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NazareneWaySeveral sources (including hints from Prof. Karen King) suggest that we will soon be hearing more about the controversial “Jesus’ Wife” fragment, brought to public attention back in 2012 by King.  It appears that Harvard Theological Review will soon publish an article that will likely reflect the results of those tests that were to have been made on the fragment.  These likely involve tests to determine if the fragment of papyrus is genuinely ancient, and perhaps whether the ink is as well.  But we will have to wait for specifics.

In addition to the questions susceptible to physical testing, it will be interesting to see if the article addresses questions lodged by specialists in Coptic about the text.

And, of course, in any event, as Prof. King herself has emphasized repeatedly, if authentic, the fragment is an artefact of some early Christian, or circle of Christians, from the 4th/5th century, perhaps deriving from an earlier Greek text, but of no direct significance for questions about the historical figure, Jesus.  The possible value of the fragment is what it may reflect about developments of ideas and issues in late-antique Christianity.

Another curious development was noted by Mark Goodacre in a blog-posting several days ago:  It appears that the made-for-TV film sponsored by the Smithsonian Channel that was put on ice in 2012 (or some revised version of it) has now been aired  . . . in French/France (but not, yet, in English).  The link to Goodacre’s post is here.

The French version of the film is now available on Youtube here.  It features Prof. King and others, especially those disposed favourably on the issue of authenticity.  Malheureusement, nous n’avons pas le film en Anglais!

Source: Larry Hurtado

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By Elizabeth Cunningham

On July 22nd, the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, fruits and vegetables ripening, sun baking or steaming, cool waters beckoning, warm nights full of stars and fireflies, when our senses are so engaged, the Roman Catholic, the Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox churches all celebrate The Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene. Or Magdalen, as some prefer. I know her as Maeve, the Celtic Mary Magdalen. This summer marks the twentieth anniversary of my first encounter with what might be described as an archetypal force, or, as one reader called her, an imaginary friend.

She first showed up as a line drawing: an ample woman sitting naked in a kitchen drinking coffee. (Someone recently asked: is she always naked? Answer: yes, because I can’t draw clothes.) The truth is I couldn’t draw at all. I was doodling because I had just finished a novel and was clean out of words. Madge, as she introduced herself to me, did not have the same problem. Speech balloons burgeoned. Line drawings gave way to full color, including fiery neon orange for her hair. (Madge-ic markers were our medium.) The ample flesh required an ample supply of a shade called peach. Madge liked to do everything naked from eating chocolates to painting (she founded the whole-body-no-holds-barred school of art) to making outrageous theological pronouncements about the unmentionable members of the body of Christ. She made no bones about working as a prostitute to support her career as a painter. During the first Gulf War, she became a peace activist and founded such organizations as POWER (Prostitutes Opposing War Everywhere Rise) TWAT (Tarts With Attitude Triumph) and WITCH (Women Inclined To Create Havoc).

I was enchanted with her and begged her to be in my next novel. She rejected all my book proposals as far too conventional (ie, boring!) until one full moon night I made an imaginative leap. Madge…Magdalen. Red hair…Celt. Celtic Mary Magdalen. Hey, I said, would you be willing to be in a book about the Celtic Mary Magdalen? Yes! she answered. That’s the one! “One” is now three published novels and a fourth and final one (yes, I said final!) almost complete.

Mary Magdalen, who makes brief, dramatic appearances in the Canonical gospels and has a Gnostic gospel ascribed to her, has always appealed to novelists, troubadours, and other legend makers – including popes. My Maeve, an impenitent, pagan Celt who is nobody’s disciple, differs from many traditional old and new age depictions of Mary Magdalen. Yet I suspect those of us who love her may have more in common than not. Isn’t her appeal that she was incarnate, a flesh and blood woman, whatever we know or don’t know about her, who loved a flesh and blood man, however we want to define that love?

I would like to declare July 22nd a feast day to celebrate our incarnation on this earth, something all of us alive and who have ever lived share with all life and life to come. We are made of the same substance; we are subject to the same joys and sufferings of the flesh. From a laboring woman’s body we were born; and the mystery of death awaits us. Madge/Maeve/Mary Magdalen(e) is our companion and witness, too, or whatever name you want to call your imaginary friend, the force that sparks you. On July 22nd dare to eat a peach. Swim naked. Open your palms to the sun, rain and wind. Stand barefoot in the dirt. Give thanks for your incarnation.

Source: Tikkun

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Editor’s Note: In 1978 on a visit to Montsegur in the Cathar country of S W France, Colin Bloy had dowsed in a meadow where 300 Perfecti were burned alive in 1244. The dowsing revealed a Latin text which referred to the rebuilding of a church in Andorra in 1986. In March 1985 Colin was prompted to write the proclamation of the Church of Love – he says the words were not his – and this Church was proclaimed in Andorra on Good Friday, 28th March 1986.

Colin Bloy says that this was written by my hand, but I would not claim authorship, it was taken down in ten minutes – just like that! “Although this was written to fulfil a fourteenth century prophecy that the Cathar Church would be restored in 1986, I believe it is a statement relevant to all Fountaineers and that we too are part of the Church of Love. It’s a bit of a special church and I don’t want you to get confused over the word ‘church’, because it means ‘communion’, ecclesia in Greek, nothing more”.

In accordance with an old prophecy…
The Church of Love is proclaimed in 1986.

It has no fabric – only understanding.
It has no membership – save those who know they belong.
It has no rivals – because it is non-competitive.
It has no ambition, because it only seeks to serve.
It knows of no boundaries for nationalisms are unloving.
It is not of itself because it seeks to enrich all groups and religions.

It acknowledges all great teachers of all the ages who have shown the truth of Love.
Those who participate, practise the Truth of Love in all their daily being.
There is no walk of life or nationality that is a barrier.

Those who are, know. It seeks not to teach but to be, and by being, enrich. It recognises the collectivity of all humanity and that we are all one with the One.It recognises that the way we are may be the way of those around us because we are that way.

It recognises the whole planet as a Being, of which we are a part.
It recognises that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemical act, the conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.
It does not proclaim itself with a loud voice but in the subtle realms of loving.
It salutes all those in the past who have blazoned the path but paid the price.
It admits of no hierarchy or structure, for no one is greater than another.

Its members shall know each other by their deeds and being and their eyes and by no other outward sign, save the fraternal embrace.

Each one will dedicate his or her life to the silent loving of their neighbour and environment and the planet, whilst carrying out their daily task, however exalted or humble.

It recognises the supremacy of the great idea which may only be accomplished if the human race practices the supremacy of Love.

It has no rewards to offer, either here or in the hereafter, save that of the ineffable joy of being and loving.

Its members shall seek only to advance the cause of understanding, within whichever church, group or family they happen to be.

They shall do good by stealth and teach only by example.
They shall heal their neighbour, their community and our Planet. They shall know no fear, and feel no shame and their witness shall prevail over all odds.

It has no secrets, no arcanum, no initiations save that of the true understanding of the power of love and that, if we want it to be so, the world will change but only if we change ourselves first.

ALL THOSE WHO BELONG, BELONG, THAT IS THE CHURCH OF LOVE

Many churches, groups and sects are impositions by the few on the many, preying on weakness.

The Church of Love is the reverse, it liberates and promotes individual strength.

Such vestigial structure as it eventually may have, must come from those who know they are a part of it.

Source: The Fountain

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