Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sometimes called the silent years, the years of Jesus' youth and upbringing are not recorded in the pages of Scripture for some reason. I tend to think the primary reason for this was that Jesus' upbringing was no different than any other good, religious Jewish boy's upbringing.

Therefore, Paul Barnett has some helpful notes about the Jewish culture of raising boys during the time of Jesus:

The Law ... enjoins sobriety in the upbringing of children from the very first. It orders that they shall be taught to read, and shall learn both the laws and the deeds of their forefathers, in order that they may imitate the latter, and, being grounded in the former, may neither transgress nor have any excuse for being ignorant of them.

Jesus was thoroughly grounded in the law of God, as were most Jews of the time. This is clear from the comments of Josephus...

But, should anyone of our nation be questioned about the laws, he would repeat them all more readily than his own name. The result, then, of our thorough grounding in the laws from the first dawn of intelligence is that we have them, as it were, engraven on our souls. A transgressor is a rarity; evasion of punishment an impossibility.

The role of Joseph, the father of Jesus, was probably significant. As a descendant of the royal line of David, Joseph would have impressed upon Jesus at an early age the importance of his heritage. Assuming that Jesus' years of nurture were typical, Jesus would have received his education in the Scriptures from two main sources, his father and the synagogue attendant.

Before any instruction in the holy laws and unwritten customs are taught ... from their swaddling clothes by parents and teachers and educators to believe in God, the one Father and Creator of the world.

The more formal instruction mentioned by Philo was begun, according to the Mishnah, at give years of age: "At five years old one is fit for the scripture ... at thirteen for the commandments."

Thus we can get a glimpse into the simple yet focused upbringing of Jesus. It was an upbringing filled with learning and education primarily by his father and then by the educational institution—the synagogue. Even from the earliest of age Jesus would have learned about God, His Law, and the deeds He performed in past history.

SOURCE: Paul Barnett, Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity (101).


Anonymous said...

right no help at all

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