Here’s my sermon from the Wild Goose Festival, based on Luke 10: 38-42 and John 11. Sorry it is a little late! Our drive home last night took much longer than expected.
Since the sermon draws from Elizabeth Schrader’s work on the Marys, I sent it to her that she might listen. She responded by saying it was “powerful” and well-represents her work (noting the stylistic differences between an academic paper and a sermon!). And she also wanted listeners to know that, at this point, the Nestle-Aland committee of the Greek New Testament is aware of this work and will take it into account as they work on updated critical editions of the New Testament. In her words, “they are unlikely to remove Martha completely unless further discoveries come to light, but the apparatus (the footnotes) in John 11 may well change as a result of this discovery.”
So, that’s where the academic discussion currently stands. And who knows where it will go as researchers follow these questions? The New Testament continues to open up with amazing new insights as scholars like Libbie press into ancient texts in new ways — and making it possible for us to understand scripture closer to original sources.
Enjoy the sermon. It is Good News indeed.
I invite you to imagine with me — What would Christianity been like if we’d known about Mary the Tower the entire time? What does it mean for us going forward?
The Feast Day of Mary Magdalene is July 22.
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