Lazarus of Bethany (Latinised from Lazar, ultimately from Hebrew Eleazar, "God helped"), also venerated as Righteous Lazarus, the Four-Days Dead in the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the subject of a prominent sign of Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus restores him to life four days after his death. The Eastern Orthodox and Catholic traditions offer varying accounts of the later events of his life.
Lazarus of Bethany
|Four-days dead, friend of Christ|
|Died||1st Century AD|
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Church
|Attributes||Sometimes vested as an apostle, sometimes as a bishop. In the scene of his resurrection, he is portrayed tightly bound in mummified clothes, which resemble swaddling bands.|
In the context of the seven signs in the Gospel of John, the raising of Lazarus at Bethany – today the Palestinian town of Al-Eizariya in the West Bank, which translates to "the place of Lazarus" – is the climactic narrative: exemplifying the power of Jesus "over the last and most irresistible enemy of humanity: death. For this reason, it is given a prominent place in the gospel."
The name Lazarus is frequently used in science and popular culture in reference to apparent restoration to life; for example, the scientific term Lazarus taxon denotes organisms that reappear in the fossil record after a period of apparent extinction. There are also numerous literary uses of the term.
A distinct character of the same name is also mentioned in the Gospel of Luke in Jesus' parable of the rich man and Lazarus, in which both eponymous characters die, and the former begs for the latter to be resurrected.