Gospel according to Mary Magdalene(ca. 120–180)
The Gospel according to Mary Magdalene was probably composed in the late second century C.E. in Gnostic circles and, unlike other apocryphal scriptures, was never seriously considered by the early church fathers as a candidate for canonical status. The traditional canonical Gospels provide few details about Mary, but they mention that she was a reformed prostitute, delivered of seven demons. She was apparently a close associate of Jesus, and in the Gospels of Mathew and John she has the distinction of being the first person to see the resurrected Christ. It is not clear how she became a symbolic figure for Gnostics and other early Christian sects, but the surviving texts suggest that she came to be seen as the special bearer of esoteric knowledge, being in a position to teach the rest of Jesus’s disciples. It should be noted, however, that the identification of Mary, mentioned in the text, with Mary Magdalene is conjectural.
The most complete manuscript of the Gospel...
Mary Magdalene (Yale University Art Gallery)View Full Size