This question arose in the earliest days of Christendom. I believe St. Paul, himself a Jew, provided the definitive answer: Naah.
For my own part I understand those who felt Christianity is a progression that must begin with Judaism. Maybe that’s why Judaism dominated all 4 years of religion classes in my Roman Catholic high school. We used to joke that we went to Catholic school to become Jews. I may also be particularly sympathetic to an anti-parochial point of view because the man who taught those religion classes was a Polish Jesuit Priest and Auschwitz death camp survivor, imprisoned for his outspoken faith.
What’s all this have to do with woodworking you ask? I see many of the same points of view in the almost as dogmatic and burning question (on everyone’s lips these days): Must all period cabinetmakers be joiners first? Many feel they can jump into cabinetmaking like stepping on to a train. No need to have travelled the road before.
For my part, I see great value and benefit in a deeper, perhaps even intimate, understanding of the previous. In this year’s series of articles for Popular Woodworking Magazine, my unstated goal is the construction of a formal Chippendale (baroque) chair. I’ve begun that process by constructing chairs of a style and structure easily 50 years earlier. You can read along and see how I do. But if you’re the type who reads between the lines, I think you’ll find that I disagree with Paul from Tarsus.
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