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The Gospel of Mary Magdalene Paperback – March 30, 2002
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"Leloup's commentary presents a scholarly translation with an inspirational and passionate interpretation. . . . Going beyond the gospels to the laws of the Torah and the philosophical writings of Kant, the author at once discovers the truer meanings of an ancient text and a message as important today as it was two millennia ago.", Steven Sora, author of The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar
"Readers will welcome this perceptive translation of the Gnostic 'Gospel of Mary' and the insightful commentary by scholar-mystic Jean-Yves Leloup. The journey of the soul and other profound and subtle teachings of Jesus and his beloved Miriam will enlighten modern seekers.", Margaret Starbird, author of The Woman with the Alabaster Jar
"One welcomes this solid telling of the story and meaning of a neglected text at the root of Christian wisdom, and of a neglected figure who had a special relationship both with the historical Jesus in his lifetime and with the Christ spirit after the death of Jesus.", Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing
" . . . the Magdalene's gospel might be embraced by contemporary seekers, both Christian and non-Christian.", Patricia Monaghan, Booklist American Library Association, April 2002
"There are some fascinating glimpses at gender politics between the earliest followers of Jesus and the enigmatic personage of Mary Magdalene. Christians have come to think of her (with no basis in biblical fact) as the repentant prostitute, while to his followers she was the one Jesus loved 'differently from other women.'", KJ, Napra ReView, May/June 2002
"He sets the record straight and provides ample commentary on where the historical records went astray.", New Women New Church, Summer 2003, Vol.26 No.2
"I love this gospel . . . it speaks such truth as the Church desperately needs in these times.", John Gilbert, Ph.D., Gnostic News, December 2003
"The commentary by Professor LeLoup is beautifully done. He is indeed a scholar of the earth Church.", John Gilbert, The Temple of Gnostic Yoga, December 2003
"Powerful, almost Taoist in range, this is an important book and should be read by anyone interested in Mary Magdalene or the early Church.", Pamela Crossland, TCM Reviews
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The translation of the Gospel itself starts by presenting Jesus speaking his teaching to Mary Magdalene, but very likely, not many of Jesus' disciples besides Mary would have been able to understand it, for the teaching contained in this first part is quite different from, though not, for the most part, contradictory to the other traditional Gospels. Then in a later section, Mary moves to a later time, some time after the Resurrection, when she discusses this teaching of Jesus with a group of the Apostles. Understandably, Peter is quite hostile to her account, basically calling her a liar because it is coming from such a different angle than what the Apostles had heard from Jesus (and because it is coming from a woman). But then Levi comes to her defense, and very nicely. Then this last Gospel fragment of hers ends.
Unfortunately, it is Peter's opinion on all this that carries the day in the Church, for not only was Mary Magdalene's account of the teachings of Jesus totally suppressed at the time, but she herself was untruthfully slandered as a prostitute, very likely to aid in the suppression.
I will just end by saying that the best part of the book is the translation of Mary's Gospel itself. Jean-Yves Leloup's commentary, which is most of the book, is good scholarly work, and I appreciate that, but it is only that. Scholarship is restricted to the mental and intellectual and is only a starting point. I think that through this Gospel of Jesus, Mary wanted to point us to deeper realms of divine experience within, which is the journey that all of us are on. I only wish that more of her work could have survived the millennia.
15-26 “What is the sin of the world?” The Teacher answered: There is no sin. It is you who make sin exist, when you act according to the habits of your corrupted nature; this is where sin lies…This is why you become sick, and why you die: it is the result of your actions”
8:1-5 “Attachment to matter gives rise to passion against nature. Thus trouble arises in the whole body; this is why I tell you: ‘Be in harmony’.”
8:15-20 “ Be vigilant, and allow no one to mislead you by saying ‘Here it is!’ Or ‘There it is’ For it is within you that the Son of Man dwells.”
9:1 “Impose no law other than that which I have witnessed”
17:15-17 “(Peter who was a known misogynist) How it is possible that the Teacher talked in this manner with a woman about secrets of which we ourselves are ignorant? Must we change our customs, and listen to this woman? Did he really choose her, and prefer her to us?”
18:12 “Who are you to reject her?” Things I loved in this little book: Jesus is seen as a man, a special one, a teacher. She teaches minimalism. She teaches that Jesus dwells within ourselves. It is a feminist gospel. Explanations of the soul supports ideologies such as Spiritism.
As noted in all four Gospels Mary Magdalene is the only woman beside the Mother Mary mentioned in all four texts. Additionally, she is mentioned in all four texts being at the crucifixion and she is the first and only to witness the resurrection of Jesus. Due to these instances St. Augustine of Hippo named her "apostle of the apostles" in the 4th Century. Only in 1969 did the Catholic Church officially repeal Gregory's notion and labeling of Mary as a whore, thereby admitting their error- I wish Bill O' Reilly would do the same in his revised version of "Killing Jesus."
The Gospel of Mary is the primary teaching source that she received. It is the teachings she obtained at the resurrection. This material is presented in 38 pages with translation. The remained of the book is "Text with Commentary." Although the book is easy to read some prior knowledge of the topic and time to understand diagrams is required. I personally spent much time traveling in France and Spain to investigate the legends of Mary Magdalene and have been to her home town on the Sea Of Galilee. From my travels and study I feel she is the most important icon in the Christian pantheon.
Top international reviews
It is to the great shame of the church that Mary has been erroneously labeled as a prostitute for so long a fact only rectified in 1969 and only in 2016 Pope Francis raised her memorial day to a Feast
It is clear from this text that Mary had a greater understanding of the teachings of Jesus than her male counterparts and the Jealousy that existed especially toward her from Peter was evident. Sadly this has affected the relationship of women and the church down the centuries till the present day. Despite the fact that Jesus had a great care for women and they appear many times throughout the gospel stories, the church has done a great job of airbrushing them out.
There remain only a few fragments of this gospel but the commentary by Jean-Yves Leloup is excellent if a little heavy going at times and his own feelings and interpretation tend to take over in places.
However this gospel gives a real insight into the relationship between Mary and Jesus which is so deep that there is no need for words and the higher power is found in the silence.
Through-out my life I have never believe Mary Magdalene was a prostitute - there was some thing about her being called a prostitute that never rang true to me. This book (audio) has confirmed to me that after all these years I was right to listen to what I felt inside. It highlighted some of the reasons why it didn't sit well with me, even as a child - reasons that I couldn't put my finger on or explain properly and even looking back I can't say it was definitely why I didn't believe it . When I became an adult I never thought about it much as I am not a religious man but when ever I heard it said "Mary Magdalene the prostitute" I would shut-off listening or move away from the conversation.
This book touched on so many aspects that I felt and knew weren't right – of how the church and the Christian world is controlled by men and how the New Testament is so selective over its content. There are times when I want to shout at religious clergy "Why isn't Mary an Apostle" and "Why isn't her Gospel added to the New Testament now it has been found and published" and I yes I am infuriated at the missing pages from her Gospel taken out all those years ago on someone’s instruction to censor Mary and deprive us of the teachings and knowledge.
This book (audio) just ticked so many boxes for me - I know truth when I hear it and I certainly heard a vast amount of truth in this audio. It has taken all that I have learnt and know to another level and beyond.