St. Joseph in Scripture


What image comes to mind when we think of St. Joseph? Although much contemporary art shows him to be young and manly, we are probably familiar with traditional paintings portraying him as quite old. He is seen as a grandfather in the background at the stable of Bethlehem, a balding man with a flowering staff, Read More

Joseph in the Gospel of Matthew

Neither Jesus’ conception and birth of a virgin, nor his connection with Nazareth, seem to fit the Jewish expectations for the Messiah to be born. Matthew’s infancy narrative presents Joseph as an important figure linking Jesus to Israel, in order to show that Jesus is the promised Messiah, despite the virginal conception and despite being Read More

Joseph in the Gospel of Luke

Luke 1-2 has been divided in a vast variety of ways, but all agree on the intended parallels between John the Baptist and Jesus. Different patterns of "diptychs" (literary parallel passages) have been posited, but the data resists perfect symmetry. The inner organization could be outlined as follows: 1:5-25 The announcement to Zechariah of the Read More

Joseph in the Gospels of Mark and John

Although Matthew and Luke are the only two books of the New Testament that provide considerable information on Joseph, a word should be said about the remaining two Gospels. Mark, the earliest Gospel written, simply does not treat the human origins of Jesus, and consequently makes no mention whatsoever of Joseph. Two facts should be Read More

General New Testament Conclusions

Having studied Joseph in each of the Gospels independently, we can now see how they inter-relate. Who is the man Joseph behind these individual portraits of him? Before attempting an answer to the above question, there are four difficulties encountered in comparing the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Since they regard details concerning Joseph’s biography, Read More

Patronages Grounded in Scripture

Sacred Scripture is the principle foundation for devotion to St. Joseph under the various patronages the Church has accorded to him. The slowness of the development of his devotion throughout history is traceable to the predominance of the non-scriptural, false images of him presented by the apocryphal writings. Joseph serves today as a patron and Read More


R. E. BROWN, The Birth of the Messiah (New York: Doubleday, 1993) 248-253. A. B. CALKINS, “The Justice of Joseph Revisited,” Homiletic & Pastoral Review (June 1988) 8-19. L. CANTWELL CARDIFF, “The Parentage of Jesus, Mt 1:18-21,” Novum Testamentum XXIV (1982) 304-305. J. A. FITZMYER, The Gospel According to Luke I-IX (New York: Doubleday, 1981) Read More