Mary: “Mother of James the Younger and of Joseph”

Mary,statue from a nativity scene

At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. Mark 15:33-47 says that the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

Let’s take a moment here to look at some of the women who were watching from a distance:

  1. Mary Magdalene: a woman from whom Jesus had exorcised demons, followed along with the group, and to whom Jesus would show Himself first upon resurrection.
  2. Salome: Mother of James and John (the Apostles, aka “Sons of Thunder”), Wife of Zebedee, who had previously so boldly asked Jesus to grant her kids great positions in Heaven.
  3. Mary: “Mother of James the Younger and Joseph” (a.k.a.: Jesus’ mom)

Isn’t that interesting? Mark made it a point to not refer to Mary as the mother of Jesus. I wonder if maybe Mark (or Peter) purposely refrained from identifying her as Jesus’ mom (for theological and interpretation reasons)? For example, The Roman Catholic Church recognizes Mary as the “Mother of God”. Now, we all know that God has no mother. God also said in Jeremiah that there’s no Queen in/of Heaven. But the RCC tradition names Mary as God’s mom. Here’s how they figure it:

  • Mary = Jesus’ mom
  • Jesus = God
  • Therefore, Mary = God’s mom

But as I mentioned, God has no mother, nor does He need one, nor would He raise up a human to such status.

So I wonder if there was such a misinterpretation even at the time of transcribing the gospel, which caused Peter/Mark to nip it in the bud by not mentioning Mary as Jesus’ mom, but only as the mother of James and Joseph. (This, you would think, would also disprove the whole immaculate-virginity thing about Mary, for Mark mentions her as the mother of 2 other sons. And they can’t claim that such wasn’t the “Holy Mary”, for there’s no other reason why she would not have been mentioned as one of the women present (the RCC’s tradition also puts Mary, mother of Jesus, there at the cross, which Mark also nipped in the bud by stating that she was “watching from a distance”. Plus, remember, the Gospel of Mark was actually Mark transcribing the words of Peter, whom the RCC recognizes and claims as their first Pope. So again, you would think that Peter’s authority among them, plus his authority in the Jerusalem church with Jesus’ half-brother, and Peter’s testimony would be enough to debunk their claims.).

But then, in terms of identifying “Mary who?”, just mentioning Jesus’ half-brothers should have been enough, for anybody at that time who knew them, or anybody since then who read Mark 6:3, would know who Mark was talking about anyway.

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