Mary had known the will of God, fearing the people, lest they should take offence at her being great with child, and should stone her as guilty of fornication, chose a companion of her own lineage, a man by name called Joseph, of blameless life: for he as a righteous man feared God and served him with fastings and prayers, living by the works of his hands, for he was a carpenter.
Such a man the virgin knowing, chose him for her companion and revealed to him the divine counsel.
Joseph being a righteous man, when he perceived that Mary was great with child, was minded to put her away because he feared God. Behold, whilst he slept, he was rebuked by the angel of God, saying ‘O Joseph, why art thou minded putting away Mary thy wife? Know that whatsoever hath been wrought in her hath all been done by the will of God. The virgin shall bring forth a son, whom thou shall call by the name Jesus; whom thou shalt keep from wine and strong drink and from every unclean meat because he is a holy one of God from his mother’s womb. He is a prophet of God sent unto
the people of Israel, in order that he may convert Judah to his heart, and that Israel may walk in the law of the Lord, as it
is written in the law of Moses. He shall come with great power, which God shall give him, and shall work great miracles, whereby many shall be saved.
Joseph, arising from sleep, gave thanks to God, and abode with Mary all his life, serving God with all sincerity.
An Islamic Perspective
The Islamic version differs greatly on this subject from the Gospel of Barnabas. In the Islamic version, there is no mention of Joseph. The Holy Quran asserts that Mary (peace be on her) was single when she gave birth to Jesus. The verses from the Quran are very inspiring and are given below:
So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: she cried (in her anguish): “Ah! would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!” But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): “Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; “And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee. “So eat and drink and cool (thine) eyes. And if thou dost see any man, say, `I have vowed a fast to (God) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.’ ” (The Quran, 19:22-26)
JESUS SPOKE AS A BABY
At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: “O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! “O sister of Aaron! thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!”
But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?”
He said: “I am indeed a servant of God: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; “And He hath made me Blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; “(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; “So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the Day that I shall be raised up to life (again)”! Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.
It is not befitting to (the majesty of) God that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a
matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is. Verily, God is my Lord and your Lord: Him therefore serve ye: this is a Way that is straight. But the sects differ among themselves: and woe to the Unbelievers because of the (coming) Judgment of a momentous Day!
(The Holy Quran, 19:27-37)
It appears that St. Barnabas was not an eyewitness to the birth of Jesus (may peace be on him). Most likely St. Barnabas included this text based on his understanding at a later time. While it is possible that Mary (peace be on her) got married sometime after the birth of Jesus, the Holy Quran does not allude to it and I am also not aware of any sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) in this regard. Nevertheless, the marriage of Mary after the birth of Jesus is irrelevant. What is important to note is that the Islamic version does not support this Chapter of the Gospel.