Oh ... those apostles

Italian professor Fabrizio Bisconti shows a painting inside the catacomb of Saint Tecla in downtown Rome June 22, 2010. Archaeologists and art restorers using new laser technology have discovered what they believe are the oldest paintings of the faces of Jesus Christ's apostles. REUTERS/Tony Gentile (ITALY - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

I always found it odd when I was at The Jewish Journal that if I used the term tikkun olam, I had to explain to readers that it was a Hebrew expression for "repairing the world." You would think that a largely Jewish readership would be overwhelmingly familiar with this very basic Jewish concept. You would think, and I think you'd be right.

But I'm sure you'd be right to assume that the vast majority of Americans have heard of the apostles.

No, not the punk band -- the guys who followed Jesus. And yet CNN.com felt the need to clarify just who the apostles were in this story about the discovery of the oldest known images of Andrew and John:

The apostles were a group of a dozen men, according to Christian tradition, who spread the gospel of Jesus after his crucifixion.

Really? Who knew ...

While "apostle" is commonly used to refer both to the early leaders of Christianity and specifically to the 12 Disciples of Christ, I would like to think such a clarification really isn't necessary here.

But, hey, I'm not faulting the reporter or editors for thinking it was necessary. I wouldn't have put that reference in the story, but a line like this -- the final sentence of a short story -- seems to say more about the state of religious literacy than it does anything about the Godbeat.

Please respect our Commenting Policy