Angel: Mary Magdalene Essay Sample

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Si Maria Magdalena o Maria ng Magdala ay isang santo ng Romano Katoliko. Matutunghayan siya sa Bagong Tipan ng Bibliyabilang isang babaeng pinagaling ni Hesus mula sa mga sumasanib na masasamang espiritu. Naging isa siyang debotong tagasunod ni Hesus. Naroroon siya nang ipako sa krus si Hesus. Pinaniniwalaang siya rin ang makasalanang babaeng kinaawaan ni Hesus, kaya’t naging kasingkahulugan ng nagbagong-loob na taong makasalanan ang pangalang Magdalena

“Who was Mary Magdalene?”

Answer: Mary Magdalene was a woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons (Luke 8:2). The name Magdalene likely indicates that she came from Magdala, a city on the southwest coast of the Sea of Galilee. After Jesus cast seven demons from her, she became one of His followers.

Mary Magdalene has been associated with the “woman in the city who was a sinner” (Luke 7:37) who washed Jesus’ feet, but there is no scriptural basis for this. The city of Magdala did have a reputation for prostitution. This information, coupled with the fact that Luke first mentions Mary Magdalene immediately following his account of the sinful woman (Luke 7:36-50), has led some to equate the two women. But there is no scriptural evidence to support this idea. Mary Magdalene is nowhere identified as a prostitute or as a sinful woman, despite popular portrayals of her as such.

Mary Magdalene is also often associated with the woman whom Jesus saved from stoning after she had been taken in adultery (John 8:1-11). But again this is an association with no evidence. The movie “The Passion of the Christ” made this connection. This view is possible, but not likely and certainly not taught in the Bible.

Mary Magdalene witnessed most of the events surrounding the crucifixion. She was present at the mock trial of Jesus; she heard Pontius Pilate pronounce the death sentence; and she saw Jesus beaten and humiliated by the crowd. She was one of the women who stood near Jesus during the crucifixion to try to comfort Him. The earliest witness to the resurrection of Jesus, she was sent by Jesus to tell the others (John 20:11-18). Although this is the last mention of her in the Bible, she was probably among the women who gathered with the apostles to await the promised coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14).

The recent fiction novel “The DaVinci Code” makes the claim that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. Some of the non-biblical early Christian writings (considered heresy by the early Christians) hint at a special relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus. However, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the belief that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. The Bible does not even hint at such an idea. Throughout the centuries, Mary Magdalene was wrongly portrayed in literature and art as a reformed prostitute. This happened because • she was confused with the woman with the alabaster jar, described in Luke 7:36-50; the story of this other woman comes just before Mary Magdalene is first mentioned • the woman with the alabaster jar is called a ‘sinner’, but there is no reason to think that she was a prostitute; in fact, when Luke describes an actual prostitute in 15:30, he uses a different word

• Mary Magdalene is described as having a serious illness, but the nature of the illness is unspecified; later celibate male writers linked Mary’s illness, her ‘demons’, with her sexuality – which may well have been a comment about their own demons, rather than Mary’s • Mary was traditionally presented as the sinful woman, a perfect foil for Mary of Nazareth, the virgin/mother. Mary had a serious illness, caused by ‘seven demons’ who entered her. From the earliest times, people believed that spirits and demons caused many illnesses. This was one way of explaining the presence of sickness or evil in the world. According to the thinking of the time, specific demons caused specific illnesses, for example schizophrenia, blindness, heart disease and epilepsy. The spirits could be people no longer living, hostile to those who were still alive the surviving spirits of feared animals, for example wolves, bears and snakes malevolent beings that entered a person and caused physical or psychological illness. This third type of demon was thought to have entered Mary Magdalene. Mary had seven demons tormenting her, the number ‘seven’ indicating the severity of the illness.

From the fifth century, the historical church has identified Mary as a sinful yet redeemed prostitute, conflating her with the prostitute who washes Jesus’ feet and dries them with her hair in Luke 7:36-50, and with two other women who anoint Jesus with precious oil (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8). Though many prostitutes lived in Magdala, recent scholarship indicates that it is unlikely that Mary was among them. She is regularly depicted as a penitent, overtly sexual woman in medieval art, yet contemporary scholars agree that she was not a prostitute, but rather was a woman uniquely positioned in Jesus’ inner circle of followers. She is sometimes called the apostle to the apostles because she first told the disciples of Jesus’ resurrection.

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