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Egalitarian Christian Alliance » Theology » General Theology (Moderators: TL, Dawn Wilson, KR Wordgazer, Larry S, Don, Marg) » Who first called Mary Magdalene "the Apostle to the Apostles"?

Author Topic: Who first called Mary Magdalene "the Apostle to the Apostles"?  (Read 2727 times)

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Offline Marg

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I've been doing a bit of reading on Mary Magadalene recently.  She is frequently referred to as "the Apostle of the Apostles", because she brought the news to the disciples/apostles that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.


Does anyone know who first coined that expression?  I would love to have a specific reference on this.

It is surely an amazing thing that out of all Jesus' followers, the first person to see the resurrected Christ was a woman!!!
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like people waiting for their master's return.  Luke 12:35-36b

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Offline ruudvermeij

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Re: Who first called Mary Magdalene "the Apostle to the Apostles"?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2010, 07:55:49 PM »
From: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3708/is_200607/ai_n17183121/pg_14/
Quote
2 Thimmes writes, "it is significant to note that Hippolytus, bishop of Rome (c. 170-235) [. . .] was the first to grant to Mary Magdalene the title 'Apostola Apostolorum' (apostle to the apostles). In his commentary on Canticle of Canticles he associates her with the bride and with the Bride of Christ, a symbol of the Church" (220-21). According to Lucy Winkett, "The ancient tradition of Mary of Magdala as apostola apostolorum ('apostle of the apostles') is used today by Pope John Paul II" (26.

Offline ruudvermeij

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Offline Marg

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Re: Who first called Mary Magdalene "the Apostle to the Apostles"?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2010, 11:30:42 PM »
Thanks Ruud.

I found this:  http://books.google.com.au/books?id=tAxSQ7O4WogC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Mary+Magdalena,+Jansen&source=bl&ots=FifzkmiJ1_&sig=Fueukqr3_ubZpK5NxIcX_DC6bhM&hl=en&ei=iSsfTNKrH4ugkQWhsMWgCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CC0Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=Hippolytus&f=false

As you pointed out, many are very doubtful that "Canticle of Canticles" was written by Hippolytus.

Jane Shaberg writes that Bernard of Clairveaux used the expression "Apostle to the Apostles" in the 1100s.  He used it for the three Marys.  I assume this means Mary - the Mother of Jesus, Mary of Bethany, and Mary Magdalene.

Still looking . . .



Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like people waiting for their master's return.  Luke 12:35-36b

My website: www.newlife.id.au

Offline EricW

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Re: Who first called Mary Magdalene "the Apostle to the Apostles"?
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2010, 01:46:51 AM »
But this would make the definition of an apostle be: "One who has seen the risen Christ and has been sent by Him to tell others that Christ is risen and alive." That to me is a somewhat truncated definition, and if correct, and if Junia was an apostle, does that mean that she, too, met the risen Christ and was sent by Him to proclaim His resurrection? I'm wondering if calling Mary Magdalene the "apostle to the apostles" somewhat changes or shortchanges the meaning of the word as used elsewhere in the NT?
ταλαίπωρος ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπος: τίς με ῥύσεται ἐκ τοῦ σώματος τοῦ θανάτου τούτου; χάρις δὲ τῷ θεῷ διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν.

Offline Don

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Re: Who first called Mary Magdalene "the Apostle to the Apostles"?
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2010, 02:48:51 AM »
The def. of an apostle is tricky.  The basic meaning is "one who does not stay still" which means "one who is sent".  Then the question is who is doing the sending?
If it is Jesus, then it is an apostle of Jesus, if a congregation, then an apostle of that congregation, etc.  There are more than 12 apostles in the NT.
My translation of Eph 5:21-22 ... mutually submitting in the fear of Messiah; wives (mutually submitting) to your husbands as to the Lord.

Offline TL

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Re: Who first called Mary Magdalene "the Apostle to the Apostles"?
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2010, 07:19:25 AM »
Yes, it is the being sent that is the apostleship.  It doesn't matter what one was being sent to do.  Remember Paul was an apostle to the Pharisees and was sent to kill the Christians.  Thus he was an apostle of the Pharisees.  The thing that confuses us is the transliteration of the Greek into an English word.  We're thinking in English about a Greek concept. 
"Man is a being capable of subduing his emotions and impulses; he can rationalize his behavior. He arranges his wishes into a scale, he chooses; in short, he acts. What distinguishes man from beasts is precisely that he adjusts his behavior deliberately." Ludwig von Mises

Offline Don

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Re: Who first called Mary Magdalene "the Apostle to the Apostles"?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2010, 07:30:39 AM »
It is actually a Hebrew concept.  Think back to who else was sent and moved around.
My translation of Eph 5:21-22 ... mutually submitting in the fear of Messiah; wives (mutually submitting) to your husbands as to the Lord.

Offline Marg

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Re: Who first called Mary Magdalene "the Apostle to the Apostles"?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2010, 12:16:55 AM »
Eric:  I'm with you.  I believe that those who define an apostle as someone who has seen the risen Christ have misinterpreted what Paul said in Romans 9:1.  Paul asks four different rhetorical questions in Romans 9:1 regarding his freedom and rights: "Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not see Jesus our Lord? etc.  He is not saying here that because he has seen Jesus he thus qualifies to be an apostle.

I believe that an apostle is someone who has been called, gifted and authorised (sent) by Jesus, and later by the Spirit, to initiate a new work that will facilitate the progress of the gospel.

Scripturally, the only real qualification I can see for an apostle, other than being sent/authorised by Jesus or the Holy Spirit, is found in 2 Corinthians 12:12.

The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance by signs and wonders and miracles. 2 Corinthians 12:12

However, I am still interested in finding out who first called Mary Magdalene an apostle to the apostle.  Yes, Mary did see the risen Lord, but, significantly, she was authorised/sent by Jesus to tell the disciples that he was alive.
Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like people waiting for their master's return.  Luke 12:35-36b

My website: www.newlife.id.au

 


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