Junia, the apostle: Part 15
- The consensus of patristic scholars is that Junias is a corruption of Junia, for Origen acknowledges early on in this section that Andronicus and Junia are 'notable among Christ's apostles' (et in his apostolis qui ante nobiles eos in apostolis dicat) and 'apostles before him' (et in his apostolis qui amte eum fuerunt). And he speculates that they were among the group of 72 that Jesus commissioned (quod fortassis ex illis septuaginta duobas qui et ipsi apostoli hominati sunt [PG 14.1280]; cf. Luke 10:1-20). ...
Not catalogued in TLG (Thesaurus Linguae Graecae) but found in J. P. Migne's Patrologiae Graeca (PG) are sixth-century Oecumenius (Junia: PG 118, cols. 629-32 and eleventh century Theophylact (Junia: PG 124, cols. 5551-2). Both pay tribute to the fact that a woman is not only named 'an apostle' (μέγα μὲν καὶ τὸ εἴναι ἀποστόλους) but also 'notable among them'(τὸ δὲ καὶ ἐπίσημους ἐν αὐτοῖς, μέγιστον [maximum vero inter how esse insignes]. Also to be observed is the unbroken tradition among the Latin fathers from Ambrose in the fourth century through to Lombard in the twelfth century of a female Julia (Ambrose, Jerome, Rabanus Maurus, Hatto of Vercelli, Bruno of Querfurt, Peter Abelard) or Junia (Jerome, Primasius, Sedulius-Scotus, Claudius of Turin, Rabanus Maurus, Haymo, Lanfranc, Bruno of Querfurt, Peter Lombard, Guillelmus Abbas, Herveus Burgidolensis) who was 'notable among the apotsles' (insignes or nobiles in apostolis). There is also the common speculation among the Latin fathers that 'notable among the apostles' refers to the group of 72 that Jesus commissioned and sent out (quod fortassis ex illis septuaginta duobus apostolis fuerint et ipsi nobiles; Haymo, Rabanus Maurus, Hatto of Vercelli, Bruno of Querfurt, Herveus Burgidolensis).
Belleville includes the following information in her footnotes.
- Origen (Junia PG 13.1279-80, 1289-90) Chrysostom (Junia: PG 60.669-70) Theodoret (Junia: PG 82.219-20) John of Damascus (Junia PG 95.5565) Oecumenius (Junia PG 118.629-32) Theophylact (Junia PG 123.551-2) Ambrose (Julia: PL 17.179B) Jerome (Julia: PL 26.617-18; Junia: PL 23.895; 29.744A 30.715B) Primasius (Julia: PL 68.505) Sedulius-Scotus (Junia PL 103) Claudius of Turin (Junia: PL 104) Rabanus Maurus (Junia: PL 111.1607D; Julia PL 112) Haymo (Junia: PL 117.505) Hatto of Vercelli (Julia PL 134.282A-B) A Lanfranc (Junia: PL 150.153-4) Bruno of Querfurt (Julia: PL 153.119; Junia PL 153. 120) Peter Abelard (Julia PL 178.973B-C) Guillelmus Abbas (Junia PL 180) Herveus Burgidolensis (junia: PL 181) and Peter Lombard (Julia: PL 191.1527; Junia PL 191.1528). The variation between Junia and Julia reflects the textual variation among the Vulgate manuscripts.
- We have already noted that the patristic authors are preoccupied with whether Iounian is male or female, giving little substantive attention to what Paul has to say about this individual’s relation to the apostolic band. That they seem to assume a particular view, without interacting over the force of the Greek, is hardly a sufficient reason to adopt their view, as Lightfoot, Fitzmyer, et al. have done.
This expression, en tois apostolois has always been understood as 'among the apostles'. Only now that text critics have agreed that Junia is a woman, has this new grammatical quibble achieved prominence.
I have to admit that I began this study with curiosity and hoped to prove that the expression 'among the apostles' was ambiguous. However, I now have seen so little evidence on the side of an exclusive reading, implying that Junia was not one of the apostles, that I have given it up. Junia, a woman, was almost certainly an apostle, whatever that title meant.
Just as Piper and Grudem in their book, Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, many years ago opened the door for me to egalitarianism, so have Wallace and Burer demonstrated to me that Junia was indeed an apostle.