September 25, 2018

Fr. Pentiuc Teaches in the Holy Land

Rev. Dr. Eugen J. Pentiuc, Archbishop Demetrios Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Origins at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, organized and led a three-week course this summer in the Holy Land. The course, In the Footsteps of Jesus, was offered by Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in conjunction with École Biblique et Archéologique Française (EBAF) in Jerusalem, and was funded in part by a generous grant from the Lilly Foundation through the Association of Theological Schools.

Fifteen students from several schools of theology, including Holy Cross, studied and explored Jesus Christ’s life as narrated in the Gospels and foreshadowed by Old Testament messianic prophecies. Classroom meetings were interwoven with visits in Jerusalem and field trips throughout the Holy Land, creating a fully immersive learning experience. During these visits and trips, special emphasis was placed on the interrelation between the Bible, history, and topography of Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

Teaching with Fr. Eugen, himself an EBAF alumnus, were Fr. Olivier-Thomas Venard, O.P., Vice Director of EBAF and Executive Director of B.E.S.T. Bible Digital Project, EBAF, and Fr. Łukasz Popko, O.P., Lecturer in Prophetic Literature, in charge of visits and trips throughout the Holy Land, EBAF.

“For me,” remarked Fr. Eugen, “the greatest joy I experienced teaching this course, besides being back at my dear alma mater, was to see young women and men representing three main branches of Christianity, students from various BTI schools studying and living together in harmony, united around the sheer joy of learning in the footsteps of Jesus the Messiah who, in the Garden of Gethsemane, prayed that we all ‘may be one’ (John 17:11).”

Paul Murray, one of the Holy Cross students who took the course, says, “The experience was an incredible one, allowing us to see the physical sites where much of biblical history took place and allowing the geography to come together more smoothly in my mind.” Another Holy Cross student, Elias Diamond, agrees, saying that “studying the Bible within the context of the Holy Land was truly profound, as we got to visit so many of the crucial sites mentioned in the Bible, as well as take classes with some of the greatest biblical scholars I had ever met.”