The Da Vinci Code has helped catapult Mary Magdalene into the public spotlight just a mere 2000 years after her existence, and many a new book is being released shedding more light on this powerful and amazing woman. The Gospels of Mary by Marvin Meyer and Esther A. De Boer, is one such book, filled with fascinating facts and interesting interpretations of the Gnostic gospel of Mary, as well as other gospels left out of the traditional Bible that speak highly of Mary, and in fact, refer to her with the greatest of reverence.
This book documents the Church suppression of the true lineage of Mary Magdalene and tells about how and why she came to be known as a prostitute when ancient documents known as the Nag Hammadi texts show her to have been the most favored of all Jesus’ followers and disciples. Some scholars believe she and Jesus were married, and had a child, something not unlikely in their day and time, since Jesus was a rabbinic teacher and most if not all were required to be married. Using the Nag Hammadi texts, including segments and quotes from the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Phillip, Pistis Sophia and passages in the New Testament, the authors reveal an alternative truth to the one the Church leadership has been selling us for centuries.
Meyer is an expert on the Nag Hammadi texts, and De Boer is the author of Mary Magdalene, Beyond the Myth and other Mary Magdalene books, so they know their subject matter and present some astounding facts and startling passages. I was a little disappointed they did not mention a very elusive and enigmatic epic poem, “Thunder, Perfect Mind,” included in the Nag Hammadi, which is written from a feminine point of view and may have been the handiwork of a very powerful woman with a “divine” attitude!
My main problem with this book is that it is very short, topping off just shy of 125 pages, and seems to be more of a primer on the Magdalene tradition than a full-blown, well-rounded treatment of it. I strongly suggest reading this book as a way of introduction to the subject matter, and using the extensive bibliography the authors provide as a way to further enlighten oneself on the growing body of work surrounding this mysterious and spiritual woman.
The Gospels of Mary is quite an eye-opener, especially for those few out there who have not yet read The Da Vinci Code or the book that started it all in the first place, Holy Blood, Holy Grail. It is a great introduction to a subject matter that will no doubt hook you and make you want to read more.