Jewish teachers of first-century Israel lacked the sophisticated methods of mass communication we have today. Consequently, the sages of Jesus’ day spent much of their time traveling throughout the country, much like the biblical prophets, to communicate their teachings and interpretations of Scripture.
Jewish teachers of first-century Israel lacked the sophisticated methods of mass communication we have today. Consequently, the sages of Jesus’ day spent much of their time traveling the land of Israel—much like the biblical prophets—to communicate their teachings and interpretations of Scripture.
The biblical prophet traveled with a band of followers called “sons of the prophets” (e.g., 2 Kgs. 2:3, 5, 7, 15). These were not the prophet’s physical sons, but rather the prophet’s disciples. The use of “son” as a synonym for “disciple” still persisted in Hebrew during the time of Jesus, as illustrated by this example from the Gospel of Luke:
If I cast out demons by [the power of] Beelzebul, by [the power of] whom do yoursons [i.e., your disciples] cast them out? (Luke 11:19)
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David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew… [Read more about author]