‘as Joan Taylor and Helen Bond explore in their new book, Women Remembered: Jesus’ Female Disciples, there is plenty of evidence that women were not only involved in Jesus’ movement, but were integral to it.’
Although most women’s lives were constrained in the ancient world, some ‘could get out and do things’, say Professors HELEN BOND and JOAN TAYLOR. The two historians describe how, contrary to popular imagery, many women chose to become Jesus’ disciples, staying by his side in his darkest moments – and becoming the first witnesses to his empty tomb. Interview by Philip Halcrow
Podcast interview with Sam Leith in The Spectator Book Club, 20 March 2022.
In this week’s Book Club podcast, we ask: did the chroniclers of the early Church cover up evidence that the disciples and evangelists of Christ were as often women as men? My guests are the scholars Helen Bond and Joan Taylor, authors of Women Remembered: Jesus’ Female Disciples. They pick out the hints and clues that, they say, indicate that women were doing more than just cooking, mourning and anointing in first-century Judaea – despite the difficulties of keeping track of all those Marys and Salomes.
But unlike too many widely read books on early church, let us say those about Mary Magdalene, this book nowhere seems to step beyond the limits of what can be demonstrated by actual history and real evidence, some of it of very recent discovery by scholars around the world, and much of it quite unknown to many of us in the pews.
For a long time the authors have wanted to reach beyond the strict limits of academic inquiry to share what is now known, thought or speculated about Christian origins. This is a controversial area, but one which is perilous to explore given the amount of misleading information now at large in the infosphere.
Here, however, is a book which can be read with the hope of learning what is really thought today by the vanguard of scholarship, for as they used to say in Victorian times, where the vanguard stands today, the rear guard camps tomorrow. Time and knowledge move on.’