The Gospel of Mark lists by name the persons (all women) viewing Jesus’s burial, and a few verses later—in narrating the empty tomb discovery—gives the same list of viewers with only a slight difference.
Against the relevance of that first claim, plausibly…
• …it is just an accident of fiction.1
• …it is just knit together two different traditions he inherited with slightly different lists.2
• Morna Hooker: “Even stranger, the names do not tally exactly… though Mark's purposes seems to be to establish this small group of women as witnesses of Jesus' death, to establish this small group of women as witnesses of Jesus' death, mentioned in 15.40, reappears. …the three different descriptions of this Mary cause problems …. The discrepancies suggest that Mark has taken over different traditions and reproduced them faithfully, at least in these details; they also warn us against assuming that there must be theological significance in the minor details of Mark's narrative!” [The Gospel According to St. Mark, in Black’s New Testament Commentary (Hendrickson, 2009), 383.]
In the empty tomb accounts, Mark specfically includes the witness names most known by his audience. [Details forthcoming]1
In Mk, the women are named as if the audience is supposed to know them. This is relevant because it is the same sort of way Mark’s tradition names Rufus and Alexander, whose only significance is that they are known to the audience. [Details forthcoming]
The account in Mk 15-16 comprehensively loads the women’s role with witness-engendering language and no competing roles