The Historical Jesus – Now With Even Less Futility!

Pat McCullough has written a response to my response to his earlier posts, clarifying what points he agrees with me on, and what he actually had in mind when he talked about “futility.”

See too Brian LePort’s round-up of and comments on the discussion up until that point.

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  • susanburns

    Dr. McGrath, can you think of any examples whereby Jesus uses his tekton profession as an analogy or as a reference point? Does he ever refer to his tekton skill or use his skill as an analogy like “fishers of men”? Also, do you know of a reference to Joseph’s tekton profession? I am curious.

    • James F. McGrath

      Matthew 13:5 refers to Jesus as the son of the carpenter, where Mark 6:3 has Jesus himself as the carpenter. There are some references to building projects in parables, and of course the term that is used could cover masons and other sorts of workers along these lines.

      You might also be interested in looking at Geza Vermes’ treatment of a possible rabbinic background with a different connotations – I found some of the relevant quotes excerpted on another blog here:

      • susanburns

        The word used in the Septuagint to stand for tekton is kharash and describes the act of cutting away; cut away stone for inscribing words, cut away dirt for plowing, cut away metal for sword making, Islam has a similar idea of cutting away the unholy from the holy so that the two never touch. I can’t remember exactly but there is something in Quran about truth is balancing on the edge of a sword blade. The ancient Arabian tribes took this idea to the extreme by slitting the throats of infidels who were deemed unholy. Even today, non-muslims cannot enter Mecca because holy cannot touch unholy. Paul compares Timothy to a workman because he correctly divided the word of truth. Perhaps the sword Jesus was bringing was the sword of truth and not the sword of war . After all, he was a “carpenter”.