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mikbone

Mary’s age

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12 minutes ago, Traveler said:

What does this have to do with the age of Mary when she was called to service.  Historical evidence point to Mary being very young.  Not just in text but tradition of her outliving Joseph by many decades.  Are you offended if Mary was 12?  Have you read the gospel of Mary?

 

The Traveler

I don't care what age Mary is.  I was simply answering your question on why the Gospel of Mary may not be of substance even as it was circulated among early Christians.  Joseph Smith didn't think it was of substance either, at least not enough to include the book in Scripture.

Edited by anatess2

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12 minutes ago, Traveler said:

What does this have to do with the age of Mary when she was called to service.  Historical evidence point to Mary being very young.  Not just in text but tradition of her outliving Joseph by many decades.  Are you offended if Mary was 12?  Have you read the gospel of Mary?

The scriptural record certainly suggests that Mary was a young woman, and I agree that historically, a teenager seems more likely than a twenty-something.

But as for Mary "outliving Joseph by many decades", I'm utterly unconvinced. It might be so, but such tradition follows the Catholic idea of Mary's "perpetual virginity", a thing I do not believe. We can be reasonably sure that Joseph died before Jesus, else why would Jesus (as Mary's oldest son) have taken special care to see to Mary's well-being, assigning John as her caretaker? If Joseph were alive then, he, not Jesus, would have had primary responsibility for Mary. But when did Joseph die? When Jesus was thirteen, or the year before Jesus was crucified? And when did Mary die? The year after Jesus, or forty years later? We have no record of either event. It's all speculation.

For myself, if Mary were twelve when she was pregnant with Jesus, that's fine. But I am not comfortable with thinking about a child (as I envision a twelve-year-old girl to be) being called of God to carry his Son. But far be it from me to tell God what he should have done.

As for the so-called Gospel of Mary, it's fragmentary (incomplete), and I have no real reason to suppose it's authentic.

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6 minutes ago, Vort said:

As for the so-called Gospel of Mary, it's fragmentary (incomplete), and I have no real reason to suppose it's authentic.

Correct. No legitimate scholar takes it seriously.

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4 hours ago, Traveler said:

I would point out that an ancient text called The Gospel of Mary" does give her age and the copies of this text that remain are older than the Luke text.  It also gives background to Joseph.  There are copies of this text that were written while (according to tradition) Mary will still alive and living near Ephesus. 

Where does the Gospel According to Mary say this?    The entire thing (as far has been found) is very short and I see nothing mentioning the above.   

Quote

Have you read the gospel of Mary?

Here's the whole thing if anyone wants to read it.  It's only a few short chapters long:

http://gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm
 

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On 12/2/2019 at 8:31 AM, Fether said:

Mary’s age wasn’t nearly as big of a deal as how they portrayed the windows. Everyone knows windows traditionally say 6-12” higher in that time period. And don’t get me started on one of the early Gallic weaved baskets I’m the background that somehow found it’s way into BC Jerusalem. And of course the breed of donkey they used would lot be found in that part of the Middle East... man... talk about mis portraying what really happened.

It is quite common for finished baskets to be pulled back in time, just like socks in the dryer.

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On 12/2/2019 at 9:31 AM, Fether said:

Mary’s age wasn’t nearly as big of a deal as how they portrayed the windows. Everyone knows windows traditionally say 6-12” higher in that time period. And don’t get me started on one of the early Gallic weaved baskets I’m the background that somehow found it’s way into BC Jerusalem. And of course the breed of donkey they used would lot be found in that part of the Middle East... man... talk about mis portraying what really happened.

😄 Amen, brother!

I really have to wonder why some people get so worked up by a simply video.  "Looking beyond the mark" a bit, I guess.  People need to realize that the purpose of such videos is to remind us of Christ. It has as much to do with Mary's age as the breed of donkey that was present.

It's a lot like people complaining about portraits of Christ not looking like present-day Jews.  News flash!  Today's Jews don't look like Jews from Ancient Israel.  Too much intermarrying over the last 2000 years.  We have no idea what they looked like -- just like we have no idea how old Mary was at the time. 

All we know is when most girls were married back then.  And that varied a bit.  These other texts that have been mentioned all have questionable origins.  Could they be true? Sure.  But they could just as easily be false.  And to raise a fuss over a video just because it didn't line up with questionable facts makes about as much sense as the impeachment hearings.

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It's time to face it: The church in meridian times is not transparent. The official narrative says nothing about Mary's age. The church literally buries any other sources that state her age. The source that traveler cites has entire chapters missing! The meridian church has whitewashed its history!

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20 hours ago, anatess2 said:

I don't care what age Mary is.  I was simply answering your question on why the Gospel of Mary may not be of substance even as it was circulated among early Christians.  Joseph Smith didn't think it was of substance either, at least not enough to include the book in Scripture.

We are instructed to seek "learning" from the best books.  Historical accuracy is not the reason for including sacred documents in scripture.  Even today we are encouraged to write family histories to be preserved for generations that follow us but not specifically to become scripture.  If we are doing personal research into history (which is or should be included in the commandments to seek learning from the best books) we ought to be aware of as much as possible - that which has been preserved.  Through the gift of the Holy Ghost we ought to be tutored in the truth (or lack of it) in our efforts of study - be it religious, scientific, historic, political or even entertainment.  

I do not know if Joseph Smith ever read the gospel of Mary - I am inclined to think it was not available to him in his circumstance.  I personally find the gospel of Mary enlightening especially in light of questions about feminism in our modern culture.  I have speculated that a primary reason, that as the Dark Ages were approaching,  that the spiritual role of women in the growing religious culture was being diminished as an element of the Great Apostasy. 

 

The Traveler

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20 hours ago, Vort said:

The scriptural record certainly suggests that Mary was a young woman, and I agree that historically, a teenager seems more likely than a twenty-something.

But as for Mary "outliving Joseph by many decades", I'm utterly unconvinced. It might be so, but such tradition follows the Catholic idea of Mary's "perpetual virginity", a thing I do not believe. We can be reasonably sure that Joseph died before Jesus, else why would Jesus (as Mary's oldest son) have taken special care to see to Mary's well-being, assigning John as her caretaker? If Joseph were alive then, he, not Jesus, would have had primary responsibility for Mary. But when did Joseph die? When Jesus was thirteen, or the year before Jesus was crucified? And when did Mary die? The year after Jesus, or forty years later? We have no record of either event. It's all speculation.

For myself, if Mary were twelve when she was pregnant with Jesus, that's fine. But I am not comfortable with thinking about a child (as I envision a twelve-year-old girl to be) being called of God to carry his Son. But far be it from me to tell God what he should have done.

As for the so-called Gospel of Mary, it's fragmentary (incomplete), and I have no real reason to suppose it's authentic.

That an angel came to Mary's parents (as with John the Baptist) to announce the birth of a "Select" spirit to fulfill an important calling for G-d - I find most reasonable.

That the parents of Mary felt inadequate to raise Mary an so took her to the temple to be raised by priests serving at the temple (as was Samuel) - I find most reasonable.

That an ancient definition of a virgin to be someone raised by holy priests for sacred purposes to apply to Mary as well as Marry being chaste - I find most reasonable.

That Zechariah (a priest serving at the temple) and his wife Elizabeth raised Mary according to covenant - I find most reasonable - especially because in her hour of greatest need Mary sought out Elizabeth.

That Zechariah was murdered on the steps of the temple and that Elizabeth fled into the "wilderness" to save her son (John) - I find most reasonable.

That in an era of arranged marriages - That Zechariah sought a friend and acquaintance that he knew was of high moral character to marry Mary - I find most reasonable.

That Mary was of exceptional beauty and as she approached womanhood, was highly sought after - that Zechariah sought someone that would be more concerned for her spiritually than her beauty (also realizing that Nephi saw in a vision her exceptional beauty). - I find most reasonable - even if Joseph was much older.

That Joseph was not excited about the prospect of marrying the very young and beautiful Mary and had to be convinced by Zechariah (and other spiritual clues) - I find most reasonable.

I would be interested in points that other found to be entirely unreasonable within that era and historical context.

 

The Traveler

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35 minutes ago, Traveler said:

We are instructed to seek "learning" from the best books.  Historical accuracy is not the reason for including sacred documents in scripture.  Even today we are encouraged to write family histories to be preserved for generations that follow us but not specifically to become scripture.  If we are doing personal research into history (which is or should be included in the commandments to seek learning from the best books) we ought to be aware of as much as possible - that which has been preserved.  Through the gift of the Holy Ghost we ought to be tutored in the truth (or lack of it) in our efforts of study - be it religious, scientific, historic, political or even entertainment.  

I do not know if Joseph Smith ever read the gospel of Mary - I am inclined to think it was not available to him in his circumstance.  I personally find the gospel of Mary enlightening especially in light of questions about feminism in our modern culture.  I have speculated that a primary reason, that as the Dark Ages were approaching,  that the spiritual role of women in the growing religious culture was being diminished as an element of the Great Apostasy. 

 

The Traveler

Sure.  Read from as many sources as you desire where truth can be found.  But that's the issue with the Gospel of Mary - if it is true.  First thing that pops to my head is - it's titled Gospel but it's not Gospel.  So, the title itself is not truthful.  2nd - which Mary?

And that's just the title...

There are a lot of other issues within the text itself.

And finally - modern feminism is cancer.

Edited by anatess2

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1 hour ago, Traveler said:

That an angel came to Mary's parents (as with John the Baptist) to announce the birth of a "Select" spirit to fulfill an important calling for G-d - I find most reasonable.

That the parents of Mary felt inadequate to raise Mary an so took her to the temple to be raised by priests serving at the temple (as was Samuel) - I find most reasonable.

That an ancient definition of a virgin to be someone raised by holy priests for sacred purposes to apply to Mary as well as Marry being chaste - I find most reasonable.

That Zechariah (a priest serving at the temple) and his wife Elizabeth raised Mary according to covenant - I find most reasonable - especially because in her hour of greatest need Mary sought out Elizabeth.

That Zechariah was murdered on the steps of the temple and that Elizabeth fled into the "wilderness" to save her son (John) - I find most reasonable.

That in an era of arranged marriages - That Zechariah sought a friend and acquaintance that he knew was of high moral character to marry Mary - I find most reasonable.

That Mary was of exceptional beauty and as she approached womanhood, was highly sought after - that Zechariah sought someone that would be more concerned for her spiritually than her beauty (also realizing that Nephi saw in a vision her exceptional beauty). - I find most reasonable - even if Joseph was much older.

That Joseph was not excited about the prospect of marrying the very young and beautiful Mary and had to be convinced by Zechariah (and other spiritual clues) - I find most reasonable.

I would be interested in points that other found to be entirely unreasonable within that era and historical context.

Traveler, have you ever listened to Nibley talk about "the house that Jack built"? You ought to.

https://web.archive.org/web/20121127033651/http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=77&chapid=973

See Rule 17: In Place of Evidence, Use Rhetoric!

Nibley presents this in the context of anti-Mormon literature, but it is generally applicable. I'll just quote the relevant portion.

Quote

The ancients discovered that any public prefers rhetoric to evidence, and the modern historian will soon learn the truth of the time-tested and timeworn maxim of the Doctors of old, that rhetoric and not truth is the key to success in this world. The basic principles of the classical rhetorical method are two: (1) eikos, that is, the building up of a case not on facts but on probabilities, and (2) the use of loci communes, standard responses to standard situations (hence our word "commonplace"), the appeal to familiar stock phrases to avoid thought and the use of emotive words of tested reliability to avoid evidence. We can illustrate how these two principles work together in a situation which we shall call "The House That Jack Built":

1. It is common knowledge that Jack built a house. It is that house which we are now discussing.

2. There are rumors that a good deal of malt—very probably stolen—was stored in the house. What lends plausibility to the report is the building of the house itself—by Jack. Why a house, if not to store the stolen malt?

3. It is said that the malt was eaten by rats, and in view of the high nutriment content of malt (see Appendix A for references to scholarly and scientific studies proving beyond a doubt that malt is nutritious), there is no good reason for doubting this report.

4. The rats may very possibly have been killed by a cat, as some believe, and there is certainly nothing intrinsically improbable in the event. On the contrary, studies made at the Rodent Institute of the University of So and So, etc. . . . The report that only one rat ate the malt is of course erroneous, since the consumption of such a large quantity of malt would require many years and probably a large number of rats.

5. That the cat was chased by a dog is only to be expected. Only a fanatic would question it.

6. The same applies to the dog's being tossed by a cow, though that is admittedly a less common event.

7. "At any rate" (a very useful expression) we can be reasonably certain that the cow was milked by a milkmaid—what other kind of maid could it have been?—and also (since there is no good reason to doubt it) that the milkmaid, whose name may have been Bertha, was wooed by a man all tattered and torn. There are unmistakable references in the newspapers of the time (or at most a generation later) to poorly dressed men known as "tramps" roaming parts of the country. There can therefore be little doubt that Bertha was engaged in a passionate public wooing.

8. The exact date of Bertha's marriage to her tatterdemalion lover is not known, though it may have been some time late in January 1858. Certainly the court records of the time are silent on any earlier or later marriage.

9. Though there is no direct evidence that Bertha was mistreated by the man who wooed her so passionately, there is every evidence of cruel neglect both in the proven fact that Bertha apparently had no house to live in (at least there is no record of her having a house in the county archives) and in the character of the man who married and abused her.

It will hardly be necessary to point out to the student the solid advantage of such little touches as "the exact date . . . " in No. 8. Since no date at all is known, it is perfectly true to say that the exact date is not known, implying that an approximate date is known: "it may have been in January 1858"—true again, perfectly true—it may also have been in September 1902 or May 1320. Again, if there is no evidence whatever that Bertha was mistreated (or even that she existed), it is both shrewd and correct to say that there is no direct evidence, implying, while not saying, that there is plenty of indirect evidence. Let the student check the above nine points for evidence. There is none! We have given the world a suffering Bertha and her brutal spouse without having to prove a thing; it is all eikos—we have created a little world of our own, and got the reader so emotionally involved that he is ready to lynch the man-all-tattered-and-torn or any of his followers without bothering to ask whether he even existed or not.

(In the talk where Nibley first presented this fun little argument technique, he did not say the bolded part above. Instead, he said something like, "What have we here? Nothing at all! We have given the world a suffering Bertha and her brutal spouse etc..." Nibley is a lot of fun to listen to. If you haven't discovered the joy of Nibley, do so today. It will improve your holiday season.)

tl;dr—That you find such-and-such "most reasonable" doesn't actually mean anything. If in an unknown situation, some event seems 25% likely, that's certainly a "most reasonable" supposition. Stack just five of those "most reasonable" suppositions on top of each other and you have a resulting situation that has less than one chance in a thousand of being true. You have stacked eight such "most reasonable" suppositions, each of which has much less than one chance in four of actually being true.

Edited by Vort

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19 hours ago, Scott said:

Where does the Gospel According to Mary say this?    The entire thing (as far has been found) is very short and I see nothing mentioning the above.   

Here's the whole thing if anyone wants to read it.  It's only a few short chapters long:

http://gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm
 

I don't think that's what he's referring to.  I thought he's referring to this... although I did ask him which Mary.

https://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/lbob/lbob05.htm

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27 minutes ago, Vort said:

Traveler, have you ever listened to Nibley talk about "the house that Jack built"? You ought to.

When one is making grave criminal charges, either directly or by broad implication as all anti-Mormon writers do, questions of evidence can be very bothersome unless one has the wisdom and foresight to avoid all such questions. Surprisingly enough this can be done rather easily [as we shall illustrate] . . . in a situation which we shall call “The House That Jack Built”: 1. It is common knowledge that Jack built a house. It is that house which we are now discussing. 2. There are rumors that a good deal of malt—very probably stolen—was stored in the house. What lends plausibility to the report is the building of the house itself—by Jack. Why a house, if not to store the stolen malt? 3. It is said that the malt was eaten by rats, and in view of the high nutriment content of malt (see Appendix A for references to scholarly and scientic studies proving beyond a doubt that malt is nutritious), there is no good reason for doubting this report. 4. The rats may very possibly have been killed by a cat, as some believe, and there is certainly nothing intrinsically improbable in the event. On the contrary, studies made at the Rodent Institute of the University of So and So, etc. . . . The report that only one rat ate the malt is of course erroneous, since the consumption of such a large quantity of malt would require many years and probably a large number ofrats. 5. That the cat was chased by a dog is only to be expected. Only a fanatic would question it. 6. The same applies to the dog’s being tossed by a cow, though it is admittedly a less common event. 7. “At any rate” (a very useful expression) we can be reasonably certain that the cow was milked by a milkmaid— what other kind of maid could it have been?—and also (since there is no good reason to doubt it) that the milkmaid, whose name may have been Bertha, was wooed by a man all tattered and torn. There are unmistakable references in the newspapers of the time (or at most a generation later) to poorly dressed men known as “tramps”roaming parts of the country. There can therefore be little doubt that Bertha was engaged in a passionate public wooing. 8. The exact date of Bertha’s marriage to hertatterdemalion loveris not known, though it may have been some time late in January 1858. Certainly the courtrecords of the time are silent on any earlier orlater marriage. 9. Though there is no direct evidence that Bertha was mistreated by the man who wooed her so passionately, there is every evidence of cruel neglect both in the proven fact that Bertha apparently had no house to live in (at least there is no record of her having a house in the county archives) and in the character of the man who married and abused her. It will hardly be necessary to point out to the student the solid advantage of such little touches as “the exact date” . . . in No. 8. Since no date at all is known, it is perfectly true to say that the exact date is not known, implying that an approximate date is known: “it may have been in January 1858″—true again, perfectly true—it may also have been in September 1902 or May 1320. Again, if there is no evidence whateverthat Bertha was mistreated (or even that she existed), it is both shrewd and correct to say that there is no direct evidence, implying, while not saying, that there is plenty of indirect evidence. Let the student check the above ten points for evidence. There is none! We have given the world a suffering Bertha and her brutal spouse without having to prove a thing.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_the_House_That_Jack_Built

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23 hours ago, Scott said:

Where does the Gospel According to Mary say this?    The entire thing (as far has been found) is very short and I see nothing mentioning the above.   

Here's the whole thing if anyone wants to read it.  It's only a few short chapters long:

http://gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm
 

First - I must apologize.  The actual title of the book or document I am addressing is "the Gospel of the Birth of Mary."   In review it would seem that Mary (according to the ancient math of Israel was somewhere between 12 and 14 years of age - likely 13.  Again I am sorry that there may be some confusion with the "Gospel of Mary Magdalene".   @anatess2 has a link to one copy.  Like many ancient text there are often multiple copies from different places and time which have variations in the text.  However, I believe the above link to be sufficient. 

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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12 minutes ago, Traveler said:

First - I must apologize.  The actual title of the book or document I am addressing is "the Gospel of the Birth of Mary."   In review it would seem that Mary (according to the ancient math of Israel was somewhere between 12 and 14 years of age - likely 13.  Again I am sorry that there may be some confusion with the "Gospel of Mary Magdalene".   @anatess2 has a link to one copy.  Like many ancient text there are often multiple copies from different places and time which have variations in the text.  However, I believe the above link to be sufficient. 

 

The Traveler

Just want to make you aware that the "Gospel" of the Birth of Mary is one of those texts like the apocryphal writings attributed to James that may have been written to promote an agenda which is why it was excluded from the Bible.  The agenda on this one would be to promote the concept of Mary's Immaculate Conception which didn't gain traction in the Catholic Church until the miracle of Lourdes.

Joseph Smith restored the gospel and specifically taught against original sin which would make the teaching on Immaculate Conception - not true.

Edited by anatess2

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5 hours ago, anatess2 said:

Just want to make you aware that the "Gospel" of the Birth of Mary is one of those texts like the apocryphal writings attributed to James that may have been written to promote an agenda which is why it was excluded from the Bible.  The agenda on this one would be to promote the concept of Mary's Immaculate Conception which didn't gain traction in the Catholic Church until the miracle of Lourdes.

Joseph Smith restored the gospel and specifically taught against original sin which would make the teaching on Immaculate Conception - not true.

Reading though it, it also says several times that Mary vowed to remain a virgin forever, which is also a concept rejected by our church leaders.  I still don't see where it says that Joseph was 40 though?

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3 hours ago, mordorbund said:

Would that make it not true? Sounds like it's universally true for everyone!

Indeed. D&C 93:38 reads:

Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God.

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