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Joseph’s older children?

I’m writing in regard to the response you gave to a question that was published in the August 2005 Signs. Although I have only been studying the Bible for a few very short years, I have never noted anything that would even infer that Joseph ever had any children or had been married prior to being wed to Mary.

Jimmy Padilla, Los Lunas, New Mexico

Editor’s response: You are correct that the Bible says nothing about Joseph having been married or having children prior to his marriage to Mary. However, the Bible’s silence in the matter does not rule out the possibility. The Bible says that Jesus had brothers (Matthew 12:46; John 7:3), but it doesn’t say whether they were the children of Joseph and Mary or the children of Joseph from a previous marriage. Either alternative is possible. While the Bible is also silent about the ages of both Joseph and Mary at the time they were wed, from what we know about the marriage customs of the time, it is entirely possible that Mary was quite young and that Joseph was considerably older than she. If this is correct, then it’s entirely possible that he had had a previous marriage and that there were children from that union.

Helpful article

Ed Dickerson’s article “What the Holy Spirit Can Do for You” was so practical and understandable! I am thankful that “the Spirit can communicate God’s truth to any honest heart.”

Jerrine Seery, Alvarado, Texas

God’s associate?

In his article “Universe at War” (July 2005), Loren Seibold spoke about “God’s highest-ranking associate, . . . second only to God Himself.” This was referring to Satan. I strongly disagree. Christ is and was over Satan. He is next to God. He is God’s closest Associate.

Sue Downard, Congress, Arizona

Editor’s response: The author was writing about Lucifer before his fall, not about Satan. The author’s point was that, according to Ezekiel 28:14, Lucifer was the “guardian cherub” who stood next to God’s throne, and therefore was apparently the highest ranking angel in heaven. Your statement that “Jesus is God’s highest Associate” overlooks the fact that Jesus is also fully God and part of the Trinity. Next time this issue comes up in Signs, we will edit the author’s sentence to read, “Lucifer was the Trinity’s highest associate.” That should clear up any confusion.

Evolution vs. Creation

I read the fine article on creationism by Dr. Elaine Kennedy in the September 2005 Signs. I do not understand why evolution needs to threaten belief in God. Evolution is supported by overwhelming evidence while a six-day creationism is contrary to the evidence.

George W. Wambaugh, Jr., M.D.,
member American Academy of Neurology, email

Editor’s response: For those who exclude the Bible as a source of information about God, the evolutionary theory does not threaten belief in God. However, the history of our planet as evolutionists understand it does contradict the Bible’s teaching about earth’s history, particularly regarding the origin of evil and God’s plan to save human beings from sin.

Changed by an article

I’m writing to tell you the profound impact that the article “A New Pair of Glasses” by Preethi Burkholder (September 2005) had on my life. As a father, I am faced with a similar situation [cross-cultural marriage] with my daughter, and my prejudice had a strong hold on me. Preethi’s article forced me to confront my feelings. I cannot change the world. The only person I can change is myself. The article showed me a reflection of myself and helped me to think more clearly how I should deal with my daughter. I like reading your magazine. Thank you for the wonderful article.

Name withheld by request

Preethi Burkholder’s article made the statement that “God created the land, people created the boundaries. . . . Our cultural differences don’t have to lead to genocide.” How true that is!

Fremont Nantelle, Worcester, Massachusetts

Your Thoughts

by Letters to Editor
From the December 2005 Signs  

We welcome your reaction to any of the articles or columns in this issue. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, punctuation, and space. All letters to the editor become the property of Signs of the Times®. You can write a letter to the editor and submit it online on the Letters to the Editors page.