He’s just a carpenter

Jesus is called a carpenter in Mark 6:3. In Matthew’s account He is called the carpenter’s son. The study note in the NET Bible suggests that this was probably a derogatory term. Those who used the term thought of Him as “a common laborer like themselves.”

Lane says the term carpenter (Greek tekton) “commonly designates a worker in any hard material: wood, metal or stone, and so comes to mean a builder.”

Louw-Nida says,

There is every reason to believe that in biblical times one who was regarded as a tekton would be skilled in the use of wood and stone and possibly even metal.

A carpenter’s shop is exhibited at Nazareth Village. It is correct in showing tools for stone cutting as well as wood working.

A carpenter's shop at Nazareth Village, showing woodwork and stone work. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A carpenter’s shop at Nazareth Village, showing wood work and stone work. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

This post is about what the term carpenter implies, but we concur with Josh McDowell that He is More Than A Carpenter.

One response to “He’s just a carpenter

  1. Hello Jenkins, thanks for your excelent blog which I follow every day. Regarding Jesus as a carpenter your of course right. Have you thought about the fact that Jesus was working as a carpenter for maybe 15 years, but he only did miracles for 3 years? It is strange that sin came in to the world because of a tree and that Jesus had to die on a tree (cross, gr:Stauros) to remove our sin. And as you said, he also worked with wood/trees and he preached about building houses, calculating of buliding projects etc. Even the Bible is made of paper/wood/tree 🙂 And it seems like Jesus is still working as a carpenter in heaven (preparing room for us John 14). All this is for me overwhelming and a little funny.
    Now let me get to the point. There is a scripture or more exactly a thing that Jesus mentioned 6 times in the gospels that christians quote in churches without problems. I think about Luk 14:27 where Jesus mention that his followers should “carry his cross every day”. Nice for us to read this today, but for those who heard this before the crusifixion, how could they understand anything about this verse. And as I said it is mentioned several times in the gospel. Sometimes it is mention when Jesus told them that he should die, but still this has worried me. Maybe the liberal teologs are right that these verses have been added/modified later when the scribes and the christians knew the answer, that he died after carrying the cross.
    Then during my study of trees in the Bible I came up with an idea. I looked up in my greek NT and the word for carrying the cross was the normal STAUROS which is a tree. The followers of Jesus has seen him working in the carpenter workshop for 15 years carrying all kind of woods/trees which is in greek STAUROS. So maybe they understood this verse of Jesus and though about carrying STAUROS/trees in the carpenter workshop. OF course after his death the diciples understood the double meaning of this “carrying stauros” verse. So no need to think about a later addition or modifying of the statement of Jesus. And finally I will remind that the verse after Luke 14:27, verse 28 is about the “carpenter” calculating for the building cost for a tower.
    English is not my language, but I hope you can understand these details. It is really remarkable to study the trees in the Bible and Jesus as a carpenter.

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