Apostola Apostolorum - Who Was Mary Magdalene?

Mary Magdalene - Traditional Icon

She is the Apostle to the Apostles, follower of Jesus, woman, companion, and the first witness. Her name as we know her, Mary Magdalene. While I believe we will never know the true story of Mary; how she lived before meeting Jesus, how she carried Jesus’ ministry after his death, where she lived, and how she died, we can come to our own conclusions on the kind of person she was, the kind of friend and disciple she was, and the kind of woman she was. Through her story, we see Jesus and the risk-taking of ancient times in even speaking to a woman in public, let alone taking on a disciple of the opposite sex without intention to marry.

There’s no doubt Mary must have had one of the closest relationships to Jesus of all the disciples, for she was the one chosen and entrusted to witness the resurrection and tell the others. She was at Jesus’ feet at the crucifixion and the entire Passion. This says so much about her. In biblical times, having women follow you, especially in ministry, was unheard of. Women stayed at home rearing children and tending to their homes, not following around an unmarried man as he spoke of his father who happened to be God! And while many Jewish ministers of the time were married and had families, I personally don’t believe Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ wife. But that doesn’t mean that wasn’t the case, anything is possible, we will just never know for sure.

The Gospel of Mary

In 1896, ancient texts were purchased in Cairo by a German diplomat. The fifth century papyrus codex was written in Sahidic Coptic and is considered non-canonical in Christian orthodoxy. Today, this collection is known as “The Gospel of Mary.” I invite you to open yourself to learning more about this fascinating historical discovery and drawing your own conclusions and meditations on it by researching The Gospel of Mary and reading these ancient words. What new and different perspective do these writings offer you? What, if anything, will you take from these texts and apply to your vision of Mary?