Friday, January 1, 2010

Annoying Biblical Mis-assumptions, Part 1

Over the past week I have come across two classic assumptions of biblical texts that I am questioning. I have not studied the texts in an in-depth academic way, so I cannot be sure, but these are my thoughts.

Luke (the writer of the Gospel of Luke) was a physician. It is often argued that we need to pay extra attention to his work because he was clearly detail-oriented and well-educated in a formal education because he was a physician.

The problem? Physicians are not always detail-oriented (I work with several). Further, from my understanding, physicians often did not have formal education until the last 100-200 years. This arose as people realized that physicians needed to have scientific bases for their work in contrast to an apprenticeship model that had a wide variety of length and quality. The establishment of Johns Hopkins medical school in 1893 provide the basis for the model we have today.

I don't know how medical education worked in Christ's time, but assuming it was the same as today's is a major problem. I would guess it was more similar to the process of a becoming a blacksmith. Or a carpenter...

The other assumption I ran across was the interpretation of the ten bridesmaids story. But I'll save that for Monday...

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