a spiritual allegory encapsulating a profound philosophy that leads to mythical enlightenment• Because they have the power to turn the world inside out and transform life into an exploration of consciousnessDrawing on modern scholarship, the authors of the international bestseller The Jesus Mysteries decode the secret teachings of the original Christians for the first time in almost two millennia and theorize about who the original Christians really were and what they actually taught. In addition, the book explores the many myths of Jesus and the Goddess and unlocks the lost secret teachings of Christian mysticism, which promise happiness and immortality to those who attain the state of Gnosis, or enlightenment. This daring and controversial book recovers the ancient wisdom of the original Christians and demonstrates its relevance to us today.
Download Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians epub
ISBN: 1400045940
ISBN13: 978-1400045945
Category: History
Subcategory: World
Author: Timothy Freke
Language: English
Publisher: Harmony (October 22, 2002)
Pages: 336 pages
ePUB size: 1758 kb
FB2 size: 1660 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 656
Other Formats: lrf mobi azw rtf

Freke and Gandy proclaim "Christian literalism from which nearly all forms of modern Christianity have evolved...didn't...appear until the middle of the second century" (p 25).

Alas for Freke/Gandy, this is flat-out untrue. Nor can they convince anyone by pretending the Gnostic texts, dated to around 200 AD or much later, have anything to do with the epistles of Paul, dated to twenty years after the crucifixion of Christ.

The facts: Paul - not to mention Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - use the words 'paradidomi' and 'paralambano'. These were technical terms, familiar to any Second Temple Jew, indicating the given statements were true, binding, religious sacred tradition. Here are some good books on the subject: "Torah in the Mouth,” "Early Text of the New Testament,” “Structuring Early Christian Memory: Jesus in Tradition, Performance and Text,” and "Jesus Remembered.”

Futhermore, intense research into Paul in the last fifty years has discovered proof of early creeds, likely dating back to the first three years after the death of Jesus. Some good books on the subject: "Lord Jesus Christ" by Hurtado and "The Earliest Christian Confessions".

Guess what Freke and Gandy also get completely wrong: literalism, in the way that Freke and Gandy mean, was never part of early Christianity. It arrived with the Protestants, circa the 1500s. The Catholic church reads scripture according to the four senses of scripture, including the historical, allegorical, tropological, and the anagogical.

Even the people the brilliant Freke and Gandy call 'literalists" such as Ireneaus, utilized typology. So either the perspicacious Freke and Gandy never read any of Ireneaus, or Ireneaus was simply too difficult for even their shining genius to grasp. For that matter, in the first documents by a Christian, the epistles of Paul, Paul uses typology. And no, this is not proof Paul was a Gnostic. For an explanation, here's a good book on the subject: "Typos: The Typological Interpretation of the Old Testament in the New".

The nimble minds of Freke and Gandy aver that "In fact we don't hear anything about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John until the late second century" (p 40). Actually, we have literally hundreds of quotations from the four Gospels in Clement, Ignatius, the Didache, Justin, etc., so it's perfectly clear which Gospels were known and revered by the early Christians. Absolute rock solid evidence. Good reference book on this: 'The Influence of Saint Matthew on Christian Literature before Saint Irenaeus".

Note also: Freke/Gandy craftily omit any mention of 1 Clement (95 AD) and the letters of Ignatius of Antioch (110 AD), the first being from the Bishop of Rome, and the second by the Bishop of Antioch. Both demolish Freke and Gandy's claims of orthodox Christianity only dating to the middle of the second century, since they prove the existence of orthodox bishops, orthodox doctrine, orthodox congregations, and orthodox citation of scripture, in major cities with nary a hint of Gnostic anything. They are available online if you want to look them up.

"By the first half of the first century there were already three ...schools of Christian Gnosticism" (p 25).

Utter rubbish. Although there were some vaguely Gnostic ideas floating around, there were no Gnostic texts or schools until a century after the death of Christ, long after the orthodox Gospels and epistles were written. A good book on the subject: "A Separate God" by S. Petrement. Petrement found that Docetism preceded Gnosticism, for one thing, and Docetism didn't appear until the end of the apostolic era.

Freke and Gandy laugh at this false assumption believed by so many dullard clods: "The traditional history of Christianity is that Literalism took the world by storm, whilst Christian Gnosticism remained a minor heretical fringe movement...Christian Gnosticism was an international movement " (p 41).

If the ancient world was crowded cheek to jowl with Gnostics, how do they explain Celsus? The anti-Christian Celsus insisted that the orthodox Christians were vast in number, whereas the Gnostics were few, just as Ireneaus said. And as for the Gnostics themselves, they titled themselves 'The Few'. Explain that, please, Mr. Freke and Gandy.

If Freke and Gandy refused to fact-check, what happened to their editors? Listen to this one: "Pagan philosopher Celsus, writing about Christianity c 170 AD only knows of gospels written by women" (p 34). Then funny thing about that book he wrote complaining about Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The various Gnostic sects did not proclaim Christ God of the universe, and did not believe he died to save us. Some Gnostic schools held beliefs that resemble pantheistic Hinduism, some hated flesh, the entire material world, and women. But no Gnostic could have recited the Rule of Faith, the creed, which was basic for any Christian.

Chattering about Sophia and other goddesses, the piercing intellects of Freke/Gandy claim "the most important source for the Christian Goddess myth is Pagan mythology". A fact apparently gleaned from Dan Brown of 'Da Vinci Code' infamy (one noted historian said of Brown's 'Da Vinci Code" that he had accomplished the miraculous; he got every single fact wrong including the locations of the bathrooms at the Louvre).

As for Jewish wisdom literature talking about a female...again, no. Although ancient Hebrew gave words either a feminine or masculine gender, much as the Spanish and French do today, this did not mean anybody thought a table was really female, or that wisdom pranced about in make up and jewelry.

"Christianity and other popular Mystery cults were adopted by the an attempt to bring coherence to a fragmenting empire" (p 43). Apparently the scintillating brilliance that is Freke/Gandy have never grasped the fact that in the ancient world mystery cults were called mystery cults because you couldn't learn their mysteries without joining and paying a fee. Whereas Christians were grabbing innocent people on the street and babbling every single fact they knew about Christianity to them, the very opposite of a mystery cult.

Freke/Gandy inform us that James was not the brother of Jesus. Then why did Josephus say he was, and why did James become the bishop of Jerusalem after the apostles left? The family of Jesus was real, or why do we have historical references to descendants for centuries? The Roman emperor Domitian, hearing some garbled version of Jesus, had all of Jesus' relatives dragged to Rome so he could examine them. Pretty hard to do with imaginary people.

"The Pagan...Aphrodite tells fundamentally the same tale as the later Christian myth of the lost Goddess" (p 91). Um, no. There has never been a Christian tale, myth, or nursery rhyme about a Goddess, lost or found. And when a group in late antiquity tried to worship Mary, the spoil sport Catholic Church declared them heretics.

The always clever team of Freke and Gandy claim Paul talked about Sophia. No, it was the Gnostics who chattered on about aeons, Sophia, and other risible concepts. Paul was the one who called pagan gods 'demons'. See the difference?

"Q portrays...Jesus and John the Baptist...sent by Sophia". Sophia again, and in Q, a claim I have never heard a biblical scholar, atheist or believer, express. Q, even as a concept, is now under extreme attack (for a book on this, pick up "Questioning Q"), but at any rate, since no fragment has ever been found, no one has the smallest idea of what was in it, let alone that it includes a mislaid Goddess.

The discerning minds of Freke/Gandy insist Gnostics "preached liberty, equality, and fraternity". There were many different schools of Gnosticism, but most Gnostics seemed to be a self absorbed, preening elite, believing themselves to be filled to the brim with gnosis, and unhappily if temporarily forced to live among the dreadful vast population of squalid slaves and dirty soldiers.

"Creating visions of social utopias had always been part of" (p 33) Gnosticism. No it has not. Pick up a copy of "Missing Gospels" by Bock for a clearer picture of the Gnostics.

They hysterically decry that "By the middle of the second century a Literalist school ....emerged in Rome, with autocrats such as Irenaeus. (p 38)" The facts: Irenaeus was the Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, not in Rome, and as for being a literalist, he frequently used allegory and typology.

"Christian Literalism became...a 'suicide cult'...Roman authorities...were...appalled at Christian Literalists' eagerness to be martyred" (p 39). An 'immense multitude' of Christians did not ask to be turned into living torches to light a dinner party for Nero. And huge numbers of Christians lapsed under persecutions. Perhaps Freke/Gandy need to consider buying a history book or two.

Freke and Gandy claim Jesus was another dying-and-rising god. The idea of dying and rising gods was a Victorian through the 1920s era theory, now utterly discarded by biblical scholars. From Dr Jonathan Z Smith: "the category of dying and rising gods, once a major topic of scholarly investigation, must now be understood to be largely a misnomer based on imaginative reconstructions and exceedingly late or highly imaginative texts". A good book on the subject: "The Jesus Legend".

Freke and Gandy ponder whether Jesus even existed, to the glad cries of everyone with a pornography problem. There are thousands and thousands of atheist biblical scholars, but, maddeningly for Freke and Gandy, these Christianity-hating scholars tenaciously insist Jesus existed, apparently grudgingly, since of course if they could get around the evidence, they would.

Humorous true story: the agnostic anti-Christian Bart Ehrman wrote "Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth", in an attempt to get the Jesus-is-a-myth group to shut up and stop embarrassing him.

Freke and Gandy hate, detest, and revile Christianity. "Religion is the Devil's greatest achievement," they seethe, and Christians do "evil in the name of holiness." Yes, St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Theresa of Calucutta fly to mind. They are so relieved because Christianity is a "dying religion".

More pesky facts: Christianity, both Protestant and Catholic, is expanding with breathtaking rapidity in Africa and Asia. In 1900, there were three Europeans for every African in the world. But Europeans forgot to reproduce. By 2050, the UN recently calculated there will be three Africans for every European in the world.

The famous Roman physician Galen was stunned that Christians remained in Rome during the plague (he, of course, fled) and tended the sick, killing many of them. The ancient Greeks tossed blind women into brothels; as soon as Christianity was legitimate, they formed hospitals to tend to the blind, not to mention charities for the poor in every parish . Even today, with all the UN and government charities, one out of every three charities is Christian.

John Bradburne, who died this year, tended to lepers in Africa. He washed them, dressed their wounds, fed by hand those who were incapable. Again, even with government aid, the vast majority of lepers in the world today are cared for by Catholic nuns and priests.

With their trademark keen insight Freke/Gandy point out that "Many people desperately want to believe in a miraculous savior" (p 57).

And many people desperately, desperately want to deny there is a God who judges whether or not they will be in hell for all eternity.
An interesting read but nothing new. Blavatsky exposed the truth about the Universal (Catholic) Church in her first book "Isis Unveiled" written in 1877 as did Albert Pike in "Morals and Dogma" also from the late 19th century. James G. Frazier and others have shown that all religions including Christianity stem from ancient pagan beliefs. The sun dies on December 22, the winter solstice, and is born again or rises from the tomb three days later (when the days become perceptably longer) and ascends into heaven. I have read everything published on Gnosticism and find it interesting but still controversial. These men compare Gnosticism to Jung's depth psychology as does Stephan Hoeller. That's okay, I get it. What is not okay is the lengths these gentlemen go to to zealously prove their theory. It took me quite awhile to read this book because I took the time to fact check every footnote. They consistently misquote the Bible. They cherry pick the verses they think will help them and then rewrite them to push their agenda. I did enjoy reading the book and it will remain in my library for reference. Just remember that when you have an open mind, a lot of things get tossed in. It's up to the reader to separate the chaff.

Additional comment: These gentlemen demonize Christians while glorifying Humanists. While the 10,000 people killed by the church during the Inquision is deplorable, take a look at the Humanist movement. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, all darlings of the Humanists, tortured, butchered, slaughtered 100 MILLION people. The hypochrisy is atrocious.
This is an excellent book for a beginner on the Gnostic path and a natural progression for those who are currently on the Deepak Chopra/Wayne Dyer spiritual train, as I once was. However it emanates from what I call the "Knee Jerk" strand of Gnostic thought - the strand that adopts the ostrich position and patronisingly refers to evil as "the Good in disguise" - as if in the final analysis it's actually afraid to make the psychological leap into the unknown, succumb to the existential void and acknowledge the absurd reality of the world around it. I was on the new age spiritual path myself, and which yielded me many worldly benefits. I never believed in the dark side (to paraphrase George Lucas) and merely thought - as Freke and Gandy do - that evil is merely a byproduct of a misguided ego. I read this book during that period of my life. However a traumatic incident of cosmic proportions driven by the most organic - dare I say it - "evil" essence and pro-active malicious behaviour intent on my complete destruction on every level, occurred to me shortly afterward, a situation which lasted over 2 years, and which tore my perception of the world apart. I overcame it, but in doing so, had to drop all respect I had for the world, for society, for my own role in it and indeed my own ego. I had to work from spirit only, and my opponents were astonished. They expected me to operate from a traditional position of reverence for the world and the way it operates. The outcome of the situation has been my departure from the "One Universal Good God permeating everywhere" school of thought and onto a much edgier and combative view of what's actually going on behind the scenes. I've come to the conclusion that Life is a Product, designed copyrighted and created by Creation, Inc., with inherent flaws in the design, and has had a massive marketing and advertising campaign behind it from the First Day to convince human beings how great it is and how much they need it. What a shame that Freke and Gandy buy into this scam by the end of their otherwise great book.