The ‘greatest’ of the ancient pagan thinker such as Plato and Aristotle and Cicero had contempt for manual labor.
- They thought it distorted the body and the mind.
- Aristotle said that there were 3 kinds of knowledge:
2. Action (by which he meant leadership and persuasion) and
3. technical knowledge.
--- And that was the order in which he ranked them:
--- Theory was the highest and philosophers and mathematicians were the ones in this group.
--- Second was the politicians, lawyers, rhetoricians who led by being models for those beneath them.
--- Last were the those who studied ‘techne’, or the mechanical arts. Engineers, artisans, etc.
But when the Lord of Hosts became a man, He decided to come not as a philosopher, nor as a politician, but as a ‘techton’
- a practitioner of ‘techne’, which is allegedly the lowest subject of pagan knowledge.
- Why did He reverse the order of the pagan hierarchy?
- Cause God Himself is a worker
- He built the universe
- He is a builder and He built builders
That’s how the ancient Jews saw it
- which is why many of the greatest Jewish sages were, in addition to be rabbis, also craftsmen.
- They did not share in the pagan contempt for physical and technical labor.
For Plato, High God did not create the world
- in his creation story, The Timeaus, has some inferior very junior quasi-divine figure,
- the Demiurge, as the maker of the material world.
- his highest god, the Absolute, would not deign to touch this world.
- (Ironically, later Jesus meets a ‘son of’ (bar) Timeaus, a Bar-Timeaus.
- He doesn’t philosophize to him, nor ‘lead’ him,
- but instead reaches out and touches his diseased eyes, restoring the matter to its original use.)
The God of Genesis works
- He separates the waters,
- grows the green things,
- fills the fisheries,
- leads the cattle,
- shapes man as a potter shapes clay,
- plants a garden,
- digs rivers,
- writes His commands on stone with His fingers.
The God of the Gospels also comes as a tekton
- He builds houses and yokes
--- with which to dig those little rivers
--- by which farmer water their crops,
- He builds tables
--- on which feasts are laid,
- He becomes a plank Himself and is nailed to the wood
--- on which He earlier had worked.
- Even at that moment, the world is saved
--- by the work of the hand,
--- by the swing of the hammer,
--- by the penetration of the nails.