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Re: [John_Lit] Jesus' mother Mary and Golgotha

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  • Thomas W Butler
    Hello Kevin, Have you considered, given your conclusion that the women who came to the tomb on Easter morning must have come from Bethany, that one of them was
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 9, 2003
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      Hello Kevin,
      Have you considered, given your conclusion that the women who
      came to the tomb on Easter morning must have come from Bethany,
      that one of them was Mary of Bethany who is featured in John 11 and
      12? I have suggested that the BD could have been Mary of Bethany,
      since the narrative (19: 25) lists only women standing near the cross,
      then (19: 26) informs the reader that the mother of Jesus is standing
      beside the Beloved Disciple. This interpretation, of course, requires
      that the words of Jesus in 19: 27 are addressed to his mother and
      acknowledge to her that he (Jesus) is her son, not, as it is usually
      interpreted, that Jesus is indicating that the BD is Mary's son. He
      does, of course, suggest to the BD that Mary is now the BD's mother,
      which resulted in the BD taking her "to his own." "His own" is a
      phrase used by Jesus (10: 4 for example) as the way a shepherd
      beholds the sheep in the shepherd's flock. Jesus is entrusting his
      biological mother to the care of the BD, who is the shepherd, or
      leader of a particular flock, perhaps the Johannine community.
      What remains in this argument is a rationale for the use of the
      male pronoun in making reference to the BD. If the BD was Mary
      of Bethany, why does the narrative consistently refer to her as
      "he" or "him?" I suspect that one possible answer to this question
      may be found in the Gospel of Thomas (114) where "women are
      said by Simon Peter to be unworthy of life; Jesus responds that
      they can become 'male.'" (Jane Schaberg, The Resurrection of
      Mary Magdalene, Continuum, 2002, p. 138) It also seems to me
      that the reason for hiding the identity of the BD may have been
      precisely because the BD was a woman, one who had clearly
      been very close to Jesus, even viewed by the Johannine community
      as the head of a flock which had been entrusted with the care of
      the biological mother of Jesus. The identity of the female leader
      of the community (flock) from which the fourth gospel came:
      Mary of Bethany had to be obscured to protect her, to protect
      the community and to protect the mother of Jesus from a prevailing
      attitude, even among followers of Jesus as prominent as Peter,
      that women were unworthy. Could that final redactor have worried
      that if her identity were made known to those receiving the gospel,
      they might destroy the gospel instead of cherishing it?
      Well, just some thoughts to add to your discussion with Paul.

      Yours in Christ's service,
      Tom Butler

      On Thu, 9 Jan 2003 15:32:02 +1100 "Kevin O'Brien"
      <symeon@...> writes:
      > To Paul Anderson,
      >
      > As an aid in answering your important question Paul about the
      > identity of the addressed woman from the cross, I offer the
      > following thoughts:
      >
      > Was Mary, Jesus' natural mother at Golgotha?
      >
      > For the answer it is well to note that Romans allowed only those
      > persons related to the victim of crucifixion to be present so that
      > they could take charge of the funeral rites and burial. Pilate's
      > soldiers had more important matters to attend to than act in those
      > capacities. So the woman concerned in v. 26 whoever she was, had to
      > be related to Jesus! This narrows down the field considerably in
      > that Mary (Joseph's wife) certainly was related to Jesus as his
      > natural mother!
      >
      >
      >
      > If four women in toto (a disputed point) were present on Golgotha in
      > v. 25 , that is, if "his mother's sister" is an unknown woman but
      > necessarily related to Jesus, that leaves Mary of Clopas as
      > step-aunt to Jesus -- Clopas being the recognized legal
      > blood-brother of Joseph, Jesus' foster-father. The Magdalen whom in
      > my researches I identify as cousin-in-law to Jesus (it is too
      > complex in this posting to provide the arguments at this stage on
      > this claim) were thus all related via different paths to Jesus.
      >
      >
      >
      > If three women only were present on Golgotha then the woman
      > in v. 25, "his mother's sister" with help here from the Synoptic
      > report can only be in apposition to Salome. Salome would have been
      > related to Jesus as his aunt via Mary. That is, Salome was
      > blood-sister to Jesus' mother. In each option, all present on
      > Golgotha (minus of course the soldiers) were related to Jesus,
      > including the B.D.!!
      >
      >
      >
      > I have evidence, implicit and explicit, that drives the
      > fairly late (Julius Paulus Digest Bk. 47.12.11 (ca. 200 AD); also
      > see Digest Bk. 48.24.3.34) evidence of family members being present
      > at a crucifixion of a fellow family member back to pre-70 AD.
      >
      >
      >
      > In a Jewish family tomb complex dated precisely from ca. 7
      > AD -66 AD (in the URL below) excavated in June 1968 in northern
      > Jerusalem at Giv'at ha-mivtah, one ossuary within contained bones of
      > a crucified man aged 24-28 with the name of Jehohanan ben hgqwl
      > inscribed on the ossuary -- evidently a son of some Jewish family.
      > You can check these details on
      >
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/jesus/crucifixion.
      html).
      > From remarkeable archeological data reported in this URL I will
      > develop the relatives issue which underlay and form part of the
      > circumstances concerning Jehohanan's death and burial. As only
      > Romans at the time of Jesus in the Roman Empire exacted that
      > terrible form of capital punishment (Herod Antipas preferred
      > beheading as becomes a "fox"), evidently the then Roman praefect or
      > governor (one candidate being Pilate!) allowed family members of
      > Jehohanan to take charge of his remains in order for the former to
      > inter him in the family tomb. That was in northern Jerusalem near
      > Mt. Scopus and the ancient road to Nablus. In this case, although
      > crucified, Jehohanan's body evidently was not consigned nearby the
      > execution scene to a common burial dump nor lime pit nor left on the
      > cross for the birds as carrion etc. How common was such permission
      > given? In answer: I think it was one of the liberties granted Jews
      > and expected by them from the Pax Romana under Augustus (see below).
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > The evidence from established Mediterranean funerary customs
      > (still the custom today) is that the man's family members first
      > interred his remains in the family tomb in northern Jerusalem the
      > same day he died. After about twelve months, they or very close
      > relatives collected his skeletal remains and deposited them into a
      > container called an ossuary and left it in the family tomb which was
      > then sealed until this century. On the day he died, family members
      > and any close relatives at the execution scene obviously retrieved
      > the body from the cross before consigned to the fates above. They
      > then transported it to the distant family tomb. There, they would
      > have washed the body, trimmed the beard and closed all bodily
      > orifices in accordance with long held Jewish funerary custom. Family
      > members along with any close relatives would have to be very near
      > the crucifixion scene either while he was being crucified or its
      > immediate aftermath in order to receive the body. As the tomb was
      > dated 7-66 AD, it is evident that the latest he was crucified was AD
      > 65 when the Romans were not then ejected from the Antonia and the
      > twelve month interval between the first burial and the bones
      > deposited in the ossuary.
      >
      >
      >
      > If his wife or mother was distanced "afar" from Jehohanan
      > but at Golgotha (ten or twenty or at the most thirty yards) that
      > would have come about I suggest from their incessant bewailing and
      > mourning mantra for Jehohanan. Hard-bitten executioners would hardly
      > brook such for long. It follows from all this that the evidence of
      > Julius Paulus on this issue is driven back no less than one hundred
      > and thirty five years at least to ca. 65 AD!
      >
      >
      >
      > The movements of the woman Jesus addressed from the cross (v.
      > 26):
      >
      > Was she not taken at that very moment from Golgotha to a house
      > inside the city? And who took her'? The last question is answered by
      > noting that the Beloved Disciple witnessed for posterity the
      > outstanding phenomenon of the blood and watery substance issuing
      > from Jesus' side (John 19.35-37). Therefore, he could not be the one
      > who escorted the woman concerned to his putative city home 'from
      > that hour' or an alternative and better translation, 'from then on'
      > in John 19.26-27! Only Salome and some other women (cf. Mark 15.41,
      > 47) did that. And that is why Salome was absent from Golgotha in
      > Mark 15.47 after being present there seven verses previously in Mark
      > 15.40 while the Magdalen was present when Jesus was entombed (Matt
      > 27.61; Mark 15.47; Luke 23.55). Obviously, it was the Magdalene not
      > Salome who knew where the tomb lay and it was Salome not the
      > Magdalen who carried out Jesus' command from the cross!
      >
      > '
      >
      > The time factor of setting out for the tomb on Easter
      > Sunday morning by the women (Mary Magdalene (the four Gospels) and
      > Salome (Mark 16.1) requires that they set out from their
      > starting-point (let us assume here the city) while still dark --
      > that is, at 5.15 am. in the morning twilight and arrive at the tomb
      > when the sun's disk first appeared over Mt. Olivet at 5.55 am. due
      > east of the city (Mark 16.2). It was then that the Gennath perimeter
      > gate-gateway opened for the women to leave the city for the tomb
      > outside the city.
      >
      >
      >
      > The distance from this gate-gateway to almost certainly the
      > historical tomb site is no more than 100 metres and from the
      > furtherest point within the city, the south-eastern corner of the
      > city to that gate-gateway was hardly a kilometre. Even setting out
      > from this extreme point inside the city at the latest time for dawn
      > (ca. 5.15 am.) through Jerusalem's streets, forty minutes, from 5.15
      > - 5.55 am. travelling at the normal walking pace of 5 k.p.h. is an
      > incredibly long time for the journey. Yet the narrative indicates
      > strongly that the women were in a hurry to fulfil their errand -
      > their having set out from their starting-point as early as dawn! It
      > has been asssumed that the perimeter gates and gateways were open
      > for the women staying overnight inside the city to go to the tomb.
      > Yet the anomaly in the timing in Mark 16.2 plagues Mark's narrative
      > if the women's starting-point for the tomb was from within the city.
      > And there was no chrono/geographical alternative to eliminate all
      > these problems but the following which must have formed the historic
      > facts of the case:
      >
      >
      >
      > 'Bethany': The only other alternative starting-point:
      >
      > Leaving 'Bethany' at 5.15 am. for the tomb ca. three and a half
      > kilometres distant while it was still dark (morning twilight), the
      > women, walking both slightly uphill and downhill at five k.p.h.
      > (average pace) arrived at the then open eastern Water Gate at 5.55
      > am. with the sun's disk ablaze over the summit of Mt. Olivet and
      > hurried through the city in a north westerly direction through the
      > Gennath gateway to the tomb. The time-distance description in Mark
      > 16.2 is now rendered intelligible. The time-distance aspect of a
      > departure point from 'Bethany' and then hurrying through the city to
      > the tomb fits in beautifully with the chrono-geographical
      > requirements set within the four Gospel narratives, while a
      > departure point from within the city for the tomb bristles with
      > problems.
      >
      >
      >
      > From this chrono-geographical analysis comes an unexpected
      > rediscovery. With 'Bethany' as Salome's historical starting-point
      > for the tomb, she must have gone there late on the previous Friday
      > afternoon supporting the addressed woman from the cross in her
      > terrible grief (see above notice on Mark 15.47). Since the perimeter
      > gates and gateways were closed from sunset on Friday till sunrise on
      > Sunday, Salome would be unable to enter the city during this period,
      > even if she wished to. She was confined to 'Bethany' from Friday
      > night till very early Sunday morning. As Mary Magdalen accompanied
      > her to the tomb, so the same geographical restriction applied: she
      > likewise was confined to 'Bethany'- there being no other house
      > outside the city wall in the area. The Magdalen obviously reached
      > 'Bethany' from Golgotha on late Friday afternoon before Sabbath
      > restrictions to movement took effect. As the addressed woman was
      > taken to the home of the Beloved Disciple (John 19.26-27), he must
      > have had his home at 'Bethany' where were these women, and Jesus
      > himself, because he often stayed there overnight himself, on
      > Golgotha knew it as the B.D.'s home! You are right Paul in
      > identifying the addressed woman from the cross as Jesus' biological
      > mother! I hope all this also conforms to Eric Fholer's expressed
      > wish on the List that some criterion or set of criteria emerge which
      > can be applied to the domestic cum biological relationships issue.
      >
      >
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      >
      >
      > Kevin O'Brien
      >
      >
      >
      > symeon@...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
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    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
      Tom, You say that your . . . interpretation . . . requires that the words of Jesus in 19: 27 are addressed to his mother and acknowledge to her that he
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 9, 2003
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        Tom,

        You say that your . . .

        "interpretation . . . requires that the words of Jesus
        in 19: 27 are addressed to his mother and acknowledge
        to her that he (Jesus) is her son, not, as it is
        usually interpreted, that Jesus is indicating that the
        BD is Mary's son."

        Actually, calling Mary of Bethany the 'son' of Mary
        the mother of Jesus should be no problem given your
        hermeneutic point about . . .

        "the Gospel of Thomas (114) where "women are said by
        Simon Peter to be unworthy of life; Jesus responds
        that they can become 'male.'"

        If you interpret the masculine pronouns that refer to
        the Beloved Disciple as indicating a masculinized Mary
        of Bethany, then the same could hold for the noun
        "son" as a masculine substitution for "daughter."

        Not that I agree with you.

        Jeffery Hodges

        =====
        Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
        Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
        447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
        Yangsandong 411
        South Korea

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      • fmmccoy
        ... From: Kevin O Brien To: Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 10:32 PM Subject:
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 9, 2003
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Kevin O'Brien" <symeon@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 10:32 PM
          Subject: [John_Lit] Jesus' mother Mary and Golgotha

          (snip)

          > The movements of the woman Jesus addressed from the cross (v. 26):
          >
          > Was she not taken at that very moment from Golgotha to a house inside the
          city? And who took her'? The last question is answered by noting that the
          Beloved Disciple witnessed for posterity the outstanding phenomenon of the
          blood and watery substance issuing from Jesus' side (John 19.35-37).
          Therefore, he could not be the one who escorted the woman concerned to his
          putative city home 'from that hour' or an alternative and better
          translation, 'from then on' in John 19.26-27! Only Salome and some other
          women (cf. Mark 15.41, 47) did that. And that is why Salome was absent from
          Golgotha in Mark 15.47 after being present there seven verses previously in
          Mark 15.40 while the Magdalen was present when Jesus was entombed (Matt
          27.61; Mark 15.47; Luke 23.55). Obviously, it was the Magdalene not Salome
          who knew where the tomb lay and it was Salome not the Magdalen who carried
          out Jesus' command from the cross!


          Dear Kevin O'Brien:

          Good to hear from you!

          What makes you think that the witness in 19:35-37 is the Beloved Disciple?

          What I suggest is thzt the Beloved Disciple was Mary's (step) son, James,
          and that he took her to his house right away. If so, then the witness in
          19:35-37 is someone else. This explains why this witness is not said to be
          the Beloved Disciple.


          Regards,

          Frank McCoy
          1809 N. English Apt. 17
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109
        • Thomas W Butler
          Jeffery, You have a point. I submit that whether one agrees with my use of the passage from the Gospel of Thomas to explain male pronouns in reference to
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 13, 2003
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            Jeffery,
            You have a point. I submit that whether one agrees with my use
            of the passage from the Gospel of Thomas to explain male pronouns
            in reference to female characters or not, the interpretation of John
            19: 27 to mean that Jesus is referring to himself as "son" stands.

            Yours in Christ's service,
            Tom Butler

            On Thu, 9 Jan 2003 12:48:16 -0800 (PST) Horace Jeffery Hodges
            <jefferyhodges@...> writes:
            > Tom,
            >
            > You say that your . . .
            >
            > "interpretation . . . requires that the words of Jesus
            > in 19: 27 are addressed to his mother and acknowledge
            > to her that he (Jesus) is her son, not, as it is
            > usually interpreted, that Jesus is indicating that the
            > BD is Mary's son."
            >
            > Actually, calling Mary of Bethany the 'son' of Mary
            > the mother of Jesus should be no problem given your
            > hermeneutic point about . . .
            >
            > "the Gospel of Thomas (114) where "women are said by
            > Simon Peter to be unworthy of life; Jesus responds
            > that they can become 'male.'"
            >
            > If you interpret the masculine pronouns that refer to
            > the Beloved Disciple as indicating a masculinized Mary
            > of Bethany, then the same could hold for the noun
            > "son" as a masculine substitution for "daughter."
            >
            > Not that I agree with you.
            >
            > Jeffery Hodges
            >
            > =====
            > Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
            > Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
            > 447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
            > Yangsandong 411
            > South Korea
            >
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