Rejection of truth by scholars

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!

3 comments to Rejection of truth by scholars

  • Cha Ben

    Devoted Christians who write about Jesus of Nazarath would do well to pause and research their religion, and its creeds, before engaging in any discussion about the man. From the words of many eminent scholars who have been researching into the historical truth of the scriptures we are seeing quite a different picture of just who he was. For example, “The Jesus Mysteries” by Timothy Freke, “Who Wrote the Bible” by Richard Friedman, “The River of God” by Gregory Riley, “Who Wrote the New Testament” by Burton Mack, “Lost Scriptures” by Bart Erhman, “Jesus One Hundred Years Before Christ” by Alvar Ellegard, “Is Religion Killing Us” by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, and “Jesus in the House of the Pharoahs” by Ahmed Osman —to mention but a few of the scholars worthy of our research. Very likely it’ll be an unpleasant voyage for many to dare such an adventure, but for some others it could well be a delightful experience of cathartic freedom. Whatever the outcome, I for one urge you to take the plunge. It cant hurt; quite the contrary, you’ll be happy you did.

  • davidec

    I agree with Mitchell40 that a mixture of disciples some with education and others with experience as fishermen could make for balanced discussion as Jesus spoke to them about the values needed to unite the people of their day. As GA says “the more angles of view you apply to any topic, the better chance you will have at avoiding some glaring omission that will come back to haunt you.”
    I would imagine that rather than a conscious selection process, Jesus simply spoke in terms understood by the educated when he visited the temple square which attracted some of the educated and he used analogies to the natural world of fishing and weather when he spoke to fishermen and again some were attracted to follow him.
    I think the lesson that Mitchell40 is positing for us today is the need for dialogue with humility and respect for each others special knowledge and experience, rather than debating truth from an assumed position of superior knowledge.

  • Gordon Anderson

    While it is hard to know exactly why Jesus chose the disciples he did, the idea of balancing group discussions would have been a good one. If Jesus wanted to created a microcosm of the world based on a higher truth and lifestyle, then having his disciples represent a microcosm of society would have been wise. The more angles of view you apply to any topic, the better chance you will have at avoiding some glaring omission that will come back to haunt you.

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