WAS THERE A FEMALE NT APOSTLE?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by a SATS prof, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. a SATS prof

    a SATS prof
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    "those outstanding apostles Andronicus and Junias" (Rom 16:7, Jerusalem Bible)
    "Junias...outstanding among the apostles" (NIV)
    "Junias...eminent among the apostles" (NEB)

    (I am not an Egalitarian!)
     
  2. Scarlett O.

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    Whether Junias was a man or a woman is irrelevent.

    What matters is that this person suffered for Christ (fellow prisoner) and was well-respected among the apostles - which means to me that he or she wasn't necessarily an apostle, but that the apostles held him or her in very high esteem.

    Paul felt inspired by the Holy Spirit to make note of this person and his or her Christian reputation that was very, very high. All these centuries later, we should take note of the reputation and suffering for Christ - not the gender or the "title".
     
  3. a SATS prof

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  4. Crabtownboy

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    Junia was a woman. Nowhere in any writings from that era does the name Junia refer to a man. Below is a quote from an Amazon review of the book, Junia: the First Woman Apostle. King James recorded the name correctly as Junia. Romans 16:7 from King James: 7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

    From Amazon: The name "Junia" appears in Romans 16:7, and Paul identifies her (along with Andronicus) as "prominent among the apostles." In this important work, Epp investigates the mysterious disappearance of Junia from the traditions of the church. Because later theologians and scribes could not believe (or wanted to suppress) that Paul had numbered a woman among the earliest churches' apostles, Junia's name was changed in Romans to a masculine form {Junias}. Despite the fact that the earliest churches met in homes and that other women were clearly leaders in the churches (e.g., Prisca and Lydia), calling Junia an apostle seemed too much for the tradition. Epp tracks how this happened in New Testament manuscripts, scribal traditions, and translations of the Bible. In this thoroughgoing study, Epp restores Junia to her rightful place.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002G9U22Y/?tag=baptis04-20
     
  5. a SATS prof

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    Junias gender IS important to those who argue for gender equality in church leadership. They reason that since there was a woman who held apostleship, therefore women may today hold any church position.

    Research into the name is Bible study as is the meaning of the Grk rendered "among." Moo- in Romans, NICNT says that Paul IS calliing Junia(s) an apostle. Any idea of why he is wrong and you are right? THATS Bible study!

    Dunn in WBC, Romans II, agrees saying that Junia(s) was likely a woman "of a select group of premier apostles."
     
    #5 a SATS prof, Jan 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
  6. a SATS prof

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    Hello Crab

    Could you provide the textual evidence that "Junia's name was changed"?
     
  7. Scarlett O.

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    But I have no desire to argue over this. Was that the point of this thread?

    I'm didn't say he or she was NOT an apostle. I said he or she was not necessarily an apostle - [as in THE Apostles,not apostles]

    Is there a reason why you are stuck on the NIV and its commentators? Look at the varying translations here. http://biblehub.com/romans/16-7.htm

    Why do you think there is a variety here?

    You do know that there were "apostles" and then there were "apostles". Do some Bible study on that word and see what you come up with.
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    I'm of the opinion that Junia was both a woman and an apostle. After having done some work on the nature of apostolicity in the early church, it does seem likely that a number of women held the office of apostle in the first generation of believers. (I don't believe the office of apostle continued after the first generation, or two, of the Church.)

    As for the question about textual variants supporting this conclusion, I would point to Robert Jewett's Romans commentary which makes this point:

    Some of the variants in these final chapters of Romans downplay the important role of women in leading early congregations. The role of Phoebe is diminished by the deletion of “and” in 16:1*; by the reversal of “receive her” in 16:2*; by eliminating the pronoun “she” in 16:2*; and by the change from “patron” to “helper” in 16:2*. In 16:3* several variants provide the diminutive form “Priscilla” in place of the polite, formal name, Prisca. Some medieval and modern scholars changed the feminine name of Junia to the masculine Junias in 16:7* to eliminate the impression that a woman was “outstanding among the apostles.”81 Some variants in 16:7* downplay the impression that Andronicus and Junia were converted before Paul. These variants fit the anti-feminine bias that text critics have discovered elsewhere. Robert Jewett and Roy David Kotansky, Romans: A Commentary, ed. Eldon Jay Epp, Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006), 17.​

    There are some textual variants that show both Junia and Phoebe were changed from female nouns to masculine ones. This is easily attributed to someone(s) trying to change the Bible to match their theology.

    Honestly, I don't have a problem with female apostles. The office doesn't appear to have wide ranging authority over multiple churches or that there was even a high council of apostles dictating how the early Christian communities would form. Apostles served, as a principal purpose, as the initial missionaries for the expansion of the Church. As eye witnesses to Jesus' life and ministry, a noted qualification from Acts 1, they would carry the heart of the Gospel with them and had powerful testimonies to speak as they spread the Good News to the ends of the Earth, as they best understood it.
     
  9. Crabtownboy

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    You can see it was in your OP. There are a number of translations beside the King James that correctly say the name, her name was Junia.

    Romans 16:7New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
    7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.
    Romans 16:7New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
    7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews. They have been in prison with me. They are leaders among the apostles. They became believers in Christ before I did.

    Romans 16:71599 Geneva Bible (GNV)
    7 Salute Andronicus and Junia my cousins and fellow prisoners, which are notable among the Apostles, and were in Christ before me.



    But, yes ... the following three translations that have it wrong.

    Romans 16:7Living Bible (TLB)
    7 Then there are Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who were in prison with me. They are respected by the apostles and became Christians before I did. Please give them my greetings.

    Romans 16:7Revised Standard Version (RSV)
    7 Greet Androni′cus and Ju′nias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners; they are men of note among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

    Romans 16:7American Standard Version (ASV)
    7 Salute Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me.
     
  10. Martin Marprelate

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    Junia cannot have been an Apostle because Paul describes himself as the last Apostle (1 Cor. 15:8 etc.). Once we start saying that anyone can be an Apostle we shall be all over the place.
    She was highly regarded by the Apostles and that is praise enough for anyone.
     
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  11. preachinjesus

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    That's not what Paul is saying in 1 Cor 15:8.

    He's talking about the appearances of Christ. The qualification of having been an eye witness to the resurrected Christ doesn't mean that there weren't people, like Junia, who would have seen the resurrected Christ before Paul. If we understand the timeline Luke lays out in Acts, Paul's (Saul at the time) saw Christ on the road in about 36/37, there is plenty of time for others to have seen the resurrected Christ. They also could have seen him during time between the resurrection and his ascension. If Junia was, by chance, one who became an apostle after Pentecost, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 doesn't rule out that Jesus might have appeared to her, and others, during that time period.
     
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  12. Scarlett O.

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    The same thing when a translations calls Phoebe a "deaconess". The word to describe Phoebe is the same word used to describe Paul and other men in roles of deacons, ministers, and servants. It's a word that is a place where Christ said we should all be.

    There is no feminine version of the word "diakonos". Phoebe was not a deaconness. She was a deacon. And that did not mean a place of entitlement or a place of telling others what to do. Now Paul did tell the church to do what she asked them to be done, but she probably had a word from Paul to them as she most likely was one delivering the letter.

    A "diakonos" is literally one who stirs up a cloud of dust in that they are working that hard for the church and the Lord. Many, many women, single men, and divorced men are working their tails off for God and the church. They just aren't endowed by the church with the titles.

    That shouldn't matter. Just keep on working.
     
  13. annsni

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    I believe that she was a woman who was known to the Apostles and was well thought of by them - not that she was one of them. She was "of note among the apostles" - in other words she was particularly noted by them. We don't see any evidence that she actually WAS an apostle.
     
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  14. John of Japan

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    I'll add my "for what it's worth" "two cents worth."

    First of all, the textual variant is somewhat of a red herring. The only textual difference is in the accents, with a circumflex over the ultima in the Alexandrian tradition (which would make Junia male) and an acute over the penult in the Byzantine/Majority tradition (female). The problem is that the accents were not generally used when Romans was written; they are not there in most old mss. (My PhD son says not until the 5th cent.) So which was right? Who knows?

    Next, concerning the translation, I read that it could be either way: "in the apostles" or "by the apostles." It is somewhat ambiguous though "among the apostles" is probably correct.

    Here's the thing, though. Even if Junia is female, maybe the wife of Andronicus, so what? They were one unit. Full disclosure: I read "apostle" as "missionary," as do the great majority of missiologists. The Didache (100 AD or so) uses the term "apostles" just for travelling preachers. The veneration of apostleship did not begin until the need for a canon arose because of Marcion much later.

    To further think it out, this is just a greeting. Paul is not using a technical term here. Do we consider the wife in a church-planting missionary couple to be a missionary nowadays? Yes we do. The man may be the church planter per se, and I object to a woman pastoring, but the most fundamental of churches called my wife and I "missionaries." Plural. That is what I think Paul is doing here.
     
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  15. Crabtownboy

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    John, Paul calling him the last apostle has no bearing the fact that Junia was an apostle. After all in the scripture he says they were of Christ before he was. Thus she was an apostle before Paul. No contradiction or problem that she was an apostle.

    Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.
     
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  16. John of Japan

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    You mean "Martin."
     
  17. John of Japan

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    If Paul was the last apostle, what about Barnabas (Acts 14:14), James the Lord's brother (Gal. 1:19), Sylvanus and Timothy (compare 1 Thess. 1:1 & 2:6), and Epaphroditus ("messenger" from apostolos in Phil. 2:25)?
     
  18. Martin Marprelate

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    I know enough Greek to know that apostolos means 'sent one' and so it is used in Phil. 2:25; 1 Thes. 2:6 and Acts 14:14 (Gal. 1:19 does not say that James was an apostle). However, when we are talking about the Apostleship instigated by our Lord (Mark 3:13ff etc.), there is a very clear difference. Whatever one thinks of the actions of the apostles in Acts 1:15ff (before the descent of the Spirit), they did not suppose that they could consider more than one new apostle. If apostles were two a penny, why not have Joseph as well as Matthias?

    1 Cor. 1:1. 'Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes.' Sosthenes is a brother in Christ but Paul is an apostle. Nor is Timothy (2 Cor. 1:1; Col. 1:1).

    Gal. 1:1. 'Paul, an apostle- sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the father, who raised him from the dead- and all the brothers with me.'

    It is God, not men, who appoints apostles. Once we start thinking that there were loads of apostles in 1st Century times, we have no reason to object to every Tom, Dick and Harry calling himself an apostle today, as indeed some have, to the confusion of many.

    FWIW, Andronicus was no more an apostle than Junia; they were both highly regarded among the apostles.
     
  19. a SATS prof

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  20. a SATS prof

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    I guess no one has addressed the grammar. It is argued by Dan Wallace (PhD, NT Greek) the episemos the with the dative means well known by not well-known among.
     

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