WOMEN IN THE NT GOSPELS: COMPANIONS AND FOLLOWERS OF JESUS (Were there…
WOMEN IN THE NT GOSPELS: COMPANIONS AND FOLLOWERS OF JESUS
Were there women disciples?
Women listened to the teachings of Jesus in the same way as men
Look to John the Baptist
John has crowds of men AND women
liken this to Jesus
Mark emphasises the discipleship of women
Women present at the Last Supper
customary for men and women to share passover
Mark states that two were sent on to prepare the meal, and Jesus arrives later with the 12
it is difficult to decide whether there were women present or not
John mentions no women by name
Death and Resurrection
ALL Gospels refer to women present
their presence implies their importance in Jesus' mission
the women can give a sense of continuity to the death, burial and resurrection
they play a key role in the passion narrative
ends with the fear and silence of the women
the news is not passed on
account of the women passing the news on
"brothers" = men AND women (masculine plural language)
account of Mary Magdalene meeting Jesus
stresses importance of Mary
Mary's recognition of Jesus reminds of the Good Shepherd and te Sheep (representing the relationship between Jesus and followers?)
there is a movement through John highlighting male discipleship as ideal discipleship
no referral to women as witness to resurrection in 1 Corinthians
were women not considered an authority to witness?
no specific reference to Mary Magdalene
Who were these women?
All Gospels refer to a group of women at the death of Jesus
Mark 15:47 and 15:51
Mary wife of Joseph and Mary mother of James
Same woman? Mark combines different references
Why has Mark provided more than one reference to one single person?
staying faithful to the different accounts of a woman?
More knowledge of a woman who is mother of James? (Info is added later that James is "the younger"
How faithful is Mark to names?
Makes it difficult to pin down who this woman actually is
Many women also there
Employs Mark's gospel as a source, and abbreviates his account
the women are merged into one group
If we only had Matthew's account, we would not necessarily think that there was a group of women who attended Jesus in Galilee
More information is provided by Luke about the group of women who follow Jesus
"The 12 are with him, as well as some women who have been cured"
7 demons cast out of Mary Magdalene
women who suffered from illness
may not have married or had children
more possible for single, childless women to follow Jesus
attracted to Jesus' healing power
only appears in Luke
Luke decides to place her second in the group of women
witness to resurrection
Wife of Herod's steward, Chuza
a woman of high status
complicated by the fact that Herod is an enemy of Jesus
being associated with Herod does not equal high status
different people, but not more information provided about who they are
Several women referred to
links to men
healed by Jesus?
Evidence that women were part of Jesus' itinerant group
It was usual for women to be identified by relation to man eg. husband or son
Mary Magdalene NOT referred to in this way
What was the role of the Women?
Women described as "serving" Jesus
literally serving Jesus food? depends on translation
verb "to serve" - translational issues
could be that women prepared and served food to Jesus and disciples
BUT in Mark, women described as following HIM and serving HIM
If meals, why not say "them"
If the women were engaged in travelling tradition, this does not imply that women were in their own homes, preparing meals
Mark's description of their actions seems to imply more than that
a specific commitment to Jesus
Expression of service in Mark
Jesus says to disciples that they should take the role of the servant
in implication that women were actually in discipleship roels
Luke does not explicitly refer to Jesus
the women serve "them"
as benefactors? or as the common purse?
Maybe Luke is concerned about the fact that women are part of the group, and attempts to describe women in a respectable way - they serve Jesus "out of their own resources"
What attracted women to Jesus’ mission?
the same reasons that attracted men?
the healing powers of Jesus?
Jesus' mission included people who were outsiders
there were huge societal expectations to marry and have children
for people who did not conform to the pattern of society, the close, familiar relationship between the followers could be attractive - Jesus describes the followers as brothers and sisters for example
QUESTIONS TO ASK
Was gender a factor?
Did Jesus challenge Patriarchy?
Were these women regarded as disreputable?