Errors at The Junia Project – Part 3

This is part 3 of a series reviewing a recent blog article entitled God Sends Both Men AND Women by Susanna Krizo published at The Junia Project. Here are the links to parts 1 and 2 of this series.

By 2001 nearly 60 percent of the world’s missionaries were women. That trend began during the second wave of modern missions – and was catapulted into being through the American Civil War, when six hundred thousand men lost their lives (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

LemmingsUnfortunately, Krizo does not supply a reference for her data regarding missionaries. Is that Christian missionaries? Appealing to a 60 percent figure is merely the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum. If 60 percent of the world’s lemmings are jumping off cliffs, it must be good, right? Even if the 60 percent figure is accurate, she has still not addressed whether or not it is Biblical. And, I have previously addressed the issue of loss of life during the Civil War as being insufficient to require that women be sent as missionaries. The question we are still waiting to be addressed by this article—is it Biblical?

With such significant loss of male leadership, earning ability, and traditional roles in some families, women stepped up to rebuild both the American nation and also the American church. Facing the possibility of a halted work, the church agreed to send women to every corner of the world to proclaim the Gospel (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

Rebuilding the nation is not the same as rebuilding the church. And, Krizo has not established that the church even needed to be rebuilt. In addition, sending missionaries to every corner of the world would have actually detracted from the rebuilding of the nation and the church. They cannot be in both places at the same time.

Alternatively we could use her argument of the “loss of male leadership, earning ability, and traditional roles in some families” to justify all sorts of behaviors that are non-Biblical. If there were not enough Christian men to go around, why not approve polygamy and move away from those traditional family stereotypes? This would have solved the male leadership problem by letting one male lead multiple women and families. It also would have increased the birth rate to more quickly repopulate the nation and the church. As I hope you can see, appealing to pragmatism can lead to all sorts of problems. We have to use the Bible to guide us.

But why is it that more than a hundred years later, the church hasn’t ceased sending women, although the pool of available men has been replenished? Maybe God likes the idea of sending men and women. Maybe God has always sent men and women (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

Maybe God does like the idea of sending women and maybe God has always sent men and women. But we would need to address the issue from the Bible, not from our personal ideas or feelings. And, just because it has been done for more than 100 years does not make it right either. Thankfully, Krizo will now begin trying to use the Bible.

The word “missionary” isn’t found in the Bible; we get the English word from the Latin missio, “sent” (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

It is true that the term missionary is not found in most English Bibles.

Instead, the Bible talks about apostles, who were entrusted with the preaching of the Gospel to specific people groups (Gal 2:7-9). Paul, for example, spent his life traveling around the Roman Empire preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, while Peter went to his own people living in the Diaspora. (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

Here she is equating our modern English term “missionary” with the the Biblical term “apostle.” However, the Bible uses the term apostle many different ways. The term apostle simply means “sent one.” Depending upon context, the Greek term for apostle is sometimes translated as “apostle” and sometimes as “messenger.” In the New Testament the term “apostle” is used to describe several different types of people:

  1. The original 12 apostles appointed by Jesus (Acts 1:1; 1:13; plus Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus).
  2. Matthias who was selected to replace Judas Isacariot (Acts 1:26). In the Acts passage, this type of apostle must meet specific criteria: “one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us–one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22).
  3. Paul (Romans 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:1, many others).
  4. Jesus (Hebrews 3:1)
  5. Barnabas (Acts 14:14) and other various apostles who are sent as messengers. For example: “And as for our brothers, they are messengers [apostles] of the churches, the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 8:23). Also, “I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger [apostle] and minister to my need (Philippians 2:25).
  6. False apostles. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:13).

As you can see, the term apostle can mean several different things depending upon its context. We cannot simply equate it with the English term missionary. And, as was discussed previously but will be repeated here, we also cannot equate it with church leaders such as pastors and elders:

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12)

Returning to Krizo’s article:

Instead, the Bible talks about apostles, who were entrusted with the preaching of the Gospel to specific people groups (Gal 2:7-9). Paul, for example, spent his life traveling around the Roman Empire preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, while Peter went to his own people living in the Diaspora. (Krizo, God Sends Both Men AND Women).

Even this analysis of Paul and Peter over simplifies their apostleship. Their apostleship was not limited to preaching the Gospel to specific people groups. For example, while Paul’s focus was the Gentiles he also regularly preached the Gospel to Jews in synagogues in Salamis (Acts 13:5), Antioch-Pisidia (Acts 13:14-16), Thessalonica (Acts 17:1–3), Athens (Acts 17:16-17), and many other places.

So, what have we identified during today’s review of this article? Unsupported and irrelevant data, an appeal to the popular, more pragmatism, and a poor teaching on the topic of apostleship in which the various categories of apostleship is ignored.

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16 Comments

Filed under Christian Life, Church, Evangelism

16 responses to “Errors at The Junia Project – Part 3

  1. greghahn4

    Hi Dale! I don’t know why you keep missing the places where Susanna references her material. The 60 percent figure is clearly referenced with a [i] , which connects to the following:

    Boehme Ron, The Fourth Wave, Taking Your Place in the Era of Missions [Seattle, WA: YWAM Publishing, 2011], p 90.

  2. Hi Dale!

    In part 1, you wrote:

    “Before I even begin this 5-day and nearly 4000 word series, let me state up front that I believe both married women and single women can serve as Christian missionaries, as long as their specific missionary tasks and roles are not explicitly prohibited by Scripture.”

    In part 3, you wrote:

    “Unfortunately, Krizo does not supply a reference for her data regarding missionaries. Is that Christian missionaries? Appealing to a 60 percent figure is merely the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum. If 60 percent of the world’s lemmings are jumping off cliffs, it must be good, right? Even if the 60 percent figure is accurate, she has still not addressed whether or not it is Biblical. And, I have previously addressed the issue of loss of life during the Civil War as being insufficient to require that women be sent as missionaries. The question we are still waiting to be addressed by this article—is it Biblical?”

    Which one is it? Should women be missionaries, or should they not be missionaries?

    • Susanna,

      What do you mean by missionary? We are fundamentally debating the definitions.

      Regards,

      Dale

      • I’ve posted a lengthy article below. In it you will see that I consider a modern day missionary equivalent to a first century apostle. The word was changed due to the Latinizing of our theology after the 4th and 5th centuries. The Greek word “apostolos” is translated with “apostolus” in the Latin Vulgate (finished in 405 CE), and the meaning of “apostolus” is

        apostolus, apostoli N M 2 1 M [DEXBS]
        apostle; missionary (one sent); (http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wordes.exe?apostle)

  3. Hi Dale!

    Great information on apostles!
    I have just one question. In this third post you wrote,

    “Here she is equating our modern English term “missionary” with the the Biblical term “apostle.” However, the Bible uses the term apostle many different ways. The term apostle simply means “sent one.” Depending upon context, the Greek term for apostle is sometimes translated as “apostle” and sometimes as “messenger.””

    In your second post you wrote,

    “Missionaries are not the same as people who teach in the church (pastors and elders). In fact, some missionaries sent by the local church do not even have as their primary role to teach or evangelize at all (for example, medical missionaries or missionaries that build houses, churches, water systems, etc.). Conflating the different categories of missionaries and teachers in the church just confuses the issue. In the following text, the Bible identifies several different categories of individuals that God calls for the work of ministry”

    If both missionaries and apostles had all kind of different roles, how do you determine when a missionary acts as an apostle, and when an apostle acts as a messenger, and when a messenger acts as a missionary? If the words “missionary” and “apostle” can refer to multiple roles, how do you define who does what and when?

    • Susanna,

      I think the question you are asking is exactly the one that I feel you failed to address in your original article. As I noted, the Bible defines some clear distinctions between the types of apostles. Your article appears to make every use of the term apostle the same and thus Junia’s role is therefore the same as Peter and Paul. Even if we replace the word “apostle” with the word “missionary” we do not avoid this problem. I provided a list of what I consider to be different categories of apostle. Either you have the same list of categories, a different but similar list of categories, or only one category for all NT uses of the term apostle. It appears from your article and even the comments that you believe there is only one category. I think that is wrong.

      Regards,

      Dale

  4. Oh wait, I had something else to say!

    You do know that Paul stopped going to the synagogues and spent the rest of his time preaching to Gentiles, right? All of his letters are addressed to Gentile churches, wherefore he is called an apostle to the Gentiles.

    Acts 18:5-6
    When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6 But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” NIV

    • Hi Susanna,

      While Paul had a clear focus on the Gentiles, he did not (as you state) stop going to the synagogues. After the passage you quote from Acts 18:5-6, Acts 19:8 again records Paul following his standard practice of first starting in the synagogues when he entered a new region:

      Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God.

      Regards,

      Dale

      • It is true that Paul went to the synagogue, for he wished for all to be saved as he so often says, but his main focus was the Gentile population.

        Rom 11:13-14 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. NIV

        This point is really just a minor detail, but it highlights the fact that apostles went to different people groups to preach the Gospel, just as modern missionaries choose a people group. But even though they choose a people group, they do not miss an opportunity to share the Good News with someone else if the opportunity arises.

  5. Tim P

    Hello again Dale: It would seem that Hans Dieter Betz in the Anchor Bible Dictionary (which I cited in the comments section in part 2 of your series) would object to your description of the semantic domain of the noun apostolos. Also, it would seem that the writings of Western Christians in Latin from the early second century until the fifth century would establish that that the Latin equivalent of apostolos is the verb missio, from which we get our word missionary. I have yet to hear you explain why you think Betz is wrong and these early Christian theologians were wrong. Perhaps that will come with part 4?
    At this point in the conversation, it appears that Susanna is on stronger footing linguistically and historically in her case. I’m looking forward to how you will answer these questions. Grace and peace be upon your day!

    • Hi Tim! I may be wrong, but I believe Dale is trying to make the case that men were proper apostles and women were simple messengers since they are not allowed to teach men. Hence the argument that women should not be missionaries, although they should be missionaries, as Dale has asserted both. I also look forward to his next post, maybe it will shed light to the question of his view of the nature of apostleship vs. a missionary. I’ve posted another article below anticipating his tomorrow’s post.

      • Susanna,

        You are incorrect. That is not my point at all. Where have I asserted that women should not be missionaries?

        My point in this series was never to answer all the questions regarding women as missionaries, but merely to point out that I did not believe your article was doing a good job of addressing the issue. I continue to stand by my statements that the article uses inflammatory language, bad data, fuzzy definitions, etc., rather than providing a solid Biblical argument. Writing a public article always opens us up to public evaluation.

        Unfortunately, I have no more time today to interact. So this will be my last reply to comments today. I do thank you Susanna for taking the time to interact. I have tried to answer your comments the most as you clearly deserve the opportunity to interact. Unfortunately, I think as emotions get high, we may be talking past each other at times.

        Dale

  6. If you’ll forgive me, I am going to anticipate your tomorrow’s argument and post this already today.

    An apostle is a messenger, someone who is sent out with a message. This is true whether the message is the Gospel, or a message from one person to another.

    “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: hat God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:18-21, NIV).

    Paul calls himself an ambassador in Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV):

    “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

    “Make known the mystery of the Gospel,” is the work an apostle, and the mystery is the Gospel:

    “Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus” (Eph 3:2-6, NIV).

    Paul calls himself also a minister and steward:

    “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers (huperetes) of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (1 Cor 4:1-2, KJV).

    It was Jesus who made Paul a minister of the word:

    “’I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant (huperetes) and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you” (Acts 26:15-16).

    There were a lot of ministers of the word:

    “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants (huperetes) of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:1-4, NIV).

    And all Christians are called to be good stewards of the gifts given from God.

    “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Pet 4:10, KJV)

    Apostleship is a charisma, a spiritual gift.

    “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts” (1 Cor 12:27-3, NIV).

    An apostle is a separate ministry from overseeing and shepherding (Latin, pastor). It was the apostles who appointed the first overseers and shepherds for the churches they had started.

    “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:11-13, NIV).

    Apostles traveled and started churches in new areas:

    “Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done- by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rather, as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.” This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you” (Rom 15:17-22, NIV).

    When it was time to move on, they appointed overseers for the new churches:

    “They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia” (Acts 14:21-25, NIV).

    The apostles taught the new disciples until they were established in their faith. If they had not taught the new disciples, how could they have chosen elders from among them?

    “From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:17-2, NIV).

    “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears (Acts 20:25-31, NIV).

    To conclude, an apostle is a separate charisma from overseeing and shepherding. Apostles travel, preach the Gospel, i.e., the message of the Kingdom of God and the mystery of God’s will, start new churches and appoint overseers before leaving. This is the biblical definition of an apostle. How does a modern missionary (Latin, sent out) differ from this description?

  7. I think we have to talk about one more thing: authority.
    Authority in the Bible is given for two reasons: to restrain evil and build others up in their faith until they are complete (Rom 13, Eph 4).
    This idea that men have authority over women from creation comes from the 13th century:

    (Once again, apologies for typos, and grammar errors)

    “The belief that God subjected the woman to the man because of the sole guilt of Eve became an inseparable part of traditional theology through the Latin translation, the Vulgate, which Jerome finished in A.D. 404. In the Vulgate, Genesis 3:16 reads, ”Sub viri potestate eris et ipse dominabitur tui.” (“Under the man’s authority will you be and he will rule over you”) Jerome’s translation did not follow the original Hebrew text – “Your turning shall be for the man and he shall rule over you” – for he interpreted the verse according to the fourth century belief that God punished the woman with subjection because she had displeased Him.
    The Vulgate was the Bible for nearly a thousand years in Europe. No other translation existed although few spoke or understood Latin, which had become obsolete, and even fewer understood Greek or Hebrew, the original languages of the Bible. Benedicta Ward and G.R. Evans explain the development of theology during the millennium of the Vulgate.

    “From the patristic period to the Reformation the Bible was the most important book in every monastic and cathedral library. That did not mean that ordinary people, or even most parish priests, had access to a copy, or any way of knowing exactly what it said. For most people, the Bible was literally a closed book. Those who did have a copy of it had it, of course, in the Vulgate, as only a handful scholars could read it in Greek. … Only those who had been educated as clerics or at the new universities could read it, and they had a pastoral responsibility to teach the uneducated masses what it said. The misinterpretation of the Bible could easily lead to heresy. Ordinary believers were therefore dependent on their parish priest to explain the Bible as well as he could, and many such priests were poorly educated and idle and did not do the job well. Until the later Middle Ages, when they could hear sermons preached by the friars, the faithful might have no other source of instruction. In worship week by week there was reading of the Bible, but a ‘ministry of the Word’ in Latin would tell people nothing unless there was some interpretation of the passage for them in their own language. … it is not surprising that for many people during the earlier Middle Ages their Christianity remained close to primitive superstition., and their ideas about God were often confused with beliefs of magic. Angels and devils and even saints could be hard to distinguish from the deities of paganism for those without education, as Augustine of Hippo and Gregory the Great both recognized.”

    Because Thomas Aquinas by necessity used Jerome’s interpretation of Genesis 3:16 in the thirteenth century, he believed that the subjection which began after the Fall was a proper punishment for the woman’s sin. In the Summa, Thomas wrote, “As regards family life she was punished by being subjected to her husband’s authority, and this is conveyed in the words, “Thou shalt be under thy husband’s power.” (Gen. 3:16)” In the same section, Thomas answered the question whether a wife was allowed to give alms without her husband’s knowledge.

    “I answer that, anyone who is under another’s power must, as such, be ruled in accordance with the power of his superior: for the natural order demands that the inferior should be ruled according to its superior. Therefore in those matters in which the inferior is subject to his superior, his ministrations must be subject to the superior’s permission.”

    Thomas argued further that although the wife is “equal in the marriage act,” she is under the husband’s authority according to Genesis 3:16, and therefore not allowed to give alms without her husband’s permission.

    In the thirteenth century, equality as a created order was still recognized, wherefore Thomas had to answer the argument whether the woman should have been created before sin, because her subjection begun after the Fall.

    “Further, subjection and limitation were a result of sin, for to the woman was it said after sin (Genesis 3:16): “Thou shalt be under the man’s power”; and Gregory says that, “Where there is no sin, there is no inequality.” But woman is naturally of less strength and dignity than man; “for the agent is always more honorable than the patient,” as Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. xii, 16). Therefore woman should not have been made in the first production of things before sin.”

    Thomas answered, “as regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten [i.e. an impotent male].” But “as regards human nature in general, woman is not misbegotten, but is included in nature’s intention as directed to the work of generation.” He concluded that the woman’s subjection is twofold: sin causes a subjection which is “servile, by virtue of which a superior makes use of a subject for his own benefit,” but the subjection from creation is based on reason which predominates in the man, for good order can only be preserved if people are governed by those who are wiser. In other words, because the woman is a defective human being, she cannot possess the man’s reason, wherefore her subjection from Creation is due to her body, while the subjection which begun after the fall was caused by her sin.