Abstract: In the following piece, contributor Mitchell40 posits the view that Jesus of Nazareth deliberately gathered disciples from a mix of educational backgrounds. Mitchell40 recommends that the fishermen, though lacking formal education, had an innate grasp of nature and truth through their work and their lives, and that this provided a good dialogical counter point for conversation with those disciples who had proper, formal education.
If there are any Biblical scholars in the Forum readership who would like to engage, support, or contradict Mitchell40’s thesis, we gladly welcome your contribution, and your help to illuminate Mitchell40’s reflections. (ed.)
The rejection of truth by many academics is thousands of years old. One can see this illustrated in the New Testament. Jesus with little formal education was seen amazing the learned scholars in the temple as a young boy (MT 13:54).
I believe Jesus’ disciples were a mixture of common fishermen, as well as some educated disciples. I understand this was to help balance the group in their discussions. The deep understanding of the natural world by the fishermen was one of the reasons they were chosen, as they were already aware and were naturally reverent of the greatness of the Creation in which they worked and which was all around them. They were of course keen to learn from someone who could speak to them of this same Creation in profound terms, leading them to debate among themselves seeking greater depth of knowledge and new and greater understanding. As ordinary fishermen they had little education, save that of boats and fishing, but that was the very reason they were chosen as disciples because they were already very close to the natural world and had this as a basis of knowledge. This way of knowing allowed them to build greater understanding and become disciples of a spiritual magnitude to reach out to the World then and now.
This specially chosen mix of uneducated and educated people coming together to debate could be as fruitful now as it was then. To reject this out of hand is sadly tantamount to a ‘special club for academics’ that could very well deprive sincere scholars from greater understanding, and from the very Truth they spend their lives seeking!