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Thread: Junia & the Apostles

  1. #1
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    Default Junia & the Apostles

    W. Nee points out I think it was in Church and the Work that Junia was an Apostle and a highly respected one too. However, in Nee's day in his society, women had few rights like women had few rights in the first century, so obviously it would not be appropriate to have many women elders over many Biblical localities, until the time came in God's ordering. Priscilla may have been an Elder of her locality, if not, then an Apostle, "When Priscilla and Aquila heard him preaching boldly in the synagogue, they took him aside and explained the way of God more accurately" (Acts 18.26). This is very characteristic of an Apostle.

    What we can say for certain is that Priscilla was an Elder of a meeting place: "The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house" (1 Cor. 16.19). But, upon closer examination we can also be sure Priscilla was an Elder of her church locality, because the first portion says, "the churches of Asia," in which Priscilla was an Elder of one of these churches in Asia. Hence, what follows is a most notable Elder, "Priscilla salutes you" and she had helped Apollos showing she had authority and was a gift for the Church in the Work. Formerly she could have been a "helper" (Rom. 16.3), but then becomes an Elder of a locality, and perhaps one day she became an Apostle for a region of churches.

    It would not even be feasible to have a lot of women Apostles either. But now that day has come, for the past century women can vote now, even be CEO's of corporations and presidents of countries.

    We must reasonably conclude then that women can be elders also, not just apostles; after all, if women can be apostles, then surely they can be elders too, for the highest worker in the church is the Apostle (like Junia) who was directly commissioned by God to appoint Elders of a locality.

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    It is most wonderful and glorious how God brings us into these truths according to His divine timing. Formerly, we may have not been able to clearly see a thing, but then His holy light shines forth to make it completely obvious in His children who are ready to receive it with such clarity.

  3. #3
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    Default Reno

    I read you post and must ask the following:

    1. Why are you assuming the Junia (or Junias, depending which version) is feminine?
    - Iounian or Iounias is the Greek reference for Junia or Junias and does not establish feminine gender nor does it conclusively establish the masculine gender for that matter.
    - Iounian or Iounias is a very ambiguous name during that time

    2. On the basis of Feminine gender, you would also have to conclude that the Romans allowed men and women to serve prison time together.
    - I have not found any historical references to support this…
    - Paul usually reference women with adjectives like sister, mother, women, woman, etc. (not always but mostly)

    Documented references to Junia or Junias being feminine started after 300 AD.

    I am just not convinced the Junia or Junias is feminine…

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    There is no assumption, but several Bible versions use the word "Julia" which is clearly a feminine name, and so is Junia.

    Two Greek manuscripts have "Julia" (clearly a woman's name) instead of "Junia(s)" in this verse. One is papyrus P46 of about the year 200 (this goes against your idea of not until after 300 AD). The other is the thirteenth-century minuscule manuscript catalogued as "6". "Julia" is also the reading in some Latin manuscripts, in one tradition of Coptic manuscripts and in Ethiopic manuscripts. Three Greek uncial manuscripts have the inverse substitution, ("Junia(s)" in place of "Julia") in verse Rom. 16:15. This raises the question whether the proximity of the two names, "Junia(s)" and "Julia", on the same page is the reason why, in both cases, a few scribes replaced one name with the other.

    No record of the male name "Junias" has been discovered in extra-biblical Greek literature. Three clear occurrences of "Junia" have been found. While earlier searches for "Junias" in Latin also yielded no evidence, it is reported that "Junias" has been found as a Latin nickname or diminutive for the name "Junianas", which was not uncommon both in Greek and Latin.[2]

    Among the early Church Fathers, the United Bible Societies The Greek New Testament only cites Jerome as having read the name "Julia" in verse 16:7 and Chrysostom as having understood the name as "Junia". Chrysostom wrote: "O how great is the devotion of this woman that she should be counted worthy of the appellation of apostle!"[3] Although among the Fathers, "an almost universal sense that this was a woman’s name surfaces — at least through the twelfth century, ... this must be couched tentatively because although at least seventeen fathers discuss the issue (see Fitzmyer’s commentary on Romans for the data), the majority of these are Latin fathers,"[4] and "Junia", but not "Junias", was a common enough name in Latin. It has even been claimed that the first known mention of Junia as a male is by Aegidus of Rome (1245-1316), though this ignores the evidence of the Greek manuscripts about how the name was actually interpreted at least from the ninth century onward.

    Over a millennia later, the idea of Junia being male is a form of deception, whence it was never the case before.

    In summary, most highly regarded scholars consider Junia a woman's name. To be in prison does not mean to be in prison in the same room, necessarily. She was a noted apostle among the apostles.

    Be at peace in knowing this fact! And therefore, treat women respectfully in the Work for the Church as apostles, elders, and teachers.

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