Not a Carpenter …. Please.

Just a short rant per the fundamentalist-evangelical slogan, so often seen on bumper stickers: “My boss is a Jewish carpenter”.

Please, folks. Just please. It’s meant to be cute, but it strikes me as obnoxiously sly and overfamiliar.

Your “Jewish carpenter” in no way functions as such for you. Your Jesus may as well not be Jewish at all, given your christological claims that his essential value and identity is as God, God the Son, the Son of God, Savior, the divine Word/Logos, the embodiment of God the Father-Creator, Atoning Mediator, the object of your prayers, the only “Way” to salvation, and Judge of the World.

Your “Jewish carpenter” has been swallowed up by christological superlatives. He only exists as a tagline and “teaser” to cause non-“fundiegelicals” to react in a way that (you hope) will be positive. Not to mention that the Gospels variously describe Jesus as ” a carpenter”; “the son of the carpenter”; and as a man who did no physical labor whatsoever during his ministry, but who was at least partially dependent, as Luke tells us, on the contributions of wealthy women.

So, please – just please. Stop making Jesus and yourselves look foolish. Drop the “carpenter” silliness and just have the honesty to say, “My boss is Jesus Christ”. Everybody will “get” it.


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