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AeonJ

Was Junia the Apostle a woman?

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It is a woman's name I believe.

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It is a woman's name I believe.

Indeed it is.

There are essentially two views of this verse: that the lady Junia was an apostle in the same sense that Peter was, and that she wasn't.

The first view rests upon three assumptions:

  1. That Junia's name has not been mistransliterated;
  2. That there is only one meaning of the word "apostle" in the New Testament;
  3. That the expression "of note among the apostles" means something like "two of the more famous apostles."

The second view relies upon the opposite of those three assumptions:

  1. That Junia's name has been mistransliterated, and should be Junius;
  2. That the word "apostle" in the New Testament embraces a range of meanings, including anything from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve to any missionary;
  3. That the expression "of note among the apostles" means something like "well known to the apostles."

Please note that the first view requires all three of its assumptions to be correct, while the second requires only one, and it doesn't matter which one.

I've seen interesting arguments around all three of those points (for instance, Junias, the Greek masculine form of the Latin Junius, appears in some Greek manuscripts; note that Junius is a Latin family name rather than a personal name.) However, the notion that one of the most famous of the first century Apostles proper was a lady named Junia is a little odd, given the single mention she gets in the NT.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Indeed it is.

There are essentially two views of this verse: that the lady Junia was an apostle in the same sense that Peter was, and that she wasn't.

The first view rests upon three assumptions:

  1. That Junia's name has not been mistransliterated;
  2. That there is only one meaning of the word "apostle" in the New Testament;
  3. That the expression "of note among the apostles" means something like "two of the more famous apostles."

The second view relies upon the opposite of those three assumptions:

  1. That Junia's name has been mistransliterated, and should be Junius;
  2. That the word "apostle" in the New Testament embraces a range of meanings, including anything from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve to any missionary;
  3. That the expression "of note among the apostles" means something like "well known to the apostles."

You know, it's interesting how nothing is certain in the scriptures. Everything can be interpreted in any which way you want to, as long as you are willing to think how different words "could" be translated or used. Kind of makes these little discoveries worthless, because you can always think that the use of the word was different than it implies etc.

Please note that the first view requires all three of its assumptions to be correct, while the second requires only one, and it doesn't matter which one.

I've seen interesting arguments around all three of those points (for instance, Junias, the Greek masculine form of the Latin Junius, appears in some Greek manuscripts; note that Junius is a Latin family name rather than a personal name.) However, the notion that one of the most famous of the first century Apostles proper was a lady named Junia is a little odd, given the single mention she gets in the NT.

Regards,

Pahoran

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I've seen interesting arguments around all three of those points (for instance, Junias, the Greek masculine form of the Latin Junius, appears in some Greek manuscripts; note that Junius is a Latin family name rather than a personal name.).

Women in Ancient Rome took their given names from a feminine version of the family nomen. Gaius Julius Caesar's daughter was named Julia, and a daughter of say Marcus Junius Brutus would have been named Junia. Rome wasn't particularly up on diversity in given names, as there were only about 15-20 given names for men and women took their names as described above (with a few exceptions).

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If Junia were a woman then why would would she be referred to along with the other guy as kinsmen?

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If Junia were a woman then why would would she be referred to along with the other guy as kinsmen?

Translation error possibility? It happened 2000 years ago with who knows how many manuscripts between then and now.

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If Junia were a woman then why would would she be referred to along with the other guy as kinsmen?

I might be wrong (I often am), but I donâ??t believe the word translated as â??kinsmenâ? in this verse necessitates masculinity for all individuals itâ??s attributed to. A PC-minded individual could likely translate it as â??kinspeopleâ? (or simply â??kinâ?) if they were inclined.

As to whether or not â??Juniaâ? was a womanâ?¦ *shrug*

CKSalmon,

If you happen upon this thread, maybe you could check that fancy leather-bound Greek New Testament variant book that some smarmy wannabe doctor gave you (to see if there are any variants on the name in other manuscripts)?

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It is a woman's name I believe.
So? Alma is also considered a woman's name as well. Yet in the Book of Mormon it is a man's name.

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Indeed it is.

There are essentially two views of this verse: that the lady Junia was an apostle in the same sense that Peter was, and that she wasn't.

The first view rests upon three assumptions:

  1. That Junia's name has not been mistransliterated;
  2. That there is only one meaning of the word "apostle" in the New Testament;
  3. That the expression "of note among the apostles" means something like "two of the more famous apostles."

The second view relies upon the opposite of those three assumptions:

  1. That Junia's name has been mistransliterated, and should be Junius;
  2. That the word "apostle" in the New Testament embraces a range of meanings, including anything from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve to any missionary;
  3. That the expression "of note among the apostles" means something like "well known to the apostles."

Please note that the first view requires all three of its assumptions to be correct, while the second requires only one, and it doesn't matter which one.

I've seen interesting arguments around all three of those points (for instance, Junias, the Greek masculine form of the Latin Junius, appears in some Greek manuscripts; note that Junius is a Latin family name rather than a personal name.) However, the notion that one of the most famous of the first century Apostles proper was a lady named Junia is a little odd, given the single mention she gets in the NT.

Regards,

Pahoran

Well explained Pahoran...I already hold that 'the word "apostle" in the New Testament embraces a range of meanings, including anything from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve to any missionary.' Our Lord is called an apostle in the Letter to the Hebrews. Why? Because He was sent, by the Father. An apostle is one who is sent, whether of the twelve or not. Do you see any problem with this point of view from an LDS perspective?

A grammatically easy and most likely answer to this particular question is that it means something like "well known to the apostles". I agree that it would be weird if this one mention at the end of Romans is informing us that she was one of the chief apostles whether as being of the twelve or some lesser variety..

3DOP

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It is a woman's name I believe.

Yes, there was a woman apostle named Junia. Those so inclined may dispute whether she was an apostle "in the same sense that Peter was," but there is little reason to suppose that "Junia's name has been mistransliterated, and should be Junius."

As Robert Jewett noted in his recent commentary on Romans,

"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 F

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A grammatically easy and most likely answer to this particular question is that it means something like "well known to the apostles".

After examining computer databases of Hellenistic Greek literary works, papyri, inscriptions, and artifacts--specifically, the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, the Packard Humanities Institute, and the Perseus Project databases--Linda Belleville found no support for such a reading.

Her conclusion:

"Although Burer and Wallace argue for an exclusive rendering of επισημοι εν τοις αποστολοις ('well-known to the apostles'), all patristic commentators attest to an inclusive understanding ('prominent among the apostles').
The simple fact is that if native, educated speakers of Greek understood the phrase to be inclusive and Ιουνιαν to be feminine, the burden of proof lies with those who would claim otherwise. Indeed, the burden of proof has not been met. Not even reasonable doubt has been established, for all the extra-biblical parallels adduced support an inclusive understanding.
The sole basis is a theological and functional predisposition against the naming of a woman among the first-century cadre of apostles."

-- Linda Belleville, "Junia, Outstanding Among the Apostles: A Re-Examiniation of Rom. 16:7 in Light of Primary Source Materials,"
New Testament Studies
51 (2005): 248; emphasis mine.

Even the conservative commentator C. E. B. Cranfield notes that "while ['well known to the apostles'] must be judged grammatically possible, it is much more probable--we might well say, virtually certain--that the words mean 'outstanding [prominent] among the apostles', that is, 'outstanding in the group who may be designated apostles', which is the way in which it was understood by the patristic commentators (it would seem, without exception)."

Cranfield adds: "On this interpretation 'the apostles' must be given a wider sense as denoting those itinerant missionaries who were recognized by the churches as constituting a distinct group among the participants in the work of spreading the gospel (cf., e.g., Acts 14.4, 14; 1 Cor 12.28; Eph 4.11; 1 Th 2.7; also Didache 11.3-6). That Paul should not only include a woman (on the view taken above) among the apostles but actually describe her, together with Andronicus, as outstanding among them, is highly significant evidence (along with the importance he accords in this chapter to Phoebe, Prisca, Mary, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, Persis, the mother of Rufus, Julia, and the sister of Nereus) of the falsity of the widespread and stubbornly persistent notion that Paul had a low view of women" (C. E. B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, 2 vols. [iCC; London: T&T Clark, 1979], 2:789).

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Was she a woman?

Yes?

No?

Juana bet?!?

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Yes, there was a woman apostle named Junia. Those so inclined may dispute whether she was an apostle "in the same sense that Peter was," but there is little reason to suppose that "Junia's name has been mistransliterated, and should be Junius."

So there's a biblical precedent for women holding the priesthood?

Sign me up! I'd like to be a priestess to someone other than my (ex) husband!

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So there's a biblical precedent for women holding the priesthood?

Sign me up! I'd like to be a priestess to someone other than my (ex) husband!

I don't know that she held the priesthood. The term "apostle" in the NT (outside of Luke-Acts) isn't restricted to the Twelve. But Junia does seem to have had some kind of leadership role.

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I don't know that she held the priesthood. The term "apostle" in the NT (outside of Luke-Acts) isn't restricted to the Twelve. But Junia does seem to have had some kind of leadership role.

Well no, it doesn't actually say that. She gets mentioned only once, right next to Andronicus, and is described as "prominent." A&J may well have been a missionary couple who often fed the visiting GA's. There's really far too much supposition being loaded onto this single mention of the lady.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Well no, it doesn't actually say that. She gets mentioned only once, right next to Andronicus, and is described as "prominent." A&J may well have been a missionary couple who often fed the visiting GA's. There's really far too much supposition being loaded onto this single mention of the lady.

Regards,

Pahoran

Andronicus and Junia were likely witnesses of the resurrection. If they were viewed as apostles, like Paul, who had been commissioned by the risen Christ, then they may well have held some kind of leadership role by virtue of their apostolic authority. No, this isn't spelled out explicitly in Romans 16:7 but it is a reasonable inference (see below).

There is a nontechnical sense of the term "apostle" that Paul uses twice (2 Cor 8:23; Phil 2:25) to designate official messengers of the churches. But this cannot be the meaning in Romans 16:7. Such people are clearly designated "apostles of the churches" (2 Cor 8:23) and "your [i.e., the Philippian Christians'] apostle" (Phil 2:25). It is hard to see how they could form a known body of people among whom Andronicus and Junia could be said to be outstanding.

The unqualified "the apostles" of Romans 16:7 must refer to the apostles of Christ, whom Paul generally refers to simply as "apostles." But Paul's use of the term in this sense is broader than that of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, who restrict it to the twelve. For Paul the apostles of Christ included not only the twelve but also Barnabas (1 Cor 9:6), the brothers of the Lord (Gal 1:19; 1 Cor 9:5), probably Silvanus/Silas (1 Thess 2:7), and perhaps Apollos (1 Cor 4:9), as well as Paul himself.

Paul speaks of "all the apostles" alongside the narrower category of "the twelve" (1 Cor 15:5, 7). These are those who had been commissioned by the risen Christ himself in resurrection appearances, since it is in this sense that Paul can regard himself, the last to be so commissioned, as the least of the apostles (1 Cor 15:9; cf. 9:1). It is important to realize that this category could have been considerably larger than the few names we know, and so there is no difficulty in supposing that Andronicus and Junia belonged to it, especially as Paul says specifically that they were Christians before him. . . .

That we hear nothing of either of them elsewhere in early Christian literature may not, as we shall see, be entirely true, but even if it were it need not be especially puzzling. Our knowledge of the earliest churches is extremely patchy. We know next to nothing about the spread of the Christian movement outside Palestine and outside the limited area of Paul's missionary work. Andronicus and Junia could have spent two or three decades as extremely important Christian missionaries in Rome and neighboring areas; if that were the case, there is no early Christian literature other than Romans in which we could expect to hear about it.

-- Richard Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002), 180. Cf. Robert Jewett, Romans, 963: "Since Paul gives no evidence that they had been associated with a particular congregation, in contrast to Phoebe in 16:1â??2, and since his usage of 'apostle' is oriented to resurrection witness unless otherwise indicated, it seems likely that he ranked them among 'all the apostles' who laid claim to being witnesses of the resurrection."

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So? Alma is also considered a woman's name as well. Yet in the Book of Mormon it is a man's name.

That's true, but it's a different problem.

The Latin feminine Alma and the Semitic masculine 'lm (transliterated as Alma) are linguistic "false friends:" they resemble each other, but are not related. The biblical Junia is only Latin and, if it has come down to us correctly, clearly feminine.

Nevo,

have you ever wondered why the Lord saw fit to raise up a prophet through whom to restore the gospel, if the key to all truth was to be found in the learned opinions of biblical scholars? The fact is that as soon as the word "apostle" is agreed to no longer refer excusively to a single Priesthood office -- and that is a function of language, not of doctrine -- then all bets are off as far as trying to guess just exactly what it implies. If Paul uses the term "apostle" to encompass a larger set than simply the Twelve, and does not explain just what he sees as the boundaries of that set, then the simple fact of someone's inclusion is not sufficient information to conclude anything about that person's actual role. Your learned informants are simply guessing.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Some have claimed that Junia was a common womanâ??s name in ancient Greece, but this is incorrect, at least in written Greek literature: A computer search of 2, 889 ancient Greek authors over thirteen centuries (ninth century B.C. â?? fifth century A.D.) turned up only two examples of Junia as a womanâ??s name, one in Plutarch (c. A.D. 50 â?? c. 120) and one in the church father Chrysoston (A.D. 347â?? 407), who referred to Junia as a woman in a sermon on Rom. 16:7. It is not common as a manâ??s name either, since this search found only one example of Junias as a manâ??s name, in Epiphanius (A.D. 315 â?? 403), bishop of Salimis in Cyprus, who refers to Junias in Rom. 16:7 and says he became bishop of Apameia in Syria (Index of Disciples 125.19-20; this quotation is the most significant, since Epiphanius knows more about Junias). The Latin text of the church father Origen (d. A.D. 252) also refers to Junias in Rom 16:7 as a man (J. P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 14, col. 1289). Therefore the available data give some support to the view that Junias is a man, but the information is too sparse to be conclusive.
Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology 910, fnt 7 (1995)

If a search of 2,889 Greek authors over a period of thirteen centuries turns up a total of three examples of this name, two female and one male, why would anyone think we are going to solve this problem with a scholarly paper?

For what it is worth, the Coptic Synaxarium identifies Junia as a male of the tribe of Judah and one of the 70 (22d and 23d days of Bashans).

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The fact is that as soon as the word "apostle" is agreed to no longer refer exclusively to a single Priesthood office -- and that is a function of language, not of doctrine -- then all bets are off as far as trying to guess just exactly what it implies.

I don't know that all bets are off. It's not as if the term "apostle" can mean anything. And Paul is quite careful in how he uses it. In the case of Andronicus and Junia the title probably means that they were eyewitnesses of the risen Christ. Maybe they had no authority at all. I don't know. But it wouldn't surprise me if they did. In the absence of further light and knowledge all we can do is make educated guesses.

If a search of 2,889 Greek authors over a period of thirteen centuries turns up a total of three examples of this name, two female and one male, why would anyone think we are going to solve this problem with a scholarly paper?

I'm not sure what you're trying to show here. That Junia isn't a Greek name? I know. It's a Latin feminine name, as Pahoran mentioned. And a well-attested one at that, with over 250 examples extant in Roman evidence (see Jewett, Romans, 961).

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