The Israelites were a literate race from their beginning. The Pentateuch has many references to reading and writing. All
Israelites were commanded to write the commandments on their hand, as frontlets between their eyes, gates doorposts. (Deut.
6:8-9) There are many references to reading in the Gospels. Jesus only had a carpenter's education but He read in the
synogogues as did all the men. He wrote on the round at the accusation of the woman caught in adultery.
In order to memorize a story or even a statement, it must first be written down. No one can memorize a dialogue with just
one hearing of it and without being commanded to do so. Once you can read and write there is no point in memorizing except to
allow for circumstances where you do not have access to the written record.
Humanly speaking it is impossible to have an oral record of historical dialogue, for no one understands the importance of an
event until well afterwards and then it is too late to remember dialogue accurately. That is why historical records do not record
dialogue; except the Bible and that because it is divinely inspired.
The Gospels indicate that they were committed virtually immediately to paper Are the words “...let him that reads understand,”
(Mk.13:14) the words of Jesus or Matthew and Mark, added as an explantion later. In saying this it implies a mystery, something
that may not be easily understood. Now Jesus knows the mystery but does Matthew or Mark? If Matthew knew the mystery so
also would have all the disciples because Jesus did not explain it further and so we would presume that it was common knowledge
to all those of that day but not necessarily to those of a later time; in which case Matthew and Mark saw the necessity of adding
these words, which would be their's and not Jesus'. However if Matthew and Mark knew the mystery, as an apostle they would
be bound to tell the mystery, because being presumably, common knowledge to them, yet understanding that it may not be to
later generations, they would have the desire to inform them as to what it would be and so they would not add these words but
rather give words of explanation as in the case of the interpretation of Jesus words, given as an aside in Mark 5:40. But
assuming they were the words of Jesus because for some reason he did not want the matter of the mystery to be common
knowledge, that is, known to the non elect, makes sense. For just as when Jesus spoke in parables, he said that he did so, so that
the non elect would not understand. Now if the non elect were not to understand in this instance also, and they don't, who then is
able to make such a decision, that they should not be informed; Jesus or Matthew & Mark? Plainly only Jesus could have
determined, if these words, “...let him that reads understand,” be included and also that the invitation of the understanding of the
mystery was given not onlty to readers but the apostles present as well. .
Bear in mind that Luke, the most educated, did not include them. Did he understand the mystery? Would he not be the first to
understand? Would he not be the first to realise that later readers would not understand? Would he have seen it as of less
importance that the people be warned that they should understand this mystery? We must conclude that Jesus is the one saying
these words and that in effect that the next person to know of these words would know of them by reading them. Hence Matthew
and Mark must have been written virtually immedately after Christ's death.
The portion harmonised in Greek is as follows,
(Matt 24:15 & Mk.13:14) otan de (Matt 24:15) oun (Matt 24:15 & Mk.13:14) idhte to bdelugma thV Matt 24:15) to rhqen dia danihl
(Mk.13:14) to rhqen upo danihl (Matt 24:15 & Mk.13:14) tou profhtou estoV (Matt 24:15) en topw agiw (Mk.13:14) opou ou dei
(Matt 24:15 & Mk.13:14) o anaginwskwn noeitw (Lk.21:20) otan de idhte kukloumenhn upo stratopedwnthn ierousalhm
tote gnwte oti hggiken h erhmwsiV authV (Matt 24:16, Mk.13:14 & Lk.21:21) tote oi en th ioudaia feugetwsan
The words “...let him that reads understand,” (Mk.13:14) are the words of Jesus. Jesus spoke these words, the Holy Spirit
brought them to remembrance to Matthew and Mark but not Luke. Matthew and Mark did not insert them on their own
If it were possible that the sayings of Jesus were committed to memory, because say, Jesus repeated them so many times that
they stuck in the mind, there are many other sayings by other minor characters that are still integral with the story yet would
never had been committed to memory. The proposition that there first existed an oral record from which later books were written
is simply stupidity or an outright lie.
NOTE: It is one thing to commit to memory Scripture for edification but a totally different thing to commit to memory for the
sake of record. While there have been cases in history where people have committed to memory large documents such
as the Gospels it must be born in mind that these were committed to memory from written documents. Where there is only oral
communication it is almost impossible to imagine that extensive histories including dialogue could ever be committed to memory
with any degree of accuracy. In order to have even a slight chance of doing so you would need outstanding teachers and genius
students and every time the record was passed down you would need the same. Generally when oral histories are part of a
culture they have the status of myth. The Gospels do not have this status.
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THERE IS NO ORAL TRADITION.
COPYRIGHT NEIL CADMAN B'Sc.(Arch.) B Arch. M.Rel.Ed.
ARE THERE ERRORS IN THE BIBLE?
ARE THERE ERRORS IN THE GOSPELS?
IS THERE LITERARY DEPENDENCY IN THE GOSPELS?
THE SYNOPTIC PROBLEM
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