The Pagan Christ
by Tom Harpur
Here are three quotes from "The Pagan Christ" by Tom Harpur:
He(God) is the primeval Potter who turned men and gods into being out of his hands. pp 69 (from an ancient Egyptian text).
Like the "star in the east" of the Gospels, Sirius, the morning star in Egypt, heralded the birth of Horus. pp 83.
Horus was transfigured on a mountain; Jesus took Peter, James and John into a "high mountain" and was transfigured before them. pp 83.
These three quotations are enough to rouse our interest when we realise that:
- Sirius became Harry's Godfather at his, Harry's, birth.
- Sirius' friends' names were Peter Pettigrew, James Potter and Remus John Lupin.
- Jo Rowling has chosen the name "Harry Potter" for the world's best selling book.
"The Pagan Christ" is a compelling, well-researched book written by a former Anglican Priest and professor of Greek and New Testament. Tom Harpur claims that the New Testament story existed in Egypt long before the events, which the church claims are historical, are supposed to have happened. He states that the story of the birth, the life, the death and the resurrection of Jesus are archetypes put in the collective subconscious of humanity and that anyone who can raise him/herself to great spiritual heights will be able to bring these archetypes to the consciousness and so testify of them. Is this how Jo Rowling has come to write Harry Potter? Is she writing from a divinely inspired archetype?
Tom Harpur, a classical scholar and former Anglican priest, explains that the teachings of Christianity were international long before the historical period depicted in the New Testament, and demonstrates that this is confirmed by early Christian scholars. He shows how these worldwide teachings predate the New Testament by thousands of years, how they are allegorical rather than a depiction of historical events, and how they were originally intended to trace the birth and development of the Christ within man. This book sums up the findings of a large number of scholars in different fields, covering research spanning the last 150+ years, and mentions Egyptian records going back over 10,000 years.
In it, he charts the descent and corruption of the original Christianity of the first century AD into what he terms the Christianism of the fourth century that has been handed down to us today. Christian records, he explains, provide strong evidence that the religion that is generally called Christianity today is largely based upon texts produced by Irenaeus, Epiphanius and Eusebius around the third and fourth centuries, and that these three ''ecclesiastical historians" knew many of their assertions to be fraudulent. He includes copious references, allowing you to follow up his sources, should you wish to determine the underlying facts on which he bases his conclusions.
He takes the reader on a voyage of discovery through the Christian texts and their counterparts in other cultures, resulting in a deeper and more inspiring understanding of their meaning. He puts forward a convincing case for a reappraisal of Christianity to enable it to become, once again, a truly universal doctrine. It is a stimulating and thought-provoking book, and I can picture it generating much discussion and debate amongst Christians and non-Christians alike.
It leaves me with the view that Christianity needs to go through a spiritual rebirth, of the kind that the original gospels were describing, to take its full place in the new millennium, and it'll make a great present for the thinkers among my family and friends.