Lazarus of Bethany
Lazarus of Bethany known as Saint Lazarus or Lazarus of the Four Days, venerated in the Orthodox Church as Lazarus the Four Days Dead, is the subject of a prominent miracle of Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death. The Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions offer varying accounts of the events of his life. In the context of the seven signs in the Gospel of John, the raising of Lazarus is the climactic narrative: exemplifying the power of Jesus "over the last and most irresistible enemy of humanity—death. For this reason it is given a prominent place in the gospel."A figure named Lazarus is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. The two Biblical characters named "Lazarus" have sometimes been conflated but are understood to be two separate people; the name Lazarus is used in science and popular culture in reference to apparent restoration to life. There are numerous literary uses of the term; the biblical narrative of the raising of Lazarus is found in chapter 11 of the Gospel of John.
A certain Eleazer is introduced as a follower of Jesus, who lives in the town of Bethany near Jerusalem. He is identified as the brother of the sisters Martha; the sisters send. Instead of traveling to Bethany, according to the narrator, Jesus intentionally remains where he is for two more days before beginning the journey; when Jesus arrives in Bethany, he finds that Lazarus is dead and has been in his tomb for four days. He meets first with Mary in turn. Martha laments that Jesus did not arrive soon enough to heal her brother and Jesus replies with the well-known statement, "I am the resurrection, the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die"; the narrator here gives the famous simple phrase, "Jesus wept". In the presence of a crowd of Jewish mourners, Jesus comes to the tomb. Over the objections of Martha, Jesus has them roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb and says a prayer, he calls Lazarus to come out and Lazarus does so, still wrapped in his grave-cloths.
Jesus calls for someone to remove the grave-cloths, let him go. The narrative ends with the statement that many of the witnesses to this event "believed in him." Others are said to report the events to the religious authorities in Jerusalem. The Gospel of John mentions Lazarus again in chapter 12. Six days before the Passover on which Jesus is crucified, Jesus returns to Bethany and Lazarus attends a supper that Martha, his sister, serves. Jesus and Lazarus together attract the attention of many Jews and the narrator states that the chief priests consider having Lazarus put to death because so many people are believing in Jesus on account of this miracle; the miracle of the raising of Lazarus, the longest coherent narrative in John aside from the Passion, is the culmination of John's "signs". It explains the crowds seeking Jesus on Palm Sunday, leads directly to the decision of Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin to kill Jesus, it is notable that at John 11:11, after being told by His disciples to fear those who would kill Him, after the parable about living in darkness, Jesus references his own parable and states that Lazarus sleeps, that He will go "wake him up".
The disciples thought Jesus meant Lazarus was sleeping in verse 12. In verse 14, Jesus speaks plainly and tells them that "Lazarus has died"; this is to be clear that Lazurus has died in the flesh, is not sleeping or unconscious. A resurrection story, similar is found in the controversial Secret Gospel of Mark, although the young man is not named there specifically; some scholars believe that the Secret Mark version represents an earlier form of the canonical story found in John. The raising of Lazarus is a popular subject in religious art. Two of the most famous paintings are those of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and Sebastiano del Piombo. Among other prominent depictions of Lazarus are works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Ivor Williams, Lazarus Breaking His Fast by Walter Sickert. Paintings of the Resurrection of Lazarus The reputed first tomb of Lazarus is in the Leitrim and continues to be a place of pilgrimage to this day. Several Christian churches have existed at the site over the centuries.
Since the 16th century, the site of the tomb has been occupied by the al-Uzair Mosque. The adjacent Roman Catholic Church of Saint Lazarus, designed by Antonio Barluzzi and built between 1952 and 1955 under the auspices of the Franciscan Order, stands upon the site of several much older ones. In 1965, a Greek Orthodox church was built just west of the tomb; the entrance to the tomb today is via a flight of uneven rock-cut steps from the street. As it was described in 1896, there were twenty-four steps from the then-modern street level, leading to a square chamber serving as a place of prayer, from which more steps led to a lower chamber believed to be the tomb of Lazarus; the same description applies today. The first mention of a church at Bethany is in the late 4th century, but both the historian Eusebius of Caesarea and the Bordeaux pilgrim do mention the tomb of Lazarus. In 390 Jerome mentions a church dedicated to Saint Lazarus, called the Lazarium; this is confirmed by the pilgrim Egeria in about the year 410.
Therefore, the church is thought to have been built between 333 and 390. The presen
Jesus in Christianity
In Christianity, Jesus is believed to be the Son of God and the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Christians believe that through his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, God offered humans salvation and eternal life; these teachings emphasize that as the Lamb of God, Jesus chose to suffer on the cross at Calvary as a sign of his obedience to the will of God, as an "agent and servant of God". Jesus died to atone for sin to make us right with God. Jesus' choice positions him in contrast to Adam's disobedience. Christians believe that Jesus was both divine -- the Son of God. While there has been theological debate over the nature of Jesus, Trinitarian Christians believe that Jesus is the Logos, God incarnate, God the Son, "true God and true man"—both divine and human. Jesus, having become human in all respects, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, yet he did not sin. According to the Bible, God raised him from the dead, he ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, he will return to earth again for the Last Judgment and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Although Christian views of Jesus vary, it is possible to summarize key elements of the shared beliefs among major denominations based on their catechetical or confessional texts. Christian views of Jesus are derived from various biblical sources from the canonical Gospels and New Testament letters such as the Pauline epistles. Christians predominantly hold that these works are true; those groups or denominations committed to what are considered biblically orthodox Christianity nearly all agree that Jesus: was born of a virgin was a human being, fully God did not sin was martyred and buried in a tomb rose from the dead on the third day ascended back to God the Father will return to Earth. Some groups considered within Christianity hold beliefs considered to unorthodox. For example, believers in monophysitism reject the idea that Christ was human and God at the same time. Others, such as the Latter-day Saints, consider Christ to be in possession of a physical body after his resurrection; the five major milestones in the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus are his baptism, crucifixion and ascension.
These are bracketed by two other episodes: his nativity at the beginning and the sending of the Paraclete at the end. The gospel accounts of the teachings of Jesus are presented in terms of specific categories involving his "works and words", e.g. his ministry and miracles. Christians not only attach theological significance to the works of Jesus, but to his name. Devotions to the name of Jesus go back to the earliest days of Christianity; these exist today both in Eastern and Western Christianity -- both Protestant. Christians predominantly profess that through Jesus' life and resurrection, he restored humanity's communion with God with the blood of the New Covenant, his death on a cross is understood as a redemptive sacrifice: the source of humanity's salvation and the atonement for sin which had entered human history through the sin of Adam. But who do you say that I am? Only Simon Peter answered him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God — Matthew 16:15-16 Jesus is mediator, but…the title means more that someone between God and man.
He is not just a third party between God and humanity…. As true God he brings God to mankind; as true man he brings mankind to God. Most Christians consider Jesus to be the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah, as well as the one and only Son of God; the opening words in the Gospel of Mark, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God", provide Jesus with the two distinct attributions as Christ and as the Son of God. His divinity is again re-affirmed in Mark 1:11. Matthew 1:1 which begins by calling Jesus the Christ and in verse 16 explains it again with the affirmation: "Jesus, called Christ". In the Pauline epistles, the word "Christ" is so associated with Jesus that for the early Christians there was no need to claim that Jesus was Christ, for, considered accepted among them. Hence Paul could use the term Christos with no confusion about who it referred to, as in 1 Corinthians 4:15 and Romans 12:5 he could use expressions such as "in Christ" to refer to the followers of Jesus. In the New Testament, the title "Son of God" is applied to Jesus on many occasions.
It is used to refer to his divinity, from the beginning in the Annunciation up to the crucifixion. The declaration that Jesus is the Son of God is made by many individuals in the New Testament, on two separate occasions by God the Father as a voice from Heaven, is asserted by Jesus himself. In Christology, the concept that the Christ is the Logos has been important in establishing the doctrine of the divinity of Christ and his position as God the Son in the Trinity as set forth in the Chalcedonian Creed; this derives from the opening of the Gospel of John translated into English as: "In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God." In the original Greek, Logos is used for "Word," and in theological discourse, this is left in its English transliterated form, "Logos". The pre-existence of Christ refers to the doctrine of the personal existence of Christ before his conception. One of the relevant Bible passages is John 1:1-18 where, in the Trinitarian view, Christ is identified with a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos or Word.
This doctrine is reiterated in John 17:5 when Jesus refers to the glory which he had with the Father "before the world was" during the Farewell discourse. John 17:24 refers to the Father loving Jesus "before the
First Epistle to the Corinthians
The First Epistle to the Corinthians referred to as First Corinthians and written 1 Corinthians, is one of the Pauline epistles of the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The epistle says that Paul the Apostle and "Sosthenes our brother" wrote it to "the church of God, at Corinth" 1 Cor.1:1–2 although the scholarly consensus holds that Sosthenes was the amanuensis who wrote down the text of the letter at Paul's direction. Called "a masterpiece of pastoral theology", it addresses various issues that had arisen in the Christian community at Corinth; this epistle contains some well-known phrases, including: "all things to all men", "through a glass, darkly", "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child". There is consensus among historians and Christian theologians that Paul is the author of the First Epistle to the Corinthians; the letter is quoted or mentioned by the earliest of sources, is included in every ancient canon, including that of Marcion.
The personal and embarrassing texts about immorality in the church increase consensus. However, a passage may have been inserted at a stage; this passage is 1 Corinthians 14:34–35, the authenticity of, hotly debated. Part of the reason for doubt is that in some manuscripts, the verses come at the end of the chapter instead of at its present location. Furthermore, Paul is here appealing to the law, uncharacteristic of him. Lastly, the verses come into conflict with 11:5 where women are described as praying and prophesying; as well, 10:1–22 is sometimes regarded as another letter fragment, interpolation, or inserted midrash because, among other things, this section seems to equate the consumption of idol meat with idolatry, but Paul seems more lenient regarding its consumption in 8:1–13 and 10:23–11:1. Such views are rejected by other scholars who give arguments for the unity of 8:1–11:1. About the year AD 50, towards the end of his second missionary journey, Paul founded the church in Corinth, before moving on to Ephesus, a city on the west coast of today's Turkey, about 180 miles by sea from Corinth.
From there he traveled to Caesarea, Antioch. Paul returned to Ephesus on his third missionary journey and spent three years there, it was while staying in Ephesus that he received disconcerting news of the community in Corinth regarding jealousies and immoral behavior. It appears that based on a letter the Corinthians sent Paul, the congregation was requesting clarification on a number of matters, such as marriage and the consumption of meat offered to idols. By comparing Acts of the Apostles 18:1–17 and mentions of Ephesus in the Corinthian correspondence, scholars suggest that the letter was written during Paul's stay in Ephesus, dated as being in the range of AD 53–57. Anthony C. Thiselton suggests that it is possible that I Corinthians was written during Paul's first stay in Ephesus, at the end of his Second Journey dated to early AD 54. However, it is more that it was written during his extended stay in Ephesus, where he refers to sending Timothy to them; the epistle may be divided into seven parts: Salutation Paul addresses the issue regarding challenges to his apostleship and defends the issue by claiming that it was given to him through a revelation from Christ.
The salutation reinforces the legitimacy of Paul's apostolic claim. Thanksgiving The thanksgiving part of the letter is typical of Hellenistic letter writing. In a thanksgiving recitation the writer thanks God for health, a safe journey, deliverance from danger, or good fortune. In this letter, the thanksgiving "introduces charismata and gnosis, topics to which Paul will return and that he will discuss at greater length in the letter". Division in Corinth Facts of division Causes of division Cure for division Immorality in Corinth Discipline an immoral Brother Resolving personal disputes Sexual purity Difficulties in Corinth Marriage Christian liberty Worship Doctrine of Resurrection Closing Paul's closing remarks in his letters contain his intentions and efforts to improve the community, he would first conclude with his paraenesis and wish them peace by including a prayer request, greet them with his name and his friends with a holy kiss, offer final grace and benediction:Now concerning the contribution for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia… Let all your things be done with charity.
Greet one another with a holy kiss... I, write this greeting with my own hand. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha; the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen; some time before 2 Corinthians was written, Paul paid them a second visit to check some rising disorder, wrote them a letter, now lost. They had been visited by Apollos by Peter, by some Jewish Christians who brought with them letters of commendation from Jerusalem. Paul wrote this letter to correct. Several sources informed Paul of conflicts within the church at Corinth: Apollos, a letter from the Corinthians, the "household of Chloe", Stephanas and his two friends who had visited Paul. Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians, urging uniformity of belief ("that ye all speak the same thing and that t
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. Other titles for John include John the Forerunner in Eastern Christianity and "the prophet John" in Islam. To clarify the meaning of "Baptist", he is sometimes alternatively called John the Baptizer. John the Baptist is mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus and revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, the Bahá'í Faith, Mandaeism, he is called a prophet by all of these faiths, is honored as a saint in many Christian traditions. According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself and Christians refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus' coming. John is identified as the spiritual successor of the prophet Elijah. According to the New Testament John the Baptist was Jesus Christ's cousin; some scholars maintain that John was influenced by the semi-ascetic Essenes, who expected an apocalypse and practiced rituals corresponding with baptism, although no direct evidence substantiates this.
John used baptism as the central sacrament of his messianic movement. Most scholars agree that John baptized Jesus and some scholars believe Jesus was a follower or disciple of John; the New Testament texts in which John is mentioned portray him as rejecting this idea, although several New Testament accounts report that some of Jesus' early followers had been followers of John. John was sentenced to death and subsequently beheaded by Herod Antipas sometime between 28 and 36 AD after John rebuked him for divorcing his wife and unlawfully taking Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip I. John the Baptist is mentioned in all four canonical Gospels and the non-canonical Gospel of the Nazarenes; the Synoptic Gospels describe John baptising Jesus. The Gospel of Mark introduces John as a fulfilment of a prophecy from the Book of Isaiah about a messenger being sent ahead, a voice crying out in the wilderness. John is described as living on locusts and wild honey. John proclaims baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin, says another will come after him who will not baptize with water, but with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus comes to John, is baptized by him in the river Jordan. The account describes how. A voice from heaven says, "You are my Son, the Beloved. In the gospel there is an account of John's death, it is introduced by an incident where the Tetrarch Herod Antipas, hearing stories about Jesus, imagines that this is John the Baptist raised from the dead. It explains that John had rebuked Herod for marrying Herodias, the ex-wife of his brother. Herodias demands his execution, but Herod, who'liked to listen' to John, is reluctant to do so because he fears him, knowing he is a'righteous and holy man'; the account describes how Herod's daughter Herodias dances before Herod, pleased and offers her anything she asks for in return. When the girl asks her mother what she should request, she is told to demand the head of John the Baptist. Reluctantly, Herod orders the beheading of John, his head is delivered to her, at her request, on a plate. John's disciples bury it in a tomb. There are a number of difficulties with this passage.
The Gospel refers to Antipas as'King' and the ex-husband of Herodias is named as Philip, but he is known to have been called Herod. Although the wording implies the girl was the daughter of Herodias, many texts describe her as "Herod's daughter, Herodias". Since these texts are early and significant and the reading is'difficult', many scholars see this as the original version, corrected in versions and in Matthew and Luke. Josephus says. Scholars have speculated about the origins of the story. Since it shows signs of having been composed in Aramaic, which Mark did not speak, he is to have got it from a Palestinian source. There are a variety of opinions about how much actual historical material it contains given the alleged factual errors. Many scholars have seen the story of John arrested and buried in a tomb as a conscious foreshadowing of the fate of Jesus; the Gospel of Matthew account begins with the same modified quotation from Isaiah, moving the Malachi and Exodus material to in the text, where it is quoted by Jesus.
The description of John is taken directly from Mark, along with the proclamation that one was coming who would baptise with the Holy Spirit "and fire". Unlike Mark, Matthew describes John as critical of Pharisees and Sadducees and as preaching "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" and a "coming judgment". Matthew shortens the account of the beheading of John, adds two elements: that Herod Antipas wants John dead, that the death is reported to Jesus by his disciples. Matthew's approach is to shift the focus away onto John as a prototype of Jesus. Where Mark has Herod killing John reluctantly and at Herodias' insistence, Matthew describes him
A synagogue, is a Jewish or Samaritan house of worship. Synagogues have a large place for prayer and may have smaller rooms for study and sometimes a social hall and offices; some have a separate room for Torah study, called the בית מדרש beth midrash "house of study". Synagogues are consecrated spaces used for the purpose of prayer, Tanakh reading and assembly. Halakha holds. Worship can be carried out alone or with fewer than ten people assembled together. However, halakha considers certain prayers as communal prayers and therefore they may be recited only by a minyan. In terms of its specific ritual and liturgical functions, the synagogue does not replace the long-since destroyed Temple in Jerusalem. Israelis use the Hebrew term beyt knesset "house of assembly". Ashkenazi Jews have traditionally used the Yiddish term shul in everyday speech. Sephardi Jews and Romaniote Jews use the term kal. Spanish Jews call the synagogue Portuguese Jews call it an esnoga. Persian Jews and some Karaite Jews use the term kenesa, derived from Aramaic, some Mizrahi Jews use kenis.
Some Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative Jews use the word "temple". The Greek word synagogue is used in English to cover the preceding possibilities. Although synagogues existed a long time before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, communal worship in the time while the Temple still stood centered around the korbanot brought by the kohanim in the Temple in Jerusalem; the all-day Yom Kippur service, in fact, was an event in which the congregation both observed the movements of the kohen gadol as he offered the day's sacrifices and prayed for his success. During the Babylonian captivity the men of the Great Assembly formalized and standardized the language of the Jewish prayers. Prior to that people prayed as they saw fit, with each individual praying in his or her own way, there were no standard prayers that were recited. Johanan ben Zakai, one of the leaders at the end of the Second Temple era, promulgated the idea of creating individual houses of worship in whatever locale Jews found themselves.
This contributed to the continuity of the Jewish people by maintaining a unique identity and a portable way of worship despite the destruction of the Temple, according to many historians. Synagogues in the sense of purpose-built spaces for worship, or rooms constructed for some other purpose but reserved for formal, communal prayer, existed long before the destruction of the Second Temple; the earliest archaeological evidence for the existence of early synagogues comes from Egypt, where stone synagogue dedication inscriptions dating from the 3rd century BCE prove that synagogues existed by that date. More than a dozen Jewish Second Temple era synagogues have been identified by archaeologists in Israel and other countries belonging to the Hellenistic world. Any Jew or group of Jews can build a synagogue. Synagogues have been constructed by ancient Jewish kings, by wealthy patrons, as part of a wide range of human institutions including secular educational institutions and hotels, by the entire community of Jews living in a particular place, or by sub-groups of Jews arrayed according to occupation, style of religious observance, or by the followers of a particular rabbi.
It has been theorized that the synagogue became a place of worship in the region upon the destruction of the Second Temple during the First Jewish–Roman War. The popularization of prayer over sacrifice during the years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE had prepared the Jews for life in the diaspora, where prayer would serve as the focus of Jewish worship. Despite the possibility of synagogue-like spaces prior to the First Jewish–Roman War, the synagogue emerged as a stronghold for Jewish worship upon the destruction of the Temple. For Jews living in the wake of the Revolt, the synagogue functioned as a "portable system of worship". Within the synagogue, Jews worshipped by way of prayer rather than sacrifices, which had served as the main form of worship within the Second Temple; the Samaritan house of worship is called a synagogue. During the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, during the Hellenistic period, the Greek word used in the Diaspora by Samaritans and Jews was the same: proseucheµ.
The oldest Samaritan synagogue discovered so far is from Delos in the Aegean Islands, with an inscription dated between 250 and 175 BCE, while most Samaritan synagogues excavated in the wider Land of Israel and ancient Samaria in particular, were built during the 4th-7th centuries, at the end of the Roman and throughout the Byzantine period. The elements which distinguish Samaritan synagogues from contemporary Jewish ones are: Alphabet: the use of the Samaritan script Orthography; when the Samaritan script is used, there are some Hebrew words which would
Acts of the Apostles
Acts of the Apostles referred to as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament. Acts and the Gospel of Luke make up a two-part work, Luke–Acts, by the same anonymous author dated to around 80–90 AD; the first part, the Gospel of Luke, tells how God fulfilled his plan for the world's salvation through the life and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the promised Messiah. Acts continues the story of Christianity in the 1st century, beginning with Jesus's ascension to Heaven; the early chapters, set in Jerusalem, describe the Day of Pentecost and the growth of the church in Jerusalem. The Jews are receptive to the Christian message, but soon they turn against the followers of Jesus. Rejected by the Jews, under the guidance of the Apostle Peter the message is taken to the Gentiles; the chapters tell of Paul's conversion, his mission in Asia Minor and the Aegean, his imprisonment in Rome, where, as the book ends, he awaits trial. Luke–Acts is an attempt to answer a theological problem, namely how the Messiah of the Jews came to have an overwhelmingly non-Jewish church.
Luke–Acts can be seen as a defense of the Jesus movement addressed to the Jews: the bulk of the speeches and sermons in Acts are addressed to Jewish audiences, with the Romans serving as external arbiters on disputes concerning Jewish customs and law. On the one hand, Luke portrays the Christians as a sect of the Jews, therefore entitled to legal protection as a recognised religion; the title "Acts of the Apostles" was first used by Irenaeus in the late 2nd century. It is not known whether this was one invented by Irenaeus; the Gospel of Luke and Acts make up a two-volume work. Together they account for 27.5% of the New Testament, the largest contribution attributed to a single author, providing the framework for both the Church's liturgical calendar and the historical outline into which generations have fitted their idea of the story of Jesus and the early church. The author is not named in either volume. According to Church tradition dating from the 2nd century, he was the "Luke" named as a companion of the apostle Paul in three of the letters attributed to Paul himself.
The author "does not share Paul's own view of himself as an apostle. He was educated, a man of means urban, someone who respected manual work, although not a worker himself. While no proposed date for the composition of Acts is universally accepted, the most common scholarly position is to date Luke–Acts to 80-90 AD, on the grounds that it uses Mark as a source, looks back on the destruction of Jerusalem, does not show any awareness of the letters of Paul; the earliest possible date for the composition of Acts is set by the events with which it ends, Paul's imprisonment in Rome c. 63 AD, but such an early dating is a minority position. The last possible date would be set by its first definite citation by another author, but there is no unanimity on this. A minority of scholars in the latter camp, conclude that Acts dates to the 2nd century, believing that it shows awareness of the letters of Paul, the works of Josephus, or the writings of Marcion. There are two major textual variants of the Western text-type and the Alexandrian.
The oldest complete Alexandrian manuscripts date from the 4th century and the oldest Western ones from the 6th, with fragments and citations going back to the 3rd. Western texts of Acts are 6.2–8.4% longer than Alexandrian texts, the additions tending to enhance the Jewish rejection of the Messiah and the role of the Holy Spirit, in ways that are stylistically different from the rest of Acts. The majority of scholars prefer the Alexandrian text-type over the Western as the more authentic, but this same argument would favour the Western over the Alexandrian for the Gospel of Luke, as in that case the Western version is the shorter; the title "Acts of the Apostles" would seem to identify it with the genre telling of the deeds and achievements of great men, but it was not the title given by the author. The anonymous author aligned Luke–Acts to the "narratives" (διήγησ
Saint Mary Magdalene, sometimes called the Magdalene, was a Jewish woman who, according to the four canonical gospels, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers and was a witness to his crucifixion and resurrection. She is mentioned by name twelve times in the canonical gospels, more than most of the apostles. Mary's epithet Magdalene most means that she came from the town of Magdala, a fishing town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee; the Gospel of Luke 8:2–3 lists Mary as one of the women who traveled with Jesus and helped support his ministry "out of their resources", indicating that she was relatively wealthy. The same passage states that seven demons had been driven out of her, a statement, repeated in the longer ending of Mark. In all four canonical gospels, she is a witness to the crucifixion of Jesus and, in the Synoptic Gospels, she is present at his burial. All four gospels identify her, either alone or as a member of a larger group of women, as the first witness to the empty tomb, the first to testify to Jesus's resurrection.
For these reasons, she is known in many Christian traditions as the "apostle to the apostles". Mary is a central figure in apocryphal Gnostic Christian writings, including the Dialogue of the Savior, the Pistis Sophia, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Mary; these texts, which scholars do not regard as containing accurate historical information, portray her as Jesus's closest disciple and the only one who understood his teachings. In the Gnostic gospels, Mary Magdalene's closeness to Jesus results in tension with the other disciples Simon Peter. During the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalene was conflated in western tradition with Mary of Bethany and the unnamed "sinful woman" who anoints Jesus's feet in Luke 7:36–50, resulting in a widespread but inaccurate belief that she was a repentant prostitute or promiscuous woman. Elaborate medieval legends from western Europe tell exaggerated tales of Mary Magdalene's wealth and beauty, as well as her alleged journey to southern France.
The identification of Mary Magdalene with Mary of Bethany and the unnamed "sinful woman" was a major controversy in the years leading up to the Reformation and some Protestant leaders rejected it. During the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church used Mary Magdalene as a symbol of penance. In 1969, the identification of Mary Magdalene with Mary of Bethany and the "sinful woman" was removed from the General Roman Calendar, but the view of her as a former prostitute has persisted in popular culture. Mary Magdalene is considered to be a saint by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran churches—with a feast day of July 22. Other Protestant churches honor her as a heroine of the faith; the Eastern Orthodox churches commemorate her on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, the Orthodox equivalent of one of the Western Three Marys traditions. Speculations that Mary Magdalene was Jesus's wife or that she had a sexual relationship with him are regarded by most historians as dubious, it is accepted among secular historians that, like Jesus, Mary Magdalene was a real historical figure.
Nonetheless little is known about her life. Unlike Paul the Apostle, Mary Magdalene has left behind no writings of her own, nor were any works forged under her name, as was common for the other disciples, she is never mentioned in any of the general epistles. The earliest and most reliable sources about her life are the three Synoptic Gospels of Mark and Luke, which were all written during the first century AD. Mary Magdalene's epithet Magdalene most means that she came from Magdala, a village on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, known in antiquity as a fishing town. Mary was, by far, the most common Jewish given name for females during the first century, so it was necessary for the authors of the gospels to call her Magdalene in order to distinguish her from the other women named Mary who followed Jesus. Although the Gospel of Mark, the earliest surviving gospel, does not mention Mary Magdalene until Jesus's crucifixion, the Gospel of Luke 8:2–3 provides a brief summary of her role during his ministry: Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God.
The twelve were with him, as well as some women, cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, many others, who provided for them out of their resources. The statement that Mary had been possessed by seven demons is repeated in Mark 16:9, part of the "longer ending" of that gospel – this is not found in the earliest manuscripts, is a second-century addition to the original text based on the Gospel of Luke. In the first century, demons were believed to be the cause of physical and psychological illness. Bruce Chilton, a scholar of early Christianity, states that the reference to the number of demons being "seven" may mean that Mary had to undergo seven exorcisms over a long period of time, due to the first six being or wholly unsuccessful. Bart D. Ehrman, a New Testament scholar and historian of early Christianity, contends that the number seven may be symbolic, since, in Jewish tradition, seven was the number of completion, so the statement that Mary was possessed by seven demons may mean she was overwhelmed by their power.
In either case, Mary must have suffered from severe emotional or psychological trauma in order for an exorcism of this kind to have been perceived as necessary. Her devotion to Jesus on account of t