For the sake of clarity, from this point forward, I'll refer to that Joseph as 'Saint Joseph' whenever a distinction is required. Otherwise, he'll simply be referred to as 'Joseph'.
It is commonly believed that Joseph was Jesus' legal-father. As his legal-father, Jewish custom would have obligated him to take charge of Jesus' body after crucifixion. This role is instead performed by Joseph of Arimathea, a character otherwise left unmentioned in the Gospels - one who curiously shares the same namesake.
It is taken for granted that these two Josephs are indeed two Josephs - entirely different people. Do we have good reason for this ubiquitous assumption? Well unlike Saint Joseph, Joseph of Arimathea is given a surname to help differentiate him. Additionally, while Saint Joseph is described as a carpenter, Joseph of Arimathea is described as a rich member of the Sanhedrin. Saint Joseph resided in Nazareth (at some point anyway) while Joseph of Arimathea obviously hails from a place called Arimathea.
Given the aforementioned, the burden of proof would lie on the one arguing in favor of identifying these two, rather than the one who differentiates them. Thus, until this point, I have ignored the coincidence of a Joseph of Arimathea burying the son of another Joseph, and accepted their distinction.
The Syriac Book of the Cave of Treasures (BCT) might reveal them to be the same individual - albeit, unintentionally so. You can read this document here: https://rejectedscriptures.weebly.com/b ... sures.html. In it, Joseph of Arimathea is presented as being the brother of Cleopas whom Hegesippus attests was the brother of Saint Joseph. Oddly enough, Nicodemus is also listed as Joseph of Arimathea and Cleopas' brother. Additionally, the BCT claims that Joseph of Arimathea acquired the tomb used for Jesus' burial from a cousin named Phinehas. In a genealogy presented earlier in the document, nearly identical to the one in Luke but with the names of wives and the wives' fathers, Saint Joseph's grandfather is listed as "Phinehas"; considering the widespread practice of patrimony in Judea during the Second Temple Period, Saint Joseph, similar to Joseph of Arimathea, likely would have had a cousin named Phinehas.
The tomb itself is said to have originally been intended for Joshua son of Nun, but this cannot have been the case. Joshua (read Jesus in Greek) son of Nun was a personage from 13th century BC. His bones would had long since turned to dust. Unless Joseph poured his funds into the construction of a purely symbolic tomb, a man named Jesus (not actually the son of Nun) was probably meant to be buried in it.
One might argue that if Joseph of Arimathea was meant to be Saint Joseph, why identify him in such an obscure manner? Why not mention that he was the one betrothed to Mary? Well, for starters, no father of Jesus, let alone one named Joseph, is ever mentioned in Mark, the Gospel in which Joseph of Arimathea is introduced (or more specifically, pops out of nowhere). But the answer to this may be even more simple. After Jesus rebukes his family, no family member is explicitly identified as such in the Synoptics. In the few moments that they are mentioned, they are either: a.) Not identified by name (i.e. his mother, his brothers), or b.) Identified by name, but with a deceptively vague surname (i.e. Mary, mother of James and Joses; Mary of Clopas; James of Alphaeus; Judas of James).
To summarize, from all this, we can garner that:
- Joseph was the legal-father of Jesus. Joseph of Arimathea provided the burial for Jesus.
- Joseph had a brother named Cleopas. Joseph of Arimathea had a brother named Cleopas.
- Joseph of Arimathea had a cousin named Phinehas. Joseph had a grandfather named Phinehas (dramatically increasing his own likelihood of having a cousin named Phinehas).
- The tomb was built for a man named Jesus - indicating Joseph had already intended to bury Jesus here.
- Joseph of Arimathea is given the same treatment as Mary, the mother of James and Joses at the crucifixion (i.e. a name of Jesus' parent + an elusive, worthless identifier).