Since Antipas was often out of the country and in Rome, Jesus himself had the role and duties of a local ruler

Jerusalem, orthodox Jews
Jerusalem, orthodox Jews

such as dispensing justice and attending to the economic and social problems of the land and its people, so that during his time as governor he was already seen by the people as the father of the country.

Jesus was responsible for founding and building the city of Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. Tiberias was a model city where Jesus could realise his concept of an ideal society in practical politics.

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The statement in Matt. 13:55 that Jesus was son of a “tekton” should be translated as Jesus is also

Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre

one of the tektons, as in the parallel verse Mark 6:3. In Semite culture the word “son” was used to indicated belonging. The Greek word tekton can mean a building worker; it can also mean an architect, a master builder or house builder.

Jesus is described as a tekton, an architect and master builder, because he was commissioned by Prince Antipas to build the city of Tiberias, Galilee’s new capital city.

The idea that the craftsman’s son Jesus could have acquired all his wisdom through divine inspiration rather than by hard study contradicts the principle of Occam’s Razor, whereby the simplest solution is the correct one.


Equal civil rights for all new citizens of Tiberias

Caesarea Maritima, Pilate inscription
Caesarea Maritima, Pilate inscription

are attested both by Josephus and in Jesus’ parables in the New Testament: Ant. 18, 2, 3; Matt. 20:1-16; 22:1-14 par.

Jesus’ model for a ruler in Galilee envisaged a strong monarch and was supra-national in conception; it granted the same civil rights to Jews and Greeks, and to the upper and lower classes of society.