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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why Drag the Name of Christ's Family in the Dirt?

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


  1. So I have a question that will, most likelly, be very annoying. Is there a time line for the next book that you are working towards? In your interview that was included in the Passage to Zerehemla, I believe that the book was supposed to come out this summer. I understand many things don't go "as planned". I was just wondering how much longer we are going to have to wait(even thought the books are worth waiting for).

  2. Excellent (and embrassing) question, Nancy. I would have thought that I could have the next Tennis Shoes book finished by now. Life happened. But also the book turned out to be much more complex than first thought (that happens to me a lot).

    I'm not sure I want to give timelines anymore. It just irritates folks when the timeline is not met. I work on this novel everyday. Here's the paragraph I just wrote:

    "We bent down and began making our way into the passage. This was sort of a déjà vu moment for me. Or rather, a walk down memory lane. I didn’t recall much about when my little sister, Becky, and I climbed up through these tunnels with my parents when I was a little kid. But I did remember when that creep named Todd Finlay had kidnapped me and Becky brought us this place. I remembered when I’d fallen into an ice-cold river and hung on to a stalagmite sticking up in through the water for dear life. And I remembered when Becky, my sweet sister, touched the surface of the swirling “pillar” of energy, only to get herself sucked inside. Mary Symeon and I had clung to Becky. We’d hung on for all we were worth, thinking we were saving her life, but our efforts only got us sucked into the pillar too. And then we were all spat out in a different century.

    Yeah, memory lane. Sick memories. Awful memories. But that was the day this whole nightmare began. I hadn’t seen my mother or any other of my other relatives since that horrible day. I wasn’t exactly sure what emotions were going to engulf me as I set my eyes upon the good old Rainbow Room.

    On that day when I last saw this place, I’d embarked on a journey that had taken me to four different centuries. Four centuries and seven years. I wasn’t sure what century I even really belonged to anymore. When I was a little kid I believed I was a Nephite. I believed I belonged to the world of Mormon and Moroni. But now . . . it all seemed twisted. It just seemed like such a tragedy."

  3. I was wondering if any one had heard of the Roman description of Christ before the wedding of Cana? It is said to be written by a Roman governor where we writes a description of both Mary and Jesus. I bring this up because the governor states that Jesus is the head of the family which would go to the fact that Joseph was already dead, and Jesus being the oldest would then become the head of the family.

  4. Go Chris,
    It's wonderful to hear from you and read your blog. We are so thankful that you are doing well and are happy. Congrats on your marriage to Emily. We are huge fans of all your works. Every time our family travels out of town my children clamor over which book on CD to bring. We just finished Eddie Fantastic (for the third time) on the way to our family reunion. We can't get enough! We have gone through all the Tennis Shoes books at least ten times. These great works have inspired our family to be more diligent in scripture study. Thank you for sharing your wonderful gifts and talents with us. Any thoughts on a future project of a follow up novel to Eddie Fantastic? Your friends, Tom & Family.

  5. To Mnus794:

    When you say "Roman Governor" it sounds like Lentulus. The apocryphal Lentulus letters. These letters purport to be from a Roman Governor of Jerusalem (which already reveals that it's fiction, because Jerusalem didn't have a Roman governor. The "Procuator" was over all of Syria, which included Judea, and he was stationed Ceasarea, but I digress...) and offer very detailed descriptions of Jesus. Most scholars believe these were written in the eleveth or twelvth centuries, but it is our source for the physical description of Christ that gives him a forked beard and long hair (even though this was not the style for Jews in the First Century). Anyway, I'm not sure if that's your source, but if so, we might want to find a more reliable one.

    To Tom and Family: I have many thoughts about a follow up to Eddie. But all my thoughts right now are going into the next Tennis Shoes book. Distractions are dangerous. Like this blog. :)