The real Mary was an unwed, pregnant teenage girl in first century Palestine. She was a woman of courage, humility, spirit, and resolve, and her response to the angel Gabriel shifted the tectonic plates of history. Join popular Biblical scholar Scot McKnight as he explores the contours of Marys life, from the moment she learned of Gods plan for the Messiah, to the culmination of Christs ministry on earth. McKnight dismantles the myths and also challenges our prejudices. He introduces us to a woman who is a model for faith, and who points us to her son. "McKnight is absolutely right that the domesticated image of Mary, and the silenced Mary of Protestantism who only shows up quietly at Christmas, need to be dismissed as unhistorical. It is time for a Mary upgrade in the Evangelical world, and Scot McKnight has both the hardware and the software to deliver the goods. Highly recommended!" -Ben Witherington, Professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary In all of the gospels, Mary may be the most overlooked character. She has become an unwitting dividing line between Catholics and Protestants, while we have missed the remarkable story of her life. Scot McKnight peels back the layers of controversy to reveal this compelling woman, in whom God found such great favor. -Nancy Ortberg, columnist, Todays Christian Woman Scot McKnight courageously embarks on the quest for the Historical Mary and succeeds brilliantly. Ill never be able to look at that powder blue Mary figurine in the Christmas nativity scene the same way again! -Joseph B. Modica, University Chaplain, Eastern University "I have often wondered about the real Mary. How did she feel? What did she know? Who was she? Mary emerges from the pages of Scot McKnight's book as a woman with the spiritual depth to believe an angel's bizarre message and the boldness to call for justice in an oppressive, unjust world. But like us, Mary had to struggle to understand God's way of working out his redemptive plan. She hadn't expected a Messiah who would die, hadn't anticipated that a sword would pierce her soul. Like us, she didn't have Jesus all figured out. But she grappled with reality, trusted God, and remained faithful to his call on her life. That both challenges me and gives me hope." -Lynne Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church Author, Nice Girls Don't Change the World
SCOT MCKNIGHT, PH.D., is the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University. He is the award-winning author of The Jesus Creed, 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed, The Real Mary, Embracing Grace, and Praying with the Church , among other books. Scot lives with his wife, Kristen, near Chicago.
In this slim, engaging volume, McKnight (Protestant author of The Jesus Creed)
makes the case that the real Mary of the Bible has been hijacked by
theological controversies. He begins by noting that Mary has been seen by
turns as a compliant "resting womb," a damaging stereotype of passivity, a
Christmas figure and a source of "reaction formation" by Protestants, as well
as the mother of Jesus. "The real Mary is no offense to Protestants, but
rather a woman for us to honor," he insists, envisioning her as an
impoverished, bold, gutsy woman of faith. He also portrays her as neither
goddess nor supersaint, but as the mother of God. McKnight lends interesting
cultural context to Mary's simple and courageous words, "let it be," and
unpacks the Magnificat as a song of protest and revolution. He poignantly
portrays Mary's gradual knowledge that her son would not be the triumphant
king envisioned as Messiah, and makes a somewhat controversial case for Mary
having other children. His sections on the immaculate conception and Mary as
mediatrix in prayer should help debunk some Protestants' false impressions of
Catholic belief. McKnight's lucid, sometimes humorous, conversational style
makes this an accessible book for a wide pool of evangelical readers. (Jan.)
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