Did Jesus Raise Lazarus From the Dead After His Resurrection?

The story of Lazarus being raised from the dead is one of the most well-known miracles performed by Jesus. However, there is some debate among scholars about whether this event occurred after Jesus’ resurrection or before. In this article, we will explore both sides of the argument and see what evidence supports each viewpoint.

The Story of Lazarus

The story of Lazarus is found in the Gospel of John, chapter 11. It begins with the news that Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus, is sick.

Jesus receives word of his friend’s illness but doesn’t immediately go to see him. Instead, he waits for two days before setting out for Bethany, where Lazarus lived with his sisters Mary and Martha.

When Jesus finally arrives in Bethany, he finds that Lazarus has already died and has been buried for four days. Mary and Martha are both mourning their brother’s death when Jesus approaches them. He tells them not to worry and assures them that Lazarus will rise again.

Before Resurrection

Some scholars argue that the story of Lazarus took place before Jesus’ resurrection. They point to several pieces of evidence to support their view:

  • John’s Gospel was written several decades after the events it describes, so it’s possible that details were misremembered or changed over time.
  • The Gospel accounts describe a number of resurrections performed by Jesus before his own death and resurrection, so it’s possible that the story of Lazarus is simply another example of this type of miracle.
  • The language used in John 11 does not explicitly state that this event takes place after Jesus’ resurrection.

After Resurrection

Others argue that the story took place after Jesus’ resurrection. They cite several reasons to support their view:

  • John’s Gospel was written by an eyewitness to the events it describes, so it’s unlikely that the details would have been misremembered or changed over time.
  • The passage in John 11 where Jesus tells Martha that he is “the resurrection and the life” could be seen as a reference to his own resurrection.
  • The fact that Lazarus had been dead for four days before being raised mirrors the four days that Jesus spent in the tomb before his own resurrection.


In conclusion, there is no definitive answer to whether Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after his own resurrection or before. Both sides of the argument have valid points, and ultimately it may come down to personal interpretation. Regardless of when this miracle took place, it remains a powerful testament to Jesus’ power over death and his compassion for his friends.