Was Junia An Apostle?
In Romans 16:7, the NKJV states: “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.” Advocates who want to expand the role of women into leadership roles in the spiritual realm believe that this verse supports their case that Junia, a female, was a member of the apostolic band.
First, it must be discovered whether this name was a man's name or a woman's name. If the name has an acute accent on the penult, then it would be a feminine name - ∆Iouni÷an. If the name has a circumflex accent on the ultima, then it would be a masculine name – 'Iouniavn. If a person does a study on this matter, the majority of the evidence pinpoints that this was a masculine name (Junias). The best Greek text (the Majority Text) has it as masculine gender. Even the 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland text) has it as a masculine name. There are no feminine gender antecedents [adjectives, participles, or pronouns] modifying the name as a feminine name.
What does it mean that these two Christians are of note among the apostles?
Let us look at how other translators have translated this term:
ESV (English Standard Version): “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.”
ASV (American Standard Version, 1901): “Salute Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me.”
NASB (New American Standard Bible, 1995): “Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”
The context pinpoints that these two Christians were highly regarded by and well known to the apostles - not that they were apostles themselves. The apostles knew of them personally and honored them for their great commitment to God.
There is no inspired record of any other apostles added to the apostolic band, except for Matthais (Acts 1:26,27) and Paul himself (Acts 9). Also, it would be inconsistent to believe that a woman could be an apostle, but not be an elder (the third highest work in the church after apostle and prophet, based on the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 that states that one of the qualifications is to be the husband of one wife).
This material is copyrighted by The Gospel of Christ and its authors. This information is free to use in its entirety without further consent, however, modifications should not be made without contacting firstname.lastname@example.org for permission. Any and all images contained herein are believed to be free for all distribution and content.