Jesus had a favorite suburb

The forward written by pastor Leith Anderson in The Suburban Church: Practical Advice for Authentic Ministry starts this way:

Bethany was Jesus’ favorite suburb. He often commuted the 1.8 miles into the city of Jerusalem where much of his ministry took place. Bethany was home to three of his best friends – Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus ate there, slept there, and performed his top miracle in Bethany when he brought Lazarus out of the grave alive. (ix)

This is possibly both incredibly anachronistic – cities outside of Jerusalem in the first century AD did not look like or function like the American suburbs of today – and clever – trying to connect Biblical themes to the places where many American Christians now live. Is this the sort of claim only evangelicals would make?

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