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Re: MM as the BD?... (Was James and Clopas)

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  • Q Bee
    ... I made the point in another post that there are possibly several scribes who recorded the information given by the BD. This was likely done in stages over
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 6, 2004
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      > Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 10:04:49 -0700 (PDT)
      > From: Frank McCoy <silvanus55109@...>
      > Subject: Re: Re: The BD
      >
      > ----- 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
      >
      >>> 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.
      >
      I made the point in another post that there are possibly several scribes who
      recorded the information given by the BD. This was likely done in stages
      over a period of time.

      > 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.
      >
      Hmmm. I don't see that 21:23 makes any connection to the BD being already
      dead. How did you read that into the passage?

      > Who, then, were the immediate subordinates of the BD?
      >
      I will look into your following train of thought, but first, we should note
      that the synoptics list MM first when the women are named, but 4G list her
      last when the women are named just as the author would list his/her own name
      last regardless of rank.

      > 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

      In this case, MM and BD may be one and the same.

      > 3. 20:1-9 Mary Magdalene, the BD and Peter are all
      > mentioned.

      And this is the place where the text shows such signs of editing that it has
      an odd sense to it.

      > Further, assuming that chapter 21 is a later appendix,
      > these are the only three explicit mentions of the BD
      > in the original 4G.
      >
      But, chapter 21 is not necessarily an add on any more than the other
      portions that might have been written down as amendments by various scribes
      to an initial session.

      > What this sequence suggests is that the BD had two
      > immediate subordinates, i.e., Peter and Mary
      > Magdalene.
      >
      If you dissect the material in that way you may very well lead yourself to
      assume the possibility, but I don't necessarily buy into the theory.

      > 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.
      >
      It is more likely that after Jesus' death Peter reverts back to misogyny and
      is fighting against the BD/MM who has received teachings to which Peter was
      not privy.

      > 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.
      >
      We have so little written by Peter as to make him an unlikely leader.

      > However, judging by 21:18-19, Peter was already dead.
      > This leaves only Mary Magdalene as the most likely
      > author of the 4G.
      >
      Hmmm, you are taking the metaphor of 'but when you grow old' to imply that
      it has already occurred?

      > 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.
      >
      I guess I can follow that line of thinking, but we should also take a look
      at the opening structure of 4G with its 'In the beginning' context, and then
      see the first disciples as coming to Jesus with one remaining unnamed, i.e.,
      from the very beginning the BD is there as witness, as one coming from John
      the Baptist and reporting on all of the events throughout the mission,
      remains unnamed.

      > 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.

      I can see that in the Jerusalem community based on the standard of an
      outward appearance of patriarchy and by virtue of James as a temple priest
      as well as blood relative that he would be considered the nominal leader
      although the true leader in regard to the pure message of Jesus' teaching
      would fall to the one Jesus had kept in closet confidence. So, as the
      events unfold, we see James as slow to assimilate and concur with the
      teachings where they diverge from traditional Judaism. That is likely the
      reason that his leadership dies out while the Johannine church continues.

      > 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.'"
      >
      I have to admit that I am not familiar with this text, but I will find out
      about it.

      > 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.
      >
      In looking at the numbers through the lens of Cabbala, it is likely that the
      'twelve' is the exoteric governmental structure and the 'seven' is the
      esoteric inner workings. This would fall into line with the idea of a
      'Beloved Disciple' who knew the savior in an intimate way that the 'twelve'
      did not. It would also explain how James, although a brother and the leader
      of the Jerusalem community, was not very well aligned to the inner workings
      of what Jesus was really teaching which was egalitarian.

      How does your theory hold up against the Gospels of Philip and Mary?

      >>>
      > 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.

      The sense of historicity as we speak of it today is not likely the sense
      that 1st century Jews had. Jesus' contemporaries would have likely been
      able to see a parallel between the 3rd day of the 1st Creation story in
      Genesis and the wedding at Cana, for instance.
      >
      (snip)
      >
      > That the author of the 4G appears to have accurate
      > knowledge regarding the Jerusalem 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.
      >
      If that fits your scenario, but I don't see that they were written for that
      purpose at all.

      > 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.
      >
      (snip)
      >>
      >> 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.
      >
      Again, it appears to be the BD inasmuch as the person giving the account
      presents the material as if it is coming from an eye witness.

      > 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,..."
      >
      Well, other than Peter being acclaimed as a traitor by his three denials,
      one could say that about any disciple in the list except Judas.

      > 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.
      >
      James has a better chance of being Joseph of Arimathea than the BD, but it
      is too far flung to go into a tome on that at the moment.

      > 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!
      >
      It is just as likely that Mark's Gospel has the error and the Gospel of
      Philip has the faithful report.

      The name 'Mary' seems to be used as a title rather than an actual first
      name. That might account for all the Marys.
      >
      >> First of all, you disregard 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.
      >
      Actually, 'to walk with' would be very much the same as saying 'in accord
      with'. If you can find James at the foot of the cross I'm sure you can make
      this leap. :-)

      > 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".
      >
      Which amount to the same thing as saying that they were true to Jesus'
      ministry from the beginning.

      > 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.
      >
      Yes, I've noted these connections from Eisenman's "James the Brother of
      Jesus."

      These connections do not convince me satisfactorily. I still do not see
      James as the BD, although I do applaud your thread of thought in order to
      justify your theory. As you went into the hypothesis concerning Peter and
      MM as subordinates to James I was led to think of Paul's deferral to James,
      yet it is Phoebe that Paul commends to Rome while he is greatly at odds with
      Peter and rails against the letters, credentials from James and also against
      the 'law'.

      It appears to me that there are (at least) two leaders. One being James
      and/or Peter and the other being MM. There is enough evidence in the
      apocrypha to make that a reasonable hypothesis.

      But, if we look at the story of the fish fry on the beach in John 21 we
      might get another little glimpse of a different possibility.

      Suppose the BD is on the shore with Jesus and the disciples are in the boat
      a hundred yards from shore when Jesus asks, "Children, have you caught
      anything to eat?" Now, this fits perfectly with Peter playing the part of
      the child in finding the soudarion (afikomen) at the tomb scene.

      A moment later the BD calls out, "It is the Lord." Peter is too far away to
      recognize him, but the BD who is on the shore is letting him know. And vs 7
      continues... Peter covers himself because he was lightly clad and then jumps
      into the water. I ask you, don't people generally take clothes off to jump
      into the water? And do men among themselves care if they are lightly clad?
      Obviously it is not a problem among those on the boat. But, if the BD were
      a woman the whole scene makes sense. She's on the shore informing Peter.
      He then clothes himself before jumping into the water.

      Just some thoughts that are closer to the text at hand... By looking at 4G
      itself for clues rather than theories that require evidence from far flung
      sources and years of scholarship to piece together, I suggest that the
      answers are given within the text of 4G. It this particular book required a
      Rosetta Stone to decipher it it would have been rejected in the culling of
      the books. Of course, I could also be wrong.

      Peace,

      Elaine+
      > Regards,
      >
      > Frank McCoy
      > 1809 N. English Apt. 15
      > Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    • Frank McCoy
      ... From: Q Bee To: Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2004 11:36 PM Subject: [John_Lit] Re: MM as the
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 8, 2004
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Q Bee" <artforms@...>
        To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2004 11:36 PM
        Subject: [John_Lit] Re: MM as the BD?... (Was James
        and Clopas)


        > > Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 10:04:49 -0700 (PDT)
        > > From: Frank McCoy <silvanus55109@...>
        > > Subject: Re: Re: The BD
        > >

        >
        Hmmm. I don't see that 21:23 makes any connection to
        the BD being already dead. How did you read that into
        the passage?
        >

        Dear Elaine:

        In The Gospel of John (translated by G.R.
        Beasley-Murray, R.W.N. Hoare and J.K. Riches, p. 715),
        Rudolph Bultmann states, " Now *v. 23* of course
        affirms that the saying of Jesus was not a prophecy
        but only a hypothetical statement. It is clear that
        this is a subsequent correction which became necessary
        when the beloved disciple had died."

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

        >
        Hmmm, you are taking the metaphor of 'but when you
        grow old' to imply that it has already occurred?
        >

        No.

        Let us look at v. 19, "And this he (i.e., Jesus) said,
        signifying what death he (i.e., Simon Peter) will
        glorify God." IMO, this implies that Peter is already
        dead.

        > >
        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.
        > >

        >
        In looking at the numbers through the lens of Cabbala,
        it is likely that the 'twelve' is the exoteric
        governmental structure and the 'seven' is the esoteric
        inner workings. This would fall into line with the
        idea of a 'Beloved Disciple' who knew the savior in an
        intimate way that the 'twelve' did not. It would also
        explain how James, although a brother and the leader
        of the Jerusalem community, was not very well aligned
        to the inner workings of what Jesus was really
        teaching which was egalitarian.
        >

        Let us look at the First Apocalyse of James (36),
        where James is speaking to Jesus, "Yet [another thing]
        I ask of you: who are the [seven] women who have been
        your disciples? And behold, all women bless you. I
        also am amazed how [powerless] vessels have become
        strong by a perception which is in them."

        This supports the idea that Jesus was egalitarian in
        the sense that he not only made some men his
        disciples, but some women as well.

        This also indicates that James came to recognize that
        his brother was right in espousing egalitarianism, at
        least in the sense of making both men and women
        disciples.

        If so, then, at least as respects the question of
        whether women can be disciples, it is incorrect to say
        that James was not well aligned to the egalitarian
        teachings of his brother.

        Although the text is somewhat corrupt, this passage
        from the First Apocalypse of James also appears to
        support the idea that the seven were a group of women
        disciples rather than (as in Acts) the Hellenists or
        (as you suggest) some inner esoteric circle of
        disciples.

        In this regard, if my memory serves me right, if one
        assumes (as do many scholars) that John 7:53-8:11 is
        not a part of the original text, then there are seven
        women listed in John: (1) the mother of Jesus, (2) the
        Samaritan woman, (3)Martha, (4) her sister Mary. (5)
        the sister of the mother of Jesus, (6) Mary of Clopas,
        and (7) Mary the Magdalene. One possibility is that
        they were the seven women disciples of Jesus.

        Relevant to the discussion is Luke 8:1b-2, "And the
        Twelve were with him--and some women who had been
        healed from evil spirits and diseases, Mary, the one
        called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone
        out,...". I suggest that the tradition originally
        regarded the Twelve male disciples and the Seven
        female disciples. However, while this tradition was
        being transmitted through a group who did not believe
        that women should be disciples, the women were
        downgraded from disciples to healed people and Mary
        the Magdalene, was mockingly transformed from the
        woman who headed this group of seven women disciples
        into the woman who once had seven demons.

        Also relevant to the discussion is James the Brother
        of Jesus (p. 133), where Robert Eisenman states, "It
        is similar to the 'Foundation', Rock and 'Cornerstone'
        imagery one encounters in the Gospels and Letters with
        regard to Peter or Jesus himself. These terms can be
        found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly in the
        Community Rule and Hymns, including additional ones
        like 'a firm Foundation which will not shake', 'Wall',
        and 'Tower' or 'Fortress'. This last, in particular,
        is equivalent to two epithets which we shall see were
        applied to James: 'the Bulwark' and another puzzling
        circumlocution 'Oblias', defined as 'Protection' in
        early Church texts and meaning, most likely, something
        akin to 'Fortress'."

        In this regard, it is noteworthy that Magdalene has
        some resemblances to Migdal (Tower). So, I suggest,
        one possibility is that Mary the Magdalene should be
        understood to be Mary the Tower.

        In this case, not only did the two chief men in the
        early Jerusalem Church have titles borrowed from
        Essene thought (with Simon the Rock (Peter/Cephas) and
        James the Bulwark and Oblias (Fortress?), but Mary as
        well. This, in turn, suggests that she, like them,
        was one of the top people in the early Jerusalem
        Church.

        Indeed, this would be the case if James the Bulwark
        and Oblias (Fortress?)was the head of the Jerusalem
        Church, with his two immediate subordinates being
        Simon the Rock, the head of the Twelve male disciples,
        and Mary the Tower, the head of the Seven female
        disciples.

        > >
        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.
        >>

        > James has a better chance of being Joseph of
        Arimathea than the BD, but it is too far flung to go
        into a tome on that at the moment.
        >

        Let us look at Antiquities of the Jews (Book XX, Chap.
        IX, Sect. 1), where Josephus states, "And now Caesar,
        upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into
        Judea, as procurator. But the king (i.e., Herod
        Agrippa II) deprived Joseph of the high priesthood,
        and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son
        of Ananus, who was himself called Ananus....Festus was
        now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he
        assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before
        them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ,
        whose name was James, and some others; and when he had
        formed up an accusation against them as breakers of
        the law, he delivered them to be stoned:...".

        Note that James is arrested and executed almost
        immediately after a Joseph (i.e., Joseph Cabi) lost
        the high priesthood. Perhaps this is no coincidence.
        Perhaps, rather, Joseph Cabi had been the secret
        Christian known to us as Joseph of Arimathea and had
        been, in his capacity of High Priest, protecting
        James. So, when Joseph lost the high priesthood,
        James lost his protector, thereby enabling his enemies
        to have him arrested and executed.

        > These connections do not convince me satisfactorily.
        I still do not see James as the BD, although I do
        applaud your thread of thought in order to justify
        your theory. As you went into the hypothesis
        concerning Peter and MM as subordinates to James I was
        led to think of Paul's deferral to James, yet it is
        Phoebe that Paul commends to Rome while he is greatly
        at odds with Peter and rails against the letters,
        credentials from James and also against the 'law'.
        >
        It appears to me that there are (at least) two
        leaders. One being James and/or Peter and the other
        being MM. There is enough evidence in the apocrypha
        to make that a reasonable hypothesis.
        >

        This hypothesis does not explain why Luke (in Acts),
        Eusebius (in the History of the Church), and Thomas
        (in Thomas 12) indicate that James was the head of the
        movement founded by his brother. This evidence,
        rather, supports the hypothesis that James possessed a
        higher degree of authority than anyone else in his
        brother's movement--a higher degree of authority than
        that possessed even by Peter the Rock or by Mary the
        Tower or by Saul.

        >
        But, if we look at the story of the fish fry on the
        beach in John 21 we might get another little glimpse
        of a different possibility.
        >
        > Suppose the BD is on the shore with Jesus and the
        disciples are in the boat a hundred yards from shore
        when Jesus asks, "Children, have you caught anything
        to eat?" Now, this fits perfectly with Peter playing
        the part of the child in finding the soudarion
        (afikomen) at the tomb scene.
        >
        > A moment later the BD calls out, "It is the Lord."
        Peter is too far away to recognize him, but the BD who
        is on the shore is letting him know. And vs 7
        continues... Peter covers himself because he was
        lightly clad and then jumps into the water. I ask
        you, don't people generally take clothes off to
        jump into the water? And do men among themselves care
        if they are lightly clad? Obviously it is not a
        problem among those on the boat. But, if the BD were
        a woman the whole scene makes sense. She's on the
        shore informing Peter. He then clothes himself before
        jumping into the water.
        >

        This is an interesting hypothesis and does have
        inherent credibility. For example, in declaring Jesus
        to be the Lord, the BD acts like Mary Magdalene--who,
        in 20:18, speaks of Jesus being the Lord.

        Still, it does have some difficulties.

        Let us look at 21:4, "Now, early morning already come,
        Jesus stood on the shore. However, the disciples had
        not realized that it was Jesus."

        If the BD was on the shore, then there was a disciple
        who knew that it was Jesus standing on the shore.
        Yet, the declaration, "However, the disciples
        had not realized that it was Jesus.", appears to imply
        that none of the disciples knew that it was Jesus
        standing on the shore.

        This hypothesis takes the 200 cubits of 21:8
        literally. Perhaps, though, it is to be taken
        symbolically.

        If the boat had been 200 cubits offshore, Jesus and
        the disciples on the boat would have been a football
        field apart. Wouldn't conversation have been
        difficult if Jesus and the disciples in the boat had
        actually been a football field apart? Also, isn't
        that a recklessly dangerous long swim if one is
        encumbered by clothing that has become very heavy
        because of it being immersed in water?

        If the 200 cubits is not to be taken literally but
        symbolically, then they could have been closer to
        shore, right where the shallow waters near the shore
        dropped off to deep water. Conversation would have
        been easy. Also, since Peter had presumably stripped
        solely for work purposes, he, stopping his work, would
        have donned his clothes and jumped off the shoreward
        side of the boat into the shallow waters and waded to
        shore.

        In this case, in addition, there is an explanation as
        to the catch of fish. Fish sometimes congregate on
        the downward sloping side of the dropoff point.
        Perhaps the dropoff to deep water was on the right
        side of the boat, enabling them to make a big catch of
        fish by throwing the net out from the right side of
        the boat.

        In this case it hardly seems necessary to invoke the
        idea that there was a woman present.

        >
        Just some thoughts that are closer to the text at
        hand... By looking at 4G itself for clues rather than
        theories that require evidence from far flung sources
        and years of scholarship to piece together, I suggest
        that the answers are given within the text of 4G. It
        this particular book required a Rosetta Stone to
        decipher it it would have been rejected in the culling
        of the books. Of course, I could also be wrong.
        >

        My current perception is that each early Christian
        group which did accept the 4G interpreted it in terms
        of other texts they accepted and in terms of their own
        peculiar belief system. So, I currently perceive
        each early Christian group who did accept the 4G as
        thinking that this particular book does require a
        Rosetta Stone (i.e., other texts and a belief system)
        to properly interpret, but disagreeing with other
        Christian groups over which other texts and which
        belief system constitute this Rosetta Stone. Whether
        this perception is accurate is, of course, open to
        question.

        Regards,

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









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      • Bill Bullin
        ... The scenario of an arrest and either fear of a pending execution or else an exile of the BD would also fit debate within the community in the absence of
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 9, 2004
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          > > > Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 10:04:49 -0700 (PDT)
          > > > From: Frank McCoy <silvanus55109@...>
          > > > Subject: Re: Re: The BD
          > > >
          > Hmmm. I don't see that 21:23 makes any connection to
          > the BD being already dead. How did you read that into
          > the passage?
          > >
          > Dear Elaine:
          >
          > In The Gospel of John (translated by G.R.
          > Beasley-Murray, R.W.N. Hoare and J.K. Riches, p. 715),
          > Rudolph Bultmann states, " Now *v. 23* of course
          > affirms that the saying of Jesus was not a prophecy
          > but only a hypothetical statement. It is clear that
          > this is a subsequent correction which became necessary
          > when the beloved disciple had died."
          >
          The scenario of an arrest and either fear of a pending execution or else an
          exile of the BD would also fit debate within the community in the absence of
          the BD (I think), so the BD's death cannot be an entirely conclusive matter;
          we are however dealing with a crisis departure / exodus of some kind or
          another.

          Bill Bullin ( Private Student, EastSussex)
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