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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  March 2015

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION March 2015

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Subject:

Re: St Joseph, husband of the BVM

From:

Robert Kraft <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 20 Mar 2015 12:15:20 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Interesting topics, but, from my protestant oriented academic 
acquaintance with early Christian materials, I wouldn't say that there 
is any stress in the NT writings on Mary's virginity (the connection 
comes  mainly through the Isaiah passage, from Matthew's fulfillment 
source), and I suspect that Jewish (or other) accusations of 
illegitimacy arose from the "virgin" claim as it gained visibility in 
early Christian rhetoric (such as arguments over the applicability of 
the Isaiah 7.14 passage to the question of who this person is) rather 
than vice-versa. For the main NT gospel traditions (synoptics and John), 
Mary is a (sometimes concerned) mother among her children (Jesus' kin), 
and for Paul she is "a woman" from whom Jesus was born. She emerges as 
something more only in the birth sources known to Matthew and Luke 
(somewhat incidentally in Luke), and gets more detailed attention in the 
"Protevangelium" -- which also puts some flesh onto the otherwise 
backgrounded figure of Joseph. Just how she (and by association Joseph) 
became so central to some streams of development would be nice to know, 
but so far remains mostly hidden (e.g. early disputes about 
eschatological expectations and "scriptural" interpretation). Even the 
attempts at dating the various pieces of evidence (synoptic sources, 
Protevangeium, etc.) depend on assumptions for which firm data is scarce 
(e.g. where and how the followers of Jesus engaged with other Jews or 
non-Jews in discussion, and perhaps especially with followers of John 
Baptist as the Luke material suggests). Who cared; and why?

Bob Kraft, UPenn Emeritus

On 3/20/2015 4:51 AM, Gordon Plumb wrote:
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
>   The gospel of Matthew tells us that Joseph, following the angelic dream " took
> her as his wife, but he had no marital relations  with her until she had born a
> son." The presumption must be that, at least in the understanding of the author of Matthew,  they thereafter had a normal sexual relationship (and presumably children?). Why, oh why, does the Church get so hung
> up over the sinfulness of sexual intercourse! I do seriously wonder if the
> stress in the New Testament on Mary's virginity owes a great deal to the Jewish
> allegations of Jesus' illegitimacy!
>
>
> Joseph was sometimes pictured as a cuckold in mystery plays, and in art he is often shown
> as a rather bumbling old man. Images of the Holy Family in the 14th and 15th
> Century helped to raise him in public esteem. In the 17th Century his cult was
> supported by the Jesuits and particularly by St Theresa of Avila. Because of the
> Apocryphal "History of Joseph" which records his death in the presence of Jesus
> and Mary he became the patron saint of a good death.
>
> Gordon Plumb
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ms B M Cook
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: MEDIEVAL-RELIGION
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 23:24
> Subject: Re:
> [M-R] St Joseph, husband of the BVM
>
>
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions
> of medieval religion and
> culture
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gordon
> Plumb
> Sent: Thursday,
> March 19, 2015 8:41 AM
> To:
> [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [M-R] St
> Joseph, husband of the
> BVM
>
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of
> medieval religion and
> culture
>
> 19th March was the feast of Joseph, but there
> is now also the feast of
> St
> Joseph the Worker on May 1st:
>
> Some random
> thoughts -
>
> "Is not this the
> carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James,
> and
> Joses, and of Jude, and
> Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?" (NT
>
> Mark 6.3) [And typical that
> the girls are not named!!]
>
> At what point did
> the understanding of Joseph of
> Nazareth change from being
> a (presumed) widower
> with at least six children to
> whom Our Lady was
> step-mother, to being a "pure"
> spouse with his children
> actually being
> interpreted as nephews and
> nieces?
>
> I am discounting the
> (Protestant ?) theory that the above brood of
>
> half-a-dozen were Mary's
> subsequent children.
>
> It is an interesting number
> of Joseph's children 4 boys
> and at least 2
> girls.
>
> ("Blessed is he that hath
> his quiver full of them." ie
> children. (Psalm
> 127.5)  IIRC the classic
> Israelite quiver held six
> arrows.)
>
>
> I know that La Sainte Paternite is a
> minefield!! (But I like kicking
> a few
> mines!)
>
>
> Brenda M.
> Cook
> Independent
> Scholar
>
>
> **********************************************************************
> To
> join
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> NAME
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> write
> to:
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> For further information,
> visit
> our web site:
> http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/medieval-religion
>
>   
>
>
>   
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ms B M Cook <[log in to unmask]>
> To: MEDIEVAL-RELIGION <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 23:24
> Subject: Re: [M-R] St Joseph, husband of the BVM
>
>
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and
> culture
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gordon Plumb
> Sent: Thursday,
> March 19, 2015 8:41 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [M-R] St
> Joseph, husband of the BVM
>
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of
> medieval religion and culture
>
> 19th March was the feast of Joseph, but there
> is now also the feast of St
> Joseph the Worker on May 1st:
>
> Some random
> thoughts -
>
> "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James,
> and
> Joses, and of Jude, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?" (NT
>
> Mark 6.3) [And typical that the girls are not named!!]
>
> At what point did
> the understanding of Joseph of Nazareth change from being
> a (presumed) widower
> with at least six children to whom Our Lady was
> step-mother, to being a "pure"
> spouse with his children actually being
> interpreted as nephews and
> nieces?
>
> I am discounting the (Protestant ?) theory that the above brood of
>
> half-a-dozen were Mary's subsequent children.
>
> It is an interesting number
> of Joseph's children 4 boys and at least 2
> girls.
>
> ("Blessed is he that hath
> his quiver full of them." ie children. (Psalm
> 127.5)  IIRC the classic
> Israelite quiver held six arrows.)
>
>
> I know that La Sainte Paternite is a
> minefield!! (But I like kicking a few
> mines!)
>
>
> Brenda M. Cook
> Independent
> Scholar
>
>
> **********************************************************************
> To
> join the list, send the message: subscribe medieval-religion YOUR NAME
> to:
> [log in to unmask]
> To send a message to the list, address it
> to:
> [log in to unmask]
> To leave the list, send the message:
> unsubscribe medieval-religion
> to: [log in to unmask]
> In order to report
> problems or to contact the list's owners, write
> to:
> [log in to unmask]
> For further information, visit
> our web site:
> http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/medieval-religion
>
>   
>
> **********************************************************************
> To join the list, send the message: subscribe medieval-religion YOUR NAME
> to: [log in to unmask]
> To send a message to the list, address it to:
> [log in to unmask]
> To leave the list, send the message: unsubscribe medieval-religion
> to: [log in to unmask]
> In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
> [log in to unmask]
> For further information, visit our web site:
> http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/medieval-religion
>

**********************************************************************
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