Bethany was the village in which Jesus’ friends Martha, Mary, and Lazarus lived. From its cemetery he raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11). There is no problem about its identification. A village on the main Jericho road fits the distance from Jerusalem given in John 11:18, and its Arabic name el-Azariyeh preserves the Greek Lazarion, ‘the place of Lazarus’, by which it was known to Eusebius (330) and all subsequent Byzantine and medieval pilgrims.
Jerome records the existence of a church in 390. After its destruction by an earthquake, a second one was built in the C6. Money poured into the site between 1138 and 1144 when Queen Melisande transformed it into a convent of Benedictine sisters for her younger sister Iveta, who became abbess in 1157. By the end of C14 both churches were in ruins, and the original entrance to the tomb had been turned into a mosque. The Muslims also venerated the raising of Lazarus and at first permitted Christians to continue their liturgical visits. When this became progressively more difficult the Franciscans cut the present entrance to the tomb between 1566 and 1575. They erected the new church and the adjoining monastery in 1954. The Greek Orthodox Church (begun in 1965) on the other side of the tomb incorporates part of the north wall of the medieval Benedictine chapel.
Source: The Holy Land by Jerome Murphy- O’Connor