GMark's "James the Less" and Matthean Posteriority

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Re: GMark's "James the Less" and Matthean Posteriority

Post by gryan »

perseusomega9 wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:21 am
IIUC, you're saying the men from James who spied out Paul's Christians freedom happened in Jerusalem? If so can you point me to sources that propose this.

If so, this explains the complaint that Paul took Gentiles into the Temple, even though those events have been separated in Acts
Re: "can you point me to sources that propose this."

The main influence is a textual variant proposed by Carlson. I have taken the variant to what I consider its logical conclusion.

"The most historically significant difference between this study’s critical text and the
text of the Nestle-Aland edition is the change of a single letter at Gal 2:12. Rather than stating
“when they came” (ἦλθον), referring to some people from James, the best attested reading
states, “when he came” (ἦλθεν), referring to Cephas. Yet this tiny difference in the text results
in a markedly different understanding of the Antioch incident. With the reading of the NestleAland text, on the one hand, Cephas came to Antioch, ate with the local gentiles, but then was
intimidated into changing his mind. With this study’s critical text, on the other hand, Cephas
came to Antioch with no intention of eating with the gentiles, and this is what Paul objected to." ... _11426.pdf

Your response is much appreciated.
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Re: GMark's "James the Less" and Matthean Posteriority

Post by gryan »

Two Jameses implies two Marys

Mark 15:40
And there were also women looking on from afar off, among whom also were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome,

Mark 16:1
And the Sabbath having passed, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that having come, they might anoint Him.

If, as I have argued above, these are two different Jameses, "James the Less" (who was not one of the 12 apostles) and "James son of Alphaeus" (who was one of the 12 apostles), then of course these are also two different Marys.

This scenario of two Marys is supported by GJohn 19:25-27,

25Now His mother,[Mary] and the sister of His mother [Mary], Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene, had been standing by the cross of Jesus. 26Therefore Jesus, having seen His mother [Mary] and the disciple whom He loved standing by, says to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” 27Then He says to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her to the own.

Who was the "Clopas" in the phrase "Mary the wife of Clopas"?

Κλωπᾶς, Κλωπᾶ (B 20 (18); Winer's Grammar, § 8, 1), 6 (חָלְפָּא; apparently identical with Alphaeus, see Ἁλφαῖος, 2 (cf. Heinichen's note on Eusebius, h. e. 3, 11, 2)), Clopas (Vulg. (Cleopas and) Cleophas), the father of the apostle James the less, and husband of Mary the sister of the mother of Jesus: John 19:25 (ἡ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ namely, γυνή (cf. Winer's Grammar, 131 (125) note)).

The etymology is right, but the image of "James the Less" is wrong, according to my reconstruction.

This lexicon correctly supports my rereading of GMark inasmuch as the "James" in the mention of "Mary the mother of James" at the empty tomb was one of the 12 apostles, James son of Alphaeus.

But, this lexicon mistakenly identifies this "James son of Alphaeus" with "the apostle James the Less." How wrong, on two levels! As I have demonstrated earlier in this thread, "James the Less" was 1) not an apostle in the sense of being one of the 12, and was 2) not the son of Alphaeus. He was much "less" important than the lexicon suggests.

This mistaken identification of "James the Less" with "James son of Alphaeus" goes back to Jerome who, in arguing for the perpetual virginity of Mary, could not imagine the real story-- "James the Less" was a same womb brother of Jesus. As a logical consequence, it followed that Jerome misread the two Jameses of Galatians. Jerome was following the prior misreading of Hegesippus, who had made "James, the Lord's brother" into an "esteemed pillar."


The "Mary the mother of James" mentioned in Mark 16:40 was "Mary" the wife of Alphaeus aka, Clopas. GJohn not only supports my interpretation of GMark, and also adds that "Mary" the mother of Jesus was a sister to this other "Mary." And so also, Jesus' same-womb brother, "James the Less," was a cousin of "James, son of Alphaeus." (Cf. "James" the "pillar" of Gal 2--i.e. the "James" who, according to Acts 15, spoke against the burdensome requirement of circumcision of Gentile converts--was the cousin of "James, the Lord's brother"/"James the Less"). This is supported by Jerome's exegesis-based "history" inasmuch as James the "pillar" of Gal 2 is understood by him to be an apostle from the original 12, "James son of Alphaeus."
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Re: GMark's "James the Less" and Matthean Posteriority

Post by gryan »

Re: GJohn 19:25, given that it is improbable that Mary had a sister named Mary, the preferred translation is like this:

"Near the cross of Jesus stood
His mother and her sister, as well as Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene." (Borean Study Bible)

A. ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ καὶ B. ἡ ἀδελφὴ τῆς μητρὸς αὐτοῦ, A. Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Κλωπᾶ καὶ B. Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνή.

The pattern is A and B, comma A and B.

That way, Jesus' mother's sister is unnamed, and "Mary the wife of Clopas" is not presumed to be a "sister."

So also, James son of Clopas=Alphaeus, and James the brother of Jesus are not cousins.

This intertextuality assumes that GJohn had read, or would have read, the Marys of GMark as I have done:
Mark 15:47, Μαρία ἡ Ἰωσῆτος (Mary of Joses), refers to the birth-mother of Jesus, and "James the Less," and Mark 16:1, Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου (lit. Mary of the James) refers to the mother of a relatively greater James, James son of Alphaeus (aka Clopas).

I know of no scholarly support for this, IMHO, very logical reading of the Marys and Jameses of GMark-GJohn. The disconnect goes back to Galatians, since no scholars see two Jameses in Gal, )James the brother of the Lord of Gal 1:19, was the same-womb brother of Jesus, "James the Less"--not one of the 12-- and 2) James the "esteemed pillar" of Gal 2:9 was James son of Alphaeus, one of the 12 apostles as the greater James.

My two Jameses rereading of Galatians creates a intertextual picture Gal-Mark-Luke-Acts-John that comes together with a surprisingly logical fit.
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