Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Junia Is Not Alone - A Book about woman leaders

I have begun reading Junia Is Not Alone by Scot McKnight: Breaking our silence about women in the Bible and the church today.

It is excellent.

The book contests that woman in the Bible and throughout church history have been overlooked, neglected and left out of our retelling of the Grand Story.

Junia is a woman apostle who is mentioned in Romans 16:7, 'Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.'

Now throughout church history woman have been told that they cannot be teachers within the church because that is a role that is exclusively for men.  It is argued that apostles are only men.  In the New Testament and early church apostles taught the Scriptures, planted churches, evangelised, discipled and were key to the life and growth of the early church.  Many have argued that this was a male only office.

Junia was a woman.  However somewhere in church history Junia was turned into JuniaS.  Junias is a man's name.  And so those who promote male only eldership and teaching have partly been arguing from Romans 16:7 believing that Junias was a correct translation.  McKnight shows that it is a mistranslation and that the New Testament Greek shows it actually to be Junia and the early Greek speaking church fathers always translated Romans 16:7 as Junia, a woman.  A woman apostle.  A woman apostle who is outstanding among the apostles.

I haven't read it all but it seems that McKnight is calling the contemporary church to repent of its mistreatment of woman.  Many churches today still do not think woman should teach in church or have the 'eldership' role or be Ministers or Bishops.  This book goes a long way to debunking that notion and proving from the Bible, through not only Junia but many other notable woman, teaches that woman should be in these roles.  If we are to be faithful to Scripture and the will of God, then woman MUST be in these roles.  The church must wake up, repent and sort itself out so that woman are no longer silenced and ignored.

Not only that but we must encourage our daughters, sisters, granddaughters, mothers, grandmothers and woman throughout the church to lay hold of God's call in their lives and pursue it without hindrance.  We must tell stories of the amazing woman of faith who have been silenced in church history.  We must teach about those amazing woman in the Bible whom God used.  We must readdress the balance and make sure woman are being encouraged, helped and supported to be the leaders that God has called them to be.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it.

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