In the printed program, the presentation given by George Zervos is entitled “New Light on an Early Jewish-Christian Temple Source.” His first PowerPoint slide, however, gave his title as “The Genesis of Mary: The Mary of Faith and the Mary of History” and featured an image of Michelangelo’s Pietà.
But his actual presentation, devoted at least partially to the ancient (possibly even first-century) apocryphal text of The Genesis of Mary, did allude to that text’s uncharacteristically positive Christian attitude toward the Jewish temple. But then, for the most part, he spent the rest of his time tracing the steadily growing veneration of Mary in the first centuries of Christian history (phases in what he calls “the amplification of Mary”) and then contrasts that veneration with what Mary actually was — a first-century Palestinian Jewish woman of the lower classes. No glory. No grandeur. Nothing about the “ever-virgin queen of heaven” who was, among many other things, the “invincible general” of the armies of the Byzantine Empire.
In the end, though, he returned to the prominent role played by the temple of Jerusalem in the Protevangelium of James, which is, to a significant degree, a reworking of The Genesis of Mary.
Again, those of you who missed this program in Provo today still have a chance to attend pretty much the same program tomorrow, on the campus of Utah State University in Logan.