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Major issues and scholarship in the theoretical approaches to ancient gender are addressed in the first half of this essay. Scholarly approaches stem from the study of gender in classics, since these studies represent the wider and dominant gender norms in the ancient world, but there is a need to adapt them to the study of the Synoptics to account for the geographical differences and nature of the literature in comparison to classical literature. A gender analysis is performed on Mark 7:24-30 (the interaction of Jesus with the Greek Syrophoenician woman); Matthew 1:1-2:21 (comparing the masculinity of the adult King Herod and the very young royal Jesus); and Luke 1 (considering the reversal of gender in Zechariah and Mary). Each of these analyses touches on some key principles of studying ancient gender, most significantly the need for a intersectional framework that includes social status as a key consideration, without exhausting all the ways that gender could be considered in each passage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Synoptic Gospels
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780190887483
ISBN (Print)9780190887452
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2023.


  • Greek masculinity
  • Herod the Great
  • Jesus
  • Mary
  • Roman masculinity
  • Syrophoenician
  • Zechariah
  • gender


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