Christians would know that the reported usage of women as witness-heralds would stigmatize their gospel, community, and leadership.
• Jews were inclined to dismiss women as unworthy mediators for God.
• Men trusting women would invite shaming.
• Demoniacs would be deemed unreliable.
In terms of their desire to have more evidence in the origin story of the Christian gospel that Jesus rose, this circulating account grounding it in the women’s testimony would be overtly subpar.
• Women were considered unreliable witnesses.
• Demoniacs were considered unreliable witnesses.
But against that first claim,…
• …[On the empty tomb evidence], Christians didn’t care to have this.
As portrayed by the Gospel authors, Mary and the other women who end up first learning Jesus rose, up until that moment, play virtually no role in the Gospel drama of Jesus’s ministry.
Christians did historically (AD 35-100) dislike and/or disvalue those women being known as the empty tomb discoverers.
• …women are omitted in the kerygmatic summaries in Acts.
• …Mt 28:16 does: it omits why the men went to Galilee.
• …they were omitted in Justin’s dialogue’s (150 AD).
• …they were replaced in the Gospel of Peter (150 AD).
The Gospel of Mark clearly and deliberately chooses to portray the women as witnesses.
• …Mk 15 (buried) & 16:1 (emptied) re-list similar participants.
• …Mk 16:1 and Lk 24:10 emphasize (by naming) different members.
• …Mk 16:1 names them without introduction.
• …Mk 15-16 is loaded with witness-engendering terms.
• …Mk 15-16 portrays the women as being uniquely qualified as the witnesses.
• Mark claimed to relay expert-witness testimony.
Against that first claim's relevance, plausibly…
• …Greco-Roman biographical conventions required Mark to use them.
• …the rampant awareness of the fact meant Mark could not avoid reporting it.1