Feminism in the Gospel of Mark

Jeff, citing Alan Cole, has posted the following instances of women in the Gospel of Mark:

  • Jesus had a close group of women followers, several of whom are named in Mark — Mary Magdalene, Mary, mother of James and Joses, and Salome, for instance (Mark 15:40; 15:47; 16:1).
  • A young girl, daughter of Jairus, raised from the dead, is the first recorded miracle that Jesus performed (Mark 5:23). She was addressed as ‘talitha’, ‘child’ (Mark 5:41). The girl’s mother was called in to witness her resurrection along with her father which shows a “thoughtfulness and consideration for women rarely seen in the ancient world.”
  • On the way to the house of Jairus Jesus healed a woman of a long-standing hemorrhage. She was addressed as ‘daughter’ (Mark 5:34); also signifying she was saved and forgiven her sins. Her faith is singled out for praise by Jesus (Mark 5:34). Mark records these as matter of fact without comment.
  • Jesus was identified as ‘Mary’s son’.
  • Jesus saw women and men equally as God’s creation (Mark 10:6) and demanded that women, as much as men, should be protected in marriage, disagreeing with the Pharisees interpretation of the law of Moses regarding divorce (Mark 10:11).
  • Jesus rebuked the disciples when they tried to deny mothers from bringing their children to Him for a blessing.
  • Jesus saw the giving up of sisters, mother or wife as great a sacrifice for the kingdom as giving up brothers or father (Mark 10:29).
  • Jesus seemed to have special concern for mothers with young children who would be living during the trials of the end times (Mark 13:17).
  • A woman anointed Jesus’ head with costly perfume at a meal that took place at Simon the leper’s house (Mark 14:3). “Wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” (Mark 14:9)
  • The women disciples stayed and watched Jesus while He was on the cross (and some say women are emotionally weaker?).
  • Women disciples were witnesses to both his death and resurrection even though Jewish law wouldn’t accept the testimony of women as evidence.

At the link above, you can read his thoughts, and please do. While I readily accept biblical roles for men and women, we must accept that since Mary’s obedience to God, women as a whole took on a different type of equality than we have seen in the Old Testament. Women were present at many of the important points in the life of Christ – the Prophetess Anna who first proclaimed the Messiah to the world, the women who followed Christ, the woman with the issue of blood, the woman who was pressed by Christ for the sake of her daughter.

Finally, while we each have roles, we must remember that there is neither male nor female in Christ (Galatians 3.28) – meaning that we do have equality.

With a deep thanks to Jeff for posting this, and apology for heavily borrowing his list from Mark.

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4 Replies to “Feminism in the Gospel of Mark”

  1. You’re welcome and no apology necessary. The list is from Cole’s introduction although he didn’t have it in list form. I “briefed it up” and tried to put them in my own words.

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