Who was Joseph's first wife?


#1

As Catholics we are taught that prior to Joseph marraige to Mary, he had a previous marriage to a woman that past away. In that first marriage Joseph had many sons and daughters and a few are mentioned in the Bible as Jesus brothers and I belive sisters. As a Catholic we are taught that these sibblings of Jesus were his half brothers and half sisters and Jospeh was Jesus’s step Father, which we all can agree.

Is there any proof written down anywhere in the Catholic archives of the specific first wife of Joseph? I can understand why it is not in the gospel, but surely this is just not an oral teaching that has been passed down since the beggining and never tested as fact vs myth.

Many of our fellow Christian brothers and sisters that are not united in our Church, that just use the bible as the true source of God, have preached that Mary and Joseph had other children after Jesus.

I have found where we get a lot of our Mary beliefs that are taught to us that were written in other gospels outside of the Bible, I would also like to read more about Joseph.


#2

That Joseph was a widower is not a definitive Catholic teaching.

The apostle James is often referred to as the brother of the Lord. But. . . There are two apostles named James. One is the son of Alphaeus, the other is the son of Zebedee.


#3

[quote=Reid]As Catholics we are taught that prior to Joseph marraige to Mary, he had a previous marriage to a woman that past away.
[/quote]

Really? This is the first time I heard it was an official teaching of the Church.

In that first marriage Joseph had many sons and daughters and a few are mentioned in the Bible as Jesus brothers and I belive sisters. As a Catholic we are taught that these sibblings of Jesus were his half brothers and half sisters and Jospeh was Jesus’s step Father, which we all can agree.

Again, are you sure? I know that is one possibility, but not the only one. The Greek word used in this instance for brothers and sisters is adelphoi, which can mean half-siblings, but also cousins, uncles, nephews, or any other close relations. Abraham & Lot were called adelphoi in the Septuagint, but they were not brothers. Abraham was Lot’s uncle.

Is there any proof written down anywhere in the Catholic archives of the specific first wife of Joseph?

What Catholic archives? :confused: Where are you getting this stuff?

Many of our fellow Christian brothers and sisters that are not united in our Church, that just use the bible as the true source of God, have preached that Mary and Joseph had other children after Jesus.

They do say that. However, that is an incorrect interpretation of Scripture.

I have found where we get a lot of our Mary beliefs that are taught to us that were written in other gospels outside of the Bible, I would also like to read more about Joseph.

What ‘other gospels’? The Bible doesn’t say much about Mary, so we ‘fill in the gaps’, so to speak, with Sacred Tradition, the unwritten Word of God passed down from generation to generation and preserved by the Holy Spirit.
There is not much information of Joseph, either. He is considered the patron of a happy death b/c he died in the presence of Jesus and Mary. Not a bad way to go, when you think about it.

Hope this answers some of your questions. You seem confused on what the Church teaches. Try reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church. That might clear things up a bit.


#4

we are taught Joseph was married before?

who is this “we”, where were you taught this, by what authority was it taught? This is one of several possible explanations for the verses about the brothers of the Lord, that Joseph was a widower with children when he married Mary, but it is not and never has been Catholic doctrine. It is held by many Orthodox, however. Tradition depicted Joseph as an old man, so he could have been a widower. Scripture is silent on this point.


#5

In the 3rd century, attention to Mary’s virginal conception of Jesus became popular. This belief rests on the gospels according to Mathew and Luke. It was emphasized further by an apocryphal gospel, the Protovangelium of James, written in 150 but not included in the New Testament.

Its this book that we find a lot about Mary’s life. One story is after she delivered Jesus, she was required to go to the temple and see a physician for a check up and it is written that when she was examined her hymen was not torn. Now this was supposed to support her virginity claim, but my only objection to this is if she delivered Jesus naturally then would her hymen tear in its delivery?

But anyway a lot of our traditions about Mary are supported in this particular gospel.


#6

Now whether is doctrine or a theological idea I am not sure, but I learned this in my RCIA class.

And in my defense I am very in tune with the Catholic teachings, I simply wanted to see if anyone knew of any wrttings documented by the Church on Joseph’s life prior to Mary.


#7

[quote=Reid]As Catholics we are taught that prior to Joseph marraige to Mary, he had a previous marriage to a woman that past away. In that first marriage Joseph had many sons and daughters and a few are mentioned in the Bible as Jesus brothers and I belive sisters. As a Catholic we are taught that these sibblings of Jesus were his half brothers and half sisters and Jospeh was Jesus’s step Father, which we all can agree.

Is there any proof written down anywhere in the Catholic archives of the specific first wife of Joseph? I can understand why it is not in the gospel, but surely this is just not an oral teaching that has been passed down since the beggining and never tested as fact vs myth.

Many of our fellow Christian brothers and sisters that are not united in our Church, that just use the bible as the true source of God, have preached that Mary and Joseph had other children after Jesus.

I have found where we get a lot of our Mary beliefs that are taught to us that were written in other gospels outside of the Bible, I would also like to read more about Joseph.
[/quote]

I read the same thing in a book entitled, “Catholic Verses” by Dave Armstrong. I was headed to this forum to see if anyone could verify the assertion that Joseph was a widower with children. He made the statement but quoted “early Christian writings” as his source, but never specified which ones. I was hoping someone would know.


#8

[quote=Reid]In the 3rd century, attention to Mary’s virginal conception of Jesus became popular. This belief rests on the gospels according to Mathew and Luke. It was emphasized further by an apocryphal gospel, the Protovangelium of James, written in 150 but not included in the New Testament.

Its this book that we find a lot about Mary’s life. One story is after she delivered Jesus, she was required to go to the temple and see a physician for a check up and it is written that when she was examined her hymen was not torn. Now this was supposed to support her virginity claim, but my only objection to this is if she delivered Jesus naturally then would her hymen tear in its delivery?

But anyway a lot of our traditions about Mary are supported in this particular gospel.
[/quote]

As has been stated this is one of the many possibilities, the protovangelium of James, although interesting reading, is not Scripture therefore it may be false, of course it may also be true, we simply don’t know and the Holy Spirit has not led the Church to any truth about this subject. It’s therefore conjecture. There are several “other” writings which we know to be absolutely false. This one we simply don’t know. There is also another “tradition” which teaches that Joseph was himself celibate, dedicated entirely to God. One of the characteristics of most of his statues is the hallmark lilies he carries, a symbol of his celibacy and purity. Which tradition is true? Who cares? “If” God thought it was important enough He would certainly have let us know. We do however know that Mary had no other siblings, that she was a virgin even after the birth of Jesus. You seemed to have a problem with this last teaching, you believe God, the Holy Spirit, came over Mary and that Jesus is His Son, but you find it hard to believe He could preserve her virginity? Do yourself a huge favor; find all of the (Catholic) books you can about Mary, read them, learn about your mother.
May the peace and love of our Lord, Jesus the Christ, be with you,
Tom


#9

Tom,

I do not deny Mary’s virginity!

My question or objection or lack of understanding however you see fit to call it comes from the gospel which is not scripture. The story of a doctor claiming that her hymen was entact seems odd, knowing that she delivered a baby a few days prior.

Now that being said, if one can believe in the Virgin birth which we all do then I suppose one could also believe in the posibility of her hymen not tearing in the delivery process.

I have never and never will leave an answer unquestioned, this is how I found the Catholic Church to be the truth.

I have also read many books and articals on Mary, and I will continue to do so. This is new for me as a former protestant. And I will continue to develop over time a better understanding of Mary and her role in the Church.


#10

[quote=Reid] but my only objection to this is if she delivered Jesus naturally then would her hymen tear in its delivery?

[/quote]

This is easy, Jesus can cure wounds, like the case of the blind man and the leper, in other case, if someone touches even the clothes of Jesus, he is healed, much more if the body of christ came out of mary body, the wound caused by her delivery is automatically healed.


#11

[quote=marlo]This is easy, Jesus can cure wounds, like the case of the blind man and the leper, in other case, if someone touches even the clothes of Jesus, he is healed, much more if the body of christ came out of mary body, the wound caused by her delivery is automatically healed.
[/quote]

Errr … virginity is lost through sexual relations, not through the tearing of the hymen (that’s just an evidential sign that there was sexual intercourse). Little girls can end up tearing their hymens by simply riding bicycles or doing gymnastics - it doesn’t mean they lose their virginity.

Our Lady’s virginity is perpetual. It wasn’t ‘lost’ and ‘repaired’.

In any case, the thread isn’t about Her virginity, it’s about whether St Joe had a wife before Our Lady.

… I’m not so sure where I read it … BUT i do believe that I read that somewhere too.


#12

[quote=puzzleannie]we are taught Joseph was married before?
[/quote]

This is the tradition of the Eastern Rites and the Eastern Orthodox. We are not obligated to believe this, nor are they obligated to believe St. Joseph was not a widower. Either way, both traditions preach the perpetual virginity of The Blessed Mother.


#13

[quote=Reid]It was emphasized further by an apocryphal gospel, the Protovangelium of James, written in 150 but not included in the New Testament.
[/quote]

For those who might be interested, an English language translation of The Protoevangelium of James can be found here.


#14

Thank you Todd. That is very interesting. Definitely some truth in there.


#15

Aseneth, daughter of Putiphare (Poti-phera), priest of On (Egypt). She was an Egyptian princess who worshipped idols. Her father gave her to Joseph but Joseph could not marry her because she worshipped idols. She was heartbroken. She was converted to Judiasm via angels who encircled her with bees, causing her to drink honey, so that Joseph could marry her because she fell so in love with him after seeing him the frist time.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01774c.htm

http://www.markgoodacre.org/aseneth/intro.htm

http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/aseneth.html


#16

Wrong Joseph - the PATRIARCH Joseph is Joseph son of Jacob/Israel of the Old Testament, not Joseph the husband of Mary of the New Testament


closed #17

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