Mary of Nazareth.

Mary of Nazareth. The mother of Jesus.

This site is here for the enjoyment of believers (Christians, Moslems) and non-believers alike.

Readers will need to decide on their own about:

As an Episcopalian who honors Mary's memory, I am not bound to any special belief about her. Some of us (though a minority) even think of the annunciation (a human being consents to allow God to enter human history), the virgin birth, and the water-to-wine miracle (the beginning of Jesus's ministry) as meant allegorically.

This site touches on something which believers and non-believers are likely to enjoy discussing together. Certain references to Mary in the New Testament seem to be unquestionably historic, i.e., they do not look like stories which the early church might have invented.

Here is the evidence:

Can we put this all together? When I tried it, I was surprised.

It seems reasonable to me to think that at the time of Jesus's passion, Mary had come to Jerusalem because she realized that her son was going to his death. Her sister is with her, but there is nothing about the rest of her family, except perhaps the wife of Cleophas, who may have been Joseph's brother.

Further, why would Jesus suggest the living arrangement with John? A reasonable scenario seems to be that Jesus's siblings actually despised him for his controversial ministry (see the seldom-cited John 7:1-5 are translated in different Bibles), and this caused terrible dissension in the family, with only Mary and her unnamed sister taking Jesus's side. After Easter, it seems probable that Jesus's brother James experienced the "appearance" of the Risen Lord (I Corinthians 15:7) and had a dramatic conversion just as Saul-Paul would have a few years later. When this happened, Mary was already living with John and liked the arrangement so it continued.

The Bible says nothing more about Mary after Pentecost. Whatever else, I think there's a story here that's not been told often enough -- that of a smart, spunky, and good-hearted woman.

As we honor her memory today (August 15, 1997), let's also give thanks for something I've observed -- that when one member of a family decides to follow Jesus in a serious sort of way, the rest of the family generally joins in sooner or later.

The Lady of All Nations, Marian apparition to Ida Peerdeman. Especially interesting to Anglicans for correctly predicting the meeting of the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Rosary applet
Ed's Jesus page
Ed's Home Page

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I'm well within the wide range of belief that's common in the Episcopal church. As a matter of fact, I even believe the Nicene Creed... but that's another story. This page is not a project of the Episcopal Church, and I am not speaking for the denomination or any organization within it.