Exploring the biblical theology of Christian egalitarianism

Joanna apostle Junia woman prison missionary

Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me.
They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.
Romans 16:7 NIV

A Female Missionary

Junia, mentioned by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans, is a woman whose identity and whose ministry has been much discussed in the past few decades. It was first debated whether she was a woman or a man. But the overwhelming evidence from inscriptions and other ancient sources indicate that “Junia” was a common name for a woman, whereas the masculine equivalent, “Junias,” is non-existent. Practically all early Christian writers took Junia to be a woman, and the consensus among present scholars is the same: Junia was a woman. So this debate has been resolved. [More on this debate here.]

The debate then shifted as to whether Junia was an apostle or not. The word “apostle” is translated from the Greek word apostolos and refers to a person sent on a mission.[1] In the first century of the Christian movement, and in more recent centuries, women have served as missionaries without causing too much controversy. Yet there is controversy over Junia’s ministry.

The debate about whether Junia was “outstanding among the apostles” or, as some argue, that she was “well-known to the apostles” and not an apostle herself, has not been resolved.[2] But either way, Junia was a prominent figure in the apostolic church. Junia and her partner Andronicus were not part of the Twelve, but they were well-known and respected Christian missionaries.

A Jewess and Jesus’ Follower

What hasn’t been discussed as much is Paul’s description of Andronicus and Junia as suggeneis. This Greek word can mean “relatives/relations” or “compatriots” and it is translated with either meaning in various English translations of Roman 16:7. But which meaning is correct?

The couple was among the first people to become Jesus followers, and all the first Christians were Jewish. So it is safe to assume that Andronicus and Junia were Jews, as Paul was. If they were family relations of Paul (and we don’t know if they were) this would also make them Jewish. All in all, “fellow Jews”, or “compatriots”, is the safest rendering of suggeneis in Romans 16:7, especially when we see how Paul uses the word elsewhere in Romans, especially in Romans 9:3.[3]

Paul states that Andronicus and Junia were “in Christ” before him, and Paul was converted sometime during the years 33-36 AD. I wonder if the couple had travelled to Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost that is the setting of Acts 2. Did they hear Peter preach at that time? Did they accept Jesus as Messiah, and then return to Rome?[4] Or did Junia become a follower of Jesus even earlier?

Are Junia and Joanna the same person?

Some scholars, notably Richard Bauckham and Ben Witherington III, argue that Junia may be one and the same as Joanna, a female disciple of Jesus who is mentioned in Luke 8:3 and Luke 24:10.[5] Luke tells us that Joanna was the wife of Chuza, the steward of Herod Antipas.

As part of Herod’s court, Joanna would have known Latin and been familiar with Roman customs, making her a suitable missionary, or founding apostle, of the church at Rome. And she may have changed her Hebrew/Aramaic name to the Latin “Junia” to suit her new surroundings in Rome.

Another part of this Joanna/Junia scenario is the understanding that her husband Chuza divorced her (for becoming a Jesus follower?) or that he died at some point, and that Andronicus became her new husband and ministry partner. A new husband is a possibility considering the length of time from when Joanna was a disciple who followed Jesus on his earthly mission (circa 30 AD) to the time that Paul wrote his letter to the Romans (circa 57 AD), some 27 years later. Nevertheless, the idea that Joanna is Junia cannot be substantiated.

Persecuted and Imprisoned

What we do know is that Junia was a Jewish woman who, with her partner Andronicus, had become a Jesus’ follower very early on, and that she had been persecuted for her faith. At some point, the couple had been imprisoned with Paul.[6]

From the very beginning of Christianity, women, as well as men, were imprisoned, beaten, tortured and even killed for their faith. Before his conversion, Paul himself murdered and imprisoned Christians. He admitted, “I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison” (Acts 22:4 NIV; cf. Acts 9:1ff).

Prisons in ancient times were often dark, cramped, putrid, and generally miserable places. Prisoners could be chained or placed in stocks. And women, such as Junia, could be sexually abused by male prison guards. This was not an uncommon experience for female prisoners. Furthermore, if Andronicus and Junia were freedmen, rather than freeborn Roman citizens (which Joanna would have been), their imprisonment would most likely have involved torture.

Rather than being Joanna, an aristocratic member of Herod’s court, there is a real possibility that Junia and Andronicus had once been slaves. Amy Peeler notes that “Andronikos is a male Greek name, often given to slaves or freedmen (manumitted slaves). [While Junia’s name is] … related to the esteemed Roman family the gens Junia, which could be taken by their slaves or the descendants of their slaves.”[7] If Junia was a freedwoman, a former slave, it is likely she suffered a great deal when she was in prison.

Conclusion

Junia was one of the first Christians and, if she was Joanna, she would have even known Jesus personally. She suffered for her faith, but it did not seem to have hindered her ministry. So much so that when Paul wrote to the Roman Church in around 57 AD, he was able to describe her and Andronicus as “outstanding” (NIV, NASB), “esteemed” (CEB), “highly respected” (NLT), “well known” (GNT) among the apostles. Paul, who was himself an outstanding apostle, was well-qualified to use this phrase to describe Andronicus and Junia.


Footnotes

This article is an Additional Resource recommended by Yale Bible Studies (Women in the Bible).

[1] The word “apostle,” from the Greek word apostolos, has a similar range of meanings as the word “missionary,” from the Latin word missionis.

[2] The more straightforward reading of Romans 16:7 is that Andronicus and Junia were “outstanding among the apostles.” (More about this here.)

[3] The lexical form of suggeneis is suggenēs. Paul uses this word in Romans 9:3 where it clearly refers to fellow Jews. He uses it three times in Romans 16, in verses 7, 11 & 21, probably each time with the sense of fellow Jew(s).

[4] Amy Peeler suggests, “it is possible that Andronicus was a member of the Greek-speaking Jewish Christians mentioned in Acts 6:1 who were scattered out of Jerusalem because of persecution, went to Antioch, and began preaching to the Greeks about Jesus (Acts 11:19–20). If this is the case, then Andronicus and Junia could be among the Jewish Christians who would have supported Paul’s controversial mission to the Gentiles, and that would make them important allies indeed.”
Amy Peeler, “Junia/Joanna: Herald of the Good News,” in Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible, edited by Sandra Glahn (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2017), 273-285, 278.

[5] See Richard J. Bauckham, Gospel Women (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002),109–202; and Ben Witherington III, “Joanna: Apostle of the Lord—or Jailbait?” Bible Review (Spring 2005): 12–14.

[6] Paul refers to Andronicus and Junia literally as his “fellow prisoners” (synaichmalōtoi). He uses the same word in Colossians 4:10 and Philemon 1:23 for other fellow prisoners of his. The word seems to indicate that the couple were imprisoned with Paul at the same time, but this may not be case. Another possibility is that Paul uses the term “fellow prisoners” as a badge of honour for Christians who had similarly suffered imprisonment because of their ministry, but not necessarily at the same time or in the same place as him.

[7] Peeler, “Junia/Joanna,” 278.


Related Articles

Junia in Roman 16:7
Is Junia well known “to” the apostles?
Junias and Junia in Early Commentaries of Romans 16:7
Jesus had many female followers–many!
Were Priscilla, Phoebe and Junia Friends?
Paul and Women, in a Nutshell
Paul’s Greetings to Women Ministers

artigos em portugues sobre igualdade entre homens e mulheres no lar e na igreja

24 thoughts on “Junia: The Jewish Woman who was Imprisoned with Paul

  1. Marg,
    You suggest two categories of which they could have members, “if Andronicus and Junia were freedmen, and not Roman citizens…”
    Are these the only two possible categories? Were Jews who were residents of Israel, and never slaves, classified as freedmen, rather than as residents of Palestine?

    1. Hi Bob,

      Thanks for your question.

      There were many categories in the status-obsessed culture of the first century. A person who has never been a slave cannot be a freedman, however. Andronicus and Junia may have been peregrini, but I mention ‘Roman citizen’ in the article because, if Junia is Joanna, she would have been a Roman citizen. And I mention ‘freedmen’, because the names suggest the likelihood that Andronicus and Junia had once been slaves.

      I don’t think we can know if either Andronicus or Junia were ever residents of Israel. They may well have been Diaspora Jews. If they were residents of Israel and knew Jesus, they may have left soon after Pentecost. I think it’s more likely that Andronicus and Junia were imprisoned with Paul outside of Israel than within Israel.

  2. Marg,

    You don’t seem to mention it anywhere, but the best historical evidence of Junia being a woman comes from John Chrysostom:

    “Oh! how great is the devotion (φιλοσοφία) of this woman, that she should be even counted worthy of the appellation of apostle!” (Rom. Hom. 31.2).

    In fact, Chrysostom makes a lot of the points you do about other women such as Priscilla. See here:

    https://ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf111/npnf111.vii.xxxiii.html

    1. Hi James,

      It’s a great quotation! I have it in this article: https://margmowczko.com/junia-and-the-esv/

      In fact, I have several quotations from Chrysostom in my articles as he makes strong points about a number of other New Testament women. For instance, he believed Euodia and Syntyche were “the chief” (to kephalaion) of the church in Philippi. (I have the whole quotation here.) And he “emphasises Priscilla, and doesn’t mention Aquila at all, as the person who received Apollos and instructed him in the way of the Lord. And he credits Priscilla, more so than Aquila, in making their home a church through evangelism and through hospitality.” (From here.)

      I also love what he says about Phoebe and male and female deacons in 1 Timothy 3. I’ve been meaning to write a post dedicated to Chrysostom’s remarks about women church leaders and deacons. Maybe this is the stimulus I need. Thanks!

      I mention Chrysostom and other early church and medieval theologians who mention Junia here.

      1. Marg,

        Gotcha. I read many of your articles and I really love your work. For the first time in many years, I feel challenged and learn so much in your essays. I am so used to reading something and being able to get the gist of the entire work from a few phrases, but each of your sentences is packed with good facts and devotional content. You do a great job of thoroughly teaching the egalitarian side, which most of us Christians never receive. The complementarian side is so entrenched that we are limited to a defensive position, but you offer a catechetical way of taking the offensive as an egalitarian. Thank you for what you do!

        James

        1. Oh wow! Thanks, James. Your words mean a lot to me.

        2. Amen.

  3. You are hugely misinterpreting those Bible passages. Its not saying Junia was an apostle!
    “Salute Andronicus and Junia, my :kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are noted among the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me.”
    Does that give the slightest impression they were apostles? No! They were NOTED AMONG THE APOSTLES. Which means they were highly respected but it doesn’t give any indication they were apostles themselves. If they were it would plainly say so. Just like it denotes the other apostles.

    The problem with this discussion is some men use this to have absolute authority in the home and rule their space with tyrannical oppression. But if you “love your wife” you can’t possibly act this way.

    Women are crucial in ministry and can often reach the heart of most people much better than men. I have no doubt of this. But as a leader who often needs to make pragmatic and unemotional decisions for the benefit of the congregation, women display their weaknesses in this area time and time again all around us. And men display their weaknesses in the areas of empathy and compassion frequently too. Maybe that’s why God required both to come together to produce children. Men can’t do it without a woman and vice versa. Let’s try to face facts: Each sex is better at some things than the other.

  4. And being imprisoned with Paul doesn’t turn you into an apostle.

    1. I don’t think you read the article carefully, Sam. Your statement that this article “hugely misinterprets” Romans 16:7 is overblown and incorrect. The claims I make in this article are modest

      I stand by my statement: “Junia was a prominent figure in the apostolic church. Junia and her partner Andronicus were not part of the Twelve, but they were well-known and respected Christian missionaries.”

      I have no problem that you may have a different opinion about Junia, but you are incorrect in some of your assumptions about my article. What I present has nothing to do with husbands and nothing to do with some men being tyrannical. (It’s unhelpful that you change the subject by bringing up these things which have nothing to do with Andronicus and Junia or Romans 16.)

      If you want to critique what I actually say, please refer to specific statements in the article. And note, that many English translations of Romans 16:7 say something different from the translation you’ve quoted. You can compare translations here:
      https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Romans%2016:7

      In the article I openly admit: “The debate about whether Junia was “outstanding among the apostles” or, as some argue, that she was “well-known to the apostles” and not an apostle herself, has not been resolved.” This is a true statement.

      And I agree with you that being imprisoned doesn’t make you an apostle. I’m not sure why you say this since I don’t say or imply that being a prisoner equates with being an apostle. It’s more than likely that none of the men and women imprisoned by Paul were apostles/missionaries (Acts 22:4 NIV; cf. Acts 9:1ff).

      So again, there’s no “huge misrepresentation” on my part. Far from it. Rather I think you’ve made assumptions that have more to do with your thoughts than with what I’ve written.

      I have other articles about Junia that focus on other aspects of Romans 16:7 here: https://margmowczko.com/category/equality-and-gender-issues/junia/

  5. > The debate about whether Junia was “outstanding among the apostles” or, as some argue, that she was “well-known to the apostles” and not an apostle herself, has not been resolved.

    I’d say its resolved very clearly by the Bible not stating she was an apostle. Nor was any woman identified as an apostle in the New Testament. Its important to understand the distinction the term apostle holds. I don’t think you can get any higher. Many religious leaders today (all male as I recall!) bestow that title on themselves to give credence to their ministry. Its rather pompous of them.

    > I stand by my statement: “Junia was a prominent figure in the apostolic church. Junia and her partner Andronicus were not part of the Twelve, but they were well-known and respected Christian missionaries.”

    I can’t think of why anyone would disagree with that.
    But its not bestowing the title apostle on her or her husband. Its acknowledging all she was contributing to spreading the Word back then. Much as so many women contribute today, all over the world.

    > What I present has nothing to do with husbands and nothing to do with some men being tyrannical. (It’s unhelpful that you change the subject by bringing up these things which have nothing to do with Andronicus and Junia or Romans 16.)

    I mention that to differentiate myself from those men. Many men use guidelines about ultimate leadership in the church to increase their dominance in the home. Its very common and its twisting God’s Word. For many men this is the main reason they are against female church leadership. They feel it will diminish their dictatorial power in the home. They don’t read the Bible and don’t even know these passages. They’re just using it as an excuse so their wife doesn’t discuss things with him. To me its very related. To others and yourself it may not be. Anyway, that’s why I mentioned it. I wasn’t trying to change the subject.

    > If you want to critique what I actually say, please refer to specific statements in the article. And note, that many English translations of Romans 16:7 say something different from the translation you’ve quoted.

    I don’t hold modern translations with much respect. Sometimes they can be useful when cultural norms are vastly different from today but I don’t see they are much different from the Numeric in these verses you mentioned. I find the Numeric very close to the KJ but always a little clearer. So often modern translations change so many words unnecessarily and replace them with watered down modern versions.

    > In the article I openly admit: “The debate about whether Junia was “outstanding among the apostles” or, as some argue, that she was “well-known to the apostles” and not an apostle herself, has not been resolved.” This is a true statement.

    I think anyone with reasonable literacy can denote whether someone is titled Apostle in the Bible.
    You may “its not been resoled” but to most Bible scholars its abundantly clear. It seems like the point of this article and website is to steer the reader away from what the Bible tells us from cover to cover: That males and females are different and should be treated so. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. One is not better or more important than the other. Simply that the man has the last word in the home and the church. The last word means AFTER listening a lot. And carefully deciding using the Bible as a guide. Not being a tyrant that can’t tolerate discussion and disagreement.

    > And I agree with you that being imprisoned doesn’t make you an apostle. I’m not sure why you say this since I don’t say or imply that being a prisoner equates with being an apostle. It’s more than likely that none of the men and women imprisoned by Paul were apostles/missionaries (Acts 22:4 NIV; cf. Acts 9:1ff).

    You imply it due to the entire nature of this website! Why else would you even write about this? Is there any dispute that women contribute much and have contributed much all through history? The whole point of this article is to put out the possibility that Junia was definitely a women (most everyone agrees with that) and she MAY have been an apostle though the Bible clearly gives no indication of that. If the Bible doesn’t say it, it probably wasn’t so! Because it would have been easy for that to be clearly said. But it wasn’t.

    > I have other articles about Junia that focus on other aspects of Romans 16:7 here: https://margmowczko.com/category/equality-and-gender-issues/junia/

    I don’t even know why you bother writing about this. Why even mention sexuality here? It makes no difference! The point is for people to be active in witnessing and ministry any way they can using whatever opportunities they have, irregardless of what sex you are. In the article about the 12 apostles you go on about them being all male and how this relates to our modern church. I don’t understand why you’re making this connection. Just go to the verses that directly talk about leadership. There its clear. And remember that that is talking about the one leader of an organization. That doesn’t mean a woman do much in the church. Personally I find most women far better communicators, one on one, than men. So they are likely to be able to lead way more people, one on one, to Christ. And I think that’s the point. It sure seems to be when people are at the end of their life and know it. As they say, “There ain’t no atheists on a sinking ship!”.

    What women need today is to be reminded and encouraged by all the great things so many women in the Bible did. Their refusal to obey sinful leaders instead of God, their loyalty to Israel, their undying worship, their daily sacrifices and on and on. Also their clarity. Who did God choose to first witness Christ’s resurrection? Mary Magdalene. When she came to tell everyone they brushed her off. Would they have done that if she was male? Undoubtedly not so easily! This is God reminding us to listen to everyone focusing on the message, not the messenger….in other words listen to what is being said, not if its being said by a man or a woman, scholar or homeless. Last I heard, both sexes will be in Heaven.

    You’re obviously a skilled writer. I just think you should focus more on what the Bible says, not supporting the rationalizations that so many people have today when the Bible interferes with their liberal lifestyle.

    1. Sam, you’ve not provided facts. Rather you give personal opinions and make confident assertions that are not based on what the Bible says. And I’m only interested in what the Bible says. (You’re the one who has brought up irrelevant things such as tyrannical men, liberal lifestyles, organisations with one leader, men and women in heaven–things that are not directly related to Junia, first-century congregations, and the content of my article.)

      And since you don’t seem to have a problem with my basic premise: “Junia was a prominent figure in the apostolic church. Junia and her partner Andronicus were not part of the Twelve, but they were well-known and respected Christian missionaries” why are you wasting my time?
      This is what I discuss in the article, and I see no need to defend this premise with you.

      Also, you wrote, “What women need today is to be reminded and encouraged by all the great things so many women in the Bible did.” Junia is one of these Bible women who did great things, and I’ve written about her for women, and men, who are interested and might be encouraged. And I’ve written about many other Bible women.

      I am responding again because I have a few questions,

      1. You wrote, “I find the Numeric very close to the KJ but always a little clearer.” What is the Numeric? Do you mean the Numerical Bible translated by F.W. Grant? Is this your translation of choice?!

      2. Paul’s use of “apostle” (Greek: apostolos) doesn’t agree with your narrow take of the word as a “high” title. Is Epaphroditus, or Silas, or Timothy who are each called an apostolos by Paul, apostles?

      3. Do you know Greek better than the translators of the Bibles who say Andronicus and Junia were outstanding/ prominent/ well known/ notable/ of note among the apostles? Or is your Greek better than Chrysostom, a native speaker of ancient Greek, who acknowledged that Paul refers to Junia as an apostle?

      Lastly, you wrote, “So often modern translations change so many words unnecessarily and replace them with watered-down modern versions.” And “I don’t hold modern translations with much respect.”
      So let’s look at the phrase in Romans 16:7 where the word “apostles” occurs in our oldest English translations:

      Wycliffe Bible (1526): “which ben noble among the apostlis”
      Tyndale’s New Testament (1526): “which are wele taken amoge the Apostles”
      Coverdale Bible (1535-1537) “which are awncient Apostles”
      Matthew Bible (1537) “which are well taken among the Apostles”
      Great Bible (1539-1541) “which are well taken amonge the Apostles”
      Geneva Bible (1556-1560) “which are notable among the Apostles”
      Bishops Bible (1568) “which are wel taken among the Apostles”
      Douay-Rheims Bible (1582-1609) “who are of note among the apostles”
      King James Bible (1611) “who are of note among the apostles”

      Let me steer you to the following Bible translations that use the phrase “who are outstanding/ prominent/ well known/ notable/ of note among the apostles,” or something very similar:
      American Standard Bible, Bible in Basic English, Common English Bible (2011), Darby Translation, English Revised Version, Good News Translation, God’s Word Translation, Holman Christian Standard Bible, International Standard Version (2008), New American Standard Bible (1995), New International Version (1984, 2011), New Matthew Bible (2016), New Revised Standard Version (1989, 1995), New Testament for Everyone (2011), Revised Geneva Translation (2019), Webster’s Bible Translation, Weymouth New Testament, Word English Bible, Young’s Literal Translations, and others.

      I believe that Paul commends and describes Andronicus and Junia as apostles in the sense that they were notable missionaries who had suffered in ministry. If you want to believe something different, that’s fine with me. But I stand by my very reasonable claim: The debate about whether Junia was “outstanding among the apostles” or, as some argue, that she was “well-known to the apostles” and not an apostle herself, has not been resolved.

      For you to state that this point has been resolved, or as you worded it, “I’d say it’s resolved very clearly by the Bible not stating she was an apostle” and “to most Bible scholars it’s abundantly clear” is short-sighted, to say the least.

    2. > Simply that the man has the last word in the home and the church.

      I wanted to clarify this broad statement (as I can’t edit the comments on here – you really need to change that if possible).
      When I said “in the church” I meant as the head of a Christian organization. Not that women can’t have many roles under the leader. When I reread that it sounded rather sweeping and careless.

  6. > This is what I discuss in the article, and I see no need to defend this premise with you.

    As I didn’t disagree with you on this point there is no defense necessary.
    And yes, I see you’ve written on the great things women have done and this is great as its not often highlighted when we hear pastors talk. Its often an aside of a story but without it, nothing would have happened. My problem is the general intonation of the website in its entirety.

    > 1. You wrote, “I find the Numeric very close to the KJ but always a little clearer.” What is the Numeric? Do you mean the Numerical Bible translated by F.W. Grant? Is this your translation of choice?!

    By Ivan Panin. Distributed by many organizations today. As I said, its very close to the King James. But when studying passages, to me its always a little clearer and focused.

    > 2. Paul’s use of “apostle” (Greek: apostolos) doesn’t agree with your narrow take of the word as a “high” title. Is Epaphroditus, who Paul calls an apostolos, an apostle?

    The words Paul uses are:
    brother
    fellow-worker
    fellow-soldier

    > Or Silas
    I don’t see the word apostle used describing Silas

    > and Timothy?
    Don’t see the word apostle used describing Timothy. But he did write part of the Bible.
    My point is the Bible is pretty clear on important issues.

    > 3. Do you know Greek better than the translators of the Bibles who say Andronicus and Junia were of note, or notable, “among” the apostoloi? Or better than Chrysostom, a native speaker of ancient Greek, who acknowledged that Paul refers to Junia as an apostle??

    Wish I did. I just read my Bible. If it doesn’t say apostle it doesn’t mean apostle. Apostles are clearly identified for a reason in the Bible.

    > Let’s look at the phrase from Romans 16:7 where the word “apostles” occurs in our oldest English translations, and note that all except one, use the word “among”.

    Here’s the verse:
    Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are noted among the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me.

    Clearly they are called kinsmen here. When it says “noted among the apostles” it means they are highly esteemed and recognized by the apostles. At least that’s what it says to me. When someone is noted it means to me they are held in high regard. You could replace the word “among” with the word “by” probably. By the way, your own link to the Christian Standard Bible says “They are noteworthy in the eyes of the apostles”. Even more clear that it was showing the high opinion the apostles had of both of them. But its not associating the term apostle with them. Otherwise it would just call them apostles.

    1. Sam, thanks for answering my questions. And I’m happy to edit out your remark about Mary.

      You previously wrote, “I think anyone with reasonable literacy can denote whether someone is titled Apostle in the Bible.” In fact, Paul does refer to Epaphroditus, Silas, and Timothy as apostoloi (plural), though in the case of Epaphroditus this is not always translated as “apostle.” Barnabas and Apollos are also referred to as apostles in the New Testament. My point being, apostolos really just means “missionary” or “emissary.” It doesn’t have to be a big deal. (I’ve written about this here.) Also, Paul uses apostolos, and other terms, as ministry descriptions, not as titles. But that’s another story.

      I love the CSB, but I don’t agree with all their interpretations and translation choices. And why are you quoting Romans 16:7 to me as though I don’t know what it says? Believe me, I know what it says in English translations and in Paul’s original words.

      “Noted” is not the best translation of episēmos because “noted” can sound like a verb, but episēmos is an adjective: “noteworthy” or “notable” is clearer. “Noted among the apostles” is ambiguous because it might be understood as meaning “noted by the apostles” but that’s not what the Greek says. That’s not what Paul says. However, I don’t want to have this conversation with you.

      Like I said, if you don’t want to believe Andronicus and Junia were apostles that’s fine with me. But numerous translators (as I’ve shown), as well as scholars, do believe they were among the apostles, and even noteworthy among the apostles, therefore, apostles. Feel free to ignore them and me.

      You wrote, “My problem is the general intonation of the website in its entirety.” I think my tone is friendly, informative, and more than reasonable. I like it.

      Goodbye Sam. I can hear that you are a nice person, despite not liking the tone of my website, and I wish you well.

      1. Here’s my translation of a portion of Chrysostom’s comment on Romans 16:7. Chrysostom was the Archbishop of Constantinople and died in 407. He was a native Greek speaker and an educated Greek speaker. He recognised that Andronicus and Junia were apostles and he had a very high view of apostles.

        Then also another commendation, “They are notable among the apostles.”
        Indeed, even to be apostles is great, but also to be notable among them!
        Understand how great this accolade is!
        Now they were notable because of their deeds, because of their successes.
        Wow! What is the extent of the philosophy (accomplishment) of this woman as to also be worthy of the title of the apostles?
        And [Paul] doesn’t stop there. Rather he adds still another accolade, saying “And they were in Christ before me.”
        Chrysostom, Homily 31 on Romans; PG 60.669-670.

        More on Chrysostom’s views on the ministry of New Testament women here: https://margmowczko.com/chrysostom-new-testament-women-leaders/

        1. No one had trouble thinking Junia was an apostle when they thought the name was actually Junias (male, not female.) Now that scholars have proved she was a female, people are dancing around what Paul says about her. It is a case of letting a presupposition (in this case that a woman could not possibly be an apostle) determine their interpretation.

          Marg, I have always appreciated your careful scholarship, especially when it comes to translation and historical accuracy. Thank you for your excellent work. You are making a valuable contribution to the church…even way over here in the States!!

          1. Thanks, Julie. The idea that Andronicus and Junia were apostles, or missionaries, is really a no-brainer when we take the Greek text at face value and listen to all Paul says about them.

          2. Except that the Bible doesn’t say she was an apostle.
            The Bible associates the title Apostle with very few people. Note how so many of the New Testament books identify the author as an Apostle right in the beginning. Clearly this is an important distinction.

            Its also why so many false teachers today label themselves Apostles. They know this title holds esteem in people’s eyes because it surely did back in Biblical times. It sways people. All through history people have assumed titles when they tried to sway the masses.

            That’s why I feel its important to understand people’s roles in the Bible. The Bible is clear.

            This in no way detracts at all from all the contributions Junia made to the spread of The Word back then. She was, along with other women of the time, a vital and highly valued contributor and supporter. Hence why the Bible mentions her so frequently.

      2. > Barnabas and Apollos are also referred to as apostles in the New Testament.

        I see Barnabas referred to as an apostle by Paul.
        I don’t see any mention of Apollos as an apostle. Please let me know where in the Bible it confers that title to him. He’s mentioned many times but I just don’t see any connection.

  7. Thank you Marg for your well researched and well written articles. I love that when something is not clear you can leave it there but with the possibilities laid out.
    I think you are extremely patient with some of the less than positive replies you receive, responding with much grace.
    God bless you and your ministry.

    1. Thanks for your encouraging comment, MargaretAnne. <3

  8. > Some scholars, notably Richard Bauckham and Ben Witherington III, argue that Junia may be one and the same as Joanna, a female disciple of Jesus who is mentioned in Luke 8:3 and Luke 24:10.

    A disciple? Let’s look at what Luke 8:3 says.

    “and Joanna wife of Chuzas Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, who were ministering to them of their substance”

    How does that say she’s a disciple?

    Luke 24:10
    Now they were Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James: and the other women with them told these things unto the apostles.

    How does that say she’s a disciple? They “told these things unto the apostles” does not make them disciples or apostles! I don’t know why you would reference these verses that clearly do not support your opinion that Joanna was a disciple of Jesus. If you have other verses that support that it might be good to mention them. When I do a word search of the New Testament the name Joanna is only mentioned once in Luke 24:10.

    Weren’t there 12 disciples, then Judas committed suicide and Matthias was chosen to fill his place? Paul is obviously deemed an apostle and states that in the beginning of many of the books of the New Testament and refers to Barnabas as one as well as you mentioned and is clearly in the Bible. I don’t see that term given to anyone else though.

    In Wikipedia it says:
    As the Catholic Encyclopedia states, “It is at once evident that in a Christian sense, everyone who had received a mission from God, or Christ, to man could be called ‘Apostle.'”; thus extending the original sense beyond the twelve.

    1. Sam, I’ve spent enough time responding to your comments, so I’ll just leave links where you’ll find answers to your questions.

      Re: female disciples of Jesus, including Joanna: https://margmowczko.com/many-women-followed-jesus-gospels/ (Note the postscript also.)

      Re: apostles in the New Testament including Apollos: https://margmowczko.com/apostles-in-the-new-testament-church/

      The short quotation from Wikipedia that you’ve provided more accurately reflects what the New Testament says about apostles than your assumptions. Also, there are at present many fine Bible scholars who belong to the Roman Catholic church. (I’ve removed your ungracious remarks. I’ll be removing other pointless and graceless remarks too which is my prerogative.)

      Sam, you freely criticise others but the speck in your own eye is large. Your knowledge of what the Bible actually says is not as good as you seem to think it is. And I’m not interested in your opinions. (I do welcome constructive criticism, however, especially when it is expressed succinctly.)

      It’s time to end this conversation. I have other things to do.
      Goodbye, Sam.

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