24 décembre 2006
Jésus était-il un authentique prolétaire ?
John Rose’s article (Judas of Galilee, Socialist Worker, 17 December 2005) on Jewish radicals was most informative. However the myth that Jesus was a carpenter should be challenged.
The Aramaic “naggar”, translated as carpenter, also meant skilled or learned person. The latter interpretation is more likely as it is found in passages dealing with his erudition, nowhere is there a hint Jesus was any kind of craftsman.
Translators of Matthew seem to be aware of the confusion, referring to Jesus as a carpenter’s son, not a carpenter himself.
It is also claimed he was of Jewish royal decent, true or not it must have at least seemed plausible.
The lavish wedding at Cana shows he moved in society circles.
The high quality of his clothing is also mentioned — for which Roman soldiers gambled at the crucifixion — and he had wealthy supporters such as Joseph of Arimathea.
The image of Jesus as a humble craftsman was largely cultivated by 19th century evangelicals in attempts to appeal to the working class.
Omitted in the article was John the Baptist. Flavius Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews states Herod Antipas had him executed for fear of his popular support and influence among the masses. Josephus’ silence on Jesus himself was a source of some embarrassment to the church.
Keith Prince, Essex