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Apostola Apostolorum: Hippolytus On The Song Of Songs

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Chapter Summary

The Commentary on the Song of Songs of Hippolytus is significant not only for the appearance of Martha, but also because it is the earliest extant text to name the myrrhophores 'apostles to the apostles.' The notion of the Magdalene as apostola apostolorum has become so firmly entrenched that scholars have found it difficult to conceive that it is not Mary Magdalene, but Martha and Mary who receive this designation here. Song of Songs 3:1-4 describes the search of the woman for her lover at night, her encounter with the watchmen and finally with the one whom she has been seeking, holding him and not letting him go until she leads him into her mother's house. Hippolytus refers explicitly to the four canonical Gospels, which would suggest that his Easter narrative derives from one of these four Gospels, rather than from some other non-canonical source.

Keywords: apostola apostolorum ; canonical Gospels; Easter narrative; Hippolytus; Martha; Mary Magdalene; Song of Songs



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