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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Greenberg

Learning the Gospels through Oral Storytelling

The Gospels were told by storytellers.

If you know anything about the traditions of Judaism, you’ll know that oral storytelling has a large part to play in the written Word we have today.

Moses was a storyteller. He wrote the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Ezra, Malachi, Daniel; all prophetic storytellers. King David and his son, King Solomon wrote the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs. Actually, they spoke most of it while scribes wrote down their words. Luke not only wrote a Gospel, but he wrote Acts as well. Matthew, Mark, and John also wrote a Gospel. Do you know what other book John wrote? The Book of Revelation.

The first Gospel, Mark, was recorded in 70-85 A.D. That means, there was approximately 40 years in between the death and resurrection of Yeshua and the first Gospel being written down.

How were the Gospels preserved during those 40 years?

The Good News was preserved by storytelling.

By the time God sent His Son Yeshua in the form of a man, the Torah had already been written down and would be read publicly in Synagogues and Temples for everyone to hear and learn from the words of Moses. But how did the early communities of believers in Yeshua learn about the message of salvation if the Gospels hadn’t been recorded yet? For an entire generation, the disciples told stories of Yeshua for everyone to hear. Stories about His life, His teaching, His miracles, His death and resurrection and about His Kingdom to come. The telling and re-telling of the Salvation message spread across continents all because of oral storytelling. “Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every creature.” Mark 16:15 TLV

Even Yeshua Himself was a master storyteller speaking in parables to the crowds of people that gathered to hear Him. “He who has ears, let him hear!” Matthew 11:15 TLV

The Children of Israel Hear the Word

Hearing Yeshua’s teachings through the modality of oral storytelling reminds me of an event that took place in the eighth chapter of Nehemiah.

The Bible says in Nehemiah 8:8-10 that Ezra “read from the Torah scroll of God, distinctly explaining it and giving it insight. Thus they understood what was read. Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the kohen-scribe, and the Levites who were teaching the people said to all the people, ‘Today is kadosh to ADONAI your God. Do not mourn or weep!’ For all the people had been weeping when they heard the words of the Torah.”

Wow! To be able to capture that sacred moment in time.

Can you think of another place in Scripture where people heard the Word? Hint: read Exodus 24:3-8!

Help the World #HearTheWord

In order to hear the Word, the Word must first be spoken. Much like Moses, Ezra, Yeshua and His disciples, it is our heart’s desire to continue speaking the Word so that all can hear it. With today’s technology and with your help, millions are capable of hearing the Words of Yeshua spoken through the new TLV Audio Bible.

Because of your continued support, we already have the Torah 100% funded and production is beginning shortly (click here to listen to audio samples by our professional TLV Voice Actor).Now, we’re raising funds to be able to record the TLV Gospels and Acts! The cost of production and distribution is $12,000. Currently, we’ve raised $1,615 toward reaching our goal. That means, the first 16 chapters of Matthew are sponsored. Will you help us capture the spoken Word by sponsoring a chapter in the TLV Audio Bible?

Romans 10:17 says that faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah. Please prayerfully consider making a donation today and help the world #heartheword for generations to come. Amen! •

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