Quote Sampler

Here are some quotes taken from different books which I am currently reading:

“Much has been made of the natural association of Nazareth with Sepphoris—at four miles apart, the journey between the two would have taken less than two hours—and that in the early years of the first century ad this is the place where construction jobs could be found. Joseph the father of Jesus was a tektōn by trade (Matt 13:55), as quite naturally was his oldest son, Jesus (Mark 6:3). Though nearly all English translations of the Gospels render the term tektōn as “carpenter,” a tektōn was a skilled worker in local building materials of all kinds, be they wood, stone, or metal. In first century ad Galilee that meant someone who was primarily a stonemason. Typically a tektōn was hired to build the parts of a building or house that were beyond the skill of his fellow townspeople (e.g., set the corners, align the walls so that roof would hold, build the door and the lock, etc.) and to oversee the entire construction process. This made the tektōn part builder, part architect, part contractor, and part artisan. Anthropological studies of pre-industrialized Palestinian towns suggest that every town, village, or group of villages had a tektōn to service its specialized building needs. If this model is correct, Joseph and then Jesus was the tektōn for Nazareth. Like many similarly skilled workers from other small villages, they would have found work in neighboring towns and cities. This reasonable assumption brings Joseph and Jesus to Sepphoris where they not only would have found gainful employment but been exposed to a cultural and ethnic world much larger than that of Nazareth. It also gives a realistic context to many of Jesus’ teachings that reference structures and construction techniques known to a tektōn (Matt 7:24–27; 16:18; 21:33, 42; Mark 2:1–4; Luke 12:18; 14:28–30; John 14:2–3)” (Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels).

“Early Christian tradition claims that Luke was an artist as well as a doctor and historian. That is purely speculative, but it is a fact that we remember the Gospel of Luke partly as a gallery of verbal pictures. Any list is arbitrary, but here is one such list: Mary wrapping the newly born Jesus and laying him in a manger; the shepherds being awestruck by the chorus of angels announcing the birth and then hurrying to the manger; the boy Jesus discoursing with the teachers in the temple; the paralytic being lowered through the roof of a house so Jesus could heal him; the transfiguration of Jesus; the Good Samaritan caring for the wounded man in the road; the father welcoming his prodigal son back into the family; and many others. Luke painted with words, if not with a brush.” (Ryken, Literary Introductions to the Books of the Bible)