Dennis G asked, "An itinerant building labourer might well be a landless peasant, but what excludes Joseph from running a profitable local building enterprise ? Where did Jesus get his extensive knowledge of the Scriptures or did he just have a photographic memory ? Where and when did this supposedly impoverished family enable one of its numerous offspring to find enough time from scraping a living to learn to read ? Saul of Tarsus was an artisan, a tentmaker, yet his level of education and background implies he was very much above the level of one of the world's dispossessed. I think the jury still has to be out on this one."
1. If one accepts that "Joseph" was a tekton, one might as well accept Nazareth as the home of the family. If one does this, his location of Nazareth would very probably exclude him from a "profitable local building enterprise," since there wasn't much in the way of "buildings" in first century Nazareth, according to the archaeology.
2. If one suggests that it was Jesus who quoted the LXX (generally) instead of it being a technique of the authors, one is also suggesting that he was a Greek speaker/reader. Many will argue that this use of scripture (technique) was a product of the early "Christianity" using scripture to "understand" Jesus, as opposed to a historical portrayal of Jesus quoting scripture.
3. "Saul" as "Paul" is only mentioned once in the whole of the New Testament, Acts 13:9 (...But Saul, also known as Paul...) Likewise, Paul as "tentmaker" seems singularly another product of Acts 18:3 (...by trade they were tentmakers). The mention in the Paulines of "tents" is allegorical (2 Cor. 5). As one finds, not only in the work of several nineteenth century scholars, Richard Pervo, Joseph Tyson and others (the consensus of the Acts Seminar, for instance) have laid out an excellent case that Acts was not "historical." There is, in other words, no reason to assume that Paul was known as Saul or that he was a tentmaker.
Dennis Dean Carpenter
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