Bible Study Moment: Joseph

I’m going to focus on Joseph this time. Matthew 1:20 says that an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream saying to go ahead and marry Mary. I imagine Joseph pondering what to do, sleeping on the decision, with this dream happening multiple nights.

Luke 2 states that there was an enrollment to be taxed by the Roman Empire. I’ve read that historians cannot find any other records of this enrollment decree. Could this be the story that Joseph and/or Mary told others to explain their journey to Bethlehem?

Then in Matthew 2, it seems that Joseph has decided to leave Nazareth and move to Bethlehem. They are still in Bethlehem and living in a house when the wise men arrive which may have been more than 2 years later, since King Herod decides to kill all the boys 2 and under. (I’m taking 2 to mean they haven’t turned 3 yet.) And when they return from Egypt, they come back to Judea, where Bethlehem is, and after Joseph starts worrying that Herod’s son, who is now king, might also want to kill Jesus, then that is when the family goes to Nazareth in Galilee.

Here’s a little lesson about geography: Galilee, where Nazareth is, is in the north; south of Galilee is Samaria; and south of Samaria is Judea, where Bethlehem is.


Mark Phillips