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I'd like to post a question on the subject of whether Jesus resembled Joseph or not. But no matter how I pose it gets closed. First I posed it this way:

Have there been any Christian writings on the genetics of Jesus?

Mainstream Christians believe that Jesus was the son of God the Father and Mary, a virgin. From a scientific perspective, this means that he would have had no genetic material provided from a male parent. So my question is, have there been any Christian writings on how this worked genetically, i.e. what we would find if we had a DNA sample of Jesus?

One possibility is that God might have arranged Jesus to be genetically like what a biological son of Joseph and Mary would have been like. Are there any Christian writings that suggest that Jesus physically resembled his adopted father Joseph? Or did he only bear a resemblance to Mary?

Note that I don't want speculation, I just want to know what Christians have already said about this subject.

This was closed as too broad. Then I posed it this way:

Did Jesus resemble Joseph?

Mainstream Christians believe that Jesus was the son of God the Father and Mary, a virgin. So my question is, did Jesus only resemble his mother Mary, or did he also resemble his adopted father Joseph?

God could easily have arranged it so that Jesus resembled Joseph, even if Joseph played no role in the conception of Jesus.

This was closed because it was a "truth question". Then I revised the question this way:

Have any Christian writers discussed whether Jesus resemble Joseph?

Mainstream Christians believe that Jesus was the son of God the Father and Mary, a virgin. So my question is, have any Christian writers discussed whether Jesus only resemble his mother Mary, or whether he also resembled his adopted father Joseph?

God could easily have arranged it so that Jesus resembled Joseph, even if Joseph played no role in the conception of Jesus.

In this form it failed to be reopened, and it was later automatically deleted by the Community bot.

So my question is, how can I post an acceptable question on this subject? I'm just trying to find out whether any Christian writers have addressed whether Jesus resembled Joseph. Is there any way to pose this question that wouldn't lead to it being closed?

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    There's a good resource on St. Joseph called "Joseph: The Man Closest to Jesus" which is pretty much an encyclopedia of St. Joseph, written by a Catholic priest. I think if there was an attempt to answer this question it would be in there. – Peter Turner Jul 28 '17 at 14:13
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Your most recent attempt was very close; it actually got six reopen votes, but they were too spread out to actually reopen the question. If it had been originally asked in its current form, then it may not have ever been closed. But I think there are ways to improve it.

First of all, remember that "Christians" for the purpose of this site includes groups that consider Jesus to be the greatest moral teacher who ever lived – and little more. To such people, Jesus was not born of a virgin, and his actual father was Joseph. So there you have an entire category of people who would say that "Jesus looked like Joseph." It might not be easy to find one of them who actually says that, but their theology strongly indicates that they would.

Second, "any Christian writers" is a very big group. That's not necessarily a problem – we close questions for being "too broad" only if there are too many answers. That said, consider:

  • Do you really care that Joe Schmo (who says he is a Christian) wrote three years ago on his blog that God did a miracle and made Jesus look like Joseph?
  • Are you actually looking for responses from people who don't believe in the virgin birth?
  • Are you interested in the views of all denominations and traditions, including ones like the Westboro Baptist Church and Christian atheism?

I suspect that after thinking about these questions, you will at the very least want to narrow your question to ask about those who believe in the virgin birth. You may also want to narrow it to a particular tradition or group of traditions. And if you want to weed out the random Joe Schmoes of the world, you could add wishy-washy language like "published theologians," or, even better, limit your inquiry to historical theologians – like "church fathers" (often a good option) or "pre-18th century theologians," for example.

In my experience it would be unlikely if questions like these got closed:

Do any church fathers discuss the possibility that Jesus resembled Joseph?

Do any pre-Reformation Nicene theologians discuss the possibility that Jesus resembled Joseph?

Do any published Catholic theologians discuss the possibility that Jesus resembled Joseph?

In all of these it should be obvious that you are assuming a literal virgin birth, but it would still be worth mentioning that in the body of the question.

One last comment – if it turns out that there were actually many such sources (which is possible), then you might have to reframe your question as an "overview" question, like I had to when I asked about opposition to authorities in the early church.

  • I don't think we should ever give the Westboro Baptist Church as an example of a relevant denomination - they are only 40 people, and they're only notable because the media has decided they are, not because they're inherently notable. – curiousdannii Jul 28 '17 at 16:10
  • @curiousdannii I'm fine with taking that out, but I think there are downsides associated with other examples I'd choose. It'd help if I understood better what your concern is; feel free to ping me in chat. – Nathaniel Jul 28 '17 at 17:31
  • Actually, I thought the use of WBC as an example of a potentially extreme opinion outside the scope of what I as an OP intended for an answer was apropos. – JBH Jul 29 '17 at 15:18

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