Chào các bạn,
Nói về Giêsu, nhất là vào Tuần Thánh là tuần trước ngày Phục Sinh, trong buổi ăn cuối cùng của các môn đệ, cao điểm là cảnh Mary Magdalene dùng dầu thơm để rửa chân cho Jesus và dùng tóc của mình để lau chân Jesus – một cảnh siêu tình cảm và lãng mạn dù ở thời đại nào. Ngay cả trong Thánh kinh chính thức (đã được dùng bởi các tổ phụ để xóa ảnh hưởng của Mary Magdalene và phụ nữ ra khỏi giáo hội cho đến ngày nay – phụ nữ ngày nay vẫn không được làm linh mục), thì Mary Magdalene là người đầu tiên thấy Giêsu sống lại, trong thời đại mà đàn bà không được làm nhân chứng chính thức trong các kiện cáo và lời nói được xem là không đáng tin. Tức là nói về Giêsu thì không thể nói về Mary Magdalene.
Mary Magdalene là nhân vật bí ẩn nhất trong Thánh kinh. Giáo hội, thời ban đầu đã cố tình biến Mary thành người đàn bà tội lỗi, bán dâm, bị quỷ ám, và xóa sổ Mary khỏi dòng chính của tư duy. Cho đến 1969 giáo hội (dưới ảnh hưởng đổi mới của Công Đồng Vaticano II) mới có chỉnh sửa lại cái nhìn rằng những cái nhìn trước kia là không có căn bản.
Rồi những khám phá trong thế kỷ 19 và 20 về những Gnostic Gospels, là những sách Tin Mừng đã bị các tổ phụ giáo hội gạt bỏ, không cho xếp vào hàng Thánh kinh chính thức, nhưng đã được người xưa chôn giấu, cho đến khi tình cờ tìm lại được cuối thế kỷ 19 (Gospel of Mary Magdalene) và thế kỷ 20 (Nag Hammadi collection, các Gospels và kinh sách khác), rọi sáng vai trò lớn của Mary Magdalene – Mary là một trong những người tài trợ cho cuộc sống của Chúa Giêsu, là đệ tử lớn (có thể là số 1) của Giêsu, là người rửa chân Giêsu bằng đầu thơm trước khi Giêsu bị bắt, là người cùng với mẹ Giêsu và vài phụ nữ khác đứng dưới chân thánh giá khi Giêsu lìa đời và táng xác Giêsu, là người đầu tiên thấy Giêsu sau khi Giêsu sống lại…
Đó là những điều được phần đông học giả đồng ý. Có người còn đi xa hơn, cho rằng Mary Magdalene là người yêu, và có người còn nói Mary và Giêsu có con với nhau. Nhưng các học giả chính đều đồng ý là hoàn toàn không có bằng chứng gì về điều này.
Vì vậy, mà mình có một ít thông tin về Mary magdalene ở đây để chia sẻ với các bạn về người phụ nữ đầu tiên gặp Giêsu sau Phục Sinh, và do đó được nhiều học giả cho là người đặt nền móng cho Christianity (Kitô giáo). Các thông tin này là tiếng Anh, vì tiếng Việt chưa thấy có bài nghiên cứu kỹ.
The Real Reason Why Mary Magdalene Is Such a Controversial Figure
Sex worker, saint, sinner, witness, wife. In the 2,000 years since Mary Magdalene is said to have watched Jesus Christ die on the cross, she’s been labeled many things.
The label “prostitute” has stuck fast for centuries, ever since Pope Gregory I first pronounced her a “sinful woman” in the year 591, defying evidence to the contrary in the canonical Gospels. On the other hand, Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code resurrected an old and popular theory that Mary Magdalene was in fact Jesus’ wife. Myths surround the figure of Mary Magdalene to this day.
But neither theory — penitent prostitute or devoted spouse — actually matches what can be said about Mary Magdalene from what’s written in the Bible: She was a woman from Magdala, a small Galilean town known for its fishing, who became a female disciple and was first witness to Jesus’ resurrection, the cornerstone of Christianity.
The Mary Magdalene Conspiracy (Secrets of the Cross Documentary) | Timeline
At the heart of the controversy is the idea that Mary Magdalene’s connection to Jesus was spiritual rather than romantic. For example, in the film’s version of the Last Supper, Mary Magdalene is seated on Jesus’ right-hand side. Though the tableau echoes a key scene in the 2006 film version of The Da Vinci Code, in which the characters examine Leonardo Da Vinci’s mural The Last Supper and debate whether the effeminate figure to Jesus’ right was in fact Mary Magdalene, the new movie doesn’t place her there as his wife. The significance of her seat lies instead in Mary Magdalene taking the prized position above any of the twelve male apostles, as Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) looks on in jealousy.
This version of the story is the real reason why Mary Magdalene is dangerous to the Church, according to Professor Joan Taylor of King’s College, London, who worked as historical advisor for Mary Magdalene.
Mary’s central role in the Gospels has historically been used by some as evidence that the Church should introduce female priests — and since 1969, when the Catholic Church admitted that it had mistakenly identified Mary Magdalene as a sex worker, the calls for women in church leadership positions have only grown louder.
“Within the Church she does have tremendous power, and there are lots of women who look… to Mary Magdalene as a foundation for women’s leadership within the Church,” says Taylor.
The film draws partially from the Gospel of Mary, a “very mysterious document” discovered in the 19th century, Taylor says. It has no known author, and although it’s popularly known as a “gospel,” it’s not technically classed as one, as gospels generally recount the events during Jesus’ life, rather than beginning after his death. It’s thought the text was written some time in the 2nd century, but some scholars claim it overlaps Jesus’ lifetime.
Mary Magdalene’s special understanding of Jesus’ message, and Peter’s hostility towards her, as portrayed in Mary Magdalene, will likely split opinion, according to Taylor and her colleague, Professor Helen Bond of The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, with whom Taylor is presenting a U.K. television series on women disciples this Easter, titled Jesus’ Female Disciples: the New Evidence.
The idea that the twelve disciples didn’t quite “get” Jesus in the same way Mary Magdalene did is addressed throughout Davis’ film. The disciples are waiting for Jesus to overthrow the Romans and create a new kingdom, one without death or suffering. But by the end of the film, following Jesus’ death, Mary Magdalene has come to the conclusion that “the kingdom is here and now.”
For Michael Haag, author of The Quest For Mary Magdalene, the Church has historically sidelined Mary not just because of her gender, but also because of her message. He argues that the Church specifically promulgated the idea that she was a sex worker in order to “devalue” her message. Haag believes that Mary Magdalene’s alternative ideas proved too dangerous for the Church to allow them to spread. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, in his view, undermines “Church bureaucracy and favors personal understanding.”
Mary Magdalene’s release date in the U.S. has been pushed back; its initial distributor had been the Weinstein Company, which recently filed for bankruptcy after its co-founder Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault. However, members of the Christian community have already expressed doubts about the film.
The fact that Mary Magdalene draws from a “gospel” that isn’t officially recognized by the Church may also provoke criticism. Jerry A. Johnson, the president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), says that films that “rely upon extra-biblical accounts” can’t be “accurate.”
“Evangelical audiences do not look kindly on efforts to twist the story of Jesus to fit a political narrative in service of today’s agenda of feminism,” Johnson says.
Strip away the labels of “prostitute” or “wife,” and Mary Magdalene still remains a controversial figure. Her story challenges ideas about spirituality, and the role of women in religion.
“[She’s] a feminine voice from the past,” Taylor says. “There’s something about her. Something about Mary.”
Magdala has a rich cultural history for both Jews and Christians. The archaeology found in Magdala holds incredible significance to the events that once took place. Magdala (near present day Migdal) is located on the western coastline of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret) and at the eastern foothills of Mount Arbel. It is at the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history.
The site has been identified with the ancient city of Migdal Nunia which means fish tower. It was also known as Taricheae with a related meaning of the place of salted fish. It was the largest urban center on the western coast of the Sea of Galilee until the founding of Tiberias in 19 CE. The archaeological excavations have exposed a large portion of the northern quarter of Magdala primarily from the first century.
Magdala is known traditionally in Christian sources as the birthplace of Mary Magdalene. She is named at least 12 times in the gospels where she is described as one of several women traveling with Jesus and his disciples and personally supporting his work. She was one of the women who witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and planned to tend to his body after the Sabbath. Mary Magdalene was the first eyewitness of the risen Christ and was commissioned by Jesus to inform the disciples of his resurrection. It is also certain that during his ministry Jesus taught in Magdala.
Magdala was also the home and main headquarters of the Jewish leader Yosef ben Matityahu. This leader later became better known as the Roman historian, Josephus Flavius. He was governor of the Galilee during the time of the Great Jewish Revolt (66-73 CE), and erected a defense wall around the city.
According to his historical account, Magdala became a gathering place for rebels who defied the Romans. These people were not citizens of the city, but people who came from elsewhere throughout the region.
In 67 CE, Roman forces commanded by Vespasian reached Magdala and put siege to the city. After its fall, many of the rebels fled by boat or were killed during battle in the Sea of Galilee. The Romans killed all the remaining inhabitants. Although there have been small settlements in the area over the centuries, Magdala was never reestablished. Magdala became a forgotten city, hidden beneath layers of soil deposited by rainwater and floods over two thousand years.
As the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history, Magdala has a unique past and a promising future.
Circa 40-60 BCE
Magdala develops from a small village into a prosperous city known for fish salting and boat-building.
August 67 CE
Roman General Vespasian destroys Magdala (Taricheae) during the Great Jewish War.
German Catholic families start a new settlement at Magdala.
Zionist Jews from Russia purchase the property from the Germans to teach Jewish people agricultural techniques. Most of the inhabitants are occupied in the farming industry. They grow olives, citrus crops of all kinds, dates, mangoes, avocados and many other fruits.
Franciscans purchase property to the south where subsequently 1700 years of archaeology is discovered.
Entrepreneurs erect Hawaii Beach Resort, to the north, featuring holiday cabins on the site.
November 17, 2004
During a meditation on the site of Peter’s Primacy the idea is conceived to build a pilgrimage center on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
March 31, 2005
First visit to the Magdala site.
January 19, 2006
Acquisition of the first parcel of land for Magdala (Hawaii Beach).
June 10, 2006
Initial major benefactors attended the first celebration of mass at Magdala for the Feast of the Holy Trinity.
August 3, 2006
Acquisition of the second parcel of land for Magdala.
November 10, 2006
Italian architects Carlo and Francesco Giardino prepare the first architectural project.
March 8, 2008
The Magdala project is presented to Israeli authorities for the first time to obtain the construction permit.
September 12, 2008
The Israeli Ministry of Tourism selects Magdala to receive a grant that will cover part of the construction cost.
November 11, 2008
Acquisition of the third parcel of land for Magdala.
March 19, 2009
Preliminary approval by the Government of Israel for the construction permit.
March 25, 2009
Acquisition of the fourth parcel of land for Magdala.
May 11, 2009
During his apostolic visit to the Holy Land, Pope Benedict XVI blesses the cornerstone for Magdala.
July 2, 2009
Construction permit is granted.
July 27, 2009
Israeli Antiquities Authority archaeologists, Dina Avshalom-Gorni and Arfan Najjar, begin a five-month mandatory excavation at Magdala (July through November).
September 1, 2009
Discovery of the First Century Synagogue at Magdala.
December 30, 2009
Construction of the guesthouse, restaurant, and Duc In Altum begins.
July 1, 2010
Archaeologist, Marcela Zapata-Meza, and her team from the Mexican universities, Universidad Anáhuac México Sur and Universidad Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), together with volunteers from around the world, begin work to uncover the ancient city of Magdala.
May 26, 2014
During his apostolic visit to Jerusalem, Pope Francis blesses the Tabernacle now located in the Boat Chapel of Duc In Altum.
May 28, 2014
Inauguration of the Archaeological Park and dedication of Duc In Altum.
Magdala receives 76,157 pilgrims and visitors from 85 countries for the year. Tripadvisor awards 2016 Certificate of Excellence.
Magdala receives over 134,400 pilgrims and visitors. Tripadvisor awards 2017 Certificate of Excellence.
Magdala receives Tripadvisor 2018 Travelers’ Choice Award: Top 25 Middle East Landmark.