What can the Magdala Stone tell us of Jesus and his ministry? Public domain
Jewish World

Mary Magdalena, Jesus and a Mysterious Stone

An examination of the Magdala Stone and what it tells us of Jesus’ ministry and influence on Judaism

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A mysterious stone found in the heart of Jesus’ travels opens a surprising window into the influence the Messiah and his early followers had on first century Jews and the future of the Jewish synagogue.

The Scene

Magdala was the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, according to Jewish and Christian sources. Mary, or Miriam as she would have been called, was a Jewish woman who, according to the Gospels, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She was also witness to his crucifixion and the events that occurred afterwards, including his resurrection. Mariam is mentioned 12 times in the Gospels, more than most of the apostles and more than any other non-family woman. In a word, she was quite a woman. Mary’s name, Magdalene, most likely comes from the town of Magdala where she lived.

To understand the mysterious Magdala Stone that was uncovered in the synagogue of Miriam’s hometown, let’s imagine Jesus visiting the town, which was a center for fish trade on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee just a few kilometers south of…

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