Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

According to Wikipedia, scientists are unanimous about Romans being written before Paul's imprisonment. But I just came across 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

Paul says "fellowprisoners"! Isn't it somehow indicative of Paul's imprisonment? Wikipedia says nothing about this verse, but I don't think scientists simply ignored it. Does anybody have some information on this point?

share|improve this question
    
Is your question about the word(s) that is translated "fellowprisoners" or about when Romans was written? I'd like to edit the question to be more along the lines of 'Does the word "fellowprisoners" in Romans 16:7 indicate that Paul was under arrest at the time of writing?' Is that more or less what you were looking to have answered? –  Jon Ericson Feb 11 '13 at 20:12
    
@JonEricson - "Is that more or less what you were looking to have answered?" - Absolutely. –  brilliant Feb 12 '13 at 8:04

2 Answers 2

The word certainly means "fellow-prisoners," but concerning the phrase "and my fellow-prisoners," John Gill writes,

either at Philippi, or in some other place; for though we read only of the apostle's being in prison at that place, and at Rome, yet it is certain from his own account, (2 Cor. 11:23) ; that he was frequently imprisoned; and Clement of Rome (First Epistle to the Corinthians, Ch. V) says, he was seven times in bonds, at one of which times these were bound with him, but when and where is not known. This is a greater character of them, and a greater honour to them, than to be called his kinsmen after the flesh:

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, but it seems that, if we believe what Wikipedia says, all scholars agree that Romans was written before Paul's VERY FIRST imprisonment, that is, he was never imprisoned prior to writing this epistle; however, this verse gives us a huge basis to think otherwise. –  brilliant Dec 21 '12 at 12:00
    
@brilliant: Where does wikipedia say that? I couldn't find it. –  Noah Dec 21 '12 at 12:14
    
@NoahSnyder - I see it in this phrase: "There are a number of reasons Corinth is most plausible. Paul was about to travel to Jerusalem on writing the letter, which matches Acts 20:3" - If we read Acts, we'll see that Paul simply had no time physically to be imprisoned prior to that time (excluding the short one-night imprisonment in Acts 16:23-28 with Silas, in which Andronicus and Junia, of course, couldn't have taken part), otherwise Luke would've surely reported it to us. –  brilliant Dec 21 '12 at 12:25
    
@brilliant: But you said Wikipedia says "all scholars agree that Romans was written before Paul's very first imprisonment." Wikipedia says no such thing, instead you're saying that you think that Paul was not imprisoned prior to the time that scholars think Romans was written. I think you're assuming too much about the completeness of Acts, the same argument would indicate Paul had no time to write any letters. –  Noah Dec 21 '12 at 12:38
    
@NoahSnyder - Well, you are right - I think I need to research the time span that the scholars put forth as the time when Romans was written (51-58 a.d.) as this is exactly what they say and not what I think. However, unlike in the case with letters, Luke was sure to report even such a short imprisonment as one-night one with Silas in Acts 16 making it very unlikely that he dimmed any other case of imprisonment prior to Acts 23 as unimportant, especially if it was not only Paul, but Paul and some other fellow prisoners imprisoned. –  brilliant Dec 21 '12 at 12:59

It may be plausible that Andronicus and Junias were in Rome, where they were imprisoned. That is, Paul was not collocated in Rome with them (when he wrote the letter) but simply added that they be greeted on his behalf by those who were in Rome (to whom he wrote the letter according to Rom 1:7).

At the beginning of Romans chapter 16 he indicates that Phoebe is being sent to Rome (with the letter written by Paul). Since Phoebe is from Cencherea, which is collocated with Corinth, it appears that Paul was in the vicinity of Corinth, when he wrote the letter.

Could he have been imprisoned in Corinth and was referring to Andronicus and Junias as his "fellow prisoners" in Rome?

share|improve this answer
    
(1) Yes, you may be right. Is "fellow prisoners" by all means in apposition to "Andronicus and Junia" in Romans 16:7, that is, could the fellow prisoners be some other people than Andronicus and Junia? If yes, then Andronicus and Junia might've never been imprisoned at all. Well, that still doesn't solve the problem... What really puzzles me about Romans is –  brilliant Dec 21 '12 at 13:15
    
(2) that Paul clearly lets us know that he had never been to Rome, however, in the last chapter he names and sends his regards to so many people from Rome (majority of which are never mentioned in Acts) that it really looks like he had already been there. –  brilliant Dec 21 '12 at 13:16
    
"Could he have been imprisoned in Corinth and was referring to Andronicus and Junias as his "fellow prisoners" in Rome?" - If he was then he had surely been released by the time he was writing Romans as in Rom. 15:25 he says that he is going to Jerusalem to serve saints. But then again it looks very strange that Luke decided not to say a word about that imprisonment. –  brilliant Dec 21 '12 at 13:20

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.