What Is a “Just” Man? (Matt 1:19) – Mondays with Mounce 281
I came across another example of how word-for-word translations aren’t always translations, assuming that a translation is meant to convey meaning.
Joseph was a δίκαιος man, and as such wanted to divorce Mary quietly. But think about it; depending on your understanding of “just,” this may not make any sense. Would a person characterized as “just” ignore what appeared to be the fact that Mary had been sexually active during their engagement? (Again, we know she wasn’t, but for all appearances, she was.) A man of “grace” might not want to shame her, but a “just” man? Wouldn’t a “just” man have her stoned, which is the penalty under Jewish law?
The ESV writes, “and her husband Joseph, being a just man…