One cannot expect that the Gospels would in any outward way confirm that within a couple of years after the crucifixion mother Mary had departed with Jesus and two others on journeys that would eventually lead them to northern India and the Kashmir region! However, one can examine the clues of how Mary is treated within the Gospels, following the crucifixion, to ascertain if their treatment is consistent with her having partaken in these travels and having therefore been fully aware that her son had not died on the cross or been resurrected.

Within the Gospel of Matthew. Within Mt 28:1 one finds the peculiarity that at the tomb on the first day of the week (Easter Sunday), the two people there, besides the Roman guards, are listed as Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary." This "other" Mary is not identified explicitly as Jesus' mother other than being Mary the mother of James and Joseph mentioned 11 verses earlier. Presumably, then, she is the mother of Jesus, since in Mt 13:55 James and Joseph, in that order, are listed as being Jesus' brothers. Although there were two others named James who were disciples, and one of their mothers could conceivably have been the Mary in question, neither of those two disciples is mentioned in conjunction with a Joseph. So why did the writer of Matthew decide to leave the identity of Jesus' mother Mary somewhat ambiguous at this point in his gospel? Why would he spell out Mary Magdalene's name but refer secondarily to the "virgin" mother of Jesus merely as "the other Mary"? These two Mary's are the ones whom the "angel" instructs to relay the good news to the disciples.

In another spot within the Gospel of Matthew there is a rather peculiar omission that is rather similar -- at Mt 13:54, where the name "Nazareth" is omitted and the more ambiguous phrase "his own country" appears. In my unpublished paper on Nazareth, I explore the very strong possibility that the writer omitted "Nazareth" here as his punishment for that town having taken offense in Jesus and rejecting him. This possibility was bolstered by the likelihood that 5 verses later the name "Nazareth" was again omitted, for the same reason, and this omission caused a certain "flashback" problem connected with the story of Herod and John the Baptist that various scholars have been concerned with.

Thus there is precedence within Matthew for that writer having omitted a name when that name involved a topic that was disgraceful, and when otherwise the name should have been treated with respect or even reverence. We must keep in mind that from the present viewpoint this writer had the Talmud of Jmmanuel (TJ) in front of him while composing Matthew (this appears to be the document that Bishop Papias later referred to as the Logia). He could therefore read on to see that Jmmanuel survived the crucifixion, a while later traveled on to live incognito in Damascus for a couple years, and then sent for his mother Mary, his brother Thomas (Judas Thomas) and a disciple, when he was ready to depart the area for good. Evidently Jmmanuel felt that his mother would wish this, as arduous as the journeys would be, the implication being that (step-) father Joseph was either deceased or no longer around; or else he felt the responsibility of the oldest son for taking care of his mother. The TJ itself is completely consistent with this solution to the problem within Matthew, since comparison of the TJ with the Gospel of Matthew tells us all we need to know about that writer's editorial behavior. (For this and other reasons, in this present write-up you will see that the Gospels are discussed within what is known as the "Augustinian" framework -- of their order of appearance having been Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.) In the TJ, the Mary at the tomb is simply identified as the "mother of Jmmanuel," and as would be natural, is mentioned first with Mary Magdalene being mentioned second. And the TJ does make explicit mention of Nazareth in its text that Mt 13:54 and 14:1 parallel.

It is easy to understand the dilemma the writer of Matthew was faced with, in trying to incorporate everything he could from the TJ, or the Logia, into his gospel, while weeding out everything unacceptable or heretical. In so doing, his own feelings could not help but enter in here and there. He evidently understood the reality of what he read on the scrolls in front of him, but knew that much of it was simply unthinkable for other Christians as well as for himself. Thus he appears to have felt that mother Mary's awareness of her son having survived the crucifixion, the worst possible Christian heresy, had disgraced her and required, at the least, that her role in the empty tomb story be minimalized. Thus he avoided mentioning her explicitly by name there.

Within the Gospel of Mark. The TJ allows us to realize that the Gospel of Mark is an abbreviation of Matthew, just as the tradition stemming from the early church fathers maintains (with a certain exception discussed in my unpublished paper on Gospel priorities (see Sec. IV, Ref. No. 52). This writer, being located in Rome, had had no access to the TJ or Logia, and from the first few chapters of his gospel on needed to rely almost completely upon the Gospel of Matthew for his information. Yet in wishing his gospel not to look like any mere copy of Matthew, despite the fact that he wrote it in Greek while Matthew (at that time) was written only in Hebrew or Aramaic, he made numerous little alterations to what he extracted from Matthew, and added redundant phrases. In his crucifixion story (Mk 15:40) it was "Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome" who, along with Mary Magdalene, was looking upon the cross from afar, rather than "Mary the mother of James and Joseph." In his rendition of the empty tomb story (Mk 16:1), he continues to use these names, in identifying Mary, though omitting Joses. Evidently the writer of Mark contrived the name of the additional woman, Salome, here, and used the slightly different name Joses for Joseph. By such alterations as well as his many abbreviations, he caused his gospel to look somewhat different from Matthew. However, he would not have known about Mary's dishonor, and his alterations from Matthew's text seem not to have anything to do with it.

Within the Gospel of Luke. From the TJ one may deduce that the writer of Luke, along with the writer of John, had had some access to the TJ. Those two appear to have been whom Papias referred to in saying that "each interpreted them [the Logia] as best he could," while it was the writer of Matthew who was the document's custodian. The writer of Luke apparently felt that Mary's disgrace should be implemented further by scarcely alluding to her identity at all. At the crucifixion one can only infer that she may have been one of the women who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee (Lk 23:49). On Easter morning one again can only infer that she had been among those who supposedly took spices to the tomb (Lk 24:1). Although it is mentioned in Luke that the women who reported the empty tomb to the disciples were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James, this latter woman is now very ambiguous, since James is a common name and two disciples were named James. Thus the writer of Luke seems to have done the same thing that the writer of Matthew did, while more conclusively omitting mother Mary's identity from the women at the tomb.

Is there precedence within Luke/Acts for its writer to have avoided a topic that holds disgraceful connotations for the church? I believe there is. For example, his story of Nazareth's rejection of Jesus (Lk 4:24-29) is totally different from that in Matthew and Mark; his story is not connected with the embarrassment of Jesus' failure or inability to have performed important miracles there.

As another example, in Acts its writer loses track of Peter's whereabouts or actions about half way through (Acts 15:12), and thereafter concentrates on Paul. This is despite, or perhaps because of, the external evidence saying that Peter and (John) Mark had traveled to Rome where they possessed some written document that Peter did not urge forward. Thus Peter, with the aid of this document and Mark's linguistic abilities, was likely preaching a somewhat different gospel than did Paul, as is noted in Gal 1:6 and 2:14. So the likelihood exists that this disgraced Peter in the eyes of the writer of Luke/Acts, and caused him to omit all mention of Peter from a certain point onward. If this other gospel possessed by Peter in Rome is what may be inferred from the TJ, it would have contained parallels, in more vivid form, to the non-edited portions of Mt 8-11. It would have referred to Jmmanuel, not Jesus, and would not have treated him as a Son of God or forgiver of sins. This indeed would have opposed Paul's gospel.

It could be that the writer of Luke inserted the following verses (Lk 11:27-28) for the same reason:

As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!" But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

If Mary's role within the Gospels had not been so minimalized, it is very likely that the veneration of her, or Mariology, would have commenced sooner than in the 4th or 5th century.

Within the Gospel of John. In this writer's story of the entombment, there is only one Mary present at the tomb, namely Mary Magdalene. Mother Mary is not mentioned there at all. So this also accords with the likelihood of Mary having incurred disfavor with those who had had the opportunity to read through the TJ scrolls. However, that writer went a step further and planted a story that would account for Mary's whereabouts within the Palestinian area thereafter, at Jn 19:26-27. There, he has mother Mary, along with two other Mary's, standing besides the cross along with the soldiers (which is most improbable), so as to receive the instruction that the disciple John would be like a son who would from then on take care of her in his own home. In that manner, rumors of Jmmanuel or Jesus having survived the crucifixion and traveled afar with mother Mary and others could be scotched.

Other evidence. The many legends that report on Jesus, under different aliases, having traveled with mother Mary and a couple others through Anatolia and east to northern India and the Kashmir area are summarized in my unpublished paper on these traditions. Most of the traditions involving mother Mary were uncovered and brought forth by Muslim historians.

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