Thursday, April 8, 2010
A new book claiming that Jesus was son of an architect
Jesus carpenter. From http://lawrenceyong.files.wordpress.com/
This is a clear example of thoughts, ideas ¨out of the box¨. Let us see the article about a new book called ¨The Jesus Discovery¨, by Dr. Adam Bradford. Published at Telegraph.co.uk, April 2nd, 2010.
The book- The Jesus Discovery- claims that Jesus rose to become the most senior Rabbi of his time, thus explaining how he was able to exert such influence and why his teachings became such a concern to the authorities.
Author Dr Adam Bradford, who works as a GP, drew his conclusions after studying and comparing the original Greek and Hebrew scriptures, as well as using human psychology to analyse the behaviour towards Jesus as depicted in the Bible.
Biblical scholar Dr Bradford said: "Jesus's high ranking position as a Jew seems to have been written out of history but in fact it makes more sense of the Bible.
'If Jesus was the son of a poor itinerant carpenter with some radical ideas nobody would have been that concerned about what he said.
'But, because Jesus was trained up to become the most educated Jew of his time it gave him the chance to exert extraordinary influence and let him get away with acts that normal Jews would have been imprisoned or chastised for.
'For example, when Jesus turned the money changers out of the temple there is no mention in the Bible of the police guards getting involved or there being a backlash. The money changers were an essential part of gaining revenue for the Temple so if Jesus was an ordinary Jew he would have been arrested or physically attacked.
'Christ enjoyed social privileges that would not have been available to an uneducated itinerant carpenter. Not only was he able to clear the official Temple market on two occasions without interference but he was also able to teach unhindered in the Temple courts and synagogues.
To find out more about the life of Jesus as an historical figure, Dr Bradford- who runs an NHS practice in inner-city London - first decided to try and discover more about Christ's father, Joseph.
In the English translation of the Bible Joseph has always been described as a 'just man'. Dr Bradford discovered that the word 'man' has been added and is not in the original Greek text at all. He also found that the origins of the word translated into 'just' more accurately translates to describe Joseph's position in society- most likely as a scholar who helped teach the Torah and was involved in the judiciary.
Further to this, Dr Bradford re-examined Joseph's position as a carpenter. Again, he concluded there had been a mistranslation and that the Greek word 'tekton'- which describes Joseph's work- more accurately means master builder or architect.
Dr Bradford claims this would explain why Jesus, who would have been brought up in his father's trade, made so many references to building in his teachings.
Crucially, Dr Bradford says that it is Joseph's position as an architect that would have first Christ brought him into contact with the Temple authorities.
In about 22BC, King Herod ordered that a gigantic Jewish temple should be built in Jerusalem, the remains of which makes up the Wailing Wall. Because only Jewish priests could build the sacred parts of the building, Herod conscripted ten thousand skilled craftsmen to assist and instruct one thousand Jewish priests in the skills of master craftsmen.
Dr Bradford said: 'Statistically, given that ten thousand skilled craftsmen were employed there is every likelihood that Joseph, who was a devout Jew, was one of these 'tektons', skilled at working with large structures of stone and wood..
'Three times a year, Joseph would have taken Jesus to the major Jewish festivals in Jerusalem and pointed out various aspects of the Temple's construction that he had overseen.
'When Jesus got lost at the age of 12 during one of his family's visits to a festival and was found at the Temple he said to his parents: 'Didn't you know I had to be in my father's house. I believe this has a double meaning referring to the fact Joseph helped build the temple as well as to God.' The priests who Joseph had trained would have looked after the boy Jesus for the five days until his parents found him.
It is from this point, when Jesus was 12 years of age, that very little is known of his life until he was 30 years old.
But Dr Bradford believes that Christ's progression to become the highest ranking Rabbi explain these 'missing years'.
'When Christ sat with the Doctors of the Law in the Temple at age 12 he astonished them with his knowledge,' said Dr Bradford. 'These men lived for the Law of Moses and they would almost certainly have recruited Christ for later enrolment at their schools. It would be like a Premiership manager wanting to sign up a child who was incredibly gifted at football.
'As a child genius, Jesus would have become the 'Great Hope' for the Jewish religion and would have been ordained as a Rabbi and then as Doctor of the Law. He was still addressed by these titles, even by his enemies, until he was found guilty of blasphemy.
'Under the Jewish system Jesus would not have re-emerged into public life until he was 30 years of age when he had become a 'didaskalos'. This word is currently translated in the Bible as 'teacher' but in fact it has a much higher status and meaning.
'Because the Jewish authorities had invested so much hope and time into Jesus it explains why their behaviou became so vehement in their hatred for him after he went 'off message'. He was their great hope who deviated from the Jewish faith, and so betrayed what they stood for.
'I believe Jesus's progression to become the highest ranking Rabbi helps put the story of Christ into its proper context.'
First century historian Dr Mark Whitters, of Eastern Michigan University, believes that The Jesus Discovery gives a proper insight into how Jesus was able to become such an important figure.
He said: 'Bradford brings to bear his formal training in medicine and psychology on a topic that requires some 'outside the box' thinking.
'This is a fresh perspective on the life of Jesus based on first century sources.
'Bradford asks some common-sense questions that these sources provoke but are rarely asked by modern biblical commentators.
'The book is consistent and provoking for anyone who wants to understand why Jesus shook up the world of Palestine in the first-century.'