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What's a tentmaker?

First off, welcome to my blog. I'm truly honored you have shared a few moments of your time with me.

So, what exactly is a "tentmaker?"

Acts 18:3 reveals a little snippet about the Apostle Paul's life that I find extremely fascinating. The Message says it like this:

"Paul moved in with them (Aquila & Priscilla), and they worked together at their common trade of tentmaking." (emphais mine)

Yep. Paul, at one point in his life, had a day job. A regular 9 to 5'er. However, he didn't merely toil at making tents for no reason. Rather, he leveraged his profession to advance the Gospel.

So, to answer the question, a "tentmaker" is someone who has a career and a passion to let God use them in their career to further the Gospel. Like Paul, God may call them to vocational ministry, or not. The point is, a "tentmaker" uses their career as a propellant for ministry.

What about you? What is your career, and how do you see God using you as a "tentmaker?"

16 comments:

Scott Williams said...

Thanks for the link, I am glad to see that you started a blog. The Tulsa Campus is really moving and shaking.

J.W. said...

Day job: Homeland Security consultant...some days I'm honestly not sure what or how God is using me in this industry. Now, most days I realize that God is indeed using me to talk to government officials at all levels.

Kyle P. said...

Scott, you're right - Tulsa rocks! NW OKC isn't too shabby, either!

J.W., we need more of God's influence on government officials. You are in a great position!

littlepastor said...

Welcome to the Blogosphere! I saw a comment you left over on the swerve blog, and headed over to check out the Kyle P. blog.

I'm actually an old acquaintance from Tahlequah.

Kyle P. said...

Thanks for checkin' me out, lilpastorguywhowontgivemehisname.

I'll check your blog out to see if I can figure out who you are! The TQ rocked didn't it?

PREACHER said...

A tentmaker is a Tallit Maker since God comanded in num.15:37-38all hebrew and the strangers in the land wear one. Paul used the skins of the sacrificed lambs. these were dedicated Holy unto the Lord thru sacrifice. They were only used to make the "Tallit" or as we gentiles call it the prayer shall. The Tallits of Paul's day were made out of the wool of the sacrificed lamb.Since it was all the rabbitical priest jobs to oversee this job. SO Paul was a Tallit maker.just research the wording and you will see id tell you but id rather see you study and figure it out on your on. God bless you.

Kyle P. said...

Thank you for the comment, Preacher. I must confess I don't see the connection between a "tentmaker" and a "Tallit maker." The original Greek word used in Acts 18:3 for tentmaker is "skenopoios" (pronounced skay-nop-oy-os'). It comes from two other root words "skene" which literally means "tent or tabernacle" and "poieo" which means "to make." Moreover, scholars have well documented that Paul was taught the trade of tentmaking as a child. Tallits, or prayer shawls, greatly differ from tents in both size and purpose. It would seem a little more research on your part is warranted my friend. Thanks again for commenting!

Anonymous said...

Tentmaker. In hebrew talit, means little tent. So in essence. If one were to make little tent, one would make a talit which is a prayer shawl.

wool tallit said...

The black Tallit is used for mourning while the blue one looks like the Israeli flag. Other colors can represent various aspects or things.

Anonymous said...

HEBREW FOR PRAYER SHAWL - TALLITH

TAL = TENT

ITH = LITTLE

Paul was indeed a "tent-maker" - making the temporary tabernacles for God's presence during prayer and devotion.

He spent his entire life in the synagogue, and considered himself more skilled in the laws and traditions than all of his peers.

I don't know where he would have found the time to develop a knack for making camping equipment.

Hardly seems like it would have been a good use of his gifts, or even necessary for him to work that way. Makes much more sense that he was making prayer shawls.

Peace.

Anonymous said...

What would a tentmaker be in these times? I mean what is the modern equivalent. Thanks

Anonymous said...

A tent, a little room in wich to pray, is created when one's head is covered by a prayer shawl. So I've heard but don't know. I'm simply trying to search out this little bit of scripture.

Anonymous said...

I just learned that tent or tabernacle in hebrew means tallit. In english it means prayer shawl. Tallit literally means cloak or sheet. Gentiles called it prayer shawl.In Numbers 15:38 All Hebrew and strangers in the land were commanded to wear one. Is God good or what!

Anonymous said...

I just learned that tent or tabernacle in hebrew means tallit. In english it means prayer shawl. Tallit literally means cloak or sheet. Gentiles called it prayer shawl.In Numbers 15:38 All Hebrew and strangers in the land were commanded to wear one. Is God good or what!

Anonymous said...

What was the greek term for prayer shawl, from perhaps the septuagint or via historical greek sources. If all men even strangers were to wear one, it must be in the Septuagint. Is that word 'skene', 'skenous', 'skenei', etc form of the word in Acts 18? Thanks, Greg Newman

outcry acharit hayamim said...

The word Tal means tent and ith means little which literally translates as "little tent". You have to ask your self why would Paul being building "tents" in the middle of the city of Corinth? Like a man who goes around New York city pitching tents. Paul was a pharisee and as such it is much more probable he made Taliths. Also that greek word in Acts 18 is used once in the new Testament. There is a more common word for tent used in the greek septuagint and we find in the NT which is skene. If this were some regular tent the word with the most common use would had been inserted.