Value of Industrial Employments
Mark 6:3-4
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon?…

The word carpenter was given as an alternative translation by Wycliffe, and has descended into all the succeeding English versions; Wycliffe's primary translation was smith, the word that was used in the Anglo-Saxon version. It had in Anglo-Saxon a generic meaning, equivalent to artificer. A worker in iron was called in Anglo-Saxon iren-smith. A smith is one who smites: a carpenter is one who makes cars. The word carpenter, therefore, must be a much later coinage than the word smith. The original Greek term (τέκτων) means primarily a producer; the word wright very nearly corresponds to it, as being closely connected with wrought or worked. It just means worker, and occurs in Anglo-Saxon in the two forms wryhta and wyrhta. This is the only passage in which it is stated that our Lord worked at a handicraft. It is a different expression that is found in Matthew 13:53, "Is not this the carpenter's son?" There is no contradiction, however, between the two representations; both might be coincidently employed, and no doubt were, when the Nazarenes were freely and frettingly canvassing the merits of their wonderful townsman. Our Lord would not be trained to idleness; it was contrary to Jewish habits, and to the teaching of the best Jewish rabbis. It would have been inconsistent moreover with the principles of true civilization, and with the ideal of normal human development. It is no evidence of high civilization, either to lay an arrest on full physical development on the one hand, or on the other to encourage only those modes of muscular and nervous activity which are dissociated from useful working and manufacturing skill. Society will never be right until all classes be industrious and industrial: the higher orders must return to take part in the employments of the lower; the lower must rise up to take part in the enjoyments of the higher.

(J. Morison, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
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.

WEB: Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" They were offended at him.

Useful Reflections on Christ's Working as a Carpenter
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