The Colossian church was full of illiterates, but they had one good letter they could listen to over and over. Or maybe three.
Likewise, the typical Jewish Synagogue before 70 AD was probably as full of functional illiterates as any place else, but every Sabbath they studied the law, retold sacred stories, and recited things like the shema. They put words on their walls they could not truly read, but they knew what the words meant. And they remembered.
One part of me would absolutely trade places with Philemon's slaves - sleeping on dirt, living on bread and water, doing physical labor all daylight long, and without time, inclination or need to become literate... not to mention without being able to afford to buy any written material...
Yes, I'd take that slave's place in a heartbeat - if it meant I could gather with saints in our homes, mornings, evenings and weekends, to share from and learn from the living Word on the lips of my brothers and sisters.
Point: You don't have to be able to read to get into the Bible. You just need one friend who can read. Of course, WHAT that friend reads and HOW they share from the scripture is a whole other issue. But I'll leave that alone for today...
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