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The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  823 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Lost for more than fifteen hundred years, the Gospel of Mary is the only existing early Christian gospel written in the name of a woman. Karen L. King tells the story of the recovery of this remarkable gospel and offers a new translation. This brief narrative rejects Jesus' suffering and death as a path to eternal life and exposes the view that Mary Magdalene was a prostit ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Polebridge Press
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Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Karen King begins with the translation of the Gospel of Mary of Magdala which was found in Egypt. The first 12 pages of the Gospel are missing, and what is there begins in the middle of a conversation between Mary and the Savior. It moves on to Mary comforting the Apostles after Jesus' crucifixion and from there to a dialog in which Peter asks her if she can give them any information which the Savior might have communicated to her. She does, but after telling them what she and Jesus talked about ...more
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book that discusses the various texts of the Gospel of Mary that have been found over the years. From the most complete dated to the 4th Century, to the fragments dated much earlier and situated in the early 2nd Century.

King situates the texts side by side for easy reference, and there are photographs of the original texts for those who wish to see them in their original languages.

King argues that scholarly opinion that the gospel is Gnostic in origin is not to be taken for
Toni Daugherty
Nov 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Why did the men at the council of Nicea decide not to include this well known gospel when they constructed the bible? Was it the final attempt to disenfranchise women? Was it another way to keep Mary out of the preisthood? Mary, according to Jesus, was his most devout follower and most trusted diciple. Why was she left out? This gospel is all about Jesus' first woman apostle and his most loyal and trusted companion. Many have argued that she was to carry on his teachings, as she was his best stu ...more
Jean Hall
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am fascinated by the historical Mary of Magdala and her role in early Christianity. I watch television documentaries on the discovery and meaning of the gnostic gospels. Karen L. King has the credentials as a biblical scholar to tackle this story. She gives the necessary context and background to this fragment of ancient text. There are still many mysteries to unravel in early Christian history. However, this entertaining study of this particular, biblical Mary goes a long way to understanding ...more
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was easy to read and interesting as well. The author elaborates (as much as scholars have now been able to uncover) on the life of Mary of Magdala. All the facts are probably lost to time and history but this book makes a credible argument for how women went from equal partners in the new way to a greatly reduced role by the time the faith journey became Roman Catholicism.

I've read a bit about Mary and would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in or a devotion to the Apostle
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Based on an early 2nd century text which remained lost until the late 19th century, debunks the church-constructed myth of Mary Magdalene as a former prostitute and convincingly portrays her as the most adept of Jesus’ disciples. Coupled with Elaine Pagels' Gnostic Gospels, it’s a very interesting look into the power struggles that shaped the early church. Admirably avoids straying into a feminist agenda. Written for an academic audience, but easily accessible to the lay reader.
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I liked the book. More then simply analizing the text of the gospel I think she does a good job of putting it all in context of the early church.

I was fortuniate enough to get to hear the the author give a lecture on Mary Magdalen and the church, and I have to say that I really liked her. So that is why I give this one 5 stars instead of 4.
Sarah Crawford
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has the Gospel of Mary in it and the rest of the book discusses that gospel. Parts of the Gospel of Mary are missing including the first six chapters. The book also points out that 85% of the Christian-oriented writings from the first two centuries are also gone.

There's also discussions about Jewish law and what part, if any, Gentiles were expected to obey. Also, just because some people were disciples does not mean that they automatically understand everything Jesus was trying to say
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The Gospel of Mary of Magdala : Jesus and the first woman apostle
2003 [My mom had the book and read it; then my father read it. Now Aud wants it too.]

A great variety of beliefs and interpretations of Jesus’ teachings were around the first 200-300 years after Jesus died.

somehow hard for us to find out much about this, because almost all of the discussions were oral and not written. Most people couldn’t read and write in those days to begin with, and texts probably were nearly irrelevant to religi
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Review: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala by Karen L. King

This book is must reading for every student of history and every Christian who is seeking the truth of the Jesus tradition and to understand the origins of the Christian Church. Of course, “every,” as used above, is a slight hyperbole: probably only 98% of those persons would not learn something valuable, while for many, the learning would be priceless.

The volume, like Caesar’s Gaul, is divided into three parts. The first, 36 pages, presents
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  • The Gnostic Bible
  • The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
  • Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor
  • The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus
  • Adam, Eve, and the Serpent: Sex and Politics in Early Christianity
  • The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God?
  • The Gospel of Judas
  • The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins
  • The Secrets of Judas: The Story of the Misunderstood Disciple & His Lost Gospel
  • Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing
  • The Woman with the Alabaster Jar: Mary Magdalen and the Holy Grail
  • The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed
  • Fragmentation and Redemption: Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion
  • Resurrection: Myth or Reality?
  • The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity
  • Who Killed Jesus?: Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus
  • The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good About the Good News?
  • The Gospels of Mary: The Secret Tradition of Mary Magdalene, the Companion of Jesus