Historical Events  Religion

Jesus was probably a carpenter

Jesus was probably a stone mason

What was the profession of Jesus?

The Greek word for 'carpenter' used to describe Jesus more accurately translates to 'home builder'. Why is this significant? Because Jesus lived in Judea which was mainly stone, he was probably a stone mason and not a carpenter.

The original word used is "tekton", meaning someone who works with their hands, so obviously that could also mean carpenter. The problem is the original specific word for carpenter wasn't used, and instead one which, to confuse things further, also has a meaning for "someone who makes or fixes tools".

Some point to a misunderstanding originating in Matthew 13. The crowd asks "Is not this the carpenter's son?", but used the word "tekton". When considering most of northern Israel's buildings were made largely of stone, it turns out the word isn't the best fit.


It might seem a little vague to suggest Jesus was more likely a stone mason than a carpenter, but the two pieces of evidence do fit: the term for "home builder" was used instead of the one for "carpenter", and most of the buildings at the time where he lived were mainly stone.

There is a more detailed analysis of this here.