This is not a new debate on this particular story, however;
while atheist have come to expect many contradictions in the anomalous half stories that make up scriptures the telling of this particular event in the life of Christ seem to be an exception in that they don’t appear to be contradictory; but are these reported events the same story? If so, why is Luke’s account distinguishable from the other gospels?
Jesus invited to the home of Simon the Pharisee.
“And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them”.
Jesus at the home of Simon the Leper
Matthew26:6-7 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.
Mark14:3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head.
“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
Some believe these are different events while many other scholars agree that this is the same event told to varying degrees of detail.
One can pick over the detail of this story but they all do appear to amount to one thing; Jesus is undergoing an anointing ritual/s of sorts. But are these two separate anointings or one.?"
Side by side
(1) Sinner Woman . Mary of Bethany
(2) Luke 7. Matt 26, Mark 14, John 12
(3) In Nain. In Bethany.
(3) Simon the Pharisee’s house. Simon the leper’s house.
(4) Poured on His feet. Poured on His head and feet.
(5) Washed feet with her tears. No mention of washing feet with tears.
(6) Wiped feet with her hair. Wiped feet with her hair.
(7) Simon sees the woman as sinful . Judas sees it as a waste of money.