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What Does The Bible Say About Mary Magdalene

Discussing The Chosen Episode 2

Who was Mary Magdalene? naasunion.com

To begin your discussion of The Chosen episode 2, I’d invite your to discuss a couple questions:

  • How many Shabbat meals did the episode portray?

  • Which meal do you think you would want to attend?

  • What did Mary’s Shabbat mean to her?

  • What did the Shabbat of Nicodemus and the Pharisees mean to them?

  • What are some of the other differences you noticed between the Shabbat of Mary and the Shabbat of Nicodemus and the Pharisees?

  • Why do you think Jesus chose to attend the Shabbat of Mary?

Explain that The Chosen uses the differences between Mary’s Shabbat and the Shabbat of Nicodemus the Pharisees in order to show the contrast between two very different visions of what Shabbat/the Sabbath are all about. Jesus highlights the differences between these two visions in Luke 14:1-24 :

One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, âIs it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?â But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, âWhich of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?â And they could not reply to these things.

After sharing this passage of Scripture, you can ask:

Was Mary Magdalene Wife Of Jesus Was Mary Magdalene A Prostitute

How did her reputation evolve from saint to sinner?

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Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute? Was Mary Magdalene wife of Jesus? Her being a repentant whore was not part of the Biblical text. Pictured here is Chris Gollons painting The Pre-penitent Magdalene.

When novelists and screenwriters try to insert something salacious into the life of Jesus, they focus on one woman: . Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute? Was Mary Magdalene the wife of Jesus? Birger A. Pearson addresses these popular notions in the article From Saint to Sinner below.

As Pearson notes, theres no substantial evidence to either of these theories. As for her being named in the New Testament, none of the Gospels hints of her as being Mary Magdalene, wife of Jesus. Three Gospels name her only as a witness of his crucifixion and/or burial. All four Gospels place her at the scene of Jesus resurrection . Only in the Gospel according to Luke is there even the slightest implication that she might have had a past life that could raise eyebrows and the question: Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute? Luke 8 names her among other female followers and financial supporters and says that she had been released from the power of seven demons.

Was Mary Magdalene An Apostle To The Apostles

No. The Catholic Church calls Mary St.;Mary Magdalene as well as the apostle to the apostles because she was among the first to bring news of Jesus resurrection to the apostles. But this does not make her an apostle. And nowhere in the Scriptures is she called such.Luke 6:12-16.

The Bible was completed near the end of the first century;C.E. Yet, it was not until the sixth century that church authorities took it upon themselves to elevate Mary Magdalene to a higher status. In writings from the second and third centurieswhich are not part of the Bible canonsome of Jesus apostles are described as being jealous of Mary. Such fabricated stories have no basis in the Scriptures.

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Why Do Gnostics Consider Mary Magdalene The Greatest Apostle

by Miguel Conner | Jul 15, 2015

Mainstream Christianity has many views of Mary Magdalene. She is a penitent sinner, a redeemed prostitute, the first witness to the Resurrection, the messenger to the Apostles, and a source of erotic inspiration for artists throughout history. Mary Magdalene is a complex, misunderstood, and marginalized figure in Orthodoxy, a symbol for the plight of females within the Christian religion.

But in Gnosticism her role is clearly definedMary Magdalene is not only the main Apostle to the living Christ but a Gnostic leader for the ages.

This declaration is perhaps ironic since Gnostics have a tendency to continually re-interpret and re-evaluate Biblical characters to suit their spiritual explorations. But theres something about Mary.

One of the most thorough expositions on the Gnostic Mary Magdalene comes from Jane Schabergs The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene. Schaberg lists nine characteristics that define the consort of Jesus Christ, as she is known in Gnostic and Apocryphal texts:

Theory : Mary Magdalene Is Mary Of Bethany

Many Christians confuse the two, and with valid reason. Im not going to go into the differences between them at the moment. This will be a much larger discussion later on.

Most relevant to the discussion, John specifically identifies the woman who anoints Jesus feet and wipes them with her hair in John 12:1-8 as Mary of Bethany.;

People often assume that John and the ones in;Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9 are parallel passages with Luke 7:36-50.; Because they cant recall what the gospel actually says, they simply remember it involves someone named Mary. They often assume this is Mary Magdalene because of the association already made between her and the sinful woman from Lukes gospel.

But no gospel writer ever identifies the woman who anointed Jesus as Mary Magdalene.;

Well see where this idea comes from later on and the source of the confusion. If you want to compare the above passages, you can read more about it here.

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Were Jesus And Mary Lovers

Some scholars have interpreted the kiss in a more spiritual sense and see kissing as a symbol for an intimate reception of teaching of the word of God, of learning. The image of Jesus and Mary as engaged in mouth-to-mouth closeness suggests not necessarily sexuality, but the transmission of divine knowledge.

“Apocryphal” took on very negative connotations, especially in comparison to the Bible. It often means that it’s not to be read, not to be taken seriously, not to be considered, not true. The contents of these books are regarded by many people as legends. So can we believe the Gospel of Philip? Was Mary really Jesus’ closest companion? Well, there is other evidence for this, and some of it is even in the Bible itself.

What Is The True Story Of Mary Magdalene

But neither theory penitent prostitute or devoted spouse actually matches what can be said about from whats written in the Bible: She was a woman from Magdala, a small Galilean town known for its fishing, who became a female disciple and was first witness to Jesus resurrection, the cornerstone of

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How Should We View Mary

Mary set a fine example of faith, obedience, humility, and deep spirituality. She is among the faithful ones whom we do well to imitate.Hebrews 6:12.

Yet, despite her unique role as the mother of Jesus, the Bible does not teach that we should worship Mary or pray to her. Jesus did not single out his mother for special honor, nor did he tell his followers to do so. In fact, outside of the Gospel accounts and a single reference in the book of Acts, Mary is not mentioned in the remaining 22 books of the so-called New Testament.Acts 1:14.

The Scriptures provide no evidence that Mary received special attentionlet alone venerationby first-century Christians. Rather, the Bible teaches Christians to worship only God.Matthew 4:10.

^ par. 2 The Hebrew word rendered young woman in Isaiahs prophecy is al·mah, which can refer to either a virgin or a nonvirgin woman. However, under divine inspiration, Matthew used the more specific Greek word par·thenos, which means virgin.

^ par. 4 Some object to the use of the term Gods Son, believing that it implies that God had sexual relations with a woman. However, this idea is not taught in the Scriptures. Rather, the Bible calls Jesus Gods Son and the firstborn of all creation because he was the first and only one created directly by God. The Bible also refers to the first man, Adam, as the son of God. This was because Adam was created by God.

^ par. 8 Second Edition, Volume;7, page;331.

What Does The Bible Say About Mary Magdalene

Why Did The Gospels Try To Erase Mary Magdalene? | Secrets of The Cross | Timeline

We only have one hint at Mary Magdalenes life before she followed Jesus. When He casts seven demons out of her, as Luke 8:1-3 says, Mary Magdalene does a complete turnaround and follows Jesus for the rest of His ministry.

Heres what else we know about her:

  • She witnessed Jesus death and was the first person to see Him resurrected .
  • And she likely awaited the descent of the Holy Spirit after Jesus ascended .

Aside from that, we dont have many clear details about her from Scripture.

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How The Catholic Church Corrected The Misunderstanding Of Mary Magdalene

The Catholic church changed the feast day Gospel reading from Lukes sinner woman to Johns women who witness the resurrection and went forth to proclaim the good news to the other disciples. Pope Paul VI made a significant change in correcting the understanding of Mary Magdalene and bestowing the honor due to a saint. It may have taken 1400 odd years for the truth to triumph. Mary Magdalene, like her master Jesus, was misunderstood and victimized.

Theory : Mary Magdalene Is The Woman Caught In Adultery In John : 53

The woman taken in adultery by Rembrandt ; Public domain

Another common opinion is that Mary Magdalene is the adulterous woman from Johns gospel.

In this passage, Jesus is teaching in the Temple where he has amassed a large audience. Suddenly the teachers of the law and the Pharisees bring out a woman caught in adultery for Jesus to judge. They force her to stand before the whole crowd while awaiting Jesus response.

Instead of replying, Jesus bends down and begins writing in the sand with his finger. Then he responds Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.

Those who hear Jesus have no answer to this. They know they are all guilty of some kind of sin. How can they possibly stand in that position of judgment when they have fallen short themselves? So they leave one at a time, until only Jesus is left, with the woman;standing there alone.

Then Jesus asks her, Woman, where are they? Has no-one condemned you?

No-one sir, she replies.

Jesus speaks words of forgiveness to her. Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.

But nevertheless, even though its a complete stretch, people have still linked her to this passage as well see in the various examples below.

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Why Do So Many Christians Claim Mary Magdalene Was A Prostitute

If no Scriptural evidence directly ties her to this role, where did the prostitute affiliation come from?

In the 6th century Pope Gregory the Great that the sinful woman mentioned in Luke 7:36-50 was the same person as Mary Magdalene. He even asserted that Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany were the same person. The Eastern Orthodox Church never linked Mary Magdalenes identity with the sinful woman in Luke 7.

Mary Ann Beavis explained for Baylor Universitys Center for Christian Ethics:

Although Gregory did not actually call her a prostitute, he interpreted the ‘seven demons’ of which she had been exorcised as the totality of vices, and asserted that the ointment she used to anoint Jesus feet had previously been used by her to perfume her body for sensual purposes. Subsequently, the legend of Mary Magdalene, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, as a beautiful, vain, and lustful young woman saved from a life of sin by her devotion to Jesus became dominant in western Christianity, although the eastern church continued to regard Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany as distinct saints, and identified neither with Lukes sinner.

Although the Western church, since the late 20th century, has attempted to undo the false representations of Mary in the past, some of those misconceptions still linger, especially in popular culture.

Why Is The Gospel Of Mary Magdalene Not In The Bible

As most ancient Christian texts have been lost, this discovery was exceptional. The discovery includes the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip and the Acts of Peter. None of these texts were included in the Bible, because the content didnt conform to Christian doctrine, and theyre referred to as apocryphal.

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Did Mary Magdalene That Poured Out Perfume At Jesus Feet

She was one of many in a literal sea of Marys that followed Jesus, being that it was the most common name for a Jewish female. Thus, when writing about her, it was necessary to clarify which Mary. Some historians claim that it was not Mary Magdalene that poured out perfume onto Jesus feet, but rather Mary of Bethany. Although the account is recorded in all of the Gospels, .

“A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisees house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.”Luke 7:37NIV

Its also proposed that by confusing the two, and inaccurate version of a promiscuous Mary Magdalene circulated. It certainly makes sense for Mary to pour out perfume at Jesus feet. Shes often given credit for understanding the teachings of Jesus more than anyone else. So when he explains to a haughty Judas that you will always have the poor, but you will not always have me, it may seem plausible to give light to the possibility that it was, indeed, the same Mary Magdalene who was delivered from seven demons.

What Happened To Mary Magdalene After The Resurrection

Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles.Luke 24:10 NIV

Mary was the first to tell the full gospel story. When the angels told her to go in , she became the first to feel the call and pull of Christ on her life to tell of His resurrection. Women were not called to testify in that age, and their word didnt lend credibility to any historically recorded event. Why would Christians place these women at the center of the Gospel account; in a society where women were not held in equal regard to men? Some early documents give credit to Simon Peter for seeing Jesus first and suggest it aggravated him that Mary was so close to Jesus.

Many of the disciples and Apostles lived lives of evangelism, many becoming martyrs for the early establishment of Christianity. What about Mary Magdalene? Her powerful witness of Jesus Christ was undoubtedly put in place to strengthen the faith of others. There are some that claim she married the apostle John, others that she accompanied him to Ephesus. Still more say that she evangelized southeastern France and spent her last 30 years in an Alpine cavern. There are still more stories and legends, including one;legend that tells a story of she and other disciples being stranded on a rudderless boat in the middle of the sea and miraculously coming ashore.

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There are many scholars who argue that because Jesus empowered women to such an extent early in his ministry, it made some of the men who would lead the early church later on uncomfortable, Cargill explains. And so there were two responses to this. One was to turn her into a prostitute.

To cast Mary as the original repentant whore, early church leaders conflated her with other women mentioned in the Bible, including an unnamed woman, identified in the Gospel of Luke as a sinner, who bathes Jesuss feet with her tears, dries them and puts ointment on them , as well as another Mary, Mary of Bethany, who also appears in Luke. In 591 A.D., Pope Gregory the Great solidified this misunderstanding in a sermon: She whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary , we believe to be the Mary from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark.”

By turning into a prostitute, then she is not as important. It diminishes her in some way. She couldn’t have been a leader, because look at what she did for a living, Cargill says. Of course, the other response was actually to elevate Mary. Some argued she was actually Jesus wife, or companion. She had a special status.

Jesus at the table in the house of the Pharisee, receiving the visit of Mary Magdalene, depicted as a prostitute bowing at Jesus’s feet.

Jesus Appearance To Mary Magdalene In The Bible After His Resurrection

Mary Magdalene: Apostle to the Apostles

Out of all the stories about Mary Magdalene in the Bible, one that gives us the most insight into her character is from John 20:11-18, when Jesus first appeared to Mary after the resurrection.

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomband saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, Woman, why are you crying?

They have taken my Lord away, she said, and I dont know where they have put him.At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her, Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.

Jesus said to her, Mary.

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, Rabboni! .

Jesus said, Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.

Can you imagine what Mary experienced during this encounter?

Jesus, whom she believed to be dead, was alive! She was so shocked that she didnt recognize him at firstuntil he said her name. Then, she immediately called out to him and honored him as her teacher and Lord.

Guess what! This post is part of a series on Great Women of the Bible.

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