Mary Magdalene goes to anoint Jesus (Mk 16:1-16:1)

“When the Sabbath

Was over,

Mary Magdalene,

And Mary,

The mother of James,

As well as Salome,

Brought spices,

So that they might go

And anoint him.”

 

Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ Σαλώμη ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν.

 

There is no confusion about the day of the week when the empty tomb was first found.  All 4 gospel stories have it take place after the Sabbath.  Thus, this would have been the 3rd day since the death of Jesus on Friday.  Luke, chapter 23:56-24:1, said that it was the women from Galilee who brought spices to anoint the body, but he did not mention Mary Magdalene.  John, chapter 20:1, said that it was Mary Magdalene alone who came to the tomb.  Matthew, chapter 28:1 had Mary Magdalene and the other Mary go to the tomb on the first day of the week.  In all these stories, there was either one or more women, no men, who came to the tomb.  Mark mentioned 3 women.  Mark said that when the Sabbath was over (Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου), Mary Magdalene (Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ) and the other Mary (καὶ Μαρία), the mother of James (ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου), as well as Salome (καὶ Σαλώμη) probably the mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, came to the tomb.  This Salome may have been a sister of half-sister of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  These women brought spices (ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα), so that they might go and anoint Jesus (ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν).  The idea of visiting a tomb or grave site would not have been out of the question, since this was a common practice.

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The women followers (Mk 15:40-15:40)

“There were also women

Looking on

From a distance.

Among them were

Mary Magdalene,

Mary,

The mother

Of James the younger,

And of Joseph,

And Salome.”

 

Ἦσαν δὲ καὶ γυναῖκες ἀπὸ μακρόθεν θεωροῦσαι, ἐν αἷς καὶ Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ Μαρία ἡ Ἰακώβου τοῦ μικροῦ καὶ Ἰωσῆτος μήτηρ καὶ Σαλώμη,

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:55-56.  In Luke, chapter 23:49, there was a mention of the women from Galilee, but without their specific names.  In John, chapter 19:25-27, there was a mention of the mother of Jesus, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene, as well as a conversation, but no mention of Galilee.  Mark said that some women were also there (Ἦσαν δὲ καὶ γυναῖκες).  They were looking on from a distance (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν θεωροῦσαι), which would have been their normal role.  Mark specifically mentioned Mary Magdalene (ἐν αἷς ἦν Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ), Mary, the mother of James the younger and Joseph (καὶ Μαρία ἡ Ἰακώβου τοῦ μικροῦ καὶ Ἰωσῆτος μήτηρ), as well as Salome (καὶ Σαλώμη).  Was Salome the mother of the sons of Zebedee?  Certainly, there were a lot of women called Mary, since it was the most popular name of Palestinian Jewish women at the time of Jesus.  There probably were 8 different women with the name of Mary in the 61 times that the name Mary was mentioned in the New Testament.  First was (1) Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was not mentioned here.  Next there was (2) Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who also was not mentioned here.  (3) Mary of Clopas was mentioned in John, but not here.  Then there was Mary Magdalene (4), who was mentioned here.  Finally, there were the more confusing Marys.  (5) Mary, the mother of James the younger and Joseph, who was mentioned here.  (6) Perhaps the mother of the Zebedee brothers was also named Mary or Mary Salome.  Finally (7) Mary, the mother of John Mark was mentioned in Acts, chapter 12:12, while (8) Mary in Rome, was mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 16:6.  There was also an English novel by Bruce Marshall (1899-1987) called The Other Mary from 1927, based on the New Testament.

Herod will grant a wish (Mk 6:22-6:23)

“When the daughter

Of Herodias

Came in,

She danced.

She pleased Herod

And his guests.

The king said

To the girl.

‘Ask me

For whatever you wish!

I will give it!’

He solemnly swore

To her.

‘Whatever you ask me,

I will give you,

Even half of my kingdom.’”

 

καὶ εἰσελθούσης τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτῆς τῆς Ἡρῳδιάδος καὶ ὀρχησαμένης, ἤρεσεν τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ καὶ τοῖς συνανακειμένοις. ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς εἶπεν τῷ κορασίῳ Αἴτησόν με ὃ ἐὰν θέλῃς, καὶ δώσω σοι·

καὶ ὤμοσεν αὐτῇ Ὅτι ἐάν με αἰτήσῃς δώσω σοι ἕως ἡμίσους τῆς βασιλείας μου.

 

Matthew, chapter 14:6-7, also has this story about the dancing daughter.  At this birthday party for King Herod, the daughter of Herodias came in (καὶ εἰσελθούσης τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτῆς τῆς Ἡρῳδιάδος).  She danced in the middle of this public celebration (καὶ ὀρχησαμένης).  Herodias’ daughter by her first marriage was called Salome or maybe even Herodias.  However, in this gospel story of Mark, she was unnamed.  She pleased Herod so much (ἤρεσεν τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ), as well as those reclining at the table with him (καὶ τοῖς συνανακειμένοις), that the king said to the girl (ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς εἶπεν τῷ κορασίῳ) that whatever she wished or wanted (Αἴτησόν με ὃ ἐὰν θέλῃς), he would give it to her (καὶ δώσω σοι).  He even swore to her (καὶ ὤμοσεν αὐτῇ) with a solemn oath promise to give her (δώσω σοι) whatever she might request or ask (Ὅτι ἐάν με αἰτήσῃς), even up to half his kingdom (ἕως ἡμίσους τῆς βασιλείας μου).  Obviously, King Herod was a little rash here.

The Marys visit the tomb (Mt 28:1-28:1)

“After the Sabbath,

As the first day

Of the week

Was dawning,

Mary Magdalene

And the other Mary

Went to see

The tomb.”

 

Ὀψὲ δὲ σαββάτων, τῇ ἐπιφωσκούσῃ εἰς μίαν σαββάτων, ἦλθεν Μαριὰμ ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ ἡ ἄλλη Μαρία θεωρῆσαι τὸν τάφον.

 

There is no confusion about the day of the week when the empty tomb was first found.  All 4 gospel stories have it take place after the Sabbath, on the early morning of the first day of the week, Sunday.  Interesting enough the same Greek word is used for the day Sabbath and the week “σαββάτων.”  Thus, this would have been the 3rd day since the death of Jesus on Friday.  Mark, chapter 16:1-2, has something similar.  However, the other Mary was identified as the mother of James, but also with Salome, the mother of the sons of Zebedee.  Luke, chapter 23:56-24:1, said that it was the women from Galilee who brought spices to anoint the body.  Only Luke did not mention Mary Magdalene.  John, chapter 20:1, said that it was Mary Magdalene alone who came to the tomb.  In all these stories, there was either one or more women, no men, who came to the tomb.  Matthew said that after the sabbath (Ὀψὲ δὲ σαββάτων), as the first day of the week was dawning (τῇ ἐπιφωσκούσῃ εἰς μίαν σαββάτων), Mary Magdalene (ἦλθεν Μαριὰμ ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ) and the other Mary (καὶ ἡ ἄλλη Μαρία) went to see or experience the tomb (θεωρῆσαι τὸν τάφον).  The idea of visiting a tomb or grave site would not have been out of the question, since this was a common practice.

The Marys (Mt 27:56-27:56)

“Among these women

Were

Mary Magdalene,

And Mary,

The mother

Of James

And Joseph,

And the mother

Of the sons of Zebedee.”

 

ἐν αἷς ἦν Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή, καὶ Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσὴφ μήτηρ, καὶ ἡ μήτηρ τῶν υἱῶν Ζεβεδαίου.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:40, except that he said that the mother of the sons of Zebedee was called Salome.  Luke, chapter 23:49, does not mention the names of the women.  John, chapter 19:24-27 had the women as Mary, Jesus’s mother, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  Matthew said that among these women were Mary Magdalene (ἐν αἷς ἦν Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή), Mary, the mother of James and Joseph (καὶ Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰωσὴφ μήτηρ), as well as the mother of the sons of Zebedee (καὶ ἡ μήτηρ τῶν υἱῶν Ζεβεδαίου).  Certainly, there were lot of women called Mary, since it was the most popular name of Palestinian Jewish women at the time of Jesus.  There probably were 8 different women with the name of Mary in the 61 times that the name Mary was mentioned in the New Testament.  First was (1) Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was not mentioned here.  Next there was (2) Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who also is not mentioned here.  (3) Mary of Clopas was mentioned in John, but not here.  Then there is Mary Magdalene (4), who is mentioned here.  Finally, there are the more confusing Marys.  (5) Mary, the mother of James the younger and Joseph, who was mentioned here.  (6) Perhaps this mother of the Zebedees was also name Mary or Mary Salome.  Finally (7) Mary, the mother of John Mark was mentioned in Acts, chapter 12:12, while (8) Mary in Rome, was mentioned in Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 16:6.  There was also an English novel by Bruce Marshall (1899-1987) called The Other Mary in 1927, based on the New Testament.

The head of John the Baptist on a platter (Mt 14:9-14:11)

“King Herod was sorry.

Yet out of regard

For his oaths

And his guests,

He gave his command.

He sent his men.

He had John beheaded

In the prison.

His head

Was brought on a platter.

The dish was given

To the girl.

She then brought it

To her mother.”

 

καὶ λυπηθεὶς ὁ βασιλεὺς διὰ τοὺς ὅρκους καὶ τοὺς συνανακειμένους ἐκέλευσεν δοθῆναι,

καὶ πέμψας ἀπεκεφάλισεν Ἰωάνην ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ.

καὶ ἠνέχθη ἡ κεφαλὴ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ πίνακι καὶ ἐδόθη τῷ κορασίῳ, καὶ ἤνεγκεν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτῆς.

 

This beheading of John the Baptist can be found in Mark, chapter 6:25-28, and here.  King Herod was pained and sorry (καὶ λυπηθεὶς ὁ βασιλεὺς) for what he had just promised, much like in the story of Esther, chapter 5:3, where the king was willing to give Esther anything she wanted.  Yet out of regard for his oaths (διὰ τοὺς ὅρκους) and his guests reclining at table with him (καὶ τοὺς συνανακειμένους ἐκέλευσεν δοθῆναι), Herod commanded his men to carry out this request (ἐκέλευσεν δοθῆναι).  He sent his men to behead John in the prison (καὶ πέμψας ἀπεκεφάλισεν Ἰωάνην ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ) at Machaerus, about 5 miles east of the Dead Sea.  It is not clear whether they waited around for the men to come back with the head of John, which was one way to make sure a person was dead.  Then his head was brought on a platter or dish to Herod (καὶ ἠνέχθη ἡ κεφαλὴ αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ πίνακι).  He then gave it to the girl Salome (καὶ ἐδόθη τῷ κορασίῳ), who then gave it to her mother (καὶ ἤνεγκεν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτῆς), Herodias.  This was her revenge against John the Baptist because he had criticized her marriage to Herod.  Off with his head!

Herod’s birthday party (Mt 14:6-14:8)

“But when Herod’s birthday came,

The daughter of Herodias danced

Before the company.

She pleased Herod.

Thus,

He promised

With an oath

To grant her

Whatever she might ask.

Prompted by her mother,

She said.

‘Give me the head

Of John the Baptist

Here on a platter.’”

 

γενεσίοις δὲ γενομένοις τοῦ Ἡρῴδου ὠρχήσατο ἡ θυγάτηρ τῆς Ἡρῳδιάδος ἐν τῷ μέσῳ καὶ ἤρεσεν τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ,

ὅθεν μεθ’ ὅρκου ὡμολόγησεν αὐτῇ δοῦναι ὃ ἐὰν αἰτήσηται.

ἡ δὲ προβιβασθεῖσα ὑπὸ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτῆς Δός μοι, φησίν, ὧδε ἐπὶ πίνακι τὴν κεφαλὴν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ.

 

This birthday party of Herod can be found in Mark, chapter 6:21-25, and here.  At the birthday celebration of Herod (γενεσίοις δὲ γενομένοις τοῦ Ἡρῴδου), the daughter of Herodias danced in the middle of this public celebration (ὠρχήσατο ἡ θυγάτηρ τῆς Ἡρῳδιάδος ἐν τῷ μέσῳ).  Herodias’ daughter by her first marriage was called Salome.  She pleased Herod so much (καὶ ἤρεσεν τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ), that he gave a solemn oath promise to grant her whatever she might request (ὅθεν μεθ’ ὅρκου ὡμολόγησεν αὐτῇ δοῦναι ὃ ἐὰν αἰτήσηται).  Urged on by her mother (ἡ δὲ προβιβασθεῖσα ὑπὸ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτῆς), Salome said that she wanted the head of John the Baptist to be brought there on a platter or a dish (Δός μοι, φησίν, ὧδε ἐπὶ πίνακι τὴν κεφαλὴν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ).  Obviously. Herod had made a rash solemn statement and his wife Herodias took advantage of that.