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INTERESTING BUT IS THERE A GENDER AGENDA?
on 18 December 2015
I really don't know how to take this book? Is Jehanne de Quillan actually telling us that she has access to a hithero undocumented & unknown 1st Century gospel that is the work of Mary Magdalene, and in which Mary specifically identifies herself & claims authorship?
De Quillan is vague about its provenance, merely stating it has been "in our community" for centures. This would be some Cathar/Albigensian "community", but we are told no more.
The text seems to be a version of the Gospel of John, with passages from the apocryphal Gospel of Mary added, the identity and gender of the Beloved Disciple (traditionally identified as John) changed to Mary herself, and the spiritual journey Mary describes in the Gospel of Mary changed to a less muddled parable/metaphor of the 7 stages of climbing a tree (cf Garden of Eden, True Vine etc)
The trouble for me is that we're asked to accept that the Platonic/Stoic concepts and mindset of a later century are presented as matter-of-fact religious and philosophical fare amongst 1st Century Jews. It's all just a bit too pat.
Many of the previous reviews of this and similar books concentrate on how spiritual and impressive they find the teaching.
I urge them to be more cautious & question the source of this sort of writing. It may be sincere, it may even be genuine, but always "beware of false prophets"!
And yes, I know that the answer to that is "By their fruits shall ye know them."
And least de Quillame eschews all the Holy Bloodline, Da Vinci Code moonshine.
There is no doubt that Mary Magdalene was important and has been airbrushed out of Christianity for mysoginistic reasons, but it does worry me that the authors of these books might be more interested in their own feminist agenda than in getting closer to the truth about Christianity. After all, our physical gender should count for nothing in the spiritual dimension.