Was Junia a woman apostle, in Romans 16:7?

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Celtic1, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    In your opinion, is the "Junia" mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:7 a woman apostle?

    From my studies, I believe the preponderance of the evidence is that "Junia" was a woman, and that she was an apostle.

    This thread and another I am starting may be controversial, but may we discuss without insults, please?
     
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  2. Pirate

    Pirate Member

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    Sure seems like it. Obviously there are others (like Barnabas) who are called "apostles." The Eastern Orthodox even call some people "Equal to the Apostles," so the concept isn't entirely unknown. The word was probably used somewhat more broadly in the early days than what we find later (where apostles is assumed to mean only the Twelve).
     
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  3. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    N.T. Wright is of the opinion that she was an Apostle. Some manuscripts say "Junias", which is potentially a man's name.

    Even if Junia was an Apostle (defined as someone who saw the Resurrected Christ), not every Apostle was a bishop. Think of Paul. ;) Just a bit of trivia to consider.
     
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  4. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The case is unclear about whether it was a woman or not. Some manuscripts most certainly do say Junias. But like I said in the earlier thread, it's not even relevant, because there were many apostles during that era, and Christ never attached a significance to them. They were simply ministers of Christ, and were not appointed as leaders of the Church, at all.

    It was only later, mainly through the efforts of the Roman church, that 'apostle' and 'apostolic succession' acquired a specific and false connotation dealing with Christ's unique authority. The Twelve, the true leaders of Christianity as appointed by Christ, were a unique group, and it's to that that we must strive to maintain our connection.
     
  5. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Ministers? Would that be like the Anglican priests?
     
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  6. Aaytch Barton

    Aaytch Barton Active Member

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    A proper translation would have this person to probably be a man but definitely NOT an apostle. I don't know how anyone would get that impression. The verse says this person is "well known to (or among) the apostles", not well known as an apostle.
     
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  7. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Wow, is that really true? The Greek says the person is known among/by the Apostles, a group separate from the person mentioned? May we see the Greek?
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    No, sorry, clumsy expression on my part. What I meant to say is this:

    They (the apostles) were the group that would 'knock on doors' and basically spread the word. They were the large mass of people, most of them laymen, that constituted the missionary arm of Christianity.

    Within this group of 'apostles of Christianity' there were two sub-groups: the Seventy Two (whom Christ ordained as the presbyters), and the Twelve, his inner disciples (whom Christ consecrated as the episkopoi, bishops). The apostles were a much wider group than that, included laymen, and were not considered as the Officers of the Church, by Christ, nor given any declarative power to forgive sins, or use the Keys of the Church (as was given to those whom he ordained to lead the Church).

    What this means is that being an apostle did not automatically mean that you were a Presbyter/Priest, or an Episkopos/Bishop, of the Church.
     
  9. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Adding to Stalwart, it is noteworthy that the (later) Gospel of John never calls the twelve "Apostles". The word "Disciple" is used for every Christian, in that Gospel.
     
  10. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    Words from the wikipedia article Junia.

    *****

    The reference to Junia/Junias is found in Romans 16:7. It is interesting that the chapter begins with this phrase:

    "I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a διάκονος of the church . . . " (Rom. 16:1, KJV)


    διάκονος = Strong's number G1249, diakonos (BlueLetterBible.org).
    The description of sister Phoebe as διάκονος in Rom. 16:1 is rendered as follows in popular English translations.​
    "deacon" (NIV 2011, NLT 2007, NRSV)​
    "deaconess" (Amplified Bible, J.B. Phillips NT, RSV)​
    "in the ministry" (Douay-Rheims, 1899)​
    "leader" (CEV)​
    "servant" (NAS, ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV 1984, NKJV)​
     
  11. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Most scholars disagree with you.
     
  12. Aaytch Barton

    Aaytch Barton Active Member

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    Can you point me to even one serious English translation that renders Junia(s) to be an Apostle?
     
  13. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    English Standard Version:

    Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

    Holman Christian Standard Version:

    Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow countrymen and fellow prisoners. They are noteworthy in the eyes of the apostles, and they were also in Christ before me.

    Aramaic in Plain English Version:

    Invoke the peace of Andronicus and of Junia, my relatives who were captives with me and were known by The Apostles and they were in The Messiah before me.

    Bible.cc has footnotes on this passage:

    Among the apostles - This does not mean that they "were" apostles, as has been sometimes supposed. For,

    (1) There is no account of their having been appointed as such.

    (2) the expression is not one which would have been used if they "had" been. It would have been "who were distinguished apostles;" compare Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1.

    (3) it by no means implies that they were apostles All that the expression fairly implies is, that they were known to the other apostles; that they were regarded by them as worthy of their affection and confidence; that they had been known by them, as Paul immediately adds, before "he" was himself converted. They had been converted "before" he was, and were distinguished in Jerusalem among the early Christians, and honored with the friendship of the other apostles.

    (4) the design of the office of "apostles" was to bear "witness" to the life, death, resurrection, doctrines, and miracles of Christ; compare Matthew 10; Acts 1:21, Acts 1:26; Acts 22:15. As there is no evidence that they had been "witnesses" of these things; or appointed to it, it is improbable that they were set apart to the apostolic office.

    (5) the word "apostles" is used sometimes to designate "messengers" of churches; or those who were "sent" from one church to another on some important business, and "if" this expression meant that they "were" apostles, it could only be in some such sense as having obtained deserved credit and eminence in that business; see Philippians 2:25; 2 Corinthians 8:23.
     
  14. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I can, but I won't.
     
  15. Incense

    Incense Active Member

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    I have to ask and maybe it's a dumb question but why is Junias a woman? If he/she was his fellow in prison and obviously since ever prisons were split for both genders...
     
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  16. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    When I read Romans 16: 1-16, the frequent mention of women and sisters, along with the mention of the wife and husband missionaries Priscilla and Aquilla (Rom. 16:3), I get the impression that Junia was the wife of Andronicus. However, as you and others have stated, there is no irrefutable evidence that Junia / Junias was a woman.
     
  17. Incense

    Incense Active Member

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    In the verse Roman 16:7 in gender changing languages (languages where verbs follow the gender) Andronicus and Junias are stated like plural male, now it could be that one is a male and the other a female or both males, but since they were both in prison together I would take the second option as more accurate.
     
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  18. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    In the Hill Country around where I live ,'there used to be a saying amongst the natives. "Mean is as mean does."
     
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  19. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I care not to engage in discussion with someone who has been disrespectful. I've had enough of that in other places; I do not wish to repeat same here.
     
  20. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It's possible for a Christian persecuted in Asia to call a Christian persecuted in Africa "my fellow sufferer for the Gospel", even if they were never in the same jail. :)

    For me, the issue of women-apostles does not rest solely on Junia. The language is sufficiently unsure about the word "apostles" that it cannot be used for a definite statement.

    Of much greater utility for this argument is Romans 16:1, and Phoebe. Paul uses the same word to refer to this woman as he uses in 1 Timothy 4:6 to refer to Timothy (a bishop) and himself. I find that highly shocking. The word is diakonos,
    "a minister of the Church at Cenchrea", often translated as "servant".

    But friend, by letting your anger overtake your ability to rationally respond, can you not easily perpetuate the very behaviour you think is disrespectful?
     
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