Milwaukkie, Oregon (PRNewswire) — Jesus Christ had a family, and what’s more, they are paramount to understanding the Gospels, says D. Paul Schulz, founder of Jesus’ Family Ministries (http://www.jesusfamilyministries.com/home.html). In his new book, “Joseph is Dead,” he argues that centuries of bias toward Jesus not having a family life have muddled comprehension of who He was when He walked the Earth.
“Mary proclaimed Jesus’s birth,” says Schulz, “and another Mary proclaimed His Resurrection. And yet millions of Easter sermons have never noted this connection, because Gospel teachings have ignored Jesus’ family. It’s ironic that family values-based Christians fail to see how Jesus lived those values in His own life.”
Schulz’s thesis is that family comes first with God and it did with Jesus also. He proposes Jesus did not study the scripture as early translators believed — but lived them out in a life centered around His family. He believes Jesus cared for his family right up to the crucifixion, when he gave the care of His mother to a first cousin. The Gospels are not hiding the death of Joseph, but they illustrate how Jesus’ primary responsibility was to provide for his family before beginning His Mission.
The denial of the importance of Jesus’ family has skewed interpretations of the Gospels for centuries, says Schulz. He notes the women at the cross are related to Jesus: His mother, Mary, stands beside her sister. Schulz states these are the same women who go to the tomb. By recognizing that these are mothers of some of Jesus’ Apostles, we can decipher that one of Jesus’ resurrection appearances is in a house of a relative. Accordingly, one can trace the importance of Jesus’ family from His birth through His Resurrection.
“Joseph Is Dead” is sure to spark conversation. “[B]y and large, this is a provocative, original contribution to Biblical studies,” according to Kirkus Reviews. Midwest Book Review adds: “…for Christian believers, there is no better book to turn to than ‘Joseph Is dead.'”
Schulz began his study of Scriptures twenty years ago after realizing that Joseph was dead when Jesus was at the cross. He came to understand that the writers of the Gospels wanted believers to understand the role Judas’ father played in Jesus’ betrayal. But, most gratifying to Schulz was seeing how the Resurrection appearances are not contradictory but cohesive and fully comprehensible when readers notice that Jesus’ family participated in them.