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John and Joanna
In Response To: Mary's and Joseph's ()

I think that half-sister marriages were taboo in Israel during Herodian times (uncle-niece was quite popular though). In the Egyptian 18th Dynasty Tutankhamun married his half-sister Ankhensenamun, so that would have been the model to follow for Jesus and Mary Magdalene otherwise.

In the Herodian family tree, for Salome (Mary Magdalene) to have been the half-sister of Aristobulus (Jesus) they would have to have had the same mother. Salome was much younger than Aristobulous and could not have had the same father. The mother of Salome was Herodias daughter of Berenice. The mother of Aristobulous was Mariamne daughter of Olympias. So it doesn't seem likely that the half-sister relationship was reproduced in Herod's day, but it worth considering for sure. Herodias is only known to have had one child, her daughter Salome. This is very curious for such a leading queen. Perhaps she was known by another name. It was a common practice in the Biblical narratives when a leading queen had families by multiple partners. She was referred to by a different name with respect to each partner.

Regarding the parentage of Mary mother of Jesus, Church tradition holds that her parents were called Joanna and John. Joanna and John are the same name, Joanna being a feminine form of John/Johann. Joanna makes a very suitable Hebrew name for the Greek Olympias. However, tradition seems to be confused with respect to the father, who should not have been remembered as a John but a Joseph.

Olympia and Joseph did not seem to have any other children besides Mariamne. This is also suspicious and sheds some doubt on the actual fatherhood of Mariamne, especially since there was not another Joseph from this union. The title of Joseph was instead passed to Herod of Chalcis, the adoptive father of Aristobulous/Jesus.

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