The 2001 Commentaries

Mary from Magdala

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Much has been said and written about Mary from Magdala that can’t be found in the Gospels, and the Bible accounts don’t really tell us much about her. All we do know is that her name wasn’t Magdalene, as most Bibles indicate, because surnames were seldom used in Bible times. Rather, her name was just Mary, and she was referred to as the Magdalean to differentiate her from other Marys, who were also Jesus’ disciples (there are at least six Marys mentioned in the Bible).

It appears as though this term (Magdalene) referred to her as coming from Magdala (or possibly Magadan), which was a town that was located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, about halfway between CapharNaum and Tiberias.

We find the first mention of this Mary in the second year of Jesus’ preaching, where the Bible tells us that she and several other faithful women traveled among the crowd of Jesus’ disciples, serving their needs from their possessions. And she was also mentioned as being among the large crowd of people that traveled with Jesus from Galilee to JeruSalem shortly before his death, where she thereafter witnessed his death, and was likely the first to see him after he was resurrected.
However, there is no mention of her in the book of Acts or in the epistles thereafter.

Could she have possibly been Jesus’ wife, as some have claimed?
Well after Jesus’ death, she isn’t mentioned by Paul, James, John, Peter, or Jude…
Which would be strange if she had once held such an important position in Jesus’ life.

Actually, if Jesus had taken Mary as a wife, he would likely have disqualified himself for his high position as a Priest before God…
That is, if this Mary had the unsavory reputation that some have attributed to her.
For notice how Jesus is described at Hebrews 3:1:

‘Let’s consider this Apostle and High Priest whom we confess, Jesus.’

So as God’s Highest Priest, Jesus could not have chosen a woman to be his wife unless she had led a spotlessly-clean life.
For notice God’s own requirements for His Priests, as found at Leviticus 21:10-14:

‘And the Priest who is the chief one among his brothers …
May only take a wife that is a virgin and from his own tribe…
Not a widow, a divorcee, someone who has been violated, or a whore.
He may only take a virgin from his own people as a wife.’

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