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Daily Archives: September 9, 2010

Were Most Ancient Jews Illiterate?

Literacy - 1

from Google Images

I have had several discussions on different internet forums where I’ve been told that the illiteracy rate was very high in the first century AD all over the Roman Empire. The point, of course, is that if the Jews were generally illiterate, how could Jews who were nothing more than fishermen, zealots or tax collectors have written the New Testament. If Peter, Matthew, Luke, John, James, Jude and Paul didn’t write the New Testament, how could it be an eye witness record to what Jesus said and did or what occurred in the early church? Is this possible, and what criteria is used to determine the literacy rate among the Jews during the 1st century AD? Another point to consider is, shouldn’t the Jews be regarded as a counter culture people group? That is, can we judge the Jewish culture of the first century AD by what we think we know about the cultural condition of the rest of the Roman Empire? Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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