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The Names of Mary

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  • Michael Grondin
    An article in our local big-city newspaper has caused me to mull over the different forms of the name of Mary, as found in the Gospel of Thomas ( Mariham ) and
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 27, 2006
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      An article in our local big-city newspaper has caused me to mull over the
      different forms of the name of Mary, as found in the Gospel of Thomas
      ('Mariham') and the Gospel of Philip (the NT Greek form 'Maria'). Focusing
      on the presence or absence of the last 'm' ('Maria' vs. 'Mariam' and its
      variants) , and the assertion in the article that 'Maryam' was the form of
      the name in the Q'uran, I wondered what could be said about the geographic
      location of the various forms of the name. Hopefully, someone here knows
      something about this, and can comment on it, but for starters, I consulted
      Harper's Bible Dictionary, which has two articles - one on 'Mary' and one on
      'Miriam' - the former focusing on various NT characters, the latter on the
      sister of Moses and Aaron.

      With respect to 'Mary', HBD (article by Winsome Munroe) has this to say:

      "Gk. _Maria_ or _Mariam_; Heb. _Marah_, 'bitter' or 'grieved,' or _Miryam_,
      'rebellion' ..." (HBD, 1985, p.610)

      Right off the bat, this threw cold water on my initial supposition that
      'Maria' was the invariant Greek form and thus might be the northern
      Mediterranean form (working its way into Spanish, et al), with 'Mariam' (and
      its variants with final 'm') the southern Mediterranean form (Hebrew,
      Egyptian, etc., working its way into Islam). I didn't do a survey of the NT,
      but with the assumption that 'Maria' was the invariant form therein, I
      turned to the LXX (Brenton version) and found that Moses' sister was always
      called 'Mariam' (why HBD changed it to 'Miriam' is beyond me, but the names
      are sufficiently similar not to make a big deal of.) Since the LXX is Greek,
      of course, the HBD article on 'Mary' is evidently correct to say that
      'Maria' and 'Mariam' were both attested in Greek - though the suspicion
      lingers that 'Mariam' might be more of a "Hebraic-Greek". So why did the
      authors of GTh use 'Mariham' while the authors GPh used 'Maria'? Is this
      still evidence that they came from two different cultures or geographic
      locations? Or that GTh is older than GPh (being as how the LXX with its
      'Mariam' is older than the NT with its 'Maria')?

      Another question that may be affected here is whether or not GTh shows
      enough familiarity with Hebraic-Christian traditions to be considered the
      product of Hebrews (albeit "Jews No More", as one book-title has it). If
      'Mariam' (and its variant 'Mariham' in GTh) was a Hebraic-Greek form, that
      may be one indication that that might be so.

      Mike Grondin
      Mt. Clemens, MI
      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas in Context
      http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/index.htm
    • Benjamin BAum
      I m on and off reading a book that covers this very subject....
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 27, 2006
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        I'm on and off reading a book that covers this very subject....

        http://www.amazon.com/Mariam-Magdalen-Mother-Deirdre-Good/dp/0253217512/sr=8-1/qid=1164658637/ref=sr_1_1/105-2195720-2138842?ie=UTF8&s=books

        although its a bit boring so far...strictly academic..so far...

        when I am not at work I'll post more...


        Benjamin Baum
      • Paul Lanier
        ... enough familiarity with Hebraic-Christian traditions to be considered the product of Hebrews ... Hi Michael, If true this would suggest a trajectory from
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 27, 2006
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          > Another question that may be affected here is whether or not GTh shows
          enough familiarity with Hebraic-Christian traditions to be considered the
          product of Hebrews
          >

          Hi Michael,

          If true this would suggest a trajectory from DSS to GTh, as Hebrews incorporates 1QS themes (especially the Priesthood of Melchizadek).

          regards, Paul



          Michael Grondin <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
          An article in our local big-city newspaper has caused me to mull over the
          different forms of the name of Mary, as found in the Gospel of Thomas
          ('Mariham') and the Gospel of Philip (the NT Greek form 'Maria'). Focusing
          on the presence or absence of the last 'm' ('Maria' vs. 'Mariam' and its
          variants) , and the assertion in the article that 'Maryam' was the form of
          the name in the Q'uran, I wondered what could be said about the geographic
          location of the various forms of the name. Hopefully, someone here knows
          something about this, and can comment on it, but for starters, I consulted
          Harper's Bible Dictionary, which has two articles - one on 'Mary' and one on
          'Miriam' - the former focusing on various NT characters, the latter on the
          sister of Moses and Aaron.

          With respect to 'Mary', HBD (article by Winsome Munroe) has this to say:

          "Gk. _Maria_ or _Mariam_; Heb. _Marah_, 'bitter' or 'grieved,' or _Miryam_,
          'rebellion' ..." (HBD, 1985, p.610)

          Right off the bat, this threw cold water on my initial supposition that
          'Maria' was the invariant Greek form and thus might be the northern
          Mediterranean form (working its way into Spanish, et al), with 'Mariam' (and
          its variants with final 'm') the southern Mediterranean form (Hebrew,
          Egyptian, etc., working its way into Islam). I didn't do a survey of the NT,
          but with the assumption that 'Maria' was the invariant form therein, I
          turned to the LXX (Brenton version) and found that Moses' sister was always
          called 'Mariam' (why HBD changed it to 'Miriam' is beyond me, but the names
          are sufficiently similar not to make a big deal of.) Since the LXX is Greek,
          of course, the HBD article on 'Mary' is evidently correct to say that
          'Maria' and 'Mariam' were both attested in Greek - though the suspicion
          lingers that 'Mariam' might be more of a "Hebraic-Greek". So why did the
          authors of GTh use 'Mariham' while the authors GPh used 'Maria'? Is this
          still evidence that they came from two different cultures or geographic
          locations? Or that GTh is older than GPh (being as how the LXX with its
          'Mariam' is older than the NT with its 'Maria')?

          Another question that may be affected here is whether or not GTh shows
          enough familiarity with Hebraic-Christian traditions to be considered the
          product of Hebrews (albeit "Jews No More", as one book-title has it). If
          'Mariam' (and its variant 'Mariham' in GTh) was a Hebraic-Greek form, that
          may be one indication that that might be so.

          Mike Grondin
          Mt. Clemens, MI
          The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
          http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
          The Coptic Gospel of Thomas in Context
          http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/index.htm






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