Who was St. Junia?
Saint Junia the Apostle
I believe the answer is straight-forward: In the earliest generation of Christianity, there was a female Apostle named Junia whom Paul said was prominent among the Apostles before he himself was converted (1). Junia and her co-worker in the faith, Andronicus, were among several women and men greeted by Paul (Romans 16:7): "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners; they are prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me." Some scholars have translated her name as male – 'Junias' – but no such masculine name is found in any extant Greek or Latin document of the New Testament era. The feminine, Junia, appears in over 250 Greek or Latin inscriptions in Rome alone. The feminine form for the name was dominant in the writings of the Church Fathers for the first thousand years of Christianity. Only since the Middle Ages, largely due to Luther’s translation, did the view that Junia was a man by the name of ‘Junias’ begin to prevail. Cultural values led to the assumption that the gender had to be masculine because women couldn’t possibly be apostles, which contributed to controversies about women’s ordination, especially in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Another example of mistranslation dilutes the status of Junia by rendering the passage as "well known to the Apostles" rather than "distinguished among the Apostles." Grammatical features argue for the latter interpretation based upon comparison with Hellenistic literature, including a nearly perfect parallel to the Romans passage being found in Lucian's Dialogues of the Dead . A detailed assessment of the various translations, exegetical and interpretive issues was recently published, which resolved the Junia controversies (2). Current scholarship is nearly unanimous that Romans 16, where Junia is mentioned, is part of the original letter that Phoebe delivered to Rome. Phoebe, a deacon and Paul’s benefactor, was thus the letter’s first bearer and interpreter. Several women were specifically singled out in this passage for their labor on behalf of the Gospel , not just because they were partners or wives.
Palindrome Stone at our Door.
We have a replica palindrome mounted outside the door. A Palindrome is a message that can be read forward and backward, and this one was discovered in England. It allegedly is a relic of the early Roman period in that area, about 100 AD. The same palindrome was reportedly discovered in Pompeii, off the coast of Italy. In Latin, it reads:
The Latin words translate, “The Sower Holds the Wheel with Care.” During times of persecution, this palindrome was carved onto the outside walls of buildings and dwellings where Christians lived, identifying the location as a safe haven. We pray that we at St. Junia’s House can fulfill the intent of the Palindrome.
Click for a large picture.
Retreats and Clergy Respite at St. Junia’s House
We can hold day retreats for small groups up to a dozen. We will occasionally host a retreat following a biblical study series here at St. Junia's House. We are available to other local ECC communities who wish to have a small group retreat or meeting. Meals will be provided. Please contact us to discuss your needs and to schedule your event.
We can host retreat for one person or a couple for up to two days and two nights. Such retreat can be guided, or it can be private and silent – your choice. Please contact us to discuss your needs and to schedule your retreat.
The Bishop of the ECC is also pastor at St. Matthew&s Church, which is 15 minutes from St. Junia&s House. We are willing to provide "bed and breakfast" for ECC clergy and their spouse who are passing through, or who need a time of recouping and respite. Please contact us to discuss your needs and to schedule your time.