Re: Junia an Apostle or Junia considered prominent by the Apostles?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Apr 04 2000 - 09:09:26 EDT

At 8:37 AM -0500 4/4/00, Eric S. Weiss wrote:
>But ... what about, e.g., John Chrysostom's statement/understanding that
>this phrase meant that Junia was an apostle? (see *** below) At least some
>of the Early Church Fathers, including Chrysostom, tended to view this
>phrase this way, did they not? Does their understanding of the meaning of
>the phrase have any weight?
>St. John Chrysostom
>Homilies on the Epistle to the Romans
>Ver. 7. "Salute Andronicus and Junia my kinsmen."

This is precisely why I was unwilling to accept Stephen Carlson's
demonstration that a phrase of the sort <EPISHMOS EINAI EN (dative plural
noun)> could ONLY be understood in the sense "to be considered
distinguished by X." I think that "to be one of X" remains a viable way of
understanding the Greek of Romans 16:7--BUT, Stephen has certainly shown
that (a) a phrase of that sort CAN and in some instances MUST be
interpreted as meaning "to be considered distinguished by X", and (b) that
any ambiguity COULD have been avoided by more careful phrasing. The upshot
of this, as I see it, is that Romans 16:7, despite the reasonable
likelihood that IOUNIAN refers to a woman, is not, after all, the clear and
convincing evidence one way or the other, whether FOR or AGAINST the
proposition that a woman could have been an apostle in the early church.
Convincing evidence for that will have to be sought elsewhere; what we have
here is no more than an intriguing but questionable hint.


Carl W. Conrad Department of Classics/Washington University One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018 Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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