Joseph's Perspective on his marriage with Mary

Hello! so I was watching a video by a Protestant Attacking the Orthodox Church.
He was mostly dealing with Marian Dogmas.
He then moved to Mary’s Perpetual Virginity and mentioned how it doesn’t sound like God to him that Mary would remain a Virgin for her entire life and Joseph who already got the shock of his life, can’t participate in the benefits of being married to her after the birth of Christ.

In my opinion, he doesn’t need to have relations with Mary because he already had that opportunity in his Previous Marriage as we see in the Proto-Evangelium of James. Plus, Joseph was Pretty old and Mary was pretty young (Some say she was 15).

how would you respond to this?

After the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would conceive a son, Mary’s first reaction was “how?” That question would be an awfully odd one to ask considering that marriage was for the purpose of having children.

The Law of Moses allowed for what we now call as “Josephite marriages,” ones in which a married couple abstains from sex throughout their entire marriage. Mary’s marriage to Joseph was just that: a Josephite marriage. Hence the question, “How can this be?” Mary did not nor did she intend on having sexual relations in her marriage and thus her having a son would have implied a virgin birth. And the question of “how” is thus well warranted in this context.


As a former evangelical, this is incredibly interesting and helpful. Thank you. Can you point me to the scriptures and/or sources regarding this, please? I’m interested in looking at this further.

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There are six apocryphal sources from which virtually all the legends of St. Joseph ultimately emanated. Are they accepted by the church? The bible actually says very little about Joseph.
The Protoevangelium of James
The Gospel of Thomas
The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
Gospel of the Nativity of Mary
Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Savior
Coptic History of Joseph the Carpenter

I believe that the apocrypha are not considered part of Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition.

All we know is he was an honorable man of the linage of Abraham and he was a carpenter. We also know he had 4 dreams were he spoke to an angel and believed what he was told.

This is an amazing point that I have never thought of.

Well for one, the Protoevangelium of James was condemned by the Church, so there’s that. And given it is a mid- to late second century document of unknown source, not sure you want to hang your hat on that document. Particularly given it has elements of its description of the birth narrative that deny the humanity of Christ since it provides a miraculous birth narrative that appears to insinuate that the hypostatic union of Christ did not occur at conception.

I’d respond that being married to the Mother of God has benefits beyond what this individual is alluding to.

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I will end my comments here with Thank God for St Luke’s gospel if he did not speak to Mary about it we would know very little.

Sex isn’t a reward for good behavior.
Actually, it’s not a reward for anything.

We just don’t know how Joseph felt. If he felt “cheated” out of sex , didn’t care, or was in a spiritual frame where he could live abstinently as a vocation without a lot of angst (even among us “regular” people there is a lot of variation in sex drive, and some people do freely choose chastity).

But the fact that he stayed with Mary even under those conditions makes me think he figured it out :slightly_smiling_face:


I wouldn’t respond to it at all because the Protestant isn’t going to care what I had to say.

Anyone who is actually interested in the subject of Joseph’s thoughts and feelings would do well to read the excellent recent book, “Consecration to St. Joseph” by Fr. Calloway. It covers all this and more and takes a very comprehensive but readable deep dive into Josephology. However, it’s not something a person can read in 2 minutes. Most Protestants who are only out to attack the Church wouldn’t bother with it.

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Pay no attention to that man behind the ‘protestant’ curtain. It is supposition based on false assumptions.

Who attacks Mary? Who attacks her purity? Who hates all things pure? Who seeks out gullible, bigoted and hate-filled human minds to work for him?


Nope, just not included in the NT. And others like Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and Ephihanius were fine with believing it on the nature of Jesus’ brothers.

Also, Joseph knew that once he married Mary his life would be about her Son.

It takes a lot of trust to stick with that, and less trust to mess it up.

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