Gospel of Mary of Magdala

Gospel of Mary of Magdala


The Gospel of Mary of Magdala
Jesus and the First Woman Apostle

Karen L. King


Lost for more than fifteen hundred years, the Gospel of Mary is the only existing early Christian gospel written in the name of a woman. Unlike the controversial Jesus’ Wife fragment, the Gospel of Mary does not claim Jesus was married, but it does depict Mary as a disciple. What’s more, she is a leader among the disciples—one to whom Jesus’ male disciples turned for wisdom and advice. The apostle Peter even specifically asks Mary to interpret the words of Jesus.

Karen L. King tells the story of the recovery of this remarkable gospel and offers a new translation. This brief narrative rejects Jesus’ suffering and death as a path to eternal life and exposes the view that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute for what it is—a piece of theological fiction. The Gospel of Mary of Magdala offers a fascinating glimpse into the conflicts and controversies that shaped earliest Christianity.

Includes complete photos of the Berlin Codex, Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 3525, and the Rylands Papyrus.

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Karen King is Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard University in the Divinity School. An occasional consultant to the Ford Foundation on Religion and Human Rights, Dr. King has received awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst, Harvard Divinity School, the Irvine Foundation, and Occidental College. She is the author of many books and articles including What Is Gnosticism? and Revelation of the Unknowable God.

Published 2003
240 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-0-944344-58-3

Best faith books of 2003 — “… accessible and fascinating … This book will have special appeal to those interested in history and whose devotion to the New Testament has them searching for a deeper understanding of the origins of Christian scripture.”
St. Louis Post Dispatch

“Karen King’s Gospel of Mary of Magdala is a book that many readers are waiting for — a complete translation of the Gospel of Mary together with a lucidly written, marvelously informative discussion of where it comes from and what it means.”
—Elaine Pagels, Princeton University

“… an important step by a renowned scholar in the continuing … process of opening up the infinite varieties of Christianity to those who struggle with faith.”
—Dinitia Smith, New York Times

“This is a rich, rewarding, and eyeopening review of how the only gospel written in the name of a woman can reveal the depth and diversity of the early Christian community. Strongly recommended …”
—Library Journal

The Gospel of Mary of Magdala offers a fascinating glimpse into the conflicts and controversies that shaped earliest Christianity.”
— SirReadaLot.org, August 2005

“For the general reader, it is the best resource out there.”
—Journal of Religion, July 2005

The Gospel Of Mary Of Magdala is a seminal and strongly recommended addition to academic library collections and critically important reading for students of the earliest centuries of the Christian movement, as well as non-specialist general readers with an interest in Christian gnosticism.”
—Midwest Book Review, 02/04/05

Read excerpts from the introduction of The Gospel of Mary of Magdala
Read the complete text of the Gospel of Mary Magdala.