The book Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of John finishes with the crucifixion. The key question is how did the ‘Christian’ Church then develop from these inauspicious roots, and what input did Mary Magdalene have on its development? We have shown that she was a key figure during the life of Jesus, so surely her influence can be traced in the early church. We also have two related questions. Firstly: why did the early church become so misogynistic so quickly and was this a reaction to Mary’s authority? Secondly: why did the Christian Church become so fundamentally anti-Semitic within a few years, in spite of the fact that Jesus was a practising Pharisee, and that all the disciples, as well as Paul, were practising Jews?

Once again the Fourth Gospel is utilised and reinterpreted to provide an understanding of these events, but we must also examine the role of Paul in this period. Conventional wisdom often views Paul as the only important character in the early church, but this book unravels a fascinating interplay between several people. Firstly, we have James, Jesus’ brother, who attempted to tread a delicate path in Jerusalem. Secondly, Mary Magdalene, who we believe was James’ daughter (and hence Jesus’ niece, which confounds the ‘Da Vinci’ precepts) who initially worked within Jerusalem. Her ‘feminist’ outlook helped the development of the church in Corinth, leading to Paul’s condemnation of the Corinthians’ attitude. Thirdly, of fundamental importance was Simon Magus, the so-called ‘Father of all Heresies’, who tradition has transformed into St. Peter, the first ‘Pope’.

This convoluted story provides a totally original reading of the primary sources, and will be of interest to all people interested in the origin of the Christian Faith, the rise of the scourge of anti-Semitism, or the misogyny of the present Church.

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