Citing an old post of mine dealing with the movie script from New Line Cinema’s The Nativity Story, someone posted the following comment, first quoting me and then offering their own words. I’m happy to oblige, as soon as there’s time. In the meantime, anyone want to [politely] weigh in here in the ComBox?
“We all know St Joseph was old, right? He was a widower with children, a man of means, by the time he became the guardian of our Lord. This is the tradition of the Church.”
Actually, that is NOT the tradition of the Protestant Church. Scripture never says anything about the age of Joseph, and Protestants have no tradition in that regard, unless it is that he was close to Mary’s age. We are also taught that the brothers and sisters of Jesus, which are mentioned in Scripture, were the product of Joseph and Mary’s marriage, not a previous marriage.
I had heard about the belief in Joseph being older, but I had never heard about his having been previously married. It is beliefs like this, which are formed outside of Scripture, that have caused a lot of the disconnect between Protestants and Catholics. If we would all come back to Scripture and believe it and form our traditions from it, then we would be One Church as Christ commands.