[Here] is how the original Greek texts of the New Testament actually spelled Mary Magdalene's name/epithet.SOURCE: http://www.northernway.org/school/starbird.html
In the Gospels, almost always when we find "Mary Magdalene" mentioned, she is called "Maria h Magdalhnh"--her first name and "title" together: (Matt 27:56; 27:61; 28:1; Mark 15:40; 15:47; 16:1; (16:9 say 'th' Magdalhnh because of the case change). Luke 8:1 says "Maria h ....(who is called)...Magdalhnh" and Luke 24:10 says "h Magdalhnh Maria." John 19:25; 20:1 and 20:18 all say "Maria h Magdalhnh." From these Gospel texts, it is clear that this woman was called "Mary the Magdalene"-- by everyone. It is her name/title. It is clear that this whole epithet "h Magdalhnh" was used intentionally in connection with Magdalene, giving her title the sum of "153."
Since the practice of gematria relies on the actual spelling of the phrase (which results in a specific sum), and since this practice is in place throughout the New Testament (as discussed in my book, Magdalene's Lost Legacy [Required reading in our Order of Mary Magdala's Second Degree] and in John Michell's Dimensions of Paradise and numerous other sources) it is a rational assumption that the title "h Magdalhnh" was NOT a "happy accident" but was intentional. They could have called her anything they wanted to, given her any "spin" they wanted, and they CHOSE (IMO) to identify her with the "153" identified with the Vesica Piscis, their symbol for the "creative matrix," the "womb" and the "Bridal Chamber."
The number "153" is repeated in John's Gospel, chapter 21 when the disciples counted the fish they caught. It is a metaphor for the "Church" --"the Bride" (people!!) of the Way. The earliest Christians saw Mary Magdalene as the "prototype" of the faithful community, the "Bride" in her devotion and faithfulness to Christ, so her "153" is a metaphor for the "church of the fishes."
30 March 2011
Margaret Starbird writes to the MM-list on July 14, 2004: