Re: [GTh] Christian Origins
- David Hindley writes:
I was being facetious in my earlier post about an "apostle's
village" in Jerusalem, suggesting the term makes one think
of something like Greenwich Village in NYC.
My reasoning in bringing up the 'Apostle's Villiage' is that it makes no sense that the Apostles actually practiced their new religion in the Jewish Temple. Scripture does not make it clear that the Apostles actually built a seperate church within the villiage, but that could be the case. Unless, it was their intention to build a church within men which would negate the need for an actual designated structure.
I think the records of Stephan and James being executed at "the Temple" and other references to it has hidden the possibility that there was actually a designated site in Jerusalem used exclusively by the early Christians. Regardless of an actual structure this would be 'ground zero' for the beginnings of the first common Christian literature.
Peter is reputed to have converted 3000 in one day. As this is the only numerical figure we have on that early Christian population, based on a literacy rate of one half a percent .5, that leaves 15 people literate. Am I off the mark here?
Platter Flats, OK
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> Peter is reputed to have converted 3000 in one day. As this is theI've often wondered if the ancient literacy rate might not have
> only numerical figure we have on that early Christian population,
> based on a literacy rate of one half a percent .5, that leaves 15 people
> literate. Am I off the mark here?
been much higher than commonly supposed. We English speakers
tend to think reading and writing is very hard because we try to
cram some 40 sounds, give or take, into 26 letters, then try to
spell each of those sounds a half dozen ways each, resulting in
a written language that virtually hieroglyphic in complexity.
Given a language with a smaller number of sounds, and only one
symbol per sound, how hard is it really to get to the point where
you can sound out a sentence, or write something another person
could read and understand? I dare say most any intelligent person
could probably reach that point in a day or two of serious effort.
Now granted that person is not going to be reading or writing a
large number of words per minute, but ...
What if the preference for short sayings in the synoptic Gospels is
not entirely because Jesus always taught that way, as opposed to using
extended discourses, as the Jesus Seminar folk suppose, but because
the earliest church had large numbers of such marginally literate
persons, and so a short saying distilling Jesus' teaching was something
they could profitably read and understand?