The Gospel of St. Matthew mentions a personage known as the “other Mary” who was sitting opposite the tomb when Jesus was buried (Mt. 27:61) and also went to the tomb on the first day of the week after the Sabbath (Mt. 28:1) and became one of the first witnesses of the Resurrection.

Obviously, the “other Mary” is not Mary Magdalene because the two are clearly distinguished from each other in the text itself. They went to the tomb together. The “other Mary” could not be the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus because she is not mentioned in the Passion and Resurrection Narratives in the Synoptic Gospels. We also exclude Salome from the possibility of being the “other Mary” because the Gospels never called her “Mary” but simply “Salome,” the mother of James and John and the wife of Zebedee. Who is the “other Mary” then?

Aside from Mary, the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the Gospels mention: Mary, the mother of James and Joseph or Joses (Mt. 27:56; Mk. 15:40, 47; 16:1; Lk. 24:10; and Mary, the wife of Clopas (Jn. 19:25). Could Mary the mother of James (and Joseph) and Mary the wife of Clopas be one and the same person who is significantly called the “other Mary” by Matthew?

“We know who several of these Marys are – the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene present no problem. Mary the wife of Clopas was also known as the wife of Alphaeus (Acts 1:13), the Hebrew form of which was Cleopas.

Notice what Matthew tells us regarding the women present at the crucifixion: “Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph [Joses] and the mother of Zebedee’s sons (Matthew 27:56). A few verses later Matthew continues: “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb” (Matthew 27:61).

Of these women, we know that the mother of Zebedee’s sons was Salome (Mark 15:40 and Matthew 27:56), so “the other Mary Matthew mentions would seem to be Mary the mother of James and Joses. James was one of the disciples and his father was Alphaeus – “James the son of Alphaeus” (Matthew 10:3 and Luke 6:15).

Putting these facts together we see that it is likely that Mary the mother of James and Joses was the same person as Mary the wife of Alphaeus who was called Clopas or Cleopas. This would mean that “the other Mary” mentioned in Matthew 27:61 was not a separate Mary, but simply the Mary other than Mary Magdalene whom he had mentioned a few verses earlier. This would mean that Mary the wife of Clopas, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and “the other Mary” were in fact the same person.

According to many biblical scholars, and in early Christian tradition from the time of Papias of Hieropolis (c. AD 70-163), this Mary was the sister of Mary the mother of Jesus and the wife of Alphaeus, as we apparently see in John 19:25: “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.” So the “other Mary” may well have been Jesus’ aunt (and her husband, Clopas, his uncle.”