Jesus' Literacy (Library Of New Testament Studies Series)
Despite many scholars' assumptions that Jesus was an illiterate peasant or, conversely, even a Pharisee none have critically engaged the evidence to ask 'Could Jesus read or write?' Some studies have attempted to provide a direct answer to the question...
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Despite many scholars' assumptions that Jesus was an illiterate peasant or, conversely, even a Pharisee none have critically engaged the evidence to ask 'Could Jesus read or write?' Some studies have attempted to provide a direct answer to the question using the limited primary evidence that exists. However, these previous attempts have not been sufficiently sensitive to the literary environment of Second Temple Judaism, an area that has seen significant scholarly progression in the last ten to fifteen years. They have provided un-nuanced classifications of Jesus as either "literate" or "illiterate" rather than observing that literacy at this time did not fall into such monolithic categories.
An additional contribution of this work is in the area of criteria of authenticity in Historical Jesus studies. Emphasizing plausibility and the later effects of the Historical Jesus Chris L. Keith argues that the most plausible explanation for why the early Church remembered Jesus simultaneously as a literate Jewish teacher and an illiterate Jewish teacher was that he was able to convince his contemporaries of both realities.
Chris Keith (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is professor of New Testament and early Christianity and director of the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St. Mary's University College, Twickenham. He was a 2010 recipient of the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise for his book "The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus "and was named a 2012 Society of Biblical Literature Regional Scholar. A
- Foreword Dale C. Allison, Jr.\preface\abbreviations\introduction: Jesus, Reading And Writing\chapter One: Jesuses Literate And Illiterate\chapter Two: Jesus Tradition, Memory, And What Really Happened\chapter Three: Scribal Culture In The Time Of Jesus\chapter Four: Jesus' Scribal -literate Status In Early Christianity\chapter Five: Jesus And Scribal Literacy\concluding Remarks: The Controversy Of Jesus The Teacher