The traditional story of the birth of Christianity is dominated by men. It is often thought that Jesus only chose men to be his disciples and apostles, but evidence suggests that this is really only half the story.
Were female disciples in fact crucial to the Jesus movement? Profoundly scandalous at the time, the idea remains highly controversial 2,000 years later.
Two distinguished early church historians will present research that shows as many as half of Jesus’ disciples were women. They say the evidence shows that women were integral to his mission and only if we see men and women working together do we see the whole story, revealing the early church as far more radical than we thought.
And they will also explore what this means for us today. Can it teach us new things not only about women and men’s ministries and roles, but also about the radical, transformative way of Jesus?
Professor Helen Bond is Professor in Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh. Her books include 'Jesus: A Very Brief History' and 'The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed'. She was historical consultant for the History Channel's miniseries 'The Bible' and for BBC 1's 'The Nativity'.
Professor Joan Taylor is Professor of Christian Origins at King’s College, London. She is the author of 'What Did Jesus Look Like?' and has edited 'The Body in Biblical, Christian and Jewish Texts' and 'Jesus and Brian: Exploring the Historical Jesus and his Times via Monty Python’s Life of Brian'. She was historical consultant for the 2018 film 'Mary Magdalene'.
Their documentary 'Jesus' Female Disciples' (Minerva Productions) screened on Channel 4 in April 2018.
The evening was chaired by Andrew Carwood, Director of Music at St Paul’s Cathedral. Recorded on Tuesday 30 October 2018.