Junia, the apostle: Part 14
- καὶ ὑμεῖς οὗν ἐν ταῖς ἐπωνύμοις ὑμῶν ἑορταῖς ἐπίσημον ἡμέραν μετὰ πάσης εὐωχίας ἄγετε Additions to Esther 16:22
So then you shall observe this with all good cheer as a notable day among your commemorative festivals.
- προγόνω[ν Λυκιαρχη]σάντων καὶ στρ[ατηγη]σάντων καὶ να[αρχησαν] των τοῦ ἔθν[ους καὶ] ἐν ταῖς ὑπερ Ῥωμ[αὶων] συμμαχίαις ἑπί[σημον?] γενόμενον, γ[ραμματεύ]σαντα τοῦ Λυκί[ων εθνους] λαμπρῶς καὶ μ[εγαλοψύ]χως Fd Xanthos VII Asia Minor 76.1.12
president of the Lycians, general and admiral of the nation, prominent among Rome's allies, secretary of the Lycian nation, illustrious and great ...
- In each instance the group that the individual is well known to, but is not a part of, is mentioned with en plus the dative. Although these data are not plentiful, they are excellent parallels and point in but one direction: episemos followed by en plus personal datives does not connote membership within the group, but simply that one is known by the group. Thus, the inscriptions, like biblical and patristic Greek, supply a uniform picture of episemos with personal nouns: when followed by en, the well-known individual is outside the group.
Wallace and Burer continue to suggest very peculiar explanations in order to prove their hypothesis.
- καὶ πρέσβεις οὔς μὲν πρὸς Φλῶρον ἔπεμπον, ... οὔς δὲ πρὸς Ἀγρίππαν, ἐν οἵς ἤσαν ἐπίσημοι Σαῦλος τε καὶ Ἀντίπας καὶ Κοστόβαρος ... Josephus. Jewish War. 2.418.
So the men of power sent ambassadors; some to Florus ... and others to Agrippas, eminent among whom were Saul, Antipas, and Costabarus, ...
- But even this text is not a clean parallel: the relative clause is expected to consist of en plus the dative, and the adjective is almost functioning as a technical term, without any notion of comparative force. It is at least quite different from Rom. 16:7 in several important respects.
This certainly looks like a parallel for Romans 16:7.
- χρὴ οὔν χεπσαίοθ βατράχοθ δίκηω διψῶντα κεκραγέναι, ὡς ἐπίσημος ἔση ἐν τοῖς ἐπαινοῦσι... Lucian. On Salaried Posts in Great Houses. 28.4 2nd century.
- So you must raise your thirsty voice like a stranded frog, taking pains to be conspicuous among those who praise [the mistress page].
- This is the first parallel to Rom. 16:7 we have seen that could offer real comfort to inclusivists. It is unmistakable, it is personal, and it is rare.
- Καὶ ἄλλοι μὲν πολλοὶ συγκατέβαινον ἡμῖν, ἐν αὺτοῖς δὲ ἐπίσημοι Ἰσμηνόδωπός τε ὁ πλούσιος ὁ ἡμέτερος καὶ Ἀρσάκης ὁ Μηδίας ὕπαρχος καὶ Ὀροίτης ὁ Ἀρμένιος Lucian. Dialogues of the Dead 438
We had quite a crowd with us on our way down; most distinguished among whom were our rich countryman Ismenodorus ...
There are several further instance of episemos with en + dative in the TAM inscriptions, but I have already given one and will not add more to the list. This completes the data provided for and against reading episemos en tois apostolois Romans 16:7 as 'well know to the apostles'.
Quite frankly I am surprised that Wallace and Burer didn't bury this data outright. There is only one example that supports their view, Aphrodite, famous among mortals, and this is from several centuries earlier, classical, not Hellenistic Greek.
Quotes for this post were taken from Linda Belleville's article,
Belleville, Linda. Ἰουνιᾶν ... ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις A Reexamination of Romans 16:7 in Light of Primary Source Materials. New Testament Studies. 51 pp. 231-249. UK. 2005. Cambridge UP
Note: This post has been edited.