🔼The name Magdala in the Bible
The name Magdala may not actually be a Biblical name. The evangelist Matthew may mention it as the destination of Jesus, right after He had fed the 4,000, but many manuscripts read Magadan (Matthew 15:39). In the parallel version told by Mark, neither Magdala nor Magadan appears and Mark has Jesus go to Dalmanutha (Mark 8:10).
Neither Magadan nor Dalmanutha are mentioned by any other writer in antiquity, which leads scholars to believe that in neither case Magdala is meant and both names refer to something else than a physical location. Please refer to our articles on either name for a discussion on that idea.
🔼Etymology of the name Magdala
The name Magdala is a Hellenized version of the Hebrew name of that same town, namely Migdal-El, which occurs in Joshua 19:38. Please see our article on the name Magdalene for a closer look.