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[crosstalk2] Re: John 19:26

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  • Jon Peter
    ... Can you explain why Mary (as mom) would sometimes be qualified as M. Magdalene and other times no Magdalene but a Mary, mother of James, Joses etc.
    Message 1 of 6 , May 24, 1999
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      >
      > I would think that 19:26 embeds an older literary formula, since it
      > identifies Mary Magdalene as Jesus' mother, an identification which is not
      > explicit elsewhere in the gospel.
      >

      Can you explain why Mary (as mom) would sometimes be qualified as M.
      Magdalene and other times no Magdalene but a 'Mary, mother of James, Joses'
      etc. (GMark ch 15 and 16, 4xs total)


      > >By the way, if Jn 19.26 refers to 4 women, then a least 3 of them are
      named
      > >Mary. That's strange.
      >
      > That is one of the reasons the two-women solution seems more likely.
      >

      Doesn't this create the problem of sisters having the same name? Seems
      unlikely.


      >
      > Of course this Mary is often merged with Mary Magdalene, but these are
      later
      > speculations without any basis in the gospel narratives. I have found that
      > much of the opposition to the idea of Mary Magdalene having been Jesus'
      > mother in whatever literary antecedent the gospels may have had stems from
      > precisely this stereotype of Christian mythology.
      >


      These are 2 different problems though. I agree with you that the text
      doesn't clarify that Mary of Bethany = MMagdalene. (I happen to think they
      are the same, but that's another tale.)

      Second problem: I think the opposition to Magdalene = BVM surely has more to
      do with there being no hint of such an equation in scripture, rather, just
      the opposite. But, I'm listening to you. I agree that 19.26 could be a
      chiasmus / intercalation. I just don't see why the author would use a poetic
      device to present a prosaic datum. What's the purpose?


      > My own explanation involves the
      > dramatic performance that I and my co-author suggest was at the basis of
      the
      > gospel passion narratives, where a chorus leader, named Mary Magdalene,
      was
      > followed by a crowd of anonymous women. The chorus of women was addressed
      by
      > other characters in the play collectively as "Mary".


      I've read your intriguing Web site, but have a hard time visualizing how an
      audience-member's recollection of a stage performance could wind up becoming
      the Gospel of Mark. As I've written to you months ago on Old Crosstalk, the
      GMark language shows subtle significance way, way beyond what viewing of
      stage events would suggest.


      > Christians, who did not
      > understand the conventions of Roman stage performances, understood that
      all
      > of the women were named Mary.

      This is conceivable, I suppose, yet still seems unlikely because it assumes
      an almost childlike inability of the "Markan" viewer to grasp that one woman
      was being addressed as Mary, rather than all. Even though this drama
      technique may have been over the heads of a Roman-Christian "hick" audience,
      yet the experience of having a group (chorus) listen while one person is
      addressed by name, is commonplace.


      Christian speculations then tried to give
      > these "Marys" various identities,

      But, according to your thesis, wouldn't the misperception of the chorus as
      being many "Marys" have been one person's error alone -- the author of
      GMark? How then does collective Christian dogma or imaginative
      filling-in-details come into play ?

      since these women were important for
      > Christian dogma as witnesses at the crucifixion and, even more
      importantly,
      > at the resurrection. Therefore precise identification was attempted.
      >
      >
      ========
      Now, Steve's point:

      Gospel of Philip:


      There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary,
      his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, the one
      who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and
      his companion were each a Mary.

      ----
      Here I'm confused as hell (where Christ Thomas sent me today). First there's
      reference to "and *her* sister" as 1 of 3 companions, but then in the second
      part of this couplet, she becomes *his* sister. What's goin' on? I don' get
      it.

      Also, this GPhilip passage actually contradicts Jan's thesis rather than
      supporting it... Jan wants 2 Marys, not 3, and this one says Magdalene is
      definitely not = to BVM, right?

      Regards,

      Jon


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    • Tom Simms
      On Mon, 24 May 1999 19:26:34 -0500, miser17@epix.net writes: Well, this may be just another case of text-crunching but it sure helps Jan s case.
      Message 2 of 6 , May 24, 1999
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        On Mon, 24 May 1999 19:26:34 -0500, miser17@... writes:

        Well, this may be just another case of text-crunching but it sure
        helps Jan's case.

        Thanks, Steve

        Tom Simms
        >
        >
        >> By the way, if Jn 19.26 refers to 4 women, then a least 3 of them are named
        >> Mary. That's strange. And the previous chapters have been extolling
        >> (another?) Mary, sister of Martha (variant from same root), sister of
        >> resurrected Lazarus. Hmmm. She's Mary the anointer of Jesus' feet. Wish you
        >> or someone could explain why all the women in John seem to have the same 1st
        >> name. I'll bet the answer lies in etymology of the Hebrew form of her name.
        >> Jon
        >
        >Two more things to worry about:
        >
        >Gospel of Philip:
        >
        > There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary,
        >his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, the one
        > who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and
        >his companion were each a Mary.
        >
        >Jan's idea has second century support through this. [I don't think
        >anybody's mentioned it yet... if so I apologize for not noticing].
        >===================
        >
        >Gospel of Mark:
        >
        >15:40Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were
        >Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of
        >Joses, and Salome.
        >
        >15:47Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he
        >was laid.
        >
        >16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of
        >James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint
        >Jesus' body.
        >================
        >
        >Mary mother of James the younger and Joses
        > Joses
        > James
        >
        >Mark 6:3 Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joses, Judas
        >and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?"
        >
        >=================
        >
        >So.... questions. James the younger what? Surely can't refer
        >to the "James and John" duo, for Mark almost always mentions
        >them together, and Joses has nothing to do with them. Mt has
        >their mom present... but that's another story.
        >
        >Maybe its James the younger of the two Jameses, bar Zebedee
        >and bar Alphaeus. Or it's James the younger, second brother,
        >after Jesus, also brother of Joses. If it's bar Alphaeus then where
        >does Joses suddenly come from? Mark expects his readers to
        >recognize the name. Where has Mark given us a Mary mother
        >of James and Joses before? Only one Joses has been mentioned.
        >
        >Mary mother of James and Joses is the BVM.
        >Actually, according to Mark, there would be two of "Mary mother
        >of James and Joses" and that seems a bit much to ask. One
        >the BVM and the other just some dame who shows up out of
        >nowhere.
        >
        >My hunch is that Mark knows of a Mary mother of Jesus (and James
        >and Joses and Simon and sisters) at the cross (cf. GJohn) and
        >isn't going to give her credit (he's already constructed a story
        >where she thinks Jesus is possessed) so her matronly identity
        >is suppressed, but not eliminated, giving Markan readers a way of
        >understanding how it could be that other Xians think Mary mother of
        >Jesus and James and Joses was present. NO, Mark suggests,
        >rather it is some other Mary mother of some other James and some
        >other Joses.
        >
        >Steve
        >
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