By Not Known

Many would remember the rock opera by Tim Rice and Andrew Llyod Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar. It shook the Christian world with the song that implied Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ lover. Then when Da Vinci Code came out, it stirred up once again the controversy that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus. Of course, Dan Brown blurred the line between fact and fiction but that by no means lessened the impact of the controversy even though it was not a new one.

So how do we view Mary Magdalene today from what we know from the Scriptures? How do we deal with the so-called secret (as claimed by Brown) that Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper had revealed? That the traditionally known apostle John who stood next to Jesus in that famed painting, was purportedly to be Mary Magdalene?

This is why it is so important for us as Christians to study and understand the Bible as we have it today. The Scriptures did not come to us “by fax” from God’s office in heaven. The Bible in its canon has its final form today after a long and arduous journey. Many church leaders went through much sufferings and even death to attest to its authenticity and accuracy by strenuously seeking the facts behind the words. Other church leaders came along as they applied stringent standards to ensure that contradictions were dealt strictly. The final documents were accepted writings by people who actually came face-to-face with Jesus or who have lived with those who did. Of course, they finally prayed and trusted the Holy Spirit to guide them in their final decisions for the canon of the Bible.

The so-called Gnostic gospels, many of which were re-discovered just last century, did not meet these criteria. Many were found to be dubious even though they might have been attributed to major church leaders in those days. These contrasted with Paul’s writings and other letters in the New Testament. The Gnostic writings, for instance, actually argued that Jesus did not appear in the flesh simply because the flesh is evil, or that they rejected the Old Testament. Many also found that the Opus Dei and other stuff mentioned in Brown’s book to be untrue. In the end, what we need to know is what the Bible tells us. Do you know your Bible?

Peter Poon