Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Why did no women write a book of the Bible?

I've been asked this question more than 'is there a God?', and certainly more often than 'Why am I here?'

Incidently Crossan (I told you, you'd get fed up of him) suggests that Mark's Gospel was written by the woman who anointed Jesus' feet in Mark 14. She is "'Mark' herself obliquely and indirectly signing her narrative." Even if this is not true this woman was the supreme example of Christian faith for the author. "The disciples have never, as Mark sees it, understood or accepted Jesus' impending crucifixion. But now, in the home of Simon the Leper, for the first time somebody believes that Jesus is going to die and that unless his body is anointed now, it will never be."

Crossan's book, though, made me think about this question in a different way. Given Crossan's claim that Jesus belonged to a social class just below the peasants (who lived just on subsistence level) and just above the 'untouchables' or 'expendables' or whatever you want to call them. Also, given that 95 - 97% of the Jewish state at this time were illiterate and that therefore it is highly likely that Jesus was illiterate. And given that these two factors give Jesus a unique 'underclass' perspective on the world - certainly a different perspective from the tiny urban elite who were literate. Given all this, my (slightly bizarre) question is: why did the illiterate not write a book of the Bible? Why do we not hear the perspective of the millions of illiterate people who have graced our planet?

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