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TANATA is devoted to discussing the paradoxes and the mysteries of life, among which is the paradox of the coexistence of good and evil. “God is love,” John tells us. Evil exists, we would suggest, not because God is detached or unconcerned, but because free will exists which is required for true, unforced love to exist. Still, it is painfully hard to reconcile this paradox. We believe that all evil one day will be judged and destroyed, until then we must pray.

DANIEL 7:13-14

13 “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.

14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.

REVELATION 1:7

7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

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Thursday
Aug062009

« Quite Contrary ... »

Never has so much been written about someone about whom so little is known. This describes Mary Magdalene, whose confusing appearances in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John ought to have had a chilling effect on her legacy. But they have not. Her name appears at the beginning of a very controversial and awkwardly written passage of scripture which concludes the Gospel of Mark (Mark 16:9-20), twelve verses which most New Testament scholars say were erroneously added after St. Mark signed off on his Gospel account. The only other passage of Gospel text which is similarly of questionable integrity is one in the Gospel of John (7:53-8:11) which describes Jesus’ lax dealings with an adulterous woman, a prostitute.

Is it coincidence that Mary Magdalene and an alleged prostitute are described in the two places in the New Testament that most scholars will attest feature forged material?

If scholars unfavorably judging the integrity of these two passages are correct, the New Testament Gospels are not without error, and, the most glaring errors of all are found where prostitutes or alleged prostitutes are being described in ways which arguably tarnish Jesus’ reputation.

The suspicions about Mary Magdalene, whether she ever actually existed, do not end with the New Testament Gospels, in each of which she says and does highly contradictory things. An oddly written secret gospel ascribed to her in a collection of Gnostic writings and her mentioning in two other Gnostic gospels of questionable integrity further cast into doubt the viability of this mysterious biblical figure with a highly uncharacteristic name. Researchers are still not sure where Magdala is.

Mary Magdalene appears in the Gospel of John in the company of mysteriously unnamed disciples — “the other disciple” being one curiously vague reference, “the other Mary” being the other vague reference. Nowhere else in the New Testament are such apparently important biblical figures so vaguely referred to. Wherever Mary Magdalene appears, there is confusion and controversy — and this is a trend, one which continues today, which has been going on since the first century.

Add to all of this one more biblical oddity associated with Mary Magdalene: where she is described near the cross of Jesus in the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene is described in the company of two other women named Mary. What are the odds that the three women who knew Jesus who witnessed his crucifixion should all be named Mary? In the Gnostic gospel of Philip, we’re told that one of the women named Mary who followed Jesus had a sister named Mary, and then we’re told that Jesus had a sister named Mary.

One more, which may offer a hint: the Beloved Disciple, who is vaguely referred to as “the other disciple” where he appears at the empty tomb with Mary Magdalene and Peter, may be a man whose mother was named, you guessed it, Mary.

Last one: Mary Magdalene is believed to have died in Ephesus, Turkey, where a man named John on the nearby island of Patmos wrote the book of Revelation. It is believed by some church officials, including one as high ranking as the Pope, that the Virgin Mary also died in Ephesus in the company of a man named John, though the Virgin Mary’s actual tomb is in Jerusalem. The reason behind the confusion arguably has to do with the apparent use of Mary Magdalene to obscure the woman named Mary who was the mother of a man named John who may have been the Beloved Disciple. Mary Magdalene was not the Beloved Disciple, because she was not a man named John, though that fact hasn’t stopped people from saying Mary Magdalene was the disciple whom Jesus specially loved and frequently kissed on the mouth in public, according to the Gnostic gospel of Philip, which, once again, arguably has the earmarks of being a forgery.

And we haven’t even gotten to the Renaissance yet and a controversial painting which has clearly been vandalized in the vicinity of a seated woman believed by some to be Mary Magdalene. And then we come to the present day, in which serious scholars suggest, among other things, that the disciple Peter put Mary Magdalene in a boat without a rudder and pushed her into the Mediterranean Sea, from whence she sailed on to Egypt and then to France, where she is allegedly buried in the Basilica of Mary Magdalene in Saint Maximin de Provence, after her remains were moved there from Ephesus and Constantinople.

Every year for the feast of Mary Magdalene on July 22 the alleged skull of Mary Magdalene is taken from its resting place in the basilica and paraded around town.

And Jesus has no one who writes novels and screenplays about him or is all that willing to say a few words in his defense.

The question which begs asking is … is someone very evil and very old somewhere laughing his ass off?

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