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In our New Testament gospels there are three women named Mary who are closely associated with Jesus:
Tradition has it that the names of his two sisters were Mary and Salome (Mark 6:3; 16:1; Epiphanius, Pan.78.8,1 & 78.9, 6), so it is likely that there was a fourth Mary in Jesus’ life, namely his sister. In terms of keeping all the Marys straight there is a collection of papers titled Which Mary? The Marys of Early Christian Tradition, edited by F. Stanley Jones (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature: 2002) that came out of a SBL Symposium session at the annual meeting of the society in 2000. It is unfortunately out of print, but available in good research libraries and from used book sellers via Amazon. This work is particularly important for the current discussion of the Talpiot tomb ossuaries as it deals with the matter of “Naming the Marys,” that is, how do the various names used for Mary in Coptic and Greek help us to distinguish just which Mary is included in a host of post-canonical N.T. texts. There is considerable confusion and overlap between the role of Mary, mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene, his most prominent female follower and apostle. Indeed, some scholars have argued for a conflated tradition in which a kind of “universal Mary” is developing. Whether the Talpiot tomb, with its “two Marys” will shed any light on this discussion remains an open question but it is not often that material evidence of this sort can be combined with textual materials in advancing our understanding of a marginalized and forgotten aspect of the emerging Christian faith.
Mary - Form - Hebrew - Miriam - מרים
Mary, is the English form of the Hebrew Miriam (מרים)the name of the sister of Moses and Aaron (Exodus 15:20). It comes down to us in several forms in Hebrew,...
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