Was Mary Magdalene an apostle?

Archived from The Magdalene Review on Tuesday 17 January 2006

There seems to be some question about whether or not Mary Magdalene really qualifies as an apostle of Christ. During the Middle Ages she was called apostola apostolorum, which, as far as I know, can be translated in two ways: “apostle TO the apostles,” and “apostle OF the apostles.” This might seem like a minor distinction, but to many people, the “devil is in the details,” as they say. Before we look at apostola apostolorum, though, it might be constructive to discuss what it takes to be an apostle in the first place.

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A primordial religious impulse

Archived from The Magdalene Review on Monday 30 January 2006

My weekend in New York with the scholars I mentioned in a post from last week went very well. We all (except Margaret Starbird, who was not present) contributed to a documentary film, which I will be happy to post about once some details are settled about what it will be called, etc. In the meantime, the experience has provided enough blogging material to keep me busy for months. I’d like to start by sharing a point that Elaine Pagels and I discussed briefly, but were unfortunately unable to flesh out because the moderator moved the topic to another area. Read more

Old Syriac Sinaiticus

Archived from The Magdalene Review on Sunday 15 January 2006

According to Allen Dwight Callahan, in his book A Love Supreme: A History Of The Johannine Tradition, and to Raymond Brown, in his commentary The Gospel According to John XIII-XXI (Anchor Bible Series, Vol. 29), the Old Syriac Codex Sinaiticus is missing the name “Magdalene” in two places: John 20:1 and 20:18. Elsewhere, such as in the work of Stephen Shoemaker, the only noted absence of the epithet in the Sinatic MS is in John 20:18. Read more

Movie review: Mary Magdalene (Close to Jesus – Mary Magdalene)

Archived from The Magdalene Review on Saturday 24 December 2005:

 Mary Magdalene (2000), the United States release of the Italian made-for-television film Gli amici di Gesù – Maria Maddalena, was not a run-of-the-mill Mary Magdalene movie. Usually movies about Mary Magdalene fall into two categories: those about Jesus in which she happens to appear, usually as repentant prostitute, and pious retellings of Mary’s racy life that end with her finding Jesus, salvation, and peace. Although the film currently under review is absolutely at home in the latter category, it doesn’t come across as pretentious and superficial as others have. Read more

DVC in Newsweek

Archived from The Magdalene Review on Thursday 22 December 2005

The Da Vinci Code is featured in this week’s issue of Newsweek. The article revolves around how those involved with the film feel about the story as well as their roles in the movie. Some interesting tidbits about the business of DVC are revealed, such as how the film rights were captured by Sony, how the actors and directors came to be involved, and how sets were handled on location. (The real Mona Lisa, relegated to a storage closet!?) Read more

My roots are showing…

Archived from The Magdalene Review on Friday 16 December 2005

Jeremy over at Fantastic Planet posted a moving, insightful observation to his blog yesterday, about the practice of looking down on others, whose perspectives we do not value, as ignorant (“You Ignorant Bastard”). The primary example he cites is Richard Dawkins, a biologist and author of several titles including The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker. Dawkins, in making his case for atheism, treats those who are theists as naive, self-deluded “bumpkins,” as Jeremy put it. Read more

Coptic papyri codices discovered in Egypt

Archived from The Magdalene Review on Wednesday 30 November 2005

This exciting news is something I picked up from Terje Bergesen’s blog.

Coptic Trove
by Nevine El-Aref

In Al-Gurna where several excavation missions are probing for more Ancient Egyptian treasures under the sand, a team from the Polish Centre for Mediterranean Archaeology has stumbled on a major Coptic trove buried under the remains of a sixth-century monastery located in front of a Middle Kingdom tomb.

This was reported by Al-Ahram Weekly On-line (Cairo) back in February. Read more

Elaine Pagels interview

Archived from The Magdalene Review on Tuesday 29 November 2005:

This article was posted today on the Minnesota Women’s Press website:

There’s Something About Mary
by Elizabeth Noll

[Elaine Pagels]: The Christian movement has always been diverse. That it was diverse in the beginning is very clear. It’s still diverse. I think that what that says is that if you’re going to participate in it at all, you make choices about what you participate in. What kind of groups, what kind of understanding. You have a wide range of choices. I do make choices about those things, quite consciously, and I think that most people are aware that they’re making choices about that.

This is a pretty good article, about Mary Magdalene in the Gnostic tradition. It addresses some very basic questions about Mary Magdalene and brings up a couple of points that I’d like to call out.

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Religion books for Dummies and Idiots

Archived from The Magdalene Review on Tuesday 29 November 2005:

The following article, from The Dallas Morning News, was posted today at ReligionNewsBlog.com:

‘Dummies’ and ‘Idiot’s religion books prove smart bet for publishers
by Sam Hodges

My editor at Alpha Books, Randy Ladenheim-Gil, was interviewed for the piece.

This was the absolute best part of the article:

Father Trigilio is just as pleased to be a Dummies author. He’s at work with two others on a Dummies book about Pope John Paul II, to be released near the first anniversary of his death, April 2, 2006.

For anyone who has lingering concerns about pairing “dummies” and “idiots” with sacred subjects, the priest says: Get over it. He notes that in First Corinthians, St. Paul favorably uses the term “fools for Christ.”

“The actual word in the Greek, if you translate it literally, means ‘morons,’ ” Father Trigilio said. “Nobody gets bent out of shape that St. Paul is calling them a moron.”

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