Part II: Mary Magdalene in the history of Christianity and Contemporary Culture Series 2 – 6 (Final)

Ephesians 4:11, 12

The Apostleship of Mary Magdalene in Perspective (My Final Submission)

Since the publication of the Gospel of Mary and the Nag Hammadi Library in over fifty years, Mary Magdalene’s scholarship has increased a great deal. Based on these texts and some other non-canonical orthodox texts, some scholars have concluded that she was honored by some of the earliest Christians as a disciple, Apostle, and leader. It stands in stark contrast to her traditional role as a penitent sinner. Some scholars, theologians, and laypeople, have begun work to restore what they see as Mary Magdalene’s important role in early Christianity.

My view of Mary Magdalene as an apostle is not a new thing; however, my conviction that Jesus replaced Judas Iscariot with Mary will lead to controversy. In one of the earliest commentaries on the Song of Songs, Hippolytus, in the 3rd century, referred to Mary Magdalene as “apostle to the apostles.” He did so not based on the Gnostic accounts but her role in the New Testament as the first witness to the resurrection. Despite the shady reputation that dogged her throughout history, she was periodically remembered for her role as an apostle.

There are generally two categories of apostleship when using the label to refer to Mary Magdalene, both having to do with the type of commission. Mary Magdalene is frequently thought to have received a “local” commission. She was told to spread the good news only to the other apostles, not to the world. On the other hand, the male apostles received a “global” commission or instructions to spread the good news to everyone worldwide. Many criticized those who pushed for Mary Magdalene’s recognition as an apostle by minimizing her importance in spreading the Gospel since she carried a message to the apostles only. That is sometimes countered with the suggestion that Mary Magdalene was, in fact, responsible for the news of the resurrection reaching anyone in the first place.

The message Jesus sent her had a purpose, an identification purpose for others, especially Peter, to know the importance of Mary and her position in the new dawn that emerged after the resurrection of Christ. She was the anointed disciple, clearly chosen to be a rallying point for all other female disciples.

Please send all comments on Mary Magdalene Series to either or My thoughts & my Convictions are as written in the Mary Magdalene Series Part I & Part II. #jesuschrist #marymagdalene #apostles #newtestament #noncanonicalmanuscripts



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