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Quest for the historical Mary Magdelene

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  • Quest for the historical Mary Magdelene

    Quest for the Historical Mary Magdelene

  • #2
    Quest for the Historical Mary Magdelene


    • #3
      Interesting reading. Thanks David77.


      • #4
        It's an interesting article and timely. There's no question but that Dan Brown so skillfully wove together historical facts and inventive fiction that most readers won't be able to tell which is which. The movie can only be expected to further the confusion.

        The idea that Mary Magdelene was a prostitute is popular, but most scholars gave up that idea a long time ago. Unfortunately many preachers and most Sunday School teachers aren't scholars and don't even refer to scholars, so the idea continues to propagate.

        One of the things that has intrigued and puzzled me for 30 years or so is that so few Christians seem to have a clue about how radical Jesus' treatment of women was when measured against the social expectations of his day. Perhaps the premier example of Isaiah's saying, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD" (55:8) is that the resurrected Jesus appeared first to women rather than to men.

        Obviously women were leaders in the early church. Whether Mary Magdelene was one of those is a question that probably can't be answered from this distance. None of the gospels, both canonical and non-canonical, were intended to be history books as we understand that term today.


        • #5

          Mary Magdalene

          The best thing about the DaVinci Code is that it makes people re-evaluate the role of Mary Magdalene - and of women generally in the early Church.

          Except for the inclusion of some pagan elements and the rewriting of the history (and timeline) of the Christian conversion of the Roman Empire, much of the background plot to the DaVinci Code was borrowed from the alledged history book Holy Blood, Holy Grail published in 1982. Rather hilarioulsy two of the 3 authors of HBHG sued Brown for plagiarising the plot from their book - which is a sub-rosa admission that their "history" was largely fiction.

          There is strong evidence that the so called Priory of Sion is a 20th century invention, although both Brown and the authors of HBHG may very well have believed it to be real.

          Of particular interest is the notion that there was a deliberate attempt by the early church to erase evidence of feminine leadership and feminine aspects of the holy, notably by vilifying Mary Magdalene (even though there is nothing in the scriptures to defame her), and of course, by elevating Mary the mother of Jesus to a near deity, thus no longer a real woman, role model, or church leader. (The deification of Mother Mary also had an important role in the Roman conversion since she would supplant the roles of the female pantheon.)

          The central thesis of the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene has a long history. There is nothing in the scriptures to deny it, which is odd. It would be very unusual for a 30 year old rabbi in that era to be unmarried - that it is not remarked upon in any surviving scriptures is very remarkable, but we don't know for sure what was edited out of the scriptures in the first 3 centuries - although we have plenty of evidence for extensive editing.

          I wouldn't accept any of these ideas as ... erm ... gospel, but they make for some interesting and valuable contemplation.



          • #6
            Extensive editing by some religious sects, the many language translations, the many varyied versions of bible storys have all made my subsctiption to beleif in the bible to be much eroded from what it was.

            Women have always taken a back seat in most societies through out history. It is not unusual for the female sect to be snuffed in bible stories as is being brought to evidence of late.

            Religous sects had also snuffed out many other critically important facts of science in the early years which had set mans advancement in technology back not only years but centuries. This was accomplished by men always, not women.


            • #7
              Rabid Clam quite a large protion of human societies for a larger span of history were Matriarchal than Patriarchal with women on equal footing as men.

              It all ties to religion ... worship of the Earth and Nature are typical of Matriarchal societies while worship of the Sky and Otherworld Essences are typical of Patriarchal societies.

              Judaism, Christianity, Islam are all examples of Otherworld Essences worship and are intensely Patriarchal, hence the fact that females may have a large role in the early days of the new cult (and they likely did since it was new) has been suppressed as not fitting in with the societal norms.


              BTW, Nice article on the subject to start this thread.