The Resurrection of Jesus (5): The Testimony of Women

If you are aiming to start a new religion, or revolutionize an old one, you should, as they say, put your best foot forward. One thing the Gospels agree on is that it was a group of women, the female followers of Jesus who first discovered the empty tomb and brought news of it back to the as yet unbelieving disciples. At the same time it was to a woman that Jesus supposedly made the first of his post-mortem resurrection appearances (John 20:10-18). Given that at the time, Jewish custom regarded the testimony of women as practically worthless this would not seem to be “best foot forward” if one were unconstrained by the facts of history.

In light of the awkward, even embarrassing nature of the fact that the first testimony to the empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus came from a woman, it is highly likely that had the Gospel writers been inclined to exercise editorial creativity, to the detriment of historical accuracy, they would have done so here.

The fact that they did not expunge the record is evidence of their intention to be faithful to history in recording the story of the empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus.

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