Mother Mary had a sister?


#1

I've never quite noticed this before, so I wanted to make sure I wasn't reading this wrong, but Mother Mary had a sister?

John 19:25 But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

What's the tradition behind her? Is anything else known?


#2

remember that they did not have a word for cousin in Aramaic any close relative was called “brother / syster”


#3

[quote="JerryZ, post:2, topic:338334"]
remember that they did not have a word for cousin in Aramaic any close relative was called "brother / syster"

[/quote]

That explains why they're both called Mary. What parents would do that?


#4

[quote="seagal, post:3, topic:338334"]
That explains why they're both called Mary. What parents would do that?

[/quote]

George Foreman. :D He's the only one I know of......


#5

But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

Four women were there:

1 - Jesus' mother
2 - His mother's sister
3 - Mary the wife of Clopas
4 - Mary Magdalene


#6

Here is a link I found on EWTN which takes a stab at this. I agree with the article that it seems very unlikely that this “sister” Mary is a biological sister because of the name issue. The truth is we just don’t know, but we do know that in ancient times it was common to use the name sister or brother for other close relatives. As I’m sure you are aware, Lot is technically Abraham’s nephew, but is called his brother in a passage in Genesis.

Keep in mind that the linked article is speculative but does have a couple of ancient traditions supporting its supposition. I had to laugh when I was researching this and a modern interpreter said that this sister Mary is really the Virgin Mary and that Clopas was her second husband. The text does not support this at all— but it just goes to show you how people can twist up the Scripture.


#7

[quote="seagal, post:3, topic:338334"]
That explains why they're both called Mary. What parents would do that?

[/quote]

It's quite common in French people that the first legal name of every child is either Mary or Joseph, however they usually use thier second name.


#8

[quote="Bonnie, post:5, topic:338334"]
Four women were there:

1 - Jesus' mother
2 - His mother's sister
3 - Mary the wife of Clopas
4 - Mary Magdalene

[/quote]

No, it would seem that there are three; the Greek uses the word "and" (καὶ) to separate them: "his mother AND the sister of his mother, Mary (wife) of Cleopas AND Mary the Magdalene."


#9

[quote="Bonnie, post:5, topic:338334"]
Four women were there:

1 - Jesus' mother
2 - His mother's sister
3 - Mary the wife of Clopas
4 - Mary Magdalene

[/quote]

I think what is referred to as His mother's sister is Mary the wife of Cleophas.

I think this mother's sister is a cousin, as I believe...that one of the apostles is the son of Mary, wife of Cleopas.


#10

Three Marys.

‘His mother’s sister, wife of Cleopas’ is one person

This Mary is a cousin or sister in-law of BVM.


#11

Whether one thinks there are 3 women or 4 depends on what commentary one reads and how one punctuates the sentence.


#12

[quote="Bonnie, post:11, topic:338334"]
Whether one thinks there are 3 women or 4 depends on what commentary one reads and how one punctuates the sentence.

[/quote]

It is indeed debated but one must wonder why if you interpret as four the other three are named? It doesn't make sense that the others were named and that the one wasn't.

Since there was no original punctuation, other clues should be considered like what was posted earlier.

Gorgias

No, it would seem that there are three; the Greek uses the word "and" (καὶ) to separate them: "his mother AND the sister of his mother, Mary (wife) of Cleopas AND Mary the Magdalene."

No punctuation but words that serve the same purpose.


#13

The general consensus is that that verse means there were three women.

“his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas” is one person. The debate and what is not agreed upon is if Mary of Cleophas is an actual sister of Mary, Mother of Jesus, or sister-in-law, or cousin.


#14

Thank you for pointing this out.


#15

From the Douay-Rheims and the Latin Vulgate:

John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.

Latin Vulgate

stabant autem iuxta crucem Iesu mater eius et soror matris eius Maria Cleopae et Maria Magdalene

Hopefully, this is broken down correctly:

Iesu mater eius "Jesus' mother" (lit: Jesus mother His)

et soror matris eius Maria Cleopae "and sister (of) mother His Mary (of) Cleopas"

et Maria Magdalene "and Mary Magdalene"

At least,, this is how it appeared in the late 300s to Saint Jerome. Many translations into English need further explanation, due to the often confusing nature of the English language.


#16

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