Andrew, I think you have an excellent, mature attitude to the reading of scripture. And Hermes was indeed the Greek messenger.
Too often we see the literal word set in stone resulting in a rigid reading of this great work of literature, which in itself can mean differing things to different people in different times. I remember someone telling me once, and I forget who it was, that all interpretations are valid as long as they create love in the community. I think this may have originated with St Augustine. The bible is always working in history in many and varied ways.
You may also be interested to know that Girard always considered that we learn more about humanity and its virtues, vices and behaviour from great literature than from philosophy. Have you read his “Deceit, Desire and the Novel”? It discusses five great writers who describe the process of conversion, and the realisation that we are not autonomous beings. Not individuals, but interdividuals, that is communal, closely linked beings, living together in something akin to a field of gravity. As iron filings to a magnet.
However, and I think we may have discussed this before, in this session, James is illustrating how two people are learning to interpret scripture through the eyes of Jesus, our Rabbi. The “I AM”
Luke 24:13?35 raises an important question of interpretation: through whose eyes do you read the Scriptures? One answer to this question is found in the book of Numbers: we read our scriptures through the eyes of Moses who is meek, “more so than anyone on the face of the earth.” Another answer was given by what we now call Christianity: we read the scriptures through the eyes of Jesus our Rabbi who shows us what real meek Moses was really about. ?
Emmaus is a piece of “theological geography”: by not being a definite place of any importance, it can in principle be anywhere at all. The Emmaus story is a story about how to interpret: Two people are discussing things which they are unable to interpret and a third person shows up and offers the definitive interpretation from God. Luke has deliberately not named the disciple with Cleopas. We are meant to supply our own name: could be you, could be me. ?
There is a church structure to the matter of interpretation but Luke is making clear that the central interpretative experience is not a matter of church authority. It happens to anyone, anywhere, at the hand of the crucified and risen Rabbi. ?