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Re: [John_Lit] Is Mary the Magdalene the BD?

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  • Frank McCoy
    ... From: Frank McCoy To: Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 9:11 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Is
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 12, 2004
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Frank McCoy" <silvanus55109@...>
      To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, June 10, 2004 9:11 AM
      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Is Mary the Magdalene the BD?


      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Q Bee" <artforms@...>
      > To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2004 4:50 PM
      > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Digest Number 892


      > > Possibly, though, there is yet another option: (1)
      the mother of him, (2)the sister of the mother of him,
      (3) Mary of Clopas, and (4) Mary of Magdala.
      >>

      > Well, that's a stretch. Is there really any reason
      to think that the linguistics are that far removed
      from normal speech? What is the reason for obscuring
      the name of this woman and why is it that James is not
      simply Jesus' brother by Mary? The argument seems to
      presume doctrine that does not aligned to the gospels
      themselves. I wonder why Matthew 1:25 would be part
      of scripture if there never was any further
      relationship between Jesus' parents. They could
      hardly be considered married if the marriage is never
      consummated. Beyond that, the instances where the
      brothers of Jesus are mentioned are too numerable to
      bother to list.
      >

      Dear Elaine:

      One reason for thinking that this is the solution to
      the ambiguous language is that it creates the elegant
      pattern of two women not named who are sisters
      followed by two woman named Mary who are not sisters.

      Further, as far as I can tell, this proposed solution
      to the ambiguous language in 19:25 is not necessarily
      inconsistent with the hypothesis that James not only
      is the BD, but a son of Mary as well. In this case,
      when Jesus tells the BD, "Behold your mother!", he is
      simply telling James to look at his nearby mother--who
      is also the mother of Jesus.

      > > Indeed, since, according to Mark 6:3, Jesus had a
      > > brother named James and a brother named Joses, it
      is the case that the mother of Jesus in John 19:25
      might be Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses
      in Mark 15:40.
      > >
      > > Why, though, would Mark refer to the mother of
      Jesus as the mother of two of his four brothers? The
      answer, I suggest, is that this is Mark's subtle way
      of saying that both these brothers of Jesus were
      standing by Mary. In this case, the BD is most likely
      to be either be James or Joses.
      >>

      > So, are you saying that Mark, the author of 2G, is
      the same Mark who is 'possibly' a brother to James and
      Joses by another wife of Joseph? If so, why, again,
      is there this difficulty in grasping the text in order
      to come to this tentative conclusion?
      >

      The first sentence should be understood this way,
      "Why, though, would Mark refer to the mother of Jesus
      as the mother of two of the four brothers of
      Jesus rather than as the mother of Jesus?"

      (snip)

      > > If, as you suggest, there is linkage between 1:38
      > > (where Andrew and an unknown person call Jesus
      Rabbi) and 20:16 (where Mary the Magdalene calls Jesus
      Rabboni), then the further idea is suggested that the
      unknown person in 1:38 is Mary the Magdalene.
      > >
      > > If Mary the Magdalene had been this unknown
      person,
      > > then this entails that she had originally been a
      disciple of John the Baptist (1:35-37). Indeed, it is
      possible that John had one or more women disciples.
      For example, in Gnosticism & Early Christianity (p.
      90), Robert M. Grant states, "In the Clementine
      versions we read that John the Baptist had thirty
      disciples, corresponding to the days of the lunar
      month, or more accurately 29 1/2, since one was a
      woman named Helen or Selene." Here, even though the
      woman disciple is said to be Helen or Selene rather
      than Mary, it is significant that, it is assumed, John
      had been open to the idea of himself having one or
      more women disciples. So, it might be worthwhile for
      you to do some research to see if there is any another
      evidence to support the possibility that John the
      Baptist had some women disciples and, beyond that, to
      support the possibility that one of them might have
      been Mary the Magdalene.
      >>

      > It is also possible that the name 'Mary' is a title.
      Helen, meaning new light or light of dawn could be
      the actual name just as Peter is Simon. There is ample
      evidence that Jesus encouraged women disciples,
      perhaps to a much greater extent than JB. It is also
      likely that the '30 disciples' of JB is based on
      sacred numbers rather than an actual head count. If
      there is one who is known as a female disciple of JB,
      what about three = 1 1/2?
      >

      I suggest you research this question of whether JB
      might have had three female disciples.

      In any event, it certainly is the case that the name
      'Mary' might be a title for the Magdalene. In Jesus &
      the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls (p. 89),
      Barbara Thiering (a "fellow" on the Jesus
      Seminar--hey, they're not sexist, right?) comments,
      "She (i.e., Mary Magdalene) was called Mary as a
      title, not a name. The word was a form of 'Miriam',
      the name of the sister of Moses. Marys named,
      including the mother of Jesus and the Magdalene, had
      the title Miriam because they had been given a form of
      ministry, that of prophetess, taking part in the
      liturgies or orders like the Therapeutae. These
      ascetics celebrated the Exodus as a drama of
      salvation, with two
      choirs, one of men led by a man representing Moses,
      the other of women led by a Miriam."

      However, as Miriam/Mary was a commonly used name for a
      woman in Palestine at the time, it is most likely that
      the Magdalene really was named Mary.

      Further, even if Mary had been a title of the
      Magdalene rather than her real name, it appears
      unlikely that her real name had been Helen.

      There is an early Christian tradition that Helen had
      originally been a prostitute living in Tyre. However,
      it is unlikely that the Magdalene had been a
      prostitute.

      Again, Thiering thinks that Helen(a) is the sister of
      the mother of Jesus rather than being the real
      identity of Mary the Magdalene. So, she states
      (p. 79), "Helena appears under as many pseudonyms as
      he (i.e., Simon Magus. She was the Samaritan woman
      with whom Jesus conversed; Sapphira; Martha; the
      menstuous woman; the Syrophoenician woman; the 'woman
      clothed in scarlet and purple'; 'Jezebel'; Salome;
      Joanna; 'his mother's sister'."

      If Thiering is correct, then 19:25 mentions four
      women: (1) the mother of Jesus, (2) Helen(a), the
      sister of the mother of Jesus, (3) Mary of Cleopas,
      and (4) the Magdalene. So, she states (p. 425), "Lk
      24:13-33. 'Cleopas' (v. 18) was James, cf. 'Mary of
      Cleopas' as one of the four women at the cross in Jn.
      19:25 ('his mother's sister', Helena, and three Marys:
      queen mother, queen and princess). Hegesippus (quoted
      Eccl. Hist. 3:32, also see 3:11) shows that Cleopas
      was a family name, being that of an uncle of Jesus,
      the
      brother of Joseph."

      It is worthy of note that, here, she identifies the
      "Cleopas" of 19:25 as being James. She does so by
      premising that Cleopas was a dynastic name: like that
      of Herod for the Herodian dynasty and that of Aretas
      for the dynasty ruling the Nabatean kingdom--the
      implication being that James became the head of his
      brother's movement because he was the dynastic
      successor to his brother.

      In this case, the question arises as to in what sense
      this Mary was "of Cleopas." The response of Thiering
      (p. 334), is that this Mary "was the woman betrothed
      to James-Cleopas".

      If she is correct, then the question arises as to why,
      in 19:25, it is stressed that this Mary had been "of
      Cleopas", i.e., had been betrothed to James-Cleopas.
      The suggested answer: this James-Cleopas had been at
      her side and, so, was the son of the mother of Jesus
      (and, hence, the brother of Jesus) to whom Jesus had
      turned over the custody of his mother--thereby making
      this James-Cleopas, who was a brother of Jesus, the
      BD.

      Regards,

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 15
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109












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