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Catholics/Oral tradtion and the written word


Dear Mr. Bode,
In my grand parents' family Bible Jesus' "spoken words" were printed in red. How can any one conclude these are Jesus' actual spoken words at all? The early Church could have put the words in his mouth and thoughts in his head. I suspect this occurred. This would explain some of Jesus' contradictions and stories that appear in the gospels which are rarely presented as if they have value. It is common for followers, contemporary and later, to put their own words in the founder's mouth. I have come across this many times in my numerous inquiries. Isn't a bit nave to accept  that we have Jesus' exact words when the Jesus stories were in oral tradition for 40 to 70 years. We know of no one who copied Jesus' words verbatim while he was alive. His disciples, and most likely his followers too, were illiterates. The memories of ancients were no better than the memories of today. The written word was not trusted by the ancients for it became "the story" and oral traditions disappeared. In our study of bards who carry living oral traditions it is never the same twice from the same individual. Though they say it is
We discovered this first hand from the bards of the Asian savior Gesar of Tibet. This also explains the use of Biblical doublets which are used through out the Bible.
No. I am not receiving your E-mails

Three times I have emailed AEx about our problem but have not received an answer.
Hopefully you'll be able to find this response.

NT does not contain the exact words of Jesus.  No record exits of His speaking or writing GREEK!
That the NT contains the authentic and accurate message of the divine Savior is the though-out conclusion of almost all experienced scholars.  The subject is covered in many worthwhile books.  I recommend Raymond Collins, Introduction to the New Testament [Garden City, Doubleday, 1983].
That written traditions existed before the actual gospels is certain: some gospel passages agree precisely in the Greek but differ slightly in some very important teachings -- for example, the wordings of the Our Father in Mt and Lk, the words of Jesus over the bread and the wine at the last supper in Mt&Mk with Luke&1Cor.
Matthew and Paul and Luke were certainly not illiterate in the modern sense of the word.
The premise from which most experienced scholars operate is that if God wanted a message to be given to humanity [based on the resurrection of Christ], He would certainly provide the assistance needed to ensure that the message was not corrupted with falsehoods and thereby defeat the original purpose.
I do not know why older translations put the words of Jesus in special type -- most likey to emphasize that these words are very important in understanding the message.

Again, best wishes and thank for sharing your concerns.

I hope AEx can fix the problem quickly.  This is the first time in my experience that my responses have not been received.
Again, please patiently continue our conversations.  


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Edward Bode


Catholic dogma, especially as related to Scripture. I have a doctorate in biblical theology [University of St. Thomas, Rome]. I do not answer questions concerning personal moral situations -- ones dealing with right and wrong [sin].


I have taught Catholic thought in grade and high schools, and in college and universities.

Catholic Biblical Association

Catholic Biblical Quarterly, The Bible Today.

Graduate degrees in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, in scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas; all in Rome

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