Jesus: Born Poor or Rich?
AbstractOver the centuries in Christendom, the clergy has consistently drummed it into the ears and consciousness of the laity that Jesus was born poor; this has been phenomenal and the adherents of Christian religion have accepted and imbibed it without question. Drawing from anecdotes and accounts that contain essential tell-tales of the circumstance of the birth of Jesus, this effort subjects the accounts and assertions to critical analysis to determine the veracity or otherwise of this perception. The paper therefore, looks at the profession of carpentry within the context of time and place, the family background of Virgin Mary with special reference to the socioeconomic status of her parents, the fundamental rules of the Yenta function, the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus in a manger, the financial implication of the ability to escape to Egypt on short notice and, finally, the whereabouts of Jesus during the eighteen years that are conspicuously missing in the literature of Judeo-Christian theology. The paper concludes that, like tailoring, smith, masonry etc. carpentry was part of a guild that only those with means practiced in Judaea of that epoch and, therefore Joseph was not poor; that Joachim, the maternal grandfather of Jesus, was a wealthy descendant of the royal house of David; that Joseph had the means to take a room in an inn but could not as a result of the fact that there were no vacancies hence he took his wife to the manger; that Jesus journeyed far and wide internationally and had privileged education and, in view of the foregoing, the paper posits that Joseph Carpenter was a wealthy professional and that his son, Jesus of Nazareth, was, therefore, born rich.
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