Arts feature

No one in the Bible has been as elaborately misrepresented as Mary Magdalene

A bogus history book and a new John Adams oratorio turn Mary of Magdala into the wife of Jesus and a human rights activist. Damian Thompson feels sorry for the poor woman

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

22 November 2014

9:00 AM

How would the real Mary Magdalene have reacted to her posthumous reputation? Not very kindly, one suspects. Our only historical source, the New Testament, does not even hint that she was a prostitute, and she’s unlikely to have been placated by Christians telling her: ‘It’s OK, we think you were a reformed whore.’

No one in the Bible has been so elaborately misrepresented. In addition to not being an ex-prostitute, Mary of Magdala was not Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who anoints the feet of Jesus with ‘about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume’ and then wipes it up with her hair. Nor was she the ‘woman taken in adultery’, the one told to go and sin no more. Nor was she the wife of Jesus. That is a fantasy of early Christian heretics that has been seized on by modern conspiracy theorists who imagine Jesus and Mary travelling to the south of France and founding the Illuminati before being spirited away in a black helicopter. It made Dan Brown very rich.

What do the Gospels tell us about Mary of Magdala? That she was known as ‘Magdalene’, had seven demons cast out of her by Jesus, was present at the foot of the cross, discovered the empty tomb and was the first person to whom the risen Lord appeared. You’d have thought that this was enough to be going on with — but no. We will not leave the poor woman alone.

Just this month, the media reacted with feverish excitement to a book called The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene. How many falsehoods can you fit into one title? Yes, there is a sixth-century Syriac text, familiar to specialist scholars, that relates a weird-but-boring legend about the Old Testament patriarch Joseph and his wife Asenath. It makes no mention of Jesus or Mary Magdalene. So it’s not lost, not a gospel and it most certainly has not been ‘decoded’ by the book’s authors, Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson. More about that later.


Meanwhile, Mary Magdalene is preparing to make her debut at the London Coliseum. She is the major character in The Gospel According to the Other Mary, an oratorio by John Adams that receives its world stage premiere on 21 November in an ENO production by Peter Sellars, the American director. Sellars also wrote its libretto, which juxtaposes biblical verses and the writings of 20th-century poets and campaigners for social justice.

That doesn’t sound very authentic, but it’s only fair to make a distinction between deliberate myth-making and creative responses to the fiction of the reformed prostitute. Since the Middle Ages, the Mary Magdalene of tradition has proved irresistible to artists. At the heart of the Gospel lies a call to repent, and according to the Catholic Church — which encouraged the conflation of Mary of Magdala, ‘the woman taken in adultery’ and the non-existent whore — this great saint was repenting for shocking sins. ‘Pure by virtue of repentance, she nevertheless remains a woman with a past,’ writes the historian James Carroll. ‘Her conversion, instead of removing her erotic allure, heightens it.’

Painters in particular have experimented with the subject. In ‘The penitent Magdalene’ by the Florentine Carlo Dolci (1616–86), she gazes to the heavens with a childlike innocence, clutching her alabaster jar of ointment; her scarlet robe looks more like the vestment of a cardinal than the costume of a prostitute. In 19th-century paintings she is a femme fatale, still a bit sluttish even as she bathes the feet of the Lord. But the most intriguing representations of Mary Magdalene date from the Reformation. To quote the American journalist Chris Herlinger, reporting on a Mary Magdalene exhibition in New York in 2002, ‘Catholic painters depicted her as a defender of Roman Catholic sacraments …while Flemish painters, feeling the tide of an emerging Protestant culture and wanting to downplay the importance of Mary, Jesus’s mother, chose to re-emphasise [her] penitence’.

In other words, in addition to giving prurient Christians a naughty thrill, the Magdalene has been conscripted into theological and ideological warfare. Modern feminists bore on about her endlessly. And Sellars hardly conceals his own agenda. The Gospel According to the Other Mary has Mary and Martha join Cesar Chavez — a folk saint of Mexican–Americans and old white hippies — in a march by the United Farm Workers. Mary sings from the autobiography of the Catholic social activist Dorothy Day. In places this is powerful: the work opens with Day’s description of a drug addict in withdrawal, howling as she beats her head against the bars of her cell. But when Mary tells us that ‘the surplus that comes in we will give to unemployed people in our neighbourhood’ — well, it would take a remarkable composer to immortalise those words, and John Adams doesn’t pull it off.

We shouldn’t be too hard on Sellars. He talks engagingly about the Marys that make up his heroine. He achieves the small miracle of discussing feminine spirituality in (relatively) unpretentious language —‘it’s a love of Jesus that takes practical form, care of the body while men are discussing theology, and you could consider that to be the perfume that fills the room’. It’s true that Sellars’s quotation sounds dated. He was the enfant terrible of 1970s Harvard and it shows. But that’s OK: nothing in the text is as embarrassing as, say, Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. The difference is that Lenny could write a tune and Adams can’t. Adams’s most celebrated opera, Nixon in China, works because the characters are fabulous and the orchestra’s post-minimalist chugging pushes forward the plot. In The Gospel According to the Other Mary the vocal lines move up and down as predictably as recitative. It’s difficult to see how any staging can rescue them.

So has the Magdalene been insulted again? No, because Sellars’s starting point is that he’s dealing with a composite figure — a jumble of Marys. He’s done his homework and he doesn’t pretend that his work is something that it isn’t. For a genuine affront to Mary of Magdala, look no further than The Lost Gospel. Its co-author Barrie Wilson is professor of religious studies at York University, Toronto. His identification of Joseph and Asenath as Jesus and Mary Magdalene is potty conjecture aimed at the bestseller lists. Academics who are seduced into this sort of project shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a classroom. Presumably Wilson possesses the technical skills to decipher a Syriac manuscript. If so, he has — appropriately — well and truly prostituted them.

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  • pattif

    While I admire the cogency of your argument, Damian, I can’t bring myself to such certainty that Mary Magdalene is not the same person as Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. If they’re not the same person, the Church does not recognise Mary of Bethany as a saint, which seems improbable to me.

  • Malus Pudor

    Lordy Miss Claudy… how much more mumbo-jumbo and hocus-pocus must we endure in reading these nutters, like Thompson, trying to invent, or even re-invent non-existent early Christian history…

    The legacy of whatever went on in 1st century Judea was the Inquisition, the Reformation, the Borgias and the Medicis…. along with all the other abominations of the Roman Catholic Church….

    And whether Mary Magdalene was a reformed prostitute or the virginal bride of Jesus is hardly relevant to all the atrocities that have followed…

    Away in a manger… and all that crap……

    • “The legacy of whatever went on in 1st century Judea…”

      The following explains what went on in 1st century Judea/Galilee-Perea/Decapolis. Using correct historical analysis of the Gospels and Acts, we acknowledge the Gospels and Acts to be the a-historical forgeries they clearly would be KNOWN to be by Roman subjects living outside of the Levant, however it is this very a-historical reading of the Gospels/Acts that proves the Jesus narrative is fact…

      The reality of the Gospels and Acts narratives were known to be fact by Roman subjects outside of Judea and Galilee/Levant, otherwise Roman subjects would never have accepted the Gospels’/Acts’ narratives where (1) a Roman governor allows a charismatic figure such as Jesus (called rebels by Rome) to go about his business for three years with twelve disciples, attracting large crowds and claiming to perform miracles; (2) when Jesus approaches Jerusalem with the mob the governor refuses to stop what Rome called insurrection, and allows the mob to proceed into the city, even though the governor was in Jerusalem since the previous week to prevent just such an action pulled off by Jesus; and (3) after Pilate, the next nine Roman governors of Judea (37 AD – 66 AD, 66 AD being when the First Jewish Revolt occurred) refuse to arrest and execute Jesus’ apostles, who are still (i) attracting large crowds; and (ii) claiming to perform miracles.

      Now you have proof, from an unimpeachable, unbiased source–gentile Roman subjects living outside of the Levant–that the Gospels narratives are indeed fact, otherwise the Gospel stories would have been known forgeries, and Christianity would never have existed.

      We assume what is today known as the New Testament is fiction, then using proper historical knowledge for how the Roman Empire operated, we prove that the New Testament stories are fact because the stories were immediately known to be true, otherwise the stories would have ended there because even the most ignorant of Roman subjects 40 years after the fact would have been laughing at the obvious laughable a-historical lies the New Testament was pushing; the behaviors of the ten Roman governors of Judea (30 AD – 66 AD) towards Jesus and apostles are a hoot, and those laughable behaviors also prove that those ten governors’ behaviors weren’t individual, ad hoc, stand down policies towards Jesus & apostles, but instructions from the Emperor in Rome!

      Let’s perform a modern times analogy using a post World War II scenario where Germany won the war and rules the Western hemisphere:

      Germany has won World War II, and German governors rule the Western hemisphere, the Waffen SS being the equivalent of the Roman centurion.

      Though the war is over resistance to German occupation continues, including the French Resistance.

      Now, in France the leader of the French resistance and twelve lieutenants move openly about France for three years preaching rebellion and the German governor does nothing. After three years the leader of the French Resistance enters Paris with his twelve lieutenants and a mob and again the German governor refuses to arrest the thirteen, and roundup the mob.

      Finally the French mayor of Paris arrests the leader, but not the twelve lieutenants, and hands the leader over to the German governor who still doesn’t want to execute the leader, but does after left no other option.

      Now, after the leader of the French Resistance is dead not only are the twelve lieutenants allowed to live under that particular German governor’s remaining term of office, but aren’t touched by the next nine German governors to take office. In fact, the French Resistance is increasing by tens of thousands each year and German authorities simply sit by and watch.

      Now when one of those French Resistance travels outside France to spread the word of the rebellion in France, he is believed because everyone KNOWS the otherwise ludicrous story he’s telling is true. END OF ANALOGY.

      The above also tells us that the Jewish authorities in Judea & Galilee knew who Jesus was and were waiting for a sign from Him indicating that it was time for His death. The sign came when Jesus entered Jerusalem with the mob, a not-to-be-mistaken provocation towards Pilate, who was in Jerusalem since the previous week to prevent just this sort of religious fervor, but, as usual, again Pilate refused to massacre Jesus & disciples along with the mob. To ensure Jesus was indeed signaling it was time for Him to die, the Sanhedrin conducted three night time Q&A sessions with Jesus (not trails, as under the Law of Moses trials can only take place during daylight hours, thereby also precluding any possibility of punishment). Jesus’ silence informed the Sanhedrin that Jesus was indeed ready to die.

      Now you know why Jesus only asked Paul why he was persecuting His followers. Notice, it’s only Paul Jesus speaks to on this subject, because the Roman and Jewish authorities are turning a blind eye to the increasing numbers defecting to the Jesus Sect. In fact, Paul’s trip to Gentile Damascus was an excuse to get him out of Judea, because Paul was causing chaos in Jerusalem, though the Jewish authorities refused Paul’s requests for the punishment of stoning.

      The above is a discovery I made in 2012, proving that Jesus was the Messiah as assessed (1) by a proper analysis of the Gospels and Acts narratives; and (2) by the fact that Roman subjects outside of the Levant accepted what would have otherwise been known to be laughably bad forgeries.

      The Roman Empire provided God with three necessary arrangements to fulfill His major objectives on this subject, those being (1) a scapegoat people, the Romans, that would be the pawns who carried out Jesus’ execution; because (2) God, being omniscient, knew that the Jewish authorities would never go along with executing the Messiah; and (3) the peculiar administration of Roman governors would provide the proof that Jesus was indeed who He claimed to be.

      • Marshal Phillips

        It would be helpful if you cited any actual historical sources that mention Jesus of Nazareth during his lifetime.

        • “It would be helpful if you cited any actual historical sources that mention Jesus of Nazareth during his lifetime.”

          During Jesus’ three-year odyssey period, you mean. The Roman/Jewish authorities were doing all they could to avoid the provocations presented to them every day Jesus remained alive, so naturally nothing would have been publicly written. As for the actual files that were produced, those were destroyed with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. We didn’t even have a record of Pilate’s existence (outside of the New Testament and Josephus’ account) until a headstone with his name was located in Caesarea…

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilate_Stone

          It would seem Rome was attempting to disappear Pilate!

          • Marshal Phillips

            Pontius Pilate is not Jesus of Nazareth.

          • “Pontius Pilate is not Jesus of Nazareth.”

            Where did I say he was?

            The fact is, and this discovery has flown over your head, that the Jesus narrative was accepted by Roman subjects outside of the Levant because it was known true, otherwise no one would have accepted what would have been known to be forgeries.

          • Marshal Phillips

            You didn’t; but you cited a historical reference to him rather than Jesus of Nazareth.

          • “but you cited a historical reference to him rather than Jesus of Nazareth.”

            It was an example of another famous person whose reality has only recently been affirmed. Nothing more. However, the important issue here is that the Jesus narrative was accepted by Roman subjects outside of the Levant because it was known true, otherwise no one would have accepted what would have been known to be forgeries.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Yup. But citing a historical reference to Jesus while he was alive would be more compelling in your apparent belief in his existence as written in much later biblical accounts. But believe what you will, no problem! I respect scholarship and evidence. Maybe something will turn up someday.

          • “But citing a historical reference to Jesus while he was alive would be more compelling..”

            In fact, it would prove nothing. Silly atheists would simply shout “interpolation”! And frankly, why shouldn’t they. Not long after Jesus & apostles were off this mortal coil, Christians turned out to be some very unsavory characters.

            The beauty of my discovery is that it doesn’t rely on empirical evidence, which can be falsified. My proof is a superior “logical imperative”, based on the verified facts of how Roman governors ruled.

            The following observation cannot be faulted…

            ‘Roman subjects outside of the Levant accepted the otherwise a-historical New Testament accounts because those accounts were already known true, otherwise no one would have accepted what would have been known to be ludicrous forgeries; people don’t subscribe to a religion they KNOW is a lie.’

          • Marshal Phillips

            Except citing a historical reference to Jesus while he was alive would prove a historical Jesus. That would be significant.

          • “…would prove a historical Jesus.”

            My proof already has! I guess you need more time to digest the ramifications of my discovery.

            Now, a contemporaneous reference would be great (in files found buried in Caesarea, let’s say), but it would’t prove who Jesus really was. Only my proof accomplishes that.

          • Marshal Phillips

            You cited no scholarly authenticated historical written document naming Jesus of Nazareth while he was alive. If you had such it would be a world media feeding frenzy.

          • “You cited no scholarly authenticated historical written document naming Jesus of Nazareth while he was alive.”

            Take care.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Always try to be a free thinking person who cares about scholarship and historical documentation.

          • Ken

            For some historical mention of Jesus consult the works of Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, there are 3 passages in particular that are of interest.

            Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20 and a reference to John the Baptist in Book 18.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Surely you are aware that Flavius Josephus’s one or two passages (not three) mentioning Jesus were subject to later Christian scribes’ expansion/alteration; and most likely not from the pen of Flavius Josephus himself. There is no broad consensus among all scholars about the authenticity of these mentionings of Jesus of Nazareth. And only one reference during first century of Roman history — that of Josephus — which is in dispute among scholars as being corrupted by a later Christian scribe.

          • Ken

            I mention three verses because the mention of John the Baptist is relevant as he plays a large role. There is only one verse where there is dispute. My point being that one cannot simply say that Jesus was not an historical figure.

          • Marshal Phillips

            Many scholars have said this as there is no undisputed historical documentation of his mention by contemporaries.

          • Ken

            I think you may be forgetting Antiquities 20.9.1. which most scholars say is genuine. From: Disqus
            To: ken_light@yahoo.com
            Sent: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 5:00 PM
            Subject: Re: New comment posted on There’s something about Mary

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          • Marshal Phillips

            Many biblical scholars dispute that Josephus wrote those; those were added later by Christian scribes.
            Outside of the bible there are no undisputed references to a historical Jesus.

    • Scheveningen

      No one is forcing you to read his article.

  • detroitsteve

    Seems like people are confusing Mary Magdalene with the 4th/5th century saint Mary of Egypt

  • Julie

    The Magdalen Reading, a charming fragment by Rogier van der Weyden (National Gallery) also depicts a composite Mary, in well-ordered domesticity, all conflict resolved.
    Her heart a pitch dark room, with a dim light that only made the darkness deeper, Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi’s contrasting description of her five year spiritual battle to pursue a Carmelite vocation, in imitation of the penitent.

    Potentially a supreme model of Western 20th C.conversion, Dorothy Day incarnated as a melding of Marys could have been given the Magnificat to sing:
    “dispersit superbos mente cordis sui; deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles. Esurientes implevit bonis et divites dimisit inanes”

    • johan

      The
      gospel of Judas.

      According
      to Acts 1; 16 – 17 Judas received the vide / lot of those who took Jesus.

      (Someone
      just told me that his bible doesn’t have these verses in his bible.
      Unfortunately this is how we are mislead because the latest translators write
      it the way they think it should read and leave out things they don’t think is
      important.

      The
      best is to use the King James or the older translations.)

      What does this mean and what is the gospel of Judas?

      We
      also have to know that Judas had the seat of honour at the table of the LORD.

      Judas
      sat on the left of Jesus with the serving of the LORDS supper and that is the
      seat of honour.

      Why
      is he the guest of honour?

      What
      does it mean that he obtained this part of the gospel?

      To understand this we
      have to know what the betrayal of Judas was.

      It would be fair to
      say that we hate Judas because of his betrayal and nobody wants to forgive him.

      Therefore the question
      is; why do we hate Judas if he has the seat of honor at the LORDS table?

      To understand the
      revelation of God we have to know what the betrayal is.

      We also need to
      understand the image of God to establish what the betrayal is.

      The image of God is
      according to Gen 1; 27 male and female.

      God is like a coin,
      one coin but two sides.

      God is; light and
      darkness.

      Invisible and visible

      Male and female

      Holy and evil; an evil spirit went
      out from God to Saul.

      Touchable and untouchable.

      Jesus is the image of
      God according to the bible and should explain this.

      It works in this
      manner; Christ Jesus is an example of male and female.

      The body of Jesus
      presents the following; darkness (everything you see are called darkness)

      Visible, touchable,
      female and evil.

      Christ is presented by
      the following; light, invisible, untouchable, holy and male.

      Our bodies are the
      same and work as follow; your body is female and your spirit/words are male.

      You have to understand
      the image of God otherwise this will be alien to you.

      Let us now look at the
      table of the LORDS supper where Jesus was serving the last Pass Over.

      Passover has the
      meaning of to pass over or to deliver.

      What does this mean
      and what was delivered?

      The deliverance
      happens with the serving of the Supper and the act where Judas took the sob.
      This act is the reason why there was a crucifixion.

      The lords Supper is
      now in place of the Passover and came into operation when Jesus served the
      Supper.

      The word ‘sob’ comes
      from a word that means to bribe someone.

      What is this bribe and
      why is there a bribe?

      God became evil and
      became an enemy according to scripture.

      Why God did become
      evil?

      Different from what we
      might think, humans and even animals are the feeding source of God.

      We explained in
      another chapter how God was fed with evil and the result of that was a sin
      flood.

      Take note; not a sun
      flood but a sin flood, the result of sin and earth was struck with a
      catastrophe.

      God is spirit in the
      atmosphere/heaven and serves human with what we send up to heaven a product of
      what you say, your spirit and what you do. If we send up sin he will serve us
      with that. The bible says; God can only do as he hears.

      You should agree with
      this because don’t we say we glorify Jesus?

      How do we glorify
      Jesus and with what?

      Just as we can glorify
      Jesus with the good deeds and create him by saying he will have ever glory, he
      will rule for ever and he will have all the glory, same we can do the reverse.

      Do you now believe
      that we are the feeding source of God?

      You can’t differ from
      this; it is time for us to understand how the universe works and the things
      concerning God otherwise we will never reach our end goal which is eternal
      life.

      Therefore; God became
      evil and started to demolish the universe and would eventually destroy
      everything if we could not come up with a plan.

      In effect this meant
      that God had to die because he became sin.

      But how God could die,
      how could the creator of everything die because this will mean the entire
      universe would die.

      Already at that stage
      God lost its soul as well as his glorified body and sickness and death took
      over.

      A new plan to the
      restitution of all things and creating a new soul as well as a new glorified
      body has taken shape.

      The plan is to create
      the human a body prepared to bare all sickness and pain instead of God. This
      body is discussed in Heb 10; 5.

      This body is the body
      of the human which will act as a living offer to God; Rom 12; 1.

      Rom 8; 36 as it is
      written (in Psalm 44; 23) for thy sake we are killed all the day long we are
      accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

      1Korin 12; 27 you are
      the body of Christ and members in particular.

      1Korin 10; 17 for we
      being many are one bread and one body, for we are al partakers of the one
      bread.

      1Korin 6; 15 know ye
      not that you bodies are the members of Christ?

      In the light of the
      above and in the light that we are baptized in the death of Jesus, can you now
      understand that you are the body to bear and die for sickness, pain and sin?

      Can you understand
      that when it speaks about the crucifixion of Christ it is speaking about you?

      Can you understand
      that you are the body offered for sin?

      Can you understand
      that when you look at the cross that it is you who is crucified, that it is an
      image of you who you imagine?

      You are the body of
      Christ and if so then it is you who are crucified.

      Can you now understand
      that you are the living cross we speak about and not a lifeless wooden cross?

      Do you understand that
      the Jesus on the cross is in fact you, you came out of free will to die for
      sin,pain and sickness?

      Do you understand that
      you are the one chosen to die for all creatures’ sin?

      Do you understand that
      you are the one who dies for all pain and sickness and not the one you imagine
      on the cross?

      When did the one you
      imagine on the cross had sin or sickness?

      We human have cancer,
      aids and pain. If the one you imagine on the cross died for sin and sickness,
      why is there still pain and sickness?

      Logically; you see
      yourself on the cross.

      It is time to wake; it
      is the third day of awakening, the day of restitution. Hosea 6; 2 after two
      days will he revive us, in the third day he will raise us up and we shall live
      in his site.

      The two days is the
      time that Christ is in his grave, which is 2000 years.

      Let us now see what
      happened at the Lords table because it is here that we were misled and we
      became the slaughtered lamb.

      Jeremiah 4; 10 hen
      said I ah LORD God surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem.

      For this reason Jesus
      came to do the pass over.

      He does it by way of a
      bribe namely to give the sob to Judas/us to receive the wrath of God, to pass
      it over to human.

      The message to Jesus
      is; Jeremiah 25; 28 and it shall be if they refuse to take the cup at thine
      hand to drink then shall thou say unto them; thus says the LORD of hosts; ye
      shall certainly drink.

      So Jesus came and said
      in Matthew 26 verse 27 drink ye all of it.

      The moment Judas took
      the sob Satan entered him John 13; 27.

      The Lords supper is
      only a symbol of the truth.

      Why Satan did entered
      Judas and what is the betrayal?

      We now first have to explain
      who Jesus was.

      It won’t be easy for
      you to stomach this but be prepared to change your conclusion and what you
      believe.

      We have to understand
      these things because if we deny the truth we will never reach our end goal.

      Don’t just deny the
      truth because you thought different or belief differently. Or are you to holy
      to be wrong?

      This revelation is the
      most wonderful thing to happen and if you deny it to your disadvantage.

      Jesus is not Christ;
      he is bearer of the light, bearer of the Word of God.

      The bearer is called
      Lucifer because Lucifer has the meaning of bearer of light.

      Because Lucifer became
      evil because of sin he was cast out of heaven.

      Isaiah 14; 12 how art
      thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the morning how are thou cut down to
      the ground.

      Don’t we preach that
      Jesus descended to hell isn’t that so?

      Jesus himself said he
      is bearer of light and he is the morning star.

      The words leaving the
      mouth of Jesus are holy and true but it is the body/Lucifer that misleads us.

      I realise that these things
      sound very strange and in fact it is the opposite of what we believe but please
      pay attention. There is a reason why we had to believe what we believed. In
      fact you say that you are glorifying Jesus but the question is why?

      If you are a leader of
      a congregation you have to investigate these things and try to understand.

      Until now none of the
      ministers made contact, be aware that you don’t miss the ride. If you don’t
      understand, please ask but to stay quite will bring you nowhere.

      Accept the truth, that’s
      what makes us free.

      If you differ, it is
      your duty to declare that in public.

      If we look at Christ
      Jesus we see the following; it is a combination of Jesus and Christ, two
      different components. Christ is not Jesus and Jesus is not Christ.

      The body is bearer of
      the word and the word is the light.

      Therefore Jesus says; I namely the word is the living bread
      that descended from heaven. He doesn’t speak about his body/himself because
      only which ascended could descend according to the bible.

      This says; the body
      did not descend, only the word did, it is all so logic.

      It is here that we
      made a wrong conclusion and that is exactly the betrayal of Judas name he
      accepted the person as Christ, like wise us.

      Jesus said; Judas do
      you betray the Son of man with a kiss? Luke 22; 48.

      Exactly this is the
      betrayal that Judas kisses the body.

      This says; just like
      Judas kisses the likewise we do because we are followers of the creature and
      not the creator.

      I say; we plugged the
      fruit of the eye just like Eve in the garden in Eden. Please read 2Korin 11; 3.

      Don’t deny it, please
      be honest.

      The sob is the proof
      that we took the bribe.

      Therefore we are the
      Judas who was bribed with the sob.

      Therefore we were
      bribed to accept the body as Christ and by way of that Christ was made flesh.

      We made him flesh
      because we couldn’t discern the body.

      We could not discern
      that the body is Lucifer and that he is only the bearer of Words.

      The gospel of Judas is
      therefore the following and glorifying of the creature Jesus.

      Why was it necessary
      to bribe the human to follow the body?

      By way of sin death
      came and sickness and pain and we had to create a new body.

      For this reason we
      glorify Jesus as we currently do but there is an end to everything and we need
      to stop this now.

      Not only was a new glorified
      body needed for us but also for God and the entire universe.

      This is our mission
      and therefore the creation is awaiting the announcement of the children of God
      so she can also be freed to have eternal life.

      This says; also the
      creation needed to have life, become light and to receive spirit.

      What does all of this
      mean?

      There are two
      children, Christ the son of heaven and Satan the son of the visible earth.

      Satan is the spirit of
      all visible things and because of sin the visible lost its life’s spirit and
      was dying.

      The plan was to give
      life to everything by way of giving it spirit/life.

      Just like we glorify
      Jesus to give him eternal life also we had to give life to the visible things.

      Satan is therefore the
      spirit of all visible things and to give them life we had to glorify them.

      Finally these two sons
      will become one to sit at the right hand of God.

      Our goal
      is to wake
      all visible things
      and to spiritualize them.

      Satan the spirit of
      the earth has
      made ​​a request
      to God that
      you can read
      in Luke 4.

      The request is; verse 5 the devil
      brought Jesus on a
      high mountain and
      showed him all
      the kingdoms of
      the world. Verse
      6; I will give you all this power and their glory for that is delivered
      unto me, and
      I give it to whomever I wish. Verse 7 if you worship me all shall be thine.

      I know we tend
      to say these
      words of Satan
      are a lie. Lemmer du Plessis said in his book, it is a blatant lie.

      No it’s not a lie,
      Lucifer or Satan
      is the body
      and he is a deceiver but the spoken word is
      always true, it is our eyes that deceive
      us.

      Of course he speaks the truth when he says; it has been
      given to me. Eve gave it, Judas
      did at the communion
      table, and we have because immediately after the supper Jesus
      said; the prince of the earth is coming, namely Satan.

      So; deliver means the Passover and
      through us taking the sop, it is delivered to Satan, so he says; it is
      delivered to me.

      Why does the devil asks this?

      Just understand the devil is not = Satan and vice versa.

      The devil is the body and Satan is the spirit.

      The devil asks this because as we explained, the soul of God died or was
      undeveloped.

      He asks this so the visible things could be glorified; i.e., give the
      visible things spirit/ eternal life.

      Surely this is a reasonable request because it is best to give all
      visible things life, but how can the Creator worship the creature. Only by
      worship could the visible receive life. It is the body of Jesus WHO asks to be
      worshiped but God denied that for obvious reasons.

      There had to be a glorified body. It is checkmate, for the devil says; it is delivered
      to me and I refuse to surrender, worship me/give me life as I give it to
      whomever I want.

      The good thing is; he will deliver after receiving life.

      This is your goal; you are the one chosen to worship the visible and in
      particular, the body of Jesus. You are the one cast out of heaven, and received
      a visible body, this is the incarnation.

      We are the one who kissed the body, we follow the Gospel of Judas, we
      are the one who betrayed God, and we got this ministry.

      Jesus said; exalt the Son of man as the serpent in the wilderness.

      What does this mean?

      This means we need to worship the cross with the body as we did

      But there is good news;
      Satan said;
      I will hand over if you
      worship me and all the might and power will belong to us who worship him/gave life
      to him.

      After all, you are the one who has the honor seat at the table of God.

      Are you
      willing to accept the truth or are you to holy
      to accept the truth?

      This worship must stop now, the glorified body is now ready for all who accept it because you created it by worshiping Jesus. For this reason, it is your right to receive
      it.

      Are you
      waiting for the rapture? This is not biblical; the Bible describes it
      completely different. Do you expect a second coming of Jesus?

      Let’s be honest, we do not know what to expect, we have no idea of what is to come. The so-called second
      coming is just another thing we are talking about and stick to it.

      I would
      recommend that you really pay attention to this revelation.

      The second coming will not happen unless we stop our communion. The Bible is clear about this; while you use the communion you claim Christ
      to be dead.

      The fact that Satan entered into
      Judas after he took communion, is explained in another chapter. Ask yourself
      this question; if Satan entered into Judas when he took the sob, what about us?

      Did Satan also enter into us? Who is Satan in reality?

      What does it say; it says that Lucifer/the body/Jesus the bearer of light /the word
      deceived us just like Eve were deceived in order for us to create a glorified
      body for Him.

      This say; we are antichrist because we are anti Christ because we follow
      the body instead of the Word / creator.

      Therefore Jesus said; the antichrist is already here because Judas took the
      sob and because we follow the body.

      You wait in vain for an antichrist yet to come, we are totally deceived.

      Was it therefore sin to worship Jesus? Yes, of course, because we
      violated the first four commandments, and we worship an idol that is prohibited
      by law. The Bible says he became sin for us.

      Aaron created a golden calf that had to be burnt to ashes and said; Here
      are thou God worship him.

      Aaron the ministers created a golden calf of Jesus who had to die and
      decay but he arise and the preachers say; here is your God.

      But it was your purpose here on earth and you will be richly rewarded.

      The Son of man blesses you.

      Johan

  • justejudexultionis

    No Damian. The most misrepresented figure in the Bible is in fact the virgin Mary, whom your church has heretically elevated to the status of ‘Mother of God’, once again obscuring the pure Gospel of justification and grace in Jesus Christ.

    • “has heretically elevated to the status of ‘Mother of God'”

      In fact, elevated to “a” status of God, but of course that’s impossible. This elevation was performed by Pope Pius IX in 1854 with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. But wait, more theological damage was done by this Pope. The doctrine of Papal Infallibility (1869) is his baby too. Now the Pope is incapable of error on doctrine and morals! But we’re not through with this train wreck of a Pope who has the unique qualification of making the Catholic Church an intellectual laughing stock…

      “It appears that the obligation of secrecy concerning clergy sexual abuse cases was imposed by Pope Pius IX in 1866. The official document that imposes the secrecy was published on February 20, 1866 by the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office in the form of an “Instruction”. This instruction provided clarification on certain aspects of the previous papal constitution dealing with solicitation in the confessional, Sacramentum Poenitentiae (1741) of Pope Benedict XIV. The actual text is as follows:

      Par.14. In handling these cases, either by Apostolic commission or the appropriate ruling of the Bishops, the greatest care and vigilance must be exercised so that these procedures, inasmuch as they pertain to [matters of] faith, are to be completed in absolute secrecy, and after they have been settled and given over to sentencing, are to be completely suppressed by perpetual silence. All the ecclesiastic ministers of the curia [court], and whoever else is summoned to the proceedings, including counsels for the defense, must submit oaths of maintaining secrecy, and even the Bishops themselves and any of the local Ordinaries are obligated to keep the secret.”

      https://archive.org/stream/243680-3-cic-1917-latin-and-doyle-explanation/243680-3-cic-1917-latin-and-doyle-explanation_djvu.txt

      Yes, Pope Pius IX gave us the pedophile scandal that’s now weakening the moral foundation of the Church (so much for the doctrine of infallibility!) and threatens to contribute to schism…

    • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

      Even Better, Mary the mother of Christ was an unmarried mother.

      • cartimandua

        And not stoned to death which was unusual in those days.

      • SimonToo

        Motherhood usually starts when the woman has come safely to term. Mary was married when she gave birth and became a mother. She was not yet married when she conceived, but at that stage she was a mother-to-be, possibly an expectant mother even, but not a mother..

        • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

          Mary wasn’t married when she gave birth. That’s probably why she ended up in some stable when she went into labour..think about it.

          Anyway, there’s nothing in the bible to tell us Mary ever got married..and nobody ever taught me she was married at all. Joseph gets hardly a mention.

          ..I do wonder about the marriage at Cana..you know , when they ran out of wine and she had to ask her son to help. This was Jesus’ first miracle. Perhaps it was his mothers marriage.

          • SimonToo

            Try St. Matthew 1, 18-25.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Did anyone ever mention Jesus’ brothers and sisters to you?

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Ah, you must be alleging to the handsome soldier billeted down the street. Tiberius Iulius Abdes Pantera (c. 22 BC – AD 40) was a Roman soldier whose tombstone was found in Bingerbrück, Germany, in 1859.
        Story line for your next novel, Dan. “The DNA of God”.

    • ardenjm

      How marvellous justejudexultionis that you and Dean Jackson have discovered each other.
      You can thus perpetually disagree with each other over exactly how the Catholic Church get it “wrong” about the Blessed Virgin Mary and leave the rest of us in peace.

      If you have a quarrel with the title Mother of God, take it up with either St Elizabeth in St Luke’s Gospel, “But who am I that the Mother of My Lord should come unto me?” (after all, surely you don’t want to imply that Elizabeth meant something less than the Divine Lord when speaking about Jesus?)
      or else take it up with your own theological tradition that, worryingly seems unable to draw the very obvious conclusion that if Mary was the Mother of the Person who is Jesus, and that Person is indeed God Incarnate, then this makes Mary the Mother of God in His Incarnation.
      SURELY you’re not so obtuse as to think that the Church Councils at Ephesus and Chalcedon were claiming that Mary was Mother of the Divine Nature eternally?? Surely nothing so crass entered your mind, right?
      The reason why after the Incarnation it is fitting to call Mary the Mother of God is because of what is called the Communication of Idioms: what is said of one of the divine and human natures in Christ is fittingly said of the other within His person. This predication is based on the substantial hypostatic union that exists in Him: In Jesus the divine and human natures are really united. He’s both God and Man. “My Lord and My God” as Thomas says.
      If those natures weren’t united, then we are not saved by the Man-God Jesus and our Faith is in vain.
      But they are.
      So Our Lord was born, and died and rose again.
      And the Mother of Our Lord, whilst giving Him just His human nature in her womb is most fittingly called the Mother of God.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    O god. Isn’t it about time we had some new narratives on women who are at large in the public domain without any contract? Mary Magdalene was in the same position , in my view, as many modern women who are not part of any household, workforce or other holding in the traditional sense.

    Jesus, and all Christians recognise her and acknowledge her position as just a woman. This would seem to fly in the face of other cultures which simply can’t help but classify any woman who is an individual agent as tantamount to the worst of humanity ie those who are most feared ( yet still craved by so many weirdo dreamers).

  • Bruce Lewis

    I really think that Protestants should try harder to understand something about Catholics: we really try HARDER than they to reconcile ALL of the conflicting texts of Sacred Scripture. We don’t just dismiss some of them when they seem to contradict certain of our favourite parts, like Luther did when he called the Letter of St. James a “text of straw” (it’s in his Table Talk). The WAY we do this generally is by referring to Christ’s “commission” of Peter: “What you shall bind on earth, I shall bind in heaven, and what you shall loose on earth, I shall loose in heaven.” The notion that a “Holy Spirit” guides and actually helps to MAKE the “Tradition” of the Catholic and Apostolic Church follows logically from that. It’s why the Catholics and those in communion with them have always insisted that, though the Church can make serious mistakes, she is, in the long run, inerrant. It’s a matter of trust in that “Holy Spirit,” and a belief that, as Newman put it, a human institution that claims to be divinely guided “will have changed, and changed often”–as it seeks to discern God’s will for it.

  • Dr. Heath

    I wasn’t there, so I can’t comment on Miss Magadalene.

    But did the apostles and disciples, and Mary M and the Saviour himself, for that matter, actually exist or are their stories made up to historicize a set of Gnostic fairy tales? If the Acts and the Gospels and the Epistles were written in the second century CE for this very purpose, they can contain nothing of relevance except for scholars or people inclined to believe in a seven-layered heaven and a god who was unaware that he wasn’t really top dog in the deity rankings. Non-believers might find the writings of Earl Doherty, Herman Detering, Robert M. Price, Richard Carrier and David Fitzgerald [and many others] of great interest.

    • “But did the apostles and disciples, and Mary M and the Saviour himself, for that matter, actually exist or are their stories made up to historicize a set of Gnostic fairy tales?”

      Your question was already answered!

      See my reply below to Malus Pudor…

    • Ecclesiam

      You need to go and look at the dating of the epistles and gospels. There were written accounts circulating within 20 years of the Resurrection.

      • Jeffrey Vernon

        Hmm. That’s pious church history, but my understanding is that there’s no unambiguous allusion to the gospels in any text before the second century, and even these docs might be pseudepigraphy from people who lived in the 3rd century. The apostolic fathers (along with Peter as first Bishop of Rome) also appear to be traditional rather than historical.

        • Dr. Heath

          True. And the four gospels are increasingly believed to have originated with just one gospel, the original version of Mark [aka ‘the Memoirs of the Apostles’], the author of which, like the mythical ‘Matthew’, ‘Luke’ and ‘John’ cannot be identified. Objective scholarly study of the Bible, fortunately, is no longer suppressed. Would this were also true of the Quran, another man-made document which it is more profitable and interesting to study without the restrictions and self-censorship imposed by faith.

          • Jeffrey Vernon

            Actually, I’d say that koranic studies are further ahead – in that serious scholars do not claim a single author close to the events described; it’s a composite work with a messy textual history spanning 250 years or so. It seems quite hard, on the other hand, even for academic NT critics to overcome the tradition that their book was being compiled by a real historical Paul from AD50. Christians are mentioned by Pliny in 112, but we’ve no idea what they practiced. Scraps of NT papyrus begin to appear at about the same time. It’s hard to find any recognisable, datable church doctrine, or authentic christian figures, from before the council of Nicaea in the 4th century.

          • Dr. Heath

            Good summary. As you say, scraps of New Testament papyrus account for what passes for the documentary evidence of the birth of a new religion. Whatever really happened in the fourth century involving the ‘early church fathers’ and Constantine is beyond knowing. The accepted version is a concoction.

            Koranic studies appears to be still a sort of cottage industry. One scholar, if I’m right, has chosen to publish his work under a pen-name. This says it all.

      • Dr. Heath

        You may be right. I have no reason to share your opinion and will always concur with those who’ve considered the epistle and gospels and have concluded they were written in the second century CE by people with little accurate knowledge of Palestine, its history, customs and language.

  • Chris Morriss

    The author is building a lot of supposition from a very few facts. The idea that Jesus is identical to God is the outcome of various councils, from Ephesus to Nicaea, comprising people who had never met the man. Why not have Jesus as an emanation from God, sent to this world for a specific task, and re-absorbed back into God when the task was done? Heterodox and a bit Sephiroth-like? Yes, but just as much in accordance with the few known facts as any other of the interpretations that various Christian sects have considered over the centuries. One thing that is known is that a Jewish holy man of that time, especially one known as a Naggar (a skilled craftsman, not a carpenter) would be expected to be a married man, Anything else would have been worthy of notice and comment. Nowhere is this commented on in the bible, although the some various non-canonical early Christian documents do imply that he was married, probably to MM.
    The traditions of the Languedoc, especially those of the local gypsies, do say that MM landed with a few others after being expelled from the Holy Land, gave birth to a daughter, (traditionally named Tamar, sometimes Hellenised into Damaris) and remained there for the rest of her life. Anything more is the wildest supposition, but a very long time ago, I did know people from a very old British semi-aristocratic family with extensive records who believed (and quite likely still believe) that they are blood descendants of Christ. This was well before the ludicrous Dan Brown picked up on anything, and even before the book “The Holy Blood…” started off the whole public interest in the subject.

    • “Why not have Jesus as an emanation from God…”

      Because of what Jesus agreed was correct concerning His nature…

      ‘Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”‘

      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+16:13-20

      Peter didn’t suggest that Jesus was an emanation of a unitary God, but a unique personality in Himself.

      Jesus affirms His separate personality (though not independent of the Father), ‘No one comes to the Father except through me.’

      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2014

      Now the question is, what sort of unique personality–human, divine or a hybrid? Jesus clarifies when He tells Philip, ‘Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”‘

      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2014

      “I did know people from a very old British semi-aristocratic family with extensive records who believed (and quite likely still believe) that they are blood descendants of Christ.”

      Maybe, but the probability of being blood descendants of the House of David (as is Christ) is surly more promising.

    • Damaris Tighe

      The Councils wanted to affirm Jesus as both wholly God & wholly man – which would take a lot of philosophical twists & turns, but I understand where they were coming from. If Jesus was not completely human flesh & blood then the doctrines of the crucifixion & resurrection would fall. I had (have?) sympathy with the emanation idea (I like Plotinus) because it’s less clumsy, more elegant. But it does detract from Jesus’s humanity. I once said to a priest that I thought we all have a little of the spirit of God in us, & Jesus just had much more. He didn’t like this one bit!

      • “He didn’t like this one bit!”

        That’s because Jesus’ nature was worked out correctly, according to the various Gospel verses on this subject, as my comment directly blow explains step by step. The priest was wondering why you didn’t know this, assuming you should.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Simples. I knew nothing about Christianity at the time.

          • “I knew nothing about Christianity at the time.”

            That’s why I noted, “…assuming you should.”

        • Chris Morriss

          It rather appears that you forgot to make a new aluminium-foil hat today. Your comment explained nothing “step by step”.
          The original material in the NT that can be considered authentic is really quite small, and does not include the rather juvenile language of the New International version of the bible to which you refer.
          Damaris’s comment to the priest is neither outlandish nor ignorant and states a view has been held by many well-respected writers and thinkers. JRR Tolkien for example thought that it was this part of God’s spirit in us that allowed us to ‘sub-create’ in works of literature, music, art and all of the other creative areas of our existence. (See his essay “On Fairy Stories”).

          • “JRR Tolkien for example thought that it was this part of God’s spirit in us that allowed us to ‘sub-create’ in works of literature, music, art and all of the other creative areas of our existence.”

            What has that got to do with Jesus’ nature and the Trinity?

  • Terry Field

    Our ‘culture’ drowns in a deep sea of manufactured myth, dreamscapes infect the consciousness of the teeming billions whose reality is commercially supplied, via pixels. to the unsleeping telescreens.
    The gentle eternal truth is ignored by nearly all.
    This is Herman Kahn’s prediction, a small number of clear-seeing, educated people, and a broad sea of the pap-reading, industrially mis-educated, made-foolish, consuming idiocy from birth to death.
    Well done Herman.
    Spot on. (except for the personal helicopters, and now that is coming, care of ALibaba)

    By the way, to know the bible, there is a really novel way to do it; a way not experienced for a very long time indeed.

    Read it.

    The truth will set you free.

    • “Read it.”

      But to understand what one reads in the New Testament, one must know history, otherwise the New Testament comes off as a-historical. Therefore one must analyze the New Testament, reading what isn’t written, but is nonetheless is implicitly present in the narratives.

      See my reply to Malus Pudor…

      • Terry Field

        Yes, one must know the history, but I was rather assuming the people I was talking to – the ones WORTH talking to, know their history, back to, and including the Persian Empire and its religious beliefs.

        • “Yes, one must know the history…”

          And apply it to what isn’t taking place within the New Testament. No on has since the fall of the western Roman Empire.

  • callingallcomets

    I suppose we should be grateful that Damian can be left to burble away this nonsense in a quiet corner of the Speccie where visitors are few and far between….just a few centuries ago, however, he might well have been executing Lollards and extirpating heresy in the name of Rome..

  • Jeffrey Vernon

    I’ve now read three articles trying to reclaim the Magdalene from Dan Brown. Melanie McDonagh in the Evening Standard was most indignant on her behalf; how dare the revisionists make up this pack of lies? It seems uncharitable at this time of the year to point out that while the new testament might be Gospel, it’s not history. If I claim that the three Marys and the adulteress were all one and the same, I might be asking you to believe four improbable things before breakfast. The resurrection of the body, as believed by the literalists on the other hand, is entirely impossible.

    • Ecclesiam

      Not impossible, merely requiring a miracle, which is actually what an omnipotent God would find very easy.

  • Smiffy51

    The Ethiopian church believes that Jesus and Mary Magdalene married and had children. Who can tell fact from fiction now?

    It would have been strange if Jesus, if he existed, were not married. The story that Mary was reportedly at his tomb and was going to touch him indicates that they were married.

  • Mike

    Sounds like an ancient version of Blair re-writing history to make himself look good but as for Mary, well its anyones guess !

  • David Lorier-May

    Well you know what people do when they have no info on someone. They make it up.

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