Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

What’s Wrong With Hailing Mary Magdalene as a Biblical #MeToo Poster Child
The Daily Signal ^ | March 31, 2018 | Joshua Gill, The Daily Caller News Foundation

Posted on 04/02/2018 11:06:57 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

In a story distributed for Good Friday, the Associated Press claims Mary Magdalene was a biblical “Me Too” figure who was “long maligned” by the West.

The story, filed from Israel with the headline “Long-maligned Mary Magdalene now seen as stalwart disciple,” asserts that Magdalene was not a reformed prostitute but rather a “strong, independent woman” who supported Jesus.

The article also conflates the virtues of Magdalene’s figure with the “Me Too” movement. This latest iteration of U.S. feminism uses the hashtag #MeToo on Twitter and other social media to publicize the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in the wake of the exposure of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.

“If there’s a feminist figure from the Bible for the #MeToo era, it could very well be Mary Magdalene,” the article reads.

The claim that Western churches have maligned Magdalene is dubious at best, however.

The article’s authors, Alon Bernstein and Isaac Scharf, posit that Pope Francis’ 2016 promotion of the Catholic Church’s June 22 Magdalene memorial to a major feast day was “the biggest step yet to rehabilitate” her image.

The Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, and Anglican churches, however, revered Magdalene as a saint long before that promotion.

The AP story asserts that the feast day proclamation helped rehabilitate Magdalene’s image from Pope Gregory the Great’s incorrect 6th-century assertion that Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, and the sinful woman accused of adultery whom Jesus saved from being stoned to death were all the same person.

Arguments to the contrary, though, are hardly new and began with the Scriptures themselves.

The Gospels of Luke and Mark record that Jesus cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene. She subsequently joined a group of women whom Jesus also “cured of evil spirits and diseases.” These women, “out of their own means,” chose to follow Jesus and support him and other disciples.

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John all record Magdalene as the first witness to the aftermath of Jesus’ resurrection—which Christians celebrate at Easter—and the first to report it to other followers.

The Gospel of Luke recounts that Magdalene was among the first group of witnesses to the empty tomb, all of them women.

The Gospel of John identifies the woman as Mary, who anointed Jesus with expensive perfume and washed his feet with her tears. She was the sister of Martha and of Lazarus, whom Jesus brought back to life.

Pope Gregory conflated the sinful woman mentioned in Luke with the Mary who anointed Jesus with perfume in the Gospel of John because the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke identify Jesus’ anointer only as a “sinful woman.”

Gregory then conflated this composite of the sinful woman and Mary of Bethany with Mary of Magdalene, according to his belief that the seven demons Jesus cast out of her represented the seven vices. Apparently, in all of biblical Israel, there could be only one sinful woman mentioned in Scripture.

Gregory’s incorrect teaching on Magdalene persisted in the Catholic Church until 1969, when the church clarified that Magdalene was not actually a reformed prostitute or the same woman as the one accused of adultery in Luke.

Some scholars believe Mary Magdalene to be Luke’s woman accused of adultery. To say, however, that calling her a reformed prostitute maligns her character is to misunderstand Christian beliefs and Christ’s teachings as recorded in Scripture.

Scripture first introduces Mary Magdalene as a woman possessed by seven demons. Which is worse: to have seven entirely evil spiritual entities possess you, or to be a reformed prostitute?

That is a mandatory question to be asked when considering whether conflating Mary Magdalene with the reformed prostitute maligns her character. The Jesus of Scripture never asks that question or considers which person is more broken.

In the case of the alleged adulterous woman, Jesus did not condemn her. Rather, he rebuked the Pharisees who called for her to be subjected to violent judgment for her perceived sin.

In the case of the Mary who anointed Jesus with perfume, Jesus rebuked those who saw her only as a sinner wasting the precious liquid. What she did for him was a beautiful thing, Jesus said.

No woman or man in Scripture who comes into contact with Jesus is shown to be without sin. The point in their recorded stories never is to elevate them as people considered saintly because of their own virtues. In other words, see them as broken men and women made righteous as a result of Christ’s forgiveness.

In that light, it hardly matters whether Mary Magdalene was a reformed prostitute or a healed demoniac or both, so long as the power of Christ’s transformation of her life was made evident.

Were Mary Magdalene an actual prostitute, she would have stood in good company.

Rahab, an Old T­­­­­­­­­estament prostitute from the city of Jericho, not only hid Joshua’s spies from harm and aided the Israelites in their conquest of the biblical Promised Land, she was also one of only five women to be listed in Jesus’ genealogy. Rahab was held up as an example of righteous faith in the New Testament books of James and Hebrews.

As for Mary Magdalene’s being a figure of fourth-wave feminism—a movement that rejects male authority over a woman’s life and gave rise to “mansplaining”—the idea is ludicrous.

Mary Magdalene spent her life following Jesus, whom Christians believe was fully man and fully God. Magdalene submitted herself to his teachings and authority, and worshiped him as God.

She is, however, a radical example of the equal value the Christian God bestows on women and men—given she was one of the first people to witness and report Jesus’ resurrection, in a time and culture where society valued the word of a woman less than that of a man.

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; Judaism; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: adultery; anointing; catholicchurch; jesus; marymagdalene; popegregory; prostitution; sin
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-25 next last

1 posted on 04/02/2018 11:06:57 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

“If there’s a feminist figure from the Bible for the #MeToo era, it could very well be Mary Magdalene,” the article reads.

I ask our Creator to forgive these people for being so ridiculously stupid. I further ask Him to keep these people far from me because I sincerely cannot handle that level of "dumb". And, finally, forgive me for my own weakness in that regard.


2 posted on 04/02/2018 11:14:19 AM PDT by so_real ( "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

There is nothing in scripture associating Mary Magdalene with being a prostitute.

Christ drove 7 demons from her and she followed him thereafter.


3 posted on 04/02/2018 11:18:18 AM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

You’re supposed to pray to God, not to individuals, just because you think she has an ‘in’ with the Big Guy (being his baby-momma, and all)


4 posted on 04/02/2018 11:20:11 AM PDT by Mr. K (No consequence of repealing Obamacare is worse than Obamacare itself.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. K

Um...


5 posted on 04/02/2018 11:23:32 AM PDT by Jamestown1630 ("A Republic, if you can keep it.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

When was she ever maligned?

She’s a saint.


6 posted on 04/02/2018 11:29:57 AM PDT by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either satire or opinion. Or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. K

Different Mary.


7 posted on 04/02/2018 11:31:37 AM PDT by WayneS (An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. - Winston Churchill.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

AP = Altogether Preposterous


8 posted on 04/02/2018 11:33:57 AM PDT by Jim W N
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WayneS

Unless he’s suggesting something about Jesus and MM for which the Bible offers absolutely no proof...


9 posted on 04/02/2018 11:34:46 AM PDT by Jamestown1630 ("A Republic, if you can keep it.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Mr. K
We ask others to pray for us - hear and now, or passed on.

...that their prayers for us may be heard by The Father in addition to our own prayers ...

10 posted on 04/02/2018 11:40:27 AM PDT by Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey ("I have an open mind ... just not so open that my brain falls out onto the floor!!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I thought MeToo was about getting assaulted. Silly me.


11 posted on 04/02/2018 11:45:30 AM PDT by Vermont Lt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Mary Magdalene being a prostitute is lore. Nothing in the Bible implies that.


12 posted on 04/02/2018 11:48:20 AM PDT by MayflowerMadam (Have an A-1 day.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Each year the progressive-recessives mount these sort of attacks on Christ at Easter time. They appear louder and more rabid each year.


13 posted on 04/02/2018 12:01:44 PM PDT by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

One thing that should give pause to a non-believer of this narrative is how hard it must have been for these gospel writers to gravitate toward women as the first witnesses to the resurrection, as opposed to keeping the tale simple and, even as in some respects today, less controversial.

Why would they have made that up?


14 posted on 04/02/2018 12:08:52 PM PDT by onedoug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

——The AP story asserts that the feast day proclamation helped rehabilitate Magdalene’s image from Pope Gregory the Great’s incorrect 6th-century assertion that Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, and the sinful woman accused of adultery whom Jesus saved from being stoned to death were all the same person.-—

Hummmm....RCC tradition verses sola Scripture...

Pope Gregory wasn’t he the vicar of Christ?
How can he be wrong?


15 posted on 04/02/2018 12:22:39 PM PDT by Popman (Wisdom is not what you know about the world but how well you know God. 8)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: onedoug

Excellent point. In a male dominant culture, those made responsible for penning the gospel identified women as the first witnesses to the resurrection. That is a considerable honor. And they were the first to be charged with a post-resurrection responsibility, to deliver the good news to the disciples. Another considerable honor. To anyone with a rationale mind, this suggests an accurate transcription of events, rather than a fabrication of them.


16 posted on 04/02/2018 12:37:55 PM PDT by so_real ( "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: MayflowerMadam

Mary Magdalene being a prostitute is lore. Nothing in the Bible implies that.


This verse implies it, given the context. of the time, not our time but theirs:

John 8:1-11 New Living Translation (NLT)
A Woman Caught in Adultery
8 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

11 “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

KJV
8:4. This woman: Women caught in adultery were not normally brought to Jesus. The scribes and Pharisees were seeking to trick Him to see whether He would uphold the law—or defend the sinner. The...


17 posted on 04/02/2018 12:57:00 PM PDT by zaxtres
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

God got Mary, the mother of Jesus, pregnant without first getting permission from Mary.

How does that look?


18 posted on 04/02/2018 1:03:59 PM PDT by spintreebob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: spintreebob

Sounds like a complete disregard for scripture.

Read Luke 1:38, and then reevaluate the “without permission “ drivel.

Mary was chosen for a great honor. She accepted with dignity.


19 posted on 04/02/2018 2:00:33 PM PDT by MrEdd (Caveat Emptor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: zaxtres

What makes you think that passage has anything to do with Mary Magdalene?


20 posted on 04/02/2018 2:28:56 PM PDT by circlecity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-25 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson