Research of Others

I had thought I might be done with my Political Mary, but she was only sleeping…or I was. Lots of not-so-subtle signs that I should get back to work. One of them came from a new reader, Sandy Ham*. She has a more scholarly background and access to some of the articles and book’s scholars publish. She shared two with me that I am going to post links to here. Of course, I am doing it because they agree at least in part with my own research…or I agree with theirs. What amazed me was that we were all using the same data points to make our cases…that Mary Magdalene and Mary mother of Jesus were one and the same person.

I have used this image before on the website. It is of a Black Madonna that is unapologetically royal; a copy of a painting done by the Evangelist Luke. A billboard for a Franciscan Shrine dedicated to her and this painting in Eureka, Missouri, greeted me on the highway as I was moving to St. Charles, MO.

These very well written and researched writings…with authors names, credentials, footnotes and sources listed. They did not go the additional step that I did and look at the New Testament Marys in the light of the royal Mariamnes in the writings of the contemporary to the New Testament’s earliest writings, Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus…

See what you think…the two PDF, if you want a deeper look…

Thierry_Murcia_Is_Mary_of_Magdala_the_m.pdf

Two_Women_Leaders_Mary_and_the_Other_Mar.pdf

What I have begun work on recently is the Life and Death of Mariamne the Jewish Queen…pulling out her chapters from the website making her story more concise with additional material. I thought it would be one long article but now find it will be in 4 or 5 posts. CMF

* Sandy Ham has her own new website that I highly recommend. Her focus is on the legend of Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus begin exiled to France and the Rennes-le-Chateau region. The research done on the French connections states there was a royal genealogy for Mary Magdalene and her child born after the death of Jesus. But she is also looking at there being a royal connection for Jesus, himself. Ham has an archaeology and evolutionary anthropology background and has actually been to France and is searching for facts to support the theory…as we all are.

https://www.rhedesium.org/blog/the-revelation-of-the-secret-around-jesus-birth-was-the-cause-of-his-martydom?fbclid=IwAR0_3mXLu2zQFNBOTirUxlwJGFL1487Ggr2hNp2ANyWyquxrwRjTeRh0QWI

My Search for a Political Mary

Black Madonna
A Black Madonna…Our Lady of Czestochowa…see Page “Mary as the Black Madonna” for her story.

This blog is about my search for a Mary that made sense to me…a Mary that fit into the patriarchal culture of her day…but also a Mary that could travel with her son and tell him what to do… something only a queen mother could get away with. She had to be a Mary that could help explain why her son, a Galilean citizen brutally killed by the Roman Occupier of Palestine in Jerusalem at the behest of the Jewish High Court and the High Priest…all the forms of political power of the day…died with a sign over his head saying “King of the Jews.” All four versions of the story in the gospels include the sign but do not explain in real time why it was there and why the first question Pilate, the Roman governor and his judge, jury and executioner, asked him was “Are you a King of the Jews?” to which Jesus answered, “Yes” all four times.

 

Being a king in a Middle Eastern monarchy even in the first century A.D. required a royal bloodline….even to be a puppet king in an occupied nation…as we will see. As a curious layperson, after years of studying Christian “Search for the Historical Jesus” books, I literally stumbled across an 800-page book of The Collected Works of Josephus, a Jewish historian born 4 years after the death of Jesus who wrote Antiquities of the Jews and Wars of the Jews in basically the same timeframe that the earliest gospels were being written (ca 90 A.D.) but using Jewish court records. Josephus spoke at length about a Jewish Royal family–other than the legendary Davidic one–that included queens with the dynastic name of Mariamne, often translated in Christian documents as Mary.

I have re-written this manuscript a hundred times over thirty-plus years and continue to at least look at the indexes of books still being written on the Historical Jesus…or less common…Mary…to see if my “idea” holds up…so far, so good but others are starting to take a hard look at the women also. I will share their ideas as we go along.

Simply comparing the rich and royal women and their stories in Josephus with the New Testament story does reveal a time of liberated women that answer the questions…Why are there so many women in the New Testament? Was Jesus a feminist? Or…more to my theory…was Jesus accompanied by his royal mother and her handmaidens who supported him? If so, then a certain amount of “veiling” on both the Jewish and the Christian side has been going on, as we will see…

By simply comparing Josephus’ histories of the New Testament era from the Jewish side…with the story of Jesus “son of Mary” as it has come down to us from the Christian side…and by studying a history of Jewish queens and their role in the politics of their nation…gives much needed context to the New Testament Mary and her role in the life and death of her son…see what you think. Even if you disagree, with “my Mary,” you will have to agree that looking at the women’s history…changes our understanding of the era and the role that royal women were expected to play…and did play…and that they were  relevant…

In the nature of blogs…begin at the end if you want to read it like a book. Start with the earliest post under “Archives” October 2014 and come forward…if you want to look at queens from a specific time frame look under menus “Queens of Israel” as a sidebar. Under “Pages” are personal stories of my search and research and further topics that caught my interest but don’t flow chronologically. This blog presupposes a strong level of interest in the reader…a reader with some level of knowledge of the New Testament story…

Cleta Marie Flynn

Still Standing

Venida_de_la_Virgen_del_Pilar_(Ximenez_de_Maza)
The Virgin of the Pillar

All the prophecies of Armageddon and the End of Days were fulfilled. Millions were killed or enslaved or sent to the amphitheaters. But I believe there was a ray of hope for “certain” of those with eyes to see. Consider this last quote from Josephus just after the siege was broken…

Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency: this is, Phasaelus and Hippicus, and Mariamne…in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valour had subdued…This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind.  Wars of the Jews VII.I.1

Continue reading “Still Standing”

The Last Mary and the Apocalypse

080323-151749 The Virgin Mary in Glory from the book of Revelation
The Virgin Mary in Glory from the Book of Revelation

Josephus, lastly, tells a story about one final Mary…the last one in his index and on my list. This Mary’s story is pretty awful. She does something that is the crowning evil that a woman could do; and not just any woman but a wealthy noble woman. Even Josephus hesitates to tell her story, except I have innumerable witnesses to it in my own age….

There was a certain woman that dwelt beyond Jordan, her name was Mary; her father was Eleazar, of the village Bethezub, which signifies “the House of Hyssop.”[i] She was eminent for her family and for her wealth, and had fled to Jerusalem with the rest of the multitude, and was with them besieged therein at this time.

When all exits were closed to the Jews, every hope of escape was now eliminated; and the famine, strengthening its hold, devoured the people, houses and families, one after another. The roofs were full of women and infants in the last stages of exhaustion, the alleys with the corpses of the aged: children and young men, swollen with hunger, haunted the market places and collapsed wherever faintness overcame them…Many, as they buried the fallen, fell dead themselves, while others set out for their graves before their fate was upon them. And throughout these calamities, no weeping or lamentation was heard…Deep silence blanketed the city, and night laden with death was in the grip of a yet fiercer foe—the brigandsJosephus and The Jewish War V.XII.3 Cornfeld.

Continue reading “The Last Mary and the Apocalypse”

The Family of Mariamne in the End Times

download (2) Bernice
King Agrippa II and his sister Queen Bernice listening to Paul tell them about Jesus and the Resurrection.

The Book of Acts mentions both Queen Bernice and Princess Drusilla in ca 57-59 A.D. Paul had been arrested to save him from young priests who vowed to kill him for bringing Gentiles into the Temple and Roman Procurator Felix wanted to hear what Paul was saying that was causing such turmoil in Jerusalem. His nineteen year old wife Drusilla daughter of King Agrippa also came to hear him.

“And, after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. (Acts 24:24

Continue reading “The Family of Mariamne in the End Times”

Josephus’ Mother

911640514 Josephus
Flavius Josephus

The family from which I am derived is not an ignoble one, but hath descended all along from the priests…to be of the sacerdotal dignity, is an indication of the splendour of the family…I am of the chief family of that first (priestly) course also; nay, farther, by my mother, I am of the royal blood; for the children of Asamoneus, from whom that family was derived, had both the office of the high priesthood, and the dignity of a king, for a long time together...Life of Flavius Josephus

Josephus was born to be somebody and he knew it. His full name was Yosef Ben Matityahu or Joseph son of Matthias. He emphasizes his high priestly credentials from his father and yet…he also has a Hasmonean bloodline though his mother, though he will not name his own mother in his autobiography. He claims descent from Jonathan, brother of Judas the Hammer/Maccabeus, the “first brother to be a high priest/ruler.” Continue reading “Josephus’ Mother”

Mary the Nazarite

Madonna_catacomb
The earliest known depiction of Mary and baby Jesus from the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome dated to “late 2nd century.” Can’t tell how she is wearing her hair but it is either long and loose or more likely she is wearing a mantle. By then Paul would have had his way…Wikipedia.

So, if two actual historical queens took Nazarite vows in Jerusalem 20 to 30 years after the death of Jesus, is it too far afield to think that Mary/Mariamne made a long-term even life-long Nazarite vow until her prophecy was fulfilled…until her son returned to claim the kingdom? It will be a short discussion.

My first thought is, if I had a prophecy that I would bear a special son, I would want to look up how to do it right. Pre-google, you went to a scribe to look it up in the Torah or the prophets, as clearly the gospel writers did for the prophecies Jesus fulfilled.

And…in another “believe it or not,” there is a prescription given to a young woman by an angel on how to bear such a son…it is the story of the mother of Samson.

Continue reading “Mary the Nazarite”

Nazarite Queens

2905da70a36c24ed77b18c893bbc3a8fpinterest
A statue of Aphrodite showing the elaborate hairdos upper class women used around the Mediterranean which might be a version of a “Nazarite from his/her mother’s womb”…the hair being wound or “broided” and wound on the head…as the men’s hair was to be wound as a crown on his head…see last post.  Pinterest from cristogenea.org, Susie Jackman Pinterest page.

Nothing we have heard so far about royal women would lead us to believe that they were religious. There were many rules women were to follow and sacrifices they were to make and a court in the Temple was called the Women’s Court so they could perform their duties and not contaminate the others. But, perhaps a clue can be found that might indicate a woman’s degree of religion…by hints like this…this quote from the mother of five high priest about her hair:

The hair was regarded by the Rabbis as so powerful an augmentation of beauty that married women were recommended to hide it…(T)he Talmud relates the following: Ḳimhit, the mother of seven sons who successively held the office of high priest, was once asked by what merit of hers she was so blessed in her sons. “Because,” said she, “the beams of my house have never seen my hair” (Yoma 47a). www.jewishencyclopedia.com

Continue reading “Nazarite Queens”

The Death of James the Nazarite

james-the-just1
James the Just from website deepinto scripture.com http://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/james-the-just1.jpg as seen on Google Images. The artist, unnamed, noted that James was a “Nazarite from his mother’s womb.” However, this is the amount of hair a man might grown in 2-4 years, not a lifetime.

There are many good books out there now that look at James/Jacob son of Mary.[i] It is possible they even have found his ossuary…a stone bone box. Google it.[ii]  But once again, I am just trying to pick my way through looking for things relating to royal women, especially Mariamne III, James’ mother. In my last post on Agrippa’s daughters, I mentioned how his virgin daughters were having the same problem that the disciples…especially James and Paul…were arguing about…did Gentiles who joined their group/married a Jewish princess have to be circumcised; same issue at the same time. Here, I want to touch on James being a Nazarite and his ongoing feud with the High Priesthood.

When I quoted the famous passage in Hegesippus’ Fifth Book in the last post (also repeated below), I left out one sentence. Here is the full quote again with the sentence added… Continue reading “The Death of James the Nazarite”

Agrippa’s Daughters–the last Queens of Jewish Palestine

berenice romeinspompeii.net
Queen Bernice…had a tricky time with her marriage alliances. Nothing she did…and she calmly complies with lots of nonsense in order to be safely “married off”…satisfied her detractors. And there is much more to come.

One other thing that Agrippa did to anger everyone hoping for a “purer” kingdom to come, was to “high-handedly” perpetuate the “wantonness” of his own virgin daughters. Josephus, bless him, tells us why they were so angered…

And thus did Agrippa depart this life. But he left behind him a son, Agrippa by name, a youth in the seventeenth year of his age, and three daughters, one of whom, Bernice, (he) married to Herod, his father’s brother, and was sixteen years old; the other two, Mariamne and Drusilla , were still virgins; the former was ten years old and Drusilla six. Now these his daughters were thus espoused by their father; Mariamne to Julius Archelaus Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, the son of Chelcias; and Drusilla to the king of Commagena . Antiquities of the Jews XIX.IX.1

Continue reading “Agrippa’s Daughters–the last Queens of Jewish Palestine”