Women’s Role in Early Christianity
Throughout history, vital roles have been played by women in Christianity and support of the Jesus movement. However, their role pales when compared to the role played by men in Christianity. This unit concentrated on the effectiveness of women in carrying out Jesus’ mission in Palestine, and their inevitable diminish in the role they played in the proclamation of Christianity as a state religion.
One particularly surprising element in this unit is how the role of women in Jesus was underestimated and ignored by scholars at the time. Very few women are mentioned in the chronicles of Jesus activities in the early days of Christianity in Palestine. The Bible only mentions a few women like Mary Magdalene and Mary mother of Jesus as the most prominent women in the Bible. It begs the question whether men were the only participants in the activities of Jesus in Palestine. The diminishing of the role of women was inevitable as Christianity spread out of Palestine due to the overall diminished role of women in society in ancient times. Women in early times were given minimal roles in society and were considered significantly inferior to men. As such, aboriginal women had to accept minimal roles in the spread of Christianity due to male chauvinism.
Ancient cultures views on women were degrading and unequal. Women were in some cultures seen as property and inferior to men with their roles relegated to household work. Consequently, such influences and ideas carried on to Jesus’ time and to modern times. To this day, women are struggling to be equal men. In some areas where sex trafficking is rampant, such assertions of women as sex items are widespread. Ancient cultures created traditions that undermine women up to the 21st century. Today these views are still followed in some places, but they are illogical in the context of the 21st century where both women and men contribute to development.