Jesus was a radical feminist. True story. Back in the day when Jesus hung out with the prostitutes, lepers, rabble-rousers, and tax-collectors, He obviously didn’t care what others thought about his choice of friends. And, He caught a fair amount of critcism for it.
Women throughout history have gotten a bad rap. We have been held down, held back, ignored, dismissed, used, abused, stoned, and burned at the stake, It was the same in Jesus’s day; women along with children were to be seen and not heard. A woman’s place was in the home taking care of the hubby, and children. But, Jesus saw women differently. From what we know, He treated them with respect, restored their dignity, and considered them equals. And why not? As far as I am concerned people, not just men, should be treated with respect and dignity, and considered equals. Why have women been considered less worthy than men, subservient, less intelligent, and the ‘weaker sex’ (and I don’t mean physically)?
Recently I read an article written by a religious scholar who believes the Bible elevates women. How so? If we only look at the story of the woman caught in adultery, we see she was thrown before Jesus for judgment and condemnation, men at the ready, stones in hand, waiting for the guilty verdict. Where was the man she was with? Did those who brought the woman before Jesus tell him to be on his way? It is clear from the Biblical account only the woman was to be punished, put to death by stoning. I’m confused as to how the religious scholar interprets these stories, and myriad other text as ‘elevating’ women?
From the writings of Jewish historian Josephus, and the Lost Gospels, discovered in 1945, we see a different view of Jesus’ life and companions. The Gospel of Mary, thought to have been written sometime in the 2nd Century and in reference to Mary Magdalene, portrays Mary differently than the portrayal most in organized religion are told. The Bible implies she was a prostitute, or at the very least, a ‘loose’ woman. Some religious theologians believe she may have been the woman caught in adultery, but there is no significant proof. Many academic theologians studying early church history believe the story of Mary as a prostitute was carefully crafted by the early Church fathers to discredit women. Interesting, and I do not believe that summation is too far off.
The Gospel of Mary gives an accounting of a strong woman, a leader in her own right, intelligent, and a prominent disciple of Jesus. So much so, that the Gospel of Mary describes revelations Jesus shared with her He did not share with His other disciples. Several pages of the Gospel of Mary are missing. The pages that do exist reveal Mary and Peter were at odds with one another, that Peter was jealous of Mary’s close relationship with Jesus. History has tried to discredit Mary, and Jesus for that matter, by implying and sometimes not so subtly, that Jesus and Mary were lovers, and perhaps even married. The Da Vinci Code was written around that very notion. However scandalous, the greater lesson is Mary’s importance in Jesus’ life. According to the lost text, Jesus sought her advice, confided in her, and loved her dearly. From all accounts, Mary eventually left the group of disciples. Did Peter feel his position within the discipleship threatened by Mary, or was it simple jealousy? Historical theologians piecing together the puzzle of history have concluded there is validity to the Lost Gospels, and there may be more hidden somewhere. Some suggest the Lost Gospels were purposefully hidden in favor of the more male-dominated version the early church fathers were constructing. Did the church fathers feel as threatened as Peter?
In an article by a Christian scholar of Jewish history, himself a Jew, the story of creation is presented with a different view than we are familiar; Eve was placed in authority rather than Adam. Interesting concept. Part of the premise of his assertion is the serpent seeking out Eve instead of Adam, not because she was the more vulnerable, or gullible, but because she was in charge. And, due to this tidbit of Biblical lore, the Church fathers changed the story up a bit. Which brings us to the Divine Feminine.
What is the Divine Feminine? The New Age concept-of-the-hour? So much hogwash? Not as far as I am concerned. Simply put, we are made up of both masculine and feminine characteristics, as is God. We originate from God, therefore we share in the character traits of the Divine. We have been taught to believe, in our male-dominated society, man is superior to woman. We have failed to recognize the need for both sets of character traits to be complete and to reach our highest potential. Stay tuned as we learn more about the Divine Feminine…..