Who is Mary Magdalene?

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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About the word of me
Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

5 Responses to Who is Mary Magdalene?

  1. shaverrhea says:

    Bart Ehrman has some really good stuff on that subject matter if you are interested in the “lost gospels” and that sort of thing. He’s a scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill that used to be a fundamentalist Christian that turned agnostic. Just please leave wikipedia behind haha. It’s good for a few starting points…if that. 😉 thanks for posting this stuff though. I’ve really enjoyed your writings.

  2. thewordofme says:

    Thank you shaverrahea.

    Are you saying that Wikipedia is wrong? Just curious. 🙂

  3. shaverrhea says:

    I think Wikipedia is a good starting point if you want to find a few sources, but I don’t think it should be taken as seriously as people like to. Anyone can write on it and put their own spin on information. I have intentionally written false information on it once to see how long it’d take for someone to catch it. It took two months. 😉

  4. thewordofme says:

    So are you saying that makes everything there wrong?

    Why would you want to purposely screw up something that thousands of people are trying to make a good resource for all of humanity?

    You know, like freely available to everyone as a means of pulling themselves up from ignorance.

    Do you also write malicious code, or virus’ and send it out for everyone?

    I have the 2008 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica on DVD and I check most everything I write against it, and other online sources.

    The thing about Wikipedia is it is not constrained by amount of content, like books are. Encyclopedias have a certain amount of space that any given subject can fill, and once it’s published, thats it, until revision time…often years.

    Wikipedia on the other hand can have, and does have, a million or more pages, and can be edited and published and freely distributed when new evidence or science is uncovered. Unfortunately there ARE people that try to subvert the process.

    It happened so much on pages that related to religion that the Wikipedia people now require registration for changes.
    on religious subjects.

    You have a good day.

  5. shaverrhea says:

    No. I don’t think that everything on here is wrong. I just think it’s a good starting point. 🙂 I guess I was just saying that we shouldn’t just look to that as a 100% factual site. I’ve seen so many people just take the facts they get from Wikipedia and accepted the “facts” without question.

    I understand the Internet to be a Marketplace of Ideas that is full of good and bad material for others to use. I tweaked information on one site to honestly see how long it would take for someone to actually notice. I’ve heard it’d be changed almost automatically. It was a kind of experiment to see if people actually processed what they were reading. I wasn’t doing this for malicious purposes though.

    I would never write viral codes. That’s just wrong and I don’t understand why people want to hurt others in that way.

    Anyways, thanks for the conversation…I’m excited to read more on your journey. 🙂 Shalom

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