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Ossuary Of Mariamænou/Mara ( ha-Mi•gᵊdâl•it)

(Anglicized To "Mary Magdalene")
Mariamaenou-Mara Ossuary (front)
Click to enlargeMariamaenou-Mara ( ha-Mi•gᵊdâl•it) Name-Inscribed Ossuary (front)

This ossuary and that of Yᵊhud•âh Bar Yᵊshua were the only two (of nine) remaining ossuaries from the Talpiot Tomb complex that were catalogued by Ra•khᵊm•âni as decorated. Because this, along with the ossuary of Yᵊshua Bar Yᵊho•seiph, were the only two ossuaries from the Talpiot tombs that the IAA (Gath? Zias? Kloner?) had not vacuumed out, these were the only two that could be examined for DNA.

The enhanced inscription is color-coded to distinguish each letter from adjoining letters. Where lines deteriorate to barely visible traces or is indistinguishable, but there is reasonable consensus on the letter, the path is marked in yellow. In the case of two unconnected upright lines where there is reasonable agreement that the letter is a Greek η, it is marked in hot pink. Where there is nearly unanimous agreement that a mark is a naturally caused marring and not a letter, but one might expect to find a Greek ι, the mark is designated in dark blue with the possible, but indistinguishable, remainder of the letter in yellow. The controversial part is shown in aqua.

Mariamaenou-Mara Ossuary (back)
Click to enlargeMariamaenou-Mara ( ha-Mi•gᵊdâl•it) Ossuary Name Inscription (back) 

Lei•wi Yi•tzᵊkhâq Ra•khᵊm•âni and Leah Di Segni, both being authoritative and vastly superior epigraphers, unlike Prof. Stephen Pfann, Ra•khᵊm•âni's original assessment stands:

"Μαριαμηνου: Here the name is the genitive of Μαριαμηνον, a diminutive of Μαριαμηνη (cf. Schwabe and Lifshiz 1974: No. 8), one of the many [variant Hellenizations] of the name Μαριαμ / Μαριαμη. The present variant was further contracted to Μαριαμνη, which was explicitly equated with Μαριαμη (No. 108:Inscr. C). See also Bagatti and Milik 1958:77-79, No. 7."


ha-Mi•gᵊdâl•itRibi Yᵊho•shua's Wife???

The Greek inscription itself may illuminate both the times and the woman within. Several factors that Christians have ignored and denied for centuries combine to suggest that Ribi Yᵊho•shua was intimate—obscenely "immodest" by ancient Middle East and his own Pᵊrush•i Ribi moral standards unless he was married to the woman—with ha-Mi•gᵊdâl•it.

Gospel of PhilipOlder Than Christian Διαθηκη Καινη (NT)

The Gospel of Philip (GPh), a 3rd-century Gnostic work that follows the Hebrew Ma•titᵊyâhu tradition more closely than any other states that ha-Mi•gᵊdâl•it was the κοινωνος and that Ribi Yᵊho•shua often kissed her on the mouth. Those who deny that this describes a wife are clueless that [1] this would have been unspeakably obscene for an unmarried couple; and [2] there was no word for "wife"—in Hebrew or Διαθηκη Καινη (NT) Greek! "His woman," in Hebrew or Greek, absolutely meant "his wife." (That's still true in Hebrew today. is the term roughly translated as "my wife.") There existed no further elaboration of the matter. Κοινωνος describes an unusually close, even more intimate, marital relationship!

Christians contradict themselves arguing that GPh isn't authoritative because it is a 3rd-century work—not realizing that the earliest complete mss. of their Διαθηκη Καινη (NT) is about a century after that—4th century (with only a few fragments of papyri dating into the 2nd century C.E.)! By their reasoning, GPh is, therefore, more authoritative than Διαθηκη Καινη (NT) and its canonized "Gospels."

Christian Circular Reasoning vs Hebrew & Aramaic Judaic Scriptures
Hellenist-Christian sources corroborate Hellenist-Christian doctrines.Doh!

Further, Christians have ignored the preponderance of (non-Hellenist) Judaic (Hebrew & Aramaic) literature, relying solely – petitio principii (circular reasoning) – on Hellenist-Christian (Greek, Latin and Aramaic translated from Greek) sources to "explain" anomalies. It's no surprise that Hellenist-Christian sources corroborate Hellenist-Christian doctrines.

Rare Case Of Silence = Proof
If Ribi Yᵊho•shua Had Been Celibate, It Would Have Been Noted And Strongly Criticized

The sobering truth is found, inter alia, in the Encyclopedia Judaica: "The deliberate renunciation of marriage is all but completely alien to Judaism. Scarcely any references to celibates are to be found in the Bible or in the Ta•lᵊmud… Celibacy among Jews was a strictly sectarian practice; Ιώσηπος ascribes it to some of the Essenes. Equally exceptional is the one solitary case of the [2nd-century C.E.] Talmudist [Shim•on Bën-Az•ai]…" His celibacy, in fact, was so exceptional that it merited criticism, which he had to answer. His example demonstrates a number of things. Despite the title being occasionally mistakenly ascribed to him, he was never ordained a rabbi. He was always considered a disciple, never a rabbi or "sage"—since one has to become an adult to be ordained as a rabbi and, in the Judaic community, marriage was an intrinsic element of adulthood. Thus, the ruling principle that one could not be a rabbi without being married is not contradicted by the example of Shim•on Bën-Az•ai.

Further, Shim•on Bën-Az•ai not only lived after the destruction of the Beit ha-Mi•qᵊdâsh and, therefore, could never have qualified as a Ribi like Ribi Yᵊho•shua, Shim•on Bën-Az•ai was a "disciple-colleague" of Rabbi A•qi—following Bar-Kōkh as a false mâ•shiakh.

Moreover, according to Ta•lᵊmud ( Ma•sëkët Kha•gig•âh 14b), he strayed into mysticism in later life. No serious person would cite Shim•on Bën-Az•ai as an anachronistic paradigm for a Ribi not marrying.

Beyond all that, the example of Shim•on Bën-Az•ai demonstrates that, if Ribi Yᵊho•shua hadn't married he would have been castigated for it by his enemies and would have been required to answer the charges just as Shim•on Bën-Az•ai—later—had to do.

The only Biblical figure to have been celibate was Yi•rᵊmᵊyâhu—and that because he was explicitly commanded by ‑‑, due to exceptional circumstances of an impending exile, not to take a wife! (There would be no exile until more than a century after the death of Ribi Yᵊho•shua.) Further, without such an explicit Biblical command, there can be no justification for breaching the Ha•lâkh•âh and remaining celibate. Other Biblical figures are speculated to be celibate only in the minds of Christians. Arguments that Mosh•ëh was celibate, relying on a Hellenist Jew in the Egyptian Diaspora contradicting the Bible, are simply foolish. Labeling a Christian (Geza Vermes), baptized a Roman Catholic at age 7 who became a priest, a "Jewish scholar" because his parents were Jews killed in the Holocaust is contra-Biblical (see, inter alia, Ei•sau).

In a similar vein, Christians argue (with no supporting documentation) that most 1-century Jews didn't obey Ha•lâkh•âh. The fact is that the Dead Sea Scroll (4Q) MMT describes the entire Jewish community as holding the Oral Law to be the core of the community; central to everything in their lives. Christians are ignorant of Judaism. They have no clue that each of the major three sects had their own version of Oral Law—which they kept meticulously! Ha•lâkh•âh, by contrast, was only the Oral Law of the Pᵊrush•im; not of the Hellenist Tzᵊdoq•im in the Beit ha-Mi•qᵊdâsh nor the Tzᵊdoq•im of Qum•rân. So, it's true that ⅔ of the 1st-century Jewish sects did not obey Ha•lâkh•âh (the Pᵊrush•im version of Oral Law)—but they DID obey their own versions of Oral Law. The critical point here is that Ribi Yᵊho•shua belonged to which sect??? Pᵊrush•im!!! He not only DID obey Ha•lâkh•âh, he taught it!!! These same clueless Christians, quoting their "authorities" who don't know Judaism from Hellenism (literally – it's identical to Christianity!) then presume to teach their followers all about "rabbinic decrees." When the blind lead the blind…

Ency. Jud. continues, "The norm of Jewish law, thought, and life is represented rather by the opening clause in the matrimonial code of the Shu•lᵊkh•ân •rukh: 'Every man is obliged to marry in order to fulfill the duty of procreation, and whoever is not engaged in propagating the race is as if he shed blood, diminishing the Divine image and causing His Presence to depart from Israel.' The law even provides for the courts to compel a man to marry if he is still single after passing the age of 20" (although this has not been enforced since the late Middle Ages).

"The Jewish opposition to celibacy is founded firstly on the positive precept to 'be fruitful and multiply' as a cardinal duty…" In other words, marriage is a mi•tzᵊwâh. If Ribi Yᵊho•shua hadn't married then he had not kept . Christians under the erroneous impression that their "Christ" was perfect should reexamine the implications of its celibacy!

Beyond that, "Secondly, celibacy is incompatible with the Jewish scheme of creation in which a man is regarded as half a human being, unless he be married, and in which 'he who is without a wife lives without joy, without blessing… without peace,' based on [bᵊ-Reish•it] 5.2). Thirdly, far from regarding celibacy as a means to the attainment of holiness, Judaism views it as an impediment to personal sanctification. This is strikingly illustrated by the rabbinic use of the term [Qi•dush•in] for marriage and by the insistence that the Ko•hein ha-Jâ•dol be married (wa-Yi•qᵊr•â 21.13), especially at the time when he officiates in the [Qodësh ha-Qâdâsh•im] on the holiest day of the year (Ma•sëkët Yom•â 1.1, based on wa-Yi•qᵊr•â 16.6, 11, and 17). For similar reasons, unmarried people are also debarred from holding certain public and religious offices, notably as judges in capital cases ( Ma•sëkët Συνέδριον 36b) and as synagogue readers (Sof. 14.17; cf. OH 53.9)" (Ency. Jud., ibid.).

Christians are quick point to the only, apparently-Hellenist, Egyptian Diaspora sect of Θεραπευταί (thought to have spun-off from the Essenes) as "one sect among [a non-existent] many" serving as an example of Jewish celibates; not realizing that the Essenes were Tzᵊdoq•im at significant variance with Pᵊrush•im in matters of Oral Law (see links). Ribi Yᵊho•shua was recognized, in Διαθηκη Καινη (NT), as a Ribi! Ribi? Pᵊrush•i? H-e-l-l-o-o. Uh excuse me, H-e-l-l-o-o The example of the Essenes being celibates is like the example of Shim•on Bën-Az•ai being a celibate—an excellent corroboration that Ribi Yᵊho•shua, a Pᵊrush•i, because celibacy was not included among his exceptional teachings, was married—according to Ha•lâkh•âh.

ha-Mi•gᵊdâl•it Listed Ahead of His Mother, Mirᵊyâm Bat Eil•i Bën-Dâ•wid

The Nᵊtzârim Reconstruction of Hebrew Matitᵊyâhu (NHM, in English) lists her ahead of his own mother at occasions where only a wife and mother would be: at his execution by the Romans, at his interment and checking, after 3 days, to verify that he was dead. Indeed, ha-Mi•gᵊdâl•it is always listed ahead of his own mother with the glaring single exception of a description that is a patently impossible Hellenist redaction: "St. John" claiming that Ribi Yᵊho•shua, at his execution, awarded "St. John" – not even of Beit-Dâ•wid!!! – custodianship of Beit-Dâ•wid when, in fact, Pâ•qid Ya•a•qov "ha-Tza•diq" Bën-Dâ•wid and his brother, not "St. John", became responsible for their mother upon the death of Ribi Yᵊho•shua (cf. "Jn." 19.25-27). In Judaism, only a wife could take precedence over his own mother at these times of tragedy.

The notion that Yō•khâ•nân 'ha-Ma•tᵊbil' Bën-Zᵊkhar•yâh Bën-Tzâ•dōq ha-Kō•hein was unmarried is contrary to all expectations, without any credible evidence or support and simply wrong.

Hellenist (anti-) Παύλος, whose writings are cited as insinuating celibacy – and who was excised by the Nᵊtzâr•im Beit Din as an apostate is a powerful argument why -teaching Ribi Yᵊho•shua was married!

Accounts of "Mary" anointing Ribi Yᵊho•shua, both before and after his execution, unless she were his wife, would have been obscene, way beyond the pale of transgression Ha•lâkh•âh regarding modesty.

This, in turn, raises the suggestion that the enigmatic Μαρα (perhaps related to the Aramaic ) inscribed after Μαριαμηνου on her ossuary, may be the 1-century designation, comparable to the modern European-Yiddish "rebbetzin," i.e., "Ribi's wife"!!!

Some scholars have speculated that a couple of these "Marys" (in addition to the mother) may be the same woman, a conflation. They may be right in some respect(s). One might then wonder if these apparently-two women could be a later conflation by later, confused, gentile Hellenist Roman (Christian) redactors. A conflation would resolve the serious conundrum of how Ribi Yᵊho•shua, a Ribi Pᵊrush•i, could appear so "immodest"—obscene, in 1st-century Judaic community terms—as gentile Christian Roman redactors confused, centuries later, wife-Mirᵊyâm with family friend Mirᵊyâm, painting both as "affectionate Mirᵊyâms" (one eventually even being described by the Christian Church as a whore). Such scenes would only be appropriate for a wife.

Yet, the evidence militates against a "single Mirᵊyâm theory" in addition to his mother (there being two distinct ossuaries containing remains of the two different women, in addition to his mother's ossuary). On the other hand, later confused gentile Hellenist (Christian) Roman redactors may well have confused which of the women was referred to in a given setting. To the consternation of Christians who maintain that these are two different women, other than his mother, and both exchanged "affections" with him in these intimate scenes, such intimacy with two women other than his mother would imply that Ribi Yᵊho•shua was a polygynist, married to two women—which is entirely compatible with Biblical !

The mi•tzᵊwâh is to be fruitful and multiply. It is practically certain, therefore, that Ribi Yᵊho•shua and ha-Mi•gᵊdâl•it had children. There is every reason to expect that there exist genetically-authentic descendants of Ribi Yᵊho•shua and ha-Mi•gᵊdâl•it, just as there is every reason to expect that there exist genetically-authentic descendants of non-Hellenist ko•han•im. However, they would be within the Jewish, not gentile or Christian, communities. Further, there would be no way to identify them. The silly scenario presented in the Da Vinci Code is sheer fantasy. Moreover, tradition is no substitute for the Biblically-ordained, and long-extinct, yo•khas•in (see Nᵊkhëm•yâh 7.63). Today, in the physical domain, there are only ordinary Jews.

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