The book- The Jesus Discovery- claims that Jesus rose to become the most senior Rabbi of his time, thus explaining how he was able to exert such influence and why his teachings became such a concern to the authorities.
Author Dr Adam Bradford, who works as a GP, drew his conclusions after studying and comparing the original Greek and Hebrew scriptures, as well as using human psychology to analyse the behaviour towards Jesus as depicted in the Bible.
Biblical scholar Dr Bradford said: “Jesus’s high ranking position as a Jew seems to have been written out of history but in fact it makes more sense of the Bible.
‘If Jesus was the son of a poor itinerant carpenter with some radical ideas nobody would have been that concerned about what he said.
‘But, because Jesus was trained up to become the most educated Jew of his time it gave him the chance to exert extraordinary influence and let him get away with acts that normal Jews would have been imprisoned or chastised for.
‘For example, when Jesus turned the money changers out of the temple there is no mention in the Bible of the police guards getting involved or there being a backlash. The money changers were an essential part of gaining revenue for the Temple so if Jesus was an ordinary Jew he would have been arrested or physically attacked.
‘Christ enjoyed social privileges that would not have been available to an uneducated itinerant carpenter. Not only was he able to clear the official Temple market on two occasions without interference but he was also able to teach unhindered in the Temple courts and synagogues.
Throughout the Bible he is addressed with formal titles of Rabbi and Doctor of the Law- the highest position in Jewish society, even by his enemies.’
To find out more about the life of Jesus as an historical figure, Dr Bradford- who runs an NHS practice in inner-city London – first decided to try and discover more about Christ’s father, Joseph.
In the English translation of the Bible Joseph has always been described as a ‘just man’. Dr Bradford discovered that the word ‘man’ has been added and is not in the original Greek text at all. He also found that the origins of the word translated into ‘just’ more accurately translates to describe Joseph’s position in society- most likely as a scholar who helped teach the Torah and was involved in the judiciary.
Further to this, Dr Bradford re-examined Joseph’s position as a carpenter. Again, he concluded there had been a mistranslation and that the Greek word ‘tekton’- which describes Joseph’s work- more accurately means master builder or architect.
Dr Bradford claims this would explain why Jesus, who would have been brought up in his father’s trade, made so many references to building in his teachings.
Crucially, Dr Bradford says that it is Joseph’s position as an architect that would have first Christ brought him into contact with the Temple authorities.
In about 22BC, King Herod ordered that a gigantic Jewish temple should be built in Jerusalem, the remains of which makes up the Wailing Wall. Because only Jewish priests could build the sacred parts of the building, Herod conscripted ten thousand skilled craftsmen to assist and instruct one thousand Jewish priests in the skills of master craftsmen.
Dr Bradford said: ‘Statistically, given that ten thousand skilled craftsmen were employed there is every likelihood that Joseph, who was a devout Jew, was one of these ‘tektons’, skilled at working with large structures of stone and wood..
‘Three times a year, Joseph would have taken Jesus to the major Jewish festivals in Jerusalem and pointed out various aspects of the Temple’s construction that he had overseen.
‘When Jesus got lost at the age of 12 during one of his family’s visits to a festival and was found at the Temple he said to his parents: ‘Didn’t you know I had to be in my father’s house. I believe this has a double meaning referring to the fact Joseph helped build the temple as well as to God.’ The priests who Joseph had trained would have looked after the boy Jesus for the five days until his parents found him.
It is from this point, when Jesus was 12 years of age, that very little is known of his life until he was 30 years old.
That’s funny. He said “my father’s house” and meant the house his actual father build. The whole divinity thing may have been a misunderstanding. Follow the gourd! … if he even existed at all, that is.