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Noli me tangere

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Noli me tangere, meaning "don't touch me", is the Latin version of words spoken, according to John 20:17, by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when she recognizes him after his resurrection.

The original phrase, Μή μου ἅπτου, in the Gospel of John, which was written in Greek, is better represented in translation as "cease holding on to me" or "stop clinging to me".[1] The biblical scene of Mary Magdalene's recognizing Jesus Christ after his resurrection became the subject of a long, widespread and continuous iconographic tradition in Christian art from late antiquity to the present.[2]

Liturgical use

The words were a popular trope in Gregorian chant. The supposed moment in which they were spoken was a popular subject for paintings in cycles of the Life of Christ and as single subjects, for which the phrase is the usual title.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church the Gospel lesson on Noli me tangere is one of the Twelve Matins Gospels read during the All Night Vigil on Sunday mornings.



This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Noli me tangere. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.
  1. See, for instance, "Touch Me Not" by Gary F. Zeolla or Greek Verbs. In fact the form of the verb used is not the aorist imperative, which would indicate momentary or point action, but the present, which indicates an action in progress (Lesson Five - Greek Verbs). When, later in the same chapter, Jesus invites Thomas to touch his side, the aorist imperative is used to indicate the proposed momentary action (John 20:27). See also Jeremy Duff, The Elements of New Testament Greek, 7.2.2. "The difference between the Present and Aorist Imperatives".
  2. See G. Schiller, "Ikonographie der christlichen Kunst", vol. 3, Auferstehung und Erhöhung Christi, Gütersloh 2 1986 (ISBN 3-579-04137-1), p. 95-98, pl. 275-297; Art. Noli me tangere, in: "Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie", vol. 3 Allgemeine Ikonographie L-R, Rom Freiburg Basel Wien 1971 (ISBN 3-451-22568-9), col. 332-336.

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