Jesus Wasn’t Really A Carpenter

Jesus ComicToday I found out Jesus wasn’t really a carpenter, at least not as we understand the profession.  Now obviously, eventually Jesus’s chosen profession was of a “Rabbi” or teacher; so in that sense he wasn’t a carpenter regardless of translation.  However, in his early years, it is supposed from Mark 6:2-3 that he was, like his step-father, a “carpenter” as commonly translated.

However, the chosen translation from the Greek word “tecton” to mean “carpenter” is a bit of a mistranslation.   In fact, “tecton” (in Mark) or “tekton” (in Mathew) is more aptly translated into a word describing a “contractor”; specifically, contracting  as a “builder” or “handyman”.  Not necessarily having anything to do with wood in most of the jobs he likely took.

He was basically a “Mr. Fix it”.  You had something that needed mended/fixed, designed, or built and he was the guy to call.  And note, this isn’t just referring to small jobs such as repairing a leaky roof or the like, though this type of thing would have likely been a part of what he did when bigger business was slow; it also refers to such things as designing and building bridges, stone temples, etc.   So perhaps by today’s notion of the profession, he’d more likely be called an “engineer”.

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  • skeev

    He was Macgyver…..anyone who could do all the clever stuff he did must have been.

    • skeev,

      Are you mocking GOD & His Christ?

      • Jeff Johnson

        Lol, there’s no such thing as a god!

        • Daven Hiskey

          @Jeff Johnson: Prove it 😉

    • lulzsalad

      closer to the guys who stand outside home depot waiting for work.

  • Kyle

    Thats actually how I always pictured his carpenter job.

  • Except his fight would be a beat down and not a boring decision.

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  • Anthony

    Worst topic ever! Who really cares. It’s not going to take you to heaven or cast you into hell for not knowing or knowing.

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  • Brian

    @Anthony, Wow, good thing I came to instead of Today I found out…. Here’s an idea, if you don’t like the idea of a website about random stuff that was “found out” today, you COULD just go fuck yourself instead and save us all from your stupid posts. Just a suggestion.

  • Pablo

    An engineer? Aha! That explains why he didn’t have a girlfriend.

    • @Pablo: I so should have used that in the title of the post ;-). “Today I Found Out Why Jesus Never Had a Girlfriend”

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  • Yes, Bill Darlison has written about this, and suggests the translation mason or architect. (Bill Darlison is also the author of an interesting book suggesting that the gospels were in fact the texts of an astrological mystery religion and that Jesus was a mythical character.)

  • Kick Nave

    I hear stories from the chamber
    How Christ was born into a manger
    And like some ragged stranger
    Died upon the cross
    And might I say it seems so fitting in its way
    He was a carpenter by trade
    Or at least that’s what I’m told

  • A.Kinana

    OK make fun of Jesus on the cross – no one is likely to kill you.

    Now be brave and even-handed and do Muhammad – perhaps with Ayesha?

    • @A.Kinana: haha, don’t think I haven’t thought of it. 🙂 There will likely be a Muhammad post sometime in the next few months. I just have to find something interesting and little known to do it on.


        you might look at the evidence that Mohammed was a Jew

        or the fact that Uthmann – a person who opposed him in life – edited the quran after he died, and ordered all older copies rounded up and burned. which would explain why it seems to be written by a bipolar person

  • Anonymator

    Teknons were indeed engineers or architects. Joseph designed houses, not furniture. His family must have had a lot of money.

  • RAJ


  • Noztrill

    i don’t recall anyone ever saying he was a carpenter, joseph was the carpenter his “father” by technicality though he had no part in it apparently. what bible did you read? sorry did you read any of it? don’t get me wrong i think its all just a cute story, but man. know what your talking about at least. i don’t know anything about muhammed (don’t even know if thats how you spell it/him/her/turqois). he’s as likely to exist as jesus.

  • Sly

    there is loads of negative content regarding Muhammad on the internet. Generally no one cares unless & unit the media or some ignorant mullah’s or government official in the middle east stir things up divert attention from something else that’s going on.

    In any case not sure how making fun these tribes men from 2k to 1500 yrs ago helps humanity today? Not to take anything away from their accomplishments i.e. having 30+% & 25+% of the worlds population following the laws inspired by you is impressive.

  • kiks

    just repent from your sins.. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.. that’s all matter most!

    Life is short..Death is sure…Hell is real but Jesus is the cure.. John 3:16, John 1:12, 1 John 5:11-13

  • Thomas Pickering

    The Greek is TEKTOVOC (with some funky letters) which actually means “an artificer, specially a craftsman in wood”.

    So no, it’s likely that he was a carpenter.

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  • One of the correct translations of “tecton”/“tekton” is teacher. “Rabbi” means teacher.

    Jesus’ father Joseph was a teacher and he taught his son how to read and write in Hebrew and perhaps Greek and Latin.

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  • Bill

    A tecton is someone who works with his hands. It is a low level worker, not a professional like an engineer. Jesus, if tecton is accurate, would not be viewed as an engineer, but as a handyman or day laborer–for odd jobs–in today’s parlance. Engineer is way off.

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  • juses was really a carpenter, because the bible says at book of ( mark 6:3 is not this the carpenter, the son of mary, the brother of james, and joses, and of judas, and Simon?) so this is a prove.

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Lucky: But it wasn’t written in English originally. 😉 As it says in the article, “However, the chosen translation from the Greek word “tecton” to mean “carpenter” is a bit of a mistranslation. In fact, “tecton” (in Mark) or “tekton” (in Mathew) is more aptly translated into a word describing a “contractor”; specifically, contracting as a “builder” or “handyman”. Not necessarily having anything to do with wood in most of the jobs he likely took.”

  • AnthonyPonzo

    First off, Carpenters aren’t limited to working with wood. Carpenters build with wood, concrete, metal, glass, even plastic and styrofoam. Examples: framing with metal studs, installing windows (making glass is a glazer), hanging metal doors, shingling a roof, building scaffolding, and the list goes on. Even drywall hangers are part of the carpenter’s union. Second, 2,000 years ago there wasn’t electricity or indoor plumbing. I don’t even know if blacksmithing was around. So there weren’t all the different building trades there are today. The only building trade I know of older than carpentry is masonry. That’s what the original carpenters were, the guys who fix and build. It’s not like there were automobiles or steam engines that required a mechanic. There were boats and ships that were built and fixed by carpenters. I think Daven needs a little more education.

    • JT

      Daven needs more education, but you weren’t sure if blacksmithing was around 2000 years ago? How do you think swords and shields for the Roman army that destroyed most of the civilizations of the time were created? Tubal-Cain is mentioned in the 4th chapter of Genesis as a “forger of all instruments of bronze and iron” and he predates Jesus by. . .well, let’s just call it “a long time”. Even if you don’t believe the Bible to be true, there is some historical value to the things mentioned in it. I’m not sure Daven is the individual that needs a little more education…you might want to check the mirror for that.

  • AnthonyPonzo

    Just a p.s. to my first comment,… Why are you basing this on the translation of a Greek word? I’m no expert on the bible but wouldn’t it origanally written in hebrew? Is your post based on the the English tranlation of a Greek translation of a biblical time Hebrew word?

  • Paul

    No — Aramaic, would have been the language spoken. Hebrew was the ancient language of the Talmud, but not the spoken language. The written language was Greek.

  • Rev. Christopher

    Tekton means Mason (as in stone mason), not Contractor.