Re: Naming of the synoptics
- Jim Deardorf,,
How do we "know" that the Aposltes could not read or
Elmer E. Smalling III
Jenel Systems and Design International, Inc.
Plano, Texas USA
Home Page - http://www.connect.net/smalling
minus 0700 GMT CS/DT 10:54:17 04/06/98
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- At 10:54 AM 4/6/98 -0600, Elmer Smalling wrote:
>Jim Deardorf,,My understanding is that outside of priests and scribes, it was only a
>How do we "know" that the Aposltes could not read or
distinct minority of Palestinians who could read and write. So that would
mean that those who attributed names to the Gospels (who I believe were the
Gospel writers themselves in the early 2nd century) would likely have felt
obliged to select names of persons who they thought were literate, but
persons who lived in the same time era as Jesus. The fishermen, then, were
very poor candidates for this, but after ruling Judas out, Matthew the
ex-tax collector was a distinct possibility. (John) Mark, being Peter's
interpreter, then was a possibility for the writer of that gospel to use.
And evidently it was assumed by the writer of Luke that Luke the physician
would have been literate. So the writer of Matthew had a reasonable choice
he could make, but after that was used up, the other evangelists had to
utilize names that were unreasonable in terms of persons who had been
first-hand witnesses but reasonable in terms of their having been literate.
As for "knowing," who knows? Maybe the fisherman John did learn to read and
write later. But a hint that this may not have been so occurs in the Sea of
Galilee appearance of Jn 21. I believe this took place many months after
the crucifixion, yet there the fisherman were, back at their trade. They
hadn't by then at least been inspired to drop everything and seek out
sponsors to support them while they tried to become literate.
Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
- At 10:56 AM 4/6/98 -0700, Jim Deardorff wrote:
>My understanding is that outside of priests and scribes, it was only aDear Jim,
>distinct minority of Palestinians who could read and write.
Are you precluding the possibilty that they were the source and they
dictated their writings (as Papias wrote) to someone who was literate and
acted as a scribe. We know that Paul wrote very few of his letters himself.
How many Church leaders today write their own letters? Most people in
influential positions today dictate rather than write themselves.
I do not think that a Church leader who dictated his gospel should be
precluded from thoughtful consideration.
James P. Daffron <><
Fairfax, Virginia 22033