It is sometimes said that the women followers of Jesus showed more resolution and loyalty than the male disciples of Jesus. One scene often pointed to as a demonstration of this claim is the women staying within range of Jesus on the cross while the other disciples had either betrayed him, fled for their lives or denied him.
There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Younger and of Joses (widely understood to be Jesus’ mother – c.f. Mark 6:5), and Salome (Mark 15:40)
This claim that the women were in some way “more worthy” than their male counterparts, at least as it applies to the Gospel of Mark, misreads Mark’s narrative completely. The correct understanding of Mark’s sources here also has major implications for how we understand the most fundamental things about the gospel story itself. Continue reading “The women at the cross”