Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The ESV and Romans 16:7

Does anyone know why the ESV translates Romans 16:7 differently than the other major translations? I'm referring to where the ESV says that Andronicus and Junia (a female) were well known to the apostles. All the other major translations make it sound as if they WERE apostles (rather than merely known to them). Is this a legitimate interpretation?

Bold added by me.

ESV: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

NASB: Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

KJV: Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

NRSV: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

NIV: Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

TNIV: 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.

NLT: Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews, who were in prison with me. They are highly respected among the apostles and became followers of Christ before I did.

ASV: Salute Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me.


(Click to enlarge and see the Greek interlinear text)

9 comments:

Onesimus said...

Could it be the case of the translators projecting their own theology into their translation of the text?

Of course not! Would anyone put their own theology ahead of a clear application of scripture?

William Watson Birch said...

Gee, I wonder why ;) What Onesimus said!

The NET Bible gives its reasons why they chose "well known to the apostles."

What do you make of the ESV at Malachi 2:16? That's been a complaint of mine since it came out in 2001. (The HCSB does something similar.)

William Watson Birch said...

Something went wacky with my link. Maybe I didn't set it up right:

http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Rom&chapter=16&verse=7

Kevin Jackson said...

Onesimus, You read my mind. :)

Billy, Wow! They did jack Malachi 2:16.

Thanks for the NET link, it was helpful. Funny how the ESV always end up with the "complementarian" translation. ;) Out of curiosity, I looked up Burer and Wallace, the guys cited in defense of "well known to the apostles". This blogger takes them to task pretty well.

Also, it appears that Wallace ALWAYS comes down on the complementarian side. Funny how that is huh?

Did Pricilla teach Apollos? Wallace says no.
Can women be deacons? Wallace says no.

pchurcher87 said...

Onesimus is spot on I believe.
Check out this:
http://podacre.blogspot.com/2009/09/nt-pod-12-junia-first-woman-apostle.html
It's a podcast done by Mark Goodacre. They're all work a listen but this one is on this very subject.

Enjoy!

Adam Omelianchuk said...

Yeah, if Romans 16:7 said what it says, complementarianism would be in trouble. Amd the ESV was translated by complementarian scholars. Just read the text note on this verse in the ESV Study Bible...

Kevin Jackson said...

Peter, thanks! I'll check it out.

Adam, agreed.

Deidre Richardson said...

Kevin,

I noticed this as well at my blog titled "Men and Women in the Church." I did a few posts on Junia and even posted an article at the site against a complementarian from CBMW. If you wanna read it, just click on my blog "Men and Women" on my profile. It is listed under the section "Junia or Junias?"

The complementarian view is in trouble. And that's why they have to forge this translation. In addition, check all the other names of women in house churches throughout Paul's letters (like Colossians). You'll notice that even translations like the New American Standard Bible have changed all the feminine names and made them masculine.

Great site you have here! Keep up the work, my fellow Arminian brother! it's all for the glory of God!!
- Deidre

Kevin Jackson said...

Deidre, thanks, I will check out the series on your blog. Also if you didn't already, see pchurcher's link above, it is a nice little presentation by an English dude. He explains the problems of the ESV as it relates to this verse.

Also, do you read Ben Witherington's blog? He had a nice piece a day or two ago on why Paul was egalitarian.

I'm a strong advocate of the egalitarian view. The Wesleyan/Holiness movement has always been egalitarian. I've been working on a several part series on this, but it's not ready to go yet. :)

God bless, Kevin