7. Why do they say, that Emmaus is at Qubeibeh or Abu-Gosh?

During the Crusader period, additional places came to be venerated as the biblical Emmaus: Qaryat al-'Inab (Abu-Gosh), and, later, Qubeibeh and possibly Bet-Ulma (Bethulme) near Motza-Colonia (For the latter see: M. J. Schiffers, Amwas, das Emmaus des hl. Lucas, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1890, pp. 163-217, see here; Vigouroux, Dictionnaire de la Bible, v. 2, part 2, Paris, 1912, columns 1757-1758, see here). The reason for the emergence of these new traditions was a general trend of that time to situate the Holy places close to each other on the passable roads. The identification of the Holy Places was often created by travellers themselves. Thus, in the 12th century, the hill of Latrun in the area of Emmaus-Nicopolis was identified by some Western pilgrims as Modi’in. Gradually, this identification spread to Emmaus, which was considered to be the burial place of “seven Maccabean brothers” until the 19th century, while Latrun, from the early 16th c., became the home of the Good Thief (Castellum Boni Latronis).

Qaryat al-'Inab (Abu-Gosh), the biblical Kiryat -Yearim, from the 12th to the mid-13th century, was identified by Crusaders as Emmaus (a tradition revived by French monks in the 20th century), and from the 16th to the 19th century, it was considered to be the biblical village of Anathoth, the birthplace of the prophet Jeremiah. The tradition which places Emmaus in Qubeibeh appears to be born in the 13th century. It was especially popular during the 16th - 17th centuries, and was revived in the late 19th century by the Franciscans.

Neither Abu-Gosh nor Qubeibeh have ever been called “Emmaus”, nor venerated as such by Orthodox or any other Eastern Christians (except, perhaps, those who were particularly influenced by their Western brothers). Abu Gosh is situated at the distance of 73 stadia (13.5 km, 8 miles) from Jerusalem, while Qubeibeh lies at the distance of 77 stadia (14.3 km, ca. 9 miles) from the city, which was apparently understood by medieval travellers as the distance of ca. 60 stadia, mentioned in the manuscripts of the Gospel of Luke.

After being linked to the memory of the apparition of Jesus in Emmaus, Abu Gosh and Qubeibeh were also identified as the place of victory of Judas Maccabee over the Greeks in Emmaus, since Christian tradition has never separated those two events. Today no one doubts that the battle of Judas against the Syrian army took place in the valley of Ayalon, in the area of Emmaus-Nicopolis.

The identification of Abu Gosh and Qubeibeh with the biblical Emmaus thus did not appear as a fruit of a historic or archaeological research, but as a fruit of the piety of Western pilgrims during the Crusades and the Renaissance. Even when other identifications of Emmaus existed, Emmaus-Nicopolis continued to be venerated as the Gospel's Emmaus both by Orthodox and Catholic Christians (Various witnesses’ accounts testify to this fact, including the Russian Abbot Daniel, who visited Emmaus in 1106), the Greek pilgrim named Johannes Phocas who visited it in 1185 and the Franciscan monk Antonio de Medina, pilgrim in 1485, see The Crusader period and The Mameluke period ).

About the identification of Emmaus during the Crusader period, see: V. Guérin, Description de la Palestine, Paris, 1868, p. 348-361; M. J. Schiffers, Amwas, das Emmaus des hl. Lucas, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1890, pp. 135-172, see here; Vincent & Abel, Emmaüs, Paris, 1932, p. 381-402, see here; D. Baldi, Enchiridion Locorum Sanctorum, Jerusalem, 1955, p. 706-719; Sabino de Sandoli, The Sanctuary of Emmaus, Jerusalem, 1966; M. Benvenisti, The Crusader of the Holy Land, Jerusalem, 1970, p. 343-351; K. Setton, ed., A History of the Crusades, Wisconsin, 1985, v. IV, p. 112-113, 259-260, see here; D. Pringle, The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, Cambridge, 1993, vol. 1, p. 52-59, see here; Abu-Gosh, editions du Gulf Stream, 1995; V. Michel, Le complexe ecclésiastique d'Emmaüs-Nicopolis, Paris, Sorbonne, 1996-97, p. 46-49, see here; R. Ellenblum, Frankish Rural Settlement in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, Cambridge, 1998, p. 109-118. See also M. Ehrlich, The Identification of Emmaus with Abu-Goš in the Crusader Period Reconsidered , ZDPV 112 (1996), 2, p.165-169.

Part of the map “Palestine of Crusades”, published by F. J. Salmon in Jaffa in 1924, representing roads connecting Jerusalem to Jaffa. Emmaus-Nicopolis appears as Imwas, Abu-Gosh as “spring of Emmaus Fontenoid”, Qubeibeh, as “La petite Mahomerie”.

One cannot exclude the existence of an ancient Christian tradition which would venerate the meeting place of Jesus with the two disciples on their way to Emmaus somewhere near today's Abu Gosh. We find an indirect confirmation of this in one of the ancient manuscripts of the Syriac New Testament , which renders Luke 24:13 as follows:

“He appeared to two of them on the same day as they went to a village called Emmaus and were sixty stadia away from Jerusalem.”

Vetus Syra, manuscript SySP, the translation is ours.

In 1878, Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified (Mariam Baouardy) pointed to the village of Abu Gosh as the place where the two disciples met the risen Jesus, before heading to Emmaus-Nicopolis (see: The Ottoman period).

St. Mariam