As a practicing Christian, one of the persons I find intriguing in the Bible is Joseph, the adopted father of Jesus. There are not too many accounts regarding his life in the Gospels, and one of the most significant mysteries about him surrounds his death. Many have been curious about what happened to him and how he died. So, did Joseph go to heaven?
There is no mention of the death of Joseph in the Bible, and whether or not he went to heaven remains unanswered. The only accounts given of Joseph’s life were in the early years of Jesus. There have, however, been many narratives by several significant figures in Christian history, especially in Catholicism, that have mentioned that Joseph died a peaceful death in the company of Jesus and Mary and that he went up to heaven after his death.
Join me as I explore some of the said accounts as we try to find out more about Joseph’s life and death and to answer questions such as whether Joseph was assumed into heaven, what religious scholars believe about the eternal destination of Joseph, whether Christians believe Joseph went to heaven, and more.
As mentioned, there is no actual account of the life of Joseph after He and Mary found Jesus in the temple when He was 12 years old. For the same reason, a history of his death is unavailable in the Bible.
The Catholic Church, however, teaches in its Catechism that Joseph was pure and chaste and that God had set him apart for his role as the earthly guide and protector of Jesus. For this reason, he was granted the grace of a peaceful and happy death and was also esteemed as the carer of Jesus and a friend of God. His holiness, charity, and chastity, according to Catholic teaching, earned him a glorified place in heaven.
No, the Bible does not detail whether or not Joseph was assumed into heaven. When a person is assumed into heaven, they do not experience the physical death that affects the body. They are taken up to heaven, body, and soul.
Since there is no account of the death of Joseph in the Bible, we cannot know whether he died a natural death and was buried as Jewish people were during the time of Jesus or whether he was taken up to heaven body and soul (assumed into heaven).
In the Catholic faith, however, many venerated Saints have weighed in on the issue, and some have been quoted saying that Jesus took Joseph up to heaven, body and soul.
One such saint is St. Francis de Sales, who said, ‘And if it is true, as we must believe, that by virtue of the most holy Sacrament which we receive, our bodies will rise again at the day of judgment, how can we doubt that Our Lord caused to rise with Him to heaven in body and soul the glorious St. Joseph who had the honor and grace of carrying Him so often in his blessed arms, in which our Lord took such pleasure? Oh, how many kisses he tenderly gave him with his blessed mouth to reward, in some measure, his labor! Saint Joseph, then, is in heaven, body, and soul; there is no doubt of it.’
Some Christians believe that Joseph went to heaven. The Catholic Church, along with the Anglican Church, Orthodox Church, and several others, believe that Joseph went to heaven after his death, which is why they venerate him as a saint.
Many protestant denominations believe that Joseph is awaiting the final judgment that will determine whether or not his soul will go to heaven.
Just as Christians are divided about where Joseph went after his death, Bible commentators are divided on the same. The lack of Biblical backing leaves room for a lot of speculation, which has led to many schools of thought.
Many commentators who believe that Joseph went to heaven are of Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican faith, and many of those who do not share in this belief are predominantly of the Protestant faith.
Many religious scholars hold a firm belief that Joseph was created and sanctified for his role as the earthly father of Jesus. For this reason, they believe that he was bestowed many spiritual gifts and graces that allowed him to carry out his religious duty diligently.
These same graces placed him in God’s favor, and for having carried out his role faithfully and diligently, his place in heaven was assured.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.