This entry is for a Biblical Person, based on a historical interpretation of the bible. See biblical.htm for more details.

Joseph (Ἰωσήφ) (Gospel)

M, #2400111
Father*Jacob (Ἰακώβ) (Mt 1)1
Relationship9th cousin 49 times removed of Robert Michael Damon

Names and TItles

Greek: Ἰωσήφ (Iōsḗph) G2501, from Hebrew H3130, means Let him add.
Joseph (Ἰωσήφ) (Gospel) was the son of Jacob (Ἰακώβ) (Mt 1).1 Joseph married Mary, daughter of Heli (Luke 3).
Differing Genealogies of Matthew and Luke

The books of Matthew and Luke both present a genealogy of Jesus, and while they match in the early line, they differ significantly (almost totally) in the later parts of the line. There are several theories that have been proposed through history of how to resolve this.

1) Some have proposed that this is proof that all of this has just been made up. For this work I am rejecting this option, as it is based on the theory that the Bible can be treated as a fairly reliable work.

2) A second theory is that Joseph became adopted as a child, and thus had two distinct 'fathers', one biological, and a second a legal line.

3) Another theory is that one of the genealogies is that of Joseph, and the other is of Mary. When using this theory, most make Matthew the Joseph line and Luke the Mary line.

Luke's genealogy follows the Jewish tradition of not mentioning women, (Matthew breaks that tradition several times). In Luke's genealogy, Joseph's listing is different in two ways, one, it includes the phrase 'so it was thought' and two, every other name in the genealogy is preceeded by the definite article, but Joseph's was not.

A second theory to adopt Luke as the line of Mary would be if Mary was the eldest child of her parents, and had no brothers, then Jewish law would have a kinsman marry her, and the first child would be considered legally of the line of her father, not the father's line. Joseph could have been chosen as that kinsman.

The work uses the assumption that the Lukian genealogy is of Mary.
CHRONOLOGY of the life of Jesus

Dating the Birth of Jesus
While we have no definative date given to determine when Jesus was born, we do have some events to give us an estimate.

  1. From the Nativity accounts, we are told that Jesus was born during the reigh of King Herod I 'the Great', who is generally agreed to have died about 4 BC, or possible in 1 BC.

  2. From the start of his ministry. It is stated that Jesus was 'about 30 years old' when he started is ministry 2

  3. One point that goes against this dating is Luke's mention of the Census of.3
Jewish Marriage Customs

The Jews had a somewhat involved set of customs for marriage in this period (and for most of their history). The couple went through a number of stages:

1) Typically, the fathers would introduce the Boy and the Girl to each other when they were young to get to know one another and to see if they are comfortable together. This as an informal process, and often fairly short.

2) If it seems that things may work out, the Girls family would "Promise" her to the Boy and his family. This was not a legally binding agreement, but wasn't taken likely.

3) Betrothal, when the girl has grown to a young lady and the Boy a young man, and starting to establish himself, the Boys father works out and pays the Girls father the Bride Price, (in effect buying her). At this point, for most purposes they are legally married, but for a period of typically 6-12 months, the bride still lives with her family, and no 'marital relations' occur. This is a time of proving and validating their worthiness. This is the state of Joseph and Mary when Mary was meet by the angel and became with child by the power of the Holy Spirit.

4) At a later point, typically 6 months to a year later, the Groom would come and claim his bride and take her into his home, and they become fully man and wife. This is likely what occured in Mathew 1:24-25, though the marriage wasn't consumated until after Jesus was born.

Mary (who was betrothed to Joseph) was told by Gabriel that she would give birth to a son, Jesus by the Holy Spirit (Bible), and was told that her relative Elizabeth was six months pregnant.4 When Joseph discovered that Mary was with child through the Holy Spirit (Bible), he first had mind to divorce her quietly, but an Angel of the LORD (Bible) came to him and reasured him, so he took Mary to be his wife, but did not have union with her until after she gave birth.5 Joseph and Mary went to Bethleham, Judea, to register for the census called by Caesar Augustus (during the rule of Governor Quirinus of Syria (Luke 2).)6 Joseph (Ἰωσήφ) (Gospel) became the father of Jesus c 6 BCE ; One theory, based on astrologically significant events places it at about April 17, 6 BC.7,8
An Angel of the LORD (Bible) appeared to the shepherds (Luke 2) that were living in the fields near Bethleham and announced the birth of Jesus. The shepherds then went off and found Joseph and Mary with Jesus lying in the manger. They spread the word of what they had seen and heard, and all were amazed at this.9 Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day and he was given name Jesus, as the angel had named him.10
After the Magi left, an Angel of the LORD (Bible) sppeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Jesus and Mary to escape to Egypt because King Herod I "the Great" of Judea (Ἡρώδης) (Mt 2) was going to try and kill Jesus.11 King Herod I "the Great" of Judea (Ἡρώδης) (Mt 2) died Mar/Apr 4 BC Jericho Other authorities suggest more like 1 BC.12,13
After King Herod I "the Great" of Judea (Ἡρώδης) (Mt 2) died, an Angel of the LORD (Bible) appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him it was safe to come back. So Joseph, Mary, and Jesus came back to Israel. On finding that King Herod Archelaus (of Judea) was on the throne, Joseph was afraid, and withdrew to the district of Galilee, and the town of Nazareth.14

5 Children of Joseph (Ἰωσήφ) (Gospel) and Mary (Μαρία) (Gospel), daughter of Heli (Luke 3),

ChartsDescendant Chart for God (#1)
Descendant Chart for God (#2)
Indented Descendant Chart of God (#1)
Indented Descendant Chart of God (#2)
Pedigree of Jesus Christ
Indendented Pedigree of Jesus Christ

Scriptures (References)

Book VerseTitle
Book of Matthew in the BibleMatthew 1:1-17The Genealogy of Jesus.
Book of Matthew in the BibleMatthew 1:18-24The Birth of Jesus Christ.
Book of Matthew in the BibleMatthew 1:25The Birth of Jesus Christ.
Book of Matthew in the BibleMatthew 2:13-15Escape to Egypt.
Book of Matthew in the BibleMatthew 2:19-23The Return to Nazareth.
Book of Matthew in the BibleMatthew 13:53-58A Propher without Honor.
Book of Luke in the BibleLuke 1:26-38The Birth of Jesus Fortold.
Book of Luke in the BibleLuke 2:1-7The Birth of Jesus.
Book of Luke in the BibleLuke 2:8-20The Shepherds and the Angels.
Book of Luke in the BibleLuke 2:21-40Jesus Presented at the Temple.
Book of Luke in the BibleLuke 2:41-52The Boy Jesus at the Temple.
Book of Luke in the BibleLuke 3:20-37The Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus.


Periscope 4 Matthew
1:1-17 Jesus' ancestry back from Abraham Abraham (אַבְרָהָם) (Genesis), Isaac (יִצְחָק) (Gen 21-35), Jacob (יַעֲקֹב) (Gen 25-50), Judah (יְהוּדָה) (Gen), Perez, Zerah (Gen 38, 46), Tamar (Gen 38), Hezron (חֶצְרֹון), Ram, Amminadab (Exo, Num, Ruth), Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (Ruth), Obed, Ruth (Ruth 1), Jesse (אִישַׁי), King David of Israel, King Solomon of Israel, Uriah the Hittite, King Rehoboam of Judah (1 Kings), King Abijah of Judah, King Asa of Judah, King Jehoshaphat of Judah, King Jehoram of Judah, King Azariah of Judah, King Jotham of Judah, King Ahaz of Judah, King Hezekiah of Judah, King Manasseh, King Amon of Judah, King Josiah of Judah, Jeconiah, Shealtiel (1 Chron 3), Zerubbabel (1 Chron 3), Abiud (Ἀβιούδ) (Mt 1:13), Eliakim (Ἐλιακείμ) (Mt 1), Azor (Ἀζώρ) (Mt 1), Zadok (Σαδώκ) (Mt 1), Akim (Ἀχείμ) (Mt 1), Eliud (Ἐλιούδ) (Mt 1), Eleazar (Ἐλεάζαρ) (Mt 1), Matthan (Ματθάν, Matthán) (Mt 1), Jacob (Ἰακώβ) (Mt 1), Joseph (Ἰωσήφ) (Gospel), Mary (Μαρία) (Gospel), Jesus the Christ (Ἰησοῦς) (NT), Babylon (Βαβυλών) and Christ (Χριστός).15 Periscope 10 Matthew
1:18-24 An Angel appears to Joseph Jesus the Christ (Ἰησοῦς) (NT), Mary (Μαρία) (Gospel), Joseph (Ἰωσήφ) (Gospel), Holy Spirit, Angel of the LORD (Bible), David and Immanuel (Ἐμμανουήλ).15 Periscope 17 Matthew
2:13-18 Joseph takes his family to Egypt Egypt; Angel of the LORD (Bible), Joseph (Ἰωσήφ) (Gospel), Egypt, King Herod I 'the Great', The LORD (Lord), Lord, Magi, Bethlehem, Jeremiah, Ramah and Rachel.15
Last Edited29 Sep 2023


  1. [S3] International Bible Society, editor, The Holy Bible, New International Version (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), Mt 1:16. Hereinafter cited as NIV.
  2. [S3] International Bible Society, NIV, Luke 3:23.
  3. [S260] Wikipedia, online,
  4. [S3] International Bible Society, NIV, Luke 1:26-38.
  5. [S3] International Bible Society, NIV, Matthew 1:18-25.
  6. [S3] International Bible Society, NIV, Luke 2:1-5.
  7. [S3] International Bible Society, NIV, Luke 2:6-7.
  8. [S3] International Bible Society, NIV, Matthew 1:25.
  9. [S3] International Bible Society, NIV, Luke 2:8-19.
  10. [S3] International Bible Society, NIV, Luke 2:21.
  11. [S3] International Bible Society, NIV, Mt 2:13-15.
  12. [S260] Wikipedia, online,
  13. [S305] There is some argument over the date of his death, but 4 BC is the majority opinion. Josephus remarks that it was after a lunar eclipse and before a Passover, and such an eclipse occured on March 13, 4 BC, and the Passover would be the following month. There was also eclipses in 1 BC (and the one on Dec 29, 1 BC would have been a more memorable eclipse). This dating would put the birth of Jesus closer to the BC/AD line, and his age closer to 30 when he started his ministry.

    The 4 BC date, matches better with Herods reign being 37 years from his appointment in 40 BC, and when his sons are recorded as taking over.
  14. [S3] International Bible Society, NIV, Mt 2:19-23.
  15. [S308] Sean Boisen, Author, The Composit Gospel (Bellingham, WA: Faithliife, 2019).