Pauline Foreshadowing of a Jewish Woman

[Arcabas, Christ Pantocrator and the Four Evangelists] Here are eight passages from the Pauline texts that remotely connect to Mary. They are to be read in the light of Paul's Christocentrism. The central theme of all the Pauline writings is Jesus Christ. His Christocentrism is so strong that the expression "in Christ" (en Christo) appears 154 times. His preaching of the good news or gospel of Jesus Christ parallels his centering on Christ as the Redeemer or Savior(cf. I Corinthians 2:1-5). This positive thrust is present in all of the Pauline literature in which God predestines, calls, justifies, and glorifies all men and women who believe. All who believe are sisters and brothers of the Lord.

1. Galatians 1:19; 4:4-5; 4:28-29 written around 54-55 C.E.

2. II Corinthians 5:14c-17: written in autumn of 57 C.E.

3. Romans 1:3-4; 9:4-5 written near 58 C.E.

4. Philippians 2:6-8 written around 61-63 C.E.

These are the ten or so lines in the entire Pauline Corpus that have been studied and reflected upon in reference to remote connections to Mary. Though we have only a confirmation of her humaness and the Jewish heritage she bequeathed to her son, these are seminal concepts which are important for the foundation of Paul's Christology. ... Mary, his mother, is most assuredly involved in his being one like us. She is also assuredly "in Christ -- a new creation" who lives no longer for herself but for him, who for her sake and the sake of all of us, died and was raised up.

Mark: The First Gospel Image of Mary (65-70 C.E.)

[Arcabas, Christ Pantocrator and the Four Evangelists] In Mark, we have a clear silhouette of a devout Jewish mother who is concerned about the activity of her son, Jesus. Most of the background for our assertions about her come from the context which surrounds the first scene in which she appears, Mark 3:31-35.

In contrast to Paul, the Markan image of Mary is no longer obscure, but more definite, precise, and explicit. Even though Mark has approximately the same number of lines about her, they do say more than Paul has said. To Mark, we owe the honor of naming her for us for the first time (Mark 6:3).

31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him.
32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside asking for you."
33 And he replied, "Who are my mother and brothers?"
34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!
35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother" (Mark 3:31-35).

He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him.
2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands!
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
4 Then Jesus said to them, "Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house."
5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.
6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.

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