Item description for Mary of Magdala: What the Da Vinci Code Misses by Mary R. Thompson...
Overview Thompson's landmark biography points out what she believes to be the many distortions and inaccuracies that have resulted in the false portrayal of Mary of Magdala as a prostitute.
Publishers Description Examines written accounts of Mary Magdalene from her own era, including both canonical and apocryphal writings, points out fallacies and inaccuracies about her life and her significance, and highlights her role in early Christian history.
Citations And Professional Reviews Mary of Magdala: What the Da Vinci Code Misses by Mary R. Thompson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Advance - 09/01/2005 page 61
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Studio: Paulist Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.02" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.47" Weight: 0.51 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2005
Publisher Paulist Press
ISBN 0809143801 ISBN13 9780809143801
Reviews - What do customers think about Mary of Magdala: What the Da Vinci Code Misses?
Soo Many Errors Oct 28, 2006
There is an unspoken compact between an author and his/her audience. It says "Buy my book because I have done my homework." Mary Thompson violates this compact in so many ways there should be a warning label on the outside of the book. If that sounds severe, look at some of the major errors which this author commits.
* "Mary of Bethany was clearly a Judean, while Mary of Magdala was just as obviously a Galilean (p. 15)." While it's clear that Mary of Bethany lives in Judea, it's not at all clear that Mary Magdalene is a Galilean. The gospels tell us that Mary followed Jesus from Galilee (e.g., Luke 23:55), but that doesn't by any stretch mean that she is from Galilee. She could easily be Mary of Bethany who left home, joined the Jesus sect in Galilee, and now is among the woman who follow him from Galilee.
*"Mary of Bethany was of a contemplative nature...Mary of Magdala was an activist... (p. 15)." These are necessarily incompatible. The fact that Mary sits at Jesus' feet and listens to him (Luke 10:38-42) is not incompatible with her being a follower of Jesus (Luke 8:1-3). In fact, it seems highly correlated.
*"The empty tomb narratives, all four of them, are consistent in regard to the time when the discovery was made, the question about the stone being rolled back, the presence of angelic messengers...(p. 21)." Excuse me, what gospels are she reading? The Gospel of Mark has no angelic messengers. Matthew has one and Luke has two. How "consistent" is that? In Mark, Mary comes to the tomb in daylight (16:2). In John it's still dark (20:1). How consistent is that?
*"Mary of Magdala is mentioned by name in eleven incidents in the canonical gospels (p. 28)." Untrue. If you count the number of times her name is mentioned, (Mark - 15:40,47, 16:1,9; Matthew - 27:56,61, 28:1; Luke 8:3; 24:10, John 19:25, 20:1,12,18) it is 13, not 11. If you count the "number of incidents" it is 8, not 13 (Mary follows Jesus, Present at the crucifixion, Watches Jesus placed in the tomb, Goes to the tomb to anoint Jesus, Told to tell the disciples, Tells the disciples Jesus' body is missing, Talks to Jesus, Tells the disciples Jesus is risen).
*"In the canonical gospels, Mary Magdalene is always referred to by the geographical place name (p. 29)." Untrue. She is never referred to by the geographical place name which is "Mary of Magdala", and she isn't even always called Mary Magdalene. One time (Luke 8:3) she is called "Mary (that was called Magdalene)."
*"These two expressions [who was called Judas Iscariot] seem to associate the person with the place (p. 29)." Good theory. But there never was a place called "Iscariot" Most true scholars believe that Iscariot is a reference to the fact that Judas belonged to the sicarii, or daggermen. No one seriously puts forth the case that Judas is from Iscariot!
And this is merely a representative sample of the errors in the first 20 pages.
This book is not without some charm and some merit. But the blatent errors obviates any positive attributes.
Look elsewhere Jul 1, 2006
There are so many competing books about Mary Magdalene that an author has to do a really good job to stand out. Unfortunately Mary Thomspon doesn't. Had the book been written 10 or 20 years ago, it might have been considered innovative. With books by Starbird, Cilton, King, and Meyer, Thomspon's book pales in comparison.