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Holman Bible Dictionary

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MARSHALMARTYR
 
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Martha
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Martha
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Martha
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Martha
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Martha
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Martha
Lexicons
Greek - Martha
Greek - Mary the sister of Martha
MARTHA

(mahr' thuh) Personal name meaning “lady [of the house]” or “mistress.” Sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany and one of Jesus' best-loved disciples. True to her name, Martha is portrayed as a person in charge: she welcomed Jesus as a guest in her home (Luke 10:38); she was concerned with meeting the obligations of a hostess, whether preparing food (Luke 10:40; John 12:2) or greeting guests (John 11:20). Together with Mary, she sent for Jesus when Lazarus was ill (John 11:3). Luke 10:38-42 contrasts Martha's activist discipleship with Mary's contemplative discipleship. The church cannot minister without “Marthas” who are willing to serve alone. Jesus' gentle rebuke serves as a perpetual reminder not to major on minor matters. Jesus must not be neglected in the name of service. In John 11:21-27, Jesus led Martha from an inadequate to a lofty confession. Faced with the realities of death, Martha, however, later doubted (John 11:39). Some interpreters identify Martha as the wife (widow) or daughter of Simon the leper on the basis of harmonization with Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9. The three traditions which involve anointings of Jesus (1. Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Mark 2:1. Luke 7:37-39,Luke 7:44-50; Luke 3:1. John 21:1-8) present a nearly insurmountable challenge to a harmonizer. A more sound approach is to appreciate each tradition within the context of the Gospel of which it is a part.


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'MARTHA'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<http://classic.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T4118>. 1991.

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