During this short time between Christmas holidays and the beginning of the semester on January 14, I have a little time to work on publishing projects with more fervor than I normally do. By the end of this week I hope to put the finishing touches on an article concerning Junia in Romans 16:7. Back in 2001 Daniel B. Wallace and I published an article on this issue in New Testament Studies. There we argued that the more likely meaning of the phrase ἐπίσημος ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις is “well known to the apostles” instead of the more commonly accepted “notable among the apostles.” In other words, we argued that Paul identifies Junia as an exceptional person in the opinion of the apostles, not that he recognizes her as an apostle as such. Since that time several people have written rejoinders to our work, and in the current piece I respond to the objections raised and offer new evidence to prove that our original hypothesis still stands as a reasonable interpretation of Paul’s statement.
The hardest part of writing this? Getting it down to size. The nature of this research involves the adjective ἐπίσημος and how its meaning changes when used with different words and phrases. Our central thesis boils down to a subtle difference in meaning when that adjective is used with a noun in the genitive case and when it is used with a noun in the dative case. In order to bolster the work we did originally, I have examined hundreds of Greek texts, lots of which shed light on the discussion. My first draft of the article was 16,500 words, but most journals will only take articles of 8,000 words, unless there is a really good reason for the extra material. So I have to cut a bunch and then make a good pitch when I submit the piece that the extra material is worth it.
I'll keep you posted on the article's progress. I've been mulling this over, working on it off and on, for close to eight years. I'm ready to land this plane.