Some scribes also had difficulty with ascribing apostleship to this otherwise unknown woman, and so made a very slight change in the text to circumvent the problem. In some of our manuscripts, rather than saying "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and fellow prisoners, who are foremost among the apostles," the text is now changed so as to be more readily translated: "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives; and also greet my fellow prisoners who are foremost among the apostles." With this textual change, no longer does one need to worry about a woman being cited among the apostolic band of men!

A similar change was made by some scribes who copied the book of Acts. In chapter 17 we learn that Paul and his missionary companion Silas spent time in Thessalonica preaching the gospel of Christ to the Jews of the local synagogue. We are told in verse 4 that the pair made some important converts: "And some of them were persuaded and joined with Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the pious Greeks, along with a large number of prominent women."

The idea of women being prominent—let alone prominent converts—was too much for some scribes, and so the text came to be changed in some manuscripts, so that now we are told: "And some of them were persuaded and joined with Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the pious Greeks, along with a large number of wives of prominent men." Now it is the men who are prominent, not the wives who converted.

Among Paul's companions in the book of Acts were a husband and wife named Aquila and Priscilla; sometimes when they are mentioned, the author gives the wife's name first, as if she had some kind of special prominence either in the relationship or in the Christian mission (as happens in Romans 16:3 as well, where she is called Prisca). Not surprisingly, scribes occasionally took umbrage at this sequencing and reversed it, so that the man was given his due by having his name mentioned first: Aquila and Priscilla rather than Priscilla and Aquila.

In short, there were debates in the early centuries of the church over the role of women, and on occasion these debates spilled over into the textual transmission of the New Testament itself, as scribes sometimes changed their texts in order to make them coincide more closely with the scribes' own sense of the (limited) role of women in the church.

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