hhhh Essay

847 words - 3 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed

Mary Madgalena is one of the most enigmatic and controversial figures in the New Testament. It seems that the most prevalent image of her is of a repented prostitute who devoted herself to Jesus. As a child growing up in an Armenian Apostolic family, and having attended Armenian Sunday school for several years, I myself heard this description of her most frequently. My grandmother would tell me the story of how Jesus saved Mary Magdalena from getting stoned to death, saying to the indicters “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7). I now know this to be false, just one of the many mix ups between Mary Magdalena and other women of the time (some of whom were also named Mary). The most generally agreed upon notions about Mary Magdalena in the Gospels are that she was a follower of Christ who was there during His crucifixion and resurrection, and one of the first people who began spreading the Christian message. However, she is viewed in many different lights: a madwoman possessed by seven devils, the companion of Jesus, apostle to the apostles, the woman loved most by Jesus, and many more. It is these sorts of controversies surrounding her that make her so interesting and indecipherable, and in a way, the most open to interpretation. She can represent many different things to many different people, and that is why she is my favorite Biblical character.
One reason for the confusion surrounding Mary Magdalena is that the name “Mary” appears in the New Testament many, many times. There was obviously Mary, Jesus’s mother (Matthew 1:18); Mary, James and Joseph’s mother (Mark 15:40); Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2); Mary, the wife of Clopas (John 19:25); Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus (John 11:1); and many more (van Biema). There are also a number of women who are not named, one of who wiped the feet of Jesus with ointment as a sign of repentance (Smithsonian), and who some have said to be Mary Magdalena herself, although this is not necessarily the case. The only thing that is for certain is that Mary was an important follower of Jesus and a leading proponent of Christianity, and, as we’ve discussed several times in class, “great leaders attract great legends.” It is remarkable the extent to which this is evident with the persona of Mary Magdalena, compounded by the fact that many areas of confusion may have come into play when trying to decipher who she really was.
Another source of confusion, as is the case with most...

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