A Quite Contrary Mary

Like Jesus, Mary Magdalene is now the subject of a cultural makeover. What agenda do feminist scholars have in mind?


11/30/2006 11:45:39 PM

Directed to susnow: Where, exactly, did Mr. Woodward say that he did not support egalitarianism? What he implied was that the idea of ancient egalitarian communities being betrayed by evil patriarchical males was ridiculous, not that egalitarianism was bad.


11/27/2006 01:45:36 PM

Just curious, What religion did Constantine "create"? It certainly wasn't Christianity as he only converted on his death bed. He also took no part in the council of Nicea. My suggestion is to stop listening to people like Dan Brown and research this for yourself.


07/24/2006 06:01:30 PM

Dear Mr. Woodward, I don't know if what these feminist scholars propose is true, but I do know that your method of disagreeing with them is dishonest. Dismissing these scholars as elitist and New Age is not good scholarship itself, and therefore you discredit yourself. Also, you seem to have a problem with the concept of egalitarianism itself. Mr. Woodward, egalitarianism is just a fancy word for "every person is equal". So if you are against egalitarianism, then you are of the belief that some human beings are more superior than others. In essence, you have discredited yourself twice.


01/02/2005 01:11:01 PM

Aside from Religion the GOM helps one understand the dynamics beyond religious or political subjugation. It is very liberating. God in the 3rd person -is talking about God. God in the 2nd person -is conversing with God. God is the "I AM" -1st person! When we serve truth and creation we are living our divinity, and are not separated from it. Of course this would be heresy and people were killed for speaking such thoughts in centuries past. What a great time this is! We can contemplate, study, and speak beyond the confines of the marriage of empire and religion Constantine created.


01/02/2005 01:05:08 PM

So we can't describe truth? We can't know God? So why seek? Hey we're all gonna die, so why not suicide and get it over with? That makes as much logic as most of the arguments that wouldn't let us contemplate outside Constantinian thought that reigned from 313 to the 1960's. What I see as the big difference the whole Mary issue helps bring to light. Not via her -mind you, but through her understanding of Jesus. The relationship between man and God is direct and no one or hiarchy is needed between. The first illusion that tries to trap the soul as described in "The Gospel of Mary" is thereby escaped. We are not separated from our divinity! It's hard for many to understand, but why should we all be limited by the limited. Nay, instead let them try their walls of thought and see for themselves if they are solid or apparent fog.


12/19/2004 09:26:18 AM

Con't from last: When we attempt to temporalize our spirituality and belief in terms of "human" intellect (Especially where such temporalization involves "redefining" religious scripture), spiritual truths will always escape us. One cannot, in human terms, define and explain divine truths. I have no doubt that the contemporary "experts" of our time will take issue with what I write here. So be it! I can live with a few mysteries in my life and also live with the satisfaction that there are some things that are better left undefined, unmeasured, and unknown. In the final analysis, a person's belief has less to do with what can be known, and much more to do with what one believes in that cannot be secularly proven.


12/19/2004 09:23:46 AM

I find it amusing, pathetic, and symbolic of the times (Take your pick), to see the extent to which some people are willing to go to try to make such irrelevent and unprovable points. In an age where it is popular to secularize anything and everything sacred, it is of little surprise to me that religious belief should be subjected to such ludicrous and undocumented arguments as that involving the two Marys (It makes for good writing though I hear). If there is such a thing as a war of words then it follows that the old adage--"The first casualty of war is the truth", certainly applies here. Religious belief is faith-based. There is a passage in the Bible that indicates that one is to come before God as a child, implying that it should not be the role of the believer to question the "truth" as we (Humans) would interpret it, instead to be lead by our heart and spiritual guidance.


12/15/2004 12:54:10 PM

Sunday's CNN presentation on the Two Mary's left me like the AFLAC duck trying to understand Yogi Berra. If the thinking(?)of the feminists on that program is what we'd have if women had founded the church, Yogi would feel as at home on the pew as he is on the bench, which is what home feels like when you're at home. I mean it got me so mixed up I was confused. Did Yogi go Princeton -- or was it Harvard?


12/14/2004 09:46:34 PM

agree... immersed in his purpose,Jesus had multitudes to show love to,and a focus on one person doesn't seem to fit... his focus was on God of course... peace.


12/08/2004 11:19:08 AM

Using the sound mind the Spirit has given me and just thinking about Jesus's life, here's my unscholarly opinion. Jesus start hanging out with the elders as a young teenager! He startled his parents by not rejoining the family as they journeyed back home, saying he had to be "about his father's business." He was 100% immersed in His purpose. None of us came from the right hand of God to inhabit a physical body in order to save the world, so we think he had the same appetites as we do. He was "acquainted" with our plight, but, really, He was in a class by himself. He had a lot to do in a very short time. I can't imagine Him needing a wife or using the precious time He was given to worry about a physical family. He died at the young age of 33. However, He didn't condemn marriage or encourage it, to my knowledge. It just wasn't important--for Him. And I'm okay with that! :)


02/16/2004 03:41:44 AM

While Mr Woodward's arguments are slightly better than the "well the bible doesn't say it, so it isn't so" arguments, they are naive. I'm sure various books elevating MM's position have similarly elevated the writer's academic careers, but I'm amazed that Woodward doesn't seriously consider the effects of culture & politics on early church leaders. That it took centuries to settle on the "truth" hardly suggests an even approach to gospel selection. In discussing the age of the feminist views on MM, he doesn't even acknowledge the considerable evidence regarding the persecution of gnostic sects by the orthodoxy, and later of the Cathars by the Roman Catholic Church (an institution not known for easily embracing well supported ideas). This persecution of "heretics" is significant considering that history is written by the victorious, not necessarily the honest. If "recent revisions" regarding MM are just cultural artifacts, how can he discount similar effects on the writings of Paul and other church founders?


12/10/2003 08:00:45 PM

Several posts have been moved from this thread as they were off topic. Members are welcome to continue the discussion here or on other appropriate discussion boards. Please limit the discussion on this miniboard to the topic of the article. Thank you Beliefnet_Tiger Beliefnet Community Services


12/09/2003 03:29:49 PM

sorry that should read "extraordinary disciple OF Christ"


12/09/2003 03:29:14 PM

I'm not sure John was the "beloved disciple" - that is just an assumption. It is more likely that Jesus was referring to Mary Magdalene as his "beloved disciple" but it was difficult for early church fathers to reconcile Jesus' "beloved disciple" being a woman as well as a person who was acknowledged to be an extraordinary disciple or Christ. If the disciple was that good, it had to be a man.


12/08/2003 10:58:57 AM

Jesus was no respector of persons. The Saviour manifest his divine love without respect to gender, race or nationality. I believe the Son of Man had a loving and sexual relationship with John the beloved disciple. Jesus was most likely married to Mary Magdalene. The highest expression of human love is sexual intercourse; when in sexual union with Mary Jesus was expressing his love for the whole world. Most powerful men have concubines' it's reasonable to suggest that Jesus had many lovers. Let's not forget that Jesus was God of very God, but also man of very man.


12/04/2003 11:28:57 AM

Ariemessenger, For what it may be worth, I find it difficult to believe that the Gospel writers, desciples of the Apostles or possibly one of the Twelve, did not understand who Mary of Magdala was or where the name Magdala came from. Most of them were from that area, Galilee. People don't have that much memory loss in one or two generations. If they do, then the memory of the Exodus would have to be pure fiction. Jim


12/03/2003 03:50:10 PM

Bless you, Cknuck, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven, EL Elyon.


12/02/2003 10:47:25 PM

Right! arielmessenger, I believe you it must be the truth after all you said so. Well at least one of us believe you.


12/02/2003 08:14:57 PM

Here is the truth: "The idea that the character of Mary Magdalene is also derived from Miriam the mythical mother of Yeishu, is corroborated by the fact that the strange name "Magdalene" clearly resembles the Aramaic term "mgadla nshaya," meaning "womens' hairdresser." As mentioned before, there was a belief that Yeishu's mother was "Miriam the women's hairdresser." Because the Christians did not know what the name "Magdalene" meant, they later conjectured that it meant that she had come from a place called Magdala on the west of Lake Kinneret. The idea of the two Marys fitted in well with the pagan way of thinking. The image of Jesus being followed by the two Marys is strongly reminiscent of Dionysus being followed by Demeter." and Persephone.


12/02/2003 08:14:37 PM

I'm not going to plow through all the postings so if this is repeating someone else's posting, so be it. "Mary Magdalene" is a translation error. That's all she is. The name is derived from the fact that Hellenized Jews or Gentiles who wrote those NT stories didn't know the Aramaic language very well, that's why all the Gospels and letters are in Greek and aimed for Greek speaking audiences in the Roman Empire.


12/02/2003 04:59:19 PM

It is my understanding that a Rabbi at least nowadays is supposed to be married. I believe that this is a tradition going back to the time of Jesus. Does someone of the Judiac faith "know" wether this is true or not ?


12/02/2003 12:37:54 PM

"Jesus HAD to be married, or he would...COULD not be refered to as rabbi." I think you may be confusing the requirement of being a married man with one wife in order to be a priest in the temple with being called "rabbi". These are two different titles. The word rabbi is often translated as teacher, however its correct meaning is, "great one". Not all priests are great and not all priests are teachers in ancient Judea. Shalom


12/02/2003 12:32:50 PM

This is another example of how people exchange truth for error. The devinci code is another example of how Europeans want to create another myth about europeans carring the geneology of Jesus. The Idea of a first century Jewess fleeing to France of allplace is absurd. It would be illogical for a Jewish monotheist flee to the lands of the Pagan Romans insted of going either to Africa, Arabia, or asia. Most early Christians are believed to be martyred in Roman lands in the first century so for survival she couldn't have gone anywhere near west europe without her martyrdom being acknowledge like Paul or Peter. I believe Jesus had no children and if he did they are not europeans, since they made Jesus look like German, with blue eyes and blond hair. Now they claim among them lies the offspring of Jesus. More hearsay and conjecture..


12/02/2003 01:51:02 AM

So please do not let me hear another person say take this book literally word by word, We didn't become corrupt all of a sudden in the 20th and 21st centuries. Let the scholars argue, but this book has been corrupted by man and womyn,it is what we do to everything, it is our nature.


11/02/2003 11:41:44 AM

truth has been so corrupted by man, we will only find all truth when we reach the throne and sit at the feet of Christ. Meanwhile God's Word and the Holy Spirit will help to discern what is truth and what is chaos. Test your truths on what?


10/20/2003 12:51:28 PM

These truths are testable and can be proven, as far as the original texts and beliefs go.. but most people intentionally ignore this.. choosing instead to shrug it off like it is unimportant.. that is oppression of women..


10/20/2003 03:39:56 AM

Wow, you post these TRUTHS as if they were in fact testable. Surely they are, or you wouldn't post them. As for me, I can admit that somethings are not explainable. That's what makes the word FAITH such a key element in Christianity. Still, faith isn't blind, and conclussions shouldn't be made based on speculative information.


10/20/2003 01:56:57 AM

Jesus HAD to be married, or he would...COULD not be refered to as rabbi. Regarding mistranslation of Holy Spirit as masculine, consider when it was first translated into English.


10/19/2003 03:30:34 PM

Any usage of the word HE in the Bible refering to the Spirit is a mistranslation.. It is easily proven that the original tounge of Jesus would say SHE when refering to the Holy Spirit.. this is a fact.. The Goddess IS Biblical.. "let us create them in our image".. "Wisdom has hewn out her seven pillars".. further, the Bible does NOT say we are sexless in heaven..rather, that we are equal in the eyes of our Creator(s) reguardless of our sex.. The Holy Spirit is female.. Jesus was married.. these are the true facts.. the first century christian church worshiped the Holy Spirit as a female deity..


10/19/2003 02:13:33 PM

you are right about bush's values..


10/19/2003 12:43:37 AM

"An it harm none, do as ye will." Sounds like a great way to run a country to me. In fact, I would say that is far, far better than Bush will ever do with his "Christian" values. However, I do not get your point regarding running over children. What are you saying?


10/18/2003 08:31:18 PM

Your angery post ALL4ONE sounds like my wife when she gets mad...Nina, is that you? Hahaha. Blessings


10/18/2003 08:29:35 PM

"I'd say that you've got as good a chance to convert me to xianity as I have of converting you to Wicca." ...LOL!, too funny. Yeah, you're probably right. Still, can you run a country on the ethics put forward by Wicca? I mean, if it's natural for me to kill you when you've accidently ran over my child with your car, how will you punish me? Hmmm, probably by giving me a Bible and changing my religion......I"m really just joking with you here. I understand you point clearly. Blessings to you


10/18/2003 01:36:36 PM

Which proves my earlier post.. pagans and christians alike are guilty of forgetting.. HER May Her Holy name be blessed throughout all generations.. Amen


10/18/2003 12:53:36 PM

There you go again... wanting to hold to a fundamental antagonist position against fundies.. go study pagan history.. and then go sacrifice your son.. what about pagan history.. lets see.. human sacrifice, killing babies.. really holy .. how beautiful.. sooo sacred.. Lets see.. pagan's today.. wondering about the power of rocks.. hmmmmmmmmm.. the angle of the ratio.. sooooooo sacred.. You really know nothing about the Bible.. If you did you discover how profound the message is.. and how many consistences and harmonies there are.. it really is a superhuman effort.. but all this is beside the point.. the point is women REALLY DO HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE OUTRAGED at the lost of the Goddess in Christianity, She is there if you look carefully.. and She is in the Bible.. She is everywhere.. She IS.. So who cares about fundies and not so fundies.. It is about Her.. no me.. not you.. not them.. HER


10/18/2003 11:44:04 AM

I'd say that you've got as good a chance to convert me to xianity as I have of converting you to Wicca.


10/18/2003 07:05:05 AM

Well, something tells me that even if I take the time to do so, you're dogmatic in your beliefs and I'd get nowhere. No?


10/18/2003 02:40:54 AM

If you want more than that one, go here: http://members.aol.com/ckbloomfld/ There are hundreds. Not just NT, that guy shows errors all through the Bible, OT vs OT, NT vs NT and NT vs OT.


10/18/2003 02:25:47 AM

Let's start with just one, the two fathers thing. Either Matt 1 or Luke 3 is wrong. Which is it? quote: "Once again, show me ANY historical text that meets the guidlines you expect from the Bible lets say....um...before 7th century AD, and I'll buy you lunch." And this is relavent, how? I am pagan... when I want to know what the Gods want for me, I ask Them directly, not go third hand for what someone else's answer was 20 centuries ago.


10/16/2003 06:06:08 PM

E-mal me a list of 10 inconsistancies and contraditions and I will clear them up one by one for you. Once again, show me ANY historical text that meets the guidlines you expect from the Bible lets say....um...before 7th century AD, and I'll buy you lunch. My e-mail is JSTR808@msn.com so I'll be checking tonight just to give you time. Blessings to you my dear friend.


10/16/2003 05:31:40 PM

First off, I'm sorry that I don't have time today for a full description. The inconsistancies and contradictions CANNOT be discribed quickly, there are far too many. These errors are both philosophical and historical. Quick examples (don't have chapter and verse handy) Luke vs Matt and the geneology of Jesus... Joseph has TWO fathers!!! Second example: depending on which section you read, you are/are not saved by doing good works. Yes the Truth is out there... and it's NOT Christian!


10/16/2003 05:46:14 AM

Can I be offended that Gentiles are not considered equal? I mean, I'm gentile by definition, so shouldn't I be feeling sorry for myself becuase I don't get any equality in the Bible? Probably....;o)


10/16/2003 05:43:54 AM

Also, it's common knowledge that the New Testiment writtings began not just within a generation of Christ's crusifiction, but 1 Corinthians 15 has been dated within 20 years of Christ's death. My point: It's hard to taint a historical writting when the people you're writting about are still alive, or at least their children. Like I said, check it ALL out at your local library. This reminds me of the X-files....the Truth is outthere, and shall set you free...LOL!


10/16/2003 05:39:09 AM

Well Paganpriest, there is a local library near you that would beg to differ if you have some time. Real quick, the note inconsistancies, but you have to ask yourself if it's from a philosophical view, or historical. If the main idea of 4 different eye witnesses is still contained within the subject matter, than historically it's correct, yet philisophically one would throw out all 4 and claim it never happened. That's like throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Try this, show me ANY religious text that even comes close the the accuracy and delicate translation other than the New Testiment. Don't start with Buddist text, because you'll get lost really quick, so try Islam....written by inspiration in a cave where NO ONE else was around. Yeah, check it out at the library, no joke.


10/15/2003 01:54:50 PM

Some of what the Gospels say that Jesus taught was better than common practice in that time and place. You couldn't tell it today, but much of what Muhammed claimed was the word of Allah was an improvement for women of his time and place. Neither of these were as good as the rights and privileges guaranteed to women under the Brehon laws of pagan Ireland.


10/15/2003 01:47:30 PM

JSTR808, saying that the NT is the most accurate text isn't really saying much, considering all the contradictions and inconsistancies therein.


10/15/2003 01:40:10 PM

NT equality of women? Depents on which section of the NT you are reading. Some do indeed have passages that show women can be equal to men. Others, and Paul comes leaping to mind here, advocate the subjugation of women as far or farther than Jewish or pagan thought at the time.


10/15/2003 05:50:40 AM

I'm surprised that it isn't common knowledge that Biblical, Talmud, Book of Antiquities, the history written by Josephus and others were written at a time when women were considered lower class, yet the New Testiment still holds on to its original interpretations from Aramaic and Greek. The Bible I read clearly presents women being a stronghold within the Christ's ministry. Not just women though. What about children? Weren't they just as low? What about the sick and lame, weren't they untouchable in most circles. Only singling out women seems to present a slippery slope that leads to missing the MAIN IDEA of the New Testiment. (blessings to you)


10/14/2003 12:37:08 PM

JST you are right that there is bitterness from some women with respect to the contents of the new testament. It's bitterness NOW, as we have come to realize just what was ommitted and altered to keep us from knowing our God, by whom, and for what purpose. But despite these politico/cultural machinations, there is PLENTY in the new testament that supports womens equality. The fact that it has been largely ignored, or manipulated to mean something else, is just something we women (and you men) will have to come to terms with.


10/14/2003 06:51:53 AM

Wow, it's so surprising that our generation, as well as current follows of "religions" have completely overlooked the so far unfalsified studies and solid evidence that the New Testiment is actually the most accurate religious text compaired to ALL other religious texts. What also surprises me is that there is bitterness within female circles claiming that the New Testiment is anti-female. Hmmm, I thought the the NT was supposed to be a journey of Christ introducing you to His Father so that a relationship is available to be forged. This whole post reminds me of the deciples bickering over whom would be greater in heaven. The falicey: Missing the Point.


10/11/2003 03:10:13 PM

ok... ;-)


10/10/2003 01:27:51 PM

Anyone who *only* reads books might fall into the trap of "you make it up as you go". That includes the Bible. That is why it is necessary to go beyong what can be bound by the writen word, to seek and develop a connection to the Divine.


10/10/2003 02:39:48 AM

ooops.. Her Divine Grace and our Goddess


10/10/2003 02:39:03 AM

The Holy Spirit is the Divine Femeinine


10/10/2003 01:03:00 AM

Exactly, you make it it as you go.. allowing for superstion as a form of grace.. what bs.. Yea, the mystical year and rebirth and the mother are all there, that is wonderful, however, it is Jesus and his wife who are the fullfillment of ALL these things.. actually, I do think there is a pagan religon that is true.. it is called Christianity


10/08/2003 12:21:43 AM

Umm, all4one, are you aware that there are dozens or hundreds of pagan religions? If you actually had learned anything about paganism, you would know that pagan women are far less likely to tolerate oppression than xiam or islamic women. Further, most pagans know that you can NEVER find TRUE wisdom in a book, any book. We use ours as they were meant to be used... they are the pilot's journals of those who walked this way before us. By reading the books, we may travel the path to wisdom ourselves.


10/06/2003 11:21:59 PM

It's curious that we christians endlessly debate such a small collection of early christian writings (the bible) that was assembled and shoved down everyone else's throat because it was politically expedient to do so. There is now a veritable font of early christian writings that show quite a diverse community of equals - that is men and women sharing in the tasks (bishop, priest, leadership)of an early christian community. Were there men who were threatened by this new culture? Undoubtedly. Did they seek all means at their disposal to rid christianity of this point of view? Definetely. So why do we continue to seek answers to the questions of equality in the limited writings of a book that was assembled to demonstrate UNequality?


10/05/2003 12:44:03 AM

all4one: You speaking for all Pagans & Christians when you say this? As a pagan, I've seen oppression in the pagan community as well as Christians. But it's not the norm among most pagans. If you focus on Buddhism, Hinduism, & even Islam, the focus IS predominantly on the power of the male. Also, I've seen these "feminist witches" who exclude the God...& I think it's wrong to do so. While I can understand their reasons (feminine spirituality has been denied for a VERY long time in our society)...two wrongs do not make a right. I have seen this spiritual imbalance in my own beliefs, and am attempting to include the God as equally as I do the Goddess in my ceremonies. I've noticed that a similar phenomenon is taking place within the pagan community as well. And by the way, the books I have read have only pointed me in certain directions. If I want wisdom, I look for it within Nature, and within myself. Books are nice (I have more than I can count)--but books cannot contain all the wisdom of Creation


10/04/2003 01:51:13 PM

Pagans have far more contradictions then Christians.. Read the pagan writings and see if you can find anything even close to the wisdom of the Bible..hehehehahaha.. that is funny.. really, Pagans have no religion.... But everyone is self seeking, all of you.. and most men oppress women in this world, wether they think they are or not.. Pagans and Christians alike.


10/02/2003 11:43:07 AM

If you had followed the link I provided, you would have go to a web site that details hundreds of contradictions and errors in the Bible...or do you define "studying scripture" as turning off your brain? I don't want to sling insults, but that is the only way to NOT see the contradictions. By the way, I have chosen to follow my Gods with thought toward all my tomorrows. It is a path that I encourage my son to follow.


10/01/2003 06:00:39 PM

O.K., My last post (too many other things to look after, it's not easy being a King). If one studies scripture rather than read it as a book it is not contridictory and if one searches for values to what may be thought of as contidictions a knowledge forms with the guidance of the spirit of YAHWEH. People who have other "gods" are usually people who wish to make their own RULES, which when broken can be easily rationialzed and justified. When one is following YAHWEH's 613 laws and breaks them they are held responsible. Not today perhaps, but someday and that's the fear. What if there is actually some one, or some thing a person may be held responsible too, out there,later? So,go ahead,select your "gods",and enjoy today. I have and have done so with the idea of "tomorrow".


10/01/2003 02:47:23 AM

King_DavidII, actually, I don't need Biblical authority to know my Gods are true Gods. You might want to have a care about your choice of beliefs however. The Bible is so full of contradictions as to make it a mine field for determining what is true and what is the proper way to worship that particular Deity. I strongly advise you to check out this web site: http://members.aol.com/ckbloomfld/ I think it does a much better job than I can at showing the falsity of christianity.


09/30/2003 11:22:07 PM

Yea.. ok.. yea--who? really come off it.. you pretend to be all righteous, what a joke, none of you are righteous, and most of you agree to the oppression of women. If you were really interested in what the Bible reveals you would know Jesus married Mary. You would know the Holy Spirit is female. But you don't know because you never really took the question serious.. and why?.. because of your lack of faith and love. Seek and you will find.. start with "let us make them in our image"


09/30/2003 08:11:48 PM

I made a terrible error in my post and I hope i'll be forgiven for it, my spelling, YAHWEH is the correct spelling. Haste makes waste, is true. Pagan, ultimatly we all make our individule decisions, right? I have no fear mine is right. Unfortunately, we both cannot be right. Be cautioned about scriptures which mention "other" god's,"lesser" gods and the great liar herself, satan. Beleive what you wish, and allow me to do the same. But lets all share our beliefs in peace. Letting someone know they may not be right is all one can do, what they do with that knowledge is not my decision, but their's......


09/30/2003 04:22:44 PM

Come come now, King_DavidII please get your facts straight. YHVH *CLAIMS* to be the creator. Even then, the claim is made in a collection of writings so full of errors and self-contradictions that there is no way to know what he might have indended to say.


09/29/2003 08:51:42 PM

It is pittiful how some people spout off about that which they are ignorant about. el, god, yashu-jesus? where do you get this stuff from, mary? what? If you bow down to "god" you bow down to the evel one and many lesser "god's", not the Creator and Heavenly Father (who by the way never referred to himself as a "god". YEHWEH IS the Creator and Heavenly Father, YASHUA MESSIAH is the Savior. And, the name "jesus" is actually the greek name "Iaso" who was an ancient Ionian goddess of healing and wealth, a pagan goddess. Many of you need prayer for yourselves. Study and research, don't take some catholic priest's say-so. (no i am not a jew, but a protestant who beleives he has found the truth).


09/18/2003 05:15:09 PM

Addendum to my previous post: I said real theory, and that is exactly what I intended. The theory has been proposed, evidence has been presented. Proof, EITHER WAY, can only be obtained using a time machine to go back and closely observe him for an extended period of time.


09/18/2003 05:10:48 PM

To quote: kallisen 9/16/03 5:29:58 PM Hey fr - I've got an idea. Since Paul never married, and he wrote verse after verse regarding abstaining from sex - let's conjecture that he was a homosexual deviant, ok? ~~~~~ Well, that IS a real theory. It does explain why he was so against ANY form of sexual expression... his own was something abhorent under Mosaic law. This would also explain why he was so quick to change the original message of Jesu ben Joseph. Only by pretending that EVERYONE was as sick and sinful as he was, could he allow himself hope of a "better lfe in the beyond". (Note: I have no problem with homosexuality, nor do I believe it to be sick and sinful... that was a mistake of Mosaic law quoted here.)


09/18/2003 01:11:47 AM

Thanks jhoulgate. Yes, I really need to read the "Nag Hammadi Library" one of these days, so I can judge all these "non-canonical" writings for myself. As for the possible existence of "Him," I think it's probably an urban legend. Surely if such a movie had been released to theatres, there would have been such a hue and cry that we would have heard about it. Maybe I should post something on one of the Sexuality discussion boards, because I'm curious whether anyone knows anything about it. (It's probably a bit off-topic here--sorry.)


09/17/2003 01:05:03 PM

Hi Sweetness, We do know from the non-canonical Gospel of Phillip that Jesus reportedly planted one on the lips of Mary Magdalene. Peter was not pleased and complained, wondering aloud if the Son-of-Man loved her more than the males in his troupe - so the account said. However, one kiss does not a relationship make, but considering the mores of the time it left room for belief in such a union.


09/17/2003 02:33:38 AM

I hope this isn't too off-topic, but has anyone heard of a movie from the early '70s called "Him"? Apparently the tagline was, "Have you ever wondered about HIS sex life?"; and the movie portrays Jesus as a swinging homosexual. I think I read about it on the Urban Legends website, snopes.com. Is this just another "urban legend"? Or does anyone know anything about it? (Personally, I think the "Jesus was gay" thing is extremely unlikely. But Jesus being married to--or in a "relationship" with--Mary Magdelene, though, is something that I wish were true...though that might not be, either.)


09/16/2003 05:29:57 PM

Hey fr - I've got an idea. Since Paul never married, and he wrote verse after verse regarding abstaining from sex - let's conjecture that he was a homosexual deviant, ok? I mean, why should be let a little thing like truth stop us. The reason Mary Magdalene was conjectured to be a whore is because doing so discredited what was obviously a powerful FEMALE apostle, and the early church fathers were not having any of that thank you very much.


09/16/2003 02:09:07 AM

fr tuck, I did my own research on Mary Magdalene in the NT. The earliest mention of her is in Luke 8. She's named among female disciples who followed Jesus and the 12, giving of their means to support the group. The narrative said that 7 demons had left her. If you want to split hairs, there's nothing that says outright that Jesus, himself, cast out the demons, but that she was among others who had been healed. The woman who annointed Jesus' feet was never identified, but it immediately precedes the verses where Mary Magdalene shows up. In any case, there's language there to conjecture that someone else may have cast out the demons - perhaps it was Mary, herself. If you want to conjecture that she was a prostitute, I think it's also all right to conjecture she cast out her own demons. Why not?


09/16/2003 12:30:05 AM

Greetings! I like to stick with the traditional veiw that Mary Magdelene was a prostitute. The main reason goes back to the story about the prostitute who anointed Jesus' feet. He said that she would be remembered from that day on. Mary Magdelene is conspicuously out of context. Nobody knows who she is, yet she plays a strong role in the Gospel. Why should it bother anyone? It's more of an incentive to reformation than a smear on a saint!


09/15/2003 07:02:28 PM

ariel... "and now the Daughter of God has arrived in spirit too" I had the very same revelation in June of 2001. And "God" hasn't stopped pestering me since. And now you confirm with you're words what I know in my heart. Bless you, and keep spreading the message. Peace and Love to ALL


09/15/2003 06:20:38 PM

arielmessenger: I m glad that you mentioned the Tree of Life. I am a Christian who studies Kabbalah faithfully, and I can assure that until i studied the Sfierot, I did not really know who Jesus was and is. "The end is embedded in the beginning" is the most profound spiritual lesson that I have ever learned. But obviosuly it is too mystical for most people and I try to keep it private. But a smile came to my face when you mentioned the Tree of Life.


09/15/2003 04:29:24 PM

Cknuck, why do you think "Immanuel" the prophetic name of the Messiah means "EL is with us" and not "Yahweh is with us". Why do you think Yeshu-Jesus cried out on the cross to his God EL and not to his god Yahweh? Learn about Jesus' good Father who deserves your faith and let Jesus sacrifice Yahweh so that the Spirit of EL could be released. These are the times of Restoration of EL as God Most High and also the restoration of a balanced Godhead where both God the Father as EL the Compassionate One and the Great Mother, Asherah, the Tree of Life, are honored as the models for humanity in the fullest sense of that word. Yeshu-Jesus fulfilled the Son of God and now the Daughter of God has arrived in spirit too to complete the Holy Family which must be reunited before wars will cease.


09/15/2003 04:20:49 PM

Your god is not a myth, cknuck, but does suffer from schizophrenic morality as do all who believe in this imposter god. The Bible presents Yahweh as the author of lovingkindness in one place and then commanding the deaths of innocents in others. If you would research the historical record of ancient Canaan as well as find the Hebrew version of Psalm 86 and 82 you will find the problem--Yahweh, the tribal god of the Israelites, was falsely elevated by Babylonian exile Israelite scribes and priests to his Father's position as God Most High. Yahweh, another storm god type like his arch enemy, Baal, was one of several "sons of EL". Hebrew scribes and priests cobbled together a new history for Yahweh as they generized EL into just a word for "God", stripping all of EL's previous identity as the Canaanite's most beloved God Most High. They did the same makeover for Melchizedek, genericizing the fire war god Moloch into "melech" or "king".


09/15/2003 04:18:18 PM

arielmessenger, Thanks for clarifying. I had heard of the Talmudic Jesus before. I recently read "Paul and the Invention of Christianity" by Maccobey (sp?). Based on the information presented in that work, I have a hard time believing that Yeshua rebelled against the Pharisees of his day. The NT teaching of Jesus was actually right out of the Pharisee handbook. The author conjectured that the anti-Phariseeism in the NT was the handiwork of Paul and friends. I'll keep on open mind on the subject, but thanks.


09/15/2003 04:13:07 PM

Is spirituality a pissing contest, cknuck? Of course I wasn't there way back in the myth-making days of the first century AD. I was there as a poor pilgrim this Easter--poverty is the factor that kept me from completing my Pax mission for 14 years. I am glad to hear of your compassionate service to others. I too have spent years of voluntary service to help the needy, Native Americans specifically as well as years of environmental activist work. It is good to help others and replenish the earth, isn't it?


09/15/2003 01:21:58 PM

My God has physically healed my flesh, my mind, and my soul. I apologize about any insult, but I am not a xian and my God is not a myth. He is real.


09/15/2003 01:18:09 PM

You are right about the insult. I get a little upset when people refer to me as as xian, and when people refer to the God I serve as a myth. That is the Father Son And Holy Spirit. arielmessenger you are still not talking about being there. (when it all happened) Sounds like you are talking about a self-indulging expensive trip that is your way of expressing you faith as a result of reading some musky old books. My faith has led me to help right where I am. I'v helped with the effort to feed over 30,000 hungry folks this year, sheltered hundreds more, found housing for many, clothed thousands and given the hope of Jesus Christ to as many would accept it. I get calls on a daily basis where I will leave my house or my work to minister to those in need. And the Holy Spirit minister to me anywhere I might be. I don't need a sword (except my Bible) and I have spoke before and led worship with thousands, and guess what, I didn't have to leave America.


09/15/2003 01:02:04 PM

Many things have come into confluence to reignite interest in Mary Magdalene. For one thing, the growth in fundamentalist factions of various faiths, has inspired the less fanatic faithful to question age old doctrines. Secondly, the Nag Hammadi findings of 1945 which included the Gospel of Mary Magdalene have now been fully deciphered and show Mary to have been far more important than taught by Church doctrine. Mary was in fact a confidant to whom Jesus entrusted secretes he did not share with the rest of the deciples. If the Church had in fact fully acknowledged the importance of Mary, seemingly erroneous doctrines like denying women acceptance into the priesthood would have been avoided. So yes, there is a lot that is knew about Mary.


09/15/2003 11:05:56 AM

CKnuck, Why do you have to insult people who don't believe the same things you do? Calling someone an idiot is not going to get you what you want. Is that how you want to be seen? You've called any argument that disagrees with your beliefs intellectual gobbledygook and then turned around and whipped out the old condescending "I'll pray for you". Don't bother. I'm sure everyone here prays for themself and many others as well. You sound angry. Also, I don't believe anyone will really consider what you've said because you've insulted them. I'd like to ask you personally -- please don't insult people on these posts? And to quote a man who seems to understand how life works, "Is this working for you?"


09/15/2003 12:47:06 AM

I was there, cknuck. The day after Easter of this year. The day before I was in the annual Easter procession in Nazareth fulfilling my 14 year old vision quest, the making of Paxcalibur, sword of peace, that now resides as an icon of peace in the Church of St. Mary in Nazareth. 500 Palestinian Christians honored my Pax mission that day in the courtyard of the Basilica of the Annuciation. It was the blessing of my life and now I prepare to carry the work on further as God instructs me in spiritual communion. Whatever you might believe about me, I am guided by God in all that I believe and do. My "brand" of Christianity has been around as long as your, only it never received the blessing of Constantine's Rome and became the first targets of "Christian" persecution. My beliefs stem from personal Gnosis of God as well as historical research. You are welcome to receive the New News as it will end your intellectual conflict between myth and fact that deforms every traditional Christian's belief system.


09/14/2003 10:21:58 PM

No one can doubt the power of myths. Some can be incredibly strong, especially when they hold archetypal information, i.e., dramatic social change themes that reappear again and again in recorded history. These are the End Times of an Age, an Aeon, the Piscean Age in Western mythology, the end of the 4th World in Turtle Island mythology. Prophesy comes true but always never in the way ancients who wrote them and true believers who believe them. These are the End Times for many traditional religious paths especially the three Abrahamic faiths as historical evidence and new revelation replaces spiritual deceit with historical truth, the real truth of God.


09/14/2003 10:14:57 PM

Oh, yes, the Spirit of Christ judges the world but not in the way traditional Christians believe. They always forget Yeshu-Jesus' good Father, his Abba, his Daddy, instructed him to teach forgiveness of sin and so, Yeshu-Jesus, like his spiritual Father, God Most High, EL Elyon, also will not judge according to man's standards as to do so would make him and his Father hypocrites saying one thing here and another there. Paul never understood this as he corrupted Yeshu-Jesus' teachings by adding his own gospel, that of melding the Hellenistic pagan dying-resurrection god-man mythology to the Jewish Messiah concept using the Suffering Servant (really Israel) as if it stood as prophesy of a man and not the nation.


09/14/2003 06:46:08 PM

That so called myth has, and will out survive us all. And one day that myth will judge the world. God have mercy on your souls. This world is one rhythm away from total destruction. O ye mortal gods.


09/14/2003 06:30:17 PM

When I walked through the Old City in April of this year I understood why Yeshu would put a brick in front of his rabbi who would not forgive him his trespasses and pretend to bow down and worship it. Jerusalem is nothing but a pile of bricks. The Spirit has abandoned that place although it has not abandoned Nazareth oddly enough which may have been a city built to fit the NT mythology. Sitting in a West Bank Muslim home watching Arab news with a live feed coming from Mecca I was astonished at the spiritual power radiating out from the Black Cube and the pilgrims walking slowly around it--as the priestesses of the triple goddesses did before them.


09/14/2003 06:25:09 PM

The NT Story of Jesus Christ is myth based on the life of Yeshu or Yeishu ben Pantera who lived perhaps a hundred years before the Story of Jesus Christ was invented by Mark following his mentor's lead, Paul. But judging by the fact that Paul runs into already established Asia Minor Christian communities with their own doctrines shows that Christian teachings had been around for some time--I think a hundred years with Yeshu becoming "Jesus Christ". Look up the Talmudic references. I really like Yeshu ben Pantera and his rebellion against the Pharisaic rabbis of his time gives motivation for the anti-Pharisee teachings of Jesus in the NT.


09/14/2003 02:54:14 PM

Well, stereotyping means taking a group as a whole, and applying characteristics of certain members to all members. In this case, I do think it is safe to say that the overall xian attitude toward sex is far less healthy than the overall Jewish attitude. After all, under Judaic law, a woman can devorce her husband if he does not have sex often enough. Judaic law does not have a problem with sex outside marriage...***PROVIDED*** that all parties concerned are consenting. In other words, it is not adultery if my wife knows and consents to my girlfriend. (Mary having sex with someone other that Joseph is a problem because Joseph wasn't consulted before the fact. Just to make a nod toward the original topic...)


09/14/2003 01:59:32 PM

Paganpriest wrote: >>Evofairy, for a rather racy love story, try Song of Soloman, and never let any one fool you, it really IS about love and sex. The Jews are much better about such things that xians can ever hope to be.<< Hey! Watch the stereotyping! I'm a Christian and I write and read romance novels, and know a lot of Christians (and Jews) who do. So nix on the stuff about Christians not having a clue about love and sex, hmm? :-) Okay, so we might write about love and sex in the context of marriage, but lots of love and good sex in marriage is a Good Thing, IMHO.


09/14/2003 01:12:25 PM

To quote: jhoulgate 9/13/03 11:15:52 PM "You articulate well, but are you saying that the story of Jesus is pure myth? If, so why not just get it out on the table?" ~~~~~ Even I don't say that. While the supernatural elements of the Jesus story ARE pure myth, I believe that there are some elements of truth in there as well. I find it sad that xians have totally lost sight of the teachings of Jesus


09/13/2003 11:15:51 PM

ariel, You articulate well, but are you saying that the story of Jesus is pure myth? If, so why not just get it out on the table?


09/13/2003 10:21:21 PM

Please, let's stop the mythologizing of "Mary Magdalene". Below is the truth that Jewish rabbis have known for 2000 years.


09/13/2003 10:20:31 PM

"The idea that Mary had been an adultress never completely disappeared in Christian mythology. Instead, the character of Mary was split into two: Mary the mother of Jesus, believed to be a virgin, and Mary Magdalene, believed to be a woman of ill repute. The idea that the character of Mary Magdalene is also derived from Miriam the mythical mother of Yeishu, is corroborated by the fact that the strange name "Magdalene" clearly resembles the Aramaic term "mgadla nshaya," meaning "womens' hairdresser." As mentioned before, there was a belief that Yeishu's mother was "Miriam the women's hairdresser." Because the Christians did not know what the name "Magdalene" meant, they later conjectured that it meant that she had come from a place called Magdala on the west of Lake Kinneret. The idea of the two Marys fitted in well with the pagan way of thinking. The image of Jesus being followed by the two Marys is strongly reminiscent of Dionysus being followed by Demeter and Persephone."


09/13/2003 02:28:56 PM

Continued from previous post... However, the story we all know is that Mary was pregnant before she went to Joseph. But he was told not to worry, that she was carrying a child that would be the "Son of God". How convenient. Of course, your average person is not aware of Mary's male rabbinical guardians. It appears in the second century writings of the Protoevangelium of James and was rejected as canonical by the Catholic Church. Hmmm. I wonder why... It all seems a bit too convenient for the powers that be, doesn't it, Mr. Woodward? However you may want to deride Ms.Schaberg's theory, it warrants some serious debate about the stories that the church has chosen to tell...and not to tell. Persi Not a Feminist Not Even a Harvard Graduate Just a Mom...put that in your pipe and smoke it...


09/13/2003 02:22:16 PM

Continued from previous post... We'll never truly know what her role was because the only true knowledge comes from experience. And those experiences are long gone with the dust of early Christianity. One more point, Mr. Woodward. I also find it amazing that you think Ms.Schaberg's theory that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was raped -- to be far-fetched. She was raised in a temple full of Jewish rabbis until she was a teenager because she was left in their care as a young child. When she became a teenager, she suddenly ended up pregnant and this is why Joseph had qualms about marrying her. Of course, the story gets sort of muddled here because there are a few different versions of it. According to at least one text, Mary was taken from the temple because she began menstruating and the rabbis didn't want anyone who was "unclean". (But ancient patriarchial societies weren't anti-female, were they Mr. Woodward?) Continued to next post...


09/13/2003 01:54:58 PM

The fact is, even if you discount a radical feminist hermeneutic, the evidence we have from Nag Hammadi, which was suppressed/censored by the heirarchy of the growing church, proves that there were many inspiring alternatives with which to view the Christian mysteries. We cannot simply accept the testimony of mere human beings in a growing hierarchy that was increasingly attempting to control beliefs, who demonstrate such an ability to censor. When we look at the developing arguments and positions of the Church Fathers, and compare it to Nag Hammadi and other finds, it becomes clear that the so-called Gnostic/Orthodox debate really only could be described as such, and had any real momentum, in the later 2nd century. Before then, all the evidence indicates that the controversies revolved around differences between Gentile and Jewish converts.


09/13/2003 01:54:54 PM

The author presumes that the group of hierarchical church leaders, or specific religious groups, of the first several centuries of this era, have divine authority, and the right to lord over others. Once we do away with that assumption, especially because in the canonical Gospels Jesus tells his followers NOT to lord over others, the question as to just how orthodox 1st century Christians were, results in a far more pluralistic and open-ended answer.


09/13/2003 01:53:53 PM

Continued from previous post... And what's more disturbing is your faithlessness in your fellow human beings. Because that's what it takes to write the sort of things you've written. To verbally jeer at people who have serious questions about truth and take any disagreement with your opinion and the Church in general as a personal affront -- is remarkable to me. Last time I checked, this was a free, democratic, secular society and people could believe anything they wanted to believe and public discourse was a civil right. Now, before I go any further, I'd like to put another little bee in your bonnet. I don't consider myself a feminist, Mr. Woodward. Just a human being. And when I read people like you, I realize that fear governs most peoples' lives. Mary Magdalene's role will never truly be known. She'd dead, the time is past and now all we've got is speculation. That's all we'll ever have. Continued to next post...


09/13/2003 01:52:55 PM

Evofairy, for a rather racy love story, try Song of Soloman, and never let any one fool you, it really IS about love and sex. The Jews are much better about such things that xians can ever hope to be.


09/13/2003 01:38:51 PM

Continued from previous post... And you as a journalist, should have more integrity. I've worked as a journalist, Mr. Woodward, and you know, as well as I do, that the Bible is a book, first and foremost, and that some of the words written in it are the inspired words of what people call God and some of those words -- because they come from flawed human beings -- are the words of an inspired agenda. To imply that what we have come to accept as the true text has come about because of centuries of pure, insightful scholarship and that we should never question that is rather elitist. Even worse, it implies that the subject of women, their roles in Biblical society and the authorities that existed then should never be questioned. Continued, next post...


09/13/2003 01:28:21 PM

Mr. Woodward, Who do you think you're kidding? I can only marvel at how you postulate and edify your scholarly authority on this subject. The truth of the matter is very simple -- no matter how much you try and hide it. The Bible is a Jewish rabbinical text written by men and they, like most political figures -- and you know they were -- wanted to keep their power. This of course, always means dominating those not in power, i.e, women. The really funny part of all this is that you think no one understands this and that you can divert attention from this basic fact through derision and trivializing others'opinions. Continued, next post...


09/13/2003 01:00:34 PM

With this being the year 2003, and the church, wondering how to, lately, Well, I hope they rewrite the Bible, so that women who read it, will want to read it, and want to understand all it's depths. I know as a woman, I like to talk to other women, in woman ways. I think the bible was written for men. All the war stuff, and suppressive talk toward women. No respect. No romance!! The Bible is suppost to teach Love. Yet, it does not bring any heavenly notions, mushy love relationships into it, no depths of love, revealed. The church holds back to much information, that could change more lives, at least I hope it does. Wonder when we will be considered evolved enough to hear all the truths. One Bible for men, and one for women. Seperate study groups even. Why not?


09/13/2003 10:50:07 AM

I get a chuckle out of guys like Woodward posing as scholar to promote their jaundiced misogynist view. Note the deprecating tone when discussing other (female) scholars work - dismissing it simply because of the gender of the source. How scientific! Guys like this are bleating to a rapidly diminishing audience - even MEN will distance themselves from this kind of drivel.


09/13/2003 09:01:35 AM

Thanks for the Reference Jhoulgate. Miriam, a lot of women were named Miriam - like the sisters of the bibles heroes? Maybe, this says a lot more about our Jewish sisters, things that only a scholar could conjecture and investigate.


09/13/2003 04:35:56 AM

If we look at ourselves debating a character history cannot even attest to as though we had their life biography instead of three or four verses which prove nothing we might see the futility of the entire arguement.


09/13/2003 02:45:20 AM

Woodward sounds like a schoolboy shouting "la-la-la-la" with his fingers stuck in his ears. Feminist scholarship is a threat to dinosaurs like him who no longer have a boys club representing male interests in interpreting ancient texts. His most hilarious line: "From that it apparently follows that if you don't like the established canon, create one of your own." Woodward appears to be completely ignorant of the fact that the "canon" is only the "canon" because a group of his like-minded predessors picked and chose what they wanted to keep. Payback is a bummer, huh, Woodward?


09/13/2003 01:19:23 AM

To quote: Mostinius 9/12/03 4:38:07 AM It seems that some amongst us have a great deal to say about religions they claim not to follow... Obviously any religion is 'false' to those who choose not to subscribe to it. ~~~~~ I said that I didn't follow xianity, not that I was ignorant of it. Also note, I do not label the majority of the world's religions as false.


09/12/2003 10:08:36 PM

Something similar is, I think, happening with the Gnostic texts that support poor Mary Magdalene in the role thrust upon her as a leader of the church. Anyone else think this line was hilarious?


09/12/2003 08:59:00 PM

Perhaps Mary is a Latinized version of the name Miriam?


09/12/2003 04:04:58 PM

spiritscience, Interesting question: "By the way, how many Jewish women with the name Mary exist?" Mary is not really a Jewish name, but probably a Latinized or Hellenized version of Miriam. However, I found an interesting explanation for this in "The Roman Origin of Christianity." Joe Atwill, the author, noted that the name "Mary" was a Latin-derived name which meant rebellious woman. The name also refers to the sea, which is always restless and sometimes stormy. Taken in the context of the time, it would have been natural for Romans to refer to any Jewish women as a 'Mary.' Jews staged several rebellions during that period so it's understable that the Romans would come up with a moniker for a constituent of their adversary. During the Viet Nam war, U.S. soldiers often referred to enemy Viet Cong or North Vietnamese soldiers as 'Charlie.'


09/12/2003 02:47:30 PM

folks like this guy, boil me. I'm always suspicious of the elite erudite who want to tell us, that no one can contribute anything NEW to a particular subject matter. First of all, I think only a feminist scholar would CARE to do the research or commentary on the the subject matter of Mary Magdeline. And if she wasn't important, she wouldn't have been in the stories. --- By the way, how many Jewish women with the name Mary exist. -- Just wondering. Also, the Movie -- was the name of the sisters who ran it, the Mary Magdeline sisters? This fella, wants us to believe whatever explanations were handed down during the days when priests could do no wrong. Well we see what that type of oppression get us. Why should we even care what he has to say?


09/12/2003 11:03:12 AM

Also, Paul had been married although he apparently no longer was at the time of Acts. (Widdower?) Paul was a Zealot, which was a Sanhedrin position requiring marriage.


09/12/2003 11:00:13 AM

The idea that Jesus couldn't be married because the Church is the Bride of Christ just doesn't hold water either. First, at the time of Jesus, there was no church. Very early Christians converted to Judiasm and as Jews celibrated Jesus as the Messiah. Christianity was a messainic Judiasm until the apostles received revelations that kosher eating wasn't required, until Paul successfully argued that circumcision of the heart was sufficient for non-Jews, and until they were shut out of the synagogues. The resurrected Christ could conceivably be "married" to the church because, as Jesus said about the woman married 7 times, marriage doesn't survive death. And let us not forget that polygamy was still practiced by Jews, although it was less common by the first century.


09/12/2003 10:58:53 AM

I find it interesting that people think there are no references to Jesus's marriage in the Bible. Whose wedding was it at Canna when Mary and Jesus were responsible for the refreshments? Would Mary Magdalene physically touch Jesus if she were not related to him by blood or marriage (women and men were not supposed to touch)? Isn't the annointing of his feet something only appropriate for a wife to do? How would she travel with him as a single woman? Plus there is no criticism of Joseph and Mary for NOT marrying off their son by 18- it would have been unthinkable for a family of the Davidic line not to have arranged for his marriage. (His critics did cast aspersions on his birth and call him a glutton and a drunkard.) Plus a man had to be married and 30 to be a rabbi. Jesus didn't engage in his ministry until that age- why would he have waited to turn 30 but remained unmarried?


09/12/2003 04:38:07 AM

It seems that some amongst us have a great deal to say about religions they claim not to follow... Obviously any religion is 'false' to those who choose not to subscribe to it. On topic, it's apparent (I won't say clear) that the Church has done a great deal of editing to suit its purposes over the centuries, although Convincer's argument that the women were 'played down' in order to protect them from persecution is interesting. I expect dedicated feminists would object on the grounds that that puts women in a submissive role requiring protection, but then times were different then. As for 'scottnjaime' - Mary has always been referred to as the "apostle of (or to) the apostles". What gives you the right to say she was not?


09/12/2003 01:07:16 AM

Now, before this goes much farther, I want to say a couple of things: I am not an atheist, I am in fact a priest of a pagan faith. I have respect for most religions, even those I do not practice, provided that respect is returned. While I have not read it cover to cover, I have read much of the Bible. Christianity and islam are false religions. So far, they hold the distinction of being the only religions in the world for which I say that.


09/12/2003 01:00:43 AM

Even though there was at least 50 years or more between his death and the writing, the "telephone"game is not nessicarily a relavent rebutal. Anyone who is part of an oral tradition is MUCH better that anyone around today at keeping stories straight. It's sort of like the negative side effect of wide spread semi-literacy... everyone's memory is seriously underdeveloped. A more serious consideration, how much were the stories deliberately changed? Based on some of my reading about the Dead Sea Scrolls, it would appear that our dear old closeted homosexual "friend" Paul may have changed some things to insure the demise of the Nazarine cult of Judaism.


09/12/2003 12:52:52 AM

By the way, andrewcyrus, that was not just my opinion, the book I mentioned was written by a xian Bishop. As I said earlier, it has been several years since I read the book, I may have the title slightly off, but if you can find it it is worth the read. It disproves much of the fundy nonsense. (Not that that is difficult, mind you. The only hard part is getting the fundies to ADMIT it once you destroy all their silly myths.)


09/12/2003 12:47:00 AM

andrewcyrus 9/11/03 7:11:03 PM kaveh500, I am pretty certain alot of men and women will be DISorganized when JESUS comes back Ah, but Jesus told his disiples that he would be back before the last of them had died. This brings up the question: Did he lie, was he delusional, or was it all just a myth. Choose one.


09/12/2003 12:43:41 AM

Jesus was refered to as "Rabbi", under Judaic tradition (law????) a person cannot be a rabbi UNLESS he is married, therefore, Jesus was married. Kind of irrelivant, since he was not the Messiah...


09/12/2003 12:40:09 AM

andrewcyrus 9/11/03 7:13:57 PM Paul was a SELF chosen vessel. I just read Romans 1, and I see nothing in there to make me think I need to change my statement in any way.


09/11/2003 09:59:37 PM

Question - How many years between when Jesus died and the Bible was written? Has anyone ever played the telephone game?


09/11/2003 08:38:01 PM

Read your Bibles folks. Mary was not an apostle (she was a disciple, but so was and is everyone that follows Jesus). Mary was not a prostitute. Mary was not the wife of Jesus (how stupid is that?) All of this so-called scholarship is amusing. People believe whole-heartedly in questionable extra-biblical accounts, yet refuse to take the canonized scriptures simply for what they say.


09/11/2003 07:55:32 PM

Mary was Jesus' wife; in His wisdom he protected her from the ridicule and defamation her memory would have endured had it been common knowledge that he was wed. Jesus fulfilled all Mosaic laws, one of which was to be married. No man was considered respectable or taken seriously who was not. Most of the disciples were married yet little is in scripture about their wives. Feminists see this as men 's subjugation. I see disciples, hated and hunted by the world protecting loved ones above all but Christ. Historians from the first 100 AD believed Jesus was married and referred to Mary as his wife. It was common thought until Constantine formed the Catholic Church (who later declared himself Pope a title which did not exist in the Savior's church) around 300 AD. The “Church” changed Mary from his wife to a follower and later a prostitute. The concept served their contrived reasoning for priests not to marry, despite early disciples and church leaders to the 3rd century being married.


09/11/2003 07:17:01 PM

Pagan, Why not read Romans 1 to see what kind of message Paul was relaying concerning homosexuality than come back and give me "your opinion" on his repressed state.


09/11/2003 07:13:57 PM

Pagan, Does it give you some feeling of comfort to think the "chosen vessel" of JESUS CHRIST was a homosexual? The further one gets from the truth the more truly bizarre the response to the reality of the scriptures.


09/11/2003 07:11:03 PM

kaveh500, I am pretty certain alot of men and women will be DISorganized when JESUS comes back. Mary Magdelene served Christ more than the others. She was also I am sure forgiven more than the others. I am pretty certain she was catapulted out of the feminism of her time and catapulted into the blood of the grace and mercy of the saviour. JESUS CHRIST.


09/11/2003 06:54:28 PM

aliyamirat wants to blame men for all bad things in the (her) church. But seems to completely ignore the countless nuns who tirelessly tortured, humiliated, beat, and maimed children. Men may or may not have caused most of the suffering in the world, but who raised them, taught them, who were their examples and guides while their fathers were off working? Women! For every bad man I can find and equally bad woman hiding behind him, egging him on, manipulating, lying, or interfering from behind the curtains. Men bad or good have generally throughout history stood upright and out front for whatever they did good or bad. Woman manipulate cheat, lie, and do their dirty work from behind getting men to be the physical manifestations of their desires and goals.


09/11/2003 06:30:29 PM

Regarding the selection of texts to include or exclude from canon, the choices were as much political as religious. The strongest coalitions got their favorites in, and kept others out. The Gnostic Gospels were an oral tradition JUST LIKE the canonised Gospels before they were written down.


09/11/2003 06:25:48 PM

Regarding the homosexuality of Paul: it would be entirely consistant with extreme repression of his feelings to lash out in the way he did. There was a book I read some years ago "Saving the Bilbe From Fundamentalists" that went into this idea to some extent. Certainly not proof, but ample evidence for a reasonable doubt. It would go to explain some of his anti-woman nonsense as well.


09/11/2003 05:29:39 PM

I have to add...I am talking females, not just women. I am speaking of the females of all species. Just wanted to clarify.


09/11/2003 05:27:37 PM

Has is ever occurred to anyone that the "living water" referred to by Jesus/Yeshua/Christ of the Bible could be Mother Earth and the water that nourishes her and that, possibly, we come back "here" and are welcome into the "living water" of our Mothers' wombs? I have been thinking a lot lately that all 3 Abrahamic religions have it WRONG!!! God created women to BRING the LIFE into the world and should be cherished for that gift. Women are not second class citizens, but specially designed to be God's "life-givers" here on Earth. Just a thought. Peace and Love to ALL


09/11/2003 03:15:19 PM

I hope to be alive the day women are givin the respect and acknowledgement that a true moral society should give.


09/11/2003 02:38:16 PM

Recent evidence suggests that the "Y" chromosome is able to repair itself.


09/11/2003 02:14:29 PM

It seems to me that the mere fact that it's women championing the cause of Mary Magdalene that's become the argument du jour against her having a role beyond what the Bible was crafted to say she did. I don't really think of myself as a feminist until I think about all the damage that men have done to the Church, whether it's by pedophiles, or those who protect them, or Protestant ministers who subjugate women but don't mind committing adultery with them or their teenage daughters. Women of today, esp. in the West, are craving more of a leadership role in Christian churches, just as they have worked toward the same goal in society at large. Re-examining the role of Mary Magdalene is but one sign of that craving. And yes, maybe many *scholars* know that Mary Magdalene wasn't a prostitute, but how many churches still teach that she was?


09/11/2003 12:03:44 PM

"Nature and the universe aroud us teach there is no euquality. The only system present is one of dominance and subordination..." Hmm, maybe. But as Greg Easterbrook wrote, "The meek are inheriting at a runaway margin" and went on to note that the most brutal, militaristic regimes of human history tend to go extremely quickly. Nazi Germany came and went in 12 years. The Mongols, the Imperial Japanese, the Soviet Union, the American Confederacy, the Crusader kingdoms, Napolean's empire: none of these organizations came to much or lasted long in the grand scheme of things.


09/11/2003 11:55:13 AM

Norm uk: "if every man in the world today decided that women should be utterly subjugated, who exactly would stop hoards of men from doing as they please?" Well, me, for one. Easily 1/2 of my taekwondo training has been at the hands of women--and I'm National Gold Medalist. May I also point out that women are 51% of the human population (there are fewer men in the world since we tend to die earlier, have more birth defects due to our non-paired final chromosome, die more often in wars, crime and hunting, etc.).


09/11/2003 11:39:17 AM

Norm... Excellent points, but my favorite was.... "One thing is certain, women should not seek to be men....for that would only prove their lack of ambition. " Peace and Love to ALL


09/11/2003 03:57:08 AM

On the universal scale humanity scores is decidely small scale. Let's face facts here....if every man in the world today decided that women should be utterly subjugated, who exactly would stop hoards of men from doing as they please? Biology speaks more truth....males and females are suited to different roles in many (not all cases). How we define those roles is something I doubt any religion can fully do. Throw into the equasion the fact that individuals vary drastically and go outside their gender role and we have the big mess we are in today. One thing is certain, women should not seek to be men....for that would only prove their lack of ambition.


09/10/2003 05:24:25 PM

Quoth Norm_uk Nature and the universe aroud us teach there is no euquality. The only system present is one of dominance and subordination... Small-scale, perhaps. But in larger scales, what we see is balance and metastability.


09/10/2003 02:50:15 PM

"Nowadays, neck-deep in the scientific age (though few people really understand what science is and isn't), people seem to reject that distinction: something is either real or fake. There's no sense of what I'll call Story (capitalization intentional). Something can be not exactly factual and yet not be at all like a lie." kaveh, excellent point! The curse of literalism, alas, is all too common in our culture.


09/10/2003 10:29:48 AM

Priam- Before you go trashing woman intellectuals and their alleged "revisionist ideologies", maybe you'll want to learn to spell ideology correctly. Ooh, someone's bitter.


09/10/2003 10:13:40 AM

Re: Priam Your use of the slur 'fembos' renders your reply useless as you reveal yourself to be a bigot. What did women ever do to you to make you so bitter? Your lack of acceptance and love show you to be a Christian like many - the many who prompted me to reject the religion. Hope you can find an appropriate place for your biggotry - like North Idaho, perhaps?


09/10/2003 10:07:12 AM

Among individuals there is no equality, if equality is defined as exact sameness: we are all individuals. However, no individual can claim to be foremost in God's Eye because of a group that that individual belongs to, be it gender, ethnicity, philosophy, or whatever. One of Jesus' messages was that we are judged individually by how we live our lives, not by whether we are male/female, Greek/Chinese/Israeli/German/African/Etc., Protestant/Catholic/Orthodox, and so on. We must strive to be as compassionate and fair and "simple" as God. Only in that way can we come to know peace and share in that Mystery that is beyond this corporal life. Those who follow Jesus guidance use Jesus' words as a guide; those who follow other prophets, use other wise words as a guide. It is our humanity that matters, which is why I feel it is important that we get past this hang-up on gender in spiritual matters (for one thing; there are others).


09/10/2003 08:36:17 AM

rE: The only system present is one of dominance and subordination... Only if that is what we want. We humans are not hepless in the face of nature.


09/10/2003 07:41:09 AM

Nature and the universe aroud us teach there is no euquality. The only system present is one of dominance and subordination...


09/09/2003 11:14:37 PM

"The heart was always His focus." Thank you, thank you, thank you, Cknuck. This statement touches upon the heart (no pun intended) of the matter. According to Jesus, there was no male or female, slave or free, black or white, Jew or Gentile (Paul shares His attitude as we can see in Galatians 3,28). For Him it was always the person that mattered. Even we in our so-called politically correct society can learn a lot from Jesus!


09/09/2003 07:39:02 PM

I have followed Woodward for years in Newsweek and he has always been very reliable religion writer. No hidden agendas that I could ever detect. Jim


09/09/2003 06:26:50 PM

Great reading, I like this writer although I had to break out my dictionary. The word "conflated" is not used to often in my neighborhood. I had to break out an old Oxford Universal dictionary to find the word. Pretty cool exercise of the language. blessings <


09/09/2003 06:15:56 PM

People will always try to use Jesus to justify their own agenda. A true follower of Christ will observe Jesus never factored in race, sex or any physical conditions; The heart was always His focus.


09/09/2003 05:30:26 PM

Yeah, I have to agree. I don't buy most conspiracy theories because they don't take into account the DISorganization of human beings when we get together in large groups.


09/09/2003 04:23:57 PM

However what is often imputed to collateral material, as Woodward suggests, is that an agenda has prevented this often superior collateral material from becoming canon. I hold perhaps a more charitable view of the early Christians and their development of the Biblical canon. They placed as gospels those books which scholarship even today suggests as being those books that have an early origin, in the 1st century. (The only other is possibly Thomas, but since it has no narrative, it can't be reliably placed.) So taking note of collateral material is of interest - but let us never assume that we know better than these early Christians what ought to represent what Christianity originally was.


09/09/2003 04:01:39 PM

kaveh400 -- Yes! Truth and facts are not necessarily the same thing in human society...and any endeavors as complex as our human assessment of and reaching out to the Universal Mysteries cannot be reduced to mere facts/technology. Priam: Using the Bible alone, the idea that the Mary subsequently identified as Magdalene was a prostitute can be disproved -- the woman and the Marys are simply not identified that specifically. And the Bible states that a woman was the first human to see the risen Christ. You don't need collateral documentation. Of course, those who believe that every developmental step of the New Testament over 3 to 4 centuries was guided by Christianity's God need not pay attention to collateral material. Other people, however, believe that their Bible grew and developed over time and resulted from the meeting of human minds within the Roman church. For these people, collateral material is very important in understanding how decisions were reached.


09/09/2003 03:36:36 PM

There's a famous conversation that took place between C.S. Lewis (of "Screwtape Letters" fame) and J.R.R. Tolkien (of "Lord of the Rings" fame). Tolkien said that the Bible was a myth and Lewis reacted strongly saying it wasn't a myth. Tolkien said, "No, no you misunderstand me: the Bible is a myth. But by myth I mean something that, though it may not be fact, is nonetheless true." Nowadays, neck-deep in the scientific age (though few people really understand what science is and isn't), people seem to reject that distinction: something is either real or fake. There's no sense of what I'll call Story (capitalization intentional). Something can be not exactly factual and yet not be at all like a lie.


09/09/2003 03:26:05 PM

Priam is right insofar as it is a definite mistake to read modern philosophies backwards into ancient writings. This applies both to contrarian theologians interpreting feminist utopias in the Gnostic writings as much as it does narrow-eyed fundamentalists scanning the nightly news for signs of the End Times.


09/09/2003 03:23:30 PM

I think the point of Karen King's article is to let us know there were other voices besides the authoritative ones. Yes, most certainly these voices are not "authoratative". And these voices are referencing their revisionist history out of thin air.


09/09/2003 03:22:36 PM

Sure thing, Ms. Jean2.


09/09/2003 02:44:48 PM

Actually kaveh500, I don't see where you're acting like a six year old. To see that you are male and 26 gives me hope that we are now raising our "men" to realize that we women might not be the same as men but are certainly equal. Thank your mother for me, will you?


09/09/2003 02:36:28 PM

I think the point of Karen King's article is to let us know there were other voices besides the authoritative ones. Listening to those other voices contributes to the larger picture of what really happened during that period of history. Soul equals soul, no matter if its in a male body or a female body.


09/09/2003 02:24:38 PM

It is definitely revisionism. All historical accounts of the life of Jesus Christ come exclusively from Christian sources. The gnostic sources that these fembos are referencing were written at a much later date. But they even manage to twist them into whatever idealogy they want to promote.


09/09/2003 01:56:30 PM

I was taught (in the 1950s) that Christianity survived in the beginning because it was a religion that accepted women and slaves (two very large groups)who kept things going long enough during the hard first couple centuries to allow the religion to spread and dig in roots. There were female deacons and wealthy women who supported local churches. My brother and I argue over whether their were female bishops; apparently there is controversy over the status of those women who were very influential in local churches. How ironic -- and sad -- that the Christian churches today are still arguing over whether a human's gender matters in serving their God. Jesus told Martha to leave him and one of the Marys alone when they were talking philosophy and religion, told her that the talk was more important than the housekeeping. That seems to be one teaching of Jesus that was quickly forgotten...


09/09/2003 01:47:15 PM

This is NOT "revisionism." The various Bibical references to the females among Jesus' followers describe different women, some unnamed, many named Mary. Sometime after the official New Testament books were set, commentators and preachers started melding these various Marys and came up with the reformed prostitute we now call Mary Magdalene. As a previous poster has said, commentary on the original scriptures happens in all religions. We need to recognize the various ways people at different times in history have interpreted their religion and how it affected their society (the status of women, slavery, being two big subjects). Lots of "pop" Christian stories blend and meld Bibical stories, as in the creche scene (i.e., sheep lamb in March, not December, and the Magi visit did not necessarily coincide with Jesus' birth).


09/09/2003 12:10:53 PM

Kaveh500 and Priam: I feel like I'm overhearing two six year-olds fighting on the playground. It's o.k. to have differing opinions, but, please, let's discuss things like intelligent grown-ups, shall we!


09/09/2003 12:10:22 PM

Divine Scripture is too powerful--and too obtuse, in some ways--to really be applied directly without a cushioning layer of human interpretations and commentary. The Jews have this (the Talmud), the Muslims do (the Hadith) and so do the Catholics (canon law and also the various Encylcicals and Mysteries). And whether or not the evangelicals and Protestant Christians want to admit it or have a discrete name for it, they have a school of interpretation, too.


09/09/2003 12:03:34 PM

The rabbis who wrote the Mishnah during the first millennia A.D. relied heavily on what Woodward disdianfully refers to as "rhetorical analysis"; that is, they looked at the Old Testament Bible stories and embellished them, added on new meanings and generally explored them in a non-literal fashion. The story of Job, for instance, does not have a very satisfying ending; his questions to God are never really answered. So the rabbis decided to write a better ending to the story. There's a whole genre of additional stories about Moses that are not in the Bible but that were included in the Mishnah.


09/09/2003 12:01:28 PM

rebethell~ It does not say much about her at all...How ever the first to see the risen Christ.


09/09/2003 11:53:32 AM

Like believing that in the past everyone was moral and good and everyone today is just a perverted degenerate when, in reality, people in the past owned slaves and lynched black men and beat their wives and gave smallpox blankets to the darkie Indians, right? THAT isn't a case of historical revisionism, right?


09/09/2003 11:51:15 AM

Priam: "there is no right for colouring and revising history to suit your own idealogy." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! Oh my GOD that is FUNNY!!! You may be right; there is no right to play with history that way. But that has not stopped EVERYONE from doing it has it?


09/09/2003 11:49:58 AM

"The lack of humility in the feminist movement is pretty glaring." Yeah, we guys are so noted for our humility. Sure you're not just peeved at "uppity" women putting on shoes and getting out of the kitchen?


09/09/2003 11:47:42 AM

kaveh500, there is no right for colouring and revising history to suit your own idealogy.


09/09/2003 11:47:04 AM

Oh and andrewcyrus; EVERY generation of mankind has been convinced that their time was the end times, including many in which homosexuality was much much MORE widely and openly practiced than it is today. So stop being so apocalyptic about everything.


09/09/2003 11:46:53 AM

The reality of Mary Magdalene was somewhere far between what the medievalists thought about her, and what the retrofitters are trying to do today. Mary Magdalene was certainly not a prostitute. Between the gospels and the apocryphals, she was clearly a disciple and woman of considerable standing in the early Christian community, and quite certainly a good friend of Jesus, who had been cured of "seven demons" by him and was undoubtedly grateful. The apocryphal Thomas sayings gospel suggests she may have had a keen intellect, able to keep up with the teachings of Jesus' to the same extent as the apostles. Nevertheless, she was not Jesus' wife - she addresses him as "Rabbi" just as any congregant at a synagogue might today. And she was not an apostle - she never appears in any of the lists of who they were, not even in Acts.


09/09/2003 11:45:06 AM

I'd say the lack of humility among self-professed religious people is pretty glaring.


09/09/2003 11:44:28 AM

"The lack of humility in the feminist movement is pretty glaring." Yeah, right. It is SO vainglorious of those women to want the right to vote, be free from spousal abuse, have the right to own property and generally have their accomplishments noticed and their rights respected.


09/09/2003 11:43:16 AM

Ah, right, of course. So cheap publicity stunts on the Grammys have the capacity to bring down the Apocalypse, eh andrewcyrus? Lighten up. You'll lower your blood pressure and live longer.


09/09/2003 11:34:57 AM

The lack of humility in the feminist movement is pretty glaring. When the Disciples were all jockeying for who would be greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus had the right answer "Let he who would seek to be chief amongst you let him become your servant." And women have served for years, but of late the Madonna/Spears & Gay Bishop announcement tell us we are getting ready for his return. Follow JESUS.


09/09/2003 11:00:32 AM

Reading many of the comments makes my 'hairs stand on end'. It is obvious that many of those who are speaking out have absolutely no knowledge of the Bible or theology for that matter, and are just repeating tidbits they have picked up here and there. The real question is: Is the Bible truly God's word, inspired by the Holy Spirit? Does it have the authority to be a 'manual' from our loving Father as to how we, his creations, can live our lives? Or, is it just the expression of yet another religion, and another piece of interesting historical literature? In that case, we can interpret it and turn it around any which way we want to. It seems to me that these days many believers, theologians, and non-believers are taking their modern and post-modern views, and imposing them on the Bible, in order to 'prove' what they want to believe, because it fits their agenda, or seems more politically correct. In that case, who needs God? Why bother?


09/09/2003 10:32:07 AM

b-baggins, celibacy for the Orthodox priesthood is optional. However, it is mandatory for Orthodox bishops.


09/09/2003 10:31:45 AM

I believe that Mary Magdalene was the apostle of the apostles. Why is it sooo hard to understand that in the beginning God created man and woman.One could not exist without the other, nor procreate. Is it the simplicity of all things that is missed when the decision to analyze or disect something is done. Why would Jesus not have a soul mate? How would his life have been complete, without the creators totality of creation? Isn't the entire forest made up of trees? What is it that is trying to be seen?


09/09/2003 10:28:10 AM

A celibate priesthood and the veneration of virginity in women was actually a gradual evolution that occurred in the Catholic church after the death of the apostles. It was pretty much established as doctrinal by Augustine. It is interesting to note that the Orthodox faith, which split from Catholocism over the wording of the Nicean creed does NOT teach a celibate priesthood. In fact, Orthodox priests must be married if I'm mistaken, so it's pretty obvious that Paul was not insisting on a celibate clergy. As to the revisionism that Paul was gay, that's just silly. Some of the strongest condemnations in the NT on homosexuality were taught by Paul.


09/09/2003 10:20:26 AM

I was under the impresion that Paul was gay, and a woman hater, and thus influnced the religion of that time. Wasn't it he that insisted that the clergy be celebate? If you arn't for it, you are against it. Slainte


09/09/2003 09:58:26 AM

Um, why the hostility Priam?


09/09/2003 09:51:06 AM

Excellent article! I would like to add that that most of these fembos are not really interested in what went on 2000 years ago. They are certainly very interested in what is going on today.


09/09/2003 09:49:46 AM

Is anyone really religious anymore or are we all just clinging to one or another scrap of Scripture to wrap our politics in like a fish?


09/09/2003 09:04:22 AM

:He repeats the erroneous cliche that Gnostics founded a counter-Church. Not so.: He said that _some_ groups of Gnostics had their own church organization. Which was true. You are misinterpreting him so you can dismiss him. : Christianity had many expressions.: True, and Mr. Woodward didn't say otherwise. : There was no single "church" to which Gnostics were opposed. They were opposed to that expression of the church composed of Church Fathers and bishops.: You just contradicted yourself. "That expression of the church composed of Church Fathers and bishops" is, in other words, "a single church" to which Gnostics were opposed. You're quite right that this took a while to form as a unified entity, and that it was just one of many expressions of early Christianity. Some of us still believe it was the correct expression.


09/09/2003 07:08:03 AM

Kenneth L. Woodward seems less bothered by alternative viewpoints regarding the signficance of Mary Magdalene than he is by women scholars as a class. Damn, ain't it heavy when the girls invade the boys' club! Get over it, Kenneth.


09/08/2003 10:44:57 PM

Did anyone read Karen King's response article to this? For me it puts it all in balance. I liked the headline, "We're not just making this up." Orthodox thinkers take note.


09/08/2003 10:35:52 PM

Notice that several Gospels position Mary Magdalene as the first to witness Christ (or to receive the update via angel). Notice how it is set upon her to spread the Good News. Notice how at least one view has the men folk dismissing her revelation? I suspect that Jesus probably counted His female followers as important too and probably used them to missionize to women in particular (whom men could not readily approach in ancient Judea without some social concerns). The entire notion of who is an "Apostle" is somewhat subjective anyway. Paul is considered one, yet he was not one of Jesus's followers during His ministry. I think that the women were simply edited down to a lesser role by men with patriarchal intent.


09/08/2003 09:48:05 PM

I remember, back in the early 60s, asking the nuns why Mary who saw the risen Christ wasn't considered an apostle. After all, we had been taught that seeing Christ after his death was one of the markers of who was an apostle. Although the nuns were capable of explaining that Mary Magdelene was not necessarily a prostitute as Christian folk tales had it, they could not escape the official implications of that belief. Mary couldn't be an apostle because she was female. Many of the girls in that class had a real kink thrown in their faith that day because of that faulty logic.


09/08/2003 09:28:18 PM

Unless I missed it, he did not mention that Orthodoxy considers her an equal to the Apostles, as she was an apostle to the apostles, carrying the messege of the resurrection to them.


09/08/2003 09:19:22 PM

The movie, "The Magdelene Sisters" has nothing to do with Mary of Magdala.


09/08/2003 09:02:02 PM

I dispute that scholars "know" anything at all about Mary Magdalene, or even if she was an actual person. I also reject the idea that there are objectively right or wrong ways of interpreting the Bible or any other literary text or for that matter any vaguely understood period of history. I see nothing wrong with feminist conjectures and reevaluations, or any other spin anyone wants to put on the material. The author is certainly correct though that "the post-Reformation quest for a pure, original and orthodox Christianity is a quixotic hunt that, like the proverbial peeled onion, leaves the seeker with only the smell."


09/08/2003 08:46:33 PM

He repeats the erroneous cliche that Gnostics founded a counter-Church. Not so. Christianity had many expressions. There was no single "church" to which Gnostics were opposed. They were opposed to that expression of the church composed of Church Fathers and bishops. This latter expression, through political intrigue, finally won out and was appropriated by what was to become "The Church" of of mainstream "orthodoxy".


09/08/2003 08:28:31 PM

From his snide, snotty, and inconsistent remarks, I see Mr. Woodward has a problem with feminism (and it ain't the alleged lack of scholarship that's really annoying him)