Podcast about the New Testament and Christian Origins by Mark Goodacre, Professor of Religious Studies, Duke University.
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Thanks Mark for the podcast, i take a completely different view to you about a few things but its great to hear what your side of the fence is saying keep up the good work. Bless you Brother.(there was a typo in my deleted comment)
Thanks, Andrew. I appreciate your stopping by to comment, all the more so as you take a different view.
My wife and I named our most recent daughter (who is about to celebrate her first birthday) Junia. We thought the name needed to be more well known. People always comment on her name when we first say it and it gives us an opportunity to do a little education on this lesser known aspect of early church history.Thanks for this succinct explanation of some of the technical arguments over the proper translation of Romans 16:7. I researched it all when we began considering the name for our daughter and it can be a bit dizzying (at least for those of us without great proficiency in Greek).You are of course right about her not being the first woman apostle. That honor goes to "the apostle to the apostles"... but I won't spoil your teaser by saying more.
Thanks, Mark. I completely agree. In his book, "Gospel Women", Bauckham argues that Junia was Joanna, who makes her first appearance at the same time as Mary the Magdalene in Luke 8:1-3. I think Bauckham has some good evidence, though he overstates his case. Unfortunately, others have dismissed his hypothesis without really engaging with the evidence. I do wonder, though, why Paul would place someone as important as Joanna after Phoebe, Prisca, Aquila, and even Epaenetus and Mary. Paul, like other writers, does list people in descending order of prominence.Much depends on what Paul means by "apostle". Does he mean 'traveling missionary", and is this why he is able to say that he met no apostle in Jerusalem excepts Peter and James (Gal 1:18-19)?
Left us hanging. When is the next podcast?
Yeah, no kidding you just left us hanging ;-) Anticipating your next podcast, I hope it is soon.
Thanks! It's out now.
Thanks, Richard. Yes, if Bauckham is right then Junia / Joanna is the first woman apostle along with Mary Magdalene, and perhaps Susanna. I enjoyed Bauckham's piece in Gospel Women but I was not fully persuaded by it. If I remember correctly, he explains the apparent difference in husband (Andronicus / Chuza) by suggesting that Joanna had been widowed. When there is such scant evidence, it is difficult to take some of the only evidence we have (the name of Junia's and Joanna's spouses) and have to find an explanation. I don't think that Bauckham's case is impossible, though, and in the end it depends on how many "apostles" we think there were. If we are talking twenty or thirty, then Junia / Joanna might just be significant. If it's a lot more, then it becomes much less significant. I am thinking about tackling the broader issue of what "apostle" means in Paul next time.
Thanks, David. Great to hear that you named your daughter Junia. And yes, you guessed right about Mary Magdalene.
Actually, I don't mean "guessed" but I'm sure you know what I mean.
I though this was a fine review of Greek, and the continuation of its use today. If errors like those mentions kept going unnoticed, there would still be slavery, a repressed gender, and God knows what else. I applaud those who seek to find truth where criticism is darkest.
Fascinating, and helpful to understand the arguments from the Greek language declensions.In less academic circles (which is all I'm familiar with), I understand the case for Junia not being a female apostle is based on the difficulty of reconciling Paul's teaching on male and female roles and church structure elsewhere. That is, there's less work in having to reconcile the texts if Junias is not an apostle (in the terms Paul uses as he defends his apostleship), than if she is, although it would be elsewhere and not concerning this text.I anticipate that's a well explored hornets nest, so thanks for a little calm and observed comment on the Greek in this text.
Thanks, Matt. Yes, it's a well raked-over text! And quite often, issues outside of this text are influencing translation / interpretation.
I actually do not think that "well known to the apostles" is a possible reading. Here is one discussion of why not. Let's assume that Wallace and Burer have put forth their best arguments in the notes of the NET Bible."The key to determining the meaning of the term in any given passage is both the general context and the specific collocation of this word with its adjuncts. When a comparative notion is seen, that to which ἐπίσημος is compared is frequently, if not usually, put in the genitive case (cf., e.g., 3 Macc 6:1 [Ελεαζαρος δέ τις ἀνὴρ ἐπίσημος τῶν ἀπὸ τής χώρας ἱερέων “Eleazar, a man prominent among the priests of the country”]; cf. also Pss. Sol. 17:30). When, however, an elative notion is found, ἐν (en) plus a personal plural dative is not uncommon (cf. Pss. Sol. 2:6). Although ἐν plus a personal dative does not indicate agency, in collocation with words of perception, (ἐν plus) dative personal nouns are often used to show the recipients." Point One "When a comparative notion is seen, that to which ἐπίσημος is compared is frequently, if not usually, put in the genitive case (cf., e.g., 3 Macc 6:1 [Ελεαζαρος δέ τις ἀνὴρ ἐπίσημος τῶν ἀπὸ τής χώρας ἱερέων “Eleazar, a man prominent among the priests of the country”]; cf. also Pss. Sol. 17:30)." The authors admit that the use of the genitive would be frequent but still not usual. What would be usual then? Perhaps en plus the dative is the usual way to indicate a comparative use, and in fact, in the NT it is the usual way. Point Two "When, however, an elative notion is found, ἐν (en) plus a personal plural dative is not uncommon (cf. Pss. Sol. 2:6)."Here it is either an adjective describing a place with the word for place elided, or it is a noun meaning a "brand." Pss. Sol. 2:6 says that the Jews were in captivity with their neck in a seal in a brand (?) among the Gentiles. No matter what reading you give to this phrase it still comes out as "among the Gentiles." The Jewish captives were among the Gentiles. Last Point"Although ἐν plus a personal dative does not indicate agency, in collocation with words of perception, (ἐν plus) dative personal nouns are often used to show the recipients." There is simply no word of perception in this phrase in Greek. I have to wonder when others are going to simply call Dan Wallace on this. It is not an honest piece of writing. I deplore the high rating the NET Bible has. It appears to me to be a vehicle for disseminating the low position of women. Thanks for your podcast on this topic.
Thanks for the helpful comments, Suzanne. I also think that they have not through the issue of Paul using the term "the apostles" as a recognizable group who would do the alleged esteeming; I don't think this is the way Paul talks.
If I have distilled it correctly, really we are all fighting for a very early ordination of women. This being the case, if we accept the definition of apostolos to simply mean one who is sent out, whether or not Junia is a man or woman, then our proof-text for early women ordination falls apart at the roots.
For me, ordination does not come into it; I am just talking about how the ancient texts use the term "apostle". How one subsequently relates the ancient texts to contemporary debates is a little outside my area of expertise.
Hey Mark, you said you were part of the church of England. isn't it terrible that they fired J.I, Packer for standing up for the Bible. He said, as the Bible does, that Homosexuality is wrong, and the Anglican Church fired him from the entire denomination!!! They need to get back to the Bible!
Thank you for this bit of insight into a lesser known part of early church history. As a Latter Day Saint, I'd love to see the day when women are ordained in the church, so maybe I can use this verse in my own discourse :)