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