John 19:25

In a recent conversation with a friend, I said:

 John 19:25 is translated in the NAB as, "Standing by the cross of Jesus
were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and
Mary of Magdala.  The Greek says, heisteikeisan de para tw staurw tou
Iesu hei meter autou kao hei adelphei teis meitros autou, Maria hei tou
Klwpa kai Maria hei Magdalein.  (My transliteration skills are lacking.)
At any rate, it isn't clear in the Greek whether three or four women are
meant here.  Version 1:  The mother of Jesus
                         His mother's sister
                         Mary the wife of Clopas
                         Mary Magdalene

             Version 2:  The mother of Jesus
                         His mother's sister Mary the wife of Clopas
                         Mary Magdalene

The NAB notes another possibility:

             Version 3:  The mother of Jesus Mary wife of Clopas
                         His mother's sister Mary Magdalene

The last is intriguing, indicating that Mary may have remarried after
the death of Joseph to Clopas, and Mary Magdalene may have been his
mother's sister (or cousin).  Version 3 is, I think, improbable, 
however, since in the very next lines Jesus entrusts his mother to the 
beloved disciple whom most commentators identify as John, if anyone.  
On the other hand, the text could indicate that Clopas was the beloved 
disciple; I've never seen _that_ argued before, however.  Most 
translations say, "Mary wife of Clopas," but there's no real way of
knowing whether it means wife of or daughter of or sister of, for that
matter.  If it's the same Clopas as the Emmaus Cleopas, you'd think 
the passage would mention he was the beloved disciple, unless of 
course you take into consideration different source material.  If 
Clopas is the beloved disciple then he becomes the son of Mary.  What 
I'm arguing here is the author of the Gospel refers to the mother of 
Jesus as "Mary of Clopas" in anticipation of Jesus naming Clopas 
Mary's son.  There are examples of this elsewhere in the NT, for 
example, Judas is frequently referred to as "the one who betrayed 
Jesus" long before he did so.  I think Mary is referred to as the one 
who anointed the feet of Jesus long before she did so.

 One would think one of the brothers of Jesus would take care of
Jesus's mother after Jesus's death.  How likely do you think it is
that the beloved disciple was one of Jesus's own brothers or cousins?
I read an article recently strongly suggesting that the brothers of
Jesus were blood brothers based on common Greek usage of the terms
for brothers/sisters and cousins.

 Idle thoughts.

Cindy Smith