New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, August 15 2002 Volume 02 : Number 141
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Date: 14 Aug 2002 08:57:08 -0400
From: Mike Sangrey <msangrey * BlueFeltHat>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

On Tue, 2002-08-13 at 23:55, Linkh * bigfoot wrote:
<snip>
>
> Romans 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my
> fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ
> before me.
>
> I asked a retired Greek professor ('Bearded Bill' of Asheville) about this
> via email. He seemed to think it was ambigous in Greek. It certainly is in
> English.

Yep! The Greek ambiguity is why it's translated that way in English.
I'm on a Biblical Greek email list with over 1,000 subscribers. Some of
the posters have written Greek Grammars. A little while ago there was a
discussion regarding Rom. 16:7 and the conclusion you mention of
`Bearded Bill' was pretty much the consensus. However, see next.

> Were Andronichus and Junia non-apostles whom the apostles considered
> noteworthy? Or were they notable apostles among the apostles?

The main moderator of BGreek and a retired Greek and Latin professor of
40 years, Carl Conrad, changed his mind after the discussion. Before he
leaned toward Junia, a woman, being an apostle. However, one rather
resourceful person provided a few passages from extra-biblical sources
which had very similar constructions. In those contexts it was clear
that the person being referred to was considered noteworthy by the group
of people. So, Carl now leans toward that position.

The possibility of Junia being male has been pretty much dismissed as a
possibility. The consensus is that it would be an unnatural
construction.

Still, the Greek is rather ambiguous. And, I might also add, why was
Junia being mentioned by Paul? Was it not because of her example, an
example that those at Rome were to follow? I'm of the opinion, given
the size of Rome at the time, that each of these people mentioned here
in 16 is a leader in various house churches throughout the city.

And, it should also be noted, at least I've been told this by a person
who has known Greek since she was 2 (yeah, that's right, two!) that a
number of things like grave markers and letters mention women in
leadership positions in the church.

Mike Sangrey
msangrey * BlueFeltHat
Landisburg, Pa.
"The first one last wins."
"A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."


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Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 10:12:46 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Mike Sangrey wrote:

>Still, the Greek is rather ambiguous. And, I might also add, why was
>Junia being mentioned by Paul? Was it not because of her example, an
>example that those at Rome were to follow? I'm of the opinion, given
>the size of Rome at the time, that each of these people mentioned here
>in 16 is a leader in various house churches throughout the city.
>

Dear Mike,

I appreciated all that you wrote here except for, "...house churches throughout the city."

really do not believe that we have any more right to divide the Body of Christ in the name of "house church", then we did when we were still institutionalized. Bible = one city = one Church, meeting in houses. It's a new creation, one new creation superimposed on one old creation. Once we lose sight of that, "all Hell breaks loose."

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 09:12:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

> I asked a retired Greek professor ('Bearded Bill' of Asheville) about
> this
> via email. He seemed to think it was ambigous in Greek. It certainly
> is in
> English.
Just to add my cent... in spanish, there would be no ambiguity, since all
names ending in A are female. And spanish comes from latin and greek. I
see no ambiguity at all. I also understand that in latin all male names
ended in us.

vanessa


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Date: 14 Aug 2002 12:09:50 -0400
From: Mike Sangrey <msangrey * BlueFeltHat>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

On Wed, 2002-08-14 at 10:12, jferris wrote:
> Mike Sangrey wrote:
>
> >Still, the Greek is rather ambiguous. And, I might also add, why was
> >Junia being mentioned by Paul? Was it not because of her example, an
> >example that those at Rome were to follow? I'm of the opinion, given
> >the size of Rome at the time, that each of these people mentioned here
> >in 16 is a leader in various house churches throughout the city.
> >
>
> Dear Mike,

> I appreciated all that you wrote here except for, "...house churches
> throughout the city."

> [I] really do not believe that we have any more right to divide the Body
> of Christ in the name of "house church", then we did when we were
> still institutionalized. Bible = one city = one Church, meeting in
> houses. It's a new creation, one new creation superimposed on one old
> creation. Once we lose sight of that, "all Hell breaks loose."

I agree. In fact, that very thought jumped out at me when reading the
end of Romans. Here Paul is addressing all these house churches as a
single unit. That makes perfectly good sense to me. Paul did not view,
nor did the people in Rome view, themselves as different churches. They
were all in it together. Practically speaking, people had to work out
some of the physical, real world problems. So, I think that meant
meeting in different houses. But, the bottom line is I agree, there
was only one church in Rome. In fact, there really has always been only
one church.

We're just really, really confused. <chuckle>

Hmmmmm...I like how you put it: "one Church, meeting in houses."

Thanks.

Mike Sangrey
msangrey * BlueFeltHat
Landisburg, Pa.
"The first one last wins."
"A net of highly cohesive details reveals the truth."


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Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 12:59:58 EDT
From: CWOWI * aol
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Hi all,

If I could jump in here with an observation and principle. I wonder
the purpose for this discussion...debate over something like this.
The Lord is consistent through the ages. Vine says that 4 of the 6
times Priscilla and Aquila are mentioned she comes first, indicating she is
the main speaker...when they corrected Apollos in Acts 18 'they' took him
aside...in that culture, to say 'they' instead of 'he' is indicative of her
involvement. Romans 16:1 mentions Pheobe, a deaconess, tradition says she was
a traveling minister and teacher. The church at Philippi was at Lydia's
home...Nymphas in Colossians 4 had a church in her home as well...

These women are in the offices of teacher, pastor, whatever label we
may put on them. We cannot make the gift of apostle an exception over and
above the other gifts because there is no such division in the Word...In Eph
4 and I Cor 12:28 it is presented with other gifts...therefore to surgically
remove it for discussion about whether women can be an apostle is error in
understanding in how to interpret the Bible. If pastor, teacher, deacon, and
such can be women then the others may have women.

To apply the principles of interpretation I'm hearing here, we would
have to examine the gift of giving and whether it is right for men to be in
that gift, because we only have the women of Luke following Jesus around
giving out of their substance. Or even more absurd, there is no definition of
helps or governments in I Cor 12:28, do we assume only men can operate in
those gifts? Or do we assume only women can operate in them?
We look (also) to what the Holy Spirit is doing around us...we have
only to look to women like Joyce Meyers, Marilyn Hickey and other notable
women to see the Lord's anointing and gifting in teaching, Barbara Yoder as
an example in pastor, as well as other men and women where the wife is
equally gifted and called as pastor or evangelist, etc.

The way the apostles in Acts 15 discovered God's will was to look to
the Word and also around them to see what God is doing. So to ask if women
may be apostles is the same question asking if women can be teachers or
pastor or evangelists...the answer is obviously yes to these, so why the
debate?

I could list many women around us today who are apostles that I know
personally, their lives and call confirmed by the Holy Spirit and
acknowledged by those around them.
When you combine the Word with what God is doing today the answer is
obvious and renders debate on the matter moot.

To me, Junia is clearly female, and yes, there was a council in 3--
something where the bishops changed the text to female, even removing
inscriptions off gravestones (in Egypt) of female bishops and apostles...I'll
find the source for that, I've seen pictures of the graves...but even if
history and the Word were ambiguous, you need to step back and see the big
picture of what God has done and is doing...clearly women are in all the
offices...

Anyway, that's my 2 cents...I enjoy being in the loop, and honest debate is
great.
John Fenn


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Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 17:16:56 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Mike S. wrote:

> I've been wanting to respond on this thread.

And so you have now. Welcome back! I'm so glad to read your post(s),
bro. We all benefit from your linguistic insights and contributions.
Case(s) in point:

> However, one rather resourceful person provided
> a few passages from extra-biblical sources
> which had very similar constructions. In those
> contexts it was clear that the person being
> referred to was considered noteworthy by the
> group of people.

This is really relevant stuff, learning how words and phrases were
used in the Bible. Illuminated on occasion by extra-biblical usages. Your
(Mike's) group's conclusion was pretty much my own, although I would like to
have had those references the "resourceful person" posted to clinch it. But
ambiguities in the biblical text are nevertheless *fun* (... thanks for the
encouragement, Dick!) to dig into for "possibilities".

> But, I note you also have churches apostling
> people. Is that Jesus sending? No, it's a
> specific body of believers. What authority do
> they have? Well, they have authority to carry
> out the task Jesus...ummm...sent churches to
> do. And we can talk about what that task was,
> but, in a nutshell, it appears to me to have to
> do with evangelizing and reproducing other
> churches.

So does this perhaps clarify for us all the difference most of us
intuit between the 12 and those others referred to in the NT as "apostles"?
This is important info you've (Mike) provided, IMO.

> BTW, talking about who the sender is and that the
> person being sent has the authority of the sender
> forces to the surface the whole question of whether
> that authority rests in the elders or in the church. I
> personally think it rests in the body of people. And
> that establishes the task, authority, and accountability
> relationships. There's a bunch of related issues here
> which, given the way people view the church today,
> complicates how this works. But, that's where I'm at
> right now.

This indeed is a topic worth discussing on this list. I get the
feeling from past discussions that the majority, like you, would be
"congregationalists" (in the polity, not denominational, sense of the word),
but I will go on record as not being so sure. Why, bro Mike, do you think
the authority of the sender (delegated by Christ himself, we all understand
here) rests with the local body at large and not primarily with the elders
(or even elder!) representing that body? A cursory search using the English
words "sent from" (APESTALMENOS PARA-- Joh. 1:6; APESTALMENOI HUPO-- Act.
10:17), and "sent by" (APESTALE ... APO-- Luk. 1:26) gives me back info
regarding individual "senders" only. Not groups. Mightn't that be
reflective of how the term Apostle or the verb "to apostle" are *primarily*
used in the NT? If so, where does that leave us regarding the local body
theory?

MICHAEL
Jerusalem

 


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #141

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