Bible Review 21:2, Spring 2005


Apostle of the Lord—or Jailbait?

By Ben Witherington III

Jesus had an entourage, and that entourage, according to the Gospel of Luke, included several women of substance. Luke tells us that as Jesus traveled through the cities and villages of Galilee, “proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God,” he was accompanied by the twelve as well as by “some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna and many others, who provided for them out of their resources” (Luke 8:3).

All Four Gospels agree that Jesus accepted women as traveling disciples. Jesus is the first Jewish leader of his day we know of to do so.1 But our focus here is not on all the women who followed Jesus, but one: Joanna, the wife of Herod Antipas’s estate agent.

Herod Antipas was a son of King Herod the Great who came to rule over Galilee and Perea (the desert region south of the Galilee and east of the Jordan and Dead Sea).

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