Welcome to Etheldreda.net

This is a Christian website that’s essentially about trying to see and apply scripture as medicine for the soul. With that purpose in mind it uses an approach to the Bible with puritan, monastic and medical influences, which it also explains. I hope the website is interesting, perhaps even useful, but more importantly I hope and pray that, by the grace of God, it’s helpful in encouraging spiritual life and health, from God’s word.

The links ‘Etheldreda?’ and ‘Prescriptions?’ (here, and via the navigation above and below) explain the website’s name, and the strapline ‘Prescriptions from God’s word’. The latter obviously reflects its theme, but likewise is derived from its core – this ‘approach’ or helpful spiritual discipline that I use to create the website’s main content.

Main content

Aside from that main content (which can also be accessed via the Rx so far and Blog links), I’m keen on sharing the thinking behind this underlying discipline with others. Some might like to adopt elements from it at least, for use in their own approach to scripture? So, if you take nothing else away, please do look at the ‘Prescriptions?’ page, unless you’re not a Christian yet, in which case I’d suggest reading the ‘Christian?’ page first.

In brief overview:- (read more…)

Regarding the website’s name…

First, and most simply, Etheldreda (pronounced Ethel-dreeda) is an unusual and intriguing word, so seemed like a great name for a website.

In fact, Etheldreda is an actual name, which literally means ‘noble strength’. That’s interesting, since any good we might do as Christians is entirely dependent upon the grace and sovereign ‘power’(2 Corinthians 12:9) of our Lord, always remembering that ‘we have this treasure in clay vessels(2 Corinthians 4:7). So the name can be seen as a fitting reminder of that total dependency, and in a sense therefore as both a prayer and a plea as well.

In addition, however, the website has this name because its author is someone who appreciates various aspects of the monastic tradition, although is probably best described as simply a New Testament believer, and non-denominational. In fact, I’ve found a particular affinity with the puritans and their successors. Even so, perhaps unusually given that fact, I also have this interest in the best practices from the monastic tradition, hence naming the site after St. Etheldreda, rather like churches etc. are often named after someone from Christian history. I like to encourage other Christians to reflect on and consider their/her example and way of life etc. (see the ‘Etheldreda?’ links for more details).

However, the main content of Etheldreda.net is a collection of short blog-like posts (or expositions/reflections) on Bible texts. Their distinctive characteristic (consistent with the above) is the way in which they’ve been prepared – using this helpful spiritual discipine, which is a fusion between puritan expository technique, traditional monastic lectio divina and a medical way of thinking, hence ‘Prescriptions from God’s word’. As mentioned above, I like to encourage other Christians to take a look at this spiritual discipline for themselves (see the ‘Prescriptions?’ links for more details) – and perhaps come to their (your?) own conclusions about its usefulness.

Otherwise, I’ve gathered together this collection of Bible texts, to study/meditate on them, and write up the distilled essence of my findings (prescriptions – Rx), for three reasons:-

Firstly, for careful application to myself, so that through many hours of slow, considered, Bible study and prayerful meditation, I might know and serve God better, thus assisting my walk with Him through life.

Secondly, I hope this spiritual discipline will furnish my mind with helpful thoughts to share with others during life’s journey, whenever the opportunity arises (including, since 2018, via Etheldreda.net @etheldredanet on Xtwitter).

Thirdly, I make the full text-based fruits of my work available here, on Etheldreda.net, in the prayerful hope that others might find what I’ve prepared of some interest, use or benefit.

So, to access the ‘prescriptions’ prepared so far, go via the ‘Rx so far’ links, where they’re presented in Bible book order. You can scroll up and down to pick one that you’d like to read, from a random starting point in the sequence. Alternatively, to see what’s new, click on the ‘Blog’ links, where you can scroll down to see the history of the website as well. Or you can use the search feature on the navigation above to search for anything on this website.

Again as above, if you’re visiting Etheldreda.net and are not yet a Christian, may I draw your attention to the ‘Christian?’ links, if you’re interested in finding out more regarding what a Christian is, or perhaps even how to become one.

Please feel free to share this website via social media etc.

(or anywhere else)

by copying/pasting its URL link: https://etheldreda.net/

if you’re on Xtwitter,
please do let me know @etheldredanet

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On this website all Bible quotes are in italic text; nothing else is in italics, except in this sentence, which includes ‘Rx Aiming to encourage spiritual life & health from God’s word’ from the banner! This follows a style similar to that found in other works, including Matthew Henry’s Commentary, an early 18th century puritan work that Etheldreda.net highly recommends. Although Matthew Henry’s work lacks some technical details found in modern commentaries, he was a great physician of the soul, and his commentary richly brings out the spiritual application of God’s word to the heart. Follow these links for other books Etheldreda.net would recommend on the puritans and historical details about the life of Etheldreda.

Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotes are from the World English Bible (WEB) 2009ff., with spellings and capitalisation altered to match my usage, for consistency. I link to the biblegateway.com version of this translation (e.g. after each quote), and try to update each quote to the latest version there, if and when I find an inconsistency, so if you spot one please do let me know. The WEB is a fairly literal translation, following the King James Version, through the American Standard Version, to this modern English WEB version. It’s a well named endeavour, seeking to make freely available a sound modern English translation to use and spread in the internet age, without copyright restrictions. This suits the copyright ethos of Etheldreda.net – see the ‘Legal blurb’ page, where there is also information about general terms and conditions, security and privacy etc., and other policies. If you continue to use this website it’s assumed that you accept these.