Thursday, February 16, 2017

Joseph – Husband of Mary

When I quoted (and made my subsequent commentary on) F.F. Bruce’s article regarding Bible theology, what immediately came to mind was the non-scriptural, extremely bloated, teachings of the Catholic Church. When I started studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1970, my mother got worried that I’d leave the Catholic Church. After one of my visits, she handed me a Catholic bible. At the time, I had not yet committed to either staying Catholic or becoming something else. The Bible she gave me was the (get ready for this because it’s long) “Confraternity-Douay, Saint Joseph Textbook Edition,” copyright 1963.

Without even needing to get past 2 pages from the inside cover, here is what I found:

Although Joseph (husband of Mary, mother of Jesus) was an honorable man, out of the 12 listed qualities, six have absolutely no scriptural evidence. When I first started studying the Bible, I just assumed that the quotes appearing below each image were directly taken from scripture. After all, it is bound into the Bible, surely it must be part of the Bible. Spoiler alert, it is NOT. Not even one of those quotes is found in scripture. So where did they come from? Throughout the 17-page letter from Pope Pius 12th, followed by a 15-page “General Introduction,” no explanation is made of the image shown above. Bottom line, it is not in the text of the Bible, some cleric made it all up.

Model of righteousness: The Bible indicates that when Joseph discovered Mary was pregnant, in spite of the fact they were engaged to be married, he didn't bitterly humiliate Mary but planned on divorcing her secretly. However, the quote that Joseph was "most just, make us relish what is right" isn't a passage in the Bible canon.

Patron of priests and seminarians: Nope. Joseph was a carpenter. He was not part of the Jewish priestly class nor was anything ever spoken in scripture about him being such an example.

Protector of Children: It’s a stretch. Joseph did protect the infant Jesus when he escaped to Egypt before Herod had all the boys up to age 2 killed. Since the Catholic Church doesn't recognize that Joseph and Mary had children after Jesus (through normal means), that he protects children is contradictory. Now, if they want to finally concede that Joseph and Mary did indeed have other children as the scriptures bear out, then yeah, okay, I'll agree to this designation.

Solace of the Afflicted: Once again, No evidence in scripture.

Hope of the sick: Once again, No evidence in scripture.

Model of Christian workmen: Joseph was a humble carpenter. About his work, there is nothing else officially revealed in scripture.

Consolation of the poor:  Once again, No evidence in scripture. (Boy, when the Catholic Church grabs at straws, they grab deep!)

Patron of the happy death: Happy (?!) death. Nope.

Guardian of virgins: Once again, on the trek to Egypt, Joseph obviously looked after his wife. Indeed, at that time, she was virgin. However, once again it is a huge stretch of the imagination to say he is guardian of all virgins.

Rescuer of sinners: Now this is a blatant lie. Jesus is the rescuer of sinners.

Safeguard of families: (See Protector of children and Guardian of virgins.)

Model of single and married men: (Someone was really straining the brain to come with 12 pictures. Pretty much the same as a number of the other ones above dealing with family, children, virgins, and workers.)

By the way, as much as they extol Joseph here, I’m surprised they dare to stick figurines of him in the ground upside-down and then try to extort profit from him.

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