As a result, I am puzzled when I hear Christian apologists argue that nobody could have invented the story of the women finding the empty tomb because of their low social status. Here's a typical example:
When you understand the role of women in first-century Jewish society, what's really extraordinary is that this empty tomb story should feature women as the discoverers of the empty tomb in the first place. Women were on a very low rung of the social ladder in first-century Palestine. . . . Women's testimony was regarded as so worthless that they weren't even allowed to serve as legal witnesses in a Jewish court of Law. In light of this, it's absolutely remarkable that the chief witnesses to the empty tomb are these women... Any later legendary account would have certainly portrayed male disciples as discovering the tomb - Peter or John, for example.William Lane Craig in The Case for Christ.
What the hell is this guy talking about? The gospels have Jesus healing lepers and blind beggars, eating with tax gatherers and sinners, and forgiving prostitutes. When the end of the gospels is reached, does Craig really think that the men who wrote these stories or the first people who read them would be concerned about the rung on the social ladder occupied by the first people to find the empty tomb? Would "My gosh! Women aren't even allowed to testify in court." really enter into anyone's thinking?
It really kind of saddens me that in their desperation to defend the historical accuracy of the gospel stories so many Christians should miss the point that indifference to social status is one of the things that gives the stories their meaning in the first place. It saddens me that it doesn't occur to them that the women's low social standing might be the very reason the evangelists place them first at the empty tomb.