It is wonderful:
Significant too is Mary the Magdalene (Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή). The word Μαγδαληνή comes from the Hebrew word מגדל, “tower,” and the derivative Aramaic epithet מגדלאה or מגדליא, “of Magdala.” Magdala was “Towertown,” and the foundations of the ancient structure are visible today. As we shall see, Mark related Mary to this city to notify his cleverer readers that she was an emulation of Homer’s Andromache.
This assessment finds confirmation by comparing what Mark says about Mary with Homer’s Andromache. According to Il. 22, three women watched Achilles dragging Hector’s body behind his chariot: his mother Hecuba, is sister-in-law Helen, and his wife Andromache. Three women watch Jesus’ death: Mary the mother of James and Joses (significantly, she shares her name with Jesus’ mother, and her sons share names with two of Jesus’ brothers!), Salome, and Mary Magdalene (who also shares her name with Jesus’ mother). As we have seen, Joseph of Arimathea shares his name with the traditional name of Jesus’ father. By means of these names Mark illustrates Jesus’ statement that his true family are those who do his will (see 3:31-35).
It was not Simon Peter who carried Jesus’ cross, as he had sworn (Mark 14:31), but Simon of Cyrene. It was not James and John who died at his right and left, as they had promised in 10:37-39, but two bandits. It will not be Joseph of Nazareth who buries him but Joseph of Arimathea. Mark’s penchant for creating characters to contrast with Jesus’ family and closest disciples applies also to the names of the women at the tomb. One might have expected Jesus’ mother, Mary of Nazareth, to have attended to the body and tomb of her son; instead, it was two other women named Mary and a Salome.
My first reaction, by reading these words of MacDonald about Magdala etc, is the same of pharisees in Luke 22:71:
Then they said, "Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips."
Unfortunately, MacDonald makes only partially a point: he would like to explain why the father of Jesus is mentioned in Mark but he cannot explain it entirely
, because the name 'Joseph' is not mentioned explicitly in Mark 6:3 :
Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
Therefore, it is not proved that :
It will not be Joseph of Nazareth who buries him but Joseph of Arimathea.
Since the character ''Joseph of Nazareth'' is absent in Mark.
But in order to make his point, MacDonald requires his presence already assumed