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Re: James and Clopas

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  • Q Bee
    ... Dear Frank: There is an assumption being made as you consider a male pronoun as key to the argument. In every known language when the identity and/or
    Message 1 of 22 , Jun 21, 2004
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      > Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2004 12:05:27 -0700 (PDT)
      > From: Frank McCoy <silvanus55109@...>
      > Subject: Re: James and Clopas
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Q Bee" <artforms@...>
      > To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 5:04 PM
      > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Digest Number 900
      >
      >
      >> On 6/15/04 1:45 PM,
      > "johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com"
      >> <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      >
      >>> Message: 9
      >>> Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 06:09:28 -0700 (PDT)
      >>> From: Frank McCoy <silvanus55109@...>
      >>> Subject: Re: James and Clopas
      >
      >>> There is, beside the four women, a named male,
      > i.e., Clopas. This is perhaps significant, as will be
      > pointed out later in this post.
      >>>
      >
      >> Clopas is not address as being present. Only a
      > 'wife of Clopas' is in the list.
      >>
      >
      > Dear Elaine:
      >
      > Regarding19:25-27, there are three possibilities as
      > respects the BD:
      > 1. This person is explicitly said to present--in
      > which case this person is one of the explicitly
      > present women
      > 2. This person is unmentioned--in which case this
      > person could be almost anybody
      > 3. This person is not explicitly said to be present
      > but is named--in which case this person is Clopas.
      >
      > This third possibility does not have the weakness of
      > the first possibility, i.e., the air of implausibility
      > to the notion that the BD, who is spoken of in
      > masculine language in 19:25-27 and elsewhere as well,
      > is a female. It also does not have the weakness of
      > the second possibility, i.e., the air of
      > implausibility that the BD would not be one of the
      > named people in 19:25-27. So, perhaps, it is the best
      > of all worlds?
      >

      Dear Frank:

      There is an assumption being made as you consider a male pronoun as key to
      the argument. In every known language when the identity and/or gender of a
      person is not known the default pronoun is 'he'. To make the default
      pronoun the basis for speculation, even to the extent of a person not
      present in the scene, is far reaching unless you can show a pattern where
      this occurs in other ways it is used in the same gospel.

      If the unknown BD had been female and the specific pronoun had been used to
      indicate that person we would not likely have the gospel at our disposal
      today since the witness of a woman would have been discounted because of the
      issue of who may or may not be a legal witness within Jewish society. ISTM
      that safeguarding the material provided by this witness is reason enough to
      make all references using the default pronoun.

      > (snip)
      >
      >>> You appear to be assuming that the unnamed
      > disciple of John in 1:38 is the BD. What evidence do
      > you have to support this apparently unwarranted
      > assumption?
      >>>
      >
      >> For one thing, the author goes to great detail on
      > the other disciples, if not in great detail in that
      > passage, then is subsequent passages. (It is as if a
      > woman wrote the news details of these personages.)
      >>
      >
      > Are you suggesting that a woman wrote John? If so, do
      > you have any particular woman in mind?
      >
      It is as plausible for Mary Magdalene to have been the author of 4G as it is
      for any other person who was with Jesus through his mission.

      >> The passages follow 'In the beginning was the Word',
      > then John's word about the 'Word', then the primary
      > pair of disciples, the 'sons of Thunder'.
      >>
      >
      > Thunder follows lightning so, I take it, as you note
      > that John the Baptist is mentioned after the Word in
      > John, you understand the Word to be the "Lightning",
      > John the Baptist to be the "Thunder" and his two
      > disciples of 1:38 to, therefore, be the "sons" of this
      > "Thunder". Please correct me if I am mis-interpreting
      > your position.
      >
      > The fly in this ointment is that, according to Mark
      > 3:17, it is the two sons of Zebedee, named James and
      > John, who are the Sons of Thunder. However, in John
      > 1:38, one of the disciples is named Andrew. So, on the
      > face of it, the two disciples in 1:38 do not appear to
      > be the Sons of Thunder.
      >
      If the title/reference 'sons of thunder' refers to students of a particular
      teacher rather than to literals 'sons' there may be several 'sons'. If
      'thunder' is taken as a metaphor for 'bold proclamation' or one who speaks
      with the power of God's voice 'Boanerges' makes sense. The students of that
      particular teacher could be in training to write in a particularly bold
      style.

      >> If, as we see later, the BD is the writer of the
      > account, then that person had to be there from the
      > very beginning. That unidentified person would have
      > been able to witness and record the events concerning
      > John the Baptist and gone on to witness Andrew
      > informing his brother Simon, etc. That person
      > witnesses the entire mission in order to report on it.
      >>
      >
      > Certainly, if one (1) takes John 21:24 literally and
      > (2) takes "these things" of this passage to be the
      > whole Gospel of John and (3) takes this gospel to be
      > the reporting of actual history, then the probability
      > greatly increases that the unnamed disciple in 1:38 is
      > the BD. However, I think the probability of all three
      > of these considerations being true is close to zero.
      >
      Your item #1 makes no sense to me since we are talking about NOT taking
      things literally as we consider 4G. It is plausible that the actual scribes
      of the text may have been several people within the community who recorded
      various oral reports from the source, the BD, over a period of years. It is
      likely that the stories were reworked and refined to become a cohesive
      document as collection became the basis for teaching a wider community. It
      is also possible that the BD employed several scribes at different occasions
      to record certain portions after taking time to consider how s/he would like
      to present various ideas.

      As to #3, it is 4G which contains facts that led to the archeological
      discovery of the pool of Bethesda (John 5:2).

      >> Now, if this is not so, where does the unknown
      > author get the information if John 21:24-25 is
      > incorrect? And further, why then is the other
      > disciple who is with Andrew at the very beginning of
      > the ministry in John 1 never named or described as the
      > others are?
      >>
      >
      > You appear to assume that the burden of proof lies
      > with anyone who questions the assertion that John is
      > solely based on the memories and notes of its author.
      > How do you justify this assumption?
      >
      I think this is covered previously in this post.

      > Also, there are a number of unnamed disciples in John:
      > 1. 1:38--a disciple of John the Baptist
      > 2. several passages--a disciple loved by Jesus
      > 3.18:19--a disciple known to the High Priest
      > 4. 19:35--a disciple who witnessed the flow of blood
      > and water from the side of Jesus.
      >
      > So, the unnamed person in 1:38 is hardly unique in
      > this respect.
      >
      Are you making the assumption that each of these is a different person? If
      so, why are they necessarily separate individuals?

      > (snip)
      >
      >> Before we get entangled in the James/Jacob naming
      > and whether or not he is married, could we first
      > address whether or not the 'son' being mentioned in
      > the address Jesus makes in John 19:25-27 to his mother
      > or when saying 'behold, your mother' is in fact being
      > address to a male or is it being address to her
      > 'offspring' or 'progeny'?
      >>
      >
      > IMO, in 19:25, the question of whether Clopas is James
      > as the betrothed/husband of Mary and the question of
      > whether huios is to be taken in its most common sense
      > as a son should not be separately addressed because
      > they are linked in that, if James is Clopas, then
      > James/Clopas was a son of the mother of Jesus and, so,
      > is the logical candidate for being the BD--with, in
      > this case, huios having its most common sense as a
      > son. Further, in this case Mary of Clopas was a
      > sister-in-law of Jesus.
      >
      Although these items of opinion can be strung together they do not
      constitute strong evidence for assuming someone into the scene at the foot
      of the cross.

      Again, if we are to rely on the default pronoun and the use of the most
      common rendering would that mean that most children/progeny/offspring were
      male in the 1st century?

      > Indeed, there is evidence that Mary of Clopas might
      > have been, in some sense, a sister of Jesus.
      >
      We could also say the same for his mother, MM, or any other female
      associated with Jesus' movement.

      > I am referring to the Gospel of Philip (59), "There
      > were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary his
      > mother and her sister and Magdalene, the one who was
      > called his companion. His sister and his mother and
      > his companion were each a Mary."
      >
      > Here, four people are mentioned: (1) Mary, the mother
      > of Jesus, (2) her sister, (3) his (i.e., Jesus')
      > sister, and (4) Mary the Magdalene. They are, I
      > suggest, the women mentioned in John 19:25. Further,
      > the first sentence ("There were three who always
      > walked with the Lord: Mary his mother and her sister
      > and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion.")
      > appears to also have Mark 15:40-41a in mind, "And
      > there were also women from a distance looking on,
      > among whom were both Mary the Magdalene and Mary the
      > mother of James the Lesser and of Joses and
      > Salome--who were following him and serving him when he
      > was in Galilee." As a result, the author of Philip
      > apparently took the sister of Jesus to be Salome.
      > Further, this person apparently took Mary the mother
      > of James the Lesser and Joses to be the mother of
      > Jesus. Indeed, in Mark 6:3, two brothers of Jesus
      > (and, so, sons of the mother of Jesus) are identified
      > as having the names of James and Joses!
      >
      First of all, you disregard the the beginning of the sentence "There were
      three who always walked with the Lord:" in order to support you theory.

      You could also have taken this portion in another sense to say that the
      'three who always walked with the Lord' means that they were sinless.

      Your argument has not convinced me that the mention of the wife of Clopas at
      the foot of the cross is anything other than what is appears to be - a
      clarification of this woman. That trail feels like a cold one to me.

      Peace,

      Elaine
    • Q Bee
      ... Dear Bill, To the contrary. The default pronoun needs to be assumed until there is other evidence to determine the gender of the otherwise unknown person.
      Message 2 of 22 , Jul 1 6:16 PM
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        > Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 16:59:55 +0100
        > From: "Bill Bullin" <bill.bullin@...>
        > Subject: Re: Re: James and Clopas
        >
        >
        >> Dear Frank:
        >>
        >> There is an assumption being made as you consider a male pronoun as key to
        >> the argument. In every known language when the identity and/or gender of
        > a
        >> person is not known the default pronoun is 'he'. To make the default
        >> pronoun the basis for speculation, even to the extent of a person not
        >> present in the scene, is far reaching unless you can show a pattern where
        >> this occurs in other ways it is used in the same gospel.
        >>
        > Dear Elaine
        >
        > Your first general statement seems reasonable but in your second statement
        > you appear to jump to the assumption that a default pronoun *is* being used
        > rather than that the writer uses 'he' because s/he actually means 'he' and
        > not the default pronoun.

        Dear Bill,

        To the contrary. The default pronoun needs to be assumed until there is
        other evidence to determine the gender of the otherwise unknown person.

        > In other words it seems reasonable to argue that a
        > default pronoun might be being used but it seems unwarranted to argue that
        > it is being used. The question seems open. It is one thing to argue that the
        > BD
        > was anonymous to the readers of John but quite another to argue that this
        > person
        > was anonymous to either the writer, or the redactor.

        It is possible that the gender was only known to the scribe and necessarily
        known to the redactor.

        > In this case we must look elsewhere for further illumination; to internal
        > and external evidence.
        > You place considerable weight on the reliability of c.2nd source material
        > which in my view is no less likely to be a Gnostic pious invention in the
        > presence of the document and in the absence or reliable oral testimony, than
        > the orthodox idea that the BD was John the Apostle or one of several other
        > male disciples. In my mind the question remains open in the absence of
        > conclusive evidence.
        >
        So far, the only hint you have made as to your leanings is in your use of
        the 'one of the other male disciples'. We are aware that Jesus was
        egalitarian and that there were both men and women disciples.

        > With regard to internal evidence, if John 18:15-16 refers to the BD and not
        > to a further un-named disciple,
        > it is intriguing because of its implications. How might this disciple be
        > 'known to the High Priest', a
        > statement emphasised by the writer through repetition?
        >
        > Was there: (a) a familial connection (I think some argue for Mary, the
        > sister of Martha and Lazarus on this basis);
        > (b) to do with trade in salt fish;
        > (c) to do with priestly office and function;
        > (d) to do with social status;
        > (e) due to an illicit relationship; or
        > (f) something else?
        >
        > The disciple is able to either instruct or persuade the woman gate keeper
        > too.
        > If this disciple was able to instruct it would imply social or functional or
        > familial status and such status would have afforded a man some protection at
        > the cross. If it was a matter of bribery or persuasion, we still have the
        > problem of why the gatekeeper nevertheless quizzes Peter, either
        > sarcastically
        > or else dutifully; I don't think we are meant to take it as sarcasm.
        >
        Now, if the unknown disciple were a female it makes sense that the female
        gatekeeper might be more pliant to this known entity who has easy access at
        the women's gate.

        > On the whole I am not persuaded that the connection was
        > one of trade, the High Priest would have been a person of massive social
        > status and priveledge and would not have known the household fish merchant
        > directly. If the disciple was known through a former illicit relationship
        > this might well literally open doors and gates, particularly at night.
        > If it was about social status or familial relationship or priestly office
        > this has implications for
        > the footwashing episode linked with 'first and least' type status issues.
        >
        So, have you taken into consideration that a wealthy daughter of one of the
        high priestly cast might have great access and influence and close ties to
        the priests wives?

        > One other possibility is that the BD was the Royal (basilikos) official's
        > young
        > (beloved) son / huios or servant / paidon / pais, (John 4:46-54), perhaps
        > with a Capernaum link, if not a home there (vs.46). Presumably a Royal
        > official
        > and his family would normally live either within the Royal Court in
        > Jerusalem or in a large household within easy reach of the Court, (perhaps
        > with an upper room).
        >
        That is, IF the Last Supper took place near the Temple in the Essene Quarter
        rather than at Qumran.

        > In this case the Official and his son may have been in the Galilean border
        > town on
        > business or family affairs when the boy had fallen ill. Perhaps too the
        > official was Herod's steward, Chuza (Lk. 8:3; 24:10), the husband of Joanna,
        > a woman present at the tomb.

        Then again, this opens up the possibility that is is Joanna.

        > Potentially too there is a powerful historical
        > rather than simply a theological link between John 4:50 and 20:29. If
        > Chuza's Jerusalem residence had been used as the location of the last
        > supper,
        > and his son was the BD, it would also explain why the identity of the BD was
        > concealed and how this person found himself almost 'centre stage' at the
        > supper. The Capenaeum connection might explain why a Jerusalemite BD was
        > fishing with Galilean disciples, presuming John 21 contains both history and
        > theological symbolism and that it does not relate to a pre-Easter account.
        > What seems to be missing in such an identification is a priestly theological
        > interest but this after all might be the work of the chief editior,
        > redactor. Arguments in support of identifying the BD as John Mark or
        > alternatively as Chuza and Joannna' son have much in common despite evident
        > differences. I still favour the former but surely the question is a little
        > more open as is the question of whether or not a default pronoun is actually
        > being used as distinct from the thoretical possibility that it may have
        > been.
        >
        All of these scenarios presume that a default pronoun was not used when
        there is no indication to substantiate that position.

        > Why would the High Priest have known Mary Magdalene and why would the woman
        > gatekeeper have responded to her request and yet have challenged Peter?
        >
        If she were the daughter of a revered priest or had she been considered a
        prophetess or holy woman in some other way (Nazirite, for instance) there
        could be a tremendous connection between the female gate keeper, the
        official to whom access was important and MM.

        Now, if she is Mary of Bethany and the daughter of "Simon the Leper" who may
        be one and the same with Lazarus there might be a further connection. There
        are many avenues to explore in this that are not exclusively in the realm of
        male discipleship. We know that it is possible to equate 'leper' or 'dead
        person' with one who has been marginalized from the Temple system. The very
        name 'Bethany' means 'House of Ananiah' which also may imply 'near Temple
        gates'. Since the location of Bethany is very close to Qumran it could
        relate in that way. This possibility is intriguing since Jesus is known to
        have spent some time at Bethany. Is there a connection to the estate of a
        particular temple priest and the name of the place of the anointing of the
        messiah?

        We might also see Bethany in relationship to John the Baptist as one 'crying
        in the wilderness', for if he were based at Qumran he would be in the
        wilderness near Bethany. Bethany them becomes the place 'near the Temple
        gates' in a meaningful way.

        We know that John the Baptist's father was Zachariah (Zacharius) from the
        opening of Luke's Gospel. We also know from Matthew 23:35 that a recent
        incident of the murder of a priest named Zachariah between the sanctuary and
        the altar was a point that Jesus made concerning the spilling of innocent
        blood. It is interesting that the Protevangelicum of James reports that the
        person who received Jesus' mother, Mary, into the Temple at the age of three
        was also a Zachariah.

        There are many possibilities to explore before one decides on whether the
        default pronoun of total anonymity should be discarded in favor of a male
        only possibility.

        Peace,

        Elaine

        > Bill Bullin (Private Student, East Sussex).
        >
        > 'It is the historian's function, not to make us clever for next time, but to
        > make us wise for ever'.
        >
        >
        >
      • Wayne Highsmith
        ... LETTER ONE ... LETTER TWO ... Dear Bill and Frank, Firstly, I m a tad confused as to who wrote what here. Nevertheless... The keywords here are assume
        Message 3 of 22 , Jul 2 12:40 PM
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          --- Q Bee <artforms@...> wrote:
          >
          > > Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 16:59:55 +0100
          > > From: "Bill Bullin" <bill.bullin@...>
          > > Subject: Re: Re: James and Clopas
          > >
          LETTER ONE
          > >> Dear Frank:
          > >>
          > >> There is an assumption being made as you consider
          > a male pronoun as key to
          > >> the argument. In every known language when the
          > identity and/or gender of
          > > a
          > >> person is not known the default pronoun is 'he'.
          > To make the default
          > >> pronoun the basis for speculation, even to the
          > extent of a person not
          > >> present in the scene, is far reaching unless you
          > can show a pattern where
          > >> this occurs in other ways it is used in the same
          > gospel.

          LETTER TWO
          > Dear Bill,
          >
          > To the contrary. The default pronoun needs to be
          > assumed until there is
          > other evidence to determine the gender of the
          > otherwise unknown person.


          Dear Bill and Frank,
          Firstly, I'm a tad confused as to who wrote what here.

          Nevertheless...
          The keywords here are "assume" and "assumption". Both
          are dangerous terms from which to draw any inferences
          at all. Letter One is quite right in his point about
          the default pronoun. Letter Two's point is certainly
          valid in *our* time but, I think, considerably less so
          two millenia ago. In Biblical times the default "he"
          was used quite commonly for the reason Letter One
          gives but also to deliberately disguise and demote the
          role of the female in that male-dominated society.
          I think Prof. Paula Fredriksen in her outstanding book
          "Jesus of Nazareth; King of the Jews" was profoundly
          correct when she pointed out that it is a capital
          mistake for scholars to retroject modern modes of
          thinking--and writing--to Biblical times be it OT or
          NT. --Wayne in Indiana
        • Frank McCoy
          ... From: Q Bee To: Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 1:12 PM Subject: [John_Lit] Re: James and
          Message 4 of 22 , Jul 5 10:04 AM
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Q Bee" <artforms@...>
            To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 1:12 PM
            Subject: [John_Lit] Re: James and Clopas


            >
            > > Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2004 12:05:27 -0700 (PDT)
            > > From: Frank McCoy <silvanus55109@...>
            > > Subject: Re: James and Clopas

            > > Are you suggesting that a woman wrote John? If
            so, do you have any particular woman in mind?
            >>

            > It is as plausible for Mary Magdalene to have been
            the author of 4G as it is for any other person who was
            with Jesus through his mission.
            >

            Dear Elaine:

            I fail to see why the author of 4G should be presumed
            to have been with Jesus through his mission. For
            example, neither Mark nor Luke had apparently been
            with Jesus through his mission, yet this prevented
            neither from writing a gospel about his mission.

            However, your suggestion that Mary Magdalene might
            have been the author of 4G appears to be very
            promising.

            Let us look at 21:24, "This (i.e., the BD) is the
            disciple, the one testifying about these things and
            the one having written these things--and we know that
            this testimony is true."

            Here, it is declared, the BD has written these things.
            If one assumes that "these things" consists of all
            that precedes 21:24, i.e., 1:1-21:23, then
            21:24 can be taken to mean that the BD has literally
            written 1:1-21:23.

            However, this appears to be unlikely since the
            immediately preceding 21:23 appears to assume that the
            BD is already dead.

            On the other hand, it might mean that one or more of
            the immediate subordinates of the BD wrote 1:1-21:23.
            Note that, in 3:22, it is declared that Jesus was
            baptizing. However, this should be interpreted to
            mean that it was his immediate subordinates (i.e., his
            disciples) who were baptizing--as is made clear in
            4:2.

            So, to recap, 21:24 suggests that it was the BD or
            else one or more of this person's immediate
            subordinates who wrote 1:1-21:23. Since 21:23
            suggests
            that the BD is already dead, this means that, if 21:24
            is accurate, the most likely author(s) of 1:1-21:23
            is/are one or more of the immediate subordinates of
            the BD.

            Who, then, were the immediate subordinates of the BD?

            In this regard, it is noteworthy that we have this
            sequence:
            1. 13:23-25 Peter and the BD are mentioned, but Mary
            Magdalene is not
            2. 19:23-25 Mary Magdalene and the BD are mentioned,
            but Peter is not
            3. 20:1-9 Mary Magdalene, the BD and Peter are all
            mentioned.
            Further, assuming that chapter 21 is a later appendix,
            these are the only three explicit mentions of the BD
            in the original 4G.

            What this sequence suggests is that the BD had two
            immediate subordinates, i.e., Peter and Mary
            Magdalene.

            This can explain why, in the Gospel of Mary, Mary
            Magdalene is perceived by Peter as a threat to his
            authority. In this case, this reflects a
            historical reality of a time when Peter and Mary
            Magdalene were equals in the sense of both being
            immediate subordinates of the BD and Peter resented
            this and sought to undermine her own status.

            In any event, if, as this sequence suggests, Peter and
            Mary Magdalene were the two immediate subordinates of
            the BD, then, if 21:24 is accurate, the most likely
            author(s) of 1:1-21:23 is Peter and/or Mary Magdalene.

            However, judging by 21:18-19, Peter was already dead.
            This leaves only Mary Magdalene as the most likely
            author of the 4G.

            This line of reasoning is based on a number of
            arguable assumptions, including these: (1) 21:24 is
            accurate, (2) that the BD is said to have written
            these things in 21:24 means that these things were
            either written by the BD or else by one or more of the
            immediate subordinate of the BD, (3) "these things" in
            21:24 are 1:1-21:23, and (4) chapter 21 is an appendix
            written later that 1-20.

            Still, none of these assumptions appears to be
            unreasonable, so the conclusion of this line of
            reasoning (i.e., that the most likely author of
            the 4G is Mary Magdalene) perhaps should carry some
            weight.

            That, according this line of reasoning, the immediate
            subordinates of the BD were Peter and Mary Magdalene
            suggests that the BD is James the Just. In the early
            Jerusalem Church, only James was superior to Peter.
            Further, there is evidence that Mary Magdalene had
            been an immediate subordinate of James. So, in The
            Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics (p. 236), Jean
            Doresse states, "Incidentally the *Philosophumena*, in
            what it says of the Naassenes, summarizes certain
            teachings which those sectaries presented as 'the
            principal points of the doctrine that James the
            brother of the Lord had passed on to Mariamne.'"

            Perhaps the situation in the most primitive Jerusalem
            Church is that James presided over a group of male
            disciples led by Peter and a group of female
            disciples led by Mary Magdalene, thereby making Peter
            and Mary Magdalene his two immediate subordinates.
            The existence of two such groups of disciples,
            one male and the other female, continuing on after the
            death of Jesus is suggested in the Sophia of Jesus
            Christ, which begins, "After he rose from the dead,
            his twelve disciples and seven women followed him...".
            Further, in this text, Mariamme speaks a number of
            times and, so, appears to be the head of the seven
            women followers.

            Indeed, this picture of two groups of disciples, one
            consisting of twelve males and the other of seven
            females, raises the possibility that the Lukan picture
            of there being a group of twelve and a group of seven
            in the most primitive Jerusalem Church is correct, but
            that Luke has mistakenly identified the seven as being
            the leaders of the Hellenists when they actually were
            a group of women disciples.

            > >
            Certainly, if one (1) takes John 21:24 literally and
            (2) takes "these things" of this passage to be the
            whole Gospel of John and (3) takes this gospel to be
            the reporting of actual history, then the probability
            greatly increases that the unnamed disciple in 1:38 is
            the BD. However, I think the probability of all three
            of these considerations being true is close to zero.
            >>

            >
            Your item #1 makes no sense to me since we are talking
            about NOT taking things literally as we consider 4G.
            It is plausible that the actual scribes of the text
            may have been several people within the community who
            recorded various oral reports from the source, the BD,
            over a period of years. It is likely that the stories
            were reworked and refined to become a cohesive
            document as collection became the basis for teaching a
            wider community. It is also possible that the BD
            employed several scribes at different occasions to
            record certain portions after taking time to consider
            how s/he would like to present various ideas.
            >
            As to #3, it is 4G which contains facts that led to
            the archeological discovery of the pool of Bethesda
            (John 5:2).
            >

            That the author of the 4G appears to have accurate
            knowledge regarding theJerusalem area suggests that
            the 4G was written in Jerusalem. Indeed, I am
            inclined to think that chapters 1-20 were written at
            Jerusalem shortly after the death of James the Just in
            62 CE as a memorial to the martyrdom of this BD, with
            chapter 21 written at Jerusalem shortly after the
            death of Peter around 65 CE as a memorial to his
            martydom.

            However, IMO, that the author of the 4G appears to
            have accurate knowledge regarding the Jerusalem area
            has no direct bearing on the question of whether the
            4G is historically accurate. Geographical accuracy
            and
            historical accuracy are two distinct categories and a
            literary work (e.g., a novel) can have geographical
            accuracy but historical inaccuracy.

            Elaine, you raise the hypothesis that a number of
            scribes had written down some of what had been orally
            said by the BD--with these written reports being
            gathered together, reworked, and edited over an
            extended period of time into the 4G. I agree that
            this is a plausible hypothesis.

            In this regard, it is noteworthy that scribes might
            have written down some of what had been orally said by
            James. So, the Second Apocalypse of James thusly
            begins, "This is [the] discourse that James [the] Just
            spoke in Jerusalem, [which] Mareim, one [of] the
            priests, wrote." Conversely, I know of no evidence
            that scribes might have written down some of what had
            been orally said by Mary Magdalene. So, if this
            hypothesis is correct, then the BD is more likely to
            be James the Just than to be Mary Magdalene.

            > >
            Also, there are a number of unnamed disciples in John:
            1. 1:38--a disciple of John the Baptist
            2. several passages--a disciple loved by Jesus
            3.18:19--a disciple known to the High Priest
            4. 19:35--a disciple who witnessed the flow of blood
            and water from the side of Jesus.
            > >
            So, the unnamed person in 1:38 is hardly unique in
            this respect.
            > >

            >
            Are you making the assumption that each of these is a
            different person? If so, why are they necessarily
            separate individuals?
            >

            From the last part of 21:2 ("and two other of his
            disciples"), we know that there are at least two
            unnamed disciples in the 4G. So, IMO, the burden of
            proof lies on those who argue that the BD, the unnamed
            disciple in 1:38, the unnamed disciple in 18:15-16,
            and the unnamed disciple in 19:35 are one and
            the same person.

            Having said that, I don't assume that they are
            necessarily separate individuals either.

            Indeed, there is a good chance that the unnamed
            disciple in 19:35 is the BD. This is because, like the
            BD, this disciple watched the crucifixion and is
            declared to give true testimony.

            In this regard, it is noteworthy that there is
            evidence that James the Just had a reputation of
            giving true testimony. For example, in the History of
            the Church (Book 2, Sect. 23), Eusebius (quoting
            Hegesippus), has the scribes and Pharisees tell James,
            "We accept what you say:...", and,
            ""Righteous one, whose words we are all obliged to
            accept,..."

            So, James might not only be the BD, but the unnamed
            disciple in 19:35 as well.

            There also is a fairly decent chance that the unnamed
            disciple in 18:15-16 is the BD. This is because, like
            the BD, this disciple was in Jerusalem the night of
            Jesus' arrest.

            This person was known to the High Priest and to the
            High Priest's gatekeeper.

            In this regard, it is noteworthy that, according to
            Jerome, the now lost Gospel According to the Hebrews
            had this passage, "But the Lord, after he had given
            his linen clothes to the Servant of the Priest, went
            to James and appeared to him." Here, "the Priest",
            almost certainly, is the High Priest.

            So, it would appear, according to this gospel, when
            the risen Jesus went to see James, he had first been
            greeted by a servant of the High Priest--the
            implication being that the servant of the High Priest
            had been visiting James and, so, knew him well. If
            so, then James might be the unknown disciple of
            18:15-16 who was known to the High Priest and his
            gatekeeper.

            The odds are much slimmer that the unnamed disciple in
            1:38 is the BD. This is because this person makes an
            appearance near the beginning of Jesus' ministry,
            while the first explicit reference to the BD doesn't
            occur until the Last Supper--the very end of Jesus'
            ministry.

            > >
            I am referring to the Gospel of Philip (59), "There
            were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary his
            mother and her sister and Magdalene, the one who was
            called his companion. His sister and his mother and
            his companion were each a Mary."
            > >
            Here, four people are mentioned: (1) Mary, the mother
            of Jesus, (2) her sister, (3) his (i.e., Jesus')
            sister, and (4) Mary the Magdalene. They are, I
            suggest, the women mentioned in John 19:25. Further,
            the first sentence ("There were three who always
            walked with the Lord: Mary his mother and her sister
            and Magdalene, the one who was called his
            companion.")appears to also have Mark 15:40-41a in
            mind, "And there were also women from a distance
            looking on, among whom were both Mary the Magdalene
            and Mary the
            mother of James the Lesser and of Joses and
            Salome--who were following him and serving him when he
            was in Galilee." As a result, the author of Philip
            apparently took the sister of Jesus to be Salome.
            Further, this person apparently took Mary the mother
            of James the Lesser and Joses to be the mother of
            Jesus. Indeed, in Mark 6:3, two brothers of Jesus
            (and, so, sons of the mother of Jesus) are identified
            as having the names of James and Joses!
            >>

            >
            First of all, you disregard the the beginning of the
            sentence "There were three who always walked with the
            Lord:" in order to support you theory.
            >
            You could also have taken this portion in another
            sense to say that the 'three who always walked with
            the Lord' means that they were sinless.
            >

            Certainly, this is a possible interpretation--although
            the lack of an edifying modifier to "walked" (such as
            "blamelessly") perhaps makes it unlikely.

            In any event, what I am hypothesising is that Mark
            15:40-41 is the hypotext and that the second sentence
            in the excerpt from Philip is the hypertext, with:
            (1) "Mary his mother and her sister and Magdalene, the
            one who was called his companion" being the Philip
            interpretation of "Mary the Magdalene and Mary the
            mother of James the Lesser and of Joses and
            Salome."--so that Mary his mother = Mary the mother of
            James the Lesser and of Joses, so that her sister =
            Salome, and so that Magdalene = Mary Magdalene
            (2) "Who always walked with the Lord" being the
            Philip interpretation of "who were following him and
            serving him when he was in Galilee."--so that the
            "always" means "constantly during his ministry period
            in Galilee" and so that "walked with the Lord" means
            "followed and served him".

            If this hypothesis is valid, then James the Lesser is
            a brother of Jesus and, so, is James the Just.
            Indeed, in the prologue to the Protoevangelion, this
            early Christian document is ascribed to James the
            Lesser--who is identified as being James the Just
            because he is said to be the brother of the Lord
            (although a qualifier is added in that he is also said
            to be the cousin of the Lord), the chief Apostle, and
            the first Bishop of Jerusalem.

            Regards,

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









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          • Q Bee
            ... Dear George, I believe that Mary at Bethany (MB) and Mary Magdalene (MM) are the same person. This Mary who is at Bethany is nowhere called MB in the
            Message 5 of 22 , Jul 5 10:23 AM
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              > Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2004 15:58:14 EDT
              > From: geomelick@...
              > Subject: Re: Re: James and Clopas
              >
              > Dear Elaine:
              >
              > Your postulating a relationship between Mary of Bethany and Simon the leper
              > intrigues me. I have wondered if Mary of Bethany was the daughter of Simon
              > the
              > leper.

              Dear George,

              I believe that Mary 'at' Bethany (MB) and Mary Magdalene (MM) are the same
              person. This Mary who is at Bethany is nowhere called MB in the text of
              John. It is a title given to her by tradition. John 12:1 says that the
              anointing took place sin days before the Passover and that is just nine days
              before the resurrection scene in the garden in John 20. It is hardly likely
              that anyone other than MM is the person of whom Jesus said in John 12:7
              "Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial." What are
              the odds of two such costly containers of nard being in the hands of two
              different Marys just nine days apart, especially when, as the anointing
              women in 12:3 MB is specifically commissioned to perform the function? And,
              since the use of nard is specific only to the anointing of the king while
              all other Temple anointings are performed with olive oil, there is reason to
              believe that the person who possesses the nard has a close relationship to
              the inner circle of the Temple priesthood. This might explain the ready
              access to the high priest in John 18:15.

              That said, if you note that the passages that I paired as the 'bookends' of
              Jesus' mission John 1:38-39 and John 20:14-17 have certain similarities
              which seem to be a call and response or mirroring of initiation dialog you
              will recognize that some elements are of this are also included in John
              11:34, just at midpoint between the two bookend passages. This hint of the
              same sort of dialog placed midway between the other two 'bookend' passages
              is also a clue to look for other detail, IMO, such as MM weeping at the tomb
              in ch. 20 and Jesus weeping at the tomb in ch. 11.

              Dr. Thomas W. Butler makes a case for the anointing at Bethany as parallel
              to the anointing of a new altar in his book "Let Her Keep It". The foot of
              the new altar, Jesus' feet, and the head of the priest who is to serve at
              that altar, MB's head, are anointed as would be the case in the old Temple
              ritual. This is the reason for the objection to the waste of the costly
              spikenard. Certainly, as a good Jew, Judas would not object to the ritual
              anointing of Jesus, an anointing which makes him 'Messiah', but he does
              object to the sacred substance ending up on the hair (head) of MB since that
              amounts to her being chosen above the males present as a priest at the new
              altar. That is the 'waste' of the costly substance. Jesus answers Judas'
              objection with "Leave her alone" which could well be taken in the Nazirite
              sense of 'setting her apart' for the priesthood and the sacred anointing of
              the dead king, a task that MM attempts to accomplish nine days later on
              Easter Sunday morning.

              Now, we have ample evidence that Jesus gave new names to many of his
              disciples and that he also challenges the notion of blood relations and
              points out that those who follow him are his mother, brother and sisters. I
              think that there is little reason to assume blood relatedness between
              characters other than in this context. The issue of blood relatedness does
              not further our understanding of the text as far as I can see, especially as
              we look at 4G as the gospel of signs. But, we might look at the location of
              the house at Bethany as the 'gate near the temple' and possibly relate this
              'Simon the Leper' as a priest who has been marginalized in some way and is
              considered an outcast; therefore, he is a 'leper'. He may be one and the
              same with Lazarus (although he could also be the father of Lazarus). It is
              even possible that he is Simon Magus. But, I have not found a connection to
              Judas Iscariot except if there had been relatedness through 'brotherhood' in
              the sense of political or religious factional alliance.

              > I have further wondered if Simon the leper was a pejorative way of
              > referring to Simon Iscariot. This would make Judas the brother of Mary,
              > Martha,
              > and Lazarus. He certainly sounds like a member of the family with his
              > carping about the jar of ointment. This is speculative, but might explain why
              > the
              > raising of Lazarus is not in the Synoptics.
              >
              It is also possible that the synoptics were written by the faction that
              intended to keep Peter in the primary position among the apostles. As we
              see the juxtaposition of Peter and the BD in 4G we can hardly help but
              notice that Peter does not stand in a very good light, whereas the BD
              literally outruns him in so many ways. And when we note that the John 20:7
              places Peter in the role of the children in the Passover scenario through
              discovering the symbolic afikomen, that is - the soudarion, rolled up in a
              separate place, the meaning begins to emerge. There is also an allusion to
              the subordinate role of Peter at the Last Supper when Peter has to go
              through the BD in order to ask who the betrayer will be (John 13:23). These
              scenes play out the idea of 'the first shall be last, the last shall be
              first'.

              Peace to you,

              Elaine
            • Mike Grondin
              ... So what? She s clearly presented as a member of the apparently well- to-do Bethany family grouping of Mary-Martha-Lazarus in GJn. The reason the other Mary
              Message 6 of 22 , Jul 6 10:49 AM
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                --- Q Bee wrote to George M.:
                > I believe that Mary 'at' Bethany (MB) and Mary Magdalene (MM) are
                > the same person. This Mary who is at Bethany is nowhere called MB
                > in the text of John.

                So what? She's clearly presented as a member of the apparently well-
                to-do Bethany family grouping of Mary-Martha-Lazarus in GJn. The
                reason the other Mary was called 'of Magdala' was evidently to
                distinguish her from MB, so at the very least, the authors thought
                they were two different women. There doesn't seem to be any good
                reason for us to think otherwise. (What sense would it make for the
                author to refer to one member of the Bethany family to be 'of
                Magdala'?)

                > It is hardly likely that anyone other than MM is the person of
                > whom Jesus said in John 12:7 "Leave her alone. Let her keep this
                > for the day of my burial." What are the odds of two such costly
                > containers of nard being in the hands of two different Marys just
                > nine days apart, especially when, as the anointing [woman] in 12:3
                > MB is specifically commissioned to perform the function?

                You seem to be harmonizing Jn 12:7 with Mk 16:1 (wherein three women
                bring "spices" to the tomb to anoint the body), notwithstanding the
                fact that in Jn there's no Markan "spices" - nard or other - brought
                to the tomb by MM, and in Mk there's no forward-looking statement
                in the Bethany scene corresponding to the Johannine "Let her keep
                this for the day of my burial". Reasoning from harmonization is
                inherently suspect to begin with, and here we have the further
                warning factor that the Bethany and tomb scenes are significantly
                different in Mk and Jn. To pull two ambiguous elements from two such
                disparate scenes in two separate gospels and put them together to
                deny what the individual authors evidently believed (namely, that
                the anointing woman at Bethany was not MM), goes well beyond the
                strictures of sound reasoning, IMO.

                Mike Grondin
                Mt. Clemens, MI
              • mr_atoz@yahoo.com
                ... I also completely concur that MB and MM are one and the same. We must consider Jewish tradition when considering this question as it relates to the
                Message 7 of 22 , Jul 6 12:03 PM
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                  > --- Q Bee wrote to George M.:
                  > > I believe that Mary 'at' Bethany (MB) and Mary Magdalene (MM) are
                  > > the same person. This Mary who is at Bethany is nowhere called MB
                  > > in the text of John.
                  I also completely concur that MB and MM are one and the same. We must
                  consider Jewish tradition when considering this question as it
                  relates to the "annointing for burial". Annointing was the
                  responsibility of the wife and other close female relatives to assist
                  her. I think it an easy inference that MM is the only candidate for
                  this role since the deceased's mother was second in line after the
                  wife and the mother of Jesus clearly plays a secondary role to MM in
                  the gospel narratives. (Note that Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus
                  provide the materials but are not said to have annointed the body.
                  Even in 4G they wrap the already annointed body)
                  We must *always* bear in mind that Jesus was a Jew and acted
                  according to Jewish laws and traditions in life and death. Obviously
                  I endorse the view that MM was the wife of Jesus. To me this is
                  imperative since in his day *no* man acheived the title of "rabbi"
                  while unmarried. "Permit the little children to come to me". Again,
                  no man was permitted to teach--much less touch--the children of
                  others unless he was a father himself.
                  I would now like to address the Mary of *Bethany* question. The late
                  Prof. Bargil Pixnar uncovered the true "Bethany beyond the Jordan"
                  location in Batanea (Bethany) far to the north and but a few short
                  miles from the village of Kochaba (lit. "Village of the Star") and
                  sister town to Nazareth in Galilee. Despite the designation of the
                  Bethany near Jerusalem as *the* Bethany by the NT I believe this is a
                  later interpolation to help concrete the idea that Jesus was
                  a "Judean"--something I reject but that's another story. The Bethany
                  of Batanea was located not just "beyond the Jordan" but was located
                  along the tributary river "Kerith" which completely explains John
                  baptizing "in Bethany *beyond* the Jordan."
                  NOTE: Has anyone here noticed my positively aggravating predilection
                  for addressing one subject and then leaping--without warning--to
                  another? I apologize for this but linkage is an important process in
                  my peculiar thought patterns.
                  I close now before I jump to yet another subject. Besides, I do
                  believe I have succeeded quite well already in painting
                  the "bullseye" on my forehead via my long-winded harangue above.
                  --Wayne A. Highsmith Sr. in Indiana
                • Q Bee
                  ... Dear Mike, There seems to be some misinformation concerning the title Mary of Magdala . The town called ŒMagdala¹ was called ŒTaricheae¹ until second
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jul 6 9:54 PM
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                    > Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 17:49:33 -0000
                    > From: "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                    > Subject: Re: James and Clopas
                    >
                    > --- Q Bee wrote to George M.:
                    >> I believe that Mary 'at' Bethany (MB) and Mary Magdalene (MM) are
                    >> the same person. This Mary who is at Bethany is nowhere called MB
                    >> in the text of John.
                    >
                    > So what? She's clearly presented as a member of the apparently well-
                    > to-do Bethany family grouping of Mary-Martha-Lazarus in GJn. The
                    > reason the other Mary was called 'of Magdala' was evidently to
                    > distinguish her from MB, so at the very least, the authors thought
                    > they were two different women. There doesn't seem to be any good
                    > reason for us to think otherwise. (What sense would it make for the
                    > author to refer to one member of the Bethany family to be 'of
                    > Magdala'?)
                    >
                    Dear Mike,

                    There seems to be some misinformation concerning the title 'Mary of
                    Magdala'. The town called ŒMagdala¹ was called ŒTaricheae¹ until second
                    century Christians renamed it believing that the town may have been MM's
                    home. In ancient times the place had been known as ŒMigdal Nunayya¹ - the
                    ŒTower of the Fishermen¹ because it was a place where fish was salted for
                    trade. But the manner in which the title is presented in Greek does not
                    indicate Œof Magdala¹ according to Hayyim ben Yehoshua.

                    Actually, 'Magdalene' is closer to calling her "Mary the Great". Listing
                    her first, even before Jesus' mother, as the synoptics do seems to bear that
                    out.

                    >> It is hardly likely that anyone other than MM is the person of
                    >> whom Jesus said in John 12:7 "Leave her alone. Let her keep this
                    >> for the day of my burial." What are the odds of two such costly
                    >> containers of nard being in the hands of two different Marys just
                    >> nine days apart, especially when, as the anointing [woman] in 12:3
                    >> MB is specifically commissioned to perform the function?
                    >
                    > You seem to be harmonizing Jn 12:7 with Mk 16:1 (wherein three women
                    > bring "spices" to the tomb to anoint the body), notwithstanding the
                    > fact that in Jn there's no Markan "spices" - nard or other - brought
                    > to the tomb by MM, and in Mk there's no forward-looking statement
                    > in the Bethany scene corresponding to the Johannine "Let her keep
                    > this for the day of my burial".

                    Since she is already commissioned to do so explicitly in the anointing scene
                    I wonder why you would need it mentioned at the actual tomb scene.

                    > Reasoning from harmonization is
                    > inherently suspect to begin with, and here we have the further
                    > warning factor that the Bethany and tomb scenes are significantly
                    > different in Mk and Jn. To pull two ambiguous elements from two such
                    > disparate scenes in two separate gospels and put them together to
                    > deny what the individual authors evidently believed (namely, that
                    > the anointing woman at Bethany was not MM), goes well beyond the
                    > strictures of sound reasoning, IMO.
                    >
                    You may call it bad reasoning if you wish, but all the reports show that it
                    is MM who goes to the tomb regardless of whether other woman are present or
                    not. But, in the gospel we are addressing, a Mary is commissioned to do the
                    anointing and the same gospel has only MM going to the tomb. You may make
                    of that what you like. I do not find a problem in it since the business of
                    the tomb scene has shifted to a much more important event and that is MM as
                    the first witness and the first sent.

                    Peace,

                    Elaine+
                  • Mike Grondin
                    ... This argument requires that MM have a container of nard at the tomb. But in GJn, she doesn t. Neither nard nor any other spices. She goes to the tomb,
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jul 7 7:39 AM
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                      --- Q Bee (AKA Elaine) wrote:

                      > Since [MB] is already commissioned to [anoint J] explicitly in
                      > the anointing scene I wonder why you would need it mentioned at
                      > the actual tomb scene.

                      I don't, but your original argument does:

                      > What are the odds of two such costly containers of nard being
                      > in the hands of two different Marys just nine days apart ...

                      This argument requires that MM have a container of nard at the tomb.
                      But in GJn, she doesn't. Neither nard nor any other spices. She goes
                      to the tomb, sure, but there's no indication in GJn that she goes
                      there to anoint the body. (To the contrary, since she presumably
                      wouldn't have been able to move the stone alone, one has to assume
                      that the author is not presupposing that her visit to the tomb
                      involved moving the stone - which anointing would.) So there simply
                      aren't two Marys with nard in GJn. There's only one - the one at
                      Bethany. Maybe she anointed the body prior to MM's visit.

                      Mike Grondin
                      Mt. Clemens, MI
                    • Q Bee
                      ... Dear Wayne, I think the responsibility of the wife is also present at Bethany in a couple of ways. Of course, we can see the implications of the anointing
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jul 7 2:14 PM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        > Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 19:03:38 -0000
                        > From: mr_atoz@...
                        > Subject: Re: James and Clopas
                        >
                        > I also completely concur that MB and MM are one and the same. We must
                        > consider Jewish tradition when considering this question as it
                        > relates to the "annointing for burial". Annointing was the
                        > responsibility of the wife and other close female relatives to assist
                        > her. I think it an easy inference that MM is the only candidate for
                        > this role since the deceased's mother was second in line after the
                        > wife and the mother of Jesus clearly plays a secondary role to MM in
                        > the gospel narratives. (Note that Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus
                        > provide the materials but are not said to have annointed the body.
                        > Even in 4G they wrap the already annointed body)

                        Dear Wayne,

                        I think the responsibility of the wife is also present at Bethany in a
                        couple of ways. Of course, we can see the implications of the anointing at
                        Bethany as it conforms to the sequence of anointing of the messiah/king at
                        the betrothal, the formal marriage, and at the grave, but beyond that we
                        should also note that in John 11 Mary waits to be called out before leaving
                        her position while mourning over Lazarus' death inside the house. This is
                        customary actions of the wife. She waits for her husband to call her out.

                        Luke 10:38-41 also gives an insight into Mary as Jesus' wife. According to
                        custom, Martha should be taking her complaint about being left to do the
                        serving to the head of the house (Lazarus or Simon the Leper) but, instead
                        she goes to Jesus. It makes sense that she does this when we realize that
                        Mary is Jesus' wife and no longer under the jurisdiction of her father or
                        brother.

                        Tradition has held that MM & MB are one and the same for nearly two
                        millennia, and it is only after the discovery of the Nag Hammadi documents
                        that Rome reversed its position. Too close for comfort as we see Mm
                        emerging as something much more than the trumped up penitent?

                        > We must *always* bear in mind that Jesus was a Jew and acted
                        > according to Jewish laws and traditions in life and death. Obviously
                        > I endorse the view that MM was the wife of Jesus. To me this is
                        > imperative since in his day *no* man acheived the title of "rabbi"
                        > while unmarried. "Permit the little children to come to me". Again,
                        > no man was permitted to teach--much less touch--the children of
                        > others unless he was a father himself.

                        I concur with your statement here except that the implications of 'let the
                        little children come unto me' may also be viewed from the perspective of
                        John Pilch's commentary on the passage wherein he describes the children as
                        the spy network for the women who must remain rather cloistered. He
                        describes a situation wherein the disciples meeting with Jesus must leave
                        their doors unlocked in order that it be known within that network that all
                        that Jesus does is open to the scrutiny of the community. That makes sense
                        to me as well as the idea that he's have to be a rabbi for the children to
                        freely go in and out where ever he was gathered with disciples.

                        > I would now like to address the Mary of *Bethany* question. The late
                        > Prof. Bargil Pixnar uncovered the true "Bethany beyond the Jordan"
                        > location in Batanea (Bethany) far to the north and but a few short
                        > miles from the village of Kochaba (lit. "Village of the Star") and
                        > sister town to Nazareth in Galilee. Despite the designation of the
                        > Bethany near Jerusalem as *the* Bethany by the NT I believe this is a
                        > later interpolation to help concrete the idea that Jesus was
                        > a "Judean"--something I reject but that's another story. The Bethany
                        > of Batanea was located not just "beyond the Jordan" but was located
                        > along the tributary river "Kerith" which completely explains John
                        > baptizing "in Bethany *beyond* the Jordan."

                        There are also the Pesher scenarios of Dr. Thiering to consider which may
                        make actual original place locations in the Galilee area less important to
                        our discovery of the meaning behind the words. Although I have not drawn a
                        final conclusion on her interpretation, I do have to remind myself that
                        there may be several possibilities that remain viable until absolute
                        evidence presents itself.

                        In looking at MM's title we might recall the original marker as it is
                        presented in Genesis 35:21 (NAB), which reads:

                        Israel moved on and pitched his tent beyond Migdal-eder.

                        So, after the death of Rachel the marker, a standing stone, is erected.
                        Here is the memorial to the mother of nations. We then note that the 'cup
                        of divination' used by Joseph in Egypt is hidden in the 'sack' of Benjamin.
                        (This may be an allusion to identity of the lineage of the BD.)

                        It is brought in again in Micah 4:8 (NAB):

                        And you, O Magdal-eder,
                        hillock of daughter Zion!
                        Unto you shall it come:
                        the former dominion shall be restored,
                        the kingdom of daughter Jerusalem.

                        It is interesting that the traditional readings for MM's feast day are from
                        the Song of Songs. In it, the bride's neck is likened to a tower in 4:4:

                        Your neck is like David's tower
                        gird with battlements;
                        A thousand bucklers hang upon it,
                        all the shields of valiant men.

                        Then in 7:4 the bride's neck is like a tower of ivory and her nose is like
                        the tower of Lebanon.

                        Don't worry about the target on your forehead. I've been wearing one for
                        quite some time and am still alive and well. :-)

                        Peace,

                        Elaine
                      • Wayne Highsmith
                        ... Dear Elaine, You are, of course, quite correct. I would also add that, according to the Kiddushin ...up to the age of twenty the Holy One, blessed be He,
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jul 7 5:17 PM
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                          --- Q Bee <artforms@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 19:03:38 -0000
                          > > From: mr_atoz@...
                          > > Subject: Re: James and Clopas

                          > I think the responsibility of the wife is also
                          > present at Bethany in a
                          > couple of ways. Of course, we can see the
                          > implications of the anointing at
                          > Bethany as it conforms to the sequence of anointing
                          > of the messiah/king at
                          > the betrothal, the formal marriage, and at the
                          > grave, but beyond that we
                          > should also note that in John 11 Mary waits to be
                          > called out before leaving
                          > her position while mourning over Lazarus' death
                          > inside the house. This is
                          > customary actions of the wife. She waits for her
                          > husband to call her out.

                          Dear Elaine,
                          You are, of course, quite correct. I would also add
                          that, according to the Kiddushin "...up to the age of
                          twenty the Holy One, blessed be He, watches for a man
                          to marry, and curses him if he fails to do so." (Kid.
                          29b)

                          > Luke 10:38-41 also gives an insight into Mary as
                          > Jesus' wife. According to
                          > custom, Martha should be taking her complaint about
                          > being left to do the
                          > serving to the head of the house (Lazarus or Simon
                          > the Leper) but, instead
                          > she goes to Jesus. It makes sense that she does
                          > this when we realize that
                          > Mary is Jesus' wife and no longer under the
                          > jurisdiction of her father or
                          > brother.
                          Yet another excellent observation. Quite in line with
                          Jewish custom at the time. Also, when she refers to
                          Jesus as "Rabbonni" (my master/teacher) she could ONLY
                          have been referring to her husband. I'm sure you know
                          the potential consequences in that day for a woman to
                          refer to anyone save her husband in that manner.

                          > Tradition has held that MM & MB are one and the same
                          > for nearly two
                          > millennia, and it is only after the discovery of the
                          > Nag Hammadi documents
                          > that Rome reversed its position. Too close for
                          > comfort as we see Mm
                          > emerging as something much more than the trumped up
                          > penitent?

                          Rome's "position" was designed to reinforce their
                          celibacy doctrine on a man who adhered to a religious
                          philosophy that condemned such a doctrine in the
                          extreme. How do you hide a wife? You turn her into a
                          formerly demon-possessed ex-prostitute so effectively
                          that no one would even dare to imagine her as the wife
                          of "The Messiah".
                          Unfortunately, the church has sold this balderdash all
                          too well over the centuries....at poor Mary's expense.

                          You see things very clearly, Elaine. My compliments.
                          --Wayne in Indiana
                        • Mike Grondin
                          ... This understanding of Jn 19:38-40 strikes me as most curious. It looks to me as if the textual data is being forced to fit a theory. There s a suggestion
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jul 7 9:49 PM
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                            --- Wayne Highsmith (AKA mr_atoz) wrote to Elaine (AKA Q Bee):
                            > We must consider Jewish tradition when considering this question
                            > as it relates to the "annointing for burial". Annointing was the
                            > responsibility of the wife and other close female relatives to
                            > assist her. I think it an easy inference that MM is the only
                            > candidate for this role since the deceased's mother was second
                            > in line after the wife and the mother of Jesus clearly plays a
                            > secondary role to MM in the gospel narratives. (Note that Joseph
                            > of Aramathea and Nicodemus provide the materials but are not said
                            > to have annointed the body. Even in 4G they wrap the already
                            > annointed body)

                            This understanding of Jn 19:38-40 strikes me as most curious. It
                            looks to me as if the textual data is being forced to fit a theory.
                            There's a suggestion of gaps in the narrative there - things left
                            unsaid. But there aren't any gaps that I can see. Nicodemus brings
                            the spices (an unrealistically enormous amount of myrrh and aloes,
                            but no nard), then "they" (presumably, he and Joseph) "took the body
                            of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the
                            burial custom of the Jews". Is THIS an "anointing"? If so, then on
                            what grounds do you say that N and JA "are not said to have anointed
                            the body"? But if it ISN'T an "anointing", then on what grounds do
                            you say that they wrapped "the already anointed body"?

                            The author claims that what he describes accords with "the burial
                            custom of the Jews", and yet his description doesn't accord with
                            what you present as "Jewish tradition". Pointedly, there's no women.
                            Are you suggesting that a redactor might have removed a reference to
                            MB (and an actual "anointing") from that scene? I would think that
                            this would be your natural move, but you don't say so.

                            --- Elaine wrote:
                            > I think the responsibility of the wife is also present at Bethany
                            > in a couple of ways. Of course, we can see the implications of
                            > the anointing at Bethany as it conforms to the sequence of
                            > anointing of the messiah/king at the betrothal, the formal
                            > marriage, and at the grave, ...

                            Of course we cannot see these implications. Are you suggesting that
                            a messiah was to be anointed at his betrothal, at his marriage, and
                            then again at his death? (What if he were recognized as a messiah
                            only AFTER he had gotten married?) Where is such a "sequence"
                            spelled out? And even if there were such a recognized "sequence"
                            specifically related to a messiah and not to ordinary folks, what
                            in GJn corresponds to that "sequence"?

                            > ... but beyond that we should also note that in John 11 Mary waits
                            > to be called out before leaving her position while mourning over
                            > Lazarus' death inside the house. This is customary actions of the
                            > wife. She waits for her husband to call her out.

                            That may be one explanation. Another is that the author wanted J to
                            have a private conversation with Martha about resurrection, so he
                            had to make Mary stay out of it. Or maybe Mary stayed home because
                            someone had to. Maybe she was too young to go out in public without
                            a male protector. Maybe any of a dozen reasons.

                            > Luke 10:38-41 also gives an insight into Mary as Jesus' wife.

                            Curious, then, that Luke introduces MM at 8:2, and then writes at
                            10:39 as if he had never mentioned her before:

                            8:2: ..."Mary, who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had
                            gone out."

                            10:39: "And [Martha] had a sister called Mary ..."

                            This latter Mary is pointedly NOT "called Magdalene", nor is any
                            mention made of her having been exorcised of demons. The identifying
                            characteristic chosen by the author at 10:39 is that she's the
                            (presumably younger) sister of Martha, and the text clearly
                            indicates that the author believes that he's introducing her for
                            the first time.

                            > According to custom, Martha should be taking her complaint about
                            > being left to do the serving to the head of the house (Lazarus or
                            > Simon the Leper) but, instead she goes to Jesus. It makes sense
                            > that she does this when we realize that Mary is Jesus' wife and no
                            > longer under the jurisdiction of her father or brother.

                            I think there's again some harmonization going on in this reasoning.
                            As opposed to John, Luke does NOT mention a brother of Martha. Nor
                            do either Luke or John mention a father or other male relatives.
                            Indeed, Luke writes explicitly of Martha that "she welcomed him [J]
                            into HER home." If Luke had thought that Martha had a father or
                            brother, he would presumably not have referred to the house as "HER
                            home". Given this context, it's natural that the Lukan author have
                            Martha speak to Jesus about the situation, since there's no other
                            male present in his account.

                            > Tradition has held that MM & MB are one and the same for nearly
                            > two millennia, and it is only after the discovery of the Nag
                            > Hammadi documents that Rome reversed its position. Too close for
                            > comfort as we see Mm emerging as something much more than the
                            > trumped up penitent?

                            Surprisingly, your comments here appear to actually argue against
                            your own position that MM = MB. If that identification resulted in
                            MM being regarded as a "trumped up penitent", as you suggest, then
                            doesn't your own support of that theory have the same result (which
                            surely is unwanted to you)? Further, according to Karen King, the
                            identification of MM with MB came about precisely because of the
                            kind of harmonization found in your own arguments. So who's making
                            MM a "trumped up penitent" now?

                            BTW, I hope you understand that none of these remarks are addressed
                            to the issue of whether Jesus was married - to MM or MB or anyone
                            else. The sole purpose is to assess the strength of the arguments
                            that MM = MB. So far, they seem mainly to be based on selective
                            harmonization of elements of disparate accounts, combined with an
                            inadequate analysis of the source passages in question.

                            Shalom,
                            Mike Grondin
                            Mt. Clemens, MI
                          • Peter Hofrichter
                            Dear Elaine, did you ever consider that MM could be identical with the Mother of God in the 4th Gospel? That implies that the scene under the cross has not
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jul 8 12:58 AM
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                              Dear Elaine,
                              did you ever consider that MM could be identical with the "Mother of
                              God" in the 4th Gospel? That implies that the scene under the cross has
                              not preserrved its original shape and that in Jn 2 Mary was changed
                              against the still nameless Mother of God. But in the logic of the
                              account the one who is honored by the first apparition of the risen
                              Lord must have played her role already from the beginning of the story.
                              The story as a whole makes sense only if Mary (and this is MM) was
                              present and played an decisive role already at the starting point of
                              Jesus´ revelation, at the last supper, under the cross, and at last as
                              the first or even only) testimony of his resussection. For your
                              information: I think that Jn was not the last but in its kernel the
                              first Gospel at all, that had inspired the others, was used by them,
                              but also grew and underwent different changings and additions itself by
                              their concurrence.
                              I published my opinion concerning MM and my arguments (also from
                              apocryphal literature) under the title: "Zur Vervielfachung des Namens
                              Maria unter Voraussetzung der Johannespriorität" in: Peter Leander
                              Hofrichter, Logoslied, Gnosis und Neues Testament, Hildesheim (Georg
                              Olms Verlag) 2003, 273-294).
                              Yours
                              Peter


                              Am 07.07.2004 um 23:14 schrieb Q Bee:

                              >
                              >> Date: Tue, 06 Jul 2004 19:03:38 -0000
                              >> From: mr_atoz@...
                              >> Subject: Re: James and Clopas
                              >>
                              >> I also completely concur that MB and MM are one and the same. We must
                              >> consider Jewish tradition when considering this question as it
                              >> relates to the "annointing for burial". Annointing was the
                              >> responsibility of the wife and other close female relatives to assist
                              >> her. I think it an easy inference that MM is the only candidate for
                              >> this role since the deceased's mother was second in line after the
                              >> wife and the mother of Jesus clearly plays a secondary role to MM in
                              >> the gospel narratives. (Note that Joseph of Aramathea and Nicodemus
                              >> provide the materials but are not said to have annointed the body.
                              >> Even in 4G they wrap the already annointed body)
                              >
                              > Dear Wayne,
                              >
                              > I think the responsibility of the wife is also present at Bethany in a
                              > couple of ways. Of course, we can see the implications of the
                              > anointing at
                              > Bethany as it conforms to the sequence of anointing of the
                              > messiah/king at
                              > the betrothal, the formal marriage, and at the grave, but beyond that
                              > we
                              > should also note that in John 11 Mary waits to be called out before
                              > leaving
                              > her position while mourning over Lazarus' death inside the house.
                              > This is
                              > customary actions of the wife. She waits for her husband to call her
                              > out.
                              >
                              > Luke 10:38-41 also gives an insight into Mary as Jesus' wife.
                              > According to
                              > custom, Martha should be taking her complaint about being left to do
                              > the
                              > serving to the head of the house (Lazarus or Simon the Leper) but,
                              > instead
                              > she goes to Jesus. It makes sense that she does this when we realize
                              > that
                              > Mary is Jesus' wife and no longer under the jurisdiction of her father
                              > or
                              > brother.
                              >
                              > Tradition has held that MM & MB are one and the same for nearly two
                              > millennia, and it is only after the discovery of the Nag Hammadi
                              > documents
                              > that Rome reversed its position. Too close for comfort as we see Mm
                              > emerging as something much more than the trumped up penitent?
                              >
                              >> We must *always* bear in mind that Jesus was a Jew and acted
                              >> according to Jewish laws and traditions in life and death. Obviously
                              >> I endorse the view that MM was the wife of Jesus. To me this is
                              >> imperative since in his day *no* man acheived the title of "rabbi"
                              >> while unmarried. "Permit the little children to come to me". Again,
                              >> no man was permitted to teach--much less touch--the children of
                              >> others unless he was a father himself.
                              >
                              > I concur with your statement here except that the implications of 'let
                              > the
                              > little children come unto me' may also be viewed from the perspective
                              > of
                              > John Pilch's commentary on the passage wherein he describes the
                              > children as
                              > the spy network for the women who must remain rather cloistered. He
                              > describes a situation wherein the disciples meeting with Jesus must
                              > leave
                              > their doors unlocked in order that it be known within that network
                              > that all
                              > that Jesus does is open to the scrutiny of the community. That makes
                              > sense
                              > to me as well as the idea that he's have to be a rabbi for the
                              > children to
                              > freely go in and out where ever he was gathered with disciples.
                              >
                              >> I would now like to address the Mary of *Bethany* question. The late
                              >> Prof. Bargil Pixnar uncovered the true "Bethany beyond the Jordan"
                              >> location in Batanea (Bethany) far to the north and but a few short
                              >> miles from the village of Kochaba (lit. "Village of the Star") and
                              >> sister town to Nazareth in Galilee. Despite the designation of the
                              >> Bethany near Jerusalem as *the* Bethany by the NT I believe this is a
                              >> later interpolation to help concrete the idea that Jesus was
                              >> a "Judean"--something I reject but that's another story. The Bethany
                              >> of Batanea was located not just "beyond the Jordan" but was located
                              >> along the tributary river "Kerith" which completely explains John
                              >> baptizing "in Bethany *beyond* the Jordan."
                              >
                              > There are also the Pesher scenarios of Dr. Thiering to consider which
                              > may
                              > make actual original place locations in the Galilee area less
                              > important to
                              > our discovery of the meaning behind the words. Although I have not
                              > drawn a
                              > final conclusion on her interpretation, I do have to remind myself that
                              > there may be several possibilities that remain viable until absolute
                              > evidence presents itself.
                              >
                              > In looking at MM's title we might recall the original marker as it is
                              > presented in Genesis 35:21 (NAB), which reads:
                              >
                              > Israel moved on and pitched his tent beyond Migdal-eder.
                              >
                              > So, after the death of Rachel the marker, a standing stone, is erected.
                              > Here is the memorial to the mother of nations. We then note that the
                              > 'cup
                              > of divination' used by Joseph in Egypt is hidden in the 'sack' of
                              > Benjamin.
                              > (This may be an allusion to identity of the lineage of the BD.)
                              >
                              > It is brought in again in Micah 4:8 (NAB):
                              >
                              > And you, O Magdal-eder,
                              > hillock of daughter Zion!
                              > Unto you shall it come:
                              > the former dominion shall be restored,
                              > the kingdom of daughter Jerusalem.
                              >
                              > It is interesting that the traditional readings for MM's feast day are
                              > from
                              > the Song of Songs. In it, the bride's neck is likened to a tower in
                              > 4:4:
                              >
                              > Your neck is like David's tower
                              > gird with battlements;
                              > A thousand bucklers hang upon it,
                              > all the shields of valiant men.
                              >
                              > Then in 7:4 the bride's neck is like a tower of ivory and her nose is
                              > like
                              > the tower of Lebanon.
                              >
                              > Don't worry about the target on your forehead. I've been wearing one
                              > for
                              > quite some time and am still alive and well. :-)
                              >
                              > Peace,
                              >
                              > Elaine
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                              >
                              Univ.-Prof. DDr. Peter Hofrichter
                              Wallmannhofstrasse 3
                              A-5400 Hallein
                              Tel. +43 6245 85010; +43 664 2027098
                            • Wayne Highsmith
                              ... Dear Mike, I don t it s necessarily a question of something having been removed from the text. I think it more likely that the author would simply have
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jul 8 12:47 PM
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                                --- Mike Grondin <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
                                > --- Wayne Highsmith (AKA mr_atoz) wrote to Elaine
                                > (AKA Q Bee):
                                > > We must consider Jewish tradition when considering
                                > this question
                                > > as it relates to the "annointing for burial".
                                > Annointing was the
                                > > responsibility of the wife and other close female
                                > relatives to
                                > > assist her. I think it an easy inference that MM
                                > is the only
                                > > candidate for this role since the deceased's
                                > mother was second
                                > > in line after the wife and the mother of Jesus
                                > clearly plays a
                                > > secondary role to MM in the gospel narratives.
                                > (Note that Joseph
                                > > of Aramathea and Nicodemus provide the materials
                                > but are not said
                                > > to have annointed the body. Even in 4G they wrap
                                > the already
                                > > annointed body)
                                >
                                > This understanding of Jn 19:38-40 strikes me as most
                                > curious. It
                                > looks to me as if the textual data is being forced
                                > to fit a theory.
                                > There's a suggestion of gaps in the narrative there
                                > - things left
                                > unsaid. But there aren't any gaps that I can see.
                                > Nicodemus brings
                                > the spices (an unrealistically enormous amount of
                                > myrrh and aloes,
                                > but no nard), then "they" (presumably, he and
                                > Joseph) "took the body
                                > of Jesus, and bound it in linen wrappings with the
                                > spices, as is the
                                > burial custom of the Jews". Is THIS an "anointing"?
                                > If so, then on
                                > what grounds do you say that N and JA "are not said
                                > to have anointed
                                > the body"? But if it ISN'T an "anointing", then on
                                > what grounds do
                                > you say that they wrapped "the already anointed
                                > body"?
                                >
                                > The author claims that what he describes accords
                                > with "the burial
                                > custom of the Jews", and yet his description doesn't
                                > accord with
                                > what you present as "Jewish tradition". Pointedly,
                                > there's no women.
                                > Are you suggesting that a redactor might have
                                > removed a reference to
                                > MB (and an actual "anointing") from that scene? I
                                > would think that
                                > this would be your natural move, but you don't say
                                > so.
                                Dear Mike,
                                I don't it's necessarily a question of something
                                having been "removed" from the text. I think it more
                                likely that the author would simply have presumed the
                                reader's familiarity with normal Jewish burial
                                customs. I assure you that I never "force the textual
                                data to fit a theory". As a lifelong reader of
                                Sherlock Holmes I completely concur with his axiom
                                "Never twist facts to suit theories. Always twist
                                theories to suit facts."
                                --Wayne A. Highsmith in Indiana
                              • Q Bee
                                ... Dear Mike, Forgive me for presuming that others are aware of the dynastic customs. This is one of the reasons I hesitated to post among such scholars while
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jul 8 3:26 PM
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                                  > Date: Thu, 08 Jul 2004 04:49:00 -0000
                                  > From: "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                                  > Subject: MM and MB

                                  > --- Elaine wrote:
                                  >> I think the responsibility of the wife is also present at Bethany
                                  >> in a couple of ways. Of course, we can see the implications of
                                  >> the anointing at Bethany as it conforms to the sequence of
                                  >> anointing of the messiah/king at the betrothal, the formal
                                  >> marriage, and at the grave, ...
                                  >
                                  > Of course we cannot see these implications. Are you suggesting that
                                  > a messiah was to be anointed at his betrothal, at his marriage, and
                                  > then again at his death? (What if he were recognized as a messiah
                                  > only AFTER he had gotten married?) Where is such a "sequence"
                                  > spelled out? And even if there were such a recognized "sequence"
                                  > specifically related to a messiah and not to ordinary folks, what
                                  > in GJn corresponds to that "sequence"?

                                  Dear Mike,

                                  Forgive me for presuming that others are aware of the dynastic customs.
                                  This is one of the reasons I hesitated to post among such scholars while my
                                  mind tends to operate in a more right-brained mode which I have dubbed
                                  "Arts-heimer's". :-) The Holy Spirit moves where it will though, and is
                                  not confined to academia.

                                  The reference I have to the material is: Revd John Fleetwood, "The Life of
                                  Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ", William MacKenzie, Glasgow, c. 1900,
                                  ch.1, pg 3: the entry by Dr. G. Redford.

                                  The anointing custom's sequence is intended to assure the perpetuation of
                                  the dynastic line of kings by a betrothal/trial marriage period which is
                                  initiated by the first anointing so that when the second anointing takes
                                  place, the official marriage, the bride is past the three month point in the
                                  pregnancy and miscarriage is no longer likely as well as infertility
                                  considerations having been put to rest.

                                  This same sequence may also be in play when we consider Jesus' mother
                                  finding herself pregnant during the betrothal period.
                                  >
                                  >> ... but beyond that we should also note that in John 11 Mary waits
                                  >> to be called out before leaving her position while mourning over
                                  >> Lazarus' death inside the house. This is customary actions of the
                                  >> wife. She waits for her husband to call her out.
                                  >
                                  > That may be one explanation. Another is that the author wanted J to
                                  > have a private conversation with Martha about resurrection, so he
                                  > had to make Mary stay out of it. Or maybe Mary stayed home because
                                  > someone had to. Maybe she was too young to go out in public without
                                  > a male protector. Maybe any of a dozen reasons.
                                  >
                                  By its very mention, she is delivered the message that Jesus is calling for
                                  her to come out, it seems that the meaning would be clear to first century
                                  Jews that the standard Judaic customs were being followed. It is likely
                                  that more overt references have been edited out, or that these ordinary
                                  details tell it so clearly that there seemed no need to give an accounting
                                  of all the relevant customs of married behavior.

                                  > 8:2: ..."Mary, who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had
                                  > gone out."
                                  >
                                  Realizing that the way males and females were viewed in the contemporary 1st
                                  century culture placed women on a par with cattle, we might see how the
                                  frame of reference might be: In reaching a state of spiritual perfection a
                                  man has 'reached the seventh heaven' while a woman has had 'seven demons
                                  cast out' of her.

                                  It is interesting that information about Peter's sinfulness is so overt as
                                  he denies Jesus three times, yet he is not forever labeled as 'the traitor'.
                                  Somehow, this oblique reference to seven demons having been cast out of MM
                                  becomes the hinge pin for some pretty heavy labeling without the real
                                  substance that the case of Peter presents. This is selective theology
                                  written by patriarchy.

                                  > 10:39: "And [Martha] had a sister called Mary ..."
                                  >
                                  > This latter Mary is pointedly NOT "called Magdalene", nor is any
                                  > mention made of her having been exorcised of demons. The identifying
                                  > characteristic chosen by the author at 10:39 is that she's the
                                  > (presumably younger) sister of Martha, and the text clearly
                                  > indicates that the author believes that he's introducing her for
                                  > the first time.
                                  >
                                  It is interesting that 4G has seven mentions of demons but no exorcism. I
                                  believe that the 'seven demons cast out' are the way of referencing 4G's
                                  author who speaks seven times of demons, yet presents no case of exorcism.

                                  >> According to custom, Martha should be taking her complaint about
                                  >> being left to do the serving to the head of the house (Lazarus or
                                  >> Simon the Leper) but, instead she goes to Jesus. It makes sense
                                  >> that she does this when we realize that Mary is Jesus' wife and no
                                  >> longer under the jurisdiction of her father or brother.
                                  >
                                  > I think there's again some harmonization going on in this reasoning.
                                  > As opposed to John, Luke does NOT mention a brother of Martha. Nor
                                  > do either Luke or John mention a father or other male relatives.
                                  > Indeed, Luke writes explicitly of Martha that "she welcomed him [J]
                                  > into HER home." If Luke had thought that Martha had a father or
                                  > brother, he would presumably not have referred to the house as "HER
                                  > home". Given this context, it's natural that the Lukan author have
                                  > Martha speak to Jesus about the situation, since there's no other
                                  > male present in his account.
                                  >
                                  It would appear to me that Luke's is the least reliable source of
                                  information by his distance from the events by time and culture as well as
                                  is evidenced by his changing names into the Greek rendering of them. It is
                                  most likely the last of the gospels to be written so details like blood
                                  relatedness may have become blurred while we can also entertain the
                                  potential of 'sister' or 'brother' as a spiritual relatedness.

                                  It is likely, as we see characters walk on and off the stage and deliver
                                  their lines only to march off into obscurity, that they are adjusted to suit
                                  the purposes of the specific point of teaching each evangelist is trying to
                                  make rather than as historicity within each gospel account.

                                  >> Tradition has held that MM & MB are one and the same for nearly
                                  >> two millennia, and it is only after the discovery of the Nag
                                  >> Hammadi documents that Rome reversed its position. Too close for
                                  >> comfort as we see Mm emerging as something much more than the
                                  >> trumped up penitent?
                                  >
                                  > Surprisingly, your comments here appear to actually argue against
                                  > your own position that MM = MB. If that identification resulted in
                                  > MM being regarded as a "trumped up penitent", as you suggest, then
                                  > doesn't your own support of that theory have the same result (which
                                  > surely is unwanted to you)?

                                  To the contrary. I find that the early understanding was that MM and MB
                                  were on and the same person, but that person was reduced to the status of
                                  reformed prostitute just as the divine feminine was made to vanish. The
                                  theology presented builds a feminine persona that is either virgin, mother,
                                  or whore. There is no 'equal partner/wife' model presenting women as a
                                  picture of theological or psychological wholeness.

                                  It is only after the Nag Hammadi library was coming to be widely distributed
                                  that the church made an about face attempting to diffuse the powerful image
                                  that material presents on MM.

                                  > Further, according to Karen King, the
                                  > identification of MM with MB came about precisely because of the
                                  > kind of harmonization found in your own arguments. So who's making
                                  > MM a "trumped up penitent" now?
                                  >
                                  By seeing Karen King in one of the TV documentaries I was startled to hear
                                  her comment on The Gospel of Mary, line 18, when she said of MM weeping, " I
                                  wish she hadn't done that, but she did." In that she negates the very
                                  quality that makes MM the more complete person in contract to Peter's stone
                                  cold hardness. Ms. King is looking for a de-feminized model in MM and is
                                  disappointed by the more whole person who emerges in the text.

                                  > BTW, I hope you understand that none of these remarks are addressed
                                  > to the issue of whether Jesus was married - to MM or MB or anyone
                                  > else. The sole purpose is to assess the strength of the arguments
                                  > that MM = MB. So far, they seem mainly to be based on selective
                                  > harmonization of elements of disparate accounts, combined with an
                                  > inadequate analysis of the source passages in question.
                                  >
                                  That may be true. I doubt that anyone here has an airtight case to
                                  decisively put all issues to rest, hence the need for dialog.

                                  Peace to you,

                                  Elaine
                                • Q Bee
                                  ... No, I have not considered that. They are named in sequence. ... I tend to agree that it has prospects of having been the first gospel. It would make
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jul 8 3:35 PM
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                                    > Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 09:58:25 +0200
                                    > From: Peter Hofrichter <Peter.Hofrichter@...>
                                    > Subject: Re: Re: James and Clopas
                                    >
                                    > Dear Elaine,
                                    > did you ever consider that MM could be identical with the "Mother of
                                    > God" in the 4th Gospel?

                                    No, I have not considered that. They are named in sequence.

                                    > That implies that the scene under the cross has
                                    > not preserrved its original shape and that in Jn 2 Mary was changed
                                    > against the still nameless Mother of God. But in the logic of the
                                    > account the one who is honored by the first apparition of the risen
                                    > Lord must have played her role already from the beginning of the story.
                                    > The story as a whole makes sense only if Mary (and this is MM) was
                                    > present and played an decisive role already at the starting point of
                                    > Jesus´ revelation, at the last supper, under the cross, and at last as
                                    > the first or even only) testimony of his resussection. For your
                                    > information: I think that Jn was not the last but in its kernel the
                                    > first Gospel at all, that had inspired the others, was used by them,
                                    > but also grew and underwent different changings and additions itself by
                                    > their concurrence.

                                    I tend to agree that it has prospects of having been the first gospel. It
                                    would make sense as time went on the have a need to ground the high
                                    Christology of 4G with other accounts that render Jesus as more human so
                                    that he would appear to be less mythical.

                                    > I published my opinion concerning MM and my arguments (also from
                                    > apocryphal literature) under the title: "Zur Vervielfachung des Namens
                                    > Maria unter Voraussetzung der Johannespriorität" in: Peter Leander
                                    > Hofrichter, Logoslied, Gnosis und Neues Testament, Hildesheim (Georg
                                    > Olms Verlag) 2003, 273-294).
                                    > Yours
                                    > Peter

                                    Is there an English version that may be read somewhere?

                                    Peace,

                                    Elaine
                                  • Mike Grondin
                                    ... But that s precisely what he didn t do - for after describing the wrapping of the body with spices, he wrote that this act was in accordance with the
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jul 8 9:59 PM
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      --- Wayne Highsmith <mr_atoz@y...> wrote:
                                      > I don't [think] it's necessarily a question of something having
                                      > been "removed" from the text [at Jn 19:38-40]. I think it more
                                      > likely that the author would simply have presumed the reader's
                                      > familiarity with normal Jewish burial customs.

                                      But that's precisely what he didn't do - for after describing the
                                      wrapping of the body with spices, he wrote that this act was in
                                      accordance with "the burial custom of the Jews". He was telling his
                                      readers what the burial custom was, not assuming that they knew what
                                      it was. So you're in the rather unenviable position of having to
                                      assert that the author assumed that his readers knew PART of the
                                      Jewish burial custom so well that he didn't have to mention it
                                      (namely, the anointing of the body by the man's wife), but were
                                      so unfamiliar with another part (namely the wrapping with spices)
                                      that he had to tell them that it, too, was part of the procedure
                                      (using wording, however, which implied not that it was a PART, but
                                      that it was the WHOLE of the "custom"). This difficulty places into
                                      question the assertion that the body of any dead man - even that of
                                      an executed criminal - would have been "anointed" by his wife or
                                      other close female relatives. It may be true that Jewish women
                                      *normally* dressed a dead body, but the situation in question would
                                      not have been the normal one. In addition, however, the whole point
                                      of the pre-execution anointment stories in their various forms would
                                      seem to have been precisely to PROVIDE an anointment required by a
                                      messiah-figure, but evidently missing in the historical record. If
                                      so, then the Bethany anointing was THE anointing in the story -
                                      there was no other one.

                                      As I see it, we may have started out wrongly with a certain
                                      understanding of an ambiguous passage back at Jn 19:7. It's been
                                      translated here as something like "Let her [MB] alone, so that she
                                      may keep it [presumably the remaining nard] for the day of my
                                      burial". But this translation of the passage is itself questionable.
                                      NIV, for example, translates it as "It was intended that she should
                                      save this perfume for the day of my burial," thereby providing a
                                      more satisfactory answer to Judas' question of why the nard had not
                                      previously been sold. That is to say, instead of J's answer being
                                      related to what REMAINED of the nard after MB's action, NIV
                                      understands the answer as being related to the WHOLE of the nard.
                                      NASB has a different take, but still not what was presented here:
                                      it interprets the word "it" in the phrase "so that she may keep it"
                                      not as the remaining nard, nor as the whole of the nard, but as
                                      "the custom of anointing for burial". This seems to me less likely,
                                      and neither NIV nor NASB may be correct, but since various experts
                                      differ on the interpretation of Jn 19:7, we should probably regard
                                      it as ambiguous, and hence unsuited to serve as the pillar of a
                                      theory - so that when we find no reference in GJn to any LATER use
                                      of MB's supposed remaining nard to anoint J's body after death, it's
                                      at least as likely that we misunderstood what the author was trying
                                      to say in 19:7 in the first place, as that (1) the author didn't
                                      explicitly tie up the loose end, or that (2) he did, but the later
                                      passage was removed.

                                      > I assure you that I never "force the textual data to fit a
                                      > theory". As a lifelong reader of Sherlock Holmes I completely
                                      > concur with his axiom "Never twist facts to suit theories.
                                      > Always twist theories to suit facts."

                                      Glad to see that we agree on this general principle. And much of
                                      what we do IS rather like "detective work", isn't it?

                                      Regards,
                                      Mike Grondin
                                      Mt. Clemens, MI
                                    • Peter Hofrichter
                                      ... Unfortunately not. To know a little German is still useful for every theologian. Peter ... Univ.-Prof. DDr. Peter Hofrichter Wallmannhofstrasse 3 A-5400
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Jul 9 5:19 AM
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                                        Am 09.07.2004 um 00:35 schrieb Q Bee:

                                        >> Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 09:58:25 +0200
                                        >> From: Peter Hofrichter <Peter.Hofrichter@...>
                                        >> Subject: Re: Re: James and Clopas
                                        >>
                                        >> Dear Elaine,
                                        >> did you ever consider that MM could be identical with the "Mother of
                                        >> God" in the 4th Gospel?
                                        >
                                        > No, I have not considered that. They are named in sequence.
                                        >
                                        >> That implies that the scene under the cross has
                                        >> not preserrved its original shape and that in Jn 2 Mary was changed
                                        >> against the still nameless Mother of God. But in the logic of the
                                        >> account the one who is honored by the first apparition of the risen
                                        >> Lord must have played her role already from the beginning of the
                                        >> story.
                                        >> The story as a whole makes sense only if Mary (and this is MM) was
                                        >> present and played an decisive role already at the starting point of
                                        >> Jesus´ revelation, at the last supper, under the cross, and at last as
                                        >> the first or even only) testimony of his resussection. For your
                                        >> information: I think that Jn was not the last but in its kernel the
                                        >> first Gospel at all, that had inspired the others, was used by them,
                                        >> but also grew and underwent different changings and additions itself
                                        >> by
                                        >> their concurrence.
                                        >
                                        > I tend to agree that it has prospects of having been the first gospel.
                                        > It
                                        > would make sense as time went on the have a need to ground the high
                                        > Christology of 4G with other accounts that render Jesus as more human
                                        > so
                                        > that he would appear to be less mythical.
                                        >
                                        >> I published my opinion concerning MM and my arguments (also from
                                        >> apocryphal literature) under the title: "Zur Vervielfachung des Namens
                                        >> Maria unter Voraussetzung der Johannespriorität" in: Peter Leander
                                        >> Hofrichter, Logoslied, Gnosis und Neues Testament, Hildesheim (Georg
                                        >> Olms Verlag) 2003, 273-294).
                                        >> Yours
                                        >> Peter
                                        >
                                        > Is there an English version that may be read somewhere?

                                        Unfortunately not. To know a little German is still useful for every
                                        theologian.
                                        Peter

                                        >
                                        > Peace,
                                        >
                                        > Elaine
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
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                                        Univ.-Prof. DDr. Peter Hofrichter
                                        Wallmannhofstrasse 3
                                        A-5400 Hallein
                                        Tel. +43 6245 85010; +43 664 2027098
                                      • Peter Hofrichter
                                        Dear Elaine, only Some additions! Peter ... Of course, I should have written Mother of Jesus !!!. The reason to make of MM the “Mother of Jesus“ might
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Jul 9 6:18 AM
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                                          Dear Elaine,
                                          only Some additions!
                                          Peter

                                          Am 09.07.2004 um 00:35 schrieb Q Bee:

                                          >> Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 09:58:25 +0200
                                          >> From: Peter Hofrichter <Peter.Hofrichter@...>
                                          >> Subject: Re: Re: James and Clopas
                                          >>
                                          >> Dear Elaine,
                                          >> did you ever consider that MM could be identical with the "Mother of
                                          >> God" in the 4th Gospel?

                                          Of course, I should have written "Mother of Jesus"!!!. The reason to
                                          make of MM the “Mother of Jesus“ might have been at first the hostility
                                          of the the male Apostles against MM, especially of Peter, who in Mark
                                          should become the leading personality and instead of her the first
                                          testimony of the risen Lord. Therefore only an angel speaks to the
                                          women (in plural in order to downgrade MM) and secondly the intention
                                          to prevent Jesus from blaspemy. Simon Magus went around with a whore of
                                          the name Hellena and said he was God himself and she was his first
                                          thought (protennoia). May be, that was already a parody on Jesus and
                                          MM. Therefore MM was banished from Jesus‘ life. and downgraded as an
                                          possessed and sinner, what I do'nt believe she really was. It is only
                                          Luke who at the one hand explicitely downgrades MM and at the other
                                          gives Mary as the Mother of Jesus a new and glorious personality.
                                          Therefore his is called the "painter of Mary" and many old pictures of
                                          the Holy Virgin are said to have been painted by him.

                                          > No, I have not considered that. They are named in sequence.
                                          >
                                          >> That implies that the scene under the cross has
                                          >> not preserrved its original shape and that in Jn 2 Mary was changed
                                          >> against the still nameless Mother of God. But in the logic of the
                                          >> account the one who is honored by the first apparition of the risen
                                          >> Lord must have played her role already from the beginning of the
                                          >> story.
                                          >> The story as a whole makes sense only if Mary (and this is MM) was
                                          >> present and played an decisive role already at the starting point of
                                          >> Jesus´ revelation, at the last supper, under the cross, and at last as
                                          >> the first or even only) testimony of his resussection. For your
                                          >> information: I think that Jn was not the last but in its kernel the
                                          >> first Gospel at all, that had inspired the others, was used by them,
                                          >> but also grew and underwent different changings and additions itself
                                          >> by
                                          >> their concurrence.
                                          >
                                          > I tend to agree that it has prospects of having been the first gospel.
                                          > It
                                          > would make sense as time went on the have a need to ground the high
                                          > Christology of 4G with other accounts that render Jesus as more human
                                          > so
                                          > that he would appear to be less mythical.

                                          I agree fully to this last reason!!!


                                          >> I published my opinion concerning MM and my arguments (also from
                                          >> apocryphal literature) under the title: "Zur Vervielfachung des Namens
                                          >> Maria unter Voraussetzung der Johannespriorität" in: Peter Leander
                                          >> Hofrichter, Logoslied, Gnosis und Neues Testament, Hildesheim (Georg
                                          >> Olms Verlag) 2003, 273-294).
                                          >> Yours
                                          >> Peter

                                          Once more greetings!

                                          Univ.-Prof. DDr. Peter Hofrichter
                                          Wallmannhofstrasse 3
                                          A-5400 Hallein
                                          Tel. +43 6245 85010; +43 664 2027098
                                        • Wayne Highsmith
                                          Dear Mike, Your point is well taken. There is no question that the author of 4G was indeed explaining some of the burial customs of his people to his readers
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Jul 9 10:42 AM
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                                            Dear Mike,
                                            Your point is well taken. There is no question that
                                            the author of 4G was indeed explaining some of the
                                            burial customs of his people to his readers while
                                            ignoring others. Whether this was his doing or the
                                            work of the translator or whatever else is unclear.
                                            I did so some more research last evening on the
                                            subject and while I confirmed the role of the women as
                                            the "annointers" I *did* discover that male relatives
                                            were often present to turn the body over etc, to
                                            assist the women. But also clear was that any males
                                            present had to be relatives as well. While I happen to
                                            believe that JA was indeed a relative of Jesus I also
                                            concede your "special circumstances" point which is
                                            quite valid.
                                            Yes this is very much "detective work". It happens to
                                            be my good fortune to be friends with Prof. Israel
                                            Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University. He tells me his
                                            friend and fellow archaeologist David Ussishkin quotes
                                            Holmes all the time. Israel's book "The Bible
                                            Unearthed" is, by the way, a fantastic work and I
                                            heartily recommend it to all.
                                            Best regards,
                                            --Wayne
                                          • Q Bee
                                            ... Dear Bill, Thank you for pointing this out. It is a great parallel. I find it interesting that mark tells the tale and has Jesus declaring that the tale
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Jul 10 4:45 PM
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                                              > Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 10:45:39 +0100
                                              > From: "Bill Bullin" <bill.bullin@...>
                                              > Subject: Re: Re: James and Clopas
                                              >
                                              >
                                              Elaine wrote:

                                              >> I tend to agree that it has prospects of having been the first gospel. It
                                              >> would make sense as time went on the have a need to ground the high
                                              >> Christology of 4G with other accounts that render Jesus as more human so
                                              >> that he would appear to be less mythical.
                                              >
                                              >
                                              Bill offered:
                                              >
                                              > Is it possible that 2 Cor. 2:14-17 in some way alludes to John 12:3 (or
                                              > memorable historical tradition underlying it), and a Johannine
                                              > 'christological glorious triumphal procession moment' in the divine
                                              > Presence, contrasting MB, salvation and knowing with Judas, perishing and
                                              > selling? Smells and perfumes are thought to evoke deep memories. Whilst
                                              > Judas seems to have left a deep scar on the primitive Christian memory Mark
                                              > 14:9, if not John 12 promises incomparably sweeter memories. It is
                                              > interesting that John 12 provided no clarifications for 'Readers of Mark'
                                              > where it might be expected, ie something like: 'Lazarus who was also known
                                              > as Simon the leper' or Lazarus, son of Simon the leper'. What does this say
                                              > about the development of mark and John?

                                              Dear Bill,

                                              Thank you for pointing this out. It is a great parallel.

                                              I find it interesting that mark tells the tale and has Jesus declaring that
                                              the tale will be told in her memory, but he never bothers to say who the
                                              woman was. This seems like a progression out of 4G to me. The male faction
                                              was now retelling the tale, leaving out the intimate details that make the
                                              author of 4G sound like the way that women give information.

                                              How very odd of Mark to say that Jesus actually said ... wherever the gospel
                                              was proclaimed it would be told in memory of 'her'. Well, Mark... Just who
                                              should be proclaimed? Obviously, by also omitting any references to connect
                                              Simon and Lazarus sounds to me like Mark has got some pieces of second hand
                                              stories out of John or deliberately downplaying the events at Bethany and
                                              the names of the cast.

                                              Peace,

                                              Elaine
                                            • Q Bee
                                              ... (snip) ... Dear Peter, Are we going too far from 4G? I hope we will not be chastised for wandering. Luke is the patron Saint of iconographers. The
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Jul 10 4:55 PM
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                > Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 15:18:25 +0200
                                                > From: Peter Hofrichter <Peter.Hofrichter@...>
                                                > Subject: Re: Re: James and Clopas
                                                >
                                                > Dear Elaine,
                                                > only Some additions!
                                                > Peter
                                                >
                                                (snip)

                                                > Therefore MM was banished from Jesus‘ life. and downgraded as an
                                                > possessed and sinner, what I do'nt believe she really was. It is only
                                                > Luke who at the one hand explicitely downgrades MM and at the other
                                                > gives Mary as the Mother of Jesus a new and glorious personality.
                                                > Therefore his is called the "painter of Mary" and many old pictures of
                                                > the Holy Virgin are said to have been painted by him.

                                                Dear Peter,

                                                Are we going too far from 4G? I hope we will not be chastised for
                                                wandering.

                                                Luke is the patron Saint of iconographers. The tradition is that the Black
                                                Madonna, "Our Lady of Czestochowa" was painted on a small table top
                                                purportedly a piece of furniture made by Jesus in Joseph's shop. I find
                                                this amusing since it is a Nazirite woman with a black mantle that is
                                                covered with gold fleur-de-lis. It is obviously not 1st century and it is
                                                far more likely to be an image of MM.

                                                Peace,

                                                Elaine
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