How Were Carpenters Like Jesus Viewed By Other Classes?

Posted: Jul 12, 2018 10:25 AM
How Were Carpenters Like Jesus Viewed By Other Classes?

Artisans, such as carpenters, were viewed in 1st century Israel as 'brokers' or 'mediators' between different classes. I find that word 'mediator' very intriguing. Peasants looked up to artisans. Nobility were not respectful of artisans, they preferred farmers who were an inherently conservative lot culturally. Nevertheless artisans went into big cities to do work and mixed with high born people. They learned what is called 'the Great Tradition', namely the books, cultural references and basic knowledge of how the world of politics worked among educated people. They could often, talk to nobles and speak at least some of their lingo. For this reason, artisans are fairly commonly leaders of political revolts and reform movements.

Because Jewish culture had a much more positive view of physical labor and of commerce than, for example, Hellenic culture, artisans were viewed more favorably there then they would be elsewhere in the Roman/Hellenic pagan world.

In this short video, Dr. David Fiensy, author of Christian Origins and the Ancient Economy and experienced (with eight digging sites under his belt-almost all of them in Galilee) talks about the social status of artisans like Jesus, the carpenter.