Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Bethpage is a village on the Mount of Olives and means “house of the un-ripe fig,” recalling that there Jesus (Christ, Jesus, 01: Survey) cursed a fig tree with leaves and no fruit (see Mark 11:12), although Jerome offers a different etymology, “house of the jawbone” (Jer. Ep. 108.12; CSEL 55.320; Jer. Tract. Marc. 11.1–10; CCSL 78.485; Jer. Comm. Matt. 3; CCSL 77.182).

Bethphage appears three times in the New Testament (Matt 21:1; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29). It was from that place that the disciples (Apostle/Disciple) brought the donkey on which Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem.

The v…

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Cabrera Montero, Juan Antonio, “Bethphage”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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