Monday, April 14, 2008

Did Jesus' earthly father die early or no?

Mike Halcomb over on his blog Pisteuomen presents a very intriguing possibility that Jesus' earthly father did not die early but was in fact Joseph of Arimathea.

I personally have never heard this before - have you? what do you think of it?

Mike summarizes A.J. Fejfar noting that Joseph and Jesus, as "tektons" were apparently charged by the people of Nazareth with "penury" (hording wealth?) and so Joseph changed his name and location.

If this were the case would not the folks of Nazareth known still who Joseph was and that Mary was his wife and Jesus his son? Or would changing his identity have him presumed dead to the folks in Nazareth and no one would realize he was the same person as before? Or was Arimathea far enough away from Nazareth to remain unknown?

I am curious too as to any possible implications for Catholic theology and their argument of perpetual virginity of Mary? (maybe their is no connection?).



At 3:21 PM, Blogger T. Michael W. Halcomb said...


Glad you interacted on Pisteuomen today. Glad this got you thinking a bit, I think it's interesting. Oh, by the way, it's "Halcomb" instead of "Holcom". :) Have a good'n.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger T. Michael W. Halcomb said...


i could not find the questions. where are they located?

At 4:33 PM, Blogger T. Michael W. Halcomb said...

Oh, that first post should have said "Halcomb" with an "a" instead of "Holcomb" with an "o". To be clear, my name is Halcomb with an "a". Let me know where the questions are.

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Brian said...

sorry about that Mike

I was just asking what the implications would be - if Joe changed his name would not people know who he was or was his new home far enough away no one would know who he was? Would he and Mary still have been married?

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Arimathea is probably Ramah just north of Jerusalem, so probably 50 miles from Nazareth. Joseph could have divorced Mary, left Nazareth, and started a new life in Ramah. Mary might not even have recognised him at the cross. The problem is, there is hardly a shred of evidence to suggest this. The name "Joseph" was of course extremely common.

Oddly enough the one shred of evidence which could be offered has not been mentioned: this is an obvious solution to why Joseph of Arimathea had Jesus buried in his personal tomb.

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Rhea said...

Regarding Catholic theology, it's my understanding that this would have no bearing on it. Mary remained a virgin (Catholic Church teaching) and everywhere in the NT where it mentions Jesus' brothers and sisters, the Greek word that is translated as brothers and sisters can actually also be referring to cousins.

At 5:28 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Thanks for the input Peter. Well, I guess there isn't really any evidence either way - nothing says Joseph died and nothing says he lived. Folks have always just assumed Joseph died but there really isn't too much support for that - so far as I see any guess may be as good as another, no? I do find it interesting that perhaps Joseph was left out of the Gospels to avoid confusion with God the Father.

So, is it safer to speculate the Joe died or that he lived on under another name? Or is speculation altogether generally not a good idea?


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