One of the ossuaries (small caskets) found in the supposedly family tomb of Jesus says:
“in Greek, Mariamne e mara — meaning ‘Mariamne, known as the master.’ ” The Jesus Tomb filmmakers say that means this is Mary Magdalene.
How come we’ve never heard this “known as the master” thing before, if it is supposedly Magdalene’s “real” name? I’ll admit it’s fascinating since we believe our Magdalene was a teacher of wisdom. However, Jesus was known as “the master.” So what the heck are these filmmakers trying to prove or trying to debunk? Are they saying Jesus wasn’t even the teacher, but Magdalene was the master?
I think this is not Jesus’ family tomb and fraudsters are enjoying trying to foist it on us.
They say in Aramaic “mara” means “master.” Yet the inscription is written in Greek, “Mariamene e Mara.”
Why wasn’t Magdalene put on the box if it was put into so many gospels, canonical and gnostic written around the same time period as the ossuary?
Here’s the excerpt I am referring to above:
The two provocative works suggest that ossuaries once containing the bones of Jesus of Nazareth and his family are now stored in a warehouse belonging to the Israel Antiquity Authority in Bet Shemesh, outside Jerusalem.
Although the evidence contained in the film and book is hardly definitive, it is compelling. Inscribed in Hebrew, Latin or Greek, six boxes — taken from a 2,000-year-old cave discovered in March, 1980, during excavation for a housing project in Talpiyot, south of Jerusalem — bear the names: Yeshua (Jesus) bar Yosef (son of Joseph); Maria (the Latin version of Miriam, which is the English Mary); Matia (the Hebrew equivalent of Matthew, a name common in the lineage of both Mary and Joseph); Yose; (the Gospel of Mark refers to Yose as a brother of Jesus); Yehuda bar Yeshua, or Judah, son of Jesus; and in Greek, Mariamne e mara — meaning ‘Mariamne, known as the master.’
According to Harvard professor Francois Bovon, interviewed in the film, Mariamne was Mary Magdalene’s real name.
The bones once contained in the boxes have long since been reburied, according to Jewish custom — in unmarked graves in Israel.
If the evidence adduced is correct, the bone boxes — and microscopic remains of DNA still contained inside — would constitute the first archaeological evidence of the existence of the Christian saviour and his family.
Tests on mitochondrial DNA obtained from the Jesus and Mariamne boxes and conducted at Lakehead University’s Paleo-DNA laboratory, in Thunder Bay, Ont., show conclusively that the two individuals were not maternally related. According to Dr. Carney Matheson, the lab’s head, this likely means they were related by marriage.
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Buried there in this supposedly family tomb of Jesus was a Matia / Matthew. Matthew was a disciple, never listed as a brother, but since he is buried in this family tomb they now claim he was a family member. They are stretching to make things fit.
Furthermore, Judah / Yehuda is inscribed on another casket as bar Yeshua meaning son of Joshua (Jesus). But the Bible says Jesus had a *brother* named Jude, not a son named Judah (Matt. 13:55.) We have here alot of common names: Joshua, Mary, Judah and an extra Matia dude, while Joseph and James are missing and the Judah is a son of the Joshua person. How can we know it was the family of Jesus of Nazareth/Galilee? If they had said something like “known as the messiah”(!), or itinerate preacher and healer, or mentioned Joseph of Arimethea whose tomb it supposedly was, maybe we might think it was the family we’re talkin’ about.
Oh, and unlike another article claims (see my blog http://northernway.org/weblog/?p=18 ) the inscription on the Joshua’s casket doesn’t read Jesus son of Mary, son of Joseph but just Jesus/Joshua son of Joseph. There is a Maria also present in this family tomb. They found out Jesus and the one they think is Magdalene are not maternally related but did they find out the Maria one IS maternally related to the Joshua bar Yosef one? Seems too convenient that the bones found in the caskets are long since re-buried so we’ve only got microscopic DNA samples. Convenient.
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Here’s another article about the Mariamene e mara inscription:
From the site for the Jesus Tomb film:
Mariamene e Mara
Ossuary 80/500: “Mariamene e Mara” – “Mariamne, also called Master”
The ossuary of a Jewish woman who moved in Greek circles.
The ossuary of an elite, a “Mara,” a “Master.”
The “Mara” added at the end of her name, in Aramaic, means “Master”
or “teacher.” It is usually a masculine term, but then, Mariamne was
performing duties usually restricted to men on the authority of Jesus.
Mary Magdalene was likely a woman of means, helping to fund Jesus and
his ministry. The Gospels tell us that the Magdalene, as she is
known, went with Jesus on his fateful journey to Jerusalem, where she
witnessed the Crucifixion. She was the first of the disciples to
discover the empty tomb of Jesus as well as the first to see the
Risen Jesus. She has been called “the apostle of the apostles”
because she was the one to bring the news to the rest of the
To the Greek Orthodoxy, Mary is a Saint, the Holy Myrrh-Bearer and
From such non-canonical Gnostic texts such as The Pistis Sophia and
The Gospel of Philip, we glean that Mariamne/Magdalene was sister to
Philip (one of the twelve original apostles) and Martha; that Jesus
called her “chosen among women”; that she performed miracles and
And that she died at the Jordan River, “near Jerusalem,” not in
France or Ephesus as later tradition suggests.
Mariamne, Mary Magdalene, was indeed a Mara.
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The last line is true, and makes me want to believe it, but it just doesn’t “click” that this is our Magdalene. Some have suggested she could’ve gone to France as the legends all say and then been returned to the family tomb after her death. But she wasn’t a Jerusalemite. Magdalene might be from Bethany if she’s also Mary of Bethany, which I believe she is. Or she might be from Galilee, all the way in the North of Israel, far from Jerusalem. Mary of Jerusalem, the woman in whose upper room the Passover Last Supper took place, might have been called “a master.” Her son was Mark, a little boy at the time of the Resurrection who grew up, went to Rome to be with Peter and legend has it, wrote the oldest of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Mark.
And I wonder if Jesus’ own mother, as an incarnation of Sophia could have been called “Master”. Then the other Mary buried in the Talpiot tomb could be Mary Salome, Jesus’ aunt, or as I suspect, we have the wrong family altogether.
Too many Marys!