Magdalene's Gospel: A Love Story

Overview

The story begins in 35 beside the Sea of Galilee where Mary of Magdala, known as Magdalene, is sheltering battered women and fatherless children. The apostles Matthew, Thomas, and Nathaniel support her, but the church in Jerusalem led by James, the brother of Jesus, tries to undermine her leadership.

Magdalene visits the sisters of Jesus, Mary and Salome, living in Nazareth and Cana, and Susanna in the city of Sepphoris, which is only a short walk from Nazareth. In Bethany, with...

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Overview

The story begins in 35 beside the Sea of Galilee where Mary of Magdala, known as Magdalene, is sheltering battered women and fatherless children. The apostles Matthew, Thomas, and Nathaniel support her, but the church in Jerusalem led by James, the brother of Jesus, tries to undermine her leadership.

Magdalene visits the sisters of Jesus, Mary and Salome, living in Nazareth and Cana, and Susanna in the city of Sepphoris, which is only a short walk from Nazareth. In Bethany, with Mary and Martha, she creates a new celebration of Passover affirming Jesus as the sacrificial lamb. In Bethlehem, the dying apostle John entrusts her with his gospel.

After Claudius, the Roman emperor, makes Herod Agrippa king over Israel, the church in Jerusalem backs the losing side in a struggle between Jewish families to influence Agrippa's choice of high priest. Agrippa sees Jewish Christians as a dividing his kingdom and arrests Peter, but Magdalene helps him escape. When Agrippa dies suddenly, the high priest blames Christians and violence soon follows.

Interwoven with this 1st century story over ten years is a 21st century story of ten months. Mary Anne, a college chaplain living with her daughter and mother, meets Daniel, a teacher of Roman history, who is raising the son of his imprisoned brother. While preparing to take students to an archeological dig in Magdala, Mary Anne and Daniel fall in love.

Mary Anne's ex-husband takes her to court to try to obtain custody of their daughter, Sarah. Mary Anne fears he may abuse Sarah, as he did her during their marriage. After Daniel's brother, John, is released from prison and reclaims his son, Jamie, the boy runs away. John blames Daniel and is furious when he arrives at Daniel's front door.

Mary Anne counsels a Christian student who feels guilty about having premarital sex, and then tries to deal with her own guilt about sleeping with Daniel by hurrying their marriage. Soon the children are engaged in a turf battle and Mary Anne's mother is unhappy.

When Mary Anne and Daniel, their kids, and their students arrive in Israel, they see the sights in Jerusalem and Bethlehem before traveling to the archeological dig beside the Sea of Galilee. They find coins dating to the first century and then make an astonishing discovery.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781477443613
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/9/2012
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Traer and his wife, Nancy, have been married for over forty years and have five children, including two adopted daughters from Asia, and eight grandchildren. He and his wife now make their home in southern California.

In 2001 Robert Traer joined the faculty of the Dominican University of California where he continues to teach ethics. From 1990 to 2000 he directed the International Association for Religious Freedom.

In 2002 he was a Resident Scholar at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies in Israel. In the spring of 2005 he served with the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, where he lived in East Jerusalem.

His books include: Doing Environmental Ethics (second edition, 2012), Jerusalem Journal: Finding Hope (2006), Faith, Belief, and Religion (2001), Quest for Truth: Critical Reflections on Interfaith Cooperation (1999), and Faith in Human Rights: Support in Religious Traditions for a Global Struggle (1991). His online writings may found at http://doingfaith.com.

Robert Traer is a retired ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a retired member of the Colorado Bar.

His academic degrees include: Doctor of Philosophy from the Graduate Theological Union (1988), Juris Doctor from the Martin Luther King, Jr. School of Law of the University of California at Davis (1976), and Doctor of Ministry from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago (1969).

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