Re: [XTalk] The Jesus movement before the NT
- I had asked about the evidence for Jesus having two cousins called James.
Let's start with Ya'qub Bar Zebediy or "James the Greater"
Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the
[mother] of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come
and anoint him.
John 19:25 writes it as ....Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his
mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Cleophas, and Mary
The parallel quotes identifies Salome as the wife of Zebedee and mother of
James and John and John calls her the sister of Jesus' mother. This makes
James and John Bar Zebedee cousins and makes more sense of the Zebedee
brothers' request of Jesus at Mt. 20:20
Your identification relies on the historicity of a part of John's gospel. I
date the original 'edition' of John as ca. 105 CE, and don't think it can be
relied upon when treated as an independent witness to the history of the
Jesus movement as it was 70 years earlier.
As far as Mk 16:1 is concerned, it should surely be interpreted in the light
of Mk 15:40, which also refers to "Mary the mother of James" then adds TOU
MIKROU. This qualification has caused much puzzlement among scholars. My
take is that Mark means "the lesser", a derogatory reference to James the
brother of Jesus. This would explain the similarity of the Mary, James and
Joses in Mk 15:40 with the Mary, James and Joses of Mk 6:3, together with
their identical mutual relationships.
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- This topic ran for a while back in January.
I have just seen a review of a book on Philo
which gives particular attention to Philo's
use of some passages from the haftarot which, it is
argued, match part of a later cycle of such readings.
Naomi Cohen, Philo's Scriptures ... (Brill 2007) is
the book, and a very interesting and detailed review
of it by Tzvee Zahavy is in Review of Rabbinic
Judaism 15 (2012) 133-136.
David Mealand, University of Edinburgh
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