"Come to me,
all you who are weary and
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me,
am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your
yoke is easy and my burden is light."
His hands are miracles. I can watch them for
hours, transforming wood into something it never dreamed of being. -
"To know intimately the nature of wood, paper,
glass, sheet metal, terra cotta, cement, steel, cast iron, wrought iron,
concrete, is essential to knowing
how to use the tools available to make use of those materials, sensibly or
artfully." - Frank Lloyd Wright
"Today more than 30% of the American workforce
needs a government license to work." - Chip Mellor 2/10
The Hebrews of the era Jesus in which lived were
innovators in comprehensive universal
The majority, if not all, were taught to
read and write Hebrew.
Wandering Tannaim spread
Torah by the Oral Tradition along with
the scientific understanding first
brought forward by Pharaoh Akhenaten and
embedded within the religion of Moshe
Rabbenu of unification of
diverse ways of thinking through
the use of symbol
The philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca remarked that the
Hebrews were the only people who knew the
reasons for their relgious faith, something which the apostle Peter continued
to commend (1 Peter 3:15).
Jesus undoubtedly received a
Hebrew education perhaps along these
lines: at 10 years of age ready for the study of the
Oral Torah, at 20 for pursuing a
vocation, at 30 for entering full vigor.
a wandering Tannaim
practicing the Hebrew Oral
Tradition, entered his ministry at about
30 years of age.
Jesus, trinity bound into human flesh,
channeled Three Avatars of the Creator -
The Invention of the Jewish People
The Jesus Narratives overlook the life
of Jesus between the age twelve and the beginning of his public ministry when
Jesus a became almost Tannaim two decades
The Jesus Narratives do say what Jesus did in that time: "Jesus
left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his
disciples. When the Sabbath came, he
began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
"Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom
that has been given him, that he even does
miracles! Isn't this the
carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and
Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him." (Mark
The Greek word describing Joseph's trade was "Tekton" which included a master
builder, master mason, master
carpenter and one skilled in metal technology.
Joseph was more than a
simple carpenter in modern
Nazareth was too small to support any sort of fulltime
Tekton, so Joseph travelled
to Sepphoris to find
employment selling his craft.
The historical city of
Sepphoris is situated
four miles from Nazareth.
Sepphoris was the
largest city in Judah outside
Herod the Great had made it his
When Herod died in 3 BC his three sons were in Rome
to confirm their inheritance.
While they were absent a rebel leader named Judas attacked
Roman legions soon crushed the rebellion, burning the city and
enslaved the inhabitants.
sons returned from Rome, Herod Antipas determined to rebuild the city, and he
initiated a great building program that lasted for 20 years until he moved to
Tiberias in AD 26.
Jesus was about nine years old when the construction
began, and obviously much labor from Nazareth was employed in the construction,
including Joseph and his apprentice Jesus.
Archeological evidence from
Sepphoris indicates that
Greek was the common tongue.
Jesus' familiarity with Greek usages and
Greek theater is evident.
The word hypocrite comes from
a Greek word meaning 'one who acts in a
play,' and was often used by Jesus.
Jesus of Nazareth came
into contact with Romans and
experience of both
Hebrew and Roman-Greek
culture adds light to
Anyone who has ever worked in construction recognizes that accidents
occur and those engaged in the construction activity receive injuries.
Anyone with empathy, and every intelligent employer, is versed in basic
first aid for injuries sustained in labor.
Jesus, as Joseph's foreman,
would have understood basic first aid.
Therapeutae were widely distributed in
the Ancient world, among the Greeks and beyond in the non-Greek world.
Philo was unsure of
the etymology of the Therapeutae which he explained as meaning either
Physicians of Souls or Servants of God.
Therapeutae occurs in
relation to followers of Asclepius at Pergamon and also occurs in relation to
worshipers of Serapis in inscriptions, such as on Delos.
therapeutikos carries in later texts the meaning of attending to heal, or
treating in a spiritual or medical sense.
Therapeutae were on
the cutting edge (no pun intended) of medical science when Jesus worked with
Joseph in Sepphoris.
Jesus was taught by the Therapeutae how to heal injuries sustained in
Therapeutae recognized the healing ability of the
Holy Anointing Oil of the
Hebrews and shared it with the unclean.
Sepphoris Herod Antipas
financed an infrastructure
project at Tiberias
around 19 AD, which would have provided employment for most of the Tektons in
Galilee, including Jesus.
Jesus would have been paid very little, at
most 2 sesterces per day.
When the construction at Tiberias was
completed, the local job opportunities for Tektons would have plummeted - Jesus
and his co-workers would have been thrown upon their own limited
At that time Jesus built or repaired boats by the Sea of
Galilee and plows and yokes for farmers.
The majority of wandering
rabbis had a trade to support their learning and teaching and there is no
reason to doubt that carpentry may
have been the trade that supported Jesus.
The Greek writer Justin says
that "Jesus was considered to be the son of Joseph the carpenter; and Jesus
appeared without comeliness, as the Scriptures declared; and Jesus was deemed a
carpenter (for Jesus was in the habit of working as a carpenter when among men,
making ploughs and yokes; by which Jesus taught the symbols of righteousness
and an active life).
In Jesus' own hometown, neighbors and passers-by
all identified Jesus, not as someone given to international travel and other
flights of fancy, but as a carpenter.
Joseph, Jesus' father, was a Tekton (Matthew 13:55), and Jesus followed
the family trade growing up. Career-hopping was rarely practiced at that time;
most sons, especially the firstborn, followed in their father's profession.
Jesus was no different.
There was a saying among the
Hebrew men in the nation of Israel:
you do not teach your son how to work, you teach him how to be a
Joseph and Mary were hardly wealthy, and Nazareth was a small
The family of at least 5 sons needed money to survive
and construction is an honest trade .
Jesus' years as a carpenter was
what made his neighbors remember
If he'd taken years off to study in foreign lands, he wouldn't
be recognized or remembered in such a way - their identification with him
points out that Jesus was locally known.
Carpenters at this time were
highly skilled as there were so few trees in Israel. Throughout the sermons of
Jesus, there are many references to things that a carpenter or Tekton would
For example, Jesus spoke about the "narrow gate" that we have to go through. Jesus
talked about building a house "upon
solid rock" and not
"upon the shifting
sand", another concept that a good 1st century Tekton would have known
In a beautiful passage, in Matthew 11:29, Jesus said that his
"yoke" was easy. Using carpentry skills Jesus
could make a yoke that was comfortable for
In Matthew 21:33, Jesus talked about
building a tower in a vineyard.
In another place, Jesus told the
parable of a king who was going to build a tower but did not count the cost.
You can see the mind of a
Tekton working here. You have to know the expenses before you begin such a
Jesus was a carpenter
or Tekton much longer than a preacher.
There are several things that are
very significant about Jesus profession as being a carpenter or Tekton.
Jesus spoke about a "keystone".
Jesus spoke about a "city on a hill."
The fact that
Jesus was a carpenter, for 15 to 20
years, emphasizes that the Creator and Sustainer respects all honorable
work that we might do, even manual labor, as a carpenter or Tekton would
have been engaged in.
Jesus wanted us to understand that as long as it
is honest work that we are engaged in, then any
work is respectable in the eyes of the Creator
Jesus may have unwittingly signed his death
sentence by engaging in "anti-social" behavior.
Jesus condemned the
Pharisees for engaging in
exegesis as he
recognized the nullification of
Torah through reintrepretation.
the Sadducees for
teaching the worldview of the Zaddikim which nullifies life
Jesus most likely shared the
Holy Anointing Oil of the
Hebrews with non-Hebrews, the
the Pharisees disapproved of their close
scientific healing knowledge being shared with
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