on 13 June 2012
This book is very much in the Da Vinci Code staple.That means it is pretty far fetched and throws scant fact, spirituality and folklore into the mix. You really have to suspend belief to digest this book because a good deal of it is pure fantasy. The one good thing about it is that its an easy, fairly light read. If you are seriously interested in the lives of these foremost women - then this is not for you. For a firmer grasp of the times you need to look at the work of Geza Vermes for instance. The imagination has clearly run wild here - there is NOTHING in the Bible to suggest that Jesus married anybody, let alone Mary of Magdala. The fact that it is not testified to - unusual for the time - would imply that he was unmarried and almost certainly celibate in the Essene tradition. Some of the notions here are traditional. The idea of Joseph being 'old' when he married Mary is not testified to anywhere but dubious traditions. We don't know how old he was - he might have been around forty when he married Mary. This is supposition and certainly NOT fact. Various liberties are taken here - Mary of Magdala with red hair? Who knows, but it would have been highly unusual. A Catholic nun claiming to have had visions of Mary the mother of Jesus, claimed that SHE had 'red-gold' hair, but here Mary has dark hair. So - are they having visions of the same woman, or is someone allowing their imagination to run wild with them?
Does the extraordinary mother of Jesus get the reverance one would expect for such a hallowed person? Not quite. In an attempt to make Mary into someone you might see on the street corner, realism doesn't work. We simply do not know much about Mary, aside form the fact that she was a deeply devout Jewish Palistinian woman who bought up a big family during harsh times and whose exceptional son met a terrible yet spiritually glorious fate.
This book should be treated like a novel - that's all. Its more fiction than anything else. Save you pennies and buy more intelligent and sensitive books.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2008
Yet another book jumping upon the da Vinci bandwaggon in the assumption that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus. As a work of pure fiction this is certainly interesting, but it ought to be made clear that it is no more than that: it is not based upon any level of sustained academic research or socio-historical analysis. Mary 'may' have been married to Jesus on the same level as she 'may' have been a Martian, but to build an entire edifice upon this is pointless. Parts of course, are correct. It is clear that Mary Magdalene was an intelligent, perceptive woman who knew Jesus and became a devoted disciple. After his death she did indeed 'rally the troops' and she was, after her death, adopted by the Gnostics. But why so corny as Jesus' little wifey!! It's an insult. For a better picture read 'Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of John' At least it is based upon academic research.