Unmasking the Pagan Christ


This book is a response to Tom Harpur’s Pagan Christ, but it is something more.  In this book, Stanley Porter and I really examine the Jesus myth theory in general, using Tom Harpur’s book as a case study.  If you have never heard of Tom Harpur, but have been confronted by the claims of Timothy Freke, Peter Gandy, D.M. Murdock (Acharya S), Robert Price or those of the Zeitgeist movie, this book will be of interest to you.

In our book, we look at some of the older works that modern writers base their books on.  We then look at the claims that the Jesus story is based on pagan myths, especially those of Egypt and Mithraism.  When one actually examines the myths, it is quickly apparent that the Gospels have very little to do with pagan myths.  We then look at the historical basis of the story of Jesus.  We confront claims that Josephus’ testimony is a forgery, that Paul never spoke of the historical Jesus and that the Gospels are not historical.  We conclude that there is a firm historical basis for the existence of Jesus Christ.

Unmasking the Pagan Christ: An Evangelical Response to the Cosmic Christ Idea won the 2007 Word Guild Award of Merit in the area of Evangelism and Apologetics.

A documentary was made of this book, produced by David Brady Productions.

You can purchase the Unmasking the Pagan Christ book at:

Book Depository





7 Books on Jesus That You Should Read (plus one)

My background is New Testament studies. Even when it comes to apologetics, I always try to bring it back to Jesus. Many of the attacks on Christianity are fought on the nature of Jesus. It is important to read good solid books about Jesus. Here are seven books about that I think  you should read.

1. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses by Richard Bauckham.

2. Studying the Historical Jesus by Darrell Bock

3. Fabricating Jesus by Craig Evans

4. The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy

5. The Resurrection of Jesus by Michael Licona

6. Reinventing Jesus by Ed Komoszewski, James Sawyer and Daniel Wallace

7. Lord or Legend? by Greg Boyd and Paul Rhodes Eddy

And an 8th bonus book could be Unmasking the Pagan Christ, co-written by Stan Porter and myself. There are many other great books on Jesus, but this will get you started.


Unmasking the Pagan Christ: The Documentary

In 2004, former Anglican priest and New Testament professor Tom Harpur wrote a book called The Pagan Christ, in which he argued that there was no historical Jesus but that the Gospels are Jewish versions of ancient myths, especially those found in Egypt, on which a which an inclusive spirituality focused on a Cosmic Christ rather than a literal Jesus might be built.

In 2006, Stanley Porter, New Testament professor and president of McMaster Divinity College, and myself wrote a response book called Unmasking the Pagan Christ, in which we argued that there is evidence for a historical Jesus and that the Gospels differ greatly from the pagan myths.

In 2007, a documentary based on the Pagan Christ was aired on CBC, repeating many of the same arguments of Tom Harpur but also including responses by Stan Porter and Ward Gasque.  It was a very highly rated documentary and it created some great discussion.

Last year, Stan and I were approached by David Brady Productions, the people who produced the Pagan Christ documentary, offering to do a documentary on our book.  Much of the work was done over the summer and around Christmas time, I received a copy of the completed documentary.  I must say that I am very pleased with it.  It is not an attack on Tom Harpur, as we strived in our book to confront the content and not the man.  It gives Tom and fellow Jesus myth proponent Peter Gandy an opportunity to share their side.  One of the things that I like about it is that the support for the historical Jesus in this documentary is not just from evangelical scholars.  There are people from a wide range of backgrounds, including one scholar that people might be surprised at as being on our side.  It is a very interesting documentary that people will want to check out even if they are not familiar with Tom Harpur’s version of the Jesus myth.  If you have come across the radical ideas of Peter Gandy, Timothy Freke, Robert Price, G.A. Wells or the movie Zeitgeist, you will want to see this documentary. The documentary will be aired April 2 at 9:00 pm on VisionTV.  The press release can be found here.

If you are interested in purchasing the DVD, they are approximately $20.  Email me at steve@stephenjbedard.com.