This is a Christian website with some key distinctives, outlined briefly on this page and in more detail through the links ‘Etheldreda?’ and ‘Prescriptions?’ here and via the navigation above. These explain why the website is called Etheldreda.net and the unusual strapline ‘Prescriptions from God’s word’, which is the core of Etheldreda.net – about a spiritual discipline I use to create the content. I like to share the thinking behind this helpful discipline with others, in the hope that some might consider trying it, and perhaps incorporate at least elements from it into 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. Essentially the project is about trying to apply scripture as medicine for the soul, by using and encouraging a spiritual discipline with puritan, monastic and medical influences. I hope the website is interesting and stimulating, but more importantly, by the grace of God, useful in encouraging spiritual life and health.
So, in brief outline:-
Etheldreda.net is so named because it comes from a monastic soul, but who otherwise could be described as conservative, reformed, evangelical and baptist, a position arrived at from first principles – finding these labels most closely reflect what we encounter in the New Testament. The author of this website has found a particular affinity with the calvinistic puritans but, perhaps unusually given that fact, also has a longstanding healthy interest in the best practices from the monastic tradition, hence naming the site after St. Etheldreda. I would like to encourage other Christians (especially fellow evangelicals) to consider their/her way of life (see the ‘Etheldreda?’ links for more details).
The main content of Etheldreda.net is a collection of short expositions-essays-homilies-reflections on Bible texts. Their distinctive characteristic (consistent with those mentioned above) is the way in which they’ve been prepared – using a fusion between puritan expository technique, traditional monastic lectio divina and a medical way of thinking, hence ‘Prescriptions from God’s word’. As above, I’d like to encourage other Christians to try this spiritual discipline for themselves (see the ‘Prescriptions?’ links for more details) – and perhaps come to your own conclusions about its usefulness.
Otherwise, I’ve decided to gather together this collection of Bible texts, 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 Twitter).
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 use.
To access the ‘prescriptions’ prepared so far, go via the ‘Rx so far’ links, where they are presented in Bible book order. You can scroll up and down to pick one that you would 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 too. Or you can use the search feature on the navigation above to search for anything on this website.)
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.
On this website all Bible quotes are in italic text; nothing else is in italics, except in this sentence (!), which includes ‘Aiming to encourage spiritual life & health’ 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 calvinism, the puritans, and historical details about the life of St. Etheldreda.
Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotes are from the World English Bible (WEB) 2009. This is a fairly literal translation, following the King James Version, through the American Standard Version, to this modern English WEB version. The WEB is 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.