The academic journal of
apers Vol 33, No 2 | Spring 2019
Bible Translation 3 The Power of Bible
Aloo Osotsi Mojola 8 Junia, a Female Apostle:
An Examination of the Historical Record Dennis J. Preato
17 Lessons from Scripture
for Maasai Christianity, Lessons from Maasai Culture for the Global Church
Joshua Robert Barron 24 Is 1 Corinthians 14:34â€“35
a Marginal Comment or a Quotation? A Response to Kirk MacGregor
Philip B. Payne
Priscilla and Aquila instructed Apollos more perfectly in the way of the Lord. (Acts 18:26)
I Tertius . . . The theme of this issue of Priscilla Papers is Bible Translation. We featured this same theme four years ago, in the spring of 2015, but it is an important topic and worthy of considerable attention. The opening article is appropriately titled, “The Power of Bible Translation.” Author Aloo Mojola draws on his extensive experience as a Bible translator in eastern Africa. He offers insightful perspectives on the nature of Bible translation, including discussions of grammatical gender and the challenge of translating references to God. The second article moves from the broad topic of Bible translation to a particular detail of the biblical text, Junia’s name and her description as “outstanding among the apostles,” found in Romans 16:7. Most readers of Priscilla Papers will be familiar with debates about Junia’s sex and apostleship. The handful of perspectives and their several supporting arguments can be found in various books and journals, but not without considerable effort. This article, by Dennis Preato, gathers such information together in one place and also brings it up-to-date. Our third article returns to an African context. Missionary Joshua Barron writes about relationships among the Maasai people of Kenya, including a section on Ephesians 5 as a biblical witness to gender relationships. Joshua makes a convincing case that, not only should the Maasai learn lessons from Christianity about gender
relationships, but Maasai culture can be instructive for the global church as well. Finally, Phil Payne argues that 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 originates, not from Paul himself, but from a marginal note made by an early reader. Scribes subsequently added this marginal note to the text, at two different places. Phil writes here in response to an article that Kirk MacGregor published in Priscilla Papers in the winter of 2018. Kirk describes the text in question as a quotation-refutation device, meaning that Paul quotes a statement, only to then refute it. Thus these two authors agree that Paul did not compose, for example, the statement, “it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church” (1 Cor 14:35b NIV). They disagree, however, on how something Paul did not compose came to be included in this letter to the Corinthian Christians. I reiterate here what I said in the editorial introduction to that issue, that a central purpose of academic journals is to foster scholarly discussion that moves us toward the truth of important and difficult matters. Our cover photo features Julia Evelina Smith and Abigail Hadassah Smith, sisters from Connecticut who fought for the abolition of slavery and for women's suffrage. The picture makes an appropriate cover photo because Julia was the first woman to translate the complete Bible into English, a monumental task she completed in 1855.
. . . greet you in the Lord.
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Editor: Jeff Miller Associate Editor / Graphic Designer: Theresa Garbe President / Publisher: Mimi Haddad President Emerita: Catherine Clark Kroeger† Consulting Editor: William David Spencer Peer Review Team: Joshua Barron, Lynn H. Cohick, Havilah Dharamraj, Tim Foster, Susan Howell, Jamin Hübner, Loretta Hunnicutt, Adam Omelianchuk, Chuck Pitts, Marion Taylor, Karen Strand Winslow On the Cover: Portrait of Abby Hadassah Smith & Julia Evelina Smith, 1877; Library of Congress, Public Domain Priscilla Papers is indexed in the ATLA Religion Database® (ATLA RDB®), http://www.atla.com, in the Christian Periodical Index (CPI), in New Testament Abstracts (NTA), and in Religious and Theological Abstracts (R&TA), as well as by CBE itself. Priscilla Papers is licensed with EBSCO’s fulltext informational library products. Full-text collections of Priscilla Papers are available through EBSCO Host’s Religion and Philosophy Collection, Galaxie Software’s Theological Journals collection, and Logos Bible Software. Priscilla Papers is a member publication of the American Association of Publishers.
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The Power of Bible Translation Aloo Osotsi Mojola The Bible generates a range of complex and often ambiguous attitudes. For some the Bible is perceived as an oppressive tool that has historically been used to alienate and dehumanize. It has been viewed as an instrument of empire, of colonial and cultural domination, of conquest and subjugation. At various times and places, the Bible has been used as a basis for the discrimination and oppression of women and minorities. The Bible is not neutral. Its entry into a culture sends mixed messages. Where some see loss, others see gain. Where some see dispossession, others see empowerment. Where some see conquest, others see freedom. Where some see cultural dispossession and alienation, others see a call and challenge to reclaim the divine image—and thus equality and dignity—in all humans. For many in the church, the Bible is viewed as a transformative and indispensable tool. It is the church’s guiding document, central to the formulation of her creeds, to the formation of her faith and practice, to the fostering and nurturing of just and loving communities. Bible translators strive to provide access to this ancient text. Indeed, without translation the biblical writings and their rich treasures would be forever inaccessible. The vast majority of people read or hear a translated Bible, a domesticated Bible that by means of translators’ mediation has crossed boundaries of time and space, of language and culture.
Translation Theory and Practice I became involved in the world of Bible translation in the early 1980s. This was the high noon of the era of the legendary Eugene Nida. He was the leading light in the Bible Society movement, and his ideas remain important and influential. Dr. Nida was a great inspiration to me during those early years of my career. From Nida I learned that translation is a cross-cultural, crosstemporal, transformative event. The task of translation calls for the utmost sensitivity and care in the process of mediating between worlds. Translation is not simply rendering individual words, sentences, or even narratives. It involves penetrating the underlying culture, feeling its rhythms and emotions as well as its values. It involves operating in the worlds of the source text and of the target text, being thoroughly at home in both, crisscrossing comfortably between them. It involves interpretive choices influenced by one’s values, belief systems, ideological orientation, and vocation. The translator cannot be cut off from his or her product. The translation has much to do with the complexities of the source text world, of the target text world, and also of the world of the translator. The translator’s invisibility makes us blind to the fact that translators are not free of values, ideologies, or agendas. Translators are implicated in all kinds of biases and preferences. We do well to remember that: translators are constrained in many ways: by their own ideology; by their feelings of superiority or inferiority towards the language in which they are writing . . . by the prevailing poetical rules at that time; by the very language
in which the text they are translating is written, by what the dominant institutions and ideology expect of them, by the public for whom the translation is intended.1 For example, Gen 11:1 in the New English Bible, “Once upon a time all the world spoke a single language,” reflects the presuppositions of the translators. This reading was later, presumably under pressure from some quarters, changed in the Revised English Bible to, “There was a time when all the world spoke a single language.” Similarly, consider a reading such as Isa 7:14, where the Contemporary English Version presently has, “A virgin is pregnant,” but previously had “young woman.” Some contemporary Bible versions, such as NLT, NIV, NRSV, and ESV, transparently make known the translation team and translation philosophy. But the translators behind most Bibles remain anonymous, invisible. The invisibility of the translator has caught the attention of the American translation scholar Lawrence Venuti. Venuti is to be commended for highlighting what he refers to as the “translator’s shadowy existence.” Translations based on Nida’s approach were called “common language translations” in the sense that they sought to communicate to all speakers of the target language. They focused on being intelligible and clear, yet accurate. The concept of translation was defined in this framework as “reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source-language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style.”2 Dubbed the dynamic equivalence theory of translation and, in some quarters, the meaning based3 or sense-by-sense approach to translation—in contrast to the word-for-word or correspondence approach—this theory held that an unadulterated, objective communication of the meaning of the source text was possible. William Frawley explains this illusion in terms of a conduit metaphor. He argues that “it reifies meaning and gives it some kind of privileged, free-floating status.”4 This, however, is not possible since all meaning is processed and subjected to interpretation influenced by the reader’s or listener’s perspective and presuppositions, prejudices and biases. There is no access to the pure thought of the original author; this is always accessed through multiple lenses, driven by multiple interests. Venuti had this in mind when he wrote: a foreign text is the site of many different semantic possibilities that are fixed only provisionally in any one translation, on the basis of varying cultural assumptions and interpretive choices, in specific social situations, in different historical periods. Meaning is a plural and contingent relation, not an unchanging unified essence, and therefore a translation cannot be judged according to mathematics-based concepts of semantic equivalence or one-to-one correspondence. . . .5 Creation and re-creation of meaning are always embedded in particular contexts, paradigms, cultures, languages, presuppositions, belief systems, etc.
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Bible translation and interpretation confront the challenge of what Christian Smith refers to as “the problem of pervasive interpretive pluralism,”6 despite the paradoxical claims of biblicism. Belief in the authority and reliability of Scripture does not require biblicism. Biblicism defends a certain understanding of the Scriptures that is inconsistent with the reality of “pervasive interpretive pluralism” and the plethora of divergent interpretations from the same text. The crucial question here is this: Do our claims of inerrancy and infallibility apply to particular interpretations of the text, or to the text itself prior to being read and interpreted? The challenge, as Smith has argued, is that the process of being read and interpreted “gives rise to a host of many divergent teachings on important matters. . . .”7 Clearly, the biblical text is not spared the challenge of having a multivalent character.8 Our firm belief in the authoritative, reliable, and indispensable nature of the Bible does not immunize us from the risks of the interpretive process. Every reading or interpretation is mediated through selection from a large number of possible readings and is a function of the complexities and different outcomes of the interpretive process. No wonder interpretive pluralism pervades every area of Christian teaching. In light of the above, a claim to inerrancy and/or infallibility with respect to particular interpretations is unwarranted. While confessing and affirming the Bible to be “the only source and norm of all Christian knowledge,”9 we do well to acknowledge that the process by which we derive true knowledge from this foundational source is complex. Brian Malley and John Bartkowski both make the important observation that “competing textual interpretations can be traced to the distinctive presuppositions readers bring to the texts. Specifically, contrasting interpretations . . . seem closely related to their particular ‘prejudices’ (in this case, assumptions about the essential nature of men and women), which evangelical readers import in the interpretive process.”10
The Problem of Gender in the Bible The problem of translating the name and titles of God captures in a vivid manner the problem of gender in the Bible. The first verse of Genesis confronts the translator with the challenge of how to translate the word “God,” posing the difficult choice regarding the question of God’s nature and gender. The default position for most translators of the Bible is that God is necessarily masculine and, moreover, male, and should therefore be referred to using male pronouns (a choice required in languages that have grammatical gender, including English and African Cushitic languages such as Iraqw, spoken in Tanzania).11 In the case of languages that do not have grammatical gender, such as the Bantu languages of sub-Saharan African, the default position is to place God in the semantic class reserved for humans.12 In such languages, finding exact equivalents to represent gendered pronouns is an impossible task. The solution has been to find what Nida popularized as the “closest natural equivalent,” hence a dynamic equivalence translation and not a formal correspondence translation. Even though the Bible is replete with feminine metaphors for the biblical God, 4 • Priscilla Papers
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masculine metaphors are given prominence. God is spirit, yet the impression is given by some translators and interpreters that God is to be understood as masculine or in the image of a male human being. This, in effect, is a kind of idolatry since God is not a human being. Our language for talking about God is figurative, symbolic, and even anthropomorphic.13 Sallie McFague has made a compelling case for the centrality of metaphor in human language, including our talk about God. God talk, like all human language, is thoroughly immersed in metaphor— images, illustrations, substitutes, analogies, etc. Such tropes are often believed to provide a true understanding of reality. Unfortunately, reality as it is in itself (to employ a Kantian phrase) is humanly unknowable. Elevating expressions of God’s gender to an ontological status is merely a reflection of our limited perspective, trapped in time and place. Such expressions should not be confused with absolute truth or the objective reality they seek to comprehend. Elizabeth Johnson’s preoccupation with the question of “speaking rightly of God” cannot be ignored. She argues that it is: a question of unsurpassed importance, for speech to and about the mystery that surrounds human lives and the universe itself is a key activity of a community of faith. . . . Hence the way in which a faith community shapes language about God implicitly represents what it takes to be the highest good, the profoundest truth, the most appealing beauty. Such speaking, in turn, powerfully molds the corporate identity of the community and directs its praxis. . . . What is the right way to speak about God, in the face of women’s newly cherished human dignity and equality?14 The prevailing biblical perspective is sometimes described as androcentric or sexist. It unconsciously promotes the idea that males have primacy in the social order. Johnson notes that “inherited Christian speech about God has developed within a framework that does not prize the unique and equal humanity of women, and bears the marks of this partiality and dominance.”15
Translating “God” across Cultures As an illustration of the complexity of these issues, let me recall briefly an example from the Iraqw Bible translation project. The speakers of the Iraqw language live not far from the famous snowcapped Mt. Kilimanjaro. The problem of translating the name and titles of the biblical God in any language confronts the Bible translator at the outset. Do we take the path of domestication, using the name or one of the names of God from the local language? Or do we opt for foreignization, borrowing the name or one of the names of God from the lingua franca or from neighboring dominant languages? In either case, these names are Christianized as interpreted by the theologians or custodians of the faith. In the case of translating the name of God in the Iraqw language, we were confronted with their belief in a female god, Mother Looa. This is the goddess that the Iraqw people have known across time, who appears in their folktales and myths, in their daily conversations, and in their prayers. They
have for ages understood the creator of the universe to be Mother Looa. She is the provider and sustainer, the protector and loving mother of all humanity. She is the one whom everyone calls when they are in trouble. She represents all that is good, beautiful, and true. Evil and calamity, suffering and chaos are attributed to Neetlanqw, the male principle. The Iraqw language refers to Mother Looa using a female pronoun and to Neetlanqw using a masculine pronoun. Everyone on the translation team naturally settled for Mother Looa. Consultation with dozens of Iraqw pastors at the time confirmed that, in everyday conversation in the mother tongue, everyone uses the term Looa. The consensus was to continue using this term in the Bible. Thus Gen 1:1 read, “In the beginning Mother Looa created the heavens and the earth.” These editions were widely used, and for some time we all thought everything was fine, until the storm broke loose. It dawned on some of the Christian leaders that something was not right. They argued that in the Bible, as everyone knows, God is a father and therefore masculine. As a result, the masculine God was imposed on the Iraqw translation. The translators, who happened to be mostly female, were blamed for the decision to use the local name Looa in the translation, even though this was the consensus. The resulting change borrowed the name of God as used in Mungu, a language more widely used than Iraqw. The problem was that this shift reflects an ontological, rather than grammatical, understanding of terminology for God. Shifting to the Bantu languages, masculine and feminine pronouns are absent and are represented by the nominal class used to refer to persons, without reference to gender. All translations in Bantu languages follow this practice (as far as I have been able to ascertain). Thus the battle for masculine and feminine pronouns that is raging in some circles in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere, is absent from sub-Saharan Africa. When the word “man” is used in a generic sense, the Bantu word meaning “person” is used. As an important example, “son of man” is not translated literally as “male child of male human being,” but in almost all cases as Mwana wa Mtu (Kiswahili for “Child of Human Being” or “Child of Humanity”) or its variants in other Bantu languages, and in a few cases as “son of humanity.” This seems to be the case also in the Nilotic languages, such as Dholuo of Kenya and Dhopadhola of Uganda, which both use “Son of Human Being/Humanity” instead of “Son of Man.” In the case of the frequent “my son” in Proverbs, most Bantu languages, and a number of Nilotic languages as well, opt for “my child” rather than “my male child” on grounds of naturalness in spoken speech. In general, then, in the Bantu and most Nilotic languages, terms and expressions such as father, son, man, brother, men of Israel, likeness of men, and brotherly love are generally given a gender inclusive rendering that is natural in the target language.
God in Traditional African Perspective The traditional African perspective, as hinted at above, offers a wide diversity of pictures of God. Johnson draws attention to the Kenyan theologian John Mbiti, who has compiled a list of African names for God. Outside the generic use of the term “God,” with either a male or female referent, the most frequently
used term for the divine is “Creator.” Even a partial sampling reveals the diverse ways in which that theme is played out: God is called the Great Mother, Supreme One, Fashioner, Designer, Father, Distributor, Carver, Molder, Hewer, Excavator, Architect of the World. . . . In addition, the ultimate mystery is Alone the Great One, the Powerful One, Wise One, Shining One, the One who sees all, the One who is everywhere, He or She is Friend, the Greatest of Friends, the One you confide your troubles to, the One who can turn everything upside down, the One there from ancient times, the One who began the forest, the One who gives all, the Rain-giver. . . Highest of the Highest . . . Queen of Heaven whose glory shines in the mist and rainbow, the Great Spider, the Great Spirit, the Great One of the Sky, Protector of the Poor, Guardian of Orphans, the Chief, the Fire, the Almighty, Watcher of everything, Owner of everything, Savior of all . . . the One who loves, who gives birth to the people, who rules, who makes children, who embraces all, the One who does not die, who has not let us down yet, who bears the world, who has seen many moons, who thunders from far-off times, who caries everyone on her back, who is heard in all the world, the One who blesses.16 From this long list, we can see that in sub-Saharan Africa God is not primarily viewed in terms of gender, but in terms of what he or she does. In certain contexts God is mother, yet in others God is father, in still others he/she is Power or Force, etc. Unfortunately, in the process of translating the Bible in African languages and cultures, God is in almost all cases transformed into a male patriarchal figure; that is, God and all discourse about God have been patriarchalized!
The Invisibility of Women in Biblical Texts One need not go far in a critical and reflective reading of Genesis to start feeling that the female and feminine have been short changed. The general assumption holds the Creator to be male. Hence the ensuing narrative is written and interpreted from a patriarchal perspective. The patriarchal lens pervades and dominates both the Old and New Testaments. In the Gospels, for example, a quick look at the stories of the feeding of the 5000 or 4000 confronts the reader with the reality of the invisibility of women—present but not counted. Phyllis Trible, in her landmark article, “Depatriarchalizing in Biblical Interpretation,” demonstrates the patriarchal nature of Scripture, arguing that “considerable evidence indicts the Bible as a document of male supremacy.”17 She concludes, however, that, “In rejecting Scripture women ironically accept male chauvinistic interpretations and thereby capitulate to the very view they are protesting. The hermeneutical challenge is to translate the biblical faith without sexism.”18 Trible chooses to highlight those aspects of Yahweh that show God’s feminine side. She affirms the view that, “Feminine imagery for God is more prevalent in the Old Testament than we usually acknowledge.”19 Trible continues:
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Midwife, seamstress, housekeeper, nurse, and mother: all these feminine images characterize Yahweh, the God of Israel. . . . At the same time, Israel repudiated the idea of the sexuality in God. Unlike the fertility gods . . . Yahweh is neither male nor female, neither he nor she. . . . Cultural and grammatical limitations (the use of masculine pronouns for God) need not limit theological understanding. As Creator and Lord, Yahweh embraces and transcends both sexes.20 Invisibility and silence go together. Women in everyday situations and texts, including biblical texts, are disturbingly invisible and silent. Their voices are deliberately or unwittingly suppressed and silenced, marginalized and decentered. Strangely, we are often not aware that this is happening. Should we continue to be complicit in perpetuating this injustice, this scandal? Even though this silencing may have been the case, and may even be the case in a majority of situations now, that does not make it right. What is does not constitute what ought to be.
Patriarchy: The Elephant in the Room Gender inequality is legitimated and only makes sense in the context of patriarchy. This is our elephant in the room. Allan G. Johnson has succinctly captured the defining elements of patriarchy in terms of “its male-dominated, male-identified, male-centered, and control-obsessed character.”21 He argues that it is complex and systemic, has deep roots, and is not easy to change. He writes: It is like a tree rooted in core principles of control, male dominance, male identification and male centeredness. Its trunk is the major institutional patterns of social life as shaped by the roots—family, economy, politics, religion, education, music and the arts. The branches— first the larger, then the progressively smaller—are the actual communities, organizations, groups, and other systems in which we live our lives, from cities and towns to corporations, parishes, marriages, and families. And in all of this, individuals are the leaves who both make possible the life of the tree and draw their form and life from it. . . . As a system, patriarchy encourages men to accept male privilege and perpetuate women’s oppression, if only through silence. And it encourages women to accept and adapt to their oppressed position even to the extent of undermining movements to bring about change. We can’t avoid participating in patriarchy. . . . But we can choose how to participate in it.22 The social world of the Bible is undeniably patriarchal in the above sense, as are most cultures around the world. A faithful and regular reader of the Bible can hardly fail to see and gainsay this reality within the biblical texts and biblical worlds themselves. African cultures are no different from the biblical reality; patriarchy is pervasive and rears its head wherever one looks.
Patriarchy in Africa Julie Chinwe Ababa speaks for most parts of sub-Saharan Africa in her claim that in Nigeria “women are deprived of basic
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rights, using culture and tradition to justify the abuse.”23 In a recent book, African Women: Early History to the 21st Century, Kathleen Sheldon has provided a general overview of this reality, covering several decades that place the question of the African woman in historical perspective.24 While culture and tradition in Africa are veritable culprits in the subjugation and oppression of women, these works have received enormous support from both Christian and Islamic religious texts. These texts have emerged as the leading and most authoritative sources for the legitimization and justification of patriarchy and associated oppressive practices.25 In the African context, these practices are responsible for the underdevelopment of women. Women are excluded in almost every social-cultural and economic domain. Women are denied access to the ancestral land rights of their fathers or husbands. African marriage rights and values clearly favor males. Similarly, the bargaining power of women in their marital homes favors males. Sons are preferred to daughters, and mothers are often victimized for giving birth to female children. Education is gendered and has always favored the boy child. Moreover, obstacles to capital access are pitted against females.26 An African woman, Tsitsi Dangarembga, has remarked that, “This business of womanhood is a heavy burden. . . . And these days it is worse, with the poverty of blackness on one side and the weight of womanhood on the other.”27 Timothy Njoya observes, on the basis of his research, the following widely held beliefs and perceptions: 1.
Men should have precedence in opportunities in life.
Men have the right to eat and mate more than women.
Culture holds women accountable to men while the reverse does not obtain.
Men assume the rights to assign all chores and activities to women.
Men feel justified to assume unattainable and unsustainable marks of masculinity as providers, property owners, and protectors, even when it is women who actually execute all three roles.28
Some interpreters justify these African practices against women in the name of the Bible.29 There is, however, a fervent hope for the emergence of a post-patriarchal age, “one in which women and men find possibilities for the fullness of life, not through rule over one another, but rather through freedom and mutuality. . . .”30 These values, based on a Christocentric perspective that empowers, frees, and humanizes all of God’s people, ought to be the goal and norm in our translating and reading of the Bible.
Opportunities Though the translator is deeply committed to the text and to rendering it as faithfully and as accurately as possible, she or he is caught up in the web of the above-mentioned challenge of pervasive interpretive pluralism. There is no running away from the choices that must be made. On what do these choices turn? This is where our Christocentric hermeneutical key comes
in. For us, this is what in the final analysis will influence the outcome of the translation and the tenor of the target. The translator has here the opportunity to use his or her privileged status to challenge distorted notions regarding gender equality or inequality and the relationship between men and women as God created them. She or he has the opportunity to celebrate the equal dignity of the sexes, their mutuality to employ their gifts and competencies in serving God and humanity, their equal participation in sharing the glory of God in creation, in our communities, in our homes, in our churches, in education, in political and economic life, lived out in a community of justice and freedom. The translator is well positioned to influence the readings that the vast majority of Bible readers will end up believing to be the word of God. Hence the need to understand the complex role played by Bible translation in the interpretation and dissemination of the good news of our salvation and liberation. Bible translation is too important to be left to translators alone. Hope lies in actively engaging the translators and together shaping the outcome of our translations and the proper understanding of God’s word for us.
Notes The author has published on this topic in the journal Verbum et Ecclesia. See “Bible Translation and Gender, Challenges and Opportunities—with Specific Reference to sub-Saharan Africa,” vol. 39, no. 1 (2018), available at https://verbumetecclesia.org.za/index.php/ve/article/view/1820/3488. 1. Roman Alvarez and M. Carmen-Africa Vidal, “Translating: A Political Act” in Translation Power Subversion, Alvarez and Vidal (Cleveson: Multilingual Matters, 1996), 1–9. 2. Eugene Nida and Charles Taber, The Theory and Practice of Translation (Leiden: Brill, 1969), 12. 3. An example is Mildred Larson, Meaning Based Translation: A Guide to Cross-Language Equivalence (Lanham: University Press of America, 1984, 1989). See also Timothy Wilt, Bible Translation: Frames of Reference (Manchester: St Jerome, 2003); Jeremy Munday, Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications (London: Routledge, 2001); Edwin Gentzler, Contemporary Translation Theories (New York: Routledge, 1993); Jean Delisle, Translation: An Interpretive Approach (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1988). 4. William Frawley, Text and Epistemology (Norwood: Ablex, 1987), 136. 5. Venuti, The Translator’s Invisibility, 17–18. 6. Christian Smith, The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2012), 16–54. 7. Smith, Bible Made Impossible, xi. 8. Smith, Bible Made Impossible, 50. See further, Kurt MuellerVollmer, ed., The Hermeneutics Reader (New York: Continuum, 1989); Anthony C. Thiselton, The Two Horizons (Exeter: Paternoster, 1980); Grant R. Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral (Downers Grove: IVP Academic), 2006. 9. R. C. Sproul, “Sola Scriptura: Crucial to Evangelicalism,” in Foundations of Biblical Authority, 103. 10. Smith, Bible Made Impossible, 76; See also Brian Malley, How the Bible Works: An Anthropological Study of Evangelical Biblicism (Lanham: AltaMira, 2004). 11. The Iraqw language uses grammatical gender. Iraqw belongs to the Cushitic language family, which is part of the broader Afro-Asiatic
language family, of which the Semitic language family is a prominent member. See Christopher Ehret, The Historical Reconstruction of Southern Cushitic Phonology and Vocabulary (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer, 1980); Frøydis Nordbustad, Iraqw Grammar: An Analytical Study of the Iraqw Language (Berlin, Dietrich Reimer, 1988). 12. Derek Nurse and Gerard Philippson, eds., The Bantu Languages (London: Routledge, 2003). 13. Sallie McFague, Metaphorical Theology: Models of God in Religious Language (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1982). 14. Elizabeth A. Johnson, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse (New York: Crossroad, 1992), 3–6. 15. Johnson, She Who Is, 15. 16. Johnson, She Who Is, 119–20, taken from John S. Mbiti, Concepts of God in Africa (London: SPCK, 1970), 327–36. See also Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy (Oxford: Heinemann, 1969); Robert E. Hood, Must God Remain Greek: Afro Cultures and God-Talk (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1990). 17. Phyllis Trible, “Depatriarchalizing in Biblical Interpretation,” JAAR 41, no. 1 (1973): 30. 18. Trible, “Depatriarchalizing,” 31. 19. Trible, “Depatriarchalizing,” 32. 20. Trible, “Depatriarchalizing,” 34. 21. Allan G. Johnson, The Gender Knot: Unraveling our Patriarchal Legacy (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005). 22. Johnson, Gender Knot, 18–19. 23. Julie Chinwe Ababa, “Inequality and Discrimination in Nigeria, Tradition and Religion as Negative Factors Affecting Gender,” a paper presented at the Federation of International Human Rights Museums (Oct 2012). 24. Kathleen Sheldon, African Women: Early History to the 21st Century (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017). 25. See, for example, Charles Clark Kroeger and James R. Beck, eds., Women, Abuse and the Bible: How Scripture can be Used to Hurt or Heal (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), where the contributing authors provide abundant evidence of the use of the Bible to justify the oppression, exclusion, and suffering of women. 26. See Michael Kevane, Women and Development in Africa (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2014). 27. Quoted in Kevane, Women and Development, 1. 28. Timothy Njoya, Overcoming Delusive Masculinity: Men for the Equality of Men and Women (Nairobi: MEW, 2012), 7–8. 29. See the numerous examples in Kroeger and Beck, eds., Women, Abuse and the Bible. 30. Paula Cooey, William R. Eakin, and Jay B. McDaniel, eds., After Patriarchy: Feminist Transformations of the World Religions (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1991), xii.
ALOO OSOTSI MOJOLA is a professor at St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya, where he teaches philosophy, theology, and translation studies. He holds a PhD from the University of Nairobi and is also an honorary professor in the Faculty of Theology at Pretoria University in South Africa. In his work with the United Bible Societies, he worked as a translation consultant and also as the Africa area translation coordinator, and has participated in some sixty Bible translation projects in Africa. Dr. Mojola serves as a board member for the Kenyan NGO, Men for the Equality of Men and Women.
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Junia, a Female Apostle: An Examination of the Historical Record Dennis J. Preato 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. (Rom 16:7 NIV) Romans 16:7 presents two interpretive issues. First, was the person named Iounian, the form of the name in Rom 16:7, a man or a woman? Second, what is the meaning of episēmoi en tois apostolois: was Iounian counted as “highly regarded among the apostles” or only “highly regarded by the apostles”? This article serves two main purposes: First, to summarize in one place the arguments regarding Junia’s sex and apostleship. Second, to update the data relating to these arguments, especially regarding the several English Bible translations made available since scholars such as Bernadette Brooten, Linda Belleville, and Eldon Epp brought the issue to the fore.1 Over the last few decades, many Bible translations have been published and older ones revised to improve accuracy, replace obsolete words, correct translation errors, or appeal to different audiences. These newer translations, along with a careful examination of the historical record, provide conclusive evidence that Junia was indeed a female apostle.
Support for Junia being a Woman Part of resolving the first issue is that the name translated Junia(s) appears only once in the Greek NT. Further, the Greek form used in Rom 16:7, Iounian, depending on how it is accented, has been understood as referring either to a woman named Junia or to a man named Junias. More specifically, Iounian ends with an “n” because in Rom 16:7 it is a direct object and therefore in the accusative case, and no NT occurrence of the name gives us an example in a different case. As a result, accentuation is an important factor. But the oldest Greek NT manuscripts contained no accents (accents did not become common until the ninth century). Paul himself certainly did not include accents in his letters.
Bible Translations Historically Render Iounian as Female Bible commentators prior to the thirteenth century unanimously favor the female name, Junia. Moving forward, an overwhelming majority of Bible translations from the late 1300s through the mid1800s translate Iounian as a woman, not as a man. These Bibles include: Wycliffe (1382, 13902), Göttingen Gutenberg Bible3 (1454), Erasmus Greek-Latin NT (1519), Tyndale (1525), Coverdale (1535), Matthew (1537), Great Bible (1539–41), Taverner (1539), Geneva NT (1557), Bishops (1568), Spanish “Bear” Bible (1569), Rheims (1582), Geneva Bible (1583–99), Hutter Polyglot (1599), Reina-Valera4 (1602, 1858, 1909), King James Version (1611), Giovanni Diodati (1649), Wycliffe NT (1731), Webster (1833), Murdock NT (1852), and Julia Smith (1876). Early twentieth-century translations that understand Junia to be a woman include: Weymouth (1903), Montgomery NT (1924), Riveduta (1927), Lamsa Bible (1933), and Bible in Basic English (1949). Later twentieth-century Bibles that also present Junia as a woman include:5 CJB, GNT, GW, HCSB, ISV, KJ21, NCV, NIRV, NIVUK, 8 • Priscilla Papers
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NLT, NKJV, NRSV, NRSVA, NRSVACE, NRSVCE, REB, TMB, WE. Since 2000, there have been at least thirty new translations or revisions that translate Iounian as Junia. These include: aent, brg, ceb, CSB, EHV, EOB, erv, esv, EMTV, exb, Jmnt, jub, mev, Mounce, nabre, net, NMB, nheb, niv, NTE, nog, NR06, oeb, ojb, osb, leb, tniv, TPT, tlv, web.
Revisions of Existing English Translations Now Render Iounian as Female Several Bibles that once read Iounian as a male and thus translated it Junias have since revised their translations to read Junia. The 1978 and 1984 New International Version (NIV) originally presented this person as Junias; however, the 2011 revision of the NIV reads Junia, without any footnoted male alternative. This is a meaningful change and acknowledges without reservation that Junia was female. The 1970 New English Bible (NEB, and its prior 1961 NT) reads, “Andronicus and Junias [Footnote: “Or: Junia; Some witnesses read: Julia, or Julias.”] . . . They are eminent among the apostles.”6 Completely revised in 1989 as the Revised English Bible (REB), the text now reads Junia with no alternative offered. The 1970 Roman Catholic New American Bible reads, “Andronicus and Junias. . . . they are outstanding apostles,” with no footnote.7 The 2001 revision, New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE, as well as a prior revision) now reads: “Greet Andronicus and Junia. . . . they are prominent among the apostles.” Their footnote states: “The name Junia is a woman’s name. One ancient Greek manuscript and a number of ancient versions read the name ‘Julia.’ Most editors have interpreted it as a man’s name, Junias.” This comment about the prominence of Junias is strange, given that the Catholic Rheims translation of 1582 reads Julia and the vast majority of translations past and present print Junia. The American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901 reads, “Junias . . . who are of note among the apostles,” and footnotes, “or Junia.” The Revised Standard Version (RSV) is a revision of the ASV. Both the 1952 and 1971 editions of the RSV read, “Junias . . . they are men of note among the apostles,” with no footnote. The inclusion of “they are men” is a biased addition to the original text. Yet the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of 1989, a complete revision of the RSV, now reads, “Junia . . . they are prominent among.” It footnotes: “or Junias; other ancient authorities read Julia.” The NRSV translators corrected the gender in the main text but then created confusion by offering an optional male reading. The English Standard Version (ESV 2001) is another revision of the 1971 RSV. It reads, “Junia . . . they are well known to the apostles.” An ESV footnote reads, “Or Junias.” The ESV represents the sex correctly in the main text, but then translates Andronicus and Junia as simply being “known to the apostles” and not “among the apostles” as the RSV and ASV previously did. Why did they do this? Perhaps it is because the ESV is unapologetically complementarian.8 While complementarians now accept that Junia was female, apparently many are unable to intellectually support the notion
that a woman could serve as an apostle.9 Acknowledging a female apostle would weaken their claim that women are restricted from full ministry in the church.
Manuscript and Other Ancient Evidence Support Iounian as Female Based on overwhelming manuscript support, the fourth (UBS4 1998) and fifth (UBS5 2014) editions of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament read Ἰουνίαν (Iounían, accented to mean Junia). Indeed, these UBS editions assign this reading the level of absolute certainty in a footnote.10 The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (2010) and the twenty-eighth edition of the NestleAland edition, titled Novum Testamentum Graece (2012), also opt for Ἰουνίαν (Iounían, Junia). The same is true of the 2005 New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform and The Greek New Testament produced at Cambridge University’s Tyndale House in 2017.11 These editions account for essentially all Greek NTs in use today. Support for Junia is not limited to Greek manuscripts; the Latin Vulgate reads: Salutate Andronicum et Iuniam . . . nobiles in Apostolis. Iuniam is the feminine form of Junia in Latin, and nobiles in apostolis means “honorable among the apostles.” Thus, it is clear that Junia is supported by an impressive list of manuscripts of various kinds and over the centuries, as well as by the leading scholars who have produced these editions of the NT.12 A minority of manuscripts support an alternative female name, Julia.13 P46, a papyrus manuscript from AD 200–250, is the earliest witness to Romans. Because it has Julia at Rom 16:7, it represents the earliest testimony in support of a female name. The third-century Coptic, some manuscripts of the fourth-century Latin Vulgate, and certain fifth-century Latin manuscripts provide additional early support for a female name by reading Julia. Thirty-eight editions of the Greek NT, from Erasmus (1516) to Eberhard Nestle (1920), use the name Ἰουνίαν (Iounían), indicating feminine gender by accentuation. There is only one exception from those centuries: Henry Alford in the nineteenth century uses the masculine form Ἰουνιᾶν (Iounián) but also puts the feminine form in a footnote.14 In the first century AD, the name Junia appears in inscriptions located in Ephesus, Didyma, Lydia, Troas, and Bithynia, as well on tombstones in and around Rome. A prominent real-life example is a woman named Junia, the half-sister of Brutus, the legendary Roman general.15 Bernadette Brooten writes: “The female Latin name Junia occurs over 250 times among inscriptions from ancient Rome alone. Further, the ancient translations and the earliest manuscripts with accents support rendering Iounian as Junia.”16 Peter Lampe made the same claim, and Bruce Metzger agrees that Junia is well attested in ancient literature.17 The existence of the name Junia in Greek and Latin inscriptions, literature, tombstones, and even as the name of a well-known person, provide convincing evidence supporting the claim that Junia was a common name. The same cannot be said, however, for Junias as a common man’s name.
Church Fathers Support Junia as a Female Apostle John Chrysostom (AD 347–407), bishop of Constantinople, wrote a series of homilies that have been preserved. In commenting on Rom 16:7, Chrysostom praised Junia as an outstanding apostle:
Greet Andronicus and Junia . . . who are outstanding among the apostles: 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.18 Chrysostom not only praised Junia as a female apostle but also praised the service of other Christian women. Reflecting on Paul’s greeting of Mary in Rom 16:6 he wrote: A woman again is honored and proclaimed victorious! Again, are we men put to shame. Or rather, we are not put to shame only, but have even an honor conferred upon us. For an honor we have, in that there are such women among us, but we are put to shame, in that we men are left so far behind by them. . . . For the women of those days were more spirited than lions.19 Chrysostom’s positive comments about Junia and Mary are particularly convincing and supportive of women who ministered, especially considering his misogynistic views.20 Indeed, the attitude of the church fathers toward women was tragic.21 Origen of Alexandria (AD 185–254), a theologian and biblical commentator, understood the name to be feminine (Junia or Julia).22 Complementarians, in an attempt to prove otherwise, suggest that Origen, according to Rufinus’s translation of his commentary published by Jacques-Paul Migne, reads the masculine name, Junias.23 However, one complementarian scholar joins in doubting this claim of a masculine name, noting that Migne’s text (produced in the 1800s) is notoriously corrupt and probably in error. He believes Origen apparently read a feminine name, citing the work of Brooten and Lampe.24 In short, Origen acknowledged a female Iounian despite his misogynistic statements.25 In addition to Origen and Chrysostom, other Greek fathers and commentators unanimously understood Junia to be a female apostle, including Theodoret of Cyrrhus (ca. 393–466); Catena on the Epistle to the Romans 519.32 (fifth century); Oecumenius (sixth century); Chronicon Paschale (seventh century); John of Damascus (ca. 676–749); and Theophylact (1050–1108).26 Latin fathers from the fourth through the twelfth centuries were likewise unanimous in recognizing that Iounian was a woman who was notable among the apostles.27 Brooten writes: “To the best of my knowledge, no commentator on the Text until Aegidus of Rome (1245–1316) took the name to be masculine. Aegidus simply referred to the two persons in Romans 16:7 as ‘those honorable men’ without any explanation.”28 Why did he make this change in 1298? Aegidus, a contemporary of Pope Boniface VIII, probably complied with Boniface’s desire to limit the power and influence of women in the church.29 Douglas Moo agrees that commentators before the thirteenth century were unanimously in favor of a female translation.30 The evidence for Junia is so compelling that even complementarian scholars are now conceding the Iounian in Rom 16:7 is feminine.31
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Bible Translations Rendering Iounian as Male Reformation-era Bible translations tended to read Iounian as female. Luther’s 1522 NT stands as an exception and reads masculine, though his translation was based on Erasmus’s 1521 Greek NT, which clearly has the female accentuation.32 Perhaps Luther’s well-known prejudice against women in ministry affected his translation. Unfortunately, Luther’s influence extended to other translations. from that point forward German, Dutch, and French translations of Iounian were consistently masculine, while Italian and Spanish remained feminine.33 Not until the latter half of the 1800s was there a noticeable change in English translations from Junia to Junias. These Bibles included the Revised Version (RV 1881); young’s literal (1862, 1898 by Robert Young34); DARBY Bible (1890 by John Darby35); Douay-Rheims (DRA 1899 Catholic version); and American Standard Version (ASV 1901). The few mid-twentieth-century (1950–1999) English Bibles that read Junias, excluding those revised to now read Junia,36 include The New Testament in Modern English (1958–1972 by J. B. Phillips); New American Standard Bible (nasb 1960–1995); The Amplified Bible Classic Edition (AMPC 1965, 1987); New Jerusalem Bible (NJB 1985, a revision of the 1966 Catholic JB); The Living Bible (1971 paraphrase by Kenneth Taylor); The Message (1993 by Eugene Peterson); and the Contemporary English Version (cev 1995). Both the nasb and cev footnote an alternative translation of Junia or Julia. Since the year 2000, two translations have rendered Iounian as a man: The voice (VOICE 2012) and the Amplified Bible (amp 2015, a complete revision of the 1987 AMPC). The amp text reads Junias; however, two footnotes strongly suggest it should read Junia.37
How Bible Translators Changed the Translation from Female to Male On what basis did the later 1800s translations suddenly change the gender of Iounian? For example, the 1881 RV is a British revision of the King James Version based on the Greek NTs produced in 1881 by B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort and in 1857 by Samuel P. Tregelles.38 Yet those same Greek testaments accented Iounian as a woman’s name.39 Young used much the same text as used by the KJV for his 1862 translation, and his 1898 revision was based on Westcott-Hort. Darby also used Tregelles, as did the RV. Likewise, the ASV, which was a minor American revision of the RV, kept the status quo by using Westcott-Hort and Tregelles. To be clear, the editions of the Greek NT used as a textual basis for these translations do not support a male reading; therefore, one must question the motives of these English translators. Given the issue of suffrage, which was controversial during this same era, some form of bias against women played a part in how these Bibles came to read Junias rather than Junia. On a worldwide basis, the right of women to vote was a long, contentious battle that took many decades to resolve. In the United Kingdom, women were barred from voting by the Reform Act of 1832, and it was not until 1928 that women had the same voting rights as men. During this time, the RV, Young’s, and Darby’s translations were published in the UK. In the United States, women finally earned the right to vote in 1920 after nearly 100 years of advocacy, during which time the ASV was published. For decades, 10 • Priscilla Papers
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many argued against women’s suffrage, but one voice in the US stood out. Horace Bushnell, an influential American theologian and minister, wrote a rambling book in 1869 in which he argued that women were not created or called to govern. Nor should they have the right to vote. He predicted: “If women started voting, their brains would swell, and they would eventually lose their femininity and their morals.”40 Other voices argued, among other claims: that it was not their divine prerogative, that mothers should stay in their places doing what God intended for them, that their husbands voted for them, and that women were inferior to men. Such long held prejudice against women from within the church, in society in general, and efforts to prevent women from voting may have contributed to the bias reflected in how those Bible translations changed the gender of Iounian from female to male without textual support! In commenting on the translations from the 1940s to 1970s, Belleville suggests two reasons a shift to the masculine was made: The first is bias, since a “feminine name is consistently found in earlier translations.” The second is the change in how modern editions of the Greek NT accented Iounian before 1998. Belleville describes how the Nestle-Aland editions from 1927–1993 and United Bible Societies editions from 1966–1993 changed the accentuation, and thus the gender, from the feminine accented Ἰουνίαν (Iounían) to the masculine Ἰουνιᾶν (Iounián) because of their bias: “The rationale given by the majority opinion in the most recent edition of Bruce Metzger’s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament is the unlikelihood that a woman would be among those styled ‘apostles.’”41 Fortunately, that error was subsequently corrected. The UBS 1998 Greek New Testament, fourth revised ed., 3rd printing, correctly accents Iounian as Ἰουνίαν (Iounían), indicating a female Junia.
Manuscript and Ancient Evidence Supporting a Male Gender is Late Support for the male name Junias supposedly comes from later manuscripts dated from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. However, these would have accent marks reflecting a scribe’s interpretation (opinion) that Iounian was a masculine name.42 Their reasoning goes something like this: How could a female ever be an apostle? Therefore, Iounian must have been a male! But manuscripts from this late date do not provide any justification to support a male reading. Contrary to the impressive list of ancient support for a female name, there is no support for a male reading in the latest Greek NTs. In fact, many scholars, including Brooten, Lampe, Leonard Swidler, Metzger, and Dianne McDonnell, state the male name Junias is unattested in ancient Greek and Latin writings.43 Complementarians John Piper and Wayne Grudem performed a search of early Greek literature and found only three examples of Junia as a woman’s name.44 This is not surprising since Junia is a Latin name, not a Greek name! Their search was limited, inconclusive, and inaccurate. It does not prove that Junia was not a common name in ancient writings, and it is in opposition to the actual physical evidence mentioned earlier. Belleville performed the same database search and found seven names, not three.45 However, the significance of Piper and Grudem’s search is
that they could not cite even one example of a man named Junias. James Walters agrees: “Researchers have been unable to locate a single example of the male name Junias in ancient literature or inscriptions, either Latin or Greek.”46 R. S. Cervin also states that Junias is not found on any inscription, public monument, graffito, or in any literary document.47
Evidence for a Male Apostle: A Mistaken Church Leader Complementarians have stated that Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, Cyprus (315–403) compiled an Index of Disciples, in which he writes: “Iounias, of whom Paul makes mention, became bishop of Apameia of Syria.” According to them, Epiphanius wrote “of whom” using a masculine pronoun, thereby indicating that he thought Iounias was a man.48 The reliability of this evidence is in doubt because, in the same passage, Epiphanius also thought Prisca (Priscilla) was a man.49 Ascribing any importance to what Epiphanius may have thought, even after admitting and footnoting that Epiphanius was also confused with Priscilla’s gender, remains a significant weakness in the complementarian argument. Piper and Grudem, for example, state, “However, we are perplexed about the fact that in the near context of the citation concerning Junias, Epiphanias [sic] also designates Prisca as a man mentioned in Romans 16:3, even though we know from the New Testament that she is a woman.”50 Perhaps it is their long-held bias against women in ministry that was controlling their thinking. Certainly, that was the case for Epiphanius himself, who displayed his disdain for women by writing: “The female sex is easily seduced, weak and without much understanding. The Devil seeks to vomit out this disorder through women. . . . We wish to apply masculine reasoning and destroy the folly of these Women.”51 Epiphanius’s misogynist beliefs about women no doubt colored his thinking and writings.
Support for Junia Being “Among the Apostles” Bible Translations Historically Render Iounian as “Among the Apostles” Virtually all English translations have rendered episēmoi en tois apostolois as “among the apostles,” meaning they were apostles.52 Eighty-three translations, including some non-English translations, are listed below.53 • “Awncient [ancient] Apostles” (Coverdale 1535) • “Distinguished among the apostles” (Berean Study Bible: BSB) • “Distinguished among the sent” (Julia Smith) • “Eminent among the apostles” (ECB, REB) • “Famous apostles” (Luther 1522) • “Held in high esteem among the apostles” (AMPC) • “Highly respected among the apostles” (NLT) • “Leaders among the apostles” (NIRV) • “Noble among the apostles” (Wycliffe Bible 1382, 1390, Rheims 1582) • “Notable among the apostles” (DLNT, Geneva 1583, 1599, Hutter Polyglot 1599, EMTV, MNT 1924, HNV, NHEB, NR06, WEB) • “Of note among the legates” (Murdock 1852 Syriac Peshito Version)
• “Noted among the Apostles” (BBE) • “Noteworthy among the apostles” (MEV) • “Of note among the apostles” (ASV, BLB, BRG, DRA, Darby, GND 1649, JUB, KJV 1611, KJ21, MKJV, NKJV, OEB, OSB, Rivedu ta, RV, RSV, TMB, WBT 1833, Weymouth, YLT) • “Outstanding among the apostles” (CSB, EOB, Latin Vulgate, NASB, NIV, NIVUK, OJB, TNIV) • “Outstanding and well-known apostles” (TPT) • “Outstanding apostles” (NAB, NJB) • “Outstanding leaders” (MSG) • “Prominent among the apostles” (CEB, GW, ISV, NABRE, NOG, NRSV, NRSVA, NRSVACE, NRSVCE) • “Some of the most important . . . ones Christ sent out” (ERV, footnote: “Literally, the apostles”) • “Very important apostles” (NCV) • “Well known among the apostles” (GNB, GNT, Lamsa 1933, NSB, NTE) • “Well known among the emissaries” (CJB, JMNT, TLV, VOICE, footnote: “Literally, apostles”) • “Well regarded among the apostles” (NMB) • “Well taken among the Apostles” (Tyndale, Matthews, Great Bible, Taverner, Jugge’s Tyndale NT, Geneva NT, Bishop’s, all from the 1500s)
Few Translations Render Iounian as “Regarded By” or “Known To” Only a few Bible translations render the Greek as “well known to the apostles” or some other exclusive phrase. These translations read: “highly regarded by the apostles” (EHV 2017), “noteworthy in the eyes of the apostles” (CSB 2017, a revision of the 2009 HCSB), “well known to the apostles” (ESV 2001, LEB 2012, MOUNCE 2011, NET 2005),54 “held in high esteem in the estimation of the apostles” (AMP 2015, italics original). The AMP’s translation stands in opposition to its prior 1987 AMPC edition, which included Andronicus and Junias as “among the apostles.” The majority of the translators of this small number of Bibles have aligned themselves with a complementarian view of Scripture. They reject Junia as being an apostle and are to varying degrees affiliated with conservative groups that oppose women in ministry leadership positions. One example is the EHV, a publication of the Wartburg Project and thus of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which has a doctrinal statement that, among other restrictions, denies women the right to participate in any gathering which would involve authority over a man.55 Therefore, this translation and the other six listed above reflect their complementarian position of excluding women from leadership roles in ministry.
Lexical and Scholarly Support for “Among the Apostles” The standard NT lexicon provides only one meaning of episēmoi en tois apostolois, “outstanding among the apostles.”56 The standard lexicon of Classical Greek defines episēmos (singular of episēmoi) as “having a mark on it” and therefore “notable, remarkable.”57 The lexicon by Louw and Nida has “pertaining to being well known or outstanding,” rending Rom 16:7 as “they are outstanding among
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the apostles.”58 Most recently, The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek defines episēmos as “marked, distinguished, bearing a mark,” and therefore “distinguished, distinct, notable.”59 Noted Greek scholar A. T. Robertson (1863–1934) states that the phrase en tois apostolois “naturally means that they are counted among the apostles in the general sense of Barnabas, James, the brother of Christ, Silas, and others. But it can mean simply that they were famous in the circle of the apostles in the technical sense.”60 J. B. Lightfoot (1828–1889) agrees that the natural way to translate episēmoi en tois apostolois is “regarded as apostles.”61 F. F. Bruce (1910–1990) adds that, not only were they “well known to the apostles,” but they were “notable members of the apostolic circle.”62 Charles E. B. Cranfield (1915–2015) states it is “virtually certain” that the phrase means “outstanding among the apostles.” Walters, commenting on Cranfield’s remarks says, “this is the way the phrase was understood by all of the patristic writers and by most all modern commentators.”63 James A. Witmer (1920–2007) explains that episēmoi literally means “having a mark [sēma] on them,” therefore they are “illustrious, notable, or outstanding” among the apostles.64 These definitions describe Andronicus and Junia as people who “bear the mark” of an apostle. Moo, a complementarian, concludes that it is more natural to translate the phrase episēmoi en tois apostolois as “esteemed among the apostles” and not “by the apostles” because with a plural object, the preposition en often means “among.” Had Paul wanted to convey that they were esteemed by the apostles, he would have written “the apostles” in the dative case and not preceded by a preposition, or he would have used the preposition hupo followed by “the apostles” in the genitive case. Moo also states that earlier interpreters would argue against Paul referencing a woman because they had difficulty in “imagining that a woman could hold such authority in the early church.”65
Complementarian Support and Egalitarian Response for “Highly Regarded by” Some complementarians have said that Andronicus and Junia were merely “held in high esteem by the apostles.” Piper and Grudem, for example, say they were held in high regard or that they were “of note among the apostles,” meaning they were well known before Paul was converted. No evidence is provided, and they conclude, “we cannot be certain.”66 Such remarks are opinions without evidence. Another author has proposed that, if Junia was a woman apostle, then tension would be created because “apostles were the most authoritative messengers of God.” He implies that women could not serve God in this manner. He also states that Rom 16:7 is unclear but makes no attempt to explain why.67 Craig Keener expresses serious doubt about any such interpretation, saying: It is also unnatural to read the text as merely claiming that they had a high reputation with the apostles. Since they were imprisoned with him, Paul knows them well enough to recommend them without appealing to the other apostles, whose judgment he never cites on such matters. Paul nowhere limits the apostolic company to 12 • Priscilla Papers
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the Twelve plus himself, as some have assumed (see especially 1 Cor. 15:5–11). Those who favor the view that Junia was not a female apostle do so because of their prior assumption that women could not be apostles, not because of any evidence in the text.68 Belleville writes: “To say that Junia was ‘esteemed by’ or ‘prominent in the sight of the apostles’ is to ignore early Greek translations and commentaries. For example, the Vulgate, the standard Latin translation of the Western church, has ‘Junia . . . notable among the apostles (nobiles in apostolis).’”69 Aída Besançon Spencer and other scholars make the grammatical point that “the Greek preposition en which is used here always has the idea of ‘within.’”70 Greek textbooks point out that en followed by the dative normally means “in, on, among.” For example, en tois is translated as “among those” (1 Cor 2:6), and en tois ethnesin as “among the Gentiles” (Acts 15:12, 1 Cor 5:1, Gal 2:2, Col 1:27, 1 Pet 2:12). Where en tois is followed by a plural noun referring to a group of people, the word en is typically translated as “among.” However, that is what some complementarians try to argue against. Michael Burer and Daniel Wallace argued in 2001 that the more likely meaning of the adjective episēmoi with the prepositional phrase en tois apostolois is “well known to the apostles” (the exclusive view), not “outstanding among the apostles” (the inclusive view).71 Three NT scholars have challenged their working thesis: Richard Bauckham in 2002, Epp in 2002 and 2005, and Belleville in 2005. All three scholars point out various serious weaknesses and errors in the evidence presented.72 These three evaluations “should put to rest any notion that [Rom 16:7] carried the sense of ‘well known to/esteemed by the apostles.’”73 Belleville insists that, “primary usage of en and the plural dative (personal or otherwise) inside and outside the NT (with rare exception) is inclusive in/among and not exclusive ‘to’ . . .” (e.g., Matt 2:6, Acts 4:34, 1 Pet 5:1).74 Belleville writes: Burer and Wallace assume a conclusion not found in the evidence. Despite their assertions to the contrary, they fail to offer one clear biblical or extra-biblical Hellenistic example of an “exclusive” sense of episēmoi en and a plural noun to mean “well known to.” Burer and Wallace admit this early on, but then go on to conclude otherwise.75 In 2015, Burer responds to the critical analysis and objections previously raised by the egalitarian scholars.76 While a detailed analysis of Burer’s paper is beyond the scope of this article, a few observations should be noted. Burer quotes Chrysostom at least five times in his defense. What is quite revealing is Burer’s complete disregard of any patristic evidence and especially those comments from Chrysostom that Junia was an outstanding apostle! Bauckham considers it a “major error” to dismiss such evidence.77 So does this writer. After all, Chrysostom and Origen, who gave testimony to Junia, were native speaking Greeks! It is amazing that certain complementarian scholars discount or overlook (purposely or otherwise) the reality that those early church leaders certainly knew Greek and the ancient culture beyond the comprehension of anyone living today. Yet they still
refuse to acknowledge the early church fathers’ historical witness that Junia was indeed an outstanding apostle!
The Apostles’ Mission In light of the above arguments about Junia’s gender and apostleship, a brief treatment of the nature of the apostolic mission will be helpful. Apostles were called to preach the word of God to the body of Christ. “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers . . .” (1 Cor 12:28 NIV). Their mission was “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith . . .” (Eph 4:12–13 NIV). Who are the named apostles in Scripture? The first apostles were the Twelve that Jesus Christ appointed and sent out to preach, heal the sick, and cast out demons (Mark 3:14–15). However, the title “apostle” is not limited to the Twelve. Paul constantly refers to himself as an apostle and defends his calling throughout his letters, yet he was not one of the Twelve. Others specifically named as apostles include Matthias (Acts 1:26), Barnabas (Acts 14:14), Andronicus and Junia (Rom 16:7), Titus and his unnamed companion (2 Cor 8:23), James the Lord’s
brother (Gal 1:19), and Epaphroditus78 (Phil 2:25). Paul knew them and the extent of their service for Christ. He would hardly employ the designation “apostle” loosely.79 Paul recognized Andronicus and Junia in his personal greeting to the Romans. He calls them his relatives or compatriots, and they were imprisoned together for their devotion to Christ in preaching the gospel. Paul knew Andronicus and Junia well and acknowledged them as exemplary apostles. As apostles, they were called by God, sent to preach, and probably ministered together as husband and wife80 much like Prisca and Aquila (Rom 16:3– 5a). They may well have been among the seventy(-two) sent out by the Lord (Luke 10:1–20).81
Concluding Comments According to Scripture, Junia was a female apostle. The evidence is authoritative, compelling, diverse, and objective. The testimony of early manuscripts, statements of various church leaders through the twelfth century, lexical definitions, grammatical construction, scriptural examples, consistency of Bible translations from the 1300s onward, and extensive contemporary and past scholarship all provide conclusive evidence that Junia was a female apostle.
APPENDIX 1: Bible Translations Rendering Iounian as Junia, in Chronological Order (1950-2017) Mid-twentieth Century: Eighteen Bibles
Twenty-first Century: Thirty-one Bibles
Worldwide English New Testament (WE 1969)
Jubilee Bible (JUB 2000)
Names of God (NOG 2011)
New International Version Anglicized (NIVUK 1979)
World English Bible (WEB 2000)
New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE 2011)
New King James Version (NKJV 1982)
English Standard Version (ESV 2001)
New International Version (NIV 2011)
New Century Version (NCV 1987)
English Majority Text Version (EMTV 2002)
New Testament for Everyone (NTE 2011)
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV 1989)
Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB 2002)
BRG Bible (BRG 2012)
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA 1989)
New English Translation (NET 2005)
Lexham English Bible (LEB 2012)
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic (NRSVACE 1989)
Today’s New International Version (TNIV 2005)
Modern English (MEV 2014)
Revised English Bible (REB 1989)
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV 2006)
Amplified Version (AMP 2015)
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE 1991)
Jonathan Mitchel NT (JMNT 2006)
Tree of Life Version (TLV 2015)
Good News Translation (GNT, Today’s English Version, second ed. 1992)
Nuova Riveduta (NR06 2006)
New Matthew Bible (NMB 2016)
21st Century King James (KJ21 1994)
Eastern/Greek Orthodox Bible NT (EOB 2007)
Christian Standard Bible (CSB 2017)
New International Reader’s Version (NIRV 1995)
Orthodox Study Bible (OSB 2008)
The Passion Translation (TRT 2017)
GOD’S WORD (GW 1995)
New Heart English Bible (NHEB 2010)
Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV 2017-2018, NT and Psalms)
International Standard Version (ISV 1996)
Open English Bible (OEB 2010)
New Living Translation (NLT 1996)
Aramaic English New Testament (AENT 2011)
The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB 1998 by David Stern)
Common English Bible (CEB 2011)
Third Millennium Bible (TMB 1998)
Expanded Bible (EXB 2011)
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB 19992009)
Mounce Reverse-Interlinear NT (MOUNCE 2011)
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May the eyes of the church be opened to accept this fundamental truth and its significant implication—women must be allowed to preach, teach, and minister as God calls them. No longer can women be excluded from ministry based on a few problematic and disputed passages. To do so is to deny the full redemptive work of Christ (Gal 3:28).
Notes 1. Bernadette Brooten, “Junia . . . Outstanding among the Apostles (Romans 16.7),” in Women Priests: A Catholic Commentary on the Vatican Declarations, ed. Leonard Swidler and Arlene Swidler (New York: Paulist, 1977); Linda Belleville, “Ιουνιαν . . . επισημοι εν τοις αποστολοις: A Reexamination of Romans 16.7 in Light of Primary Source Materials,” NTS 51, no. 2 (Apr 2005): 231–49; Eldon Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005). This article builds on the author’s earlier publication: Dennis J. Preato, “Junia, A Female Apostle, Resolving the Interpretive Issues of Romans 16:7,” Priscilla Papers 17, no. 2 (Spring 2003): 23–25. 2. Most of the translations listed from the 1390 Wycliffe to the 1731 Wycliffe are available at http://bibles-online.net/. The 1390 First English NT (Wycliffe) is written in Chaucer-style English. Wycliffe used the Vulgate (probably fourth century, which read Julia) as his translation basis. 3. The Göttingen Gutenberg Bible is available at http://www. gutenbergdigital.de/gudi/eframes/. Rom 16:7 is in fol. 255v. 4. Available at https://www.biblegateway.com. 5. The full titles for all abbreviations in this paragraph are given in Appendix 1. 6. Available at http://katapi.org.uk/katapiNSBunix/NEB/NEBTextByBC. php?B=306&C=16. 7. Saint Joseph Edition of The New American Bible (New York: Catholic, 1970), 194, approved by the Vatican, Sept 18, 1970. Unfortunately, Epp and Belleville incorrectly list the NAB (1970) as reading Junia when in fact it reads Junias. Cf. Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle, Appendix B, Table 3; Belleville, “Re-examination,” 237n.24. 8. “Literary ESV is Unapologetically Complementarian,” https://cbmw. org/uncategorized/literary-esv-is-unapologetically-complementarian (Feb 24, 2018). 9. E.g., Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Thomas Schreiner, Michael Burer, and Daniel Wallace. 10. Specifically, in 1998 the 3rd printing of the fourth edition made the change to Ἰουνίαν (Iounían, accented to mean Junia). The shared text of UBS5 and NA28 is available at http://bibelwissenschaft.de/online-bibeln/ greek-new-testament-ubs5/lesen-im-bibeltext/ and at http://nestle-aland. com/en/read-na28-online/. 11. Maurice A. Robinson and William G. Pierpont, eds., The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform (Southborough: Chilton, 2005); Dirk Jongkind and Peter Williams, eds., The Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017). 12. UBS5 lists B2 D2 ψvid 0150 33 81 104 256 263 365 424 436 459 1175 1241 1319 1573 1739 1852 1881 1912 1962 2127 2200 Byz [L] Lect Chrysostom (without accents: אA B* C D* F G P). 13. Namely, P46 6 itar,b Vulgatemss copbo Eth Jerome. 14. Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle, 62–63. 15. Linda A. Belleville, “Women Leaders in the Bible,” in Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy, ed. Ronald W. Pierce, Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, Gordon D. Fee, 2nd ed. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2005), 117. 16. Bernadette Brooten, “Junia,” in Women in Scripture, ed. Carol Meyers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 107. 17. Walters, “Phoebe and Junia(s),” 186.
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18. Brooten, “Junia . . . Outstanding among the Apostles,” 141. Source: In Epistolam ad Romanos, Homilia 31, 2 (PG 60:669f.). 19. Leonard Swidler, Biblical Affirmations of Woman (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1979), 299. Source: PG 51:668f. 20. Swidler, Biblical Affirmations, 343. 21. Ronald L. Dart, “The Christian Woman,” http://borntowin.net/ articles/the-christian-woman-article (Feb 24, 2018). An excellent source of early church fathers’ misogynistic statements towards women. 22. Brooten, “Junia . . . Outstanding among the Apostles,” 141. Source: Commentaria in Epistolam ad Romanos 10, 26 (PG 14, 1281B); 10, 39 (PG 14, 1289A). The text printed in PG has Junia emended to Junias, but the manuscripts have Junia or Julia; Stanley Grenz, Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1995), 95; Belleville, “Re-examination,” 235. 23. PG 14:1289; John Piper and Wayne Grudem, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, ed. Piper and Grudem (Wheaton: Crossway, 1991), 73. 24. Douglas Moo, Epistle to the Romans, NICNT 6 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 922. 25. Cf. Dart, “The Christian Woman.” Source: Origen, Selecta in Exodus xviii.17, PG 12:296f. See also J. Kevin Coyle, “The Fathers on Women and Women’s Ordination,” in Women in Early Christianity 14, ed. David M. Scholer (New York: Garland, 1983), 142. 26. Richard Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 166; Belleville, “Reexamination,” 232. 27. Belleville, “Re-examination,” 236. Latin fathers included: Ambrose of Milan (339–397), Jerome (340–419), Primasius (d. after 552), Haymo of Halberstadt (d. 853), Rabanus Maurus of Mainz (c. 780–856), Sedulius-Scotus (fl. 848–858), Claudius of Turin (d. 927), Gullelus Abba (1085–1147/48), Hatto of Vercelli (924–961), Bruno of Querfurt (974– 1006), LaFranc of Bec (1005–1089), Peter Abelard (1079–1142), Herveus Burgidolenis (c. 1080–1150), and Peter Lombard (c.1100–1160); see also Joseph Fitzmyer, Romans: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB33 (New York: Doubleday, 1993), 737–38. 28. In Epositio in Epistolam ad Romanos 5 (PL 178, 973C), cited in Brooten, “Junia . . . Outstanding among the Apostles,” 141. 29. Dianne D. McDonnell, “Junia, A Woman Apostle,” https:// godswordtowomen.org/juniamcdonnell.htm (Feb 24, 2018). This article discusses how Junia became known as a male during the papal reign of Boniface VIII. 30. Moo, Epistle to the Romans, 922. 31. Belleville, “Women Leaders in the Bible,” 117. 32. Cf. Erasmus’s 1521 Greek NT and Luther’s September 1522 German NT, http://bibles-online.net. 33. Belleville, “Re-examination,” 237. 34. Robert Young (1822–1888) was a Scottish publisher self-taught in various languages with no formal education. 35. John Darby (1820–1882) was a British scholar, a Calvinist, and an advocate of Dispensationalism. 36. Omitted are any Bibles that originally read Junias, but their revision now reads Junia, e.g., the 1966 TEV revised by the GNT in 1992), NEB (1961, 1970, by the REB in 1989), NAB (1970, by the NABRE), NIV (1984). 37. The AMP’s footnotes read: “a) Or Junia (feminine). There is a higher probability that the name is feminine; no masculine forms found in this or near time periods. b) The Greek and larger context favor this understanding; Andronicus and Junia are not identified as apostles here.” 38. Michael D. Marlowe, “English Revised Version (1881–1895),” http:// bible-researcher.com/erv.html. 39. Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle, Appendix B, Table 1–2. 40. Horace Bushnell, Women’s Suffrage: The Reform against Nature (New York: Charles Scribner, 1869), 134–63.
41. Belleville, “Re-examination,” 237–38. See also Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: United Bible Societies, 1994), 475. 42. Moo, Epistle to the Romans, 922. 43. Walters, “Phoebe and Junia(s),” 186. 44. Using the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae database; Piper and Grudem, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 72. 45. Belleville, “Re-examination,” 234. 46. Walters, “Phoebe and Junia(s),” 186. 47. Catherine Clark Kroeger and Mary J. Evans, eds., The IVP Women’s Bible Commentary (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2001), 645. 48. Piper and Grudem, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 72. 49. Moo, Epistle to the Romans, 922. 50. Piper and Grudem, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 84. 51. Dart, “The Christian Woman.” Source: Epiphanius, Adversus Collyridianos, PG 42:740f. 52. Walters, “Phoebe and Junia(s),” 186. 53. Every translation listed above was reviewed. An excellent online source of historical Bibles starting with a handwritten 1390 English NT can be found at http://www.bibles-online.net. The 1841 English Hexapla compares all six of the most important ancient (1380–1611) English translations of the NT with the original Greek along the top. English words were spelled differently from today; “well” was spelled “wele” or “wel” and “among” was “amonge” or “amoge” (e.g., Tyndale 1525, etc.). 54. Their footnotes provide alternative translations: Or are outstanding among (HCSB, LEB), they are noteworthy among the apostles (CSB), Or messengers (ESV), Or “prominent, outstanding, famous” and “among the apostles” (NET). The HCSB and CSB are published by Holman Bible Publishers, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. 55. See their “Scriptural Principles of Man and Woman Roles,” items 17 and 18, at https://wels.net/about-wels/what-we-believe/doctrinal-statements/ man-and-woman-roles/. 56. BDAG 378. 57. LSJ s.v. 58. L&N s.v. 59. The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek (Leiden: Brill, 2015), s.v. 60. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, vol. 4: Epistles of Paul (Hiawatha: Parsons, 1997), electronic edition. 61. Walter Schmithals, The Office of Apostle in the Early Church, trans. John E. Steely (New York: Abingdon, 1969), 62. 62. F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), 298, 388. 63. Walters, “Phoebe and Junia(s),” 186. 64. John A. Witmer, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty: New Testament (Hiawatha: Parsons, 1997), electronic edition. 65. Moo, Epistle to the Romans, 923. 66. Piper and Grudem, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 73. 67. Thomas R. Schreiner, “The Valuable Ministries of Women in the Context of Male Leadership: A Survey of Old and New Testament Examples and Teaching,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 221. 68. Craig S. Keener, Paul, Women and Wives (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1992), 242, quoted in Rebecca Merrill Groothuis, Good News for Women: A Biblical Picture of Gender Equality (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997), 195. 69. Belleville, “Women Leaders in the Bible,” 118. 70. Aída Besançon Spencer, Beyond the Curse (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985), 104; F. F. Bruce, Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), 298, 388. 71. Michael H. Burer and Daniel B. Wallace, “Was Junia Really an Apostle? A Re-examination of Rom 16.7,” NTS 47 (2001): 76–91.
72. Bauckham, Gospel Women; Epp, Junia, The First Woman Apostle; Linda Belleville, “Re-examination.” 73. Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle, 78. 74. Belleville, “Re-examination,” 243. 75. Belleville, “Re-examination,” 244–45. 76. Michael H. Burer, “Episēmoi en tois Apostolois in Rom 16:7 as ‘Well Known to the Apostles’: Further Defense and New Evidence,” JETS 58, no. 4 (2015): 731–55. 77. Bauckham, Gospel Women, 179. 78. Epaphroditus historically has been referred to as “your apostle,” not “your messenger,” e.g., Wycliffe (1380), Coverdale (1535), Matthew (1537), Taverner (1539), Great Bible (1541), Bishops (1568), Rheims (1582), Giovanni Diodati (1649) Wycliffe NT (1781), DRB (1898), YLT (1898), NAB (1970), WEB (2000). 79. Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle, 70; Bauckham, Gospel Women, 180. 80. Epp, Junia: The First Woman Apostle, 32. 81. Belleville, “Re-examination,” 236. Belleville comments and footnotes that certain Latin authors, Haymo, Rabanus Maurus, Hatto of Vercelli, Bruno of Querfurt, Herveus Burgidolensis, speculated that “notable among the apostles” refers to the group of seventy-two that Jesus sent out.
DENNIS PREATO earned an MDiv from Bethel Seminary in San Diego, California. He has published and presented various articles on gender-related topics. He wishes to thank his wife, J. B. Preato (MDiv Summa Cum Laude from Bethel Seminary, MBA from Arizona State University), for her time reviewing and editing this article.
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Lessons from Scripture for Maasai Christianity, Lessons from Maasai Culture for the Global Church Joshua Robert Barron
Meetae tonyorraki maibai — “there is no one-way friendship.” — Maasai proverb1 Faith in Christ can and should transform every area of human life. Not only are believers transformed through their relationship with Jesus, ultimately resulting in a transformed culture, but as the Christian faith is enculturated around the globe, Christianity itself is also enriched by new insights and deeper understandings. One area where transformation is needed is marriage relationships. In many African contexts, women are oppressed and frequently abused. Having spent a decade working with Maasai churches, I can attest that this is an important issue among the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania. There is clear evidence that Christianity empowers many African women. Not only do they “receive social, spiritual, psychological and material benefits” in churches, “but they also feel affirmed and their dignity [is] upheld.”2 I am equally convinced that the gospel is transforming gender and marital relationships within Maasai culture and that Maasai Christianity can bring valuable insights to the practice and theology of marriage and relationships in global Christianity. In this article, I will first examine the Maa (the Maasai language) word pair olkitok and enkitok. Olkitok refers to a “master” whereas enkitok is the usual word for “woman.” I will then discuss the problems in gender relationships which the Maasai experience. These problems are often rooted in sinful attitudes held by men and women against each other. Today among the Maasai, for example, women are not seen as “great” (the root meaning of –kitok) but as “only children.” For this reason, the dignity Jesus offers women appeals to Maasai women. The Scriptures offer an uncompromising vision of gendered relationships, which is counter-culturally liberating for women. The gospel has been less appealing to Maasai men, leading one western scholar to refer to the Maasai churches as “a church of Women.”3 I will then explain that, while there are certainly areas where Maasai culture can benefit from Christian transformation, a recovery of traditional Maasai cultural values through a theologically robust process of inculturation can strengthen the Maasai churches as well. Maasai believers need a Maasai Christianity within which they “feel at home.”4 In addition, Maasai cultural hermeneutics has much to offer the global church. “Cultural hermeneutics” refers to communities viewing the Scriptures through the lens of their own culture. It “enables women to view the Bible through African eyes and to distinguish and extract from it what is liberating.”5
stage of life.6 Each age set has distinct roles, and honor increases with age. One way this is demonstrated visually is by children (including young boys as well as all unmarried girls and young women) bowing their heads to receive a blessing from adult men. Similarly, uncircumcised boys are required to show this respect to married women.7 The root of enkitok (“woman”) is –kitok, “great.” Today, however, enkitok is sometimes used by men as a disparagement. Similar to many traditional African cultures, Maasai females are often told, “all in all, it is not good to be a woman.”8 An adult woman is required to bow her head, as if a child, when greeting a man older than her husband’s age set. A boy old enough to be circumcised, and therefore counted as a man, feels free to treat women of his mother’s age with scorn.9 At least since the introduction of western education in Africa, there has been “a systematic, structural and cultural discrimination carried out consciously or unconsciously against the female sex.”10 Yet a Maasai man will greet a group of women by calling out “Nakituaak!”—literally, “O great ones!” This is usually translated as “O women!,” but I believe it hints at something deeper. Even today, a Maasai woman is the mistress—in the literal sense, the feminine form of “master”—of the house, no matter how she might be oppressed within Maasai society at large. Etymologically, the common Maa term for “woman” means “mistress” or “great lady.” In actual practice, the masculine form olkitok means “master” or “boss” but is never used simply for “men.” Previously among the Maasai, “relationships between men and women varied by their age, kinship, clan, and age-set affiliations, but they were generally based on mutual respect (enkanyit) and relative autonomy.”11 I have seen that, within marriages of Maasai Christians, this mutual respect has often been restored. As the word of God is articulated in Maa, enkitok can again become an honorific. To quote from a March 2018 interview with a Maasai pastor named Ntinga Tomë:12 Christianity brings back the hidden meaning of enkitok. In how women are treated, you can see this. This is especially changing in the church, as men are beginning to change how they treat women with respect. This is happening not only in the church, but as the church is acting as salt and light this is also changing in the broader, not-yet-Christian Maa society. Ntinga says that this teaching on enkitok/olkitok has pastoral and evangelistic implications for the Maasai Church. When Maasai men see how enjoyable marriage is—for both husbands and wives—when husbands love their wives, they embrace the change.
Olkitok and Enkitok: “Master and Woman” or “Master and Mistress”?
Enkanyit: Mutual Respect in Maasai Relationships between the Sexes
The Maa language has no word pair precisely equivalent to man/ woman. Instead, there are numerous terms for people based on their
Enkanyit (honor, mutual respect, obedience) is one of the most important cultural values for the Maasai. Children
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approach adult men and women respectfully. When greetings are exchanged, the child bows the head in submission to show proper respect. In turn, the adult reaches out his or her right hand and bestows a blessing by touching the top of the child’s head. By demonstrating respect to elders, the child is in a position of reception for the blessing. A position of vulnerability is sometimes a prerequisite of reception of blessing. After circumcision, Maasai men and boys place themselves in an invulnerable position of social power and are thus unable to receive a blessing from those perceived as their social inferiors. After a girl has been circumcised, she is considered ready for marriage.13 Even so, for the rest of her life she will still be considered a child and will be expected to bow her head in respect to all men who are older than she is. Since husbands are always older than their wives in this culture, a married woman with many children must bow her head to her husband’s friends. But her twelve-year-old son, once circumcised, will stand with his head high among his uncles, boasting in having attained a higher social status than his own mother. A cultural taboo forbids a woman to touch the head of a man. If a wife is seen touching her husband’s head, a fairly serious transgression, she is likely to be fined one cow. The clear implication is that men cannot receive blessings from women. Given the importance of reciprocity in gift exchanges in the Maasai culture, this is even more tragic. From a Christian transformative viewpoint, it seems that the good and planted-byGod Maasai cultural value of respect has become tangled with sin—male hubris leading to an unholy patriarchal oppression and devaluing of females. This is one factor that degrades the relational quality of Maasai marriages, in which both husbands and wives frequently admit, “We do not love our spouses. We love our lovers.” But Anne Nasimiyu-Wasike reminds us: Jesus Christ came to heal a broken humanity. He empowered and enabled the downtrodden of society to realize their dignity and worth as persons. He continues to empower and enable the African woman today so that she passes from unauthentic to authentic human existence, and so that she discovers her true identity of being made in the image and likeness of God.14 One of the most poignant reminders of this empowerment in the Gospels is when Jesus allows himself to be anointed by a woman. Referring to this, Ogbu Kalu has noted that “the irony that it was a woman who anointed the head of a man is not lost on feminist theology.”15 Had she and Jesus been Maasai rather than Jewish, the authorities would have surely levied a fine of cows against her for that breach of etiquette. A Maasai myth teaches that men and women once each had separate herds of livestock. The women proved unable to care for their cows, sheep, and goats, because they were arguing and bickering. Thus their livestock wandered into the bush. These lost animals became the ancestors of wild animals such as antelope and wildebeest. Thus all of the remaining livestock belong to the men.16 This myth “expresses a clear ideological position: Maasai men care for and therefore control the cattle, while women attend to their children and depend on men for their subsistence.”17 As a result, women have a “relatively weak position . . . in Maasai society.”18 Even though Maasai culture has a reputation of valuing 18 • Priscilla Papers
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egalitarianism, “the rigid straitjacket that confines all women to a life of bondage displays the supreme inequality.”19 According to traditional Maasai culture, “daughters” are expected to submit to a “passive role of silent assent.”20 “Daughters” here refers first to all unmarried females and also to women who are younger than the ruling elders of the community. Any complaint is considered an act of disobedience. While a woman is usually beaten only by her husband, any man in her husband’s age set might beat her if she is thought to be disrespectful or even lazy. Maasai women are “in a subordinate role with no control over their individual destinies,”21 and there is “a strong sense of women’s powerlessness in the face of the abuse of male authority.”22 An older Maasai woman typically collaborates with the elders to maintain the “regime that subjects younger women in a way that she herself has had to endure. . . . this extends to female circumcision, an arranged marriage, wife-beating, and subservience to men at normal times (women’s delegations and fertility dances are not ‘normal’).”23 Male church leaders among the Maasai across denominations have recognized that female circumcision has costly effects for women—health problems such as incontinence, increased chance of death in childbirth (for both mother and child), decreased sexual pleasure for the women often accompanied by increased promiscuity. Often Maasai Christian fathers will not allow their daughters to be circumcised. But when they are married, their mother-in-law will see that the ritual mutilation is carried out forcibly. In the Community Christian Church, where I minister, the male leaders want an alternative initiation program for their girls. As another example of some women’s desire to maintain the oppressive status quo, these leaders’ greatest opponent has been one of the leaders of the Women’s Ministry. Where there is balance in this system, the balancing mechanism itself is symptomatic of broken relationships. If a man has been guilty of some impropriety (such as breaking one of the few sexual taboos), he is “subject to being beaten by an assembled mob of angry women,”24 and no man will dare to intervene. When women form a mob or group of some other kind (called a “delegation”), they are truly inkituaak, “great ones,” who lord it over the men. Paul Spencer notes that “as they mature, women have it within their grasp to humiliate any man who has infringed upon their domain.”25 It is no surprise, then, that women are seen by Maasai elders as “the source of disorder.”26 Some of these delegations of women are a form of fertility “dance.” Woe to the man who is caught by such women and is unwilling to obey their demand that he attempt to impregnate them!
Ephesians 5: Biblical Witness for Gender Relationships The biblical teaching is clear, or should be: “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Gen 1:27 NRSV).27 Likewise Paul stresses that “there is no longer male and female . . . in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28 NRSV). Men and women are equally made in God’s image; in spite of occasional claims to the contrary,28 they both bear God’s image. Most English translations render Eph 5:22 as, “Wives, submit to your husbands” (where “submit” is in the imperative,
a command). This verse can be misunderstood and quite controversial, especially in light of misleading translations. In Eph 5:22 wives are not commanded to submit to their husbands. All believers are commanded to carefully examine how they live and not be unwise (v. 15), to understand the Lord’s will (v. 17), to not get drunk with wine (v. 18a), and to be filled with the Spirit (v. 18b). Verses 19 and following are descriptive; they describe what a Spirit-filled life looks like. If we are Spirit-filled, we will be speaking to each other, singing and “psalming” in our collective heart, always giving thanks, and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. What does that submission look like? Well, wives will be submitting to their own husbands just as they would to the Lord.29 But all of these verbs, participial in form, describe what happens when the command to be filled with the Spirit is kept. Wives are not given another command, “submit to your husbands.”30 Ephesians 5:24 continues, “as the church submits to Christ, in the same way the wives to [their] husbands in everything.” But the verb here is in the indicative. The verb “submit” nowhere occurs in the imperative in this passage. But the men are given an extra command: “love [imperative] your own wife” in the sacrificial way that Christ loved the church and care for her as well as you care for yourself. Of double significance is 5:33, where the extra command, given to men, for each one to love his wife, is repeated. So both men and women in the church are commanded to:31 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Examine how you live (v. 15). Do not be unwise (v. 17a), but perceive the will of the Lord (v. 17b); and do not get drunk with wine (v. 18a) but be filled with the Spirit (v. 18b).
Both men and women are told that the Spirit-filled life is characterized by submission to Christ. Married women are told that the Spirit-filled life is characterized by submission to their own husbands. But they are not commanded to submit. On the other hand, men are given an extra command. This command, for each man to love his wife, is given in the context of what it means to be filled with the Spirit. But Paul switches from using a participial form to using the imperative. This command, for each man to love his wife, is so important that Paul writes several verses to explain that he means love your wife “just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her.” In v. 28, Paul says that each husband is in fact obligated to love his wife. The structured summary below will help express the import of the key verses, 18b and 21–22: Husbands and wives, be filled with the Spirit, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ: wives to your husbands as the church to Christ. Husbands: each of you love your wife as Christ loved the church. Many men become upset because they feel that their wives do not respect and honor them.32 But in this passage we see that as a natural result each man who keeps this commandment to love his wife will find that now his wife is respecting him. Grammatically, at least, v. 33 tells each man to love (a command) his wife so that she might then respect him. In the context of being filled with the
Spirit, a wife will naturally submit to her husband who loves her as Christ loves the church. Even when a culture is infused with the concept of submission, the gospel turns abusive patriarchalism on its head.33 While the gospel, including Paul’s presentation of it here in Eph 5, frequently turns cultural expectations upside down, it is clear that it does so in continuity with OT revelation. In Mal 2:14–15, for example, we are told that “no one who has even a small portion of the Spirit in him” is unfaithful to his wife.34 Mercy Amba Oduyoye notes that “whatever is keeping subordination of women alive in the church cannot be the Spirit of God.”35 Inasmuch as a failure to love one’s wife as Christ loves the church is a failure of faithfulness, insofar as one oppresses his wife instead of serving her and building her up, to that degree he has shown that he does not have the Spirit of Christ. Abuse of women and girls, oppression and repression of people on the grounds of their female sex, is inherently unbiblical and anti-Christian. Francis Machingura of Zimbabwe correctly observes that, “as a way of buttressing men’s patriarchal or chauvinistic views, the Bible is invoked to remind women about their place and role in society.” For example, “texts like 1 Timothy 2:11–12 can be applied out of context and erroneously used to serve or support patriarchal agendas. . . .”36 Thulani Ndlazi, a South African minister and theologian, agrees: “more often than not gender biased or gender discriminative biblical interpretation is more of eisegesis . . . than exegesis.”37 In spite of all-too-common misreadings of the Scriptures which support oppressive patriarchalisms, the Christian faith and the teaching of the Bible have “a liberating potential for a traditional society, especially in matters of family and personal relationship.”38
Footprints of Christ: Redemption of Maasai Traditional Marriage Marriages among traditional Maasai are far from a Christian ideal. It has been widely observed by the Maasai themselves that sex within marriage is often merely a matter of procreation whereas sexual intimacy and even love can be found in an extramarital affair.39 Because this is contrary to God’s design for both sex and marriage, it is no wonder that marriage is more a matter of required outward mutual respect (with inner rebellion) than of love. But within Maasai culture itself, there are also signposts for a better way forward. First I will glance at the problems, and then I will examine some of the possibilities.
Polygamy Biblical teaching is clear that monogamy is God’s plan for marriage, but it is equally clear that the biblical narratives nowhere outright condemn polygamy. Besides, proponents will inform you, God honored polygamists like Abraham, Jacob, and David. Nonetheless, many early missionaries in Africa lacked a pastoral touch and cultural sensitivity when dealing with this issue. Typically, women who had co-wives were barred from the Lord’s Table. Men were forced to either remain unbaptized or to send away all of their wives (quite possibly into a life of either destitution or prostitution) except one. This led to the depressing and distressing situations so ably narrated by Chinua Achebe in Things Fall Apart.40
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When I was a seminary student, the school held an event for us all to meet a new professor, Kiptalai Elolia of Kenya. During the session, he asked us students what should be a missionary’s response to a polygamous culture. Alluding to 1 Cor 7:26, I answered: “As a person is when he or she comes to Christ, they should remain in that state. A polygamist,” I explained, “should absolutely not be required to send any of his wives away. Let them all come, be immersed in baptism, and be allowed to partake of the Eucharist in their polygamous state. Let them be taught to live in holiness with their spouses, neither playing favorites, nor neglecting any wife, nor engaging in extramarital sexual activity. And let them further be instructed that God’s best design for marriage is one man and one woman. This is not merely what best pleases God but also what is best for men and for women. Eventually, of course, positions of church leadership must be reserved for the monogamous.” After a thoughtful silence, Professor Elolia asked approvingly, “why were you not among the missionaries who first came to my country?” Even so, polygamy remains a tragedy. When we lived in the Maasai bush, two of my wife’s friends came and wept on her shoulder when their Christian husbands were each deciding to take a second wife. In another case, a gifted evangelist left the church to take a second wife and then returned “in repentance,” but with a second wife and now disbarred (by the local church, not by missionaries) from his office as evangelist. His second wife became his favorite. As a result, his first wife became impoverished with no money for school fees for her sons, while his second wife became relatively wealthy. Polygamy led, among other things, to a loss of economic security for the unfavored wife.
Promiscuity Among the Maasai, polygamy has a multivalent character far broader than the formal bonds of marriage. Indeed, among the Maasai sexual promiscuity has been institutionalized. Prepubescent girls are encouraged (often by their mothers!) to engage in sexual activity with boys who have been circumcised. The goal is for the girls to be sexually practiced before marriage. As a result, girls often have favorite lovers before marriage. Because each set of partners “becomes one flesh,” their souls are bound together in an ungodly osotua (covenant relationship; I define the term more fully below). And when a girl marries, she marries not only her husband, but de facto she marries her husband’s entire age set (with the exception of taboos such as incest). “When elders visit their age mates, the host is obliged to vacate his wife’s hut for the night, in effect offering his wife—if she consents.”41 Consent, however, is perhaps more common than refusal. Thus, “sexuality among the Maasai is characterized by institutionalized adultery with the wives of age mates and discreet adultery between men and women in general.”42 Tragically, the term in the Maasai Bible that translates “adultery” is not considered sin or even bad. Instead, wives simply save their days of fertility for their husbands. The direct result of this is that husbands and wives have divided hearts. They are fragmented from having become “one flesh” with far too many partners. This creates a lack of marital unity and makes mutual respect a virtual impossibility. Yet every
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Maasai with whom we have spoken is attracted to the ideal of experiencing both respect and love within an exclusive marriage. No Maasai I know is happy about the prospect of sharing his or her spouse sexually with someone else.
Osotua: The Tie that Binds Jesus teaches us that “every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old” (Matt 13:52 NRSV). In the same way, each culture and language, once every thought is made captive to obey Christ (2 Cor 10:4), can bring treasures to the Christian faith. A culture may have nailed down a concept in a single word that would take a paragraph or a page to express in a different language. Osotua is one of these treasures. And with every Maasai couple with whom I have spoken, osotua must be present for a marriage to be healthy and enjoyable. On the surface, osotua might be translated as “peace” or perhaps as “testament.” The first, however, is inadequate and the second is misleading. Osotua is derived from a verb meaning, “to join or bind together.” The root meaning is “umbilical cord.” But the primary meaning is a deep relationship of shared shalom-like peace which is characterized by closeness, tied-together-ness, and unity. A common Maasai blessing is “Osotua of God!” It means, “May you be bound so closely together in a relationship with God that it is like that between a mother and infant when the cord is still attached!” Another way to put it is that osotua is that type of relational peace and well-being that can only be found within a covenantal relationship. Thus the Maa translation of the Bible is divided into two parts: Osotua Musana (The Old Covenant) Osotua Ng’ejuk (The New Covenant). A common Maasai proverb about table fellowship says, “It is the stomach which has osotua.” Another translation is, “the stomach creates friendships.”43 When we eat together, we have the opportunity to build osotua in our relationships. This is, of course, perfectly realized by Christians when we share together in the Lord’s Supper. When we partake of loaf and cup, then we experience true osotua: that deep communion within a covenantal relationship characterized by holy peace and a closeness that is like that between a mother and an infant while the cord is still attached. This osotua is also a picture of the ideal that God has for every marriage relationship.
Esiankiki Narikitoi: The Bride Who is Led Away Traditionally, there are two important parts of the Maasai wedding ceremony. The first is “the wrapping with a skirt.” For a simple ceremony, sometimes this suffices (similar to a civil wedding before a magistrate). But for a proper wedding, there is also “the leading away of the bride to her husband’s homestead.” It is important to note that it is considered a bad omen if the bride looks back at her parents’ village as she is led away. Thus the bride is referred to as “the bride which is being led away.”44 Shifting contexts, the church, of course, is the bride of Christ. Remember also that Ruth told Boaz, “spread your cloak over your servant” (Ruth 3:9 NRSV). She was telling him to cover her with his protection, to marry her. In the same way, each of us who is immersed into Christ has been clothed with Christ as with a garment—we have been wrapped with the skirt of righteousness.
The ancient church outwardly symbolized this by clothing the newly baptized with a clean, white robe after they emerged from their watery burial. We are also being led away from our sin and rebellion and toward our new home. Like a Maasai wife married properly, we demonstrate our devotion and our pledge of fidelity by not looking back as we are led away.45 Before the bride builds a new house to share with her husband, they will live with her mother-in-law for three months to a year so she can learn the culture of her new family. This time of transition is so important that, upon settling in her husband’s homestead, the Maasai bride leaves behind the name of her childhood and her husband’s family will choose a new name for her. This sounds strange, and maybe even troubling, to western ears. But as I am reflecting, I see that this cultural practice reflects a divine reality. We, too, shall receive a “new name” (Rev 2:17). This will not represent an abrogation of our former name but rather a fulfillment of our true identity. As Jacob (“heel-grasping deceiver”) became Israel (“wrestles-with-God-and-prevails”) and Lo-Ruhamah (“not pitied, not loved”) became Ruhamah (“lovingly-accepted,” see Hos 1:6, 2:1), so in Christ we become who we were created to be.
Olopolosu Esita: The Fence-Remover When the proper customs have been followed, animals and other gifts have been exchanged, the bride price has been paid by the husband, the bride has followed her groom to his village without looking back, and the couple has had at least one child, the marriage is formally consummated.46 But even this is not the most complete form of marriage. A woman can still flee back, or be sent back, to her parents’ home and the bride-wealth can be returned, constituting a divorce. The next level of marriage, which few attempt, is “the passing of fence.” After about fifteen years of marriage, a husband and his first wife might decide to commit to truly forge osotua together. There is a special ceremony to celebrate “this bond of love” called either “going through the fence” or “the tearing of the fence.”47 This transition to a new level of marriage commitment has only ever been chosen by a few Maasai couples. The bondage of sin is great, and the allurements of promiscuity are many. Couples who pass the fence turn their backs on institutionalized promiscuity. Many husbands are interested in going through the fence, but their wives are reluctant. They know that after going through the fence there can be no looking back, and no return to their parents’ home. This imagery calls to mind Eph 2:14, which states that Jesus “is our peace” who “has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us ” (NRSV). There are two primary words in Maa for “fence.” The general term refers to the large fence that surrounds the cattle corral or the entire homestead settlement or village. But here a more specific word is used, which refers to a thorn fence described by some Maasai as being “behind the house.” The implication may be that the fence which separates the house (the domain of the wife) from the surrounding area (the domain of the husband) has been torn. As a result, the newly instated husband is “one who has agreed to live with his first wife, to live with her in complete harmony and unity, and she has agreed with him to do the same.”48 Moreover, this is the only
Maasai cultural context in which sexual fidelity and purity make sense. Maasai Christians should renew this old ideal, which can be brought to perfection in Jesus, and thereby model Christian marriage for the global church.
Osotua within Christian Marriage Osotua is always present in a healthy marriage. When marriages are struggling, or dying, osotua is either missing or tenuous. A close Maasai friend and I were discussing the cultural issues related to inter-gender relationships. He agreed that Maasai culture is good, but also that it is like a dirty Maasai garment. It can be kept, but it would be better if the thorns were plucked from it and the dust and manure were washed out. Traditional patriarchal oppression of females is like dust that needs washing out. But the respect, which is so important to the culture, can be kept. Indeed, it may be a point of redemptive analogy.49 Of course, the mutuality of respect must be restored in Christ. In particular, Maasai spouses often struggle to craft a relationship that moves beyond shared economic concerns and the begetting of children. But we have seen transformation within some Maasai marriages. Where this has been the case, we have observed (at least) two things: 1. 2.
There is a deep, and perhaps a revivalist, devotion to Christ, as opposed to a nominal or superficial Christianity; Husbands are willing to face public ridicule in order to show love by assisting their wives—perhaps with the cooking or childcare, or taking a wheelbarrow or bicycle to fetch water—in ways keeping with Paul’s instructions in Eph 5:26–30.
ole Sakat’s Testimony A good friend of mine is ole Sakat. A believer, he is a man of deep Christian character who treats his wife as kitok (great, important) and not as a child. Moreover, he is known to help his wife carry water (strictly women’s work in the culture). He is mocked incessantly for his weakness, but I see strength. I have spent time in their home—they share a deep and joyous osotua that makes their Christian marriage enviable.
ole Yenko’s Testimony Another good friend of mine is ole Yenko. One day when he and his bride—both committed Christians—were still newlyweds, they were talking and laughing together in their hut. An older man was passing by. He was baffled by their laughter! He knew that this couple did not yet have children. Lovers might laugh together, and parents might laugh with their children, but a husband and wife? Unheard of! He entered the house to see what was going on. He learned that they were full of joy because they were Christians. Because of their faith in Jesus, they were able to be not only spouses but also true lovers and friends. That elder soon sought an explanation of the gospel and now is a believer and a member of the Community Christian Church in his village—together with his two wives.
Conclusions There are many “examples of women whose lives were transformed not by uncovering the social construction of gender roles, but by
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knowing Jesus Christ.”50 Furthermore, those transformed women have in turn measurably impacted both laws and customs related to gender equity and women’s lives. We affirm that: Christ conferred equal dignity and personhood on women in a culture and time when they were not considered worthy of such treatment. In response, women recognized Christ’s treatment of them as genuine liberty, to be individuals in relationship with God, though the church has struggled with a Christlike application of his example.51 Among the Maasai, “Mutual respect . . . was central to defining and monitoring appropriate behaviors between and among men and women of different ages, and it still serves, with love . . . as the guiding principle for Maasai social protocols and ideals.”52 But while it is the guideline in theory, practice falls far short of the ideal. Too often, respect is not mutual. But when Christ enters a culture, all things are made new. For Maasai Christians, respect can flow out of love and love can flow out of respect, all in and through Christ Jesus, leading to a deep shared osotua among believers. This especially can be realized within Maasai marriages, as the ideals of the bride (who is led away from her old culture without looking back) and the husband (who has torn away the fence of separation so that he and his wife may dwell together in perfect osotua) find their fulfillment in Christ. In order for this deep and effective transformative inculturation to take place, Christ must rule in the minds of his people; which means extending his dominion over those corporate structures of thought that constitute a culture. The very act of doing so must sharpen the identity of those who share a culture. The faith of Christ is infinitely translatable, it creates “a place to feel at home.” But it must not make a place where we are so much at home that no one also can live there. Here we have no abiding city. In Christ all poor sinners meet, and in finding themselves reconciled with him, are reconciled to each other.53 “This,” as Paul reminds us, “is a great mystery” (Eph 5:32 NRSV).
Notes 1. Naomi Kipury, Oral Literature of the Maasai (Nairobi: Heinemann, 1983), 154. 2. Philomena Njeri Mwaura, “Gender and Power in African Christianity: African Instituted Churches and Pentecostal Churches,” ch. 16 in African Christianity: An African Story, ed. Ogbu Kalu (University of Pretoria, 2005), 411, 436. The importance of preserving dignity is one of the themes of Lalsangkima Pachuau, “Engaging the ‘Other’ in a Pluralistic World: Toward a Subaltern Hermeneutics of Christian Mission,” Studies in World Christianity 8, no. 1 (2002): 63–80. 3. Dorothy Louise Hodgson, “Engendered Encounters: Men of the Church and the ‘Church of Women’ in Maasailand, Tanzania, 1950– 1993,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 41, no. 1 (1999): 758–83; see also Hodgson, The Church of Women: Gendered Encounters Between Maasai and Missionaries (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005). 4. In his landmark essay, “What is African Christian Theology?,” Africa Theological Journal 4 (1971): 7–24, Harry Sawyerr concludes that “there is a strong case for a Theologia Africana which will seek to interpret Christ to the African in such a way that he feels at home in the new faith,” 24.
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5. Mercy Amba Oduyoye, Introducing African Women’s Theology, Introductions in Feminist Theology (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2001), 11. 6. Including words for child, unmarried girl/daughter, small boy, big boy (until circumcision, 13–16), youth, teenager until marriage, warrior/warriors, junior elder, elder, adult man, husband, bride, wife, important (old) man, full elder, important (old) woman, very old (and weak) man/woman. 7. See further, Paul Spencer, Youth and Experiences of Ageing among Maa: Models of Society Evoked by the Maasai, Samburu, and Chamus of Kenya (Warsaw: DeGruyter, 2014), 24. 8. Musimbi Kanyoro, “The Meaning of Story: Theology as Experience,” ch. 2 in Culture, Women and Theology, ed. John S. Pobee (Delhi: ISPCK, 1994), 27. 9. He will no longer bow his head to receive a blessing even from his mother or grandmother. Dorothy L. Hodgson studies this phenomenon in “Women as Children: Culture, Political Economy and Gender Inequality among Kisongo Maasai,” Nomadic Peoples 3, no. 2 (1999): 115–30. She notes elsewhere that, in spite of the now old-fashioned mutual respect with which traditional Maasai culture expected men and women to treat each other, men commonly “mock women as ‘stupid’ and ‘childlike.’” See Hodgson, “Pastoralism, Patriarchy and History: Changing Gender Relations among the Maasai in Tanganyika, 1890–1940,” Journal of African History 40 (1999): 64. 10. John Mary Waliggo, Struggle for Equality: Women and Empowerment in Uganda (Eldoret: AMECEA Gaba, 2002), 3. 11. Dorothy L. Hodgson, Once Intrepid Warriors: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Cultural Politics of Maasai Development (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004), 26. 12. I am using real names throughout—with permission to share their stories. 13. Though the same verb is used for male and female circumcision, with females it refers to a range of female genital mutilation. 14. Anne Nasimiyu-Wasike, “Christology and an African woman’s Experience,” 78. 15. Ogbu Kalu, “Daughters of Ethiopia: Gender, Power and Poverty in African Christianity,” Currents in World Christianity, position paper 99, 23. 16. Kipury, Oral Literature of the Maasai, 31–32. 17. Hodgson, Once Intrepid Warriors, 21. 18. Michael Burton and Lorraine Kirk, “Sex Differences in Maasai Cognition of Personality and Social Identity,” American Anthropologist NS 81, no. 4 (1979): 870. 19. Spencer, Youth and Experiences of Ageing among Maa, 57. 20. Dorothy L. Hodgson, “‘My Daughter . . . Belongs to the Government Now’: Marriage, Maasai and the Tanzanian State,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 30, no. 1 (1996): 109. 21. Paul Spencer, “Being Maasai, Being in Time,” ch. 7 in Being Maasai, ed. Thomas Spear and Richard Waller, Eastern African Studies (Oxford: James Currey, 1993), 153. 22. Thomas Spear and Richard Waller, eds., Being Maasai, Eastern African Studies (Oxford: James Currey, 1993), 138. 23. Telelia Chieni and Paul Spencer, “The World of Telelia: Reflections of a Maasai Woman in Matapato,” ch. 8 in Being Maasai, 160. Spencer is here specifically referring to Telelia enole Chieni, but I have noticed this in many Maasai women. 24. Duran Bell, “Defining Marriage and Legitimacy,” Current Anthropology 38, no. 2 (1997): 240. 25. Spencer, “Being Maasai, Being in Time,” 154. 26. Spencer, “Being Maasai, Being in Time,” 154. 27. “Humankind” (NRSV) and “humanity” (CEB) are more faithful to the Hebrew ha-adam, which refers not to the individual first male human, Adam, but to humankind.
28. E.g., Augustine, On the Trinity, trans. Arthur West Haddan, NPNF, 1st Series, ed. Philip Schaff, vol. 3 (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1956), 12.7.10. 29. It is important to note that this is not telling all women to submit to all men. Rather, each wife is assumed to be submitting to her own husband. 30. See, for example, Richard B. Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics (New York: HarperCollins, 1996), 49–50. 31. In what follows, I indicate the imperatives in underlined italics for clarity. 32. I have witnessed this equally in the United States, India, South Africa, and Kenya. 33. The more common terms “patriarchy” and “patriarchal” could simply refer to the idea of a husband and father serving as head of his family. I have chosen to use “patriarchalism” and “patriarchalistic” to refer to a particular type of patriarchy which objectifies, devalues, and discriminates against females; patriarchalism is inherently unbiblical and even abusive. 34. New English Translation. The rather elliptical Hebrew welō’–’ekhad ‘ashah wūsh’ar rūakh lō can be literally rendered, “and not one has done, and a remnant of the spirit to him.” 35. Mercy Amba Oduyoye, Beads and Strands: Reflections of an African Woman on Christianity in Africa (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2004), 97. 36. Francis Machingura, “‘A woman should learn in quietness and full submission’ (1 Timothy 2:11): Empowering Women in the Fight against Masculine Readings of Biblical Texts and a Chauvinistic African Culture in the Face of HIV and AIDS,” Studies in World Christianity 19, no. 3 (Dec 2013): 233–34. 37. Thulani Ndlazi, “Men in Church Institutions and Religious Organisations: the Role of Christian Men in Transforming Gender Relations and Ensuring Gender Equality,” Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 61 (2004): 64. 38. Philip Jenkins, The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South (Oxford University Press, 2006), 175. 39. See, for example, Aud Talle, “‘Serious Games’: Licenses and Prohibitions in Maasai Sexual Life,” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 77, no. 3 (2007): 363. 40. Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958). See also Adrian Hastings, Christian Marriage in Africa (London: SPCK, 1973). 41. Spencer, Youth and Experiences of Ageing among Maa, 64. 42. Spencer, Youth and Experiences of Ageing among Maa, 64.
43. S. S. ole Sankan, The Maasai (Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau, 1971), 92. 44. Paul Spencer offers a description of the leading away of the bride in The Maasai of Matapato: A Study of Rituals of Rebellion (New York: Routledge, 1988), 30–31. 45. Luke 9:62 and Gen 19:26 come to mind. 46. In many ways it is the combination of proper reciprocal exchange and the birth of a child that consummates a marriage from the Maasai point of view, not sexual intercourse. Children are so important to the Maasai that a childless couple will be given a child to raise from a relative. 47. These are the names listed in Jan M. H. Voshaar, Tracing God’s Walking Stick in Maa: A Study of Maasai Society, Culture and Religion, a Missionary Approach, Doktoraalscriptie (Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen, 1979), 333–34. See also Frans Mol, Maasai Language and Culture (Lemek: Maasai Centre Lemek, 1996), 374; S. S. ole Sankan, Intepen (Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau, 1982), 41–42. 48. Voshaar, Tracing God’s Walking Stick in Maa, 333–34. 49. To use Don Richardson’s phrase. See his three books: Lords of the Earth, Peace Child, and Eternity in their Hearts. 50. Lynne Marie Kohm, “A Christian Perspective on Gender Equality,” Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy 15 (2008): 338–39. 51. Kohm, “A Christian Perspective,” 353–54. 52. Hodgson, Once Intrepid Warriors, 39. 53. Andrew F. Walls, “Culture and Coherence in Christian History,” Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 3, no. 1 (Spring 1985): 9.
JOSHUA BARRON and his wife, Ruth, serve among the Maasai of Kenya. Joshua holds an MDiv from Emmanuel Christian Seminary in Tennessee and is pursuing a PhD in World Christianity at Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology. The Barrons minister with the Community Christian Churches of Kenya as well as the Maasai Discipleship Training Institute and the Community Christian Bible Training Institute. You can read about their work at BarronFamilyMission.net. This article is a truncated version of a significantly longer paper, which is available from the author at Joshua.Robert.Barron@gmail.com.
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Is 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 a Marginal Comment or a Quotation? A Response to Kirk MacGregor Philip B. Payne
Introducing Kirk MacGregor’s article, Priscilla Papers editor Jeff Miller affirms “a central purpose of academic journals—to foster scholarly discussion and thereby move toward the truth of important and difficult matters.”1 First Corinthians 14 contains the only passage in the Bible that at face value silences women or restricts their ministry in the churches. It is important for all who believe what Scripture teaches to understand the truth about this passage. Neither the position I advocate, that 14:34–35 is a readeradded marginal comment (“gloss”), nor MacGregor’s position, that 14:33b–35 quotes the Corinthian men’s position that Paul then refutes, attributes the silencing of women to Paul. This does not mean, however, that either position should be accepted without adequate evidence. To keep this response focused on that article’s statements, all references to it shall simply begin, for example, “Page 23 states. . . .” This response first identifies inaccurate or exaggerated claims that 1 Cor 14:33b–38 is clearly a quotationrefutation device. It then corrects that article’s most crucial misunderstandings of my position. In addition, the section on the fourth-century manuscript Codex Vaticanus identifies important new discoveries supporting that 14:34–35 is a gloss.
if we do.” 9 But (de) be careful that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10:23a “Everything is permissible for me”—but (all’) not everything is beneficial. 10:23b “Everything is permissible for me”—but (all’) not everything is constructive. First Corinthians 14:33b–35, however, is not a short memorable slogan. It is a long series of assertions, argumentation, and application. Nor is it followed by a disjunctive word meaning “but.” Nor is “but” followed by Paul’s objection to the specific content of that saying. Nothing in 14:36–38 refutes any of the content of 33b–35. Since 14:33b–38 does not share any of the features common to the nine widely-acknowledged quotation-refutation devices, it should not be called a quotation-refutation device.
Does “as” Mark a Break in Thought, a Change of Speaker, or a New Paragraph? Page 25 states, “the quotation-refutation device begins in v. 33b rather than v. 34 because of the break in thought marked by ‘As’ (hōs) which begins v. 33b.” Saying “As” marks a break, however, is contrary to:
Is 1 Corinthians 14:33b–38 a Quotation-Refutation Device?
Paul’s normal use of “as” in 1 Corinthians,
Page 26 states, “The linguistic evidence, then, permits no doubt that 14:33b–38 is a QRD [Quotation-Refutation Device].” Page 25 correctly lists all nine widely-recognized quotation-refutation devices in 1 Corinthians. Each displays three easily-recognizable features. First, Paul quotes a short, memorable Corinthian slogan with questionable content. Second, he follows that slogan with a disjunctive word meaning “but.” Third, “but” introduces a specific objection to the content of that slogan:
the judgment of virtually every scribe of any manuscript containing these verses,
early church fathers’ commentary,
all Paul’s other appeals to “all the churches,” since they all conclude their section,
the distinctive content of vv. 33b–35, which Paul says is contrary to church practice,
6:12a “Everything is permissible for me”—but (all’) not everything is beneficial.
Paul’s Greek style, since this break entails highly awkward redundancy, and
6:12b “Everything is permissible for me”—but (all’) I will not be mastered by anything.
the proper focus of v. 33’s conclusion on what is appropriate in church worship.
6:13ab “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”— but (de) God will destroy them both. But (de) the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but (alla) for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 7:1 Now concerning what you wrote about, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” But (de) since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 8:1 Now concerning meat sacrificed to idols: We know that “we all possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but (de) love builds up. 8:8 (two quotations) “But food does not commend us to God.” “We are no worse if we do not eat, and no better 24 • Priscilla Papers
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1. Of the thirty-five times “as” (Greek hōs) occurs in 1 Corinthians, only three occurrences could plausibly be at the beginning of a sentence. Unless this is the only exception, “as” does not mark a change of speaker or introduce a Corinthian statement in any of these thirty-five instances. 2. Every readable early manuscript shows a break both before 14:34 and after 14:35.2 “Western” manuscripts move only vv. 34–35 to follow v. 40.3 Gordon Fee correctly notes, “The idea that v. 33b goes with v. 34 seems to be a modern phenomenon altogether.”4 3. Early commentary associated 14:33a with 33b, such as that by Chrysostom (Hom. in ep. 1 ad Cor 36–37). No early Christian author supports a change of speaker at v. 33b.5 4. In every other instance in 1 Corinthians where Paul appeals to the practice of “all the churches,” he uses it to conclude its section:
1 Cor 4:17, 7:17, and implied in 11:16.6 This favors linking v. 33b with v. 33a, especially since v. 33 clearly concludes its section on rules regarding speaking in tongues and prophecy in Christian worship. 5. Verse 36 identifies what the Corinthians were doing as contrary to the other churches. Yet according to p. 25, Corinthian men proposed, “As in all the assemblies of the saints, the women should keep silent in the assemblies.” It is improbable that Corinthian men asserted that all the churches silence women since anyone who had been in other churches could refute this. Nor is it likely that Paul would abruptly begin a false command with, “As in all the churches of the saints,” since this would set up his readers to think that what follows is practiced in all the churches and so should be followed by them as well.7 If Paul intended to convey that vv. 34–35 quote his opponents, he failed, for every surviving comment on them until recent times treats them as Paul’s restriction on women’s speech. 6. Connecting v. 33b to v. 34 results in a highly redundant sentence “altogether unlike Paul.”8 Paul’s tendency is to abbreviate his expressions, not to be redundant. For instance, the previous “For God is not a God of confusion, but of peace” literally states only, “For God is not confusion, but peace.” “As in all the churches of the saints, let women be silent in the churches” is so awkward that most versions linking 33b to 34 translate the second identical “the churches” differently from the first.9 7. Breaking the text at v. 33b removes the proper focus of Paul’s conclusion on what is appropriate in church worship. With this break, Paul’s concluding argument is merely that God is a God of peace in general. If 33b is linked to 33a, Paul affirms this, “as in all the churches of the saints,” focusing on how the character of God should be reflected in worship, namely without confusion. Uniting v. 33 also adds to Paul’s argument that all the churches of the saints worship this way, implying that if you are saints, you will too.
Does “or” Mark a Shift Back to Paul’s Counsel? Page 25 alleges that “or” marks a shift back to Paul’s counsel in 14:36. There are forty-six instances of “or” in 1 Corinthians.10 Unless 14:36 is the only exception, not a single one responds to an immediately preceding Corinthian statement, or contradicts the immediately preceding statement, or indicates a change of speaker. Every other one follows a statement by Paul. Page 25 states, “Paul introduces both rhetorical questions in v. 36 with ‘or’ . . . which he does six times elsewhere in 1 Corinthians to argue against the Corinthians’ position . . . and five times to express disapproval of a Corinthian practice. . . .” Yet most of this letter argues against the Corinthians’ position or practice. More relevant is that each of these “or” statements reinforces the immediately prior statement by Paul; none opposes it. In spite of this, p. 25 states: “This twofold rhetorical question . . . indicates in no uncertain terms that Paul disagrees sharply with the preceding thought-unit or paragraph.” No compelling reason is given why v. 36 must be directed specifically against vv. 33b–35. Verses 36–38 make no mention of 33b–35’s content. Its “you only” far more naturally contrasts with “all the churches” (v. 33). This contrast supports an original text with v. 33 followed immediately by v. 36.11
Does “you only” in 14:36 Mean “you men only”? Page 25 states that “only [people]” in 14:36 refers to men only, “since this alone furnishes a coherent grammatical contrast between the women concerned in 14:33b–35 and the men rebuked in v. 36.” This statement assumes both that only men are rebuked in v. 36 and that Paul intended to contrast Corinthian men (v. 36) to women in the churches (33b–35). Even if 33b–35 expresses a Corinthian position, nothing in it requires that it was embraced only by men or by all the men in this notoriously divided church. The normal scholarly presumption is that masculine plural references in Paul’s letters to churches are to the entire church unless specified otherwise.12 Timothy Friberg’s Greek NT spreadsheet “shows something between 7500–8000” grammatically masculine forms that can refer to women and men.13 I have seen no commentary in the first 1900 years of the church indicating that this masculine plural refers only to a group of men.14 Paul could have done this by adding “from you men only” and/or “to you men only,” but he did not. Page 25 refers to “the Corinthian men who proposed” 14:33b– 35 and are “censured in v. 36.” Verse 36, however, states, “the word of God went forth” and “came to you [plural] only.” This is the language of prophesy to gathered believers and naturally refers to all who heard prophetic messages, hence the whole church. These prophetic expressions are inappropriate simply for a group of men who “proposed” something. Verses 29–33 are explicitly about prophesy, and prophecy is the dominant concern of this entire chapter. Consequently, some who say Paul repudiated 14:34–35 regard it as a false Corinthian prophecy. Since prophetic messages come from individuals (14:30–32), they regard vv. 34–35 as a Corinthian false prophet’s command, alluded to in v. 37’s “if anyone thinks he is a prophet . . . what I write to you is the Lord’s command.” If Paul had intended v. 36 to refer to a man who prophesied in 34–35, however, 36 should have had singulars, not plurals, or vv. 34–35 should have been adjacent to v. 37 and been introduced with a negation and followed by “God forbid!” as 1 Cor 6:15 does. Since no scribe ever placed 34–35 before or after v. 37 or framed it as a false prophecy, the “false prophecy” view is also doubtful.
Unsubstantiated Claim of Support from Apostolic Fathers Page 24 states: Clement and the Apostolic Fathers before him knew that 1 Cor 14:34–35 was not Paul’s position but was a quotation of the Corinthians’ position that Paul proceeded to refute. So of course they did not cite 1 Cor 14:34–35 as authoritative. This explanation is supported by the fact that Tertullian (c. AD 200), writing at about the same time as Clement, cites 1 Cor 14:34–35, as do the Greek church leaders Origen (AD 253–254), Chrysostom (AD 407), and Theodoret (AD 466). However, no church father citing 34–35 identifies it as a quotation of the Corinthians’ position. They all cite it as Paul’s position. Verses 34–35 would have been the ideal text to cite, had it been in their texts, during the early debates regarding the ministry of women in the NT.15 First Corinthians was the most quoted
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epistle by Christian writers in the second century.16 If Clement of Alexandria’s text of 1 Corinthians had contained 34–35, it is unlikely he would have written, “Woman and man [p. 24 omits this] are to go to church decently attired, with natural step, embracing silence . . . fit to pray to God . . . in the church . . .” (Paedagogus 3:11). The quotation-refutation view does not explain why the apostolic fathers never mention 14:34–35, but a marginal note that was later copied into the text as a gloss does explain it, since if 14:34–35 is such a gloss, the earliest manuscripts would not have included it. Apostolic fathers refer to at least nine things 1 Corinthians renounces, including the Corinthian quotation in 1 Cor 8:1 and Paul’s refutation of it, “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.”17
Conclusion Regarding the Quotation-Refutation-Device Thesis Since 14:33b–35 does not follow the pattern exhibited by all nine of Paul’s widely-acknowledged quotations of a short slogan/“but”/Paul’s specific objection to the slogan, it should not be called a quotation-refutation device. There is not a single Greek manuscript that clearly supports the view that “as” in v. 33b is linked to v. 34. Unless 14:36 is the only exception, none of the forty-six instances of “or” in 1 Corinthians contradicts the immediately preceding statement or indicates a change of speaker. Every other one follows and reinforces a statement by Paul. Translating “you only” as “you men only” is contrary to virtually all versions of the Bible and virtually all commentary on this passage. None of the apostolic fathers or other early Christian authors ever indicate that 14:33b–35 is refuted by 14:36– 38. This quotation-refutation-device thesis depends on multiple improbabilities being true, making it exponentially improbable.
Misunderstandings of My Position that 1 Cor 14:34–35 is a Gloss Pages 23–24 display an incomplete understanding of textual criticism, of scribal conventions, and of my own arguments. A text can be present in virtually all manuscripts and still be a later addition. For instance, an imperative “submit” is in every surviving text of Eph 5:22 from the mid-fourth century on. Yet editions of the Greek NT and textual scholars almost universally agree that “submit” was not in the original text.18 Just like the addition of “submit” separated 5:22 from its original context of mutual submission and reinforced conventional wisdom that wives must submit to their husbands, so the addition of 1 Cor 14:34–35 separated “you only” in 36 from “all the churches” in 33 and reinforced conventional wisdom that women should be silent in public assemblies. In both cases, conventional wisdom about women probably contributed to the rapid universal adoption of these textual additions.19 Page 23 states, “The interpolation hypothesis is perhaps most persuasively articulated by Philip Payne.” I explained in my New Testament Studies article that “interpolation” is not the best word to describe this: “‘Gloss’, however, avoids misunderstanding since some writers define ‘interpolation’ as deliberate polishing of the body text, but a ‘gloss’ is text written in the margin and later inserted into the text by copyists, as seems more likely here.”20 “Interpolation” has negative overtones since it suggests 26 • Priscilla Papers
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deliberate adding to the text, contrary to a scribe’s fundamental task. A gloss, however, is simply a note in the margin, typically by a reader. Its insertion into the text was an accidental mistake by a scribe simply following scribal convention. Page 24 properly quotes my use of “gloss.” Page 23 states, “Contrary to Payne’s assertion that an interpolated 1 Cor 14:34–35 ‘does not undermine the reliability of any other passage,’ the most troubling aspect of the interpolation hypothesis is that one could use the same type of logic to falsely threaten the reliability of numerous recognizably sound NT passages contained in the earliest relevant witnesses but omitted from later witnesses.” It would have been clear that my logic does not threaten any other passage if p. 23 had not removed my logic from the sentence it quotes: “much of the crucial evidence . . . is unique to this passage and so does not undermine the reliability of any other passage.” My following six pages explain that there is no other passage this large that was ever moved this far in any other manuscript of any of Paul’s letters without an obvious reason.21 The key reasons I conclude 14:34–35 is a gloss do not apply to any of the passages p. 24 says my view “threatens.” None occurs at two separate locations, is marked by early textual scholars as a later addition, or contradicts nearby statements. Pages 23 and 28, n. 19, state without evidence or specifics regarding my logic: “This is the maneuver made . . . in arguing for the superiority of the ‘Majority Text’ over the ‘critical text,’ a maneuver rightly rejected by virtually the entire guild of textual critics.” Ironically, the standard NA28 Greek NT brackets as “dubious” the majority of the passages p. 24 says my view threatens. All of these bracketed words except “Jesus” in Matt 27:16–17 are in the Majority Text.22 By calling these bracketed texts “recognizably sound,” it is p. 23, not my findings, that resembles Majority Text adherents’ warnings and conclusions. Indeed, my findings defend the reliability of the Gospels’ text, including every non-NA28-bracketed passage that p. 24 says my view threatens, by giving evidences that the Vaticanus Gospels’ text is remarkably early. Page 24 gives special weight to Papyrus 46 (46), stating that it “likely dates between AD 126–138,” but this date is too early.23 Page 23 mistakenly states that 46 “contains the beginning of v. 34.” 46 is totally worn away where the opening two words of v. 34 (“the women”) would have been, and no text below the first line of v. 34 remains on that page. Philip Comfort and David Barrett’s reconstruction of that page, assuming the text of 34 from later manuscripts, adds two lines, bringing the total number of lines on that page to twenty-seven. According to Comfort and Barrett’s reconstruction, however, the two pages of 46 prior to this page, including the opposite side of this page, both have twenty-eight lines, as do the following two pages.24 Consequently, p. 23’s statement that there is “damaged papyrus of precisely the space needed for the middle of v. 34” is not warranted. Page 23 omits the crucial fact that 46 has a clear break at the end of v. 33, undermining its view that 33b introduces 34. Page 23 states, “it should be emphasized that the presence of 1 Cor 14:34–35 in 46, 123, and Sinaiticus, even if (contrary to fact) absent from Vaticanus and all subsequent manuscripts, would be deemed by most scholars sufficient to establish 1 Cor 14:34–35
as almost certainly belonging to the original composition.” In this statement, “34–35 in 46, 123” is misleading. Only parts of three words of 14:33 and none of 34 are readable in 123, and 14:34 is largely unreadable in 46, though the end of 34 and 35 are complete.25
Codex Vaticanus Throughout Vaticanus the general symbol marking the location of any kind of textual variant is a distigme (two dots) in the margin. It occurs about 765 times in the Vaticanus NT. Sixteen distigme lines also have the standard Greek obelos (bar, horizontal line) symbol for spurious text to specify that these textual variants add non-original text. The obelos has “a rather unequivocal meaning,” so the reader knows that an obelized “line is considered spurious, and this is an unambiguous piece of information.”26 Fifteen distigme-obelos lines have a gap in the text that only the original scribe could leave. Each occurs precisely where four-or-more-word additions interrupt the original text.27 The distigme-obelos at the interface of 1 Cor 14:33 and 34 is followed by a gap after the period at the end of v. 33 (see Figure 1). The only multi-word addition with manuscript evidence here is vv. 34–35. Pages 23–24 include many statements that expose misunderstanding both of what symbol occurs here in Vaticanus and what it means. Page 23 states, “Vaticanus . . . notes through a symbol in the margin adjacent to 14:33 the existence of a variant reading.” That is what a distigme does, not a distigme-obelos. Page 24 describes the distigme-obelos as “indicating that something should be in the text.” No distigme-obelos does this. Each marks the precise starting point of four-or-moreword additions that were not in the original text. Page 24 states, “the symbol at v. 33 is all we should expect from the scribe’s knowledge of the ‘Western’ placement.” Since no other distigme-obelos symbol is at the location of a known transposition, why should anyone expect this symbol to mark a transposition? Page 23 states that the “Western” text location of vv. 34–35 after v. 40, “was precisely the textual variant known to the scribe of Vaticanus.” If the “Western” transposition were being noted, scribe B (more than one scribe worked on Vaticanus) would not have used the specific symbol for added text here, but rather distigmai marking the corresponding variants at the ends of both v. 33 and v. 40.28 There is, however, no distigme at the end of v. 40. Page 23 states, “Whatever the variant known to the original scribe of Vaticanus, the scribe still placed 14:34–35 in the text, a placement the scribe did not give to readings he or she deemed unreliable.” This is not true. Scribe B includes known Septuagint additions to the Hebrew text approximately 121 times in the prophetic books, accurately preserving the additions marked with an obelos. Scribe B’s explanations that obeloi mark the locations of added text show that scribe B did not remove text from Vaticanus’s source manuscripts, even though marking it as added.29 Why did scribe B include 14:34–35? To fulfill the scribe’s primary task, to copy the source manuscript. There is conclusive
evidence that scribe B copied manuscripts with notable accuracy.30 It is this accurate preservation of text from an extraordinarily early Gospels manuscript that engenders great confidence that the Vaticanus Gospels’ text is remarkably early.31 The reason Vaticanus has 14:34–35 in the text is not because scribe B deemed it reliable, but because 34–35 was in the manuscript scribe B faithfully copied. Just so, scribe B preserved the source manuscript’s text by the 121 obeloi and the 12 additional passages in the prophets marked as “not in the Hebrew.” Page 23 correctly cites the distigme-obelos symbols at Luke 14:24 and John 7:52 as marking the location where text was added. Pages 23–24 inconsistently do not attribute this same meaning for the same symbol followed by a gap after the end of 1 Cor 14:33. The V aticanus Gospels contain none of the thirteen blocks of at least four words of later-added text at the exact location of a gap in the text following a distigme-obelos.32 The reason for this is not as p. 23 states, “because the scribe judged [them] to be an interpolation.” That would contradict all the evidence that scribe B accurately copied manuscripts, including their spurious additions. These additions are absent from Vaticanus because its Gospels source manuscript was so early it was not corrupted by any of them and because scribe B accurately copied that source manuscript without them. Scribe B had access to far more early manuscript text than we do today.33 Eldon Epp writes, “Vaticanus would be regarded by all as the most valuable uncial [manuscript] of the NT, and by many as the most important of all NT [manuscripts], due to the combination of its early date, its broad coverage of the NT, and the excellent quality of its text.”34 Page 23’s assertion that Vaticanus’s qualification renders “1 Cor 14:34–35 more plausibly authentic to the original composition than inauthentic,” shows either ignorance of what this symbol means or rejection of the trustworthiness of scribe B’s testimony. The majority of commentators and textual scholars today agree with scribe B’s judgment at every distigme-obelos.35 Yet p. 24 states, “the hypothetical pre-Vaticanus manuscript inferred by Payne did not exist.” If scribe B were not basing these judgments on actual manuscripts, why are scribe B’s judgments so reliable? All scribe B’s obeloi and distigme-obelos symbols reflect actual manuscripts. Since multiple manuscripts that attest added text marked by all sixteen distigme-obelos symbols in Vaticanus have survived, it is highly unlikely that no manuscript survived with the added text this distigme-obelos marks. Yet that would have to be the case if the added text were not vv. 34–35 since no other addition occurs in any manuscript at this gap.
Codex Fuldensis, a Latin Manuscript from AD 541–544 Page 24 states, “Victor [bishop of Capua, Italy], who, as a careful textual critic, likely recognized on stylistic and contextual grounds that vv. 34–35 could not have been Paul’s sentiment, felt on this basis alone that it must be an interpolation, ignorant of any other option of accounting for these verses.” This seems to acknowledge that at least this manuscript’s correction supports a text without vv. 34–35. There are major problems, however, with p. 24’s conjecture that Victor did this without manuscript evidence. First, in every case where Victor edited the text, including this Priscilla Papers | Vol. 33, No. 2 | Spring 2019 • 27
v. 40, which gave rise to their “Western” location. Another early one, manuscripts survive supporting his judgment. Second, copyist apparently inserted vv. 34–35 after v. 33, which gave rise to contrary to all the other corresponding symbols in the side their usual location. This is the only explanation of this text’s two margin of Fuldensis sending readers to Victor’s replacement text locations congruent with common scribal practice. A marginal in the lower margin, only this one goes against Victor’s preference gloss far better explains both locations of vv. 34–35 than does an for the Latin Vulgate’s form of the text. Only manuscript evidence adequately explains why Victor chose a reading omitting 34–35 unprecedented transposition for no obvious reason.39 against his normal Vulgate preference. Third, to say that Victor was Even some scholars who believe Paul wrote vv. 34–35 argue that ignorant of any other option to account for these verses is to ignore manuscript evidence shows that they were first added in the margin, the various options including Earle Ellis, church fathers gave S. C. Barton, and for these verses. Daniel B. Wallace.40 Fourth, it assumes This explains its two Victor had a mindlocations and why it Figure 1 set foreign to his era, breaks this passage’s when the silencing Interface of 1 Cor 14:33 and 34. 1474 A. Note the distigme in the left margin and the gray triangle in consistent literary the upper right corner pointing at the gap. Image by author. of women in public structure. There is not, gatherings was the however, enough room cultural norm. Most in a papyrus margin for of all, its assumption this much text in Paul’s that Victor had such “large hand” (Gal 6:11; Figure 2 a cavalier attitude to 2 Thess 3:17). Nor does correcting the text Distigme-obelos between John 7:52 & 8:12. 1361 C. Note the distigme in the right margin and the this explain 34–35’s gray triangle pointing at the gap. Image by author. without manuscript contradiction of Paul’s evidence belies his affirmations of women deep engagement with and respect for NT manuscripts. Fuldensis prophesying or various other internal evidences that vv. 34–35 are a itself preserves the conflated Diatessaron form of the four Gospels later gloss added to a manuscript, explained below. that had been suppressed for centuries, proving that Victor Page 23 states, “at some point in the history of the ‘Western’ preserved unusually early manuscript text. textual tradition, a scribe observed that these verses stuck out Page 23 states, “Codex Fuldensis . . . was corrected by like a proverbial sore thumb in Paul’s argument, interrupting its Bishop Victor of Capua, Italy, either to delete vv. 34–35 or alter chiastic flow . . . the scribe moved them to the place in the chapter the wording of vv. 36–40.” The marginal symbol would have to where they would make logical sense.” Page 27, n. 12, attributes follow v. 35, not v. 33 (its actual location) if it were only altering this to Bruce Metzger, but Metzger does not state or imply that the wording of vv. 36–40. after v. 4 0 “they w ould m ake l ogical s ense.” Fee c omments, “ It Page 23 states regarding Codex Fuldensis, “even if the is simply a modern invention that someone in the early church manuscript’s corrector believed that 1 Cor 14:34–35 was would have been troubled by the placement of these words in the inauthentic, it is a standard principle of textual criticism to text, since all who comment on it never speak to its placement as a prefer a manuscript’s original reading over a correction proposed difficulty.”41 Fee argues a transposition is “altogether unhistorical, by a later corrector.” This principle does not apply when the on two grounds: (a) displacements of this kind do not occur corrector is contemporaneous, is the most renowned expert on elsewhere in the NT; and (b) no adequate reason can be found manuscripts of his time, and is having his scribe rewrite the text, for such a displacement were these words originally in the text as in this case.36 at either of these places.”42 Virtually all textual scholars regard the only close parallel, John 7:53–8:11, as not original. It, too, is Transcriptional Probability added at different places (not transposed), has a distigme-obelos Transcriptional probability asks what best explains the surviving accompanied by a gap exactly where it would begin in Vaticanus manuscripts, some with vv. 34–35 after v. 33, others after v. 40. (see Figure 2), and shares many other features with 1 Cor 14:34– The three possibilities are that vv. 34–35 were first placed after 35.43 Additions of similar length also occur at John 5:3b–4 and 1 v. 33, after v. 40, or in the margin. The most detailed attempt John 5:7–8. to find long transpositions in “Western” manuscripts identifies Summary Regarding Manuscript Evidence only three instances. The longest moves a seven-or-eleven-word benediction three verses forward for the obvious reason, to make Page 23 states, “Taken by themselves, even these three “an apt conclusion to the letter.”37 Moving a thirty-six-to fortyqualifications render the content of 1 Cor 14:34–35 more plausibly word transposition five verses away with no obvious reason is authentic to the original composition than inauthentic. . . . the unprecedented in any Pauline manuscript. It was conventional, unanimity of the manuscript evidence, including manuscripts however, for scribes to copy text from the margin, including with qualifications, in favor of the authenticity of 1 Cor 14:34– reader comments, into the body text.38 One early copyist 35 makes the probability of this conclusion overwhelmingly apparently inserted vv. 34–35 from the margin into the text after high.” This requires that a Vaticanus symbol that in all fifteen other 28 • Priscilla Papers
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cases marks the location of later-added text does not do so here. It entails that Victor removed vv. 34–35 without manuscript evidence, contrary to all his other Fuldensis corrections. It chooses something unprecedented to explain the two locations of vv. 34–35 over common convention. All three of pp. 23–24’s explanations strain credibility.
Internal Evidence Page 23 sates, “The internal evidence only demonstrates the nonPauline origin of 1 Cor 14:34–35. . . . Hence the internal evidence cannot be used to decide between these two hypotheses.” Five internal evidences, however, do favor this was a later gloss. First, p. 23 acknowledges that these verses interrupt the chiastic flow of this passage, which is an internal issue. Not only are vv. 34–35 out of place in the logical development of this passage, they break its otherwise consistent literary structure.44 Second, nothing in 34–35 relates to this passage’s topic, the exercise of gifts of the Spirit.45 Third, this gloss appropriates words and phrases from this chapter, but uses them in ways that are alien to its context.46 Fourth, its vocabulary appears to mimic that of 1 Tim 2:11–15. Richard B. Hays writes, “The similarity of 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 to 1 Timothy 2:11–12 is striking. Both command women to ‘learn’ in silence and submission.”47 Both use the verb “permit.”48 Fifth, it addresses women “in the churches.” Every other statement in Corinthians addresses that specific church, as would a Corinthian prophecy. A gloss explains all five; the quotation view explains none of these.
Conclusion This study has demonstrated that in NT manuscripts, 14:34–35 is a discrete unit and 33b should be linked to 33a, not to 34. It has also demonstrated that all nine widely-recognized quotationrefutation devices in 1 Corinthians share three features. First Corinthians 14:33b–38 shares none of them, so it cannot legitimately be called a quotation-refutation device. The only adequate explanation for both locations of vv. 34-35 is that they were originally written in the margin of a manuscript sometime in the first two centuries and were later inserted into the body text in accordance with scribal convention. Comments added by readers normally do not include insertion instructions, so different copyists chose different insertion points. Its insertion after v. 33 interrupts the obvious contrast between “all the churches” in v. 33 and “only you” in v. 36. Popular resolutions of the apparent contradiction between Paul’s encouraging “all” to prophesy and 14:34–35’s demand for silence limit “silence” only to disruptive chatter or, recently contrived, only to judging prophecies. These resolutions should be rejected since they permit speech that v. 35 prohibits, namely asking questions from a “desire to learn,” which does not characterize either disruptive or judgmental speech.49 Only the gloss view explains all the external and internal data, preserves the chiastic structure and integrity of Paul’s argument, and avoids conflict with Paul’s other teachings.
Notes 1. Kirk R. MacGregor, “1 Corinthians 14:33b–38 as a Pauline Quotation-Refutation Device,” Priscilla Papers 32, no. 1 (Winter 2018).
MacGregor’s article is on pp. 23–28; the above quotation is from Miller’s editorial on p. 2; see http://cbeinternational.org/resource/journal/priscillapapers/volume32/issue1. 2. Including 46 B* Origen, אA Dp 33 223 876 1175 1739 1780 and 1881, Philip B. Payne, Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 223–24, 40% off at http://pbpayne.com. 3. “Western” manuscripts include those which are Latin or bilingual (Latin/Greek). Because many manuscripts written in Syriac (hence eastern) are also included in this family of texts, the title “Western” is typically placed in quotation marks. 4. Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, NICNT, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014), 772. The NA28 and UBS5 (the most widely-used editions of the Greek NT) paragraph break in the middle of v. 33, therefore, is not where virtually any early scribe understood it should be. In contrast, v. 33 is a single sentence in the Greek NTs of Bengel, Alford, Souter, Westcott and Hort, Robinson and Pierpont, and the 2017 edition produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge; see Philip B. Payne, “Vaticanus Distigme-obelos Symbols Marking Added Text, Including 1 Corinthians 14.34–5,” NTS 63 (2017): 619; Aļesja Lavrinoviča, “1.Kor.14:34,35 –Interpolācija?” (Master’s Thesis, University of Latvia, 2012) and idem, “1 Cor 14.34–5 without ‘in All the Churches of the Saints’: External Evidence,” NTS 63 (2017): 370–89, 370. 5. Including Origen, Chrysostom, Ephrem the Syrian, Ambrosiaster, Cyril of Jerusalem, Theodoret, and the Montanist Oracles, cited in Gerald Bray, ed., 1–2 Corinthians, ACCS NT 7 (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1999), 146–47; Judith L. Kovacs, 1 Corinthians: Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), 239–41. 6. So, also, Fee, First Corinthians, 772. 7. Just as Chrysostom explains it, quoted in Kovacs, 1 Corinthians, 240–41. 8. Fee, First Corinthians, 772. 9. E.g., NIV, JB, NAB, NEB, REB, TEV, CEB, CEV, Moffatt, Beck, TNT (Taylor). 10. Moulton & Geden, Concordance, 424. 11. As argued by Fee, First Corinthians, 776, and by David Bentley Hart, The New Testament (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017), 345–46. 12. E.g., Roy E. Ciampa and Brian S. Rosner, The First Letter to the Corinthians, Pillar New Testament Commentary Series (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 720; D. A. Carson, Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12–14 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987), 128. 13. Quoted from Friberg’s Jan 28, 2017, email to the author. 14. Chrysostom, Ambrosiaster, and the Montanist Oracles explain “you” as the church in Corinth. Bray, 1–2 Corinthians, 146–47. 15. Consider Thecla’s preaching and Priscilla’s and Maximilla’s prophesying. Later, Tertullian does use vv. 34–35 against Priscilla and Maximilla. 16. Walter Bauer, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971), 219. 17. The Epistle to Diognetus 12:5 cited from Kirsopp Lake, The Apostolic Fathers, LCL, 2 vols. (London: Heinemann/Macmillan, 1912– 13), 2:378–79; 1 Clement 47:1–7 (1 Cor 1:10 divisions); Ignatius, Ephesians 18:1 (1 Cor 1:20, 29 boasting); 1 Clement 13:1 (1 Cor 1:29, 31 boasting); Ignatius, Trallians 5:1 (1 Cor 3:1–2 immature); Ignatius, Magnesians 10:2 (1 Cor 5:7 evil leaven); Polycarp, Philippians 11:2 (1 Cor 6:2 avarice); Ignatius, Ephesians 16:1–2 (1 Cor 6:9–10 corrupt); Didache 10:6 (1 Cor 16:22 unholy). 18. This was true even when the only known NT manuscript without “submit” was Vaticanus, supported by comments by Clement of Alexandria and Jerome. Later, 46 confirmed “submit” was added; see Payne, Man and Woman, 278–79.
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19. Just as Vaticanus and Clement of Alexandria support the absence of “submit” in Eph 5:22, they also support the absence of 1 Cor 14:34– 35. Bishop Victor’s corrective work on the mid-sixth-century Codex Fuldensis, transcriptional probability, and many other external and internal evidences support the absence of 1 Cor 14:34–35; Payne, Man and Woman, 217–67. 20. Payne “Distigme-obelos,” 615 n. 37. I have asked Zondervan to replace “interpolation” with “gloss” throughout Man and Woman. 21. Payne, Man and Woman, 227–32. If transposition happened here, it is unprecedented, which Fee, First Corinthians, 780, asserts for any NT manuscript in any language. 22. At Matt 21:44; Mark 1:1, 10:7; Luke 17:24; and John 13:32. 23. Page 27, n. 3, attributes this dating to Comfort and Barrett, but their 2001 “corrected” edition dates it to “perhaps the middle of the second century”; Philip W. Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts (Wheaton: Tyndale House, 2001), 206. NA28 and Bruce M. Metzger date 46 to ca. 200: NA28, 794; Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford, 1992), 28. 24. Comfort and Barrett, The Text, 274–78. 25. Furthermore, Joseph Fitzmyer notes that “the majority of commentators today” regard vv. 34–35 as a later addition; Fitzmyer, First Corinthians, AB (New Haven: Yale, 2008), 530, citing twenty scholars, including, Cope, Delling, Fuller, Keck, and Roetzel. Kim Haines-Eitzen affirms th is of “n early al l scholars now”; Haines-Eitzen, The Gendered Palimpsest: Women, Writing, and Representation in Early Christianity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 62. 26. F. Schironi, “The Ambiguity of Signs: Critical ΣΗΜΕΙΑ from Zenodotus to Origen,” in Homer and the Bible in the Eyes of Ancient Interpreters, ed. M. Niehoff (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 103. 27. Payne, “Distigme-obelos,” 610–18 identifies seven of these fifteen plus one with no gap (Acts 6:10 at 1390A). The others are at Matt 6:13 (1241 B), Matt 7:21 (1243 A), Mark 3:5 (1280 C), Mark 6:11 (1285 B), and with the distigme in the right margin: Matt 8:13 (1243 C), Mark 2:16 (1279 C), John 7:52/8:12 (1361 C), John 14:1 (1371 C). W f 13 124 add eidotes hoti apethanen to the NA28-noted words added to Mark 5:40. 28. Cf. Payne, “Distigme-obelos,” 615. Page 24, referring to this, twice incorrectly states or implies that I note “the absence of a distigme-obelos adjacent to v. 40.” 29. Payne, “Distigme-obelos,” 608–9. 30. In twelve cases where there is no obelos, scribe B wrote in the margin the same explanation used for obeloi (Payne, “Distigme-obelos,” 608–9: 1033 B21, 37; 1034 B31; 1035 C8; 1038 B15; 1045 C2, 38; 1046 A40; 1054 C16; 1066 C29; 1073 C36; 1074 B17). This shows that scribe B did not even add obeloi to or remove added text from the Vaticanus source manuscript of the prophetic books, even when explaining that this text was not in the Hebrew Scriptures. Similarly, scribe B accurately preserved the virtually complete absence of periods ending sentences from its primitive Gospels source manuscript and preserved periods throughout the Vaticanus epistles from its later source manuscript. 31. Even earlier than 75 (dated by Metzger to AD 175–225) since 75 has periods throughout; Bruce Metzger, “Recent Developments in the Textual Criticism of the New Testament,” in Historical and Literary Studies: Pagan, Jewish, and Christian, NTTS 8 (Leiden: Brill, 1968), 157– 58; Payne, “Distigme-Obelos,” 621–23. 32. Matt 6:13, 7:21, 8:13, 13:51, 18:11/13; Mark 2:16, 3:5, 5:40, 6:11; Luke 1:28, 14:24/25; John 7:52/8:12, 14:1; cf. n. 33. 33. As evident in its primitive Gospels’ text and the broad range of manuscripts containing the additions marked by distigme-obelos symbols and textual variants marked by original-ink distigmai. Scribe B’s
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awareness of a text that was so early that it did not include 1 Cor 14:34–35, hence earlier than 46, confirms scribe B’s access to early manuscripts. 34. Eldon Jay Epp, “Textual Criticism,” ABD 6:412–35, at 421. 35. If the judgments of Fitzmyer and Haines-Eitzen cited in n. 25 are correct. 36. At the AAR/SBL Annual Meetings in 1991 and 1992, after reading my evidence, Metzger agreed that Bishop Victor commanded this replacement text, beginning at the end of v. 33 and omitting vv. 34–35, and that this most naturally supports a text without 34–35. 37. J. J. Kloha, “A Textual Commentary on Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians” (PhD diss., University of Leeds, 2006), 549. 38. U. Schmid, “Conceptualizing ‘Scribal’ Performances: Reader’s Notes,” in The Textual History of the Greek New Testament: Changing Views in Contemporary Research, ed. K. Wachtel and M. Holmes (Atlanta: SBL, 2011), 58, “The inclination of scribes, at least in the view of the ancients, seems to have been toward the inclusion of marginal material into the main text.” 39. Payne, “Distigme-obelos,” 616. 40. E. Earle Ellis, “The Silenced Wives of Corinth (I Cor. 14:34–5),” in New Testament Textual Criticism, Its Significance for Exegesis: Essays in Honour of Bruce M. Metzger, ed. Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D. Fee (Oxford: Clarendon, 1981), 213–20; S. C. Barton, “Paul’s Sense of Place: An Anthropological Approach to Community Formation in Corinth,” NTS 32 (1986): 229–30; Daniel B. Wallace, “The Textual Problem of 1 Corinthians 14:34–35” (2004) at https://bible.org/article/textualproblem-1-corinthians-1434–35. 41. Fee, First Corinthians, 783. E.g., Chrysostom, Hom. in ep. 1 ad Corinthians 36 and 37, Theodoret, Ps-Oecumenius, and John of Damascus. 42. Fee, First Corinthians, 783. 43. Added at John 7:36, 44, 52; 21:25 and Luke 21:38; Payne, Man and Woman, 233–35. 44. Payne, Man and Woman, 254–56. 45. Cf. Fee, First Corinthians, 785. 46. Fee, First Corinthians, 785; Payne, Man and Woman, 256–57. 47. Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, IBC (Louisville: John Knox, 1997), 247, though 1 Tim 2:12 has “in quietness”; 245–49 argues 34–35 is a gloss; 247 calls quotation-refutation the “least plausible” solution. I, however, regard the view that 34–35 is Paul’s command even less plausible since it has more problems, some of them more serious. 48. Both uses of “permit” (epitrepō) are present indicative. The only other occurrence of this verb in Paul’s letters (1 Cor 16:7) is aorist subjunctive. 49. Keener, 1–2 Corinthians, 118, observes that Paul “refers specifically to ‘learning,’ a term that appears in the context only for those hearing prophesy (14:31; not judging it, as in 14:29). Cf. Fee, First Corinthians, 787.
PHILIP B. PAYNE holds a PhD in New Testament from the University of Cambridge and has taught New Testament in colleges of the University of Cambridge, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Bethel Seminary, and Fuller Seminary Northwest. He is well known for his publications about textual criticism, the parables of Jesus, and his book, Man and Woman, One in Christ (Zondervan, 2009).
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32 • Priscilla Papers
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This issue of Priscilla Papers features student scholarship. It includes, but is not limited to, essays from recent CBE competitions. The ar...
Published on Feb 6, 2020
This issue of Priscilla Papers features student scholarship. It includes, but is not limited to, essays from recent CBE competitions. The ar...