What drives a translation?

[See Moderator note at end of post.]

Matěj Cepl had a question and comment on the SHARE page.

Do you have anything to say about Junia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junia)? That’s partially havoc (with nice feminist twist even) caused by Vulgata, isn’t it?

And of course, there are many many examples where translators were led by their theology and not by the text (“he/she shall bruise thy head, …”)

Peter Kirk referred to the archives and said that “a lot of blood has already been spilled over Junia.” A vivid hyperbolic metaphor.

I hope I am not going to spill any more blood, but the last comment does introduce an interesting problem. It is not as simple as it looks. Any translation necessarily presupposes that the translators have done careful exegesis of the text. But a text was written in a certain context which is often not retrievable or well understood by the translators. I think all translators want to say that they are being led by the text, but in reality they are all being led by two things: The text plus their own presuppositions, that is the background knowledge they bring to the text. This means that any translation whether form-based or meaning-based is influenced by both the text and the background knowledge of the translators in terms of language, linguistics, culture and theology. (This is called “cognitive environment” in some theories of communication). Translators will be tempted to say that in my translation I have only been led by the text and I am representing the text without bias, theological or otherwise. It is only everybody else who are being unduly influenced by their theology, if their theology is different from mine.

You asked about the Wikipedia article. It is not too bad, but it is unclear in several areas as well as biased. It correctly says that we cannot decide on the basis of the Greek text alone whether the nominal form of the name is Junia or Junias. The reason is that both would become JUNIAN in the accusative form used in the text. And that corresponds to the Latin accusative JUNIAM, which does not solve the question. The use of an accent would disambiguate the two, but accents were not used in NT manuscripts until around the 9th century (if Wikipedia is correct here, I don’t remember.)  Almost all Greek manuscripts since then have used the accent indicating masculine form. The Wikipedia article says that Erasmus’ text had the feminine accent. I don’t have access to this Greek text, but I can see that the Tyndale and the Geneva Bible have Junia, following Erasmus. The revised Greek text by Stephanus in 1550 has the masculine form as has Scrivener (1894), Tischendorf and Westcott-Hort.

The scholarly mood has changed in the last decades – as scholarly moods always do, keeping up with changes in society – and the change can be seen in the adjustment made in the standard NT Greek dictionary (emphasis mine).

BAGD has “Junias (not found elsewh., prob. short form of the common Junianus; cf. Bl-D. §125, 2; Rob. 172) a Jewish convert to Christianity, who was imprisoned w. Paul Ro 16:7; s. on  Androvnikos—The possibility, fr. a purely lexical point of view, that this is a woman’s name  Junia (Mlt.-H. 155; ancient commentators took Andr. and Junia as a married couple. S.  Iouliva,) deserves consideration.”

The newer BDAG has “Ἰουνιᾶς, ᾶ, ὁ Junias (not found elsewh., could be a short form of the common Junianus; s. B-D-F §125, 2; Rob. 172) according to the rdg. of the N. text a Judean Christian, who was imprisoned w. Paul or shared a similar experience Ro 16:7; s. on Ἀνδρόνικος. But the accented form Ἰουνιᾶν has no support as such in the ms. tradition; for critique of B-D-R §125, 2, 6 in connection w. the N. rdg. s. UPlisch, NTS 42, ’96, 477f, n. 2. For the strong probability that a woman named Junia is meant s. prec. entry.”

It is misleading to say that the accented form Ἰουνιᾶν has no support as such (?) in the ms. tradition, since the early mss did not have accents and the majority of those who do have accents, in fact do have the form. (Another move towards p/c  is to change from Jewish to Judean, but that is a different topic.)

So, are we talking about a woman or a man? I would say: We don’t know. I would put a footnote to that effect into a translation. My personal, subjective opinion is that there is a 60-40% chance that it refers to a woman, and in that case a husband and wife, like the husband-and-wife team of Akvila and Prisca, but I am not going to fight with those who prefer a higher or lower probablity.

Of course, the other question is whether both were also termed apostles, or whether they were esteemed workers for the Lord, who were well-known to the apostles and had their commendation. Again, from the text alone, the answer is: We don’t know. My personal and  subjective opinion is that they were not, but that is based on what else we know about apostles in the NT and the culture of the day.

A third question, which I really think must be kept as an entirely different question is: Can a woman function in the ministry of an apostle today? I happen to come from a church that has had apostles, prophets, ect. for almost a hundred years. I have never heard of a husband-wife-team where both were apostles, and it would be extremely rare if it ever were to happen. However, I am prepared to accept that a woman today can function as an apostle the way I understand this ministry.

[Moderator note: a few comments on this post have attributed motives to others. Please do not suggest motives for certain interpretations or translations–see posting guidelines #2. In comments below words suggesting motives of others have been deleted while retaining the rest of each comment. Our discussions will proceed more objectively if we refrain from suggesting motives of others and if we refrain from ad hominem arguments. Just the facts, please! If enough comments do not follow the posting guidelines, they will be closed for a particular post.]

[Later from Moderator: comments on this post are now closed. It takes too much time and emotional energy for BBB bloggers to have to moderate comments so heavily. The posting guidelines are designed to make this a safe place for everyone to post their comments, including when we disagree with each other. But sometimes moderation is required because we are human. Alas, your fallible Moderator keeps fighting some of his old battles, as well. Oh, help us, Lord, because of ourselves!]

66 thoughts on “What drives a translation?

  1. Sue says:

    Iver,

    “Almost all Greek manuscripts since then have used the accent indicating masculine form.”

    The answer to this is zero.

  2. iverlarsen says:

    Sue, can you point me to a place where I can have a look at the actual original texts of these manuscripts?

    According to the Greek editions given in Bible Works 6, the three I mentioned all have the accent for the masculine form.

    The Stephanus text in Logos 4 does not show any accents, but it does give the lemma form as IUONIAS (and parses it as feminine(?)).

    The Tischendorf version in Logos 4 is:

    ἀσπάσασθε Ἀνδρόνικον καὶ Ἰουνιᾶν τοὺς συγγενεῖς μου καὶ συναιχμαλώτους μου, οἵτινές εἰσιν ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις

    The W-H version in Logos 4 has:

    ἀσπάσασθε Ἀνδρόνικον καὶ Ἰουνίαν τοὺς συγγενεῖς μου καὶ συναιχμαλώτους μου, οἵτινές εἰσιν ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις

    The Bible Works 6 version of the same text is identical EXCEPT for the accent on Ἰουνίαν.

    What is going on? What does the original say?

    Of course these are editions based on various mss, and I don’t have access to check all the minuscules for this verse.

  3. Sue says:

    Here is one of my earlier posts on this topic. I supplied an image of iounian accented in the feminine, not pc but simple fact. There was no manuscript which ever accented iounian as a masculine. This was the fabrication of an earlier Nestle Aland Greek edition.

    Erasmus’ text can be viewed online here, and he also had the feminine.

  4. iverlarsen says:

    I forgot to mention Scrivener.

    In Logos 4 it reads:

    ἀσπάσασθε Ἀνδρόνικον καὶ Ἰουνιᾶν τοὺς συγγενεῖς μου καὶ συναιχμαλώτους μου, οἵτινές εἰσιν ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις

    So this agrees with the Bible Works 6 version.

  5. Ms. Jack says:

    But a text was written in a certain context which is often not retrievable or well understood by the translators.

    Maybe I’m about to spill more blood, but in the case of Junia, I think that a relevant context is very retrievable. Junia as a woman’s name is attested hundreds of times in antiquity; Junias as a man’s name is completely unattested, the only possible exception being the extremely questionable reference from Epiphanius of Salamis, who thought Prisc[ill]a was a man as well. I also think BDAG is wrong about the possibility that Ἰουνιᾶς/Ἰουνιᾶν could be the hypocorism for Junianus. The Greek hypocorism we would anticipate for that form would be Ἰούνιος/ Ἰούνιον, and this still would not explain the lack of attestation since we would have expected to see that hypocorism elsewhere in antiquity.

    We could very well ignore that historical context and insist that, based on the text alone, we have to translate it to say that Junia could be a man. But I imagine there’s a long list of New Testament names that suddenly become gender ambiguous if we ignore their historical context and only work under the question of whether the name endings could theoretically be masculine or feminine—for example Hermes and Hermas in v. 14. Do we really need to clutter our footnotes with “or Herme and Herma”? I think not.

    I’m more sympathetic to the possibility that ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις could have been exclusive or ἀποστόλοις could have meant “missionaries.” I favor an inclusive reading and a literal translation of “apostles,” but I think it’s fair game to footnote those alternatives.

    But my own opinion is that it’s time to lay our fictitious friend man-Junia to rest and stop yielding space to him in our footnotes. The historical case for seeing this name as masculine is so weak as to be negligible.

  6. Sue says:

    This is very frustrating for me because of the many hours I devoted to looking at the manuscripts in the past. In spite of the fact that many printed texts did supply a masculine Junias, not even one Greek manuscript, at any time, ever had the name accented as masculine.

  7. Sue says:

    Iver,

    I don’t own any bible software, nor am I likely to. I believe that online images are more reliable. What is going on is that in the 19th century, the men who produced printed copies of the Greek text refused to believe that a woman could be an apostle.

    Nobody at that time could agree that the phrase meant “well-known to.” I think that notion had been advanced but rejected as not a possible translation of the Greek, and so the fallback was a masculine Junias.

  8. Sue says:

    Iver,

    According to Epp, Tischendorf, Scrivener and W-H all had the feminine form. However, in 1848, Alford introduced the masculine form. This was picked up on by the Nestle 1927 text and then Junia was Junias from then on. I don’t know what is going on with the software.

    There are manuscripts available on this site. http://www.csntm.org/

    I think that I have written about 30 posts on Junia, but people do not want to … [bleeped by Moderator].

  9. iverlarsen says:

    Sue,

    Thanks for the image of Erasmus’ text. It is clear that Erasmus has the feminine. So why did Stephanus in 1550 change to the masculine accent? I assume he must have had manuscripts available to him with that form. There is very little you can get from the CSNTM site. Most of the mss are not online and many have the gospels only. It is correct that the GA676 (13th century) has the feminine accent as has GA69 from the 15th century. I was unable to check others.

    The paragraph in Wikipedia that starts with Epp…has a number of factual errors. NA27 has the feminine accent. I don’t have other versions with me here. Whether the problem is with Wikipedia or Epp, I don’t know, but contra Epp, Stephanus and other editors as mentioned earlier apparently had the masculine accent long before NA. Luther’s version from 1545 had Junias, not based on NA. In the preceding paragraph Wikipedia said: “The overwhelming choice of the male form, (Ἰουνιᾶν), when in the 9th century accents were added in manuscripts, may have been influenced by the grammatical gender of these words, but it has also been attributed to a supposed bias on the part of scribes against the idea of a female apostle.”

    So, was “the overwhelming choice of the male form” a mistake, too? The Wikipedia article seems to be “work in progress”.

  10. JKG says:

    Sue,
    You’ve done many of us a service. First, you emphasize (in a comment at your linked post):

    “My concern here goes way beyond women’s issues. My concern is – how do we believe anyone at all. Either you look at the primary evidence yourself or you just don’t bother doing biblical scholarship.”

    Second, you stress (ending that linked post):

    “Choose what you like out of this post and discard the rest. I don’t want to be contentious.”

    The best thing about Better Bibles Blog has been these two issues: the willingness to encourage personal investigation (and not to rely on the claims of a just few men – or women) and the need to be kind in open conversation when there is perpetual disagreement.

    Despite Peter Kirk’s suggesting that past conversations suffice here, I’m really glad that Matěj Cepl would raise the question of the male-only Apostle possibility in the original text and that Iver Larson would open it up. As long as there is disagreement, how can we silence anyone? And as long as the digital texts very poorly reflect the photographic evidence, how is this a closed issue?

    Iver’s “What Drives…?” title is apt. I believe what drives many men to want to … [Moderator deletion of suggested motives wordings. See guideline #2.] Ms. Jack is correct to note how “[w]e could very well ignore that historical context”; and we could very easily pretend, that we are not now part of any needed historical change. What motivates the digital text makers? What motivated the editors and publishers of “the older, 1966, 1968, UBS text”? It sure better go beyond women’s issues and get right at scholarship!

    However, this bit of evidence and interpretation does get right to issues of men and of women. There are certain presumed (biblical) categories for men only, nearly holy categories. When Dr. Ann Nyland translates the New Testament, she gives much insight into why some men (relatively recently) have been motivated by their prejudices. And beautifully she quotes something the male commentator Chrysostom said in the 4th century (in consensus with Origin and Jerome); it speaks to the worth of a woman, of her office (which men, too, are included in, much more obviously and historically); Chrysostom, as Nyland quotes him commenting on the Scriptures:

    “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 [by the Apostle Paul himself no less].”

  11. JKG says:

    Luther’s version from 1545 had Junias, not based on NA.

    Iver,
    Nyland, in her footnote, explains: “The earliest suggestion that Junia was a man is from the 13th century, when Aegidius of Roman (1246-1316) referred to Andronicus and Junia as “honorable men”. Perhaps Luther (whose sexism is infamous) was motivated by Aegidius’ commentary. What motivated Aeidius to contradict Origin, Jerome, and Chrysostom?

    Sue, here at BBB in comments on her linked post, also adds these possibilities:

    “1. There is Epiphanius, 4th century, writing in Index Disciplulorum, that both Junia and Prisca are male. However, no one actually thinks that Prisca was male, so it is not considered evidence.

    2. There are two 12th century copies of Rufinus’ Latin translation of Origen’s commentary on Romans which have a male Junias, but all earlier copies have the female form.”

    So maybe Luther chose to read Origin re-translated by Rufinus, still ignoring the textual evidence for Origin elsewhere and more not attending to either Jerome or Chrysostom.

    Nyland also notes that:

    “The NKJV, NIV, TEV, Phillips Modern English, RSV, Jerusalem Bible, New English Bible and the Living Bible changed the female name Junia to a masculine name.”

    Unless the translators make public the sources for this decision, we can only speculate.

    Yes, the wikipedia is designed as a work in progress. And some of us are very glad that you’re willing to keep the Junia questions open to personal and conversational investigation! Thank you.

  12. John Hobbins says:

    Iver,

    You may not know that Al Wolters reopened the question recently, in one of the best-known peer-reviewed journals covering both Old and New Testament in the English language:

    IOUNIAN (Romans 16:7) and the Hebrew name Yĕhunnī, Journal of Biblical Literature, 127 (2008) 397-408. I will send a pdf of the article to those who desire it.

    See also David Scaer’s note:

    Was Junias a female apostle? Maybe Not, Concordia Theological Quarterly, 73 (2009) 76.

    Scaer is right: maybe not. That said, I think the balance of probability lies with a feminine construal of ΙΟΥΝΙΑΝ. This is the construal adopted by Michael Holmes in his 2010 “The Greek New Testament SBL Edition” – he lists Westcott – Hort, Tregelles, and Robinson and Pierpont’s 2005 edition of the Byzantine textform in support, with the reconstructed Greek text behind the NIV published in 2003 against.

    NIV 2010 however reads Junia (feminine) rather than the previous Junias (masculine), without so much as a footnote offering Junias as a credible alternative.

    ESV is superior: it reads Junia but has “Or Junias” in a footnote.

  13. Jay says:

    What drives this issue about Junia is … [moderator deletion: see BBB guideline #2 about not commenting on motives]. If there was no possible understanding that Junia was apostolic then the gender of Junia would not be the great blood spilling issue it seems to be. How one understands and translates or transliterates the word apostle is another question. Why translators seem to refuse to translate this word points more to their … [moderator deletion of motive] than their linguistic skills. I am happy to be working primarily in a language that does translate the word apostle and it is good that the word used in this language is one that every common person Christian or not understands. It is also obvious that Paul’s understanding of apostles is somehow broader than the Twelve. I think if we try to see the charismatic nature of the Church during Paul’s time we will not be so focused on the official positions in the church, but on the gift working of the Spirit in the sons and daughters in the church.

  14. JKG says:

    John,
    Do you have Scaer’s essay to send as well; would you email it to me if so? (I have Wolters’).

    You say, “ESV is superior: it … has ‘Or Junias’ in a footnote.” Wouldn’t an even more superior footnote be something like the NLT’s, which at least explains to readers the genders? NLT’s fn:

    Junia is a feminine name. Some late manuscripts accent the word so it reads Junias, a masculine name; still others read Julia (feminine).”

    Even better than that is Ann Nyland’s notes (offering some of the sources of the misunderstanding).

    Likewise, Willis Barnstone, who finds names to be a critical issue for New Testament translation, gives some historical context (in a section on Paul’s writings entitled, “The Role of Silent Women”). Barnstone, as classicist, cleverly transliterates Junia as Iounias! Here’s his footnote on Romans 16:7 –

    “Junias from the Greek Ἰουνιᾶς (Iounias). Junias may be Junia or Julia, and the pair a couple. It is said that Junias was a Christian Jew and Andronikos a gentile, and both were imprisoned for their faith.”

    The analogy back to names like Ἑλλανίας is a bold move by Barnstone, but one that readers of not-just-New-Testament Greek will get.

    Iver,
    Robert Estienne changed his public name to Stephanus (a Latin version), so we might conjecture that he’s playing also with Junia too. You asked: “So why did Stephanus in 1550 change to the masculine accent?”

    Jay,
    Barnstone has “messengers” not apostles. He’s translating! Nyland keeps “apostles” but footnotes the consequence of the transliteration, that it’s become an exclusively-male office of the Church.

  15. John Hobbins says:

    Hi JKG,

    ESV’s footnote style, following a long tradition, is very terse. I agree that fuller footnotes are preferable. The ESV *Study Bible* footnote has a fine defense of the thesis that Andronicus and Junia “were probably a husband-and-wife ministry team.” The footnotes lays out alternatives and document things with care. As for NLT’s footnote, it is too cut-and-dried. Nyland’s note, at least the part you quote, is even less open-ended.

    I am not impressed that you argue ad hominem against Luther. Nor is your remark about Estienne particularly even-handed.

    But you do well to note that Barnstone translates “messengers” rather than apostles. Barnstone is probably right: it is a stretch to think that Paul is referring to apostles in this verse, apostles in the sense of the hierarchy, apostles, prophets, and so on.

    Jay,

    Questioning the motives of those you disagree with is the easy way out. Don’t get me wrong: … [Moderator deleted motive word since Jay’s use of it has been deleted] has been a contributing cause to faulty exegesis in the past, and in rare instances still is. … [Moderated deletion]

    See how easy it is to turn the tables on an argument from motive? Point one finger, three fingers point back.

  16. Jay says:

    John, Just tell me, if it was not for the question of whether or not Junia was apostolic would we be having this discussion? I think it is impossible to ignore motives in this issue [moderator note: but we must not impute motives in comments on this blog, see posting rules], but if you can show the evidence that Junia is most likely a man, I have no problem accepting that. It’s not like the Bible is a feminist text book by any means.

    A hierarchy?? So would that mean evangelists are above pastors and teachers in this hierarchy? BTW, where does your bishop fit into this hierarchy? I think the hierarchal church interpretation does injustice to the understanding of the early church ministry model. So which way do you want it, that Junia was really a man, so it will not upset anyones view about women in leadership or that whatever she was, it was not that significant anyway? Please present your evidence here.

  17. Sue says:

    According to Epp, Stephanus has a feminine accent. I don’t see how we can go further on this. Against Epp, Iver is quoting wikipedia and software. If you can cite any book or article which sources the original of Stephanus, then we can discuss the discrepancy. Until then, I am going to accept Epp.

    The NLT note reads,

    “Junia is a feminine name. Some late manuscripts accent the word so it reads Junias, a masculine name; still others read Julia (feminine).”

    I have never seen any manuscript cited with a masculine accent. Every time an article or a published text references Iounian, accented as masculine, it turns out that the manuscript did not have any accents at all, and the masculine accent is an editor’s addition. I have never seen even one reference to an accented manuscript for the masculine.

    I also had a long conversation with Al Wolters about his article and we engaged with him on this blog. I don’t know whether I can find the post or not. I would appreciate people serching the archives on this for Wolters comments if we are going to continue in this vein.

    I don’t see any reason why any translation of the Bible should have to have a note for the masculine, since no Greek manuscript, or text, or reference in 2000 years has ever suggested that Junia was masculine. As I understand it, to this day, by Greeks, Junia is considered to be a female apostle along with Saint Nina and others.

    The Greek text site is here,

    http://www.apostoliki-diakonia.gr/bible/bible.asp?contents=new_testament/contents_E_Paulou_Romaioi.asp&main=

    There are many cases where manuscript copying and exegesis has downgraded women, but John Hobbins has made the suggestion without offering evidence, that,,

    “These days, however, feminism is more often a contributing cause behind exegesis that twists a passage to suit the exegete.”

    While I can mention various manuscripts and church fathers who have downgraded Priscilla, Nympha, and other women, and I can cite Bible translations which reduce the role of women by adding “men” when it is not in the Greek text, I would like to see John support his accusation with evidence.

    Where is the mainstream Bible translation which offers faulty exegesis due to feminism>

    And I would like to know if there has ever been any faulty exegesis offered on this site due to “feminism.” If john is not prepared to offer evidence then he should be asked to take that remark back.

  18. Sue says:

    [bleeped by Moderator]

    About Luther, all we can say is that, as far as we know, his was the first translation which supplied an unambiguous masculine Junias, and he had no manuscript or text basis for this. I think that the suggestion that Luther was “sexist” was contained within a citation. We can say that Ann Nyland believes that Luther’s sexism was famous. There is no reason to repudiate this comment. If Hobbins wants to offer contradictory evidence, I am sure that we can agree that Luther was attached to his wife, and diapered his children. I wouldn’t argue with that. It should be noted.

  19. Sue says:

    To answer the question of what drives a translation, I think we can confirm that many major translations have choices which remove status from women. I am not aware of any major translations which add information due to feminism.

    Take “and sisters” for example. In my Liddell Scott Lexicon of 1871, the only meaning for adelphos, plural, was “brothers and sisters.” One can say, that feminism pushed translators to add “and sisters” but the meaning “and sisters” was not due to feminism, but was a simply recognition that in Greek, adelphoi was used to refer to specific named men and women who were siblings. So, I do not believe that we can call inclusive language “faulty exegesis.”

    On the other hand, I can point out specific errors in the articles on authentein and episemos. There were certain examples of how these articles included faulty exegesis. Should I note how the article on authentein included the Philodemus fragment as an example of authentein being translated as “those in authority” when it was not.

    Should I note how Wallace and Burer cited Pss of Sol. 2:6 as an example of episemos modifying a noun and meaning “a spectacle to?”

    These are specific examples of error.

    In contrast, I would like to see specific examples of error in mainstream translations which are motivated by feminism.

  20. John Hobbins says:

    Jay,

    I was trying to make the point the moderator now made. It is one thing to say that someone is a creature of his time and place, just as you and I are creatures of our time and place. It is another to accuse Luther of misogyny because he construed the name in question as masculine, an ironic statement if there ever was one, given the battles Luther fought. It is another to accuse anyone of misogyny simply because they construe the name in question as masculine.

    From a purely historical point of view, it is perfectly natural to construe IOUNIAN as masculine as soon as “apostle” in the technical sense is thought to apply to the possessor of the name. And yes, Eph 4:11 reflects the fact that “apostles” in the technical sense exercised greater authority in specific spheres than did prophets and evangelists.

    [Moderator deletion of comments of a personal nature to another commenter.]

    As an aside, I point the reader to the following article by Andrea Schulte:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0MDO/is_6_29/ai_95148874/

    I’m old school. I try to defend all pre-modern authors from egregious co-authoring of both the Right and the Left. For this reason I come down on the side of exegetes like Carolyn Osiek, who famously said:

    [Christianity] was part of a wider movement that was moving with glacial speed toward a more humane patriarchy, in Christian terms, perhaps, something like Troeltsch’s “love patriarchy.”

    End quote. If Osiek is right, then “biblical egalitarians” are wrong. They make Jesus and Paul and Peter into something they were not. That is what I was driving at.

  21. Ms. Jack says:

    Concerning the ESV translation of Romans 16:7:

    Greet Andronicus and Junia,[a] my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles,[b] and they were in Christ before me. {Footnotes: [a] Or Junias [b]Or messengers}

    What’s missing from the ESV footnotes? How about an inclusive translation of ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις? That the translators included a footnote for man-Junia but neglected a footnote for an inclusive translation of ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις essentially means that they’re saying it’s more likely that Junia was a man than it is that this phrase could be read to mean that Andronicus and Junia were apostles themselves. That is just … [bleeped by Moderator]

    I don’t normally like to speculate on why translators make the errors they do, but in this case, I think that the ESV translators who worked on this passage are … [Moderator deleted words which do not follow BBB guidelines]. And personally, I do not believe the ESV translators were incompetent.

  22. bibleshockers says:

    To me, the more interesting feature of the verse is that Paul mentions these Romans as his relatives. I have long held that there never was a “Saul of Tarsus” – only a “Paul” and that the “Saul” stuff was made up by “Luke”. “To the Jew I become as a Jew that I might win the Jews”… “He is a Jew who is one inwardly (ie: a “christian”).

    That Paul calls these Romans his relatives, to my mind, confirms that view. Note that this is a longstanding Roman family name – the name of the Jews’ oppressors:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junius_(gens)

    Likewise Andronicus:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livius_Andronicus

    This is all is part of the design of Acts, that it starts in Jerusalem, under James, and ends up in Rome, under Paul (who claims Jews unworthy, and “turns to the gentiles” while Paul is delivered by reasonable Romans from rabid Jews.

    But getting back to Junia…

    Which is more reliable data for the translator? The large body of explicit teaching of the scriptures? Or the possible mentioning of a feminine relative’s name as being well known by the apostles?

    “What drives a translation” (ie: a *correct* translation) is *explicit* information rather than dubious *implicit* information. Explicit trumps implicit every time.

  23. Sue says:

    [quote bleeped by Moderator]

    Ms Jack,

    I agree with you and on gender issues I do not believe that the ESV is worth citing. It is the translation which added “men” to Phil. 2:29, for no particular reason. This is the basis of the ESV, “for no particular reason.” If we don’t go with that, then we have to speculate on motive, which I will not do today. I don’t trust the text of the ESV.

    John,

    Please, I ask you, and this is about the 100th time, on and off blog. Where do I make Luther, Calvin and the church fathers out to be more … [motive word bleeped by Moderator] than they actually were? Where do I say that they are misogynist at all?

    [Personal comments to another commenter deleted by Moderator]

  24. Sue says:

    Bibleshockers,

    We are discussing the Greek language, not the English. In the Greek orthodox church, it was not acceptable for a woman to be a priest but perfectly acceptable for a woman to be an apostle. This is what we are discussing. There is no explicit information in the scripture that says that a woman may not be an apostolos. This is a word of common gender, and the Greeks recognize Saint Nina as an apostle to the Georgians, as well as Junia, as a female apostle.

    We may decide to translate the word “apostle” otherwise but what would be the justification for translating apostolos as “apostle” most of the time, and “messenger” in this one instance. That is the question. What would drive this translation?

    I actually think that they were missionaries, and that this is what apostle meant, but I also believe that “missionary” was a supported and honoured leadership role in the church.

  25. JKG says:

    [Moderator deletion of beginning words now moot. Thanks to Kurk for noting a moderator oversight.]

    There are a number of scholars, like Carolyn Osiek, who self-identify as both women and as feminists. To be clear, here’s how Osiek, feminist, scholar, woman, comments on and exegetes Romans 16:7 and its Greek names there. Osiek notes Chrysostom wasn’t a feminist but acts like one; notes that some feminists can sound Fundamentalist; and makes Paul sound pretty feminist, I’d say:

    “John Chrysostom… was no feminist but was the first on record to acknowledge Junia as an apostle in Rom 16:7” – Abingdon New Testament Commentary – Philippians and Philemon, page 111

    “Ann Wire [aka Antoinette Wire], who accepts the authenticity of these verses [i.e., 1 Cor. 14:33b-36], is interpreting Paul by the post-Pauline ethic of household codes; whether this is done by a feminist or Fundamentalist, the result is disastrous. It is very difficult to assume that Prisca, owner with Aquila of one of the houses where Ephesian congregations met (1 Cor. 16:19), was silent while worshiping in her own house, and Paul himself writes of some women prophets in Corinth who were not [silent] (1 Cor. 11:5). In contrast to these later, interpolated verses in 1 Corinthians 14, the early Pauline churches were sometimes led by women. In Romans 16 Paul calls Prisca a co-worker (v. 3), then commends Mary, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, and Persia for ‘working’ or ‘laboring’ (vv. 6, 12), a verb (kopian) Paul uses to characterize his own evangelizing and that of these women. He names Phoebe a diakonos (a ‘minister,’ v. 1) and Junia an ‘apostle’ (v. 7).” – Families in the New Testament World: Households and House Churches with David L. Balch, page 117.

    “Because they are described [by Paul] as prominent among the apostles — clearly a designation of paramount significance for Paul’s identity and in earliest Christianity — Andronicus and Junia are especially intriguing missionary partners (Rom. 16:7). It must be admitted that the term ‘apostle’ (ἀπόστολος) carries a broad range of meanings in Paul’s letters and can refer simply to a messenger or emissary of the church (e.g., 2 Cor. 8:23). But Paul frequently uses the term to refer to itinerant preachers of the gospel (2. Cor. 11:4-6, 13; 12:11-12). If we place the description of this pair of “apostles” within its context of Romans 16, which often alludes to precarious activities undertaken for the sake of the gospel, there seems little reason to doubt that Paul referred to Andronicus and Junia (described as Paul’s fellow prisoners) as apostles who partook in the missionary enterprise.” — Early Christian Families in Context: an Interdisciplinary Dialogue, also with Balch, page 163.

  26. Sue says:

    If Osiek is right, then “biblical egalitarians” are wrong. They make Jesus and Paul and Peter into something they were not. That is what I was driving at.

    “Biblical egalitarian” needs to be defined here. As far as I can see, there is no one on this blog trying to make Jesus, Paul and Peter into something they were not.

    All I am trying to do is ask if someone can produce even one piece of facsimile evidence that there were Greek manuscripts which accented Junia as a masculine name. That’s about it.

  27. bibleshockers says:

    >>>We are discussing the Greek language, not the English.

    I thought that we were discussing what drives translation? But we can discuss the Greek. I know a little Hebrew and a little Greek. (The Hebrew runs a local Deli, and the Greek runs a Dry Cleaner).

    >>>…We may decide to translate the word “apostle” otherwise but what would be the justification for translating apostolos as “apostle” most of the time, and “messenger” in this one instance. That is the question. What would drive this translation?

    I didn’t post that about “messengers.” But if you see that as the issue…

    I would think that AGGELOI would be closer to “messengers.” “Apostles” were “emissaries” and were in effect “vicars of Christ” in that they had seen Jesus, and were sent by him to accomplish the establishment of the new religion.

    For example, Paul (who met Jesus after his ascencion – never knowing him in life) was “born out of time” and was tasked to both design and build the new humanity.

    In other words, they did not just act as messengers, or even as mouthpieces. They had authority to make binding decisions on the assembly of God. These were Popes. They could write the scriptures and interpret scriptures, and their writings and interpretations were de facto correct.

    While sometimes an author does use a word in more than one way, I think it impossible to imagine that Paul is doing that here.

    But the passage does not say that Paul’s relatives **are** apostles, but only that they are “well known to” the apostles. Here’s the the NET Bible:

    NET ©
    Greet Andronicus and Junia, 1 my compatriots 2 and my fellow prisoners. They are well known 3 to the apostles, 4 and they were in Christ before me.
    “3 tn Or “prominent, outstanding, famous.” The term ἐπίσημος (epishmo”) is used either in an implied comparative sense (“prominent, outstanding”) or in an elative sense (“famous, well known”). 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. In this instance, the idea would then be “well known to the apostles.” See M. H. Burer and D. B. Wallace, “Was Junia Really an Apostle? A Re-examination of Rom 16.7,” NTS 47 (2001): 76-91, who argue for the elative notion here.”

    Personally, I find the fact that they were “in Christ before” Paul to completely undermine the biographical info of Galatians 1, where he professes complete independence of the apostles. He was unknown to them, and them to him. That he got his information about being “in Christ” straight from Jesus.

    The Wikipedia article says:

    “…Two Greek manuscripts have “Julia” (clearly a woman’s name) instead of “Junia(s)” in this verse. One is papyrus P46 of about the year 200. The other is the thirteenth-century minuscule manuscript catalogued as “6”…”

    But P46 only has through Romans 11:33, so that leaves us with a 13th Century witness alone:

    http://www.cbl.ie/getdoc/4a02241d-54b6-446f-9f34-dbfda9a3f0f8/Letters-of-Paul-(P46)-English.aspx

    What Romans 16:7 suggests to me is that:

    * Paul was a Roman, not a Jew
    * He didn’t invent the gospel, or get it straight from Jesus
    * the apostles probably knew him, and he them (though they probably didn’t get along).

    It does not suggest that Junia was a Jew, a woman or an apostle.

  28. Ms. Jack says:

    bibleshockers ~ But the passage does not say that Paul’s relatives **are** apostles, but only that they are “well known to” the apostles.

    This is not correct. ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις can be translated inclusively, and we have definitive parallel examples of it being used inclusively in antiquity. For responses to the article by Burer and Wallace (and the NET Bible’s conclusions), see:

    Richard Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2002): 165-80.

    Linda Belleville, “Ἰουνίαν . . . ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις: A Re-examination of Romans 16.7 in Light of Primary Source Material,” New Testament Studies 51 (2005): 231-49.

    Eldon Jay Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle (Minneapolis, Minn.: Fortress Press, 2005): 72-8.

    Also, please note that Michael H. Burer was one of the translators on the NET Bible.

    It does not suggest that Junia was a Jew, a woman or an apostle.

    I remain baffled at how you or anyone else can continue to argue that this passage could even possibly refer to a man, let alone that it does not internally suggest a woman. In ancient Greco-Roman nomenclature, Junia was a woman’s name. We have hundreds of examples of this. If you disagree, then please cite for me a single example of a man from antiquity named “Junias.”

    Even if we could find these evasive 9th century MSS that have allegedly accented Ἰουνίαν in the masculine, accents that were added to the text 800 years after the fact hardly trump the weight of the 1st century evidence against this. If we really believe that things added to the text hundreds of years after the fact are reliable markers for the nature and content of the original text, why don’t we stop marking the Johannine Comma and the ending of the Gospel of Mark as spurious additions to the texts while we’re at it? After all, the witness for those passages far pre-dates the witness for man-Junia.

  29. John Hobbins says:

    JKG,

    I just put up a tribute to Carolyn Osiek on my blog. At least we agree on the fact that she is a wonderful scholar, an example to us all. But I think you misrepresent her when you say she makes Paul sound like a feminist. See my Osiek quote above.

    Ms. Jack and Sue,

    So far as I can see, your comments about ESV are unfounded. If, on the basis of ESV’s translation of Roman 16:7, you feel licensed to refer to ESV as …. [Moderator: some of Ms. Jack’s words have been deleted as not following BBB guidelines, so reference to them is deleted here.] then what kind words will you spend on RSV and RSV’s translators? They translated Romans 16:7 as follows:

    Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners; they are men of note among the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

    No footnote was felt necessary.

    If you want a footnote to RSV at this point, the Ignatius Study Bible 2d edition (2010) provides it: “among the apostles”: this can be understood to mean that (1) Andronicus and Junias [there is another note to the effect that Junias could refer to a man or a woman] were apostles in the broader sense of the word (messenger, Phil 2:25; 2 Cor 8:23), or that (2) that they were esteemed by the original apostles.

    It is fashionable among a small group of people to attribute all sorts of misdeeds to ESV’s translators. At least it should be pointed out that this fashion has never caught on in the wider Christian community. Which explains why Bill Mounce, formerly the chair of the ESV NT translation, was invited to help revise NIV, as also reported on this blog. If the NIV translators thought Mounce was … [bleeped by moderator] they would not have asked him to help them in the revision process.

  30. Ms. Jack says:

    bibleshockers ~ Yes, Junia is a Roman name.

    John Hobbins ~ The first edition of the RSV New Testament was published in 1946, long before significant scholarly attention had been devoted to the error of Junia’s gender in the Nestle-Aland text. It’s reasonable to understand how translators working in 1946 might have overlooked this issue. Scholars publishing a translation in 2001 can hardly claim the same.

    Furthermore, saying that Andronicus and Junia were “of note among the apostles” is a translation that can be read inclusively as well as exclusively, so the RSV translators responsibly conveyed the ambiguity of the Greek text. The ESV irresponsibly eliminated this by changing it to “well known to the apostles,” which can only be read exclusively. I’m glad that you pointed out the RSV, because it shows how … [bleeped by Moderator] this change in the ESV was.

    I have no problem with Bill Mounce’s inclusion on the NIV 2011 translation committee as I consider him a first-rate scholar. Just because he’s one of dozens of men who worked on the ESV doesn’t mean he agreed with the final rendering of Romans 16:7. If he did sign off on the final version of the ESV Romans 16:7 with no objection, then I am disappointed with him, but I don’t see that as a reason to blacklist him from any and all future Bible translation projects. Just keep him away from gender issues.

    It is fashionable among a small group of people to attribute all sorts of misdeeds to ESV’s translators.

    As far as this thread is concerned, I have only attributed one misdeed to the ESV’s translators, and then only the people who were responsible for the rendering of Romans 16:7. So I’m not sure why this is relevant.

  31. bibleshockers says:

    >>>I’m glad that you pointed out the RSV, because it shows how … [bleeped by Moderator] this change in the ESV was.

    Have you seen the NET Bible translation and notes?

  32. Sue says:

    Bible shockers,

    One has to understand the original languages first in order to translate.

    Here are the errors in the NET Bible notes,

    “3 tn Or “prominent, outstanding, famous.” The term ἐπίσημος (epishmo”) is used either in an implied comparative sense (“prominent, outstanding”) or in an elative sense (“famous, well known”).

    This is the theory of the authors of this note.

    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).

    According to this part of the note, episemos may occur with either en plus dative OR genitive and still be inclusive (comparative).

    When, however, an elative notion is found, ἐν (en) plus a personal plural dative is not uncommon (cf. Pss. Sol. 2:6).

    This citation is NOT an example of an elative notion. There are two ways to translate this citation. First, the Jews were captive in a place that was prominent among the Gentiles – in any case, the Jews were physically in a place that was among the Gentiles. The term episemos referred to the place.

    The other possibility is that the the Jews were in a mark/brand among the Gentiles. Episemos, in this case is a noun for a mark or brand. There is not even the slimmest chance that this citation has an elative or non-inclusive notion for episemos.

    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 no word of perception in the phrase under consideration. This note clearly demonstrates that the author of the note works on exegesis with the English in mind, and not the Greek.

    In this instance, the idea would then be “well known to the apostles.” See M. H. Burer and D. B. Wallace, “Was Junia Really an Apostle? A Re-examination of Rom 16.7,” NTS 47 (2001): 76-91, who argue for the elative notion here.”

    There is not the remotest chance that this note contains any comment of use.

  33. Sue says:

    Even if we could find these evasive 9th century MSS that have allegedly accented Ἰουνίαν in the masculine,

    Then you would be rich and famous! 🙂

  34. John Hobbins says:

    Ms. Jack,

    RSV is very sparsely footnoted in the first place. So is NRSV, which often changes RSV without a footnote explaining why.

    It’s nice of you to retreat from your [bleeped] statement. Furthermore, given that ESV did not set itself the goal of “conveying the ambiguity of the Greek text,” its translators, and Bill Mounce as chair, cannot be regarded as irresponsible because they disambiguated the Greek text.

    What we have here is an honest disagreement.

    Don’t get me wrong: I once said something to the effect that I thought NLT could not be recommended because it mistranslates a verse in Genesis 3. But that was way over the top.

    My experience is the following; I would guess it is yours as well: the major translations, including ESV, generally succeed, not in living up to their hype, but in following a recognizable translation strategy. There is always room for improvement – and honest disagreements.

    I’m thinking you would enjoy Al Wolter’s piece. He re-opens the question of the gender of the name in a compelling way.

  35. John Hobbins says:

    Sue,

    You say:

    “There is no word of perception in the phrase under consideration.”

    Many of us, not just the NET Bible commentator, would classify episemos ‘insigne,’ as we say in Italian, as a word of perception.

    You are making very cut-and-dried statements. …. [bleeped personal comment: Moderator]

    Finally, the notion that D. B. Wallace, whom the NET Bible commentator cites in support, does not know Greek well enough to attain the certainty of interpretation which you, on the other hand, have reached beyond all doubt, is open to question.

  36. J K Gayle says:

    But I think you misrepresent her when you say she makes Paul sound like a feminist. See my Osiek quote above

    It was your quote and the assertion around it that made me interesting in showing some of Dr. Osiek’s commentary on and exegesis of Rom. 16:4. (I look forward to reading your tribute.) As you know, Dr. Osiek contributed substantially to my dissertation and was the one committee member who, after the successful defense, initiated continued conversation with me about feminism, Greek, and translation. I doubt I’ve misrepresented her but probably she have said that Dr. Osiek lets Paul sound like a biblical egalitarian in Rom 16.

    BBB moderator,
    Thanks for allowing the conversation here with such responsible oversight! You are helping us watch the guidelines and be fair and civil without undue silencing. Thanks also for considering our individual feelings and requests.

  37. J K Gayle says:

    Lest it’s not clear, I meant the former comment in reply to John Hobbins and meant to say “interested in” not “interesting in.” (I just teach English and don’t always use it well esp wh blogging by iPhone). 🙂

  38. Ms. Jack says:

    John Hobbins ~ I think you misunderstand my apology. The opinion I expressed in my edited comment remains my opinion; I only apologized for saying it because I did not know that sort of speculation on the motives of translators was against commenting policy here. I’m a big fan of following the rules that blog owners set up to insure civil conversation.

    My feelings are that when the Greek text is itself ambiguous, rendering it ambiguously in English is the most literal way of translating it. If it cannot be rendered ambiguously in English, choosing a translation and footnoting the alternatives is the way it should be done. Whether ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις should be rendered “outstanding among the apostles” or “well known to the apostles” is the most valid point of disagreement in Romans 16:7—far more valid than man-Junia or translating ἀποστόλοις as “messengers,” so we can’t blame this oversight on sparse footnotes.

    Hence I can and I will hold the ESV translators accountable for doing a poor job with Romans 16:7. I’ll just keep my speculations for what might cause them to do such a poor job elsewhere.

    For the record, I have never said that the ESV can’t be recommended on any issue. I used to enjoy the ESV quite a bit before I had an awakening to its take on gender, and I was genuinely heartbroken when I realized how divisive and partisan it was. In spite of my disappointment with those aspects of it, I’ve still recommended the study Bible to several Mormons and ex-Mormons. I’m pretty sure the ESV people have me to thank for at least a few of their study Bible sales.

    Dan Wallace is also someone that I like and respect. When I was in undergrad at BYU, I corresponded with him a little bit about a paper I was writing on the Johannine Comma and he was very helpful. I just don’t read him on gender issues much anymore unless I’m trying to familiarize myself with a complementarian counterpoint.

  39. Sue says:

    Many of us, not just the NET Bible commentator, would classify episemos ‘insigne,’ as we say in Italian, as a word of perception.

    I don’t work from Italian either. In any case, I don’t see a word of perception in episemos, so I don’t see any reason to classify it that way for the purposes of collating it with a particular preposition, in this case ev.

    It is clear in NT Greek that en plus the dative is often synonymous with the genitive in comparative and inclusive phrases. Consider this example.

    ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν Matt. 23:11 (genitive)
    the greatest among you

    ὁ μείζων ἐν ὑμῖν Luke 22:26 (en plus dative)
    the greatest among you

    Here are a handful of other examples,

    καὶ σύ Βηθλέεμ γῆ Ἰούδα οὐδαμῶς
    ἐλαχίστη εἶ ἐν τοῖς ἡγεμόσιν Ἰούδα Matt. 2:6

    ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; ESV

    ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν οὐκ ἐγήγερται ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν μείζων Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν Matt. 11:11

    Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. ESV

    Ἰούδαν τὸν καλούμενον Βαρσαββᾶν καὶ Σιλᾶν
    ἄνδρας ἡγουμένους ἐν τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς Acts 15:22

    Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas,
    leading men among the brothers ESV

    It seems that using en plus the dative is common enough for “among.” And where are examples to support the contrary conclusion?

    …. [Moderator deleted personal comment]

  40. Ms. Jack says:

    One more note: when I say that the text is ambiguous, to be clear, I do think that the text favors an inclusive reading of ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις. I even think it strongly favors an inclusive reading of ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις. But I don’t think that an exclusive reading can be ruled out altogether.

    The TNIV had no footnotes on Romans 16:7. The NIV 2011 has added a footnote expressing that the passage can mean “esteemed by the apostles.” I think the NIV 2011 translators have chosen the best possible way of rendering the passage.

  41. Sue says:

    Finally, the notion that D. B. Wallace, whom the NET Bible commentator cites in support, does not know Greek well enough to attain the certainty of interpretation which you, on the other hand, have reached beyond all doubt, is open to question.

    Yes, this is a good question. I have provided my examples, and I have perused all of Dan Wallace’s examples. I note that out of dozens of examples, there seems to be perhaps one example of episemos used in a non-inclusive sense in the 5th century. In that example, the person who is episemos, is definitely more prominent than anyone else she is compared to, so it is still a comparative example, but non-inclusive. Therefore, it still supports my suggestion better than any other, that episemos means “outstanding” and not “well-known.”

    You can compare my training and Dan Wallace’s if you like. I have not read his resume.

  42. John Hobbins says:

    Kurk, you are an eternal optimist!

    My guess is that the edited version is far more difficult to understand than the unedited version of this conversation. A small comfort: the unedited version remains in the email boxes of several of us.

  43. Sue says:

    But I don’t think that an exclusive reading can be ruled out altogether.

    I read every single citation in the Wallace and Burer article in their original context, and did not find any support for their conclusions. Their best parallel was Pss. of Solomon, and as has been shown, this was misinterpreted in their article. This leaves them with no evidence. Their article should be retracted.

  44. Sue says:

    Failure again. I am clearly distracted by this. Someone should just try to ascertain a thimbleful of truth and stick to that.

  45. Ms. Jack says:

    Sue ~ I’ll be happy to take a look at Wallace and Burer’s evidence again in light of your arguments when I get the chance. My thoughts on these arguments are always a work in progress.

  46. Sue says:

    Ms. Jack,

    It was very tedious and involved searching the epigrapha databases. I think that the best is to look at Pss. of Solomon 2:6 and ask if what they say about this citation is accurate and then judge the article on that basis.

    Here it is.

    http://www.cbmw.org/images/jbmw_pdf/6_2/junia.pdf

    “When, however, an elative notion is found, evn plus a personal plural dative is not uncommon. In Pss. Sol. 2:6, where the Jewish captives are in view, the writer indicates that “they were a spectacle among the gentiles (ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν)

    Semantically, what is significant is that (a) the first group is not a part of the second—that is, the Jewish captives were not gentiles; and (b) what was ‘among’ the gentiles was the Jews’ notoriety.”

    But the actual text of the Pss of Sol. 2:6 is as follows, ἐν ἐπισήμῳ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν. (I can’t find the full verse at the moment.) But this is enough to demonstrate that there is no parallel between Pss of Sol. 2:6 and Romans 16:7.

    I have put up an image of Iounian accented as a feminine on my blog.

  47. John Hobbins says:

    Sue,

    You say,

    “Their article should be retracted.”

    Of course, scholarship doesn’t work that way. Their article passed through a peer-review process. Other scholars found the article reasonably argued and credibly supported.

    On the other hand, if you are sure of your results, the least you can do is submit your finds to peer-review. Until you do, Wallace, not exactly a no-name, is under no professional obligation to interact with you.

  48. Sue says:

    I meant that the conclusions and the note in the NET Bible should be retracted. Accurate commentary on Wallace and Burer’s article has been published by Linda Belleville. I did add considerably to her work, but her article is sufficient to completely debunk Wallace’s claim.

    Any scholar who did not retrace the epigrapha would not be able to view what I say, and what Linda Belleville saw. There is no value whatsoever in anyone who did not look at the evidence, offering an opinion.

    Clearly, Linda Belleville, Bauckham and Epp are being simply disregarded in this discussion. I would recommend Belleville’s article first.

    I cannot agree with comments on Greek grammar made by Wallace in this article as they are not accurate.

    I don’t have time right now to publish. I work 1.5 time to look after my children’s college education.

  49. Stephen C. Carlson says:

    Reuben J. Swanson’s edition of Romans lists over 60 medieval manuscripts with the paroxytone Ἰουνίαν (feminine) and none with the perispomenon Ἰουνιᾶν (masculine). There is one manuscript, 1837, that reads the properispomenon Ἰουνῖαν, which I interpret to be feminine as a case of the wrong accent on the right syllable because distinctions in the pitch accent and vowel length were lost in Byzantine times.

  50. Ms. Jack says:

    Sue and I are separate people. She’s fully capable of taking responsibility for her own arguments and I’ll take responsibility for mine.

  51. Don says:

    The ESV is an admitted [bleep] translation since they believe that God and the Bible are [bleep]. Given this, their translation choices should come as no surprise to anyone, [bleep] is a part of their paradigm. [Moderator deleted words which attribute motives, not allowed by BBB posting guideline #2.]

  52. Sue says:

    I am making “cut-and-dried” statements, because I have posted 30 or 40 times on Junia, and I would rather discuss facts first, and then talk about whether this is “p/c” after. I am surprised the point of this post is about motivation, but we are not allowed to comment on motivation. [Moderator note: commenting on the principle of translational bias or improper motivates is perfectly acceptable. Bias should be avoided in Bible translation. But ascribing bias to particular translators or translations is not acceptable on this blog. The author of this post did not ascribe bias or wrong motive to any translators, nor should any of us in comments on his post.]

    Ms. jack,

    Welcome to the BBB. Just think of all the fun you have been missing. I like your comments, but just wanted to point out to others, that although we are both female, we are individuals with no prior contact, and there is no reason why my comments should be compared unfavourably to your comments. This is some kind of [motive words deleted by Moderator] tactic, but the truth is I like your comments.

  53. John Hobbins says:

    Sue,

    …. [personal comments deleted by moderator]

    Besides the authors you cite, you will want to look at David K. Huttar, “Did Paul call Andronicus an apostle in Romans 16:7?” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 52 (2009) 747-778.

  54. Sue says:

    6 οἱ υἱοὶ καὶ αἱ θυγατέρες
    ἐν αἰχμαλωσίᾳ πονηρᾷ
    ἐν σφραγῖδι ὁ τράχηλος αὐτῶν
    ἐν ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν

    Here is the citation in question, Pss of Solomon 2:6. Now here is Wallace and Burer wrote in their article,

    |In Pss. Sol. 2:6, where the Jewish captives are in view, the writer indicates that “they were a spectacle among the gentiles” ( ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ). This construction comes as close to Rom. 16:7 as any we have yet seen. The parallels include (a) people as the referent of the adjective ἐπισήμῳ,…”

    And here is the NET Bible note,

    “Or “prominent, outstanding, famous.” The term ἐπίσημος (epishmo”) is used either in an implied comparative sense (“prominent, outstanding”) or in an elative sense (“famous, well known”). …

    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. In this instance, the idea would then be “well known to the apostles.””

    …. [bleep]

  55. Sue says:

    I had an email conversation with both Burer and Wallace about this. Dr. Wallace indicated that he had assigned to Burer the task of finding new evidence and responding to Belleville’s article. After a couple of years, when I emailed them about once a year, they said that they were too busy. And that they had not changed their mind about Junia, and that they did not think that they had gotten it wrong after all.

    But at first, yes, they were quite aware of the need to redo it.

  56. Don says:

    [bleep].

    I do not agree with Osiek, I see Jesus as an egalitarian. What convinced me of this is his correction of 7 errors of the Pharisees in their interpretation of Torah in Mat 19:3-12, Mark 10, etc. and they were ALL in the egal direction, as they make things symmetrical, and one cannot get more egal than symmetry between the genders.

  57. John Hobbins says:

    Don,

    …. [bleep]

    The ESV and NRSV translation teams agree on the fundamentals, that is, that Paul and Peter did not challenge the patterns of gender complementation of their day so much as requalify them on the basis of a Christological criterion. The same is true with respect to master-servant relations.

  58. John Hobbins says:

    There is nothing unlikely about a husband-and-wife team being sent out by their home church, and with the seal of the Holy Spirit, to other churches or to start new ones, in the middle of the first century of this era.

    As long as “apostles” are understood in this sense, Romans 16:7 poses no serious difficulties.

    There is a wide consensus to this effect among students of the Bible and Greco-Roman culture of the time.

    [bleep]

  59. Sue says:

    Certain passages indicate that Jesus and Paul specifically challenged complementarianism by lowering the expectations that women are blessed primarily by being married and bearing children.

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