Paul tells Timothy how to select a widow worthy of support. The numbers point at a couple widows, one worthy, one not.

1 Timothy 5:3-16

FA 3Honor widows who are widows. 4If any of the widows have sons or grandsons, let them know that aid should be sought 1st from those of their own house, so that the sons have the opportunity to repay their obligations to their parents; for this is acceptable before god. 5She who is a widow and destitute trusts in god and is constant in prayers and supplications both night and day. 6But she who lives wholly for pleasure is dead while she lives. 7Continually command them these things so that they may be blameless. 8But, if any man does not provide for his own, and especially for those who are of his own house who are of the belief, he has denied the belief and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:3-89You will therefore select a widow 1|8 who is not less than 60 years, 2|8 who has been the wife of only 1 man, 3|8 10and is well spoken of for good works, 4|8 if she has brought up sons, 5|8 if she has lodged strangers, 6|8 if she has washed the feet of the holy, 7|8 if she has comforted the distressed, 8|8 if she has been diligent in every good work. 1 Timothy 5:9-1011But refuse the younger widows, for when they have begun to wax wanton against the anointed, they will marry. 12Their judgment awaits them, because they have been untrue to their 1st belief. 13With it all, they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only to be idle, but also tattlers and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. 14Therefore, I would that the younger widows 1|4 marry, 2|4 bear sons, 3|4 manage their own houses, 4|4 and give no occasion to the enemy for disdain. 15For as conditions are now some have already strayed after an accuser. 1 Timothy 5:11-1516If any believers, either men or women, have widows in their families, let them feed them, and do not let them be a burden on the assembly, so that it may have enough for those who are widows. 1 Timothy 5:16 (1 Timothy 5:3-16 BRB)


60+1 = 61 = 1 John

1 John

A survey of First John does not return a story or passage about widows. This cross reference however is not aimed particularly at the content of First John, but rather at the authors.

The likely authors of the first chapter of First John, if not the whole book, are the two Marys who were the first to encounter Jesus after he rose from the grave (Matt 28:1-10). Consider the beginning of First John as their testimony.

1We declare to you that which was from the beginning, that which we have heard and we have seen. With our eyes we saw it and we have touched it with our hands, that which is the word of life. 2For the life was revealed and we have seen it and we testify to it and we proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the father and was revealed to us. 3The thing which we saw and we heard we disclose to you also that you may have fellowship with us and our fellowship is with FA the father and with his son Joshua FA the anointed. 4These things we write to you that our joy that is in you may be complete. 1 John 1:1-45This is the thinking which we have heard from him and declare to you: That god is light and there is not any darkness in him. 6If we say that we have fellowship with him yet live in darkness we are lying and do not follow the truth. FA 7If we live in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Joshua his son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-78If we will say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins he is believable and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all our evil. 10If we say that we have not sinned we make him a liar and his word is not with us. 1 John 1:8-10 (1 John 1 BRB)

Note that one person is not declaring his eyewitness report that Jesus rose, but multiple persons. Who might the authors be? The two women who were the first to see Jesus rise, one being his own mother Mary, are the best candidates. The other Mary is the sister of Lazarus and Martha and appears to also be Mary Magdalene when all the references are considered together.

As an aside, once Mary the mother of Jesus is considered the author of First John the reoccurring address throughout the letter to sons would be an address to Jacob and Jude, the sons of Mary, half brothers of Jesus, and leaders in the assembly in Jerusalem. Reading the letter of First John with them in mind can vastly change how the letter is interpreted and reveal a lot about what Mary was like and what Jacob and Jude were like (having to be reminded that they do not need a teacher because the anointing is their teacher, for example).

One of the prerequisites for selecting a widow worthy of support is that she has raised sons. Mary certainly fits this prerequisite. In fact Mary is the single best example of a woman who is spoken of for good works. Even Gabriel spoke well of her:

26In the 6th month the king Gabriel K Exodus 2:10 was sent from god to Galilee to a city called Nazareth 27to a virgin who was acquired for a price for a man named Joseph FA of the house of David. The name of the virgin was Mariam. L 1 Samuel 1:2 28The king went in and said to her, Peace be to you full of grace. Our master is with you blessed among women. Luke 1:26-2829When she saw him she was disturbed at his word and wondered what kind of salutation this could be. 30The king said to her, Do not fear Mariam. You have found grace with god. 31You will conceive and give birth to a son. You will call his name, Joshua. FA 32He will be great and he will be called, The son of the highest. Master God will give him the throne of his father David. 33He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and there will not be a limit to his kingdom. Luke 1:29-3334Mariam said to the king, How can this be for no man has known me? Luke 1:3435The king answered and said to her, FA The spirit of the holy will come and the power of the highest will rest on you. Therefore the one who is to be born of you is holy and he will be called, The son of God. 36Elizabeth your kinswoman has also conceived a son in her old age. This is the 6th month with her who is called, Barren, 37because this thing is not difficult to god. Luke 1:35-3738Mariam said, Here I am, a maid of the Master. Let it be to me according to your word. The king went away from her. Luke 1:38 (Luke 1:26-38 BRB)

The widows not worthy of support by the assembly are those that are young or have behaved other than the standard layed out by Paul. Given the possibility that the other author of First John is Mary Magdalene, the set of behaviours Paul describes of young widows may be saying what that Mary was like, or at least during some time of her life. Doesn't mean she isn't saved or part of the assembly, but it does appear to disqualify her for financial support from the assembly.