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Researching my paper I decided to look up all the references to Mary Magdalene in the bible, a logical place to start, and discovered contrary to popular belief, she wasn't a prostitute, sacred or otherwise.

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Introduction

MARY Researching my paper I decided to look up all the references to Mary Magdalene in the bible, a logical place to start, and discovered contrary to popular belief, she wasn't a prostitute, sacred or otherwise. There was no factual information to support my current view of her. Honestly, I was disappointed. I really wanted her to be the "bad girl" in the bible. What I did find was, Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute, at least not that we know of. The Bible refers to her by name in five scenes only:(1) * as the woman from whom Jesus cast forth seven demons * as one of the women present at the crucifixion * as one of the people who witnessed his burial * as one of the women who go to the tomb to anoint his body * and as the first person to see the risen Christ interestingly enough all these stories have links to other and pagan stories as well: (2) 1. Mary Magdalene was thought to be the woman who anoints Jesus before his death, just as a sacrificial King was anointed before his ritual dying and resurrection. 2. Mary Magdalene was thought to be a prostitute, much like the temple priestesses in fertility cults were called prostitutes.1 3. Mary Magdalene was relieved of seven demons, much like Inanna passed through seven gates, shedding her garments as she descended.1 4. ...read more.

Middle

Confusion about the identities of these characters occurred as early as the 3rd century, but Pope Gregory the Great struck the final blow with a homily at the end of the 6th century in which he declared that Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany and the anonymous sinner was the same person. So now, there is only one person, Mary Magdalene, the sinner. HOW MARY MAGDALENE BECAME A PROSTITUTE The anointing scene is chalk full of violations of rabbinical law as it applies to permitted conduct of a woman. The woman's hair is worn loose, something that was associated with adulteresses since only a woman's husband was permitted to see her hair unbound.(7) She kissed Jesus' feet, a flagrant offense in a culture where male / female contact was limited to husbands and wives (or husbands and their mistresses). Although I personally don't see how the innocuous phrase "sinner from the city" equates "prostitute" even after analyzing the passage time and again, when you consider the increasingly hostile attitude held by church fathers against women, it isn't difficult to read "harlot" into the word "sinner." So now that you know how erroneous it is to think of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute, I think it's important to point out that there are reasons why legends endure. The "fallen woman" idea is powerful, and is present in a few other places. The Gnostic Sophia, Simon Magus's Helen, and the Shekinah, to name three. ...read more.

Conclusion

i, 8).LEGAL BASIS OF THE PERSECUTIONS Yet, it was only by degrees, in the course of the first age of the Church, that the term martyr came to be exclusively applied to those who had died for the faith. For a long time, I looked at Magdalene and saw a goddess figure but somehow, that didn't really make sense. She really hasn't been set up as THE feminine divine, and I don't think there is anything that should lead us to believe that. What she *does* appear to be though, both textually and legendarily, is fully human, and that is what seems to be missing from modern Christianity. Look at it this way: how spectacular is it for someone who is the Son of God to do amazing things with his life, compared to someone who is fully human? Personally, I find it much more inspiring to hear tales of someone who wasn't supposed to be divine who nonetheless did amazing things. It gives me something to aspire to. Mary was a woman in ancient times from a wealthy family who denied society's rules and played for that denial with her dignity. Not until Jesus was any type of class or modesty returned to her. Just over the last three years, the Future Church, an independent Catholic organization that lobbies for the ordination of women, has increased the number of celebrations devoted to Mary Magdalene every year from around 34 to almost 300, involving more than 15,000 people last year. ...read more.

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