But There’s More

John 24:13-35 – The third Sunday of Easter – for April 30, 2017

“He said to them, ‘What are you talking about as you walk along?’ They stopped, their faces downcast.” (John 24:17)

Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus

It was a mundane phrase that unexpectedly felt the most appealing and revealing to me.

In the midst of the magnificent “road to Emmaus” passage, after Jesus joined the two melancholy disciples, but before either recognized him as the risen Christ, they tell this “stranger” what had just occurred in Jerusalem. Cleopas and his never-named companion chattered about Jesus and his “deeds and words.” They told about the religious and political leaders despicable, fatal reactions toward the Nazarene.

Then a phrase was used (by the Common English Bible, or CEB) during their anguished account of the worst story of their lives. Cleopas or the other, maybe dramatically pausing, maybe collecting his thoughts, or maybe rushing the flowing stream of explanations, said,

But there’s more . . .

In the modern New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) and the venerable King James Version (KJV), the English translation for the opening of verse 22 is a similar, “Yes and besides all this . . .” The sturdy, popular New International Version (NIV) chooses the simple, “In addition . . .”

I prefer the CEB’s But there’s more . . .

Lazy or cranky, I have little interest in slogging through one of my old seminary tomes for the original Greek. Please, if you do (or if you’ve bookmarked a snazzy website for searching your geeky Greeky queries), I look forward to learning from your eager endeavors.

I’ll stick with the translations.

I’ll stick with what has stuck with me as I read (again) about Emmaus and wonder (again) about my tenuous faith. Continue reading →

On Being Seen

Luke 24:13-35 – The 3rd Sunday of Easter – for Sunday, May 4, 2014

“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him…” (Luke 24:31)

I stumbled through seminary in the midst of the 20th century, probably passing subjects like Ancient Greek and Old Testament Theology because of a professor’s pity on those of us brave enough or naïve enough (or both) to consider ministry. In seminary, I often (desperately) flipped through a book’s pages until discovering a quote to satisfy the low bar of my needs for a paper on the beatitudes or Paul’s notion of justification by faith. Alas, the 21st century of googling has elevated me into the depths of being a slacker. I’m a copy-and-paste dude, a cherry-pick-the-Bible-verse guy and a search-for-the-selective-facts fella that quickly (desperately) seeks something—anything, please—to bolster and boost my opinion.the-road-to-emmaus-daniel-bonnell

Have I lowered your opinion of me enough?

Even so, please join me on the road to Emmaus.

You know Emmaus, don’t you?

Of course you do. I assume many my blog’s treasured readers are primarily churchy, faithy and Christiany ministers. And those equally treasured readers that don’t professionally marry, bury and baptize are at least interested in the Bible. In religion. In God. In Jesus.

So I’m preaching to the proverbial choir when I ask if you know Emmaus. Luke’s author said the village was seven miles from Jerusalem, or—to hew closer to the ancient languages I (tried to) study in seminary—Emmaus was 60 or so stadia from the City of David. In Greek measurements, a stadion is 600 feet. 60 stadia would be equivalent to 6.8 miles and modern Biblical translations round that up to seven miles.

How long does it take you to walk seven miles? Continue reading →