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I mean we got writing by matthew, mark, luke, etc. Where is writing by Jesus? Anything survive?

Did Jesus ever write anything that survives?

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-1 because "This question does not show any research effort […]" (citation from the downvote tooltip) –  Caleb Dec 29 '13 at 9:34
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1 Answer 1

Although the gospel accounts generally evidence the fact that Jesus was fully literate, including this account in John:

6This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. John 8, ESV

(While the earliest manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11, the account still stands as evidence that the idea that Jesus was able to write was not at all controversial in early times.)

Other passages speak of Jesus learning, wisdom and familiarity with the writings, from an early age, for example:

  • 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. Luke 2, ESV

  • 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Luke 2, ESV

  • 3And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: Luke 6, ESV

  • 4He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, Matthew 19, ESV

Jesus mission as explained in the gospel accounts does not include making a written account of his teachings, indeed he makes it clear that there is no need for him to do so:

25“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14, ESV

This is in contrast with (for example) Peter's stated aim in writing to fellow believers1:

12Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. ESV


1 It's my belief that this is the ongoing fulfillment of the mission Peter received from Jesus

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