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Mary, Founder of Christianity

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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