Re: Junia EN TOIS APOSTOLOIS (and Andronicus too)

From: Theresa J List, Dcs (
Date: Thu Jun 26 1997 - 22:01:50 EDT

Well, for years there has been legitimate debate over the word
"DIAKONOS," because in different parts of Scripture is seems to be used
in different ways. The qualifications for DIAKONOI in Acts 6 don't
include preaching or teaching; they describe a social service rendered to
the church. But then in Acts 7, Stephen is preaching. In Romans 16, we
have a female DIAKONOS, whereas they were all men in Acts 7. Timothy can
be translated either as have male DIAKONOI and their wives, or as having
DIAKONOI of both genders. Then, we know from extrabiblical writings that
by the second century AD, the office of DIAKONOS was an official church
office. Sometimes in the NT it seems plausible to translate DIAKONOI as
an official title of ones in a specific Church Office, but, then again,
other times it seems quite implausible (about a year ago on the list,
someone - I believe it was Carl - post(ulat)ed about this).

So, what about the word APOSTOLOS? When does it refer to the 12
exclusively? Doesn't it usually mean the 12 apostles with a capital A as
it were? When broadened to include St. Paul (not one of the 12), does
Paul not show his "worthiness" (sorry, bad word, but I'm not sure what
word to substitute) to be called an Apostle because he was an eyewitness
of Christ and was appointed by Christ? When (if ever) does it refer to
the MAQHTHS in general? When (if ever) does it ever refer to a Church
Office with its set of responsibilities, some office somehow on par with
EPISKOPOS, for example? Every post to date seems to me to be operating
on the assumption that APOSTOLOS refers to a Church Office that was
concretely in place by then, and the issue then is whether or not a woman
could hold said office. If APOSTOLOS means the same thing every time it
is used in Scripture, then this passage has to be translated "of renown
among the (12) apostles," (or something like that). If it means
different things in different contexts, then why are we assuming that
here it means a specific church office in existence to which men and/or
women belonged? What Scriptural or extrabiblical evidence do we have for
a translation which assumes that this is some office somehow similar to
EPISOKOS called APOSTOLOS which existed, and which was'nt the APOSTOLOS
held by the 12? Why assume that this Junia(s), male or female, is one
"holding a specific church office," rather than one who is in some
(religious) capacity "comissioned and sent?" What other evidence of an
Apostolic office (apart from the 12) do we have?

Just trying to clarify some assumptions here.

Theresa List
Theresa List

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