[Marxism] Which prophets really existed ?

Michael Smith mjs at smithbowen.net
Sat Sep 22 14:14:24 MDT 2012

On Sat, 22 Sep 2012 11:28:14 -0500
"Wythe Holt jr." <wholt at law.ua.edu> wrote:
> Joseph (Jesus's father) is described as a "tekton," a Greek word
> usually mistranslated by the true-believer translators as "carpenter"
> but much better translated as "handyman; farm laborer".  A
> "carpenter" would have been a respected artisan, whereas a landless,
> roving "handyman" would have been at the very bottom of the local
> social scale.

I wouldn't have said so. τέκτων isn't such a low-status term 
in Greek. Sappho uses it approvingly of people who build houses 
and ships. It certainly implies a high level of skill. It gets used
metaphorically for poets and physicians and even for the 
founders of a clan. 

The Jesus of the Gospels is somebody who has a fairly high 
level of rabbinic learning -- he can read the scrolls in the 
synagogue, for example, which would have been by no means 
universal, and he's clearly quite familiar with the techniques 
of disputation. So it seems quite possible he had what we would 
now call a relatively 'privileged' upbring -- for Galilee, anyway. 

But it certainly is true that Galilee was the sticks. Perhaps 
the only joke in the Gospels is Nathaniel's wry comment, when 
he first hears about Jesus: Ἐκ Ναζαρὲτ δύναταί τι ἀγαθὸν εἶναι? 
-- Can anything good come out of *Nazareth*?  


Michael J. Smith
mjs at smithbowen.net


See something, say nothing. 
See nothing, say something. 

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