GTA, Mary Magdalene, and the Last Temptation of Christ

I forgot something in my blog post yesterday about Robert Price’s The Da Vinci Fraud.

On page 36, Price states:

“Was something going on between Jesus and Mary Magdalene?  You don’t have to read the Gospel of Philip to suspect that there was!  Martin Luther thought so.  So did Garner Ted Armstrong and numerous others, who apparently all came up with the idea from their own reading of the scriptures.”

I grew up in Garner Ted Armstrong’s church, so I was thinking back in order to determine if I found what Price was saying on this to be plausible, or at least something I could envision.  On the one hand, the back cover of Garner Ted’s book, The Real Jesus, said that Jesus was attracted to beautiful women.  On the other hand, I recall attending one of Ted’s campaigns, and he was highly critical of the Last Temptation of Christ movie, which had recently come out.  He was particularly upset about the scene in which Jesus “had sex with a prostitute.”  That prostitute, of course, was Mary Magdalene.  Ted may have thought that Jesus was attracted to Mary Magdalene, but that he never had sex with her.  Of course, technically-speaking, Jesus did not have sex with her in The Last Temptation of Christ: that was a dream that Jesus was having, and the point of the movie was that Jesus gave up starting a family so he could be the Messiah and die for the sins of the world.

Incidentally, I watched The Last Temptation of Christ a couple of nights ago.  I had already seen it, and I read the book for a class over a decade ago, but I wanted to watch it again with my Mom and step-Dad on account of the Ewan McGregor movie that is coming out about Jesus’ temptation in the desert.  I appreciated the Last Temptation of Christ movie more this time around than I did when I first saw it.  The first time around, I was nitpicking whether it was orthodox or not, and the movie just struck me as plain weird.  The second time around, I appreciated it as a picture of a man grappling with his mission and his identity.  My favorite scene in the movie is when the disciples and Jesus are marching to Jerusalem, and the disciples are sharing with each other their dreams about the coming Messianic reign, along with their fears.  The music in that scene is awesome!

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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