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Re: [John_Lit] Is Mary of Bethany and Mary Magdalene the same person

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  • Sandra HAMBLETT
    Dear All, My name is Sandy - i have not posted to this forum before. Kevin, i was very very interested in your comments re: Mary Magdalene/Mary of Bethany. I
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11, 2003
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      Dear All,

      My name is Sandy - i have not posted to this forum before.
      Kevin, i was very very interested in your comments re: Mary Magdalene/Mary
      of Bethany.

      I find myself agreeing with your reasoning.
      May i ask a couple of questions? Please forgive me as i do NOT profess to be
      a scholar. I happen to be studying for a degree in archaeology, and have
      excavated at EnGedi .(in Israel) otherwise i have no real knowledge as a
      scholar would. Regarding your statement below:

      'Firstly, for Mary of Bethany to ensconse herself at the foot of a man's
      couch and bareheaded at that, was permitted by the Rabbis only if she were
      related to the man concerned.'
      Has this statement been as it were 'aired' before? How would we consider
      Mary related to Jesus, if this is correct ?

      I have read a paper by Ramon.K. Jusino. He talks about his 'evidence' for
      how the Beloved Disciple was indeed Mary, and how the author/s of the Fourth
      Gospel have turned her into a 'male' - i'm sure you have read this thesis. I
      thought his arguments were quite persuasive. What is your view?

      Many thanks for your time Kevin,

      Sandy.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Kevin O'Brien" <symeon@...>
      To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2003 8:20 AM
      Subject: [John_Lit] Is Mary of Bethany and Mary Magdalene the same person


      > Mary of Bethany and\or Mary Magdalen
      >
      >
      >
      > Tom,
      >
      > I think we have tussled with the B.D's gender in previous postings and I
      can add nothing further than what I had previously given except what follows
      in this posting which might or might not whet your appetite for more. I am
      not in the business of saying either you are right or wrong or I am right or
      wrong when dealing especially with historical material. That being so,
      everyone who investigates Revelation can never be sure (and I am homing in
      here on historically based Revelation) that he\she has exhausted the meaning
      of that Revelation. I am well aware in my own historical researchers of
      being caught by surprise when I least expected same. We can in no way
      exhaust their depth and we are often caught by surprise when we think
      everything is crystal clear! Having said that, I invite you to examine the
      following hypothesis. I could be wrong or there again I could be right.
      >
      >
      >
      > All I ask is that neither you nor any other Lister to have a priori
      arguments ready to shoot me down before absorbing what I have to say. St.
      Thomas Aquinas once said and I quote: "It is not who says what in the
      searching out or acquisition of truth but what is said" -- it being a
      principle that I have found that some scholars should take to heart and
      apply when appropriate.
      >
      >
      >
      > Many problems in the Passion and Empty Tomb narratives receive immediate
      solution if arguments could be found to support my hypothesis that Mary of
      Bethany is Mary Magdalene. I here assume that claim as valid and correct.
      Arguments are now offered to justify that assumption. For assumptions are
      not necessarily to be condemned as inadmissible. For example, the assumption
      that human reason can reach objective truth is an epistomological assumption
      impossible to deny without using it!
      >
      > (1) Mary of 'Bethany'\Mary Magdalen applied nard to Jesus' feet and then
      wiped them clean with her hair. Jesus defends her action saying that she
      should 'keep' the remaining nard for his burial. It is to be noted that the
      Bethany Anointing occurred at Simon the Leper's house. In contrast with the
      Anointing episode in the Markan Gospel, where Mary broke the vial of nard,
      the Fourth Gospel's Anointing passage does not say she broke it. Mary of
      Bethany\Mary Magdalene obeyed Jesus' wish. She set out for Jesus' tomb from
      the same house Bethany on Resurrection Sunday with the remainder of the
      unbroken vessel of nard. By that time, it had been blended with other
      ingredients suitable for Jesus' funeral obsequies. It turned out to be a
      fruitless errand.
      >
      > (2) Mary Magdalene's actions as related in the Lukan and "Johannine"
      Gospels also support the identity. In Luke 10:39, Mary of Bethany\Mary
      Magdalen the sister of Martha seats herself at Jesus' feet. Apparently, he
      was reclining there with other disciples, for Martha's onerous labours
      strongly indicate that she was serving more persons than Jesus alone.
      >
      > (3) John 11.32 reports that Mary of Bethany\Mary Magdalen fell at Jesus'
      feet when he was not reclining but standing.
      >
      > (4) In John 20:17, again Mary of Bethany\Mary Magdalen is found
      (implicitly) at Jesus' feet which in Matt 28.9 is stated explicitly, with
      Jesus standing.
      >
      >
      >
      > This posture and position of our "Mary" at four different points in time
      and loci mentioned in all Gospels but the Markan, suggest strongly that it
      is the same woman exercising the same habit. In common law countries holding
      criminal court proceedings, if such-like information was tendered to the
      presiding court authority, that authority would unhesitatingly accept that
      information as coming under the definition of the legal term, 'similar act
      evidence', where as in this case under discussion, the same court authority
      would recognize the same modus operandi as indicating the same person as
      acting.
      >
      >
      >
      > Firstly, for Mary of Bethany to ensconse herself at the foot of a man's
      couch and bareheaded at that, was permitted by the Rabbis only if she were
      related to the man concerned. Secondly, as a concession to the Jews under
      the Pax Romana the Romans permitted only relatives of the crucified to be
      near the victim (see Paulus on this in a recent posting of mine). Mary
      Magdalen was present close to the cross on Golgotha. Mary of Bethany as
      identifiable by that designation is not mentioned as present on Golgotha.
      The two Mary's' relationship to Jesus show that at both scenes the same
      woman is present.
      >
      >
      >
      > Is this female person the B.D.?
      >
      >
      >
      > If we accept the above hypothesis, then whenever we see the Magdalen in
      the NT in accordance with my hypothesis I identify her also as Mary of
      Bethany. Whenever we see Mary of Bethany in the NT in accordance with my
      hypothesis I identify her as the Magdalen. About Mary Magdalene's candidacy
      for B.D.: This is immediately ruled out of contention because Jesus from the
      cross addresses the B.D. as 'Son' and in John 20:2 we see Mary of
      Bethany\Mary Magdalen running to the B.D. In 20:10 it says that the B.D.
      with Peter went back to the house inside Jerusalem whereas in contrast Mary
      of Bethany\Mary Magdalen stayed in the vicinity of the tomb. If Mary of
      Bethany\Mary Magdalen is the same person, it was not possible for either
      women to be the B.D.! The Principle of non-Contradiction certainly applies
      here. No person in secular or religious history has ever succeeded in being
      seen bodily in two different places at the same time - excepting the
      reported accounts in the lives of some of the much later Christian mystics.
      But Mary of Bethany\Mary Magdalene was hardly regarded as such. As for the
      Bethany female sibling Martha as a candidate: I can only repeat the
      observation in a previous post of mine on the Johannine List to which I
      refer the reader about the extreme unlikelihood if not of impossibility of
      her candidacy given the Moslem practice of women reclining with men on the
      same couch unit.
      >
      >
      >
      > Best regards,
      >
      > Kevin O'Brien
      >
      > symeon@...
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
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