Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 12:00 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 1:00 PM EDT

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Aissa Hillebrand 
Mercer School of Theology 
516-248-4800 x 150 

Lunch and Learn Series 2022

Mary Magdalene and John’s Gospel:

  A Textual Scholar at work

We end our 2021-22 Lunch and Learn series with presentations by Elizabeth (Libbie) Schrader, a young textual scholar whose recent research has substantially changed the conversation about Mary Magdalene and her identity. 

June 1: “Was Martha of Bethany Added to the Fourth Gospel in the Second Century?”  Schrader will examine textual instability in the manuscripts of John 11 and 12. She theorizes that Martha was editorially added to the text of John for the purpose of ensuring that Mary (Magdalene?) would not utter the central Christological Confession in the Fourth Gospel.

June 8: “Rabbouni, which means Lord: Narrative Variants in John 20:16“, Schrader will discuss another major textual problem in the manuscripts of John 20, where the oldest manuscripts retain four different versions of the encounter between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Schrader considers whether these variations could reflect deliberate editorial activity in the text of John, since the stakes around Mary Magdalene were particularly high in the early centuries of Christianity.

June 15: “The Meaning of 'Magdalene': A Review of Literary Evidence“, Schrader will survey early patristic interpretations of the word "Magdalene", examining the question of how widely assumed it was that Mary came from a place called "Magdala" by the Sea of Galilee. Patristic evidence shows a complete diversity of opinion on this topic, and opens up the possibility that the nickname "Magdalene" references Mary's status as a "Tower" rather than her place of origin.


Libbie is a Ph.D. candidate in Early Christianity at Duke University. She has an M.A. and S.T.M. from General Theological Seminary, and the results of her peer-reviewed research have been published in the Harvard Theological Review, Journal of Biblical Literature and TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism. Her work has been reported  by Religion News Service, Episcopal News Service, the Daily Beast, the National Catholic Reporter, and the Christian Century.  


Wednesdays on Zoom - 12 Noon to 1:00 pm

When:  Three Wednesdays: June 1st, 8th, 15th, 2022

Your zoom link will be sent in your confirmation email and will remain the same for each class.  If you do not receive it once registered, please check your spam folder or contact email ahillebrand@dioceseli.org. 

Thank you!