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

From: Eric S. Weiss (
Date: Tue Apr 04 2000 - 08:37:21 EDT

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 also looks like an encomium. And what follows is much more so. And
what sort is this of? "And my fellow-prisoners." For this is the greatest
honor, the noble proclamation. And where was Paul a prisoner, that he
should call them "my fellow-prisoners?" A prisoner indeed he had not been,
but he had suffered things worse than prisoners, in being not an alien
only to his country and his family, but in wrestling with famine and
continual death, and thousands of other things. For of a prisoner the only
misfortune is this, that he is separated from his relations, and often has
to be a slave instead of being free. But in this case one may mention
temptations thick as snow-flakes, which this blessed person underwent by
being carried and taken about, scourged, fettered, stoned, shipwrecked,
with countless people plotting against him. And captives indeed have no
further foe after they are led away, but they even experience great care
from those who have taken them. But this man was continually in the midst
of enemies, and saw spears on every side, and sharpened swords, and arrays,
and battles. Since then it was likely that these shared many dangers with
him, he calls them fellow-captives. As in another passage also,
"Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner." (Col. iv. 10.)

Then another praise besides. "Who are of note among the Apostles." And
indeed to be apostles at all is a great thing. But to be even amongst these
of note, just consider what a great encomium this is! But they were of note
owing to their works, to their achievements. *** Oh! how great is the
devotion (FilosoFia) of this woman, that she should be even counted worthy
of the appellation of apostle! But even here he does not stop, but adds
another encomium besides, and says, "Who were also in Christ before me."

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