A Quick Quiz by Jeffery Small

Author Blog by Jeffrey Small

A quick quiz: Name this religious figure: A shimmering spirit appears to a young wife in a dream, tells her that she will give birth to a son who will change the world and then enters her womb. When the boy is born, wise men proclaim that the child will grow into a religious leader. As a young man, he retreats to the wilderness where he sits in deep contemplation until the devil appears to tempt him from his path. He resists the temptations and then begins a ministry in which his disciples give up their worldly possessions to follow him. He heals the sick, some proclaim him to be a god, and on his death, his followers believe that he will return again. Are you thinking about Jesus of Nazareth? Actually, the above is part of the legend surrounding Siddhartha Gautama, the man known as the Buddha, who lived five centuries before Jesus. The parallels go even further: For almost every one of Jesus’ teachings, we can find a similar lesson from the Buddha.
Digging deeper into ancient India, we can also uncover Hindu scripture (a group of writings known as the Vedas), which contain parables that sound eerily like those told by Jesus centuries later. For example, in one oft-recited parable, Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed. Similarly, in the Chandogya Upanishad, this ancient Sanskrit text tells of the master who asks his student to open the Banyan tree fruit, extract the tiny seed and then break it in half, revealing a hollow center. When the student notices that the seed is empty, his teacher replies that from that emptiness comes the great Banyan tree, and, he continues, that same creative essence is in the student, too. Why do we see these parallels between the religions of the East and the teachings of Jesus, who was considered a subversive in his Roman and Jewish community? Why do the contemplative practices of Jesus, which seem to confuse his disciples, seem so similar to Eastern meditative techniques?
We actually know very little about the life of Jesus, a fact not often discussed by church leaders. As told in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, his ministry only lasted a single year. Leaving aside the story of his birth, the only information we have about the younger years of Jesus comes from Luke who describes an occasion when a precocious 12-year-old Jesus speaks in the temple, impressing his elders. The Bible is then silent about the following 20-year period of Jesus’ life until he reappears on the scene around the age of 30, when he is baptized by John and begins his ministry.
What happened during these missing years of Jesus’ life? What experiences might have shaped Jesus into the man he became? Could a clue to these missing years come from a controversial discovery over a century ago by a Russian journalist? In my recently released suspense novel, “The Breath of God,” I examine the implications of this journalist’s historical discovery through a fictional story of suspense, mystery and mysticism.
In 1887, Russian journalist Nicholas Notovitch discovered evidence in a remote Himalayan monastery in Northern India that Jesus, during his teens and 20s, traveled with a merchant caravan along the spice route to India where he studied the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism — teachings that, when combined with his Jewish upbringing, molded him into the man we know today. After Notovitch published his discovery in 1894, he was condemned for the heresy he proposed, and later, the evidence of his find vanished from the monastery.
The protagonist in “The Breath of God,” present-day graduate student Grant Matthews, journeys to the Himalayas in search of this ancient mystery. He must confront those whose cherished beliefs are threatened by the possibility that their religion may be based on other faiths, while he struggles with how his own spirituality is affected by the ancient revelations he encounters.
Although the book is fiction, the research behind it is historical and raises the question of how we think about interfaith dialogue in today’s interconnected world. Could Jesus have been influenced by Hinduism and Buddhism? What might this connection mean for us today?The Breath of God is available in bookstores nationally as well as online. For more information, please visit www.JeffreySmall.com.



Similar Articles




Recent Book Trailers



Don't Miss

QUICK LOOK: Snarc 2: The Journey Continues!!!

Snarc 2:  The Journey Continues!!! Welcome to Snarc 2, the continuing adventures of Snarc, our favorite intergalactic traveler, and his companion Cosmic Staff. As you...


Danger In Numbers by Heather Graham When a ritualistic murder shakes a small north Florida community, an agent from the State police is forced to...

SNEAK PEEK: Warriors of the Sacred Garden: Mila: Iron and Silk by E. I....

Warriors of the Sacred Garden: Mila: Iron and Silk by E. I. Landa Deep in the heart of Amazonas, in the Cloud Forest, a...

March Means Thrillers….and Suspense…..and Women’s History…..

If you love thrillers, and you love finding great new authors, stay turned March is gonna be. . . . explosive, with a few...


SUCH A FUN AGE BY KILEY REID A REESE’S BOOK CLUB x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK PICK A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating...

PODCAST: Traveling the world with author and journalist McGarvey Black

Traveling the world with author and journalist McGarvey Black LISTEN HERE!! A theatre major in college, McGarvey Black pursued an acting career for a few years. From there...

BEHIND THE WORDS: Amanda Cabot Talks about ‘Dreams Rekindled’

Hi Amanda, tell our readers about your new book, Dreams Rekindled? Can a man and a woman, both prisoners of their pasts, find love and...

PODCAST: Broken Peak with Author Jules Crisare

Meet the shifters from Broken Peak with Author Jules Crisare LISTEN HERE! Jules Crisare loves writing sexy shifter romances. The growly and dominant males of Broken...

BEHIND THE WORDS: Author Lynn Blackburn

Welcome Lynn, we’re excited to have you on Reader’s Entertainment. First, tell our readers a bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live?...

SNEAK PEEK: Of One Blood by Pauline Hopkins

Of One Blood: or, The Hidden Self (Haunted Library Horror Classics) by Pauline Hopkins A groundbreaking tale of racism, identity, and spirituality by African American...