The „Mother of Jesus” and „Woman” as Mary’s Titles in the Fourth Gospel
KeywordsEwangelia Jana, Matka Jezusa, Niewiasta, Maryja, nowa Ewa
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AbstractThe Church worships Mary of Nazareth as the Lord’s Mother (Luc 1, 43) and the Mother of God. In the Fourth Gospel the Mother of Jesus appears only at the beginning and at the end of the book and in both cases in the context of the „hour” of Jesus (John 2, 1–12; 19, 25–27). In the Evangelist’s comments she is referred to as the „Mother of Jesus” and her Son calls her a „Woman”. In the debate about the omission of the name of the God’s Mother in the Gospel of John most exegetes emphasize the symbolic meaning of the book and probably in connection with it the author’s intention to depict some persons as types in the narration. Besides Jesus’ Mother the names are not given to the woman of Samaria (4, 7), the royal official of Capernaum (4, 46), the man blind from birth (9, 1), and finally the disciple whom Jesus loved. Therefore the role of these people seems to be special. According to tradition John’s Gospel, being the product of well-developed Christology, was created in its final shape in Ephesus at the end of the 1st century. It was the time of various religious and philosophical trend clashes and the beginning of Christological errors. In these circumstances, Christian orthodoxy crystallized. The Fourth Gospel can be characterized as decidedly Christocentric. It seems that the author of the book was particularly careful not to overemphasize the importance of the Mother of Jesus, but to present her true role in the historical-salvific work of her Son by means of the indicated titles. Mary is Mother of Jesus, but she isn’t situated on the same level with his heavenly Father, therefore she is also defined as a “Woman”. For the disciples of Jesus she is Mother and new Eve. Both titles: „Mother of Jesus” and „Woman” express her specific position before Jesus and his disciples.