Mary Magdalene in the history of Christianity and Contemporary Culture Series 1, No.4

Personal Quest                                                         

My primary focus is on textual sources from antiquity, literary and artistic representations from the history of Christianity, and contemporary images of Mary Magdalene in the New Testament and Non-Canonical Gospels, i.e., Gospel of Mary; Post New Testament Legends, Sermons, and stories about the Magdalene; Artistic representations in medieval and renaissance art and images of Mary Magdalene in contemporary Literature and film. I thoroughly analyzed the Myth and Metaphor of Mary Magdalene before this writing. The contents here are my convictions.

I draw conclusions from an extensive study of history, heraldry, symbolism, medieval art, mythology, psychology, sermons, referenced journals, manuscripts, books, Internet sources, and the Bible. In accord with the specific goals required for thorough research, it became imperative for me to be competent in analytical thinking, exegetically sound, and academically oriented. So I carried out extensive research to expound on the Word of God with great understanding and clarity. I did it with the analytical and inquisitive mind of a scientist; the zeal of a crusader, the resourcefulness of a teacher, & the Faith of a Christian.

My research on Mary Magdalene was not born out of female sentiments, feminine emotion, or curiosity but instead was forced on me by an unexplained instinct. It all started in a hotel room in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. I was to travel to San Francisco, United States of America, in February 2007 to attend a World Forum 2007 on “Facing Violence, Justice, Religion, and Conflict Resolution .” My flight was to take off from Abuja Airport, so here I was in a Chelsea hotel room watching a cable movie on the television. The movie title was Mary, the Mother of Jesus. As I watched, I noticed a prominent figure alongside Mary, Mother of Jesus. That figure was that of Mary Magdalene. She was there with her lovely apparel when John the Baptist baptized and testified about Jesus Christ up to the crucifixion time. She was visible at the Cross that had only three persons: Mary the Mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and John the Apostle, out of the remaining eleven apostles. It then struck me like a thunderbolt; Mary Magdalene is Jesus’ choice for the replacement of Judas Iscariot. I know this might cause a controversy in the Church, but my conviction was firm.

The conviction was so firm that I lost concentration on the movie and started thinking. That, to me, was a spiritual discernment, and I began to sound the opinion of other ministers of God. No one took me seriously, yet I believed it and was determined to prove it. It became clear that the other apostles’ choice of Mattathias could not achieve much as nothing was recorded in the New Testament about him apart from his election to replace Judas Iscariot.

I made it my charge to prove to the whole world that indeed Jesus Christ did choose a replacement for Judas Iscariot, and the one chosen by our Lord and Saviour is Mary Magdalene. I must find Mary Magdalene historically, culturally, geographically, and spiritually to accomplish this. It means exploring all forms of Gospels, Texts, Manuscripts, Documents, Writings, Sayings, and traveling to places she was reputed to have gone. I also need to decode Myths, Arts, Paintings, and other Materials and Sources. That is my charge, and I am determined to deliver by God’s grace. Though most of the above have not been achieved by the time of writing, I am sure I have enough materials to come to a just conclusion.

I decided to use Mary Magdalene as my Ph.D. Thesis, but I had severe discouragement from Ministers of God. I could not get any to support my project. Indeed, Jesus chose Mary Magdalene as a replacement for Judas Iscariot, and she was the twelfth Apostle. No scholar was ready to support my Thesis; that could cause a row in the Church, especially since I cannot prove this from the canonized Bible (The New Testament).

I could not get any professor to supervise my Ph.D. Thesis on the topic. Professor Dapo Asaju, a most respected professor and Bishop Theologian of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, advised me against using the the topic for my Ph.D. Instead, I should look into other topics in the New Testament, and write a book on Mary Magdalene. I followed his advice and picked another Thesis Topic.

Since I am convinced that Mary Magdalene was the twelfth Apostle, a replacement for Judas Iscariot, I decided to put my words, thoughts, and research results into a book for people to read and decide if I am right or wrong. Still, I pray that the Spirit of truth shall reveal to my readers the truth of this matter.

***join me on this website for more on the series.

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