ANT: More on Women in Early Christianity

I’m nearly finished reading the page proofs for the second edition of After the New Testament.  Gods willing, I finish tomorrow – a good thing, because I’m heading out of town (well, I’m already out of town; so I’m heading out of town out of town) to do some hiking.  I’ll be able to keep the blog up (let’s hear it for wi-fi!).  But proof reading is outta the question!   Anyway, yesterday I gave the first half of ...

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After the New Testament: Women in Early Christianity

Among other things, I am spending a chunk of each day just now reading the page proofs for the second edition of my anthology After the New Testament.   “Page proofs” are the type-set pages as they are ready to appear in the printed book.   This is the last chance an author has to catch mistakes, typos, and so on.  The new edition of this book is fairly long– over 550 pages – and reading proofs is one of ...

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Women at the Tomb

Here I’ll continue my thread on topics that I changed my mind about or came to see in doing my research for How Jesus Became God.   One of the most important things I changed my mind about was the idea that Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty three days after his death.

When I was a Christian, of course I thought that was the case.   But even when I had become an agnostic I thought it was probably a historical ...

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Jesus Kissing Mary Magdalene


I know that the “Gospel of Philip does not have much if any real historical veracity to it about Jesus’ life, but does the references about Jesus and Mary Magdalene being lovers and the holes in the papyrus ‘kissing’ verse (verses 32 and 55 in your “Lost Scriptures” book), help support the view that this most likely Gnostic Christian sect truly believed and taught that Jesus and Mary M were married?


Yes, this is one ...

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Mary Magdalene as a Prostitute?

In my previous post I was answering the following question: “where did the origin of Mary Magdalene as an escort/ sex worker come from?” I began my answer by citing a passage from my book on Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene, where I explained that a number of passages in the New Testament in which women are said to appear are often said / assumed to be about Mary Magdalene, even though she is not mentioned in them. ...

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Mary Magdalene in Various Guises

QUESTION: Forgive me if this has already been asked several times, but where did the origin of Mary Magdalene as an escort/ sex worker come from?

RESPONSE: Ah, great question. It’s kind of a complicated story, so I’ve decided simply to reprint what I have to say about it in my discussion of Mary Magdalene in my book Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene. In that book I devote six chapters to each of these important ...

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Jesus and Mary Magdalene

I pointed out in my last post that most people simply assume that Jesus was not married because there is no mention of his wife in any of our sources, or any mention that he ever had a wife. And so it is assumed that he did not have one. As Karen King pointed out in our discussion the other night at the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, that is an argument from silence, and ...

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How Women Came to Be Silenced

I come now to the climax of this thread: how is it that women came to be silenced in the early Christian tradition? Of all my posts in this thread on women in early Christianity, I think this is the most important. Again, I give my reflections on it from my Introduction to the NT:

The first thing to observe is that women may have been disproportionately represented in the earliest Christian communities. This at least was a constant claim made ...

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Male Domination in Antiquity

In this thread I’ve been laying out the view that in Paul’s own churches, women were granted places of prominence, possibly because they had been prominent at times from the very beginning, going back to the ministry of Jesus. But eventually women were silenced – as evidenced in the Pastoral epistles and the interpolation of 1 Cor. 14:35-36 by a later copyist of Paul’s letter. I continue this line of thought again by referring to the discussion of my Introduction ...

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The Non-Pauline Oppression of Women

In my previous post I argued that the view of women in 1 Timothy 2:12-15 does not coincide with Paul’s own teachings, and that it therefore is probably not something that Paul wrote.  (This is a standard view among scholars, that Paul did not write 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus; there are compelling reasons for this view, which I could go into if anyone really wants to know….)  But doesn’t Paul say something similar in his undisputed letters, in ...

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