Suzanne is Elsewhere
However, I drifted over to check out Adrian's blog. Oh dear. I remember that I never did get an answer to some of my questions from last year so I decided to have another go.
I read this post here and commented. Well, I really overcommented, I admit. However, Dr. Grudem responded very kindly and this gave me the opportunity to get my breath and assemble some facts instead of just sounding off (fun though that was).
In Wayne Grudem replies to a critic, Dr. Grudem presents his position and in the comments I present a more factual and, I hope, less personal critique of many points in Dr. Grudem's older books. I am not yet prepared to read his current book when he has not defended certain positions in his earlier books.
Here is the text of one of my comments about Junia. I include some additional information from Junia, the First Woman Apostle by Jay Eldon Epp.
- In Ev. Fem. & Biblical Truth, page 227 Dr. Grudem writes,
- "In conclusion, the feminist claim that there was an apostle named Junia is built upon one uncertainty (the gender of the name) on top of another uncertaintly (the meaning of apostle" in this verse) on top of an improbable meaning of a phrase ("well known among" rather than "well known to").
This is a highly speculative and flimsy foundation upon which to base any argument. It carries little weight against the clear teaching of exclusive male eldership and male apostleship in the rest of the New Testament."
- Let's break this down.
- 1. Chrysostom claimed that Junia was an apostle. Was he a feminist?
- "Greet Andronicus and Junia . . . who are outstanding among the apostles” (Romans 16:7): To be an apostle is something great. But to be outstanding among the apostles—just think what a wonderful song of praise that is! They were outstanding on the basis of their works and virtuous actions. Indeed, how great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.John Chrysostom (344/54-407)(2)"
- 2. There is actually no solid evidence for a masculine gender name Junias. According to J. E. Epp,
- "The clear result of this lengthy discussion of "Junias" (masculine) is that, at least to date, this presumably male name is nowhere attested in the Greco-Roman world." page 43
"It is therefore appropriate and prudent, I think, no longer to place Iounian (Masculine accent) in any New Testament critical edition, either in the text or in the apparatus unless it is marked "cj" (for conjecture)..." page 44.
- 3. Whatever apostle means, it should not be denied. This point seems irrelevant.
- 4. With reference to the fourth point, Dr. Grudem's choice, "well-known to" is by far the more unusual interpretation, only appearing in a few translations, and is much more improbable, given the Greek.
- In fact, I would say, very remote, going against the Greek church fathers, about whom Wallace has this to say.
- "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,..." page 9 JBWM
- So Wallace is actually saying that the church fathers, native speakers of Greek, did not interact over the force of the Greek, so they should not be credited with having anything to say on this. That is very odd. Is native speaker understanding irrelevant? I simply don't understand this.
- A modern Greek translation also supports the understanding "among" replacing εν with μεταξυ among. So Wallace goes up against native Greek speakers, both ancient and modern. Dr. Grudem calls the standard understanding of the Greek church fathers and modern Greek scholars, "improbable"!
- In fact, I find that speculative and flimsy is a very accurate way to describe one side of this argument - the side with less scholarly support.
- In fact, I don't like the expressions that Dr. Grudem uses about egalitarians calling them unattractive wimps, with flimsy, improbable, and speculative ideas. I don't see why some of us egalitarians are being labeled as snarky when the fact is that we read these books by Dr. Grudem with his own language and terminology. I believe that Dr. Grudem himself sets the tone for how these discussions evolve.
Oh well, there you have it, some of us don't like being labeled. I should add that Peter and I were the egalitarians under discussion here. Somehow we got labeled. I can't imagine how that happened. ;-)