- 3. It is not true that Burer and Wallace "mistook a noun for an adjective." What McCarthy should have said is that according to the spelling of the word in Psalms of Solomon 2:6, it could be either a dative noun (dative of episemon, "mark, seal") or a dative adjective (dative of episemos, "conspicuous, visible") and the translator has to make a judgment on which it is.
In cases like this, it seems to me decidedly unhelpful to a discussion for someone like McCarthy to make absolute pronouncements like, "It is now well-known that Wallace and Burer misquoted Psalm of Solomon in their article. They actually mistook a noun for an adjective. In fact, Dr. Grudem's entire section on Junia is riddled with factual errors."
That sounds so confident and assured, but 99 per cent of readers of your blog (I would guess) have no ability to check out the facts in question in this Greek text from literature outside the Bible in order to know that McCarthy's claim is incorrect.
Burer and Wallace did not misquote, for their quote is exactly what the Greek says. I think McCarthy is implying that they should have included a longer quote, including the preposition en before episemos, but that is a judgment call on how much to include in a quote and not a "misquote." (The construction is somewhat strange, but en does not decide the question of whether it should be taken as a noun or adjective in any case. For example, Psalms of Solomon 17:30 provides a close parallel where en episemo means "in (a place) visible ...")
Nor does my section on Junia in Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth have any "factual errors" known to me (it has been out now for two years). I try to be extremely careful in all my citations of fact in what I publish and it seems to me inappropriate for McCarthy to make an unsupported blanket accusation that my work is "riddled with factual errors." This is intemperate, polemical language rather than argument, and I consider it a false accusation.
- 6 οἱ υἱοὶ καὶ αἱ θυγατέρες
ἐν αἰχμαλωσίᾳ πονηρᾷ
ἐν σφραγῖδι ὁ τράχηλος αὐτῶν
ἐν ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν
- The sons and daughters were in harsh captivity,
Their neck in a seal
With a mark among the nations NETS
- In Pss. Sol. 2:6, where the Jewish captives are in view, the writer indicates that “they were a spectacle among the gentiles” ( ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ). This construction comes as close to Rom. 16:7 as any we have yet seen. The parallels include (a) people as the referent of the adjective ἐπισήμῳ,
- 2:6 the sons and the daughters in painful captivity, their neck in a seal, in (a place) visible among the gentiles.
- Or “prominent, outstanding, famous.” The term ἐπίσημος (epishmo") is used either in an implied comparative sense (“prominent, outstanding”) or in an elative sense (“famous, well known”). ...
When, however, an elative notion is found, ἐν (en) plus a personal plural dative is not uncommon (cf. Pss. Sol. 2:6). Although ἐν plus a personal dative does not indicate agency, in collocation with words of perception, (ἐν plus) dative personal nouns are often used to show the recipients. In this instance, the idea would then be “well known to the apostles.”
I would say that in the most literal translation, episemos is considered to be a noun. In a less literal translation it is an adjective qualifying an omitted noun - "place." It is NOT elative in either case, as the place was prominent among the nations, it was in the nations, not a place that was visible to the nations. The captives were captive among the nations.
At this point Mike Burer was asked to comment on this issue on Adrian's blog. He wrote,
- We appreciate that several writers have pointed out that our translation and citation of the passage in the original piece were not the best. (In reflecting on this, neither Dr. Wallace nor I could remember who was responsible for this part of the article.) We should have included more of the Greek text, including the preposition ἐν so that readers could see that there was another way of understanding the construction.
The English translation we gave, “a spectacle among the gentiles,” was exactly the wording given in a recent, standard English translation of Psalms of Solomon, in James Charlesworth’s The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (1985), vol. 2, p. 652. The translation “spectacle” is a way of saying in English that they were “in a place visible/notorious” and so the translation is not incorrect, though not as literal as “in (a place) visible” or “in (a place) notorious” among the Gentiles. But that more literal translation still supports our understanding of Rom. 16:7 as “well-known to the apostles,” for in Ps. Sol. 2:6 the place was “visible” or even “well-known” to the Gentiles. (The text does not say, “in (a place) visible among other places” or something like that, which would be parallel to “outstanding among the apostles.”)
In any case, I do not think that the original Wallace and Burer article was appropriate for publication. However, the conclusion, that Junia was not "among the apostles" remains in the NET Bible notes, and has affected the ESV, and HCSB. Wallace and Burer suggested to me at that time that they would prepare a further article defending their position. They have not done this and in fact, Burer has publicly stated that he will not be doing this. He writes,
- My schedule has not permitted me time to develop an in-depth response to any of these reviews. What I can say at this point is that I have not read anything in any of them that has dissuaded me from the viewpoint Wallace and I advanced in the original article. (In the next few years I hope to develop a suitable response to these critiques.)
I have been asked for this explanation. I hope that at some point I will be able to dissect this thoroughly enough and in a way transparent enough to communicate what happened in this exchange.