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The Bilingual Mary Magdalene
In John 20:16, Mary Magdalene famously speaks a Hebrew word to Yahshua, [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Ylwbr[/font] (?rabbi?). But is that the only Hebrew here?

Consider the word in John 20:15 [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0nng[/font], commonly translated ?gardener?. The text advised in John 20:12 that Mary was seeing two angels dressed in white inside the tomb, so does it make sense that she presumes them ?gardeners?? The Aramaic word for gardener is [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Ng[/font] (or [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0ng[/font]), but the word actually used in John 20:15 is [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0nng[/font] -- we presume Mary Magdalene presumes Yahshua to be [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0nngd[/font] (?of the gardeners?). In Hebrew, [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0nng[/font] means ?protector?. In Aramaic, [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0nng[/font] would be gardeners (plural). (Incidentally, another word for ?gardener? in Aramaic is [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0npsydrp[/font] ).

Would Mary call this ?gardener? [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]yrm[/font] (?my lord?)? The assumption of the standard translation ('gardener') is certainly possible in the text, but?

The Hebrew word for ?protector? seems like a possibility here to consider too, and if correct (however unlikely a possibility) then it would mean that Mary reasoned within herself in Hebrew that she was talking to a kind of angelic protector of Yahshua?s body. That would be a big deal because?

Inferences from the Alternate Meaning ?Protector?: Was Mary offering to go to Sheol and back?

Consider the ramifications of Mary speaking Hebrew: if she really thought she was talking to an angel ?protector? rather than a human ?gardener?, then her next statements (in the declarative tense) offering to go retrieve Yahshua?s body from some unknown place (outside this world?) become (1) an awesome display of love, and (2) a sign that Mary Magdalene was educated in otherworldly matters and felt empowered to intervene with regard to her teacher?s body. That?s a staggering thought, and would likely be the most powerful display of love in the gospel from any disciple toward the messiah! Is it unlikely? Sure. Does it sound irrational? A little bit. Is it beyond a grieving woman in love to say such a thing? I wouldn't dare say otherwise.

A second alternative is that the end of John 20:15 can be read in the imperative (as we see [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Lz0[/font] preceding the verb [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Yhwylq40[/font]), where Mary is ordering the angel to go retrieve Yahshua. But this interpretation is less likely because of the absence of a conjunctive [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]w[/font] before [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Lz0[/font]. Although this second alternative interpretation would still be a gesture of love toward Yahshua, it would be exponentially less impressive.

Either way, this alternate possibility of Mary thinking she could retrieve Yahshua from the underworld - it just seems so unlikely. Why do I even bring it up? Because it's possible.

The Meaning of Her Story

Central to Mary Magdalene?s story is that many male disciples rejected her testimony (as did patriarchal religion afterward by relegating her writings, if any, to the Apocrypha).

Who was she? Mary Magdalene was a Jewish woman who is recorded speaking Hebrew and Aramaic. She walked with Yahshua as a loyal follower, so she was likely given a treasure of knowledge. Of course, many writers have speculated about her (and many read like paperback romance novels, so please keep some healthy skepticism).

Mark 16:9-11 says the disciples didn?t believe Mary Magdalene about Yahshua?s return, and the context suggests it was because she had 7 demons previously.

Doubt her?

The key study word here (central to Mary Magdalene?s story that the male disciples rejected her testimony) is [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]rbs[/font] (?think? or ?doubt? or "declare"). In John 20:15 we see this word [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]trbs[/font] (?thought?) when Mary thought Yahshua was just a ?gardener? or a ?protector?, and again we see the word [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]trbs[/font] (?declare?) when Mary declares her testimony to the disciples but they think Mary is not trustworthy as a witness. Mark 16:10.

As John 20:18 suggests in wordplay [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]tt0[/font], this was the sign of Mary Magdalene.

By studying the Aramaic words it helps show the pattern -- Mary?s problem in John 20:15 was that she put her own [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]rbs[/font] (?reason?) first above her trust, and this later had the consequence that the disciples put first their own skepticism of Mary before their trust of her. And this phenomenon continues to ripple to this day in churches, as I think most people first disbelieve Mary Magdalene?s testimony unless coupled to a male?s (i.e., in the [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0trbs[/font] ("gospel")).

For follow-up study, note that the name ?Magdalene? in Aramaic is [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0l0dgm[/font], which means ?tower? in Hebrew, and is probably a reference to the Hebrew location [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0l0dgm[/font]. Were the disciples willing to accept her as a tower above them? Consider the events in Magdala in Matthew 15:39-16:12 (specifically 16:7-8).

Messages In This Thread
The Bilingual Mary Magdalene - by gregglaser - 02-15-2015, 12:50 AM
Re: The Bilingual Mary Magdalene - by aux - 02-16-2015, 06:20 AM
Re: The Bilingual Mary Magdalene - by gregglaser - 02-17-2015, 12:19 AM
Re: The Bilingual Mary Magdalene - by distazo - 02-22-2015, 07:37 PM
Re: The Bilingual Mary Magdalene - by gregglaser - 02-22-2015, 09:00 PM

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