Mary Magdalene, one of the religious women in Christianity is often thought to be the as one of the most important women in the new testament after Mary the mother of Jesus. She travelled to many places with Jesus as one of the disciples and followers. When examining the relationship of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, two most important occasions comes out. That is when they were with Jesus at the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus
Benedict (2007p.46) pointed out that the references of the gospel described her as brave, courageous and stood by Jesus in the hours of Jesus suffering, his death and even beyond. The gospel elaborates their first encounter when Jesus cleansed and liberated her from the seven demons. She become a follower of jess from there and later become very prominent during the sunset days of Jesus. When the Romans crucified Jesus, Mary Magdalene was there ready and supporting Jesus in his last moments and even mourned his death. Ehrman (2006) pointed out that she stayed with Jesus at the cross after the other male disciples had fled except john the beloved. Furthermore, she was at the burial of Jesus and the only person to realize that Jesus has resurrected and finally to give a testimony of the central teaching of the faith
It is very clearly from the explanations of the gospels that Mary Magdalene loved Jesus greatly. Lüdemann (2004p. 227) pointed out in Luke 8:2-3 Mary Magdalene had just been freed by Jesus from the possession and bondage of seven devils, she followed him as one of the disciples, ministering to Jesus from her very own means. Furthermore, she was with Mary the mother of Jesus together with other women when crucifixion of Jesus was done (mark 15:40-41).
Philip et al (2004p.96) observed that the gospel in john 20:11-18 elaborates that she was the first person to see Jesus resurrection after Jesus appeared to her, after tearfully searching for him. This forms the basis of the veneration the church has had for her as the first witness of the risen Christ. From these passages, the relationship of Mary Magdalene with Jesus Christ is outlined well and therefore conclusion cannot be made that she was a sinner in addition to being the wife of Jesus.
According to Ricci (1994), some apocryphal gospels which were written following the canonical gospels with exception to the sections of the gospel of Thomas claim that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus Christ. The apocryphal gospels were mainly written to relay Gnostic teachings (Benedict, 2007). According to these gospels, they contain writings called the secret revelations about Jesus to his disciples after his resurrection and Mariam, Marihamor Marianne is claimed to be the one who understood best the revelations. The second name of Magdalene only appears in few excerpts in the writing. This explains why Mary Magdalene was the favorite disciple of Jesus and this receives special revelations from him.
Ehrman, B. D. (2006p. 109) pointed out that according to the gospel of Thomas, pistils Sophia, dialogues of the savior and the gospel of Mary, Mary Magdalene faced opposition from the apostles simply because she was a woman. This reflects the Gnostics negative attitude to Mary and the feminine as an important disciple. However, some people explains this opposition as an indication of the attitude of the church by that time, against the women spiritual leadership as proposed by groups of that time, but none of this cannot be demonstrated (Lüdemann, 2004).
The opposition can be because of conflict of the doctrines. Peter in collaboration with other apostles against the ideas put forward by the Gnostic groups in the name of Mariam. In a matter of fact, creating recourse to Mary was a means of justifying their ideas. Philip et al (2004p.271) observed that in other apocryphal gospels like the gospel of Philip, this time the Maria who was Gnosticism model was cited with her original name, Magdalene just because of her feminity. Ricci (1994) explains that in the discipleship of Christ, she was the spiritual symbol and formed a perfect union with Jesus. Furthermore, a kiss between Mary and Jesus is spoken in this context to symbolize a union between them since kiss, which was a form of the sacrament above and superior to Eucharist and baptism. That is if the context is understood in that way. The entire tone of the Gnostic writings is in very foreign to any form of sexual implications.
In conclusion, the New Testament elaborates the clear relationship that existed between Mary and Jesus. The Gnostic scriptures are ill intended. In fact, Mary Magdalene was a true disciple and a follower of Jesus who served him and was there for him even when the other apostles ran away.
Benedict. (2007). Jesus, the Apostles, and the early church: General audiences, 15 March 2006-14 February 2007. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press.
Ehrman, B. D. (2006). Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The followers of Jesus in history and legend. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lüdemann, G. (2004). The resurrection of Christ: A historical inquiry. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Philip, ., Leloup, J.-Y., & Rowe, J. (2004). The gospel of Philip: Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the gnosis of sacred union. Rochester, Vt: Inner Traditions.
Ricci, C. (1994). Mary Magdalene and many others: Women who followed Jesus. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.