Talk:Joseph (Genesis)

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This file on the top right seems to contain a faulty transcription, as the letters are "yud", "waw", "tsamech" and "feh"; which would be transcribed as j/ywsf, or more accurately, Yosef. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:29, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Why is this even here?
This emblem (and all the corresponding emblems that are found on each Wiki page of Joseph's 11 brothers) should be removed. This emblem (and the other ones mentioned) have no historical connection to Joseph and its only purpose is decorative (not appropriate for Wikipedia). The language is also likewise inappropriate as this appears to be in Spanish (or closely related to it). Unless someone can demonstrate a good reason why we should keep these on these pages, I say we remove them. (talk) 19:42, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Is there any disagreement with removing these emblems? — al-Shimoni (talk) 23:08, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Literary Attributes[edit]

Whatever the significance of these narratives may be in the context of religious doctrine or historical value, they at least display skillful authorship. For example, a Classic Story that has been almost synonymous with the interpretation of dreams very likely also wields the metaphor skillfully.

For instance, this section of Genesis from Jacob's marriage to Tamar to Joseph all use the device of cloaking and uncloaking. The technique of having the identities of the characters concealed and then revealed repeatedly is an unmistakable literary theme. The cloak becomes the metaphor, perhaps, of how love, intellect and potential are often camouflaged by superficial appearances.

Some of the other (biblical) writings that use symbolisms (dreams and visions) have the main character or author portrayed as a prisoner (Joseph), captive (Daniel) or exile (Ezekiel and John(Patmos)). The extensive use of symbols may have protected the authors from their captors. The prophecies were open to interpretation, thus the interpreter could not be accused of being seditious. Persons in such dangerous circumstances had to be skillful editors.

This is not intended to diminish the doctrinal value of the text, contraire mes amies...., but rather to help focus on the ingenious authorship of the passages.

I hope proper WIKI-etiquette is such that this section will not be removed without at least a brief explanation. My previous contribution was unceremoniously deleted....pity.[23:49, 16 December 2008 Pete318 (Talk | contrib.) (10,862 bytes) (→Context and Structure of the Narrative]

Pete318 (talk) 18:56, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Joseph commodity trader[edit]

Many of us trade Commodities. Joseph was the greatest commodity trader of all time. I could not care less if he wore a Technicolor cloak. We will be making a reference to him in futures history. There needs to be some distinction as to who he is and what he did that was significant. If it was not for Joseph’s commodity trading there would probably be no land surveying, or property tax. So how are we going to know what Joseph it is if you continue to hide him in a hole in the desert.


Accordingly he was sent for, and he interpreted Pharaoh's dream as foretelling that seven years of abundance would be followed by seven years of famine and advised the king to appoint some able man to store the surplus grain during the period of abundance. (Gen. xli. 1-52).

During the seven years of abundance Joseph amassed for the king a great supply of corn, which he sold to both Egyptians and foreigners (Gen. xli. 48-49, 54-57).

Joseph (Hebrew Bible)

He appeared before Pharaoh and told him in the name of God that the dreams forecasted seven years of plentiful crops followed by seven years of famine. He advised Pharaoh to make a wise man commissioner over the land with overseers to gather and store food from the seven years of abundance to save for the years of scarcity.

Joseph traveled throughout Egypt, gathering and storing enormous amounts of grain from each city. [1]

According to Joseph's interpretation, there were to be seven years of plenty in Egypt, followed by seven years of famine. Joseph was able to advise the Pharaoh on how to prepare for the famine and as a result gained the favour of the Pharaoh who promoted him to Prime Minister.

During the famine Joseph had to make key decisions. His acquisition of grain provisions enabled Egypt to withstand and survive the famine. [2]

“Just as Joseph had predicted seven years of abundant harvest were followed by seven years without any rain, and there was great famine throughout all of the land of Egypt and in all of the countries nearby. The land where Israel and Joseph's eleven brothers lived also had no rain and great famine until there was nothing left to eat.

Joseph sold grain to the people of Egypt until they had no more money to buy grain. Then the people sold through Joseph to Pharoah all of their lands so that they could have grain to eat. Then the people sold themselves and their children as slaves to Pharoah so that they could eat. Finally Pharoah owned all of the money, land and people in Egypt except for the money and lands of the Egyptian priests who always received free food from Pharoah according to their previous agreement. “ [3]

Joseph was ruler and governor of all the land. [4]

He predicted 7 years of good harvest followed by 7 years of famine. Joseph recommended that Egypt make great stores of food to prepare for the famine. [5]

What part of these is not predicting and betting everything on the future value of commodities?

=====Genesis 41=====

33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years. 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.

41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt. 46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.

53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. 54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. 56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: and Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.

57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands. [6]

Joseph, son of Jacob, biblical commodities Trader who cornered the grain market. Joseph’s gained control of all the money, land and people in Egypt.

-oo0(GoldTrader)0oo- (talk) 23:54, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


Reposted it as suggested. I figured if they wanted to ignore the “patron saint of commodity traders,” and cover it up with some holier than thou stuff, that was there business. It tells more about the posters than it does about Joseph.

“As a ruler, Joseph changed the system of land-tenure in Egypt. The famine being severe, the people first expended all their money in the purchase of corn, then they sold their cattle, and finally gave up their land. Thus all the cultivated land in Egypt, except that of the priests, became the property of the crown, and the people farmed it for the king, giving him one-fifth of the produce (Gen. xlvii. 14-26).”

I had my say on the talk page. But it seems to me somebody should make a reference to him “cornering the market in grain and making everybody slaves.”

-oo0(GoldTrader)0oo- (talk) 00:56, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

"Goldtrader" makes a good point, eventually. The ability to stockpile or store commodities is a major tactic in making a profit. If the stockpiles are large enough, the investor may actually influence the price. However stockpiles are risky projects especially with perishables. If the Egyptians had lost the grain due to rot, investation or corruption Joseph and his predictions would have been in trouble. Even if the years of prosperity had continued (beyond seven) the "price" of old grain would have plummeted and Pharoah would have been ridiculed.

Why did Pharoah think the interpretation reasonable? Maybe he was a proponet of surplus financing, i.e. storing some profit for the inevitable cylical changes in circumstances.

As far a "making the people slaves".....slavery was not uncommon in that time. If there was a silver lining in the tragedy, at least the people had a contract with Pharoah. Instead of a collection of farms and transient nomads, Pharoah now had an obligation to protect "his" people and "his" land. Of course, a later corrupt Pharoah abused his power over the residents of Egypt, which lead to that king's downfall.

Getting back to the literary/spiritual context..... The dream discussed cattle coming up "out of the River". The "river" being the Nile was the centre of Egypt economically and spiritually:

".....The Nile played a major role in politics and social life. The pharaoh would supposedly flood the Nile, and in return for the life-giving water and crops, the peasants would cultivate the fertile soil and send a portion of the resources they had reaped to the Pharaoh. He or she would in turn use it for the well-being of Egyptian society.

The Nile was a source of spiritual dimension. The Nile was so significant to the lifestyle of the Egyptians, that they created a god dedicated to the welfare of the Nile’s annual inundation. The god’s name was Hapy, and both he and the pharaoh were thought to control the flooding of the Nile River. Also, the Nile was considered as a causeway from life to death and afterlife. The east was thought of as a place of birth and growth, and the west was considered the place of death, as the god Ra, the sun, underwent birth, death, and resurrection each time he crossed the sky. Thus, all tombs were located west of the Nile, because the Egyptians believed that in order to enter the afterlife, they must be buried on the side that symbolized death......."[7]

The Hebrew "deity", perhaps symbolized by "the east wind" would eventally challenge Egypt until the oppression of both Hebrew and Egyptian slaves/serfs ceased(?).

Interesting perspective.

Pete318 (talk) 20:04, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

"The famine being severe, the people first expended all their money in the purchase of corn..." Ouch! There was no money in Egypt until the Greeks arrived, c.300 BC. PiCo (talk) 11:00, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
I moved the comment by PiCo after my Feb 24/09 signing. With respect to the content..... one cannot take the translation of "corn" literally either, the translators probably meant the wider meaning of "corn", being cereal grains. PiCo offers no reference to his claim about "money", nor any insight into the translation of the original words.
Nevertheless an interesting perspective is found in the article "Currency". Specifically: ".....The origin of currency is the creation of a circulating medium of exchange based on a unit of account which quickly becomes a store of value. Currency evolved from two basic innovations: the use of counters to assure that shipments arrived with the same goods that were shipped, and later with the use of silver ingots to represent stored value in the form of grain.[citation needed] Both of these developments had occurred by 2000 BC. Originally money was a form of receipting grain stored in temple granaries in Sumer in ancient Mesopotamia, then Ancient Egypt....."[8]
This is very interesting. If the "money" was actually a system of receipts that the Pharaoh gave to the farmers when they delivered their grain for storage, then their "money" was not expended but rather their savings (commodity) were exhausted. If PiCo is correct then the lack of proper currency in Egypt may have lead to trading of land for other grain stored. Pete318 (talk) 22:02, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't notice this comment as this page isn't on my watch-list. There's an informative guide to the ancient Egyptian monetary system here - it says: "Until the middle of the first millennium BCE no coined money at all was used in Egypt, or anywhere else for that matter." The vast bulk of the people lived at subsistence level - they had no money and no land. (They had the right to property, but for this level of society the right was theoretical: "most Egyptians lived on the land, but few owned it"). Equally theoretical was Pharaoh's ownership of all the land: the theory was that the land belonged to the gods, and as Pharaoh was a god, the land belonged to him. More detail on the land system here. The importance of this is that in a society where there is no money and precious metals are simply another commodity, wealth tends to be calculated in land.PiCo (talk) 00:27, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Copy-editing tag[edit]

I added the {{copy-edit}} tag to this article today for the following reasons:

  • The introduction is too long, and expands on subject matter rather than simply introducing the article as a whole.
  • The arrangement of major and subsidiary headings is uneven - for example the sections Imprisonment, Viceroy of Egpyt and Revelation to brothers, in contrast to the major section Blessing.
  • The writing style varies between straight facts, commentary and supposition. There is a personal style in some places, which is inappropriate for an encyclopedic article.
  • The content rambles, a bit too long. It is not necessary to paraphrase the entirety of Genesis 30-50.
  • Many citations are missing. "Midianites and Ishmaelites are interchangeable terms." Are they? Cite a reference - and not the supposition and argument found in the paragraph which follows that sentence which, being in the introduction, is out of place anyway.

Before I go ahead and re-edit the whole thing myself, I will wait for comments. Darcyj (talk) 07:55, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

"Darcyj" makes a good point, however "commentary and supposition" are valid elements of a discussion. Such exchanges are necessary before any factual or cited entry is inserted into the main article. Although clutter can be annoying.

If the "Repost" section above is parsed, I would suggest leaving (at least) the reference and Wiki link about the significance of the Nile and it's role with ancient Egyptian Deities and religions. It has, in my opinion, no small significance with the context of the western biblical accounts of latter Genesis and early Exodus.

Pete318 (talk) 21:02, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

His title[edit]

Just one minor point: what is the original Hebrew term used to describe the office Joseph held in Egypt? The KJV uses "governor", this article uses "viceroy", some translations use "vizier". Are they all anachronistic? PatGallacher (talk) 11:54, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

שׁלּיט shallı̂yṭ means a Prince or Warlord, but King James translates it; govenor, mighty, that hath power, and ruler.

Not translated in English, but mistranslated as “this dreamer,” Joseph is called בעל החלמות, Baal Hakhalmot, Baal of the dreams. It means "the Boss of the dreams," where Joseph's Father and brothers all bowed to him. JosephLoegering (talk) 22:59, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

joseph and coat of many colors[edit]

in the end he forgives his brothers —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:50, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

rename article[edit]

Please consider renaming this article Joseph, son of Jacob as per Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Bible#standardized_way_of_naming_articles_for_biblical_persons. Lemmiwinks2 (talk) 21:17, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Discrepancies and ambiguities in Genesis 37 (Joseph sold into slavery)[edit]

This is the paragraph when I began:

One day, when Joseph was seventeen,[1] his brothers plotted to kill him. But Reuben, the eldest brother, advised them to throw Joseph into a pit, intending to rescue him later.[2] And so the brothers stripped Joseph of the coat of many colours and threw him into the pit. A caravan of Ishmaelites passed by, and Judah, another of the brothers, suggested that they sell Joseph to the merchants. But some Midianites were passing by and took Joseph out of the pit and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver; and the Ishmaelites took him to Egypt.[3] When Reuben came back to the pit he found Joseph gone. The brothers dipped Joseph's coat in the blood of a goat and showed it to Jacob, who mourned for Joseph, believing him dead.[4] The Midianites sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, and the captain of the guard.[5] (The confusion as to who brought Joseph to Egypt exists in the biblical text itself, and is also reflected in the Septuagint.) Potiphar appointed Joseph superintendent of his household.

This is what's wrong with it:

  • "A caravan of Ishmaelites passed by, and Judah, another of the brothers, suggested that they sell Joseph to the merchants. But some Midianites were passing by..."
In the Hebrew there's no conjunction - with the "but" it seems that first the Ishmaelites came along, then some Midianites. In the Hebrew the two sentences are distinct: some Ishmaelites came by, some Midianites came by, with no connection between them.
  • "[S]ome Midianites were passing by and took Joseph out of the pit and sold him to the Ishmaelites..."
This makes it clearly the Midianties who sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites. In fact the "they" is ambiguous - it might be the Midianites, or it might be the brothers, there's no way of telling.
  • "...and the Ishmaelites took him to Egypt."
The Hebrew says: "And they brought Joseph to Egypt" - i.e., it doesn't specify who "they" were. Joseph has just been sold to the Ishmaelites, so it's logical to think "they" were the Ishmaelites, but it isn't stated.
Medanites, please. And in 39:1 the text has: "Potiphar...brought him from the hand of the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there."

In view of all the contradictions and vaguenesses, I think it's best to simply reflect what the text says. But beware, because most English translations seem to "correct" the text to remove these "errors." PiCo (talk) 11:35, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. But a link to Mechon-Mamre may be appropriate.Ewawer (talk) 20:58, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
And I can agree with that. PiCo (talk) 22:14, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Almost as bad as "correcting" ancient text is "reconciling" ancient text. It says what it says. However one should have on open mind to the range of scenarios that the narrators were attempting to describe.

For example, there may have been a series of caravans passing, and there was debate as to which one that they should sell Joseph. The object was that he should have some chance of survival. It may be that they preferred to sell him to the Ishmaelites,for example, especially when it appeared that Midianites were near by. There may have been some haggling and confusion during the original trade. However the Ishmaelites may have sold Joseph back to the Midianites while in transit to Egypt or allowed them to broker a sale to Potiphar. After all the Caravans were merchants by trade.

One could speculate a little further about the rival culture of these merchants and which ones would respect Joseph more. The Ishmaelites are supposed to have descended from Hagar(an Egyptian) and Abraham while the Midianites from Abraham's last wife, Keturah. Yet some speculation persists that Keturah was in fact Hagar, who was reconciled with Abraham after Sarah's death[9]. Therefore the editors and scribes may have used the terms Ishmaelite amd Midianite interchangeably.

Perhaps the item to note that while avoiding death by his brothers, Joseph was still in danger with the merchants. The fact that he reached Egypt to an established master was an achievement (miracle)by itself.

Pete318 (talk) 19:57, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Biblical criticism section[edit]

Added this new section. It deals solely with questions of the origin of the story, since that seems to be what people here care most about, but in fact biblical scholars tend to give very little attention to that aspect these days. Anyway, comments are welcome. PiCo (talk) 11:19, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus, page not moved  Ronhjones  (Talk) 23:22, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Joseph (Biblical figure)Joseph (Hebrew Bible) — This was the name of the article before it got moved. The current name is in conflict with Saint Joseph, who might also be called "Joseph (Biblical figure)" The rationale for the (undiscussed) move was "For consistent wording," but Joseph's brother Simeon is also under Simeon (Hebrew Bible), since there is a New Testament figure called Simeon. StAnselm (talk) 00:54, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose I think the current disambiguation is more than appropriate given the figure is not considered strictly a Hebrew figure.--Labattblueboy (talk) 02:14, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Support The current title is clearly problematic since it could just as easily apply to Saint Joseph. To reply to the last comment, the term Hebrew Bible is clearly established as a neutral term for referring to what Christians call the Old Testament and Jews the Tenakh. That said, there are alternatives e.g. "Joseph (Patriarch)". PatGallacher (talk) 09:53, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Suggest If going to have a move, wouldn't it would be better to get the whole family in the same enclosure?
Currently we have:
* Reuben (bible), Judah (bible), Dan (bible), Gad (bible), Asher (bible)
* Simeon (hebrew bible)
* Benjamin, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah, Naphtali,
* Joseph (biblical figure)
Re: suggested move - soft oppose, but would be a friendly face for Simeon :) --Haruth (talk) 12:15, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Later comments[edit]

  • Support StAnselm and PatGallacher have the correct analysis, the other sincere views do not account for this analysis. Dabs need not be consistent, but "Bible" when needed and "Hebrew Bible" when the issue is OT/NT is the best answer. Please !proxy-count my vote anytime this is reopened. JJB 02:52, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Removing the name 'Joseph' from the lead[edit]

i am muslum and i now that his name is yousej not joseph and he is the son of yacob not jacob —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:39, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

We use his common name in English as this is the English Wikipedia. His name must also be the same in the article as it is in the title. The lead gives Yoseph as an alternative in any case. Dougweller (talk) 07:12, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
What Doug said, and see WP:COMMONNAME. His name as given at birth is actually יוֹסֵף ‎and not yousej or Yusuf, and, besides, the shapes of those letters have also changed in the interim. That's why what we call him in English Wikipedia is not what we call him in Quranic studies. Thanks for your help though! JJB 02:40, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

Joseph and Imhotep[edit]

Under Biblical Criticism, removed the clause saying "There are no Egyptian historical texts that ... the story of Joseph, but...".

Added two sentences under Biblical Criticism drawing attention to ideas posed in an article by Aaron Kolom entitled "Is Biblical Joseph the Imhotep of Egypt (Famine-Savior)? (Extra-Biblical Proof!)". The suggestion that Joseph's story became the story of the Egyptian official Imhotep merits distribution, based on some similarities between the Biblical story and the story of the Famine Stele. Comments welcome! October 25, 2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

What you added is unsourced - Kolom is/was a rocket scientist, Moeller may claim to be (or others may have made the claims) an archaeologist, Egyptologist, etc but I see no evidence for that. Where's your source for 'archaeologists'? Dougweller (talk) 06:32, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

You're right. I have removed the professional title "archaeologists" from the article. One writer who makes this claim is Emmet John Sweeney (see reference added 11/2/2010). His claim, of course, contradicts accepted Egyptian chronology. So it's no surprise that his basic hypothesis is a complete overhaul of accepted Egyptian chronology. (He begins with an investigation into how that chronology came to be, and ascribes it to a 3rd century Christian apologist named Eusebius of Caesarea.) It may also be no surprise, given the contentious nature of his claim, that he hasn't attained a doctorate! Elliot Svensson,, 11/2/2010.

Sweeney has a Masters in early modern history. He has no qualifications in archaeology or in Egyptology, etc. Dougweller (talk) 06:49, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

This is correct. So Sweeney's claim can only serve as a suggestion, similar to the suggestion that Chancellor Bay/Irsu is Joseph's Egyptian counterpart. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:26, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

See my change to the article on Chancellor Bay/Irsu. His identity should not be linked to Joseph without a reliable source. Elliot Svensson 11/9/2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Arabic name[edit]

Why does it say the writing of Joseph in Arabic? It does not have anything to do with Joseph except later in history, and if it says Joseph in Arabic on the wiki page, it should do so in Latin and Greek as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:38, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Certainly, Greek would be appropriate, as it's included in many other articles - Abraham, Jacob, Moses, etc. StAnselm (talk) 22:45, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
We have an anomaly which I am not particularly excited about correcting. The lead starts off describing the person in the "Hebrew Bible" which doesn't seem precise.
He's probably in the Koran and several other rewrites as well, but the lead doesn't reflect that. Anyway, that's why he's there in Arabic, I suppose. I agree with the addition of Greek regardless of what the intro says because of the translation into Greek BCE. Student7 (talk) 22:07, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm not[edit]

...sure i got your rationale here. Pass a Method talk 22:53, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Addition of the Aqdas to the lead[edit]

I have reverted an edit which added a mention of the Aqdas to the lead. It doesn't seem to be significant enough for inclusion in the lead - after all, the New Testament is mentioned either. It should be discussed here to obtain consensus before being added back in. StAnselm (talk) 22:54, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

When I say "significant" of course, I don't mean that the Aqdas isn't significant, I mean that its coverage of Joseph isn't particularly notable. StAnselm (talk) 22:55, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd say it IS notable in a sentence about religious texts which honor Joseph. Pass a Method talk 00:03, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Its also notable coz the source clearly states that Joseph is widely discussed. Pass a Method talk 16:12, 20 March 2013 (UTC)


Do you support or oppose adding the following link [10] to the lede? Pass a Method talk 09:04, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

  • I don't support adding Aqdas to the first sentence of the Lead. He's mentioned in countless other books more notable than that. ~Adjwilley (talk) 22:18, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
That makes no sense. We are speaking about religious texts, not mere books. Aqdas is a central religious text in Baha'ism. Pass a Method talk 22:20, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok, here's an example. He's also mentioned in the Talmud and the Book of Mormon, and New Testament, all religious texts. And why are we limiting it to religious texts? Just give the most notable 1 or 2, and don't try to make a list out of the 1st sentence. ~Adjwilley (talk) 22:26, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
He's also mentioned in Sahih Bukhari and Kitab al-Kafi. But the reason i did not add them is because they are already noted through the Quran. Pass a Method talk 22:29, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
If that's really the list, I'd support including it. The Talmud directly relates to Judaism, and the Book of Mormon and the New Testament directly relate to Christianity. Actually, wouldn't it be best to say he is a major figure in the Abrahamic religions and not mention specific books? Ryan Vesey 22:40, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Great suggestion by Ryan Vesey". I support his suggestion. Pass a Method talk 22:46, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I would consider Ryan vesey's suggestion to be a great compromise. Pass a Method talk 22:51, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Just to clarify, the sentence (as of yesterday) read: "Joseph is an important person in the Hebrew Bible, where he connects the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Canaan to the subsequent story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt." The way in which the Quaran and Aqdas were shoehorned in simply didn't make sense. Also, the Hebrew Bible (i.e. Old Testament for Christians) is the only book of all that were mentioned where Joseph is a major character. All the other ones (Quaran, New Testament, Talmud, Book of Mormon, Aqdas) make reference to Joseph, but they were all written later, some much later (Aqdus and Book of Mormon in the 1800s). ~Adjwilley (talk) 23:05, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually the Quran was already there yesterday. Are you in need of glasses or do you have eye-strain? Pass a Method talk 23:08, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Both :-). And I was confused by this diff. ~Adjwilley (talk) 23:11, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
It helps to lower computer-screen brightness. Pass a Method talk 23:15, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I also disagree with Adjwilleys suggestion that Joseph only being a major figure in the hebrew Bible. He's a major figure in the other scriptures too. Pass a Method talk 23:28, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Ryan Vesey suggestion[edit]

Does anyone oppose Ryan Vesey's suggestion above as "Joseph is a major figure in the Abrahamic religions." Pass a Method talk 23:33, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, per Adjwilley's comment above. The sentence specifically relates how Joseph connected the stories of Abraham and the Exodus. That is not the case in all religious texts. StAnselm (talk) 00:07, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
C'mon i made the above proposal as a compromise as the previous one is a stalemate at 2 vs 2. Pass a Method talk 00:10, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
OK. I would be happy with Joseph is a significant figure in Abrahamic religions. In the Hebrew Bible, he connects the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Canaan to the subsequent story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. StAnselm (talk) 00:24, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Cool, are you gonna make the change or shall i do it? Pass a Method talk 02:13, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm happy to, if Ryan Vesey and Adjwilley agree. StAnselm (talk) 02:19, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Ryan already agreed, so that makes it a consensus anyway. Pass a Method talk 02:22, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Umm, no - a majority is not necessarily a consensus. But my proposal was quite different to his, so I'd want his opinion on the specific wording. StAnselm (talk) 02:27, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Anyway, I'm really glad we're getting somewhere. Thank you. StAnselm (talk) 02:28, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Pass a Method talk 11:12, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
That sounds great to me. Thank you both for working out that compromise, and Ryan for the suggestion. ~Adjwilley (talk) 14:49, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
I have reservations about using the phrase "Abrahamic religions" too frequently, and on that basis offer my temporarily mild opposition to adding the phrase to the lead. I would also welcome input from Ryan and others regarding the reasons I give following to oppose it.
"Jewish/Christian", has over the years, come into fairly common usage because it is the religiously-neutral way to say "Biblical," a word which means different things to Jews and Christians. But it does, by and large, relate fairly clearly to the stories and traditions contained in the Jewish Bible. Unfortunately, in this case as in others, the Muslims and groups derived from Islam also have traditions about the individuals involved, but those traditions tend to be different from, and at times I think even perhaps directly contradict, the Biblical stories. IMHO, we do not basically give these other, more "Arab" traditions, the attention they deserve by blindly and blandly trying to summarize, and somewhat dismiss, them all by lumping them together with the broad phrase "Abrahamic religions." Also, honestly, I am myself less sure than some others seem to be that in this particular case Joseph is regarded only by individuals who adhere to these so-called "Abrahamic faiths". There may well be, for all I know, other groups of a broadly neo-pagan type, maybe Arabic(?), who describe these individuals to some degree but which are not "Abrahamic." In cases like this, I think our own interests of clarity and unambiguity are best served when we avoid misleading collective terms like "Abrahamic religion", and rather go into detail about those religions, and potentially any others, and in so doing do not give the misleading impression that "they're all alike," or at least similar, which is a reasonable early conclusion editors coming to our articles might get from reading such broad, but vague, terms. John Carter (talk) 15:19, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, John, would you mind perhaps suggesting an alternate phrasing? ~Adjwilley (talk) 15:38, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
In this particular case, based on the evidence presented, I think the current phrasing, "Joseph is an important person in the Hebrew Bible and in the Quran," works fairly well, as it seems to me, based on my limited knowledge of Bahai, that the Quranic tradition, broadly construed, probably serves as the source for the Bahai stories, and that phrasing covers both of them. Considering, so far as I know anyway, there aren't a lot of Christian traditions, other than maybe(?) a few miralce stories, about Joseph in Christianity independent of the Hebrew Bible, it seems based on what I know right now to adequately describe the topic. If I'm wrong, as I very well could be, then maybe adding some material to that existing phrasing might be the best option. John Carter (talk) 16:14, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps something along the lines of "religions based on the Hebrew Bible and the Quran", which would capture the primacy of those books without being exclusive. Formerip (talk) 20:04, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Whats wrong with the Aqdas? In a sense the Aqdas gives more prominence to Joseph since he is made analogous to Baha'ullah. Pass a Method talk 11:47, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
It's a modern text with a comparatively limited impact on world history or our understanding of Joseph as a character. Formerip (talk) 12:17, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
I also think that it would be important to indicate exactly in what context Joseph is discussed in that book. From the existing text of the article, it is hard, if not impossible, to determine if this analogy is more or less a passing reference in the book, or whether Joseph is a subject of substantive discussion in that book. Based on what I see in the article, though, that source doesn't seem to add anything to the Joseph story, simply refer to it, so there doesn't seem to be any additional information included, and there's no way, based on the current information, to tell if this analogy is even a particularly significant one in the Bahai belief system. If there were an expert on Bahai Faith around here, he would probably know more, but I don't see that historical individuals being compared to religious leaders is necessarily a significant enough matter to cause us to come to the somewhat OR conclusion that those historical individuals are themselves significant to that religion, and not just, maybe, a possible comparison that is easy and easily-understood based on that subject's broad notability. So, no, based on the text of this article as it stands, I really don't see that Joseph is significant in the Bahai Faith, and a comparison to the group's founder doesn't necessarily indicate otherwise. John Carter (talk) 16:27, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I suppose one may be obliged to add religious texts at times. We came up in some article with Josephus being used as a citation. We disallowed it because Josephus did not know any more about the (distant, even to him) religious figure than we did. He had no literary resources that are not available to us. On historical matters for Jewish religious figures, this is nearly always true for anything that postdates the Jewish Bible. Student7 (talk) 18:14, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
The Koran includes versions of stories from the Bible that differ in detail from the Bible. This implies that there were versions of the stories not in the Bible that were available to the authors of the Koran. If this were true when the Koran was written (from about 610 to 750 AD), it must have been true when Josephus was alive (30-100 AD). So maybe he did have access to written sources that we do not have, or to traditional accounts passed on by word of mouth.--Toddy1 (talk) 16:21, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
We would know about "lost written sources" as we know about "lost plays of some Greek authors."
As far as oral goes, try the "smell test. Describe one story passed down to you from your great-great grandparents, who lived perhaps 150 years ago. Can't think of (m)any? We're talking about several hundred years here. I agree that they "may" have had people who memorized tracts and passed them on, but this is not totally reliable either and there are problems with that method, as well. Student7 (talk) 17:39, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break/somewhat new proposal/synthesis[edit]

I got invited by a bot. I have never edited this article before, although I have edited heavily in related areas of religion, and have been embroiled in quite a few disputes over NPOV, etc. in said conflicts - most of the editors here will recognize me. There's been no comment on this for weeks, but it's not been closed: if true consensus has been reached, disregard my comments. Now, for my actual support/new proposal: I support some form of something like this (that is, along these lines):

  • "Joseph is a major figure in the Abrahamic religions, being mentioned in many, if not all, of the scriptures, both the main [Bible, Qur'an, etc.] and marginal [or supplementary?: Book of Mormon, the Sahihayn, Talmud, etc.], of nearly all of these religions. In the Tanakh (the Christian Old Testament [wikilinking to "Christian Biblical canons", as the Tanakh is the Christian OT of only Protestants - Orthodox and Catholics have a non-Tanakh or expanded-Tanakh OT from the LXX]), Joseph is the bridge between the earlier Patriarchs and the Exodus, which is an event of great import to Judaism, and to a lesser extent Christianity."
    • Now, specifically, I would add, but this may be controversial: "The account of Joseph in the Tanakh is the oldest/original, and all further accounts are derivative of it", which is acceptable according to WP:RNPOV, but will be resisted by believers who think their own accounts which differ from the Jewish one are inspired and "correct" the Jewish account. There is a definite dependence of all later accounts of Joseph on the one in the Bible, often even a direct literary dependence: I don't believe any serious scholarship disagrees with this.

I here attempt to synthesize the best of the above, to provide a framework for further discussion, and to re-frame the argument a bit, to possibly bypass some of the entrenched positions and talkings-past that are part of the above discussion. I welcome feedback. St John Chrysostom Δόξατω Θεώ 21:50, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

There may need to be a firm statement in the Tanakh and Pentateuch articles which make the same point. I guess the Dead Sea Scrolls confirm the Tanakh? But the dates seems close on the recording of the first two. Then the point could be made here? Just a thought. The current articles have dates but no bold claim of "eldest." Student7 (talk) 20:55, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Earliest camels dated to 930 BCE[edit]

The recent excavations in the Timna Valley dating copper mining to the 10th century BCE also discovered what may be the earliest camel bones found in Israel or even outside the Arabian peninsula, dating to around 930 BCE. This is seen as evidence that the stories of Abraham, Joseph, Jacob and Esau were written after this time.<ref name=camels>{{cite news|last=Hasson|first=Nir|title=Hump stump solved: Camels arrived in region much later than biblical reference|url=|accessdate=30 January 2014|newspaper=Haaretz|date=Jan. 17, 2014}}</ref> Dougweller (talk) 13:58, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Interesting! Considering how often the Bible has later been proven accurate on issues despite previous evidence to the contrary (the story of the discovery of the Hittites immediately springs to mind), it wouldn't surprise me if a future dig turns the clock back farther. Ckruschke (talk) 15:44, 3 February 2014 (UTC)Ckruschke


Ref this sentence.

Other scholars have made a case for the historicity of Joseph[29] pointing to recent archaelogical discoveries that support the Old Testament account of Joseph's leadership role in ancient Egypt.[30]

I think that this should be removed, the second RS does not mention archeological discoveries in connection with Joseph at all, (I note that no page number is given) and the first though claiming that scholars regard the Joseph story as fact does not name a single scholar who claims that. Baal is my Lord and Master 21:05, 21 October 2014 (UTC)