– Why was the book commissioned?
– Who is Jay Jeffries?
– Who are the authors?
– What are the Sacred Texts of Jesus? Where do they come from?
– Have the Sacred Texts been changed?
– What translation of the Sacred Texts have been used in the production of this book?
– What parts of the Sacred Texts have been used?
– Why haven’t the whole Sacred Texts been published?
– What is the reason for publishing the Sacred Texts? Why not just the articles and images?
– Why have articles, prayers, meditations and images been added to the Sacred Texts?
4. Our approach
– Is there any room for more openness that honours spiritual followings and beliefs that differ from Christianity?
– Why are the images so different from the traditional/ historical European Catholic images?
WHY THIS BOOK?
Why was Awaken the Spirit – The Sacred Texts of Jesus commissioned?
As followers of Jesus’ way we began to realise that many people, who are on different spiritual journeys or from different faith traditions may also want to know about Jesus and potentially engage with him. We wanted to give people the chance to read from the Sacred Texts themselves, in a form they could easily relate to. A new reader of a traditional Bible may find it tricky and confusing to navigate. Where would the reader begin? This book makes it easy and picks up themes within the texts that are relevant to those from other spiritual paths and faith traditions.
This book remains an honest account of Jesus’ life and divinity, as documented in the Sacred Texts. It also encourages the reader to think for themselves and interact where and when they feel prompted and guided. It attempts to allow the reader space to disagree with some of the content and to acknowledge questions that may arise. It is hoped that within the book’s pages, the reader will find a deeply spiritual Jesus who exists both within the Texts and in the world today. It is our hope the reader will encounter new depths in Jesus, that will ultimately enrich their lives.
Who is Jay Jeffries?
Jay is director and founder of Amethyst Books. She is the Commissioning Editor for this book. After many years of talking and engaging with diverse spiritual and cultural and faith traditions that differed from her own, Jay wondered about creating a book that embodied the essence of the Christian faith tradition in a form that was easily read, understood and appealed to the modern ‘seeker’. This book was born. And while it has been a long journey from inception to publication, it is symbolic of her commitment to authentic conversations with people from all walks of life and faith and her desire for Jesus to be understood as a spiritual leader whose way of life and teachings still have something to offer contemporary society and those seeking spiritual truths today.
Who are the authors?
All contributors have been recommended by respected theologians and authors such as John Drane and Philip Johnson. They all firmly believe that the life of Jesus and the Sacred Texts should be made accessible to all those seeking to explore spirituality. All authors are on their own spiritual journey and have studied various aspects of New Spirituality or other faith traditions. Today all authors find themselves following the path that leads to Jesus and his teachings as exemplified in the Sacred Texts. Please visit our “Authors” page for more information.
THE SACRED TEXTS
What are the Sacred Texts of Jesus? Where do they come from?
Very simply the texts are the ancient documents and letters, that give an account of Jesus’ life. We know them today as part of the Bible.
Have the Sacred Texts been changed?
No. The text has been left unchanged. Peach Tree Editorial have been commissioned by Tyndale House Publishing to ensure no words from the Sacred Texts have been changed.
What translation of the Sacred Texts have been used in the production of this book?
Tyndale House Publishers have sold us the right to use the New Living Translation. They have been very generous and very approachable.
Thank you also to the Lockman Foundation who freely gave us the New American Standard Bible to use as a back up if needed. We have used this in our original sample chapter.
What parts of the Sacred Texts are you using?
Genesis 1-3, all of the books of Luke and Acts, Revelations 21-22 and small snippets from the Wisdom Literature and other sections.
Why haven’t the whole Sacred Texts been published?
Publishing a whole text with mediations, prayers and images would be a significant undertaking, so we have produced this smaller version to allow people to experience just a snippet of the Sacred Texts and thereby begin to explore Jesus’ life. Jesus is the central figure that the book is built around. Perhaps through reading this book, people may feel inclined to one day approach the full text (the Bible), but for now the idea is to provide the reader with the opportunity to relate to Jesus in a fresh way.
What is the reason for publishing the Sacred Texts? Why not just the articles and images?
The Sacred Texts are the main feature of the book; read simultaneously with the articles, meditation and images, they provide wisdom, depth and insight. We hope people will read the book and engage with the Sacred Texts in a new and creative way.
Why have articles, prayers, meditations and images been added to the Sacred Texts?
We have not added anything to the Sacred Texts. We have simply surrounded the text with articles and commentary that might help people gain new insights into the original text/s. While this has been attempted previously by others in various forms, this publication and its articles focus on topics of interest to the modern day spiritual seeker. The images, prayers and meditations are there to help people to engage with Jesus at a deeper and more personal level – if they choose to.
This book takes a specific approach to spirituality. Is there any room for more openness that honours spiritual followings and beliefs that differ from Christianity?
We believe that all spiritual journeys have value and are worthy of respect. However, this book is specific in its approach to the Sacred Texts, it maintains an orthodox perspective about Jesus and his divinity. It is hoped that while this difference of opinions may cause some readers questions or concerns, they will essentially understand that any disrespect of their own spiritual path is not intended. We invite the reader to appreciate the writings even if they disagree with some of the content. We don’t claim to have all the answers. We each have our own unique spiritual journey. However each author shares a common understanding and belief about who Jesus was and what he can offer spiritual seekers today. From readers responses and wisdom shared, we in turn, will also continue to learn, grow and adapt our own thinking and beliefs. We encourage the reader to be true to who they are and open to learning and experiencing Jesus in new ways. May all those on a spiritual journey continue to spread light in the world.
Why are the images so different from the traditional/ historical European Catholic images?
We want to tap into readers creativity to help them think more broadly about Jesus. We hope to encourage people to go deeper on their spiritual journey using these Sacred Texts, by stimulating them with modern images and depictions of Jesus. For example, we have included images of crystals to help the reader reflect on their inherent symbolism that hopefully leads to reflection on the actual creator of the crystals. We have also developed our own Taro cards to inspire the reader to explore the future possibilities Jesus holds for them.
It is our hope that you will each go forth and sit with Jesus’ Spirit. Let that Spirit speak with you and guide you on some of life’s journey. Allow yourself sincerity, humility and let yourself learn and most of all be loved as you deserve. This book may hold little value to you, it may cause you concern or it may spark a light deep within. Whatever this book does for you I hope you will allow yourself a moment or two to sit with and hear from a deeply spiritual Jesus.