Free paperback copies of the Divine Feminine Version of the New Testament were also provided to every participant at the conference.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Elizabeth Schrader at General Theological Seminary has uploaded an intriguing paper to Academia.edu entitled Unexplored Connections between the Epistle of the Apostles, Manichaean Psalm 187, and John 20 in which she builds a persuasive case that the Epistle of the Apostles and Manichaean Psalm 187 are based on an earlier, 20-chapter version of John which puts more emphasis on Mary Magdalene, a version which has been redacted in the canonical version of John to downplay the role and authority of Mary and replace it with the authority of the male apostles. Check it out!
Over on the web site of Christian Feminism Today, Letha Dawson Scanzoni has written a book review of the Rev. Jann Aldredge-Clanton’s latest book She Lives! Sophia Wisdom Works in the World, published by Skylight Paths Publishing. This exceptional book features a chapter on the Divine Feminine Version (DFV) of the New Testament as well. Check it out!
“Are we supposed to turn around and all listen to her?” The debate over the debate about the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”May 10, 2014
One of the most intriguing passages in the Gospel of Mary is the debate between the apostles on pages 17 and 18 of the Berlin Codex. In that passage, Andrew and Peter dismiss what Mary Magdalene has to say, just as they do in the canonical New Testament (cf. Luke 24:10,11). Peter’s jealousy in particular is on full display in Mary’s Gospel, where he asks about Jesus:
“Would he really speak privately with a woman, and not publicly with us? Are we supposed to turn around and all listen to her? Did he prefer her to us?” (Mary 17:18-22, DFV)
When I was writing my book on The Gospel of Mary in 2013 and commenting on the ancient Christian description of Mary as Jesus’ “companion” (cp. Philip 59:9,11; 63:33), I didn’t say anything about whether any early Christians may even have believed that Jesus could have been married. I didn’t say anything about the newly publicized “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” because to be honest, at the time I had been persuaded that it was a modern forgery. As someone who studies ancient Coptic texts on the side, however, I’m extremely interested in this debate and very excited about the possibility that it may not be a forgery after all. I don’t have the knowledge or expertise to weigh in on the question, but I’m closely following the debate between the experts. And that debate has taken an ugly turn right back into the very problem of sexism that many of us have been concerned about all along.
So far the most incisive comments are those of Eva Mroczek, whose op-ed (“Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” Less Durable Than Sexism Surrounding It) should be considered a must-read. Predictably, this post is being summarily dismissed by bloggers like the author of a post (What a Very Odd and Curious Response… Or, How Some Feminists Need to Learn About Adiaphora) who counsels Mroczek to “take a breath” and “count to ten” because the sexism she calls out “really exists only in [her] mind.”
(As an aside, that last comment so reminds me of Peter’s argument with Mary. “Do you really think that I made all this up in my heart?” Mary asks Peter in Mary 18:3-5.)
The male blogger in question regards the issue a matter of “adiaphora,” something “insignificant and not worth troubling yourself over.”
But is it really a matter of “adiaphora”? What about the commandment, “love each other” (John 13:34, DFV)? Is that adiaphora? What about “doing nothing through rivalry or through pride, but humbly regarding others better than yourselves,” and “not just looking to your own interests, but to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3,4, DFV)? Is that adiaphora too?
How should we respond when we learn that we’ve offended someone? In his sermon on the mount, did Jesus say that if someone has been offended by us, we should scold them for being too sensitive? Or did he say that we should make amends?
What’s wrong with just saying to someone, “I’m sorry”?
As a white heterosexual male, I’m the beneficiary of privileges that many others don’t have. I have the luxury of being able to take it for granted, like many other white men. And honestly, even though I like to think I’m more aware of the problem of inequality, it’s still harder for me to perceive it because I can never fully appreciate what it’s like to be outside that bubble of privilege. But that’s also something I can take into consideration in measuring my response to others.
Do I ever say or do anything that offends someone else? Well, yes. (We humans are notorious for making mistakes.) But is my offense any less real if I didn’t intend to offend? Does it mean that I’m an inherently bad person if I offended someone — or does it simply mean I made a mistake? And if I can’t get myself to apologize for making a mistake, am I really the one who has a problem with being too sensitive? Now that’s something I think is worth thinking about.
Wisdom builds herself a house.
A holy place of tissue and muscle
A sacred place of blood and water
Working patiently, she weaves away
Chiseling bone, sculpting sinew.
Wisdom builds herself a house.
Enlarging, expanding, developing
Beating heart, pumping lungs
Counting out ten little fingers
Ten little toes.
Wisdom builds herself a house.
And bids us: “Come and dine!
“Eat of my bread!
“Drink of my wine!
“Be happy, be healthy, be wise!”
Wisdom builds herself a house.
In a cave in Bethlehem.
She lit it with a star
And bids those with eyes to see:
©2012 Shawna R. B. Atteberry, all rights reserved.
Anyone who’s read 1 Corinthians 7 knows that the Apostle Paul was not a big fan of marriage, and thought it should be avoided if at all possible. Here are a few of his thoughts on marriage:
Now about what you wrote: “It’s good for people not to touch each other.” But because of promiscuity, everyone should have their own spouse. Spouses should fulfill their duty to each other. Committed people don’t have authority over their own bodies, but their spouses do. Don’t deprive each other, except by mutual consent for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to [fasting and] prayer, and then come together again so the Satan won’t tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But I say this as a concession, not as a precept. I actually wish that all people were like me. But everyone has their own gift from Godde; one has this and another has that.
I say to the single and widowed, it’s good for them if they remain like me. But if they don’t have self-control, they should marry, because it’s better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:1-9, DFV)
But I want you to be carefree. Whoever isn’t married cares about the Lady’s business, how they may please the Lady; but whoever is married cares about the things of the world, how they may please their spouse, and they’re distracted. The single or celibate person cares about the Lady’s business, so that they may be holy both in body and in spirit. But whoever is married cares about worldly business, how they may please their spouse (1 Corinthians 7:32-34, DFV).
Ah Paul, you old curmudgeon. The thing I hate the most about his allowance to marriage is that he doesn’t even use his own Jewish tradition to defend marriage. He says, “Well, OK, if you’re going to screw anything with two legs then get married, but you really should be a curmudgeonly celibate single like me. And if you stay single and celibate you’ll be a better Christian because you won’t have those distractions married people have. They can’t serve Godde like we can.” (Disclaimer: I was single for 36 years and loved it–thought for awhile I might not marry–now I am married. I LOVE being married. I’ve been happy on both sides of the fence.)
Here is what Paul’s defense of marriage should have looked like:
Dear sister and brother, remember why our Godde created marriage in the first place. In the beginning…
Sophia-Yahweh said, “It is not good for the human to be alone. I will make it a power equal to it.”
Sophia-Yahweh caused the human to fall into a deep sleep. As the human slept, Godde took one of its ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Sophia-Yahweh made a woman from the rib which was taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken out of man.” Therefore a man will leave his father and his mother, and will join with his wife, and they will be one flesh (Genesis 2:18, 21-24, adapted from the World English Bible).
So you see dear sisters and brothers in Corinth, it is fine if you want to stay single, but marriage is Godde-ordained as well. Godde made marriage because it was not good for the human to be alone. Now the communion does not have to be marriage–that’s why Jesus had disciples. It is not good for us to be alone, which is why we need both marriage and community. We can’t make it though this life alone. Both marriage and celibacy have their place in the world and in the community. Some will stay single like me. Most will marry like Peter and his wife (1 Corinthians 9:5), Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:2), and Andronicus and Junia (Romans 16:7). Both celibates and couples can serve Godde and bring Godde’s kingdom into the here and now by loving each other, loving the stranger, and showing the world around us that life can be different.
That’s what Paul should’ve said to the Corinthians.
Originally published at ShawnaAtteberry.com.
The importance of recovering the Divine Feminine is perhaps nowhere more clear than in the recent remarks of John Piper, who declared Tuesday that Godde intended for Christianity “to have a masculine feel.” He argues that Godde is revealed in the Bible in masculine terms (King, Father, etc.), creates humankind in “his” image, and appoints men as priests, apostles, church leaders, etc.
Many of these arguments have been addressed already by the Christian Godde Project: Godde is revealed in Scripture with not only masculine terms, but feminine terms as well (cf. Isa. 66:13; Luke 13:21,34; 15:8-10, et al.), and both women and men were created in Godde’s image (Gen. 1:27). For much more, see our page on Godde – the Divine Feminine.
As for the apostles, Piper seems to have conveniently forgotten about apostles like Junia (Rom. 16:7). And then there’s Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ first and most loyal apostle. According to Luke, accompanying Jesus during his earthly ministry was a prerequisite for an apostle (Acts 1:22), and according to Paul, having a vision of the risen Jesus was a mark of an apostle (1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8,9). Mary met both of these criteria.
Mary’s faithfulness to Jesus surpassed that of his male disciples. Thomas doubted him, Judas betrayed him, and Peter denied him, but Mary stood by him, both at the cross (John 19:25) and outside the tomb where she held vigil (Matt. 27:61). She was the first person to see the risen Jesus (Matt. 28:9; John 20:14-17) and the first to proclaim that he had risen from the dead (Matt. 28:8; Luke 24:10; John 20:18).
To these women could be added many others, including Mary and Martha, who recognized Jesus as the Christ (John 11:27); the woman at the well, who first spread the word about Jesus in Samaria (John 4:7-30,39); and the Syropohoenician woman, who taught Jesus to be concerned with people besides those of his own race (Matt. 15:22-28; Mark 7:24-30).
Women not only traveled with Jesus throughout his ministry from Galilee to Judea (cf. Mark 15:40,41), they also financed it. In fact the New Testament mentions only women as financially supporting Jesus’ ministry (Luke 8:3). So it seems to me that without women, there would be no Christianity.
So much for Piper’s “masculine Christianity.”
Earlier this month, Shawna Atteberry posted her first video blog. Check out What You Didn’t Learn in Sunday School, Take 1.
Just posted by Shawna Atteberry today — check out the letter here.