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The Woman Jesus Loved: Mary Magdalene in the Nag Hammadi Library and Related Documents (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies) Library Binding – 31 Oct 2013


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'Mit scharfsinniger Gelehrsamkeit und philologischem Geschick untersucht er die uns heute zuganglichen gnostischen Texte der ersten drei Jahrhunderte, in denen sich Maria Magdalena-Traditionen widerspiegeln, und macht sie fur die fortlaufende exegetische, theologische und soziologische Diskussion fruchtbar.' Gesina Schenke-Robinson, Theologische Literaturzeitung, 1997.

About the Author

Antti Marjanen, Th.D. (1996), University of Helsinki, is working on the research project of the Academy of Finland on Gnosticism and Early Christian Culture. He has published extensively on the Nag Hammadi writings and Gnosticism.

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Amazon.com: 4 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
An in-depth, scholarly look at the Gnostic Mary Magdalene. 18 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Library Binding
This book provides plenty of information of gnosticism, the Nag Hammadi texts, and on the gnostic Mary Magdalene, one who has nothing in common with the helpless weeping prostitute of legend or the barely existent Mary Magdalene of the Gospels. Marjanen is a feminist reader of these texts, though his rhetorical strategies are not what I would consider feminist, since he is consummately nasty about the work of other scholars, particuarly women. This work is useful in exploring the idea of the feminine, and possibly the role of women, in the early Christian church and gnostic movement. Minor criticism: Marjanen assumes a scholarly audience that reads some ancient languages, so sometimes he doesn't translate everything he should. Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels is a lot more fun to read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An Intellectual Treatment of the Da Vinci Code 10 Jun. 2006
By maryanne simpson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Library Binding
While this book will never make it to the silver screen, it is researched and written throughtfully. The author accurately describes the meaning of the love of Jesus toward Mary of Magdela. It was the love of a teacher to a prize student. One who he could count on, who understood the rivalries among men, but remained his friend, confidant and vigil.

As recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, Mary of Magdela was not a prostitute. She was a prosperous handmaiden and business woman in the period preceding her transformation by Jesus. This period was marked by corruption and brutality. Mary of Magdela was a member of Jesus's inner circle. While the Apostle Peter lamented that Mary did not belong because she was a woman and not worthy, Jesus defended her place as his most favored.

At this point, I suspect the Roman Catholic Church differs with the author. The author asserts the inclusion of Mary of Magdela in the inner circle along with another Mary, Simon's sister presented a form of jealousy of the all men apostles. Peter is quoted in The Book of Thomas as accusing Jesus of loving Mary of Magdela more than he loved the others.

The Nag Hammadi Codices are far from being completely translated, but these early Coptic writings cast a more gentle and accepting attitude of the inherent intelligence of women.

Further in the beginning there existed a more a-sexual attitude of God. Fears of the ruling order in subsequent centuries quelled the notion of the a-sexual God, cast Mary of Magdela in a saved sinner role and altered substantially the view of women. Significantly, the role of Eve as the temptress with all of the sexual stereotypes associated with her remain today to a degree. It was a more convenient, more black and white version of the beginning of man. This was finalized by the death of the Gnosist movement, destruction of the Coptic codices and a Papal Bull banning their interpretations and writings in the 4th century. These codices were hidden by Byzanntine Monks and discovered in the mid-twentieth century.

Jesus appreciated and loved Mary Magdela. He trusted her opinion , he trusted her loyalty and she never disappointed him. This was the love he expressed. His confidence in her, not a carnal love described by Mr. Brown's popular silver screen summer book. The truth is more interesting and more is to come in the future.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Comprehensive Work 24 Feb. 2005
By Joel DiGirolamo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Library Binding
Don't let the title of this book deceive you. This book is a very thorough look at the position of Mary Magdalene in Jesus' eyes and in the eyes of the Apostles. At times she appears as an equal, while at other times she appears higher than the others.

This is a scholarly book, but is the definitive word on Mary's place in Jesus' life. From the title one might expect something salacious, but that is far from the case.

I enjoy Marjanen's interpretations better than Ms. Pagels'. While I don't read Coptic, Aramaic or Greek, when I review some of her references it seems she takes liberties with her interpretations to prove her point, while Marjanen takes a very measured, rational approach.

Of the books I've read in this genre, this book provides the most insight into the dynamics of the personalities surrounding Jesus. It's definitely worthy of 5 stars!
3 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Very wordy academic treatise containing few words of bible. 27 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Library Binding
Someone please explain this book to me.
I read it trying to find out what the early early church said about women.
The book was very thorough in interpreting what was of no interest to 'Thomas' readers.
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