1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (a discussion of Junia(s) in Rom 16:7 from the comments)

roleofwomenThe subseries on 1 Cor 14:33b-37 hasn’t produced the most comments of any series, but I think it’s produced the most interesting discussion. Rather than rehashing well-worn debating points from 100 years ago, the readers have delved deeply into the text and some of the latest scholarship — and it’s been a profitable experience. At least, I know has been for me.

Junia(s) in Rom 16:7: Female and an “apostle”?

The NET Bible translator notes

Reader John F pushed me to dig more deeply into the scholarship behind the gender and place of Junia in church history. He cited the usually excellent NET Bible translator notes, which tend to support a male interpretation and a translation that makes Junia(s) considered outstanding by the apostles, rather than among the apostles.

The feminine name Junia, though common in Latin, is quite rare in Greek (apparently only three instances of it occur in Greek literature outside Rom 16:7, according to the data in the TLG [D. Moo, Romans [NICNT], 922]). The masculine Junias (as a contraction for Junianas), however, is rarer still: Only one instance of the masculine name is known in extant Greek literature (Epiphanius mentions Junias in his Index discipulorum 125). Further, since there are apparently other husband-wife teams mentioned in this salutation (Prisca and Aquila [v. Rom 16:3], Philologus and Julia [v. Rom 16:15]), it might be natural to think of Junia as a feminine name. (This ought not be pressed too far, however, for in v. Rom 16:12 all three individuals are women [though the first two are linked together], and in vv. Rom 16:9-11 all the individuals are men.) In Greek only a difference of accent distinguishes between Junias (male) and Junia (female). If it refers to a woman, it is possible (1) that she had the gift of apostleship (not the office), or (2) that she was not an apostle but along with Andronicus was esteemed by (or among) the apostles. As well, the term “prominent” probably means “well known,” suggesting that Andronicus and Junia(s) were well known to the apostles (see note on the phrase “well known” which follows).

8 tn Or “prominent, outstanding, famous.” The term ἐπίσημος (episemos) is used either in an implied comparative sense (“prominent, outstanding”) or in an elative sense (“famous, well known”). The key to determining the meaning of the term in any given passage is both the general context and the specific collocation of this word with its adjuncts. When a comparative notion is seen, that to which ἐπίσημος is compared is frequently, if not usually, put in the genitive case (cf., e.g., 3Ma 6:1 [Ελεαζαρος δέ τις ἀνὴρ ̈ϊἐπίσημος τῶν ̈῀ϊἀπὸ τής χώρας ̈ϊἱερέωϊ “Eleazar, a man prominent among the priests of the country”]; cf. also Pss. Sol. 17:30). When, however, an elative notion is found, ἐν (en) plus a personal plural dative is not uncommon (cf. Pss. Sol. 2:6). Although ἐν plus a personal dative does not indicate agency, in collocation with words of perception, (ἐν plus) dative personal nouns are often used to show the recipients. In this instance, the idea would then be “well known to the apostles.” See M. H. Burer and D. B. Wallace, “Was Junia Really an Apostle? A Re-examination of Rom 16.7,” NTS 47 (2001): 76-91, who argue for the elative notion here.

But the great weight of scholarly opinion runs the other way.

The manuscript evidence is without variation (earlier than the 13th Century, going from memory). The case for Junia is FAR superior to the case for the authenticity of 1 Cor 14:34-37. There is NO material manuscript evidence against her being female.

Scholars are increasingly reaching a consensus that the Greek shows her to be an apostle. Osburn’s Essays on Women in Earliest Christianity gives the evidence. The case is quite powerful.

Problems with NET Bible translator notes

So let’s look at the NET Bible translator notes a little more closely —

The feminine name Junia, though common in Latin, is quite rare in Greek (apparently only three instances of it occur in Greek literature outside Rom 16:7, according to the data in the TLG [D. Moo, Romans [NICNT], 922]). The masculine Junias (as a contraction for Junianas), however, is rarer still: Only one instance of the masculine name is known in extant Greek literature (Epiphanius mentions Junias in his Index discipulorum 125).

“Though common in Latin.” This is a letter to the church in ROME! Latin is the native tongue of Rome. Even though she is a Jewess, why wouldn’t we imagine that she has adopted a common Roman legal name while living in Rome?  Or she could have been born there. That the name is common in the city where she lives in the language spoken by the residents SUPPORTS the claim that she was female. (I’m a fan of the NET Bible notes, but this is just as contrary to the evidence as can be.)

The translators cite to Moo’s commentary in the NICNT series. Here’s what he says (throughout this post, I add paragraphs to facilitate Internet reading),

7 Paul now sends greetings to two fellow Jews, who, as Paul’s description indicates, had considerable stature in the early church. Andronicus is a common Greek name, so he must have been a “Hellenistic” Jew. The identity of Andronicus’s “partner” is a matter of considerable debate. The problem arises from the fact that the Greek form used here, Iounian, depending on how it is accented, could refer either (1) to a man with the name Junianus, found here in its contracted form, “Junias” (cf. NIV; RSV; NASB; TEV; NJB); or (2) to a woman with the name of Junia (KJV; NRSV; REB).Interpreters from the thirteenth to the middle of the twentieth century generally favored the masculine identification. But it appears that commentators before the thirteenth century were unanimous in favor of the feminine identification; and scholars have recently again inclined decisively to this same view. And probably with good reason. For while a contracted form of Junianus would fit quite well in this list of greetings (for Paul uses several other such contractions), we have no evidence elsewhere for this contracted form of the name. On the other hand, the Latin “Junia” was a very common name. Probably, then, “Junia” was the wife of Andronicus (note the other husband and wife pairs in this list, Prisca and Aquila [v. 3] and [probably], Philologus and Julia [v. 15]).

In addition to their natural relationship (“kindred”), Paul shared with Andronicus and Junia also a spiritual relationship, in both ministry and suffering. For they were Paul’s “fellow prisoners.” Implied is that their imprisonment, like those of Paul’s that we know about, were for the sake of the gospel. But whether they were in prison with Paul at the same time or simply shared with him this kind of experience in the service of the Lord is impossible to say. In two relative clauses Paul draws the attention of the Roman Christians to the stature of this husband and wife ministry team. The first description might mean that Andronicus and Junia were “esteemed by the apostles.” But it is more natural to translate “esteemed among the apostles.” And it is because Paul thus calls Junia(s) an “apostle” that earlier interpreters tended to argue that Paul must be referring to a man; for they had difficulty imagining that a woman could hold such authority in the early church. Yet it is just for this reason that many contemporary scholars are eager to identify Junia(s) as a woman, for Pauline recognition of a female apostle would support the notion that the NT places no restrictions on the ministry of women.

But many scholars on both sides of this issue are guilty of accepting too readily a key supposition in this line of reasoning: that “apostle” here refers to an authoritative leadership position such as that held by the “Twelve” and by Paul. In fact, Paul often uses the title “apostle” in a “looser” sense: sometimes simply to denote a “messenger” or “emissary” and sometimes to denote a “commissioned missionary.” When Paul uses the word in the former sense, he makes clear the source and purpose of the “emissary’s” commission. So “apostle” here probably means “traveling missionary.”

Since Paul, in the second relative clause, acknowledges that they were “in Christ” before him, we might infer that Andronicus and Junia were among those early “Hellenistic” Jews in Jerusalem and that, like Peter and his wife (cf. 1 Cor. 9:5), they moved about in the eastern Mediterranean (where they encountered and perhaps were imprisoned with Paul), seeking to bring men and women to faith in Christ.

Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), 921–924.

I agree with all that Moo says. She obviously was not among the 12, but as I’ve said many times in the past, Paul refers to many fellow missionaries who were witnesses to the resurrection as “apostles.” We’ll return to this issue early in 1 Cor 15.

So while she likely did not carry the authority of one of the 12 or of Paul, she doubtlessly had a teaching ministry as a missionary who was a witness to the resurrection. And given the very limited number of eyewitnesses to the resurrection in Rome — she was likely the only one at the time — it’s hard to imagine her limiting her testimony to women’s retreats.

She had seen Jesus alive after a Roman crucifixion, and the very point of her apostleship in Rome surely was to testify to what she knew. And that makes her a teacher of men.

Major conservative commentaries

Here’s some commentaries from conservative authors —

The modern scholarly controversy over this name rests on the presumption that no woman could rank as an apostle, and thus that the accusative form must refer to a male by the name of Junias or Junianus. However, the evidence in favor of the feminine name “Junia” is overwhelming. Not a single example of a masculine name “Junias” has been found. The patristic evidence investigated by Fàbrega and Fitzmyer indicates that commentators down through the twelfth century refer to Junia as a woman, often commenting on the extraordinary gifts that ranked her among the apostles. The traditional feast of Saints Andronikos and Junia celebrates admirabilem feminam Juniam (“the admirable woman Junia”), which suggests that while some medieval copyists of Romans assumed a male name, the church as a whole had no difficulty on this point until later, particularly after Luther popularized the masculine option.

Robert K. Jewett and Roy D. Kotansky, Romans: A Commentary on the Book of Romans (Hermeneia 66; ed. Eldon J. Epp; Accordance electronic ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007), n.p.

The honorific expression ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις should be translated “outstanding among the apostles” rather than “remarkable in the judgment of the apostles,” because the adjective ἐπίσημος lifts up a person or thing as distinguished or marked in comparison with other representatives of the same class, in this instance with the other apostles. The Latin equivalent is honoratus, the acknowledgment of the distinction and honor earned by another. Thus τὸ ἐπίσημον was used to refer to the badge distinguishing one shield from another (Herodotus Hist. 9.74), the flag or figurehead that identifies one ship in comparison with an otherwise identical ship in the same class (Herodotus 8.88), or the device stamped on a coin to distinguish it from another (Plutarch Thes. 6.1). The adjective is used by 3 Macc 6:1 to identify Eleazar as ἐπίσημος τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς χώρας ἱερέων (“remarkable among the priests of the country”) and by Josephus to describe Mary of Bethezuba as “remarkable (ἐπίσημος) by reason of family and fortune” (Bell. 6.201).

A striking confirmation of this interpretation is provided by Chrysostom’s comment about Junia: “Even to be an apostle is great, but also to be prominent among them—consider how wonderful a song of honor that is!”

Robert K. Jewett and Roy D. Kotansky, Romans: A Commentary on the Book of Romans (Hermeneia 66; ed. Eldon J. Epp; Accordance electronic ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007), n.p.

The second of these names might be either masculine (Junias, a shorter form of Junianus) or feminine (Junia, as in AV). But, since there seems to be no certain occurrence of the form Junias, the feminine Junia is to be preferred. This couple (perhaps husband and wife) were Jewish by birth (Paul calls them his ‘kinsfolk’); they had shared one of Paul’s frequent imprisonments (cf. 2 Cor. 11:23), possibly in Ephesus. Moreover, they were ‘of note among the apostles’, which probably means that they were not merely well known to the apostles but were apostles themselves (in the wider, Pauline, sense of the word), and eminent ones at that.

F. F. Bruce, Romans: An Introduction and Commentary (Tyndale NTC 6; IVP/Accordance electronic ed. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1985), n.p.

They are man and woman, perhaps husband and wife or possibly brother and sister. This is the more interesting in that they are “of note among the apostles,” presumably meaning that both of them were witnesses of the resurrection (which fits, of course, with their being “in Christ” before Paul). Junia is thus one of the female “apostles,” the only one so called; though presumably others, such as Mary Magdalene, were known as such as well.

N.T. Wright, “The Letter to the Romans,” in The Acts of the Apostles-The First Letter to the Corinthians (vol. 10 of New Interpreters Bible, Accordance electronic ed. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002), n.p.

Next come Andronicus (the name means “man of victory”) and Junias. NIV thus makes the second name that of a man, but this seems unlikely. The patristic commentators seem to have taken the word as feminine (“Junia”) and understood the pair to be man and wife.

Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans (Pillar NTC; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), n.p.

Andronicus and Junia are also outstanding among the Apostles, which might mean that the apostles held them in high esteem or that they were apostles, and notable apostles at that. The former understanding seems less likely; it “scarcely does justice to the construction in the Greek” (Harrison). It is fairly clear from the New Testament that there was a wider circle of apostles than the Twelve, and it would seem that this couple belonged to that wider circle.

Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans (Pillar NTC; Accordance electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1987), n.p.

By the way, John Calvin, hardly a modern egalitarian, says,

In the third place, he calls them Apostles: he uses not this word in its proper and common meaning, but extends it wider, even to all those who not only teach in one Church, but also spend their labour in promulgating the gospel everywhere. He then, in a general way, calls those in this place Apostles, who planted Churches by carrying here and there the doctrine of salvation; for elsewhere he confines this title to that first order which Christ at the beginning established, when he appointed the twelve disciples. It would have been otherwise strange, that this dignity should be only ascribed to them, and to a few others. But as they had embraced the gospel by faith before Paul, he hesitates not to set them on this account before himself.2

John Calvin and John Owen, Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 546.

Calvin does not address her gender, but strenuously argues that the Greek says she’s an apostle. John Calvin!

In addition, “from the time accents were added to the text until the early part of the twentieth century, editions of the Greek NT printed the feminine acute accent and not the masculine circumflex,” and that is so from the texts of Erasmus (1516–35) to that of Westcott and Hort (1881: Ἰουνίαν). Moreover, there is no known evidence for the existence of the masculine name “Junias,” whereas the feminine name “Junia” has been found over 250 times in ancient Roman inscriptions. Another important point is that some 16 commentators of the first Christian millennium understood the name to be “Junia.”23 In light of the overwhelming evidence, the person must be understood to be “Junia,” and she and Andronicus can be considered a married couple.

The NRSV departs, rightly, from other modern versions (ASV, RSV, NIV) by having the name of the second person mentioned as the feminine “Junia” (as in the KJV), rather than the masculine “Junias.” Early Christian writers, such as Origen (A.D. 185–254), Chrysostom (A.D. 347–407), and Theodoret of Cyrrhus (A.D. 393–466), wrote without hesitation that at this place Paul refers to a woman named Junia, and Chrysostom considered her an apostle: “Think how great the devotion of this woman Junia must have been, that she should be worthy to be called an apostle!”

But when Paul says that Andronicus and Junia are “prominent among the apostles,” there are two possible meanings. One is that they are prominent within the circle of apostles, of which they are a part (the inclusivist view). The other is that they are highly esteemed by the apostles, but that they are not themselves to be counted among them (the exclusivist view). The word translated here as “prominent” is ἐπίσημος, which appears only one other place in the NT (Matt 27:16), meaning “notorious” (modifying “prisoner” and applied to Barabbas). 

There are good reasons for affirming that Andronicus and Junia are to be included within the circle of “the apostles” (the inclusivist view). First, that there were persons designated as “apostles” beyond the circle of the Twelve—Paul himself being one of them, as well as James the brother of the Lord (Gal 1:19) and Barnabas (1 Cor 9:5–6; Acts 14:14)—is indisputable, based on evidence from elsewhere (cf. also 1 Cor 15:5, 7; cf. 4:9; 9:5; 12:28; 2 Cor 8:23; Eph 4:11). In that light, it is not surprising that Andronicus, Junia, and several or even many other persons could have been considered apostles.

Second, the fact that Andronicus and Junia were of Jewish background and were “in Christ” (Paul’s familiar designation for Christians; cf. Rom 8:1; 16:7; 1 Cor 3:1; 2 Cor 5:17; 12:2; Phil 3:8–9) even before Paul’s own call to apostleship speaks in favor of their being among the originating circle of apostles that Paul refers to in his list of those to whom the risen Christ appeared, and whom he calls “all the apostles” prior to his own call as an apostle (1 Cor 15:7–8). Since Paul seems to have considered himself to have been the last apostle commissioned by the risen Christ (1 Cor 15:8), Andronicus and Junia would certainly qualify within the time allotted, in Paul’s view, for the commissioning of apostles.

Third, the phrase was understood in the inclusivist sense in patristic commentaries (see below).

Fourth, if the term is used in this case as a reference to a nameless third party (“the apostles”) in the exclusivist sense, it would appear that Paul is thereby excluding himself also from that same circle of apostles, which very thing he would never do. But if he means to include Andronicus and Junia as prominent within that circle, of which he himself is a part, he would be complimenting them as “insiders” from one who is an “insider” himself.

Fifth, the best explanation for Paul’s mentioning that they are “prominent among the apostles” is that they are apostles themselves. Why would Paul otherwise refer to their prominence? There seem to be two possibilities, but neither is satisfactory. One possibility would be that Paul is telling his readers here, in so many words, that Andronicus and Junia were highly regarded by “the apostles” and could therefore be trustworthy references for him, if anyone should need their evaluation regarding him. Yet that is not a likely reason for the comment concerning them. He has already spoken of them as having been imprisoned along with him. Being personally known to this couple would be of more value as a reference for him than would their standing among “the apostles.” And in the wake of the incident at Antioch (Gal 2:11–21), it is questionable whether Paul would want to defer to the opinions of such persons as Peter, James, and John (if they are counted among “the apostles”) regarding the couple. The other possibility is that Paul is simply being complimentary concerning Andronicus and Junia; they are highly regarded by “the apostles.” In favor of this, they could have been residents of Jerusalem at the time of their conversions, and were perhaps even converted through the preaching of “the apostles” there. They could thereafter have been commissioned as missionaries to Rome, or perhaps they could have become missionaries on their own initiative. Or, again, it is possible that Andronicus and Junia were simply known to “the apostles,” had captured their attention as outstanding, and were thus regarded highly by them.

Although a compliment along these lines cannot be excluded as a possibility, other considerations mentioned already weigh heavily in favor of Paul’s inclusion of them among the circle of apostles, which is a view expressed already in the first half of the twentieth century by various interpreters, and has been shared widely among others since the latter part of the twentieth century.

Arland J. Hultgren, Paul’s Letter to the Romans: A Commentary, (Grand Rapids, MI;Cambridge, UK: Eerdmans, 2011), 574–575, 581–583.

The 18th Century Clarke’s Commentary says Junia is likely female. Like Calvin, he was hardly influenced by today’s attitudes on the subject.

Conclusion

That’s eight out of the first eight commentaries I checked. What I said is backed by the consensus of the best, conservative, scholarly commentaries that can be found.

Not a one argues that Junia was male. The early church fathers uniformly considered her female. And Chrysostom, hardly a women’s libber, praised her as being among the apostles. Clarke and Calvin, who predate any question of Women’s Lib, agree.

The case to the contrary is sheer wishful thinking, and it’s time we respected the text for what it says.

And thanks for pushing me to look more deeply into the question. Its’ always enjoyable learning more about Paul’s words.

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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36 Responses to 1 Corinthians 14:33b-37 (a discussion of Junia(s) in Rom 16:7 from the comments)

  1. Price says:

    It may be that Romans 16 is the “anti-male only” chapter…. it’s difficult to imagine how women could have played such a critical role in the formation and survival of the early church could be told to hush in the presence of men… How in the world could these women have distinguished themselves in total silence? Were they mimes ? Hardly.

    Oh, and for those that want to make some modern day exception for the “worship service”, I think you’ve made it abundantly clear that no such thing existed in the 1st century.. Sure, they came together as an assembly.. but of how many ? How man fit into Priscilla’s home ? a few.. Is there any reason to believe that women who were pointed out in this chapter as being a deacon (Phoebe), a teacher (Priscilla), Hard working Mary, et al…but in an assembly with men they had to be silent bench warmers… Hog wash. They could help build the church but couldn’t participate in it ? Come on..

    The church wouldn’t have been what it was in the first century without the significant contributions of women in both their natural abilities and spiritual gifts.. The modern church is no less in need of this kind of female involvement…

  2. John says:

    This is what I see. There seems to be a split even among those of the CoC who call themselves “progressive” as to the role of women in the church; and I think the reason being is that the many who fight the leadership role of women are still in a fight against social and political changes. In their minds the advancement of women and the liberalism they believe is destroying the country are connected.

    That leaves a choice to be made by Churches of Christ that are truly progressive. Because at this time, in my opinion, too many of them are trying to placate the “conservative progressives” in the name of unity that has become an anchor they do not need. There comes a time when they should turn around and ask, “Are you coming or not”.

  3. Dwight says:

    Price, reread your statement. At one point you liberate the church from the assembly and then you go back and say, “They could help build the church but couldn’t participate in it?” If they taught and helped and served (deacon), they built the church, even if they might have been silent in the assemblies. Being limited in one thing that is limited in itself, like the assembly, doesn’t make one limited in doing many other things in an unlimited world. I do believe, we need more women to be involved, but we also need more men involved…we lack both and there is much, much to be done by both genders outside of the assembly. Even many gifted men do not express their gifts due to the limitations of the assembly and assembly wasn’t for expressing gifts, but for edification of the body, which could be done outside of the assembly as well.

  4. Price says:

    Dwight you keep separating everything from the assembly. Somehow you justify the gifts of women being restricted to as a yet undefined number of people. I keep asking you to tell us how many people it takes to form an assembly ? Crickets….. There even seems to be some distinction that you see between being in a building and standing on the front lawn as Priscilla may have been doing when she corrected Apollos. I find that to be without any scriptural support whatsoever. Again, it’s unimaginable for me to reason that women could be used in obviously significant ways to build the church but not participate in it in any way.

  5. It appears to me that among all the reasoning offered by various commentators, perhaps the most influential factor is the commenter’s view of women’s roles that he brings to the question. That is, I believe that one DOES consider the consequences of his interpretation in cases like this, rather than studying the language neutrally, much as a judge is supposed to have no interest in the outcome of a case before him. This applies here to the discussion of the word “Junia” and the term “apostle”. Scholar A, whose general gender view is of male authority in the church, has a built-in bias to overcome, and the consequences of his agreeing that Junia was a female apostle are much higher that those faced by a scholar whose gender traditions are more egalitarian.

    The same dynamic appears regarding apostleship. Those who have a tradition of setting the Thirteen apart as a distinctly different class of believer come to the text with a different slant than do those whose religious practice accepts the apostle as a gift given to the church, both ancient and modern.

    There is a strong tendency to try to interpret scripture in such a way as to show that it can be reconciled with one’s existing faith and practice. Which is why there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors here…

  6. Alabama John says:

    Enjoyed this study and discussion.

    Its interesting to me since people tend to name their children after those in the bible that no one I know of named their girl Junia nor is it on old tombstones in cemeteries I have visited.

    Maybe those that selected what went into the King James were just a little biased.

  7. Jay Guin says:

    AJ,

    “Jay” is short for Junius.

  8. I think much of the discussion and angst about Junia comes from a misunderstanding of Paul’s use of the word apostle. Rarely does he use it to refer to the Twelve, and he sometimes makes it clear that he’s NOT referring to the Twelve. (compare 1 Corinthians 15:5 with 1 Cointhians 15:7)

    The way Paul groups names in Romans 16, Junia is paired with Andronicus, suggesting that this is a husband-wife team like Priscila and Aquila. (It’s funny how many people today know the name Junia but give you a blank stare when you mention Andronicus)

    Junia is only a big deal if we decide to make her into one. She’s one of many hard-working women in the New Testament. Her existence neither speaks for nor against male leadership in the church.

  9. Maybe my previous comment is floating in cyberspace and will appear. Please forgive if this is repetitious.

    It’s important to remember that Paul usually uses the term “the Twelve” to refer to Peter & co., while using “apostles” to refer to special traveling evangelists. (compare 1 Corinthians 15:5 with 15:7)

    The way he pairs names in Romans 12 implies that Junia and Andronicus worked together, possibly as husband and wife. (Junia is quite popular in church circles today, yet Andronicus merits nary a mention)

    Junia is only a big deal if we make her into one. She was one of many hard-working women in the New Testament. Her existence neither speaks for nor against male leadership in the church.

  10. Alabama John says:

    Jay,

    I didn’t know that.

    Also didn’t know Junius was the male version and Junia the female.

    Is that you middle name and is it common in your family?

    Just curious as most children names are tied somehow to their families and yours is Roman.

    There has to be a good lesson there some place, as you can pull one out of a hat it seems to me!!!!

  11. Jay Guin says:

    I’m Junius III
    I like to tell people that the unius is silent.

  12. laymond says:

    I agree with Tim, I believe we are mixing apples with apples.
    “I think much of the discussion and angst about Junia comes from a misunderstanding of Paul’s use of the word apostle.”

    “An apostle, from Classical Greek ἀπόστολος (apóstolos), meaning “one who is sent away”, is a messenger and ambassador. The purpose of such “sending away” is to convey messages, and thus “messenger” is a common alternative translation.”

    Apostle of whom? In my opinion “apostle” simply means sent with authority, of the sender. I am pretty sure Jesus was an apostle of his father.

  13. Price says:

    So explain how being an ambassador or messenger for the gospel and development of the church can be accomplished while remaining silent in the presence of other men. The term Apostle need not be referencing the 12 or so in order for there to be an active involvement with the spread of the gospel. The exact meaning seems slightly irrelevant to the outcome. IMO

  14. Dwight says:

    Price, You say, “Again, it’s unimaginable for me to reason that women could be used in obviously significant ways to build the church but not participate in it in any way.” But they were participating in the church and building it if they taught and aided others just like many of the women did in the scriptures. My argument is that the church is not the assembly, but in the world and sometimes they come together to assemble. The assembly within the context of I Cor.14 is where people came together to edify with thier gifts, but many were just showboating. The text in regards to women being silent doesn’t give a numerical value of what makes an assembly, but an assembly is when people assemble or come together. Again I think the silence of women is in correlation to the men also being told to keep silent in that they are giving way to others, so in the case of women it is submission to the men who are speaking. The only case of woman addressing a man to teach him is Priscilla and she was with her husband Aquilla, so we don’t know to what extent, but we do know they pulled him aside to do this so it wasn’t a public affair.

  15. Dwight says:

    Yes, apostles is a generic term for “one sent” much like disciple is for “one who follows after”. Now the scriptures often allude to the twelve, but also allude to apostles in general. If we read it right in Acts those that were the church went everywhere teaching the gospel, so they would be apostles as they were given a mission just by being in Christ.
    Price, your comments show a limited view in that if they, women, can’t express themselves in the assembly, then they can’t express themselves as Christians and as teachers and as helpers to other saints and non-saints. This is far beyond the truth we see in the scriptures. In relation to the NT scriptures we know the saints assembled, but this is seen as a small part of the Christian’s life and overall mission. We as saints are very church-centric to where everything we do or see or imagine revolves around us in “church”, but most of our time is spent not in “church” and this is where the majority or our work and responsibility is supposed to be. We aren’t sent into church, but into the world and this is where the message as abassadors is supposed to go.

  16. Price says:

    @ Dwight.. So women can teach, instruct, minister, evangelize, speak, sing, etc., but just not between 10-noon on Sundays… where they can only sit quietly in total submissive behavior ignoring every gift or talent given them by God to exhort, edify and encourage the saints that are gathered.. Not in my world.

  17. Price says:

    @ Dwight.. Oh, and so women (Priscilla) can teach outside on the steps but not in on the carpet… LOL.. hogwash. What we need are more men willing to encourage their wives (Aquilla) and more men willing to listen (Apollos)… Amazing how completely capable a man’s wife is at home and how ignorant and incompetent she is at worship services on Sunday… Again,.. not in my world. Maybe yours.

  18. Dwight says:

    Price, then explain what I Cor.14 means? We can say it doesn’t mean this, but we are not to keen on expressing or applying it. If it is just a cultural thing, then we have to prove that Paul is meaning it to be cultural, but didn’t say it was cultural and then we must explain why the rest or all of I Cor. or II Cor or all of the letters aren’t cultural and not applicable to us.This seems to be the issue. If it is just about submission, then Jesus could have sacrificed himself in some other way. We are defiant against the scritpures. It doesn’t matter what the scriptures say, because it doesn’t make sense. I am sure this is what Adam and Eve were thinking, “I mean there is a nice tree in the middle of the garden with nice fruit on it and God doesn’t want anybody to eat from it. That doesn’t make sense, after all it is just one fruit tree among many and we are denied. How dare He?” The problem here is that we make between 10-12 on Sunday the clincher. It becomes more important to us than what God is saying so that it swamps everything else that we are capable and allowed to do. How submissive can we be if we can’t submit to God in this one thing?

  19. Price says:

    Dwight.. really ? We’ve had this dialogue for a week and you just now are considering an alternative view ? Come on man.. And, it’s not THEIR culture that changed in this regard so much as it is OURS that changed. They often met every day.. in homes, in small groups, in times of adversity in catacombs… women deacons, women prophets, women singers, women teachers, churches in women’s homes…it’s the “moderns” that have tried to carve out special rules for Sunday morning, in the sanctuary apart from class and kitchen… You just seem unwilling to let go of an all male involvement in the face of example after example… Do you ever wonder why your interpretation doesn’t seem to jive with the examples ? Pause and consider that for a moment.

  20. Dwight says:

    Price, show me example after example where the women led in the assembly and talked over men, please?
    Actually, this has always been my view and it hasn’t changed. The church is the people, the people live in Christ and they do assemble, but the letters aren’t written to the assemblies, but to the people and the assemblies didn’t compose the majority of the time a saint lived.
    Paul is speaking irregardless of the culture in His commands. This is like saying that women aren’t women any more, but they are and men are men. They are treated differently and given different roles in the church. Some things don’t change, thus the rules for the genders don’t change. There is one woman deacon noted, called a deaconess, but all deacon means is servant, so this is not surprising.
    But there are no qualifications for woman deacons or women elders, so this must mean something. Or do you disregard the acknowledgment of this.
    Actually my version does jive. Women were important, but when we have scriptures like I Cor.14 and I Tim.2, then there is scripture that means something and meant something to them as well. They either understood it as it was read, which is pretty direct or they were illiterate.
    If you look at the women teachers they are paired with men teachers, but there are many, many men teachers not paired with women teachers. Even Junia, who is in topic as an apostle, is paired with Andronicus, as well as Prisca and Aquila, Philologus and Julia. The men read from the Torah, the women didn’t. The men were the priest, the women weren’t. The men were the spiritual leaders.Then there were prophetess, but not noted in assembly. This doesn’t detract from the fact that many women did many things in the NT scriptures in teaching and aiding, but leading one of them,
    Price, for me to take you seriously, you have to show me something. I agree there were women prophets, but no example of them speaking or leading in assembly. You are transferring your belief that I Cor.14 and I Tim.2 mean nothing onto the scriptures that consistently show that men were the spiritual leaders of the assembly as they were the household or maybe they weren’t.
    Question: Are you married and are you the spiritual leader of the household and does your wife submit to you as the church is supposed to submit to Christ? If she does, then great, but perhaps she is not supposed to if she is 100% equal with you in all things. And if you don’t allow her to be or if she doesn’t take control, then you are the one who is wrong by your own admission. And perhaps the church isn’t supposed to submit to Christ if we are going to rewrite roles by your thinking.
    A limited involvement in “speaking out loud in the assembly over men”, which is what is a stake her, doesn’t mean a limited involvement in the assembly or in the church.

  21. Price says:

    Dwight, Paul gave instructions for how women should pray.. Do you believe that it was in their closet for which these instructions were given ? And, really, the deaconess excuse is just that.. If you didn’t have a preconceived notion about women you wouldn’t make that argument. Phoebe is the ONLY deacon associated with a given church. She was a deacon.. But, of course Paul gives qualifications for deacons and women held deacons roles of varying responsibilities for several hundred years.. Plus, I Cor 14 speaks to using the gifts for the edification of the assembly.. There is no gender exclusion except for the misreading of verse 36.. your understanding of that one verse is totally inconsistent with Phoebe, the purpose and use of the gifts, and Priscilla.. You still haven’t been able to suggest with any convincing argument why Priscilla was able to teach and instruct at the assembly except that you apparently believe the assembly is only within the walls of the building and not on the steps.. We don’t know where they were speaking.. They apparently did wait until he was through speaking but the passage doesn’t say they had a closing prayer and everybody then left for lunch in time to beat the Baptists… It’s just one gyration after another.. Romans 16 that Jay brought up lists all kinds of women building the church, being ambassadors for growth.. How is it that women could build the church and yet not participate in it.. Sorry but that makes zero sense to me.. And, when looking back historically at how God Himself chose women to lead in the highest offices in the land, one can’t very well say that He did something wrong. He chose these women instead of their husbands.. In the Kingdom there isn’t any bigotry toward women.. perhaps in some faith heritages on certain days and certain times in certain buildings….there is.. sad really. 50% of the gifts and God given talents of the membership is told to remain quiet while we “do church.” I see no benefit in that and furthermore it is inconsistent with the examples given us… You and a few others see a significant privilege for a worship service when some number is present.. You still haven’t answered my question as to how many must be gathered for women to have to remain silent… except for the singing of course.. which is by biblical definition… teaching and admonishing… pray tell how one can avoid teaching if they are singing in the assembly ? Yep.. we need for Aquilla and Apollos type men.

  22. R.J. says:

    I think the broader Pauline Apostle was considered an Emissary of The Emissaries of Christ! An Apostle of an Apostle if you will. Or the right-hand man(woman) of an Apostle(like Titus, Timothy, Apollos etc.)!

  23. Tiffany says:

    I’ve been busy ministering outside of the assembly…, but I have a minute to jump here again. 😉 Love you, brothers!
    Dwight-I hear you saying this, or something similar, a lot: “Price, your comments show a limited view in that if they, women, can’t express themselves in the assembly, then they can’t express themselves as Christians and as teachers and as helpers to other saints and non-saints. This is far beyond the truth we see in the scriptures. In relation to the NT scriptures we know the saints assembled, but this is seen as a small part of the Christian’s life and overall mission. We as saints are very church-centric to where everything we do or see or imagine revolves around us in “church”, but most of our time is spent not in “church” and this is where the majority or our work and responsibility is supposed to be. We aren’t sent into church, but into the world and this is where the message as abassadors is supposed to go.”

    This angle is frustrating because it’s talking out of both sides of one’s mouth. I agree that the majority of Kingdom work is done outside of the assembly. But one cannot say that that means people should not be upset about the silencing of women IN the assembly. According to those who interpret the Scriptures as you do, the assembly is important enough that certain rules must be followed there about only men in the pulpit and men in church structure. It’s sacred enough that those rules must not be broken. But at the same time you’re saying it’s ‘just a small part’ and we shouldn’t be so ‘church-centric’. Our orthopraxy shows otherwise! The assembly is important enough we refuse to bend our rules on it (and we disagree on who’s rules those are.) I consider the church assembly the home base where we are refreshed and bound together so that we can most effectively go out into the world for Kingdom business. If women aren’t equal participants in the home base family meeting they will not be equipped to go out into the world in their fullest potential. And it is grossly unrealistic to say that silencing women in the assembly does not affect women b/c the assembly is just a small thing. As I said, our orthopraxy proves the assembly is a very big deal, or else we wouldn’t be having this conversation about the iron fist men have around the pulpit and leadership rooms. (Retorting with the pulpit being manmade does not go with the our orthopraxy of keeping it around and excluding women from it! It’s talking out of both sides of our mouth.)
    (I’m not just addressing Dwight. I wanted to clarify so you don’t feel I’m singling you out. I just was addressing you for that quote.)
    What this communicates to the heart and soul of women is that church can take place without women. From the opening prayer, to passing communion, to the closing announcements-no women needed. After years of that subliminal and overt message, that visual of ‘church happens through men’, women begin to see the body parts of the Lord’s church as male. (I think of Susan Foh’s list of things women are allowed to do in church in her essay in Four Views on Women. Men have no idea how complicated this is-the egg shells we walk on in the assembly. Constantly wondering, ‘Can I say this? Can I volunteer for this?’ It’s stressful and confusing.) Eventually, they begin to question their place in the Body of Christ (and I don’t mean the assembly only.) The message is clear, though I understand not intentional: If church can happen without women, then Christ can happen without women. When you add male-centric speech to this, like ‘Men and Brethren’, visuals of men in suits standing up front, etc… I’m telling you, as a woman, it’s damaging. (Imagine is you heard, “Women and Ladies” as the greeting and only saw women serve int eh assembly. Were told you weren’t allowed to do any of those things in church, but don’t worry about it…b/c the assembly isn’t that important anyway. Would eventually begin to feel that church just wasn’t for men?) It is hypocritical.

    The assembly does matter. It is important. It is a sacred time when we come together as Christ’s beloved, holy and chosen to remember Christ’s death and edify each other for the week and praise together and hear the holy Scriptures read aloud int eh presence of God. For women and daughters to believe in their depths that they are truly part of that beloved, holy and chosen people, they need to be a full part of the assembly. Then from that place of wholeness they can go out and serve from the outpouring of their identity in Christ to the fullest.

    Finally, if we’re saying the assembly isn’t the point, Jesus is, then we need to shift our analysis from what happened ‘in the assembly’ in the epistles and Acts to how Jesus commissioned women. I’m going to be transparent here and admit that there are days this journey is so wearisome that I want to quit exegeting 1 Cor 14 with people and just say, “Don’t you see? A woman was chosen to raise GOD. A woman carried and birthed, and discipled and fed and raised GOD and taught Him to know GOD. But I, because I’m a woman, can’t TALK about God in front of men? This makes NO sense!!!” For most women who leave the Church of Christ, it comes down to this, not an ten page exegesis on 1 Cor 14, but their understanding of Christ and women, and Christ in them. The comeback, “But Jesus chose twelve men,” does not speak to the love and dedication Jesus had for his mother and other women, and it certainly doesn’t speak to the personal relationship women have today with Christ, and the Spirit in them urging them to use their gifts fully. Nor does it speak to proper historical, cultural and linguistic exegesis. We need to decide which side we’re on about the assembly-it IS that important and our emphasis of study should be in the epistles, or it isn’t, and then the conversation must shift to Jesus and women.

    At some point women (and men who are desperate for the voice of God through women) want to cry out what Jesus did in Luke 9: “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.’ “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” Even if you don’t fully agree or understand, we women with leadership and speaking gifts are FOR Jesus. A new book was just published by D’Esta Love titled, “Finding Their Voices” with the sermons of our first Church of Christ women. I wasn’t able to be published in it b/c I have not had the honor of preaching a sermon on a Sunday morning, only in Seminary classes, preaching workshops and small groups during the week. Sacred times, none the less. Too few of those pulpits are open. I encourage you to read that book and listen for the Spirit through their words.

    Women in this struggle cling to passages like Matt 26: “10Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” We sit in church, wondering if our gifts like Cain will be rejected at that altar, b/c we’ve used our gifts fully in the world where they were accepted fully. We recite Jesus’ words over and over just to get through the service that men say is no big deal, “She has done a beautiful thing. Beloved, holy, chosen child, you ARE a beautiful thing, and I will accept what you I gave you. YOU are not rejected. Pour out your gift anywhere, especially in this sacred time where I am present. You are not Cain. You are gifted and called.” If you know women struggling with this in church, tell them that every week. They need to hear it b/c this issue is so much deeper than exegesis.

  24. Alabama John says:

    Tiffany,

    When my bride comes to a door, she waits for me to open it. Walking down a sidewalk, she moves over so I am always on the side next to the road or vehicles. At a movie or church, she goes down the seating aisle first and I set next to the aisle walkway. These are all manners to show a protection of our loved one. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Another way to look at having men doing all the work preparing, serving, and other activities of the church is to think “who is actually serving and waiting on who”?

    A king is not upset by his servants waiting on him, but happy to be receiving the honor shown.

  25. Dwight says:

    Tiffany and Price, you need to take up your frustration with Paul who obviously was bigoted jerk who sought to limit and demean women, at least in assembly. But then again Paul said He spoke with the authority of God, so you need to take it up with God.
    Because what we have here is a clear attempt to wipe Paul’s message in I Cor.14 and I Tim.2 out of the scriptures. And no attempt to explain what Paul is meaning otherwise.
    I will clarify that the assembly does matter, but it doesn’t occupy our time in our life to the extent that we live. In otherwords if is all about the assembly, and it appears to be to you, then we are just spoiled thinking we should have it all. This is to men as well, because men get caught up in this too. But it isn’t the assembly that is sacred enough, it is God’s word that should not be despised and broken. Again the church can’t happen without women, because the church is the people. And even the assembly is edified by women. The only stipulation given by Paul because it is shameful is that women can’t speak over men when men are present in assembly.

  26. Dwight says:

    One thing I must point out is that there is much talk and few examples or scripture given. Was the commission given to women, yes and no. It was given to the 12 apostles (men) who gave it to those saved to spread (so yes). But it wasn’t given directly to a woman as is suggested here.
    Tiffany says, “Don’t you see? A woman was chosen to raise GOD. A woman carried and birthed, and discipled and fed and raised GOD and taught Him to know GOD. But I, because I’m a woman, can’t TALK about God in front of men? This makes NO sense!!!” Jesus was taught Jesus how to know God? He was God! Where was Joseph? Hmmm, you see you are so pro-women that you leave out the father of Jesus. I can’t argue that Mary wasn’t blessed, but this no way impacts the words of Paul/God, unless she was God as well. And yes you can talk to God in front of men, but not over men. see Paul. Again there is lack of scriptural evidence to extract what you want that women had leadership roles within the congreation at large and spoke over men in the assembly as opposed to working in the fields to aid and gain souls. If you have some you should offer it.

  27. Price says:

    Lord have mercy… really Dwight..the ole “if you don’t believe like I do you are disagreeing with God” response… Somehow, I knew that would happen…

  28. Dwight says:

    Tiffany, I do not talk out of both sides of my mouth, but from the front. I think the pulpit is a silly device, but we have it. It elevates us, but only in stature, but not in truth or holiness or righteousness. We place great importance on the one who speaks from it. It becomes about the speaker and not about the words. In the synagogues they would read the scripture from the seats after they were given the scroll then sit down. The assembly is important, but just not so important that it becomes the center of the Christian’s life. We are to be Holy/living sacrifice, not only in assembly, but in life. But we act like if we are denied our say in this forum, men too, then we are denied honor and glory. Honor and glory are derived from living in Christ & working for Christ in our life, not for what we do in two or three hours out of the week in closed doors. Many women do wonderful-great things in helping others & speading God’s word, which can’t be done in the limited time and place of the assembly & isn’t done by many men of the same number. Glory from God is recieved when we do what we can for others when we aren’t expecting thier praise.

  29. Tiffany says:

    Alabama John, I love that you do those things for your wife! She is blessed to have you. It is somewhat of a misconception that egalitarianism means chivalry must die. Maybe some are in that camp, but I’m not. People don’t usually fit into neat boxes.
    Dwight, I’m not going to address all of that. We’re at a stale mate for now. But I did not offer the exegetical arguments about Paul’s words b/c Jay already did that, and I agree with his conclusions. It’s his blog. No point repeating what has already been explored. I also agree with Keener’s work Paul, Women and Wives; Liefield and Mickelsen in 4 Views on Women; Witherington’s Women in the Earliest Churches and others. I only added what I felt was missing from the conversation, which is the personal element, which being a man, Jay can’t do. 🙂 Though, I did incorporate Biblical references to Christ in my response. As for Joseph, I have the question you ask, “Where was Joseph?” He seems to have disappeared, yet Jesus remained a known figure at his local synagogue because everyone knows him when he begins his ministry there in Luke 4. The logical conclusion is that his mother kept him going when Joseph died. I do certainly believe that Mary taught Jesus about God, as any Jewish mother would her children. I don’t believe he came out of the womb with a mature Christology like the Dalai Lama, as Buddhists are more inclined to believe. If you’re looking for the Scriptural evidence for an egalitarian stance 1 Tim and 1 Cor, it has been given by Jay and others. Standing on that, AND my relationship with Christ rooted in His example with women in Scripture, I an egalitarian in good conscience. Give it time. I’m sure Jay will post a topic here before long that we completely agree on! 🙂

  30. Dwight says:

    Price, Did I even say that? Really. All I argued for is application or an explanation of what it means other than what it says. That shouldn’t be so hard. Paul said it and claimed his authority was from God and I refuse to have it argued that I am saying anything that the text doesn’t clearly say. That is like us reading that “God is love” and then someone coming along and saying that “God isn’t love” because God isn’t a thing. They are missing the point. I would argue that God is love too. What we don’t have is a counter argument to what it says, except to say that it is not right and is too limiting and not applicable for some reason. We should be able to clearly define what Paul is really meaning to say in I Cor.14 and I Tim.2 as opposed to not accepting it and applying it at all. We might as well just cut it out or apply a marker over it and then keep going on those scriptures we disagree with and tht don’t fit with our world view. That is not being humble to the word of God.

  31. Price says:

    Or, one might question whether or not their view is consistent with the entirety of scripture as it relates to women.. but, why do that ?

  32. laymond says:

    Tiffany said, “I do certainly believe that Mary taught Jesus about God, as any Jewish mother would her children. I don’t believe he came out of the womb with a mature Christology like the Dalai Lama”
    What about that Jay, did a woman teach Jesus/God, about God the Father ? and maybe even God the holy ghost.

  33. laymond says:

    If Jesus and (his little brother as some say) the holy ghost were with God from the beginning , how could what Luke said be true?
    Luk 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

  34. Tiffany says:

    I should add that I am not claiming that Mary was solely responsible for his spiritual formation. We know he was at the synagogue as a child. And I believe God the Father was revealing his true nature in Jesus throughout. But because of the nature of ancient biographies being so different from modern biographies we’ve formed this picture that Jesus is born, was teaching perfect theology at adolescence, and shows back up at thirty to begin living it out, so he must have always had it figured out. Ancient people, however, believed that one’s character was set at birth. There was no concept of childhood psychology and early life events affecting one’s character later in life. This set character was revealed in the things the person did in life, and confirmed in the person’s death. the honor/style of the death should match the claimed character of the person. Therefore, the Gospels, being ancient biographies, are scant on childhood narratives, and heavy on the passion narrative to prove that Jesus’ death was truly in line with the character he claimed and lived. This lack of information doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a mother who raised him like mothers raise all children. Teaching him how to eat healthy, calling him in after dark to protect him, singing him Psalms before bed, talking out his choice of friends in his teen years, nursing him back to health when he scraped his knee… Again, in context to my original comment about this, I’m not putting the weight of my argument here, but for women who are moms, there are days when we’re face palming over the repeated (clear to us) exegesis of 1 Cor 14 and the other ‘silence’ passages, and all the while thinking, “God on earth was raised by a woman.” Are we missing the forest for the trees? It’s like me being able to raise my son on the autism spectrum, make dietary choices for him, advocate for his school needs, monitor his medications, teach him not to bite others when he was a toddler, potty train him, do his physical therapy exercises, etc…raise him up like moms do. But NOT able to go to an autism conference and speak about him to a mixed audience because others have concluded that he wouldn’t like that. But I know my son. I have a really deep relationship with him, and I think I’m very qualified to talk about him, and I believe he would like that very much if it helped other people. All analogies fall short eventually, but that’s as close I know how to articulate the perspective. As Price said earlier, the fullness of the Scripture’s words on God’s relationship with women should be explored.

  35. Dwight says:

    Tiffany, I take it you are very pro-woman. Why do I say this, because you see Jesus and assume that Jesus was raised by and taught by Mary, even though what we see is Joseph and Mary, then Mary at the wedding feast and then there is a big gap, then Mary at the end of Jesus death. But traditionally the teachings of the Law was passed on from father to son. The father took the son to the synagogue, etc. so while Mary did play a part, Joseph must have also. If you look in the scriptures the Law was passed on by the male teachers to male students.
    from http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker/MadaTT.html
    “Women, servants and children are exempt from learning Torah, but a child’s father is obligated to teach him Torah, for it is written, “And you shall teach them to your children and speak of them”. This is not to say that women didn’t have an influence on their children, but the fathers were supposed to as well in teaching of the Law. Unfortunately we don’t stress enough…fathers were supposed to be teachers of their children as well and yet it is often left to the mothers.

  36. Tiffany says:

    Dwight-I’m very pro-people. 🙂

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