Pagan Christ: Is Blind Faith Killing Christianity?
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Pagan Christ: Is Blind Faith Killing Christianity?

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  247 ratings  ·  39 reviews
For forty years and in nine previous books, 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. What he has discovered will have a profou...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Walker & Company (first published March 22nd 2004)
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jcg
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...more
Todd Martin
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 archetypal s...more
Angela Scott
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 once...

If "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 Testame...more
Stephanie
Feb 18, 2008 Stephanie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
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 "inn...more
Brian Sullivan
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.
Andrea Paterson
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...more
Amy
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 per...more
Florence Lyon
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...more
Jillian
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...more
Sally
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...more
Veronika
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...more
Toya
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.
Wade
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...more
Chito L. Sta.Brigida
This book was recommended by a friend of mine. This particular book rekindled my doubts in religion. To look at the bible in a different way and in the end, I am more comfortable with my beliefs now than ever before. It is a must read for those 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 re-inforce your Christian values more or it can help you realize the...more
Duke
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!).
Joan
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.
Mario Zonni
this new edition of tom harpur's
national bestseller
the pagan Christ includes a new introduction
by the the author
as well as a twenty -page chapter by chapter
discussion
guide with more then 100 questions to facilitate
a deeper
and more profound understanding
of the findings and arguments discussed
in this groundbreaking book
praise for the pagan Christ
Rod
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.
Mark Jacobsen
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.
Rachel Norman
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.
Jeffrey McKinley
An interesting read, similar to Alvin Boyd Kuhn's hypothesis. I recommend it for people who are able to read a treatise on a subject without swallowing it wholesale. There are many theories concerning the origin of the Christ Myth and this is one of them (read 2/13/09).
Mary
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.
N.M. Freeman
Bold and refreshing. Harpur translates a metaphorical interpretation of scriptures into a readable, fascinating, academic based book that would interest anyone who struggles with what religion tells us is true about themselves, God, and the Bible.
Kozmo Kliegl
My first introduction to the theory that what was to become the church was able to exploit a common Mystery Religion at the time and package into a 'product' which they have been flogging for 18 centuries.
Carolyn
Every other sentence was "they didn't teach this at seminary school".
Many of the ideas presented I already was familiar with, so I found it boring and gave up.
Lyle Appleyard
A very interesting read. I was familar with the subject from other sources. A read that will make a Christian angry, or look at the Bible in a different light.
Mary Musson
Interesting at first but became repetitive. The reading became dry and I lost interest about 3/4 of the way through. Couldn't finish.
Carol
I appreciated learning that the ideas of the ways of living taught by the Judeao-Christian tradition predates Jesus.
Michael
This book is blowing my mind. Especially having been schooled at the Basilian Institution of St. Mike's.
Laurel
Finally a book about God that makes sense to me.
Very contraversial.
Tom Harpur is brilliant.
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Tom Harpur, columnist for the Toronto Star, Rhodes scholar, former Anglican priest, and professor of Greek and the New Testament, is an internationally renowned writer on religious and ethical issues. He is the author of ten bestselling books, including For Christ’s Sake and The Pagan Christ. He has hosted numerous radio and television programs, including Life After Death, a ten-part series based

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More about Tom Harpur...
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“A too often forgotten truth is that you can live through actual events of history and completely miss the underlying reality of what's going. What history misses, the myth clearly expresses. The myth in the hands of a genius give us a clear picture of the inner import of life itself.” 2 likes
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