Was Jesus really the only literate person among his disciples?

The message given about Jesus' disciples and even immediate family were they were a rough, primitive, illiterate bunch of fishermen and laborers. Do you think that was true? Jesus was supposedly literate, i.e. could read and write, as he discussed the scriptures with the priests in the temple as a young boy. Yet the impression given of his disciples including Jesus' brothers/cousins, who went on to form the successful Jerusalem church were an illiterate bunch. Jews are known as the people of the book i.e. they have a high literacy level, how could a successful church in Jerusalem be run by people who could not communicate by reading and writing? There seems to have been some kind of power struggle between the Jerusalem church and St Paul either at that time or later, and today we only have St Paul's message left in the Bible. Isn't it possible the leaders of Jerusalem church which seemed to be much more successful in gaining converts than St Paul, have been smeared with this illiterate label, and their writing conveniently lost, so that this peripheral figure of St Paul and his romanized version of Christianity could be given a sense of legitimacy.


Stimpy: Luke says otherwise:

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and as was his custom, he entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. And he opened the book, and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon him. And he began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing" (Luke 4:16-21).

Update 2:

Guru Hank: Apparently John says he could write as well:

And the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the midst, they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do you say?" And they were saying this, testing him, in order that they might have grounds for accusing him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking him, he straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And when they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and he was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst (John 8:3-9).

5 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is just another example proving that the authors of the Christian Bible had little to no knowledge about Judaism and Jewish practice. At the time Jesus was supposed to have lived, there were free public schools set up to teach children how to read and write regardless of social status. These schools were primarily set up by the Temple priests.

    Source(s): Jewish
  • 8 years ago

    It was apart of their worship in those days, The law of moses was something that Father would teach son. it was customary to go to the synagogue to read and hear the law. Jesus proved to the disciples that he was the Messiah by scriptures. Many due to reading and knowing prophecy were looking for The Christ. AS far as paul, he was working in complete cooperation with the homebase of Jerusalem. He carried the dercee of not having to be circumcised to other congregation that he helped start. A decree decided on my the Jerusalem homebase.

    It was James(jesus half brother) and peter and john that had a part in that decree, based on reading and searchin Gods Word

  • 8 years ago

    There is no reason to suppose Jesus could write, even if he could read.


    That is frequently quoted by Christians, but as that whole unlikely story is omitted from the Codex Sinaiticus, the Codex Vaticanus and the Sinaitic Syriac Codex, we can safely say it was made up some time around or after the fourth century.

    (You can forget about Luke in the synagogue too. There weren't any synagogues in first century Palestine. They were a feature exclusive to the diaspora.)

  • 8 years ago

    Matthew, as a tax collector, might has been somewhat literate/numerate... doubtful if any of the other disciples, or Jesus himself, were.

    Hang on a second, I'm talking as if these people actually existed....

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Jesus seems to have never written anything. He was also illiterate, it appears. He learned the Tanakh orally.

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