All Named Women who were Disciples of Jesus in the Gospels
(canonical and extra-canonical)
I’m a sucker for infographics. So I threw together this visual for us to see the number of women who actually are mentioned in early church sources that walked alongside Jesus and learned from him.
Have you ever heard of Arsinoe? Or Salome? or Susanna? or Joanna? or Mary of Clopas for that matter?
As you can see from this chart, several women are only mentioned in one Gospel. Salome is only mentioned in Mark. Mary of Clopas is only mentioned in John. And Joanna and Susanna are only mentioned in Luke.
We can be certain that if a woman wasn’t well known by a Gospel writer’s audience, they wouldn’t be mentioned at all.
Female witnesses at the time the gospels were being written were considered suspicious and without prior credibility, their names would not have been regarded as important and would have been ignored, and later forgotten.
Look how many times Arsinoe is mentioned in extra-canonical sources!
Arsinoe is a woman we will discuss this upcoming week. She was most definitely a female disciple of Jesus that was well known for her ministry.
Recognizing the inconsistency of how women were named, (or not named), in the gospels helps us to understand just how ignored or suppressed the stories of women have been.
Does this chart surprise you? Or did you know Jesus had this many female disciples?
[note: this is not a perfect list, but a work in progress. I only included the sources where specific women are mentioned as being disciples of Jesus.] Also: We can be sure that we are unsure when a generic “Mary” is mentioned. Almost 1/4 of all women at the time were named Mary, assuring that we cannot know which one or how many Marys there actually were.