We come across the wildest stories about Mary Magdalene. One story goes that she was possessed by seven demons, another one calls her a prostitute. This stigma has persistently followed her over thousands of years, although even the Bible does not mention it.

How has this allegation come about?

Of course, 2000 years after Mary Magdalene’s life with Jesus and the apostles, it is impossible to come up with any proof about why she was labelled a prostitute. Religious scholars assume, however, that it goes back to a misinterpretation of the Gospel of Luke.

It is down to the story about Jesus’ anointment in Bethany by the woman with the alabaster jar. However, the writer of the Gospel of Luke only recorded this story 50 years after the actual event. The woman referred to is none other than Mary Magdalene.

An old ritual of the priestesses of the temple

The anointment of a man by a woman is similar to a well-known ritual which was reserved by the holy priestesses in the Roman Empire. They were called hierodules.

The term hierodule was mistakenly translated as ‘prostitute’, although these women were ‘the Holy Women of the Temple of the Goddess’. They played an important part in everyday life in the classical world.

Mary Magdalene was also one of these temple priestesses. Therefore, she was a hierodule who was mistakenly called a prostitute according to an incorrect translation. Only in the recent past have some scientists made the effort to investigate and discover this misunderstanding. Quite late, one might think, but nevertheless …

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