Gender Imbalance in Early Christianity (02:56)
Women are barely mentioned in Biblical accounts of Jesus' life. Professors Joan Taylor and Helen Bond are reexamining Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Luke's Gospel says women were funding the disciples.
Mary Magdalene (04:16)
Despite Mary's Hollywood reputation, the Gospels only say that Jesus healed her. Bond and Taylor visit a Jerusalem warehouse housing ossuaries from Jesus' time. Magdalene indicated Mary’s origins in Magdala, rather than being defined by male relatives—illustrating her independence.
Search for Magdala (05:46)
Taylor proposes that Mary Magdalene came from Magdal Nunayya, or Tower of Fish, on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus gave his disciples nicknames; hers was "the tower." Taylor believes she was equal to his male disciples.
The wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, was one of the people healed by Jesus. Taylor and Bond visit the ruins of Herod's Theater outside Tiberias. Joanna's group, including Mary Magdalene, helped fund Jesus' disciples from their own resources.
Feminist Perspective on the Gospel of Luke (02:23)
Biblical scholarship has been male-dominated. New research suggests female disciples funded Jesus' mission, including Joanna.
Gospel of Mark (03:33)
Taylor believes a phrase in the Greek translation references male and female pairs of disciples sent out by Jesus. Women could have healed and baptized other women, bypassing sex segregation practices.
Cave of Salome (07:11)
Salome appears at Jesus' crucifixion and at his tomb in Mark. Taylor and Bond visit an underground chapel outside Jerusalem to decipher ancient Greek graffiti. A prayer references Salome as a healer; Taylor believes she was among Jesus' disciples.
Naples Catacombs (05:02)
Bond and Taylor visit early Christian tombs featuring a fresco of a female bishop with the Gospels—further evidence of Jesus' female disciples. In 495, Pope Gelasius forbade women from ministering in the Church.
Phasing Out Female Disciples (03:06)
Dr. Ally Kateusz shows stone sarcophagi friezes from the second through the sixth century portraying Jesus raising Lazarus. Lazarus' sisters Mary and Martha are present in the early versions, but gradually disappear—despite their key roles in the Gospel of John.
Early Christianity was diverse and featured female disciples. In converting to Christianity, the Roman emperor embraced a branch reflecting military values to unify his empire. In accordance with their subservience in Roman society, women were omitted from religious history.
Credits: Jesus' Female Disciples: The New Evidence (00:41)
Credits: Jesus' Female Disciples: The New Evidence
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