CP gets one right about Jesus

The Christian Press (CP) is an evangelical newspaper. It is essentially a fan magazine that runs puff pieces about evangelicals, while teaching that Jesus was a Republican who wants to make you rich. But a recent article correctly notes that Jesus was not a carpenter.

Brandon Showalter, the CP reporter, got his information from Professor James Tabor, a (generally) respected New Testament scholar/archeologist. Tabor notes that Jesus was described as a tekton, Greek for builder. “Carpenter” was a bad translation that stuck.

In fact, the Galilee, where Jesus grew up, had been stripped of trees for a long time, and wood had to be imported at great cost. As Tabor noted, they built in stone or mud brick.

Tabor said: “Whether he was a skilled day laborer, a contract worker, or perhaps, even a managing contractor, we have no way of knowing.” Actually, Jesus was a peasant who ran out of land. He got whatever work he could, as a day laborer. “Skilled” is a dubious qualifier. The idea that he was a “managing contractor” is fairly absurd, though I guess it can’t completely be ruled out.

At any rate, CP correctly disposed of one tradition biblical myth about Jesus. But then they quickly dropped the article, unlike most puff or political pieces.


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