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Gospel of Mary

The Gnostic work which goes under this title is found in the Coptic Papyrus Berolinensis 8502, found in Egypt and brought to the British Museum in 1896. It is preserved only in part, with the text of the final pages preserved in Greek (its original form) in Papyrus 463 (Oxyrhynchus). As the text is transmitted, it contains two separate parts. The first is a fragmentary conversation between the risen Christ and His disciples in which the discussion about matter and sin and preaching the Gospel to the heathen is a source of bewilderment to them. Mary (Magdalene) intervenes to comfort them, and she is then besought (in the second part) to reveal secrets of Gnostic redemption. The exchange between Mary and Peter is interesting since it departs from the normal antifeminist Gnostic line in defense of Mary, as Levi is made to rebuke Peter. The document is dated from the second or third century.