According to the church tradition, Mary of Nazarth was a young girl when she married Joseph who was the stepfather of Jesus. But in Luke 1:39 we read how she traveled alone to her cousin Elisabeth. Well, she did not travel completely alone because the child that was already in her belly was no one else than the coming messiah. Would God have given such a responsibility to a young girl that was exposed to all kinds of danger on her way to Elisabeth. Se had not only to take care for herself but also for the one who was in het belly. Most likely Mary was older than we think. She was a grown up woman who knew what the insides and outsides of the world were about. Would God give the messiah a mother who was ignorant about the main world issues like politics or sexuality? I feel that the reason why the church presents Mary as an innocent young girl had mainly to do with sexuality or politics. A young girl would never had masturbated or thought about politics. The only thing Mary was allowed to do was playing around with her baby.
Yet the first sentence Mary speaks in the Bible is in Luke 1:34. Here she speaks about “sex”. Then it was Scot McKnight who wrote his book The Real Mary, who claimed that Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55 was of the same level as Martin Luther’s song We Shall Overcome (McKnight, 2007, p. 18-19). Luke 1:46-55 is the song of a grown up lady who was politically aware of the world’s situation. Mary did not sing about family issues, abortion or porn. Her song sounded almost as a socialist song.
In Luke 2:24 we read that Mary was not rich. This does not mean that she was “pauper poor” as we say in Dutch, which means extremely poor. Also according to Frederic Farrar she was not misearbly poor but just soberly poor (Farrar, 1874, p. 61). Jesus was the first born son whon had at least six other half brothers and sisters: Joses (Joseph), Jude, Jacobus, Simon and two sisters (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3).
When the Magii came to Mary, Scot McKnight writes that Mary was sharp enough to understand that the influence of her son would reach far beyond the borders of Canaän, up to Rome (McKnight, 2007, p. 40). The magii coming to Mary and Joseph were at the core of the 1001 Night Fairy Tales atmosphere. Yet, we should not forget that these maggi had also visited king Herod. We are not sure if there were only three magii. If they came from far there should have been more of them. We know only that they brought three presents with them including gold. This doesn’t mean that there were only three of them. These magii visited Joseph and Mary when Jesus was already a small child and not anymore a baby (Matthew 2:11). According to Augustinus en Chrystosom there were twelve magii (Farrar, 1874, p. 40). Tradition may have confused the three kings in Genesis 14 with the three magii. These three kings were ChedorLoamer of Elam (Iran), Eri-Akoe and Toed-Ghoela (Pinches in Winkelhoff, z.j., p. 26). These three kings were mentioned in Babylonian clay tablets that belong to the “Spartoli Collection” in the ‘British Museum’ in London.
Had Mary ever heard of Cleopatra 7? Oh definitely she was sharp enough to remember that history. In Matthew 2:13 we read how the young family escaped to Egypt. Most likely they went to Alexandria. She must have been very blind to not see the traces that Cleopatra had left behind there. Mary knew the scriptures and she had read Daniel 11:17 that predicted the first Cleopatra of a dynasty. She saw also the many statues of Isis in Alexandria. These statues reincarnated in a later stage into the Mary statues that we see in our days in the Catholic Church. Mary was maybe sharp enough to see that these Isis statues could be projected on her person in a distant future. In Luke 1:48 she sung that all future generations would praise her. Maybe she had connected these future praisings to the Isis statutes she saw.
Farrar, F. (1874). The Life of Christ. Geraadpleegd van https://archive.org/details/Rev_FW_Farrar_The_Life_of_Christ/page/n2
McKnight, S. (2007). The Real Mary. London, UK: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
Winkelhoff, H. van. (z.j.). Bijbelse Archeologie. 5. Nippoer, de stad van Heber? Barneveld, Nederland, Stichting Bijbel, Geschiedenis
en Archeologie. Geraadpleegd van http://www.theologienet.nl/documenten/Land%20e.a.pdf