The Bible and Beyond Podcast Episode

Why Elizabeth Schrader Polczer doubts Mary and Lazarus had a sister

An Interview with Elizabeth Schrader Polczer

Elizabeth Schrader, photo by Chad Rancourt

photo by Chad Rancourt

Elizabeth Schrader Polczer describes her discovery of the addition of Martha in the Gospel of John. Did she find enough evidence to lead to her conclusion that Mary and Lazarus had no sister named Martha? Or that Lazarus’ sister Mary might actually have been Mary Magdalene? Elizabeth speculates about all this, but she has found motives and other evidence that lend strong support for her theories.

A CORRECTION: At 13:17 in the podcast, Elizabeth meant to say ‘Boanerges,’ rather than ‘Bartimaeus.’

Elizabeth Schrader Polczer is involved in some intriguing PhD research in the Religion Department at Duke University, where she is studying Early Christianity. She is especially interested in the new Testament Gospels, the Nag Hammadi corpus, Mary Magdalene, textual criticism, and feminist theory. She welcomes email conversation about her work, which is posted  here.

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter.

Visit Elizabeth’s website at