Mary of Bethany (Judeo-Aramaic מרים, Maryām, rendered Μαρία, Maria, in the Koine Greek of the New Testament; form of Hebrew מִרְיָם, Miryām, or Miriam, "wished for child", "bitter" or "rebellious") is a biblical figure described in the Gospels of John and Luke in the Christian New Testament. Together with her siblings Lazarus and Martha, she is described as living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem. In Roman Catholic tradition, Mary of Bethany is identified as Mary Magdalene (of whom more is recorded in the gospels as well as in later traditions), while in Eastern Orthodox and Protestant traditions they are considered separate persons. The Orthodox Church has its own traditions regarding Mary of Bethany's life beyond the gospel accounts.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus visits the home of two sisters named Mary and Martha. Mary is contrasted with her sister Martha, who was "cumbered about many things"[Lk 10:40] while Jesus was their guest, while Mary had chosen "the better part," that of listening to the master's discourse. The name of their village is not recorded, nor any mention of whether Jesus was near Jerusalem:
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
– Luke 10:38-42, New International Version
Full article ▸