Tag Archives: Mary Magdalene

The Confrontation of James and Paul

Jesus Returns to Jerusalem              

The sojourn in Ephesus helped Jesus regain a little of his health. But that was not to be for long. No sooner had Jesus left Jerusalem for Turkey, the squabbling between some of the senior disciples for leadership of the movement began.

Soon after the crucifixion of Jesus and his appearance to some of his disciples, there were several claims as to who Jesus first appeared. These claims were being made merely to establish leadership of the movement. Three significant characters in Jesus’ life – James, Peter and Mary Magdalene – claimed either directly or indirectly that they were the first to see the post crucifixion Jesus. Even Paul who had never seen Jesus during his lifetime nor heard any of his sermons claimed to have seen the post crucifixion Jesus. According to Acts (of the Apostles) Jesus appears to Paul on the road to Damascus.

According to one of Paul’s own letters in the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus made an after-crucifixion appearance to him as a vision after which he was momentarily blinded. After this incident Paul proclaimed himself as a servant of Jesus and an apostle who was set apart for the gospel of God. Paul’s claim that the resurrected Jesus appeared to him was to support his assertion that he received the Gospel not from any man but from Jesus himself. He also claimed that his apostleship was by divine appointment. He used these claims to grant himself independence from the movement in Jerusalem. He also claims that on reaching Damascus he was cured of his blindness.

Paul strongly opposed Jewish claims of lineal and theological superiority. He also maintained an authoritative style of writing even while addressing the “super apostles” in spite of the fact that all of them had known Jesus during his lifetime and had stronger claims to apostleship than Paul.

The basis for the difference between Paul and the super-apostles was the conviction of the early followers of Jesus that they should fulfill their Jewish inheritance. Although they followed practices that were typical to their new belief, they lived as Jews, took part in Jewish worship and observed ancient Jewish laws handed down from the time of Moses. As such circumcision and the laws of Moses were inviolable (1).

Some scholars were convinced that the conflict between Paul and Peter was long drawn out and it was deep seated because of their divergent doctrinal views. Paul even publicly rebuked the apostles because of their use of the Old Testament in a manner that was never intended (2). Paul was not in agreement with the ancient concepts of ritual purity (3).

James and Paul were theological adversaries. The conflict was basically between the form of Jewish Christianity that was represented by James and the Gentile or Hellenistic Christians represented by Paul. Robert Eisenman posits that James and the Christian Jews that followed him were sidelined by Paul and the Gentile Christians who were his followers. Both Eisenman and Ferdinand Christian Baur speculated that there was a split between Paul and the Peter-James led Jewish Church (4).

While the movement of Paul began to grow, the movement in Jerusalem under the leadership of James began to decline and even suffered persecution (5). It is possible that Jesus did not stay in Ephesus for long. Perhaps two factors were responsible for his return to the Jerusalem area. One must have been his failing health. Although Jesus may not have died on the cross, it is apparent that he suffered extensive physical injuries that did not fully heal and his health began to slowly fail and if anyone could give him the care and medical attention that he needed it would be the Essenes at Qumran. And if he was going to die, Jesus would most certainly have desired to die in Jerusalem where his roots were. Besides this, he was getting disturbing news from Jerusalem about the infighting among his apostles and about Paul trying to usurp the leadership of the movement and even openly challenging his closest disciples.

In spite of his failing health Jesus returned Jerusalem, with Mary Magdalene and young Juda to cast his lot with his brother James.

References:

(1) Monet, Fr. Jacques, S.J. Great Moments in Catholic History, http://home.golden.net/~wts/words/greatmoments/GM01.html

(2) Deffinbaugh, Bob. (1995 – 2012). Peter’s Capitulation and Paul’s Correction (Galatians 2:11-21). Retrieved 2012, from http://bible.org/seriespage/peter%E2%80%99s-capitulation-and-paul%E2%80%99s-correction-galatians-211-21

(3) Why did Peter and Paul disagree? (n.d.). Retrieved 2011, from http://www.tektonics.org/lp/petevspaul.html

(4) Baigent, Michael. (2000.). The Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.cornerstonesociety.com/Insight/Articles/essenes.pdf

(5) Council of Jerusalem. (2012). Retrieved 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Jerusalem

 

Advertisements

Joseph of Arimathea Is Imprisoned But Escapes

Jewish Elders Were Angry With Joseph Of Arimathea —

According to the Gospel of Nicodemus the Jewish elders were angry with Joseph of Arimathea. Perhaps they realized that he had somehow tricked them.

Joseph of Arimathea

Fig (1) Joseph of Arimathea

In the same Gospel Joseph of Arimathea is shown to plead his case with the elders: Why are you angry against me because I begged the body of Jesus? Behold, I have put him in my new tomb, wrapping in clean linen; and I have rolled a stone to the door of the tomb. And you have acted not well against the just man, because you have not repented of crucifying him, but also have pierced him with a spear (1).

However the elders were not satisfied with Joseph of Arimathea’s explanation. They imprisoned him, put a seal on his cell door and placed a guard. Nevertheless Joseph of Arimathea escaped and according to some accounts went away Arimathea. It was probably then that he informed James that his brother Jesus did not die on the cross and that he was now in Ephesus together with Mary Magdalene, Juda and his mother Mary. It was from then on that James himself went to live with the community of Essenes and where James began to preach the word of Jesus. According to some sources Joseph of Arimathea eventually relocated to England. In fact during medieval times he was credited with being the founder of British Christianity and the original custodian of the Holy Grail (2).

Why Did The Jewish Elders Arrest Joseph Of Arimathea?

Why did the Jewish elders arrest Joseph of Arimathea? He did only what was required. No one wanted the body of Jesus hanging on a cross on the day of the Passover. Presumably they were upset because they were convinced that Joseph of Arimathea had tricked them. Perhaps they also suspected that Pilate had a role in the trickery.

According historians William of Malmesbury, Maelgwyn of Llandaff and Polydore Vergil Joseph of Arimathea resettles in Glastonbury, England to continue the mission of Jesus. Even the four Church councils of Pisa 1409, Constance 1417, Sienna 1424 and Basle 1434, mention that “the Churches of France and Spain must yield in points of antiquity and precedence to that of Britain as the latter Church was founded by Joseph of Arimathea immediately after the passion of Christ” (3).

References:
(1) Jones, Robert C. (1997). Joseph of Arimathea: Biblical & Legendary Accounts. Retrieved 2013, from http://www.sundayschoolcourses.com/joseph/joseph.pdf

(2) Joseph of Arimathea. (2012). Retrieved 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_of_Arimathea

(3) Trustee of the Gospel. (n.d.). Retrieved 2011, from http://asis.com/users/stag/josephar.html

Picture Credits:
(1) Joseph of Arimathea      http://truthbook.com/urantia-book/paper-190-morontia-appearances-of-jesus

 

Did Jesus Really Resurrect From The Dead?

Did Everyone Believe In The Resurrection Of Jesus???

The exact day on which Jesus was crucified may be a matter of dispute. But it would appear that within a few days Jesus had recouped sufficiently to walk to the vicinity of the tomb in which he was supposed to have been buried. He knew that even if no one else came to visit the tomb, Mary Magdalene would with the intention of anointing his body with oil. This confidence may have stemmed because of a special relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, whom he, by many accounts loved especially.

Doubting Thomas

My own pencil drawing of Doubting Thomas

According to the Gospel of John (John 20:1-18) Mary Magdalene went to the tomb shortly before dawn. When she saw the tomb open, she thought that someone had moved the body of Jesus and ran to tell Peter and an unidentified disciple what she had seen. Peter and the unnamed disciple went back with Mary Magdalene and when they found the tomb empty, they left. But Mary Magdalene sat nearby and wept. She hoped that someone would come along who had information about the body of Jesus.

Mary Magdalene Mistook The Resurrected Jesus For The Gardener

When she suddenly turned she saw a man, who she thought was the gardener. According to John 20:14-16, this man asked Mary Magdalene “Woman why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Mary Magdalene responded, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” It wasn’t until Jesus called her by name and when she did she cried out to him “Rabboni” (teacher in Aramaic). The important factor to note is that someone so dear to Jesus was not able to recognize him and mistook him for the gardener. The reason for this is probably because this was not a resurrected Jesus but a resuscitated Jesus. His face, body and demeanor showed evidence of the ordeals of crucifixion. According to resurrection narratives if the angels could have appeared in radiant white garments, there is no reason why Jesus should have appeared in the garments of a gardener.

Doubting Thomas

It was not just Mary Magdalene that did not recognize the post-crucifixion Jesus. Jesus is said to have appeared to Cleopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus. They too did not recognize Jesus initially.  It is said that at first “their eyes were holden” Luke 24:16. It is not certain if the other disciples to whom he appeared also had difficulty recognizing him. This probably gave rise to the moniker “doubting Thomas”.

In spite of six resurrection predictions the women who went the tomb with their spices that morning were expecting to find the remains of Jesus. They went there for the sole purpose of anointing the decaying body of Jesus (1). Resurrection was the last thing they had expected to witness. This is the case even with the apostles who went there later to investigate the empty tomb.

Besides if Jesus had indeed resurrected why would he appear to Mary Magdalene disguised as a gardener? And why would he ask the eleven disciples to meet him atop a mountain in Galilee and not meet him somewhere in Jerusalem itself? If he had indeed resurrected he may have had the flesh and bones of a human being, but he would have nevertheless been divine. He would then have had nothing to fear from the Jewish elders or the Romans who were responsible for his crucifixion.

Inconsistencies Regarding The Resurrection Narratives

The inconsistencies regarding the resurrection narratives are itself an indication that the resurrection was a later day concoction to match Old Testament prophecies retrospectively.  The reason why Jesus asked his disciples to meet him atop a mountain in Galilee may have been to avoid being detected by the Jewish elders. But did he indeed ask for something so unreasonable?  Depending on where this mountain is in Galilee we are talking about a distance of 60-100 miles. This message about the meeting was delivered by the angel to Mary Magdalene after the sun had risen. And she would have had to convey this instruction to the disciples either in person or through Peter to the disciples who it is rational to assume were hiding in different places. And even if this information was successfully passed on, would it have been possible for 11 not so young men to walk or even run that distance to reach their destination that same day?

According to Mark (16:7) the messenger of God told the women “But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he (Jesus) goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.” According to Matt (28:7-10), the message was a little different. It was “And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he (Jesus) goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him.” According to Matthew the meeting with the disciples in Galilee must have been the first. “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted”. (Matt 28:16-17). If the disciples had seen Jesus earlier there was no question of any doubt. Mark agrees with the first meeting narration of Matthew.

However Luke and John have different versions of Jesus’ first appearance other than the one to the women. Luke says that the first appearance was on the road to Emmaus and then in a room in Jerusalem. According to John the first appearance was in the evening in a room where Thomas was not present. These are not the only discrepancies regarding the resurrection. There is no consensus between the Gospels regarding the time the women visited the tomb, who these women were, what the messengers of God said, to who Jesus first appeared after the crucifixion and where this first appearance took place.

Different Narrations As Regards The Guards At The Tomb

There are different narrations even as regards the guards at the tomb. When it was found that the tomb of Jesus was empty, according to Matthew, the guards report the incident to Pilate. This would make the guards Roman. But according to Peter, the guards report the empty tomb to the chief priest. This would mean that the guards Jewish. If in fact the guards were Roman, they would have been executed for dereliction of duty. And as there is no report of such an eventuality, it would appear that the guards were Jewish (2).

According to (Matthew 28:1–4) an angel rolled away the stone that sealed the tomb of Jesus. And according to (Matthew 28:11–15) the chief priests bribed the soldiers to say that the apostles had stolen the body of Jesus. According to some scholars that it was specially decreed by that “graves and tombs lie undisturbed forever” and that tomb robbers be “executed for tomb robbery” in reaction to the Christian claim that Jesus had resurrected (3).

In Acts and the Gospel of Luke we are told that the disciples were commanded to stay in Jerusalem. We are also told that this is where they met Jesus (see Acts 1:4 and Luke 24:33, 47, 49). In Matthew 28:10 and Mark 16:6-7, we learn that the disciples are asked to go to Galilee, and in Matthew 28:16-18, we are told they meet Jesus there, not in or near Jerusalem.

Jesus appears to the disciples

(Fig 2) The resurrected Jesus appears to the disciples

Based on what Mark, Matthew, and John say we can assume that Jesus’ first post-crucifixion appearance was to Mary Magdalene. However for the next several days Jesus began to meet with his disciples. In spite of the fact that these meetings were clandestine it began to add credence to the suspicion of the Jewish elders that Jesus did not die on the cross. These appearances were probably against the advice of Joseph of Arimathea. It is likely that with the exception Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, young Juda and a handful of Essenes, no one else was aware that Jesus did not die on the cross. When Joseph of Arimathea began to feel that it was no longer safe for Jesus to stay at his house he asked the Essenes to take Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Juda to Ephesus, where Mary his mother and John the beloved disciple were already relocated.

References:

(1) The Resurrection of Jesus. (n.d.). Retrieved 2012, from http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Luke/Resurrection-Jesus

(2) Craig, Dr. Willaim Lane. (2012). Retrieved 2012 from  http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?60412-Peter-Kirby-will-speak-in-Los-Angeles/page2

(3) Hinckley, Gordon B. “The Son of God,” Ensign, December 1992, Retrieved 2013 from  http://rsc.byu.edu/easterconference/2007/roundtable

Picture Credits:

(Fig 2)  https://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=637&q=resurrected+jesus+appears+to+the+apostles&oq=resurrected+jesus+appears+to+the+apostles&gs_l=img.3…2903.14627.0.15069.41.16.0.25.25.0.180.1695.8j8.16.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..0.29.1753.YUilnNq1H1Y#imgrc=5o2_HSKVPhREEM%3A

Was There A Conspiracy In The Burial Of Jesus?

The Burial of Jesus – What Probably Happened —

Eight years of research may seem rather protracted even if the subjects are as complex as the tomb of Jesus, the ossuary of James and the role of Mary Magdalene in the early Church and her relationship to Jesus. But eight years is not really all that long when you consider that the study is about events that happened 2000 years ago, when the available literature is not ample and whatever is available is riddled with controversies and contradictions.

Jesus taken down from the cross

(Fig 1) Jesus is brought down from the cross

With the available information and reasonable conjectures the task at hand is to try and resolve the many puzzles and reconstruct what in all likelihood happened.

We have seen what the early and subsequent Christian writers had to say about the significant aspects of the life and death of Jesus, about James the Just and the role of Mary Magdalene.

Separating Fact From Fiction

After the crucifixion of Jesus, there was a scramble for the leadership of his movement. Many of the contenders wrote their own gospels. This is the reason why there was a time when more than twenty gospels were in existence. A few of the authors claimed that the resurrected Jesus appeared to them and their authority to teach his word was received directly from him. And to add credibility to what they preached, they sometimes tailored events relating to Jesus to suit their teachings and the audience for which they were meant. At times they did this by altering some of the events in Jesus’ life to make them appear as fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. To those who would not accept Jesus as God, they made him a messiah. For those who were oppressed and longed for divine deliverance they made him god.

We have crucifixion narratives from people who were not even witnesses to the event. We have accounts of the resurrection from people who went into hiding fearing for their own lives. As a consequence, there are different versions of these two seminal events. Mark’s narration of the crucifixion, which was probably the first, involves “a kind of crucifixion drama … compiled to meet the religious needs of a Gentile Church” (1).

As for the resurrection narratives, the versions are even more diverse. There are different claims as to who the resurrected Jesus first appeared. We are also not sure whether he appeared to the apostles in Galilee or in Jerusalem. There are varying reports that he appeared as a spirit and then there are claims that he appeared in flesh and blood (2).

The form of Christianity advocated by James was not a new religion, but “a Jewish messianic movement centered on Jesus”.  On the other hand Paul “pushed Christianity in an increasingly Gentile direction as the first century progressed” (3).

Paul molded a Christianity that had greater appeal and eventually prevailed as the dominant religion. In time Jamesian Christianity was sidelined and much of the other literature was branded as heresy. The fact that Paul wrote about 40% of the New Testament is further proof that “victors write history”.

The Crucified Jesus Comes Back To Life

We know that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took down Jesus from the cross with the help of the centurion Abenadar. While Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus held the upper body of Jesus the centurion took upon himself the responsibility of drawing out the huge nails that were driven through the palms and feet of Jesus. After Jesus was brought down the centurion trudged off towards Pilot’s house and the two middle-aged men carried Jesus to the well in Joseph of Arimathea’s garden that lay just beyond the city walls quite close to Golgotha.

The two benevolent gentlemen propped up Jesus against the wall of the well and began to wash off the blood in accordance with the Jewish custom (4). Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus then applied myrrh and aloes on Jesus. When they were about it, Jesus began to show signs of life. Were the two men shocked? Far from it! The two had indeed expected just this.  While myrrh and aloes are also used as perfumes, in this instance they were used for their medicinal properties to revive Jesus who was in a state of coma. All indications are that Joseph of Arimathea had made a deal with Pilate.

When Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin not all members agreed that Jesus had committed blasphemy and deserved to die. For instance Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus argued with the other members of the Sanhedrin that Jesus had done no wrong. Joseph of Arimathea knew that somehow the other members of the Sanhedrin would force Pilate to decree the death penalty for Jesus. He was sure that Pilate dared not go against the committee as the Jewish leaders had threatened to report him to Caesar if he refused to crucify Jesus. So Joseph of Arimathea decided to approach Pilate with a proposal.

It was common knowledge that Pilate was a corrupt procurator. And Joseph of Arimathea being a wealthy merchant offered Pilate a hefty bribe to decree that Jesus be crucified on the day of preparation. This would mean that Jesus would be on the cross for only a few hours. Pilate must have known that Jesus would be drugged and taken down from the cross while he appeared dead.

According to John (John 19:28) Jesus said “I am thirsty”.  In response he was given a sponge soaked in vinegar/ soured wine. The Romans were cruel beyond an extent. They are said to do this to revive the victim so that he is conscious to feel pain. But in the case of Jesus it seemed to have had the exact opposite reaction. After receiving the sour wine Jesus said “It is finished,” and then he bowed his head and lost consciousness. This is probably because that the vinegar was not just vinegar. It was in all likelihood laced with a drug that caused Jesus to appear dead. Belladonna and soporific drugs were common in the Middle East at that time. Some scholars have suggested the involvement of the Essenes who were the followers of Jesus (5).

While it took many hours and in some cases a couple of days for victims of crucifixion to die, Jesus was declared dead after being on the cross for just three hours. From the sequence of events before and during the crucifixion it would appear that there was a conspiracy to make sure that Jesus was not put to death.

After he was convinced that Jesus appeared dead to the handful of onlookers, Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate for permission to take down Jesus from the cross. We are told that at first on hearing Joseph of Arimathea’s request, Pilate is surprised that the request should have come so soon. He carried on the charade by sending a centurion to verify that Jesus was no more. In those days the checks to verify that a person was dead were not as refined as they are today. So probably the centurion decided that Jesus was dead after a visual inspection.

Another factor to consider is that the Jewish leaders went to Pilate and asked that the legs of Jesus be broken. While the legs of the victims on either side of Jesus were shattered, Jesus’ legs were not broken. Roman soldiers were generally known for their cruelty. They sometimes crucified victims in different positions merely for their amusement. It is difficult to believe that they were either compassionate and therefore did not smash the legs of Jesus or that they did not do so because they were convinced that Jesus was dead from a cursory glance at the body on the cross.

We are also told that one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side. And when he saw a mixture of water and blood ooze out he was convinced that Jesus was dead. According to some sources it was not “water and blood” but just blood. Besides who knows for certain one way or the other? After all there were no apostles who witnessed the crucifixion.  As per the Gospels “they all forsook him and fled” (Mark 14:50).

Longinus

(Fig 2) Longinus – the soldier who pierced the side of Jesus

According to apocryphal writings – The Gospel of Nicodemus (The Acts of Pilate) – the name of the soldier who pierced the side of Jesus was “Longinus”. Legend has it that this soldier was partially blind. Of all the soldiers available, why would a partially blind soldier be chosen to deliver the coup de grace and why would he pierce the side of Jesus and not aim for the heart?

Conspiracy Between Joseph Of Arimathea And Pilate

All indications are that there was a conspiracy between Joseph of Arimathea and Pilate to make sure that Jesus did not die as a result of the crucifixion. For whatever reason, there is no doubt that Pilate played the central role in making sure of this. If Pilate did not help to ensure that Jesus was not killed on the cross, why would the calendars of the Saints of the Coptic Church, both in Egypt and in Ethiopia, depict Pilate and his wife as “saints” (6)?

After they had washed him, they carried Jesus inside Joseph of Arimathea’s house and left him there in the care of the Essenes. The two then prepared what looked like a body wrapped in burial linen known in Hebrew as a takrik and in the rabbinic sources as a sadin using the 75 lbs of spices that Nicodemus had brought and whatever else they could use. They then carried what looked like a body in burial linen to the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea as already arranged. At the site of the tomb were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses.

Joseph of Arimathea who was the initiator of the plot knew that sooner or later there would be trouble from the Jewish elders. Because of this he asked the beloved disciple John to take Mary the mother of Jesus and go to Ephesus a place that was familiar to Joseph of Arimathea because of his frequent business trips to England. It is likely that he stopped over on his to and fro trips and had friends there.  This is the reason why both Mary the mother of Jesus and John were absent during the entombment and other than the two men and two women, there were no relatives or followers of Jesus at the burial site.

We know from Matthew 27:57 “evening having come, a rich man from Arimathea coming up to Pilate, requests the body of Yeshua”. We also know from elsewhere in the Bible Mark 15:42 that “Now evening occurring” has been interpreted as “when the sun sets”. So by the time Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate it was already after sunset. And by the time Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus carried Jesus to Arimathea’s garden and then prepared what appeared to be his body, it must definitely have been past sunset.

When Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus reached the tomb with what appeared to be the body of Jesus it was almost dark – presumably that part of the day when it was dark, but not dark enough to light a lamp. In addition to the two women – Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses – there were only a few Jewish guards there. The soldiers sat to a side indifferent to the burial rituals and the women stood at a distance still too distraught with the events of the day. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus carried the burial linen with its contents to the tomb’s interior. There they placed the bundle on the bench along one of the walls, opened it, spread the spices on the loculus, folded the linen and kept it to one side and emerged from the tomb to the relief of the women who waited outside. That done the women proceeded to their homes. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus blocked the entrance to the tomb with a golal, bid the guards goodnight and left in the direction of Joseph of Arimathea’s house that was just a short distance away.

Plausible Explanation For The Empty Tomb

This is the only plausible explanation for the empty tomb: the body of Jesus was never interred there. There is no question of the apostles robbing the body of Jesus. They would not dare attempt any such bravado, too frightened for their own lives. As for the bodily resurrection of Jesus being an explanation for the empty tomb, there are no witnesses to the phenomenon and there are too many contradictions to lend credence to the claim.

Could Joseph of Arimathea have executed this plot with only the connivance of Pilate and the help of his middle-aged friend Nicodemus? Seems unlikely! It is quite probable that he had the help of the followers of Jesus and James. If this is so, then we must try and figure out if Jesus and James were Essenes and what Jesus meant to the sect.

 References:
1) https://books.google.co.in/books?id=jaa9CgAAQBAJ&pg=PT77&lpg=PT77&dq=a+kind+of+crucifixion+drama+…+compiled+to+meet+the+religious+needs+of+a+Gentile+Church&source=bl&ots=oRKEeWae-q&sig=HlqUyuMX3OGedPtGCPxyNWljMUM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjVmL6HlPnKAhUTGI4KHSCnABQQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=a%20kind%20of%20crucifixion%20drama%20…%20compiled%20to%20meet%20the%20religious%20needs%20of%20a%20Gentile%20Church&f=false

2) Bercovitz, J. Peter.  (2004). Resurrection Narratives. Retrieved 2012, from http://www.paulonpaul.org/jesus/narr_3_resurr.htm

(3) Shanks, Hershel & Witherington iii, Ben. (2009). The Brother of Jesus. Harper- Collins ebooks. New York. Pg. 114.

(4) Gibson, Shimon. (2009). The Final Days of Jesus. The Archaeological Evidence. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. New York.

(5) Kareem, Abdullah . (n.d.). Jesus Survived the Cross. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.answering-christianity.com/abdullah_smith/jesus_survived_cross.htm

(6) Ata ur-Rahim, Muhammad. (1996). Jesus: Prophet of Islam. Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an pg. 37.

Picture Credits:
(Fig 1) Jesus is taken down from the cross https://in.pinterest.com/pin/282741682828797411/

(Fig 2) Longinus https://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=637&q=Longinus&oq=Longinus&gs_l=img.12..0l10.2184.2184.0.11983.1.1.0.0.0.0.225.225.2-1.1.0….0…1ac..64.img..0.1.224.hJ4zCcGqTKY#hl=en&tbm=isch&q=longinus+moriones&imgrc=fv5ovg5u78T26M%3A

 

So What If Jesus Was A Married Man?

Jesus And Mary Magdalene – The Royal Bloodline

Mary Magdalene is said to be the bearer of the Holy Grail. In old French the word sangraal was commonly accepted to mean the Holy Grail. But when the word is split in two again in old French it means royal blood. When tradition states that Mary Magdalene took the Holy Grail with her to France in A.D. 42 some claim that it actually meant she took the royal blood with her.

Saint-Sarah

(Fig 1) The dark complexioned daughter of Mary Magdalene

Another line of interpretation was that Jesus and Mary Magdalene married and that the union of two royal bloodlines – Jesus from the house of King David and Mary Magdalene from the royal House of Benjamin.

The political fallout of this union could have resulted in the crucifixion of Jesus. The coming together of these two royal bloodlines could have given the oppressed Jews of that time new hope of a Jewish uprising and the reestablishment of Jewish kings.

The story of this union of royal bloodlines does not end there. According to some the story continues in the town of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France. In this town, in the Shrine of Sainte Sara la Kali, between May 23 – 25 is celebrated the feast of St. Sarah also known as La Sara Kali.

shrine of Sarah

(Fig 2) The Shrine of Saint Sara la Kali

It is said that that in A.D. 42 Mary Magdalene arrived there with a 12 year old dark complexioned daughter Sarah. This child Sarah – which in Hebrew means princess – is said to be the daughter born to Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Joseph of Arimathea was said to be the protector of the Sangraal which was interpreted by some as the womb of Mary Magdalene.

Legend has it that the appearance La Sara Kali in France resulted in the continuation of the royal bloodline in the form of the Merovingian dynasty. It is also said that from the fifth to the eighth centuries Merovingian kings ruled Europe. It is also claimed that most of the rulers of Europe from the Middle Ages onward were Merovingians. (2)

According to some accounts it appears that in A.D. 679, the Roman Catholic Church joined forces with the Carolingian dynasty to assassinate and remove the Merovingian King Dagobert.

Not everyone agrees with the Sarah stories. There are claims that this account about Sarah is nothing but a “pious tale”.

Please subscribe to my blog https://familytombofjesus.wordpress.com

Please also read my post “Was Mary Magdalene Just A Disciple Of Jesus?” at bit.ly/1NcJpkU

Reference:
(1) http://www.answers.com/topic/saint-sarah

(2) http://www.christian-forum.net/lofiversion/index.php/t18866.html

Picture Credits:
(Fig 1) The dark complexioned daughter of Mary Magdalene https://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=637&q=The+Shrine+of+Sainte+Sara+la+Kali&oq=The+Shrine+of+Sainte+Sara+la+Kali&gs_l=img.12…74303.74303.0.75639.1.1.0.0.0.0.225.225.2-1.1.0….0…1ac.2.64.img..0.0.0.Zpk4vGtVOiI#imgrc=_p-acdL-ocsW2M%3A

(Fig 2) The Shrine of Sainte Sara la Kali
http://www.novareinna.com/romani/sarashrine.html

 

 

 

 

Is This The Ossuary of Mary Magdalene?

The Ossuary Of Mariamene, Who Is (Also Called) Mara

The first of the six ossuaries that were inscribed was numbered IAA 80-500. Rahmani numbered the same ossuary as 701 in his catalogue of ossuaries in the possession of the State of Israel. This ossuary was decorated and had the name “Mariamene, who is (also called) Mara” inscribed in Greek (See fig. 2).

New Testament scholar James Tabor and his associates try to explain away the fact that this ossuary was alone inscribed in Greek by claiming that the small Jewish town of Migdal/Magdala/Tarichaea on the Sea of Galilee (Mary Magdalene’s hometown “an important trading center” Greek was the common language of communication. This contention, some claim is incorrect, since in those days, only the upper classes were familiar with Greek, whereas the common people used only Aramaic (1).

Ancient Magdala

Amos Kloner commented that “The name Mariamene [is] a variant of the name (Miriam, Maryam) and (Marya). [This name] is inscribed on more than twenty ossuaries in the Israel State Collections.” These names “are the most common feminine names of the Second Temple period.” Kloner and Rahmani translate the inscription on this ossuary as “Mariamne, (who is also called) Mara” (2). Tal Ilan also endorsed the commonness of this name saying that Mariam is used 80 times. Mara, an abbreviation of Martha, is used as a second name. She goes on the say that this name too “is common in the Jewish feminine onomasticon.” Mara is recorded eight times in the onomasticon of names (3).

ossuary of Mary Magdalene

Ossuary said to be that of Mary Magdalene (Fig. 2)

Of the two Marys whose ossuaries were recovered from the tomb, it may be reasonable to assume that one of them is the mother of Jesus and the other Mariamene is not his sister.

Not everyone agrees that this is the ossuary of Mary Magdalene. Tabor and his associates interpret the word “Mara” on the ossuary they claim is that of Mary Magdalene, as the Aramaic for “master” elevating her to the status of “teacher” and “leader”. They conclude that the inscription on the ossuary actually denotes “The Honored Teacher Mariamne” (4).

Stephen J. Pfann, President of the Board of Directors of the University of the Holy Land, cites lexical problems and “elements of the signum formula” to argue that the Talpiot ossuary cannot be that of Mary Magdalene. “A signum is a term used for an added second personal name, like a middle name or alias.” He claims that the “KAI” on this ossuary is used to connect two different names i.e Mariame and Mara, with the “KA” being used as the equivalent of “AND”. He cites the example of ossuary CJO 490 where KAI is used to do just this.

Pfann argues that the first part of the inscription “Mariame” was written in “the common Greek documentary script of the period” when the bones of the first woman were interred and whereas the second and third part show cursive elements that are not there in the first part. This he claims is the proof that the “Mariame” and the Kai Mara” parts of the inscription were written by two different scribes at different times (5).

Some have indeed interpreted the Mara (Ma/ra) as an abbreviated form for Martha, this fact being borne out by similar inscriptions on other ossuaries. Given that the Greek form of Mariamne (Mariamh/nou) is in the genitive case (of the dimunitive form Mariamh/non), the inscription could be interpreted “Mariamne’s (daughter) Mara (or Martha).” Kloner and Rahmani interpret the inscription on this ossuary to mean “Mariamne, (who is also called) Mara.” Besides this some scholars think that because of her knowledge of the Greek language Mary Magdalene could have possibly been the teacher of Hellenist Jews. However other scholars contend that if she was indeed the wife of Jesus her ossuary would have also been inscribed in Hebrew just as the Ossuary of Jesus. Because of this, these scholars believe that the Talpiot tomb was the resting place of probably unrelated individuals of different ethnicity (6).

Mary Magdalene Was Disliked By The Other Disciples After Jesus Departed

Extra-biblical sources suggest that Mary Magdalene was disliked by the other disciples after Jesus departed. One example of this aversion toward her can be found in Section 114 of the Gospel of Thomas, where Peter says “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of the Life”. The Gospel of Mary also depicts friction between her and Peter. All of this suggests that Peter may have led an attempt to drive her out of the original group of believers. Some scholars believe that this compelled Mary Magdalene to lead her own Greek speaking group. If this is correct, it would explain the Greek inscription on her ossuary.

Based on the special relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and the prominence given to her in extra biblical texts, the makers of the documentary “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” concluded that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married.

Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Based on the work of Prof. François Bovon of Harvard University relating to the Acts of Philip, the makers of the documentary state that Mary Magdalene’s name in the Acts was “Mariamne” and that this is the correct name of the historical Mary Magdalene of the fisrt century.

Prof. François Bovon of Harvard University reasoned that there could be a link between Mary Magdalene and the Mariamne inscription on the Talpiot ossuary because the name Mariamne was used in the apocryphal Acts of Philip. However the Acts of Philip is not unequivocal about this. http://www.sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/Pfann.pdf. Subsequently Prof. Bovon has stated that he is not sure that the Mariamne in the Acts of Philip is Mary Magdalene. (7). In addition to this, Prof. Bovon in a letter to the Society of Biblical Literature stated that his comments were misused (8).

However, according to other sources, based on the Acts of Philip, Professor Bovon is said to have stated that “I do not believe that Mariamne is the real name of Mary of Magdalene. Mariamne is, besides Maria or Mariam, a possible Greek equivalent, attested by Josephus, Origen, and the Acts of Philip, for the Semitic Myriam.”

Professor Bovon was also of the opinion that Mariamne of the Acts was presented as the sister of both Philip of Bethsaida and Martha of Bethany and that this Mariamne later evolved as the Gnostic sage and evangelist who was represented as Mary of Magdala in the Manichean Psalms, the Gospel of Mary, and the Pistis Sofia. It is these apocryphal stories that allude to a close liaison between Mary Magdalene and Jesus, and which give her importance in the nascent church. Although Professor Bovon did not categorically state that Mariamne of the Acts is the historical character of the first century, the makers of the documentary concluded that Mariamne of the Acts of Philip and Mary Magdalene of the first century are one and the same. It was also on the basis of apocryphal sources that they concluded that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and even produced a family (9).

In addition to this, the Acts of Phillip and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, depict Mary Magdalene as an apostle, a teacher and a master “in her own right”. Some interpret the Greek inscription on her ossuary as “Mary, known as the master” (10).

Some Scholars Claim That Two Names Were Inscribed On The Ossuary

Some scholars claim that the two names inscribed on the ossuary should not be read together as “Mariamne Mara” but instead as “Mariamne and Mara”. This claim they say is supported by “similar even identical, forms in Greek papyri (for example, P.Oslo 2.47; P.Oxy. 2.399; 4.745; P.Columbia 18a; and, from Palestine, 5/6Hev 12; 5/6Hev 16; and XHev/Seiyal 63 and 69). And, in fact, there is another ossuary, at Dominus Flevit, in which the names “Martha and Mary” are inscribed, thus providing an example where the names of two women are given” (11).

As for the claim that Mara means “Master” or “Teacher” these scholars refute this saying that there is no other example where the word Mara is used to denote a title. It is also claimed that “Mariamne Mara” actually refers to the names of two different women indicating that this particular ossuary contained the bones of two women as was sometimes the practice. Besides, there is no other corroborative artifact where “Mara” is used to refer to a title. Even the Aramaic Mara is normally used in the masculine (12).

Craig A Evans of Acadia Divinity College is of the opinion “given that the Greek form of Mariamne (Mariamh/nou) is in the genitive case (of the diminutive form Mariamh/non), the inscription could be interpreted “Mariamne’s (daughter) Mara (or Martha).” Kloner and Rahmani translate the inscription on the ossuary as: Mariamne, (who is also called) Mara” (13).

Please also read my blogs:

The Talpiot Tomb – An Accidental Discovery at bit.ly/1mrgdgQ

Jesus And Mary His Mother – Are These Their Ossuaries? at http://bit.ly/1mF9sbx

Judah – Was He The Son Of Jesus And Mary Magdalene? at http://bit.ly/1Z4LNO0

References:
(1) Magness, Jodi. (2007). Has the Tomb of Jesus Been Discovered? Retrieved 2011, from http://sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?articleId=640

(2) Freeman, David Noel. (2007). Burning Issues: Ya•aqov Ossuary. Retrieved 2011, from, http://www.netzarim.co.il/Museum/Sukkah03/Burning%20Issues%20Yaaqov%20Ossuary.htm

(3) Franz, Gordon. (2007). The So-Called Jesus Family Tomb. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/04/04/so-called-jesus-tomb

(4) Ben-David, Yirmәyahu. (2008). Burning Issues: Talpiot Tomb Complex. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.netzarim.co.il/Museum/Sukkah03/Burning%20Issues%20Talpiot%20Tomb.htm

(5) Pfann, Stephen J. (2007). Mary Magdalene Is Now Missing:, A Corrected Reading of Rahmani Ossuary 701, Retrieved 2011, from http://www.uhl.ac/MariameAndMartha/

(6) Magness, Jodi. (2007). Has the Tomb of Jesus Been Discovered? Retrieved 2011, from http://sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?articleId=640

(7) Ben-David, Yirmәyahu. (2008). Burning Issues: Talpiot Tomb Complex. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.netzarim.co.il/Museum/Sukkah03/Burning%20Issues%20Talpiot%20Tomb.htm

(8) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Tomb_of_Jesus

(9) Pfann, Stephen J. (n.d.). Mary Magdalene Is Now Missing: A Corrected Reading of Ossuaries Cjo 701 and CJO 108*. Retrieved 2012, from http://www.uhl.ac/MariameAndMartha.pdf

(10) Younker, Randall W. (2007). The Jesus Tomb. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.adventistbiblicalresearch.org/documents/Jesus%20Tomb.htm

(11) Ben-David, Yirmәyahu. (2008). Burning Issues: Talpiot Tomb Complex. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.netzarim.co.il/Museum/Sukkah03/Burning%20Issues%20Talpiot%20Tomb.htm

(12) Evans, Craig & Feldman, Steven. (2007). The Tomb of Jesus? Wrong on Every Count. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.bib-arch.org/scholars-study/jesus-tomb-02-b.asp

(13) Evans, Dr. Craig. A. (n.d). The Tomb of Jesus and Family? Second Thoughts. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.craigaevans.com/tombofjesus.htm

Picture Credits:
(Fig 1) The ancient town of Magdala

(Fig 2) The Magdalene ossuary

(Fig 3) Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene married? https://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=639&q=Migdal+on+the+Sea+of+Galilee+&oq=Migdal+on+the+Sea+of+Galilee+&gs_l=img.12…2260.11797.0.29293.3.3.0.0.0.0.93.276.3.3.0….0…1ac.1j2.64.img..3.0.0.eRLbK4761_Q#hl=en&tbm=isch&q=Jesus+and+Mary+Magdalene+were+husband+and+wife&imgrc=OwTPH21DbRP1SM%3A

Was Mary Magdalene Just A Disciple Of Jesus?

Let’s try and figure out if the ossuary of Mariamne from the Talpiot tomb is the ossuary of Mary Magdalene and if so why her ossuary would have found a place in the family tomb of Jesus, while trying to establish whether or not the Talpiot tomb is Jesus’ family tomb. As referred to in the Gospel of Philip as Jesus’ koinonos, is Mary Magdalene his “companion” or “partner” and perhaps even the mother of his child? (1).

Ossuary said to be that of Mary Magdalene

Inscription on the Mary Magdalene ossuary

The inscription on the ossuary

Mary Magdalene or Mary of Magdala was one of Jesus’ most famous disciples but her rise to fame was after the crucifixion of Jesus. In spite of that she could well have been central to the Jesus movement but for what may have been gender bias. Based on available information her true relationship with Jesus may have been more than just another devoted disciple.

Mary Magdalene is said to have come from a place called Magdala, a town 120 miles to the north of Jerusalem. However her fame was achieved after the crucifixion. She was present at the cross while the male disciples went into hiding fearing for their own lives. Mary Magdalene was also present at the burial of Jesus and according to John 20 and Mark 16:9 she was the first to see the resurrected Jesus. The principal canonical sources of information about her are the four Gospels. However this information, with the exception of Luke, is limited to the period after the crucifixion and apocryphal sources that were written between the late 1st and early 4th centuries.

Mary Magdalene 2

Mary Magdalene Was Probably The Only Witness To The Crucifixion, Burial And Resurrection Of Jesus

In the canonical Gospels she is referred by name, though not always by the same name as a witness to three important events: the crucifixion of Jesus, his burial and his resurrection. In Mark 15:40, Matthew 27:56 and John 19:25 she is named as one of the few witnesses to the crucifixion. In Mark 15:47 and Matthew 27:61 she is named together with “the other Mary” as a witness to the burial of Jesus.

Magdalene with the resurrected Jesus

Mary Magdalene – Most Mentioned Woman In The New Testament

Among the women specifically named in the New Testament the name Mary Magdalene is mentioned most often. And invariably her name is always mentioned first. This is not a coincidence. This is by design to show that Mary Magdalene held a central position not only as a disciple but also because of her special relationship to Jesus.

Apocryphal texts depict Mary Magdalene as a “visionary and leader of the early movement” and one who was loved by Jesus more than he loved the other disciples. The Gnostic texts, most of which are dated between the 2nd and 3rd centuries, portray a Mary Magdalene who is considerably different from the Mary Magdalene depicted in the canonical gospels. According to these texts she is portrayed as the special disciple of Jesus who knows more about the teachings of Jesus and is asked to impart this to the other disciples.

The Other Apostles Were Jealous Of Mary Magdalene

Because of her greater knowledge about the teachings of Jesus and her closeness to him, the Gnostic texts state that the other apostles, especially Peter, were jealous of her. In the Gospel of Mary she is portrayed as someone who knows more than the male apostles. “Are we supposed to now all turn around and listen to her? Would Jesus have spoken privately with a woman rather than openly to us? Did he prefer her to us?” This jealousy is apparent from Peter’s attack on Mary.

The Gospel of Mary purportedly written around the same period as the Gospel of Philip elevates Mary Magdalene to a position higher even than the male disciples of Jesus. Although some question the identity of the central character of these Gospels, it is generally agreed that it is Mary Magdalene.

In the Gospel of Philip, written sometime during the 2nd and 3rd centuries portrays Mary as the koinônos of Jesus – a Greek word that could mean “partner, associate, comrade or companion”. “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, his mother and his companion were each a Mary”

Pistis Sophia portrays Mary Magdalene as being among the chosen of Jesus. Written sometime in the 2nd century it quotes Jesus as saying “Mary, thou blessed one, whom I will perfect in all mysteries of those of the height, discourse in openness, thou, whose heart is raised to the kingdom of heaven more than all thy brethren”.

The Resurrection Of Jesus Was The Turning Point For Christianity

It cannot be denied that the resurrection of Jesus was the turning point for Christianity. This was the singular event that transformed a localized group into a major religion. And the catalyst to the movement was none other than Mary Magdalene.

This gospel also depicts Mary Magdalene as “as a teacher and spiritual guide to the other disciples. She’s not just a disciple; she’s the apostle to the apostles” (2).

It is perhaps because of this that Mary Magdalene went her separate way. There is very little known what happened to her after that. Although there are many theories about her life after Jesus’ crucifixion, all of it is speculation. No one knows for certain where she was born or when and where she died.

Mary Magdalene rose in significance with the crucifixion and resurrection narratives. Actually, the gospels say very little about her until the story reaches the day of the crucifixion. But then she suddenly becomes very prominent. She saw Jesus die on the cross, and she watched to see where his body was taken. She went back to the tomb early on Easter morning and discovered that it was empty. And the Gospel of John indicates that she was the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection.

Why Was Mary Magdalene Hardly Mentioned Anywhere Else In The New Testament?

But then, without any explanation, she completely disappears from the story. The Book of Acts never mentions her, nor does Paul in any of his letters. Her sudden entry and exit during the most critical part of the story puzzles many scholars. Since she played such a significant role in the key events, why is she hardly mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament?

Evidence from outside the bible suggests a possible answer. This evidence indicates that Mary was ostracized by the other disciples after Jesus departed. One example of the possible hostility toward her can be found in Section 114 of the Gospel of Thomas, where Peter says “Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of the Life”. The Gospel of Mary also depicts friction between her and Peter. All of this suggests that Peter may have led an attempt to drive her out of the original group of believers. These first believers, who became known as the Nazarenes, lived in Jerusalem for a number of years after Jesus’ resurrection, but there is no record that Mary was ever with them.

Some scholars have suggested that Peter wanted to get rid of her because he saw her as a threat to his position as the main leader of the post-resurrection community. She could have also suffered from the general prejudice against women who tried to assert themselves in the male-dominated societies of ancient times.

Although the bible says nothing about her later life, other sources do preserve some stories about her. According to one well-known tradition, she went to southern France and lived for thirty years at a place called La Sainte-Baume. A local church there claims to have her skull and displays it to pilgrims.

During the Middle Ages she became a symbol of the virtue of repentance, due to the belief that she was a reformed harlot. She is the patron saint of Magdalen College, Oxford and Magdalene College, Cambridge. But her name was also used for the infamous Magdalen Asylums for “fallen women” in Ireland (3).

After almost 2000 years Mary Magdalene was again in the news thanks to the discovery of an ossuary with “Mariamne Mara” inscribed on it and a documentary titled the “Lost Tomb of Jesus” co-produced and broadcast on the Discovery Channel and Vision TV in Canada on March 4, 2007. Not everyone agrees with the film makers identifying this Mariamne Mara with Mary Magdalene.

The Gospels refer to Mary Magdalene as Maria about eight times. They refer to her by the Semitic name Mariam four times. However the Gospels also refer to Mary the sister of Martha and Mary the mother of Jesus using the same variations (4).

In the 51 passages of the NT there are 9 different Maries referred:
Mary, the mother of Jesus;
Mary Magdalene;
Mary, the mother of James;
Mary, the mother of Joses;
Mary, the wife of Clopas;
Mary of Bethany;
Mary, the mother of Mark;
Mary of Rome;
“other” Mary (5)

Sometimes One Mary Has Been Confused For The Other

Sometimes one Mary has been confused for the other. Besides this Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany (the sister of Martha and Lazarus), and the unidentified repentant woman who anointed Jesus’ feet were all thought to be the same woman. This led to the faulty conclusion that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute before she came into contact with Jesus (6).

It cannot be said with certainty that the Mariamne in the Acts of Philip refers to Mary Magdalene as this Mariamne is not attributed with any of the significant events associated with her in the Gospels – the Mary Magdalene of the Gospels is healed by Jesus, witnesses the burial of Jesus (Mark 15:40-47) and is a witness to the resurrection of Jesus (Mark 16:1-8). On the flip side there is no mention in the Gospels of any of the fantastic things that the Mariamne of the Acts of Philip is supposed to have done – “such as converting talking animals and slaying a dragon!” Even if there was any reference in the Acts of Philip that could be construed as referring to Mary Magdalene not every one agrees that reference in the 4th century work written in far away Palestine about a 1st century personality can be accepted as proof (7). However in support of the claim that the Mariamne inscription of the Talpiot tomb refers to Mary Magdalene, it may be said that the only other place where she is referred by that name _ i.e Mariamne spelled with an N – is the Acts of Philip (8).

References:

(1) Time Magazine. (Nov 20 2008). Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1860871_1860876_1861032,00.html

(2) Mary Magdalene. 2011. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/history/marymagdalene.shtml

(3) Secret Gospels. (n.d.). Retrieved 2011, from http://www.gospel-mysteries.net/secret-gospels.html

(4) Evans, Craig & Feldman, Steven. (2007). The Tomb of Jesus? Wrong on Every Count. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.bib-arch.org/scholars-study/jesus-tomb-02-b.asp

(5) Layfield, Lavelle. How many Mary’s there are in the Bible? (1998). Retrieved 2011, from http://www.scripturessay.com/article.php?cat=&id=601

(6) Saint Mary Magdalene, “The Apostle to the Apostles”. (n.d.). Retrieved 2011, from http://www.thenazareneway.com/mary_magdalene.htm

(7) Zacharias, Danny. (2007). Judah son of Jesus, one last time. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.deinde.org/blog/deinde_archive_files/deinde%20archive%2016.pdf

(8) Tabor, James. (2008). There’s Something About Mariamne with an “N”. Retrieved 2011, from http://www.jesusdynasty.com/blog/2008/06/

Picture Credits:

(Fig 1) The ossuary said to be that of Mary Magdalene
*http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/imagenes_biblianazar/esp_bi16.gif

(Fig 2) The inscription on the ossuary
inscriptionhttps://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1024&bih=635&q=Maria mene+e+Mara+&oq=Mariamene+e+Mara+&gs_l=img.12…2183.2183.0.3734.1.1.0.0.0.0.91.91.1.1.0….0…1ac..64 .img..1.0.0.IcoSae6rewE#imgrc=BW1R053pM2X7MM%3A

(Fig 3) Mary Magdalene
https://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1024&bih=635&q=mary+magdalene&o q=mary+magdalene&gs_l=img.3..0l10.2891.8818.0.11225.16.9.1.6.7.0.129.969.4j5.9.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..0 .16.1029.VTQcCWNT9eE#q=mary+magdalene&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbs=sur:fc&imgrc=ysrkeJQLIlqZ4M%3A

(Fig 4) Mary Magdalene with the resurrected Jesus
https://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1024&bih=635&q=mary+magdalene&o q=mary+magdalene&gs_l=img.3..0l10.2891.8818.0.11225.16.9.1.6.7.0.129.969.4j5.9.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..0 .16.1029.VTQcCWNT9eE#q=mary+magdalene&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbs=sur:fc&imgrc=WRJEuqFOfujDDM%3A