Re: [XTalk] Jesus the Mendicant?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tony Buglass" <tonybuglass@...>
Sent: Monday, November 20, 2006 4:04 PM
Subject: Re: [XTalk] Jesus the Mendicant?
> Jack Kilmon wrote:
> I think Jesus was from a wealthy family...may have been the contrite
> "prodigal son" whose mission was a family enterprise.
> Interesting. For years, I heard folk talk about Joseph having his own
> business, so in British terms he'd be sort of well-off middle-class-ish
> (the kind of interpretations you'd get from middle-class Brits, I
> suppose - stuck out a bit for me as a definitely working-class Brit, at
> least in my origins!) Then I read Crossan, talking about ceramics as
> evidence for the growth of local industry in urbanisation and loss of
> land, ie landless peasants had to earn their way through a trade. That
> meant that carpentry wasn't an indication of prosperity and higher social
> class, rather of a landless refugee family having to make their way. Now,
> you're suggesting he wasn't from a poor peasant background, but a wealthy
> one. Back to where we started from?
> I suppose Joseph could have done very nicely out of his enforced trade -
> especially if he profitted from the growth of the new cities at Sepphoris
> and Tiberias. But Nazareth in the 20s was a very poor place, if the
> reconstructions in Crossan and Reed "Excavating Jesus" are anything to go
> by. Capernaum was obviously the place to be - so how does the theory of a
> wealthy clan fit in with theories of origins in Nazareth?
> I'm intrigued to see how this new angle illuminates the story...
> Rev Tony Buglass
> Superintendent Minister
> Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
If the residence in Nazareth is historical and not an historicized Matthean
error (There is no prophecy in the OT that the Messiah would be called a
Nazarene) or a play on the "branch" (Netser) from the stump of Jesse in
Isaiah, the only advantage for living there would be its close proximity to
Sepphoris. Many building projects in Sepphoris at the time of Jesus' youth
would have kept a building contractor lucratively busy. According to the
Protevangelium of James, Sepphoris was the residence of Jesus maternal
grandparents. These building projects would have begun in the rebuilding
of Sepphoris by Antipas until late in 4 BCE given the city's destruction
earlier that year by Varus. Stone masonry was one of the skills of a tekton
and Nazareth is known for its ancient stone quarry. It would have made more
sense to live near the stone resource and cart the quarried blocks to
Sepphoris. I look to "stonemason's language" as in Matthew 16:18 and the
stone/cornerstone language of Mt. 21:42/Mk12:10 and GoT #66. Perhaps the
carpentry and stone mason's hand can be found when splitting wood and
lifting stone (GoT #77).
San Antonio, Texas