The place of Mary Magdalene
Sir – Soline Marie Madeleine Humbert’s interesting article on Mary Magdalene (Rite & Reason, July 22nd) is, regrettably, somewhat distorted in that she bases all she says on somewhat distorted evidence, namely what we read about Mary in the New Testament.
It should at long last (after nearly 2,000 years!) be becoming clear that what is said about Mary in the New Testament is nothing less than an unmerited and unworthy (by those who perpetrated it) character assassination.
Extra-canonical Scripture, for example the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, the Dialogue of the Saviour, the Books of the Saviour and above all the Pistis Sophia provided a picture, indubitably true, of a very different Mary: a vibrant and spiritually imaginative woman more intelligent and quick-witted than the male disciples and more able to grasp readily the deep meanings of Jesus’s teachings.
Saying 53 of the Dialogue of the Saviour tells us that Mary spoke “as one who had understood completely”. Quite simply, no higher level of understanding was or is possible. And that challenging example of the real Mary Magdalene is something that we should cherish infinitely. Yours, etc,
DR MARTIN PULLBROOK,
(Unitarian lay preacher),