Women as Witnesses to the Resurrection in Luke's Gospel: A Contemporary Woman's Reading

Author: Jennifer Strath

Strath, Jennifer, 2017 Women as Witnesses to the Resurrection in Luke's Gospel: A Contemporary Woman's Reading, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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Abstract

All the Gospel accounts portray women as being the first to witness evidence of the resurrection. Without the resurrection Jesus could be seen as just another man who died for his cause. The resurrection is the climax of the Gospel accounts and the women were the first to the scene. In the Lukan account, the women are also the first to understand the significance of the resurrection. They remembered what Jesus had taught them while they travelled with him and the group around him. Having been with Jesus and having learnt from him, the women can be thought of as disciples. According to Luke, they also told of what they had witnessed and understood without being commissioned. The society of the day was patriarchal and Luke the evangelist was part of that society. In that context, the fact that the women’s role at the empty tomb was preserved in the written narrative is significant. This dissertation examines Luke 8:1-3 and Luke 10: 38-42 to give insight into Luke’s attitude to women, and then the Lukan resurrection accounts. Luke’s portrayal of women — neither totally liberating for women nor totally oppressive — can be seen to give mixed messages for women. However, the account of the resurrection does give women a prominent role and women today can take heart, be inspired, encouraged and emboldened by this account.

Keywords: Women, Resurrection, Witness, Luke's Gospel, Contemporary Reading

Subject: Theology thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2017
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Rev Dr V Balabanski