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Educating Jesus: The Search for a Plausible Context

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Many reconstructions of the life of the historical Jesus have tended to portray him as being born into illiterate peasant stock. By so doing, significant statements in the Gospels, both canonical and non-canonical, are ignored. While much caution is needed, since there is a tendency to valorize the young Jesus in early Christian literature and to heighten miraculous events surrounding his childhood, nonetheless there are indicators that Jesus' background did not reflect the lowest echelons of Galilean peasantry. Instead, it is suggested that internal Gospel evidence and knowledge of aspects of the social milieu of first-century Judaism give weight to seeing Jesus as a person with what would now be classified as functional on basic literacy levels.

Affiliations: 1: University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland


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