Wednesday, 28 March 2012

35. Joanna/Junia - not a man after all.

It was news to me that the Joanna mentioned in Luke's gospel is thought by some to be the same as the Junia of Romans 16; she who was 'outstanding among the apostles.'

I'm not really into conspiracy theories but I find it worryingly easy to believe the scholars who say that for the first 1300 years of the church's history, Junia (female) was celebrated as such an apostle, but that afterwards it was claimed she was a man (how else could she be an outstanding apostle? Apostles were all men....does not compute...)

So given that 'he' (Junia) has now been reclaimed as a woman, one might get rather excited about Junia/Joanna after all.

Here are her credentials as a woman of faith whose life coincides with the earthly ministry of Jesus, and whose faithful service continued alongside her famous co 'apostle', Paul.

Being wealthy she gave of her own means to the band of disciples as they followed Jesus from place to place. When the men fled, she probably stood at the foot of the cross keeping the dying Christ company and she was there in the garden of resurrection - telling the male disciples the great news but being disbelieved (Luke 24:10). After Pentecost she appears in Rome, still serving alongside other co-workers in the gospel.

We get a snapshot of her commitment pre and post-Easter therefore. She was there through everything. She didn't know it at the beginning, but for all her self-sacrificial service, she was on the winning side...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Claire I was wondering if we could have a link to your blog on our site but also wondering if we could republish one of them? My email is - I'm a vicar in north london but run a site for a network. Thanks. Love what you're doing its really thoughtful. Tamsin