Home‎ > ‎

Was Junia an apostle according to Romans 16:7?

The question of Junia's apostleship is important because it has implications with respect to the role of women in the early church.  The KJV says that Junia was "of note among the apostles".  The KJV rendering could be taken to mean either that:
  • Junia was of note in the eyes of the apostles; or
  • Junia was of note in relation to the other apostles.
The first meaning implies that Junia was not necessarily an apostle herself.  The second meaning implies that Junia was grouped together with the other apostles, meaning she too was an apostle.  The KJV's ambiguity is due to its literal translation of the ambiguous Greek which says "εισιν επισημοι εν τοις αποστολοις".  The NIV and NASB give the impression that Junia was an apostle.  The ESV says Junia was "well known to the apostles", which does not give the impression that Junia was an apostle.  In the more patriarchal 17th century, the KJV translators could have rendered the passage like the ESV in such a way to take away the opportunity to interpret the passage as saying that Junia was an apostle.  Yet the KJV, being a faithful translation, does not take a side for political reasons but simply translates the ambiguous Greek as it is.