Saturday, May 18, 2019

Asking for a Friend: Why Would Mary and Jesus Brothers Believe Jesus was Insane?

Why would the author of Mark tell such a story?

Mark was the first Gospel written and contains this enigmatic story of Mary and Jesus brothers coming to retrieve him thinking him insane.

Mark/s Mary and Jesus Brothers  knew of no miraculous birth stories of Jesus, declarations of Angels to Mary nor Mary's joyous response as we find in Luke. Only Mark notes this embarrassing moment and all other Gospels do not repeat it and did not include it.

 In the context, Jesus family (Mary and Brothers) hear about Jesus meeting and went to get him just as one might go retrieve a naughty child at the neighbors and bring them home.

Then to add insult to injury, Jesus rejects their visit, disavows his mother Mary and brothers and tells the crowd that they are his mothers and brothers if they believe on him.  It seems Jesus shunned them, in part, because he knew why they had actually come to see him.

Mark already noted Jesus awareness of his family rejection in Chapter 6. Obviously in Mark, his family is not presented as knowing anything about Jesus birth in Matthew and Luke, who don't agree with each other either.

"Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon? Aren’t His sisters here with us as well?” And they took offense at Him. 4Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is without honor only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own household. 5So He could not perform any miracles there, except to lay His hands on a few of the sick and heal them.…


1. How could Mary not recall all the miraculous birth circumstances of her own son Jesus                        including affirming angel, deaths of the infants, fleeing to Egypt not to mention her                              miraculous impregnation?

 2.Why did Mary and his brothers originally believe Jesus was insane?  

 3.   Did Jesus dishonor his own Mother?.  (In John 2:4 Jesus snaps at Mary when she                           notes there is no wine for the wedding, "Woman, what have I to do with thee?"  which                          seems also rather rude and disrespectful)

Matthew 15:4 4For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.'

It's in the Bible
Asking for a Friend

Mark 3:20-21 20Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:20-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

20 And He *came [a]home, and the crowd *gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat [b]a meal. 21 When His own [c]people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, He has lost His senses.”

Mark 3:20-21 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

20-21 Then he went indoors, but again such a crowd collected that it was impossible for them even to eat a meal. When his relatives heard of this, they set out to take charge of him, for people were saying, “He must be mad!”

Mark 3:20-21 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

20 and the people [and the company of people] came together again, so that they might not [neither] eat bread.
21 And when his kinsmen had heard, they went out to hold him; for they said, That he is turned into madness.
Which prompted C.S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity" to say:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [that is, Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse…. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”


Byker Bob said...

Up until some point in time, nobody who was close to Jesus understood who he was and what he was doing. The fact is that at the time of the crucifixion, Mary and St. John, via their presence at the cross, obviously had a deep comprehension of Jesus and his mission. The disciples who fled in fear had their “come to Jesus” moment after the resurrection. Jesus’ half brother James was a leader amongst the early Jewish Christians. It’s how you end up that’s important, not how you are as you are gaining the experience which takes you there.

In literature and movies and television, there are characters who have special powers and learn that their children also have them. Little plays to enhance our understanding. In such cases, we get a glimpse into how the parents understand and can groom their gifted offspring because it’s all familiar to them. But there are also stories in which the parents are not specially empowered, and have no clue of the full implications. It is all foreign to them as they watch their child develop and mature, as their own life experiences have left them totally unprepared. How would the empowered one relate to the limitations which those who do not fully understand would attempt to impose? Why, he’d feel more kinship with those who had a better understanding.

So this passage in Mark is not at all embarrassing. In fact, it screams “authenticity” because it is what we know happens in families of the mysteriously specially gifted in real life. I’ve been around a few people of genius mentality, and their parents. Genius is only a physical condition, and ye it is interesting the profound effects which this condition has upon family and other relationships. Family can nurture to a certain extent, but at some point, their lack of understanding becomes a limitation or an encumbrance. Surely we can understand Mary’s “Son, our good friends have run out of wine! Can you do one of your miracles to save the wedding celebration?” And Jesus thinking to himself “What does this have to do with my Father’s work, and my message?” But, still, as a kindness to his mother who didn’t understand, after a mild rebuke, he turned the water into wine. And the result was good.


Tonto said...

He was once a minister teaching the Sabbath and the like, and then he became an atheist. HE MUST BE MAD!

Anonymous said...

In reading through this post I felt like I should make a comment. First I know the poster is well read regarding the questions ask, but doesn't want to look at the whole picture of what the book of Mark presents. I have read a number of books explaining the purpose of Mark and it's contribution to the Christian Faith, and find there is much to strengthen a Christian's Faith, but nothing that will help those who do not believe in the biblical God as inspiring Mark's message about Jesus Christ and the Purpose He desires for those who accept Him as Lord and Savior. ASB

Near_Earth_Object said...

The subtext of this post is that there were no miraculous circumstances around Jesus' birth because Mary could not recall anything, the consensus from those who knew him best was that he was insane (also his buddy Ezekiel was a schizophrenic) and he was ill-mannered and rude, even to his own parents. Was this lifted from Bart Ehrman?

There are, or course, plausible explanations for all of this without advocating disbelief with a missionary spirit.

Anonymous said...

Who was Jesus? Just a human as we are? The divine son of God? Or just a mythological figure who never existed? Scripture doesn't definitively answer that question. There is also not much help from historical writings outside the pages of the bible. If salvation is through Jesus why does the bible only mention his existence and in a way that raises questions about who he really was?

DennisCDiehl said...

BB As Jesus first miracle in his ministry, why do you think no other Gospel records it? Is it possible the Wedding was his own with mom in charge, as we see today, and that's why she went to him and not just because he could whip up a batch. Being his first miracle, which she'd be unaware of was coming, she was just normally telling Jesus we have a bit of a catering problem. She did not ask him "Could you do one of your good miracles..?"

"It seems that Jesus’ family had close connections to the event in Cana. The fact that Jesus’ mother, Mary, is concerned with the lack of wine (John 2:3) suggests that she was involved in the planning and organization of the wedding. The fact that after the wedding Jesus’ brothers travel with Him to Capernaum (John 2:13) indicates that Jesus’ whole family was present for the wedding. Could the wedding have been that of a relative of Jesus or a family friend? It is quite possible. Such a connection would explain Jesus’ presence at the wedding but not His decision to perform His first miracle there."

As too the concept of "Family can nurture to a certain extent, but at some point, their lack of understanding becomes a limitation or an encumbrance."

Yes, this can be true of a normal family of a savant or genius. We have plenty of examples of the stress that puts on the family and the genius him or herself. Many "got my doctorate at 15" types live weird and chaotic lives ending in seclusion and off the wall perspectives very often. Bobby Fisher comes to mind. How could Mary forget, doubt or minimize the incredible circumstances of his Birth as recorded by Matthew and Luke (Actually inserted to contest the charge that "We weren't born of fornication" in John 8 etc.) No one would forget their talk with a high end spirit Angel, Magi, Gifts and being saved from slaughter by the voice of God? Would they?

I do also believe it smacks of authenticity and that is why it was edited out of all proceeding Gospels as the legend grew

Tonto, is that how you'd answer someone who asked for your view on a specific scripture that raised a question in their minds? Or do you just like to crack off at the messenger?

DennisCDiehl said...

PS Thanks BB for sticking to the question with your perspective on it.

DennisCDiehl said...

For a perspective on just who may have been getting married at Cana see Dr. James Tabor's view. Dr Tabor started his theological journey at Ambassador College and in WCG. He has long ago gone on to get himself a real education in Biblical studies

He does not comment on why Jesus family would have thought him insane as John does not retell this account in his Gospel. Jesus family treats him as quite sane in John. The Pharisees give him hell however.

DennisCDiehl said...

And just for fun:

"Other theologians who have attributed the story to the Dionysian tradition include Uta Ranke-Heinemann, a German theologian, academic and author who holds the (nondenominational) chair of History of Religion at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen.

"John's desperation includes placing a bizarre miracle story, the wedding at Cana, near the beginning of his Gospel (2:1-11). Jesus yells at his mother and then performs a miracle so that wedding guests already plastered on bad wine can continue guzzling one of higher quality. John appropriated this miracle story about Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, and attached it to Jesus.

As Rudolf Bultmann notes, "No doubt the story has been borrowed from pagan legends and transferred to Jesus." John tells us whey he did this in verse 11, and he attributes his logic to Jesus: "Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Uta Ranke-Heinemann writes that John has "transformed Jesus into a sort of Christian wine God." (Note: Dionysus is the Greek God of Revelery and Wine and announced his godness turning water into wine in Greek mythology well known in Palestine) This depiction of Jesus is formalized by the celebration of Epiphany on January 6, the traditional feast day of Dionysus.

I might add that while I cannot claim that my name, Dennis, means "Passover" like Apostle Elijah that Prophet Dave Pack can, my name does come from 'Dionysus" and I'll be content with that :) I don't drink and am too tired by the end of the week with clients to revel however.

Reference: Jesus Against Christianity: Reclaiming the Missing Jesus by , pages 163-164

TLA said...

It is interesting that in all the world's major religions, only one originator had his own writings (allegedly).
The religions started in the last 100 years have extensive writings by their authors.
Just saying.....

Byker Bob said...

Would someone forget a conversation or instructions with a spirit being or member of the deity? In the absence of Alzheimers or a head injury, perhaps not. However, I submit that a person so blessed would be questioning the meaning of the conversation, its gravity and implications for the rest of their lives. If there were no continuing conversations, or further explanations to clarify the application, the impact could morph or fade.

At some point in time, would Mary have realized that in talking with her son Jesus, she was actually talking with God? Probably yes, however there would most likely be a time leading up to that realization, a time of haziness and doubt. We’re talking about a human being here, and it is difficult to know how much Mary would have struggled with this. She experienced perhaps the greatest blessing a human woman could ever have in this lifetime, but simultaneously it was also an incredible trauma, one almost beyond human comprehension or capabilities. If Mary questioned Jesus’ sanity, it nearly goes without saying that she was probably questioning her own sanity as well. Each part would have been a facet of the sum-total picture. This was probably a daily process for her right up to the crucifixion. Upon that final trauma, she then knew beyond doubt.


Anonymous said...

TLA said..."It is interesting that in all the world's major religions, only one originator had his own writings (allegedly). The religions started in the last 100 years have extensive writings by their authors. Just saying....."

True and that's why I'm inclined to call religious people by the founder of the religion or the main book they use eg Talmudists (Jews), Muhammadans (Muslims), Papists (Catholics), Smithites (Mormons), Whitists (Adventists), etc.

DennisCDiehl said...

Consider that Mark, being the earlies Gospel never heard about Jesus Birth story as they had not yet been inserted into the later written Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Matthew and Luke don't even agree on their birth stories and it is obvious they never read each others before coming up with their own. Mark's Mary was not the result of knowing the story and then either forgetting or having it grow dim. The Mary of Mark was written not knowing the story of herself in any other Gospel. She did not go through all you believe she did . She simply is not a Mary who experienced a miraculous birth story. Mark does not tell us where Jesus came from and wrote into his story a Mary and sons who thought Jesus was insane.

Mary is only the Mary of Mark and not the Mary of Matthew and Luke. That is an embellished Mary story and inserted to address the rumors of Jesus being a bastard and born of fornication. John 8 makes it very clear that was the charge against him and no one in John also seemed to refute it with miraculous birth stories. Jesus just got angry and told them "Well yeah? You are of YOUR FATHER , the Devil" That was the best he could come up with in John. Jesus did not defend himself with his miraculous birth told in Matthew and Luke. He didn't know them either.

The Gospels are not eyewitness accounts which is why they are not four different people giving four views of the same event as we are often told. They weren't even written by the men whose names were affixed. Those names were added decades later to give credibility to anonymous gospels of which there were scores floating around.

For some reason, the author of Mark was ok with assigning Mary a bit part with her sons of them coming to get him because they thought he was insane. The Mary we all think of is a composite of all four Gospels and one Mark would never have recognized for his own story.

JMAC said...

Mankind's salvation depends on belief and acceptance of Jesus as our savior and the best God could do to communicate this is through a book of riddles that Christians can't even agree on as to it's meanings.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the Christian faith is being challenged. Why a person would want to destroy the biblical writing that have proven to give people a life that has purpose and hope in a world that filled with corruption and destruction is beyond me. There are many books written that explain how the biblical writings paint a picture that deals with the flaws in humanity and how it can be applied . It is one thing to point out a character that leads to confusion and suggest changes, but destroying a belief that has positive rewards without improving the whole life offers nothing.

nck said...

The ONLY person who believes one incorporates being god AND being an insane pain in the a.... at the same time, is ones Mother. (or perhaps younger brothers and sisters)


Byker Bob said...

The Jews referred to Jesus Christ as “Jesus ben Pantera” in the Talmudic writings. Legend amongst the Jews of that era was that Mary had been raped by a Roman soldier named “Pantera” (panther).

Obviously, the writers/believers of the gospels would have enlisted whatever methods and records were available to them to discredit and dispel such vile street gossip.

It is not uncommon for an historic figure to emerge as a composite from the pictures painted by numerous writers, each supplying additional details. Nothing sinister about that at all. It’s how we know about Julius Caesar, Homer, Galileo, Mozart, George Washington, etc. Whether writing under their own names, or pseudonyms, those who have provided the details upon which we rely today were much closer to being contemporaries of these figures than anyone living today.

Until renamed, for the better part of two millennia, the years in much of the world were even reckoned (B.C. and A.D) in accordance with the birth of Jesus. And, there is not only the New Testament telling us of Jesus, but also the writings of the subsequent generations of the movement, the Antenicene Fathers. Clearly, something pretty heavy was going on during the first several hundred years of the “common era”.


Byker Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TLA said...

Dennis - I had a quick look at the history of the Bible and it looks like while the NT was more or less settled in the 300s, they were deciding on what had already been accepted, not throwing out previously agreed on gospels and letters.
The interesting thing to me, is the "false" church made all the decisions that the "true" church (WCG) accepted as the infallible Bible.
There is some dispute on when the OT was finalized, but it appeared to be after 100AD.
Could I humbly request from you another adult education article on how the Bible came together and some book recommendations?

Anonymous said...

Another God smearing post by Dennis.
It's insane not to fear Gods vengeance.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
Another God smearing post by Dennis.
It's insane not to fear Gods vengeance.

The posting is about a specific controversial scripture that has been puzzled over for centuries. It's in your book. You should know your book and how to answer the questions the scriptures in your book raise for people who think about what it is saying and why it might be saying it. Your problem is with the author of Mark, not me.

TLA said...

Dennis - you know very well that the COG idea of difficult scriptures is to explain how 400 and 430 are the same, and "deep" things of this nature.
Anything harder than this is too much for the weak of this world to handle.

Byker Bob said...

Well, there’s the other thing, Dennis. How many in the greater audience would know of and by themselves or from their WCG or ACOG splinter “training” that there even was controversy regarding these scriptures? Unfortunately, because you bring them the news that there has been controversy for hundreds of years, the messenger gets blamed. I dare say that there probably aren’t a heck of a lot of Armstrongites who have Catholic or Protestant study-Bibles, in which the footnotes cover these issues. Those aren’t on the list of “approved” reference materials for the COGsters.


Anonymous said...

No,no,no. The problem is with Dennis rather than Mark or Christ. You say Jesus dishonoured His mother by snapping at her, plus was rude and disrespect.
Snapping, being rude and disrespectful, is Dennis's personal (mis)interpretation of Christ's behavior.

Again you are in minister mode, fancying yourself having a inordinate influence, if not direct control of readers minds. Unfortunately ministers having such undue influence is still the case in the ACOGs. But it's not the case in the outside real world, or with the readers on this blog. It wouldn't be a dissident blog otherwise.

Rude and disrespectful? This reminds me of a minister calling me names for 'offending' members. My sin? Disagreeing with the minister boot lickers pet beliefs.
Only ministers and their boot lickers have the right to freedom of speech or the right to disagree with others.

Yes and No to HWA said...

Some background to John 2:4-5

Jn 2:4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman [gynai], what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

Jn 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman [gynai], behold thy son!
Jn 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

1Co 7:16 For what knowest thou, O wife [gynai], whether thou shalt save thy husband?...

“Jesus’ address to her, “Woman,” is not as cold in the Greek as in English. He uses it, for example, in his last moments as he hangs on the cross and tenderly commends her to the beloved disciple (19:26). This vocative was “a term of respect or affection” (LS). Yet we must bear in mind that it most unusual of find it when a son addresses his mother. There appears to be no example of this use cited other than those in this Gospel. It is neither a Hebrew nor Greek practice. That Jesus calls Mary “Woman” and not “Mother” probably indicates that there is a new relationship between them as enters his public ministry. And if the form of address is tender, the rest of Jesus’ words make it clear that was something of a barrier between them...” (Leon Morris, the Gosepl According to John, Revised, NICNT, pp.158-59).

“Yet the designation is not surprising if we keep in mind that Jesus never calls her “mother” (or “Mary”) in any of the four Gospels. Only in John’s Gospel, in fact, does he ever speak to her directly as an individual” (J. Ramsay Michaels, The Gospel of John, NICNT, p.145).

“5. Clearly Mary did not understand Jesus’ words as a sharp rebuke...’ (Leon Morris, p.160).

“Jesus’ mother does not answer him, but turns instead to “the servants,” mentioned here for the first time. Her comment confirms that she has not interpreted Jesus’ in verse 4 as a refusal to act. She assumes that he will act... [The “servants”] function as the disciples’ surrogates or stand-ins, for it is their obedience that accomplishes the miracle. Except for Jesus and his mother, only they and the disciples will ever know that a miracle has taken place (vv.9 and 11). They are the ones who actually “do” the miracle. Jesus simply gives the orders...” (J. Ramsay Michaels, The Gospel of John, NICNT, pp.147-48).

TLA said...

I am highly amused by people who love freedom of speech and then blast different points of view.

Anonymous said...

Let's set forth what's at stake here: Everything!
Because Christianity is staking everything on G-Mark, its primary manifesto:
Christianity being actually a Conspiracy Theory (its esoteric - hidden - God-man unable to be verified by Academia and not believed by the world's majority.)

Then along comes another "witness" to the "historic" God-man - 'Luke':
This Luke starts out saying "none of this was hidden" (implying that late 1st century critics were accusing Christians of promoting just that: an esoteric Messiah!)
Not helping Luke's case is that he then goes on to Plagiarize Mark's fantastical narrative - which, in turn, is a work of patent plagiarism!

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech means the right to disagree. Or 'blasting' if need be. Sometimes it's like a group debate in the work lunch room, a wild free for all. Or the group debate they had in Acts on circumcision.

But like a Borg clone who hasn't fully broken free from the collective, TLA and others still do not comprehend freedom. The Borg queen (HWA) would be pleased. I wonder whether TLA and others secretly crave to be re-assimilated by the Borg Collective. The broad gate is called broad because it has it's advantages. Ah, the burden of freedom and the hassle of others disagreeing.

Byker Bob said...

I feel a booklet coming on! “Just What Do You Mean, ‘Borg Again’?


Anonymous said...

Yes and No to HWA said
Jn 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

I wonder if you could shed any light on this statement (supposedly by Jesus)
from that time on John was to care for Mary, yet Mary had at least four grown sons whose responsibility it was to look after their mother and supposedly one of them (James) became the leader of the Jerusalem church?


TLA said...

One of the people Dennis cited - James tabor - has a number of papers and a blog that covers this and similar subjects - you can study him for dissenting views from the cogs and then make up your own mind

Anonymous said...

Thanks TLA

Yes and No to HWA said...

Toby writes:

“I wonder if you could shed any light on this statement (supposedly by Jesus) from that time on John was to care for Mary, yet Mary had at least four grown sons whose responsibility it was to look after their mother and supposedly one of them (James) became the leader of the Jerusalem church?”

There are a number of asides to consider, touched on briefly here, when looking through a glass darkly.

James Tabor provides an argument that the disciple “whom he loved” was James, the Lord’s brother and one of the twelve.

J. Ramsey Michaels also provides as argument that it was James, but he was not of the Twelve, and he also notes that the twelve are not listed in John’s gospel.

“If so, could he also be a brother of Jesus? The possibilities multiply, and with them uncertainties, confirming that this identification, like all others is speculative. At the end of the day “the disciple whom Jesus loved” remains anonymous... The church for nineteen hundred years had identified him with the Apostle John, son of Zebedee, and that long tradition deserves the utmost respect. Yet...” (The Gospel of John, NICNT, p.24).

John 1:11a To [eis] the [ta] own [idia] He came
John 19:27b took the disciple her to [eis] the [ta] own [idia]

If tradition is correct, F.F. Bruce comes close to providing some light:

“The beloved disciple, whom we have met previously at the supper in the upper room (John 13:23ff), now appears at the cross, standing beside the mother of Jesus, possibly supporting her. None of the other Gospel narratives mentions a male disciple in this connection. To his care Jesus now commits his mother: henceforth the beloved disciple (possible her nephew by natural relationship) is to be a son to her, and treat her as his mother. The phrase ‘to his own home’ (eis ta idia) at the end of verse 27 is identical with that at the beginning of John 1:11, he came to his own home’ (cf. 16:32). The brothers of Jesus were still too unsympathetic to him to be entrusted with her care in this sad hour; in any case, they may not have been in Jerusalem at this time.

Jn 2:4 Woman [gynai], what have I to do with thee? mine hour [hora] is not yet come
Jn 19:27 Behold thy mother [! And from that hour [horas] ...

“The mother of Jesus appears only twice in this Gospel: in 2:1-11 at the wedding in Cana and here in 19:25-27 at the foot of the cross...” (Colin G. Kruse, John, Revised, TNTC, p.429).

“As in John 2:4, it is difficult to decide on the best English equivalent of the vocative gynai in Jesus’s address to his mother. In both places the NEB rendering is ‘mother’, but this obscures the probably significant fact that Jesus did not address her as ‘mother’, which he could easily have done had he wished to do so...

“[The striking change in attitude shown by our Lord’s brothers who did not believe him six months before his death (John 7:5) but are found (along with his mother) in the company of the apostles immediately after his ascension (Acts 1:14) would be inexplicable apart from Paul’s information that in resurrection the Lord ‘appeared to James’ (1 Cor 15:7)” (The Gospel & Epistles of John, pp.387, 381-82).

Mt 27:56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.
Jn 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
Mk 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

Mt 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
Mt 20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

If James and John were first cousins of Jesus, on his mother side, then the petition of the cousins and his aunt [Salome?], humanely speaking, would not be that far out of hand.

Anonymous said...

thanks ( Yes and No to HWA )
That makes more sense; I took TLA's advice and checked out James Tabour's blog.