Why are three so many Mary’s in the bible

Men and women who held high positions in certain Jewish religious communities took on the names of particular ancestors according to their rank in the community. Wives of the Davidic male line took the name of Miriam (Mary). Jesus’s mother was therefore a Mary, and his wife would have been a Mary, too. There are several Biblical Marys, but we can now ask our questions about the two Marys involved in the two questions that follow.

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What Was The Role Of The Freemasons?

It seems probable that leading members of the old masonic guilds had connections with the Knights Templar. What is not known is whether the Freemasons of today are in any real sense connected to the old guild of stone masons of the Middle Ages.

 

The Cathedral of Notre Dame was the work of a guild of masons under the leadership of the Cistercian Order. St Bernard of that order was said to have knowledge of the secret geometry of King Solomon’s masons. The master mason of this guild, and skilled in sacred geometry, was Hiram Abiff, who was to become a central symbolic figure in the Freemasonry movement of the early 18th century.

 

There were various masonic guilds or brotherhoods during the Middle Ages, and when King Philip IV of France began to persecute the Knights Templar in the early 14th century, the masonic guilds in France were also placed in danger. Like the Knights Templar, they were secretive and therefore suspect.

 

It was believed that the masons had knowledge of the sacred geometry of the ancients, and it was only one step from this to see them as possibly having maps that indicated the sites of ancient documents and treasures.

 

They had three degrees of membership, the highest being that of Master mason. The Master masons were the ones most likely to be privy to any secrets. It was those of the ‘third degree’ among the secret societies who were subjected to interrogation. This is the derivation of our modern term, subjecting someone to ‘the third degree’, meaning a ruthless interrogation to force the person to divulge information.

 

When an apprentice joined one of the old guilds, he had to swear not to reveal the secrets of the craft, and the masons might at that stage have introduced some form of secret communication by which they could recognise one another.

 

 

During the Middle Ages, masons worked on the building sites of the great cathedrals and other Gothic structures. The work required a high degree of skill, and a secret code, recognisable only to other masons, would have ensured that no one who was not properly qualified would be employed on such projects.

 

Masonic groups formed groups in towns, but lodges also provided meeting-places for masons who were working away from home. These lodges kept masons in constant touch with one another and with the society.

 

It was quite usual for noble European families of the day to invent mythical genealogical records for themselves so that they could claim bloodlines going back to some illustrious figure of the distant past. Some of the guilds did the same and claimed fascinating but highly unlikely origins for themselves.

 

The first English Freemason lodges were formed around the beginning of the 18th century. Although they adopted many of the rituals and symbols of the old masonic guilds of the Middle Ages and added more of their own devising, they were quite different organisations.

 

Within a decade or so, Freemasonry had spread to France and then to Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Freemasons were not required to have practised the trade of masonry, but tended to be drawn from a wide range of occupations and included many of illustrious reputation.

 

From what has been written in the last decades about Freemasonry today, it seems that modern Freemasons know little or nothing about the need to protect ancient great secrets, although this might well be part of the ritualistic role of the higher echelons. Even then, however, sacerdotalism is no longer claimed.

 

Decisions about the advancement of ordinary members are taken by this rather shadowy higher echelon, and one assumes therefore, that some kind of ‘enlightenment’ takes place, but the role of Freemasonry today is largely one of service and mutual support. It seems, however, that rituals and symbols remain very much part of their ceremonies.

 

Freemasonry accepts members of all religion, or no religion at all. Some lodges now include women.

 

When a society operates in terms of secrecy and has initiation rites and esoteric levels of membership, it is inevitable that conspiracy theories will arise regarding its activities, including accusations of subversive finagling. There is little doubt that Freemasons do indeed look after one another’s interests where possible, but the impressive number of famous and justifiably renowned Freemasons over the past couple of centuries suggests that most of the accusations are somewhat flimsy.

 

 

The very fact that the society has endured through the centuries and has counted some of history’s most illustrious figures among its members suggests that it has a powerful pull on the imagination of those who belong to it and that they find their connection with it fulfilling. There are thousands of Freemason lodges throughout the world.

 

 

Does The Gospel Of Mary Magdalene Really Exist?

The Nag Hammadi reference for the Gospel of Mary is Codex II, 2. It was originally written in Greek, probably in the early part of the second century.   

Karen King and other commentators report that the Gospel of Mary falls naturally into two sections: the account of the exchange between Jesus and the disciples after the Crucifixion, and a description of Mary’s passing on to the disciples the special revelations entrusted to her by Jesus. Only the beginning and end of this important document survives. Four pages are missing between beginning and end. 

It is in the Gospel of Mary that Peter is described as challenging the relationship of Jesus and Mary Magdalene by demanding to know why Jesus would choose to speak privately to her rather than freely to them. Peter complains about Mary’s preaching and asks Jesus to stop her as she is undermining his leadership. Jesus’s response is to rebuke Peter. Mary later says that she is wary of Peter and feels that he hates women. Jesus tells her that anyone, whether man or woman, is divinely entitled to speak if inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Also in the Gospel of Mary, Levi is recorded as pointing out to Peter that if Jesus found Mary Magdalene worthy to be the recipient of his revelations, then he, Peter, had no right to criticise and reject her: “The Saviour surely knows her well enough. That is why he loves her more than us.”  He tells the disciples to go forth and preach as Jesus had asked of them.

They immediately respond, and with this the text ends.

From then on, it seems that the disciples accepted Mary’s position of privilege and that she comforted and encouraged them when they feared that they, too, would meet death at the hands of the authorities. 

The story of Peter’s confrontation with Mary Magdalene is also recorded in the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of the Egyptians and the Pistis Sophia.

The Nag Hammadi Codices appear to be largely Gnostic in tone. Not all Gnostics were Christians. In fact, there had been Gnostic thinkers before the time of Christ. Gnostic Christians were those who preferred personal revelation and individual understanding rather than conversion by apostles or evangelists.

Because Gnostic Christians were condemned by the orthodox Church , they have always received what we would call ‘a bad press’, but the largely Gnostic writings of the Nag Hammadi codices have brought new understanding of the Gnostics and much sympathy and support for their perspectives of Jesus and his mission. They did not, for instance, believe that Jesus was divine, but saw him as a divinely inspired teacher whose mission was to reveal to ordinary human beings that they could have direct communication with God. Since the Gnostics were largely freethinkers, it goes without saying that there was much variety in their interpretations.

Richard Andres and Paul Schellenberger point out in The Tomb of God: the Body of Jesus and the Solution to a 2000-year-old Mystery that the silence of the Church regarding Christian Gnosticism has left most Christians unaware of the important Gnostic aspects in the origins of their own religion. The orthodox Church fought fiercely to eradicate the Christian Gnostics and other so-called ‘heretics’ prior to the Council at Nicaea in 325 AD and established a pattern of prejudice that has plagued the Church ever since.

The main bone of contention between Gnostic and orthodox Christians seems to have been the issue of whether Christ was divine and the actual Son of God and whether he had been physically resurrected and then taken up into heaven. Although he might not have been the originator, Paul propagated and disseminated the view of Jesus as the Son of God resurrected to life after death on the cross after death. One cannot help but suspect that the disappearance of Jesus from the tomb played into the hands of the later orthodox Church, since his reappearance, either living or dead, would have been difficult to account for in terms of the Resurrection which is fundamental to Christian Church dogma.    

It is not difficult to see why orthodox believers wanted Gnostic interpretations suppressed even before the end of the first century AD, and why people like the inhabitants of the Jewish Qumran community found it necessary to hide their documents in urns secreted in caves before they fled at the time of the Jewish uprising of 70 AD and during later persecutions.

In 325 AD Emperor Constantine, concerned about myriad dissensions in the failing Empire, set up the Council at Nicaea and demanded that Christians cease their quarrelling and make up their minds about their beliefs. His reasons were, of course, personal and political, and had nothing to do with any concern for religion. It was rather that he saw that Christianity was spreading fast and that a unified Christianity would be useful to him.

If Mary did indeed leave the Holy Land after the Crucifixion and finally make her home in France, this would support the view of her implicit in those of the Nag Hammadi Codices that mention her mission. She was the apostle closest to Jesus and it was to her that he made his revelations after his body had disappeared from the cave and he met and spoke with her in the garden.

And if she were indeed the mother of his child – or children – it would have been imperative for her to escape from the Holy Land.

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Where Is Mary Magdalene Buried?

The official Church version is that Mary Magdalene was buried in Ephesus and that in 899 the Emperor Leo VI had her relics transferred to a monastery in Constantinople.

 

This has the effect of keeping Mary Magdalene well away from Western Europe and any theories about the Sangreal, the bloodline of Jesus. But a strong contender in the burial probability stakes comes from Provence in France, where there is, as mentioned before, what amounts to a ‘Mary Magdalene industry’.

 

It was Gregory of Tours, chronicler of the Frankish kings in the late 6th century, who recorded the older tradition that Mary Magdalene died in Ephesus where she had lived for many years with Jesus’s mother, Mary, and John the Evangelist, thought to have been the author of the Fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John.

 

This account was, however, contradicted in a document in Latin (c. 5th to 6th century) which, referring to an earlier record, claimed that Mary Magdalene had travelled to Aix-le-Provence with Saint Maximin and had lived there for many years before she died in Aix at the age of 60.

 

In keeping with the mission of Jesus entrusted to Mary Magdalene and the apostles, she and Maximin had preached the gospel in Gaul, and Maximin had become the first Christian bishop in Gaul (usually referred to as Bishop Maximus). He placed her embalmed body in a crypt and had a Basilica built over it to honour and protect it.

 

The body was said to have been removed during the Saracen invasions as it was feared it would be discovered and destroyed. Rumour has it that part of the remains were taken to the French monastery of Vezelay in Burgundy, the church of which carried Mary Magdalene’s name.

 

Years later, a monk of the Vezelay monastery is reputed to have found a crypt at the Basilica of St Maximin’s in Provence. Reference to the Magdalene was chiselled into the stone.

 

 

Margaret Starbird draws attention to a published report that the Vatican sent an Apostolic Nuncio with six bishops and several priests to celebrate mass at the Basilica of Marie Madeleine in 1950 to honour the 700-year Jubilee of the discovery of her grave in Provence. She asks questions we would all like to have answered. What did the Catholic Church know about Mary Magdalene to induce them to participate in this event? How long had the Church Fathers known whatever it was that they seemed to know? And, since they were willing to lend support to the Jubilee, why were they at the same time continuing to discount the stories that placed Mary Magdalene in Provence both during her lifetime and after her death?

 

Certain documents favouring the Constantinople (Byzantium) account of Mary Magdalene’s burial place claim that part of her relics were transferred in the 9th century to the monastery Church of St Lazarus and that, some time after the final Crusade, were moved to Italy where they were buried beneath the altar of the Lateran Cathedral in Rome. Other documentation places part of her relics near Marseilles where, as mentioned, the splendid St Maximum’s Basilica was built over them.

Then there is the contention that Mary Magdalene’s remains were buried, along with secret documents, on Temple Mount in Jerusalem and were found when the city was conquered during the First Crusade.

 

Where, then, is Mary Magdalene buried? Legends, rumours and traditions – both oral and written – abound. Again, the only honest answer is: we don’t know.

 

– Is she buried in Ephesus in Turkey, as the Church believes… or does it?

 

– Was she buried on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and were her remains moved to the West when the crusaders took Jerusalem?

 

– Is she buried under the Basilica of St Maximin?

 

– Are some of her bones hidden in a crypt at Vezelay?

 

– Or are her relics buried in more than one place?

 

Finally, could it really be that her bones are buried within the glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum? Of all possibilities, this is surely the most unlikely.

 

It would be understandable had some of her bones been placed in different burial places after her initial burial in order to ensure that at least some of them survived being discovered and removed and perhaps even destroyed.

 

Perhaps this mystery will also be solved in due course if contemporary documents are ever discovered.

 

 

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What Is The Da Vinci Code?

Thought I'd search through my research notes form writing the guide and give Blog readers an idea of "What is the Da Vinci Code".

The Da Vinci Code is written in the context of an unorthodox view – considered heretical by orthodox believers – of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the role played in his life and mission by Mary Magdalene.

In the context of the novel, the Church is seen as responsible for sidelining the true message of Christ and the true facts of his life and supporting instead the Pauline version which was reinforced in 325 AD by the Council of Nicaea, at which time certain dogmas were laid down as ‘fact’. Some of these ‘facts’ have been enlarged on or even omitted with the passing of the centuries.

The author uses Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper to reinforce this context.

In broad terms, he presents the view that:

– Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus and the mother of his children.

– Mary’s womb was the Holy Grail, the Holy Vessel which carried the bloodline of Jesus. All other descriptions of the legendary Holy Grail are symbolic.

 

– The bloodline was later carried forward in the Merovingian line of kings, and descendants are alive today.

 

– Jesus is not seen as divine in the sense of being the actual immaculately conceived Son of God, but rather as having the divine spark to be found in all human beings, although in larger measure. He is seen as the bringer of a divine message that enables people to achieve communion with God as he is perceived in many different ways by people on a spiritual path.

 

– Da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper is seen as an encoded message of the real Messianic story.

 

– The Council of Nicaea, organised by the Emperor Constantine in 325 AD, is seen as orchestrated by Constantine for his own political ends. In the resulting Church dogma, the real relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene is seen as being finally removed from orthodox Christian records.

 

– The ‘truth’ about Jesus and Mary Magdalene has – according to the novel – been kept alive by a secret society named the Priory of Sion, and a powerful orthodox Catholic order, the Opus Dei is depicted as trying to ensure that this ‘truth’ never emerges.

Dan Brown leans on information gained from non-fiction books like Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln and on what is presented as confirmation by the Nag Hammadi Codices, but also on reports, opinions and rumours which have emerged in a steady stream from the first century, gathering momentum after Nicaea. Many of these ‘heresies’ and enquiries were written by serious thinkers.

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32 Most Asked Da Vinci Code Questions Answered

As I turned the last page of the The Da Vinci Code I was both satisfied and unsatisfied. This brilliant book took my mind on a journey that excited and riveted my imagination.

So many thoughts raced through my head as I ploughed through page by page… often hours at a time.

Learn about Leonardo Da Vinci and his painting’s secrets

Whilst at first it sounds strange that a man who is arguably one of the most brilliant minds that has ever existed, was involved in an underground society… the truth about the artists of the renaissance period and how they communicated, will open your eyes to a whole new level of genius.

Answered… the Questions about the Da Vinci Code
That You Asked For!

The reason for me creating my brand new book was selfishly for my own benefit, as I wanted to know the answers to these age old questions. Then it dawned on me… that I am not the only one searching for answers, so I was inspired in this quest to help others find the answers to their own questions in this area.

And that is why, it’s not like any other book you’ve ever read on the factual history behind the Da Vinci Code.

Why?

Simply, every section in the book is there because “you asked for it.” Well, not “you” really. But from real live questions. Questions from people who loved the Da Vinci Code and wanted the answers to the pressing questions it created. A simple webpage was set up, and people like you visited it and left me their most pressing questions on ‘the questions you wanted answers to after reading the International Best Selling book.’

Then I got them answered for you!

Which means no fluff. Just the real answers you want to know.

Here are the Answers!