|La Gioconda by Leonardo Da Vinci|
Mary Magdalene is often portrayed as La Traviata (this rumour was addressed in The 3 Maries), because being so she becomes a symbol of redemption.
But some Nag Hammadi Scriptures seem to describe a much different Magdalena we have grown accustomed to: one of the most prominent disciples of Yeshua, who asked many informed questions and understood [perhaps the reason why Jesus, when resurrected, appeared before her first].
I could understand why Christian Institutions, before the discovery and study of such texts, would not make an effort to reform the New Testament: perhaps because it is more comfortable to leave it as it is, lest the Codices force drastic changes (both dogmatic and structural).
I like Apocryphal texts, because they offer us another perspective of the Religious Play and its Personages. For example, if we take a peek at a very interesting excerpt of the, ant-nibbled (indicated by the [...]), Gospel of Philip:
«As for the Wisdom who is called "the barren," she is the mother of the angels. And the companion of the [...] Mary Magdalene. [...] loved her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples [...]. They said to him "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The Saviour answered and said to them, “Why do I not love you like her? When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness.”»
What is the meaning of this text – which part is to be taken literally and which part deserves a deep exegesis? Did Jesus have an intimate relationship with Miriam Magdala and, if so, why is it so difficult to perceive Yeshua, a Jew (who followed the Torah, which clearly states that it is not good for a man to be alone), as an individual with human desires?
I am also enjoying the Gospel of Mary because it shows us that despite having had the honour to learn from Yeshua, some male apostles returned to the human vicious nature upon their Master’s demise:
«But Andrew answered and said (..) “I at least do not believe that the Saviour said this. For certainly these teachings are strange ideas.”
Peter answered (..) “Did He really speak privately with a woman and not openly to us? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did He prefer her to us?”
Levi answered (..) “Peter you have always been hot tempered. Now I see you contending against the woman like the adversaries. But if the Saviour made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Saviour knows her very well. That is why He loved her more than us. Rather let us be ashamed and put on the perfect Man, and separate as He commanded us and preach the gospel, not laying down any other rule or other law beyond what the Saviour said”.»
Apocryphal texts are like Mona Lisa: they look at us with a smirk in their face, as if mocking us for our inability to see beyond the apparent reality. They mock at our ability to swallow consensus truths. They smirk while telling us “Question everything; doubt everything; for doubts lead you to the Truth!”