The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History [NOOK Book]


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 theory that Jesus Christ and Mary ...

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

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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 theory that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene married and founded a holy bloodline. The book became an international publishing phenomenon and was one of the sources for Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code. Now, with two additional decades of research behind him, Baigent's The Jesus Papers presents explosive new evidence that challenges everything we know about the life and death of Jesus.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Michael Baigent, coauthor of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, now discloses a cover-up even more astonishing than the Priory of Sion. His Jesus Papers offers explosive new evidence that challenges accepted truths about the life and death of Jesus.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061826771
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 404,542
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Michael Baigent is the author of From the Omens of Babylon, Ancient Traces, and the New York Times bestseller The Jesus Papers. He is also the coauthor of the international bestsellers Holy Blood, Holy Grail and The Messianic Legacy (with Henry Lincoln and Richard Leigh). He lives in England.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Hidden Documents

My telephone rang. It was about 10:00 a.m. I remember the sun dappling the wall before me. It sparkled. It was the perfect day to be in an English country village.

"Can you get the next train to London? Don't ask why."

I groaned silently: wall-to-wall cars. Scarce taxis. Noise, pollution, crowded subways. A day spent either inside rooms or traveling between them, the sun a distant memory.

"Sure," I replied, knowing that my friend would never have made such a request unless it was important.

"And can you bring a camera with you?"

"Sure," I replied again, vaguely bemused.

"And can you hide the camera?"

Suddenly he had my attention. What was up? My friend was a member of a small and discreet group of international dealers, middlemen, and purchasers of high-value antiquities -- not all of which carried the required paperwork permitting them to be traded on the open market.

I put a camera and some lenses in a standard-looking briefcase, threw in plenty of film, and jumped in my car for the drive to the station.

I met my friend outside a restaurant in a famous London street. He was an American, and with him were two Palestinians, a Jordanian, a Saudi, and an English expert from a major auction house.

They were all expecting me, and after brief introductions the expert from the auction house departed, apparently not wishing to be involved in what was to happen. The rest of us walked to a nearby bank, where we were quickly led through the banking hall, along a short corridor, and into a small private room with frosted windows.

As we all stood around a table placed in the middle of the room, making desultory small talk, the bank officials carried in two wooden trunks and laid them down before us. Each trunk bore three padlocks. As the second was carried in, one of the officials said pointedly, as if "for the record": "We don't know what is in these trunks. We don't want to know what is in them."

They then brought a telephone into the room and departed, locking the door behind them.

The Jordanian made a telephone call to Amman. From the little conversation that ensued (which was in Arabic), I gathered that permission had been requested and obtained. The Jordanian then produced a set of keys and unlocked the trunks.

They were stuffed full of exact-fitting sheets of cardboard. And on each sheet, I was horrified to note, there were hundreds of pieces of papyrus text roughly fixed to the cardboard by small strips of clear adhesive tape. The texts were written in Aramaic or Hebrew. Accompanying them were Egyptian mummy wrappings inscribed in demotic -- the written form of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

I knew that it was common for such wrappings to bear sacred texts, and so the owners of this hoard must have unwrapped at least a mummy or two. The Aramaic or Hebrew texts looked, at first sight, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, which I had seen before, although they were mostly written on parchment. This collection was a treasure trove of ancient documents. I was very intrigued and increasingly desperate to let some scholars know about their existence, perhaps to secure access for them.

As the cardboard sheets were removed from the trunks, I was told that the owners were trying to sell the documents to an unspecified European government. The price asked was £3 million (approximately $5.6 million). Those present wanted me to take a representative selection of photographs that could be shown to the prospective buyer in order to move the sale one stage further toward a successful conclusion. I then realized which government was the most likely to be interested. But I kept my thoughts to myself.

Over the next hour or so, as the trunks were emptied, certain pages were pointed out to me, and standing on a chair, by the soft light filtering through the frosted windows, I took black-and-white photographs. In all, I shot six rolls of thirty-five-millimeter film -- over two hundred photographs.

But I was becoming increasingly anxious that these documents might simply vanish into the limbo from which they had emerged. That they might be bought by some purchaser who would sit on them for many years, as had happened with the Nag Hammadi texts and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Or worse, I feared that without a purchaser, they might simply disappear back into the deepest, darkest recesses of the bank, joining the many other valuable documents known to be locked away in safe-deposit boxes and trunks around the world.

It seemed likely that since I had taken a lot of photographs, and since no one would be counting, I would be able to hide at least one of the rolls of film so that there might be at least some proof that this collection even existed. I successfully slipped one into a pocket.

When the photography was finished and the cardboard sheets were being placed back into the trunks, I gave a handful of exposed film rolls to one of the owners. He looked down at them.

"Where is the other film?" he said immediately. He had been counting.

"Other film?" I said lamely, trying to present an image of abstracted innocence while ostentatiously patting my pockets.

"Oh. You're right. Here it is." I produced the film I was hoping to keep. I was irritated and rather depressed. I really wanted to have some proof of what I had seen.

At that point my friend realized what I was up to and, in an inspired move, came to the rescue.

"Where are you getting these films developed?" he asked innocently.

"At a photographic shop," replied the man holding my film.

"That's not very secure," said my friend. "Look, Michael was a professional photographer, and he could do all the developing and print you off as many sets as you need. That way there is no risk."

The foregoing is excerpted from The Jesus Papers by Michael Baigent. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction ix
1 Hidden Documents 1
2 The Priest's Treasure 7
3 Jesus the King 21
4 The Son of the Star 41
5 Creating the Jesus of Faith 69
6 Rome's Greatest Fear 93
7 Surviving the Crucifixion 115
8 Jesus in Egypt 133
9 The Mysteries of Egypt 159
10 Initiation 181
11 Experiencing the Source 213
12 The Kingdom of Heaven 225
13 The Jesus Papers 245
14 Trading Culture 275
Bibliography 287
Notes 297
Index 313
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 47 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2007

    die-hard christians beware!

    Listen, if you are happy with what the church has told you then good for you, skip the book. But...there are those that dare to question the world and think for themselves, those who know that history is written by the 'winners' of the war...there are always other answers out there and my mind craves more then just simple compliance. For those who share my craving, go ahead and pick up a copy and judge for yourself. It's an interesting read

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2007

    Unraveling History

    I couldn't put this book down. Interesting, well researched, credible. Believable historical alternative, fascinating.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Jesus and Egytian Judaism

    Baigent's book fits the style and focus of the trend in New Age rewriting of history. Baigent, though maligned by many who call him belligerent and uncooperative, seems to be a competent and honest scholar, and is more moderate and self-reflective than many.

    In his bold but measured style of writing, he builds more logical connections than some outhers outside the accepted pale of standard scholarship. His roguish search for the overlooked, forgotten or suppressed attracts me. I like his independent thinking and his commitment to follow the clues wherever they seem to lead.

    An Alternative Jesus
    Baigent follows a popular trend, to place later literature beside the earliest Christian literature as an alternative and equal view of Jesus.

    He joins others who weave a new version of Christian and Roman history into an intriguing imaginative mystery, joining a raft of new wave literature that poses later Gnostic myth and disconnected legends back into the first century. Baigent cites Roman authors to present an alternative account of Jesus, creating a mosaic of conspiracy to suppress these recently-discovered sources.

    Baigent refers to the Book of Enoch, which he says presents the mystery content of ancient Egyptian mystical literature about the Life after death. This piece of contemporary apocalyptic literature was quite popular in the time of Jesus and is actualy quoted by the book of Jude.

    Baigent jumps to the conclusion that this means Jude considered it inspired. He also cites Church Fathers who seem to consider it inspired. (It seems quite possible, however, that any Christian writer could have referred to various popular ideas and concepts without considering the writing to be divinely inspired, just as pastors today quote from popular literature, current events and television shows.)

    Catholic Villains
    For Baigent the Catholics are the villains here. He asks the reader to look at some possible alternatives to the picture of standard Catholic dogma about Jesus and the early church. But he seems to forget the other versions of Christian faith that differ from the Catholic institution.

    Jesus Papers
    Baigent tells us that Jesus himself wrote defending his teachings about the Kingdom of God, the use of the term "Son of God" for himself based on traditional Jewish usage current at the time. But the esoteric focus on spirit life after death does not sound at all likfe the practical life of the Kingdom of God on earth in the canonical Gospels.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Enthralling and Sad

    I was expecting much more from this book than what I received. In addition, this is not so much a review of the book as an opinion thereof.

    The author uses tricks of smoke and mirrors. He will start out with a theory being "plausible" - that is, not very likely. The next couple of chapters will move the theory into "likelihood" and finally - as we meander a couple more chapters he will remind you of the fully established fact of this theory. A mind trick which works on some but not others.

    The author also "tortures" the explanation to heights rarely encountered. This water-boarding of the facts is very common in this type of book but again I must stress that this particular author has raised this device to a high art. Also, I noted a few 'facts' that are simply not true but then I didn't buy the book to argue.

    Overall, it is a fascinating read and gives much pause for thought. If only a tidbit of this information is true, then we are presented with a more vivid and enthralling history than we could ever imagine.

    I hope you find this review (sorry - opinion) helpful.

    Michael L. Gooch

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    Nothing NEW here...

    Speculation and near misses abound, reads more like a tale about the "one that got away." No new contributions to the Jesus argument.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2011

    The worst historian EVER.

    Now, I'm not a bible thumper. I think the whole consept of chrisianity, in its many form, is built upon an even older mythical book containing little truth. But I choose to read authors who are highly educated in old & new testament texts, who have studied language, archeoloy, anthropology..ext. This author is such a bad,bad historian. I don't think he should even be called such. He tries to create a conspiracy to his work with a twist and.......he's just bad at what he does.

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  • Posted April 25, 2010

    Biagent did it again.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who wonders what is the other side of their religious belief. Everything that is taught to us in Sunday school leaves out what Paul Harvey used to call "The rest of the story". Who were the people in the New Testament and what became of them after the Crucifixion of Christ? This book answers many of those questions. It delves into where the followers of Christ went and what they did after the death of Christ. It even looks into that event and asks if it really happened the way we are lead to beleive. It also gives insight into the beginnings of the Catholic Church and changes the occured as the real teachings of Christ were twisted to accomodate the lesders of Rome. Michael Biagent is a fine research detective and his book will answer many questions about religious belief. Many that most of us never thought to or were afraid to ask.

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  • Posted August 24, 2009

    its ok

    the subject is interesting but it tends to drag on, its a good book to have but not the best to read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    A cross between a text book and a mystery novel.

    Fairly easy to read, unless facts and figures drive you insane. Charts were repeated unnecessarily. The information appeared to be accurate and unbiased. Much of the information can be found in other books and was not new, but put together in an interesting way and was similar to reading a novel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2007

    Misses the Mark

    The book starts out promising but then gets bogged down with a lot of history - most of which is not even necessary in order to fully understand and appreciate the author's premise. The author attempts to tie it altogether by mentioning the Jesus Papers towards the end. However, nothing is concrete. Despite the intrigue, it's all speculation leaving this reader very unsatisfied. If you are hoping to know more about Jesus - the man, his life, etc. you will come away feeling cheated.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2007

    Recommended but not outstanding

    As actually having read the book, I must say that it is very interesting in some aspects, but it lacks the requirements needed to be a truly exceptional book. I especially like the historical aspects of the book, because it presents a different view of history than what would normally be found a religious history book. Baigent continues his attack against the Vatican, and this has been a reoccurring theme in many of his books, especially Holy Blood, Holy Grail and the Dead Sea Scrolls Deception. The Jesus Papers is no different, and he affirms that the Vatican is hiding documents that may iconoclastically ruin the divinity of God. Is Baigent right, or is he wrong? Well, he claims there are great amounts of evidence to prove a papal conspiracy, but he fails to produce those evidences. He merely claims they are out there, but they are so protected that not even the highest scholars can see them (or they have been purposely destroyed). In those items, which he says are part of the Dead Sea scrolls, lie the Jesus Papers, which question what we know today about the biblical narrative of the crucifixion. Many sections of the book touch on topics that are totally irrelevant to the actual purpose of the book, and this is where he incorporates ideas from his other books. He ties it together in a way that makes you wonder if what you read was even useful. I enjoyed the book for the most part, but I know not everyone will. Be the judge for yourself, but read the book before becoming a judger.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2006

    Counter-Balance to the Presumptuously Pious

    I figured somebody had to balance out the unfair review of the person below me. For your information, Mr. Psychologist, what you are referring to is Pascal's Wager (a.k.a. Pascal's Gambit) that suggests that given the choice between living a humble, pious life and being given eternal salvation or nothing and living a frivolous, sinful life and being given eternal damnation or nothing, one should choose the pious life in the chance that there is a God so that one can be sure to receive either eternal salvation or nothing upon expiry. Also, I hope you realize that by supporting Pascal's Wager you are also advocating attrition (which, in case you didn't know, is a condemnable sin according your religion). Complacency is death. Don't review the book if you haven't read it, and please do argue when you are actually informed. Thanks. And for the record, no, I haven't read the book either--I'm just evening out the previous unjust review of the book. Does the book sound interesting? Then buy it and judge for yourself, but don't listen to me or the guy beneath me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2006

    Don't waste your time

    If there could be a no star rating, I would give it. Isn't it amazing all the plethora of books trying to discredit JESUS' Diety? These books are written by those people who will not acknowledge that JESUS was and is fully GOD and man. I would hardly think that Rosicrucians and Masons would be a valid base to try to write a history of Him, since they already trod down His Diety. In spite of what they say to the contrary, the Masons is a pseudo religion, down to even having their own god, names Jebulon, which is an amalgamation of Jehovah, Baal, and Osiris. Any scholar of the Bible would definiitely know that Jehovah is a very Jelous God and HE acknowledges no other god. In fact, HE brought destruction to those nations who worshipped Baal, and Egypt did not fare any better in their multiply god worship. Jesus' life was the culmination of many Old Testament prophecies and His first coming was as the Suffering Messiah (See Isaiah and the Psalms). He didn't swoon and revive in the tomb, (The spear to his side that pierced His heart puts an end to that theory) and his actual crucifixtion and death were witness by several people, many who were not followers of Him. The Roman guards were witness to His resurrection, as they were subject to being put to death if someone came to steal the body or whatever, since Pilate placed a seal on the tomb to keep it secure. So if you want to blow your money and time reading fairy tales, then that is your decision, but if I were you, I would steer clear of this book and any of the others that try to discount the historical fact of JESUS' death, burial, and resurrection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2006

    baignant missed the essential

    If Baignant has truly researched the beginnings of Christianity why hasn't he explained the central mystery? The Romans called their emperors gods, but for the monotheistic Jews such a thing was the ultimate blasphemy, meriting death--since for them there was only one God and God wasn't human. The Roman invasion put them in constant conflict with Roman authorities because of this. And so for the first Christians, who were mostly Jews, to even consider the idea that Jesus might be God was the ultimate unthinkable. What led them to change--so that by the time of Paul's letters (1st century) they were risking their lives by staying within the Jewish community and saying that Jesus was the Son of God--? Certainly the Gospels indicate it didn't occur to them while Jesus was with them. Nor did he insist on it. And surely it wasn't just because he came back to life after the crucifixion. There must have been something much more to lead them to break such a strong taboo. None of the recent books, fiction and nonfiction--from the Jesus Semimar to those based on the Gnostic Gospels--address this central issue.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2006

    What if Jesus is Lord

    For those who prounce upon anything they can twist as a myth like God, Jesus & Christain Religion---what if it all turns all to be true as set forth in the Bible, what have you lost by not believing--your soul. What have believer's lost not a thing. If it's all a hoax then then you have lost nothing and neither have Jesus believer's. I sure wouldn't want to be in your shoes if it isn't a hoax tho.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2006

    What the Heck?

    Though I don't agree with many of the points expressed in this book I still found it entertaining. but just because someone doesn't believe the same as me doesn't mean I'm going to insult them, proclaim my allegience to Christ and then go on to say I'm praying for them. Somehow, that just sounds like a good way to give someone a bad impression about yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2006

    Let Down

    I read Holy Blood, Holy Grail,and Messianic Legacy. Jesus Papers left me VERY disappointed. The author goes for on for many chapters about Egypt and some thin references, little references to Jesus being there. On a televised interview he states that he never actually saw them but in the book he sas something different.Which is it?He is even contradictary about the Zealot involvement, their support and then disillusion with Jesus and their role in his death. I believe that he churned out this book to cash in on the Da Vinci Code band wagon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2006

    What Are The Jesus Papers?

    Having done extensive research myself, I found Baigent's latest book missed the mark because I was left waiting for The Jesus Papers. Baigent's research regarding Nag Hammadi and the Dead Sea Scrolls was well researched. The highlight of the book was his description of the Initiates cave. If you are waiting for some startling new revelations, this really isn't it. There is nothing sensational in the book. All of the allegations of supposedly other documents that would be quite revealing were disappointing. It was almost cloak and dagger with a dead end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2006

    Writing with an Agenda

    Being a devote Christian, I do pray for those who try to contradict and for those who detract from the significance of Christ. I am a devote reader as well, and like to read opposing oppions, on any subject from Christ, to politics, to sports, etc. The book is well written and easy to read, but the end result is an unconvincing arguement.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2006

    Openmindedness + Reading = Wisdom

    I am so grateful that the author has the courage to keep researching and writing on this topic which is currently out of favor with the supposed majority. When I was a believer it was very comforting to believe because it took over the burden of thinking for myself and taking the responsibility for my decisions. What pushed me into Christianity was a scare tactic Armagedon type of writing. I wish that I had known about these well researched wonderfully written books based on truth a long time ago.

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