Re: Junia/Junias nochmals und weiter ... und weiter

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Nov 30 1995 - 20:55:33 EST

I think this was meant for the list, so I am forwarding it and will
comment, ever so briefly.

>Date: Thu, 30 Nov 1995 18:32:37 -0500
>Subject: Re: Junia/Junias nochmals
>Dr. Conrad and Dr. Hobbs,
>I wasn't on board when you talked all this out before, so if you don't mind,
>I'd like to comment and hear some discussion.
>Dr. Conrad writes:
>>Yes, the form IOUNIAS with circumflex on the "A" is a theoretically
>>masculine form, but the problem is that it's a Latin name, and the Greek
>>masculine equivalent of the Latin name would surely be IOUNIOS. I really
>>think the proof must go the other way around: it needs to be shown why the
>>form is NOT feminine, which is what it appears to be.
>Both BDF (sec. 125 (2)) and Robertson (p. 172) say that IOUNIAS (if that is
>the name here) would probably be the shortened form of the common name
>IOUNIANOS (L. Junianus). Robertson notes that usually when a name is
>shortened like that, it ends in -AS. For example SILOUANOS (1Th. 1:1)
>shortens to SILAS (Acts 15:22,etc).
>So then, if a shortened form of a Latin name is used, would the greek form
>have the -OS ending then? Wouldn't it be -AS as usual?
>Cranfield argues, similarly to Dr. Hobbs, that "Junias" can't be right
>because we don't find that name anywhere else in the literature. Would the
>fact that it is a shortened form not explain that? Junianus, I understand,
>was a quite common name, like Junia was.
>I agree that BAGD is out of line to say that the context demands taking the
>word as masculine--that is, if they mean that the NT doctrine of the
>apostolate necessarily precludes its having female members. On the other
>hand, where else do we read about female apostles? We read several places
>about female prophets, but never of female apostles. This would be the only
>occurrence (just as, if "Junias" is correct, it would be the only occurence).
> Maybe that's all they're saying.
>Seems to me that the evidence is split about fifty-fifty. Nothing really
>rules out "Junias", and nothing "Junia." And nothing really pushes us very
>hard in one direction more than the other.

(1) There is, in fact, no evidence that "Junias" IS a shortened form of
"Junianus." And, in fact, it looks suspiciously like the entire argument is
manufactured in order to make of the Greek IOUNIAN a masculine form. As I
argued at the outset of the current round of this thread, the form to be
explained is IOUNIAN. The explanation of it on the surface is that this is
a feminine acc. sg. That it is NOT fem. sg. is what has to be demonstrated,
and it really hasn't been demonstrated.

(2) What is printed in a reference work has no authority in and of itself;
we know far too many instances of errors in reference works. Much as I
esteem the big A.T.Robertson, I think the book is somewhat dated (albeit
worthy of being reprinted--and as we have noted frequently, the "little
Liddell" and the intermediate Liddell are both based on the L&S edition of
over 100 years ago). A revision of BDF has long been a desideratum; a
German revision of it is in print; a project for a new GNT Grammar to
replace BDF has been under way for some time now. Neither age nor novelty
is a guarantee of accuracy. Any assertion about such a matter as IOUNIAN
stands or falls ultimately on the basis of persuasive arguments that can be
made on its behalf.

(3) This appears to be an issue upon which the decision of any one person
evaluating the evidence is likely to be based upon assumptions one brings
to bear on the evidence. I think that a lot of what has been called
evidence has been speculated into existence based upon an assumption that
there just simply COULDN'T have been female church officers in the first
century. My own guess (only that) is that there are more likely to have
been female church officers in the first century than in the second, more
likely in the second than the third. What in the first century was a much
more egalitarian and revolutionary religious movement settled into
institutional patterns and increasingly adopted the standards and biases of
its secular milieu.

I apologize for my comment, which is anything but "ever so brief." I am
inclined to apologize also for bringing this subject back to the list so
soon after the last round of discussing it. I brought it up only because I
hadn't heard the new twist on the argument for a masculine Junias based
upon the Greek accents.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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