After unsuccessfully suing The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, author and religious historian Michael Baigent asks our forgiveness with the simultaneous release of his new book, The Jesus Papers, a follow-up of sorts to the shocking research uncovered in his bestselling book Holy Blood, Holy Grail (written with Henry Lincoln and Richard Leigh) that proposed that Jesus was married and had a child.
Opportunism aside, Baigent offers plenty of solid research into the deeper mysteries surrounding Jesus, such as the clearly Egyptian influence of Christ’s teachings, the possible whereabouts of the Messiah during the missing years, and the possibility that Jesus never died on the cross, but was part of a concerted effort to fool the public and the authorities into thinking he had. As always, Baigent’s knowledge of his subject matter is amazing, and his research is meticulous. He gives us an encyclopedic education into the history of Jewish and Egyptian religion, culture and influence, leaving no stone unturned as he makes his case that the Jesus we have come to know is not the true Jesus, but rather a myth created for, let’s face it, political purposes.
The real Jesus is Baigent’s focus, and he delves deeply into the migrations of Jesus’ family and possible alternative cultures and spiritual traditions Jesus may have been exposed to. He also uncovers inconsistencies and contradictions in the many “historical” and Biblical accounts of Jesus and the rise of Christianity. Clearly, there was a cover-up of major proportions underway that hijacked the real Jesus and replaced his teachings with the common myth we live with today.
The accompanying photographs provide great insight into the areas of importance Baigent discusses, giving us a glimpse of the mysterious region that still may hold many undiscovered secrets about Christ and what was really happening during that turbulent time.
The most stunning claim Baigent makes is that documents exist written by Jesus himself, and it is the Jesus Papers of the book’s title that could ultimately change the world if they were to see the light of day. Unfortunately, the book loses some of its white-hot steam because Baigent repeatedly talks about major discoveries in the form of photos or documents he had in his hands, only to lose, or of rumored documents somewhere “out there” that we still have no proof exist. We get a lot of promises of huge things to be revealed, then the let down when we are told the photos were lost or vanished, or the documents in question were whisked away by some mysterious figure to be sold to the highest bidder (often the Vatican itself in an attempt to destroy all “heretic” evidence).
such a great read. It certainly helps add to the excitement. But it is the sheer volume of knowledge and information Baigent imparts, and the clearly Gnostic undertones of Jesus’ teachings, that really fascinates and makes you want more. Baigent is an amazing researcher and historian, and his work deserves respect. That no one can deny, even if they don’t quite agree with his hypothesizing of what some of that research might mean.
Perhaps by the time we next hear from Baigent, he will indeed have the proof that the Jesus Papers exist. But even if that proof is dust in the wind, the evidence in this book is enough to change the way we look at the roots of Christianity, and the enigmatic man the religion is centered on.