After two thousand years of flawed history, here at last is a magnificent new biography of Mary Magdalene that draws her out of the shadows of history and restores her to her rightful place of importance in Christianity.Throughout history, Mary Magdalene has been both revered and reviled, a woman who has taken on many forms—witch, whore, the incarnation of the eternal feminine, the devoted companion (and perhaps even the wife) of Jesus. In this brilliant new biography, Bruce Chilton, a renowned biblical scholar, offers the first complete and authoritative portrait of this fascinating woman. Through groundbreaking interpretations of ancient texts, Chilton shows that Mary played a central role in Jesus’ ministry and was a seminal figure in the creation of Christianity.
Chilton’s descriptions of who Mary Magdalene was and what she did challenge the male-dominated history of Christianity familiar to most readers. Placing Mary within the traditions of Jewish female savants, Chilton presents a visionary figure who was fully immersed in the mystical practices that shaped Jesus’ own teachings and a woman who was a religious master in her own right.
About the Author
Bruce Chilton is Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College and author of A Galilean Rabbi and His Bible (1984), The Isaiah Targum (1987), Jesus and the Ethics of the Kingdom (1987), Beginning New Testament (1987), and Profiles of a Rabbi (1989).
Praise for Rabbi Paul
“A worthwhile exploration of a life that has richly touched all of ours.” —Dallas Morning News
“[Chilton’s] inviting prose, ability to recreate the cultural contexts of Paul’s life, and deep affection for the Apostle bring new life to a tale that has been told many times before.” —Publishers Weekly
“An eloquent biographical masterpiece.” —Jerusalem Post
Praise for Rabbi Jesus
“Bruce Chilton’s masterpiece of religious narrative marks a genuinely new and important step beyond the now-faltering historical Jesus movement.” —Jacob Neusner, Jerusalem Post
“Open this book and see Jesus as you’ve never seen him . . . This is one heck of a good read.” —National Catholic Reporter
“Rabbi Jesus is a scholarly pursuit that reads more like a novel. The biography flows with the fluidity of an adventure tale, rich in characters, texture, and detail.” —The Herald-Sun (Durham, North Carolina)