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John 11:1-2

Context
The Death of Lazarus

11:1 Now a certain man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 1  11:2 (Now it was Mary who anointed the Lord with perfumed oil 2  and wiped his feet dry with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 

1 tn Grk “from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.”

2 tn Or “perfume,” “ointment.”

3 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. It is a bit surprising that the author here identifies Mary as the one who anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and wiped his feet dry with her hair, since this event is not mentioned until later, in 12:3. Many see this “proleptic” reference as an indication that the author expected his readers to be familiar with the story already, and go on to assume that in general the author in writing the Fourth Gospel assumed his readers were familiar with the other three gospels. Whether the author assumed actual familiarity with the synoptic gospels or not, it is probable that he did assume some familiarity with Mary’s anointing activity.



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