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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

If Jesus had been a better carpenter, would he have needed to get into show business?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (29041 points ) August 14th, 2009

Hey I work with a lot of actors. I understand they must keep their day job until things click. My concern here is three fold.

Why would Jesus have given up an honest trade in order to become a poor homeless man hated by his own people?
(apparently he knew this would happen from the beginning)

If he was a carpenter, why is there no mention in the bible of him actually working his trade?
(apparently his only experience with nails was a very bad one)

What would a dining room table be worth today if it was known to be constructed by Jesus?
(there must be some antique artifact constructed by the master carpenter)

This is NOT Jesus bashing! Everybody knows I love Jesus. I just have a few legitimate questions about him that are not addressed in the bible.

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12 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Correction, the reason Jesus gave up an honest trade to become a poor homeless man IS addressed in the bible. I just wonder why he would have done that if there wasn’t something to his ministry.

torch81's avatar

First, we don’t KNOW that Jesus was a carpenter. We have every reason to believe that he was, because cultural anthropologists have asserted that it was very common for sons to enter the same profession as their fathers. Biblical scholars will tell you that each of the gospels paints a slightly different picture of Jesus and that each of these accounts would allow you to infer different motivations for leaving an established career to become an itinerant rabbi.

As to why Jesus working his trade isn’t recorded in scriptures, I don’t know that we will ever know for certain. But it strikes me that if I were going to write a collection of stories about Jesus designed to help people learn more about him as Messiah, carpentry really wouldn’t be too high on my list of things to include.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Understood. But as much as Christ taught with parables and metaphors, it does seem odd that no analogy is ever drawn from carpentry. It seems rife with possibilities.

There is no shortage of Christian teachers who draw these analogies. Why then is Christ so often referred to as “The Master Carpenter” if he never illustrated that for us himself?

Yetanotheruser's avatar

It is not an uncommon thing for someone to do. Ideals can sometimes be a much stronger motivation than pragmatism.

As far as Jesus’ original trade: I can’t cite any sources (sorry), but I heard several years ago that the Aramaic term that has traditionally been translated as “carpenter” actually refers to a stone setter or mason. I cannot attest to the accuracy of that statement, but it makes sense to me, especially since some Freemasons claim that Jesus was a member of that organization.

dynamicduo's avatar

If Jesus had been a better carpenter, the Bible would have been a pretty short and mean book! I ask a similar question a lot when I watch some silly TV show or read some book where the character does something so random and strange or illogical. Then I have to remind myself that it’s just a story and the person’s motivation for doing X is to continue the plot going, and it’s enough to add back the suspension of disbelief.

marauder76's avatar

As to your third question, the dining room table would be worth upwards of $299.95.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@dynamicduo Ever watch Burn Notice? Lots of explosions and gunfire, and no police presence. Calls for extreme suspension of disbelief!

lazydaisy's avatar

I was just talking to someone about this yesterday!

His position was that if you truly believed that you could self-sacrifice and by doing so you could save everybody else on the planet, wouldn’t you?

God is your father, so you trust that you be going to a far better place after you die anyway.

A no brainer

In my opinion, it just didn’t turn out quite as planned.

cookieman's avatar

Ya know, Harrison Ford was a carpenter turned actor. And he saved someone once while flying his helicopter. Hmmm?!?

crzycatwmn's avatar

Jesus wasn’t a carpenter he was a labor worker.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i can’t help ya but this question made me giggle. i’ve always wondered what jesus christ had to do with carpentering! i thought it was an inside joke that no one was letting me in on.

mattbrowne's avatar

If Martin Luther King had been a better clergyman, would he have needed to become a political activist?

Why would Martin Luther King go beyond his honest profession in order to become a target of millions of segregationists?

Well, he had to. He knew he could make a difference. So did Jesus. He knew had to repudiate Old Testament violence.

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