It wouldn't be the first clumsy attempt to "masculinize" an inconvenient woman's name. At some point biblical redactors apparently changed "Junia" to "Junias" [Rom. 16:7] in an effort to remove any hint that there may have been a female apostle.
Yes, I know about that one. Then, it was eventually changed back to Junia in some translations.
The problem of the name Junia has been debated over if the name is that of a male or a female, yet the problem of gender is not the most problematic part of the passage. The question of Apostleship poses the greater problem for the interpreter.
The reason that I am not as concerned with the gender of the person is the fact that the patristic fathers regarded it as a feminine name yet Epiphanius bishop of Salamis in Cyprus states that the name is that of a man and that he became bishop of Apameia of Syria, what is at the debate for me is the greater question. If this is a feminine name, is she the first female apostle? Secondly if this is a feminine name and she just well-known to Paul and the apostles what are the ramification of this? So it is an assumption that Junia’s is an apostle based on the reading of English text!
As for you question on Nymphas or Nymphya it is my belief that this is clear in the Greek text the name is feminine and the church meet in her home.
You know, I used to believe that the text with Junia's name stated that she was an apostle, until God told me otherwise. I looked at it again..it said "of note among" and I see that as havign a good report among the apsotles, but not being one.
And yes the greek is clear on that.
See we did that with any fighting thank you brothers.
I wonder why we have to assume that a church was lead by the person in whose home it was held? I think it can be assumed that the first house church in Philippi was in Lydia's home, principally because she was a wealthy sponsor.
Actually, the critical-historical-cultural-grammatical method doesn't obviate the making of assumptions, as Dr. Dunn demonstrates int the above-mentioned commentary:
"Moreover, as the householder and the only one named in connection with the church in her home, Nympha was probably the leader of the church there, or at least she acted as host for the gathering or for the fellowship meal (including on at least some occasions the Lord's Supper). Certainly there is nothing in the New Testament as a whole which would tell against such an inference, though the inference itself is hardly certain..." [op. cit., 285].
The methodology cannot answer these questions with certainty.
Brother Gill is right Dr. Watson, as you know I use the Historical-Grammatical-Literal method of interpretation and still I don't have answers to these types of question. But studying in the original languages is fun and hard work at the same time!
A major question is what the Greek en (which the KJV translators rendered "among") means here. There are places in the KJV where en was rendered "by" or "with," which would not indicate inclusion in the group; moreover, there are instances in the KJV where we read of Paul being "among the heathen" and "among the Gentiles," and clearly it did not mean he was ONE of THEM.
Nonetheless, it is clear that at least some early commentators read the Greek as indicating her apostleship (like John Chrysostrom [337-497], who wrote, "Oh! How great is the devotion of this woman, that she should be even counted worthy of the appellation of apostle! [Homily on the Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Romans XXXI]). The mere possibility the reference could be read this way is what prompted later bible translators to corrupt the manuscript with a masculinized name.
There is a great journal article written by Dr. Michael Burer and Dr. Daniel Wallace Was Junia Really an Apostle? A Reexamination of Romans 16:7." JBMW 6, no. 2 (2001)
...yet Epiphanius bishop of Salamis in Cyprus states that the name is that of a man and that he became bishop of Apameia of Syria...
Incredibly, Epiphanius also argued that "Priscilla" of the bible was actually a man. The bishop was engaged in battles against female-led heresies in the church, and that may have inspired some male-chauvinistic readings of scripture on his part.
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