Romans 16:7 - Itching Ears


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As the world ideology becomes more apparent, and as it appears to be the natural man's ever changing canon (as often as modern morals change). I was just introduced to this "itching ear" interpretation from a historian who is a member of the Church -- obviously being promulgated by ex-members with an itch or who like to kick against the pricks.

"Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me."

I have read this scripture multiple times and have never included Andronicus and Junia "among the apostles." It's pretty clear here that "note" means the following, "to notice or observe with care." They are "noticed and cared for among the apostles." Much like my children "who are of note among the bishopric in my ward." Does this mean my children are in the bishopric and called to the bishopric -- No. It appears the adversary has been very clever once more to get people to wrest scripture to a modern ideology in order to have others be miserable like unto himself.

Have you heard of this interpretation before?

 

Edited by Anddenex
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46 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

As the world ideology becomes more apparent, and as it appears to be the natural man's ever changing canon (as often as modern morals change). I was just introduced to this "itching ear" interpretation from a historian who is a member of the Church -- obviously being promulgated by ex-members with an itch or who like to kick against the pricks.

"Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me."

I have read this scripture multiple times and have never included Andronicus and Junia "among the apostles." It's pretty clear here that "note" means the following, "to notice or observe with care." They are "noticed and cared for among the apostles." Much like my children "who are of note among the bishopric in my ward." Does this mean my children are in the bishopric and called to the bishopric -- No. It appears the adversary has been very clever once more to get people to wrest scripture to a modern ideology in order to have others be miserable like unto himself.

Have you heard of this interpretation before?

 

Yes, feminists in and out of the Church have long used this scripture to assert biblical precedent for ordination of women to the priesthood (because in Greek, Junia is a feminine name, IIRC).  To be fair, they didn’t make this up from whole cloth:  the text on its own was troublesome enough that some early Christian writers (c 4th-5th century) tried to change “Junia” to the masculine “Junias”.

Edited by Just_A_Guy
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I was very confused when I first read that this passage was interpreted as if they were apostles or included in the aposleship.... I would argue that it's one of those passages that shows the limits of the english language and the necessity of critical thinking when reading through the scriptures.

A direct translation google translate style from the Swedish Bible, 2015 version would be like this:

Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and fellow prisoners, who are highly esteemed among the apostles and who came to Christ before me

(The original: Hälsa Andronicus och Junia, mina landsmän och medfångar, som är högt ansedda bland apostlarna och som kom till Kristus före mig)



Note how it still translates to "among the apostles" if you just google translate it, which is quite interesting. Even though it's how it's translated word for word, it's definitely not how it's commonly interpreted. It would instead be interpreted like like this:

Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and fellow prisoners, whom the apostles think very highly of, and who came to Christ before me

 

In short, the apostles thought they were good saints. I tried to look at translations in other nordic languages and other germanic translations, and it's the same there. perhaps you can propably only make "women aposltes" arguments in english

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A quick pass through Biblehub to see how other translators have rendered this verse, and it seems to be a mixed bag. Some translators like the kind of interpretation given here -- that these two were well known by the apostles. Several translations used verbiage like "outstanding among the apostles" which seems to suggest that these two were included within the circle of the apostles and had risen to some prominence.

As @Just_A_Guy notes, this verse has been a challenge to patriarchal priesthood for a long time among Christians, so I'm not sure it is a new thing.

The real problem that I see is that, while we believe the Bible to be the Word of God, we do not believe the Bible is inerrant. We believe that human ideas get introduced to the text through copying and translating. We don't have the original autographs to work from, so we are limited in how certain we can be about the original text. On top of that, we (or maybe it is just me) don't believe that the authors are infallible in their ability to communicate the impressions they receive or the observations they make and then record.

IMO, I think this is one of those verses we may just have to come to accept is not entirely clear. We will have to do our level best using our traditions and what Church leaders say and what God speaks to our own hearts on how to understand this verse (and the underlying priesthood/priestesshood issue). Because of the vagueness in the text, we may also need to do better at tolerating the differences of opinion that vagueness leads to among Church members. I often feel like the worst thing we can do in a situation like this is to insist on a single, orthodox interpretation while "squeezing" those with heterodox views out of the Church.

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16 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

IMO, I think this is one of those verses we may just have to come to accept is not entirely clear.

Why? The truth has been revealed to us. If Interpretation A fits in with revealed truth and Interpretation B does not, then absent any other reason to prefer B over A, why would we choose not to embrace A?

Edited by Vort
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13 hours ago, Nordic saint said:

In short, the apostles thought they were good saints. I tried to look at translations in other nordic languages and other germanic translations, and it's the same there. perhaps you can propably only make "women aposltes" arguments in english

The member of the Church who introduced this, who shared this, used the Greek version to seek to prove the interpretation.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/2/2022 at 12:41 AM, Anddenex said:

The member of the Church who introduced this, who shared this, used the Greek version to seek to prove the interpretation.

The Greek doesn't change the ambiguity.  The preposition "among" has the same ambiguous meaning in Greek as it does in English -- especially phrased like this.  It really could go either way.

For my part, I don't see why anyone would take the time to say that "among the apostles, these apostles are held in high esteem."  Wouldn't any apostle be held in high esteem? It's a bit like saying "Jesus was the best Christ we've ever had in the history of the world."  Uhm.  Yes, I suppose that would be true.  But what would be the purpose of saying water is wet?  I don't see why it would be said in a formal letter by way of introduction.

If it truly is ambiguous to some people, ambiguity like this is exactly why we need prophets.

Edited by Carborendum
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On 4/1/2022 at 11:09 AM, MrShorty said:

The real problem that I see is that, while we believe the Bible to be the Word of God, we do not believe the Bible is inerrant. We believe that human ideas get introduced to the text through copying and translating. We don't have the original autographs to work from, so we are limited in how certain we can be about the original text. On top of that, we (or maybe it is just me) don't believe that the authors are infallible in their ability to communicate the impressions they receive or the observations they make and then record.

IMO, I think this is one of those verses we may just have to come to accept is not entirely clear. We will have to do our level best using our traditions and what Church leaders say and what God speaks to our own hearts on how to understand this verse (and the underlying priesthood/priestesshood issue). Because of the vagueness in the text, we may also need to do better at tolerating the differences of opinion that vagueness leads to among Church members. I often feel like the worst thing we can do in a situation like this is to insist on a single, orthodox interpretation while "squeezing" those with heterodox views out of the Church.

I believe a common mistake is that when we invoke "The Bible is not inerrant" (a-la "translated correctly" or in your case "transcribed correctly" in the original language ) it is far too easy to simply say,"Oh it must have been translated incorrectly."  This is especially problematic when people invoke this any time they read something they don't like.  This is exactly the accusation that most of Christianity makes with the JST.  And their position is not unfounded when we have members of the Church who do this very thing I've outlined.

  • Many things are perfectly clear as written in scriptures. 
  • Others are perfectly clear when put upon the background of our understanding of pure doctrine.
  • Others are perfectly clear when we take time to ponder and pray to receive understanding.
  • For things that are truly ambiguous, follow the prophet.
  • Never, ever, simply rely on man's earthly-based societal value system to guide us.
Edited by Carborendum
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On 4/15/2022 at 7:30 AM, Carborendum said:

The Greek doesn't change the ambiguity.  The preposition "among" has the same ambiguous meaning in Greek as it does in English -- especially phrased like this.  It really could go either way.

For my part, I don't see why anyone would take the time to say that "among the apostles, these apostles are held in high esteem."  Wouldn't any apostle be held in high esteem? It's a bit like saying "Jesus was the best Christ we've ever had in the history of the world."  Uhm.  Yes, I suppose that would be true.  But what would be the purpose of saying water is wet?  I don't see why it would be said in a formal letter by way of introduction.

If it truly is ambiguous to some people, ambiguity like this is exactly why we need prophets.

I agree with your whole thought. In context Nordic was specifying the ambiguity might only be in English, whereas the original interpretation was in Greek.

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The scriptures that the original poster put up can be easily understood.  The below scriptures and many other that have "predestined" or "predestination" in them in the New Testament are in error.  We know through modern revelation that there is no predestination to a kingdom of glory or hell.

Ephesians chapter 1:

4 He hath chosen is in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

5 having predestined us to be His own adopted children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will,

11 In Christ also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will,

12 that we, who first trusted in Christ, should be to the praise of His glory.

================================

Whenever I read "predestined" or "predestination" in the New Testament I replace the word with "foreordained" in the verse.

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