Junia is Not Alone – Scot McKnight [Feature Review]

February 24, 2012 — 1 Comment

 

Junia is Not Alone - Scot McKnightMay We Stop
Silencing our Junias

A Review of

Junia is not Alone:

Breaking Our Silence
About Women
in the Bible and
in the Church Today
Scot McKnight.
Ebook: Patheos Press, 2011.
Buy now: [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

Scot McKnight’s new little ebook Junia is not Alone: Breaking Our Silence About Women in the Bible and in the Church Today, takes a deeper look at the silencing of women in many churches today, a topic that he introduced in his book The Blue Parakeet. In form, this ebook hearkens back to the old tradition of pamphleteering, a tradition that the ebook platform is helping to revive.  The bulk of the ebook is spent examining the textual history related to the Apostle Junia, who is mentioned in Romans 16:7.  The gist of this story is that Junia, over the history of the Church, came to be viewed as a man, not a woman, and her name was tweaked to the masculine Junias, although that name was, to the best of our knowledge, not a male name used in Roman antiquity.  However, within the last twenty years, the newest editions of the Greek text have flipped the name back to the feminine Junia.  This history is extraordinarily fascinating – both because of its bearing on the role of women in the church, and also more generally, because of the light it sheds on the challenges of translating and transmitting the biblical text – and McKnight tells it in an easily accessible manner.

McKnight also recounts the stories of other extraordinary women in the church – including Marie Dentière, Phoebe Palmer and Mary McLeod Bethune – whose historical voices have largely been silenced.  (I’d like to think of myself as historically literate, but Bethune was the only one of these three with whom I was familiar!)  The histories he narrates over the course of the book are pushing toward his poignant call for churches to stop silencing their Junias, to nurture and encourage the extraordinarily gifted women teachers and preachers in our congregations.

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  • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary DeMuth

    Thanks for letting me know about this book. :)