Author Topic: So what about Joseph?  (Read 7856 times)

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2010, 12:23:18 PM »
This is interesting.

Especially for me because it places yet another wrinkle in the semper virgo controversy.

Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.

And yet we are to believe that he must have been afraid to take Mary as his wife in a conjugal way in order to revere the womb that bore Christ.

Interesting to consider.


Well, yes.  To consider. 

OTOH, it is interesting to consider that in our era we seem to be unable to think/speak of marriage and all that it entails apart from conjugal relations. 

Pax, Steven+
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ptmccain

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2010, 12:31:39 PM »
Oh, boy, here we go again with more talk about Mary and Joseph's sex life.

I thought Richard's opening comment was helpful and I would hope we can stick with his comment on this topic.


ptmccain

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2010, 12:33:46 PM »
I'll light a candle, rather than just cursing the darkness.

 ;D

Joseph is a remarkable role model for all men to whom the Lord has given a wife and children. He was their defender, their protector and their servant, performing his role humbly, fearing, loving and trusting in the God who had made good and certain promises to Him, even as He makes them to all men who are called to be husbands and fathers.

Thank God for St. Joseph!

kls

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2010, 12:40:45 PM »
I'll light a candle, rather than just cursing the darkness.

 ;D

Joseph is a remarkable role model for all men to whom the Lord has given a wife and children. He was their defender, their protector and their servant, performing his role humbly, fearing, loving and trusting in the God who had made good and certain promises to Him, even as He makes them to all men who are called to be husbands and fathers.

Thank God for St. Joseph!

Very nicely said.  I'm glad you let your little light shine without hiding it under a bushel nor letting Satan snuff it out.   ;D

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2010, 12:50:38 PM »
It may be that the greater miracle in Matthew 1 is not the virginal conception, but that a man who was convinced he was right, had his mind changed.

Wow . . . just, wow.  ::)  Any chance of getting another one of those miracles where you're concerned?   ;)

Of course, God is changing me all the time.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2010, 12:57:17 PM »
God was able to change Joseph from what he believed was the right thing to do -- namely, to divorce Mary. God was not able to change Ahaz from what he believed was the right thing to do -- namely to form an alliance with Assyria against Israel and Syria.

Right, Joseph's proposed action was based on trust in God and his word.  Ahaz's on unbelief.  And did you really say God was not able?  Lk. 1:37 and Jn. 3:10.  Far better to say Ahaz was adamant in his rebellion against the Lord and his word even when God sent him a prophet to call him to repentance.  


It may be that the greater miracle in Matthew 1 is not the virginal conception, but that a man who was convinced he was right, had his mind changed.

It's sort of a silly point, but let's see, in the history of the world how many virgin births?  One.  And how many minds changed?  "A great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages . . ." (Rev. 7:9), all the redeemed of the Lord.  I think I'll go with the incarnation of the Lord in the womb of a virgin as the greater miracle, if only because it is completely unique.


These are some thoughts to discuss and perhaps research. Yet, at the same time, the virgin conception wasn't that big a deal in the first century.

Consider what Eduard Schweizer (The Good News According to Matthew) writes:

It was assumed of many great men at the time, from Plato to Alexander, that they had been born without human father. The fact of such a birth therefore did not single Jesus out as unique, it simply placed him in the company of all the great men of the age.

More important than the idea of Mary's virginity therefore are the points that distinguish the birth stories in the Gospels from these other accounts. In them god is pictured as mating with a woman or virgin. . . .

Whether a virgin birth is possible is a question only a modern world ask; virgin birth was an accepted notion to men of the New Testament period. By no means, therefore, should a man's faith be judged by whether nor not he thinks a miracle like this is possible, the less so because the virgin birth plays such an infinitesimal role in the New Testament. It is nowhere described; only the Annunciation is mentioned in Matthew 1 and Luke 1. Neither Matthew nor Luke returns to the subject, not even in the course of the Christmas story proper. According to Mark 3:21, Jesus' mother, who thinks him mad, appears to have no inkling of the promises made by the angel. No other document, above all none of the many summaries of the faith in a formula, hymn, or sermon in the New Testament, mentions the virgin birth. . . .

What the text asks is therefore not whether we can consider a virgin birth physically possible, but . . . whether in this birth we can see God's own and unique intervention for man's salvation. And if this is the case, then we can also say what this story of the virgin birth is further meant to say: that this birth stands not merely as one among many in the long series of millions of births, that it took place not merely through the creative will or drive of a man, but through God's own will as creator.
[pages 33-35]

I think that in the first century, stories of miraculous births and even stories of a god producing a child with a human mother, such as Hercules, were quite common. Changing the mind of a man who is convinced he is right is not so common -- even today! Consider Pharaoh in Moses' day or the Pharisees in Jesus' day.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2010, 01:03:57 PM »
I'll light a candle, rather than just cursing the darkness.

 ;D

Joseph is a remarkable role model for all men to whom the Lord has given a wife and children. He was their defender, their protector and their servant, performing his role humbly, fearing, loving and trusting in the God who had made good and certain promises to Him, even as He makes them to all men who are called to be husbands and fathers.

Thank God for St. Joseph!

ELW elevated March 19 as a Lesser Festival for Joseph, Guardian of Jesus, where LBW only commemorated him.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Jeff-MN

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2010, 02:48:05 PM »
interesting to see on traditional Nativity icons that Joseph is in the corner being plagued by doubts and often shown tempted by Satan to doubt

BrotherBoris

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2010, 03:38:12 PM »
So what should we think about Joseph? Modern commentators like to wonder how he really felt when he learned that young Mary was pregnant, and he knew he wasn't the daddy. They go through efforts to explain why he decided to "dismiss" or "divorce" her quietly--efforts that often don't really make Old Joe look all that good to modern eyes. The usual explanation is that he didn't really get it until the angel appeared to him in a dream.

Commentators in the early church had a quite different view. They often noted that Matthew tells us Mary was "found to be with child from the Holy Spirit." Found by whom? Well, by Joseph--which suggests he already got it that the babe in her womb was from the Holy Spoirit. So why did he plan to dismiss her, being a righteous man? Keep in mind that in Jewish culture "righteous" means above all "God fearing"--not primarily "ethical and moral." A God-fearing man might assume that since Mary's child is of God, Mary herself belongs to God, and the best thing for him to do is to quietly step out of the picture.

This makes sense of why the angel says "Don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife." He's afraid, not because of scandal or disgrace, but because of God. As Olov Hartmann put it, "How can a man have God in the house and not be afraid?" Joseph's stepping back from Mary, or his intent to do so, is akin to Moses taking off his shoes. You just don't presume on God.

Of course it has a happy ending, as Joseph comes to accept "God in the house"--God there in his bed, in the belly of his bride who is beside him. After all, they call his name Emmanuel, "God with us."

This is interesting.

Especially for me because it places yet another wrinkle in the semper virgo controversy.
  How so?  I don't see it conflicting with the received tradition of the entire Christian Church at all.
Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.

And yet we are to believe that he must have been afraid to take Mary as his wife in a conjugal way in order to revere the womb that bore Christ.

[color=blue]Not necessarily. The received tradition of the Church is that St. Joseph was an older man (a widower with a son, one of whom was St. James, the "brother of the Lord") and who was to be  the guardian of the Virgin Mary (who was probably only about 14 years old) and the foster father for our Lord Jesus. The reason fear enters the picture is because St. Joseph had received the Virgin Mary as a consecrated VIRGIN.  It was his responsibility to care for her, protect her, and to provide the financial means in which she have a decent home and raise Jesus. Finding out the Virgin Mary was pregnant was a scandal to Joseph because he was her protector, not because he wanted to have conjugal union with her. It scandalized him because he felt the Virgin Mary had betrayed his honor and his generosity, because he assumed although she had taken an oath of virginity, she had broken it and was now pregnant.  Quietly divorcing her would have allowed Joseph to rid himself of this disgrace and allow the natural father to marry the Theotokos.  This is not a conflict with the semper virgo at all. 

Interesting to consider.

Mike

Richard Johnson

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2010, 04:04:23 PM »
This thread offers me a thoughtful way fo begin the day. 

Might I copy comments for the men of our congregation who meet at 6 am on Wednesdays for Bible Study?  I think they might appreciate pondering the role of Jospeh in the Incarnation. the week before Christmas.



You can certainly copy mine, and I don't believe there are any copyright restrictions, unless otherwise indicated, on an open forum like this!  ;D
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Keith Falk

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2010, 08:21:42 PM »
This thread offers me a thoughtful way fo begin the day. 

Might I copy comments for the men of our congregation who meet at 6 am on Wednesdays for Bible Study?  I think they might appreciate pondering the role of Jospeh in the Incarnation. the week before Christmas.



You can certainly copy mine, and I don't believe there are any copyright restrictions, unless otherwise indicated, on an open forum like this!  ;D

If there are, I want the royalties for my "God's Work. Our Hands" piece which appeared in the Forum Letter.  I imagine with all of the money rolling in from that, I could buy a candy bar... maybe even two!   ;D
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

Richard Johnson

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2010, 08:32:14 PM »
This thread offers me a thoughtful way fo begin the day. 

Might I copy comments for the men of our congregation who meet at 6 am on Wednesdays for Bible Study?  I think they might appreciate pondering the role of Jospeh in the Incarnation. the week before Christmas.



You can certainly copy mine, and I don't believe there are any copyright restrictions, unless otherwise indicated, on an open forum like this!  ;D

If there are, I want the royalties for my "God's Work. Our Hands" piece which appeared in the Forum Letter.  I imagine with all of the money rolling in from that, I could buy a candy bar... maybe even two!   ;D

Now hold on there, pardner. There ARE copyright restrictions on what appears in the print version of Forum Letter. Stuff there may not be reprinted without permission. Which is freely given, but people really are supposed to ask. We've nearly got Herman Otten convinced.  ;)
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2010, 08:46:56 PM »
This thread offers me a thoughtful way fo begin the day. 

Might I copy comments for the men of our congregation who meet at 6 am on Wednesdays for Bible Study?  I think they might appreciate pondering the role of Jospeh in the Incarnation. the week before Christmas.



You can certainly copy mine, and I don't believe there are any copyright restrictions, unless otherwise indicated, on an open forum like this!  ;D

If there are, I want the royalties for my "God's Work. Our Hands" piece which appeared in the Forum Letter.  I imagine with all of the money rolling in from that, I could buy a candy bar... maybe even two!   ;D

Now hold on there, pardner. There ARE copyright restrictions on what appears in the print version of Forum Letter. Stuff there may not be reprinted without permission. Which is freely given, but people really are supposed to ask. We've nearly got Herman Otten convinced.  ;)

Ah, while copyright laws say that one has to get permission before copying copyrighted materials, to protect and assure one's protection under the copyright laws, a copy of the original piece has to be registered with the copyright office.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

GoCubsGo

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2010, 10:41:21 PM »
It may be that the greater miracle in Matthew 1 is not the virginal conception, but that a man who was convinced he was right, had his mind changed.

Wow . . . just, wow.  ::)  Any chance of getting another one of those miracles where you're concerned?   ;)

LOL!  Go Kim, go! ;D

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: So what about Joseph?
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2010, 12:30:12 AM »

Especially for me because it places yet another wrinkle in the semper virgo controversy.

Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.

Well, Mike, semper virgo did cross my mind when reading the opening post of this topic. 

But I must say that to use this to assert that the Blessed Virgin is not Ever Virgin sounds suspiciously like, "Because if they didn't engage in 'marital relations,' then they were living a lie."

But they weren't living a lie.  Joseph cared for Mary and her child, protecting them from harm, helping raise Jesus in wisdom and stature, making a home for and with them.  That is what a husband does when he takes a woman to be his wife.  Whether she is ever virgin or not.

Pax, Steven+

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