Mary Magdalene

The name probably refers to her being an inhabitant of Magdala on the western side of the Sea of Galilee. She is first mentioned in Luke 8:2 as someone out of whom seven demons had been cast. The exact nature of her complaint-physical, emotional, or spiritual-is unknown. It is unlikely that she is to be identified with the sinful woman who anointed Jesus (Luke 7:37ff.), as Luke fails to make any explicit connection. She was a witness to the crucifixion along with the other women who had accompanied Jesus on His last journey to Jerusalem (Mark 15:40, etc.). She was particularly prominent at the time of the resurrection. She went with the others to the tomb (Mark 16:1, etc.), but John mentions her alone as running to tell the disciples that the stone had been removed (John 20:1f.). John also records the moving scene where she meets Jesus but does not recognize Him until He addresses her by name, then she seeks to cling to Him instead of accepting a new relationship with Him on a different plane (John 20:11ff.).