Scot McKnight’s Junia is Not Alone

kinnon —  December 2, 2011 — 7 Comments

JuniaNotAloneCoverI could write a long rant on the topic of women in church leadership. In fact, I probably have. I’m just too lazy to google my own blog to find my categorically egalitarian musings.

That short intro paragraph to say, whatever position you take on this issue, Scot McKnight’s essay, Junia is Not Alone is a must read. It’s a $2.99 eBook from Amazon – which some might consider steep for an essay.


If you trust me at all, trust me when I say that it’s worth every penny and then some.

From Scot’s intro:

Moving toward my second decade of teaching college students, more than half of whom grow up in a church, of this I am certain: churches don’t talk about the women of the Bible. Of Mary mother of Jesus they have heard, and even then not all of what they have heard is accurate. But of the other woman saints of the Bible, including Miriam, the prophetic national music director, or Esther, the dancing queen, or Phoebe, the benefactor of Paul’s missions, or Priscilla, the teacher, they’ve heard almost nothing.

Why the silence?

Why do we consider the mother/wife of Proverbs 31 an ideal female image but shush the language of the romantic Shulammite woman of the Song of Songs? Why are we so obsessed with studying the “subordination” of women to men but not a woman like Deborah, who subordinated men and enemies? Why do we believe that we are called to live out Pentecost’s vision of Spirit-shaped life but ignore what Peter predicted would happen? That “(i)n the last days… your sons and daughters will prophesy. .” and that “(e)ven on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit.”

Why the silence?

Why the silence, indeed?

I found out about this essay when I took a moment away from working on a script. As is my wont, I checked my RSS feed and saw Scot’s post on Junia is Not Alone. I immediately bought it at Amazon, and thought I’d glance at it before I continued with my work.

Well, that glance turned into reading it all. It’s not that long as mentioned.

I finished it with tears in my eyes.

Scot has written a number of important books. This essay is right up there with the best of them.

And, no matter where you are in the complimentarian/egalitarian discussion, this book is truly a must read.

UPDATE: Read Jamie Arpin-Ricci’s review.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

7 responses to Scot McKnight’s Junia is Not Alone

  1. This comment is not in regards to the post per se…

    I just wanted to say that I have seen you everywhere today and it is so cool. I read Scot McKnight’s blog and there you were in the comments. I read the Amazon page for his new book and there you were. I read a blog from Jordon Cooper and there you were.

    Anyways, blessings! Hope to see you around more often. Love you’re insight!


    • I guess it’s just be one of those days. 🙂 And thanks for the kind words, too.

  2. I second your endorsement & then some. Great piece & well worth (far more than the) $2.99.

  3. Yes, it was worth every damn cent just to see Scott McK. clear a trail through the translational/interpretive jungle. Finally it’s out in the open;

    Who says New Testament texts and translations are not political?


  4. Bill, Its refreshing to hear a real scholar admit what the rest of us have been suspecting for some time: texts & translations are political. I remember Gordon Fee lecturing (emphatically, like he always did) on this passage more than 20 years ago. We all spent some assigned time in a dusty corner of the library reading millenia old texts and discovered not an iota of support for “Junias”. Not a lot has changed, although Zondervan did release the TNIV (which has the correct reading, Junia) and then FOTF worked the masses up into a tizzy and successfully campaigned to kill it. Politics are alive and well. Thanks for reminding us that we can’t let these kind of issues sit on the back burner.

  5. Thanks for the heads up on McKnight’s essay. For the last 7 years I been studying the scriptures and doing a lot of research on the “woman” question.

    I dug into the Junia question and found some very surprising declarations that….. well…… have caused me not to trust the scholarship of some celebrity Christians. Just one example are Piper and Grudem on this subject of Junia who quote Epiphanius (315-403) who claimed Junia was a man. Problem is Epiphanius also claimed Priscia was a man, too! Piper and Grudem conveniently left that part out.

    The bottom line for me is that we cannot ignore Pentecost. And if we really want to get it right, we go back to Gen 3:16 and the “political” translation of Teshuqa which started about 1300 when a monk named Pagnini changed “turning” to desire.

    • Thanks, Lin. I always appreciate your input and knowledge as you are one more woman from whom I learn.


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