Katelyn P – So recently the Lord has been speaking to me in the Word about Mary Magdalene, which has been great. But now I have a question that I never thought about before: Mary Magdalene and Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus, are they the same person? I started to try to find the answer and then the thought came to me that I should ask if you knew more on this topic already. So, what do you think?

Dave – Thanks for your question. For some reason the Roman Catholic Church thought these two Marys were the same person, but sometime in the 1990s they realized this was not true. Protestant churches knew this long ago.

Mary Magdalene most likely came from the town of Magdala. She had 7 demons cast out of her and was among the women who took care of Jesus and His disciples as they traveled about (using their own money for food). Many have thought she was a prostitute but there is no certain Biblical evidence for this. She certainly stuck by Jesus. She was at His crucifixion and went to the empty tomb looking for His body when told He had risen.

Martha’s sister, Mary, was Lazarus’ sister and was from the town of Bethany which is not too far from Jerusalem. This Mary was the woman who sat at Jesus’ feet captivated by His words while her sister Martha was scrambling to serve food/drink to Him (and complained to Jesus that she wasn’t helping her). Hope this helps.