Who was Mary Magdalene?
The name 'Mary Magdalene' comes from the Gospels of the New Testament of Christian tradition. However, the name 'Magdalene' comes from the Greek word meaning 'from Magdala'. The Gospel writer John uses this name for Mary Magdalene when he refers to her as one of Jesus' disciples. Moreover, he calls her 'the one who was called Magdalen' in his Gospel. The traditional image of Mary Magdalene is a woman with long, dark hair and a richly decorated, tanned face. She is usually portrayed as being sad or happy - depending on the source. She is a figure whose identity has been the subject of various theories and interpretations over time.
The traditional image of Mary Magdalene has been one of great suffering and shock at what she saw in the life of Jesus Christ. In addition, she is commonly portrayed as being deeply distressed by what she saw Jesus do and feel during his crucifixion. Many believe that she was one of the first women to witness this traumatic event; that's why she was known to be both beautiful and anointing wise. Additionally, it is believed that after witnessing this event, Mary did not stop following Christ; instead, she became his first female follower. This is why some believe she was originally called 'apostle' or 'first female apostle'.
Over time and through different cultural traditions, beliefs have arisen about who Mary Magdalene was. Some believe she was a prostitute who traveled with Jesus during his ministry. In addition, some believe that she was a saint who lived a life of penance and meditation. Other sources say she was a sinner who dedicated her life to serving others while on Earth. Some believe that she was a martyr who died by being crucified with Jesus Christ; others say she committed suicide after witnessing such horrific acts at the crucifixion—possibly through the crucifixion itself. Still other sources say she was an ancient mystic who trained with other spiritual adepts in Egypt in the 1st century CE. Other cultures have worshiped her as a goddess or as an emanation of God even in times of need. ￼