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Quoting from the ESV:

Luke 7:37-38 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment....and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.

Matthew 26:6-7 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.

Mark 14:3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head.

Were Simon the Pharisee and Simon the leper the same person?

  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. We're a little different from other sites. You may benefit from checking out this helpful flowchart for asking questions. – Dan Dec 23 '14 at 17:51
  • Hi, R. Thomas, I removed the part of this question that was a duplicate in order to re-open it because you had a second question in there that doesn't seem to be a duplicate. It's preferable to quote a published translation, so I included that, but you can feel free to switch to another if you prefer. Just be sure to tell us what you're quoting. – Susan Dec 24 '14 at 6:21
2

In one way, yes they are, but literally they are not the same.

Looking at four different accounts, in context, we can see so many similarities that they must surely be versions of the same account, yet there are important differences:

Mark 14:3-5,7 (KJV):

"And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her... For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always."

Matt 26:6-9,11:

"Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor ... For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always."

Luke 7:37-41

"And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both... "

John 12:1-8

"Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always."

  • Mark (believed to be the original account), Matthew and John say that Jesus was in Bethany when the woman anointed him; Luke does not tell us where this event occurred, but it appears that he is still in Galilee, far from Bethany: in 7:1, he is in Capernaum; in 8:1-3 he is in a village with Joanna, wife of Chuza, Herod's [Antipas] steward; in 8:26 they arrive at the country of the Gadarenes.
  • Mark, Matthew and Luke name the host as Simon, with Mark and Matthew calling him the leper, and Luke calling Simon the Pharisee. John says the house was that of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
  • Mark, Matthew and Luke specifically mention the alabaster box of ointment. Mark and John tell us the ointment was spikenard.
  • In Mark and Matthew, she anointed Jesus head, while in Luke and John, she anointed his feet.
  • Mark and John say the ointment could have been sold for three hundred pence and the money given to the poor. Matthew agrees, omitting the estimated value of the ointment. Luke omits the criticism of the woman, but provides a parable that talks of five hundred pence and fifty pence, arguably inspired by the earlier account.
  • Jesus concludes by saying the poor will be with you always, but me you will not have always.
  • In the Mark and Matthew accounts, the woman anointed Jesus just before his arrest. In John she anointed Jesus at the start of the final week, earlier than in Mark and Matthew. In Luke, the anointment occurs quite early, certainly before the final journey to Jerusalem.

Although they are clearly different versions of the same account, in spite of the different chronologies, we can hardly say that Simon and Lazarus were the same person, and a leper could not have continued as a Pharisee. We need a different explanation.

John Dominic Crossan says in The Birth of Christianity, page 93, spent the 1960s in a monastery, poring over the four gospels in parallel columns, word after word and unit after unit, day after day and year after year. He was studying the scholarly hypothesis that some of those gospels had used others as their sources – doing source-criticism. In the end he found it absolutely convincing. This is the strong consensus of scholars and would explain the similarities and differences in these accounts. Simon the leper is portrayed as a different person than Simon the Pharisee (and Lazarus), but the accounts in Matthew, Luke and John can all be traced back to Mark's account.

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  • The explanation I'd heard was that Lazarus, Mary and Martha were Simon's children. The theory goes that they were still very young to be at home rather than married off, and that Lazarus was looking after them as their father had died. – curiousdannii Jan 17 '15 at 3:54
  • @curiousdannii Whenever there is a difficulty, someone always comes up with an explanation. The test I have suggested in the past is whether that explanation is based on actual text (chapter:verse) from the Bible, with an explanation that a Buddhist (ie neutral party) would say he accepts as a proper interpretation of that text. – Dick Harfield Jan 17 '15 at 4:28
  • Dick this is a very thorough treatment of the question. It is arguable however, that the gospels are referring to two different annointings, one in Galilee earlier in Christ's ministry and the second the week before his death. John's account doesn't refer to the person annointing Christ as a sinner, she had been forgiven by Christ in Galilee at her conversion. it is not inconceivable that she would repeat the act of worship. Since the word of God is true, all the facts of the scriptures must be understood in a manner that validates all of them, hence a repeated annointing. – Randy Harvey Jun 20 '17 at 14:43
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    "John says the house was that of Mary, Martha and Lazarus." No, John does not say in whose house the supper was held. He only says that "they held a supper". Even if we assume that "they" refers to Mary, Martha and Lazarus (which might possibly not be the case; it might be generic), there is no necessary implication that they held the supper in their own home. It could have been in someone else's home large enough to receive all the guests. – Ochado Sep 26 '18 at 5:12
1

Simon the leper and Simon the Pharisee are probably not the same person, but there doesn't seem to have been consensus on this among early commentators.


The Diatessaron of Tatian is one of the oldest harmonies of the Gospels in existence. It dates to the late 2nd century and was written in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic. It reflects how at least some early readers of the Gospels understood the stories to fit together.

The Diatessaron treats the cases of Simon the Pharisee and of Simon the leper as two different occurrences on different occasions.

The account of Simon the Leper is placed in Section XXXIX, which harmonizes Mark 14:3-9 and Matthew 26:9-12 with an additional passage in John (12:2-8). The event takes place after Jesus is not received by the Samaritans (Luke 9:51-56), and before sending his disciples to prepare for His entrance into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1ff, Luke 19:28ff):

1 Jn 12:1And Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where was Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from among the dead.

2 Jn 12:2a And they made a feast for him there:

3 Jn 12:2b and Martha was serving; while Lazarus was one of them that sat with him.

4 Mk 14:3a And at the time of Jesus’ being at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, Jn 12:9 great multitudes of the Jews heard that Jesus was there: and they came, not because of Jesus alone, but that they might look also on Lazarus, whom he raised from among the dead.

5 Jn 12:10 And the chief priests considered how they might kill Lazarus also;

6 Jn 12:11 because many of the Jews were going on his account, and believing in Jesus.

7 Jn 12:3a,Mk14:3b And Mary took a case of the ointment of fine nard, of great price, and opened it, and poured it out on the head of Jesus as he was reclining; and she anointed his feet, and wiped them with her hair

8 Jn 12:3b and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

9 Jn 12:4 But Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples, he that was to betray him, said,

10 Jn 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given unto the poor?

11 Jn 12:6 This he said, not because of his care for the poor, but because he was a thief, and the chest was with him, and what was put3 into it he used to bear. And that displeased the rest of the disciples also within themselves, and they said,

12 Mk 14:4 Why went this ointment to waste?

13 Mt 26:9,Mk 14:5b It was possible that it should be sold for much, and the poor be given it.

14 Mk 14:5c And they were angry with Mary. Mt 26:10a And Jesus perceived it, Mt 26:10b,Mk 14:6a,Jn 12:7a and said unto them, Mk 14:6b,Jn 12:7bLeave her; Mt 26:10c,Mk 14:6c why molest ye her? Mk 14:6da good work hath she accomplished on me: Jn 12:7c for the day of my burial kept she it.

15 Mt 26:11a,Mk 14:7a,Jn 12:8a At all times the poor are with you, Mk 14:7b and when ye wish ye can do them a kindness: Mt 26:11b,Mk 14:7c,Jn 12:8b but I am not at all times with you.

16 Mt 26:12,Mk 14:7b And for this cause, when she poured this ointment on my body, it is as if she did it for my burial, and anointed my body beforehand.

17 Mk 14:8b-9 And verily I say unto you, In every place where this my gospel shall be proclaimed in all the world, what she did shall be told for a memorial of her.


Luke's account of Simon the Pharisee is placed much earlier, in Section XV, preceded by the healing of the dumb, blind, demon-possessed man (Matthew 12:22-23), and followed by Jesus' lecture to the Pharisee (Luke 7:40ff):

45 Lk 7:36 And after that, there came to him one of the Pharisees, and besought him that he would eat bread with him. And he entered into the house of that Pharisee, and reclined.

46 Lk 7:37 And there was in that city a woman that was a sinner; and when she knew that he was sitting in the house of that Pharisee, she took a box of sweet ointment, and stood behind him,

47 Lk 7:38 towards his feet, weeping, and began to wet his feet with her tears, and to wipe them with the hair of her head, and to kiss his feet, and anoint them with the sweet ointment.

48 Lk 7:39 And when that Pharisee saw it, who invited him, he thought within himself, and said, This man, if he were a prophet, would know who she is and what is her history: for the woman which touched him was a sinner.

Cyril of Alexandria (378-444) wrote the most comprehensive commentary on Luke in antiquity and he does not relate Luke 7:36-50 to any other account in his sermon on the passage.


But ...

  • The Eusebian Canons, which date to the 4th century, imply that Matthew 26:6-11, Mark 14:3-7, Luke 7:36-50, and John 12:2-8 all refer to the same event.

  • John Chrysostom (4th c.), in his Homily LXXX on Matthew, seems to imply that Matthew, Mark, and Luke are talking about one event, but John another.

  • Theophylact (11th c.), in his commentary on Luke, explains that Matthew and Mark are referring to one event, Luke to a different event, and John to yet a third.

Eventually the Eastern Church did come to a consensus that Matthew, Mark, and John's account - following the Diatessaron - were, in fact, referring to the same event, as represented in the Lenten Triodion of the Eastern Orthodox.

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I believe they are the same person, but that the two events took place at different times in Jesus' ministry.

There are several reasons to believe this is true.

First, there are very good reasons to believe the event described in Luke 7 took place in Bethany of Judea, and not in Galilee as is often assumed. Consider the fact that before Jesus raised the widow's son in Nain, he had been in Capernaum, just one day earlier. Capernaum was located 20 or 30 miles north of Nain, which means he traveled a considerable distance south in just one day. Now consider that immediately AFTER he raised the widow's son in Nain, certain disciples of John the Baptist, who were eye-witnesses to the miracles that had taken place, left the region to return to the place where John was being kept in prison. (The fact that John was in prison at this time is evident because of Matt 4:12.) Now it says that after they reported to him those things that they had witnessed he sent two of his disciples to inquire of Jesus as to whether he was the Messiah, or whether they should expect another. The reason all of this is significant is because of WHERE John was being kept in prison. Josephus tells us that John was imprisoned and eventually beheaded at a hilltop fortress of Herod, located about 9 miles east of the Red Sea on the other side of the Jordan River. That was a long way from Southern Galilee, which is where Nain was located. Since Jesus was already traveling south when the disciples of John left initially, it is reasonable to think that Jesus could have traveled through or around Samaria and made his way to Bethany of Judea well before John's disciples arrived at Herod's fortress, and certainly before the two disciples John sent to inquire of Jesus made their way to Him. It was after they departed that Jesus spoke glowingly of John the Baptist and he was invited by a Pharisee to have dinner at his home. The pharisee's name is Simon.

So, having established Bethany as a possible location for the event recorded in Luke 7, we have to determine if Bethany is the most likely location, and whether or not it makes sense to link this event in Luke 7 with the later event described in Mk, Mt, and Jn. If that is the case, we can safely conclude that the two Simon's are the same.

We have a very, very good reason to believe that these two events are linked.

Mt 26:10-13 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

If Jesus Himself said that this woman's actions were of such importance that the testimony of what she did would be proclaimed wherever the gospel is preached throughout the whole world, it makes ZERO sense that Luke would leave it out of his gospel. So here is what I have concluded.

Not only are the two Simon's the same person, but the sinful woman of Luke 7 is none other than Mary of Bethany. The significance of the story is not in a single act of devotion. The act itself is significant because it tells the story of one person's journey from sinner to saint... it points to the transforming power of God's grace and the reality of Christ's unconditional love for everyone who believes in Him.

So let me fill in the blanks. In Luke 7, Simon was offended by Jesus and doubted that He was a prophet because he allowed a sinful woman to touch him. How did he know she was a sinful woman? Because he knew her. Since Martha was recorded as the one serving in Luke 10 and John 13, we know that she was the senior lady in the house, which means that she was either the wife of Simon, or the daughter of Simon. Mary was Martha's sister. Since Martha yells at Mary in Luke 10 for not helping her serve, and we know that they are sisters, it appears they may have shared in this responsibility, which lends support to the notion that Mary and Martha were the daughters of Simon, although it doesn't rule out the possibility that Martha and Simon were married. In any case, Mary, Martha, and Simon were related. Although the Bible doesn't tell us her sin, it doesn't matter because Simon the pharisee, being very concerned with his family's reputation, most likely shamed her publicly and put her out of the house. A woman shamed in public might feel compelled to leave the area, so perhaps she fled to somewhere in Galilee. (My personal hypothesis is that she fled to Magdala, a coastal town located on the Sea of Galilee... Just south of Capernaum on the way to Nain.) What if, while she was there, burdened by all her guilt, weighed down by all her shame, Jesus came passing through her little town. And what if demons began to cry out as he passed by, and what if he cast out 7 seven unclean spirits from her? In other words, what if this woman was also Mary Magdalene, out of whom came 7 unclean spirits? I think it's more likely than not. The passage after the event in Luke 7 is the first time Mary Magdalene is mentioned. Something I find to be significant.

So this sinful woman follows Jesus from Magdala to Nain as he makes his way south, just waiting for the crowds to disperse so she can have a chance to get close to him... so that she could express her gratitude for the kindness shown to her. She follows him all the way back to her home town, to the home of her relatives, and despite the unbelievable shame she must have felt, she rushes in there with an alabaster jar full of ointment, and she hurries over to Jesus, and before she can be kicked out, she breaks it open and annoints him with the oil... and she is so overcome with the shame she feels for her sin, and the love and admiration she feels for Jesus that she begins to weep uncontrollably, soaking our Lord's feet with her tears and wiping them with her hair. She even kisses his feet. He turns to her and says, "Daughter, your sins are forgiven." Imediately, her shame is lifted off of her, shame that had felt like a million pounds on her shoulders. She is happy again, and she commits herself to support the Lord in His ministry out of her own substance. She is a changed woman, and as the Lord ministers in the cities and towns nearby before returning to Galilee, she reconnects with her family. Now at some point, Simon the pharisee contracts leprosy and is forced to move to a leper colony, and Martha and Lazarus, who are both followers of Jesus, accept Mary back into the house. Now it's possible that Simon the leper remained in the leper colony, or it's possible that Jesus healed him and he returned a changed man, but either way, Mary had her family back and her life was radically changed because of Jesus... and then Lazarus dies. She can't stop wondering why the Lord wasn't there. If he were there, Lazarus wouldn't have died. Then she gets the news that Jesus had come. She runs out to meet him. "Lord," she says, "You could have stopped this from happening." Her hurt and confusion touched the heart of God. Jesus wept. He asks them to take Him to the tomb. He tells them to roll the stone away. They protest. "He's been dead for four days. There will be a stench!" He turns and looks at Mary, and he says to the crowd, "I Am the Ressurrection and the Life! Lazarus, come out!" Then her brother comes out in his grave clothes and begins tearing them off and she cries in joy and amazement at the miracle that had just taken place. Her brother who was dead had been restored to her, and for the second time, Jesus had completely changed her life. So for a second time, she planned to do something special to express her gratitude for what He had done. Not long after this, they held a feast in Jesus' honor. It was at her home, the home of Mary and Martha and Lazarus... which was also the home of Simon the leper. Once again she took an alabaster jar full of costly ointment and she broke it and annointed the head and the feet of Jesus. For the second time, He had changed her life and for the second time she showered him with love and devotion. Her heart was full. She had to do something to show him how much she loved him. She had been forgiven much, and so she loved much. Judas protested, "That was expensive! You could have sold it and given the money to the poor!" But Jesus said, "she has done a good thing to me. Mary gets it. Wherever my gospel is preached throughout the whole world, the story of what she has done will be told in memory of her."

But the story doesn't end there. Remember that when Jesus corrected Judas after she annointed Him the second time, Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial." - Jn 12:7

So after Jesus was crucified, remembering vividly what He had said just days earlier, she again took the alabaster jar full of ointment, what was left after she had annointed Him 5 days before,, and she went to the tomb very early while it was still dark, and she brought with her the other Mary, the mother of Jesus, Solome, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. She was going to annoint Him again... for the third time... but this time with a VERY heavy heart. They found the stone rolled away. Being perplexed at what could have happened to the body a rush of emotion overwhelms her, and she hurries off without the others to tell Simon Peter and the others what had happened. She tells them, "Someone has taken his body!" Meanwhile, the women who stayed at the tomb we're visited by two angels. One of them spoke and told them Jesus had risen and they fled out of fear. (Jesus would eventually appear to them and they would go to tell the apostles but not before he appeared to someone else first.) John gets to the tomb first after the women had departed but he doesn't go in. Then Peter arrives and hurries into the tomb. He sees that Jesus isn't there but his headcloth is and it was folded neatly along with His burial clothes. John also goes in after him and sees the same. Confused and unsure what to make of everything they leave, but Mary doesn't. She goes into the empty tomb and weeps. The angels return and one of them says, why are you weeping? Not Not realizing she was speaking to an angel, because her tears were uncontrollable, she says, "Because somebody has taken the Body of my Lord and I don't know where to find Him!" The tears continued to soak the ground... an endless flow of pain was pouring out of her. It was bad enough that He was dead, but now she couldn't even annoint His body and honor Him one last time? She hears a voice behind her... "Woman, why are you weeping?" Looking through her tears in the dim light of dawn, she sees the figure of a man and assumes it's the gardener. "Where have they taken my Lord? Please tell me. Where have they taken His body? Take me to Him, and I will bring Him back. Please, just tell me where He is!". He smiles and says, "Mary." Realizing now that she is looking at the Ressurrected Lord, she runs to embrace Him. He turned her tears of saddness into tears of joy. "Rabboni! You've come back to me! You're alive! You're alive! Just like the widow's son... and just like my brother Lazarus! You came back. You ARE the Messiah!" Jesus said, "Yes, but I'm not here to stay. Go and tell my disciples that I have risen, and that I'm going to return to My Father and YOUR Father... to My God and to YOUR God." A new joy filled her heart, and a new hope came alive. Jesus had changed her life twice already, but this new thing that He had done, this would change EVERYTHING, for EVERYONE... FOREVER.

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  • 2
    Biblical hermeneutics is answering from scripture. The scenario provided above contains much hypothesis and speculation. If you can cite scripture to support more of the belief statements, please do so. Also please cite your sources - NIV, KJV, NET, etc. – Gina Mar 4 '18 at 6:19
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The two stories have way too many points of similarity to be different events

Interestingly enough Lazarus(Greek) or Eleazar(Hebrew) was most likely Eleazar "Lazarus" ben Boethus. Who's Father was Simon, and who had two sisters, Mary and Martha

Matthew 26:6-13 (ESV Strong's) Jesus Anointed at Bethany John 12:1-8 (ESV Strong's) Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany

• Ananelus, 37-36 BC

• Aristobulus III, paternal grandson of Aristobulus, 36 BC He was the last of the Hasmoneans; II and brother of Herod's wife Mariamne (second wife of Herod).

• Ananelus (restored), 36-30 BC

• Joshua ben Fabus, 30-23 BC

• Simon ben Boethus, 23-5 BC (his daughter Mariamne was third wife of Herod the Great)

• Matthias ben Theophilus, 5-4 BC

• Joazar ben Boethus, 4 BC

• Eleazar "Lazarus" ben Boethus, 4-3 BC (Son of Simon ben Boethus)

• Joshua ben Sie, 3 BC - ?

• Joazar ben Boethus (restored), ? - 6 AD

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    Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange, thanks for contributing! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. We're a little different from other sites. – Steve Taylor Jun 27 '16 at 12:33
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    This is a good start to an answer, but quickly becomes incoherent and doesn't focus on the OP's question sufficiently to provide a clear and well-argued answer to it. The BH community encourages users to show their work, which is a requirement on this site. Don't just tell us what you know, tell us how you know it. – Steve Taylor Jun 27 '16 at 12:35
  • I too am very confused by the list in the latter part of your answer. – James Shewey Jun 30 '16 at 19:21
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Simon was Marthas husband. Martha was obviously the hostess in her own home. Custom would not allow her to run another woman's supper. Thus making Judas her son. Mary was living with her sister, not being of reputation to have her own property or husband. Unmarried Lazaurus was fulfilling his family duty by living with his sisters taking care of them while Simon was in a leper colony. Mary as a former harlot would never have been permitted into the home of a Pharisee, it was her home as well.
Mary and Martha were close friends of Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus thus fulfilling the prophesy that the messiah would be betrayed from the house of his friends. Imagine, Judas saw his father healed of leprosy, his aunt delivered from demons and a life of prostitution, his uncle raised from the dead and still the love of money took away the influence of Christ...

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Based on my research into the Bible and the time lines i formed of each story, Jesus was anointed three times by three different women in two different geographical locations. Matthew (26:7) and Mark (14:3) state that Jesus was in BETHANY at the house of Simon the Leper when a Woman came in with an Alabaster flask and poured the oil (Matthew) of Spikenard (Mark) on his HEAD. Then some rebuked her and Jesus said they will always have the poor but he won't be with them forever. THEN Judas went to the Chief priests to plan the betrayal. All this happened after the Triumphal Entry and soon before the Passover

Luke's gospel (7:38) speaks of a completely different time and place. In NAIN, at the house of Simon a Pharisee, a Sinful Woman came in and wept at His FEET, wiped the tears with her hair, kissed his FEET and then anointed them with a fragrant oil. Then Simon the Pharisee thought to himself that Jesus, if he were a prophet would know this woman was a sinner and as a consequence, not allow her to touch him (this is important. Simon the leper and Simon the pharisee could not have been the same person. Pharisees would not be touched by sinners, much less lepers who were confined to the outskirts of towns and had restricted contact with others). Jesus then contrasts the woman's behaviour to Simon's. this happened before the Triumphal Entry and Long before the Passover

Finally, the Gospel of John talks about a supper made with Lazarus and his sister Martha served in BETHANY (same location at the supper with Simon the Leper) when Mary took a pound of Spikenard and anointed the FEET of Jesus and wiped them with her hair. She did not cry. Judas says the oil could have been sold for the poor but does not go ou to meet anyone. Jesus makes a statement again about His presence and that of the Poor. All this happened before the Triumphal Entry but i could not find where this gospel speaks of Passover but this is presumably before the Passover as the Passover occurred after the Triumphal entry.

It was customary to anoint guests of honorable or notable status so I guess this gesture was not uncommon. I assume that Nard was one of the well known Costly fragrances used to anoint guests at this time as those present knew it by the fragrance without even asking; they ever knew how much it could sell for! Even today, it's sold in little glass bottles and has a distinct pleasant fragrance

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  • 1
    Welcome! We are glad you are here. If you haven't done so already, check out the site tour and read how this site is a little different than others. While original research is allowed, it tends to be discouraged, so if you do do so, you have to take great care to show your work by providing ample references and citations. This answer does not appear to do that. After reviewing these links, if you think you can give this additional info, you may edit to fix. – James Shewey Jan 13 '17 at 21:39
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We know that Mary, Martha and Lazarus were well-off. They had their own tomb, which is an indicator. We know nothing of their parents, apparently, UNLESS "Simon the Leper" was their father, and thus their home as well, Lazarus being the anchor for the home's stability, since women couldn't own land without a kinsman redeemer or other male relative as a covering. If their father was living and a leper, Lazarus would be their covering - even if Simon had passed but was known, it would remain the same "Simon the Leper's House" just like in the country, where the Smith's may have owned a place a generation ago, but that place is still called "the Smith's old place".

Note that Simon the Leper has no presence or contribution in the stories in Matthew, Mark or John. Note that Jesus and His disciples and their hosts have control of the room. Note, as was said earlier, that they are in Bethany. Note as one said earlier, there are no tears. There is no conversation in Matthew, Mark or John regarding the lack of hospitality, yet in Luke the conversation is dominated by the subjects of hospitality and forgiveness and gratitude.

Luke's event takes place in Galilee, not Bethany. Simon was a very common name. The woman in Galilee was a prostitute, Mary was a member of an accepted family, not an outcast. The woman in Galilee was repentant and Jesus told her her sins were forgiven. Mary was already a follower at the first day of the feast of unleavened bread when she poured perfume upon the Lord. Luke wouldn't call him "Simon the Pharisee" unless he was a Pharisee. The adjective "pharisaical" wasn't developed until these gospels began to produce such adjectives in the modern use, so Jesus would not have said he was being "pharisaical".

Also, who is to say that the pouring out of perfume as an act of love or gratitude was NOT a custom, and therefore common, albeit in a certain context?

Simon the Pharisee is NOT Simon the Leper.

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  • My jump from "sinner" to "prostitute" was my own spin. I should stick to the wording. Many teachers of my own have made that association and I believe I blundered into specifying the sin when the scripture did not. – MtCarmel Ubc Feb 24 '18 at 3:29
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It is essential to understand that the gospels were written in Aramaic, not Greek. This is key as there is a transliteration error...Simon the leper should have been translated as Simon the Potter. In Aramaic, the word for leper and Potter are similar if not identical. Context is the key. Furthermore, a person who contracted leprosy could no longer hold the office/position of pharisee.

The accounts are too similar to not be the same. The issue is the length of time between the event and the recording of the event. The gospels were written 20-30 years after the death of Christ. They were compiled from various accounts. Remember that Mark and Luke were not present during the ministry of Christ, and no one really knows who wrote Matthew or even John for that matter. Attributed to Matthew and John, but there is little evidence to warrant the assignment of authorship.

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