Arabic History of Joseph the Carpenter

ARABIC HISTORY OF JOSEPH THE CARPENTER. An account of the life and more particularly the death of Joseph, ostensibly given by Jesus to His disciples. Joseph was presented as being advanced in years when entrusted with the care of Mary, and having already four sons and two daughters by a previous marriage. First known in Arab., it is extant also in Coptic (complete in Bohairic; fragments in Sahidic), on which the Arab. depends. There are grounds for believing that it was originally composed in Gr. (Morenz). The first part is indebted to the Protevangelium of James (q.v.), the second shows influence from Egyp. religion. The work is dated not earlier than the 4th cent. but the statement that Mary “must look for the same end of life as other mortals” is inconsistent with the doctrine of the assumption, which began to prevail in the 5th cent.


ANT 84ff. (summary); tr. in Ante-Nicene Christian Library XVI (1870), 62 ff.; Robinson, Coptic Apocryphal Gospels (1896), and especially Morenz, TU 56 (1951).

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