Joseph, the husband of Mary

In Christian belief, the foster father of Jesus, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit without a human father. According to the Gospels, Joseph, the husband of Mary, was a carpenter; people occasionally called Jesus “the carpenter's son.” Jesus apparently learned that trade at Joseph's side.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.