Thursday, June 22, 2006
The Gospel of Mary
i decided to read up on the gospel according to Mary Magdalene. i had never known such a gospel existed and if i had i probably would have dismissed it as crap just like any of the other gospels that aren't canonized. but i decided to give it a chance. what i found was interesting. one verse i really liked. "Matter gave birth to a passion that has no equal, which proceeded from something contrary to nature. Then there arises a disturbance in it's whole body." (Mary 4:30) i thought this an interesting way to describe Jesus. i noted it down becuase of its lyrical nature (mostly the first sentence...i'm not altogether sure about the disturbance part. i suppose thats the way though...take what ya like leave what ya don't..hehe). refering to Mary (the mother of Jesus) as matter makes the whole thing so much more fleshly and raw. and 'giving birth to a passion' and also 'proceeding form something contrary to nature' seems to add a divine quality. to me this really highlights the mystery of Christ in that he was everything like us and unlike us at the same time. i thought this a beautiful statement. as far as the rest of the gospel there were parts that sounded so familiar, like the other gospels. then there were parts that made no sense to me at all. for the most part the writing style sounds very unlike anything else i've read from the canon. i caught myself skimming and tried to fight that so as to catch and understand everything i could. i think part of the difficulty comes from the large chunks of manuscript missing. it was hard to really get any sense of context. the thing about this gospel that stuck out most was my resistance to it. for so long i had been taught to dismiss anything that wasnt canonized as just someones opinion and that it holds no water and should not ever be used for any kind of edification. but why? lots of people for thousands of years have been writing and pondering and struggling with Jesus...should we not read their thoughts and ponder them ourselves? i find it odd that somehow its easy to accept rick warren's philosophies and ideas and teach from his books about how to find a purpose in life and in our churches. he has said nothing new. he sure has said it in a way that gets him a lot of cash, but there's no new thoughts or content there that someone else hasn't already said years ago. these days i find myself a little less likely to throw out ideas as crap without really thinking them through. after the books of the bible were finally decided upon did people all of a sudden cease to be inspired by God to write? if thats the case then i should just stop writing music altogether. and all the music that came after the psalms and Christ hymns and such is certainly not to be used for any kind of edification whatsoever. i guess michael w. smith should look for a new job.