Book Reviewed By Theresa Johnson
Author, Akili Kumasi
When I hear the name Joseph, I am immediately reminded of Joseph the son of Jacob and his commonly taught journey from the pit to the palace. In all honesty, I have never heard anyone teach on Joseph – the earthy father-figure of Jesus. When I have heard mention of him, it has been within the context of the prominent testimony of Mary the Mother of Jesus, and how he “almost” divorced Mary. Joseph has always been, and to some degree remains, this elusive, unknown figure who simply made a few appearances in the life of “Mary’s” baby boy.
Author Akili Kumasi completely shatters this perception in his book, Fatherhood Principles of Joseph the Carpenter. While Kumasi acknowledges that very little information is shared about Joseph in the scriptures, he reveals how we can still learn a great deal about him by examining his relationship with Mary; taking a closer look at his journey in not only rearing Christ, his foster-son, but also in raising seven additional children of his own; and dissecting the scriptures that tell his story in historical and Jewish context. What Kumasi uncovered, in my estimation, is nothing short of astounding as Holy Spirit opened his heart to some very unique aspects of fatherhood through an even unlikelier patriarch.
In one example, Kumasi states that “Joseph trusted God beyond his own understanding” (45). He drew this conclusion by observing Joseph’s acceptance of Mary’s pregnancy, obedience to God’s directives and his commitment to the family that grew from one-foster son to seven additional children. Kumasi also identified strengths of Joseph’s leadership by noting that it was customary in Jewish culture for fathers to teach their sons their trade. He concluded that because Joseph was a carpenter it is a logical conclusion, given their culture, that he taught Christ to be a carpenter. These truths are not far-reaching when digging into the historical context in which Joseph lived.
One of the strengths of Kumasi’s book, however, is that he supports his conclusions not only with sound scriptural interpretation and biblical patterns, but he validates the historical research that adds to understanding Joseph’s life and lifestyle. He tackles the issue of manhood, righteousness, character, family and so much more while introducing readers to seven principles of fatherhood that are specific to Joseph’s life. Those principles include some of the following:
- Be a Godly Husband
- Be a Teacher
- Be a Protector
Another aspect of, Fatherhood Principles of Joseph the Carpenter, that stood out to me was Kumasi’s recognition of the contributions of his own father to his life. Many of the books that I have read along this subject lines are written by men who learned to be fathers in the absence of their own. While those books are beneficial, I have found this one to be extremely refreshing – as the overtone of loss is not present between the pages. In addition, Kumasi brings forth numerous challenges for men in that he presses the importance and necessity of having an “impeccable character” before God and one’s family.
There is absolutely no way that men could read this book and not hear the voice of God concerning the critical importance of Fatherhood. While correction is brought in a very nurturing and affirming way, I can tell you that this is not a passive or lenient book. It is truly written from a father’s heart. Readers will thank Kumasi for bringing Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, to life.
Fatherhood Principles of Joseph the Carpenter
By Akili Kumasi
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: GIL Publications (June 1, 2009)
Available on Amazon.com
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