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Gospel of Mary of Magdala

In Uncategorized on September 26, 2010 at 3:34 pm
Hi ,
I took a class about the Gospel of Thomas, a Gnostic book, and I decided to read one also about Mary of Magdala, since that was the name of the Polish Christian Grammar school I attended.  I am “not” preaching these things below, but just sharing what seemed “different” than the things that we read in the Bible.

 

It does shed convincing light to me, why Mary Baker Eddy was not accepted, for Christianity today still follows Jewish rules of separateness of women and even circumcision for Christians. It is hard to believe, that we Christians have believed these sadistic rituals towards our male babies, because the Jews had that in their religion for only themselves and their “slaves.”
This is only my personal notes, like Cliff Notes, of the Gospel of Mary of Magdala.  Since I took a lesson on the Gospel of Thomas, another Gnostic bible reading, I wanted to also read a book about Mary, especially since she is the only one that didn’t desert Jesus. 
I will be taking the book back today to the library, of the Gospel of  Mary of Magdala, Jesus and the First Woman Apostle, by Karen L. King.
But I thought I would share some notes. If this doesn’t interest you, please feel free to delete, as I do write regularly when I journal-write, or creative write and am just sharing my rough notes as I kept on a separate paper while I read the book. I do this to most books I read.  I not only read books, but sort of digest them, talk about them, think and even quote them.
Also, in the back of the book, there are many pages of books and works cited where these references came from.
The Gospel of Mary was discovered in 1896.  But, it was never translated and published for many years after that, until 1945.  It was found in clay jars in Egypt along with other Gospels, now called Gnostic, such as Gospel of Thomas. First edition printed in German.
In the handout I gave to you, just on that one page there were 2 questions that were worded very plainly, and very similarly to what Mary Baker Eddy discovered 1800+ years later:
Subject of “matter,” and the fact that there is no sin.  Also, that suffering and disease death are a result of the belief of sin.  Also Mary of Magdala writes that the human “loves” what deceives him/her. 
  • Throughout the journey of the Soul, dialogue is the key
  • The Savior warns to stop looking for a hero to save them, but to look within
  • True teaching does not deceive or dominate, it frees.
  • “Son of Man” is translated as the “Child of True Humanity.”
  • There’s no hell or eternal punishment for God is not a wrathful God, ruler of judge, but is simply called the “Good.”
  • Jewish circumcision and dietary laws not necessary. (From other readings the first church set up after Jesus’ death, called “The Way,” was in a Jewish synagogue and was part of the Temple, not a Christian Church. Hence it was basically for Jews only until Paul came along.  Much of what we have today, such as women not in the clergy stems from those Jewish customs of not allowing women to lead, preach, or teach. The circumcision is useless and cruel to little boys as it is amputation and even the Catholic Church considers the 1st day of the calendar year, January 1, the Feast of the Circumcision, as if it was the highest and first law of God. I too was taken aback when I had my second son at home and Dr. Eisenstein said that he wouldn’t circumcise him back in 1979.)
  • Gospel of Mary shows almost no ties to Jewish religion, since it developed out of the thought world of the Gentile philosophy.
  • Centuries before Gospel of Mary, Plato argued to cultivate soul and not the body. Plato says goal of life is to flee mortal world with all its evils and come as much as possible to the Image of Divine to live a wise, free & just life.  Justice is built into “reality,” for wicked reincarnate and stay at lower level even like sea slugs.  (Again, I’m just writing this, and not saying I believe in this.)
  • One can’t help being short, beautiful nose, being born in poverty or slavery, but adapting one’s attitude toward it.
  • Post Resurrection dialogue with Jesus ends with Mary’s restful “silence.”
  • She rejects suffering & death as path to eternal life.
  • Jesus teaches that people will love their “lower” nature that leads to disease and death
  • After teaching disciples to go out to preach, only Mary fully comprehends Jesus’ works. Mary comforts the grieving disciples.
  • As you know, Mary is the only disciple to not abandon Jesus during the horrible scourging and deadly crucifixion.  The apostles fled.
  • She is said to have a vision of Jesus where Savior talks to her to win battle against “illegitimate” Powers of world that trap Soul.
  • Peter & John challenge Mary and Peter says that advanced teaching would never go to a woman. Mary begins to cry and Levi sticks up for Mary calling Peter a ‘hot-head.’
  • Instead of arguing among ourselves, we should go out and preach
  • After resurrection apostles “weep” for fear of the Jews for their lives as Jesus was persecuted and killed.
  • “There’s no such thing as sin.”
  • 85% of all Christian writings have been lost.
  • Talks of the role of women and Jewish slaves
  • Christians, Egyptian, Arab, translated and preserved this Gospel
  • Peter’s change of heart that requests Mary to teach
  • In early days, they didn’t need to burn books they thought wanted to suppress from public thinking: the books would disintegrate
  • 7 Powers of Wrath: 1, form of darkness 2, desire 3, ignorance 4, zeal for death 5, realm of the flesh, 6 foolish wisdom of flesh 7 wisdom of wrathful person
  • The Savior’s farewell: When the Blessed One had said these things, he greeted them all. “Peace be with you!” he said.  “Acquire my peace within yourselves!  “Be on your guard so that no one deceives you by saying, ‘Look over here!’ or Look over there!’ For the child of true Humanity exists within you. Follow it! Those who search for it will find it.  “Go then, preac (h ) the good news about the Realm. ( Do ) not lay down any rule beyond what I determined for you, nor promulgate law like the lawgiver, or else you might be dominated by it.”
  • Vision and mind:  She said, “I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to him, ‘Lord, I saw you today in a vision.’  He answered me, ‘How wonderful you are for not wavering at seeing me! For where the mind is, there is the treasure.  I said to him, ‘So now, Lord, does a person who sees a vision see it ( with ) the soul ( or ) with the spirit?
  • Andrew calls Mary’s teachings “strange” and doesn’t believe them.
  • Levi answered, speaking to Peter, “Peter, you have always been a wrathful person. Now I see you contending against the woman like the Adversaries. for if the Savior made her worth, who are you then for your part to reject her? Assuredly the Savior’s knowledge of her is completely reliable. That is why he loved her more than us. Rather we should be ashamed. We should clothe ourselves with the Perfect Human, acquire it for ourselves as he commanded us, and announce the good news, not laying down any other rule or law that differs from what the Savior said. After ( he had said these ) things they started to go out and preach and teach.
  • Page 49: After hearing that matter would be dissolved, Peter asks, “What is the sin of the world?” The Savior responds, “There is no such thing as sin.” for modern readers who perhaps too narrowly associate Christianity with the doctrine of the fundamental sinfulness of humanity, this statement could be shocking.
  • Plato and Stoic philosophers were prevalent at writings of Mary just like today modern Americans are armchair psychologists talking of childhood trauma, neurosis, complexes even though they never met Sigmund Freud.
  • Gospel of Mary, grows from Jesus traditions: 1. Body and the world. 2. Sin, judgment and law. 3. Son of Man 4. Rise of soul. Savior argues that the material world will dissolve into its root order. 2 Peter 3:10-13. Earth will melt with fire
  • Mary was not like disciples. She did “not” fear for her life.
  • Jewish Christianity: Too much Judaism or too positive toward it.
  • Gnosticism: Too little Judaism or too negative thought toward it.
  • Orthodoxy, rejecting Jewish error, but retaining Scriptures.
  • Like Paganism, How was Christianity really shaped in order to meet social well-being and “justice.”
  • Were beginnings of Christianity “harmonious” or a “struggle to understand different ideas.”
  • There was a heated debate about circumcision of men.
  • There would be “no” second coming.
  • Just before the Savior departed, he had commanded the disciples to go preach the good news. But rather than immediately setting out they were overcome with distress and weeping, and filled with doubt. “How are we going to go out to the rest of the world to preach the good news about the Realm of the Child of true Humanity, they worried. IF they didn’t spare him, how will they spare us?” (GMary 5:2-3) Mary at once stepped in to comfort them turning their heart-mind toward the good so they began discussing the Savior’s words.  The Greek version says she “tenderly” kissed them all.  Her words seemed to restore harmony. (Then Peter addresses her as “sister.” She then tells Peter of the dialogue  she had with Jesus. But Andrew and Peter became contentious and can’t believe the Savior would have given these words to a woman and not to males.
  • Mary’s weeping is not a sign of weakness but of compassion.
  • This Gospel is the only text of Christian literature where Mary speaks of her own defense.
  • Peter’s challenge represents an issue hotly debated in early Christian circles: the legitimacy of women’s leadership.
  • The women of the New Testament: Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Susanna, (many others) Junia, Priscilla, Prisca, Nympha, Lydia, the heads of house churches, deaconess Phobe, Mary, a worker, numerous prophets, Phillips’ daughters, Ammia of Philadelphia, Philumene, visionary martyr Perpetua.
  • Authority is not nested in a male hierarchy, but in the leadership of men and women who have attained strength of character and spiritual maturity.
  • Prophetic speech and visions are given a place of primacy as the manifestation of spiritual understanding and teaching.
  • When Mary kissed them: mouth, feet, cheek or forehead.
  • Virgins used to prophesy, but then it had to be women over 50 who wore a costume of a virgin.
  • Jesus finds everyone “intoxicated” with the world
  • “Gospel of Truth” awakens people from their nightmare-like state.
  • Souls participate in Father by means of kisses. God isn’t harsh, but sweet and all-knowing.
  • People do not need to be saved from “sin” but “error, anguish and terror.”  (My own words, sounds like today even magnified.)
  • God does not desire suffering, martyrdom, being murdered by authority or death.
  • Apocalypse of Peter rejects Jesus’ crucifixion as a means to rule others.
  • Gospel of Mary is product of “Gentile” Christianity, rather than “Jewish” Christianity
  • In Mary’s Gospel, women can preach, teach and become leaders. Peter fought against this for in the Jewish temple, men ruled, keeping Jewish women separate.  (I can see now why Mary Baker Eddy’s book was rejected when at first she didn’t want a church but to give the book to other churches.  This Jewish teaching was still prevalent in Christianity.)
  • The Jewish religion called women’s leadership, “heresy.” Women’s role:  absence, silence or submission
  • (From my own readings of other books, prior to the Jewish Old Testament with the “begats” of males, the Pagans ruled as male and female “partners.” Neither a matriarch society, run by women, or a patriarch society, run by males.)  Much of what consists of Pagan books were deliberately burned, their clergy, priests, murdered.
That’s all folks! And again, I’m not “preaching” this, but just as I took the class on the Gospel of Thomas on csdirectory.com, I thought I would read the book on the Gospel of Mary of Magdala. Probably and especially since I went to St. Mary Magdalene’s Polish Grammar School in Chicago and have cherished her role in text and even the pictures and statues that showed her at the cross of Jesus. Mary Baker Eddy refers to her in Science and Health, and as we know now, Mary Magdalene was not the harlot women begging for forgiveness. The early church wanted people to ‘think’ that the prostitute was Mary so that no one would listen to her, believe her, or take a former prostitute seriously. Yet, I am never one to obsess on these “human history” ideas, for it seems to waste time.
Lovingly submitted Barbara Ann Nowak

 

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