Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No. 23, Vol. 3. Autumnal Equinox 2012
Coming Soon From Inner Traditions:
The Mysteries of John the Baptist
Tobias Churton searches out the historical John the Baptist through the gospels and ancient histories, unearthing the real story behind the figure lauded by Jesus’s words “no greater man was ever born of woman.” He investigates John’s links with the Essenes and the Gnostics, links that flourish to this day. He exposes how the apostle Paul challenged John’s following, twisted his message and created the image of John as “merely” a herald of Jesus. The author shows how Paul may have been behind the executions of both John and Jesus and reveals a precise date for the crucifixion and the astonishing meaning of the phrase “the third day.” He examines the significance of John’s severed head to holy knights, such as the Knights Templar, and of Leonardo’s famous painting of John. Churton also explains connections between John, the summer solstice, fertility rites, and ancient Jewish harvest festivals.
Revealing John as a courageous, revolutionary figure as vital to the origins of Christianity as his cousin Jesus, Churton shows how John and Jesus, as equal partners, launched a covert spiritual operation to overcome corruption in the Temple of Jerusalem, re-initiate Israel, and resurrect Creation.
Tobias Churton is Honorary Fellow of Exeter University, where he is faculty lecturer in Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry. The founding editor of the magazine Freemasonry Today, he holds a master’s degree in Theology from Brasenose College, Oxford, and is the author of several books, including Gnostic Philosophy, The Magus of Freemasonry, and The Invisible History of the Rosicrucians. He lives in England.