n Neotestamentica - Women out of place : the women who challenged Jesus - research

Volume 52 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0254-8356
  • E-ISSN: 2518-4628


Although the Gospels include several stories in which Jesus interacts with women, the women themselves often have very limited roles in these narratives. However, there are also women who do not submit to the traditional ideals of emphasised femininity, which included silence and submissiveness. In this article, I study three women who challenge Jesus: the Syrophoenician woman in the Gospel of Mark, and Jesus’s mother and the Samaritan woman in the Gospel of John. How did these women shape and change Jesus’s understanding of his mission? What implications did these narratives have for the women’s femininity and Jesus’s masculinity? In these narratives, Jesus attempts to put these unruly women back into their proper place. Previous studies have downplayed or excused the rudeness of Jesus’s actions and words. Undaunted by Jesus’s behaviour, the three women refuse to be silenced. Not only are these three women “out of place,” their behaviour also calls Jesus’s masculinity into question.

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