Q: How many Marys are there in the Bible?
A: The name Mary has a variety of spellings depending on the language used in different versions or translations of the Bible. The Mother of Jesus is called:
Myriam in the Hebrew Old Testament
Maryam in the Aramaic language
Mariam in the Greek translation of the Old Testament
Maria in the Greek New Testament
Maria in the Latin translations of the Bible
Besides Mary, the Mother of Jesus, there are eight other persons in the Bible holding this name:
- Miriam, or Myriam, the sister of Moses, known for the song of liberation after the crossing of the Red Sea (Ex 15, 20-21). She was later punished for opposing Moses (Nm 12).
- A descendant of Judah (1 Chr 4:17), although not absolutely sure whether this was a female or male descendant.
- Mary Magdalene, the woman from who seven devils were expelled (Lk 8:2).
- Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, sitting at Jesus' feet and listening to his teachings (Lk 10: 38-42).
- Mary, mother of James and John, and witness of the crucifixion and the empty tomb (Mk 15: 40-47).
- Mary, the wife of Clopas, whom some identify with Mary, the mother of James and John (Jn 19:25).
- Mary, mother of John Mark, giving refuge to Peter after his escape from prison in Jerusalem (Acts 12: 12).
- Mary, a Christian of Rome, who is greeted and praised by the apostle Paul (Rm 16:6).
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