Book Review: The Real Mary
Author: Scot McKnight
Publisher: Paraclete Press ISBN: 9781557255235
I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get around to reading this book. It wasn’t exactly what I expected when I ordered/purchased it, but it did satisfy some of my questions and has helped me along the way as I continue to study and try to understand the role of Mary in my Christian faith.
I have long respected Scot McKnight as a scholar and a writer. I trust the integrity of his work and I am able to “follow his pen” as it were… I get what he is teaching through his writing and this book is no exception.
The first part of the book is more of a meditation through the Gospels, visiting all the Scripture references about Mary and examining what they say about her. These were not the original questions I was seeking answers from this book, but as I journeyed through part one, I started to realize the importance of spending time with Mary of the Gospels. She was certainly a woman of importance and influence; I think that sometimes it is easy to forget this and the meditative reading of Mary through the Gospels was a great reminder.
Part two of The Real Mary was more akin to what I was looking for in the book. In it, McKnight addresses some of the controversy and disagreement between the views of Mary in Church tradition. I wish there had been more information about the Orthodox (Eastern) tradition as most of the discussion favored Roman Catholic positions and Protestant interpretation. Nonetheless, the information was extremely helpful for me to have a “jumping off point” for further study.
The appendices provide a great resource for further reflections, reading, and study with Scripture references, bibliography, and source index. I wish the book would have been a little more comprehensive in its scope, but I did find that it more than sufficiently answered some of my questions and provided me with rich resources to continue my study. I found some surprising information while reading about The Real Mary and I believe the same will be true for others who take up this little book with the same curiosity as I did.