By this point, Mac McConnell needs no introduction. If, however, you do not know about his ministry yet, please check out my past reviews on all of Mac’s books or check out his ministry webpage, One Way Books. Joseph is the third book in the Cradle to the Cross Trilogy.
Joseph is about the step-father (the earthly father) of Jesus. We find a young Joseph looking to follow in his own father’s footsteps in the carpenter’s trade. He meets a young girl named Mary. They are set to get married when she disappears for a time. Upon finding out that she is pregnant, Joseph wrestles with whether or not to divorce her. We know from Scripture that he does not. In this novel, they answer the “problem” by moving the wedding day up.
When the census is called, Joseph and Mary head to Bethlehem to be counted. Here, they meet up with an Inn owner named Hadad who allows them to stay in the manger outside his inn. Once the child is born, Joseph and Mary stay in Bethlehem for two years before being led by the Spirit to leave for Egypt.
Though this was the last of the three books in the Cradle to the Cross trilogy to be written, I believe it should be the first to be read. Joseph ends with the family leaving for Egypt while Hadad and Bozra follow the life of this child to the point of His death. Joseph really sets up the entire trilogy in my estimation.
Also, I have given nothing but high praises for Mac’s work through his novels. That has not changed with Joseph though I do have some criticisms. For example, I struggled with the way in which Mac portrayed Joseph as understanding who this child really was. Joseph seemed to know what young Yeshua’s mission in life was to be. I am not sure why, but that really bothered me as I was reading. I kept having to tell myself that this was artistic license and nothing more, but even so, I found it to be somewhat difficult.
His handling of the pregnancy by the Holy Spirit was interesting though not unrealistic. Even so, I struggled with that as well. I am not sure why this struggle since the Bible never does speak to any of these issues per se. I did find, however, that of the four books I have already reviewed, this was the one that stretched me the furthest. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and wished I had read it first in the trilogy.
Yes, even though I struggled some with the reading of Joseph, I still highly recommend this book. If you are looking to read all three books in the Cradle to Cross Trilogy, I would suggest you start with Joseph and then move to Hadad and then read Bozra as it is in that order in the gospel narratives that we meet each character. If you are able to allow for artistic license, even with men from the Bible, then this series promises to be one you will enjoy over and over.