Mary, Founder of Christianity
Who was Mary? A radical rediscovery of the historical mother of Jesus.
A radical reassessment of the role of Mary the mother of Jesus and other women in the early Church.
Despite the commonly held assumption that the Bible says little about the mother of Jesus, there are many indications that Mary preceded and inspired her son in fostering the emergence of a new faith community. In the Gospel of John, Mary instigates Jesus’ first miracle, and in all four gospels she is present at the crucifixion, suggesting hers was a place of unparalleled importance in the Christian story.
Setting aside presuppositions based on doctrine, Chris Maunder returns to the New Testament to answer the question ‘Who was Mary?’ He re-examines the virgin conception of Jesus, Mary’s contribution to Jesus’ ministry, and her central role in the events of the crucifixion and the resurrection. In so doing, Maunder casts a thought-provoking new light on Mary and the women, including Mary Magdalene, who stood alongside her.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Women in Early Christian Tradition
Chapter 3. The Conception and Birth of Jesus
Chapter 4. Symbolism and Metaphor in the Bible
Chapter 5. Mary the Virgin in Ancient Texts
Chapter 6. Mary the Virgin: Symbolism and Theology
Chapter 7. The Family in Nazareth
Chapter 8. Jews and Judaism
Chapter 9. Mary in the Gospel of John
Chapter 10. The Cross and Tomb
Chapter 11. Mary of Clopas and Mary the Mother of Jesus
Chapter 12. The Anointing: The Woman in Mary’s Image
Chapter 13. Jesus’ Ministry and Mary’s Vocation
Chapter 14. The Death and Resurrection of Jesus
Chapter 15. Mary, Founder of Christianity
Chapter 16. Mary and the Incarnation
Chapter 17. Concluding Summary
Appendix 1. The Development of the New Testament
Appendix 2. References to Mary in the New Testament
Appendix 3. Instances of the Word ‘virgin’ in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek Old Testament
Appendix 4. Describing Relations in Greek: Mother, Wife, and Daughter
Appendix 5. Words Used for Mary in the Greek New Testament: ‘Maria’ or ‘Mariam’
Appendix 6. A Creative Rewriting of the Resurrection Experiences in John 2 and 20
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