🔼The name Joses: Summary
- Increaser, May He Add
- From the verb יסף (yasap), to add, increase, or repeat.
🔼The name Joses in the Bible
The name Joses is a variant of the name Joseph, and many modern translations don't even read Joses but go straight with Joseph. Older translations mentions a few men named Joses in the Bible, but it isn't clear how many. The following list may overlap (and see our article on the name Mary for a possible reason for this overlap):
- A brother of Jesus, James, Simon and Judas (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3).
- Someone associated with a certain Mary "of Joses". This Mary observes Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus prepare the body of Jesus (Mark 15:47). Earlier that day, some Mary "of-James-Mikron-and-of-Joses-the-mother" watched Jesus die on the cross from afar (Mark 15:40, Matthew 27:56) and two days later, one Mary "of James" tends to Jesus' tomb. If this Mary is indeed the same one, her epithets ostensibly change, which suggests that her character and functionality depend on the progression of the story.
- A colleague apostle of Paul (Acts 4:36). This Joses was a Levite of Cyprus, and the other apostles named him Barnabas. Barnabas was a cousin of John Mark (Colossians 4:10), whose mother was called Mary (Acts 12:12). Jesus' and James' also have a cousin, also a Levite, namely John the Baptist, and the story of Joses and James is obvious larger than meets the eye. Also note that one of the two candidates to replace Judas Iscariot was both called Joseph and Barsabbas (Acts 1:23).
The name Joses occurs 6 times in the New Testament; see full concordance, not counting the controversial Jose mentioned in the Lucan genealogy of Christ (Luke 3:29, Young and King James Version only). That name is supposedly a truncated version of the name Joses, but its genitive form is identical to the genitive of Joses.
🔼Etymology of the name Joses
The name Joses is a variant spelling of the Greek name Ιωσηφ (Joseph), which in Hebrew is יוסף. And the Hebrew name Joseph comes from the verb יסף (yasap), meaning to add or increase:
The verb יסף (yasap) means to add, increase or do again. It curiously has no [extant] derivatives.
For a meaning of the name Joseph, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads two meanings: (1) Increaser and (2) May He (Yahweh) Add, assuming that the action of the verb is carried by YHWH. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) reads He Shall Add. Spiros Zodhiates (The Complete Word Study Dictionary — New Testament) translates the name Joseph with May God Add, but note that the "God" part is not really an actual part of our name, just implied. And BDB Theological Dictionary translates the name Joseph with He Adds, Increases.