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- Religion, Christian Theology, Mariology
- Religion, Christian Theology, History
- Religion, Biblical Commentary
Protevangelium of James, Infancy Gospel of James, The Virgin Mary, Mariology, Temple holiness, Early Christianity, The Old Testament
The Book of Mary
A Commentary on the Protevangelium of James
Michael P. Closs
This commentary provides a new paradigm for understanding the Protevanglium of James, an early Christian manuscript that was marginalized in the West in the late 4th century but continued to be highly valued in the East.
The Protevangelium has long been recognized as the single most important manuscript associated with the development of marian dogma in early Christianity. The theology of the manuscript and the interpretation of its contents, however, have been woefully misunderstood for almost two thousand years. The present work reveals that the Protevangelium is a theological presentation of Mary in the same genre as the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke. The story of Mary in the Protevangelium tells of a Jewish maiden whose unique vocation was to be the mother of the holy one, the Son of the Most High. The christological awareness in Gospel times was sufficient to single out Mary’s place in salvation history. However, it was her role as a holy of holies of the divine presence—a role that can only be understood within the holiness tradition of the Jewish people—that first engendered her veneration among early Christians.
Michael Closs, PhD, is a retired professor of the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is also a Catholic deacon who has served in Canada and in Mexico.
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