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The Woman Jesus Loved: Mary Magdalene in the Nag Hammadi Library and Related Documents (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies, 40)

By Antti Marjanen (Author)
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Item description for The Woman Jesus Loved: Mary Magdalene in the Nag Hammadi Library and Related Documents (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies, 40) by Antti Marjanen...

This is the first comprehensive study on Mary Magdalene in those second and third century Gnostic texts in which Jesus' most famous female follower gains a prominent position. Special attention is paid to the way Mary is presented in relation to other disciples, and to how her portrait pertains to gender imagery used in the writings. Detailed text analyses, based on a careful philological study, show that no uniform picture and use of the figure of Mary can be traced. Contrary to a common supposition, the book also demonstrates that the positive view of Mary displayed in the texts does not automatically imply a positive attitude towards women in general. The work provides a basis for all further discussion of Mary Magdalene in the Nag Hammadi and related documents.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Brill Academic Publishers
Pages   262
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.61" Width: 6.46" Height: 0.87"
Weight:   1.37 lbs.
Binding  Library Binding
Release Date   Jun 1, 1996
Publisher   Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN  9004106588  
ISBN13  9789004106581  

Availability  0 units.

More About Antti Marjanen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Antti Marjanen, Th.D. (University of Helsinki 1996), Docent of New Testament Studies, is presently working as a Research Fellow of the Academy of Finland. He is the author of The Woman Jesus Loved (Brill, 1996) and a translator and co-editor of a collection of Finnish translations of the Coptic Nag Hammadi Library (2001). His current research projects deal with influential women in Early Christianity and social-historical issues among second- and third-century Christians, traditionally called gnostics. Petri Luomanen, Th.D. (University of Helsinki 1996), Docent of New Testament Studies, is presently working as a Research Fellow of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. He is the author of Entering the Kingdom of Heaven: A Study on the Structure of Matthew's View of Salvation (Mohr Siebeck, 1998). His current research focuses on the textual sources of early Jewish Christianity, Jewish-Christian gospels and the socio-cognitive basis of hatred towards early Jewish Christians.

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1Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Interior Design > General
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4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Gnosticism
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8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

Reviews - What do customers think about The Woman Jesus Loved: Mary Magdalene in the Nag Hammadi Library and Related Documents (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies, 40)?

An Intellectual Treatment of the Da Vinci Code   Jun 11, 2006
While this book will never make it to the silver screen, it is researched and written throughtfully. The author accurately describes the meaning of the love of Jesus toward Mary of Magdela. It was the love of a teacher to a prize student. One who he could count on, who understood the rivalries among men, but remained his friend, confidant and vigil.

As recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, Mary of Magdela was not a prostitute. She was a prosperous handmaiden and business woman in the period preceding her transformation by Jesus. This period was marked by corruption and brutality. Mary of Magdela was a member of Jesus's inner circle. While the Apostle Peter lamented that Mary did not belong because she was a woman and not worthy, Jesus defended her place as his most favored.

At this point, I suspect the Roman Catholic Church differs with the author. The author asserts the inclusion of Mary of Magdela in the inner circle along with another Mary, Simon's sister presented a form of jealousy of the all men apostles. Peter is quoted in The Book of Thomas as accusing Jesus of loving Mary of Magdela more than he loved the others.

The Nag Hammadi Codices are far from being completely translated, but these early Coptic writings cast a more gentle and accepting attitude of the inherent intelligence of women.
Further in the beginning there existed a more a-sexual attitude of God. Fears of the ruling order in subsequent centuries quelled the notion of the a-sexual God, cast Mary of Magdela in a saved sinner role and altered substantially the view of women. Significantly, the role of Eve as the temptress with all of the sexual stereotypes associated with her remain today to a degree. It was a more convenient, more black and white version of the beginning of man. This was finalized by the death of the Gnosist movement, destruction of the Coptic codices and a Papal Bull banning their interpretations and writings in the 4th century. These codices were hidden by Byzanntine Monks and discovered in the mid-twentieth century.

Jesus appreciated and loved Mary Magdela. He trusted her opinion , he trusted her loyalty and she never disappointed him. This was the love he expressed. His confidence in her, not a carnal love described by Mr. Brown's popular silver screen summer book. The truth is more interesting and more is to come in the future.
A Comprehensive Work  Feb 24, 2005
Don't let the title of this book deceive you. This book is a very thorough look at the position of Mary Magdalene in Jesus' eyes and in the eyes of the Apostles. At times she appears as an equal, while at other times she appears higher than the others.

This is a scholarly book, but is the definitive word on Mary's place in Jesus' life. From the title one might expect something salacious, but that is far from the case.

I enjoy Marjanen's interpretations better than Ms. Pagels'. While I don't read Coptic, Aramaic or Greek, when I review some of her references it seems she takes liberties with her interpretations to prove her point, while Marjanen takes a very measured, rational approach.

Of the books I've read in this genre, this book provides the most insight into the dynamics of the personalities surrounding Jesus. It's definitely worthy of 5 stars!
An in-depth, scholarly look at the Gnostic Mary Magdalene.  Jan 18, 1999
This book provides plenty of information of gnosticism, the Nag Hammadi texts, and on the gnostic Mary Magdalene, one who has nothing in common with the helpless weeping prostitute of legend or the barely existent Mary Magdalene of the Gospels. Marjanen is a feminist reader of these texts, though his rhetorical strategies are not what I would consider feminist, since he is consummately nasty about the work of other scholars, particuarly women. This work is useful in exploring the idea of the feminine, and possibly the role of women, in the early Christian church and gnostic movement. Minor criticism: Marjanen assumes a scholarly audience that reads some ancient languages, so sometimes he doesn't translate everything he should. Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels is a lot more fun to read.
Very wordy academic treatise containing few words of bible.  Oct 28, 1998
Someone please explain this book to me.

I read it trying to find out what the early early church said about women.

The book was very thorough in interpreting what was of no interest to 'Thomas' readers.


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