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Overview of The Evidence about Jesus’s Rapid Writers and Stenographers

  • June 14, 2020
  • By Ben van Noort
Overview of The Evidence about Jesus’s Rapid Writers and Stenographers

Overview of The Evidence about Jesus’s Rapid Writers and Stenographers


Let’s present an overview of the New Testament evidence about the rapid writers and stenographers of Jesus.

A Testament
“For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.” (Hebrews 9:17  KJV)

The Church was connected with a New Covenant, a “Testament” or “Will”, as most translations give. The Testament of Jesus’s words came into effect after his death, when the first Church came into being with the day of Pentecost. Already in classical times, a Testament was usually a written document about an inheritance.

Jesus’s Professional Writers: Servants of The Spoken Word
“1Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, 2 just as delivered to us the eyewitnesses from the beginning also (being) servants of the (spoken) word,” (Luke 1:1-2; v. 2 elaborated: in the active form as in the original.)

‘The things which have been accomplished among us,’ are the deeds of Jesus, the Jesus events. The word ‘us’ in the former expression refers to the bystanders of the events.
This ‘us’ is repeated in v. 2. To them the eyewitnesses delivered, to the bystanders.
‘Also being servants of the spoken word, they delivered.’ (v. 2)
Conclusion: The service to the spoken word of the Jesus events included the writing of the actual words of Jesus, by servants of the spoken word.

Also John and Paul have witnessed about Jesus’s writing professionals, respectively in 1 John 1:3–4 and Hebrews 2:3–4.

Presentation of Jesus’s Words
An introduction of one speaking verb: rendering of the full direct speech.
“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’”

An introduction of two speaking verbs: partly rendering of the direct speech.
“Simon Peter answered [and said], ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” (Matthew 16:15-16)

In the gospels of Mark (8:29) and Luke (9:20) you can see what Peter said also.
These rules always work perfectly!

Stenographers, Part of Jesus’s Culture
Stenography was introduced in the Roman Senate by Cicero in 63 BC, and also Greek stenography started then, as Plutarch wrote in 90 AD:
“For one had not yet trained nor possessed the so called sèmeiographous (stenographers), but then at first one began to follow the trail (i.e. the praxis).”

By the use of the Greek term “the so called sèmeiographous”, which writers were Romans and Greeks in Plutarch’s time, we know that not only the Romans but also the Greeks began to follow the tradition of stenography in that year. 

Mizwoth of Jesus
Last but not least, Jesus called his words entolai (in Greek), or mizwoth (in Hebrew). This means, his teachings were commandments; and in the Jewish culture one spoke then about written teachings (thoroth). Jesus said in his last discourse that he had given the words of God to his disciples (John 17:7-8). Jesus spoke with entolai about written words, just as Moses and the Prophets.

He gave his disciples the task to teach the nations with these commandments (Matthew 28:19). For that reason John repeatedly spoke in his first Letter about the commandments of Jesus (2:3–4, 5, 7 and so on). In the same way, Peter spoke about “the commandment of the Lord and Savior” (2 Peter 3:2).

Publishing and Date of The Gospels
The apostles published the Gospels as the testament of Jesus. That is shortly after his death (Pentecost), when new believers needed his words (AD 30).[1]

They brought them out in the form of the different reports that had come into being, during Jesus’s ministry.

Reports for dedicated disciples came in the Gospel of Matthew; reports about Jesus’s visits to Jerusalem came in the Gospel of John; reports for interested followers of Jesus came in the Gospel of Luke; and remnant reports came in the Gospel of Mark.

Benefits of The Gospels
– for theologians: there will be an ongoing scholarly research for the details,

– for the public: there will always be curiosity among the public concerning Jesus,
– for Christians: they will always be able to believe in Jesus without doubts about the basics, thanks to the Spirit driven work of his rapid writers and stenographers.

[1] The date of the gospels is a matter of different theological opinions, which shows that there is no clear indication in the gospels about the issue. The only indication that has far reaching consequences is the remark in Hebrews that Jesus left a testament (Hebrews 9:16–17). That means: (1) written before his death; (2) published shortly thereafter.

By Ben van Noort, June 14, 2020