- οὐ μόνον ἐ]ν̣ τ̣ῇ [π]α̣τρίδι πρώτου,
ἀλ̣λὰ [καὶ ἐν τῷ ἔθ]νει ἐπισή̣μου *
- Not only in the hometown first
But also in the nation prominent (My literal translation)
They translated ἐ]ν̣ τ̣ῇ [π]α̣τρίδι as "in his own country," and not "in his hometown." By translating as "country" they set up a false contrast between the home country and the nation. I think that somehow there is an assumption that patris (patridos) means "homeland." Well, it sort of does, but in ancient literature this usually means "home town." I don't know on what basis they suggest that the nation is a population of outsiders but they do.
But we can see from New Testament usage what these two phrases mean. First, ἐ]ν̣ τ̣ῇ [π]α̣τρίδι, and then [καὶ ἐν τῷ ἔθ]νει ,
- εἶπεν δέ· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν
ὅτι οὐδεὶς προφήτης δεκτός ἐστιν
ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ. Luke 4:24
And he added, “I tell you the truth,
no prophet is acceptable
in his hometown. NET Bible
τὴν μὲν οὖν βίωσίν μου [τὴν] ἐκ νεότητος τὴν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς γενομένην
ἐν τῷ ἔθνει μου ἔν τε Ἱεροσολύμοις
ἴσασιν / ἴσασι πάντες [οἱ] Ἰουδαῖοι Acts 26:4
Now all the Jews know the way I lived from my youth,
spending my life from the beginning among my own people
and in Jerusalem. NET Bible
- not only foremost in his own country,
but also well known to the outside population
Further exploration has lead me to read an article by David Jones, posted on the CBMW site. He also might have hoped to prove that Junia was not an apostle, I don't know. However, he writes, about the construction en plus the dative,
- Second, even though many of the 42 occurrences of this construction in Romans are instrumental uses of the dative (e.g., 1:9, 10, 27; 3:4; 5:9, 10; 10:9 [x2]; 13:9; 15:30), only two refer to persons rather than things (2:24; 16:7). In the former reference, Paul quotes Isa 52:5, ... Even if we were to take Rom 2:24 instrumentally to denote human agency, it still would not apply perfectly to Rom 16:7, where an adjective is used instead of a verb. Thus, Paul's use of this construction elsewhere in Romans suggests that the locative rendering, "among" is most likely correct in 16:7.
- Thus, the locative understanding "among the apostles" is by far the best understanding of the construction en tois apostolois, whatever Paul might mean by the term "apostles." It is very unlikely that Paul expects us to read "by the apostles" or "in the eyes of the apostles" here, for he could have used hupo ton apostolon with much less ambiguity. Therefore, regardless of whether Iounian is a man or a woman, and apart from whatever Paul means by the term "apostles," Andronicus and his partner are envisioned as being prominent members of the group which Paul refers to as "the apostles."
- There is an even stronger consensus that ejpivshmoi ejn toi'" ajpostovloi" means “outstanding among the apostles”—i.e., that Andronicus and Junia were apostles and were excellent examples of such. But the expression seemed odd: would we not expect ejpivshmoi tw'n ajpostovlwn if the meaning were “outstanding among the apostles”? On the hunch that that was the case, two of the editors did some research in extra-NT Greek on ejpivshmo" followed by (ejn +) dative and ejpivshmo" followed by the genitive.
Among the many articles on Junia, posted on the CBMW site, there is one, by David Jones, that says Junia is possibly a woman, among the apostles, but without authority. There is another by Wallace and Burer that Junia was most likely a woman but not among the apostles. And Wolters writes that Junia was possibly not a woman after all.
The case of Junia raises some serious questions surrounding the validity of exegesis in general, in my view.
*TAM 2.905.1 west wall. coll. 2.5.18
Sorry to bore all you people. I know this should be in a journal, and I should move on. However, I needed to transfer this data from the BBB over here in an improved form, and now I have done it.