According to Christianity is testimony of a woman equivalent to that of a man?

I'm familiar with the Islamic tradition and looking to understand the same concept from a Christian perspective.

Surat Al-Baqarah 02:282:

And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses - so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her.

  • @NigelJ It can be with an edit.
    – John Doe
    Aug 3, 2021 at 7:00
  • 2
    @JohnDoe - That was a major edit, and necessary.
    – Lesley
    Aug 3, 2021 at 7:49
  • Thanks for the edit but has one the answer i think it is important to learn about Christianity because it has formed Europe?
    – Jonte YH
    Aug 3, 2021 at 8:23
  • OK - like your last question, you can't ask a question "Of Christianity in general" unless you specifically request it as an overview question. There is no central authority that all Christians accept (except God, of course) so you can't ask questions like this on this site. Even if you think you're getting good answers, they're not representative of a large swaths of Christianity.
    – Peter Turner
    Aug 3, 2021 at 14:13
  • We do allow comparative religion questions here, but this isn't really a topic that Christians talk about much. It's hard to talk about a consensus position, because it's a question that most Christians today would never even think to ask.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 3, 2021 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


This is an interesting question. One that I didn't know the answer to and had to do some research myself. On searching the internet, sites like answering-christianity.com seem to suggest that Christianity excludes women from being witnesses. And Deuteronomy 19:15-19 is given as evidence.

One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established ... The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is proven to be a liar who has falsely accused his brother, you must do to him as he intended to do to his brother. [Deuteronomy 19:15]

However, I don't see how that passage explicitly forbids women from being a witness, or equates two women to one man. The passage is in masculine form and talks about brother and man. But it would apply to both genders just as the proverb - practice makes a man perfect - would.

I could not find any passages that specifically forbid women (perhaps there are and I missed, I look forward to other answers).

So, all I can do is give you passages that are somewhat related and show the role of women under the Christian perspective, which is based on how Christ treated women.

  1. The disciples were eyewitnesses to Christ's resurrection. The reason why he appeared to them and didn't just go straight to heaven after his resurrection, is so that they could be his witnesses.

... and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth [Acts 1:7]

... one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection [Acts 1:22]

Interestingly he chose his women disciples to be the very first witnesses to his resurrection, which was strange given that they were less likely to be believed.

Mark 16:1:

... Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome ... When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! ... But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.’"

Mark 16:9:

Early on the first day of the week, after Jesus had risen, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had driven out seven demons. She went and told those who had been with Him, who were mourning and weeping. And when they heard that Jesus was alive and she had seen Him, they did not believe it.

  1. Christ directly taught women (Martha and Mary) and did not treat them differently from men, which was very atypical of those times and often surprised people.

John 4:27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” [John 4:27]

  1. Apostle Paul says that men and women are not to be treated differently:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [Galatians 3:28]

  1. God appointed a women called Deborah as a Judge:

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, where the Israelites would go up to her for judgment.

To me this shows that if you could sit as a judge in a court deciding cases, you could certainly be a witness.

It would be interesting to see if any Church fathers have written about this or if there's something in the Canon law. Hope someone else posts an answer.

Edit: Since you're coming at it from an Islamic perspective I want to take a moment to clarify the difference between Judaism and Christianity.

During my research, I found that some critic sites pointed to the common custom in Israel during the time of Christ, when women were not eligible to be witnesses. However, I believe those customs were based either on a different interpretation of the Old Testament, or on supplementary texts that are not accepted in Christianity. Christians belive Christ came to explain and clarify the law and interpret the scriptures in light of the New Testament (teachings of Christ).

I was able to find some verses from Jewish scriptures that don't allow women as witnesses.

The oath of testimony is conducted with men and not women [Mishnah (Shevuot 4:1)]

And this is applicable in all places and at all times, for males but not for females because women are not included in the laws of testimony due to the lightness of their intellects. [Mitzvah # 122]

However, these texts are not part of the Christian canon.

  • i Wonder if Islam stole from Jewish textures "And this is applicable in all places and at all times, for males but not for females because women are not included in the laws of testimony due to the lightness of their intellects. [Mitzvah # 122]"
    – Jonte YH
    Aug 3, 2021 at 14:21
  • Exactly it sounded from a Hadidth?
    – Jonte YH
    Aug 3, 2021 at 14:22
  • 1
    Probably also worth mentioning that Christians do not consider the legal practices of Ancient Israel to be binding on Christians today, in the same way that we don't prosecute people for having mixed fibre clothes. Aug 3, 2021 at 14:29

Both Judaism and Islam are patriarchal societies. Since you are not asking about Judaism, but about Christianity, our starting point is approximately 600 years before the death of Muhammad and the writing of the Qur’an. We have to focus on the writings in the New Testament if we are to get the Christian view of how women are perceived. A good place to start is with the events that followed the death and resurrection of Jesus. I realise that the Qur’an denies that Jesus died, or that he was resurrected and returned to heaven from whence he originated, but your question is about Christianity.

The account in Mark 16: 1, 9 has already been covered in the very good answer given by John Doe. I would simply add this:

All four Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus report that it was women who first discovered the empty tomb. This point is especially significant given the patriarchal nature of first-century Israel.

While it is true that, under very limited circumstances, women were allowed to testify in a court of law, it is also the case that, in first-century Jewish society, a woman’s testimony was worth far less than that of a man. If you were making up a story in an attempt to persuade others that Jesus had been resurrected, you would never have used women as your primary witnesses. Any made-up story would have featured male disciples like Peter, John, or Andrew as the discoverers of the empty tomb, as the testimony of men would have provided much-needed credibility to the story.

Rather than try to find similarities between Islam and Christianity (especially when it comes to how women are viewed) it would be advantageous to concentrate on the differences, as John Doe has done in his answer.

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