Much has been written recently about Mary Magdalene, mostly about who she was not. She was not the sister of Martha. She was not the fallen woman who was raised up again by Jesus. She was not the prostitute who repented and did penance for the rest of her life. The picture of Mary Magdalene cherished by the ages, which emphasized her sexuality and suppressed her weakness, lies in shreds. Who really was Mary Magadalene? The living woman behind the image is still too little known and Esther de Boer here attempts to fill this gap. Examining not only the Gospel texts and texts from the church fathers, but also examining texts discovered in the Egyptian desert during the last century that were not contained in the church's tradition (not least of which is the Gospel of Mary), de Boer presents a vivid, fascinating and attractive picture of Mary of Magdala—disciple, apostle, and human being. Esther de Boer studied theology at the Free University of Amsterdam and is now a minister of the Dutch Reformed Churches in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel.