Its remarkable to know that the man who wrote this was an uneducated fisherman.
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Equipped by the Holy Spirit! God bless you brother!
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What reason is there to suppose that Simon Peter was “uneducated”? Apart, that is, from Act 4:13, which could refer to their being unschooled in theology as taught by the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
Inferred from his occupation, upbringing, and much of what he said during his sojourn with Christ. Is there evidence otherwise?
In my opinion, from a Jewish first century perspective I would guess that Peter and all the Apostles were well educated, especially since they could speak multiple languages (Aramaic and Greek)
The Jewish culture had a strong always had a strong emphasis on family and education, including learning the Torah. We could easily assume Matthew was well educated because of his occupation, I think overall the male Jews were most likely more educated the our general population today
But this is just my opinion….and as I said previously they had the Holy Spirit and Christ as their Rabbi
I appreciate your analysis John. If you haven’t read it, I would commend to you “The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah”, by Alfred Edersheim. Edersheim was a don at Oxford in the 1880s and a Jewish convert to Christianity. The book, while a bit of a slog to get through, provides great historical and cultural context on Israel at the time of Christ. Because Jesus, John, James, Peter and Andrew grew up in northern Galilee, they came from a Hellenistic Jewish culture, which differed significantly from the more orthodox Jewish culture prevalent in Jerusalem and its environs. The Jews in Galilee were raised in a culture heavily influenced by the Greeks, since that area had been occupied by Alexander the Great and Philip prior to the Roman occupation. Jerusalem, on the other hand, was inhabited by Jews who were primarily descendants of the exiles who had returned from Babylon. Those exiles had worked hard to assiduously adhere to the Law and Prophets to the letter of the Law, in their rather insular communities. The Galilean Jews, for the most part, had not been exiled, but remained in Canaan – they were the poorer class – farmers and so forth, while the Jews in Jerusalem were from royal or priestly classes. The Galilean Jews came from a more secular background than those in Jerusalem. These observations inform my own views on the Galilean apostles and Jesus, as well as the Scribes and Pharisees. They have given me much insight into much of the conflict between Jesus and the religious leadership in Jerusalem. Certainly the Galileans would have spoken Greek in their upbringing. Jesus certainly spoke Aramaic and its possible that the other apostles did as well, given the proximity of Galilee to Damascus/Syria. As an aside, I have immigrant friends in Germany who speak Aramaic as their first language, and they tell me that they understand Hebrew as well, as the two languages are closely related. Having said all that, I don’t think Peter or his Galilean colleagues were formally educated in the same tradition as many of the Jews in Jerusalem.
Great insights…I respect your study of the culture…. whether Peter was formally educated or not I still be his writings are inspired by the Holy Spirit and the truth
Have a blessed weekend brother!
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Brother, that was the point I was trying to make. Peter became what he was because of the Holy Spirit. The Lord overcame his baggage to put him to use.
Amen! Sorry for the confusion
I hadn’t realised that I’d offered any “analysis”. I didn’t intend to. I’ve had a look on Google maps and discovered that the distance between Nazareth and Jerusalem (or Bethlehem – slightly further south) is only about the same as the distance between Bristol and Birmingham (or Wolverhampton – slightly further north). It’s nothing personal, but I’d distrust any generalisation I’d read in a book, however learned, made about the different social classes inhabiting these two areas two thousand years ago, and the asserted differences between their cultures.
Since I’ve been to all those places, I’m finished with this pointless argument. I made the mistake of believing this was a collegial discussion in good faith. Such is obviously not the case. BTW, I lived in the Midlands 10 years, in addition to traveling inIsrael. If you don’t believe what you read in books, how can you know anything? Finally, Israel had no highways or mass communication in the first century.
Peace brothers…no need to fight over non-salvational issues
No offence intended.
I tend to associate the idea of “collegial discussion” with arguing, and haven’t found a better way of dealing with disagreement amongst friends than each arguing his opposing case.
I’m not trying to prove that the apostle Simon Peter was well-educated though. I was merely expressing scepticism as to whether he could justly be accused of having been “uneducated”, especially not because of where he lived, or how he earnt his living before he entered into full-time Christian work, or because an academic had said, in a book you’d read but I haven’t, that all the people in Jerusalem in his day used to be like this, whereas all the people about 86 miles north used to be like that.
I didn’t express my scepticism to get at you personally. I expressed scepticism that Simon Peter was uneducated because I actually was (and still am) sceptical about that particular theory, even though I’ve heard several preachers making exactly the same claim during my lifetime.
Acts 4:13 can be interpreted as evidence that the apostle Simon Peter was indeed “uneducated”, as you asserted. However, I’m not convinced that this verse is conclusive proof of that.
Please stay. The posts on this primarily devotional blog (as I see it) are not particularly learned, except of scripture and Christian doctrine, of which they are indeed learned. There are few conversations in the comments for an intellectual to enjoy, but it strikes me as a holy place neverthleless, and I’m sorry if my scepticism about Simon Peter’s education or lack of it has spoilt your enjoyment of the usual peace here, or robbed you of any blessing.
You are welcome to email me, so that we can make peace with one another more privately.
Would you like me to tell people you were uneducated, merely because I had no “evidence otherwise”?
See my other reply. It provides a bit more background.
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