Sunday, April 08, 2012

Mary Magdalene and the Red Egg

"Some believe that during the ministry of Jesus it was Mary Magdalene who helped support him and his other disciples with her money. When almost everyone else fled, she stayed with Jesus at the cross. On Easter morning she was the first to bear witness to his resurrection.

"The Eastern tradition believes that after Christ's Ascension Mary Magdalene travelled to Rome where, because of her high social standing, she was admitted to the court of Tiberius Caesar. After describing how badly Pontius Pilate had administered justice at Jesus' trial, she told Caesar that Jesus had risen from the dead. To help explain his resurrection she picked up an egg from the dinner table. Caesar responded that a human being could no more rise from the dead than the egg in her hand turn red. The egg turned red immediately, which is why red eggs have been exchanged at Easter for centuries in the Byzantine East. In the Eastern Orthodox Church including Russia there is a continued tradition of blood red eggs at Easter. Gold letters are painted onto the red eggs.

"In the Tiberius red egg legend, no mention is made of Mary Magdalene's marriage to Yeshua/Jesus. That part of the story has been kept alive by gnostics, becoming one of the secret teachings of esoteric Christianity.

"Many of the Gnostic Gospels were revered early in the Christian Church only to be excluded from the canon of official Gospels. Mary Magdalene is portrayed in Gnostic gospels as Christ's most beloved disciple. They report that Jesus often kissed her on the mouth and called her - "Woman Who Knows All." Other disciples went to her for Christ's teachings after he died. Mary Magdalene  is described sitting at Jesus' feet to listen to his teachings (Luke 10:38-42) and also as anointing his feet with oil and drying them with her hair. (John 11:2, 12:3)."

The story of Mary Magdalene reminds us of how a patriarchal bias has strongly dominated Christianity ever since it was sanctioned as an official, State-approved religion. Today, whether an embroidered legend or plain truth, the story of Mary Magdalene serves to challenge all Christians to re-examine whether any of their cultural prejudices regarding race and gender, in particular in relationship to spiritual leadership are justifiable  or merely 'received wisdom' acquired from tradition without question or reason.

- quotes from website dedicated to  Mary Magdalene and esoteric Christianity


Stan Szczesny said...

A very interesting post. I hadn't heard the red egg story. Is that the origin of the Easter Egg, or does it have other roots as well? I was familiar with the esoteric teaching of Christ's bride, but thanks for reminding me. I was not aware of her title as the beloved disciple. Very interesting competitor with John the Beloved.

teegee said...

In Greece they just said that the egg, which to be sure has to do with birth and rebirth, was dyed red because of Jesus' willing suffering; it was dyed with the blood of the Lamb, which is our redemption. I don't know about Russian or Coptic traditions.

Kevin Faulkner said...

Thanks to you both, Stan and Teegee for adding more to this post.