Rome was a complex society. Levels of literacy were fluid because of the conditions of the day being as culturally and ethnically diverse as it was. The Roman Empire from the first century to the fourth century was as culturally and ethnically diverse as New York City and its five boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. A person’s literacy level to carry out different job functions and skills for daily living and employment would not be the same in Nazareth as would have been the case in Rome. The need or desire for literacy would not be as important in Nazareth as it would have been in Rome. As we will see, the need or desire for literacy was likely ...
Omar ibn Said was a writer and Islamic scholar, born and educated in what is now Senegal in West Africa, who was enslaved and transported to the United States in 1807. There, while enslaved for the remainder of his life, he wrote a series of works of history and theology, including a posthumously famous autobiography.... Continue Reading →
In recent years, a number of scholars have suggested that Jesus could not read and that in all likelihood, none of his disciples could read either. Is this true and what does the historical evidence say?
New Testament scholar Knute Larson writes, “Before that great day comes, Paul declared, the rebellion must occur. The word used here is apostasia or apostasy. Before the day of the Lord, there will be a great denial, a deliberate turning away by those who profess to belong to Christ. It will be a rebellion ..."
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?