Lo and behold, today I happened upon a Discovery Channel show about whether or not Mary Magdalene was wrongly viewed as a prostitute when she could have been an apostle. Speakers on the show asserted that mary was a common name during Jesus's time so perhaps men translating the bible centuries confused mary the disciple with mary the footwashing prostitute? Or is it possible that translators and bible scholars did'nt approve of female church leadership so they rendered Mary Magdalene, who was a community leader, a jesus follower, and an equal contemporary of the disciples, a prostitute. Speakers on the show voiced that Mary Magdalene, as a redeemed prostitute, has been made acceptable b/c she represents the principle of redemption, forgiveness, starting anew, etc (basics of christianity). Others say that making Mary into a prostitute and deleting the book of Mary from the Nag Hamadi texts is a prime example of the centuries old male tendency to "put a woman in her place" by attacking her sexuality. It also had the effect of removing females as figures of power in the new testament, and the church.
What are your thoughts? Is Mary Magdalene accurately depicted as a prostitute? Or should we consider her a disciple?
*disclaimer* Although some will debate the actual existence of Mary Magdalene, that is not the intent of this post. The issue of female discipleship,and its implications for the christian faith, is a compelling one. All views are welcome