Jesus and Mary Magdalene

From TSL Encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Stained glass window showing Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Kilmore Church, Scotland

Mary Magdalene is one of the most controversial figures in the New Testament. The gospels describe her as one of the inner circle of disciples around Jesus, but she is also traditionally depicted as a repentant sinner.

Some Gnostic gospels show an even closer relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus, portraying her as more advanced in her discipleship than Peter and the other Apostles. The Gospel of Phillip even implies that Jesus and Mary were married, a theory developed at length by modern authors, including in the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

Mary Magdalene in the New Testament

Mary Magdalene is mentioned at least twelve times in the gospels, more than most of the apostles. She is one of the few who were at the foot of the cross and the first to see Jesus after his resurrection.

Mary is mentioned by name in Luke 8:2: “Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils.” This relates to the cleansing of the seven chakras.

However, much uncertainty about her role arises from the fact that there are other accounts of interactions between Jesus and a female disciple who is traditionally considered to be Mary Magdalene, even though the name of the woman is not given, leading modern scholars to be divided as to whether these accounts referred to Mary.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet has stated her belief that Mary Magdalene was indeed the unnamed woman in the following episodes in the gospels:

  • The account of the woman taken in adultery, whom the scribes and Pharisees wanted to stone and whom Jesus forgave, saying “Go, and sin no more.”[1]
  • The unnamed “sinful” woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with oil of spikenard at the home of Simon the leper in Bethany.[2]

In these episodes Jesus extends forgiveness to Mary because she has “loved much.”

Jesus’ resurrection

According to the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene was the first to behold Jesus after his resurrection and emergence from the tomb.[3] In this episode Mary sees the empty tomb and goes to tell Peter and John. They in turn see the empty tomb with the grave clothes folded and then depart. Mary, however, remains at the tomb alone, weeping. She turns around and sees Jesus, but does not recognize him, and takes him to be the gardener. She asks where Jesus’ body has been laid. Jesus then calls out her name, “Mary.” She recognizes him and says “Rabboni” (Master). Jesus says to her, “Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God.”

Commenting on this scene, Elizabeth Clare Prophet states:

Mary is weeping. She is looking for her Lord. He comes forth and he says to her, “Mary.” And with that word, he calls her “Mother ray”—Ma-ray. And when he ignites in her the flame of Mother, she then has the awareness to exclaim in profound recognition of his person, “Rabboni”—to acknowledge him as her teacher and her master....

Here we see Jesus, now representing the risen Christ, his soul risen to the plane of Christ Self-awareness about to ascend to “my Father and your Father,” to “my God and your God”—to the one God individualized as your I AM Presence and my I AM Presence....

We are given to understand that Mary Magdalene had full awareness of this teaching and did not need to have the full explanation. She knew the process. She knew the initiation, and Jesus was reminding her that in her great love for him, it was not the moment to touch him because of the very reason that he was sensitive when someone touched him. And he had felt virtue go out of him as in the healing of the woman.[4]

We have to realize that [Mary Magdalene] was worthy to be equal with the Christ—yes, this position of co-equality he gave to her as a soul, as a woman and as his disciple and dear friend. Because she accepted the Christ in him, he acknowledged the Mother flame in her as not only the soul forgiven but now as the initiate on the same Path that he was walking.[5]

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

Although the orthodox hierarchy of the Church has never proclaimed Mary Magdalene to be an apostle, some early Christian Gnostics considered her an apostle of equal standing to the twelve, or even of higher standing. Some saw her as the apostle who was closest to Jesus and the true spiritual leader of the early Christian community. The fact that Jesus chose Mary Magdalen and not the apostles as the first one to see him after his resurrection is significant in this context.

It is clear from the Biblical account that Mary Magdalene was part of the inner circle of disciples surrounding Jesus. The fact that she was one of the few who are named as present at the cross is one sign of her devotion. Some Christian-Gnostic texts such as the Gospel of Mary depict Mary Magdalen as a higher initiate than Peter, describing her as receiving direct communications from Jesus after his resurrection and exceeded Peter in gaining gnosis. She is also depicted as the one disciple who holds the disciples together in their time of grief and self-concern.

In the Gospel of Mary, Peter asks Mary Magdalene to tell the disciples the words that Jesus told her privately and never taught them. Mary relates to the disciples a teaching that Jesus gave her in a vision about the ascent of the soul. After she has done so, Andrew challenges her. He says he doesn’t believe Jesus taught her these things:

Andrew answered and said to the brothers, “Say what you think about what she said, but I do not believe the savior said this. These teachings are certainly strange ideas.”

Peter voiced similar concerns. He asked the others about the savior: “Did he really speak with a woman in private, without our knowledge? Should we all turn and listen to her? Did he prefer her to us?”

Then Mary wept and said to Peter, “My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I made this up by myself or that I am lying about the savior?”

Levi answered and said to Peter, “Peter, you always are angry. Now I see you are arguing against this woman like an adversary. If the savior made her worthy, who are you to reject her? Surely the savior knows her well. That is why he has loved her more than us.

“Rather let us be ashamed and put on the perfect man and acquire him for ourselves as he commanded us, and preach the gospel.”[6]


The Christian-Gnostic Gospel known as Pistis-Sophia (Faith-Wisdom) also depicts a conflict between Peter and Mary Magdalene. Here Mary admits to Jesus that she often desires to come forward and speak about the mysteries that have been imparted to the disciples, “but,” she says, “I am afraid of Peter, because he threatened me and hateth our sex.”[7] Jesus asks her to come forward and speak, inviting “every one who shall be filled with the spirit of light to come forward and set forth the solution of what I say—no one shall be able to prevent him.”[8]

Mary Magdalene plays a privileged role in Pistis Sophia. It is she who asks the most profound questions of her Lord and replies to his most complex questions. At one point, Mary asks Jesus for permission to discourse on a teaching he has just given, and Jesus replies:

Mary, thou blessed one, whom I will perfect in all mysteries of those of the height, discourse in openness, thou, whose heart is raised to the kingdom of heaven more than all thy brethren.[9]

While instructing his disciples on “the mystery of the Ineffable,” Jesus says:

Mary Magdalene and John, the virgin, will tower over all my disciples and over all men who shall receive the mysteries in the Ineffable. They will be on my right and on my left. And I am they, and they are I.[10]

Original manuscript of the Gospel of Philip, from the Nag Hammadi Library

The Gospel of Philip

The Christian-Gnostic work titled the Gospel of Philip says:

There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary his mother and her sister and the Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister and his Mother and his companion were each a Mary.[11]

The Greek word translated here as “companion” can also mean partner, spouse or wife. The Gospel further records:

And the companion of the [lord is] Mary Magdalene. [He loved] her more than [all] the disciples [and used to ] kiss her [often] on her [mouth]. The rest of [the disciples...]. They said to him, “Why do you love her more than all of us?[12]

Some scholars have concluded from the above text that Jesus and Mary Magdalene may have been married; others contend that their relationship was spiritual. The inner record is clear, however, that Mary Magdalene was the twin flame of Jesus, and together they shared a profound and deep love—one that extends beyond that lifetime and into eternity.

Traditions of southern France

The thesis of the best-selling book Holy Blood, Holy Grail is that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and that after the crucifixion, his wife and offspring, and perhaps Jesus himself, were smuggled by ship out of the Holy Land, traveled to Marseilles, found refuge in a Jewish community in southern France in the vicinity of Languedoc, and there preserved the Saviour’s bloodline, which was the foundation of the Merovingian kings of France and has survived to the present.[13]

There is evidence that some of Jesus’ disciples traveled to France after the crucifixion. According to the apocryphal Acts of Magdalen and local traditions, Lazarus settled in Marseilles, Mary Magdalene went to Aix-en-Provence, and Martha lived in Tarascon. A church of St. Martha that stands today in Tarascon bears witness of the long-standing belief that she had a ministry there. Marseilles, Aix, and Tarascon are all about 140 miles from the hamlet of Rennes-le-Château, where some traditions claim Jesus’ tomb is located.

Commenting on the presence of the disciples in France, Elizabeth Clare Prophet has remarked, “What were Martha and the other disciples doing in France? If Jesus was in France, then it would be logical that his disciples would follow him there. Where the body of the Lord is, there are his servants, the disciples, gathered together.”[14]

In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Languedoc area of Southern France was home to the flourishing Cathar Christian-Gnostic community. Researching into extant Roman Catholic and Cathar texts, author Yuri Stoyanov has stated:

Another teaching that these Albigensian circles regarded as esoteric and again was taught in their “secret meetings” claimed that Mary Magdalene was in reality the wife of Christ.... She was the woman whom Christ freed when the Jews were trying to stone her and she was his wife as she was alone with him in ... the temple ... and in the garden. This Albigensian belief in Mary Magdalene as Christ’s wife is confirmed by two additional Catholic tracts on the Cathar heresy.... The teaching of Mary Magdalene as the “wife” or “concubine” of Christ appears, moreover, an original Cathar tradition.[15]

Author and researcher Graham Simmans contends that the area in southern France where Jesus and Mary Magdalene seem to have settled (the hills near Rennes-le-Château) was inhabited by Essenes as well as Jewish and Egyptian Gnostics. He claims there was a connection between these esoteric groups and the later Cathar movement.[16]

The mission of twin flames

Regarding the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Elizabeth Clare Prophet has stated:

It wouldn’t in any way detract from the Saviour if he had married Mary Magdalene and had children, because his power and magnitude is not based on how he chose to have his relationship with her.[17]

Jesus gave mysteries to Mary Magdalene. She knew that the disciples would have to ask and humble themselves before her, before her innocence, her femininity and before his reverence for Woman....

This is an age of ... the liberation of the soul, because the soul is the feminine potential of being. And in truth, Mary Magdalene represented the soul of all of the twelve disciples, the loving, reverent handmaid of the Lord, the one who was moving on the path of initiation to be the bride of Christ, the one to whom he preferred to reveal himself. Though Peter and the other disciple ran a race to see who would get there first, it was to Mary Magdalene that Jesus appeared at the tomb.[18]

The Ascended Lady Master Magda reflects on her mission with Jesus in a dictation given through Elizabeth Clare Prophet:

I AM the one, Magda, who acclaimed him “Rabboni” in the hour of his emergence from the tomb. Jesus has likened me and my experience, known to all, as the archetype of the soul of America, the collective soul of Israel, and of the descent of the seed of Light...

The doctrine that Mary Magdalene could be the wife of Jesus is laughable to many. Therefore, I must bear testimony that my soul, my heart, and the Presence of God with me is indeed the twin flame of Jesus, and that every soul whom God has made is created out of the white fire core of the Great Causal Body of Life. And the twain, holding the balance of Alpha and Omega and the Spirit and Matter spheres, have gone forth from the beginning to prove the victory of eternal Life.

Thus, in the great drama of our association you realize that as Jesus forgave me my sin, he was forgiving the feminine portion of himself which I am. And as I acclaimed him “Rabboni,” I was acclaiming the masculine portion of myself, which is indeed the Spirit of the living God, as my Saviour, my Teacher, my Life.

Thus, beloved, Jesus comes a little closer to the humanness of life, to the needs of each one’s heart. And as he is closer to you as friend and brother, as you can understand him as my husband in the Spirit, you also may dare to conceive of yourself as the bride waiting for the marriage of the Christ. For in the fullness of the Cosmic Christ, he receives your soul unto himself as the bride of the Lamb, as it is taught.

What is proven by one may be proven by all. As you become the bride of him as [he is] the Guru of the Piscean age, you may also conceive that your soul could be wed to your I AM Presence and, through that Presence, to your own twin flame. And you may also dare to consider your twin flame as the Cosmic Christ at inner levels.

Thus, we exhibit the great archetype of beauty, of perfection of the Law. And the spiritual marriage is the truth of all reality, and there is no need to be concerned with the human affair or with conjecture. For the Reality and the Truth of eternal Life is the Rock upon which we stand.[19]

See also




Compiled by the editors based on:

Elizabeth Clare Prophet with Annice Booth, Mary Magdalene and the Divine Feminine, pp. 11, 50, 51, 64, 75, 135, 136, 137, 138, 161, 211–12, 216, 268–69.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet, March 17, 1982; July 12, 1987.

  1. John 8:1–11.
  2. Luke 7:37–50.
  3. John 20:1–18.
  4. Luke 8:43–48; Mark 5:25–34. This event is also recorded in Matthew 26:6–13, Mark 14:3–9, and John 12:1–8.
  5. Elizabeth Clare Prophet with Annice Booth, Mary Magdalene and the Divine Feminine, pp. 211–12.
  6. The Gospel of Mary, in Marvin Meyer, The Gospels of Mary: The Secret Tradition of Mary Magdalen, the Companion of Jesus (New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004), p. 22.
  7. G.R.S. Mead, Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel (Blauvet, N.Y.: Spiritual Science Library, 1984), p. 135.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid., p. 20.
  10. Ibid., p. 193.
  11. The Gospel of Philip, in James M. Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Library in English (San Francisco: Harper & Rowe, 1988), p. 145.
  12. Ibid., p. 148.
  13. Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, Holy Blood, Holy Grail (New York: Bantam Dell, 1982, 2004).
  14. Lecture by Elizabeth Clare Prophet, July 12, 1987.
  15. Yuri Stoyanov, The Other God: Dualist Religions from Antiquity to the Cathar Heresy (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 2000), pp. 278, 279.
  16. Graham Simmans, Jesus after the Crucifixion: From Jerusalem to Rennes-le-Château (Rochester, Vermont: Bear & Company, 2007), pp. 69, 247.
  17. Elizabeth Clare Prophet with Annice Booth, Mary Magdalene and the Divine Feminine, p. 216.
  18. Ibid, p. 136, 137.
  19. Jesus and Magda, Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 25, no. 24, June 13, 1982.