Most Helpful First | Newest First
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening,
This review is from: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Paperback)This is a fascinating book. The author makes clear the church's demonising of Mary (prostitute etc).
The wholesale removal of women from positions of authority in the church is evident, as is the jealousy of
the apostles and their infighting. The massive church takeover of the Roman Empire and its subsequent condemnation of
non-conformity, aka heresy, is still evident today.
But this is a balanced writing and not a judgemental scarification of the church. The evidence, though, is plain to see.
A good,thought provoking read.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rabbit out of a hat,
This review is from: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Paperback)How did Karen King pull a riveting 200 page rabbit out of an ancient, several page long hat? The good news that it was no trick. This gospel and King's commentary are substantial.
I have a special place in my heart for scholars who can reach me at my level: not by dumbing down their message but by lifting me up via gifted explanation. Karen King is indeed gifted.
That gift consists not just of knowledge and communication skills, but of a deep honesty that keeps her open and, it seems, a deep humanity that enables her to reach out to scholars and laypeople alike. Although the role of women is necessarily a vital part of "The Gospel of Mary" and of this book, as a male reader I felt totally included. The author of "The Gospel of Mary" and Karen King both speak to all of us. It is difficult not to feel proud of Mary (and King) and distressed that so many men have failed to extend the same inclusiveness to women.
Before being lost, "The Gospel of Mary" was circulated for several centuries: hopefully now it and King's "Gospel of Mary of Magdala" will be known for many more. As King translated from this gospel: "Anyone with two ears capable of hearing should listen!"
57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Readable,
This review is from: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Paperback)THE GOSPEL OF MARY OF MAGDALA is a scholarly work written in a very readable style for the general public. The book includes an account of the gospel's discovery in Egypt near the end of the nioneteenth century. It also contains a translation of the gospel and a discussion of its importance during the early development of Christianity. The chapter on the history of Christianity is particularly interesting. An impressive array of notes and lists of terms and sources as well as works cited can be found at the end of the text.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, who knew?,
This review is from: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Paperback)If you think you know Christianity, think again.
The Gospel of Mary Magdala, discovered in a cave in Egypt in 1945 along with several other hidden texts, gives us a thoroughly different perspective on Christianity from the post-Constantine dogma we have come to understand as Christ's word. Unexpectedly, we find resounding similarities with Plato and even Zen - overcoming the obstacles within ourselves as opposed to relying on an external saviour, a direct link to the mind and the value of silence.
In themselves, the texts are startling enough. And although I haven't read anything else on this Gospel so can't compare, Karen L. King gives us a scholarly interpretation within the context of the history and society of the day, the way the early church operated and parallels and contrasts to relevant contemporary writings.
Leaves the reader to wonder whether the texts were perhaps hidden in a desert cave on purpose.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hand it Over to the Ladies,
This review is from: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Paperback)This work by Karen L King is well researched, beautifully written and very readable. Best of all, it researches honestly into the early days of Christianity in an open-minded, honest fashion untrammelled by hindsight-boxes labelled variously as 'heretical, gnostic, apocryphal, uncanonical' and so on. The early Christians had no New Testament, which was not finalised in its present form until over 400 years after the time of Jesus. Books such as The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and The Gospel of Thomas may very well be just 'the tip of the iceberg' when it comes to early writings about Jesus and his teachings. It was a case of 'winner takes all' when it comes to what came to be regarded as either orthodox or heretical. Writings that did not agree with the viewpoint of powerful second century church leaders, such as Irenaeus of Lyons were suppressed. Few people could read or write in those days and printing had not been invented, which meant that copies of books were few and far between and thus more easily annihilated by those with another agenda.
Ms King clearly shows how misleading it is to label willy-nilly all non-canonical scriptural writings as 'gnostic', a term not in use when The Gospel of Mary of Magdala was compiled, probably early in the Second Century AD, which pre-dates quite a number of the books currently included in the New Testament canon. We can now be more certain than ever that women played an important role in the leadership of the very early Church when, doctrine-wise, Christianity was more deeply divided than it is today when Plymouth Brethren and Roman Catholics have more in common with each other than did the various factions in those far off days. The problem that now faces us is, which of those early factions was nearest to the teaching of Jesus? When the Gospel of Mary of Magdala talks about 'The Saviour' is he the same person as the Christ written about by Saint Paul? Is the Pauline Christ the same person as the Jesus who was the close friend of Mary of Magdala? Have we been 'led up the garden path' by a frustrated hoard of power-hungry, mysoginistic male mega-egoists? History clearly teaches us that male-dominated Christianity of most kinds has made a hash of things. Seeing as Mary of Magdala had a very special relationship with Jesus, it's surely time that pontificating males stood aside and handed the leadership of Christianity over to the ladies. I'm all for that.
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly, a "missing link" in the Gospels.,
This review is from: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Paperback)This is a very interesting insight on the early Christian Church. It shows how we are only now coming out of a "dark age" of male chauvinism in the Church. It is a book which is very obviously well researched.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
This review is from: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Paperback)For anyone interested the Dead Sea Scrolls, this is a must book to read. A little frustrating with the actual missing sections from the original but you can judge the book for yourself, you wont be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete insight into self relationship with God,
This review is from: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Paperback)This is a complete insight into the way Christianity has to be understood. Like many organised religions, Christianity too has undergone changes in interpretations to match emerging challenges e.g. what does Christianity has to say about abortion, doner eggs, gender etc. However this is how the early non organised Christian views were expressed. That is why there are variations of both words and interpretations. What Gospel of Mary reveals is that not only was she closest disciple to the Lord (you can have relationships without sex), she was also very conceptual in her grasp of Jesus teaching. Rather than externalizing religion in her Gospel Christianity becomes internal to self. We are created in the image of God not in physical sense but in the soul. Our ultimate union therefore is at the soul level. As a women in that society and her deep level of understanding no wonder she had caused jealousies and resentment hence suppression of her preaching. This is a must for everyone. I highly recommend it. Make sure you do not do speed reading but spend time thinking about what she has said.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gospel of Mary of Magdala,
This review is from: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Paperback)What a great find to have a gospel written by a woman and one so misunderstood and dismissed by those who are supposed to know all about these things. Great reading thank you.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars profound and uplifting for women!!!!,
This review is from: The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle (Paperback)I found that this was a very profound and esoteric gospel.
Yet presented in a form of great simplicity. A good translation.
However the only flaw, is you can get a little lost in all the refences, which add complexity to the otherwise easy read.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle by Karen L. King (Paperback - 15 Oct 2003)