Mary Magdalene in the history of Christianity and Contemporary Culture Series 1, No.3

True Reflection

The immensity of Christianity is directly proportional to the immensity within the human self, and it reflects the hub of the human wheel to obey God. Central to the wheel is the Lord Jesus Christ, and man becomes obedient and committed to God only when Jesus is the hub. Man can choose to be a natural man or a spiritual man, but the difference is evident in the fruits. As Jean-Yves Leloup suggests, this is the personal meaning of Anthropos; to be fully human oneself, the incarnate of God.

The incarnate of God is genuinely reflected in the Holy Trinity. In John 21:25, the inspired word says, “Jesus did many other things as well, if every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”NIV.  It is a pointer or indicator of things done by Jesus Christ and recorded in other writings left out of the canonized Bible. The most excellent suppression of early Christian literature began with Constantine, the emperor of Rome. He declared Christianity the religion of the Roman Empire, leading to a process of conversion that occurred over several years, from his initial victory in 312 C.E to the final defeat of his rivals in 324.

In 325, Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea, where it was decided which texts would become the Standards of the Church (Canonical books). The bishops at the Council of Nicaea who disagreed with Constantine’s choices were exiled on the spot. [1] But in 1945, a stash of alternative texts was found in a large clay jar in the desert at Nag Hammadi, near Phou, Egypt. The contents of the jar, with other scraps or fragments from around the same period, have become known as the Gnostic gospels. Gnostic is from the Greek word gnosis, meaning “inner knowing,” “self-acquaintance’’, or ‘’self-knowledge’’.

The path of Christianity in the gospel of Mary is one of gnosis or ‘divine knowledge’. The teachings received by Mary from Jesus Christ are the teachings that can restore human beings to their lost parentage, to an indescribably singular intimacy with their source. Saint Paul did not receive the gospel from any man, nor was he taught; he received it directly by revelation from Jesus Christ (Gal 1:12).

Paul was entrusted with preaching the gospel to the Gentiles as an Apostle. Saint Peter, as an Apostle, was entrusted to preach to the Jews and become the ‘Rock’ on which Christ built his Church. Mary Magdalene, as an Apostle, was entrusted to be the forerunner to women apostles to preach the gospel. For the same God was in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, at work in Paul’s ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles (Gal. 2: 11-15), and at work in Mary Magdalene’s ministry as an apostle to the women.

[1] James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2001)

 ***continuation tomorrow

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