Joshua ben Joseph
This is the story of Joshua ben Joseph – a carpenter, teacher and martyr who lived 2000 years ago in the Palestinian region of the Mediterranean. He gave up everything, including his life, to bring a simple message of brotherly love and Fatherly devotion to the world.
Joshua portrayed God as the Father of all mankind. He taught a religion of tolerance, peace and love based on the relationship between the child of God and his Father in Heaven. Joshua taught that a child of God would be so transformed by this relationship that he would spend the rest of his life in the service of God and Man.
These writings are taken from the four known accounts of Joshua which were written after his death by those who were close to him and had their lives forever changed by this humble, nomadic teacher who taught that a life of pursuing God was the most joyous adventure known to human beings.
A Note about translation
This book uses the direct translation from Aramaic to English of the name of the carpenter’s son, Yeshua ben Yusef, which is Joshua ben Joseph when translated into English.
Table of Contents
In the Beginning
Chapter 1 The Birth of Joshua
Chapter 2 Fishers of Men
Chapter 3 Preach, Teach, Heal
Chapter 4 Parables
Chapter 5 The Son of God
Chapter 6 The Beginning of the End
Chapter 7 Jerusalem
Chapter 8 Farewell
Chapter 9 Betrayal
Chapter 10 The Trial
Chapter 11 Crucified
Chapter 12 Back from the Dead
In the Beginning was the Word
IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.
There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. The same came as a witness, that he might testify about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but was sent that he might testify about the light. The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own, and those who were his own didn’t receive him. But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about him. He cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me.’” From his fullness we all received grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth were realized through Joshua the Messiah. No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
The Birth of Joshua
Gabriel Visits Mary
THE angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth to Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
But she was greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of a greeting this might be.
And the angel said to her,“Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will bear a son and you shall call his name Joshua. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and of his kingdom there will be no end. Your kinswoman Elizabeth has also conceived a son. And the power of the Most High will overshadow you.”
And Mary said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
MARY arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah, and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She called out with a loud voice, and said,“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy! Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!”
“My soul magnifies the Lord.
My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
for he has looked at the humble state of his servant.
For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed.
For he who is mighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name”
Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her house.
Birth of John the Baptist
NOW the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zacharias after his father, but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.”
And the child grew and became strong in spirit. And he was in the wilderness till the day of his public manifestation to Israel.
The Birth of Joshua
NOW in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken of the whole empire. This was the first census made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to David’s city, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant.
While they were there, the day had come for her to give birth. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn.
When eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Joshua, which was given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
The Angels Sing
THERE were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.
Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest. Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all men.”
The Wise Men
NOW when Joshua was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled. And when he had gathered the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Messiah should be born. They said, “In Bethlehem of Judea for this is written through the prophet,
‘You Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are in no way least among the princes of Judah:
for out of you shall come a governor,
who shall shepherd my people, Israel.’”
Then Herod secretly called the wise men, and inquired of them what time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, “Search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word, that I may come and worship him also.”
The wise men departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it stood over where the child was. They rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they saw the child with Mary his mother, they worshiped him: and they opened their treasures, and presented to him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, the wise men departed into their own country another way.
At the Temple
WHEN the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Joshua, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law, then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
“Now you are releasing your servant, Master,
according to your word, in peace;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;
a light for revelation to the nations,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him.
There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher who didn’t depart from the temple, worshiping with fastings and petitions night and day.
Coming up at that very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem.
Egypt and Nazareth
JOSEPH arose, took the child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: and was there until the death of Herod.
When Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Arise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel.
But Joseph heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of his father Herod: he was afraid to go there: he turned aside into the district of Galilee: and he came and dwelt in Nazareth.
The Boy Joshua
THE child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. When Joshua was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
They fulfilled the days, and as they returned, the child Joshua stayed behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. They, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey and then they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances. When they found him not, they turned back to Jerusalem, seeking him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking questions. All that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
His mother said to him, “Son, why have you thus dealt with us? Behold, your father and I have sought you sorrowing.”
Joshua said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Know you not that I must be about my Father’s business?”
And they understood not.
He went down with them to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
And Joshua increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.