r m p




Elizabeth A. McCabe, An Examination of the Isis Cult with Preliminary Exploration into New Testament Studies. University Press of America, 2008.

Reviewed by Robert M. Price

This book is essentially a glorified seminar paper, summarizing much that is already known, but contributing little or nothing new. This is certainly odd given that the book claims Jesus Christ for its author, and one might think he would be in a position to know better. (“First and foremost, all praise and honor go to the Lord Jesus Christ who made this work a reality. I praise you, Lord, for leading me to the idea of the Isis cult and entrusting me with such a task. [Etc., etc., etc…] You are truly the author of this work and you have brought it to completion.”) But, like most channeled revelations, its contents are pretty disappointing. Jesus especially seems to suffer in this medium. Elizabeth Claire Prophet has never been able to persuade Jesus to put his name to anything that even remotely makes sense. Jesus is at his worst in A Course in Miracles, of which he is also ostensibly the author. At least this time Jesus seems to have done a bit of research, but he is clearly out of his depth.

First Jesus merely summarizes what we have long known from ancient sources about the origins and beliefs of the Isis religion. Second, Jesus says that numismatic and archaeological evidence indicates that Ephesus was more of a stronghold for the Isis faith than we had imagined. Third, the Lord points out a number of unsurprising parallels between Isis theology and that of the Pauline Epistles. But all Jesus seems able to infer from these is that former Isis believers might have found transition to Pauline Christianity easier than otherwise, since conversion involved no major shift in categories. It seems that, like his apologist minions, Jesus is careful to avoid the whole ticking question of early Christian syncretism. Do the numerous and striking parallels between the stories of Osiris and of Jesus mean nothing? If this book is any indication, Jesus seems to think not, and his amanuensis McCabe gives no hint otherwise. But several scholars, even those without benefit of direct divine inspiration such as McCabe boasts, have derived almost everything including the title “Christ” from Osiris mythology. Is this not worthy of discussion in a book with this title?

So serious is the myopia of Jesus in this book that the only connection he can find between Isis and the New Testament is the piddling possibility that the Isis and Osiris myth lies behind the discussion of Eve and Adam in 1 Timothy 2:12-14. But this counts as little more than a stab in the dark, and other theories have much more going for them, such as the theory of Catherine Clark Kroeger that the reference is to the Gnostic myth that Eve was created before Adam and essentially created him in turn. That theory is mentioned here but rejected on the grounds that it presupposes full blown Gnosticism in the time of Paul. But that objection flies only if Paul wrote the Pastorals, which this book thinks he did. “Jesus,” then, hasn’t got a clue about historical or literary criticism.

Why is this book so superfluous, so weightless? Here’s your problem: the wrong deity dictated it. We would have had better luck had Isis wielded Elizabeth McCabe as her pen.



Copyright©2009 by Robert M Price
Spirit of Carolina Web Design