Was Mary Magdalene and Mary the Sister of Martha prostitutes?

Ellen White taught in the Desire of Ages that the sinful woman (who was probably a prostitute) of Luke 7 that anoints the feet of Jesus is Mary Magdalene (DA 566.1–568.1). Ellen White also said that this Mary Magdalene was the Sister of Martha and Lazarus and she confuses the anointing of Luke 7 with that of John 12 (DA 568.2). She also teaches that Simon the Pharisee was Mary’s uncle who had been the very one who lead her into a life of prostitution. Her exact words are: “Simon had led into sin the woman he now despised.”  And she gives every hint possible that Mary Magdalene was also the lady that was caught in the act of adultery! (MH 89.2).

My friends the bible tells us it is a SIN to bear false witness, and Ellen White certainly does this in her teachings concerning Mary Magdalene.

The Facts are: The bible does not say Mary Magdalene anointed Jesus feet. The bible teaches that Mary Magdalene and the prostitute are two distinct persons.

The bible does not say Mary Magdalene is the Sister of Martha, but it teaches that the two Marys’ are from two different cities!

The bible does not say that Simon the Pharisee is Simon the Leopard they are two distinct persons, and it certainly does not say either lead the prostitute into her life of sin!

Ellen White has born the most shameful false witness about four bible figures! This outrage should cause people to understand that Ellen White did not write under the inspiration of God’s Spirit! It is another spirit that leads people to falsely accuse the brethren.

The following bible study proves all of this:

Mary Mary?
Please read: Luke 7:36-50

This is one of the most beautiful passages of scripture; it tells of God’s grace and forgiveness, and how that when this grace is accepted into the heart how it changes a person, and fills them with love for their redeemer. Yet there are people who take this passage and they pervert it, and do damage with it.

Some people confuse this lady with Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. Some even tell us that another name for Mary of Bethany is Mary Magdalene.

Where did Mary the Sister of Martha and Lazarus live? John 11:1
Mary Magdalene was from Magdala. When the disciples spoke of her as “Mary Magdalene” they were actually saying “Mary from Magdala”. Magdala was located on the shore of Galilee near Tiberius.

Was Mary Magdalene the prostitute? Concerning the prostitute who anointed Jesus in the house of Simon she is not named.

Did Luke introduce Mary Magdalene later as a different character? (Luke 8:2).
Some tell us that since Mary of Bethany and the prostitute anointed Jesus in a man’s house named Simon that it is obvious that Mary of Bethany is the prostitute. What they do not realize is Simon the Leper is a different person than Simon the Pharisee.

Which city did Mary of Bethany anoint Jesus?
Mark 14:3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

Simon the Pharisee lived in Nain near Galilee (Luke 7:11, 36).

When did Mary of Bethany anoint Jesus? (John 12:1-2).
The prostitute anointed Jesus while John the Baptist was still alive (Luke 7:22). This is two years before the death of Jesus.

Why did Mary of Bethany anoint Jesus? (JOHN 12:7).

The prostitute anointed Jesus and cleaned his feet with tears to show her repentance and love for his forgiveness. (LUKE 7:46).

MARY of Bethany not only poured the ointment on Jesus feet but also where? (Matthew 26:7).

The prostitute poured it upon Christ’s feet only. (Luke 7:46)

When Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus who complained? John 12:4-5   Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

Was Judas really worried about the poor? John 12:6
The only one who complained during the anointing of the prostitute was Simon who spoke within himself.

Clearly the Prostitute is neither Mary of Bethany, nor Mary Magdalene.
Now let’s investigate a particular verse that is used to teach a dangerous doctrine.


Luke 7:47  Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

In the KJV verse 47 would seem to be given as a reason why her sins had been forgiven; it seems to say that she had loved much and because of this love she would receive pardon; but this is clearly not the meaning. This would be contrary to the whole New Testament, which supposes that love succeeds, not precedes forgiveness; and which nowhere supposes that sins are forgiven because we love God. It would be also contrary to the design of the Saviour here. Notice the context:

Luke 7:40-43   And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

The actions of the lady did not merit forgiveness, but they showed that she had been forgiven; she had this great love for Jesus because she had been forgiven much. So our Saviour’s words can be paraphrased as: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; therefore, as thou seest, she loves much.

What did the Reformers say about people who take this verse and attempt to teach we are forgiven because we love much?

“And therefore Christ’s saying is so plain in light of this that it is a wonder to see the enemies of the truth so badly distort and misinterpret this place in such a thorough manner in order to establish their meritorious works: for the greater sum a man has forgiven him, the more he loves him that has been so gracious to him.  And this woman shows by deeds of love how great the benefit was she had received: and therefore the charity that is here spoken of is not to be taken as the cause of her forgiveness, but as a sign of it: for Christ does not say as the Pharisees did that she was a sinner, but bears her witness that the sins of her past life are forgiven her.” footnotes of the Geneva bible

Which comes first? God’s love and forgiveness? Or our love and then forgiveness?

1 John 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.

1st John 4:9-10  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Why do we praise and give glory to GOD? Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

You see Rome’s gospel is this: You must work, you must do penances, you must sanctify yourself so that you can receive the grace of GOD.

What is the difference in this and the doctrine that teaches: When the believer repents and accepts by faith the death of Christ in his place they simply receive a conditional pardon. That their sins remain upon the record books, so their lives can be investigated to see if they are fit for the kingdom. If they have not perfected their character they will be rejected. (FLB 212.3, EV 695.1).

Both teach that Jesus didn’t die to purchase our pardon, but rather to purchase us a time of probation. Where Christ will help us make ourselves fit for the kingdom.

Once a person makes practical sanctification a requirement for having your sins blotted out then they have reached across the gulf and have adopted the false gospel of Rome. And it is this false gospel that is being insinuated when one says,
“those sins were forgiven. Why? How? Because Mary “loved much”.

You see dear reader the false teachers say Obedience and practical sanctification must be complete before his sins can be blotted out, and receive TRUE Justification. This is opposite of the true gospel that teaches: Believe upon Jesus who died in your place and your sins will be blotted out and you will be reconciled to GOD; THEN because you love GOD you lovingly obey him.

In the true Gospel the obedience and practical sanctification are fruits that are present in the lives of those who have received true justification.

They love and rejoice because they have received the atonement. Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

They love because they have been reconciled. Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

They love with a heart of assurance because they do not come before GOD in their own righteousness, but in the imputed righteousness of Christ.

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

They have confidence because they know they are saved. 2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

They do not spend their days wondering if they will ever ‘perfect their character’, so that they can be forgiven! So that their sins can be blotted out! So that they can inherit eternal life, for they have Jesus, and thus they have eternal life.

1 John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Do you see the difference?

Those who believe in a false gospel seeks to perfect his character, he attempts to force himself into obedience so that one day he can be counted worthy and receive the atonement.

The Christian strives for perfection and attempts to obey GOD because he has received the atonement. And is in love with his redeemer.


Luke 7:48-50   And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.  And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

He told her that her sins are forgiven, that she was saved, and that she could go in peace. She could have peace of conscience and of mind. Nothing needed to disturb her; Satan could bring up her past sins, but she needed only to remember that she was forgiven; that the old person was dead, and that she was a new creature in Christ Jesus. She was no longer a lady of the night, but a daughter of light.


“ This was the beginning of a new life to this [lady who was caught in adultery]…. This penitent woman became one of the firmest friends of Jesus. She repaid his forgiveness and compassion, with a self-sacrificing love and worship. Afterward, when she stood sorrow-stricken at the foot of the cross, and saw the dying agony on the face of her Lord, and heard his bitter cry, her soul was pierced afresh; {2SP 352.2}


“To publicans and harlots His words were the beginning of a new life. Mary Magdalene, out of whom He cast seven devils, was the last at the Saviour's tomb and the first whom He greeted in the morning of His resurrection. {MB 129.2}


"Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.."  {GH, December 1, 1901 par. 6}


He who gave back to the widow her only son as he was carried to the burial is touched today by the woe of the bereaved mother. He who wept tears of sympathy at the grave of Lazarus and gave back to Martha and Mary their buried brother; who pardoned Mary Magdalene; {AH 204.2}

Clearly Ellen White wanted her readers to believe Mary Magdalene was not only a prostitute but an adulteror.

I hope the SDA's that read this article will wake up and realize that Ellen White was not a prophet

  BACK          HOME

Babylon Forsaken

       "Come out of her MY people" - Jesus Christ