The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

Mary Magdalene in the Gnostic Gospels

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Many Christians don’t know that it took 500 years to compile the New Testament.  Early Christianity was fraught with conflicts and controversies.  Many of the gospels written as early as 50 years after the death of Jesus were known to church leaders, but never made it into the new Canon. Until the discovery of the Nag Hamadi codices, our knowledge of Gnostics and Gnosticism was gleaned from the writings of their detractors – the early church bishops. Now that the actual Gnostic gospels have come to light, we understand there were many Christian sects in the years following Jesus’ death and many interpretations of his teachings.

Of particular interest to me is the role of women in these communities.  Far from being banned from any meaningful leadership positions in the church, women had equal footing with men among the Gnostics.  In fact, many of these forbidden gospels give Mary Magdalene (who was wrongfully depicted as a prostitute by Pope Gregory in the sixth century) an exalted status as the favorite of Jesus.


Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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