Unveiling Mary Magdalene: Discover the Truth about a Not-So-Bad Girl of the Bible

Unveiling Mary Magdalene: Discover the Truth about a Not-So-Bad Girl of the Bible

by Liz Curtis Higgs


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The veil has been lifted.

Discover the Gospel truth about the most myth-understood woman of the New Testament. Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute? An adulteress? The wife of Jesus? An ancient goddess? Liz Curtis Higgs, best-selling author of Bad Girls of the Bible and Really Bad Girls of the Bible, combines heartfelt contemporary fiction with extensive biblical research to bring to life the real Mary Magdalene of the Bible.

With her own eyes, she saw him.
With her own ears, she heard him.
With her own hands, she touched him.

Unveiling Mary Magdalene
opens with the fictional journey of Mary Margaret Delaney, a madwoman adrift in modern Chicago. Her moving story, closely paralleling the biblical account, is followed by a verse-by-verse study of the first-century Mary Magdalene and her life-changing encounters with the Christ.
“Liz has done it again! What hope and promise this will bring.” 
—Kay Arthur

“The unforgettable portrait of a courageous woman.”
—Rebecca St. James

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400070213
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/18/2004
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 369,312
Product dimensions: 6.01(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Liz Curtis Higgs has been telling tales since she wrote her first “novel” at the tender age of ten. Careers in broadcasting, public speaking, nonfiction writing, and children’s books brought her back to her first love–fiction–at the turn of the 21st century.

Since 1986, Liz Curtis Higgs has presented more than 1,500 inspirational programs for audiences in all 50 states as well as Germany, England, Canada, Ecuador, France, and Scotland. In 1995, Liz received the highest award for speaking excellence, the “Council of Peers Award for Excellence,” becoming one of only forty women in the world named to the Speaker Hall of Fame by the National Speakers Association.

Feature articles about Liz have appeared in more than 250 major newspapers and magazines across the country, and she has been interviewed on more than 600 radio and television stations, including guest appearances on PBS/Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, A & E, MSNBC, NPR, CBC Canada, BBC Radio Scotland, Focus on the Family, and Janet Parshall’s America.

A member of Novelists, Inc., Liz now focuses her writing efforts on historical fiction, particularly novels set in eighteenth-century Scotland. To aid in her research, she has visited the U.K. on eight occasions, including her "Heart for Scotland" 12-city U.K. book tour in October 2003, and she has collected nearly 700 resource books on Scottish history and culture. A graduate of Bellarmine College with a B.A. in English, Liz is a member of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society and the Dumfries & Galloway Family History Society, as well as supporting the National Museums of Scotland, Historic Scotland, and the National Trust for Scotland.

Liz is the author of twenty-one books, with more than 2 million in print. Her fiction to date includes two historical novels and two contemporary novels:
• Fair Is the Rose
• Thorn in My Heart
• Bookends
• Mixed Signals

The most recent of her 11 nonfiction, best-selling books include…
• Unveiling Mary Magdalene
• Really Bad Girls of the Bible
• Bad Girls of the Bible

The above titles also have corresponding VHS videos and companion workbooks.
And she has written five books for young children:
• Go Away, Dark Night
• The Parable of the Lily
• The Pine Tree Parable
• The Sunflower Parable
• The Pumpkin Patch Parable

Her children’s Parable Series was awarded the ECPA Gold Medallion for Excellence at the Christian Booksellers Association Convention in July 1998, and her book Bad Girls of the Bible was an ECPA Gold Medallion Finalist in 2000. Her first novel, Mixed Signals, was a RITA Finalist for both Best First Novel and Best Inspirational Novel. Her second novel, Bookends, was a Christy Finalist for Best Contemporary Fiction. And her third novel, Thorn in My Heart, was a #1 historical fiction Christian bestseller, followed by a second historical bestseller, Fair Is the Rose. Whence Came a Prince, the latest novel in the series, publishes in March 2005. In addition, Liz is the editor of an annual newsletter, The Graceful Heart, with 25,000 readers, and is a columnist for Today’s Christian Woman magazine with her back page feature, "Life with Liz." Her first video Bible study series, Loved by God, was released in March 2004.

On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, Ph.D., who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill share their 19th-century farmhouse in Louisville, KY, with their two teenagers, Matthew and Lillian, and too many cats. For more about Liz, visit her Web site: www.LizCurtisHiggs.com.

Read an Excerpt


Wings of Madness

Today I felt pass over me
A breath of wind from the wings of madness.
Charles Baudelaire

Jake didn’t see her until it was too late.

A woman disguised as a bundle of rags bolted out of the Park View Pet Shop and directly into his path, nearly knocking him to the icy sidewalk. Instead, she was the one who landed there in an awkward heap, her face crimson, her eyes averted.

He bent toward her, shielding her from the bitter January wind. “Ma’am, are you okay? I’m sorry I—”

She looked up at him, and the words froze on his lips.

Lord, help me. He was face to face with a madwoman.

Wide, unfocused eyes lit by an unseen fire stared blankly back at him. Dark smudges down her cheeks—dirt? makeup? dried blood?—seemed days in the making. Her black hair was matted against her head, and her prominent nose ran unchecked.

Jake yanked out a clean handkerchief and knelt by her side, lowering his voice as though speaking to a child. “Let me help you get up.”

She shrank back from him, a bony hand tightening around a threadbare striped scarf. The woman might have been his mother’s age, in her midforties. He studied the lines around her mouth. No, older. The sad wildness in her eyes hinted at decades of pain.

When she dropped her chin and mumbled an incoherent word or two, he leaned closer. Maybe she would mention her name, where she lived, something.

Except what she said made no sense at all…

Maybe you’re thinking the same thing: This makes no sense at all! I thought this was a book about Mary Magdalene, one of the Bad Girls of the Bible.

Oh, it is, dearie. You’ve come to the right place. No bait-and-switch here.

I simply asked myself the question, “What if Mary Magdalene walked among us today?” That’s the Story part. Before doing that, I immersed myself in the biblical accounts of her life. That’s the Study part. In the process, I discovered a very different woman than I’d expected. Although “her name has come to us laden with infamy,” most of us don’t know what she’s famous— or infamous—for doing.

Clearly she must have done something. Of the seven Marys in the Bible, Mary of Magdala is mentioned fourteen times, more than any other woman in the Gospels except Mary, the mother of Jesus.


When I asked my Christian writing sisters what they remembered about Mary, most of ’em were convinced Mary Magdalene was a bona fide Bad Girl.

“Wasn’t she a prostitute? Worse than other sinners?” Sue

“A good heart for Christ but a bad reputation.” Jan

“She had a lot of hard knocks and made some bad choices.” Janet

“She was definitely a bad girl…the proverbial ‘tender-hearted whore.’” Karen

“I’m confused. Was she the woman who washed Christ’s feet? An adulteress? A murderer?” Debbie

Yes, there’s something about Mary. We just can’t figure out what it is.

“I don’t know if she would be classified as ‘bad’ per se, or simply afflicted with a terrible case of PMS.” Carolyn

Hey, that’s it! Blame the hormones. Works for me, babe.

Speaking of hormones, if you’ve heard the rumors about Mary Magdalene and Jesus being lovers, being married, being parents—don’t get your toga in a knot. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, who provided first-century, eyewitness accounts and knew Jesus and Mary Magdalene as well as anyone, never speak of them as a couple, let alone as husband and wife. More on that subject in chapter 11, but I want to put your mind at ease: It’s the Mary Magdalene of the Bible we’re unveiling here, not the mythical version.

So then. Was the real Mary M. good…or bad?

“Not necessarily bad, but she must have opened the door to those demons…” Angela

Uh…demons? Nobody ever talks about that part of her life. Except the apostles.

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. Mark 16:9

Wait a minute. The woman was a demoniac? Of all the people he might have appeared to first, Jesus chose a former…well, a madwoman? Sorta like that person who came tearing out of the pet shop a few minutes ago? Whoa.

Now you can see why this book was first published with the title Mad Mary. The bad news is, most folks browsing through a bookstore missed the Mary Magdalene connection altogether. Many apologies. The good news is, we’ve unveiled Mary’s story with a new title and a new cover, yet with the same eye-opening truth inside.

Mary Magdalene was indeed a demoniac—one of the Mad Girls of the Bible—until Jesus appeared and changed her forever. Girlfriend, we gotta find out how she got rid of the demons in her life. And why Jesus trusted a woman with a devilish past to reveal his heavenly future. Contemporary story first, biblical study second, let’s explore what it means to be utterly, completely, amazingly transformed.

Darkness to light, death to life.

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