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

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  732 ratings  ·  102 reviews
What if everything you think you know about Jesus is wrong? In The Jesus Papers, Michael Baigent reveals the truth about Jesus's life and crucifixion. Despite—or rather because of—all the celebration and veneration that have surrounded the figure of Jesus for centuries, Baigent asserts that Jesus and the circumstances leading to his death have been heavily mythologized.

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Hardcover, 321 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by HarperOne (first published January 1st 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,297)
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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...more
Melissa Bond
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
Thomas
"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...more
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...more
Nathan
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...more
Raymond
Apr 10, 2009 Raymond rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
jcg
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...more
Brandie
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
Deirdre
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.
Andrew
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...more
Birgit
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...more
Patty
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...more
gina
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
Bruce
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
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
Mickey
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
Stuart Chambers
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.
Colby
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.
Franz
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
Ashley
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
Lindsay
Apart from being incredibly tedious, this book had other fatal flaws. The big "cover up" is the allegation that Jesus survived the crucifixion because corruption permitted His supporters to either switch someone else into His place or take Him down from the cross prior to His death.

My problems with the book are legion: the only evidence of the ciritical "papers" are a second-hand account of them, with the allegation that the Vatican bought and destroyed them. The author says that the Gospels are...more
Michel
Weinig controversieels, behalve dan dat Baigent zegt dat hij documenten gezien heeft waarvan de eigenaar zeg dat ze van Jezus zelf zijn-zijn verdediging voor de Sanhedrin. En dat hij zegt dat iemand hem gezegd heeft dat iemand hém gezegd heeft dat hij documenten gezien heeft die bewijzen dat Jezus nog leefde in 45 na Christus.

Zoals meestal met die mens: leutig om lezen. Jammer van de zware inzinking als hij vertelt over zijn "expeditie" naar Baia, en over een paar vakanties in Egypte, dat leest...more
Ravie
To sum it all, it was an interesting read - about Jesus's life, the origin of Christianity and what his real teachings were. The portions on Egypt were written well.

It has a lot of flaws too. One, it was a tedious read. Especially towards the later part of the book. One gets a feeling that the plot is being dragged beyond extent. Two, the 'biggest coverup' which Baigent tells that Jesus survived the crucification has no sufficient/plausible evidence. Three and finally, most of his key conclusion...more
Joseph
Yeah, not sure about this book... It definitely goes off in different directions and reads like a school history book then makes it point at the end of the book of the so called Jesus Papers that he has seen (never read). There was a few good points, but a lot of it was taken some verses from the bible and used the way he wanted to do it.

The big question, which he did not address, is why would Pontus Pilate be part of the cover up by sneaking someone in and taking Jesus from the cross? He had no...more
Deanna
First read Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Then read "Woman with the Alibaster Jar". Then read "Jesus Papers." They intertwine.
I got this book from the library, but I am buying my own copy.
Blaigent writes historical facts and dates but makes it interesting. The subject is fascinating. The research immense. The pictures enlighting. I will read this book again.
I believe that history should not take a back seat to dogma. Religion should embrace history not try to control it. Why be afraid of truth? Fait...more
Shawna
I stopped reading it with about a third of it left. I enjoyed the first half because it was interesting to learn about this group of people. They claim that Jesus was, indeed, real; but that he was just a man, and that he lived longer than 33 years, and that he married and sired. What lost me, was the second half, where Baigent goes off on a tangent about Egyptian mysticism. After that, I got really bored. He does try to tie it all together, but I felt too bogged down. I am still very interested...more
Lennongirl
This book and I, we just didn't connect really well. I don't know. Too many rather uninteresting details, too long winded, too... boring, in a way. Sad, since this topic of "religious conspiracies" sounded so good. But at first, it took ages to really get into the juicy parts, and by then, there were already so many names, places and people in my head, I could hardly follow the arguments anymore. Maybe I just chose the wrong medium (audiobook), maybe this would've worked better as book for me.

H...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...more
More about Michael Baigent...
Holy Blood, Holy Grail The Temple and the Lodge The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception The Messianic Legacy The Inquisition

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