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Is the woman in Luke 7 the same one in Mat. 26; Mark 14: and John 12?

The following quote from Robertson’s Harmony of the Gospels is given in connection with the accounts in Matt. 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; and John 12:2-8. The contrast being made is between these accounts and the one in Galilee, not the one in Bethany recorded in the other three gospels.

The anointing has nothing in common with that given by Luke, except the fact of a woman anointing the Saviour’s feet, and the name Simon, which was common. The former was in Galilee, this is at Bethany near Jerusalem. There the host despised the woman who anointed, here her brother is one of the guests, and her sister an active attendant. There the woman was “a sinner,” a notoriously bad woman, here it is the devout Mary who “sat at the Lord’s feet and heard his word” months before. There the host thought it strange that Jesus allowed her to touch him, here the disciples complain of waste. There the Saviour gave assurance of forgiveness, here of perpetual and world-wide honor. Especially notice that here the woman who anoints is anticipating his speedy death and burial, of which at the former time he had never distinctly spoken. In view of all these differences it is absurd to represent the two anointings as the same, and outrageous on such slender ground to cast reproach on Mary of Bethany.

I would like to recommend the book, The Words and Works of Jesus Christ, by J. Dwight Pentecost. It is published by Zondervan. Dr. Pentecost has taught on the life of Christ at Dallas Seminary for over 30 years and is literally a walking encyclopedia. It not only covers the life of Christ, but does it through a kind of harmonic approach to the gospels. The above quote actually comes from this work though it is quoted from Robertson’s Harmony of the Gospels which is also an excellent book.

Related Topics: Bibliology (The Written Word), Bible Study Methods, Terms & Definitions