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What Does The Bible Say About Prostitution

How Jesus Loved The Adulteress And The Prostitute

Why Study Sex and Ethics in the Hebrew Bible with Carly Crouch

Did Jesus love the adulteress and the prostitute? Absolutely. There are two remarkable stories showing how Jesus cared for all types of people. The religious folks called the Pharisees in the time of Jesus were offended, because in their view God loved only the righteous who kept the law. They therefore distanced themselves from so-called unclean sinners in their delusions of self-righteousness.

But Jesus was often eating and drinking with corrupt tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. He met people where they were and healed them. In addition, Jesus proclaimed that both law-keepers and law-breakers are sinners in need of forgiveness. How could this be?

The Adulteress and Jesus

One day, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees wanted to set a trap for Jesus so they could humiliate him in public. They executed this plan by bringing in a woman whom they claim was caught in the act of adultery and asking Jesus whether she should be stoned in accordance with the Law of Moses.

This is a familiar combination of sex, a woman, public disgrace and a double standard. The woman was used as a pawn in a power play to discredit Jesus.

Instead of giving them a simple yes or no answer, Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. Why was he looking down on the ground? What was he writing? Then Jesus stood up and said Let the one among you who is without sin cast the first stone!

The Prostitute and Jesus


What The Bible Says About Mary Magdalene

All four canonical gospels of the New Testament noted Mary Magdalenes presence at Jesuss Crucifixion, but only the Gospel of Luke discussed her role in Jesuss life and ministry, listing her among some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities .

According to Luke, after Jesus cast out seven demons from her, Mary became part of a group of women who traveled with him and his 12 disciples/apostles, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Magdalene is not a surname, but identified the place Mary came from: Magdala, a city in Galilee, located in the northernmost region of ancient Palestine .

The crucifixion of Jesus with the Virgin Mary, Saint John and Mary Magdalene.

Daniela Cammilli for Alinari/Alinari Archives, Florence-Reproduced with the permission of Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali/Alinari via Getty Images

Mary Magdalene is among Jesuss early followers, says Robert Cargill, assistant professor of classics and religious studies at the University of Iowa and editor of Biblical Archaeology Review. She was named in the Gospels, so she obviously was important. There were apparently hundreds, if not thousands, of followers of Jesus, but we don’t know most of their names. So the fact that she’s named is a big deal.

The women are the ones who go and tell the disciples, Cargill points out. They are the ones that discovered that he had risen, and thats significant.

READ MORE: What Did Jesus Look Like?

What Does The Bible Say About Mary Magdalene

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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Why Do So Many Christians Claim She 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.

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What Does The Bible Say About Prostitution

Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute? What does the Bible say?

Sometimes it seems that the Bible cant make up its mind about prostitutes.

It clearly forbids the act of prostitution but treats individual prostitutes with understanding and even respect.

Some ancient religions included prostitution as part of their worship, so the Old Testament routinely warns the Israelites against this practice. Sexual ethics are a key part of ancient Jewish law. Thats why its shocking when Rahab the prostitute gets props throughout the Bible for helping the Israelites conquer Jericho. What?!

In the Gospels, Jesus causes a scandal by showing kindness to prostitutes and other socially outcast women. While he never approves of their line of work, he welcomes them as his followers. Amazingly, he says that prostitutes will enter Gods kingdom ahead of the hypocritical religious leaders.

What do you think? We invite you to consider reading more. Take a Look Inside.

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Contradictions In The Bible

There are lots of seeming contradictions in the Bible. Does that make it unreliable?

This video from our friends at the Bible Project might help explain some confusing things in the Bible.

Maybe not when you consider where it came from. The Bible is a collection of writings from different authors, times, places, and cultures. Even different languages. Sometimes words change meanings over the centuries. Sometimes the same characters have several different names.

It also helps to consider the different audiences for these works. The history books of Kings and Chronicles cover some of the same material but for different nations. Matthew writes about Jesus for Jews, and Luke writes the same material for Greeks.

There may also be repetitions, rounding off, or different perspectives that explain some seeming contradictions. Its reasonable to think that Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount multiple times , and so the version in Luke could be just as accurate as the one in Matthew 57.

Because of these literary, cultural, and sociological influences, it helps to proceed with caution when applying modern journalistic standards to these ancient writings. Biblical authors sometimes use different historical methods that wouldnt pass muster todaybut were accepted practice for the day.

Why not Look Inside for yourself?

Why Is The Bible So Boring

Sure, the Bible can be a bit yawn-worthy at times, but it has riveting adventures, too.

In a way, the Bible is a vast storeroom, containing thousands of years worth of information and experience. Different parts will strike different folks in different ways.

For example: Leviticus is sort of a rulebook, akin to a modern-day penal code. You might find it tediousunless youre a lawyer.

Exodus has specs for the exact weights and measures for building temples and altars. Its really OCDunless youre an architect or engineer.

The Bible also contains many genealogies: lists of generation after generation, going back to the first-known human so it can sometimes feel like unraveling a very confusing family tree. But some folks are into that.

Inevitably, some things in the Bible just wont capture your fancy. But others might.

In fact, there are many stories in the Bible that are downright thrilling. The kind of dramas youd binge-watch on weekends. Stories about sex, murder, betrayal, deception, and redemption. Like the one where a teenage boy slays a warrior twice his size. Or the one where a sea splits in two. Or the one where a queen is served the head of a foe upon a platter. Yeah. Stories that are rarely G-rated.

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Which Side Is God On

With decriminalization actually gaining ground as a political issue, we may be hearing about it a lot more in the years to come. Its clear where Hookers for Jesus stand on the issue, but what about the man himself? If Jesus were around today, where would he figure in on this debate?

Would the son of God, known to meet with all manner of sinners including prostitutes be comfortable with the idea of decriminalizing prostitution?

Or would he be in favor of keeping it illegal on the basis of morality? The Bible explicitly prohibits adultery, after all. And just because Jesus loves the sinner doesnt mean He loves the sin or thinks it should be legal.

What do you think? Should prostitution be decriminalized? Where, exactly, does God fit into the debate?

Who Was Mary Magdalene

âI Have No Interest in the Bible – It’s a Fairytaleâ?

Truly a woman of her time.

She found ways to revinted her image throughout her life. She changed from a prostitute to sibyl to mystic to celibate nun. She is a feminist icon to the matriarch of divinitys secret dynasty.

Each of these women are used to show how a person can change.

Their past is remembered, but its also as symbol for sexual desire when domesticated.

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It was dangerous to be with Jesus and many men left when he was captured, Mary of Magdala was one of the women who stayed with him, even to the Crucifixion.

She was present at the tomb, she was the first person to see Jesus come back from the dead, to deliver the good miracle to people and continue the Catholic faith.

It seemed that her status of an apostle was even on the bar with legendary men such as Peter.

This is due to her relationship with Jesus, which, according to some accounts, had a physical aspect that included kissing.

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Why Are There So Many Bad Feelings About The Bible

Good question. And while some have issues with what the Bible actually says, others have problems with the people who quote it.

Before we begin, please watch the video for a long-overdue apology.

Okay. So there are a lot of people out there who believe the Bible is judgmental, inconsistent, ignorant, and old-fashioned. Their issue is with the Bible itself. Some of those people have read the Bible. Some havent. And some dont even want to, since some obnoxious Bible-beater has turned them off. Their issue is with Bible people.

Lets deal with the Bible issue first.

Can the Bible judge us at times? Yes. And thats not always fun. Sort of like a personal trainer pushing you to be your best self. But along with the judgment, theres a stronger message of love. The two actually go together. Is it old-fashioned? Well, its certainly old. But despite the fact that it was written by 40 or more people thousands of years ago, we still find great wisdom and fresh ideas in the Bible. But dont take our word for it. Look inside the Bible and see for yourself.

Now, to the Bible people issue.

We think theres a big difference between wielding the Bible as a sledgehammer and letting it lead us into an authentic interaction with God. Were aiming for the latter.

Whether your feelings about the Bible have been negative, positive, or apathetic, we invite you to get the whole picture by Looking Inside.

Should We Take The Bible Literally Or Not

Depends on your point of view.

Do you believe in miracles? Literally?

Those who dont believe in miracles tend to interpret many Bible stories as fables and metaphors for life lessons rather than actual occurrences.

But if you do believe the Creator can still make supernatural things happen once in a while, then it wont be so hard to accept biblical events like the parting of a sea, city walls spontaneously tumbling down, or water turning into wine.

Of course, some parts of the Bible are more artistic and less literalfor example, the poetic book of Psalms, the witty parable stories told by Jesus, and much of the vivid picture-language used by prophets in the Old Testament. And still other biblical authors seem to take great pains to describe what really happened.

The bottom line? The Bible invites everyone to read it even if you have trouble buying some of the miracles. If an improbable event trips you up, try thinking about itsdeeper meaning.

Just keep an open mind as you Look Inside.

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Bible Verses About Prostitution

Prostitution is one of the oldest forms of dishonest gain in the world. We always hear about women prostitutes, but there are even male prostitutes as well. Scripture tells us that they will not enter into Heaven.

Prostitution has become so huge that it has even gone online.

Craigslist and Back Page are considered online street corners for prostitutes.

Christians are told to stay away from this sinful lifestyle because it is immoral, illegal, and very dangerous.

Your body is Gods temple and God did not make us to defile our body in any way.

Going to a prostitute is just as bad as being a prostitute. James 1:15 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Stay clear of sexual immorality.

Is there hope for prostitutes? Will God forgive them? Scripture never says prostitution is the worst sin. In fact, there are believers in Scripture who were former prostitutes.

The blood of Christ covers all sins. Jesus took away our shame on the cross. If a prostitute will turn from their sins and trust in Christ for salvation, eternal life is theirs.


  • Prostitute: A Lady who sells her body to those who have sold their morals.
  • Prostitutes are in no danger of finding their present life so satisfactory that they cannot turn to God: the proud, the avaricious, the self-righteous, are in that danger. C.S. Lewis

What does the Bible say?

5. Deuteronomy 23:17 No Israelite, whether man or woman, may become a temple prostitute.

One with a prostitute!

Legalized Prostitution: What Does The Bible Say


Heres a line you might not expect to read everyday: conservative Christian Republicans are all-in on their support for hookers.

But not just any hookers: the group in question is apparently divinely inspired. A recent report revealed that the Trump administration redirected over $500,000 in funds once earmarked for an apolitical Catholic charity to a different charity called Hookers for Jesus.

The evangelical Christian group is run by a born-again human trafficking survivor. One of its major lobbying efforts is against decriminalizing prostitution a proposal thats gaining steam in some progressive circles.

But Hookers for Jesus also hosts a safehouse for women whove escaped the sex trafficking world, and the group requires their guests to abide by strict biblical rules and participate in religious activities. In other words, U.S. taxpayer money is being used to force Christianity on those looking to escape human trafficking. Unsurprisingly, some critics are not happy about it.

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Is The Bible A Fairy Tale

Some might think the stories of the Bible are magical, made-up events with little connection to historical reality. But thats not how the Bible presents itself.

It claims to be a true and trustworthy account of the way the world really is, who God really is, and how human beings can live full lives.

While fairy tales happen once upon a time in a vague neverland, the main characters of the BibleJesus, David, Moses, and Abraham are real human beings who walked the earth. You can still visit the city of Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee today.

And the rulers found throughout the Bible are not just too-good-to-be-true Prince Charmings. You can read about Herod, Pilate, Cyrus the Great, and the Pharaohs of Egypt not only in the Bible but also in history texts. The Gospel of Luke begins the Christmas story by placing Jesuss birth during the reign of Augustus Caesar of Rome and an obscure Syrian governor named Quiriniuswhose name does indeed show up on ancient inscriptions.

Some parts of the Biblelike poetry and parablesare clearly not intended as historical, but its central story claims to be rooted in history. Unlike even the best fairy tales.

Why not join us and Look Inside for yourself?

Bringing Prostitution Out Of The Shadows

It’s often referred to as “the world’s oldest profession.” Whether accurate or not, time has proven that prostitution is not something that be legislated out of existence. Where outlawed, it just goes into the shadows. “If it’s going to exist either way, why not bring it out into the open?” the argument goes. Research also shows this could provide a much safer environment for sex workers.

Recent polling has revealed surprising support for decriminalizing prostitution and solicitation. And even some presidential candidates are talking about it on the campaign trail. Presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard has pushed most strongly for decriminalization, arguing: If a consenting adult wants to engage in sex work, that is their right, and it should not be a crime. All people should have autonomy over their bodies and their labor.

Fellow Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has also insisted she was open to decriminalizing sex work, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders concedes it’s a complicated issue, but one that merits further discussion. Of the 2020 candidates, only Gabbard received high marks from the group Decriminalize Sex Work.

Republicans, however, appear unlikely to back decriminalization any time soon. Although some are in favor of the Nordic model, which decriminalizes the selling of sex but keeps purchasing illegal, many are in favor of maintaining the status quo.

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