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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Joseph of Arimathea

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The name Arimathea denotes probably the place where Joseph was born, not that where he resided [ARIMATHEA].

Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus—'an honorable counselor, who waited for the kingdom of God' (), and who, on learning the death of our Lord, 'came and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.' Pilate having learned from the centurion, who commanded at the execution, that Jesus 'was actually dead,' gave the body to Joseph, who took it down and wrapped his deceased Lord in fine linen which he had purchased for the purpose; after which he laid the corpse in a sepulcher which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulcher ( sq.). From the parallel passages in Matthew ( sq.), Luke ( seq.) and John ( seq.), it appears that the body was previously embalmed at the cost of another secret disciple, Nicodemus, and that the sepulcher was new, 'wherein never man before was laid;' also that it lay in a garden, and was the property of Joseph himself. This garden was 'in the place where Jesus was crucified.' Luke describes the character of Joseph as 'a good man and a just,' adding, that 'he had not consented to the counsel and deed of them,' i.e. of the Jewish authorities. From this remark it is clear that Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrim: a conclusion which is corroborated by the epithet 'counselor,' applied to him by both Luke and Mark. Tradition represents Joseph as having been one of the Seventy, and as having first preached the Gospel in our own country.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Joseph of Arimathea'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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