Joseph had other children?

If Joseph was an older man that was widowed, and had children with his first wife before Mary, then why no mention of them traveling with Jesus and Mary for the census?

The Church does not officially teach that Joseph was older and have a previous wife with children. That only surfaced in some early writings the Proevangelim of St. James. It has not been proven and like you mentioned, other children are not mentioned when Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem.

Is this doctrine or prevalent belief in the Eastern Orthodox Church though? Because I heard an Orthodox apologist make this argument when debating Protestants.

I was looking for an Eastern Orthodox perspective, but just noticed in the Eastern Catholic section, that may be against forum rules “baiting” I guess.

Just wondering how they explain this, perhaps they were left with other family?

Anyhow, God bless

Does omition mean exclusion?

Luke 2:4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

There are possibilities based on this text, that perhaps Luke just didn’t mention or didn’t know who exactly when with Joseph and Mary. We might suspect they went with a company of people who wanted to get the census done together and it would be safer to travel in a group of people.

We shouldn’t think of the New testament as including every detail but rather the most important details. For the gospel or epistle author to omit something does not mean they denied something, there is far more to the life of Jesus than what is found in the New testament, we have only but a scrap.

No, omission does not mean exclusion.
I believed the Orthodox narrative on Joseph until recently!

I was wondering if the census would only require Joseph, or if it would require Joseph’s children, if in fact they were even born there?

I am most interested in how it benefits spiritually. I have found a great appreciation for the sacrifice of Mary and Joseph in the Latin rite, and appreciate the spirituality surrounding Joseph.

I am aware that both sides can produce early church fathers believing one way, or another, but I do find the Western Church narrative more compelling (spiritually) which does not mean more accurate, I think that looking historically is ambiguous.

Christ is risen

That is the historical question to be asked and one I think few of us could even attempt to answer.

But what do you find lacking in the spirutuality of the Orthodox church on this matter that you find in the Roman Catholic church? Do you accept the ever virginity of Mary? If so how do you explain James as the brother of Christ?

Yes, Mary is the Ever Virgin, I believe that.

As far as James brother of Jesus, I believe that to be a cousin from Joseph’s brothers wife Mary, son of Clopas, Joseph’s brother.

James, is Joseph’s nephew, and cousin to Jesus in a sense, but the term brother was not used as rigidly, as we would use today.

I would not say anything lacking spiritually, I just find the notion of Joseph concentrating himself in celibacy from a young age to be telling of his holiness, and a sacrifice of honor to God.
I like the Latin rites spirituality in regards to Joseph, and the honor he is given for his duty.

I don’t know the Orthodox practice in reference to Joseph other than being Mary’s betrothed!

Christ is risen!

Coptic iconography of the flight into Egypt usually shows James traveling with Joseph, Mary and Jesus. Joseph’s daughter Salome was with them in Bethlehem and acted as midwife at Jesus birth.

According to scripture the only reason Mary and Joseph went was because it was David’s city, and because they both traced their lineage through David they had to register there. The logical leap we can make from this is that any children of Joseph would have had to go as well.

I am most interested in how it benefits spiritually. I have found a great appreciation for the sacrifice of Mary and Joseph in the Latin rite, and appreciate the spirituality surrounding Joseph.

I’m not familiar with the Latin spirituality surrounding Joseph. We honour him for his own role, after all he too listened to the words of God and was obedient - though in a lesser thing, but as far as I’m aware there isn’t a particularly strong following of him

I am aware that both sides can produce early church fathers believing one way, or another, but I do find the Western Church narrative more compelling (spiritually) which does not mean more accurate, I think that looking historically is ambiguous.

There are a number of traditions surrounding Joseph. The story that he was an older man does seem to be the one with the greatest following in the Orthodox Church. I’m not myself sure if that is doctrine or just theological opinion. As I said earlier I’m not familiar with the Latin practices regarding him so I can’t compare.

I got interested in this "brothers’ of Jesus after reading what the Protestants alleged about the PV of Mary. My conclusion after reading several articles is that
a) the Greek word adelphoi is not conclusive as to identifying blood brothers.
b) the words "firstborn " and “until” are no longer viewed by Protestant scholars to mean definitively there were other children after Jesus. In summary, inconclusive.

However reading Church history does provide some insight as to who these brothers were as identified in Mark 6:3 James/Joses(Joseph?)/Judas and Simon and James the Just , Brother of our Lord, Gal 1:19.

Eusebius Book II, Chapter 1 states:

2. Then James, whom the ancients surnamed the Just on account of the excellence of his virtue, is recorded to have been the first to be made bishop of the church of Jerusalem. This James was called the brother of the Lord because he was known as a son of Joseph, and Joseph was supposed to be the father of Christ, because the Virgin, being betrothed to him, “was found with child by the Holy Ghost before they came together,” Ma tthe w 1:18 as the account of the holy Gospels shows.

The language seems to point to more than 1 children of Joseph before Mary was betrothed to him. So James is Jesus half-brother.

*Eusebius Book III, Chapter 11

  1. After the martyrdom of James and the conquest of Jerusalem which immediately followed, it is said that those of the apostles and disciples of the Lord that were still living came together from all directions with those that were related to the Lord according to the flesh (for the majority of them also were still alive) to take counsel as to who was worthy to succeed James.
  2. They all with one consent pronounced Symeon, the son of Clopas, of whom the Gospel also makes mention; to be worthy of the episcopal throne of that parish. He was a cousin, as they say, of the Saviour. For Hegesippus records that Clopas was a brother of Joseph.*

Putting the verses of Mark 15:40, Matthew 27:56 and John 19:25 together, one can arrived that Mary, mother of James and Joses(of Mark 6:3) is not Mary, mother of Jesus. She is identified as the wife of Clopas. Which means brothers Joseph and Clopas both married Marys. Therefore Mary, wife of Clopas, with thus be Mary’s(Mother of Jesus) sister-in-law. And James, Joses, Judas and Simon were Jesus cousins.

Wouldn’t they have been travelling with their own wives and children?

I believe the " Jesus cousins" narrative, but for years I held to them being Joseph’s children from a previous marriage.

With that being said there are a few ECF’s on both sides of the narrative, so pitting one ECF, vs another will not continue the conversation.

If they were cousins, it makes more sense regarding the silence about them on the travels to census. I have already agreed that omission, does not lead to a “therefore they were not there”, but I do think the collection of data lends itself to a Western perspective.

As far as spirituality surrounding St. Joseph like novenas, prayers and offerings of intercession, devotions …etc I find them edifying.

I am not aware if St. Joseph receives nearly as much attention in the Eastern Churches, as he does the a Western Church.

Is their a spirituality in the East, that incorporates St. Joseph into daily practice, devotions, intercessions …etc?

I believe that the Scriptures were in fact written with the guidance of the Holy Spirit so if its not in there then it didn’t happen. JMHO.

Mary’s Assumption didn’t happen in your view then?

I believe it did. :slight_smile:

That would be Sola Scriptura, which I believe is rejected officially by the Catholic Church.

No, that’s not Sola Scriptura. SS would not preclude the possibility that it may have very well happened.

Maybe to the select few that define SS as it was intended by Luther, but the everyday evangelical fundamentalist Youmeet on the street, it’s means “the bible alone”

That’s not saying much, Catholics on the street are like " St.Paul, who is that?" Or a good question is “what is the significance of these practices, and sacraments?” , under catechized Catholics respond … “I don’t know, we just do them” (face palm)

I was always taught growing up that Christ had siblings. It was never a huge issue of whether or not they were half or step.

Either case does not take away from the mission of Christ. :shrug:

I do not believe the lack of mentioning in the census journey is evidence against the sibling train of thought.

The Episcopal Church has no official doctrine on the matter. I have found Episcopalians that believe Christ had half siblings, others believe they were step siblings and others believe they were cousins. Any of the three beliefs do not shape to mission of Christ.

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