An enriching 1st - 21st century work of original philosophical fiction ideal for throwing some light on various philosophical concerns of the individual; encouraging group discussion and inviting scholarly exploration.
The author of A Jesus of Nazareth opens with telling us that of a fresh clear morning in the spring of 1997 he found himself sitting on a mound of sweet scented flowers and peacefully gazing over the ways at Lake Galilee in the distance, also known as Tabariyya, Tiberias and Gennesaret. And off to his left was the Hill of Nazareth, to the right the Golan Heights and below the Valley of Yarmouk. He was in Um Quais in northern Jordan. In biblical times it was known as Gadara. His family and he had driven there by car all the way from Jeddah. They had come on past Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah and through the desert to the oasis city of Tebuk. From there they had headed for Aqaba and onwards to Petra, Yarmouk and finally Um Quais. It had been a roundtrip adventure of a lifetime.
He had at long last arrived in a place where Jesus had at least on one occasion visited and taught. (Matthew 8:28-34) And in that moment, he didn’t feel the need to go any farther. He didn’t feel the need to go over and stroll along the foot of the hill or walk along the shore of the lake. It was sufficient to remain right there where he was; right there where he was in happy contemplation in the light, the fragrancies and the view.
Nine springs hence were to find him north of Lake Galilee in the land of Mount Hermon. The melting snows on Hermon being the source of the river Jordan which in turn perpetually gives life anew to Lake Galilee. It felt good to be back, yet somehow he sensed it to be the end of an era for him; the end of a search for the Jesus of his younger days. This Jesus had been alive for him in his reflective readings of the gospels. Now, however and for some time he was saddened and bothered that Jesus’s legacy, yet, not alone his, but also the legacies of those more ancient and recent than his and being of a similar vein and intensity in word and deed had caused and were continuing to cause so much hardship and pain to so many and for so long too in just about every part of the world they had touched. And he contemplated the future.
It was becoming clearer to him that Jesus’s life and message, though certainly admirable in many respects and also as it had been genuinely lived by a certain few down through the centuries, was of and in itself fundamentally consistent in its inability to contemporaneously usher in and sustain a harmonious, dignified, honourable and joyous way of life for everyone on the planet. Surely, two millennia had been more than an adequate length of time he thought to himself in which to have had accomplished such a worthy and elementary assignment.
On the morning of the 8th April 2006 as he gazed back at the beautiful hazy Lebanese shoreline from the airline, he knew the time had come for him to write of a Jesus of his own philosophical heartland; a Jesus of his own self making.
As will immediately become apparent to the reader, A Jesus of Nazareth is not intended to be read as one would read a novel or a short story but rather by passages, verses, lines or phrases, thus allowing one to contemplatively savour its nourishing subtleties and nuances. Frequently, it will be found that a given text will be significantly saying and implying as much in what it doesn’t say as in what it does. Moreover, for the attentive explorer, the integral, vast, hereabout primordial White Space Ocean will be discovered to be a world teeming with living speculations of many kinds.
The work readily encourages and lends itself to comparison and contrast with the Holy Bible, the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Tanakh as well as with the principal philosophical Taoist texts, namely the Tao Te Ching and The Chuang-Tzu.
A Jesus of Nazareth contains twenty-eight chapters, each having numbered verses. The Index is intended to serve as an ideal reference source in which topics of a specific interest to the reader are quickly introduced according to their first time appearance in a chapter. The primary structural paradigms used were that of The Gospel According to Saint Luke; The Books of Genesis, Exodus and Deutero-Isaiah and The Book of Psalms. While the primary English-language Bible model was that of Young's Literal Translation. And J. H. Breasted's translation of the Hymn to Aten was also used.
A necessary caveat respectfully to the reader: neither the Jesus of the Gospels nor the Isa (Arabic for Jesus) of the Qur’an exists here within no more; no more too the Jesus of such works as Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ, Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, Gibran’s Jesus the Son of Man, Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln’s The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail or Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
What is more, the Moses the recipient of the Torah exists here within no more; no more too the Moses leading to a Promised Land. Rather what exists here within is a Jesus and a Moses and a number of other memorable personages of the author’s own inspiration and who to his own heart are eminently credible, enjoyable and profound.
A Jesus of Nazareth according to the author closes the book for him on Jesus content in his writings. It is essentially a contemplative work written as it is to be interpreted both exoterically and esoterically; a work which attempts to restore to the bright: the light, the memory and the power of insight, dream and intuition.
The work traverses the lands we in modern times would refer to as the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.
The fonts and page numbering in this ebook correspond to the 2007 hardback edition.