Here’s who Mary Magdalene was: one of Jesus Christ’s original followers, the last to stay with him while he was nailed to the cross and, Christians believe, the first to see his empty tomb and his resurrection.
Here’s who she wasn’t: a reformed or forgiven prostitute.
Yet on Easter Sunday, Christianity’s holiest day, that’s exactly how she will be described in some sermons and how she continues to be portrayed in much of popular culture.
The woman dubbed in the Bible the “Apostle of the Apostles” has spent two millennia being reduced to a seductress. In some ways, Mary Magdalene’s story is the story of modern women everywhere.