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Publisher's Summary

Women have always been the conduit of religious thought and devotional practice. Yet Christianity emerged in the first century in a highly patriarchal atmosphere that placed men in positions of authority in marriage, society, government, and religion. 

In many respects, however, the early Christians were more inclusive of women in their institutional affairs than other sects. This may be due to the fact that women were numbered among the earliest disciples of Jesus. These women had a voice, and they could open an independent inquiry into many aspects of religion and religious laws. 

The influence of these women is clearly underrepresented in the historical record of Christianity. The major significance of the women who knew Jesus during his life is that they were there - not only recorded by name or life circumstance in surviving documents, but physically present among his disciples and early followers. 

Modern listeners must strip away the impressions of Judea, Nazareth, and Palestine that they learned in Sunday school and imagine what it was like for the first disciples who heard the words of Jesus.

©2013 James M. Volo (P)2018 James M. Volo

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