An intimate journal of the Emmaus Encounter
“The Conversation” by Judy Salisbury, Lederer Books from Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. 2011. pp. 100, hard cover, $19.99. ISBN 978-1-936716-17-3.
The Conversation by author Judy Salisbury, is described as “an intimate journal of the Emmaus Encounter.” In a dialogue-driven book, Salisbury takes two disciples of Christ, after the Crucifixion, on a journey of understanding scripture---when they thought they already knew it. Judy Salisbury is the Founder of Logos Presentations, an organization dedicated to helping believers live and share the Faith effectively, author of the CD series, “Divine Appointments: Spontaneous Conversations on Matters of the Heart, Soul and Mind,” and a guest speaker.
Using the apostle Luke, and with numerous Biblical references, Salisbury begins the book as two disciples are going from Jerusalem to Emmaus. One of the disciples (unnamed) is the narrator, describing both his reaction and the reaction of his friend, Cleopas, to a stranger on the road, who joins them and asks the casual question, “What were you talking about?” This results in the disciples explaining the events leading to the Crucifixion and burial of Jesus, called Yeshua here. Bit by bit, the stranger begins quoting scripture and questioning the men until they see how Yeshua was destined to die on the cross. The prophecies were there, but no one could properly interpret them. The reader knows who the stranger is, but it is up to the two disciples, themselves, to realize what has just happened, in and to, their world.
The book is short, 100 pages, and by the time you are finished, you may think you have been on the road to Emmaus---and may want to go to your Bible to read these passages for yourself. I think The Conversation would make a play and perhaps, that is what it is destined to be. The flow from one topic to another is smooth. You go from Judas betrayal to Pilate to the death on the cross, closely referenced from the Old Testament to the New Testament. I hope there will be more books on “conversations” in the Bible. What precedes Palm Sunday is one that comes to mind.
Salisbury draws the reader into the journey by showing a bit of personality between the two disciples and their interaction with the stranger. Yeshua is there to help the men understand for themselves, to think clearly as individuals. You feel as though you are the fourth person on the road to Emmaus, eavesdropping two steps behind the men, eager for more words.
Reviewed by Marie Asner