virgin birth, Joseph, father, parents - Luke 2:33 and Luke 2:43 - and Joseph and his mother knew not of it

Steven Avery

Luke 2:33
And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

Corruption texts by the time of Griesbach and Tischendorf.


John Hurt Greek New Testament
Luke 2:43
And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned,
the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem;
and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.


But when the feast was over, as they were returning home,
the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it,

John Gill
And Joseph and his mother
The Vulgate Latin reads, "and his father and mother". The Ethiopic version retains both his name and his relation, and reads, "and Joseph his father, and his mother"; but all the ancient copies read only "Joseph", without the addition, his father; and so the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions

Luke 2:33



ACCS - Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (2003)
Editor - Arthur A. Just Jr. - Thomas C. Odern

Homilies on the Gospel of Luke 17-4-5 FC 94.72-73**.
Luke 2:33-35 - Origen

The Virgin is a mother. This is"a sign that is spoken against.” The Marcionites speak against this sign and insist that he was not born of a woman." The Ebionites speak against this sign and say that he was born of a man and a woman in the same way as we are bom.

(this gives us an early indication of groups that would prefer the "father" text. This is on p. 72 of the book, the next ref.)


The Fathers of the Church (1996)
Homilies on Luke
Translated by Joseph T. Lienhard

For it is luke who wrote, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. For this reason, what will be born is holy. He will be called the Son of God.”' He clearly handed down to us that Jesus was the son of a virgin, and was not conceived by human seed. But Luke has also attested that Joseph was his father when he said, “And his father and mother were astonished by the things that were being said about him.”2 Therefore, what reason was there that Luke should call him a father when he was not a father?' Anyone who is content with a simple explanation will say, “The Holy Spirit honored Joseph with the name of ‘father’ because he had reared Jesus.” But one who looks for a more profound explanation can say that the Lord’s genealogy' extends from David to Joseph. Lest the naming of Joseph, who was not the Savior’s father, should appear to be pointless, he is called the Lord’s “father,” to give him his place in the genealogy.' Thus “his father and mother were astonished by the things that were being said about him”'—both by the angel and by the great number of the heavenly army, as well as by the shepherds. When they heard all of these things, they were greatly astonished.


Cyril of Jerusalem

And God’s Only-begotten Son Himself, when nailed in His flesh to the tree at the time of crucifixion, on seeing Mary, His own Mother according to the flesh, and John, the most beloved of His disciples, said to him, Behold! thy mother, and to her, Behold! thy Son[SUP]997[/SUP]: teaching her the parental affection due to him[SUP]998[/SUP], and indirectly explaining that which is said in Luke, and His father and His mother marvelled at Him[SUP]999[/SUP]: words which the tribe of heretics snatch up, saying that He was begotten of a man and a woman. For like as Mary was called the mother of John, because of her parental affection, not from having given him birth, so Joseph also was called the father of Christ, not from having begotten Him (for he knew her not, as the Gospel says, until she had brought forth her first-born Son[SUP]1000[/SUP]), but because of the care bestowed on His nurture.

Nolan on Jerome and Helvidius
... Helvidius supports a reading which is found in the Brescia and Byzantine text, against one which is found in the Palestine text and the Vulgate of Jerome. 35 He consequently not only supports the authority of the Greek Vulgate while he detracts from that of the Latin ; but by his appeal to Latin copies, he proves that the Vulgar Greek was exclusively supported by the authority of the original Latin Translation.

(needs cleanup)
,3s Luke ii. 33. o zsaii.p acre xal y pyTxf. Vat. pater illius et mater. Vulg.'luar.tpxal y nyTyf. Vulg. Joseph et mater ejus. Brix. Verc. Veron. Corb. The reading of Eusebius, which St. Jerome adopts, he defends by reference to Job. i. 4-6. “ Hier. adv. Helv. cap. ix. p. 138. “Ac ne forte de exemplariorura vcritate causeris, quia tibi stultissime persuasisti, Grcecos Codices esseJalsatos: ad Joannis Evangelium venio, in quo plenissime scribitur; ‘Invenit Philippus Nathanael, et ait illi; quem scripsit Moyses in lege, et prophet® invcnimus Jesura filium Joseph.’ Certe hoc in tuoCodicc continetur. Kesponde mihi, quo modo Jesus sit JUius Joseph, quem constat de Spiritu Sancto esse procrcatum ?” But the reading of the Greek Vulgate and Old Italick Version may be easily defended against this solemn trifling; and the refutation of Eusebius and Jerome may be effected with ease. In Joh. i. 16. the sacred historian merely relates the declaration of Philip ; in Luke ii. 33. the inspired writer speaks for himself. From Joh. ii. 11. vii. 5. it will appear that had Philip at this time declared his belief in the divinity of our Lord, it must have been by an oversight of the sacred historian. And from Luke ii. 48, 4-9, 50, it will appear that had St. Luke assigned any Father to Christ but God, it must have been by grossly confounding what our Lord had expressly distinguished. However “ foolish the persuasion’* may be deemed, the Vatican MS. and Latin Vulgate are here, I am persuaded, grossly corrupt.


Journal of Sacred Literature (1853)
W. E. T.

On the other hand, the reading of the common text occurs in the Uncials A, K, M, and all the codices which follow the Constantinopolitan recension. The ancient Peshito Syriac, the Arabic, the Persic, the Gothic, and the Italic versions confirm the textus receptus here. Some of the fathers also appear to have read it as we have it now. It appears too, from the evidence of Jerome, that so early as the fourth century it was alleged by Helvidius that the true reading, ‘And Joseph and his Mother,’ had been corrupted as we find it in Griesbach and Tischendorf." The statement contained in the reading adopted by the German critics is so opposed to the doctrine of the supernatural procreation of our Lord’s humanity, and the phraseology of the passage is so unlike what we find elsewhere in scripture, that we think few will be disposed, on the slight preponderance of ancient authority, to reject the lection of the Greek Vulgate here—supported as it is by the ancient Syriac, and the vast majority of cursive manuscripts.

The Principal Works of St. Jerome (1892) Fremantle
The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary.
Against Helvidius.
Lastly, excepting Joseph, and Elizabeth, and Mary herself, and some few others who, we may suppose, heard the truth from them, all considered Jesus to be the son of Joseph. And so far was this the case that even the Evangelists, expressing the prevailing opinion, which is the correct rule for a historian, call him the father of the Saviour, as, for instance, [4176] "And he (that is, Simeon) came in the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, that they might do concerning him after the custom of the law;" and elsewhere, [4177] "And his parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the passover." And afterwards, [4178] "And when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and his parents knew not of it." Observe also what Mary herself, who had replied to Gabriel with the words, [4179] "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" says concerning Joseph, [4180] "Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I sought thee sorrowing." We have not here, as many maintain, the utterance of Jews or of mockers. The Evangelists call Joseph father: Mary confesses he was father. Not (as I said before) that Joseph was really the father of the Saviour: but that, to preserve the reputation of Mary, he was regarded by all as his father, although, before he heard the admonition of the angel, [4181] "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost," he had thoughts of putting her away privily; which shows that he well knew that the child conceived was not his. But we have said enough, more with the aim of imparting instruction than of answering an opponent, to show why Joseph is called the father of our Lord, and why Mary is called Joseph's wife. This also at once answers the question why certain persons are called his brethren.

... Helvidius, I say, would have us believe that Joseph, though well acquainted with such surprising wonders, dared to touch the temple of God, the abode of the Holy Ghost, the mother of his Lord? Mary at all events "kept all these sayings in her heart." You cannot for shame say Joseph did not know of them, for Luke tells us, [4194] "His father and mother were marvelling at the things which were spoken concerning Him." And yet you with marvellous effrontery contend that the reading of the Greek manuscripts is corrupt, although it is that which nearly all the Greek writers have left us in their books, and not only so, but several of the Latin writers have taken the words the same way. Nor need we now consider the variations in the copies, since the whole record both of the Old and New Testament has since that time been [4195] translated into Latin, and we must believe that the water of the fountain flows purer than that of the stream.

Jerome and Helvidius
Amy Donaldson
Vol 1
Vol 2


Hesychius (vid)

"Summa Theologica" Vol 16
Luke 2:33 in the corruption text (the Vulgate has the corruption) is used to argue as an objection against the virgin birth.

In the Catena Aurea -

GREEK EX. The knowledge of supernatural things, as often as it is brought to the recollection, renews the miracle in the mind, and hence it is said, His father and mother marveled at those things which were said of him.

BEDE; Joseph is called the father of the Savior, not because he was (as the Photinians say) His real father, but because from regard to the reputation of Mary, all men considered him so.

AUG. He however might be called His father in that light in which, he is rightly regarded as the husband of Mary, that is, not from any carnal connection, but by reason of the very bond of wedlock, a far closer relationship than that of adoption. For that Joseph was not to be called Christ’s father was not, because he had not begotten Him by cohabitation, since in truth he might be a father to one whom he had not begotten from his wife, but had adopted from another.

ORIGEN; But they who look deeper into the matter may say, that since the genealogy is deduced from David to Joseph, therefore lest Joseph should seem to be mentioned for no purpose, as not being the father of the Savior, he was called His father, that the genealogy might maintain sup. its place

Steven Avery

AV Defender and Contra Writings

Will Kinney, Ken Matto and Doug Kutilek

Facebook - King James Bible Debate
Will Kinney - Sept 4, 2014
Luke 2:33, 43 “JOSEPH and his mother marvelled” or “HIS FATHER and his mother marveled”?

Steven Avery comments additions{"tn":"R"}
And more on the thread, extracts below.

Scion of Zion - Ken Matto

Doug Kutilek
Facebook - King James Version Only (Discussion)
[Reprinted from “As I See It” 7:3, March 2004]
Kutilek - 1996

Steven Avery

special attention

Frederick Nolan (above)

Burgon "a depravation of the text"

Jonathan Borland

Gavin Basil McGrath

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with referring to St. Joseph and St. Mary as the “parents” of Jesus, since Joseph was Jesus’ foster-father, and indeed reference in the TR at Luke 2:41. The Lucian qualification of Luke 3:23, “Jesus” “as was supposed” “the son of Joseph,” is contextually important. However, the corporate effect of first changing of “Joseph and his mother” (TR) to “his father and his mother” in Luke 2:33, and likewise “Joseph and his mother” (Luke 2:43) (AV & TR) to “his parents,” where two passages seem to go out of their way to say “Joseph and his mother” not “Joseph and Mary” so as to reinforce the virgin-birth, has the effect that Luke 2:33,43 in the neo-Alexandrian texts can be developed to try and deny the virgin birth, even though it does not have to be used this way. This downplays the teaching that the Son of God was “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary” (Apostles’ Creed), or “was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary” (Nicene Creed).
Erasmus - Jan Krans

Helvidius - Jerome - Wilkinson Mangling
Helvidius was good on this point, Wilkinson uses this to elevate him to a textual hero, even a Vaudois.

Thomas A. Howe contra Ehrman Martinez/Howe-AResponseToBartEhrman.pdf
Ehman and Kutilek make similar type errors, presuming the corruption tesxt.

Kenneth Willis Clark
Kenneth Willis Clark gives a textcrit explanation, (1980) including "But Origen protests that Joseph is not properly called father"

Steven Avery

This was about Luke 22:43-44 which will have its own thread.


Luke 2:43-44

And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.

is simply a case of an ultra-minority alexandrian omission. I went over some of the arguments here:

Steven Avery - April 20, 2014

And James compiled the overwhelming evidence here:
where I added the Shepherd of Hermas.

Steven Avery

various erfrors in the Doug Kutilek writing

Kutilek claims that if the original writing were Joseph, father would only arise out of virgin birth doctrinal tampering. Nonsense. First there was lots of free-form tampering in the first two centuries. And Origen even gives an explanation that it might be preferred to fit the genealogy.

Kutilek will always follow errors of Metzger and Wallace in textual excuses that do mind-reading of the scribes, in order to match the preferred corruption text. Errors of presumption are common. I plan to get back to his text after filling out some of the historical backdrop.