The text states: Now standing beside Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.[bz] (John 19:25 NET).

So given that at the beginning of the verse it says that his mother was present, but then lists Mary Magdalene in the group, does this suggest that Jesus´s mother wasn't Mary Magdalene?

  • 2
    Is there a reason you think Mary Magdalene would be Jesus' mother? Mar 30 '21 at 21:53
  • 1
    Yes -= there are at least two (possibly as many as eight) separate Mary's in the NT. Why would you think that Mary the Mother of Jesus is the same as Mary Magdalene?
    – Dottard
    Mar 30 '21 at 22:04
  • huh, I guess I was just reading into the text. I swear I thought the Mary that conceived Jesus was Mary Magdalene. I thought perhaps Magdalene was a title or something. Mar 31 '21 at 0:06

John 19:25 New International Version

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother [MJ], his mother's sister [MS], Mary the wife of Clopas [MC], and Mary Magdalene [MM].

According to first-order logic, the "and" indicates another item in the list. If MJ and MM refer to the same character, they should be joined with the "or" operator next to each other.

You are asking: Is MJ = MM?


This can be confirmed by passages elsewhere.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was from Nazareth as indicated in Luke 1:26

In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee,

Weymouth New Testament John 19:25

Now standing close to the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.

Matthew 15:39

Then he sent away the multitudes, got into the boat, and came into the borders of Magdala.

Mary Magdalene was likely from Magdala, not Nazareth.

Does John 19:25 suggest that Mary Magdalene isn´t Jesus´s mother?



Indeed Mary Magdalene is not the same person as Mary, mother of Jesus. See for example here


Correct, Mary Magdalene was not Jesus' mother.

Luke does not mention Mary the mother of Jesus by name at the scene of the crucifixion/burial, but he does refer both to her and to Mary Magdalene in various places in his work, and refers to them distinctly (compare Luke 24:10 with Acts 1:14).

Note that while in Matthew & Mark, Mary the mother of Jesus is not mentioned by name at the scene of the crucifixion, both indicate that there were multiple women named Mary present. Mary (the same name as Miriam in the Old Testament) appears to have been the most common girl's name for Jews of that region in the first century--see Bauckham's work Jesus and the Eyewitnesses.

It may be helpful to disambiguate 7 different women in the New Testament named Mary:

  1. Mary the mother of Jesus, wife of Joseph, from Nazareth
  2. Mary Magdalene, (probably) the first witness of the resurrection, from Magdala
  3. Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha & Lazarus
  4. Mary the wife of Clopas (or Cleopas), a witness of the crucifixion
  5. Mary the mother of James & Joses, a witness of the resurrection (possibly the same person as #4)
  6. Mary the mother of John Mark (see Acts 12:12); her home in Jerusalem was apparently a meeting place for Christians. Her son traveled with Peter & Paul and repeated patristic evidence indicates that he wrote the second Gospel
  7. Mary of Rome (see Romans 16:6); we know precious little about her.

See a source for this information and more detailed discussion of the 7 Mary's here.

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