Interview with Antonio Sebastian

In your book, 'The True Sayings of Jesus: the Nazarene paradigm', you admit that you've never considered yourself a Christian, so why the fascination with the Jesus of history?
Jesus is one of the most popular search strings on Google. Everyone seems to have an opinion, love him or hate him everyone has their own personal Jesus. Many people want to know the 'truth' about the Jesus of history.

Unfortunately, from the atheists that sneeringly insist that the Jesus of history never existed to the church that has only ever been interested in the Cosmic Christ, not the Jesus of history, the truth has been entirely obscured by the power of blind and unreasoning belief.

In the last century a lot of left-wing intellectuals tried to turn Jesus into a Jewish hippy version of Che Guevara, a prototype communist freedom fighter. Recently it has become fashionable to pretend he was a failed version of the Prophet Muhammad, a religious fundamentalist and Jihadi.

All of these interpretations ignore the historical evidence and everything the Jesus of history ever said. Ten years ago, for various reasons, I began a search for the Jesus of history. As it turns out, the truth is so much more complicated than we've been led to believe. When I began this search, I didn't realise just how deep the 'rabbit hole' went!

On investigation, it turns out that independent scholars have known for decades that of the sayings attributed to Christ in the Bible, only 18% are likely to have been spoken by the Jesus of history. I discovered that the 18%, the 'Nazarene paradigm', forms a coherent philosophical vision that existed in first century Palestine and still exists today within the Jewish community. All of my books are an attempt to bring that Nazarene paradigm alive. I believe that the world has the right to know the truth.
So if the Jesus of history is not the Cosmic Christ, what is his relevance in today's world?
During the lifetime of the Jesus of history, the ordinary people of first century Palestine were caught in the middle of a centuries old cultural and religious war. On the one hand you had the religious fundamentalists and on the other you had an entirely decadent and morally ambivalent Greco-Roman culture.

The Nazarene paradigm represents a teaching that offers a middle way between those two extremes. At a time when Jews were being killed by their own people for not being 'Jewish' enough, the teachings of the Jesus of history offered hope and a way toward peace. As a sidebar, it is somewhat ironic that if the Judean fundamentalists had listened to the Jesus of history a big part of Judah would not now be called Palestine.

Today Muslims are being asked to assimilate into a culture, which is morally abhorrent to them, while at the same time the voices of the progressive left embraces or ignores all that is worst in Islam. Blind belief on both sides is going to get us all killed.
I believe that the words of the Jesus of history, once again, offers us a way to achieve peace and understanding. His words have never been more relevant.
As you don't hold a degree in Theology or Biblical Studies from a Divinity School, what makes you think that you are qualified to write about the Jesus of history.
In my experience, a degree in engineering or medicine might be useful but having a degree in 'religion' is a little like having a degree in swimming; either you can swim or you can't, a degree will not save you from drowning!

Seriously, after two thousand years, rather than reveal the Jesus of history, the church and its divinity schools have obscured him within their own Christology. Their students are force fed opinions like foie gras ducks and on graduation, because of the nature of the peer review system, they end up condemned to an echo chamber of other people's opinions.

The teachings of the Jesus of history are inherently mystical and are designed to be lived, not passed on through indoctrination. They are also entirely Jewish, without an understanding and a love of Jewish thought and Lurianic Kabbalah it would be impossible to grasp the deeper meanings of these sayings.

I've been lucky enough to enjoy a long career in the Subsea industry. This has meant that I got to travel the world and have the time to pursue my studies free of the restrictions placed on me by a university. As a citizen of the world and an independent student of religion and anthropology, I don't have a dog in the fight but I do have the experience of languages and spirituality to recognise the profundity of the Nazarene paradigm. I've tried to do that paradigm justice by the use of fiction as well as non-fiction. Fiction allows me to describe what it might be like to actually live these teachings in the real world, while non-fiction allows me to explain the facts and history behind the stories. I only hope that my writing does that paradigm justice.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a magical fantasy novel for young adults within the Nazarene Chronicles series. It's set in the Middle East and deals with a lot of the issues that we face today. I've used fantasy as a way to remove the issues from the 'Tribalism' that makes a rational conversation impossible so it's a bit of a diversion but I think that it will be a fun. Well, I'm having a lot of fun writing it!
Published 2017-02-15.
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Books by This Author

Quantum Mechanics For Your Soul - How To Repair Yourself and Save The World At The Same Time
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 61,890. Language: British English. Published: December 27, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Body, mind, & spirit, Nonfiction » New Age » Mysticism
On an epic journey between Azerbaijan and Scotland, bestselling author, engineer and philosopher, Antonio Sebastian discovers the world that exists within the world we have all come to know. He realises that the itch we can't scratch, that's driving the world mad, is the intuitive awareness that the world we see around us is not the same as the world that exists deep inside our hearts.
The Last Letters of Jesus: the Secret of the Nazarenes
Price: $8.97 USD. Words: 105,650. Language: English. Published: February 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Ancient, Fiction » Religious
Palestine in the first century is a melting pot of Hebrew, Greek, Roman, and Oriental thought, a country at war with its own future. The priests and their cult of animal sacrifice effectively run the Judean Kingdom in the south. Rabbi Yeshua is a prophet and a mystic who can see the approaching holocaust. Within the violence of animal sacrifice, he can see the destruction of the Jewish people.
The True Sayings of Jesus: the Nazarene Paradigm
Price: $8.97 USD. Words: 60,320. Language: English. Published: February 13, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Judaism / Kabbalah & Mysticism, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Spiritual awakening
Time and the Christian Church have left us precious little of the Jewish Jesus but contrary to a popular misconception, what we do have forms a coherent philosophical whole that can be traced all the way from first century Judaism to modern Lurianic Kabbalah. For many people this book presents a radical idea, the unique profundity of the words of the Jesus of history.
The Shroud of Edessa: the Secret of Mary Magdalene
Price: Free! Words: 18,270. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Ancient, Fiction » Religious
A year after her husband’s horrific death, Mary Magdalene must return to a Jerusalem on the verge of a rebellion. Judea is torn between religious fundamentalist and the soldiers of a brutal occupation. In her husband’s tomb she finds a mystery that she cannot destroy. To protect a secret she cannot understand she must risk everything she loves.
How History Created the Bible
Price: Free! Words: 20,220. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Middle East / Israel, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Religious history
History has two parents: the story and the interpretation. Unfortunately, the Bible started with the interpretation and made the story fit the narrative. Supported by archaeology and non-biblical sources, in his book, ‘How History Created the Bible’, author, Antonio Sebastian, looks at the events which shaped the men, who created history and wrote the Bible.