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Bible Dictionaries

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Mary Magdalene

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Ma'ry Mag'dalene. Different explanations have been given of this name; but the most natural is that she came from the town of Magdala. She appears before us for the first time in Luke 8:2, among the women who "ministered unto him of their substance." All appear to have occupied a position of comparative wealth. With all, the chief motive was that of gratitude for their deliverance from "evil spirits and infirmities."

Of Mary, it is said specially that "seven devils went out of her," and the number indicates a possession of more than ordinary malignity. She was present during the closing hours of the agony on the cross. John 19:25. She remained by the cross till all was over, and waited till the body was taken down and placed in the garden sepulchre of Joseph of Arimathaea, Matthew 27:61; Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55, when she, with Salome and Mary, the mother of James, "bought sweet spices that they might come and anoint" the body. Mark 16:1.

The next morning, accordingly, in the earliest dawn, Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, they came with Mary, the mother of James, to the sepulchre. Mary Magdalene had been to the tomb and had found it empty, and had seen the "vision of angels." Matthew 28:5; Mark 16:6.

To her first of all, Jesus appeared after his resurrection. John 20:1-15. Mary Magdalene has become the type of a class of repentant sinners; but there is no authority for identifying her with the "sinner" who anointed the feet of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. Neither is there any authority for the supposition that Mary Magdalene is the same as the sister of Lazarus. Neither of these theories has the slightest foundation in fact.

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Bibliography Information
Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Mary Magdalene'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/sbd/m/mary-magdalene.html. 1901.

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