Friday, July 29, 2011

Help Me With This - Please Help Convince Me That This Christian Sarcophagus Image is Depicting John Chapter 11 Rather than Narrative From Secret Mark

As a blogger I often look for images to 'bring to life' my posts. The process is pretty standardized. Go to Google images type the subject of the post and look at the results and chose a picture for the article. In my last post I chose an image from the Lessing Photo Archive which is explained as:

The resurrection of Lazarus. Relief (3rd CE) on an early Christian sarcophagus. Cat. 41 Museo Nazionale delle Terme, Rome, Italy

But as I starting looking at the image I couldn't help but notice some details which might suggest that it is rather a depiction of the resurrection of the youth in Secret Mark.

The first thing that strikes me is that the tomb here is clearly a garden tomb like that in Secret Mark. Notice the columns and the rest of the details. Then there is the woman apparently praying that Jesus resurrect her brother. Yet compare the words of the woman in each story. First John:

When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

and now Secret Mark:

And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.' But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near, Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb.

Maybe I am not seeing things correctly here but why is the depiction more Lazarus than Secret Mark?

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