Is there any evidence that Junia was not a female apostle?

In Romans 16:7, Paul writes:
"Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners; they are prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me. "

Junia is a woman’s name. I don’t think there’s any serious scholarly debate about that. Some translators over time have translated it as “Junias” to make it a man’s name, but that’s not what the original Greek said, as far as I understand the scholarship on the subject.

The quote gives us an important hint of when Junia became a Christian. Paul’s Damascus Road experience took place somewhere between 36 and 42 AD/CE. If Junia was “in Christ before me,” she was a very early Christian, at a time before Christianity had spread much beyond the Jewish community. That would corroborate why he describes her, with Andronicus, as “prominent among the apostles.”

In the list of greetings in Chapter 16, Paul doesn’t mention Peter, so he clearly wasn’t in Rome as far as Paul knew it. That makes sense, since the Roman siege of Jerusalem and the flight of the Church there to Pella didn’t start until after 62 AD/CE, and Peter was likely there. There were two apostles (bishops) at Rome when Paul wrote the letter. The letter was written around 55-58 AD/CE. That means that sometime between 36 and 55 AD/CE, Junia (with Andronicus) was made an apostle, presumably through apostolic succession, which would make her a bishop in today’s parlance.

Are there holes in my reasoning? Is there evidence Junia was not a female bishop?

What are you seeking here, and by whose purposes are you compelled.

Jesus had twelve apostles, one was replaced, those made apostles of the rest of us (the known church) you inform and educate the faithful remainder to be apostles.

Rom 16:7 SaluteG782 AndronicusG408 andG2532 Junia,G2458 myG3450 kinsmen,G4773 andG2532 myG3450 fellowprisoners,G4869 whoG3748 areG1526 of noteG1978 amongG1722 theG3588 apostles,G652 whoG3739 alsoG2532 wereG1096 inG1722 ChristG5547 beforeG4253 me.G1700

Rom 16:7 ἀσπάσασθε G782 [V-ADM-2P ] Ἀνδρόνικον G408 [N-ASM ] καὶ G2532 [CONJ ] Ἰουνιᾶν G2458 [N-ASF ] τοὺς G3588 [T-APM ] συγγενεῖς G4773 [A-APM ] μου G1473 [P-1GS ] καὶ G2532 [CONJ ] συναιχμαλώτους G4869 [A-APM ] μου, G1473 [P-1GS ] οἵτινές G3748 [R-NPM ] εἰσιν G1510 [V-PAI-3P ] ἐπίσημοι G1978 [A-NPM ] ἐν G1722 [PREP ] τοῖς G3588 [T-DPM ] ἀποστόλοις, G652 [N-DPM ] οἳ G3739 [R-NPM ] καὶ G2532 [CONJ ] πρὸ G4253 [PREP ] ἐμοῦ G1473 [P-1GS ] γέγοναν G1096 [V-2RAI-3P ] ἐν G1722 [PREP ] Χριστῷ. G5547 [N-DSM ]

G1978
ἐπίσημος
episēmos
ep-is’-ay-mos
From G1909 and some form of the base of G4591; remarkable, that is, (figuratively) eminent: - notable, of note.

Etheridge Aramaic to English

Rom 16:7 Ask for the peace of Andronikos and Junia, my kindred, who were captives with me, and are known among the apostles, and in Meshiha were before me.

I think you might be reading too much into it. :shrug:

But if you’re quoting me Aramaic, are you citing the Peshitta? If so, that’s not a primary source. Though I don’t read Ancient Greek, I have yet to hear a single scholar conclude that this wasn’t an apostolic reference.

The problem is, it can be they were of note among the Apostles, as all the Apostles knew these good people.

There is never any mention of any apostles beyond the twelve. Why would you just assume there was some problem when there wasn’t?

Ok, checked the name again and find it only once, in the passage you’ve referenced. I would think that if ‘she’ was a Bishop, or Apostle, there would have been more noted about her. Don’t you?

You have your question the wrong way round. It should be “is there any evidence Junia was an Apostle?”. The answer is no. Only twelve Apostles were chosen, and then a replacement for Judas.

First Timothy chapter 3 specifies that bishops should be good fathers to their families for “if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?”

There were twelve Apostles. No woman has ever been ordained to the clerical state. This is what the Church has always taught. If you are trying to build a case for female ordination forget it. The infallible teaching of the Church is that only men can be ordained. :thumbsup:

And, 500 years from now, forums will be arguing over whether or not Evelyn Waugh was female.

What this allegation alleges is that there was a female Apostle, and that this was changed at some point in Church history - but without any written record whatsoever. Very curious.

Since it seems it can be translated either for or against your proposal, this is not valid evidence unless supported by other, more solid, evidence and logic.

To be honest, I thought Evelyn Waugh was female (without ever reading Brideshead Revisted or even reading about the author). That is, until I began to read the preface of the book and realized my mistake. Oops. :o

Not necessarily.
Mary, for example, was the mother of Jesus–a most, most important person in the entire jesus story next to Jesus himself–and she is rarely quoted and minimally mentioned in the bible. She’s so important, you’d think she’d have written her own gospel to give all the details-…especially because she was a first-hand witness at the birth and the death.
But apparently she did not. So just because we don’t hear much about or from someone in the bible, doesn’t mean they were not important–especially when it comes to females.

Come on gang. The Church has been going strong for two thousand years. Do any of us really think we can think up a question that hasn’t been asked and answered a hundred times by the many Saints, scholars and Doctors of the Church?

Apostles and bishops are not the same thing.

Even so a woman can be neither. Do the EO take a different view?

"Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners; they are prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me. "

:slight_smile:

I thought the above reply was interesting

Ie: Junia being known by the apostles and of note.
In other words the verse does not actually describe her as an apostle

I love doing this.

I know you like keeping things brief, so I’ll get to the point as well: the meaning of the word ‘apostle’ really fluctuates between the different books of the NT. Some, like the Synoptics, mostly restrict it as a term for the Twelve (Luke makes one exception in Acts 14:14); others, like Paul himself, employ the word in a more broader sense.

But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd… (Acts 14:14)

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God… (Romans 1:1)

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. (Romans 11:13-14)

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes… (1 Corinthians 1:1)

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord? (1 Corinthians 9:1)

If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you, for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 9:2)

For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (1 Corinthians 15:9)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia… (2 Corinthians 1:1)

The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. (2 Corinthians 12:12)

Paul, an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead… (Galatians 1:1)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus… (Ephesians 1:1)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother… (Colossians 1:1)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope… (1 Timothy 1:1)

For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. (1 Timothy 2:7)

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus… (2 Timothy 1:1)

…for which I [Paul] was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher… (2 Timothy 1:11)

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness… (Titus 1:1)

Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession… (Hebrews 3:1)

Paul calls himself an ‘apostle’ though he was not of the Twelve; Jesus Himself was an apostle according to whoever wrote the epistle of Hebrews. I don’t see why we could grant that Junia was an apostle (‘one who was sent’), which of course does not necessarily mean ‘one of the Twelve Apostles’. Paul himself attests to the existence of what he calls the ‘super-apostles’.

And the definition of " is " is ? Yes, we all know that. But no woman has ever been raised to the clerical state, indeed cannot. :thumbsup:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.