Mary Magdalene, The Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:7-26), the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair (Luke 7:37-38), the woman Jesus saved from stoning (John 8:1-11) — we are all familiar with their chosen professions, right? Wrong! The Bible says no such thing. In fact, there is absolutely no Biblical evidence for such identification. It seems rather bizarre that almost all prominent female figures in the Gospels have been labeled over the years by religious leaders as ‘prostitutes’. Even Mary, the sister of Martha is no exception. She is later named in John 12:3 as the so-called ‘prostitute’ who washed Jesus’ feet in Luke 7:37-38. This deliberate slander of women is almost certainly an example of misogyny perpetuated within the Church.
It may come as a surprise that the one and only statement Jesus explicitly made regarding prostitutes was in response to a question posed by the chief priests and the elders. He said, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” (Mt 21:31). That’s something to think about.