Jesus of Nazareth: The Hidden Years

Jesus of Nazareth: The Hidden Years

Jesus of Nazareth: The Hidden Years

Jesus of Nazareth: The Hidden Years

Excerpt

Up, TO Jesus' thirteenth year we know almost nothing, at least officially, about him. But there is room for conjecture. We know nothing of his joys and sorrows, his childhood diseases and the other petty events of his early years. The little we do know concerns his professional apprenticeship.

For Joseph, who was by family tradition a carpenter, initiated him to the same trade. This was not simply on account of a parent's natural wish to assure his son's future and the satisfaction of seeing him follow in his footsteps. There was a religious reason as well. To the Jews of the Bible and to all those who even today are faithful to their tradition, manual labor, and indeed all labor, is sacred. "He who works for a living is greater than he who shuts himself up in idle piety," say the rabbis. And, even more precisely: "An artisan at his work does not need to defer to the greatest of doctors. . . ."

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