Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Mary Magdalene was "the very first Apostle"

"Oh yes she is!" proclaims my old mate June Osborne, the Dean of Salisbury.

"Oh no she isn't!" I still reckon.

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  1. Mary Magdalene was the Apostle to the Apostles.

    A bit like a postman really. Let's say I am sending a birthday party invitation to a friend. I write the message on a bit of paper and hand it directly (no envelope) to the postman. The postman then takes it, takes a quick read and gives it to my friend who promptly opens it and say "Great I'm invited to A Wandering Pilgrim's birthday party!!

    Super... but by the Dean of Salisbury's reasoning the Postman is invited to because he too saw the message, even if it wasn't for him.

    James S
    South Londonderry

  2. John, the link to +Salisbury doesn't seem to be working.

  3. Canon Andrew Godsall3 August 2011 at 09:04

    The real point John is that the good news of Jesus is told and that people are taught that faith in Jesus Christ isn't it? That's what June Osborne's sermon was really saying. And the two bishops (at whose ordination she was preaching) are sent to proclaim the good news and teach that faith.
    So what's your problem? Or are you trying to say that women can't actually do that, just because they are women?

    You also seem to have lots of interest in staying within the Anglicna Communion don't you? But surely you know that the Anglican Communion, of which you so much want to be a part, has women bishops in it now and has had for quite some time? The C of E might take longer to get there, but get there it will, and will join the other provinces who have already got there.

    So what's your problem? Or do you actually want to just do mental gymnastics that make you comfortable rather than get on and proclaim the good news and teach the faith?

    Andrew Godsall, Exeter

  4. "The real point ... is that the good news of Jesus is told and that people are taught that faith in Jesus Christ isn't it?"

    Quite so. We are all 'apostles'.

  5. Canon Andrew Godsall3 August 2011 at 09:23

    "Quite so. We are all 'apostles'."

    Ok it's good to have a sense that we might agree! Let me just check how you are using the term 'all' - are we agreed that women are apostles as well as men?

    Andrew Godsall, Exeter

  6. Yes - men, women and children are all 'apostles', sent with the good news of Christ.

  7. No argument there! We are all 'sent' just as we are all priests - Why?
    ". . . . that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."
    (No need to give a reference, that verse should be written on your hand and engraved on your heart!)


  8. June Osborne says that Jesus "commissioned" Mary, but its difficult to see how that can be, except in the broadest sense. Jesus gave Mary one command: Go tell his disciples (i.e. the leaders of the church) that he is risen.

    June Osborne conflates this command to Mary to deliver a message with the special "commissioning" given to bishops, which is a different thing.

  9. Oops, I also should have added, it wasn't just Mary. Luke 24:10 tells us "It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles."

    This verse is also an example of the specialist use of the word "apostle" (as opposed to its common meaning of "messenger"). Mary Magdalene and the others are distinct from "the apostles" to whom they carry the message.

  10. This:


    is relevant to the question raised in this post. The author, John Hunwicke, was Vicar of St. Thomas the Martyr, Oxford when it was published.