The Gospel of Mary

Gospel of Mary

Gospel of Mary, as the text is named—though it is made clear that  “Mary” is Mary Magdalene—is a well preserved codex discovered in the late 19th century near Akhmim, in upper Egypt. It was later purchased in 1896 by German scholar Dr. Carl Reinhardt, who took it to Berlin.[1] ‌

The Coptic Gospel of Mary manuscript (fragment)Gospel of Mary (Magdalene) (pdf)
Download in Microsoft Word (docx)
Translation and commentary in English
By George W. Macrae and R. McL. Wilson
Edited by Douglas M. Parrott
Estimated date of writing: 30 – 180 CE

Large image: Ascension of Mary Magdalene, c. 1430 / National Museum in Warsaw

Peter said to Mary, “Sister, we know that the Savior loved you more than the rest of woman.”
Gospel of Mary

The Lord loved Mariam more than all the other Disciples, and he kissed her often on her mouth.
Gospel of Philip 59

Gospel of Mary Magdalene is worthy of modern disciples.

Many commentators tend to ignore the spiritual import of Gospel of Mary. Indeed, the notion of a romantic love affair between Jesus and Mary is rather exciting. But its depiction of women as strong leaders within the early church is just as welcome. Serious seekers, do not overlook the wisdom contained in what is, undeniably, a most unusual text.

Gnot Gnostic

The Greek manuscript is not Gnostic by definition, for it suggests no evil creator. Also alien to Gnosticism is the subject of human divinity, and ascension vis-à-vis the attainment of a state Levi (Matthew) calls “the perfect Man.”

At the end of this commentary is provided a set of Bible parallels and corollaries to Gospel of Mary.

Meet the very first Christians.

The beautiful, intelligently composed Gospel of Mary affords those who explore its pages a genuine appreciation of the first Christians. Much of its prose resembles that of John, although that Disciple is not present. Depending on it’s authenticity, this manuscript may or may not improve our understanding of the Magdalene’s exact relationship to Christ. It is the well worth the read, however. Gospel of Mary depicts the great depth of thinking and character of the earliest Christians as inspired, sensitive men and women.

Brief Departure into Essenic Greek

Presumed to be penned by Greek sources, an air of gnosis permeates Chapter 8. An odd mixture of Greek and Christian symbology is present, but as previously stated the imagery is more inline with Hebraic Christianity rather than traditional Gnosticism.[2] ‌

Revelation on the Nature of Sin and Death

Gospel of Mary offers a striking reversal to 16 centuries of Christian circumvention on the nature of human mortality. I have not found such unmistakably clear fulfillment of Genesis 2:17[3] in the canonical gospels. Nor in western thought, for that matter. The discourse on sin and death  in Gospel of Mary agrees with ancient Torahaic writings and early Christianity.  Here Christ’s  promise of life without death gains ever more substance.

Peter said to him, “Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?”

The Savior said, “There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin.

That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.

That is why you become sick and die, for you are deprived of the one who can heal you.
Gospel of Mary, 4:25-28

Revelation on the Nature of Adultery

At least one Christian scholar suggests the Savior’s reference to adultery in Gospel of Mary is intended to encourage an ascetic, or nonsexual lifestyle.[4] Since this manuscript suggests romantic love between the Lord and a female disciple it can hardly imply Jesus also advocates sexual abstinence. Rather, this passage contains the phrase, “like the nature of adultery.” The Original (mortal) sin, is not sexual adultery, but mankind’s desire to become Gods themselves.[5] ‌

Here the Savior’s discourse on sin is fully inline with the Apostolic gospels. Original sin literally means “origin of death.”[6] In the passage above, Christ reaffirms that death and suffering is caused by an unquenchable thirst for material power, which leads to abandonment of our Creator. For those who believe in eternal life, it is encouraging to learn that the first Christians understood his words in the same fashion.

—Andrew Michael
Updated 2019/05/24


Scriptural Parallels to Gospel of Mary, Chapter 4

The Savior address the Disciples. Similar in tone to ‘Jesus Sends Out the Twelve’ (Mt 10, Mk 6, Lk 9), references in GOM instead position this scene as a post Resurrection event.

Note: The “root” of all things is generally thought to be God.

Therefore each individual shall be resolved into his origin from the beginning. Yet those exalted above the world are immortal and are in eternity.
Philip 9

“…while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.”
Matthew 13:29,  Thomas 57

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Luke 16:13 !

When these who have recognized themselves receive grace, the words are withdrawn from the ungood and applied to the good.
Philip 13

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
Isaiah 5:20

“I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”
John 8:50-51

(The Lord says) “For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child–both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die…But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die.”
Ezekiel 18:4,21 !!

“As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “not one hair of your son’s head will fall to the ground.”
2 Samuel 14:11

“Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.”
2 Samuel 14:14

Let him who seeks not cease seeking until he finds; and when he finds he shall be troubled; and having been troubled he shall marvel, and he shall reign over the totality and find repose.
Thomas 2

“I-Am the Light above them all, I-Am the All. All came forth from me, and all attained to me again. Cleave wood, I myself am there; lift up the stone and there you shall find me”
Thomas 77 !

“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”
Matthew 10:26

Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
Matthew 15:14

When you bring forth that which is within yourselves, this that you have shall save you.
Thomas 70, Luke 11:41

It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
Deuteronomy 30:11-14, Thomas 3 !

“…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 18:18 !

Parallels to Gospel of Mary, Chapter 5

The mood here is similar to Chapter 1 of Acts of the Apostles. Only in GOM: the Lord’s great love for Mary Magdalene is discussed.

When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
Acts 1:13-14

With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.
Acts 4:33-34

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:3-4

Yeshua says: “Behold, I myself shall inspire her so that I make her male, in order that she also shall become a living spirit like you males. For every female who becomes male, shall enter the Sovereignty of the Heavens.”
Thomas 114 !

The other women saw his love for Mariam, they say to Yeshua: “Why do thou love her more than all of us?”
Philip 59

Yeshua says: “You yourselves, seek for His treasure, which perishes not, which endures—the place where no moth comes near to devour nor worm ravages.”
Thomas 76

For where your treasure is, there your hearts will be also
Luke 12:34, Matthew 6:19-21 !

I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know–God knows. And I know that this man–whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows–was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.
2 Corinthians 12:1-4

Parallels to Gospel of Mary, Chapter 8

This text concerns the ascension of the human soul. Chronological placement within Gospel of Mary and several direct parallels suggest this text is intended to depict Christ’s Ascension. In any case, the narrative may be viewed as a dialog between the material ego and the soul. There are a fair number of parallels to Revelation. If portions of its text are indeed derived from that source, Chapter 8 was written no earlier than 66-96 CE.

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
Acts 1:9 !

…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…
Matthew 25:35 !

Yeshua says: “Behold, your rulers and your dignitaries are those who are clad in plush garments, and they shall not be able to recognize the truth.”
Thomas 78, Matthew 11:7-8

In this world they who wear garments are more valuable than the garments. In the Sovereignty of the Heavens the garments are more valuable than those whom they have clothed thru water with fire, which purify the entire place.
Philip 26

Note: see also verse 8:17

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
1 Peter:14

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Luke 6:37 !

Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
James 4:11

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
Matthew 18:18 !

In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
and your years will never end.
Hebrews 1:10–12

All the stars in the sky will be dissolved
and the heavens rolled up like a scroll;
all the starry host will fall
like withered leaves from the vine,
like shriveled figs from the fig tree.
Isaiah 34:4 !

Yeshua says: “The sky and the earth shall be rolled up in your presence; and he who lives from within the Living-One shall see neither death nor fear.”
Thomas 111 !

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Luke 21:33

The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
Revelation 6:14

Note: The seven powers of wrath as described in GOM: 1. darkness, 2. desire, 3. ignorance, 4. the excitement of death, 5. the kingdom of the flesh, 6. the foolish wisdom of flesh, 7. the wrathful wisdom.

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.
Mark 16:9 !

And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
Revelation 13:1

The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
Revelation 17:11

Wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead–Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
1 Thessalonians 1:10

They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Revelation 20:4

One exists either in this world or in the resurrection or in the transitional regions. May it not occur that I be found in the latter! In this world there is good and evil. Its goods are not good and its evils are not evil. Yet there is evil after this world, which is truly evil: that which is called the transition—it is death.
Philip 68 !

Parallels to Gospel of Mary, Chapter 9

The Disciples argue. The relationship between Mary Magdalene and the Savior causes an argument. The manuscript concludes with reference to the previously unmentioned idiom, “the perfect Man.”

An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.
Luke 9:46, Matthew 18:1

Shimon Kefa says to them: “Let Mariam depart from among us, for women are not worthy of the life.”
Thomas 114

Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
Genesis 3:16

And the companion of the Christ is Mariam the Magdalene. The Lord loved Mariam more than all the other Disciples, and he kissed her often on her mouth.
Philip 59

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48 !

Yeshua says: “Behold, I myself shall inspire her so that I make her male, in order that she also shall become a living spirit like you males. For every female who becomes male, shall enter the Sovereignty of the Heavens.”
Thomas 114 !

  1. Lance S. Owens (Complete Article)
  2. “The Gnostic beliefs concerning creation theory and the Demiurge that would suggest an extreme dualism in creation is not present in the portions currently retrieved.” (De Boer, 2004)
  3. “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:17)
  4. “Believers must strive to be free of matter and its passions by following an ascetic lifestyle,” (Pheme Perkins, 1980)
  5. “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” (Genesis 3:22)
  6. ORIGIN  Middle English (the earliest use being in the phrase original sin): from Old French, or from Latin originalis, from origin.

Photos: extant Greek manuscript of Gospel of Mary–John Rylands Library.

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