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Is there any significance in the fact that Jesus was a carpenter? Note the references in Matt 13:55, Mark 6:3 to Jesus being a carpenter and son of a carpenter.

My thoughts are that the profession can be seen to mirror the creation of the universe by God, considering that carpentry involves creating complex things as well.

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  • Hi, Aleksandr! - Please state which [Book - Chapter : Verse(s) ] you are referring to. - Maybe update your question by citing Mark 6:3, if it supports your question. Oct 7 '20 at 13:15
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Was Jesus a Carpenter by profession? - In Mark 6:3, the trade of carpentry does appear to be associated with Jesus (Yeshua, ישׁוּעָ) of Nazareth.

Mark 6:3 [KJV] "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him."

Mark 6:3 [ESV] "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Mark 6:3 [NASB] "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” And they took offense at Him."

Mark 6:3 [NIV] "Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him."

Was Elohim / God ever referred to as a Carpenter?

  • No.

Readers of Exodus 27:1, 25:10, 26:15 could associate the Acacia (Shittim, שִׁטִּ֑ים) wood (Atsey, עֲצֵ֣י ) materials requested for construction of the Ark, Tabernacle, Altar with carpentry - since cut wood appears to be acceptable practice for crafting holy instruments.

What profession is Elohim / God associated with?

  • The Potter (Ha-Yotser, הַיֹּצֵ֖ר).
  • Our Potter (Yotser-Nu, יֹצְרֵ֔נוּ ).

Isaiah 64:7 [MT]

[7] "And now, YHVH, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our-Potter, and all of us are Your handiwork." (וְעַתָּ֥ה יְהֹוָ֖ה אָבִ֣ינוּ אָ֑תָּה אֲנַ֚חְנוּ הַחֹ֙מֶר֙ וְאַתָּ֣ה יֹֽצְרֵ֔נוּ וּמַֽעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָֽדְךָ֖ כֻּלָּֽנוּ)

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The operative word in both Matt 13:55 and Mark 6:3 is τέκτων (tekton) which BDAG suggests is:

"One who constructs, builder, carpenter"

The Cambridge Commentary offers this helpful background (on Mark 6:3):

  1. Is not this the carpenter?] Save in this one place, our Lord is nowhere Himself called “the Carpenter.” According to the custom of the Jews, even the Rabbis learnt some handicraft. One of their proverbs was that “he who taught not his son a trade, taught him to be a thief.” Hence St Paul learnt to “labour with his own hands” at the trade of a tent-maker (Acts 18:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 4:12). “In the cities the carpenters would be Greeks, and skilled workmen; the carpenter of a provincial village could only have held a very humble position, and secured a very moderate competence.” Farrar’s Life of Christ, I. 81.

That Jesus' pre-ministry profession, and that of Joseph, was "humble" is beyond dispute and consistent with Jesus' lowly (earthly) origins, see Phil 2:5-8. It this consistent humility of Jesus that makes His exultation to the "highest" so profound, as recorded in Phil 2:9-11 -

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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