Here’s What Nobody Told You About Mary And Joseph


You’re probably familiar with the Nativity
story. But the truth about Mary and Joseph, the two
parents at the heart of the story, is often brushed aside when talking about Christianity’s
main man, Jesus. But Mary and Joseph are interesting characters. Here’s the untold truth of Mary and Joseph. In Mary and Joseph’s time, women’s purity
was valued as a currency, something that would sweeten the deal between marriage negotiations
in family. There were no paternity tests back then, if
you wanted kids that you were sure were yours, the best insurance was marrying a virgin. So imagine your girlfriend shows up after
visiting her cousin for three months with a big ol’ baby bump. You can probably picture the reactions. “Pregnant? Holy crap!” Everyone, not just Joseph, was freaking out. Mary would have been considered damaged goods
and not marriage material. It didn’t help that she was claiming this
was God’s baby. So Joseph planned to end their engagement. According to National Geographic, Joseph was
just trying to not make the situation worse. But don’t think Joseph was insensitive for
wanting to dump Mary because she was unexpectedly pregnant. Breaking up was actually the classiest move
Joseph could have made at that time. Think about the story of the Nativity as if
it happened today: A teenage girl from an extremely conservative society gets engaged,
visits her cousin, and comes back visibly pregnant. Mary was an OG and kept to her story that
the Holy Spirit had gotten her pregnant, but people were as skeptical of the idea back
then as they would have been today. “I am the virgin Mary. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.” Joseph tried to be nice about it, Matthew
1:19 describes how he planned to separate from her quietly so the public wouldn’t shame
her. But “shame her” is a nice way to say “stone
her to death.” Deuteronomy 22:21 and the surrounding verses
lay down the law that if a girl got intimate while unmarried, she would be stoned to death
for bringing shame upon her family. But Joseph didn’t want this to happen to her. Later on, the angel Gabriel visited him in
a dream and reassured him that yes, Mary actually was going to have God’s kid. So Joseph doubled down on his Good Guy stance
and took on Mary as his wife even though she was pregnant. Tablet describes how Joseph has taken on newfound
popularity in modern times as people have realized just how important he was to keeping
Mary safe. People have realized that without him, the
birth of Jesus definitely wouldn’t have happened. Shocking! “Sweet baby Jesus.” Once the angel visited Joseph and confirmed
that Mary was really going to have God’s kid, Joseph got on board immediately. But this also extended to after the birth
of Jesus. God, perhaps impressed by how cool Joseph
had been throughout this whole ordeal, sent another angel to Joseph telling him that they
had to pick up and leave immediately. He obeyed, and they fled what turned out to
be a massacre of all kids in Bethlehem younger than two years old. King Herod, whose name you may remember as
one of the more popular Sunday School villains, had sent people out to kill any child who
might be the Messiah after running into the three kings on their way to visit Jesus. Apparently he was worried about another king
trying to take his place, and you know how kings are about being kings. “I am the KING!” Joseph has been shoved aside in favor of the
Virgin Mary in the eyes of a lot of believers, since she had to carry Jesus and bear the
social stigma of the pregnancy. But that’s beginning to change. In 2003, Pope John Paull II spoke about Joseph
setting an example as someone who believed in the messages he received from God but also
stayed humble and didn’t seek attention as God’s stepdad. The National Catholic Register sang his praises
in 2011, recommending him as someone Catholics could go to for divine help in parenting. It’s explicitly stated in the Bible that Joseph
and Mary didn’t consummate their marriage until after Jesus was born and they bailed
to Egypt. Which makes sense, since Mary was pregnant
most of the time they were initially together. But even this viewpoint is pretty revolutionary
in terms of how believers view Mary. There’s a healthy group of people, mostly
Catholic, who believe that Mary never lost her virginity. Ever. The “perpetual virgin” view of Mary is used
as a way to honor her alleged holiness and purity as the mother of God. National Catholic Register points out that
people who believe this theory do so partly because of the lexicon surrounding families
at the time. Whenever men are referred to as Jesus’s “brothers”
in the Bible, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re Jesus’s brothers by blood. They could be his cousins or other family
members, or maybe even just his friends. This is another story about the life of Jesus
that may have been altered through the lens of pop culture. It’s quaint to picture Jesus learning how
to build things out of wood with his dad. It’s like they’re alluding the imagery of
the stable of his birth and his future death on a cross. It also fits the idea of Jesus’s beginnings
being humble. The Bible even tells a story of when Jesus
was roasted in his hometown of Nazareth when he came back as an adult to perform miracles. They said things to the effect of, “Wait,
how does the son of a carpenter know all these things?” In the Ancient Greek that the Bible was translated
from, Joseph is referred to as a tekton. According to A Greek-English Lexicon, tekton
can mean a carpenter or wood-joiner but is commonly used to describe any craftsman or
woodworker. Some theories allege that this means Joseph
may have actually worked with stones or larger materials. An author cited in the Telegraph claimed that
Joseph may have even been a master architect who provided Jesus a comfortable upbringing. Sorry to disturb anyone’s assumptions, but
Christ was not white. Jesus may have been played by white actors
in a lot of films, but that’s definitely not how it went down in real life. A breakdown from Live Science suggests that
if Jesus took after Mary at all, he would have had olive skin and was probably of average
height for the time. Mary probably looked like other Israeli Jews,
or maybe with a slightly darker complexion. She also would have been pretty average looking,
since the Bible goes out of its way to specifically mention whenever someone is particularly attractive,
and it didn’t do that with Mary. “I’m painting the birth of Jesus, as it was
and always will be.” “Uh, no. Here’s how you’re going to paint me. Serene, and gorgeous.” James Martin wrote in Slate that we can’t
forget that Mary was probably 14 years old at the time when she gave birth to Jesus,
something that was common for the time. She probably would have been arranged to be
married around the time of her first period. Just in case you needed your Nativity scene
to be even more awkward. Mary had it harder than most women when it
came to childbirth, even when you consider the time period. She presumably had Joseph to help her. But she had no experienced midwives, which
were available to expecting mothers back then, according to The Jewish Woman. Mary also, thanks to circumstances, had to
give birth in a smelly place outside of her own town away from her family. That would be hard on anyone. But add on a difficult labor and it becomes
a whole other story: In the Quran, Mary has to give birth with her back against a palm
tree for support. She says out loud, quote, “Oh, I wish I had
died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.” “Congratulations Mary, it’s a boy.” “And you didn’t die during childbirth like
most women during this time. It’s a miracle.” Mary has a whole chapter about her in the
Quran and is the only woman mentioned by name, according to the BBC. Her chapter talks about the birth of Jesus
and the immediate aftermath. According to PRI, it also features a story
about baby Jesus speaking up in his mom’s defense when people said she wasn’t a virgin. Guess if you have all the knowledge in the
world, you really have all the knowledge. In case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot
of paintings of Mary. The young mom of Jesus has been featured in
probably more paintings than anyone who ever lived. In a lot of these paintings, Mary’s portrayed
wearing a light blue shawl or hijab. It’s a light, airy color, not unlike the robe
worn by her son in the most expensive painting on earth, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi. But is Mary’s blue covering accurate to history? Probably not. The Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious
Knowledge confirms that clothing for women Israelites was lighter and more brightly colored
than men’s clothing. Assyrians of the time wore blue tunics as
undergarments, but that was relatively far from Mary’s ‘hood. Aleteia describes how Mary’s blue covering
is really an allusion to her purity and closeness to God. She doesn’t wear the white of a saint or the
red of a Jesus-killing emperor. Blue is the color of special woven tassels
worn by Jews in that time to remind them to follow the Commandments. In short, Mary wears blue in paintings to
symbolize that she is just that much holier than anyone else painted with her. In Catholicism, there are lots of books beside
the Bible that people debate over in terms of authenticity. Some people dismiss them outright. Other people take them in consideration alongside
the Bible. Some of these extra texts for Catholicism
are called the apocrypha writings. Catholic Culture describes them as documents
that didn’t make it to the Bible compiled by people who wanted to know more about Jesus. Even if they’re not true, they say a lot about
what people thought about Jesus and his place in the culture not long after he was alive. If these writings can be believed, Joseph
had a first wife named Melcha. According to The Catholic Dictionary, the
apocrypha states that Joseph was a widower with six children, who asked to marry Mary
after his wife died. This fits the pop culture image of Mary being
much younger than him. It also fits with the idea of Mary being a
perpetual virgin but Jesus still having brothers and sisters. They could have been step brothers and sisters. If it’s true, it provides a very different
image of Joseph: An older guy who’s already done the marriage and babies thing who has
this new wife who’s pregnant somehow. But he still steps up to be stepdad of the
year. One of the most consistent parts of the Nativity
story is that Mary had to give birth to Jesus in a stable full of animals. The town was full of people coming to Bethlehem,
and apparently no one was nice enough to let a heavily pregnant woman take their adjoining
suite. So they took the only space available. Now, people of that region at this time didn’t
keep animals in stables the way we do today. Think of a home in biblical times as the ultimate
open concept home: People would sleep up in what was essentially the second floor while
doing chores and other everyday work on the base floor. The base floor was also where the animals
were brought in at night. Newsweek reported that this was likely where
Jesus was born, not in an entirely separate structure built outside of a house. What most likely happened was that Joseph
showed up at his extended family’s house, was told that there wasn’t enough room in
the sleeping quarters for Mary to give birth, and so they had to make do with the gross
basement where the animals hung out. It wasn’t so much people being monsters to
a pregnant woman as much as Joseph’s cousin Fred arrived early and scored the last couch. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about Bible
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