Junia is Not Alone
I’m a friend of many women who have had to wrestle through trying to discern their calling into pastoral ministry. Discerning this isn’t easy no matter your sex, but when you are a women its infinitely more difficult. I’m one who advocates for women being able to serve in any capacity in the local church. It’s funny, for readers of mine who weren’t brought up in church, they probably find it strange that I even have to say that. But, the church has a long history of arguing about this very topic. That said, I totally understand the complexity of the issue. I was raised in a tradition that believed women were not t0 teach or be involved in leadership. Well, that’s not totally true. Mostly they couldn’t teach men or be take the title “pastor.” So, I get all the arguments and have heard them from each respective side. There are men and women on each side who love God and are seeking to faithfully interpret the scriptures. I get why people would argue that women can’t be pastors. I just disagree with them.
All that to say, Scot McKnight has put out a really interesting little e-book called “Junia is Not Alone.” It’s a book that tells the story of a Junia, and other women in church history, who have long been ignored and brushed to the side by our history books. Somewhere in the church history Junia, referenced in Romans 16:7, actually was changed to “Junias” and therefore called a man by those interpreting the text. Ladies and gentlemen, the first sex change recorded in the bible!
Scot McKnight (successfully) argues that Junia was, in fact, a women and that she is not the only woman to be marginalized throughout church history. I gave this book to a friend of mine (a woman) who has been wrestling with this stuff and she found it both alarming, encouraging and maddening! Definitely worth a read if this stuff interests you.