Was Jesus illiterate?
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19-07-2013, 08:00 AM
RE: Was Jesus illiterate?
Hi Horseloveridge,

Welcome to the forum.

Please provide your sources to back up the following statements you've made...as they are...you know....a bit...not right.

1) Which scholars agree that an oral history is as accurate/more accurate than a written one?

2)The Judean literacy rate was 100% in 10CE.

(FYI - The Internatinal Standard Bible Enyclopedia P50 puts the literacy rate at 6%, and that's written by theists!)

Thanks

S

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19-07-2013, 08:15 AM (This post was last modified: 19-07-2013 11:09 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Was Jesus illiterate?
If he existed, (and I'm not granting that), then yes he probably was literate.
They addressed him as "rabbi", and thus would have had the traditional
training/path they all got, (which included being married however).
If he wasn't married he was the only one ever in history.
Why would that never be mentioned ?
Cuz he never existed.

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19-07-2013, 10:21 AM
RE: Was Jesus illiterate?
(19-07-2013 03:08 AM)horseloveridge Wrote:  First of all is it really a fact that the spoken word is unreliable as you suggest? Certainly not in Jewish culture at the time of Jesus. The Pharisees extensive law was an oral tradition and was memorised. It was not written down until 200 CE when Rabbi Judah feared that it would be lost as there were not enough Rabbis and scholars to maintain the tradition. Writing it down helped to preserve it, it can be found in the Mishnah or Elder Talmud. But scholars agree that having an oral tradition can be extremely accurate and limit errors that can occur in the transcribing of written documents.

Secondly it would be very strange for Jesus or the Apostles to be illiterate. All Jewish boys learned to read and write Hebrew from the ages of 6 to 12 at the very least. It was at this age they would then start to work and learn a trade or continue their studies to become a scribe. Therefore The Apostles who were fishermen would have started their trade at 12 and be considered unlearned because they had only received the culturally accepted minimum standard of education. They would not by any stretch of the imagination be unable to read and write.

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19-07-2013, 12:03 PM
RE: Was Jesus illiterate?
(19-07-2013 03:08 AM)horseloveridge Wrote:  First of all is it really a fact that the spoken word is unreliable as you suggest? Certainly not in Jewish culture at the time of Jesus. The Pharisees extensive law was an oral tradition and was memorised. It was not written down until 200 CE when Rabbi Judah feared that it would be lost as there were not enough Rabbis and scholars to maintain the tradition. Writing it down helped to preserve it, it can be found in the Mishnah or Elder Talmud. But scholars agree that having an oral tradition can be extremely accurate and limit errors that can occur in the transcribing of written documents.

Secondly it would be very strange for Jesus or the Apostles to be illiterate. All Jewish boys learned to read and write Hebrew from the ages of 6 to 12 at the very least. It was at this age they would then start to work and learn a trade or continue their studies to become a scribe. Therefore The Apostles who were fishermen would have started their trade at 12 and be considered unlearned because they had only received the culturally accepted minimum standard of education. They would not by any stretch of the imagination be unable to read and write.

Agrarian societies, people working the fields and and tending herds didn't have the luxury to learn to read and write. I'd have to find the source but one scholar who did some extensive research gives the literacy rate to about 10% of the population in ancient times.

Jesus writing in the sand passage and the woman taken into adultery was added two to three hundred years later. It didn't appear in any of the earliest texts. And like someone mentioned, he could have been just doodling. Probably making funny cartoon figures of Pontius Pilate with donkey ears and stuff like that.

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19-07-2013, 12:11 PM
RE: Was Jesus illiterate?
(19-07-2013 08:15 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  If he existed, (and I'm not granting that), then yes he probably was literate.
They addressed him as "rabbi", and thus would have had the traditional
training/path they all got, (which included being married however).
If he wasn't married he was the only one ever in history.
Why would that never be mentioned ?
Cuz he never existed.

I don't think being addressed as 'rabbi' proves much of anything.

Besides, there doesn't seem to be anything that hinges on him being literate.
It is unimportant.

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20-07-2013, 12:15 PM
RE: Was Jesus illiterate?
Quote:-It says on numerous occasions that the scholars were "astonished and impressed with Jesus' understanding of the scripture" and that he was constantly "questioning the teachers in temples."

A rather absurd notion doubtlessly stolen from the "Life" of Josephus....

http://www.ccel.org/j/josephus/works/autobiog.htm

Quote:Moreover, when I was a child, and about fourteen years of age, I was commended by all for the love I had to learning; on which account the high priests and principal men of the city came then frequently to me together, in order to know my opinion about the accurate understanding of points of the law.
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20-07-2013, 02:49 PM
RE: Was Jesus illiterate?
According to the bible, he was literate.

From Luke Chapter 4, verse 16.

"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, …"

"IN THRUST WE TRUST"

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20-07-2013, 06:05 PM (This post was last modified: 20-07-2013 07:28 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Was Jesus illiterate?
(19-07-2013 03:08 AM)horseloveridge Wrote:  First of all is it really a fact that the spoken word is unreliable as you suggest? Certainly not in Jewish culture at the time of Jesus. The Pharisees extensive law was an oral tradition and was memorised. It was not written down until 200 CE when Rabbi Judah feared that it would be lost as there were not enough Rabbis and scholars to maintain the tradition. Writing it down helped to preserve it, it can be found in the Mishnah or Elder Talmud. But scholars agree that having an oral tradition can be extremely accurate and limit errors that can occur in the transcribing of written documents.

Secondly it would be very strange for Jesus or the Apostles to be illiterate. All Jewish boys learned to read and write Hebrew from the ages of 6 to 12 at the very least. It was at this age they would then start to work and learn a trade or continue their studies to become a scribe. Therefore The Apostles who were fishermen would have started their trade at 12 and be considered unlearned because they had only received the culturally accepted minimum standard of education. They would not by any stretch of the imagination be unable to read and write.

That's actually not at all correct. And it's very misleading. The Pharisaic "oral tradition" was more of a "method" or "process" of discussion, (concerning the law), than it was an actual "memorized" set of texts. It's a very complex subject, but to assert that they "memorized" and passed on an immutable set of words, (such as Muslim "hafiz" memorize word for word the Qur'an) is simply not what they did. It was an ongoing, changing set of ideas, a constantly mutating "thing", subject to argument and circumstance, and revised, subject to the "lights" of whoever was discussing it. There was a tradition that there was an oral "mesorah" tradition given to Moses at Sinai, along with the written law. Exodus never heard about it, and never mentions it. The fact that it's NEVER mentioned in the early periods, and the fact that Moses in the Sinai were mythical, puts the lie to that one. Obviously at some point it was constructed from something. What that was, is in dispute. Thus, this example is no proof at all that there was an "inerrant" oral tradition in Hebrew culture. In Muslim culture, it was a specific job, (as it was in Greek culture). One person practiced for years to do it, and had a title. There is absolutely nothing of the sort ever found in Hebrew culture.

And BTW, if they were "literate" by any stretch, in very basic Hebrew, it in no way implies the apostles knew any Greek, nor can they be assumed to even really know Hebrew, if Aramaic was the tongue their mothers spoke at home. This also is a very complex question. The Galileans were looked down on by the Judeans as "lower class", for many reasons. To assume that the same customs existed always and everywhere in ancient Israel, is just baloney.

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21-07-2013, 09:17 AM
RE: Was Jesus illiterate?
There is a book by William Harris called Ancient Literacy.

http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Literacy-W...0674033817

William Harris is a Professor of History at Columbia University and claims that the literacy rate was around 5 to 10%.

Shakespeare Insult 13 – Henry IV Part 1
“That trunk of humours, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of dropsies, that huge bombard of sack, that stuffed cloak-bag of guts, that reverend vice, that grey Iniquity, that father ruffian, that vanity in years?”
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21-07-2013, 09:54 AM
RE: Was Jesus illiterate?
Quote:According to the bible, he was literate.


According to the bible he also walked on water, cursed fig trees and came back from the dead.

The bible says a lot of silly shit. So what?
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