Did Jesus have a painfully short attention span?

n a book titled Jesus, Interrupted, one of the world’s most famous Bible critics cites one of his favorite Bible contradictions. In John 13:36, Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, where are you going?” A few verses later, Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going” (14: 5). And then, a few minutes later, at the same meal, Jesus upbraided His disciples, saying, “Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’” (16: 5). That leaves only two possibilities, according to author Bart Ehrman: “Either Jesus had a very short attention span or there is something strange going on with the sources for these chapters.” Hank Hanegraaff, the host of the 𝘉𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘈𝘯𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘔𝘢𝘯 broadcast and the 𝘏𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘜𝘯𝘱𝘭𝘶𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘥 podcast, says it’s instructive to note that were he to take Ehrman in the woodenly literal sense that he takes the Bible, he would be doing him a grave injustice. It would be less than fair to suppose that he really thinks it possible that “Jesus had a very short attention span.” Anyone who reads Ehrman’s materials in context knows full well that he is convinced that John—whom he characterizes as a “lower-class, illiterate, Aramaic-speaking peasant”—did not write the gospel attributed to him and that the sources that were cobbled together to create the text are decidedly unreliable. We must be careful not to fall for historical revisionists who, like Ehrman, attempt to persuade the gullible that John was illiterate and therefore could not have written the fourth gospel. John may have been “unlettered” in the sense that he was not educated beyond the primary schooling available to boys at that time, but he was clearly not illiterate. Not only is it an uncharitable stretch to demean John for his lack of a formal education, but this characterization neglects the reality that John continually “astonished” the Jewish teachers of the Law with his knowledge and wisdom (Acts 4:13) in much the same way as Jesus Himself had—though he, too, was without the requisite rabbinic training demanded by Ehrman.






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