'Women' in Luke's Gospel

'Women' in Luke's Gospel

Jesus Christ
Oral and written tradition
The Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel of Mark
The Gospel of Luke
The Gospel of John
The meaning for today

From ‘Notes on the Formation of the Gospels’, by John Wijngaards;
published in Background to the Gospels (Bangalore & Ann Arbor 1981)
and Together in My Name (London 1991).

An important section in the Christian community were its women. Luke goes out of his way to include women in his Gospel. He carefully balances every mention of men with an equal mention of women.

Some authors maintain Luke uses these examples to restrict the roles of women in the community. See, for instance: E.TETLOW, Women and Ministry in the New Testament, New York 1980; E.MOLTMANN WENDEL, The Women around Jesus, New York 1982; E.SCHÜSSLER FIORENZA, In Memory of Her. A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins, New York 1983.

Most authors, however, agree that Luke ascribed to women a role and a measure of equality well beyond the expectations of his time. Read about this in : B.WITHERINGTON, `On the Road with Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and Other Disciples - Luke 8,1-3', Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 70 (1979) pp. 243-248; R.RYAN, `The Women from Galilee and Discipleship in Luke', Biblical Theology Bulletin 15 (1985) pp. 56-59; J.BRUTSCHECK, Die Maria-Martha Erzählung, Frankfurt 1986; J.KOPAS, `Jesus and Women: Luke's Gospel', Theology Today 42 (1986) pp. 192-202.

The special position accorded to Mary, the mother of Jesus, confirms a positive assessment of Luke's theme of women. Mary is portrayed as the ideal disciple whose example all, men and women alike, should emulate. R.BROWN et al., Mary in the New Testament, New York 1978.

See also: Luke's portrait of Mary, Theology Digest, St.Louis Univ., Missouri. 36:1 (Spring, 1989) by Marie-Louise Gubler

John Wijngaards

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