The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light

The Pagan Christ Recovering the Lost Light A provocative argument for a mystical rather than historical understanding of Jesus leading to a radical rebirth of Christianity in our time For forty years scholar and religious commentator Tom H

  • Title: The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light
  • Author: Tom Harpur
  • ISBN: 9780802714497
  • Page: 225
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A provocative argument for a mystical, rather than historical, understanding of Jesus, leading to a radical rebirth of Christianity in our time.For forty years, scholar and religious commentator Tom Harpur has challenged church orthodoxy and guided thousands of readers on subjects as controversial as the true nature of Christ and life after death Now, in his most radicalA provocative argument for a mystical, rather than historical, understanding of Jesus, leading to a radical rebirth of Christianity in our time.For forty years, scholar and religious commentator Tom Harpur has challenged church orthodoxy and guided thousands of readers on subjects as controversial as the true nature of Christ and life after death Now, in his most radical and groundbreaking work, Harpur digs deep into the origins of Christianity.Long before the advent of Jesus Christ, the Egyptians and other peoples believed in the coming of a messiah, a virgin birth, a madonna and her child, and the incarnation of the spirit in flesh While the early Christian church accepted these ancient truths as the very basis of Christianity, it disavowed their origins What had begun as a universal belief system built on myth and allegory was transformed, by the third and fourth centuries A.D into a ritualistic institution based on a literal interpretation of myths and symbols But, as Tom Harpur argues in The Pagan Christ, to take the Gospels literally as history or biography is to utterly miss their inner spiritual meaning At a time of religious extremism, Tom Harpur reveals the virtue of a cosmic faith based on ancient truths that the modern church has renounced His message is clear Our blind faith in literalism is killing Christianity Only with a return to an inclusive religion where Christ lives within each of us will we gain a true understanding of who we are and who we are intended to become The Pagan Christ is a book of rare insight and power that will reilluminate the Bible and change the way we think about religion.

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      Published :2018-08-16T21:58:20+00:00

    1 thought on “The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light”

    1. Interesting but unconvincing book. The book is mainly a rehash of the work of Alvin Boyd Kuhn whose theories Harpur seems to have swallowed uncritically, even to the point of repeating the rather dubious etymology of Abraham as a Hindu name.It would have been helpful if Harpur had backed up his claims with the work of other researchers besides Kuhn and a couple of others. It is accepted by some scholars that a few of the Gospel miracles were borrowed from the rites of Bacchus and that the raisin [...]

    2. Having been intrigued by the Christ Myth Theory, I picked up this text largely on the purported strength of Tom Harpur's scholarship. Fool me onceIf "Pagan" had been written in the years before the advent of the World Wide Web, I might have been inclined towards a less negative review. However, many primary sources are now accessible in translation via the Internet. Fact-checking by author and reader alike should be de rigueur. For former Anglican priest and professor of Greek and New Testament [...]

    3. In The Pagan Christ Tom Harpur takes a look at the origins of the Christ myth and attempts to trace its beginnings to Egyptian sun god religions. I suppose this may come as a surprise to those who aren’t aware that all religions are man-made creations. The only real difference is that it’s easier to document the human origins of more recently invented religions (Scientology, Mormonism), than it is the older ones like Christianity. The main point Harpur wants to convey, is that these archetyp [...]

    4. It's my opinion that every Christian should read this book. It's not as blasphemous as the title might make it sound. The author explores the pagan influences in Christianity, and the true meaning behind the stories of the Bible that have gotten lost after centuries of literal interpretation. I think looking at the roots of the religion breathes new life into the Biblical stories and make them relevant today.I knew some of this stuff before I read the book, but I was surprised at how much of it [...]

    5. I didn't rate this highly because I don't mean to recommend it to anyone. It is, however, talked about in some circles Tom Harpur is a former Anglican priest, turned journalist. He takes a sharply critical approach to Christianity--which is intensely interesting, but can leave a person feeling adrift at sea. He doesn't believe in a historical Christ, but sees Christianity as a repackaging of ancient mythologies, none of which were ever intended to be literalized. All of which point to an "inner [...]

    6. The book is a good summary of the idea that the Jesus stories are retelling's of Egyptian myth. Certainly, the many proofs of Jesus existence do not have the historic support many believers claim. Since Harpur extensively refers to Alvin Kuhn I read Kuhn’s book A Rebirth For Christianity and was disappointed to realize Harpur simply retells Kuhn without contributing anything new to the topic.

    7. Interesting and thought provoking theories. Worth a read if you aren't already familiar with comparative mythology and the close similarities of Hellenistic myth to stories from the bible.

    8. Knowing the background of the author- I was impressed to receive much of the information which Dawkins and Hutchens books cover (God Delusion and god is not Great) a good two and three years ahead of their respective books. Covering the history available versus the myths was an interesting dive- unevenly paced, and over too quickly. Impressive - yet somewhat lacking greatness. Sorely the most concise and collected and well-written book on this subject still seems to be the Dawkins book. Still, k [...]

    9. A great book. Fascinating read that makes the case that the Bible needs to be interpreted as myth and allegory rather than taken literally as historical truth. The author explains the origins of these myths and their commonality with many other ancient religions. I found a similar message in Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth" and highly recommend both books.

    10. interesting I liked the idea of seeing Christianity through the lens of mythology and not taking a historical interpretation of the bible but for me there wasn't enough meat in this text.

    11. Truly fascinating look at the origin of the Jesus myth in ancient Egyptian mythology. I have great respect for Harpur's project, which is to relocate Christianity as a system of allegorical and mythological thought that illuminates the evolution of the soul. He completely dismisses Jesus as having been a historical person in any capacity and his argument to this end is as air tight as they come. Where I think this book falls short is in Harpur's insistence on the eventual resurrection of the sou [...]

    12. fitting follow up to 'jealous gods' as harpur (anglican priest and seminary prof) traces the jesus myth to ancient egypt's osiris mythepening the story with the metaphor and symbolism of the life of christ - by examining the symbols and stories used thousands of years before jesus was alleged to have been born. the book is abt connections btw jesus and osiris that were destroyed in the third century by the Church. library burnings, murders, the deliberate destruction of ancient texts detailing t [...]

    13. In my journey, this is the right book at the right time. Harpur convincingly presents the case that the historical Jesus doesn't have a shadow of reality; it is the Cosmic Jesus who was, is, andould be. Because of the lore from the Egyptian texts, from the Middle East, and from Plato, these sources have influenced the biblical writers immensely. Coupled with a respression and expulsion, after violent reprisals of 2nd and 3rd C. churchmen to consolodate the Power into one universal (Catholic) chu [...]

    14. I breezed through this book over Christmas on Kindle after spotting it on .Some years ago I'd read my Dad's paperback copy of the The Jesus Mysteries, which was rather disappointing 'sensationalist' fare using old, spurious claims that Jesus was like many Pagan gods - that's 'like' as in jaw-droppingly identical.I thought Harpur's book might have been a little more measured but, sadly, it's much the same as The Jesus Mysteries - a book he even cites are a few times and refers to its authors as ' [...]

    15. In a brief summary Tom Harpur concludes that the bible is fiction that is a compilation of myths and stories from older religions compiled in a manner and strung together to make it seem like a true history. He is a Christian himself and says that while he was shocked by the revelation he has found that he no longer struggles with the mysteries of the bible and reads stories as allegory with an ultimate truth. Jesus Christ shouldn’t be demythologized, he should be remythologized so that each p [...]

    16. This book offers more intriguing conjectures than "The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail" and "The Da Vinci Code" yet is not likely to provide as much entertainment or make as much profit. I hope in good time it will get as much press and scholarly attention, leading more individuals to discover the ancient, original meaning of "Christ".Based on extensive research by Harpur and others before him, it proposed that Jesus may never have existed and much of the new testament was borrowed from pagan myth [...]

    17. quite interesting and unexpected . . . though the parallels between Christian and Egyptian mythology may or may not be debatable, the idea that religious thought is approached in metaphorical ways proves that literal translation of any religious text is dangerous for the individual and society. written in a manner that kept me fascinated, this book opened my mind enough to allow for a sweeping view of spirituality and the need for beliefs to be questioned and contemplated continuously -- evoluti [...]

    18. This book was recommended by a friend of mine. This particular book rekindled my doubts in religion and the historicity of Jesus. To look at the bible in a different way and in the end, I am more comfortable with my beliefs (or lack of it) now than ever before.It is a must read for people with doubts about their beliefs in a supreme being. This will help you analyze yourself and provide you more insights of some of your doubts. The book can result in either way; to reinforce your Christian value [...]

    19. As someone coming from the Pagan perspective on this book I found none of it surprising. It lined up fairly well with my own views on the matter of a Christ and God within rather than authorities who historically wrought change onto anything. The concept that there is little to no provable history in the bible surprised me a bit as I knew that true of certain things and I may have to go deeper into that rabbit hole, but for now I must say not a bad book. Clearly thinks very highly of Kuhn's writ [...]

    20. This former Episcopal priest and seminary teacher argues on the basis of extensive personal research that the Gospels, and indeed the main stories of the Hebrew Bible, are not historical reports but rather Hebrew/Christian embodiments of ancient mythological material, particularly from Egypt and from the dramas of Mediterranean Mystery-religions. He explains how seeing Christianity in this new light, with a mythic Christ that lives in each person instead of a historical Jesus, has reinvigorated [...]

    21. This is a fascinating book written by an ex-Prof. of History/ New Testament Studies and former Anglican Minister. After engaging in this research the author concluded that despite the fact that there is no proof for the existance of Christ, and that it is all based upon ancient antecedants, the author still had the intestinal fortitude and desire to remain Christian, because one [that is, a Christian:] should not be afraid of acknowledging the fact that most of what is known of this figure hails [...]

    22. This is a powerful bookI appreciate the thoughtful scholarship and imagination that pervades this erudite book. Harpur here points a way forward for a Christianity mired in traditions and practices that no longer work, if they ever did work other than for the few who benefited at the top. Harpur reclaims Jesus in a powerful way. Read this book and have your mind and heart expanded.

    23. Harpur's The Pagan Christ is somewhat of a synthesis or primer of Kuhn, Massey, and others, and is more of an invitation to further reading and research than something of a resolution. It was valuable to me, and I made a tremendous number of highlights and annotations in my copy that I intend to return to later. I highly recommend this to everyone, but particularly anyone with strong views about religion (atheists and Christian literalists, I'm looking at you!).

    24. this new edition of tom harpur's national bestsellerthe pagan Christ includes a new introductionby the the authoras well as a twenty -page chapter by chapterdiscussionguide with more then 100 questions to facilitate a deeperand more profound understanding of the findings and arguments discussedin this groundbreaking book praise for the pagan Christ

    25. This is an argument against literalism as killing the faith belief of many. I read somewhere that one grows out of 'fundamentalism' into a more mature faith, but also many loose hope and "graduate" to rationalism or unbelief. As Christopher Hitchens says in his argument in the much publicized TV debate with Tony Blair, fundamentalist belief of all stripes fosters violence and destruction. Book is a bit repetitive but well drawn argument.

    26. A must read for any Christian or non-christian. It will give you hope for the future of religion. The historical Jesus, a human/god living being, is unnecessary for the spiritual Christ to transform mankind. In fact the worship of a historical Jesus is a hindrance. Christianity is a 10,000 year old Egyptian religion, it just got a new name 2000 years ago.

    27. This book has some excellent information. The arguments are well defended and it's very thoroughly researched. Wonderful for someone who is look to expand their thinking. Admittedly, it took me off and on reading of this book for about 3 years to finally complete it. It is a very heavy read and not for the faint of heart.

    28. Hmmm. This basically proves that Jesus was not completely Jewish. The Jesus of today is Americanized but still Jewish. The Jews blended the Greek and Egyptian myths of godman. Godman died to save manking, virgin birth, was resurrected etc. But it reinforces the spiritual aspects, the truths about Jesus. It blows the churches of today out of the water.

    29. I've read all Harpur's books and I wondered if he would ever get to this point but he finally admits the church(es) got it all wrong and offers an alternative interpretation that makes a lot more sense then the crock you hear in church on Sundays.

    30. What I got out of the book - Instead of idolizing Jesus and saying: "What would Jesus do?" Instead say, "What would I do?" The Bible as a book of myths instead of a historical record has to be one of the greatest conspiracies theories. Its like the X-files but instead of aliens its religion.

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