May 30, 2008 5 Comments
So just who is this woman Mary Magdalene; Is she Saint or sinner?
In one of the sermons that Pope Gregory I gave in 591, he identifies Mary Magdalene as: “She whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary [of Bethany], we believe to be the Mary from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark.” Remember this is the Pope who started celibacy in ‘The Church.’ The Catholics only reversed their unofficial position in the late 1960’s.
Peter was at odds with her. He openly criticizes her in front of other Apostles and is rebuked by Levi for his attitude towards her.
Did she actually write the Gospel of Mary? People of religion have told me that the Nag Hammadi Gnostic Gospels were too late (200’s-300’s CE) to be considered as real or applying to Christianity as we know it now. But, I think they forget that Eusebius was collecting letters and papers for the modern Bible as late as the 350’s CE.
Was she the enigmatic ‘Beloved Disciple’ of the Gospels; was she in fact the writer of the Gospel of John, as some people believe. See: Elaine Pagels …and others…check out Wikipedia and Mary Magdalene on the net. Sorry, no evidence that she had Jesus’ baby.
Did she retire to France, where 5 churches claim to have her bones, or did she retire along with John and Mary mother of Jesus, to Ephesus, Turkey where they all died?
Reading the convoluted history of the early Christian Church is much like reading a very anticipated crime novel by your favorite author. There are twists and turns that no one could even think of in earlier times. The level of scholarship relating to the early church is amazing and exhaustive. Modern researchers have turned upside down early theories and some biblical ‘truths’.
From Mary Magdalene article in Wikipedia:
“Further attestation of Mary of Magdala and her role among some early Christians is provided by the Gnostic, apocryphal Gospel of Mary Magdalene which survives in two 3rd century Greek fragments and a longer 5th century translation into Coptic. In the Gospel the testimony of a woman first needed to be defended. All of these manuscripts were first discovered and published between 1938 and 1983, but as early as the 3rd century there are Patristic references to the Gospel of Mary. These writings reveal the degree to which that gospel was despised and dismissed by the early Church fathers. In the fragmentary text, the disciples ask questions of the risen Savior (a designation that dates the original no earlier than the 2nd century) and are answered.”
The history I am finding…is fascinating, and I find a lot of it contradicts today’s evangelical fundamentalist thought. Of course they just think this stuff is lies spread by the devil.
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