Junia: A Woman Apostle

About this Resource:By David Williams. A detailed critique of complementarian interpretations of Romans 16:7 that attempt to diminish Junia’s status as an apostle.

One of the most thorough and comprehensive treatments available on the subject of the name Junia in Romans 16:7 and whether she was a woman apostle. Culminating in a devastating forensic critique of the allegedly scholarly view that the Greek should be translated as ‘known to’ as opposed to ‘outstanding among’ the apostles – worth the price of the book on its own.

Although the author makes his position clear from the outset (Junia was a woman and an apostle), the reader is encouraged to examine the arguments and evidence for themselves and draw their own conclusion. Written specifically for non-scholars, the issues arising from Romans 16:7 are divided into three main questions; i) was Junia a man or a woman? ii) were the people being spoken of ‘apostles’ or ‘messengers’? iii) was Junia ‘among’ them or ‘known to’ them? Each question is dealt with in turn, with full details being provided of the competing views and the evidence relied on in support. There are also some interesting and extremely helpful explanatory sections on related topics, such as ‘New Testament textual criticism’ and ‘New Testament Greek’, which enable the reader to understand all the technical issues arising from the evidence. Man or Woman? The reader is introduced to 20 of the most common arguments against Junia being a woman, drawn from well-known authors such as Wayne Grudem and John Piper.

Starting with a list of all 20, the arguments are divided into categories to be dealt with in separate sections. Without exception, upon examination they are found wanting and at the end of each section the list of arguments is depleted until all have been dismissed. Apostles or Messengers?Perhaps the least controversial of the three questions, the evidence is set out and the reader is driven to the inescapable conclusion that the people being spoken of in Romans 16:7 were apostles. Among the apostles or known to them?In recent years, Bibles such as the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New English Translation (NET), together with authors such as Wayne Grudem, have popularized the view that Junia was ‘known to’ the apostles. This view is dealt with in three stages.

First, the author traces its history back to its source – a 2001 paper by Burer and Wallace. Secondly, that paper is explained and summarised from a neutral standpoint, what might be called the calm before the storm. What then follows can only be described as a devastating critique of the paper, which leaves its credibility in tatters.

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Keener, C.S. (2009). Paul, Women and Wives: Marriage and Women’s Ministry in the Letters of Paul. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.


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Johnson, A. F. (2010). How I Changed my Mind about Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals. Grand Rapids: Zondervan


Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women

James, C.C. (2010). Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.


Jesus and the Father: Modern Evangelicals Reinvent the Doctrine of the Trinity.

Giles, K. (2006). Jesus and the Father: Modern Evangelicals Reinvent the Doctrine of the Trinity. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.


How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth

Fee, G., & D. Stuart. (2003). How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.


Why Not Women?

Cunningham, L., and D.J. Hamilton. (2000). Why Not Women? A Fresh Look at Scripture on Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership. Seattle: YWAM

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