Please explain John 1:45? "Jesus the son of Joseph"?


At the time of Christ, it was common to refer to an adult male as the Son of his father, not of his mother. Adult women were referred to as so-and-so, the wife of … Little girls would be referred to as either the daughter of their Mother or the daughter of their father.
You must also realize that at this time there were several variations of the name Jesus, which was fairly common first name during the first century, A.D. So, it was not out of place for any of the Evangelists to refer to Jesus as Jesus, Son of Joseph or as Jesus of Nazareth. You see, during Christ’s lifetime, Nazareth was a teeny tiny place of not more than a dozen families, and our Lord was in all probability the only Jesus from that place.



Joseph was his Daddy. He raised him! God chose Joseph to be Jesus’s father. There is nothing wrong with calling Jesus his son.



This is my opinion:

The Jewish people believed there were to be 2 Messiahs: a suffering Messiah and a Triumphant Messiah. The Triumphant Messiah they named Messiah ben David, or Messiah son of David. He was the one who would reign on David’s Throne forever.

They saw a suffering Messiah in passages Like Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. They named this Messiah ‘Messiah ben Joseph’ or Messiah son of Joseph, after Joseph in the Old Testament who suffered needlessly at the hands of his brothers.

Here is the quote from Wikepedia:

''Messiah ben Joseph (Heb.: משיח בן יוסף), also known as Messiah bar/ben Ephraim (Aram./Heb.: משיח בר/בן אפרים), is a Mashiach from the tribe of Ephraim who dies as a sacrifice of atonement and rises again.[1] Jewish tradition alludes to two redeemers, both called Mashiach and are involved in ushering in the Messianic age. They are called Mashiach ben David and Mashiach ben Joseph.[2]

Messiah ben Joseph will act as a precursor to Messiah ben David and will prepare the world for the coming of the final redeemer. The main function of him will be of political and military nature. Messiah, son of Joseph shall wage war against the evil forces[2] and he will die in combat with the enemies of God and Israel.[3] Messiah ben Joseph will be killed, this is described in the prophecy of Zechariah “they shall mourn him as one mourns for an only child.” (Zechariah 12:10). After his death there will be a period of great calamities which shall be the final test for Israel. After this, Messiah ben David shall come, avenge his death, resurrect him and all the dead, and usher in the Messianic era of everlasting universal peace.’’

Even though the Jewish people would say this doesn’t fit the Christian notion of Jesus as the Messiah, and in EVERY respect, it CERTAINLY DOESN’T! But I still see it as an affirmation that Jesus son of Joseph is the suffering Messiah.

Was it just a ‘coincidence’ that Jesus’ earthly father was named Joseph? I mean, what are the odds?

Is it mentioned in the Bible as a birth record to be written for all times? Is it a sign for the Jewish people? Maybe so,



That’s kind of what I figured, but wasn’t sure. Thanks.



What? This is the first I’m hearing of this!

Is this Catholic or Christian teaching? Why wouldn’t the Jewsish people have seen Jesus as the messiah after what you wrote? You’ve confused me more!

I’m guessing you’re Jewish?



Ok after lots of research…

The Jewish tradition of two messiahs was born out of the necessity of trying to reconcile the fact that the messiah is both a king, a warrior and a redemer. The Jews couldn’t understand how one man could do all things, so they had to invent two messiahs. They came up with this idea long after our Lord had died on the cross.

Jesus our Lord and saviour is not this Messiah Ben Joseph you speak of, as the connection to the name Joseph is simply meant to tell “where he came from geographically”’ not who his father was.

Messiah Ben David’s job was to resurect the dead Ben jospeh.

So it is abundantly clear that our Lord is in no way this invented Ben Jospeh.

By the way the coincidence you speak of of having our Lords Father’s name be Joseph, even though as I mentioned in Ben Jospehs name it meant a geographical location that our Lord DID NOT come from, the name Joseph for a man was about as common as the name “Tyler” or “Ashley” is for children is today.

There is no connection in any way shape or form.




I see what you are saying, but just remember that the legend of Ben Joseph has the connection to “Joseph” to attach a geographical location, i.e. he was born of a tribe in a location (I don’t remember where, but its NOT where out Lord was born :)) - so its not really a connection by name anyway, see what I mean?

Peace to you my brother in Christ!



I see exactly what you mean and thanks!



Because that’s how people were known in those days. They didn’t have last names, so the only way to distinguish between two Jesuses or two Jacobs (Jameses) or two Simons is to identify them by their parents or their place of origin or by whatever distinguishing characteristic they had (work, physical feature, etc.)



Wait, didn’t we go through this before? :smiley:

Just to comment: the idea of a “Messiah ben-Joseph” (or as he’s more commonly known, “Messiah ben-Ephraim”) is a rather late concept developed only in the Talmud - where he’s only mentioned once! (Sukkot 52a-b) - and in midrashic literature.

Besides, the only thing that Jesus and the Messiah ben-Ephraim have in common is that they both die. However, the Ephraimite messiah is a militant figure who is fated to die in battle with the enemies of Israel after he had gathered the tribes of Israel under his banner and reconquered Jerusalem. Plus, his death isn’t meant to be atoning in any sense; Isaiah 53 isn’t considered to apply to this figure. (In fact, there isn’t even any agreement as to what will happen to his corpse: will it lie unburied or hidden by the angels first?) And while he participates in the general resurrection, he isn’t the one who inaugurates it: it is the Messiah ben-David who will raise the Messiah ben-Ephraim back to life. And he’s known as “son of Joseph” or “son of Ephraim” for a reason: he is thought to hail from that tribe.

Technically speaking, the idea of a dying messiah properly appears only for the first time in Jewish literature (excluding the NT books) in an apocryphal work known as 4 Ezra, aka 2 Esdras, written somewhere around the late 1st to the early 2nd century. (7:26-34)

[INDENT]For behold, the time will come, when the signs which I have foretold to you will come to pass, that the city which now is not seen shall appear, and the land which now is hidden shall be disclosed. And every one who has been delivered from the evils that I have foretold shall see my wonders. For my son the Messiah shall be revealed with those who are with him, and those who remain shall rejoice four hundred years. And after these years my son the Messiah shall die, and all who draw human breath. And the world shall be turned back to primeval silence for seven days, as it was at the first beginnings; so that no one shall be left. And after seven days the world, which is not yet awake, shall be roused, and that which is corruptible shall perish. And the earth shall give up those who are asleep in it, and the dust those who dwell silently in it; and the chambers shall give up the souls which have been committed to them. And the Most High shall be revealed upon the seat of judgment, and compassion shall pass away, and patience shall be withdrawn; but only judgment shall remain, truth shall stand, and faithfulness shall grow strong.

Again, the only real similarity with Jesus and this messiah is that they died. But 4 Ezra’s messiah - here a transcendent figure who will remain hidden with God (who calls him his “son”) until the time comes for his revelation - will die along with the rest of mankind at the end of the world and the conclusion of his four-hundred year reign. After seven days of “primeval silence” the resurrection will occur, but what will happen to the messiah isn’t mentioned. He just does his thing and drops out of the picture quickly. Come to think of it, he isn’t even that important to the sequence of events.

In fact, it would seem that the dying Messiah concept in 4 Ezra is a Jewish attempt to answer Christian claims about Jesus: note for instance that the appearance of the messiah in the work is claimed to be still in the distant future. Perhaps his minor, incidental role in the work can also be attributed to this.

It’s just my hunch, but maybe even the idea of the Ephraimite warrior messiah arose because of this thinking: a messiah who dies (= fails) can’t be the ‘real’ one. At best, he might be a subordinate messiah to the Davidic one. And which messianic claimant died in battle? Simon bar-Kokhba. Basically the dilemma is: what would happen if the messiah came, but the deliverance of Israel did not follow? A second one who’ll do the job will come, of course. Bar-Kokhba’s failure to live up to his promise perhaps prompted later rabbis to speculate, which resulted in the development of this scenario.

AFAIK, the sect at Qumran did hold to a concept of two messiahs, but that’s where the similarity with the later idea of a “son of David” and a “son of Joseph\Ephraim” ends. The Qumran sectarians expected a ‘Messiah of Israel’ (aka the ‘Messiah of Aaron’) and a ‘Messiah of David’ to come; one of them will be a king and military leader, the other a priest and sage. At least one text also adds a third figure known as “the prophet.” If he’s also a messianic figure then the sectarians apparently expected three messiahs to come in total, which kinds of makes sense: the ones who were ‘anointed’ were kings, priests and prophets.

I’m deliberately avoiding posting series of long posts right now (which is what I used to do), so I’ll just say this for the moment: at the time of Jesus, there wasn’t a hard-and-fast concept of what the messiah exactly is and what he will do, or even how many will be there or even whether if there is a ‘messiah’ at all. I mentioned the sect at Qumran above: keep in mind however that there is not one, single, consistent messianology to be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.[/INDENT]



=FishyPete;11457613]45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

Why does John write this, why does he call him “son of Joseph”? I’m confused?

From a JEWISH Traditional and Legal perspective:


Not everything is literal in the bible:)



Great info, and thanks for educating me.

Tell me one quick thing, was this sect you speak of before or after Jesus?



You’re absolutely right. And thanks for the :smiley: it made me smile.




I think you’ll find when Jesus is addressed as “Son of Mary”…that is not a compliment…it is a backhanded way of calling him a bastard child. If a male is only identified by his mother’s name…it is understood that the speaker does not believe anyone knows who his father is…only his mother.



Put these verses together and we see a clearer picture. Many of the Church Fathers commented that Jesus was addressed as the Carpenter’s son as well as son of Mary.

My personal opinion – they were degrading St Joseph calling him a nobody, not worth mentioning by name. Nevertheless he was still addressed as the son of the father then son of Mary.

Bible Search

Mark 6:3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the …
… Then they scoffed, "He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother
of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live …

Matthew 13:55 "Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s …
… Then they scoffed, "He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his
mother, and his brothers–James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. …



=Publisher;11460557]I think you’ll find when Jesus is addressed as “Son of Mary”…that is not a compliment…it is a backhanded way of calling him a bastard child. If a male is only identified by his mother’s name…it is understood that the speaker does not believe anyone knows who his father is…only his mother.

Your personal view reflects your lack of understanding my friend;

Just as their Is only One TRUE God

There is ONLY one TRUE Mother of God: Mary
She’s one is many BILLIONS to have this honor.:slight_smile:



Such a long thread already for a question with such a simple answer.

Jesus IS the son of Joseph. With his adoption, Jesus became St. Joseph’s son with the full rights and privileges thereof. It is through Joseph that Jesus is of the line of David and therefore heir to the Davidic throne.



Thank you so much! Bless you!

Now, would you be able to answer my other question in my other thread about the Essenes and the “Sons of Light”? And why "Sons of light is mentioned in the gosdpel a few times, and in the dead sea scrolls the Essenes called themselves “the sons of light”?

Its in the post about Pope benedict and the essenes.

I figured I’d ask, since you gave such a great answer here.

Not that others didn’t provide a good answer :slight_smile:


closed #40

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