or joo’-ni-a (Iounias, Iounia): One to whom, with Andronicus, greetings are sent by Paul at the close of his letter to the Romans (
(1) "my kinsmen,"
(2) "my fellow-prisoners,"
(3) "who are of note among the apostles," and
(4) "who also have been in Christ before me."
(1) They were Jews. Paul calls the Jews "my brethren," "my kinsmen according to the flesh" (
(2) They had been companions of Paul in some unrecorded imprisonment. The phrase denotes more than the fact that they, like Paul, had suffered imprisonment for the sake of Christ.
(3) This may mean
(a) that they were well known to the apostolic circle (so Gifford and Weiss), or
(b) distinguished as apostles. The latter is probably correct, "apostle" being used in a wide sense (compare
The prophetic ministry of the early church consisted of apostles, prophets and teachers (
(4) They were among the first converts, "early disciples" like Mnason of Cyprus (