Okay so there is an apocryphal gospel called The Protevangelion in which the author claims to be James, the step brother of Jesus, and he writes about the birth and life of Mary leading up to the birth of Jesus. Now why do I mention any of this? Simple, the other day I was scanning through the radio stations and caught some program about it being Mary's birth and how she is the mother of all of us or some such. Now I'm not going to go into the story of this gospel much. I just want to state one thing from it. Chapter 7 describes how Mary and Joseph met and it states that she was twelve years old and he was "an old man."
Now as apocrypha its not part of the Christian canon and therefore not part of the official story, but it was what people of that time, and Wikipedia says that time was roughly 150AD, believed and accepted as true. So when exactly I wonder did the tradition become what is so often depicted around Christmas time of Joseph and Mary being the same age, of what roughly mid-twenties?
At one time I had the links for a Jewish story about the birth of Jesus that some one wrote to counter the Christian movement. In that story Miriam (that's Mary's real name for those who don't know) was raped by a Roman soldier before her marriage to Yosef (Joseph's real name) and gives birth to Yeshua (Jesus's real name, which everywhere else in the English bible gets translated to Joshua). Anyway they flee to Egypt and there Yeshua learns some Egyptian magic and they come back to Judea and he some how steals the Name of God which gives him power to preform all sorts of tricks and false miracles, etc. It is an anti-Christian story after all so he's portrayed as a bad guy.
What's the point of me bringing that up? Well mostly to show there are all sorts of stories out there and there really is no way for us to know what really happened. The victors get to write the history after all. And so that if there is anyone out there that knows this story they can point me back to it.
Many of the failed Christian believes are actually quite interesting. The ones that got declared heretical by what later became the Catholic Church. What most people fail to understand is that an organized church didn't just spring up after the resurrection. It took centuries before it become what exists today. In the beginning there were many competing ideas and believes all claiming to be the true teachings of Jesus.
And maybe some future post I'll will write about some of them. For now I'm tired and I feel I've probably already stirred up the hornets' nest enough for one day.