The Word of God in Scripture deserves our best minds and full attention. Fifteen friars from across the globe, including two from England, met in Jerusalem early this month to discuss issues in Biblical exegesis.
Fr Bruno Clifton, from our Cambridge Priory, and Fr Richard Ounsworth, who teaches Scripture at Blackfriars, Oxford, joined Scripture scholars and students from Poland, Ireland, France, Croatia, Ukraine, the United States, Mexico, India, Nigeria, and the Philippines. Welcomed by the Priory of St Etienne in the heart of Jerusalem, they shared over three days insights from their work and discussed problems in current scholarship.
A Biblical Workshop, in which everyone contributed from different perspectives to discussion of a Gospel text, Luke 4:16-30, was inspired by a major project of the Ecole Biblique–the Bible in its Traditions. The project draws on the latest biblical and archaeological research to create an on-line annotated text of the Bible and its reception history.
As well as academic rigour, the symposium was marked by the fraternity of the occasion. The opportunity was also seized to visit Jerusalem’s Old City and some of the foundational sites of our redemption, an opportunity of profound importance for those who had not been to the Holy Land before. The presence of this Dominican institution in Jerusalem was thereby confirmed as a precious characteristic of the school’s academic and spiritual mission.
The scholars were convinced of the value of meeting again in 2016, when an extra day in the programme will allow an excursion to one of the many important historical sites in the area. With the fundamental mission of the Order to preach the Word of God ever in mind, this collaborative project, based on the advanced study of the Bible, deepens our knowledge of Christ and the meaning of his Word for ourselves, for our Dominican brothers and sisters and for the people to whom we are sent.
To find out more about the Order’s Ecole Bible et archeologique in Jerusalem click here