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Magdala was a fishing town located on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee (see photograph). The Talmud refers to it as "the city of colour" because the indigo plant was produced there on a relatively large scale. It's variously known as Magdala, as in Matthew 15:39 in the King James Version, while the Revised Standard Version, and most others, have Magadan in that verse i.e.

"And He sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala." (KJV)

"And sending away the crowds, He got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan" (RSV)

During the time of His ministry, Jesus Christ lived in northern Galilee, at Capernaum, a short distance north from Magdala along the shore of the sea. During His travels southward, including down to Jerusalem, Jesus would have walked many times on the road through Magdala, but the town is perhaps most famous as the home and/or birthplace of a lady popularly known as Mary of Magdala, or Mary Magdalene (which incorrectly gives the impression that Magdala was her surname, when in fact it was her home town; calling Mary of Magdala "Mary Magdala" would be like calling Jesus of Nazareth "Jesus Nazareth"), who became the first human witness of Christ's Resurrection.

Mary of Magadan

Mary had some serious difficulties in her earlier life before meeting Jesus. She had seven demons cast out of her (Luke 8:2, see also Casting Out Demons), but she later joined with the others, including The Twelve, who accompanied Jesus at times during His ministry (Luke 8:1-2). At Calvary, she stood with Mary the mother of Jesus and the others at the foot of he Cross (John 19:25-26, see also Crossing The T), making her a witness of both the Crucifixion and The Resurrection:


"The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early [see Sunday Is Not The Sabbath to understand how and why so many people have misunderstood when the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ actually occurred), when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid Him."

"Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes [see Shroud Of Turin: A Miraculous Fake?], but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead."

"Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain."

"And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?"

"She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus."

"Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou?"

"She, supposing Him to be the gardener, saith unto Him, Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take him away."

"Jesus saith unto her, Mary."

"She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master." [see Rabbi]

"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God."

"Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her." (John 20:1-18 KJV)

We have Mary of Magdala to thank for having this part of The Gospel record in The Bible. It would not exist without her witness.

Fact Finder: Along with Mary of Magdala, did Jesus' aunt, the sister of His mother Mary, also witness The Crucifixion?
John 19:25
See also Aunt Mary?

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