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|Biography - Mary Magdalene The Hidden Apostle |
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Fails to distinguish between Biblical and apocryphal sources
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 07/03/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Mary Magdalene is one of the most fascinating and least understood individuals in the Bible, and the redefinition of this follower of Jesus has been all the rage in recent years. While this is in many ways an excellent account of Mary Magdalene's life, I believe it goes too far, stating as fact things that are based on questionable sources, and really just taking too much liberty with the evidence. It also fails to adequately address one of the most controversial explanations for Mary's supposed misunderstanding in the history of Christianity, mentioning but never really going into detail about the supposed schism that pitted Mary Magdalene and her followers against Peter and the Christian church. Mary Magdalene has long been looked upon as a prostitute, and the video offers an effective defense to those charges, showing how Mary Magdalene has probably been confused with some of the other Marys as well as unknown women such as the prostitute who bathed Jesus' feet in the house of Simon the Pharisee in Luke 7. However, as the video also points out, a charge of prostitution in the Biblical era could also imply a woman who gives her love too freely, and I think the jury is still out on this question. Mary would have had no reason to sell her body because, as this video explains, she was probably independently wealthy and thus free to live a nontraditional female life - she even served in some capacity as Jesus' benefactor as he traveled the land spreading the Gospel. The problem I have with this video is that it weaves back and forth between Biblical and apocryphal texts without identifying the source of many of its claims. Mention is made of provocative ancient texts discovered in Egypt in 1945, texts that imply Mary Magdalene and Jesus may have had a physical relationship (a charge most Biblical scholars strongly dispute), but references to such texts as the Gospel of Mary Magdalen and the Gospel of Philip are made without placing those works in their true apocryphal contexts - Protestants do not recognize these apocryphal books. Here, we are told - as if the facts are not in dispute - that Mary specifically did this and that after the death of Jesus, traveling far and wide as an evangelist and prophet, eventually ending up in France and, in the last three decades of her life, living alone out in the wilderness, fasting in a full-fledged return to nature and communing with the Lord and his angels up in the clouds. The Bible does not refer to Mary Magdalene after the resurrection of Jesus, and I cannot accept apocryphal accounts as certifiably true. The viewer is told that Jesus gave Mary Magdalene secret teachings that he shared with no one else, including his twelve disciples, but most claims along these lines come from apocryphal sources. I was slightly disappointed and certainly surprised that the video did not go into much more detail concerning the history of the early Church. The jealousy of the disciples toward Mary can be found in the Bible, and by many accounts the early Christian church basically split between the respective followers of Mary Magdalene and Simon Peter. Some modern scholars, particularly feminists, like to make much hay of this, condemning the early church for its refusal to allow women a central role in the movement. This is alluded to but never really addressed in any detail here in this video. One of the interviewed historians seems to imply that the leadership of Mary Magdalene prevented the early Church from failing in its early days, but there is just very little information offered to back up many sweeping statements such as this. Too many times, no evidence of citation of source is offered up for provocative statements and theories, and the end result is a mishmash of ideas. I am coming at this topic from a Protestant viewpoint, and I was a little uncomfortable seeing so many ideas that Protestants do not accept put forth as fact; had the sources been fully vetted in the narrative, this would have been a much better biographical account, in my opinion."
INSPIRING WONDERFUL EYE OPENING
Marti Siskin | California | 02/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mary Magdalene The Hidden Apostle is such a beautiful tale of a woman misrepresented in a male dominated world. The lady is a Queen of Divine Spirits second only to the Mother of Jesus. I am looking all over for more information. They mentioned The Gospel of Mary in the documentary but that only brings up on amazon gospel songs. I will continue to look. If someone knows more please email me MLSiskin@peoplepc.com
I have just become a new bible student. I love the unconventional views. This is a great buy."