Mary As the Early Christians Knew Her
Mary the flower of femininity or the champion of feminism; the paragon of obedience or the advocate of liberation. Which view of her you take depends on what cultural side you're on. In this slim volume, Mathewes-Green tries to uncover the Mary that early Christians knew through a reading of three ancient texts: a narrative of Mary's life that Mathewes-Green calls the Gospel of Mary, which was written in 150 and was extremely popular in its day; a brief prayer to Mary, found in Egypt on papyrus dated to 250, though Mathewes-Green thinks it is probably older; and a long hymn written by the Syrian deacon St. Romanos that is considered one of the finest examples of Eastern Christian poetry. By examining these texts, Mathewes-Green offers a new perspective on Mary's life, legacy, and meaning for generations of Christians. Advocates of Marian literature will surely appreciate Mathewes-Green's thoughtful comments. June Sawyers.
Mathewes-Green opens up “The Gospel of Mary” to see her early life, offering a window into her centrality to the Christian Faith in new and sometimes startling ways. Christians have alternatively raised the status of the mother of Jesus to that of her Son or ignored her entirely. Behind all of the images is a girl who grew up to be the mother of Christ.