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Mary the Tower

Nov 20, 2022 | Fall 2022, Megan Ramer, Sermons

An opening question for our sermonic adventure: Of all the Marys in our gospels, WHICH MARY is the Mary in John 11 and John 12? If you think you know the answer, your answer may be complicated by what you hear here. The biblical world has been shaken by the research of Elizabeth Schrader, and many of us have been introduced to Schrader’s incredible findings about Mary Magdalene in John’s gospel thanks to Diana Butler Bass preaching about it during the Wild Goose Festival in summer of 2022. A parting, poignant, and – for Pastor Megan and many others – deeply personal question to close: WHAT IF we had all grown up with both Peter the Rock and Mary the Tower?



Megan M Ramer



Year W




  • Elizabeth Schrader, research: 
  • “All the Marys,” sermon by Diana Butler Bass, preached at the Wild Goose Festival, summer 2022, listen to the audio OR read the text. This is the sermon, featuring Elizabeth Schrader’s research, upon which Megan’s is entirely based!
  • Magdalene,” song by Libbie Schrader
  • Nestle Aland Greek New Testament (Novum Testamentum Graece), edited by the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung at the University of Munster (Germany).
  • Magdala’s Mistaken Identity,” Joan E. Taylor, Biblical Archaeology Review 48:3, Fall 2022. “The site of Magdala on the shores of the Sea of Galilee is associated by many with Jesus’s famous disciple, Mary Magdalene. Ancient sources, however, indicate that the site’s first-century remains are likely those of the Galilean harbor city of Taricheae. Explore what we know of this ancient Jewish town and how it came to be mistakenly identified with Magdala.”
  • Image: Detail of Papyrus 66, red underline added, to underscore the name “Maria” with a theta (Θ – “th”) added above the iota (ί – “i”), changing Maria / Mary to Martha. Available on Wikimedia Commons.

Voices Together 527 Bless the Arms That Comfort. Text: Mary Louise Bringle. c The Hymn Society. Music: Gustav Holst, 1906. Permission to podcast the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-726929. All rights reserved.

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