Early Church History 5

"The Pernicious Superstition"

Tacitus: Annals. Book XV, 44 "the pernicious superstition was checked for a short time," by the execution.

F.F. Bruce, New Testament History.

Hans Lietzmann, History of the Early Church (4 volumes)

Warning: The following is pure speculation and meant for reflection only!!

At the cross, only a handful

Step 1: Analyze the scriptures

John (19:25-26) StandingbythecrossofJesuswerehismotherandhismothers



5 people maximum: mother, Mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalen, Disciple he loved.

Matthew (27: 55-56) Thereweremanywomentherelookingonfromadistancewho



3 people: Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James and Joseph, mother of sons of Zebedee

Mark (15:40) Therewerealsowomenlookingonfromadistanceamongthemwere




3 people: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and Joses, Salome

Step 2: Take out the common Mary Magdalene, the unique mother and the disciple whom He loved and see what we have left:

JOHN                                MATTHEW                            MARK

mother's sister                    Mary mother of Jas & Jos        Mary mother of Jas & Jo

Mary wife of Clopas        Mother of sons of Zebedee        Salome


Step 3: Align the Marys:

Mary wife of Clopas    Mary mother of Jas & Jos    Mary mother of young Jas & Jo

mother's sister            mother of sons of Zebedee    Salome

BOTTOM LINE: Tacitus was right.  This "pernicious superstition" is very, very small.

End of pure speculation!


Acts 1:13 Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas son of James. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus and his brothers.

They devoted themselves ...A) to teaching of the apostles, B) to the communal life, C) to the breaking of the bread, and D) to the prayers.

Acts 6: At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.

Stephen, Philip, Pro-chorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicholas of Antioch

Synogogue of Freedmen "they were infuriated and ground their teeth at him."

Pontius Pilate; Sejanus; Tiberius Caesar

James the Just and Philip the Deacon