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Why Joseph is underrated

As we are still in the Christmas season, I’ve decided to take a look at a character in the Nativity story who I think is quite underrated. Judging by the title, you should know who I’m talking about.

I mean, in the Nativity Joseph still does stuff, he gets mentioned a lot, the angels talk to him and all that, but I think Mary gets too much attention in the story. Let’s look at what Joseph did-

  • Walk a long way on foot to Bethlehem to get his pregnant fiance somewhere to stay
  • Tried to find somewhere to stay only to be kicked out of everywhere he tries
  • Was forced to pick between his fiance getting killed or divorcing her
  • Had to live with the fact that his son wasn’t his

When most people talk about the Nativity, they talk about Mary and Jesus the most. Joseph only seems to get mentioned in passing or when the story needs to talk about him. I actually think he’s a much more defined character than most of the characters in the Nativity. He believes in a simple way out of things and wants to solve problems in the least harmful way to the person involved. For example, when he finds out Mary is pregnant, instead of getting her killed, he tries to quietly divorce her and get her in the least harm. He is also patient, brave and willing to accept things he might not like. All Mary did was to give birth and look after Jesus (although this could be because the writers of the Gospel didn’t like women).

So overall, I think Joseph needs to be looked at more and given more attention in the story. I think we need to talk more of his side of the story, about what he has to go through, such as his humiliation of having a pregnant fiance and losing his friends and reputation. Oh well, 360 days till next Christmas. Let’s hope Joseph gets mentioned more!


About Ben Williams

I'm 16 years old. I like animals, lasagne, comic books, films, role-playing games and Doctor Who. I write cool stuff - Doctor Who, science fiction, film reviews, and quirks about Britain. I have a blue-tongued skink called Georgy and a cat called Billy.

5 responses »

  1. “All Mary did was give birth and look after Jesus.” Hmmmm…in a stable, with no medical support or pain relief. And she was only 14-years-old. And she probably needed to feed Jesus, but couldn’t because she had too many damn visitors and the wise men and shepherds probably weren’t enlightened men, willing to watch a new mother get to grips with breat feeding.

    I’m not debating that Joseph was a pretty decent chap, but I think Mary wins the prize for dealing with a certain level of unpleasantness.

    • Interesting. I didn’t know she was only 14. So many interesting facts about the story of the nativity. I think Mary does win the prize for unpleasantness, but I think Joseph went through a lot too.

  2. Pingback: Why Joseph Is Underrated - Eastleighnet

  3. Nice piece of writing again – but I think you will live to regret that “All Mary did was give birth and look after Jesus” bit.
    The fact that Joseph is largely ignored in the Nativity simply reflects life as it was then and life as it is now – husbands simply become invisible when there is a new mum and baby around. It
    happened to me, it happened to your father and one day it will happen to you.
    As to the actual story, it is highly likely that the bit about the census and the journey back to Jerusalem was made up by the Gospel writers in order to satisfy a prophecy about where the Messiah would be born. You also have to remember that the New Testament is only a selection of writings about Jesus and concentrate mostly on his adult life. The Infancy Gospel of St. Thomas covers the childhood of Jesus in some detail, but fails to make it into the bible. Perhaps Joseph was given more coverage in this and similar writings.

  4. Pingback: Why Joseph Is Underrated - Chandler's Ford Today

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