Martha bigraphy, stories - Early Christian saint

Martha : biography

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Martha of Bethany (Aramaic מַרְתָּא Martâ) is a biblical figure described in the Gospels of Luke and John. Together with her siblings Lazarus and Mary, she is described as living in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem. She is the middle child of her family with Lazarus being the eldest and her sister Mary the youngest. She was witness to Jesus' resurrection of her brother, Lazarus.

Etymology of the name

The name Martha is a Latin transliteration of the Koine Greek Μάρθα, itself a translation of the Aramaic מַרְתָּא Martâ, "The mistress" or "the lady", from מרה "mistress", feminine of מר "master". The Aramaic form occurs in a Nabatean inscription found at Puteoli, and now in the Naples Museum; it is dated AD. 5 (Corpus Inscr. Semit., 158); also in a Palmyrene inscription, where the Greek translation has the form Marthein. Pope, Hugh. . The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910.

Catholic traditions

In Roman Catholic tradition, Martha's sister Mary was often equated with Mary Magdalene. Therefore, additional information is supposed for Martha as well:

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus are represented by St. John as living at Bethania, but St. Luke would seem to imply that they were, at least at one time, living in Galilee; he does not mention the name of the town, but it may have been Magdala, and we should thus, supposing Mary of Bethania and Mary Magdalene to be the same person, understand the appellative "Magdalene". The words of St. John (11:1) seem to imply a change of residence for the family. It is possible, too, that St. Luke has displaced the incident referred to in Chapter 10. The likeness between the pictures of Martha presented by Luke and John is very remarkable. The familiar intercourse between the Saviour of the world and the humble family which St. Luke depicts is dwelt on by St. John when he tells us that "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus" (11:5). Again the picture of Martha's anxiety (John 11:20-21, 39) accords with the picture of her who was "busy about much serving" (Luke 10:40); so also in John 12:2: "They made him a supper there: and Martha served." But St. John has given us a glimpse of the other and deeper side of her character when he depicts her growing faith in Christ's Divinity (11:20-27), a faith which was the occasion of the words: "I am the resurrection and the life." The Evangelist has beautifully indicated the change that came over Martha after that interview: "When she had said these things, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying: The Master is come, and calleth for thee."

Biblical references

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus visits the home of two sisters named Mary and Martha. The two sisters are contrasted: Martha was "cumbered about many things" while Jesus was their guest, while Mary had chosen "the better part", that of listening to the master's discourse., Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897. The name of their village is not recorded, nor any mention of whether Jesus was near Jerusalem:

In the Gospel of John, Martha and Mary appear in connection two incidents: the raising from the dead of her brother Lazarus (John 11) and the anointing of Jesus in Bethany (John 12:3).

In the account of the raising of Lazarus, Jesus meets with the sisters in turn: Martha followed by Mary. Martha goes immediately to meet Jesus as he arrives, while Mary waits until she is called. As one commentator notes, "Martha, the more aggressive sister, went to meet Jesus, while quiet and contemplative Mary stayed home. This portrayal of the sisters agrees with that found in Luke 10:38-42." In speaking with Jesus, both sisters lament that he did not arrive in time to prevent their brother's death: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died" (). But where Jesus' response to Mary is more emotional, his response to Martha is one of teaching calling her to hope and faith:

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Living octopus

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