How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
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27-07-2016, 10:34 AM
RE: How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
(26-07-2016 07:34 PM)seoq Wrote:  I was thinking today about some of the questions I asked in the Contemporary Accounts of Jesus thread and realized there are a few others I should probably be asking (or asking again). One of the things bugging me when I started that thread was that there weren't any letters or correspondence between people in the areas Jesus was supposedly preaching and performing miracles in mentioning the incredible things he was supposedly doing. Only material that originated in the faith and was spread in order to proselytize. I mean it would only follow that people witnessing such amazing things would write to each other and spread news of it.

So just how literate were those areas? Does correspondence or other such material from that area and time period exist in such a way where we can observe a lack of material pertaining to Jesus' ministry?
I've asked elsewhere why he didn't convert or even interest one person who could read and write or one could hire a scribe. I imagine the answer is that nothing he said was of interest to any educated person.
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27-07-2016, 10:35 AM
RE: How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
(27-07-2016 10:17 AM)seoq Wrote:  So with only a 3% literacy rate who were the members of the upper class (and apparent heretics) who were willing to write, publish, and disperse the material pertaining to Jesus' supposed ministry?

There was no publishing. Stories were transmitted orally. Letters were written by the few literates. Some books were written, but any copying was by hand. No printing presses.

Also, letters were usually written on clay or wax tablets protected by sheets of wood. The recipient would read the letter, smooth out the wax/clay, then write the return letter back. Permanent writing surfaces like paper or parchment were expensive.

Additionally, the early Christians were certain that jesus would return in their lifetime. It was only when that didn't happen that they realized they would need to write stuff down.

In regards to literacy being forbidden, I don't recall reading that. It was my understanding that most people were too busy and too poor to have the time and money to get an education.

There was no need for a conspiracy. You could walk into a town, proclaim yourself a prophet/apostle/disciple/whatever and all you needed to back it up was charisma. At least one of the letters in the NT talks about false prophets.

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27-07-2016, 11:03 AM
RE: How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
(26-07-2016 07:34 PM)seoq Wrote:  I was thinking today about some of the questions I asked in the Contemporary Accounts of Jesus thread and realized there are a few others I should probably be asking (or asking again). One of the things bugging me when I started that thread was that there weren't any letters or correspondence between people in the areas Jesus was supposedly preaching and performing miracles in mentioning the incredible things he was supposedly doing. Only material that originated in the faith and was spread in order to proselytize. I mean it would only follow that people witnessing such amazing things would write to each other and spread news of it.

So just how literate were those areas? Does correspondence or other such material from that area and time period exist in such a way where we can observe a lack of material pertaining to Jesus' ministry?

No one ever thinks to ask the Jews. Drinking Beverage

As far as I know, Jews have generally been literate throughout our history. In this era, Jews did record the comings and goings of life and accounts about Jesus's life were made in Talmud. According to the Jews, people did know of this guy, he had family that were known and he had developed somewhat of a reputation in the community.
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27-07-2016, 11:11 AM
RE: How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
(27-07-2016 11:03 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(26-07-2016 07:34 PM)seoq Wrote:  I was thinking today about some of the questions I asked in the Contemporary Accounts of Jesus thread and realized there are a few others I should probably be asking (or asking again). One of the things bugging me when I started that thread was that there weren't any letters or correspondence between people in the areas Jesus was supposedly preaching and performing miracles in mentioning the incredible things he was supposedly doing. Only material that originated in the faith and was spread in order to proselytize. I mean it would only follow that people witnessing such amazing things would write to each other and spread news of it.

So just how literate were those areas? Does correspondence or other such material from that area and time period exist in such a way where we can observe a lack of material pertaining to Jesus' ministry?

No one ever thinks to ask the Jews. Drinking Beverage

As far as I know, Jews have generally been literate throughout our history. In this era, Jews did record the comings and goings of life and accounts about Jesus's life were made in Talmud. According to the Jews, people did know of this guy, he had family that were known and he had developed somewhat of a reputation in the community.

And no first-hand transcripts of his speaking were taken.
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27-07-2016, 11:13 AM
RE: How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
(27-07-2016 11:11 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  
(27-07-2016 11:03 AM)Aliza Wrote:  No one ever thinks to ask the Jews. Drinking Beverage

As far as I know, Jews have generally been literate throughout our history. In this era, Jews did record the comings and goings of life and accounts about Jesus's life were made in Talmud. According to the Jews, people did know of this guy, he had family that were known and he had developed somewhat of a reputation in the community.

And no first-hand transcripts of his speaking were taken.

certainly not, no.
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27-07-2016, 11:32 AM
RE: How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
(27-07-2016 11:13 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(27-07-2016 11:11 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  And no first-hand transcripts of his speaking were taken.

certainly not, no.

Supposedly the most important message ever brought to the human race. Not written down. Drinking Beverage
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27-07-2016, 12:02 PM
RE: How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
(27-07-2016 06:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-07-2016 12:12 AM)SitaSky Wrote:  I did mention the very long thread on this issue, no need to drag it up again. What tomato wont mention are all the direct questions I've asked him that he refuses to answer. Drinking Beverage

I'm just correcting you on your misleading remarks, about none of the respected scholars and historians of active at time mentioned Jesus. When the amount of individuals who qualify, whose writings we have amount to two, one of which mentions Jesus, and other who lived several hundred miles away didn't.

You likely heard the remark you made somewhere else, and just repeated here, but in reality it's false.

My remarks are not misleading, I said already there is a thread on this very issue that is over a hundred pages long they can refer to. Why do you insist on trying to drag it up here? This topic is about literacy,not the historical accuracy of Jesus. Even Christian scholars admit there may not be a historical Jesus, he may be a mythic being, why you insist for some emotional reason that he was historical is mind boggling but whatever.

The point is many of the first Christians were not literate, didn't understand their own religion that well and never saw Jesus and they certainly never witnessed him come back to life or any of his so called "miracles". If they had they wouldn't be able to write about it which is the point here, not many people in that area were literate.

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27-07-2016, 12:09 PM
RE: How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
(27-07-2016 10:05 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-07-2016 09:42 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  The same guy responsible for the "Chick Tracts"?

Yes, he did publish numerous abbreviated scholarly pamphlets for lay masses, informing them of the history of the Catholic Church, Islam, and the data indicating the dangers of alcohol consumption and rock music.

.... and "scholarly" is a bit of a stretch. Rolleyes

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27-07-2016, 12:12 PM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2016 12:26 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
(27-07-2016 10:05 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(27-07-2016 09:42 AM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  The same guy responsible for the "Chick Tracts"?

Yes, he did publish numerous abbreviated scholarly pamphlets for lay masses, informing them of the history of the Catholic Church, Islam, and the data indicating the dangers of alcohol consumption and rock music.

http://www.catholic.com/documents/the-ni...ck-t-chick
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"scholarly" .... LMAO.
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27-07-2016, 12:26 PM
RE: How literate was the area Jesus supposedly preached in?
I don't know if anyone posted this link

https://faculty.biu.ac.il/~barilm/illitera.html

And knowing how people don't follow links, here's a few quotes.

This paper is titled: Illiteracy in the Land of Israel in the first centuries c.e.

... the connection between agriculture and illiteracy is a world-wide phenomenon. There is no deviation from this rule in most other countries, though Japan and Mauritius seem to be slightly different. However, we can conclude that since there is no connection whatsoever among all these countries, there is a general rule concerning this connection. This rule can be phrased as follows: the more agricultural the society, the higher the percentage of the illiterate people.

Lower down on the site is this:

Assessing the literacy rate in modern society is very easily accomplished but the answer to this question in antiquity is the other way around. Nonetheless, this percentage is reflected in one of the rules in Soferim 11:2 (ed. Higger, p. 218):

"A town in which there is only one who reads; he stands up, reads (the Torah), and sits down, he stands up, reads and sits down, even seven times."


And this:

... in a traditional society, knowing how to read was not a necessity: neither for economic reasons, nor for intellectual ones. On the contrary. Why should a farmer send his son to learn how to read when it entails a waste of working time (=money)? Why should he himself learn how to read if his culture is based on oral tradition (though with a written Torah)? According to the Torah, there is no need to read or write, except for writing the Mezuza, Tefilin, and the Torah itself. However, for these purposes there was always a scribe, so a Jew in antiquity could fulfill the commandments of the Torah while being illiterate.

And finally.....

Comparative data show that under Roman rule the Jewish literacy rate improved in the Land of Israel. However, rabbinic sources support evidence that the literacy rate was less than 3%. This literacy rate, a small fraction of the society, though low by modern standards, was not low at all if one takes into account the needs of a traditional society in the past.

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He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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