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Ask the Patriarch 197
Help me publish a Zen interpretation of the Gospel of Thomas

from: Eylon Lester

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My name is Eylon and I'm from Israel.

I wanted your help in publishing a Zen interpretation book to the 'Gospel of Thomas', as the Israeli writer and spiritual teacher, Shay Tubali, wrote. The book is in Hebrew and we want to publish it in Israel.

I will be glad to talk to one of you about it.

Thank you,


The Patriarch replies:


I assume that you wrote to me because there is a version of the Gospel of Thomas on this web site in support of Meditation 228 - The Q-Verse. Beyond that, I have little ongoing interest in the Gospel of Thomas.

Still, I have to wonder why you would ask for help from this organization in publishing this particular book. Having taken the time to do a little research, I find that Shay Tubali is already a published author in Israel, and you and he are co-authors of another book coming out in the near future. I can only assume that no Israeli publisher sees a market in Israel for a Zen interpretation of Thomas. And I suspect they are right. Perhaps a Zen interpretation of the Book of Job would be of more interest and more likely to be seen as relevant to Israelis by your local publishing industry. (And Job is certainly open to a Zen interpretation - I'm not being sarcastic or frivolous in this suggestion)

I would suggest - and only make this suggestion because you asked for help - that you translate the book into English and find a North American publisher. There is a large New Age Christian market in the US and Canada and it is reasonable to think that a new and well-written Zen interpretation of Thomas might find an audience. (The fact that there are already other such books out there would actually increase the market - they are complementary products rather than competing ones.)

Beyond that, I will point out there are numerous self-publication options on the internet. For example, Cafe Press (not that I'm making a specific recommendation) will publish your book and make it available for online order with delivery by mail, and no cash outlay required by you.

For the benefit of anyone who may think of ways to be of better assistance to you, I will provide a link to your web site where contact information can be found:

New Sun - A World of Enlightenment

Publishing this link does not mean I endorse the views on your web site, particularly Shay Tubali's views on the form of government that should replace democracy. Essentially you are proposing the Iranian Supreme Leader and Council of Guardians as a governing model, without the Islamic component of course. I'll take democracy with all its messiness, thank you very much.

Best of luck with with your publication efforts

John Tyrrell