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Re: [John_Lit] Beloved Disciple again ...

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  • Sandra HAMBLETT
    Hi Thomas, Thanks for replying to the email i posted. Yes, i have seen your book advertised, i was thinking of buying a copy actually. The cut and pasted email
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 2, 2003
      Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for replying to the email i posted.

      Yes, i have seen your book advertised, i was thinking of buying a copy

      The cut and pasted email came from a Magdalene discussion group -- i am
      interested in the idea that part of Jesus' Teachings have survived via Mary
      Magdalene. I was not aware of the assertions in the Talmud of a family
      relationship of MM to figures such as Nicodemus.
      The Magdalene forum posits that MM may have been the Beloved Disciple.
      Your comments re; sacrifice, MB and the possibility that she attended the
      trial of Jesus made me recall something i read in the Susan Haskins book on
      MM - referring to - i presume - 'folk beliefs' that MM was at the trial of
      Jesus. An interesting cross over here.

      I have read lots of the written works by Raymond E. Brown. If the BD may
      turn out to be MM - i find it a wonderful idea that as per Brown, the
      Beloved Disciple/MM may be the origin of the early Johannine Community.... i
      dont know how members of this forum feel about that idea ... in an age when
      there appears to be opposition from male heirarchy within the Church
      (although of course this has been present throughout church history) against
      females - i find a kind of comfort in this idea.

      I would be glad to talk privatly about these ideas Thomas. Please do so.

      Many thanks,


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Thomas W Butler" <butlerfam5@...>
      To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2003 12:00 AM
      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Beloved Disciple again ...

      > Sandra,
      > I'm wondering who the author of the post you have pasted here
      > might be and what is the name of the discussion group from which
      > it came.
      > I have addressed some of these questions in Let Her Keep It:
      > Jesus' Ordination of Mary of Bethany - A New Approach to the Study
      > of the Gospel of John - Through Its Use of Mosaic Oracles, (Quantum
      > Leap, Tracy, 1998). I have also been doing some research and
      > reflection on some of these questions with a colleague, though I
      > doubt that she is the source of this article.
      > I'll offer a brief response within the context of the questions that
      > your colleague has posed. I'd enjoy an opportunity to dialog with
      > that person (and you and others if you and others wish) directly.
      > On Sat, 1 Mar 2003 08:31:09 -0000 "Sandra HAMBLETT"
      > <sandy@...> writes:
      > > Dear All,
      > >
      > > I know we have been discussing the identity of the Beloved
      > > Disciple recently.
      > >
      > > I belong to another discussion group - and the following email
      > > was posted here. I'm not sure if 'cross-posting' is allowed - but
      > > i have just cut and pasted the most salient points - really - for
      > > further discussion.
      > >
      > > What do members feel about these points stated?
      > >
      > > I would be very interested in your feedback.....
      > >
      > > "The question is, why was this person given such immunity. The
      > > bible says that this disciple was made known or was known to
      > > the High priest. That means that the High priest knew this
      > > person before hand, or that having been announced / identified,
      > > with Jesus, the High Priest knew who this person is / was.
      > >
      > > The Talmud says that Nicodemus was the father of Mary, Martha
      > > and Lazarus. He was the richest man in all of Judea. He had a
      > > seat on the council. So the high priest may have known Mary, if
      > > she is the unknown disciple, simply because of who her daddy is.
      > >
      > > Also Mary had credentials of her own. The term for the one who
      > > holds the authority is "Pillar or tower." In Hebrew, the word is
      > > "magdal." So the name "Mary, the Magdalene" means "Mary
      > > the Pillar (of her tribe)." She was the chief heir of the tribe of
      > > Benjamin. This is not referring to a town sought of Capurnium
      > > by the name of Magdal, which did not exist by that name during
      > > this time in history.
      > Note that many readers conflate Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany
      > (following the lead of a sixth century pope). My work has focused on
      > the idea that Mary of Bethany is the Beloved Disciple. I have not yet
      > been able to conclude that MM and MB are the same person, though
      > I know others who have no problem in doing so.
      > In response to this question, and having begun my study by considering
      > the meaning behind the anointing story in Jn. 11: 55 - 12: 8, I asked
      > "How is it that a woman would be known by the High Priest and be
      > allowed access to the House of the High Priest (which I suspect is the
      > Herodian temple)?"
      > My book considers carefully the requirements laid out in Numbers 6
      > for the consecration of Nazirites, who, according to Nu. 6: 2 could be
      > either men or women. My theory is that Mary of Bethany may have
      > been a Nazirite. Part of my reasoning comes from one of the questions
      > I raised while studying Jn. 12: 3. Why would Mary of Bethany, a highly
      > respected woman, annoint the feet of Jesus with expensive perfumed
      > oil and then dry his feet with her hair during a formal dinner party in
      > her home in front of her sister and his disciples? I have noted that
      > only in the ritual for the completion of a Nazirite vow does any body
      > part from the worshipper ever end up on the altar for sacrifice.
      > Nu. 6: 18 directs that the separated one should shave his or her hair
      > from her or his head and place it under the sacrifice of well being
      > (the bread sacrifice) on the coals of the altar. Was Mary of Bethany
      > completing her Nazirite vow first in her own home as she placed her
      > hair under the sacrifice (Jesus) on the altar she had just consecrated
      > (the feet of Jesus) and then again in the temple, in order to gain
      > entrance to the temple that night to observe the trial of Jesus?
      > (Remember that the primary entrance to the temple was through
      > the Beautiful Gate, which opened into the Court of the Women. That
      > was as far a women normally could go. Men could climb the steps
      > to the Nicanor Gate, then stand in the narrow area just beyond the
      > Nicanor Gate to watch the priests perform their sacrificial rituals.
      > The Council of the Sanhedrin held court on those steps.)
      > >
      > > But that don't totally explain her immunity from questioning in
      > > the presence of Peter. Who because of questioning he received,
      > > denied Jesus 3 times before the cock crowed. This disciple is
      > > completely ignored as being a disciple.
      > The Beloved Disciple obviously chose to remain invisible, even in
      > the gospel created largely from this disciple's intimate knowledge
      > of Jesus is presented.
      > Another theory is that Mary and Martha of Bethany were gatekeepers
      > in the temple. Note that the gatekeeper addressed by "the other
      > disciple" in Jn. 18: 16 was a woman. If the BD is Mary, could the
      > gatekeeper have been Martha or another woman known to her
      > because they were both gatekeepers? If so, wouldn't that identity
      > make her immune from questioning? Why would one question a
      > woman who normally is the one who asks the questions? (By the
      > way, one of the arguments against my reluctance to consider Mary
      > Magdalene as the BD is that MM had a reputation as reported in
      > the Nag Hamadi Texts for asking a lot of questions.)
      > >
      > > The question is who is Mary Magdalene and what is her relation
      > > to Jesus?
      > >
      > > Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, seek to have Jesus' body
      > > for burial. Why. because it is the obligation of the next of kin to
      > > do so.
      > >
      > > Could she be his wife, which would make Nicodemus his father in
      > > law."
      > This sounds like it may have come from one of Bishop John Shelby
      > Spong's books, though I'm not sure he would have made the
      > connection with Nicodemus. If I recall correctly, he questioned
      > whether or not Joseph of Arimethea might have been a relative of MM.
      > While I admire the courage of his questions, I have not been able to
      > build upon his scholarship.
      > Yours in Christ's service,
      > Tom Butler
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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