Kersey Graves was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania on 21 November 1813. His parents were Quakers, and as a young man he followed them in their observance, and then later moved to the Hicksite wing of Quakerism. Graves was largely self-educated, and at the age of 19 was teaching in a school at Richmond, a career he was to follow for more than twenty years. He was an advocate of Abolitionism was also interested in language reform, and became involved with a number of radical freethinkers within Quakerism. In August 1844, he joined a group of about fifty utopian settlers in Wayne County, Indiana. In the same month, he was disowned by his Quaker meeting group due to his neglect of attendance, and also setting up a rival group. The groups he was associated with later dabbled in mesmerism and spiritualism.
Reviews - What do customers think about The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors?
Antiquated Treatise on Comparative Religion Against Christianity and Religion at Large Dec 10, 2007
The author compares all the essential doctrines, principles and precepts of Christianity with pre-Christian branches of Religion, always finding numerous and detailed parallels, by all means excluding coincidences. The information provided is challenging and may be used to enlighten the evolution of Religion leading to Christianity and sibling and cousin branches. That's why I give some stars. However, subtractions have to be made.
The book is polemically anti-Christian, in that certain 19th century style of lacking diplomacy, but not short of any amount of blunt naïveté from today's perspective. The author's reasoning throughout the entire some 300 pages comes down to the following quintessence: If there is more than one savior, that concept is void. If the Christian savior is mythologically derived from "heathenism", then Christianity is invalid. One may answer that every age an savior is offered to. The savior's second coming maybe the realization that there is no separation between the individual and the savior (mysticism). The author has taken over the definition and valuation of "heathenism" from his chosen adversary, the Church. That wouldn't be necessary (and neither advisable) in transmitting the information of this book.
Obviously, Kersey Graves was a believer of Atheism, basically saying anybody who believes in something else (including Agnostics) are stupid people or at least conditioned beyond hope. He judges religious morals as errors and of all there are he picks the "Turn the other cheek!" as an example. Referring to branches of Religion he writes of "Numerous Evils and Absurdities" in a headline. In other words, he is using religous concepts ("evil") to debunk Religion. How absurd! He is also using amplifications himself, which are criticized as non-sense, when done by the Bible. ("...more than a hundred millions of Christian professors can now be found...")
It is also obvious that his knowledge on Religion is that of a lay person. Yes, as such, he is entitled to challenge the institutions. Readers should be aware that they rather cross-check any information in this book before quoting or believing it. The basic thesis of non-originality of Christianity is true, however, the author lacks any overstanding of mysticism. Which should have been necessary, before attempting to debunk Religion at large. Specific religious messages, which get ridiculed in this book like "My kingdom is not of this world", cannot get sighted, and questions like how is it possible that God could have been a helpless baby, not even able to walk, or more specifically, how can God possibly be anyone or anything else but himself, would not be asked merely rhethorically. You don't have to know/believe in mysticism, yet, it should be considered when challenging Religion and averring such notions would represent "philosophical impossibilities".
There may be certain fluent borders, yet to use Buddhism and Hinduism as synonyms is a bit misleading, I may offer. To call Islam "Mohamedanism" is a grave blunder and is usually the first thing taught about this branch of Religion. There are other oddities, e.g. that proofs of Mesoamerican parallels to Christianity are "engraved upon steel and metal plates". Which would be very unusual, considering that metal was virtually unknown before any missionaries' influence.
The approach to comparing the religious parallels is prone to include some constructs, leaving the feeling of uncertainty, which ones are real: The details are taken by themselves, dissected from the rest of the branches of Religion, and are processed in separate chapters. This way, the reader gets quickly confused of how much parallel the respective branches really are in the overall picture, while the overall impression of parallelism as a thesis as such is underscored. Only few branches get compared entirely. Which only includes the parallels, not any shred of the inconsistencies. I am not writing this to dismiss the information, just to put the picture in perspective of usability for further purposes. Some of the 16 crucified saviors turn out not to be such a match afterall. Quirinus "was put to death by wicked hands". That is supposed to mean crucifixion. Not much more is said about this savior. Some saviors are Greek philosophers, I had no clue of getting considered religiously as sons of God. Graves himself says that his 16 saviors from the title page may be 13 or actually 19, relativizing three and offering three more. The reader is supposed to pick, with some saviors mentioned in a single paragraph only.
I was shocked by blatant racism. Graves is revealing that Jesus and most of the previous saviors are described as black skinned. But then he goes on what the reaction of the n*****-hating Christians would be, when such a "sable Messiah" (using skin color as a synonym for "satanic" in the popular definition) would appear in the literal second coming. He clearly goes beyond description after that with an insult towards African( American)s I refrain from repeating (p. 53), otherwise I would gravely insult myself.
As for the presentation of the book: It seems that at some point the 19th century font was changed into a modern one - by manual copying. A lot of typos slipped in, including "there" changing into "their". Which is in contrast to the sophisticated vocabulary of the author. I have to confess that I didn't know a couple of dozens of words and I am in good company: In several cases, neither does my dictionary of 1,700 pages! Thanks to the age of the internet with its dictionaries of unlimited space was I able to overstand the text completely. (I read the 2007 print of NuVision Publications of the 6th revised and enlarged print of 1875. The first edition is of 1875, too.) The involuntary copy changes proof the point of Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus), which elaborates that under the millennia the Bible is a copyists' nightmare of word errors, sometimes leading to very different messages. Also, Let There Be Light: The Seven Keys and 101 Myths of the Bible may be of interest in the comparison of this reviewed book's Bible quotes to the original messages before getting attacked. Of course, the author of 1875 didn't know about these and critizised a bit blinded at times. On the other hand, these books elaborate - and that more scientifically - the origins/source texts of Christianity/the Bible.
1875 makes the pride over the contemporary science seem ossified. It is used against any possibility of being religious. The author didn't know about the relativity theory yet, neither about quantum physics. Both are seen today as a cause IN FAVOR of religion, yet maybe in a variated way from the Bible. Read e.g. From Science to God: A Physicist's Journey into the Mystery of Consciousness and (not read yet) Quantum Questions: Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists (including Albert Einstein).
No less advancements have been made in the knowledge about the Religion branches. One of the supposed branches prior to Christianity elaborated on in this book is Essenism, suggesting that Christianity is directly the successor of Essenism. Today, unorthodox scientists suggest that the name Essenism is in direct reference to Jesus, i.e. that the mythological Jesus of Christianity has a very historic match much prior to popular thought. Prior to Buddha and even Krishna. In other words, if you are open to unorthodox science, as you are most likely, if you read books like this one, then you should consider the possibility that the savior of Christianity is the original after all and that all the some 16 other branches of Religion mentioning such a savior are derived from the same one as well. How about that? If you want to debunk Religion, it has to be done another way than under the botched-down-originality argument. For more of that issue read Jesus in the House of the Pharaohs: The Essene Revelations on the Historical Jesus.
Of course, if authenticated, the information in "The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors" may be used for other purposes - ironically for spiritual/religious knowledge...
Spirited Reasoning by Graves... Jun 7, 2007
I found the sylized writing charming in a late 1800's kind of way. The points made by Kersey Graves abolish all credibility that Chrisianity is an "oringianl religion." It further establishes solid proof by example, that Religious "Faith" in general, not just Jesus and Christianity, is a bogus dysfunctional lifestyle choice from the past.
Yet, people love to indulge in a Savior Fetish... Pick One. They are all the same.
Interesting but vague Mar 6, 2007
I like this book but I have to say the author makes many vague references to individuals using nothing other than their name (Mr. Jones said..") It left me wondering just who these people were and how reliable their info was. After reading it I did a little research on my own as he mentions a man named Polycarp who claimed that the Christ he knew lived to about 50 and died of natural causes. This is interesting because the Polycarp I read about was considered a saint and a early founder and supporter of the christain faith. Anyhoo, I still liked the book though the wording was odd. It is one of several I have read that simply reaffirms that the christian faith is a rip off of prior pagan and mythological beliefs.
16 Crucified Saviors? Nov 3, 2006
I love the way the author tells it like it is. Blind believers will definitely hate this book. It is virtually based solely on astronomy & astrology thru-out the entire book. The blind believers will love to deny this. Another few books to look towards are: Suns of God, The Faith Healers, The Dark Side of Christian History. Of course, this goes for all religions world-wide. Past, present & future.
Worth the read.... Feb 10, 2006
While I agree with other reviewers that Graves goes over the edge fairly often throughout the book, the information contained in this book is very thought provoking and not really available elsewhere in one work. Some of the comparisons are pretty loose, and the book might better have been titled '10 crucified saviors', but still, the work attempts and succeeds at showing a prominent religious thread throughout history. The writing style, while modern enough to be an easy read, IS from 1875 and lacks the modern understanding of a 'scholarly' approach. Having read MANY works on this subject, I can attest that most of the information is indeed correct, but his style is often inflammatory and somewhat obnoxious. He Really had a problem with Christianity and much of the book is devoted to this topic. This is probably great if you avidly detest Christians as well, but ocassionally annoying if your just trying to extract the relevant info from the book. All in all, this IS a worthwhile read, but can be challenging because of the above considerations.