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The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  949 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
What if everything we have been told about the origins of Christianity is a lie?

What if a small group had always known the truth and had kept it hidden . . . until now?

What if there is evidence that Jesus Christ survived the crucifixion?

In Holy Blood, Holy Grail Michael Baigent and his co-authors Henry Lincoln and Richard Leigh stunned the world with a controversial theor
ebook, 352 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 1991)
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Lucinda Reed
I like it from the historical aspect, not because this is some profound piece or that it exposes any kind of cover up.

He presents an interesting case here, with some very different ideas to put forth about the Christian church and the beliefs of Jesus Christ, although he does have some evidence, it is speculative and highly hypothetical. I say it is interesting, because it seems the best word, since it sparks some thought, even if the reader doesn't buy into anything he says. This would probably
Jim McCulloch
Attempting to reconcile proven historic fact to the Bible is difficult at best, but an interesting exercise where historic fact can be established. Establishing the political realities of the time of Jesus was most helpful, as was considering where the young Jesus was raised and trained. It was a harsh, violent, and tumultuous time.

Mr. Baigent raises some interesting ideas and certainly fans the flames of papal conspiracy in the story of Jesus. The timing of the writing of the gospels and subseq
Melissa Bond
Jan 16, 2011 Melissa Bond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where to begin with this book? The information is overwhelming, and even though quite a bit of what Baigent reveals is nothing new to scholars and students, he does bring his own experiences to the table backing it with strong undeniable proof. I was a little surprised that Baigent was satisfied to start with the Egyptians of having a Christ figure, as it is documented to have occurred in earlier cults and religions far preceding the Egyptians. Although he does mention some, I do understand he w ...more
Baigent's earlier book (Holy Blood, Holy Grail) stirred a lawsuit of plagiarism against The Da Vinci Code. Baigent loves the provocative, and this book followed suit. I suspected I might disagree with him, but I set out to give this author/historian a fair shake.

But his blatant lack of intellectual integrity was overwhelming.

Baigent references "incontrovertible evidence" (pg 7) that Jesus survived the crucifixion and was alive on earth in A.D. 45. With some digging, we find his source: a letter
"Extremely speculative!! Every single one of the so-called evidence he provides has no base in history whatsoever. Speculative analysis of obscure and made up data along with playing with peoples ignorance of the truth is what made this book what it is (as well as farming on the element of doubt this book plants in ones mind as the book progresses.). Conspiracy theories has always been like this... just plain speculation! no more, no less!!

Authors like
Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Li
Jul 13, 2009 jcg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great fun. A deluge of facts presented in a very readable style. I don't think Baigent pulls all his rambling conjecture together into a tight conclusion, but the whole thing is interesting and engaging.

One flaw in the logic: Baigent states that when a crucified person could no longer support the weight of the body "death by asphixiation rapidly followed." pg 127. He then speculates that Jesus may have been rendered unconcious by drugs and only appeared to be dead. But if Jesus was unconscious a
This was a fun book to read although I felt the author was a little scattered and tended to go off topic. Although I am not sure his conclusions would withstand close scrutiny it nevertheless provides food for thought whether you are Gentile or Jew, Catholic or Protestant, believer or non-believer.
Apr 10, 2009 Raymond rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: true believers of any stripe
I must first admit some bias. In spite of being raised (and indoctrinated) Roman Catholic, the idea of religion as myth is not alien to me. Through my own meditations and readings, I have long accepted the probability. I approached Mr. Baigent’s work looking for documentation to support my disbelief. The book’s jacket seemed to promise it.

Unfortunately, there was only speculation lacking any back-up evidence. The book is all smoke and no fire. Documents that would allegedly support his theories
Okay, here's the thing. The background information he presents was interesting to me. He made a few great points in the book that really made me think. But, let me go on to say, Biagent is trying to show how the NT is maybe not all we think it is - saying they are simply stories contrived to serve specific purposes and don't have the innocent writing background most assume today. Then he goes on to say they are false because there is fact A. And if we assume fact B caused fact A, and then we ass ...more
Sarah Crawford
Notice that the cover of the book depicts Jesus being taken down from the cross, and the blurb says “Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History.”

The natural assumption, at least in my mind, is that the entire book is about some kind of cover-up about Jesus not dying on the cross after all.


That's what the book claims, but that part isn't really that very big in the book. The majority of the book deals with various forms of what we call “mystery religions” and their rituals. There are entire
May 13, 2015 Don rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This work should be subtitled: Alice in Blunderland. That's the feeling I got while wading through the menagerie. The author should try reading the Bible for important facts before giving free rein to his myth making faculties.

First of all, what he should have been aware of is Jeremiah's prophecy of the Jeconiah curse, something every orthodox Jew would be in possession of during the lifetime of Jesus. It is impossible for me to see how anyone could fall for a Zealot messianic plot to set Jesus
Jan McClelland
Jan 02, 2016 Jan McClelland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the book that truly opened my eyes to just how much we don't know about the life of Jesus, and how much the Bible is a compilation of man-made control programming. God, and Jesus, are so much more than the "good book" allows. And a lot more interesting! This book started me on a quest to learn everything I could about the Knights Templar, the true life of Jesus and so many others things. We've been spoon fed drivel for centuries, all designed to keep us in line "God will get you for that ...more
May 13, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This guy reminds me a little of the "ancient aliens" guy with the big hair. He takes genuine facts, many of which are very interesting, and makes wild leaps to conclusions that are controversial. I liked reading about the archaeology aspect, and about ancient texts that were discovered, and about Egyptian religion and history, and Greek oracles, (even though those two things have nothing to do with Jesus and seems strange, like a wild tangent) but the author's conclusions really are out there. I ...more
Jun 12, 2013 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read. Had guessed a lot of it already since the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gnostic Bible have since been printed for the public - and the Church have tried to keep hidden for the past 60 years.

The theory is that Jesus didn't die on the cross, he survived and had secret teachings that only a few knew - the Christianity we have today is....basically....wrong.

Surprise, surprise! Women were also the teachers in early Christianity. Teaches = priests and yet men have done everything to wipe that
Nov 20, 2010 Birgit rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zugegeben, man kann Michael Baigent durchaus unterstellen, auf der Erfolgswelle von Büchern wie "Sakrileg" (Dan Brown) mitzuschwimmen, aber dieses Buch ist schon ein wenig mehr als das. Angelegt als Sachbuch, geht es fließend in einen historischen Thriller über. Anfangs herrschen die Fakten vor und ab der zweiten Hälfte des Buches dann Theorien darüber, wie es gewesen sein könnte. Der Autor stellt hier provozierende Fragen an die Christenheit und wirft Licht auf die Hintergründe der Kirchenpolit ...more
Fabian Davy
I had great expectations from this book. If somebody was bold enough to refute the claim of Christianity's greatest man - he must have good reason, and ample proof to back his words. But sadly, it was mostly speculation and elaboration of themes that circled around a central key point. Even the so called proof, said to have existed - were either locked away, secured from any access, or being told of its existence - verbally. I would have forgiven Baigent for this lack of evidence, knowing well t ...more
Dustin Comm
Challenging to my faith in the first half, but lost its legitimacy as the claims made were never backed up with substantial evidence. However, it was interesting to hear the different theories about Christ, who (or what) he really was, what His real message was, that he survived the crucifixion, married Mary Magdalene, etc...Very historical (in content), but much of it went way too far off course onto secondary issues that had very little to do with the central figure of Jesus.

The big issue rai
Dec 13, 2008 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Co-Author of “Holy Blood Holy Grail”, Michael Baigent offers a new theory that not only was Jesus married to Mary Magdalene; he survived the crucifixion and lived to at least 45 AD. His letters to the Sanhedrin state that he was not the physical son of God but like all men who have the spirit of God within, he was a son of God.

While James, Jesus’ brother, stayed within the Jewish faith, Christianity flourished among the pagans and gentiles. Using timelines, Baigent tracks the history of church
Okay, first it's a bit of a stretch to call this the biggest cover up in history. I mean, there's a lot of history in the world to cover and saying that these papers and scrolls are the biggest cover ups is, well, a bit egotistical or pretentious of Mr. Baigent, first as a "scholar" and second as a Christian, wait, is he a Christian? What is he anyway? Well, he certainly hates the church. Or at least his writings come across as very church-hating. That's I guess a big "C" on "Church" if you know ...more
Dec 29, 2012 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting work to read after just finishing "Beloved Disciple" by Robin Griffith-Jones. "Beloved Disciple' provides an interpretation of the gospels and gnostic texts leading one to at least entertain the possibility that women played an important part in the early church. While suggesting the possibility Mary Magdalene was Jesus' wife, Griffith-Jones proposes an interpretation of her as an allegory for wisdom. Baigent exposes church politics and religious connivance for a small group of pa ...more
Jonathan Lu
interesting story, not quite as provocative as Holy Blood Holy Grail, and not nearly as well written or informative as Racing Towards Armageddon. I found the highlight to be the comparative analysis between the mystical form of Judaism practiced by Jesus vs. the more dogmatic form by most of the Zealots, and speculation as to where/how he cut his teeth over his formative years left out in the New Testament (in Egypt). Was not too impressed by the underlying undertones of catholic conspiracy theo ...more
Sherry S
Jan 20, 2016 Sherry S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book for its historical perspective. However, there is a lot of hypothetical conjecture on the authors part with regards to linking of some events to prove their theories correct. I could give you a pretty convincing argument for the existence of a Yetti, but it doesn't mean they exisit. The book however does make me want to read the Bible again soon from a historical viewpoint.
Aaron Meyer
A pretty good book considering I have already read of many of the thing he is talking about from some of the source material he uses. I like how he develops his idea of what Jesus was really teaching by giving historical details to how the cultures that Jesus grew up in sought out the spiritual experience. He does give a pretty convincing idea though I would like to read a few of the other books he has in his notes before being completely brought on board. The only thing I thought was funny was ...more
Enrique Muñoz
It starts out so gloriously speculative in the first three chapters that it took every bit of perseverance to continue reading. But by the 4th chapter I could considered it more interesting admittedly because it reinforced what I already knew. It ends with a conclusion about the bible with a description applicable to itself: it's based not on knowledge but on belief.
Nov 27, 2007 Mickey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book starts out with an interesting premise, that there is evidence that Jesus didn't actually die on the cross. However, the evidence is hinted at but never really presented. Two scenarios are described; in the first, an apparently lifeless Jesus is taken down from the cross and later revived, in the second, a substitute person actually dies on the cross instead. Both of these possibilities are interesting to consider, but without any substantive evidence to support the claims, they just s ...more
Mar 03, 2015 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
There was nothing shocking or really even thought provoking about this book whatsoever. It should have been called "Lost Manuscripts." This is a collection of unverifiable, unattributed stories of lost manuscrips and artifacts.
Stuart Chambers
Aug 24, 2014 Stuart Chambers rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been interested in what was taken out of the Bible by man. I have always been interested why the early life of Jesus is apparently not documented at all! Do not expect any answers from this book.
Jan 24, 2014 Colby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, religion
Not for the faint of heart but religious history usually is not. Baigent's factual findings are very fascinating and beyond the mainstream. His conclusions are fanciful and not generally based on the evidence however. But if even a percentage of his opinions are correct it will require the Church to respond in a rational and not a knee jerk way.
May 22, 2011 Franz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by a co-author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the controversial book on which Brown's The DaVinci Code is partly based, this book explores the origins of Christianity, including some discussion of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It seems his evidence is more circumstantial than solid, yet I learned much about the early days of the Inquisition--intitially formed to oversee the torture and massacre of the heretical Cathars in France--and disappearance of the Knights Templars. The last chapter or two pet ...more
Jan 04, 2012 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an enjoyable read, providing an interesting perspective on the life of Jesus and the origins of Christianity. It reads like a giant thesis paper, chock full of information attempting to back up his claims. History is BASED on speculation, so I don't understand how others discount Baigent for only providing another interpretation. The historical aspect of the novel was extremely interesting, but his findings weren't exactly groundbreaking. I would recommend this book for fellow skeptics, a ...more
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Michael Baigent was born in New Zealand in 1948. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Canterbury University, Christchurch, and holds a master's degree in mysticism and religious experience from the University of Kent in England. Since 1976 he has lived in England with his wife and children.

Baigent is a Freemason and a Grand Officer of the United Grand Lodge of England. He has
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