Abstract

After a survey of exegetes' differing opinions about the silence of the women disciples and the fear that keeps them silent, this article progresses to a deeper analysis of fear in Mark's Gospel and comes to the tentative conclusion that the fear arises from an awed reaction to the divine power manifested in the resurrection of Jesus. Beyond this tentative conclusion exegetes fear to go, and those who do so are really arguing from their own theological perspectives rather than from exegesis. This move (which one can see over and over again in exegetical writing) is not only natural, but required. At this point, the interpreter must access the conversion experience in which she knew herself called to discipleship, and from an understanding of how she has (consciously or subconsciously) thematized that reaction in the theological terms of her tradition, confirm or disprove the tentative conclusion of her exegesis. From within my theological tradition, I argue that the women are afraid not just of the cross but of the disciples' need to surrender to a divine holiness that empowers life in the new age.

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