Why is there so little written in the Bible about Joseph, Jesus' earthly father?


Clarify Share Report Asked March 19 2014 Mini Gordon Gouldin

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Galen 2 Galen Smith Retired from Multnomah Bible College and Biblical Seminary
Let me start by saying there is nowhere in the Bible where God explains why he said no more about Joseph in Scripture than he did. Therefore, we can consider your question, and we can ponder possible answers, but we cannot give a dogmatic reason when God has not told us.

We read about Joseph and Mary being engaged prior to Jesus' birth. We are told some details of Jesus' nativity, and a little bit about a couple experiences as an infant. We then are told about the family's visit to Jerusalem for the Passover when Jesus was twelve years old. We read of "his parents" leaving for home without him (Matthew 2:43), but they are not referred to by their names at this time. It is probable that "his parents" refers to Joseph and Mary, but it is possible that Joseph may have died by this time, and Mary had remarried.

We read later of Jesus' mother, Mary, and of brothers and sisters. This would suggest Joseph had lived long enough to father several half-siblings to Jesus. Mary was present at Jesus' execution and resurrection. But the last reference to Joseph by name is in Jesus' early life, and the last likely reference to him is when Jesus was twelve. Most scholars suggest he died sometime between when Jesus was twelve and when he was about thirty, the beginning of his public ministry.

If Joseph did die before Jesus began his public ministry, this would explain why we never read of him during this period. If we think about how much the Bible says of Mary, it isn't a great deal more than Joseph. She was the actual mother of Jesus, while Joseph was not the actual father of Jesus. He certainly was an important father figure to Jesus in terms of legal responsibilities and training, but he was not Jesus' actual father. God was.

I hope these thoughts may give some possible answers to your question.

March 20 2015 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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