Saturday, December 21, 2013

Spirituality: (Dr. John J. Pilch, The Cultural World of Jesus Sunday by Sunday, Year B)

With regards to Joseph accepting Mary as his bride and wife, he writes of divorce:

“[In the context of a Mediterranean culture,] divorce is not just the separation of two partners but rather the separation of two families. In a society driven by the values of honor and shame, the family of the bride will be shamed. The bride's male relatives in particular will have to bear the shame as well as the responsibility to remedy it. Feuding will result and undoubtedly escalate to bloodshed. This must be avoided at all cost, hence the cultural rule is no divorce.”


  1. Thank you for this insight. I am aware of the honour shame culture and should have made this connection but, alas I didn't. That explains so much and reminds us that we always have to read Scripture with one eye on the culture. Blessings.

  2. We can't separate culture from faith. They are intimately tied together.