Unfairly, falsely accused!!

Glenn Addington By Glenn Addington, 26th Mar 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

Somewhere, someone got at least two different New Testament characters mixed up, and Mary Magdalene has mistakenly and unfairly been tagged with another woman's reputation.

Two different women, two different everything! Luke 7:37-38 and Luke 8:1-2

A careful examination of the two texts below reveals that two different women are being spoken of. In the first account, we are not given the woman's name. Regarding her moral character, we're told that she was a sinner. In the account of the second woman, we're given her name, Mary Magdalene, and we're told that she had had seven demons cast out of her. In Luke chapter 8, verse three, we are also told that she was among many who gave financially to support the ministry of Jesus and the apostles.
Luke 7:37-38 "And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume."
Luke 8:1-2 "Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out."
Another possible point of confusion might be the name Simon. The event in Luke chapter 7 takes place in the house of Simon the Pharisee. In verse 40 of the chapter, Jesus addresses the Pharisee by his first name-Simon. Another anointing of Jesus takes place in the house of Simon the leper, which we read about in Mark, chapter 14, verse three and Matthew, chapter 26, verses six and seven.

Other scriptures about Mary Magdalene

We only have this one account regarding the first woman. There are no parallel passages in the other gospels, which is a frequent occurrence in the first three gospels. But we do have other scriptures telling of other activities of Mary Magdalene.
We are told in Matthew 27, verse 56 that she was at the foot of the cross when Jesus was being crucified. This is also recorded in John, chapter 19, verse 25. Matthew 27, verse 61 and Mark 15, verse 47 both tell us that she saw the burial place of Jesus. Matthew 28, verse one tells us that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb at dawn on the first day of the week. This is also recorded in John’s Gospel, chapter 20, verse one. Mark 16:1-2 tells us "When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen." The sabbath would have ended at 6 PM on Saturday. There would have been time for the women to go and buy spices for the anointing process, but that was all there was time for. Scripture tells us that early on the first day of the week the women went to the tomb.

Too many Mary's might be causing confusion

One of the things that may be adding to the confusion here is the number of Mary’s there are in the Gospels. There was Mary, the mother Jesus, of course, and there was Mary Magdalene, who first appears in Luke, chapter 8, verses one through three. In John's gospel, chapter 19, verse 25, there is Mary, the wife of Clopas . The mother of Mark, the writer of the second gospel, was named Mary. And finally there was Mary of Bethany, sister of Lazarus and Martha. We are told this in Luke, chapter 10, verses 38 and 39.

Another anointing - by Mary of Bethany

Perhaps adding to all this confusion, six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany where Mary, Lazarus and Martha lived. Since Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, a dinner was being prepared for him there. On this occasion, John tells us in chapter 12, verse three, “Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
Obviously, this action by Mary of Bethany is quite similar to that of the sinful woman in Luke chapter 7. But Mary's reputation is above reproach. And why anyone mixed up the accounts and came to the conclusion that Mary Magdalene had been a prostitute or a 'woman of the streets' is a puzzle. And nowhere are we told that she anointed Jesus.

The right thing to do...

Honesty with the Scripture texts and the details in each will bring us to a right conclusion regarding Mary Magdalene. As we have learned here, first of all, she had been demon possessed and had had seven demons cast out of her. Not only had she been a follower of Jesus, but she had been one of many who had contributed financially to Jesus ministry. She had been at the foot of the cross Jesus was crucified, and had seen his burial place. She had gone on Saturday evening to buy spices to anoint Jesus body. Early on the morning of the first day of the week she had gone to the tomb, intent on anointing Jesus body. Mark chapter 16, verse nine tells us, “when he rose early on the first day of the week he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.” She went and told the disciples that Jesus had appeared to her, but they refused to believe her.

Let's stick to the facts, and no longer place this accusation or reputation on her. Someone has said, "It makes a good teaching point" , but smearing someone's character in this fashion is being dishonest with scripture, and certainly wouldn't be pleasing to God. Let's remember Mary Magdalene as one blessed by Jesus, having been freed from her demon possession, and her loyalty in helping Him during His ministry. Let's keep in mind her continued dedication during the horror of His crucifixion and burial, and her intended devotion, intent on anointing her loving savior, and rejoice with her that Jesus is alive. Let it no more be said that she was a notorious prostitute!

Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Version or the English Standard Version. Please click on the line beneath my name to read my other articles - both Bible related and non-Biblical. Thank you!


Mary Magdalene, New Testament Marys

Meet the author

author avatar Glenn Addington
I am an American, former Viet Nam veteran, and a Christian, living in East Tennessee. I am now retired and am pursuing a writing career. I would welcome writing assignments.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
15th May 2018 (#)

I am so glad that we can read in the Bible that Mary Magdalene was set free from the 7 demons ( whatever they were ) by Jesus , the Only Deliverer and Saviour of mankind , who she then went on to follow and serve , and is now with Him in glory in heaven , where one day , I will be also .
I also have been set free by Jesus from occult powers that held me in the past , but no longer ...praise God
Many blessings Glenn .
Stella ><

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author avatar Glenn Addington
13th Jun 2018 (#)

Praise God for His delivering power!! I need deliverance myself, mostly from wrong attitudes and perspectives. I need to memorize the 'works of the flesh' passage in Galatians and realize the danger of my quickness to anger and impatience. Those things certainly don't show the grace of God in my life, nor are they a good representation of 'Christ in you, the hope of glory' as the apostle Paul expressed it. Thanks for reading my articles. Lord bless you as you strive to grow

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