Although the Church has been dominated by male leadership since the beginning when only men were named disciples of Jesus, women held significant roles in Jesus’ ministry and during the development of the early church. Often overshadowed by this male dominance, the importance of women’s religious and spiritual voices is finally being acknowledged. The first of those women to receive recognition are those included in my book, Women Who Knew Jesus. Consider, for example, Jesus’ praise of Mary of Bethany for listening to him instead of assisting her sister Martha to perform household chores and prepare his dinner. Witness, Pope Francis’ acknowledgment of Mary Magdalene two years ago, in equating her importance and relationship with Jesus to the male disciples. when he made her feast day equal to that of the male disciples and recognized her as the Apostle to the Apostles, a title she has always had in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Jesus said “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
In God’s realm, men and women are equal. Paul affirmed this equality when he said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 11:3).
Bonnie Ring redresses a whole new perspective of women in the time of Jesus and the how 21st century women can passionately see these women as a great example to continue living by faith and through God’s word.