Hatred for Christianity is ramping up in the halls of power. Heretics and witches grow ever more credentialed and ever less coherent.
Blame Martin Luther for People Thinking the Bible’s Female Apostle Was Male
By Candida Moss, 18 May 2020
Despite widespread acceptance in the first millennium of Christianity, since Martin Luther there has been a strangely persistent push to make Junia male.
Even the sub-heading is laughably wrong. There was never widespread acceptance of female clergy in either Christianity or its predecessor, Judaism. Luther had nothing to do with “Junia theology” because that’s not even a thing. And most Bible scholars think she was female because she was partnered with somebody named Andronicus. Look up THAT prefix!
When we think of the ‘apostles’ we usually think of the main twelve followers of Jesus who accompanied him during his ministry in the Holy Land. You might also mention St. Paul, who became a follower of Jesus after a vision on the road to Damascus and is known as an ‘apostle’ or, more specifically, ‘the apostle to the Gentiles.’
What all of these people have in common is that they were men.
Also, that all of them had personal knowledge of Jesus. Paul’s encounter was post-ascension during the infamous Road to Damascus incident.
Some Charismatics use “apostle” to mean “church-planter” but that’s a very unwise practice because it serves to elevate almost any pastor to the status of the Twelve, who were supernaturally tasked to found the Church.
The gender selectivity of Jesus’s chief followers is, to this day, the basis for all-male clergy in many Christian denominations. And yet the Bible does call one woman—Junia—not just an “apostle” but “highly esteemed among [them].”
On the one hand, she has one single sentence that is sometimes translated to imply that a woman was a high-level, capital-A Apostle, esteemed even by the Twelve. On the other hand, she has all the rest of Scripture from woman’s original creation to Paul’s command that women not have authority over men.
Obviously, we should to go with the single sentence that confirms what we already know to be what “God really wanted the Bible to say”.
If you’re thinking, “I don’t remember Jesus meeting a Junia,” then you’re correct; she is never mentioned in the Gospels.
That alone disqualifies Junia as an Apostle. In fact, the first round of letters and books to be categorized as apocrypha were done so mainly on the basis of the authors not having that firsthand knowledge of Christ’s teachings. Paul was a very specific exception; 1 Corinthians 15:7-8, “Then [Christ] appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”
That “last of all” phrase does not bode well for Barbie’s claim to apostleship.
But the status of Paul in the history of Christianity shows that you didn’t actually have to know Jesus when he was alive to hold the rank of apostle in the early church. It’s an open secret that Paul calls Junia an apostle and yet she is rarely mentioned in histories of Christianity. A new article by Yii-Jan Lin, a professor at Yale Divinity School, published in the Journal of Biblical Literature, sets out to examine the ways in which people have tried to push Junia out of the spotlight by claiming either than she was male or that she wasn’t really an apostle.
I almost don’t need to comment further than “Atheist female Ivy League scholar thinks Christians are wrong to worship Father God” but confronting such lies is good practice. Lin’s article is paywalled, unfortunately, so I was reduced to this secondhand smoke.
These debates are comparatively recent.
There was no demand for a female apostle until sexual liberation.
For the first millennium of the Common Era nobody doubted that Junia was a woman and an apostle.
That’s Anno Domini, “In the Year of Our Lord”, witch.
As Lin told me, “Junia was understood—without debate—to be female.” There are even some ancient manuscripts that mistakenly changed her name to “Julia” an indisputably female name. The argument that she might have been male first appeared in the writings of 13th century scholar Giles of Rome, who read her name as the masculine ‘Junias.’ As Eldon Epp argued in his brief book on Junia, the controversy began with a change of accent: if you replace the acute accent over the ‘i’ (´) with a circumflex (˜) over the ‘a’, you change Junia’s name from female to male. Giles was followed by the widely influential protestant reformer Martin Luther, who used a masculine form of her name in his German translation of the Bible. Luther’s actions, Lin told The Daily Beast, “really set the stage for the next few centuries, in which scholars and church leaders increasingly interpreted the person to be a man. By the 20th century, ‘Junias’ was the predominant translation used, with the assumption that the person was a man.”
No more foreplay. Here’s the passage: Romans 16:7: “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.”
We can bicker and argue about whether apostle means Apostle, or if Paul really did share a prison with a woman, but here’s the simple fact: Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:12 “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”
Either Paul was breaking his own rule or Junia was not a church leader of any kind.
We don’t know much about the historical Junia.
Consistent with her NOT BEING A CHURCH LEADER.
She is mentioned only once in the section of greetings that conclude Paul’s famous Letter to the Romans. In Romans 16:7 Paul sends his regards to “Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” We learn here that Junia was imprisoned with Paul (presumably for being a Jesus follower/agitator);
Nah, Paul was a meth dealer. Of course they were in prison for Christ!
…she and Andronicus were followers of Jesus before Paul was; and that she was highly regarded “among the apostles.”
Despite the now widespread recognition that the name Junia is female…
Despite the controversy reportedly being recent…
…the controversy about her status continues to rage. The recent debate focuses on the precise meaning of the Greek phrase that underlies “among the apostles” does it mean that ‘of the many apostles she was prominent’? Or does it mean that she was ‘highly regarded by the apostles’? If it’s the latter, some scholars have argued, then she wasn’t actually an apostle.
Bitch, I won that so-called controversy, spiked the football, did a victory lap, got some dinner and set up a cabana on the finish line for the spectators laughing at you to stop hamsterbating. Try to keep up if you’re going to run with the MEN.
If this seems like a strange debate for academics to be having, then your instincts aren’t wrong. Lin told me “I doubt there would be arguments about what this phrase means if Junia was understood to be male. But since it’s virtually impossible for Junia to be male, some interpreters have then focused on the Greek of the phrase ‘esteemed among/by the apostles’ to argue that she was not an apostle.”
Waiiiting, at 1 Timothy 2:12.
When scholars (who are all, you won’t be surprised to learn, male) try to make this argument they appeal to the use of this language and grammatical form elsewhere in ancient Greek. There are two problems with these arguments, Lin told me. In the first place, the ancient examples cited by other scholars do not definitively prove anything and, thus, cannot be used to “exclude Junia from apostolicity.” The second problem is that grammar is ambiguous while logic is not. Lin used famous athletes as an example of how this ambiguity works: “[The statement that]‘Michael Jordan is esteemed by basketball players’ does not necessarily exclude or include Jordan from the category ‘basketball player’ – the grammar tells us nothing here, and we can only deduce that Jordan IS a basketball player because we already know who Jordan is.”
Even within the artificially narrow perspective of ONE SINGLE SENTENCE, “Andronicus and Junia” is suggestive of a husband-and-wife duo.
In other words, the context of the statement and other knowledge we might have about the person under discussion is central. This is why, for Lin, the opinions of early Christian readers of this passage are so valuable. Everyone who comments on Junia in the early church assumes that she is female and an apostle. Lin cites the fourth century bishop and famed orator John Chrysosotom, who wrote of Junia: “How great the wisdom of this woman must have been that she was even deemed worthy of the title of apostle.” If male authority figures viewed her as female and an apostle, why would later readers go to such lengths to try to prove otherwise?
This argumentation style is textbook SJW. “This one guy in the fourth century says I’m right so how can the rest of Christianity over two thousand years say I’m wrong?” The SJW doesn’t believe there is any objective truth to arrive at, only preferred Narratives competing for supremacy.
Which explains why the socialist loves identity politics. They organize around their favorite, most self-serving falsehoods like they were ice cream flavors.
One of the most interesting details in the scant information Paul provides about Junia is his reference to her as being “in Christ” before he was. In her article, Lin persuasively argues that this detail is linked to Paul’s sense of his own mission and the rapidly approaching end of the world. Paul saw himself as the last apostle before the cataclysmic events that would bring the world to an end.
No. That was John and his Revelation didn’t come with a timetable.
His missionary activity is a frenetic blur of evangelism that is hurried precisely because he believed that time was limited. But he’s deeply invested in being the ‘last apostle’; for Paul “there is…a connection between Paul’s status as last apostle and [the] apocalyptic, last events” that Paul discusses in the Letter to the Romans.
No, no, no. These are all lies. Paul routinely stayed for months or years in a specific place, typically being chased out by a raging mob rather than a sense of urgency. Not to mention his last years under house arrest in Rome. I even double-checked if there were any “apocalyptic, last events” in Romans… and found this:
Romans 16:17-18 “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”
Boo-ya, bitch! There ain’t no substitute for reading Scripture.
What this gives us is additional evidence about women in the early church. The rank of apostle appears to have been the highest rank among early followers of Jesus. It included not only the twelve and Paul, but also key missionary leaders like Timothy and Silas.
No Christian authority ever claimed that Timothy and Silas were Apostles, except in that too-loose context of “they started a church somewhere”.
Apostolic authority is something that some Christian denominations utilize to this day. The pope, for example, derives much of his authority from the notion that he is the spiritual descendant of Peter.
The Pope is the political descendant of Peter. Big, fat difference. In fact, no famous Christians has spiritual descendants. We have the Spirit of Christ by direct access. One can talk about the traditions set by the Apostles but that also is very different from “spiritual descendant”.
Acknowledging Junia’s role as an apostle reconfigures what we can say about women in the early years of the Jesus movement. Lin told me, that reinstating Junia as apostle could enable us to “broaden our understanding of who had apostolic authority in the early church and so perhaps who founded churches, went on missionary journeys, were trusted transmitters of Jesus’s words, and preachers of the gospel.” They weren’t just followers of Jesus or low-level organizers, they were among the most elevated and elite group of leaders.
Lin lied to you, Moss, about EVERYTHING. You believed it because it was what you wanted to hear.
Lotus mouth, upturned left eye canthus and pre-shaving Skrillex hair make me quite suspicious about her.
Ph.D., New Testament, Religious Studies, Yale University.
M.A. New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
M.A. English Literature, University of Chicago.
B.A. English Literature, Pomona College.
In chronological order, she graduated from Feminism, Globalism, Sportfucking and the Pharisees.
Professor Lin specializes in textual criticism, the Revelation of John, critical race theory, gender and sexuality, and immigration. Her book, The Erotic Life of Manuscripts (Oxford 2016), examines how metaphors of race, family, evolution, and genetic inheritance have shaped the goals and assumptions of New Testament textual criticism from the eighteenth century to the present.
Methinks that even Jezebel was better behaved than that.
A downward-pointing nose is distrustful. Possible manjaw, not sure. Flat chest is also consistent with high testosterone.
THEOLOGIAN CANDIDA MOSS
University of Notre Dame theologian Candida Moss specializes in Bible studies and early Christian history and is the author most recently of The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom. Before participating in a panel on why we need saints, she talked about her suspicions involving a conspiracy to oppress cold caffeine drinkers and what it’s like to read The Great Gatsby for the first time as an adult.
What do you eat for breakfast?
I don’t eat breakfast. I have Diet Coke. I firmly believe there’s a conspiracy about oppressing cold caffeine consumers.
Because Cold Brew is so hard to find these days?
What’s your favorite Twitter feed?
I’m such a stereotype: BuzzFeed.
What does it take to get you out on a dance floor?
A couple of martinis and some Miley Cyrus—early Miley Cyrus, I might add.
If you were going to martyr yourself for a particular cause, which would you choose?
I think maybe disability rights. I believe really strongly in disability rights.
What is your most prized material possession?
I have a bronze humidor from the 19th century that has a depiction of female martyrs being executed. They’re all naked, and it’s clearly sort of 19th-century ironic art disguised as pious religious artifact, and I love it.
Maybe for her that’s true. For all that feminists resent men wanting to boink them, they’re obsessed with sex.
What’s the last great book you read?
I don’t really read for pleasure anymore, it’s really sad. But I recently read, for the first time before I saw the film, The Great Gatsby, because it’s not a part of English education. I thought that was pretty good. It’s so embarrassing reading books that people read in high school in America for the first time.
A common fate for the enemies of God is God taking away their ability to be happy. Me? I had fun with metaphorical boot spurs today.