In this thought-provoking and beautifully-illustrated volume, Jacobs invites us to reconsider the significance of Joseph of Nazareth and the role and influence he had in the life of Jesus. Relying on a careful reading of Scripture and recent archaeological studies, he challenges the historic and contemporary assumptions of those who have sought, through their writing and art, to marginalize Joseph and his importance in Christian history and the life of the church. In clear and concise language, he questions these assumptions, noting how they have diminished what Scripture actually teaches about the earthly father of Jesus. Recognizing that Joseph is often minimized or left out of religious and cultural representations of the holy family, in plays and in Christmas cards, he reminds us that as Mary, Joseph was chosen by God to care, teach, and shape the One who would bring salvation and hope to the world. In the process, Jacobs encourages us to see Joseph as Scripture presents him — as believer, dreamer, prayer, protector, teacher, husband, and father –as more than just an extra in a family picture, as more than just the other person in the picture.
Relying on new archaeological studies and biblical research, Jacobs’, Other Person, provides an accessible, scriptural and historical account of Joseph the Carpenter, the earthly father of Jesus, for anyone who wants to know more about the role and influence Joseph the Carpenter had on the background, life, and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. As such it will be of interest to all Christians who take the scriptures and history seriously and seek to know more about Joseph and Jesus– whether they be evangelical, Catholic, Pentecostal, or liberal.
The volume offers a valuable engagement with a figure in the New Testament who has been overlooked at times: Joseph. It captures the significance of Joseph in the New Testament, art, and beyond.David Ray Johnson, Regents Theological College
Jacobs illuminates a remarkably overlooked topic, the curious treatment of Joseph the carpenter in art depicting the holy family. This is a story that has been hiding in plain sight for five hundred years. Jacobs vividly details the consistent downgrading of Joseph in paintings and sculptures through the centuries and explains how this came to be.Donald Furst, University of North Carolina Wilmington
The Other Person in the Picture is a compelling investigation of Jesus’s earthly father. Jacobs walks the reader through a step-by-step analysis of Joseph’s life and relationship with his son, unraveling the story of why God chose Joseph to parent Jesus and lay a spiritual foundation so that, when God chose, Jesus could assume his role as Savior. By the end, the reader will recognize Joseph as God’s exemplar of fatherhood that we still need today.Maria J. Cahill, Husson University