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I just read Pauline Schneider's post in response to Norman Allen's provocative essay, and here I am one year later wishing the discussion about Mary Magdalene would continue. Based on my readings about her, the orthodox version of who she was is badly distorted and at variance with her role as the disciple who was closest to Jesus, one whose role as the "soul mate" of Jesus Peter and others grew to resent. This is a complicated but under-told story well worth exploring further if you're curious. The body of work people can read if they want to become knowledgeable includes: 1) Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels; 2) Susan Haskins' Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor; 3) Magaret Starbird's Magdalene's Lost Legacy and The Woman With the Alabaster Jar; and 4) Mary Ellen Ashcroft's The Magdalene Gospel. I think people owe it to themselves to probe deeply on this topic and not swallow the false contention that the Magdalene was a prostitute when she actually was trusted and beloved by Jesus.