By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Worthy News)– Author Reza Aslan claims Jesus was just a lowly laborer who lacked the education required to read the Torah, or any other text no matter the language, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In his new book, "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth," Aslan told Christopher John Farley — the Journal's editorial director of digital features — that Jesus was illiterate; although this claim is contradicted by Luke's gospel, Aslan argued that Luke's lines, as well as other biblical verses, are often misleading.
Farley queried Aslan about the latter's claim that Jesus was "very likely" to be illiterate despite Luke 4:16, a verse that tells of Christ's custom on every Sabbath to go to the synagogue and read; further, in John 8, Jesus is writing on the ground with His finger.
So how can Aslan claim Jesus was illiterate when he weekly reads the Torah and can even script in the sand?
"Well, first of all," replied Aslan, "it may sound shocking to some people, but just because the gospels say something, doesn’t mean it’s actually factual."
Aslan said Jesus couldn't have had the education necessary to debate theology with the Sadducees and Pharisees because being a carpenter put him on the second-lowest rung of the social ladder, just above slaves and beggars!
Yet in the Bible, Jesus not only debates but bests Jerusalem's top theologians such that none of them dared asked Him any more questions (Matthew 22:46). Even as a child conversing with the teachers in the temple at Jerusalem, all who heard Jesus were astonished at His understanding (Luke 2:27).
When further pressed by Farley, Aslan said it was inconceivable that a peasant artisan who was raised in a village so small that its name wasn't even on the map could ever debate the scriptures?
Yet though Nazareth was a small town nestled in the hills of Galilee, it was situated near the crossroads of busy caravan routes that carried news as well as goods from all over the known world into Nazareth.
And far from being a backwater, Galilee was so strategic that Rome posted a garrison in Nazareth, much to the chagrin of its Jews, which may account for Nathaniel's derogatory remark in John 1:46: "Can anything good come from out of Nazareth"?
For better or worse, Aslan comes out of Iran; as a Muslim who converted to Christianity and then returned to Islam, his background has prompted some — like Lauren Green of Fox News — to question Aslan’s motives in writing about his former savior.