Thursday, May 19, 2016

Could Jesus write?



14 When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. Romans (2:14-16)

“This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,” Hebrews 10:16 (RSV)

Eve made a speculative comment on my last blog post about Jesus not writing. She said, “This post made me think of a question.  Why was Jesus not called by the Father to actually write down his teachings?  Did Jesus know how to write?  Did he keep a journal? Or Blog?

I have thought about that as well, and since no artifacts or samples of Jesus’s writing have ever been found, it is impossible to prove that Jesus wrote anything. It is also impossible to prove that something never happened or never existed, so the best answer to the question of whether Jesus actually wrote or not is that no artifacts of Jesus writing have ever been found. One idea that I have about Jesus writing is that I do believe that He inspired every word that is written in scripture, and He has inspired written works over many centuries, including today. Perhaps the Father, the risen Christ and the Holy Spirit are actively writing blogs today, using their faithful servants to clatter away on a keyboard.

The scriptures above reinforce the idea of the permanence of God’s word apart from the written word. I think that God purposely did not have Jesus actually write anything on papyrus with ink is because:

1. People tend to revere earthly created religious artifacts. God wants people to think about what Jesus said, rather than to gaze at what He wrote on papyrus or stone.

2. Jesus main purpose in coming to earth was to establish the Kingdom of God. The first chapter of Mark opens with Jesus preaching that the Kingdom of God is at hand. The Jews already had a written law, kings, and a prescribed territory for an earthly kingdom that God gave to them. And how was that working for Israel? God knows that the law, however permanently inscribed on stone or papyrus, is useless unless the people think about it, embrace it and obey it. The kingdom depends upon the loyalty of the subjects, not upon the letter off the law.

3. In first century Galilee, writing was not necessarily a mark of education, it was more like a skill. Jesus knew the law, and read the law. He was well educated in scripture, and used scripture to combat satan. Even if Jesus could not write, this not did not negate the fact that God’s word was powerful Jesus.