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Marie appelée la Magdaléenne (Marie, Marie-Madeleine)

Marie appelée la Magdaléenne (Marie, Marie-Madeleine)

Site historique consacré à Marie, surnommée "la Magdaléenne" (alias Marie de Magdala, alias Marie-Madeleine)


Recommended Book on Academia / Livre recommandé sur Academia

Mary Magdalene The Unsuspected Truth (Part XXVI)

Guercino, The Risen Christ Appears to His Mother Mary

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The one who has always been there by his side 

  • Your demonstration seems rather convincing to me, however a question bothers me: since, for John, Mary of Magdala is indeed the mother of Jesus, why doesn’t he say it clearly? And above all, why do the other evangelists say nothing about it?
    • There are two questions in one. I think I have already partially answered the first one. As for the second: if the evangelists and their first recipients took this identification for granted why should they have been more specific? Has it ever been necessary to specify that, in the Gospels, “Jesus” and “Jesus the Nazarene” (or Jesus of Nazareth) are one and the same individual?
  • Obviously not ...
    • Obviously not for us, today as yesterday. But we can fully admit that it was exactly the same at the beginning with “Mary” and “Mary the Magdalene” (or Mary of Magdala). It should not be forgotten that the evangelists did not address a twenty-first century audience. In their writings, as in any ancient text, the implicit part is of particular importance. And it just so happens that, in the Gospels, everything shows that “Mary of Magdala” is nothing other than the complete form of the name of the mother of the Nazarene.
  • Is this not what, in rhetoric, is called an “argument by silence”?
    • It goes without saying that the absence of evidence does not constitute proof. But it would be better to speak here of indirect proof than argument e silentio because, on the one hand, no evangelical data contradicts it, and, on the other hand, all the data we have are going in the same direction: the overall picture thus erected is perfectly consistent.
  • I am willing to admit it.
    • However, there is probably something else ...
  • What else?
    • Unlike the other evangelists, John offers a close-up picture of the Passion: he only mentions the women who, at the last breath of Jesus, were standing at the very foot of the Cross, that is to say the mother of Jesus and his aunt. John, “the beloved disciple”, here transmits the “family tradition”.
  • What about the other evangelists?
    • They also mention the presence of the two women, though without at any time mentioning the family relationship between them and Jesus. In the Synoptics, the scene is seen from afar: the group is larger and the women stand at a distance. Above all, they add to this list a certain Salome: the mother of James and John, two of the three main apostles. Mark, Matthew and Luke are linked here to another set of traditions, transmitted by the disciples, which can be grouped under the title of “apostolic tradition”.
  • Could that be the reason why none of the evangelists, except John, specifies that Mary of Magdala and the mother of Jesus are one and the same?
    • This is one of the reasons, yes. The representatives of the apostolic tradition have chosen to retain in their narrative only the plot of the story, to the detriment of details deemed superfluous, even embarrassing, on the various family ties uniting the protagonists. What matters to them is that a woman, Mary of Magdala, present during the Passion and the entombment, witnessed the Resurrection.
  • The apostle Paul, for his part, absolutely does not speak of it!
    • Yes, as we have seen, the most radical branch, represented by Paul and the short ending of the Gospel of Mark, even omitted this precious testimony! The fact remains that for the proponents of the apostolic tradition, therefore, the precise identity of certain characters – especially women – goes into the background: action takes precedence.
  • What are the other reasons?
    • We have already mentioned them: the problem posed – at that time – by the value of a woman’s testimony, a fortiori if she is a close relative of the One who is most directly concerned! In short, there are plenty of reasons to explain the puzzling discretion of the evangelists ...
  • There is still one last problem to talk about.
    • Which one?
  • If Mary of Magdala is indeed the mother of Jesus, how could the evangelist Luke have said that “seven demons had gone out” from her? It seems inconceivable to me.

Mary Magdalene

The Unsuspected Truth


Mary Magdalene

The Unsuspected Truth

Part I

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