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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mark Goodacre (and Ignatius) in Israel

Just the other day someone asked me if I'd ever been to Israel. I haven't but I wish I could go to see all the places where Jesus acted and preached, to see where Ignatius looked for Jesus' footprint :) and also to see the spots discussed in the Israeli agent novels by Daniel Silva. Now I have a chance to visit Israeli vicariously through the blog posts by Duke NT professor Mark Goodacre. He's made six installments so far (with photos) and you can read them all on this page - A Biblical Scholar's First Impressions of Israel : I through VI

For those interested, here's part of Ignatius of Loyola's autobiography in which he mentions himself (the pilgrim) going back one last time to see Jesus' footprint, after having been told that he would have to leave the Holy Land (thanks to Mark Mossa SJ) .....


Part 30

This done, he returned to where he had been before, and was seized with a great desire of again visiting Mount Olivet before leaving, since it was not our Lord’s will that he remain there in those holy places. On Mount Olivet there was a stone from which our Lord ascended into heaven and the print of his footstep is still to be seen. It was this he wished to see again. Without a word to anyone, therefore, or without taking a guide (for those who go without a Turk as a guide run great risk), he slipped away from the others and went alone to Mount Olivet. The guards did not want to let him in, but he gave them a desk-knife which he carried with him. After having prayed with deep devotion, he wanted to go to Bethpage, and while he was there, he recalled again that he had not noticed on Mount Olivet in what direction the right foot was turned, or in what direction the left. Returning, he gave his scissors, I think, to the guards for permission to enter.

When they learned at the monastery that he had left without a guide, the friars made every effort to find him. As he was coming down from Mount Olivet, he fell in with a Syrian Christian who worked at the monastery. The man had a large staff and showing signs of great annoyance made as though he were going to beat him with it, and when he came up with him, grabbed him roughly by the arm, and the pilgrim easily allowed himself to be led away. The good man never let go of him. Coming thus in the grasp of the Syrian Christian, he had great consolation from our Lord Who he thought he saw above him all along the way. This consolation lasted in great abundance till they reached the monastery.



Anonymous Paul Maurice Martin said...

I don't know anything about this subject area but I had an aunt who visited Jerusalem and was so happy to have walked where Jesus walked. I didn't say anything but was wondering... wouldn't anyplace that people actually walked 2000 years ago now be underground?

It just seems like archeologists are always digging down for things. So then maybe the earth is getting fatter...

4:46 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Paul,

the earth is getting fatter


Yeah, whenever I see something about archaeology, it seems they're digging down to the past. So, I don't know about the streets in Jerusalem - if those are the authentic roads Jesus walked on. But I don't think the earth is getting fatter - I mean we're sort of a closed system maybe and what covers up one place was eroded from someplace else?

6:18 PM  

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