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The Role of Women in John’s Gospel

The Role of Women in John’s Gospel

‎There are many interpretations of John’s careful attention to individual women in his Gospel. Since the 1960s many people have argued that John depicts women as independent disciples and apostolic witnesses—prototypes of women in John’s own Christian community and models for women in Christian ministry today. John’s stories could be viewed as a reflection of Jesus’ endeavor to reform first-century patriarchy.
‎Another line of interpretation emphasizes the symbolic value of John’s female characters. The Samaritan woman, for example, is thought to represent Samaritans (just as Nicodemus represents Pharisees), while Mary and Martha speak for first-century Christians whose family members have died. The mother of Jesus symbolizes the earliest Christian community, and Mary Magdalene represents Christians whose faith is based not on what they have seen, but on what they have heard. Many interpreters, most of them Roman Catholic, contend that the women in John’s Gospel play the role of Christ’s bride, the Church (see John 3:29). … More
McWhirter, Jocelyn. “The Role of Women in John’s Gospel.” Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016. Print.
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