Thursday, September 17, 2009

NT Pod 13: Mary Magdalene: the First Woman Apostle

Episode 13 of the NT Pod discusses Mary Magdalene, the First Woman Apostle.

It is twelve minutes long. Feel free to leave your comments below.

NT Pod Episode 13: Mary Magdalene: The First Woman Apostle (mp3)

Key texts featuring Mary Magdalene: Luke 8:1-3; Mark 15:40-41; Mark 15:47; Mark 16:1-8; Matt. 28:1-10; John 20:1-18.

Key texts not about Mary Magdalene: Luke 7:36-50; Mark 14:3-9 // Matt. 26:6-13; John 7:53-8.11.

Key texts on "apostle": Acts 1:21-26; 1 Cor. 9:1; 1 Cor. 15:3-11.

Thanks to Ram2000, Me and You, for the opening theme, released under a Creative Commons agreement.


  1. Mark,

    Nice podcast as usual. I must admit I'm always a little sceptical when discussing the historicity of a character from Mark's Gospel. How can we make a distinction between a historical figure and a narrative creation by Mark? This seems a bit problematic if the other Gospels (including John and the non-canonical Gospels) have been influenced by Mark (either directly or indirectly).

    Junia is of course less problematic, because she is mentioned by Paul and does not first enter the scene in a narrative.

  2. I agree, Richard, on the difficulty. I do think it is interesting to watch the growth of her character from Mark to Matthew to John. I wish we had a bit more in Mark to go on. It's certainly interesting to ask the question about her narrative function in Mark too, where it seems that she and the other women at the end are contrasted with the male disciples, as Schuessler Fiorenza has argued.

  3. Mark,
    I really enjoy your podcast and the live office hour. I've blogged about it, but since I blog exclusively in Chinese, I don't suppose you can read what I say :)

    Mary Magdalene as the First Woman Apostle is indeed very intriguing. But I wonder, Would you want to include the other women who were with Mary Magdalene on the first Easter Sunday as apostles too? Why or why not?


  4. Thanks, Fr. Dan. It is Steve Toback's work.

    Thanks, Chiou Lao. Actually, Google reader does a nice machine translation of your Chinese so I am able to get the gist of your blog.

    Yes, I think we should allow the other women as apostles too, though Mary is given prominence.

  5. Dear Dr. Goodacre,

    I really enjoy he NTPod, thank you for making it available to lay folks like myself.

    I've always been fascinated with Mary Magdalene and was quite certain I'd sorted out her appearances accurately until I listened to this episode. I guess I'd always wanted her to be Martha and Lazarus' sister so that I could situate her in the story of Jesus' visit to the house in which Mary kneels at Jesus' feet and listens to him teach while Martha prepares the meal and whines. ;-)

    Thank you again for the NTPod. I enjoy it very much!

    Martha Dunkelberger

  6. Very interesting as always. I think that there is nowhere near enough teaching done in the church on elements clearly in the text, but not part of a teaching/preaching tradition. Thank you. It’s good to rescue a reputation unfairly tarnished: tabloid sensationalism as part of a preaching tradition? Hmmm.
    I am curious though. You seem to have conflated the idea of witness and apostle. I'm not convinced that these are synonymous. Paul associates many other attributes with the role of an apostle, at least with himself, Apollos and Peter in Corinthians and Galatians, which would seem beyond the idea of ‘witness’ or ‘disciple’. Doesn’t the word have a reasonable pedigree of meaning prior to and contemporary with Jesus?

    Again, refreshing and fun to listen to. Thanks!

  7. Is it at all possible that Junia is Mary Magdalene? This would solve the issue of her apparent "disappearance"....