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Mary Magdalene

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Mary Magdalene Empty Mary Magdalene

Post Neon Knight on Thu 19 Sep - 23:09

Daily Mail, 17th September 2019:

Where does the notion come from that Mary Magdalene was a former prostitute? I can find no evidence in the Bible.

There is no biblical evidence that Mary Magdalene (Mary of Magdala) was a prostitute. Nevertheless, the powerful popular image of her as a fallen and redeemed woman has been fostered through the centuries through works of art that have accentuated her sensuality and spirituality.

Mary Magdalene is mentioned by name twelve times in the Gospels, more than most of the Apostles, and she is the second most mentioned woman after the Virgin Mary. She was the first person to see the resurrected Christ.

Her legend is cemented by the story of how Jesus cleansed her of seven demons (Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9). Through the ages this has been argued as proof of past wickedness, though most scholars agree that Jesus cured her of an illness, rather than possession.

Almost unique among women in the Bible, she is not identified in terms of being a mother, wife or sister. It is believed that she was probably a wealthy, independent woman who financially supported Jesus’s ministry.

Mary Magdalene proved herself a woman of indomitable will. Unlike the Apostles, who scurried off after the Crucifixion, she remained strong. her faithfulness was rewarded with the appearance of the resurrected Christ.

Her transformation to penitent prostitute was sealed on September 14, 591, when Pope Gregory I delivered a homily stating: ‘She whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary [of Bethany], we believe to be the Mary from whom seven devils were ejected according to Mark. And what did these seven devils signify, if not all the vices? It is clear, brothers, that the woman previously used the unguents to perfume her flesh acts.’

Pope Gregory had misrepresented or misunderstood the Gospel narrative conflating different Marys, including Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus, and Mary the sinner who washed Jesus’s feet with her tears, into a more salacious figure. From that time on she became ‘penitent Mary’ and a ‘great sinner’.

Paul’s epistles make it clear that women held prominent and respected positions in the early Church. however, this new religion of equality could not hold out against the rising tide of patriarchalism. It seems possible the Church suppressed Mary Magdalene’s authority by attacking her moral character.

The misconception about Mary Magdalene was finally corrected in 2016 when the Vatican conceded that as the first messenger of the resurrected Christ, she was the ‘Apostle to the Apostles’.

Simone Bowen, Nottingham.

Mary Magdalene Englan11

Between the velvet lies, there's a truth that's hard as steel
The vision never dies, life's a never ending wheel
- R.J.Dio
Neon Knight
Neon Knight
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