Aubrey, a commenter on my last post, asked about Joseph and what ever happened to the "step"-father of Jesus? In answering this question, it became as long as another post, so I'll address it here. I'm not sure I'll have time to post everyday. (Gotta write a novel.) But I'll post as often as I can.
Okay Aubrey. Joseph had apparently passed away by the beginning of the Savior's ministry. We must assume this becuse no mention is made of him at the wedding at Cana, and also because he is never mentioned in any of the Gospels after the scene when the young Jesus was teaching in the Temple.
I suspect that Matthew or John would have possibly mentioned more details regarding Joseph in their gospels, but it is unknown whether certain "edits" were made in these texts to minimize any mention of the Savior's family. (Note that the Book of Mark is the most negative toward the family of Jesus. Mark is presumed to be the earliest Gospel and very pro-Gentile.) Starting in the second century, when the Apostacy was in full force and there were great power struggles in the Church, the Roman and "Gentile" churches made great efforts to undermine the importance of the Savior's family in Christian history. The reason for this was because the Church at Jeruslaem, as well as many offshoot Chrisitan sects, began to question the concept that Peter had inherited Preisthood authority. Many prefered to believe that authority belonged to James, the brother of the Lord. Gnostic texts go a long way to stress this point. This "claim" challenged the Church at Rome for authority, so I believe it was determined (in some secret or not-so-secret Gentile committee) to ignore or villify as much as possible the family of Jesus and their importance in the early Church. Because, keep in mind, after James' martyrdom, the Church at Jerusalem (Israel) became just as corrupt as everyone else. They continued to teach that a good Christian was also a good Jew, keeping all the rites and ordiances of the Law of Moses. Then, in the third century, we find them meeting with the "Pope" at Rome and asking that all Bishops who are not blood relatives of Jesus should be disenfrancised and kicked out of their positions and replaced with true "disponsyni" (or blood descendants of Jesus.) They also insisted that all tithing should be sent to Jerusalem again, as it was in the beginning. It's the same sin that caused a split in the early LDS Church--those who believed that the prophet could only be a blood relative of Joseph Smith. So by the second century they are all equally apostate. Nevertheless, this should not prevent us from properly honoring the family of Jesus in that time period shortly after His crucifixion, when they did extraordinary things in their efforts to build the Kingdom of God.
Sorry not to have provided any resources or footnotes. I can do so if requested, otherwise, they will be provided in the novel, "Thorns of Glory."
(c) Copyright 2009, Chris Heimerdinger