The podcast (10 mins) looks at both Salomes in the New Testament.

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The name Salome

  • There are two Salomes in the NT— no surprise, given the popularity of the name in the 1st C.
  • Salome comes from shalôm, peace.
  • Top 10 first century names: Salome (Shalom, Shalom-Tsiyyon), Simon (Shim’on), Mary (Mariam, Maria), Joseph (Yosef), Judas (Yehudah), Lazarus (El’azar, Eli’ezer), Joezer (Yeho’azar), John (Yohanan), Martha (Marta), Jesus (Yeshua’). Salome is the most popular. 

The unnamed Salome

  • First, the granddaughter of Herod the Great.
  • She was the daughter of Herodias and Herod Antipas, named in Josephus (Antiquities XVIII, 5.4).
  • This Salome is unnamed in the gospels.
  • Matt 14:6-20
    • Presumably Salome saw no problem with her mother’s suggestion.
    • This is the power politics at its ugliest.
    • It is easy to imagine that the dance was immodest, given the well-known worldliness of the Herods.
    • The event is also recorded in Mark 6:21-28.

The named Salome

  • Second, the mother of James and John: parallel Mark 15:40-41and Matt 27:56.
  • Mark 15:40-41
    • Salome was a follower of Jesus during his earthly ministry.
    • She gave financial support for the Lord’s work. (See also Luke 8:1-3.)
    • Salome was among the women who witnessed the crucifixion.
  • Mark 16:1-8
    • She was among the first witnesses of the empty tomb—who, with the possible exception of the Roman guards, were all female.
    • What an honor!
  • Mother of James and John?
    • Sometimes Salome is identified as the mother of James and John. Given how common a name Salome was, this  could easily have been the name of the two apostles’ mother, whether or not it refers to the same person. Is the identification is correct, we gain further insight from Matt 20:20-22.
      • (In Mark's version of this account, we do not read of the mother prompting her sons to seek positions of honor.)
      • She too had some views about the management of power – which is politics. Not crass or violent like the other Salome and Herodias, yet still based on incorrect premises.


  • The two Salomes make for an interesting contrast:
    • One is wordly, the other godly.
    • One is wicked, the other righteous.
    • One opposes God’s people, the other supports them.
    • While the godly Salome was a follower of the Prince of Peace, her worldly namesake had nothing to do with peace.
  • Challenge: Get to know the major and minor characters in the NT. (Then tackle the OT!)