“Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asks the Ethiopian Eunuch (who happens to be looking at the writings of the prophet Isaiah), to which the Ethiopian responds, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”, whereupon he invites Philip to come and sit with him. This story from Acts 8 is a model for the collaborative vision of biblical study we want to cultivate at The Emmaus Institute. Just as Sacred Scripture was vouchsafed to an established community rather than to individuals apart from that community, so also the task of interpreting its content is best done not by individuals alone, but by and in that community, according to the purpose for which that community received it in the first place.
So on the one hand, what we do at The Emmaus Institute revolves around the courses we offer, because our desire is to pursue education together in person, as an embodied activity. But we also value the friendships and considerations of those not able to be present, and so we want to open the conversations we have with one another in our courses to you and invite you to participate. This resource library is designed with that in mind.
The Articles section will contain longer and more thoroughly developed pieces which deal with various topics having to do with the Bible or biblical studies, or with directly related disciplines such as theology or hermeneutics (the theories and principles of interpreting texts). Each article is peer reviewed before it is published, which means it has been read and critiqued by at least one other member of the Emmaus staff. Articles are likely to contain additional resources in the endnotes for exploring related topics in biblical studies.
The Blog will contain shorter pieces intended to begin conversations or to introduce or explain topics that we as staff have begun to research—perhaps for a course or for a longer article. It also serves as a platfrom from which we might announce upcoming events or opportunities for study.
In the Reviews section you will find our provisional analyses of books, journal articles, or other online pieces we have read, or of videos or vlogs we have watched.
Finally, it’s common for most sciences and disciplines to develop a specialized vocabulary around the specific questions each discipline is preoccupied with investigating. Biblical studies is no different. So periodically we will be adding to and refining a Glossary that we hope will be a helpful resource for becoming more familiar with unfamiliar words and concepts that may be used in our courses or in the pieces we publish here on the site.
Please note the comment boxes following the pieces in the Articles, Blog, and Reviews sections of the Library, where we invite you to joing the conversation with your questions and critiques. Before doing so, however, please read our posting guidelines.