Mary Magdalene, or just Magdalene, of the New Testament, was one of the notable women of the bible who has become, in our day, the subject of unwholesome talk and destructive rumors for some.
The truth is, when we focus in upon the time period of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, Mary Magdalene is mentioned more than any other person, including Mary, the mother of Jesus! What a shock that must be to Catholics, who think the Mary they were taught of as being the sinless, co-redeemptress and sovereign Queen of the universe had, in reality, a less than prominent mention in Jesus' resurrection appearances!
So let's separate fact from fiction to better know the real Mary Magdalene of the New Testament. The real Mary Magdalene was a woman who was cured of evil spirits and diseases by the Lord Jesus, as were some other women:
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. (Luke 8:1-3)
Mary Magdalene had seven demons driven out of her (Mk. 16:9), but how she first got those seven evil spirits remains a complete bible mystery!
Was Mary Magdalene once involved in the occult
like so many others, who also got demons? Again we have no clue, but the Jesus and Mary Magdalene encounter led to an exorcism
Myths About Mary Magdalene
The common myths about Mary Magdalene are sometimes shocking. The real Mary Magdalene bible story is much different than the myths and traditions of our day. Now, too many wrongly think, Mary Magdalene:
- was married to Jesus and had a baby with him
- was previously a prostitute before coming to Jesus
- became an apostle
- was the woman who anointed Jesus feet with perfume in the gospels
- was the figure to Jesus' right in Leonardo's Da Vinci's (1452 -1519) famous Last Supper painting of the 15th century, and the basis of Dan Brown's fictional Da Vinci Code novel, which attacks Christianity.
Facts About Mary Magdalene:
- she is not mentioned in the book of Acts or afterwards, but was only cited in all four gospel accounts
- she was the first person Jesus appeared to after his bodily resurrection (Mk. 16:9)
- she was present at the death (Mt. 27:54-56), burial (Mt. 27:59-61) and immediately after the resurrection of Jesus (Mark 16:9) -- key events for Jesus and the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-5)
- only Mary Magdalene (Lk. 8:2) and the mad man of the region of the Gerasenes (Mark 5:1-13) are cited in the NT as having multiple demons exorcised by the Lord Jesus.
Mary Magdalene In Art
Some artistic pictures show Mary Magdalene as a defiant looking female adorned with jewelry and make up. As with pictures of Jesus, such images of Mary Magdalene are the result of an artist's imagination only and without scriptural backing.
No one knows what any of the people of the bible looked liked, including Mary Magdalene before or after finding Jesus. Certainly, the real Mary Magdalene who followed Jesus, was a woman who was not trying to get men to lust after her body and consequently dressed in an appropriate way. It is preposterous to believe any godly woman, seeking to enter God's kingdom, would dress otherwise.
Mary Magdalene and Pope Gregory
As with many other religious myths, Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) started the myth that it was Mary Magdalene who anointed Jesus' feet with perfume. Pope Gregory also cited Mary Magdalene in conjunction with his invented list of seven deadly sins
and the sin of lust
. Again, there is absolutely NO basis for such a view of Mary Magdalene.
Mary Magdalene and The Fictional Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown, author of the made-up Da Vinci Code, has Mary Magdalene being married to Jesus and the mother of his child!
Brown also ludicrously thinks Mary Magdalene was the figure to the right of Jesus in the Last Supper painting by Da Vinci, which would mean nothing even if it was true, which it isn't!
Since there are only twelve people with Jesus in that painting, one must wonder which of the apostles does Brown exclude to fit in Mary Magdalene? Scripture shows only the Twelve apostles shared the last supper with the Lord Jesus (Mt. 26:19,20) without the slightest inference to Mary Magdalene or anyone else! In reality, only men were present.
The Real Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene was a recipient of God's liberating and cleansing powers, as all new creations in Christ
can testify to, but with her there was an important exorcism
too. Mary Magdalene also remained lovingly faithful to Jesus, unlike others (Jn. 6:66) even after Jesus' death when it appeared he was dead and gone forever.
We have no other trustworthy data about Mary Magdalene. Perhaps, Mary Magdalene is inferred in the word women
in Acts 1:14, but we can't be sure. For your own good, stay in the bible and don't go beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6) about Mary Magdalene or anything else and you won't be deceived. FYI, there is no Holy Spirit inspired book called the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Mary Magdalene death is a complete mystery.
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