Starbird's book The Woman with the Alabaster Jar
was a significant influence on his novel.
This is where the cross and the empty tomb were headed all along for us, for the woman with the alabaster jar
, for Simon, and even for David in the sense that the pattern of his healing is the same as ours.
"While Jesus was in Bethany at the home of a man Simon the Leper, a woman came to with an alabaster jar
of very expensive perfume oil ...
He shows beautifully how radically pro-woman the argument is, particularly in the exegesis of Jesus' anointing by the woman with the alabaster jar
as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 9:24, while being balanced enough to admit "a reminder that egotism shadows much that he [Abelard] writes" (71).
In that story, a woman bathes Jesus' feet with her tears, anoints them with ointment from her alabaster jar
, and dries them with her hair.
The first verse refers to the story in Mark 14:3-9 where a woman breaks open an alabaster jar
of precious ointment and pours it on Jesus' head, anointing him.
31) could have added a correction to his reference to Starbird's The Woman with the Alabaster Jar
. Starbird follows the old-time teaching of the Western Fathers that the anonymous woman with the alabaster box mentioned in the synoptic gospels (Luke adds that she was a sinner) is the same person as Mary Magdalene and Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus.
Jesus will be wasted, too -- his life broken open like an alabaster jar
. And, then, it will be gone like the perfume in Bethany.
In 1993, her book The Woman with the Alabaster Jar
reexamined the gospels and the Grail legends to find what she considers strong evidence of a hidden marriage between Jesus and Mary of Bethany, Lazarus' sister--later given the epithet "the Magdalene."
The other women are Mary of Bethany, Mary with the alabaster jar
and the unnamed sinner who washes Jesus' feet in the Gospel of Luke.
It is forever choosing Abel over Cain, Isaac over Esau, Joseph over the older brothers, the prodigal son over the dutiful brother, the Samaritan heretic over Jewish priest and Levites, the widow's mite over the large donations, a lost sheep over 99 safe ones, a woman with an alabaster jar
of ointment over the elegant leaders of Jerusalem, Magdalene over the Twelve to announce the Resurrection, a maid of Nazareth to be mother of the Messiah, a befuddled fisherman to become Peter, an enemy of the church to become the apostle to the Gentiles.