Were the Apostles Illiterate? Over the past 150-years, many scholars have said that Jesus’ early disciples could not read and write, and so they did not write down the teachings and deeds of Jesus but that they passed them on by word of mouth. Moreover, these same scholars say that throughout the decades of oral transmission, the historical account of Jesus’ ministry was expanded on, adapted, or elaborated on and exaggerated. Thus, they claim, the Gospels are far from being actual events. What is the truth?