The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
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The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,282 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Restores to the forefront of the Christian tradition the importance of the divine feminine.
*The first complete English-language translation of the original Coptic Gospel of Mary, with line-by-line commentary
*Reveals the eminence of the divine feminine in Christian thought.
*Offers a new perspective on the life of one of the most controversial figures in the Western spiritua...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by Inner Traditions (first published 1997)
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Sheila
Uniquely fascinating. This book not only presents the known text of the Gospel of Mary, but then the book follows with a discussion of the text, offering commentary line by line.

The known text of the Gospel of Mary is missing many pages right in the middle of the gospel, so I (as well as many scholars, I am sure) am left wishing and wondering I knew what the missing text was. Hopefully some day someone will find another copy of this somewhere, and the missing test can become known.

The text avail...more
Laura
I was surprised by this book. The Gospel is very short, but included some very interesting things to contemplate. In a crude fashion, my take-aways include:
- It directly takes on a woman's role in the culture and the challenges the disciple had with Jesus' relationship to Mary. It was interesting to contemplate her as spiritual equal to the disciples and even a leader. JYL brought her to life for me in a way that made it quite real what her challenges were. Peter and Andrew in particular find...more
Lori
I was transfixed by the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Jean Yves-Leloup has provided the reader with a beautiful esoteric interpetation of the words of Mary Magdalene. In the remaining pages left from this gospel, she reveals to the apostles' the words of Jesus and their deeper meaning. The fact that his words are delivered by a female, causes Peter some misgivings, but is eventually accepted as truth by the apostles' as the words resonate with power. Jean Yves-Leloup has given a line by line comment...more
David
After reading the Gnostic Gospels, which referred to this text, I appreciate getting a firsthand look at the Gospel of Mary. I also found the commentary by Leloup to be very interesting and helpful in interpreting and analyzing the teachings mentioned both in this gospel and in the traditional, institutionally-accepted gospels.

If I take away anything from this text, it will be a markedly different perspective of Christ's teachings. It introduced to me a new way of looking at both the "law" and t...more
Adrian
Aug 02, 2007 Adrian rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: the curious / mystics
well before The DaVince Code pandamonium
there was this book making its way through
readers' hands.
my fascination with Mary Magdalene began of
a Catholic upbringing. then when i began listening
to Tori Amos i was sucked into much of her music
BECAUSE she dealt with subject matter i hold close
and miss Mary Magdalene was no different. but through
her songs i started hearing the story.. the possibility
that she & Jesus were a thing
(something i had seen hinted at in the play JESUS
CHRIST SUPERSTAR &...more
Rama
The apostle Mary Magdalene; the gospel from the perspectives of a female disciple

The gospel of Mary Magdalene discovered in Egypt in 1896 is a Gnostic gospel like the gospel of Thomas, which was also found in Egypt at Nag Hammadi in 1949. The Gnostic gospels of Nag Hammadi include; the secret book of James, the gospel of Thomas, the book of Thomas and secret book of John. They teach on acquiring knowledge and spiritual development to reach salvation. This is contrary to the message of canonical...more
Todd Settimo
This was one of those pivotal books for me; great translation and commentary. One 'mystical aha!' after another. The non-dual aspects of gnostic philosophy shine through.
Mary
I've never read a book anywhere at all similar to this one, which possibly says more about my general lack of exposure to philosophy than it does about Leloup's uniqueness. But Leloup is a deep, deep thinker and not only did he translate the Sahidic Coptic of the manuscript into French (the English translation from the French is by Joseph Rowe), but he interpreted and commented on the text. He sees the manuscript as describing a world view quite unlike that found in most of the New Testament, or...more
Lisse
I have been interested in Mary Magdalene for a few years now...ever since the DaVinci Code came out in full force. I went to a workshop on her in 2003 that dealt with her gospel in a little more easy to understand way than this book did. I want to give this book a higher score, but it's just not one that I would go back and reread. There are parts of it that I thought were awesome and I want to hold onto, but a lot of it was difficult for me to read - very intellectual (so I don't know what that...more
Πάνος Τουρλής
Μία από τις πολλές γυναίκες-ακολούθους που ευεργετήθηκαν από τον Ιησού; Πόρνη που μετανόησε στο σπίτι του Φαρισαίου; Ή μήπως ο νεανικός έρωτας του Ιησού; Το πραγματικό πρόσωπο της Μαρίας Μαγδαληνής της Δυσης, των Ευαγγελίων, της ζωγραφικής, της υμνογραφίας και της ποίησης αποκαλύπτεται... Και απέχει πολύ από αυτό που μας έχει παρουσιάσει ως σήμερα.
Kevin
This book surely presents many concepts within the Gospel, but the heavy philosophical and metaphysical ideas can be a bit tiring. I did enjoy some of the commentary made by Leloup and that he drew on some connections between this gospel and understanding some concepts in the canonical four gospels. As an introductory book to what the Gospel of Mary Magdelene says, I may not recommend this one in particular (though, I don't know how many are out there); but, for some introductory concepts into t...more
Linda
The gospel itself is very short in length. The words and what Jesus tells us through Magdalene are powerful, however.
There is comentary on each line from the gospel. This comentary makes up appoximately two thirds of the book. With statements quoted from Jesus Christ, this book needs the comentary. The simple statements that Magdalene repeats from Jesus (Jesus has died and risen already)have not been printed elsewhere in the standard bibles but are an echo of His previous teachings. Here is the...more
Rebecca
Read this a long time ago when I went through my "questioning" phase in college as I explored different aspects of religion and Christianity.
Sonic
Deep heady stuff, that demands much from both one's intellectual as well as emotional intelligence. LeLoup's commentary takes us to the realms of high philosophy with (of course) Gnostic ideas, but as I said, it presents a challenge to more than just the brain, it challenges one's whole being.
... As the best Gnostic ideas should. :)

So, I could only give 4 stars because of my lack of understanding, but this is my failing, not the author's.

(Needleman's introduction is brilliant.)

Perhaps I need to...more
Doublemk
Great book for a person who thinks for her/himself. As someone once said: "We must remember the Bible was written by MEN who thought the world was flat." This book and The Gospel of Thomas are just a couple of books that makes one sit up, take notice, and re-think all the things that have been passed down from the ancients. Or as Richard Bach says at the end of ILLUSIONS: "Everything in this book may be wrong." We just don't know; and I keep searching for my own beliefs, not someone else's.
Robin
I am working on an in-depth review at this time. Please check back later.
Isaac George
I've read the books that Margaret Starbird penned from the late 1980's and 90's concerning Mary Magdalene, and although her research (along with the famous "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" by British researcher Henry Lincoln) formed the backbone of "The Divinci Code" by Dan Brown, it is this labour of love by Jean-Yves Leloup that is the definitive work about Magdalene. Also worthy of mention is "The Magdalene Manuscript" via Tom Kenyon.

Read it!!
Julia
Deeply spiritual, contemplative and meditative reading.
It may be beneficial to be read with a spiritual partner, but either way, one should read prayerfully and in solitude contemplate its wisdom.
There were times when I thought this is just out of my realm of understanding but then picked it up again and allowed myself to just try to percieve the revelations. I hope even a little understanding sinks in.
Robert Aguirre lessard
The gospel itself is very short - preceded by a long - way too long - introduction where the reader is inundated by how literary critics were so moved by this gospel. Well thank you for the fluff, I want pork & beans! And the gospel delivers! Quite well. It is moving and insightful. It is written after the crucifixion and is more a woman's (one in particular) personal interpretation of Jesus' message.
Odette
The translation was not as good as it could have been. I would have liked some helpful footnotes about the choices made in translation. And the explanatory notes/interpretations were clearly slanted in one direction. That passage from the Gospel of Philip about the whole kissing on the lips was quoted as being Full of Meaning, but there’s a debate about that, too, that wasn’t touched on at all.
Alice De Dominicis
Very insightful. I was curious to read because I wanted to learn what Mary taught and how she was viewed by others around her. I was impressed to learn that Mary was not only an equal to the apostles, but a figure they looked up to. Her special relationship with Jesus is depicted through her words as she teaches his words, subtly different from the apostles yet very powerful.
Kathy Sprattling
I have always viewed the Bible as a guide and historical document. It is great to see the books that were band by the Nicene Council. Leloup turns the image of Miriam of Magdala back to the days of the Divine Feminine. An excellent read and inspiration for the reemergence of the Divine Feminine in the still young Millennia.
Liz
Interesting ideas. Hard to follow some of the philosophical concepts due to jargon, but that's to be expected.

We had a good discussion about this at discussion group. Always nice to get some more info about important women in the Bible. Would like to find some Mormon commentary on this and the Pitis Sophia. Anyone?
Zachery
Leloup's interpretation and commentary is invaluable in conveying this gospel clearly as well as making it relevent to a modern reader. He is honest in pointing out areas of the text which are missing and open to interpretation, including mis-interpretation. I am a fan of every Leloup book I have read.
Logospilgrim
A book filled with good insights, although Leloup's exegesis of one of the most important passage in the Gospel of Mary (pages 15 and 16) did not resonate with me nearly as much as Karen L. King's did; hers made more sense to me. But on the whole, I found Leloup's commentary illuminating.
Kate
quite an enlightening read. i never realized to what extent the feminine element is suppressed in mainstream christianity and how much its reintroduction changes the interpretation of the foundational texts. very interesting, even for non-religious readers (like myself).
Nathaniel. Nathaniel.
I only read Part one, pages 24 to 41 as I was interested in the direct translation of the words that Mary Magdalene wrote. I found the dialog moving, it was like words that I heard spoken before, perhaps then, perhaps very like words I have heard spoken now.
Erica
A wonderful insight into the unfairly slighted Mary Magdalene, Jesus's "intimate compantion" - first among his disciples and the root of Christian teachings. The esoteric nature of her gospel is beautifully interpreted in this first-ever English translation.
Robert Davis
As a gnostic gospel produced long after the life of Jesus (and the other gospels), this gospel is not particularly useful for insight into the life of Christ. It is useful, however, for understanding the gnostic tradition.
Christina Boyle
This was so interesting. It makes a number of links between all the various world religions including yogic philosophy.
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