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The Lost Gospel of Mary: The Mother of Jesus in Three Ancient Texts Hardcover – April 30, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Paraclete Pr; First Edition edition (April 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557255369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557255365
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #979,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The Virgin Mary means different things to different cultures--the flower of femininity or the champion of feminism; the paragon of obedience or the advocate of liberation. Which view of her you take depends on what cultural side you're on. In this slim volume, Mathewes-Green tries to uncover the Mary that early Christians knew through a reading of three ancient texts: a narrative of Mary's life that Mathewes-Green calls the Gospel of Mary, which was written in 150 and was extremely popular in its day; a brief prayer to Mary, found in Egypt on papyrus dated to 250, though Mathewes-Green thinks it is probably older; and a long hymn written by the Syrian deacon St. Romanos that is considered one of the finest examples of Eastern Christian poetry. By examining these texts, Mathewes-Green offers a new perspective on Mary's life, legacy, and meaning for generations of Christians. Advocates of Marian literature will surely appreciate Mathewes-Green's thoughtful comments. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Do you want to get to know Mary a bit better? Are you interested in entering a faithful Marian spirituality? Let Fredrica Mathewes-Green Facilitat a rich, traditional, authantic meeting of Mary. When it comes to spending time with the mother of our Lord, this book is second only to scripture." -- Lauren F. Winner

"Frederica Mathewes-Green is a sparkling writer. In The Lost Gospel of Mary, not only is her material fascinating, but so is her perspective as a thoughtful and irenic Orthodox Christian. There is much here to warm the heart as it engages the mind from here to warm the heart as it engages the mind from early in our comon Christian tradition." -- Brian McLaren, author of A Generous Orthodoxy

"The Mary that Frederica Mathewes-Green gives us in these winsome texts- a palably real women, at once humble and exalted-transcends the differences that persist even today among the main streams of the Christian Tradition, not least because this Mary points beyond herself to the ultimate source of our hope and our joy" -- John Wilson

More About the Author

Frederica Mathewes-Green writes mostly about the Eastern Orthodox Church; she and her family converted in 1993, and her husband, Fr. Gregory, is pastor of the church they founded near Baltimore. In addition to her 10 books, she has published over 700 articles and opinion pieces. Topics range from movie reviews to humor to marriage and family, with particular focus on the pro-life cause; she is a past vice-president of Feminists for Life. She has provided regular columns and commentary for NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Religion News Service, Christianity Today, Beliefnet.com, BreakPoint, Our Sunday Visitor, National Review, Odyssey TV Network, and Ancient Faith Radio. For a year, she served as a consultant for Veggie Tales. She has been interviewed by news media almost 700 times. She travels frequently to give talks at conferences, colleges, and churches--over 500 events so far. She can type big numbers. Here are a few more: 300, 550, 1060. Didn't even break a sweat. Here's some more: 800, 930, 322. OK, that's enough for now. Inspiration doesn't always strike when you tell it to, yknow.

Customer Reviews

Today I read this book.
Robert F. Phillips
She also offers some basic information that goes a long way in aiding an understanding of early Christian and Orthodox veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
David Withun
The detail put into research of the different ancient texts was very thorough.
lucyjane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. Wiese on March 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Paraclete Press sent me a complimentary copy of The Lost Gospel of Mary by Frederica Mathewes-Green. The title might suggest a sensationalistic book which contains some supposedly lost gnostic writings that tell us about the real Mary--a Mary that is nothing like the Mary found in the Christian Scriptures. But that's not the case at all. Paraclete Press is probably trying to attract the attention of those who are interested in gnostic writings but the scholarship within the book is very good. The book contains three texts from the early church that are either about or addressed to Mary with lots of introductory material and commentary.

The first text is the longest and is my favorite. Most scholars refer to it as the Protevangelium of James. Frederica Mathewes-Green calls it the Gospel of Mary and her title is fitting. This was written sometime before AD 150 and is all about the life of Mary from her birth through the birth of Christ. In the early church some regarded it as canonical. It fills in some interesting information about her betrothal and supports the tradition that Mary remained a virgin through the birthing process. Frederica Mathewes-Green writes within the Eastern Orthodox tradition and offers a pretty balanced view of how we should regard this document. I don't see anything in this text that contradicts the Scriptures--just some filling in of details. I'm suspicious of a few of the details in the story but the bulk of it seems believable. There are a few translations of this text floating around the internet but this translations is the easiest read and has lots of helpful notes.

The second text is a prayer addressed to Mary, asking her for protection that was written around AD 250. This text does not really tell us about Mary and who she is.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sabrina M. Messenger on October 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Christianity is derived from two sources: Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. All too often, Scripture is emphasized more so than tradition. In this book Ms. Mathewes-Green introduces us to the Sacred Tradition behind Mary and the events leading up to the birth of Christ. I really appreciated the way she outlined the Protoevangelium and made it easy for people to understand. This 'pre-gospel' written by James the brother of Jesus is not one that is accepted by Protestants and even some Catholics get 'nervous' about it, but I feel that even though it is not a part of the recognized "canon" it is still a very interesting and useful source for Christians to understand why the Theotokos the Virgin Mary is important for us to respect, and it demonstrates in detail how her example of obedience to God is a good example for all of us to follow.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By John F. Michalski on April 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Like all of Ms. Mathewes-Green's books, this is a joy to read as well as nourishing food for the soul. If you come from one of the Protestant traditions (as does the author herself) forget everything you think you know about the tradition of Mary. This little gem will introduce you to a beautiful, new world.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Withun on April 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm very disappointed with myself for waiting so long to read this wonderful book. Khouria Frederica introduces us to three ancient texts, the "Protoevangelion of James" (circa 150 CE), the "Sub tuum praesidium" (circa 250 CE), and the "Akathist to the Theotokos" (circa 520 CE), each of them exemplifying some important aspect of early Christian Mariology and Marian devotion. She offers her own (very well done) translation and her own (very illuminating) notes on each of these texts in this book. She also offers some basic information that goes a long way in aiding an understanding of early Christian and Orthodox veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I recommend this book especially to those who are already Orthodox or who are considering Orthodoxy but are struggling to understand the Church's love for the Holy Virgin. This is by far the best introduction I have read to an Orthodox understanding of the Holy Mother of God. I hope more people will read this excellent book.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Award-winning author Frederica Mathewes-Green presents The Lost Gospel of Mary: The Mother of Jesus in Three Ancient Texts, an examination of the theological and cultural questions as well as the historical background offered by three sacred texts. The first is "The Gospel of Mary", a story of the Virgin Mary's life from her conception to the birth of Jesus, written circa AD 150; the second is the oldest known prayer to Mary, found on papyrus in Egypt and dated to the third century; the third is "The Annunciation Hymn", written by the Syrian poet Romanos circa AD 520 and widely considered a classic of Eastern Christian poetry, still sung in Eastern Orthodox churches throughout the modern world today. Combined, the texts offer a wondrous spiritual viewpoint into the mother of the Lord. Written from the perspective of a devout believer, The Lost Gospel of Mary is a welcome addition to Christian spirituality shelves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan S G on December 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We have to go back in time and read the true gems of theology like these three ancient writings, in order to understand how genuine is our veneration of Mary. I am personally glad that, Frederica Mathewes-Green has raised again the bar with this book.
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By Robert F. Phillips on February 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I could not put it down! The only time I stopped reading was when I sat and pondered what she'd translated.
Yesterday I read The Real Mary by Scot McKnight. Today I read this book. I feel I have a mature understanding
because I linked these two works together. Thank you!
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