4/4/2010 The Son of Man, exploring the Biblical concept

A Commentary on Immanuel
The Gospel of Truth

by Mel West

Chapter 20
On Blasphemy

We need not draw upon many examples to demonstrate that Jesus had committed a thorough blasphemy of God during His ministry (from the view of the rabbis). This, we will see, is a requirement, so to speak, of the Messiah named Immanuel. After all His name means God is with us. Through Immanuel God is with us. Accordingly, the character with that name ought to leave us with the impression that He thinks He is One with God. He is a vehicle or Servant of God, because God created Him in The Word, and He ought to think of Himself as that Servant. His mission, as the Servant of God's Word, ought to fulfill the prophesies mentioned of Him.

Of all the Gospels, only John's is impressed with the need to describe the Messiah according to the criteria of being One with God or the Servant, The Word of God. Revelation takes this thought a bit further to express Jesus's Second Coming as the coming forth of the Servant, The Word, to complete all prophesy required of Him. From the perspective of John's Gospel and the book of Revelation, The Word is an eternal spirit, after the order of Melkizedek, who was really never born nor never died. In their perspective we see The Word come forth, die for the atonement of sin, and then be resurrected. The Resurrection, however, becomes a bone of contention, when we compare the Four Gospels' rendition of the resurrection of Jesus to that of Revelation. The resurrection, in fact, becomes a source of confusion, when we compare one gospel with another. As shown in our matrix, beginning with line 2219, there were two witnesses besides Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus, who saw Jesus laid in the tomb. They were Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, a woman whom the Gospel of Mark remembers as the mother of Joses but is also JesusÕs Aunt Mary. The mother of Joses, to a contemporary of the time, ought to think of that woman as the Virgin Mary, for Jesus had several brothers, among whom was Joses (perhaps the elder).

Luke does not mention the women by name and (line 2222) offers only that the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher.

There is something fishy here. Why is it that only Mary Magdalene's name was mentioned in these gospels? These were important witnesses to the fact that Jesus was laid in a certain tomb and they became evidence towards the claim that Jesus was resurrected after three days. For it is certain Jesus prophesied many, many times, according to the gospels, that he would be resurrected after three days. He said these prophesies, we again recall, beginning with the moment after his transfiguration.

Hidden Family Ties—Sorting Out People, Times, and Places

The Gospel of John, being familiar with details of Jesus's family which go beyond the other gospels, begins with the report of John the Baptist (not mentioning he is a cousin of Jesus), proceeds to the next chapter on the Wedding of Cana, of Galilee, and then in chapter three mentions the Pharisee, Nicodemus, a secret disciple (by night) of Jesus. Nicodemus addresses Jesus immediately after the Wedding of Cana during the time of the Passover, which was about a week after Jesus's Baptism. The Gospel of John tells us that the third day (of Jesus's ministry) was the Wedding of Cana, Jesus and his disciples then went to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days:

John 2.13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
2.14 and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

In the beginning of Jesus's ministry, according to the Gospel of John, Jesus offended the temple priests by overthrowing their tables and chasing them out of the temple with a scourge of small cords. The scene John paints (2.15) is actually a humorous scene, for it was not just a few men whose tables he turned over, as shown in the synoptic gospels, but rather He chased out of the temple the priests and their animals: doves, cattle, and sheep! The scene painted is a complete scene of Pandemonium, as might occur if one went into a stockyard and drove out all of the penned animals. One can see, then, a crowd of people and priests fleeing out of the temple, followed by a herd of animals blaring and bleating and kicking through the streets of Jerusalem. In their path, since it was Passover, when the city grew from a few hundred thousand to perhaps, as the account of Josephus suggests, a million and a half souls, were crowds of tourists coming to visit the temple. We can visualize a herd of cattle and sheep running through the streets, even down King David street, through a crowd perhaps not unlike the same crowd making its way down that street even to this day.

For those who have been in Jerusalem in the height of tourist season, one can appreciate the crowds and the terror that ought to have been experienced in the street when Jesus followed the fleeing animals and priests out of the temple. My experience with those crowds, in fact, recalls one side of the street flowing into the city and the other side flowing out. The only way to pass on foot, because of the press of the crowd, would be to risk stepping into the on-flowing mass, risking being carried the opposite direction. The only person I saw, who could make his way easily through that crowd, was a blind man who struck people in his path, in their backsides, with his cane. I was such a person who, startled by the stroke on the back of my leg, moved aside. All others before me also moved aside as they were stricken by the blind manÕs cane. In a matter of minutes the man had disappeared down the street. Such are the streets of Jerusalem in tourist season that only a blind man can easily make his way down the streets.

So a significant act, suggested late in Jesus's ministry by the synoptic gospels, actually is reported by John at the beginning of his ministry.

The Gospel of John says that John was the beloved disciple of Jesus who rested his head on Jesus's chest during Jesus's last Passover dinner (the last supper). We find, in fact, that John was with Jesus from the beginning. We know he was with Jesus from the beginning of Jesus's ministry because he mentions that he was a disciple of John the Baptist, Jesu

John 1.35 Again the next day after John [the baptist] stood, and two of his disciples;
1.36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
1.37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
1.38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
1.39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
1.40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
1.41 He first findeth his own brother, Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiahs, which is being interpreted, the Christ[s].
1.42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

In these verses we find some significant information. John, the writer of the gospel, tells us how John the Baptist witnessed that Jesus is the (Lamb of God) Messiah and the anointing of the Dove on Jesus's Head, as the voice coming from heaven proclaiming Jesus as God's beloved Son. After John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God, two of John the Baptist's disciples, John and Andrew, began to follow behind Jesus. The gospel does not mention how they came to be following behind Him except we can presume that Jesus was teaching. He had to have made some pretty enlightening comments because moments after following Jesus the two disciples addressed Jesus, turning towards him, with the term Rabbi, meaning, master or teacher. One would not ordinarily expect a stranger to be acknowledged as a rabbi unless others who knew him addressed him the same way. We presume, then, that Jesus at the time of his Baptism, must have had already some following, though we are led to believe that He followed John the Baptist into the wilderness to be baptized, along with many others in Jerusalem.

All of the gospels really begin their story of Jesus's ministry with John the Baptist recognizing Jesus as the Lamb of God Messiah. According to Luke 3.1 it was the 15th year of Tiberius, when Pilate was Governor and Herod was Tetrarch of Galilee, and when Caiaphas was high priest. The Gospel of Nicodemus (prologue) tells us that Caiaphas's name was really Joseph Caiaphas. Furthermore, this gospel tells us that Nicodemus delivered his gospel on the 19th year of the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius and specifically:

on the eighth day before the Calends of April, that is, the 25th of March, in the consulate of Rufus and Rubellio, in the fourth year of the two hundred and second Olympiad, when Joseph Caiaphas was high priest of the Jews.

Although recorded as a secret gospel, an Apocryphal gospel, the Gospel of Nicodemus gets right down to the point, explaining why Jesus was condemned to be crucified by the high priests, the Sanhedrim, of whom Jesus, we are told by the gospels, and specifically the Gospel of John, had two disciples: Nicodemus, who met with him in secret at night, and Joseph of Arimathaea. The (secret) Gospel of Nicodemus then tells us:

Nicodemus l.0 The chief priests and scribes assembled in council, Annas and Caiaphas, Semes, Dathaes and Gamaliel, Judas, Levi and Nephthalim, Alexander and Jairus, and the rest of the Jews, and came to Pilate accusing Jesus of many deeds. They said: "We know that this man is the son of Joseph the carpenter and was born of Mary; but he says he is the Son of God and a king. Moreover he pollutes the Sabbath and wishes to destroy the law of our fathers." Pilate said: "And what things does he do that he wishes to destroy it?" The Jews say: "We have a law that we should not heal anyone on the Sabbath. But this man with his evil deeds has healed on the Sabbath the lame, the bent, the withered, the blind, the paralytic, and the possessed."

The Gospel of John tells us that standing by Jesus's cross were three women. Verse 19.25 tells us they were His Mother, his mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. There were three Mary's standing beside the cross that day. In John 19.38 we are told that Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus took the body and laid it in a tomb in a garden near by the place where he was crucified. The gospel mentions no women witnessing the body being placed in the tomb.

From this we can guess that the women from Galilee mentioned by Luke may have been those three Marys, of whom John lists. To a disciple we can suppose that the other Mary ought not to have been the Virgin Mary but rather Mary, the sister of the Virgin Mary ( the same Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus, who anointed Jesus's feet with her tears). Underlying all of these names may be a list of relatives, some of whom are of significant priestly status. We recall Luke telling us that the Virgin Mary had a cousin in Judaea named Elizabeth who was of the line of Aaron, together with her husband, Zacharias, who was a priest in the Temple of God. They gave birth to Jesus's cousin, John the Baptist.

Among all the gospels there is a familiar relationship between the writer, John, and the family ties and close friends of Jesus, from the days of His baptism by John the Baptist, to the Wedding in Cana, and finally, His crucifixion. Among all the friends of Jesus, from that day to the end, there were three men always near Him. They were John and James, the sons of Zebedee and Simon Peter and (sometimes) Andrew, partners in a fishing business with John and James. Simon Peter lived with his brother in Bethsaida, near Capernaum and since their fishing business was in Capernaum and John and James were their partners, we can conclude that John and James, the sons of Zebedee, also lived in Bethsaida or Capernaum. We also know that Simon PeterÕs mother in law's house was in Capernaum and one of JesusÕs first miracles was the healing of Simon Peter's wife's mother (line 277).

According to the Gospel of Mark, 16.1, one of the three women who visited Jesus's tomb to discover it empty was Mary, the mother of James and Salome. According to Matthew, line 2254, this was the same other Mary of whom Luke speaks. So the Mary referred to is Mary, mother of James, Salome, and Joses. Luke 24.10 says that the three women who came to the tomb were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the Mother of James and other women.

Line 2185 shows the confusion over the characters, some of whom are relatives of Jesus. Standing far from the cross (Luke says about a stone's throw from the cross), were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and [Mary] the mother of Zebedee's children, James and John. They may have had a brother by the name of Joses and a sister, Salome. Salome is mentioned at Jesus's birth in the Infancy Gospel of James and Mary is mentioned as the Virgin Mary's sister. Mark says that Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, the less and of Joses and Salome, were there looking far off. James the lesser, or small, would be that James, son of Zebedee, in contrast with James the elder, the brother of Jesus who would subsequently be a leader of the church in Jerusalem. Later, Mark says:

Mark 16.1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices that they might come and anoint him.


Mark 15.47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses, beheld where he was laid.
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
15.41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

Matthew 27.55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:
27.56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.

Here seems to be the clue to our identification of Mary, the sister of the Virgin Mary, and sister of Martha who lived in Bethany. Mark says that Mary, mother of James, Joses, Salome (and John), of whom at least James and John were also children of Zebedee, was among those who followed Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem. Mary had a sister and brother, Martha and Lazarus, who lived in Bethany. We have seen that the Lord loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus very much.

In the house of Bethany where Jesus stayed (because of his close relationship with Mary, mother of James and John [John was Jesus's most beloved apostle] Jesus would be expected to stay there) we have the scene of Jesus's pogrom against the pharisees and his teaching of things to come. At that scene entered a woman (Pharisee) who was called a sinner (supposed to be Mary Magdalene) who anointed Jesus with some expensive oils and cried at his feet, wiping his feet with her hair. The Gospel of John, 12.3, says [Aunt] Mary anointed Jesus's feet with very costly ointment. It was so costly Judas Iscariot, who was in charge of the congregation's purse and son of a Simon (Simon the Leper, husband of Martha?) complained that the expensive oil was being wasted. According to John

John 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.

SmithÕs Bible Dictionary (we refer to it not for its acceptance but rather for convenience) justifiably concludes that Mary, the wife of Cleophas (or Cleopas) is the same Mary "the other Mary" who was the mother of Zebedee's children, John and James (and Joses and Salome). Thus, being the same as the Mary, sister of Martha, of Bethany, then she was another sister of the Virgin Mary. We wonder how it came to be, however, that two daughters of the same parents would be given the same names. Is Aunt Mary a half sister of the Virgin?

It has been suggested that Salome was the mother of James and John; and Mary, sister of Martha, was their mother. This would explain the confusion as to the relationship of Zebedee and Cleophas to James and John. Since James and John were born of Zebedee and Mary was married to Cleophas, but identified as the mother of John and James, it follows that Mary could have been the mother of Salome, who may have been the wife of Zebedee, and John and James their children. We suspect, however, that Aunt Mary was the widow of Zebedee (probably another brother of Joseph the Carpenter) and remarried Cleophas upon Zebedee's death. These connections all mean that John, the writer of the gospel, being the brother of James and son of Zebedee, son of Salome/Mary, was a cousin of Jesus.

According to the Gospel of John, 19.25, there stood [near] by the cross of Jesus his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas and Mary Magdalene. Later we are told that one of three men who first witnessed the resurrection of Jesus on the way to the village of Emmaus, was Cleophas (line 2339). When the two (or three) men returned to Jerusalem to report their experience in seeing Jesus, they said:

Luke 24.34 The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

Line 1553 In Bethany, Jesus enters Simon the Leper's house and a woman who was a sinner brought an alabaster box and anointed Jesus with her tears. The Simon who saw the resurected Jesus with Cleophas (his father) was probably that Simon the Leper in whose house, in Bethany, a woman [Aunt Mary] who was a sinner (it was not Mary Magdalene according to JohnÕs gospel) came and washed Jesus's feet with her tears, wiping his feet with her hair. John says:

John 11.1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
11.2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

Mary, sister of Lazarus and Martha, who lived in Bethany, were the Virgin Mary's sisters and Mary, with her sons John and James, followed Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem for his last Passover. Mary, wife of Cleophas, was Jesus's aunt. Salome, thought to be married to Zebedee (but we think not), seems to link up as a daughter of Joseph the Carpenter prior to his marriage to the Virgin Mary. and John and James, Aunt Mary's sons, would have been Jesus's second cousins. Only the Gospel of John knew that Mary, mother of the sons of Zebedee, was the Virgin Mary's sister. Luke referred to her as the other Mary. Luke, not being related to the family, but still clearly a disciple and involved in many of the gospel experiences, ought to have been totally confused over the relationship of Mary, mother of James and John, Simeon and Joses. Aunt Mary, sister of Martha and sister of the Virgin Mary and Lazarus, is without a doubt one of the most mysterious characters associated with Jesus, as she not only was a witness to his resurrection but also a key member of his family.

Knowing the family relationships we realize that Jesus had raised his own uncle, Lazarus, from the tomb and the only one who knew it was John, writer of the Gospel of John, who himself was as a son of Aunt Mary, cousin of Jesus.

Line 1205— On the way to Jerusalem for the Passover Jesus lodged in Bethany. Luke tells us it was Martha's house and Martha had a sister called Mary, who also sat at his feet and heard his word. This suggests that Luke knew Martha more than Mary, the Virgin Mary's sister. But Mary, the Virgin Mary's sister, came from Galilee with Mary Magdalene and the other disciples of Jesus for the Passover in Jerusalem, to stay in Aunt Martha's and Uncle Lazarus's house. Luke and the other gospel writers, except John, do not seem to appreciate that Lazarus was an uncle of Jesus. According to John's gospel the day before Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, he rested at Mary's house in Bethany. John 11.2 tells us that the house in which he resided was that Mary's house who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair. Martha and Mary, noted as sisters, appeared to live in the same house, though Aunt Mary is said to have accompanied Jesus from Galilee and, according to Luke, also owned a house in Jerusalem itself. Aunt Mary and her husband, Cleophas, were pharisees and apparently rich. And, according to John 11.1 and 11.2, the two sisters, Mary and Martha, had a brother named Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister [Mary] and Lazarus (John 11.5).

The Mary of whom he loved was his Aunt Mary the mother of Joses, Simeon, and James, and John, Zebedee'stwo sons. In thse lists we have Salome mentioned — as if she were a daughter of Aunt Mary (but the secret Gospel of Mark does not count her as a sister of John; therefore she is not a daughter of Aunt Mary). Salome is mentioned in the Infancy Gospel of James; and there she is identified as proving that the Virgin Mary was a Virgin. If the Infancy Gospel of James is correct, Salome would have been near maturity to fulfill the role of inspecting the Virgin Mary to verify that she was still a virgin after Jesus was born. If Jesus were about 34 or 35 years old when he was crucified, this would make Salome about 50 years old and her mother, Mary, sister of the Virgin Mary, near 65 years of age. The Gospel of John claims that Mary, the sister of the Virgin Mary, had her house in Bethany, together with Martha and Lazarus. Her coming out of Galilee with the tribe of disciples, then, is negated by this comment—unless she owned property in Galilee as well. She was not with them in Galilee, even though she is remembered by Mark (line 2184) as being the mother of James and Joses (and Salome). Matthew was either not able to distinguish the fact that Mary, the Aunt of Jesus, was the mother of James and Joses and Zebedee's children, or scribes translating the gospel may have gotten confused, putting a punctuation mark where it does not belong:

Matthew 27.56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.

Remove the comma, and Matthew 27.56 would say: Mary the Mother of James and Joses and the mother of Zebedee's children. Zebedee's children were always identified as John and James. These two, along with Simon Peter, were always with Jesus in most of the important scenes of his ministry, at Gethsemane and the Transfiguration, for instance.

According to the Infancy Gospel of James (attributed to Jesus's brother and leader of the Nazarene Church in Jerusalem) Salome was present in Bethlehem when Jesus was born and it was Salome, in the attendance of a Midwife, who witnessed that the Virgin Mary was a virgin. The Latin infancy Gospel of the Birth of Jesus clarifies who the unnamed midwife is: it is a woman by the name of Zachel. According to Matthew Jesus had some sisters:

Matthew 13.56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? [Jesus had just offended the synagogue of Nazareth]

According to Matthew and Mark, lines 330 and 632, Jesus had at least four brothers named James, Joses, Simon, and Judas. According to the Latin Infancy Gospel, the midwife, Zachel, performed a service of relating the fact that the Virgin Mary was still a Virgin after giving birth to Jesus, and she recounted the observation to Simeon, son of Joseph the carpenter and brother of Jesus, that Mary was still a Virgin after giving birth to Jesus. Simon (Symeon) seems to linger in our gospel memory and may have been that Simon, father of Judas Iscariot (something hard to admit) or the Simon who encountered Jesus after His resurrection along with Cleophas (Cleophas also had a son named Simon, that Simeon who took over the throne of Jerusalem after James the Righteous, the brother of Jesus, was murdered).

Cleophas would have been Jesus's uncle and it seems he and his son, Simon, were on the road to Emmaus and were the first to witness his resurrection. The Gospel writers did not seem to know this, once again testifying of their somewhat distant relationship from Jesus. John, the writer of the gospel, ought to have know this. Regardless, the gospel writers played down the fact that many of Jesus's relatives were involved with his ministry in the end. Of the sons of Joseph (and brothers of Jesus), one of them, James, became the head of the church after Jesus's death. His epistle recorded in the New Testament affirms the Nazarene position that the Law of Moses still applies, that one is judged by his works. The Apocryphal Gospel of Thomas further tells us that the disciples asked Jesus who should be in charge after his death and Jesus said it would be James. This, of course, contests the charge Jesus made to Peter after the transfiguration that Peter would be the head of the church after Jesus's death (and resurrection). Regardless, we can see from Paul's writings and the epistles of Peter and James that both Peter and James had a great deal of weight in the guidance of the church.

Another brother of Jesus who is mentioned but not in any particular context other than he is a brother of Jesus, is Joses. By coincidence according to the Gospel of John, Jesus's aunt, the other Mary, had a son named Joses. If she were about 65 years old, as we suspect, mother of John and James, sons of Zebedee, her son, Simeon, ought to be about Salome's age, probably about 50 years old. This is controverted by the Infancy Gospel of James, however: The Virgin Mary had no sisters and brothers older than she. This, in turn, prevents Aunt Mary from being the sister of the Virgin and, at the same time, mother of Salome—that Salome who was present at the birth of Jesus (Again, we note, The Secret Gospel of Mark suggests that Salome was not Aunt Mary's daughter).

We also know that Luke — perhaps in utter frustration — knew that there was one other relative besides the Virgin Mary who carried the name Mary, who played an important role in the gospels. This Other Mary he failed to identifity clearly; only the Gospel of John clairifies that the other Mary was the same who was married to Cleophas and mother of James and John. We wonder if Cleophas's son, Symeon, was by a former wife — not Aunt Mary — who had died. This would account for the great difference in age between Symeon and John, sons of Aunt Mary.

We count this as an important criteria of the ages of the family characters mentioned in the gospels. For John and James were probably about the same age as Jesus and may have been a bit younger. They were called Zealots, and they were, we recall, followers of John the Baptist who was about six months older than Jesus. The Baptist was about 35 years old when he died and his cousins, his disciples who began to follow Jesus — John and James —, his cousin several times removed, were probably in their late twenties at the Baptism of Jesus.

The followers of Jesus were taught that money means nothing. It should be given up in order to follow him. Yet, we have a scene where Aunt Mary wasted an expensive pound of ointment (according to Judas Iscariot) on Jesus's feet. Judas Iscariot, we suspect, is the son of Simon, Jesus's brother by Joseph the carpenter. The scene in which she wastes the ointment is in Jesus's uncle's (Lazarus's) house and Mary, his aunt, Lazarus, His uncle; John and James, his cousins, (and probably Peter and a few close disciples) were there in attendance, rejoicing the raising of Lazarus from the dead. The scene is not a scene of Jesus happening by a house of a friend but of a relative; and the scene is not a scene of Jesus ministering to friends and perhaps strangers but to his relatives and close disciples. Among them was one who had been with Jesus a good part of his ministry, but certainly not from the beginning as John and Andrew, or Peter and James. In a gospel the apostles complain that Jesus gave more attention to Mary Magdalene than them. Whereas we ought to expect that Mary Magdalene was the sinner who had anointed Jesus with the expensive anointing oil; as mentioned by the Gospel of John, it was the sinner, Aunt Mary, the sister of the Virgin Mary, who ingratiated Jesus's feet with her anointing oils. What was her sin? Perhaps she had divorced Zebedee and married Cleophas!

Concerning family ties, there are many innuendos in the gospels which need to be mentioned. First among them is Joseph of Arimathaea; his name meaning Joseph of the Heights. The Heights was a place near Jerusalem which could not have been much farther than Bethany, a short walk. Among the brothers of Jesus was one named Joses. On top of this, to add to the confusion of names, there was a Joses, Joseph of Arimathaea, who is mentioned as begging for Jesus's body and putting it, with the help of Nicodemus, in his family tomb, called the Garden Tomb. According to the Gospel of John (and the Gospel of Nicodemus) Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus were secret disciples of Jesus. Joseph, we have seen, was a ruler of the Sanhedrim and, according to the Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, He was joint ruler along with another Joseph, Joseph Caiaphas, the high priest who condemned Jesus.

There is no way to determine, with any precision, the relationship of Joseph of Arimathaea to Jesus. He, being a ruler of the Sanhedrim along with Joseph Caiaphas, appears to be about the same age as the Virgin Mary and her sister, Mary, the wife of Cleophas and sister of Lazarus and Martha of Bethany. He was an aristocratic man and of great wealth. He was not the only wealthy associate of Jesus. Jesus's Aunt Mary, just mentioned above, anointed Jesus's hair with some expensive ointments which were beyond ordinary means. She had some resources which were well beyond the average soul in those times. Her being rather wealthy leads us to another somewhat startling fact that her sons, John and James (the sons of Zebedee), who were partners with Peter and Andrew in a fishing business, ought not to have been paupers. And the other Mary had a son by the name of Joses as well.

A possible connection of these men to Joseph of Arimathaea, the rich man who placed Jesus in his garden tomb, comes through the Tales of King Arthur and the Nights of the Round Table. In these stories the ancestor of Sir Lancelot and King Arthur is a man called the Fisher King, one Joseph of Arimathaea. He, according to the legend, was born of the greatest lineage known to man. The greatest lineage known to man — from a Judao-Christian point of view — is that of David (and Jesus). Clearly tradition remembers Joseph of Arimathaea as a relative of Jesus! In all probablility he was related through Joseph the Carpenter or the Virgin's father, Joachim or, as I prefer, Mary's mother, Anna. Anna had to be of both families of David and Aaron for the Virgin Mary to inherit both David's seed and, at the same time, be related to Elisabeth, of the seed of Aaron. Jesus, we suspect, carried both the blood of David and Aaron in him. Joseph of Arimathaea, being a high priest and leader of the Sanhedrim, ought to have been of the house of Aaron for his position; the fact that he held a position as a leader as well as priest may indicate his position in the lineage of David.

He was recorded in the gospels as a rich merchant and high priest of the Sanhedrim. We wonder whether he was related to Jesus's Aunt Mary and might have owned a fishing brokerage in Judaea, in fish caught by the company of Peter, Andrew, James and John and father Zebedee. In the gospels there are several ships mentioned in that company's fishing fleet. Whereas one ship might provide for a small family business, several ships indicate a much larger operation. Furthermore, Peter and Andrew lived with Peter's mother in law, we are told, in the same house in Capernaum; they also seem to have had a house nearby in Bethsaida. In the scenario we have Jesus's cousins, John and James, sons of Zebedee, engaged in a large fishing business with Peter and Andrew (who also may have been relatives but probably just friends).

We recall that it was Andrew and John who were walking with Jesus at his baptism. They asked Jesus where he lived and he responded, Come and see. In the Gospel of John the next scene is a wedding in Cana three days later in which Jesus, his mother and brothers (and sisters) and new disciples were attending. Cana was a town a few miles away from Nazareth, JesusÕs home town. Not far from there, on the Sea of Galilee, was Peter and Andrew's home in Bethsaida. Tradition has it that that beloved disciple of Jesus, John, also owned a house in Jerusalem and it was his house in which the Last Supper was held and where many of the disciples would come by night to see him (for his life was in danger — for good reason —i n Judaea). We also note here that Luke has the Other Mary, Aunt Mary, residing in Jerusalem, as a pharisee and sinner. If John and James were sons of Aunt Mary and Aunt Mary owned a house in Jerusalem, it would follow that friends of John might associate that house in Jerusalem as "John's house."

There are more connections. They begin with the priest Symeon, who first proclaimed Jesus, by raising him up in his arms to the world, and extend to the high priest Joseph of Arimathaea.

Following through on the connections from the priest Symeon to Joseph of Arimathaea we find the Gospel of Nicodemus weaving into its story the two murdered sons of Symeon who were buried in a tomb near his house in the Heights. A fanciful story of their resurrection, in connection with a miracle involving Joseph of Arimathaea is mentioned. The fact that Symeon's house was in the Heights along with Joseph of Arimathaea's suggests that it was a wealthy place where the leaders lived.

We may further speculate on the riches in Jesus's family ties. Zechariah, the priest and cousin of Jesus (father of John the Baptist), lived in Bethlehem, according to the Gospel of Luke. He was of the family of Levi, of the priesthood of Aaron. According to the Infancy Gospel of James, Zacharias was murdered at the doorway of the temple by Herod for having tried to hide his son, John the Baptist, from Herod. In the dialogue, interestingly enough we have Herod commenting:

His son is going to be king in Israel.

In the gospels Jesus is believed most of the time to be Elijah the prophet raised up. Indications suggest that the people believed that John the Baptist was the Messiah. This thesis is verified in the Infancy Gospel of James, where we have an acknowledgement that one writer had remembered that Herod feared John the Baptist because he believed John to be the Messiah King of Israel and a threat to his crown. The Gospel of Matthew (Luke does not mention the story) records how Herod had heard that a Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and sought to murder him and all other first born sons of Bethlehem, causing Joseph the carpenter and his wife Mary to flee to Egypt to save the child Jesus. The Infancy Gospel of James records Herod trying to kill John the Baptist, as he believes the Baptist is the Messiah. We recall Jesus's comment in the gospels, concerning John the Baptist, after the transfiguration:

Mark 9.13 Elias came already and they have done to him whatsoever was listed of him.

John 1.41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiahs, which is, being interpreted, the Christ[s].

Here we have a continuing theme where Jesus and John the Baptist were considered the Messiahs, with Jesus being thought to be Messiah Elijah. Again, the Gospel of John (1.21) has John the Baptist denying he is Elijah, leaving the disciples in total confusion, since Elijah must first come before the Messiah, as Jesus confirmed in Matthew after the Transfiguration. In the Gospel of Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathaea has a vision of Jesus appearing unto him. Seeing a phantom, Joseph of Arimathaea reports:

Nicodemus 15.0 Trembling, I thought it was a phantom, and I said the ten commandments. And he said them with me. Now as you well know, a phantom immediately flees if it meets anyone and hears the commandments. And when I saw that he said them with me, I said to him: Rabbi Elijah! He said: I am not Elijah. And I said to him: who are you, Lord? He replied: I am Jesus, whose body you asked for from Pilate, whom you clothed in clean linen, on whose face you placed a cloth, and whom you placed in your new cave, and you rolled a great stone to to the door of the cave.

Here we have a continuing expectation, throughout the Apocryphal scriptures and the gospels, of Elijah coming and being identified in a Messianic role and often confused with Jesus. At the transfiguration of Jesus, Jesus confirms that Elijah must first come with the statement that he shall restore all things, a Messianic Role. Jesus's statement that Elijah suffered and they have done whatsoever was listed of Him is another Messianic application. For the thing which identifies the Messiah in Scripture is the list of things which He does and events done in connection with Him. With Elijah, for instance, comes a Book of Remembrance and with them come fire and brimstone. In the reconciliation of Jesus and John the Baptist to the Messiah(s) the role of Elijah is initially suspected of Jesus but then transferred, through arguments from Jesus, to John, in spite of the fact that the Gospel of John, written by Jesus's cousin, believed that John the Baptist was not Elijah.

In the Infancy Gospel of James, Herod had Jesus's cousin, Zacharias, murdered for having tried to hide his child, John the Baptist, whom Herod thought was the Messiah King. According to this gospel the high priest who took Zacharias's place was Simeon (or Symeon). Since the offices of the priesthood in the temple appear to have been inherited then, Simeon — through his inheritance from Zacharias — was probably another relative of Jesus. And he was the high priest who presided, according to the Gospel of Nicodemus, prior to Annas and Caiaphas and Joseph of Arimathaea. In all probability Joseph of Arimathaea inherited his office from Simeon, who inherited his office from Zacharias. The murder of Zacharias, we note, is alluded to by Jesus in the Gospel of Luke:

Luke 11.51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple; verily, I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation.


Infancy Gospel of James — Herod sought John, and he dispatched attendants to the altar to Zacharias, saying to him, Where have you hidden your son? He answered, saying to them, I am a ministering servant of God, and I serve in the Temple. How do I know where my son is? The attendants went away and reported all these things to Herod.

Angered, Herod said, His son is going to be king in Israel. Again he sent the attendants, saying to him, Tell me the truth! Where is your son? You know that you are at my mercy. The attendants went forth and reported these things to Zacharias. In answer he said, I am a witness of God; pour out my blood. The Lord will receive my spirit, for it is innocent blood you are shedding at the doorway of the Temple of the Lord. About daybreak Zacharias was murdered, and the children of Israel did not know how he was murdered.

But at the hour of the salutation, the priests went in, and the blessing of Zacharias did not meet them as was customary. The priests stood waiting for Zacharias to greet them in prayer and to glorify the most high God. When he failed to come they were all afraid. But a certain one of them, getting up his courage, went into the sanctuary and saw by the altar of the Lord dried blood; and a voice said, Zacharias has been murdered, and his blood will not be wiped away until his avenger comes.

Jesus's comment in Luke was probably in reflection of the murder of Zacharias, John the Baptist's father. The family had status, for Zacharias was a (high) priest of the Temple. If he hid his son, as alleged, and if he were actually murdered for it in the sanctuary no less, where only the high priests could go we have not only a confirmation of the attempt to kill the babes of Bethlehem but also we see more evidence of the common perception that the Messiah(s) were near to come; we also can suppose that John the Baptist, being hidden by his father, ought to have been given over to some priestly order. It is possible John was raised by the Essenes in the monastery by the Dead Sea. His teachings and practices, as little as we know of him, were fully in agreement with that sect. As much as we know of Jesus, however, we cannot say the same, as noted earlier. For Jesus was a Sabbath breaker and a wine imbiber, both things sorely frowned upon by the Dead Sea Scrolls. We can't help but wonder whether the Flight to Egypt story of Jesus and his parents was derived from the previous story involving John the Baptist's Flight from Herod.

In the Infancy Gospel of James we again find further riches and status in the grandfather of Jesus, who married a widower named Anna. Jesus's grandfather was Joachim. He married Anna, the grandmother of Jesus, as she was a widower (and without child). Since she was a widower, it suggests that Joachim was a brother of Anna's deceased husband, since the Law required that the brother marry the wife of the deceased brother, so that widows, and their children, would always be provided for. Joachim, according to that gospel, looked into the book of the twelve tribes of Israel to determine whether I alone did not produce offspring in Israel. He concluded that all the righteous he knew had raised up children. Then he reflected upon Abraham, how he and his wife Sarah had been without child. Then he fasted, protesting his state of affairs, in not having any children, and Anna, like Sarah before her, said:

I will mourn my widowhood and I will mourn my barrenness.

After the fasting and the complaints, Joachim and Anna were given a daughter, Mary, the mother of Jesus. While we at first thought that Joseph of Arimathaea might be a son of Joachim, prior to Joachim's marriage to Anna, the Infancy Gospel of James makes a clear statement that Joachim had no children prior to the widow Anna. And Anna turned out to be barren. This, then, excludes Joseph of Arimathaea from being the son of Joachim. As Joses in scripture, he could be the other son of Jesus's Aunt Mary, the sister of Mary. Again, among the names of children accredited to her were James, John, the sons of Zebedee,Joses and Symeon. Smith's Bible Dictionary and others suggest that our Aunt Mary was the older sister of the Virgin Mary. But this, as seen above, is refuted; as the Infancy Gospel of James asserts, through the replay of the miracle of Abraham and Sarah, that the Virgin Mary was the (barren) couple's first child. As mentioned earlier, Salome is reported in that gospel as a handmaid at the birth of Jesus. During the ministry of Jesus, then Salome would have had to have been about 45 years old. The Virgin Mary was a young maiden (about 16) at the time of Jesus's birth and probably about the same age as Salome or a bit older. With this assumption we can conclude that Aunt Mary, to be the mother of Salome, would have had to have been the older sister of the Virgin Mary. This, being refuted by the comment of Joachim, then asks us to consider whether Salome and Aunt Mary are sisters of the Virgin Mary, (not probable because Salome is never included in the list of the Virgin's sisters, though mentioned in their compan. As mentioned, we suspect Salome might have been a daughter of Joseph the Carpenter.

Pursuing these family ties leads us to Joachim's family. We recall that the cousin of the Virgin Mary was Elizabeth, who lived in Bethlehem and gave birth to John the Baptist. Elizabeth and Mary are noted as being of the house of Aaron. Zacharias, murdered in the temple, was also of the house of Aaron. But Joachim, on the other hand, would have been born of the house of Judah (and David) for Jesus to derive his Messianic Inheritance through David and the house of Judah. Thus JoachimÕs family ties would point back to Bethlehem, Judah, thereby giving the Virgin Mary inheritance through both the houses of David and Aaron.

Our Aunt Mary lived in a house in Bethany with her sister Martha, say the gospels. Our Aunt Mary seemed to be wealthy, in that she possessed a rich amount of ointment in which she anointed her nephew Jesus. The gospels also tell us at the time of the burial of Jesus that those attending the cross and the burial were women who had followed Jesus from Galilee. Our Aunt Mary, the other Mary and mother of John and James, sons of Zebedee, were named among those following Jesus from Galilee. This makes sense, since John and James were in business (fishing) with Simon Peter and Andrew in Capernaum. Our Aunt Mary probably lived with them there near Capernaum and owned (or shared) a house in Bethany, near Jerusalem, with her sister Martha. Luke shows her coming out of Jerusalem, as a sinner, however, when she went to the house of Bethany to anoint Jesus. We think, as a minimum, Aunt Mary ought to have owend two houses: one in Galilee and another in Jerusalem (which was probably the house of the last supper).

Our Aunt Martha's house became the place where Jesus and his family would stay on their sojourns to Jerusalem. Our Aunts Mary and Martha are connected to Jesus by the gospels through Zebedee, who is first seen fishing with his sons in Mark 1.20 and Luke 4.21.

Apparently leaving Zebedee fishing, John and James and Salome and [his wife] Aunt Mary at the end of the gospels headed for Jerusalem for (Jesus's last) Passover. They all stayed in Aunt Mary's sister's (Martha's) house in Bethany. Six months earlier the Gospel of John tells us that Jesus visited Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles and scholars suggest there may have been yet another passover— between his feeding of the five thousand and his death — where he may have stayed in the city. This is possible, since the Gospel of John introduces the secret disciple, Nicodemus, who is a leader of the Sanhedrim, as if he were an early disciple of Jesus. It is not likely that a leader of his status would suddenly, six days before the Passover, convert to Jesus. He no doubt was another connected to Jesus through family ties. This is particularly true if Joseph of Arimathaea were a son of David.

Certain names are commonly interchanged in the two families of Jesus. Jesus is reported to have brothers by the names Joses, James, and Symeon. Joses would be named after Joseph the Carpenter, James seems to be a continuing family name between both Zebedee's house and Joseph the Carpenter's house; and (Simon) Symeon is a name appearing in the house of Zacharias or the family of the temple. We recall first there was Zacharias, of the house of Aaron, who was murdered, then Symeon, who raised Jesus to the world, and then Joseph of Arimathaea, who had a house in the Heights (near) by the house of Symeon, also in the Heights. This chain would point to an Aaronid House of relatives of the Virgin Mary through her mother Anna. The Judaean House of the Virgin Mary would be through Joachim, her father, and his relatives in Judaea, namely the House(s) of Aunt Martha and Aunt Mary. Aunt Martha is thought to be a Widow, since she is shown living alone with her sister, our Aunt Mary, and brother Lazarus in the Gospel of John. However, Matthew 26.6 refers to that house in Bethany where Aunt Mary anointed Jesus's feet at Simon the Leper's House.

Simon the Leper is probably the husband of Martha and uncle of Jesus. He shares the house with Lazarus, Aunt Martha and Aunt Mary's brother. Although scholars suggest John and James were the sons of Salome (and possibly grandsons of Aunt Mary) we cannot trace any firm connection of truth to this thesis. Salome certainly has to be much older than John and James — old enough to be their mother — since she attended the Virgin at Jesus's birth and would therefore be about the age of the Virgin. To be this age, she must be one of the daughters of Joseph the Carpenter or perhaps a younger sister of the Virgin Mary. She is about the same age as Cleophas, brother of Joseph the Carpenter, who is married to Aunt Mary, (younger) sister of the Virgin Mary. It is curious, however, that two sisters in the same family would be named Mary.

Aunt Mary, Cleophas, and Salome seem to be the oldest of Jesus's relatives. If Cleophas is near Joseph the Carpenter's age, we know that they are much older than the Virgin. At the time Joseph the Carpenter married the Virgin he was at least old enough to be her father. His (younger) brother Cleophas would also have been much older than the Virgin. Cleophas's wife, Aunt Mary, ought to have been older than the Virgin. In explaining the two Marys born in the same house we wonder whether Aunt Mary is a daughter of Anna by her previous husband. Though the Infancy Gospel of James says that Anna was barren to her old age, though a widow, it is possible that the barreness theme was not true and she may have had children before the Virgin Mary. This really does not satisfy our curiousity, since we know that it is odd for a man and his wife to name two successive children by the same name. Here, then, is the question of the ages: How is it that both the Virgin Mary and Aunt Mary are called sisters but given the same name? And why do both of those women have children by the same names? The Virgin Mary has sons named Joses and James; Aunt Mary has sons named John, James, Joses, and Symeon.The Virgin Mary had a son named Simon; Aunt Mary and Cleophas had a son named Symeon (who was probably married to the other sister Martha). Clearly, historians would have a field day sorting out the who's who of Jesus's family. One could not just refer to James and communicate to whom one was referring: Was it James (the Righteous), the LordÕs brother or James, son of Aunt Mary,thatJames, son of Zebedee and brother of John?

John seems to be the youngest of the relatives of Jesus. He, in fact, is recorded as the longest living Apostle, dying as an old man in Ephes. The Turks have a tradition that John brought the Virgin Mary to Ephes when she was in her sixties and she died there in a small house outside the walls of the city. If she were brought to Ephes at the age of 65, for instance, this would affect the following suggested dates of characters involved:

Jesus was born circa 3 B.C.— Mary is about 16 years old
Jesus died circa 32 A.D.— Mary is about 51 years old
Salome circa 32 A.D. is about 50 years old
Aunt Mary and Aunt Martha are of unknown age but perhaps older than the Virgin Mary and Salome
Jesus circa 32 A.D. is about 34-35 years old
John circa 32 A.D. is suspected to be about 30 years old but probably in his early twenties because:

For the Virgin to come to Ephes, to an established church under John and be about 65 years old, she would have to arrive there about A.D. 47; but Acts 19.1 tells us that Paul first arrived there and initiated his church through certain disciples circa 56 A.D.. This would make the Virgin about 75 years old to arrive there circa. A.D. 56. Therefore, to coincide tradition with Acts, we must modify the record to reflect that John must have been active in establishing his church in Ephes by 50 A.D. and taking the Virgin Mary (his new mother) with him then. In A.D. 50 John ought to have been about forty years old. This makes good sense since by A.D. 96 he would then be in his eighties; and by the time of Clement, who in A.D. 96 was recently dead, he followed all the other apostles by many years.

Clement knew Peter whom we suspect was about Jesus's age. In A.D. 50 Peter ought to have been about 50 years old. Circa A.D. 66 Peter was (by tradition) crucified in Rome, following Paul's crucifixion. At that time Peter would have had to have been about 66 years old.

For Clement to have been a disciple of Peter and also with Paul when Paul wrote Philippians circa A.D. 64, he ought to have been a young man in his twenties. By A.D. 114 (or thereabouts) when he wrote his epistles, Clement, being the third bishop of Rome at that time, ought to have been about 70 years old. When he wrote his letters he mentioned Mark who gathered many of Peter's notes to write his Gospel. If Mark was Peter's son, about the same age as Titus, Paul's son, at the time of Jesus's Ministry in Galilee, in Peter's mother's house in Capernaum, Mark ought to have been a toddler. If he were about 2 years old at the crucifixion of Jesus, then by 114 A.D. he would have been about 82 years old. However, the Secret Gospel of Mark, from which the references by Clement originate, may have been written much earlier by Clement, as the comments allude to the fact that Mark had just compiled his Gospel (of Mark) and that appears to have been before the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.; and it was probably written after Clement wrote the Stromateis. Thus, in 70 A.D. Mark ought to have been 38 years old. Clement and Titus, we suspect, may have been the same age group, perhaps younger by about 10 years, as Mark.

Here is what Clement says:

Clement – As for Mark, then, during Peter's stay in Rome, he wrote an account of the Lord's doings, not, however, declaring all of them, nor yet hinting at the secret ones, but selecting what he thought most useful for increasing the faith of those who were being instructed. But when Peter died a martyr, Mark came over to Alexandria, bringing both his own notes and those of Peter, from which he transferred to his former book the things suitable to whatever makes for progress toward knowledge. Thus he composed a more spiritual Gospel for the use of those who were being perfected. Nevertheless, he yet did not divulge the things not to be uttered, nor did he write down the hierophantic teaching of the Lord, but to the stories already written he added yet others and, moreover, brought in certain sayings of which he knew the interpretation would, as a mystagogue, lead the hearers into the innermost sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven veils. Thus, in sum, he prepared matters, neither grudgingly nor incautiously, in my opinion, and dying, he left his composition to the church in 1, verso Alexandria, where it even yet is most carefully guarded, being read only to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries.

Three things mentioned by Clement are pertinent in terms of getting the feeling for the ages of the characters (and their gospels): Firstly Mark wrote his premier account of the Lord's doings while Peter was in Rome. This requires that the Gospel of Mark had to have been written between 66 A.D. and 70 A.D. Mark would have done this in his mid thirties.

Secondly Mark left Rome for Alexandria and then died, leaving his composition to the church.

After Mark died the Carpocratian heresy formed, to which Clement writes his rebuttal (delivered to a man named Theodore).

Carpocrates is thought to have lived during the reign of the emperor Hadrian (A.D. 117-138). In the Stromateis, Clement comments further on the Carpocratian heresy as it relates to certain comments, to be discussed later, in Mark's gospel. We suspect, at the writing of the Stromateis and Clement's later comments about the Secret Gospel of Mark, the time was circa. 110 to 115 A.D. And it is about that time when Mark probably died and Carpocrates took up certain sayings of Mark and distorted them into a heresy denying Jesus is born of a Virgin but rather Joseph is his father and that the soul must transmigrate to perfection and, in so doing, all matters involving the flesh are neither good nor bad; and that the definition of good and bad is based upon circumstance and no universal truth. Their religious beliefs, says Clement (who was a Jew), seem to follow many of the Gentile conclusions:

Like the Gentiles, they were driven by Satan to slander the divine name of the Church so that men who hear of their actions of one sort or another suppose that we are all of the same kind and turn their ears away from the proclamation of the the truth. Seeing what they do, men blaspheme all of us, though we participate with them in nothing: doctrine, practice, daily life. But they lead a luxurious life and have an irreligious outlook; they misuse our name as a cloak for their wickedness; their condemnation is just, and they receive from God a retribution worthy of their works.

They have reached such a pitch of madness that they say that it is in their power to do whatever is irreligious and impious, for they say that actions are good and bad only in accordance with human opinion. In the transmigration into bodies, souls ought to experience every kind of life and action...so that, according to their writings say, their souls, which have been involved in every experience, may not, when they depart, still suffer any lack. They must act in such a way that they will not be forced into another body if something is still lacking in their freedom.

Clement becomes a point of departure in understanding the dates of the gospels, being founded in Mark, and the date in which Mark went to Alexandria; and, of course, the date when Mark died. He is dated by the outgrowth of Carpocrates, who founded a sect called Gnostics, from Gr. knowledge. We have seen it alleged that Carpocrates dates circa. the time of the Emperor Hadrian (117-138 A.D.). The church historian Bishop Eusebius traces the actual origin of Carpocrate's (and the Gnostic) heresy to Simon Magus, mentioned in Acts:

Acts 8.9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which before time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
8.10 To whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
8.11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. [Later he was baptized and blended his magic with Christian ideas]

At the time of Carpocrates' heresy which Eusebius says stems from the heresy of Simon Magus (who was probably about JohnÕs age and dead by 100 A.D.), Justin was still busy learning Greek writing:

Eusebius IV.8. However, at the time of which I am speaking Truth again put forward many to do battle for her, and they, not only with spoken arguments but also with written demonstrations, took the field against the godless heresies. Among these Hegesippus was prominent...His Floruit is indicated by his remarks on those who first set up idols:
In their honor they erected cenotaphs and temples, as they still do. One of these was Antinous, a slave of Hadrian Caesar's, in memory of whom the Antinoian Games are held. He was my own contemporary. Hadrian even built a city called after him, and appointed prophets.
In this time also Justin, a genuine lover of the true philosophy, was still busy studying Greek learning. He too indicates this date, when in his Defence to Antoninus he writes:
I think it not out of place at this point to mention Antinous who died so recently. Everyone was frightened into worshipping him as a god, though everyone knew who he was and where he came from.
Again, speaking of the war which had just been fought against the Jews, Justin remarks:
In the recent Jewish war, Bar Cochba, leader of the Jewish insurrection, ordered the Christians alone to be sentenced to terrible punishments if they did not deny Jesus Christ and blaspheme Him.

After the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, Bar Cochba led a second rebellion against Hadrian in A.D. 132-35. Hadrian died in A.D. 138. Therefore, about the same time as Bar Cochba, Hadrian's slave, Antinous, had a cenotaph built to him and the people were forced to worship him as a god. Antoninous is believed to have drowned in the Nile river circa. 130-131 A.D. He was, says Hegesippus, my own contemporary. We place Clement writing his works circa 92-101 A.D., writing while John was yet alive. Clement interestingly enough seems to have taken the limelight just a few years before Hadrian became emperor. Correlating to Peter's death circa A.D. 66, requiring Clement to be in his twenties at that time, to have known and been a disciple of Peter (and Paul), we suspect that at the time Hadrian became emperor (117 A.D.) Clement would have been about 75 years old or dead. Peter's Son, Mark, being about 2 years old when Jesus raised a child on his lap in Galilee, circa 32 A.D., had died by the time Clement wrote his commentary against Carpocrates, circa 100 A.D. If Mark had been born in A.D. 30 and died circa 100 A.D., he would have died at the age of 70 years old. Clement, may have been the same age.

Hegesippus says that Antoninus was his contemporary. This would place him in the period 66 A.D. to 131 A.D., dying well before the death of Hadrian, who died in 138 A.D. Justin, learning Greek right after Bar Cochba's rebellion, A.D. 135, finds his place as the new generation following the generation of Hegesippus who followed the generation of Clement (and Mark) who must have been the generation of the sons of the Apostles. Since John was the last of the Apostles alive, dying circa. A.D. 98, Clement, being one of the few men to have known the apostles yet alive, died only a few years later circa. 101 A.D.

Further information on dating comes from a comment made by Eusebius who records information on the offices of the first three bishops of Rome: Linus, Anencletus, and Clement. He says:

Clement – When Vespasian had reigned for ten years he was succeeded as emperor by his son Titus. In the second year of Titus's reign Linus, Bishop of Rome, after holding his office for twelve years, yielded it to Anencletus.

Titus reigned circa 80-82 A.D (he died two years after taking office). Vespasian would have reigned from A.D. 69/70 (he was called to Rome to accept the crown of emperor of Rome during the siege of Jerusalem, circa 70 A.D.) Therefore:

Vespasian: 70 A.D.- 80 A.D.
Titus: 80 A.D.- 82 A.D.
Linus, first Bishop of Rome, reigned A.D. 70 to A.D. 82.
Anencletus, second Bishop of Rome, reigned A.D. 82 A.D. to 94 A.D.
Clement, third Bishop of rome, reigned A.D. 94 to 101 A.D.

By A.D.70 Peter was dead and Mark had gone to Alexandria. It suggests also that Mark's gospel may have already been in circulation by then.

Eusebius III.15 In the twelfth year of the same principate [of Domitian ] Anencletus, after twelve years as Bishop of Rome, was succeeded by Clement, who is described by the Apostle in his Epistle to the Philippians as a fellow-worker:
With Clement and the rest of my fellow-workers whose names are in the book of life. (Phil. IV.3)

Thus, Anencletus was bishop of Rome from A.D. 82 to A.D. 94. Then Clement assumed the seat of Bishop of Rome from 94 A.D. to his death in 101 A.D. At the same time as Clement assumed his seat in Rome, John was about to be exiled to the island of Patmos under the persecution of the Emperor Domitian and, circa 96 A.D. was restored to his seat in Ephes. Eusebius tells us, quoting from Irenaeus, that John lived until a very old age, until Trajan's time (Trajan: 98 A.D. - 117 A.D.):

Eusebius III.23 All the clergy who in Asia came in contact with John, the Lord's disciple, testify that John taught the truth to them; for he remained with them till Trajan's time.

Book III of the same work [ Irenaeus's Against Heresies] he says the same thing:

The church at Ephesus was founded by Paul, and John remained there till Trajan's time...

John died in 98 A.D. as suspected above. He was the last living Apostle. He didn't live very long after returning from Patmos, however, since Eusebius tells us:

Eusebius III.23 Clement, in addition to indicating the date, adds a story that should be familiar to all who like to hear what is noble and helpful. It will be found in the short work entitled, The Rich Man Who Finds Salvation. Turn up the passage, and read what he writes:
Listen to a tale that is not just a tale but a true account of John the Apostle, handed down and carefully remembered. When the tyrant [Domitian, 81 A.D. - 96 A.D.] was dead, and John had moved from the island of Patmos to Ephesus, he used...

John moved from Patmos in 96 A.D. and died two years later in 98 A.D. Eusebius goes on to confirm our suspicions concerning Aunt Mary and Jesus's cousins, James and John. He says:

Eusebius III.11 After the martyrdom of James [the brother of Jesus] and the capture of Jerusalem [in 70 A.D.] which instantly followed, there is a firm tradition that those of the apostles and disciples of the Lord who were still alive assembled from all parts together with those who, humanly speaking, were kinsmen of the Lord - for most of them were still living. Then they all discussed together whom they should choose as a fit person to succeed James, and voted unanimously that Symeon, son of the Cleopas mentioned in the gospel narrative, was a fit person to occupy the throne of the Jerusalem see. He was, so it is said, a cousin of the Saviour, for Hegesippus tells us that Cleopas was Joseph's brother.

Cleopas (Cleophas), brother of Joseph the Carpenter, was married to Aunt Mary who was a sister to the Virgin Mary and Aunt Martha. Symeon, cousin of Jesus and half-brother of John, whom we saw above, died in A.D. 98, took the throne in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., after Jesus's brother, James, was martyred. Symeon ruled in Jerusalem from 70 A.D. to 106 -107 A.D. It is said that he suffered martyrdom at the age of 120 years old:

Eusebius III.32 [ From Hegesippus ] Some of these [heretics] charged Simon son of Cleopas with being a descendant of David and a Christian; as a result he suffered martyrdom at the age of 120, when Trajan was emperor and Atticus consular governor.

Trajan was emperor from A.D. 98 to A.D. 117. Sextus Attius Suburanus was Consul in Judaea in A.D. 104. Thus Symeon, died circa A.D. 104 as a martyr. If he were the same Simon the Leper, he was husband of Aunt Martha, sister of the Virgin Mary and also the Virgin Mary's nephew by way of his father Cleopas, brother of Joseph the Carpenter. Symeon was related to Jesus on both sides of his family, as cousin (Jesus's father's brother's son) and uncle because he was married to Jesus's mother's sister Martha. His father, Cleopas, must have been the younger brother of Joseph the Carpenter! The reason Symeon stood in line for the throne of Jerusalem, after Jesus, was because he was the oldest son of David after Jesus. If he died at 120 years old he would have been born circa 16 B.C. Jesus derived his inheritance through two lines: Joseph the Carpenter and Mary the Virgin. Apocryphal stories (the Infancy Gospel of James) tell us that the reason Joseph the Carpenter was selected as the husband of the maiden Mary, who was raised in the Temple, was because Joseph the Carpenter was the oldest living son of David eligible for the young girl who carried David's lineage in her (through Joachim). In the absence of Jesus and his next oldest brother, James, Symeon becomes the most logical next in line as the eldest son of David. He is Jesus's father's brother's son, next Jesus's mother's sister's son, and at the same time husband to Jesus's Mother's sister, Martha! The True inheritance is, of course, through the mother of Jesus, making Martha the most important criteria of the descent, next to the Virgin's children and Aunt Mary's.

While the other brothers of Jesus might contest the throne, indications are, according to Eusebius,they were not interested in the new religion founded in their brother. We recall that all the people in Nazareth (probably including Jesus's brothers and sisters) were shocked at Jesus and attempted to throw him off the cliff of the town for blasphemy. Another Symeon, who was Jesus's cousin, had witnessed Lazarus, another uncle of Jesus (who was Jesus's mother's brother) being raised from the dead. Symeon is also one of the two men who first witnessed Jesus raised from the dead after the crucifixion. The other man was Symeon's father, Cleopas, brother of Joseph the Carpenter. Let's review these things now in terms of possible dates on tombstones:

...Jesus, born circa. 3 B.C.; died circa 32 A.D.
...brother James, born circa. 2 -10 A.D.; died 70 A.D.
...Virgin Mary, born about the same time as Symeon, son of Cleophas, about 19 B.C (if she were 16 years old when she delivered Jesus)
...Simeon, nephew of the Virgin Mary, born to Aunt Mary and Cleopas circa.16 B.C., died 104 A.D at the age of 120 years. We have a problem here, because Aunt Mary and Zebedee had James, John, and, some speculate, Salome. We suspect Simeon, son of Cleopas who is brother to the aged carpenter Joseph, and Salome were about the same age. This requires that Aunt Mary had to have been first married to Zebedee early enough to bear Salome 16 B.C., at the time she would have had to bear Simeon. To resolve this problem we must conclude that Aunt Mary was the Virgin Mary's Aunt and sister of her father, Joachim (or Anna, her mother). She could then be the mother of Salome who would be about the same age as the Virgin Mary. The younger brother of Joseph the Carpenter was Cleopas married to Aunt Mary, with a son, Simeon, and Simeon may have been the brother of Salome. Because of her age, Salome could even have been the sister of Joseph the Carpenter, but more probably his daughter.

The gospels and scholars to this day have been confused (as we) over the sons of Zebedee, perhaps concluding they are sons of Zebedee and Salome. But Aunt Mary is noted in the gospels as being the mother of James and John Joses, Symeon, and Salome. If Aunt Mary were the Virgin's Aunt, then she ought to be about twenty years older than the Virgin. Salome, her daughter, could then be about the Virgin's age and John and James, born possibly through a union with Salome and Zebedee would be about Jesus's age. It is possible that Aunt Mary had been widowed by Zebedee and then married Zebedee's brother (and brother of Joseph the Carpenter), then having a child, Symeon, between them. But this would make John and James, son sof Zebedee, older than Symeon whom we know was born circa16 B.C. to be 120 years old in 104 A.D., when he died.

Symeon, son of Aunt Mary and Cleopas, and nephew of Joseph the Carpenter, could have been James and John's uncle or half- brother; he would also have been Jesus's uncle, and Jesus's great uncle Cleopas, at the time of the crucifixion, would have been an old man.

...Aunt Martha sister of Virgin Mary, and Aunt Mary, were born after 16 B.C. Lazarus, brother of Aunt Mary and Aunt Martha, could have been a middle aged man at the time his nephew, Jesus, raised him from the tomb.
...Salome, perhaps the daughter of Aunt Mary, was born circa. 16 B.C.; about the same age as the Virgin Mary. Again, we suspect she was a daughter of Joseph the Carpenter.
...Aunt Mary, sister (or Aunt) of the Virgin Mary born circa. 35-40 B.C. We have a problem here, since the Infancy Gospel of James says that the Virgin had no sisters or brothers before she was born. Thus, as noted above, we suspect she was a great Aunt of Jesus, probably sister of his grandmother Anna, or grandfather Joachim. Aunt Mary was married to Uncle Cleopas whom we know to be the brother of Joseph the Carpenter, an old man when he married the Virgin. Because Symeon, her seed, was elected to take the throne of Jerusalem after Jesus, we suspect that Symeon was then (70 A. D.) the eldest son of David alive. His rivals would have been the living brothers of Jesus: Joses, Simon, or Jude. To qualify in the order of the inheritance as the eldest, Symeon would have had to have been older than the next brothers in succession. If he died at 104 A.D. at the age of 120 he would have been the same age as the Virgin Mary (and probably a couple of years older than Salome). Next in succession would be Joses, Simeon and Jude, brothers of Jesus and then following them would be John and James, sons of Zebedee and Aunt Mary.
...Cousin John, son of Aunt Mary (through Salome and Zebedee?) born circa. 7 A.D.?; died 98 A.D. He was the last Apostle in the Apostolic age. Successors to him were documented in Eusebius's history in the persecution of Domitian:

Eusebius III.32 [quoting Hegesippus ] The same writer tells us that in the sequel, when members of the royal house of Judah were being hunted, Symeon's accusers were arrested too, on the ground that they belonged to it. And it would be reasonable to suggest that Symeon was an eyewitness and ear witness of the Lord, having regard to the length of his life and the reference in the gospel narrative to Mary, wife of the Cleopas, whose son he was, as explained in an earlier section.
The same historian tells us that other descendants of one of the brothers of the Saviour named Jude lived on into the same reign of Domitian[ reigned 81 A.D. to 96 A.D.], after bravely declaring their faith in Christ, as already recorded, before Domitian himself. He writes:

Consequently they came and presided over every church, as being martyrs and members of the Lord's family, and since profound peace came to every church they survived till the reign of Trajan Caesar till the son of the Lord's uncle, the aforesaid Simon son of Cleopas, was similarly informed against by the heretical sects and brought up on the same charge before Atticus, the provincial governor. Tortured for days on end, he bore a martyr's witness, so that all, including the governor, were astonished that at the age of 120 he could endure it; and he was ordered to be crucified.

Just before Symeon died (104 A.D.), in about 101 A.D., Clement died! Eusebius says:

Eusebius III.34 In the bishopric of Rome, in the third year of Trajan's reign, Clement departed this life, yielding his office to Evarestus. He had been in charge of the teaching of the divine message for nine years in all [ Trajan's reign 98 A.D. to 117 A.D.].

Our Aunt Mary lived in a house in Bethany, say the gospels, with her sister, Our Aunt Martha. And the owner of that house is described as one leper whom Jesus healed, called Simeon.

Matthew 26.6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the Leper
26.7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.


Luke 7.36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
7.37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's [ Symeon's and Lazarus's ] house, brought an alabaster box of ointment.
7.38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
7.39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what matter of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, [the owner of the house] I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.


John 11.1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
11.2 It was that Mary [sister of Martha] which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
12.1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
12.2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
12.3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.
12.4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him.

Clearly John knows the exact circumstance of the anointing of Jesus by Mary, sister of the Virgin Mary and Aunt Martha. What else does he know? He knows that Judas Iscariot is Simon's son. The context of the anointing in the house of Aunt Mary involves her husband Cleopas, who is brother of the old man Joseph the Carpenter. We suspected Aunt Mary was at least as old as the Virgin Mary. Here we have a substantial indication it is true. For the passage groups Judas, the son of Simon, into the scene of a family gathering. The mention of Simon is made as if it is a well established fact who Simon is, being among the members of the family. The House in Bethany was owned by Jesus's Aunt and Uncle. Their son, Symeon, being in A.D. 70 probably the oldest surviving Son of David, may have been the father of that Judas, son of Simon, mentioned by John. While there were other Simons among the disciples, no Simon was more important to the Family Tree, when the Gospels were recorded, than Symeon, son of Cleopas and nephew of the Virgin Mary.

Whereas Luke is vague where the anointing took place, it is clear that John has taken the trouble to correct not only the place but the time: it was six days before the passover and Jesus's crucifixion. It was not in the city but in Bethany, in Simon the LeperÕs house. Luke had described the owner of the house as a Pharisee, which Simon probably was, which thing Jesus probably was, since Jesus's teachings followed basic pharisee doctrine. Zacharias the high priest who was Jesus's uncle and John the Baptist's father, would probably have been a pharisee, believing in the after-life, for example, as well; as opposed to a Sadducee who did not believe in the after-life. The Sadducees controlled the Temple, we are informed. But Caiaphas was probably a Pharisee and so were Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus. The Gospel of John says that Nicodemus also was one who awaited the Kingdom of God (and promise of everlasting life).

Luke's comment that the woman who anointed Jesus's feet was a sinner reveals that he was being a bit presumptuous based upon Jesus's comment to her, Go thy way; thy sins are forgiven thee. It further indicates how close Luke was to the family: not very close and certainly not close enough to know that the other Mary was Jesus's Aunt. Nor did he realize that the Pharisee who complained (that Jesus could not be a prophet) — who owned the house — was probably Jesus's uncle.

Matthew 26.37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

Mark 14.37 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

Matthew 10.2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother [see also Mark 3.17];

Mark 10.35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came unto him, Saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

Luke 24.10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna [a servant of Herod ], and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things to the apostles.

Mark 16.1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Salome..

Mark 15.47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses, beheld where he was laid

Mark 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;

Mark 16.1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

John 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.

Eusebius III.11 ...Symeon, son of the Cleopas mentioned in the gospel narrative, was a fit person to occupy the throne of the Jerusalem see. He was, so it is said, a cousin of the Saviour, for Hegesippus tells us that Cleopas was Joseph's brother.

Eusebius III.32 ...And it would be reasonable to suggest that Symeon was an eyewitness and ear witness of the Lord, having regard to the length of his life and the reference in the gospel narrative to Mary, wife of the Cleopas whose son he was, as explained in an earlier section.

In these passages we have a clear attempt to identify another Mary who is the mother of Joses, James, John, and Salome, but not identified as the same mother of Symeon, the inheritor of the throne of the Jerusalem see after James, the Lord's brother was martyred. The mother of James, Joses, and Salome (and also John the gospel writer) was among those who came from Galilee.

We have no concrete information linking Aunt Mary, wife of Cleopas, and mother of Symeon, sister of the Virgin Mary and sister of Martha to Mary the mother of James, Joses, and Salome. The only evidence we have that suggests that the Two Marys are One person is the fact that the gospel scenes above described have principally Five Women accompanying Jesus to the cross and then being associated with his (planned) embalming and resurrection. These Five Women are: 1) Mary Magdalene, always consistently mentioned, 2) Mary the mother of James, John, and Joses; 3) Salome; 4) Mary the wife of Cleopas, sister to the Virgin Mary and mother of Symeon, and, finally, 5) the Virgin Mary. Also mentioned is Joanna, of the staff of Herod the king. The scenes by the tomb, mentioned by Luke and Matthew, suggest several women, all of whom followed Jesus from Galilee. Joanna would have followed Jesus, Salome and the Mary Magdalene also; Mary the wife of Cleopas lived with her sister Martha in Bethany (and may have also had a house in Jerusalem). If the other Mary is in fact two Marys, one from Bethany and Jesus's Aunt, and the other from Galilee and the mother of James and John and wife of Zebedee, then John and James (and Salome) may not be relatives of Jesus. But since Salome figures in the Bethlehem birth scene in the Infancy Gospel of James, it seems that she was a relative and accompanied Joseph the Carpenter and the Virgin Mary to Bethlehem to register for the census. Someone in the history, though we admit the Infancy Gospel of James is not canonical material, remembered that Salome was an old woman and was at least the Virgin Mary's age when the Virgin Mary delivered Jesus. It would be difficult to put Salome in the manger scene, inspecting the Virgin, without recognizing that she is at least (from the memory of the writer) the age of the Virgin Mary.

When the historians (through Eusebius) tell us that the Virgin Mary had a sister named Mary who was married to Cleopas, the brother of Joseph the Carpenter, and when they mention Symeon (who died at the age of 120 years old in 104 A.D.) as the son of that marriage they had to realize that Symeon was also much older than Jesus; and Cleopas, his father, would have been a very old man at the least. His wife, Aunt Mary, would also have been, at the time Jesus was crucified, an old lady (and older than the Virgin). Aunt Mary, to have a son named Symeon who died at 104 A.D. at the age of 120 years would have had to have been at least 16 years old when she gave birth to Symeon. Simple addition tells us that the sister of the Virgin Mary would have had to have been born a minimum of 32 B.C. to give birth to her son Symeon, if she were the same age as the Virgin, circa. 16 B.C. For the Virgin Mary to be 16 years old, at the time she conceived Jesus, as offered in the Infancy Gospel of James, the Virgin also must have been born about the time Symeon was born. We suspect Salome belongs to the same generation as Symeon and the Virgin Mary. Included may be Lazarus, the Virgin's brother, and Martha, perhaps the Virgin's youngest sister. Their parent's generation would include: Joseph of Arimathaea, Joachim, Anna, Joseph the Carpenter (he married the Virgin when he was at an advanced age), Cleopas, Aunt Mary, and Salome.

The generation of Jesus, on the other hand, would have included: Peter and Andrew and James and John, partners in a fishing business. John and Andrew were probably about the same age, running around together and being zealots, followers of John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus who was about six months older than he. We recall that the Baptist came from the loins of a temple priest who had been murdered and had been preaching enough suspect doctrine to cause the pharisees and scribes and high priests of Jerusalem to send envoys into the desert to investigate his teaching (line 115). In answer to those envoys John the Baptist called them vipers and deceivers of men. Quite an insult!

Other members of Jesus's generation would have been Philip, of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter (their mother-in-law owned a house in Capernaum) and probably Nathanael, who lived in Cana (John 21.22) and may be the candidate who was mentioned as getting married in the marriage in Cana, involving one of the first miracles of Jesus (John 2.1).

The fact that James and John, the sons of Zebedee, are mentioned together with Salome, as children of Aunt Mary, suggests a wide spread between two generations in the same family. James and John (John died in A.D. 98) would necessarily have been Jesus's age. James is referred to as the younger or lesser, to differentiate him from the other Significant James, the brother of the Lord. The other James, the son of Alphaeus, seems to have disappeared from the gospel record after his name was mentioned and, therefore, is not the James, of whom the gospels always have in attendance with Jesus (together with John and Simon Peter). Coincident to this is the need to refer to James, the Lord's brother, by a different appellation which de-emphasizes his relationship to Jesus. Thus, he is also called, The Righteous or the Just. We may quote Eusebius [quoting Hegesippus ] to show the origin of James's title:

Control of the Church passed to the apostles, together with the Lord's brother James, whom everyone from the Lord's time till our own has called the Righteous, for there were many Jameses, but this one was holy from his birth: he drank no wine or intoxicating liquor and ate no animal food; no razor came near his head; he did not smear himself with oil and took no baths. He alone was permitted to enter the Holy Place, for his garments were not of wool but of linen. He used to enter the [Temple] Sanctuary alone, and was often found on his knees beseeching forgiveness for the people, so that his knees grew hard like a camel's from his continually bending them in worship of God and beseeching forgiveness for the people. Because of his unsurpassable righteousness he was called the Righteous and Oblias — in our own language "Bulwark of the People, and Righteousness" — fulfilling the declarations of the prophets regarding him.

Representatives of the seven popular sects already described by me asked him what was meant by 'the door of Jesus,' and he replied that Jesus was the Saviour. Some of them came to believe that Jesus was the Christ: the sects mentioned above did not believe either in a resurrection or in One who is coming to give every man what his deeds deserve, but those who did come to believe did so because of James. Since therefore many even of the ruling class believed, there was an uproar among the Jews and Scribes and Pharisees, who said there was a danger that the entire people would expect Jesus as the Christ. So they collected and said to James: 'Be good enough to restrain the people, for they have gone astray after Jesus in the belief that he is the Christ. Be good enough to make the facts about Jesus clear to all who come for the Passover Day. We all accept what you say: we can vouch for it, and so call all the people, that you are a righteous man and take not one at his face value. So make it clear to the crowd that they must not go astray as regards Jesus: the whole people and all of us accept what you say. So take your stand on the Temple parapet, so that from that height you may be easily seen, and your words audible to the whole people. For because of the Passover all the tribes have forgathered, and the Gentiles too.'

So the Scribes and Pharisees made James stand on the Sanctuary parapet and shouted to him: 'Righteous One, whose word we are all obliged to accept, the people are going astray after Jesus who was crucified; so tell us what is meant by 'the door of Jesus.' He replied as loudly as he could: 'Why do you question me about the Son of Man? I tell you, He is sitting in heaven at the right hand of the Great Power, and He will come on the clouds of heaven. Many were convinced, and gloried in James's testimony, crying: 'Hosanna to the Son of David!'. Then again the Scribes and Pharisees said to each other: 'We made a bad mistake in affording such testimony to Jesus. We had better go up and throw him down, so that they will be frightened and not believe him.' 'Ho, ho!' they called out, 'even the Righteous One has gone astray!
fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah:'

Let us remove the Righteous One, for he is unprofitable to us. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their works [re: Isaiah 3.10, Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings]

So they went up and threw down the Righteous One. Then they said to each other 'Let us stone James the Righteous.' and began to stone him, as in spite of his fall he was still alive. But he turned and knelt, uttering the words: 'I beseech thee, Lord God and Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing. 'While they pelted him with stones, one of the descendants of Echab the son of Rachabim - the priestly family to which Jeremiah the Prophet bore witness, called out: 'Stop! what are you doing? The Righteous One is praying for you.' Then one of them, a fuller, took the club which he used to beat out the clothes, and brought it down on the head of the Righteous One. Such was his martyrdom. He was buried on the spot, by the Sanctuary, and his headstone is still there by the Sanctuary. He has proved a true witness to Jews and Gentiles alike that Jesus is the Christ. Immediately after this Vespasian began to besiege them [Jerusalem].

The sects which were mentioned by Hegesippus as hostile to the early Christians are:

Eusebius IV.22 ...There were various groups in the Circumcision, among the Children of Israel, all hostile to the tribe of Judah and the Christ. They were these: Essenes, Galileans, Hemerobaptists [who deny immortality of the soul], Masbotheans [who deny the immortality of the soul], Samaritans, Sadducees [who deny the immortality of the soul], and Pharisees.

The Tribe of Judah referred to is not literally the Tribe of Judah but mentioned in a rather figurative manner. They were hostile to Jesus as the Messiah and Jesus was the Son of David, Messiah, Son of Judah. Anyone hostile to Jesus, then, would be hostile to his tribe (of Christians) and, therefore, because they are hostile to Christ they are hostile to the (his) Tribe of Judah.

We recall that John and James were Zealots who resided near Bethsaida or Capernaum in Galilee. They were Galileans. John the Baptist counted them among his disciples, in addition to Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. All of these were probably Zealots, resisting the Roman government and, had their lives been delayed a hundred years, they might have fit equally well among the throng of Bar Cochba and his short-lived rebellion.

After John the Baptist was beheaded many began to follow Jesus in Galilee (re: the feeding of the five thousand on the mount). After this, the gospels said, many became disillusioned with Jesus and left. In all probability there was still a large faction of followers of John the Baptist, promoting him as their prophet and messiah. Thus, those Galilean followers of John the Baptist might have been a threat to the Gentile Church.

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