For years, people have speculated on Mary Magdalene and her role in the life of Jesus. While many scholars and enthusiasts have argued that she could have been the wife of Jesus, such theories have been discarded and even suppressed by the orthodox Christian establishment. But author June Kerr disagrees with them. In his daring novel “Rabboni, my love,” Kerr envisions Jesus and Mary Magdalene as husband, wife, and parents, and as partners in Jesus’ ministry.
Although he writes fiction, Kerr has spent years researching the Bible and studying with scholars to recreate his depiction of the life and marriage of Jesus and Mary during the years of his ministry. In the process, Kerr has made a powerful argument for their relationship and the idea that God would want His Son to have a full human experience, which would include love, marriage, and parenthood. The result is a portrait of the life of Jesus and Mary that no non-fiction work could make.
Using their Jewish names, Joshua and Miriam, Kerr describes Jesus and Mary as happily married for many years and with three children by the time Jesus begins his ministry. Kerr is also aware of the creative impulses behind the stories people tell and how they are often based on life experiences. In “Rabboni, my love”, Jesus’ ministry is fueled by an encounter he has with a Samaritan who saves his life after being attacked and left to die. This act of kindness becomes the impetus for Jesus to understand how he can spread his message of God’s love to people, fulfilling ancient prophecies and the promise of a savior that angels made at his birth.
Throughout the novel, Kerr puts together various incidents from the life of Jesus and his parables to recreate the stories behind the gospels, taking what were often confusing, seemingly contradictory, or just fragmented bits of Jesus’ life to piece them together. a whole. It also highlights aspects of Jewish life and traditions in the early 1st century, illuminating details that Christians today largely ignore. I was especially impressed by the conclusions and connections he drew from the various people mentioned in the gospels, many of whom often seem little more than names to us; Insights are given about people like Barabbas and the two thieves who died with Jesus at the crucifixion, as well as about Jesus’ relatives, his family’s roles within Jewish priesthood and society, and their interactions with the Roman government.
Kerr’s style is poignant, especially in the scenes between Mary and Jesus, showing how loving their relationship is. She describes how, as a married couple, they praise God by reciting the Psalms together, and how they are true partners in their desire to spread the ministry of Jesus, even when Jesus warns Mary that after her death, people can turn against her, turning her into a woman. scapegoat.
Religious critics will certainly raise their eyebrows, if they don’t complain and condemn Kerr’s book, but she responds to his accusations in an interview included in the back of the book where she discusses her writing process, research, and reasons for writing. ” Rabboni, My Love, “stating:
“Unless the organized church can grasp the wisdom of its journey and honor men and women as full partners in faith, it seems to continue to dissolve into divisions. I hope this story of love and faith will help people of all faiths and from no faith understands the power of love. “
Kerr also claims that he was inspired to write this book after first hearing stories in France, where he resides part-time, about Mary Magdalene living there. Kerr is currently working on a prequel and sequel to the novel to complete Mary’s story.
No one may know the truth about Jesus and Mary Magdalene, but I think Kerr offers a very plausible interpretation of their relationship. Many people have written novels about the life of Jesus, and I have read several of them, including Anne Rice’s “Christ the Lord” series, which I think pales in comparison. No one that I know of has approached the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene or described his life with such reverence and imagination. I hope readers are open-minded and read this moving story of faith so that they can make a decision for themselves about Mary Magdalene’s life and relationship with Jesus.