A complementarian view of 1 Corinthians 11 and the meaning of head

A complementarian view of 1 Corinthians 11 and the meaning of head

Debate on Women in Ministry - Cheryl Schatz blog

This post is a first.  I have never before taken the writing of a complementarian and posted it on my blog.   However, in order to facilitate dialog, I have agreed to post Mark’s article so that we can have a jolly good discussion/debate with those who care to participate on the issue of what “head” means in the context of 1 Corinthians 11.  This post is carried forward from a previous post that had a lot of good discussion regarding my youtube videos on the issue of women in ministry.  If you would like to get a good idea of where this discussion comes from, I refer you back to the post called Women on Trial.

Mark is a complementarian from Australia.  Although Mark believes that women are allowed to teach the bible to men, he doesn’t accept that they may do so in the “formal” setting of the church.  Mark’s rendering of how “head” can mean one who has “authority over” or one who has a “superiority” to another, he believes is clear from the context of 1 Corinthians 11.

Now I expect that there will be a great deal of discussion here regarding Mark’s article. That is a good thing! We are to be iron which sharpens another but we are never to be a saw who tears one another to pieces, so I ask that everyone keep this to the argument itself and not attack the person or question the motives. Mark’s piece is quite long and being that it is too long to post both his interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11 together with his article on what he believes to be the lexical meaning of head, I will post both separately. To keep the discussion focused I won’t post the second part until later when the discussion is well under way on this post.

I also believe that the issue of whether the context allows for a meaning of head as “authority over” or a “superiority” of one over another is the main issue. While there can be several meanings for one word, if the meaning is foreign to the text, then it matters not whether a lexicon shows that a word can have a particular meaning or not.

So the following is from my friend Mark and I welcome interaction with Mark in the comment section.  No doubt I will have a lot of refutation myself as I have time, but I will give my readers first shot at refuting Mark.

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by Mark the complementarian from Australia

So here is how I read 1 Corinthians 11.

There are a few key things I want to put forward first of all.

1.Is this passage dealing with men and women or husband and wife? The Greek ‘aner’ can refer to both ‘man’ and ‘husband’. Similarly ‘gyne’ can refer to both ‘female’ and ‘wife’. My view tends to lean toward husband and wife. The reason I see this is as follows. The ‘marriage’ scenario of Gen 2 is clearly behind what Paul is addressing here. “Man is not of woman, but woman is of man” (verse 8 ) reflects God’s forming of Eve from Adam’s rib (Gen 2:22). Paul adds “man was not created for woman, but woman for man” (verse 9) pointing to Eve as Adam’s ‘helpmeet’ (Gen 2: 21-22). Paul’s later qualifier “Yet in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor man from woman” seems to echo the ‘one flesh’ unity in Gen 2:23. Note also that “woman is for man (verse 9) and “man is for the woman” repeats exactly the reciprocal husband- wife obligations of 7:3-5.

2.‘kephale- as I’m sure we are all aware we disagree on this word. If we take this to mean ‘source’ we naturally have to read the passage as man-woman relationships, not husband and wife? After all the husband is not the source of his wife. Perhaps another problem arises when we get to the God-Christ analogy. To understand this as ‘source’ one must only be able to then understand it in relation to Christ’s incarnation; otherwise we fall into the heretical trap of seeing Jesus as a created being. And since there is nothing else in this text dealing with Christ’s incarnation it seems unlikely. Therefore since the theme of Paul’s argument revolves around the veiling/unveiling issue which was the identification of a marriage in Corinth at the time, it seems most natural to see this in relation to husband/wife. One might object to me saying what about “woman is FROM man…but all things are FROM God (verses 12, 8). But I do not think this supports the ‘source’ hypothesis over hierarchy, rather it gives ‘source’ as the basis for the authoritative teaching. Now my view of how it fits into the passage will follow below.

Exegesis: I will use the ESV translation

Verse 2-“Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as a delivered them to you.”

Paul uses a very good pastoral technique, “I commend you (or praise you)… but we are introduced to a big ‘But’ in verse 3. They are praised for remembering him and holding onto his ‘traditions’ but yet these traditions now seem to be a matter of ‘contention’ (verse 16). His language here is very reminiscent of a rabbi to his disciples. There is a ‘yes, but’ logic to his introduction.

Verse 3– “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God”.

Before Paul addresses the present pastoral problem in Corinth Paul, reminds them of the tradition he has passed down to them (verse 3). Therefore we need not get too caught up in the God/Christ analogy because this is not Paul’s argument. He is using this hierarchy to bolster his pastoral problem, namely the issue between the husbands/wives. So Paul puts the critical statement for his argument in the middle “the head of a wife is her husband” and frames it around a larger theological context- the Christ/man, God/Christ analogy.

Paul does not expand on the Christ/man analogy (note it is aner, not anthropos) as he has done in other places- that is Christ is the head of the church (Eph 1:22; 4:15; Col 1:18; 2:19) nor does he talk about Christ being the head over everything (Eph 1:22), or the ultimate governor (Rev 5:5).

Likewise since Paul’s argument is on the husband/wife he does not expand on the God/Christ analogy. But none the less what does Paul mean by “God (the Father) is the head of Christ”. This language is consistent with the Father and Son language used by Jesus and the rest of the New Testament. These words imply what early theologians called the ‘eternal generation’ of the Son. The Son is and always will be equal in ‘homoousios’ (same substance). Yet he was and always will be under the headship of the Father (John 17, 1 Cor 15:24-28). Jesus was sent by the Father and obeyed because He is equally God, yet his ‘persona’ or role was to be subject to the Father and eventually place all things under his feet. Now please don’t confuse ontological homoousios with functional as many have tried and failed in the past. It is an argument with no weight or biblical or theological support.

Verse 4- 6 “Every man who prays or prophecies with his head covered dishonours his head, but every wife who prays or prophecies with her head uncovered dishonours her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.”

Paul is now using a play on the word ‘kephale’ here. He is transitioning between the literal head and the metaphorical head. If a man covers his (literal) head, it dishonours Christ (metaphorical head). Likewise, if a wife uncovers her literal head it dishonours her husband. Note that Christianity has given women freedom from that which they were previously restricted, this here is consistent  with Pentecost (Acts 2 :17) where Joel’s prophecy of men and women prophesying will abound. However, we should not understand the prophecy here as the same as the ‘presbyters’ teaching whose ministry was a matter of ‘office’ and regularity. The Spirit had indeed enabled women to pray and prophecy as ‘gifted’ but we must look at this prophecy in light of how it is expressed throughout chapters 12-14. It is spontaneous as the need arose or was led by the spirit. It was not and is not the gift of ‘teaching’ given to those who are the overseers. Also, it appears that although women were now allowed to participate along with the men with this gift, they had thus rejected the creation order of male headship. Yes, women could now prophecy, but no they should not be dishonouring their husbands with an uncovered head. This is now the root problem Paul is addressing, women who were not being respectful to their ‘head’. It is again another picture of the Corinthians over-realised eschatology. The inauguration of the Kingdom and the gifting of the Spirit did not override God’s creational order and men’s headship. Only in the new heavens and earth are marriages abolished.

Verses 7-10 “For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.”

Note the creational order Paul uses to support his argument. Eve was made out of Adam and for Adam, not the other way around. Verse 7 is the reason Paul gives for why a man (aner) should not cover his head- he is the image and glory of God. Again I think Genesis helps us understand Paul’s teaching here. Adam was made from the dust and given life (Gen 2:7) and he bore the image of God (1:27). But note Paul’s addition of ‘glory’. This is not found in Gen and seems to be Pauls more interested theme since he applies it to Eve- she is the ‘glory’ of man. So what does glory mean here. I think simplistically without going into  great  depth,  it is about happiness or joy. God created man and it was good- God was happy with his creation. Likewise, when God created Eve and brought her to him, Adam  was happy- she was his glory. The grammar of verse 8-9 contrasts this by using the ‘for’ with the ‘but’. The wife’s physical head here in Corinth needs to reflect her submission to her husband (Eph 5:22)- her metaphorical head whose ‘glory’ she is. Likewise, the husband’s uncovered head ought to point to Christ whose image and glory he is.

Verse 10 is often another hot topic. Since many translations insert ‘sign’ or symbol’ which is not in the Greek, a new perspective on this passage seems to be that the woman’s head covering indicates her own authority to pray and prophecy, yet this does not fit with the rest of the passage neatly. Yes she does have authority to use her gift, but the whole argument around the head coverings is to show that while doing this, she does not dishonour her head,ie her husband. Also note, every other three-word construction of this in the NT means “to have authority over” (Matt 9:6, Rev 11:5; 14:18; 16:19; 20:6, Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24) so I would be more inclined to render it like this “ For this reason a wife should exercise control(authority) OVER her head.” Basically keep the appropriate covering on it to show her submission to her husband, thus I agree with the ESV inserting ‘symbol’- it reflects the flow of the argument. The reference to the angels in my opinion is not referring to us equally judging with them, since this does not fit the context at all, nor do I think it is a reference to angels who are attracted to women with uncovered heads (Gen 6). Simply I think it is referring to God’s angels who watch over creation and want to see men and women acting appropriately and with dignity.

Verse 11-12– “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.”

Paul is careful not to leave his instruction on that note. Here in verse 11, we see the qualifier ‘Nevertheless’ (plen) which I think is used to stop those who read the first 10 verses and attempt to assert some kind of male oppressiveness. Again the interdependence of husband and wife is closely knitted to the ‘one flesh’ union at creation. She is his glory and bears his authority, yet they are inseparably one, and the man must never abuse his wife. Christ never does such things but instead lays down his life for his sheep. These verses imply the deep spiritual, emotional and sexual union shared by husband and wife- everything is from God. Also note that although the woman is under the authority of her husband, both are under the authority of God. Therefore, however a husband sees his authority should be reflective of what he knows about God’s authority- that is he killed his own Son for his people. A husband’s authority should never be intimidation or abuse or lording.

Verses 13-16 “Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.”

Paul now concludes his argument with two more reasons.

1.He asks them to judge for themselves if it is appropriate. From his discussion earlier it is obviously a rhetoric question with the answer already implied- it is not appropriate for a woman to pray with her head uncovered. Rather than re-affirming his previous argument Paul draws back to nature (physis) to conclude that nature even teaches that a woman is given long hair for her glory- hence why she should not have short hair as it is a disgrace. Parallel to this is the reverse for men. Long hair was seemingly a disgrace for men and dishonouring to God when a man prayed with long hair i.e. covering. The question may be asked, how therefore can this be in relation to husband/wife if Paul is using nature for an argument. My answer to that is the two are totally intertwined. A woman’s long hair (femininity) and a man’s non-long hair point to both femaleness and maleness, as well as a husband and a wife.

2.Paul finally concludes by saying that no other church of God has any other practice other than that which he has passed down as that ‘tradition’ (verse 2). It is first of all important to note that Paul does not blur gender distinctions. He highly values and supports those which are both masculine and feminine. All the churches adopted such cultural practices that supported both women using their gifts but not neglecting their husband as their head. We would do well to learn from this.

To conclude– Paul differentiates between what is masculine and what is feminine of his day and rightly applies that the husband and wife relationship. WE should not see the head coverings as something eternally binding but rather as a cultural distinction. Paul uses this distinction to emphasise the importance of the husband as the head of the wife within the community of believers. We should  not push male headship to a level that abuses the wife, nor should we abandon male headship and blur gender distinctions.

I’m sure this will stir up many responses. I ask that when commenting you refer your comment to a particular verse or comment I made, that way it will be easier for me to respond to you and we stick to the biblical text. I hope you can see how my view of kephale is supported contextually in 1 Corinthians 11 even if you don’t agree with me. Cheryl, thank you for being willing to post my paper.

I pray that God will use this to correct you or likewise use you to correct me, in order that his name may be glorified.

256 thoughts on “A complementarian view of 1 Corinthians 11 and the meaning of head

  1. I’ll comment first,

    I dunno why there is a random smiley face at the beginning- my humblest apologies. Also i like the picture at the top Cheryl

  2. This blog program takes a colon and a bracket to mean a smilie. I will fix it up. We wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong impression. On my way to fix it.

  3. Okay, I found the problem. It was the 8 and the bracket. I added a space so the software wouldn’t think you were trying to make a cool smile. That is what 8 and bracket does.

    See. 8)

  4. Oh and glad that you liked the picture. I am going to bed now. I think most people are snoring at this time of night. I am sure it will be lively by tomorrow.

  5. Let me also say before the dance floor gets too hot…

    The reason why i have had so much time over the last few days to blog is because my family has been down in Melbourne. Fortunately for me they return tomorrow. UNfortunately for you it means i will have less time on here. So please be patient if i dont answer you straight away.

  6. Mark,

    I have been blogging on this topic also so perhaps you will allow me some questions.

    First, it appears that you are saying,

    1. This passage is about husbands and wives.
    2. The husband is not the source of the wife.

    But then you write,

    “But I do not think this supports the ‘source’ hypothesis over hierarchy, rather it gives ‘source’ as the basis for the authoritative teaching.”

    So I can’t tell if you think that kephale means authority and not source, or source as the basis of authority.

    Second, I would have to say that I think the view that this passage is talking primarily about husbands having authority over wives seems to contradict chapter 7 where the basis of sexual relations is mutual and reciprocal relationships of authority. It appears in chapter 7 as if sexual differentiation, that is masculinity and femininity, are the basis of a reciprocal relationship of authority.

    How would you explain the shift from chapter 7 where gender entails mutual authority, and chapter 11 where you claim gender entails the authority of husband over wife. It our gender a two tiered affair?

    Third, Paul suggests in chapter 7 that it is better not to marry. This implies to me that he does not see marital relations as being central to our understanding of how men and women participate in the church. For Paul it is not a part of his view of femininity that women need to be married and therefore in a submission relationship.

    Wouldn’t unmarried women be functionally equivalent to men as they are not under authority?

    Fourth, prophecy might perhaps be a greater gift that teaching. A prophet was a position of authority in the Hebrew Bible. It is hard to discern the spiritual difference between prophet and teacher. Old Testament prophets were teachers.

    Perhaps I should not put down so many questions at once, but this chapter is difficult and the issues are intertwined.

  7. Sue, thankyou for your questions. Let me respond the best i can. I do believe the meaning of kephale in this text is best understood authoritatively, but even if one takes the meaning of ‘source’ it should not cancel out the male headship- hence what i said on which you quoted me.
    Now regarding Chapter 7. Paul is indeed portraying a mutuality of respect for each others body in sexual union. However the context here is not the same- it is about propriety in worship.
    The reason i see it as husband/wife is because i think it better fits the context of his argument. The ‘covering’ was a sign of a marriage in Corinth and it seems best to apply this here. But that said there are many great minds who see it differently- for example F.F Bruce.

    Regarding single women and how this applied to them is indeed a valid argument. But we need to remember the ‘norm’ was to be married, and since the issue is again the ‘covering’ it is hard to reject Paul’s meaning as husband/wife. If Paul was meaning generic men and women his argument really makes no sense. So i feel it best to go with husband/wife.

  8. First, wou seem to agree that these phrases support the interpretation of source?

    “woman is FROM man…but all things are FROM God (verses 12, 8).

    Then the interpretation of authority must be derived from some other phrase. What would that be?

    Second, you agree that with regard to the body, masculinity and femininity entail mutual authority. But in worship this mutuality is cancelled out. Why would this be? Is our masculinity and femininity essentially different in the body and in the spirit?

    Third, wearing a covering was not only a sign of marriage but also respectability and of not being a slave. I would be interested in what F. F. Bruce said about this.

    Fourth, it seems that Paul is saying that being single is the ideal, so I would be surprised if this was not in his thoughts.

    I do find this passage very difficult and I think the best exegetes are stumped. However, in sum, I find that the complementarian interpretation has many difficulties and is not an obligatory interpretation, but it is an interpretation which is chosed by some in spite of the many problems that it poses exegetically.

    So, I would ask if you think it would be valid for the wife to simply chose not to accept the complementarian interpretation if she did not read it that way. Shouldn’t the interpretation of this text be at the moral discretion of each Christian, since it is not clear what the meaning is?

  9. “Regarding single women and how this applied to them is indeed a valid argument. But we need to remember the ‘norm’ was to be married, and since the issue is again the ‘covering’ it is hard to reject Paul’s meaning as husband/wife. If Paul was meaning generic men and women his argument really makes no sense. So i feel it best to go with husband/wife.”
    Mark,
    I’m sure you realize as well, that it was and is an impossibility for all Christian women to be married all the time – a newly widowed woman doesn’t remarry at her husband’s last breath – even in times of cultural ‘norm.’

  10. F.F. Bruce’s: “Our application of the text should avoid treating the New Testament as a book of rules – We should not turn what were meant as guiding lines for worshippers in one situation into laws binding for all time – It is an ironical paradox when Paul, who was so concerned to free his converts from bondage of law, is treated as a law-giver for later generations. The freedom of the Spirit, which can be safeguarded by one set of guiding lines in a particular situation, may call for a different procedure in a new situation.”
    “Whatever in Paul’s teaching promotes true freedom is of universal and permanent validity; whatever seems to impose restrictions on true freedom has regard to local and temporary conditions.”

  11. “Rather than re-affirming his previous argument Paul draws back to nature (physis) to conclude that nature even teaches that a woman is given long hair for her glory- hence why she should not have short hair as it is a disgrace. Parallel to this is the reverse for men. Long hair was seemingly a disgrace for men and dishonouring to God when a man prayed with long hair i.e. covering.”…A woman’s long hair (femininity) and a man’s non-long hair point to both femaleness and maleness, as well as a husband and a wife.”
    Mark,
    Or they could be pointing to something completely different. It is also worthy of note that Greek women seem to have cut off their hair in times of mourning. Plutarch, in the context of discussing mourning at funerals, says, “So in Greece, whenever any misfortune comes, the women cut off their hair and the men let it grow . . .” (Moralia, The Roman Questions 14). This would be similar to the Jewish custom of shaving the head as a symbol of grief or mourning (cf. Deut. 21:12-13; Is. 7:20; 15:2; 22:12; Jer. 16:6; Mic. 1:16; and Josephus Antiquities iv.8.23 ).
    “etiquette as regards the veil becomes stricter the more one moves east. This rule is brought out clearly by the provisions of an old Assyrian code. Married women and widows must be veiled when in public places. On the other hand, the head of the harlot, here equated with the slave, must remain unveiled under threat of severe penalties. When a man wishes to make one of these his legitimate wife, a special act of veiling is demanded. (Kittel 1965, 3:562-563)
    All this applies to the city dwellers in the east, since the desert nomads seem not to have veiled their women (Hurley 1973, 194, citing Burckhardt 1830, 233-234).

    The significance of this difference of customs regarding women’s headdress in the ancient world is that it shows that there was no uniform practice, especially in Greece where women often appear without a head covering in religious rites. The evidence seems to indicate that in the first century among the Romans, both men and women covered their heads at worship, while among the Greeks, both men and women uncovered their heads when they worshiped.

  12. First, a brief but adamant disagreement.

    God created man and it was good- God was happy with his creation. Likewise when God created Eve and brought her to him, Adam was happy- she was his glory.

    I assume when you say “man” above you men Adam, the male, since you immediately follow with Eve. My bible says it specifically was NOT good when the created male was alone, and that it didn’t become good until the creation of the female.

    Now to more important matters. You say this in discussing vs. 11 and 12

    Again the interdependence of husband and wife is closely knitted to the ‘one flesh’ union at creation. She is his glory and bears his authority, yet they are inseparabley one, and the man must never abuse his wife. Christ never does such things but instead lays down his life for his sheep. These verses imply the deep spiritual, emotional and sexual union shared by husband and wife- everything is from God. Also note that although the woman is under the authority of her husband, both are under the authority of God.

    Previously in the article, you correctly point out how Paul introduces the concept of glory in the text. Yet Paul never introduces the concept of authority in the text. You introduce that concept, not Paul. I know that the woman is the “glory” of man because Paul says it. Nowhere from the text do I know that the husband is in authority over his wife. As you have persistently done, you assume that the authority exists because of the use of kephale but you have never shown anywhere that Paul means authority when he uses kephale. Your analysis still relies on a grand presumption about the meaning of a word. Show me where this authority is detailed, especially in Pauline metaphorical usage.

  13. Mark, below I put a few of your words in caps to draw attention to them:

    Verses 7-10 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

    Note the creational order…Verse 7 is the reason Paul gives for why a man (aner) should not cover his head- he is the image and glory of GOD. Again I think Genesis helps us understand Paul’s teaching here. Adam was made from the dust…and he bore the image of GOD (1:27). But note Paul’s addition of ‘glory’. ..The wife’s physical head here in Corinth needs to reflect her submission…Likewise the husband’s uncovered head ought to point to CHRIST whose IMAGE and glory he is.

    If “God” is a reference to “the Father” in v3 then how can it be that “God” is a reference to “Christ” in v7? How can you justify Paul being inconsistent? How do you come up with the man is the image and glory of Christ and not God (Godhead) in the last sentence of your quote above?

    Verse 11-12- Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.

    Paul is careful not to leave his instruction on that note. Here in verse 11 we see the qualifier…Again the interdependence of husband and wife is closely knitted to the ‘one flesh’ union at creation. She is his glory and bears his authority, yet they are inseparabley one, and the man must never abuse his wife. Christ never does such things but instead lays down his life for his sheep. These verses imply the deep spiritual, emotional and sexual union shared by husband and wife- everything is from God. Also note that although the woman is under the authority of her husband, both are under the authority of God. Therefore however a husband sees his authority should be reflective of what he knows about God’s authority- that is he killed his own Son for his people. A husband’s authority should never be intimidation or abuse or lording.

    What does any of v12 have to do with authority, period? In other words what is said about authority? There is nothing that I can see, so how have you manged to take v12 and get from it a husband’s authority and “the Father’s authority”?

  14. “Here in verse 11…”Also note that although the woman is under the authority of her husband, both are under the authority of God.”

    Mark,

    “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman”

    Their interdependence is stated here as a “two-street” – woman not independent of man *&* man not independent of woman.

    “for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman.” – No authority is given or stated here either.

    “And all things are from God.”
    & “both are under the authority of God.”

  15. pinklight,
    I fixed up the quotes and removed the double post. The only thing that you did wrong was to forget the / mark. You started the quote right by putting the “quote” but at the end of the quote you need to end with /quote to finish it off. I can always fix it up on this end.

  16. Mark,
    Thanks for your exegesis. I did notice that you made a classic mistake in your work. It is called Begging the Question.

    Begging the question (or petitio principii, “assuming the initial point”) is a logical fallacy in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in the premise.

    You were to show us by an exegesis of the passage that “head” means “authority over” or “superiority over another” but all you have done is assumed this meaning without showing it in the passage. There is no explicit or implicit words in 1 Cor. 11 that show that Paul is telling the man to take authority over the woman or that there is something that he has that shows his authority over her. Rather than showing us the man’s authority in the passage, you have just assumed it.

    What is also especially odd to me is that the passage that Sue quoted in 1 Cor. 7 where the man’s authority is actually given, you downplay this authority and rename it to “respect”. You said:

    Paul is indeed portraying a mutuality of respect for each others body in sexual union.

    Paul actually said that a man has “authority over” his wife’s body. Why did you change it to “respect”? Perhaps the answer is obvious. It is because Paul says that the wife as “authority over” her husband’s body. It is mutual authority of the other person’s sexuality. Once you reworded that authority to “respect” it is easy to ignore the fact that the wife is given equal authority. Yet in 1 Cor. 11, there is no authority of the husband over the wife spoken about.

    While I was waiting for you to finish writing this piece, I was quite interested to see how you would going to explain how “superiority” or “authority over” was actually the theme and meaning of “head” in this passage. But there was no explanation at all. You just assumed it. In fact if you assume “superiority” or “authority over” in verse 12 as you do, you would have to assume that now the woman has “superiority” or “authority over” the man in the same verse.

    1 Cor 11:12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.

    The fact that origins are highlighted in this verse shows a connection to “head” as origin or source not as “superiority”. How one can see the man as in a position of superiority from verse 12 is beyond me. I was very curious to see how you would deal with the verse to prove your point. Assuming is not proving a point.

    More points later.

  17. God created mankind in his own image, He created them male and female (Gen. 1:27).
    It does not say, ‘he for God only and she for God in him’.

    The creation narrative does not state male superiority. It must be implied. It is only in the fall narrative, not in the creation narratives, that “superiority” of the one sex
    over the other is first mentioned. And here it is not an inherent superiority, but one that is exercised by force. God is never shown to command Adam to ‘rule over Eve.’

  18. Mark or anybody,

    What exactly was the “pastoral problem, namely the issue between the husbands/wives” that is being addressed by this portion of scripture?

  19. I see further down where Mark did explain what he identifies as the “pastoral problem”:

    “Also it appears that although women were now allowed to participate along with the men with this gift, they had thus rejected the creation order of male headship. Yes women could now prophecy, but no they should not be dishonouring their husbands with an uncovered head. This is now the root problem Paul is addressing, women who were not being respectful to their ‘head’. It is again another picture of the Corinthians over-realised eschatology. The inauguration of the Kingdom and the gifting of the Spirit did not override God’s creational order and men’s headship…”

    Is it an oversimplification to identify the “pastoral problem” as dismissing propriety–married women praying or prophesying with an uncovered head? I see that Mark does identify this as “the root problem” being adressed.

  20. sm,
    The real problem cannot be identified until one understands why the traditional practice of men wearing a head covering in prayer and service to God was forbidden by Paul. This ties into the reason why women were different than men in that they had two heads and not one.

    The issue is all about shame. The head covering was used to cover the person’s shame of sin as they approached God. I noticed that Mark does not discuss the meaning of this Jewish nor does he explain why the head covering brings Jesus shame. Without an explanation of this shame, there is no connection between “head” in verse 3 and the “glory” in verse 7. While shame covers (as Adam and Eve covered themselves in the garden because of their shame) and glory uncovers (we were meant to reflect the glory of God and not cover it up.

    Is wearing a covering to cover over our shame honoring to Jesus? Here are posts on 1 Cor. 11 that discuss the issue of this shame and the issue of bringing glory to our “head”:

    http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2007/06/17/shaming-the-head-1/
    http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2007/07/12/shaming-the-head-2/
    http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2007/07/21/shaming-the-head-3/

  21. “the creation order of male headship”

    To me, this is a nonsensical statement. It assumes one thing, “male headship”, naturally flows from the other, “creation order” without a shred of scriptural teaching for support. “Headship”, male or otherwise, is not even an implied topic in the creation account despite the rather mundane fact that there is an order that things were created in. Nowhere in the creation narrative does God ever equate the creation order with any kind of authoritarian hierarchy. Humans are not in authority over the rest of creation because we were created last. We are in authority because God bestowed such authority upon us. The order we were created in is completely irrelevant to the authority we are granted. All of that is true for male and female as well, except that no authority was ever bestowed by God on one gender over the other. So, not only is created order not even remotely relevant to headship (authority over another), but headship does not exist unless granted by God.

  22. I , too, do not know what “creation order of male headship” means. By itself, “headship” is a new word for me. I am trying to understand it as it is used in relation to this issue. “Headship” to a complementarian, if I understand, means hierarchy–male superiority and female subordination. I can not yet determine if egalitarians believe in a “headship” and if so, what exactly it means.

  23. Generally, the concept of “headship” is easy. It is synonymous with “head”. “Headship” is the state of being the “head”. In that sense, it really isn’t all that scary a term even when it is applied to biblical interpretation.

    The problem comes when we impose English ideas about “head” and “headship” (and even, to an extent, OT ideas) onto Pauline metaphorical uses. Complimentarians have a narrow view of head and headship, stated repeatedly by Mark. “Head” always means “authority over”; “headship” is always an authoritarian state. The challenge we pose here is for them to prove the universalism of their contention. More specifically, prove that Paul in his metaphorical usage of “head” means that the “headship” is an authoritarian state. Even more specifically, prove that he means that authority exists over the “body”. We are still waiting for that proof.

    All of the arguments about possible meanings for “head” are red herrings. The only relevant meaning is Paul’s meaning. I am perfectly comfortable that in some contexts “head” means authority, just as I am comfortable that head also means “cornerstone” in other contexts and “source” in others and “origin” in others, etc., etc., ad nauseum. Which of these meanings does Paul apply? That is the fundimental question.

    Now, we can no more assume source as complimentarians can assume authority. And Cheryl never does, thankfully. She has taken great pains and gone into great detail and provided great exegesis to demonstrate that Pauline usage of head equates to source. No more so than in her many posts, several of which are linked above, related to the passage in question in this post. Others here have gone to additional lengths to demonstrate that Pauline usage of head, whatever it may be, does not equate to authority. So, what has been the response?

    Although Mark makes a strong and impassioned effort here to prove that Paul’s use of head here does not mean source, he still offers no proof that it does mean authority. In fact, he offers no proof that it means anything. Instead, he expects the reader to blindly accept his presumption that it means authority without providing any support. I am fairly comfortable accepting that I don’t know what a passage means and weighing the several possibilities based on rational arguments for each. (As such, neither “head” nor “headship” intimidate me or cause me to go bonkers). I am far less comfortable being told a passage means something without any supporting evidence. And I am down right defiant if someone tells me I have to believe their opinion about what a passage means.

    Bottom line – show me your argument. Mark’s argument only prompts me to evaluate whether or not head means source in this passage. I have Cheryl’s argument as a counter to that and I weigh them both. I find Cheryl’s more pursuasive, but that doesn’t mean I don’t entertain and meditate on on Mark’s. I can always be wrong; I can always learn more.

    What Mark’s argument does not do (so far) is challenge my own investigation on what else head does not mean in Pauline metaphor. I have studied the term extensively from this perspective and come to the conclusion that Paul never means authority when he uses head metaphorically. Not only does Mark not provide a counter argument that it does mean authority, but he insists I blindly accept his conclusion that it does mean authority. That simply isn;t good enough for me. So we wait….

  24. In Judaism it was the males only
    who received in their bodies the visible seal of the covenant with Abraham; it is a corollary of Paul’s circumcision-free gospel that any such religious privilege by males over females is abolished.

  25. “What exactly was the “pastoral problem, namely the issue between the husbands/wives” that is being addressed by this portion of scripture?”

    sm, good question, but Paul doesn’t mention a thing about some pastoral problem. Mark?

  26. For those who have not been over the context of Paul uasge of the term “God” throughout the passage of 1 Co 11, I’ve copied and pasted a comment I put up here:
    http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/04/20/hierarchical-teaching-influences-the-doctrine-of-the-trinity/

    The complementarian foundation for the subordination of Christ in the Trinity is the complementarian interpretation of 1 Co 11:3, that is, verse 3 as isolated from the rest of the passage and interpreted in hierarchal fashion, being that “God” in v3 (meaning the Father) is the “head” (meaning authority) of Christ, yet all the the other four uses of “God” in the rest of the passage (vv. 7, 12, 13, & 16) show that “God” in 1 Co 11 means the “Godhead” rather than “the Father”.

    Man is the image of God (Godhead) v7, not the Father alone, everything comes from God (Godhead) v12, not the Father alone, Paul is asking the Corinthians to judge for themselves whether or not it is proper for a woman to pray to God (Godhead) v13, not the Father alone, and Paul refers to the churches as “the churches of God” (the churches of the Godhead) v16, not the churches of the Father!

    And so it seems to me that complementarians have alot of explaining to do since the passage glaringly shows that the Godhead is the kephale (translated, “head”) of Christ showing that the idea that the Father is the head of Christ is a myth, something that is read into the passage by isolating one single verse – v3. I think then that complementarians have an impossible task at hand which is to show that all the uses of “God” in the passage mean the Father rather than the Godhead. I would love to see complementarians deal with this.

    7A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

    12For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.

    13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?

    16If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.

  27. And truthseeker, if you don’t re-post your comment #110 from the link below, I will do it for you ;P

    http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/04/20/hierarchical-teaching-influences-the-doctrine-of-the-trinity/

    The point of dragging my last comment over here is that contextual evidence of Paul’s use of “God” shows that kephale doesn’t mean authority. Since God (Godhead) is the head of Christ, there is no authority/subordination relationship between the Father and Christ because Paul is not refering to the Father when he says that “God” is the head of Christ.

  28. IMO, the simplest way that the issue of the meaning of kephale is resolved once and for all or made irrelevent in the comp-egal debate, or shown to not mean “authority” is determined by who Paul is refering to when he writes “God”, 1 Co 11.

    Once it is determined that in 1 Co 11, “God” means the Godhead rather than the Father all other bets are off.

  29. Mark or Anybody,

    Why was it a shameful act for a married woman to uncover her head while praying or prophesying? (I read the links. I am still sorting through that.)

    I believe it was a cultural understanding and that it is no longer binding. However, if complementarians believe it was a sign of submission to a higher ranking head, which is what I understand them to be saying, then why do they not hold to veil covering by women today as a sign of submission? Is there an external sign of submission that is equivalent to the coverning?

  30. ”I hope you can see how my view of kephale is supported contextually in 1 Corinthians 11 even if you don’t agree with me. Cheryl, thank you for being willing to post my paper”

    Yes, thanks Cheryl posting the paper!
    No Mark, I am afraid I cannot see how your view of kephale is supported contextually in 1 Cor 11. As Cheryl has already noted, you begin by telling us your view of what kephale means, and then you construct an exegesis (for the want of a more accurate term!) that fits your understanding of kephale. I feel I was built up with false promises of looking at the context to determine the meaning. ?
    This is clearly seen in your point 2 where you say,

    ”One might object to me saying what about “woman is FROM man…but all things are FROM God (verses 12, 8). But I do not think this supports the ‘source’ hypothesis over hierarchy, rather it gives ‘source’ as the basis for the authoritative teaching. Now my view of how it fits into the passage will follow below.”

    Basically you “do not think this supports the “source” hypothesis…and then you move on to tell us how what you “think” “fits into the passage”.
    Two comments I want to make.
    1 – You said, “But none the less what does Paul mean by “God (the Father) is the head of Christ”. This language is consistent with the Father and Son language used by Jesus and the rest of the New Testament.”
    It was Peter Moore (comp lecturer at the Pressie college in Sydney – a lovely bloke and good friend) who enlightened me to the fact that in the NT Father means Father and God means God! Mark you cannot simply change God to mean Father by inserting your understanding in brackets. I know this could start us back to the previous discussion on “Jesus’ actual words”, but lets not go there! Rather we need to accept that God means Father Son and Holy Spirit. So who is the head of Christ? All three, including Christ himself. This is consistent with eternal generation but it also recognises that there is a oneness in the Godhead that we do not understand and will not understand until we experience that oneness ourselves, as it was lost at the fall. To me your failure to understand the Trinity at this point undermines much of your further thoughts as you have imported something into the Trinity that does not exist – hierarchy. Although the NT does tell us the Father sent the Son (which is also true), here, in a passage you claim to be about authority Paul makes a point of saying Jesus is sent by the Father, the Spirit – AND himself.
    If there is no hierarchy in the Godhead, then God being the Head of Christ must mean that Christ has his origin in the Godhead. What else could it mean?
    2 – The gift of teaching is not given to elders, but rather, those with a gift of teaching are eligible to be teaches. Otherwise how was Timothy to know who would fit the requirements for being an elder?

  31. “2 – The gift of teaching is not given to elders, but rather, those with a gift of teaching are eligible to be teaches. Otherwise how was Timothy to know who would fit the requirements for being an elder?”

    Sorry, those with a gift of teaching are eligible to be ELDERS…not teaches (though this stands to reason too!!)

  32. sm,
    The woman’s hair was a part of her attraction. Once she was married no other man was to see her hair lest there be a lust problem. Her head hair was equivalent to her private parts and showing her hair in public at any time was equivalent to her undressing. It was shameful.

    John Lightfoot a Hebrew scholar who wrote his commentaries in the mid 1800’s gave a challenge for anyone to show where the head covering was ever a sign of subjection. The fact is that it isn’t a sign of subjection, it is a sign of modesty for women and a sign of personal shame or sorrow for both men and women.

    So if a woman uncovered her head in public worship in order not to shame Christ, she could be shaming her husband if he was not a believer and held to the uncovering of the hair as a shame. It was a real dilemma for women.

    The fact that women no longer cover their heads shows that the cultural symbol of shame at uncovering the hair is no longer an issue.

    It is interesting that complementarians have not been able to answer why the head covering is not required today if the covering symbolizes the woman’s submission. Many will try to say that her attitude of submission is equivalent to the head covering but if this was so, then why would the woman’s attitude not be good enough in 1 Cor. 11? Why were some women still wearing a head covering when they prayed and prophesied? The complementarian argument just doesn’t hold up because they have missed the significance of the spiritual meaning of the head covering. When they miss that meaning that high lights our shame, they also end up missing the meaning of head and glory. It is all tied in together. Some complementarians even go so far as to say that only the man has God’s glory and even some who say that only the man was made in the direct image of God. The attitude that brings out this kind of male pride is actually contradicted by 1 Cor.11:12.

    Our attitude is to be Christ-like as a servant not as one who claims to be the only gender who is allowed to show off God’s glory and the only gender who rightfully has the mandate to speak for God. That is a humanistic prideful attitude in opposition to Paul’s words that show the equality we have in Christ. Rather we need to humble ourselves to learn from each other and to treat each other as more valuable than we are.

  33. I fear again an overwhelming number of posts along multiple lines of that will lead to endless bunny trails. A humble suggestion if I can. I think we have given a good first response to the article and enough for Mark to ponder and rebut. Maybe we should pause and wait for that response before expanding the discussion further.

  34. Cheryl, you were right when you said this would spark good conversation. I’ll try my best to answer all the questions starting from the bottom.

    1. In relation to ‘God’ meaning Godhead rather than Father I disagree. Yes you say that Godhead could fit the rest of 1 Corinthians 11 but so can Father. I challenge people to search the Pauline epistles and see what the word is that Paul uses for Father and what he uses for Christ. You will soon see that ‘God’ (Theos) is Paul’s preferred term for ‘Father’ and so it is not wrong to assume that is his meaning here. It would actually be less weighty to assume it means Godhead over Father.

    2. Now in relation to ‘kephale’ I am a bit perplexed. I think once Cheryl posts my other paper which does show that kephale can mean authority it might help. But until then, since the issue at hand here is between ‘people’ and since anytime kephale is used between people it denotes authority it is easy to see it working here. I have shown how the passage is in fact dealing with the concept of authority between a husband and a wife, so why are people saying I have failed to show how this passage is dealing with authority. Maybe Cheryl or gengwell can be a bit more precise in their meanings or questions.

    3. In relation to head covering- since the passage has nothing to do with mourning and is clearly dealing with husband/wife relationships it is easy to make the parallel. There is no benefit in bringing in all these other non related topics when the context of the passage is not dealing with those.

    4. Now about verse 11 and 12. It is important to remember Paul’s injunction at the beginning of verse 11 (plen) which corresponds to his previous argument. Since this is the case, and if the previous verses are dealing with authority (which I think they are) one must read verses 11 and 12 in attachment to the rest. They are not a separate unity. That is why the argument flows through in my opinion. Not to mention he qualifies it with the natural and churches of God arguments…it fits nicely.

    5. Please don’t read too much into my comment about the relationship between Chapter 7 and 11. If we just play semantic games with my words it will never help our discussions. My point is that Paul does make a connection with Chapter 7 therefore that is one reason why I see this as dealing with husband/wife. However the context is not the same, nor his argument so it is not a problem to see this as husband/wife over men/women. If we deny that this could be dealing with husband/wife on the grounds of application to everyone we not only miss the point of Paul’s argument but we must then ignore a lot of other passages in which Paul deals with certain people e.g. Eph 5 and 6 do not apply to everyone.

  35. Dave,
    Good point about the teachers are eligible for being elders. Marks thought that only elders can teach is not supported anywhere by the scriptures.

    Another thing about the term “Christ”, this is not a term used for the LORD of hosts in the OT. It is a term in prophecy for the coming of the Messiah and it is the term used of the humanity of Jesus. The fact that the bread of life came down from heaven (from God) shows His connection and origin with God. It is a unity expressed not a hierarchy exercised.

    In the same way the first flesh (the man) was used as a building block for a new life (the woman). The connection between the two is of unity expressed not a hierarchy exercised.

  36. “It was Peter Moore (comp lecturer at the Pressie college in Sydney – a lovely bloke and good friend) who enlightened me to the fact that in the NT Father means Father and God means God!”

    I was looking at 2 Co 4 earlier today and had started already to become suspicious of just THAT, Dave!! 🙂

  37. Dave wrote: To me your failure to understand the Trinity at this point undermines much of your further thoughts as you have imported something into the Trinity that does not exist – hierarchy. ”

    Bingo! And it does NOT exist outside the Incarnation. That is a big problem with complimentarians. And it certainly lessens our Lord and Savior to a lesser ‘god’ position within the Trinity. A blasphemy which makes me want to weep.

  38. Ah yes, I knew this one would spark good discussion!

    On your answer #1:

    You will soon see that ‘God’ (Theos) is Paul’s preferred term for ‘Father’

    When Paul uses the term “Father” we know that he isn’t talking about Christ, but if you are saying that Paul meant “Father” alone when he said God, then how do you explain verse 12? Is not Jesus the One whom are things were created by Him, for Him and through Him?

    Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.

    If you are going to be consistent, then you must say that Paul was only referring to the Father in verse 12.

    1 Cor 11:12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.

    Is this what you are saying?

  39. Mark,

    Verse 11-12- “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.”

    Mark: “Again the interdependence of husband and wife is closely knitted to the ‘one flesh’ union at creation.”

    I think these verses unquestionably characterize the interdependence of the sexes. However, I do not see how this is “closely knitted to the ‘one flesh’ union at creation” because while woman (Eve) initially had her origin/source from man (Adam) man (all others) continue to be born of woman (their mother).

    Mark: “She is his glory and bears his authority, yet they are inseparabley one,… These verses imply the deep spiritual, emotional and sexual union shared by husband and wife-…”

    I do not see any hint of authority in these verses, rather the clearly stated reality of interdependence of the sexes…. “woman is not independent of man nor man of woman” “woman was made from man” (source) “man is now born of woman” It took a man to get woman, but all other men come through a woman. Interdependence.

    Moreover, I do not see these verses implying anything about a deep spiritual, emotional, and sexual union shared by a husband and wife. What is obvious is interdependence and source: woman was made from man, yet man is born of woman. Can you show me what I am missing?

    Mark: “…everything is from God.”

    Yes. Interdependence of the males and females one coming from the other but both originating from God.

    Mark: “Also note that although the woman is under the authority of her husband, both are under the authority of God.”

    There is no mention of authority but rather of interdependence between the created beings and their dependence on their Creator God from where they came.

  40. I’ll take this one:

    2. Now in relation to ‘kephale’ I am a bit perplexed. I think once Cheryl posts my other paper which does show that kephale can mean authority it might help. But until then, since the issue at hand here is between ‘people’ and since anytime kephale is used between people it denotes authority it is easy to see it working here. I have shown how the passage is in fact dealing with the concept of authority between a husband and a wife, so why are people saying I have failed to show how this passage is dealing with authority. Maybe Cheryl or gengwell can be a bit more precise in their meanings or questions.

    A. 1 Corinthians 12:21 (the very next chapter) uses the head and body metaphor specifically between people and the head is not in authority. Your declaration is demonstrably false.
    B. You have not shown that the the passage is dealing with the concept of authority between husband and wife, you have just assumed it and declared it. Just because you say it is so, doesn’t mean it is so. There is nothing in this passage that deals with who is in charge, who is the leader, who “rules” in the marriage. Those are all presupositions from which you argue, not propositions your argument proves. Never does Paul say this passage deals with an authoritarian hierarchy in marriage. You ask me for specifics but that is what I’m specifically asking for from you. Show me where Paul either says or implies that this passage has to do with who is in charge in the marriage. From what I understand from your earlier posts, this passage has to do with “formal church”, not the chain of command in marriage. So show me.

  41. “since i just wrote that about 12 more posts came in…sorry if you feel liked i ignored you Dave”

    I’m good!

    I am also glad you came back so quickly because when gengwall suggested we wait for you I was wondering what I was going to do with myself!

    I was going to complain about the overly PINK picture of Shirley. Come on Cheryl we don’t want to break down the male/female gender difference too much. Have you got a more manly pict relating to lollipops? 🙂

  42. Mark,

    2. Now in relation to ‘kephale’ I am a bit perplexed. I think once Cheryl posts my other paper which does show that kephale can mean authority it might help.

    We have all agreed that what kephale does mean will be determined by the context in the passage. This post of yours is ultimately way more important than your other one. I will post that later.

    But until then, since the issue at hand here is between ‘people’ and since anytime kephale is used between people it denotes authority it is easy to see it working here.

    Mark again you are assuming what you have yet to prove. You say that “anytime” people are involved, head means authority but this is not true.

    Suzanne has posted this example that disproves your theory (http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/2009/11/orphism-and.html)

    Therefore of our race he become first head [kephale], which is the source [arche], and was of the earth and earthy. Since Christ was named the second Adam, he has been placed as head, which is source, of those who through him have been formed anew unto him unto immortality through sanctification in the spirit. Therefore he himself our source, which is head, has appeared as a human being: indeed, he, being by nature God, has a head, the Father in heaven. From Cyril of Alexandria

    Clearly Cyril is talking about point of origin or source and not the meaning of authority over.

  43. …continuing on regarding Mark’s point two immediately above.

    Yes Mark, I know that kephale can mean authority. That isn’t the point. The burden is to prove Paul means authority when he uses it. To do so, you need to show the “head” in some Pauline usage exercising authority (most importantly, over the body).

  44. BTW – Mark has listed four points of contention which correspond very well to the four main thrusts of counter argument to his article. I hope we can stay focused (Shirley Temple, et al, distractions excepted)

  45. gengwall and Dave,
    I am totally distracted. I am having way too much fun with this one.
    Barbliblog? I still can’t get over that one. My side hurts.
    Time to add some manly distraction with no pink.

  46. Have a picture of “hunter barbie”. That would accomplish cross gender distraction (or would it simply double the distraction for males?)

  47. Leaving for the night. Going out to dinner and then dancing. Won’t be back until tomorrow. Hope all distractions have been eliminated by then. On the other hand, it would be nice to come back to 100 comments all of which I can completely ignore except to get a laugh. Carry on.

  48. gengwall,

    Oh Noooooo! Cheryl, do you not understand men at all? You pick the cowardly lion! Sheez.

    You guys are WAY too much fun! Believe it or not I didn’t think about the “cowardly” part when I posted it. I haven’t quit laughing!

    Okay, this one should do:

    braveheart

  49. Mark,

    Mark: “3. In relation to head covering- since the passage has nothing to do with mourning and is clearly dealing with husband/wife relationships it is easy to make the parallel. There is no benefit in bringing in all these other non related topics when the context of the passage is not dealing with those.”

    From the links Cheryl provided, the head covering as a symbol of mourning was only one of several. Even though it is clearly dealing with the husband/wife relationship, it is not so easy for me to make the parallel as to why this would have been an issue of shame because I am so far removed from time and place. If by “non-related topics” you mean the reasons Cheryl gave in her links, I don’t know, but, I do know that the passage is dealing with head covering, and it is important to know why this would have been shameful to a wife’s husband. The text doesn’t tell us why it would “shame her head” and why a man’s “head” is shamed if he does cover. Is it covering for women binding today? If not, why not?

  50. Ah, back to the serious.

    Mark,
    You said:

    3. In relation to head covering- since the passage has nothing to do with mourning and is clearly dealing with husband/wife relationships it is easy to make the parallel. There is no benefit in bringing in all these other non related topics when the context of the passage is not dealing with those.

  51. I’ve often wondered how the whole idea of ‘created order being the designation of authority’ came about.
    Obviously, there is no direct statement of it in Scripture or we wouldn’t be having this discussion – it can only be assumed and “implied” by readers.

  52. “Oh Noooooo! Cheryl, do you not understand men at all? You pick the cowardly lion! Sheez.”

    I think that lion has make up on Cheryl.

    I think Mel Gibson has make up on.

    Now I am confused.

  53. Mark said:

    4. Now about verse 11 and 12. It is important to remember Paul’s injunction at the beginning of verse 11 (plen) which corresponds to his previous argument. Since this is the case, and if the previous verses are dealing with authority (which I think they are) one must read verses 11 and 12 in attachment to the rest. They are not a separate unity. That is why the argument flows through in my opinion. Not to mention he qualifies it with the natural and churches of God arguments…it fits nicely.

    Honestly I am feeling like a dunce today.
    dunce

    I can’t understand what Mark said in the paragraph above. Can anyone understand this and interpret it for me?

  54. Ok working backwards and then i must clean my house, since my wife will be home today and i have exam prep notes scattered all over my lounge room.

    1. I do love the way Egals always fall back to old mate Cyril as if he determines all. Let’s share abit about him. First he is 5th Century AD and of course is interpreting his view of scripture. If you want to rely on him Cheryl, why not introduce the many other early theologians who didn’t see it the way Cyril did. Now that would be a fair account of history. In fact the people closest to Jesus and Paul in the early centuries, never interpreted the scriptures this way…let’s not ignore that.

    2. Gengwell- in 1 Cor 12 does the text in the slightest state that person a is the ‘head’ of person b. No it doesn’t! And every other account we have of person a being the head of person b, it is ALWAYS understood authoritatively. The use of ‘kephale’ in these texts is in no way similar what so ever…
    a. “Show me where Paul either says or implies that this passage has to do with who is in charge in the marriage. From what I understand from your earlier posts, this passage has to do with “formal church”, not the chain of command in marriage. So show me.”
    The whole implication lies in the point that by not covering her head, or the husband covering his head, he/she dishonours the ‘head’ above them- pretty obvious i would think. Not to mention Paul’s progression of verse 10 “For this reason…” and make sure we ask for what reason, the answer being that Eve was made from and for Adam, a wife should have authority on her head.
    Also in regard to Church, i do believe this passage lies in the same section as 12-14, but Paul is addressing wives/husbands within that Church. To accept this as generic men/women is poor exegesis in my opinion and fails to recognise the proper understanding of kephale and Paul’s argument of the passage.

    3. Again in relation to verse 11 and 12, do not separate it from the rest of Paul’s argument. Doing this distorts the text and ignores the grammar. Note also in my introduction how i see this as relating back to Gen 2- this might help people understand what i am saying.

    4. Cheryl, i don’t have a problem with seeing verse 12 as meaning God the Father. Note with Colossians 1:15, just a verse before the one you quoted- “He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God( Father), so here is just one small example to support my view. Note also in relation to things coming from God, it was God the Father who spoke, God the Son who did it and God the Spirit who was hovering over the waters. So yes all things do come from God the Father. If you dispute that Paul uses Theos to mean the Father primarily, please show me why you believe this. Am i allowed to quote gengwell…”just because you say it’s so, doesn’t mean it’s so”

    Also if people feel i have a wrong view of the Trinity please explain why Jesus saids the ‘Father’ sent him, and what the significance of 1 Cor 15 is. As yet i have never heard an egal reconcile these issues.

  55. Dave,

    i think that lion has make up on Cheryl.

    I think Mel Gibson has make up on.

    Now I am confused.

    He-He, and I thought that no one could have a come back after that! Honestly my side is really hurting. I think Mark was right when he said that this one would turn into a dance floor!!!

    ha, ha, ha…(still laughing)

  56. I have only a little time left and need to get other things done.

    Mark your last point.

    5. Please don’t read too much into my comment about the relationship between Chapter 7 and 11. If we just play semantic games with my words it will never help our discussions. My point is that Paul does make a connection with Chapter 7 therefore that is one reason why I see this as dealing with husband/wife. However the context is not the same, nor his argument so it is not a problem to see this as husband/wife over men/women.

    Since the book of 1 Corinthians is one long letter, the artificial divisions are not in the original. If Paul was talking about authority in chapter 11 we certainly could connect it to the only time that he actually uses the term in relation to the husband and that is in chapter 7. I understand why you don’t want to bolster your proof of the husband’s authority by going back to chapter 7. For chapter 7 as well as chapter 11 show equal responsibility and equal dependence. In fact there is not even one place where Paul gives the husband authority over the wife where the authority exists in a vacuum. Chapter 7 is the only place where either husbandly or wifely authority is appealed to and from there on servanthood and love and consideration of the other is the theme of the day.

    If we deny that this could be dealing with husband/wife on the grounds of application to everyone we not only miss the point of Paul’s argument but we must then ignore a lot of other passages in which Paul deals with certain people e.g. Eph 5 and 6 do not apply to everyone.

    Who is denying that “head” is in regarding to the husband alone and not all men? I think you are misunderstanding once again. I, for one, deny that 1 Cor. 11 makes all men the “head” of all women. But I do agree that the husband is the head “of” not “over” his own wife.

  57. “I have shown how the passage is in fact dealing with the concept of authority between a husband and a wife, so why are people saying I have failed to show how this passage is dealing with authority.”
    Mark,
    So, if you believe this, then can I safely assume that you believe that women require headcoverings today?
    If not, why not?
    According to you, husbands are still in ‘authority’ and the headcovering is directly linked.

  58. Yeah yeah I can be serious too…

    “1. In relation to ‘God’ meaning Godhead rather than Father I disagree. Yes you say that Godhead could fit the rest of 1 Corinthians 11 but so can Father. I challenge people to search the Pauline epistles and see what the word is that Paul uses for Father and what he uses for Christ. You will soon see that ‘God’ (Theos) is Paul’s preferred term for ‘Father’ and so it is not wrong to assume that is his meaning here. It would actually be less weighty to assume it means Godhead over Father.”

    Not so fast slick! Challenge us? WHAT (typed with much indignation but no shouting)! Do you have some research to back up the statement you made in your paper before you send us off to search the Pauline writings?! Do you want us to research you paper 😉
    I’m sure you can easily prove your understanding if you want to, and I might add it is crucial to your argument!

  59. Okay, starting back with new numbering from Mark’s new response.

    1. I do love the way Egals always fall back to old mate Cyril as if he determines all. Let’s share abit about him. First he is 5th Century AD and of course is interpreting his view of scripture. If you want to rely on him Cheryl, why not introduce the many other early theologians who didn’t see it the way Cyril did. Now that would be a fair account of history. In fact the people closest to Jesus and Paul in the early centuries, never interpreted the scriptures this way…let’s not ignore that.

    Mark, you are the one who said that anytime head was used with people it meant authority. That is a blanket statement. I gave you a quote from Cyril and gengwall gave you a quote from the Bible. That is enough witnesses to disprove a blanket statement about authority.

    2. Gengwell- in 1 Cor 12 does the text in the slightest state that person a is the ‘head’ of person b. No it doesn’t! And every other account we have of person a being the head of person b, it is ALWAYS understood authoritatively. The use of ‘kephale’ in these texts is in no way similar what so ever…

    Give me a break! It is a head metaphor. It is about people. It seems to me, and correct me if I am wrong, but instead of proving your point, you wish to define the opposition out of existence. And you have yet to even prove your point.

    Now you may want to believe that you are superior to your wife and that you have the right to take your authority over her, but we are desiring to follow the Bible. It is a contradiction for one passage to provide for lordship by gender and then another passage to say that we are not to have lordship by anyone regardless of gender.

    So tell me why would Paul use words of equality in a passage that is supposed to be about superiority?

  60. Onto the next point:

    The whole implication lies in the point that by not covering her head, or the husband covering his head, he/she dishonours the ‘head’ above them- pretty obvious i would think.

    So? What has dishonor to go with authority? Dishonor goes together with honor, not authority.

    Not to mention Paul’s progression of verse 10 “For this reason…” and make sure we ask for what reason, the answer being that Eve was made from and for Adam, a wife should have authority on her head.

    The term for “authority” here always means that the person themselves has the right, the power and the authority to do something. It is the woman’s authority to make the decision. If Paul was talking about the husband’s authority over the wife, wouldn’t it be the husband’s authority that would make the decision? But Paul doesn’t defer to the husband’s authority. He says that she is allowed to have the authority over her own head. Why should she have authority? Now that is the $64 question for a complementarian to answer.

    She has her own authority because the body of Christ is to grow up and learn how to make decisions. Why? Because of the angels. Since this is a letter and Paul refers to the angels, all we need to do is go back to see what he has already told us about the angels. The context is our judging the angels. It is our decision making power. She has authority because she will be a judge. Paul’s argument now makes perfect sense.

    3. Again in relation to verse 11 and 12, do not separate it from the rest of Paul’s argument. Doing this distorts the text and ignores the grammar. Note also in my introduction how i see this as relating back to Gen 2- this might help people understand what i am saying.

    I am not the one separating verse 11 & 12 from the rest of Paul’s argument. Have you even read my exegesis of chapter 11? You are the one that is separating these verses because they have nothing to do with the man’s authority. How do you reconcile this equality with the theme of the passage which you say is superiority or authority over?

  61. Point 4 of comment 71 – sorry Mark I was too slooow (with broad Aussie accent), but you have given us a verse!

    “Note with Colossians 1:15, just a verse before the one you quoted- “He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God( Father), so here is just one small example to support my view.”

    Once again, putting your interpretation in brackets does not make it right! Why is the invisible God only the Father? The Spirit is not involved? He is invisible – he’s the Holy Ghost man! But what about before Jesus was born…you know, when he was eternally being begotton? Was he visible or invisible? Also, who said only the Spirit was hovering over the waters and not the Father, or Jesus? Did they stay at home?

    As I said earlier, yes the Father sends the Son. This is a fact and true to say (John says it). But the Spirit also sends Jesus. He certainly never recorded his dissent about it, so I assume the Spirit was in on it. Jesus who was also there and had a vote seems to have been in on it too.

    My point is Mark, when we view the Godhead there are times when if we look at them as seperate we run into trouble, and other times when we look at them together we run into trouble. The only way around this is to use different words. Paul does this. God = Godhead. Father = Father etc.

  62. Cheryl, is it $64 Canadian, US or Australia? We are a multi-racial blog.

    It is my day off if that helps explain why I am like this.

  63. Dave,
    You beat me to it! Mark seems to think that if he puts the word Father in brackets that this magically means that God must mean only the Father.

    I have had frustrations like this with the JWs. I say that Jesus is God. They ask me how Jesus can talk to himself. I say that he isn’t talking to himself.

    So I figured out how to deal with this. I ask the JWs if when I say that Jesus is God are they hearing me say that I believe Jesus to be the Father. Everyone I have asked says “yes”. This is the problem. God is not just the Father and when we limit this term to only the Father, we can seriously distort what the Scripture is saying.

    The problem is that while the Father is God, He is not the only one who is God. There are times that Paul uses the term Father to mean specifically the Father. When he uses the term God, we need to think of the entire nature of God. IF we don’t understand that then we may become confused like the JW’s.

  64. Mark,

    it was God the Father who spoke

    But Jesus is the “Word” of God. He is the spoken word. Each person of the Godhead was intimately working together in each work of creation.

  65. Mark,

    If you dispute that Paul uses Theos to mean the Father primarily, please show me why you believe this. Am i allowed to quote gengwell…”just because you say it’s so, doesn’t mean it’s so”

    Okay, then, look here.

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    “the word was with God” Was Jesus only with the Father? “The Word was God” Is Jesus the Father?

  66. Okay, last one and then I am out of here.

    Also if people feel i have a wrong view of the Trinity please explain why Jesus saids the ‘Father’ sent him, and what the significance of 1 Cor 15 is. As yet i have never heard an egal reconcile these issues.

    Jesus said that the Father sent him because this connected him to God as His source. The Jews knew God as their Father. And when Jesus called God His Father, they understood this meant that He was equal with God. But this doesn’t mean that only the Father sent Jesus. Actually Jesus sent Himself as He actively took on the form of a servant. This was active not passive. He sent Himself.

  67. Hey Cheryl, I was going to use John 1:1 but figured Mark only wanted to hear from Paul. What about Phil 2:5-6?

    By the way I also have no issue with the fact that Paul is NOT saying all men are heads and all women are not. I am not sure if anyone did.

  68. “Also if people feel i have a wrong view of the Trinity please explain why Jesus saids the ‘Father’ sent him.”

    The question for you Mark is how you reconcile this with Jesus saying “I and the Father are one” and “if you have seen me you have seen the Father”.

  69. This is just all too tempting to leave alone…Again working backwards.

    1. Preciesely Dave- Jesus is the image of the Invisible God. Hence his qualities or homoousious are God, yet he is distinct from the Father. In what way is he distinct- obviously functionality.

    2. Cheryl,
    a. “Jesus said that the Father sent him because this connected him to God as His source.”
    b. I don’t see that at all in John 17. Jesus saids “For you (Father) granted him (Jesus) authority over all people…” Continuing on “ I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you (Father) gave me to do…”- John 1: 2, 4…and so we could go on and on showing how Jesus himself distinguished his role from His Father’s. You have done very little in an attempt to reconcile John 17, nor have you discussed 1 Cor 15.

    3. Dave, regarding #78. Lets look at the context of Colossians 1. Verse 3= “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Who do you think God is referencing there? Father or Godhead? Since this is the context of Chapter 1 and Paul is using God to mean ‘Father’ how can you reject that in verse 15. Throughout the whole Chapter Paul is interlocking God to mean Father with Jesus as Christ or Lord etc.
    Also you said “Also, who said only the Spirit was hovering over the waters and not the Father, or Jesus? Did they stay at home?” My answer- the bible Gen 1:2 “and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Let’s face it there is very good reason to think that Paul in verse 3 of 1 Cor 11 is paralleling God the Father with Christ. This is familiar with how he writes in all his epistles.

    4. Cheryl, you said “Mark, you are the one who said that anytime head was used with people it meant authority”. I should have been more direct, i agree. But nonetheless i thought you would have realised what i meant from the other paper i sent you.

    5. Kay, no i don’t think women should wear head coverings. This was a cultural practice to show the wifes submission to her husband. Our culture does not use a head covering to show a wife’s submission, so i don’t believe it should be enforced.

    6. Let me again say about the relationship between chapter 7 and 11. The construction of the grammar indicated to me that chapter 11 was instructing husband/wife over men/women. I said that at the beginning of my paper. However the context and issue Paul is now addressing in chapter 11 is NOT the same as chapter 7, so to over emphasise the link to strongly is wrong.

    7. 1 final question. Can people tell me whether they believe that this passage is dealing with husband/wife or men/ women. If the former, and you want to take the meaning ‘source’ for kephale, in what way then is the husband the source of the wife.

  70. “Hey Cheryl, I was going to use John 1:1 but figured Mark only wanted to hear from Paul. What about Phil 2:5-6?:

    And John 5:18. How come the Jews knew He was equal to the “Father’ but so many today, don’t?

  71. “1. Preciesely Dave- Jesus is the image of the Invisible God. Hence his qualities or homoousious are God, yet he is distinct from the Father. In what way is he distinct- obviously functionality.”

    Obviously? Obviously!?! From where do you get this Mark?

    With regards to Col 1:3, Paul refers to God the Father. This is nothing new, Paul do it in other place, and we also talk about God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. So, Paul, to save confusion has been clear he is referring to God the Father in verse 3. HOWEVER, verse 15 does NOT provide this qualification. Now if Jesus is only the image of the Father but NOT the Godhead, where does that leave Phil 2:6? There is not mention of Father there.

    “Also you said “Also, who said only the Spirit was hovering over the waters and not the Father, or Jesus? Did they stay at home?” My answer- the bible Gen 1:2 “and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.””

    Hang on, you never answered my question. Where were they? Were they somewhere else? Was the Godhead not hovering over the waters? Why do you want to completely seperate the Godhead? You can’t they are one. “The Father and I are one”.

  72. Dave,

    Why are you blogging on your day off? You should be at the beach or something? But thankyou for your questions. Regarding the above i’m just going with what the Bible says…it was the Spirit of God.

    It seems that you are pushing the unity very far… for example was it then the Father who was crucified on the cross? It seems you are unwilling to see the distinctions within the Godhead- one God, yet three persons. In relation to Colossians i still disagree. Paul uses God in reference to the Father very often and i see this clearly in Colossians.

    Lin,

    If you really believe i don’t think Jesus is equal to God, you either haven’t read my actual article OR you are just ignoring it. Since i agreed with the early trinitarian theologians who said Jesus was ‘homoousious’ (same substance) with the Father, i’ll assume you are just choosing to ignore it.

  73. Hi Mark,

    I am not just blogging, I am lawn mowing, registering the dog and about to put a new headlight in the motorbike!

    Please understand that I am not wanting to push the unity too far. The truth is that the Godhead is 100% 3 persons and 100% 1 God, and so in another sense we cannot push either too far as long as we hold on to the other. To say that when the Spirit hovered over the waters, or when Jesus hung on a cross, that the Godhead was NOT there is wrong. Just as it is wrong to say that ONLY the Father sent Jesus.

    Now, if you want to ask me, in what way was the Father hanging on the cross…I cannot answer that and I doubt anyone can.

    The reason for this is, as they are one they cannot be completely separated (which is what you appear to seek to do). Nor can they be completely mushed together (which is not what I seek to do – I recognise that the Father sent the Son).

    Mushing is different to noodling. Something to do with huskies?

    It appears to me that if someone is pushing something too far it is you Mark. This is because when you say ONLY the Father sent the Son you have let go of the oneness of the Trinity completely (not just function…but completely).

  74. Mark,

    If you are the same Mark who is waiting for me to post on kephale on the LXX I am sorry but I am so busy with family right now. Such a distraction!!

    But I have time for a more off the cuff response here. Not only does Cyril demonstrate that kephale is not uniformly understood as authority, but also Chrysostom and Augustine deny an authority submission relationship in the Godhead.

    Chrysostom says that Christ cannot be “head of the Gentiles” because the Gentiles are not the body of Christ. Does he mean specifically that kephale cannot be related to the use in the LXX where David is the “Kephale to the Gentiles.” And what did that mean anyway. But the Gentiles are never the David’s people. This use of kephale is not comparable.

    C. also says that the kephale relationship is not the same in the three pairs. He believes that man is an authority for his wife because of sin. Sin dictates that one person must have authority to avoid contention, so he must believe that male authority is the product of the fall. He also believes that women are inferior in some ways to men. But we don’t believe this anymore, I hope.

    So C. said that God was the first cause of Christ and that kephale meant unity and like passions. Although C. believed in the submissive role of women he had a complex theology which does not support the notion that the Godhead is an authority and submission relationship.

    Augustine also was clear absolutely clear that the Son was not unequal in authority to the Father.

    So, what references are there to kephale referring to person a being the authority over person b. There is only David, the kephale to the Gentiles, which occurs in a passage of poetic Hebrew in which many words are translated overliterally. It is not native Greek.

    And what else? There is Rezin the ruler of Damascus the capital of Syria. Perhaps the translator wished to preserve the rosh rosh parallelism of Hebrew poetry, in shich ruler and capital city can both be called rosh (head) but of course, this cannot be done in Greek, normally.

    There is also Jephthah. These references are few and far between and do not reflect the normal pattern of translation from Hebrew to Greek, which was to use archon for rosh or some other word.

    I propose that the phrase so often used in Orphic rituals refering to Zeus mught be a hint. He was the head, the middle and the end. It seem to mean beginning, origin or source.

    Even if it were a choice, that we could see either source or authority, why then chose authority. We are not obligated, it is just a proposal, a human idea and suggested interpretation, don’t you think. It certainly cannot be proven, but must only be deduced from a knowledge that women are naturally not capable of authority. This might prove your case.

  75. “If Paul was meaning generic men and women his argument really makes no sense. So i feel it best to go with husband/wife.”

    Mark,
    Of course, you feel it best to go with husband/wife – because you are presupposing ‘authority’ into the text before you begin and it’s the only way you can make the headcovering be about showing authority.

    Wearing a headcovering was not only a sign of marriage but also respectability and of not being a slave.
    So, why wouldn’t unmarried women be functionally equivalent to men since they are not under husband “authority”?

  76. Yes and Yes
    The first is in relation to your blog. The second is in relation to your final comment
    “We are not obligated, it is just a proposal, a human idea and suggested interpretation, don’t you think.”

    This interpretation i am offering is of course how i believe the passage is laid out. Not everyone will agree with me, i understand that. However in relation to the evidence i know about kephale and the way it was used metaphorically in this grammatical construction, and the way i read the rest of the bible i feel that what i have offered here is reasonable. Of course i am a sinful man, not God and am open to the Spirit moulding me, which i’m sure he will do if i need correcting.
    However i cannot see how one can claim for a ‘source’ interpretation and yet hold to this being about husbands/wives. It just doesn’t make sense. I know Cheryl sees this as husbands/wives, yet what i read of her interpretation of verse 3 seemed like she was referencing Adam/Eve. I might be reading Cheryl wrong here, but one cannot claim a husband/wife dualism and source, because the husband is not the source of his wife. Nor with what Paul details in chapter 15 about the final resurrection can i see his God/Christ reference referring to ‘source’.
    In my opinion the only way ‘source’ can be the intended meaning here is if we abandon that it is husband/wife dualism. If we abandon that, Paul’s argument makes no sense. Also the way ‘source’ has to be manipulated, made into synonomous meanings in order to portray ones understanding of the 3 relationships seems a bit forced in my view.
    But thankyou for your comments and questions.

  77. “In my opinion the only way ’source’ can be the intended meaning here is if we abandon that it is husband/wife dualism”

    Why are you assuming it is husband/wife? Do you think there were no women attending the church who had unbelieving husbands? No widows? Their uncovering in worship could have been scandalous in that day and time. It could be cause for divorce.

  78. “If you really believe i don’t think Jesus is equal to God, you either haven’t read my actual article OR you are just ignoring it. Since i agreed with the early trinitarian theologians who said Jesus was ‘homoousious’ (same substance) with the Father, i’ll assume you are just choosing to ignore it.”

    Mark, I think your reading authority into everything is a natural outcome for making Jesus lesser. You may not even realize it.

  79. Kay,

    If you disagree with it being about husbands/wives, please give me your interpretation as to why it is men/women?

    Dave,

    I am not trying to completely seperate the Trinity. But what the three persons ‘did’ at creation was not the same. Nor was their ‘role’ in salvation history the same. Hence why i believe we should not compound the members, but like you said, nor should we tear them apart. At the end of the day i am always going to throw my hands up in the air, and side with Augustine at the lack of ability in our terminology to express this biblical truth. I can only attempt to explain my view to the best of my ability.

    “This is because when you say ONLY the Father sent the Son you have let go of the oneness of the Trinity completely (not just function…but completely).”

    Can you explain this more for me Dave, why you believe you lose the oneness of the Trinity completely? Thanks

    That said, you have just gained about 200% more respect from me if you ride a bike?

  80. Lin,

    Have you even read my paper? If so why are you asking such questions since i give reasons for my view in what i wrote.

    “Why are you assuming it is husband/wife?”

    also “Mark, I think your reading authority into everything is a natural outcome for making Jesus lesser. You may not even realize it.”
    1. I have been persistent in telling you i believe Jesus is equally God.
    2. You have not given any reason as to why i see Jesus as supposedly ‘lesser’. Are you reading into what i have said? Please direct your comments at the actual paper. Give me your exegetical reasons for dispute, not just your worldview.

  81. I had to comment one more time to make it a ‘Ton’

    Dave will get that i hope, for everyone else it is a cricket term for when you score 100

  82. Mark,

    Thank you. I got that.

    “However i cannot see how one can claim for a ’source’ interpretation and yet hold to this being about husbands/wives.”

    Perhaps I gave the impression that I thought this passage was about husbands and wives. Personally I do not think that. I think it means clearly that God is the first cause of Christ, Christ of man, and man of woman. That is, this is a cosmological discussion about origins.

    The passage is quite clear that woman came from man, so this reinforces the view that it is about origins. I do find Ephesians quite different since there we find a head and body metaphor.

    I don’t believe the evidence supports an authority interpretation for kephale.

    However, I do see how others can interpret kephale in this way. Both seem to be reasonable human conclusions as you have said about your view.

    In this impasse, we must consider other things. We have to ask why slavery is not held in honour, why not monarchy, and why not the one and only Catholic church. Why do we submit our leaders to election and make them responsible to the people? Because of the opportunity for abuse.

    We have deliberately chosen a democracy to avoid the abuses caused by sinful and selfish wielding of power. If men have chosen democracy for the form of government most suited to them, why then do they subject women to what can be only hell on earth for those who fall under the authority of men who abuse power. Why are women not counted worthy of living in a democracy as men are?

    I confess that I have no understanding whatsoever of why men think that women need to be under authority, and men need to live in a democracy. Why cannot men understand that women are first and foremost fellow human beings?

  83. ““This is because when you say ONLY the Father sent the Son you have let go of the oneness of the Trinity completely (not just function…but completely).”

    Can you explain this more for me Dave, why you believe you lose the oneness of the Trinity completely? Thanks

    That said, you have just gained about 200% more respect from me if you ride a bike?”

    Working backwards…200% eh?…am I out of the negatives yet? 😉

    Mark, good question. The reason I think you have let go of the oneness completely is in saying that ONLY the Father has sent the Son you have the Godhead operating as purely individuals.

    If you simply believe the Father sent the Son, then that is fine, it leaves room for oneness and seperateness without commenting on specifics. But! If you say the Godhead sent the Son then you have made the most accurate statement that remembers the seperateness and oneness.

    It is also the hardest to explain in human terms…which in itself makes me wonder if it has to be the most accurate! I like what you said about Augustine 😉

  84. Mark,
    You said:

    I know Cheryl sees this as husbands/wives, yet what i read of her interpretation of verse 3 seemed like she was referencing Adam/Eve.

    You are not quite correct. While I see general pattern of the husband as the head of the wife in other passages, I believe that this passage is about one particular husband and one wife – Adam and Eve since it is about origins.

    I might be reading Cheryl wrong here, but one cannot claim a husband/wife dualism and source, because the husband is not the source of his wife.

    Yup you are reading me wrong about this passage. The very first man (the very first husband) was the point of origin for his wife.

    Nor with what Paul details in chapter 15 about the final resurrection can i see his God/Christ reference referring to ’source’.

    Not sure what you are referring to here.

    In my opinion the only way ’source’ can be the intended meaning here is if we abandon that it is husband/wife dualism.

    The problem you are having is that you are seeing all husbands here when the position of origins is the discussion with one husband (singular). Paul makes this clear in verse 8 that he is talking about the origin of man as Adam and the woman the came through him was Eve.

    Also the way ’source’ has to be manipulated, made into synonomous meanings in order to portray ones understanding of the 3 relationships seems a bit forced in my view.

    Well if we use the term “point of origin” instead of “source” would that make you happier? Not only is origins spoken of in verse 8 but the list in verse 3 is not a hierarchical list. Man, woman, Christ. That is origins not hierarchy.

    From the point of origin Paul works out issues concerning “every man” and “every woman”. While much of what Paul says is about issues of shame and honor in marriage, it is clear that it was “all men” and not just the married ones who were forbidden from wearing the head covering in verse 4. However when Paul mentions “head” he is specifically referring to wives since no single woman had a human “head” to be concerned about.

  85. Mark,
    You said:

    But what the three persons ‘did’ at creation was not the same.

    You see such a division in the “roles” that perhaps you think that the Trinity cannot do things together the same time, the same way.

    But what about the resurrection of Jesus? The Bible specifically says that the Father raised Jesus, the Son raised Himself and the Holy Spirit raised Jesus. If they can function in the same way in the resurrection and still be unique individuals in the ONE God, then why do you make different roles to be the only way that they are distinguishable? Were they not individuals still when they worked at the same job? I think that you have a faulty view of who God is and I think you are imposing a restriction on Him that is not in the Scripture.

    2. You have not given any reason as to why i see Jesus as supposedly ‘lesser’. Are you reading into what i have said?

    A hierarchy consists of a greater and lesser authority. If indeed the Father has the supreme authority and Jesus submits to that authority, then Jesus has less of the essential nature of all authority. A hierarchy cannot exist if each has the exact authority and the exact will.

  86. Back to your paper, Mark.

    2. ‘kephale- as I’m sure we are all aware we disagree on this word. If we take this to mean ‘source’ we naturally have to read the passage as man-woman relationships, not husband and wife? After all the husband is not the source of his wife.

    If you didn’t pick this one up, the source of the woman is one man, her husband. The source issue in verse 8 is about the origin of man and woman (Adam and Eve).

    To understand this as ‘source’ one must only be able to then understand it in relation to Christ’s incarnation; otherwise we fall into the heretical trap of seeing Jesus as a created being.

    But “Christ” is only “Christ” from His incarnation. “Christ” is the term for the time that He took on flesh. “Christ” as the fleshly man had a beginning but the Word who became flesh did not have a beginning. So the source of Christ (who had a beginning in the flesh) is God.

    And since there is nothing else in this text dealing with Christ’s incarnation it seems unlikely.

    It is not unlikely at all since “Christ” is the man. The eternal God in the person of the LORD of hosts was never called “Christ” except in prophesy. Because Paul says that the “head” of Christ is God and not the “head” of The Word is God, we can be sure that this is talking about the incarnation.

    But I do not think this supports the ‘source’ hypothesis over hierarchy, rather it gives ‘source’ as the basis for the authoritative teaching.

    There is nothing in this passage that divides up teaching as “authoritative” and “non authoritative”. We are all given authority to speak in God’s name by the gifts that He has given us (1 Peter 4:11). I find it quite amazing that you add in things that are completely missing in the passage and we want us to accept that your additions are authoritative. Is this kind of like the “narrators” in the Old Testament that you say added things into the OT?

    Before Paul addresses the present pastoral problem in Corinth

    Apparently another “narrator” addition. Paul didn’t say there was a “pastoral” problem.

    He is using this hierarchy to bolster his pastoral problem, namely the issue between the husbands/wives.

    Paul doesn’t say that the issue is a “pastoral” problem. Rather he wants to give them the understanding of the Christian traditions that he has established. While Paul has forbidden men from wearing a head covering while praying and prophesying, Paul is now giving the reason for the prohibition. They followed his traditions, but now Paul says, he wants them to understand why.

    But none the less what does Paul mean by “God (the Father) is the head of Christ”. This language is consistent with the Father and Son language used by Jesus and the rest of the New Testament.

    Nowhere else is God said to be the “head” of Christ so we cannot know what Paul means until we understand the connection between the three sets of “heads”. The connection is origins and that is clear in verse 8.

    These words imply what early theologians called the ‘eternal generation’ of the Son. The Son is and always will be equal in ‘homoousios’ (same substance). Yet he was and always will be under the headship of the Father (John 17, 1 Cor 15:24-28).

    This simply is not true. If “head” means authority over, then what authority does the Father exercise over the Son when the Father turns everything over to the Son and the Son not only has “all” authority, but only the Son judges?

    Yet later, in love, as a conquering Son, Jesus turns everything over to the Father. But this final submission of the human Son is not so that He can be eternally in a submission relationship, but so that God will be all in all. Before that the Son was acting as the Supreme and after the Son gives everything over to the Father, the divisions that we so readily see are no longer seen. God will be seen only eternally as One. All in all. Jesus never loses His kingdom or His rule. His rule becomes One with the entire Trinity.

  87. Mark,
    You said:

    It is spontaneous as the need arose or was led by the spirit. It was not and is not the gift of ‘teaching’ given to those who are the overseers.

    Pardon me if someone already pointed this out, but God does not give gifts to “overseers”. God gives gifts to people who may then become “overseers”. There is not a special gift given as the gift of “overseership teaching” that is divided from regular teaching. This would be an addition again to the Scripture.

    Also it appears that although women were now allowed to participate along with the men with this gift, they had thus rejected the creation order of male headship.

    It appears? Where does it say that women have rejected a leadership set up from creation? Please point to the words in the passage where you get this from.

    Yes women could now prophecy, but no they should not be dishonouring their husbands with an uncovered head.

    Paul does not say that women “should not” pray with an uncovered head. Paul qualifies women’s uncovering with both a permission to uncover with stipulations that a woman may wear the head covering. Men are not given this leeway. They must not cover. Women are allowed the authority to make their own decision.

    This is now the root problem Paul is addressing, women who were not being respectful to their ‘head’.

    Paul does not say that women are not being respectful to their “head”. He gives the cultural mandate that says that uncovering dishonors the husband and then he allows her to uncover her head, cut her hair, shave her head or cover her head. It is her decision but she needs to respect her heads in making that decision as full freedom in Christ may offend her unsaved husband.

    The inauguration of the Kingdom and the gifting of the Spirit did not override God’s creational order and men’s headship.

    Removing the head covering had nothing to do with male authority. It had everything to do with cultural shame for the man and freedom in Christ from shame for the woman. This was her dilemma.

    Note the creational order Paul uses to support his argument. Eve was made out of Adam and for Adam, not the other way around.

    This creation order was necessary since creating Eve before Adam would not have allowed her to be made out of his body. She would then have been made out of dirt as he was and they would not have the intimate union of one flesh dividing and coming back together.

    Verse 7 is the reason Paul gives for why a man (aner) should not cover his head- he is the image and glory of God.

    No, the reason why Paul gives that the man was not cover is because it shames Christ. Since Christ is not to be shamed, the head covering must go.

    Okay, that’s all I can do for tonight. I will catch up later another day.

  88. So Cheryl in your opinion, verse 3 is referring to one husband/wife- Adam and Eve? Where then does Paul’s argument seperate from this first husband/wife to those in Corinth. What specific grammar allows for such a change?
    Thanks in advance

  89. “I am not trying to completely seperate the Trinity. But what the three persons ‘did’ at creation was not the same. Nor was their ‘role’ in salvation history the same. Hence why i believe we should not compound the members, but like you said, nor should we tear them apart. At the end of the day i am always going to throw my hands up in the air, and side with Augustine at the lack of ability in our terminology to express this biblical truth. I can only attempt to explain my view to the best of my ability.”

    Mark,

    To me, the problem is that it is the height of presumption for finite humans (not specifically you -any of us) to presume to be able to place ‘order’ in the Trinity (as in sub-ordination of the Son).

    Why would their ‘doings’ or their ‘role’ necessitate an ordinated hierarchy?

    Is it because we humans do that amongst ourselves, therefore we think it must be so in the Godhead?

    I think our contemporary society’s basic understanding of the word ‘person’ is sometimes misleading in referring to the Trinity. The problem with today’s usual notion of personhood lies in its connotations of individualism, in the assumption that ultimately each person is an isolated being over against all others.

    But being human, we lack the perfect ‘term’ for something so far above us – but because of that our ‘terms’ can begin to take on connotations for the Godhead that may not be so.

    “That said, you have just gained about 200% more respect from me if you ride a bike?”

    If it might help our discussion in any positive way, I just purchased a Honda VTX 1800c – it’s red with black flames (o.k., so I wasn’t too keen on the color scheme, but the price was right 😉 )

  90. “5. Kay, no i don’t think women should wear head coverings. This was a cultural practice to show the wifes submission to her husband.”
    Kay, If you disagree with it being about husbands/wives, please give me your interpretation as to why it is men/women?

    Mark,
    I disagree because in the text Paul refers to the problem of ‘men’ in general covering their heads in worship – not only ‘husbands’ covering heads. And not all men are husbands every moment of their lives.

    Here Paul never states that as why the women were wearing them during worship – again it would be pre-assumptive reading.
    Women’s headcovering was practiced for a variety of reasons in Greece at that time. Philo (De Specialibus Legibus 3.56), a first century Alexandrian Jew, describes the head-covering (epikranon) as “the symbol of modesty, regularly worn by women who are wholly innocent.”

    Do you believe it is a sin for a woman to preach or teach in a ‘formal’ church?

  91. Ancient Greece was not a monolithic culture: customs varied fom city to city in Greece. Ovid (43 BC–AD 17), in the generation preceding Paul, provides an impressive testimony to the sad state of Roman morals in his book Ars Amatoria, with much discussion of female dress and hairstyles. His advice to ladies concerning hairstyles and wigs would be pointless if the ladies went out with their heads covered. If Ovid’s representation of society is at all accurate, it is hard to believe that there was any strict observance of headcovering customs in daily life. Likewise, the Apostle Paul’s remark about braided hair in 1 Timothy implies that in his experience women prided themselves on elaborate hairstyles, which is impossible with a headcovering.

  92. I guess slaves were not really men and women. Slave women were not allowed to wear head coverings. They couldn’t be married either. Somehow the scriptures really just uphold culture and disregard essential masculinity and femininity. The sexuality of slaves belonged to their master or mistress.

  93. Mark,

    So Cheryl in your opinion, verse 3 is referring to one husband/wife- Adam and Eve? Where then does Paul’s argument seperate from this first husband/wife to those in Corinth. What specific grammar allows for such a change?

    Paul says “the man” in verse 3 as opposed to “every man” in verse 4. Since Paul is also talking about origins in verse 8 it should be obvious that the origin of the woman “the man” is Adam.

    I would also like you to answer Kay’s question because I am also very interested in your response. Is it a sin for a woman to preach or teach in a “formal” church? Sin is a serious matter and God wants women to know what is sin so that we can avoid it. I want to know if you believe God has identified preaching and teaching in a “formal” church to be sin?

  94. And this still remains unanswered from my post #53:

    B. You have not shown that the the passage is dealing with the concept of authority between husband and wife, you have just assumed it and declared it.

  95. This is what I was hoping that Mark could help us with. Where is the context explicit talking about the authority of one person over another or of the superiority of one person over another? Somehow Mark thinks that because he has assumed his conclusion, that this is proof. It isn’t. What we need to see that would qualify as evidence is words or grammar that show the intent of rulership of the man. Surely if this is what the passage means in context there will be actual words and grammar to support this.

    What is interesting is that Mark ignores all real evidence that shows origins – the word order showing order of origin from verse 3, the exact wording in verse 8 that describes origins. How can this be dismissed for a position of no evidence?

    Guys, you tell me, is it really in all or most men to want to have superiority over women so that it is easy to read this into the text?

  96. I think it is absolutely in all men’s fleshly nature from the fall. “He will rule over you” is not only a prediction of what men will do but, IMO, a revelation about how men will feel and react. It is, to my thinking, a revelation of the core of male nature in the flesh. (Incidentally, we do it to each other too.)

  97. …but, I also believe that the presumption of head=authority has just as much to do with our dependence on or preferred treatment of English understandings of words. Mark is right if we only consider how “head of” is used in English. “Head of state”, “head of the company”, “head of the platoon”, “head coach”, even “head of the household” all conjure up authoritarian images to a person thinking in English terms. The problem is that “head of” in English contains no “body” counterpart as Paul uses the metaphor. Simply put, the English language and Paul are talking about completely different things when “head of” is used. It is our preference for English meanings that causes a presumption of authority and then we ignore the fact that authority is never even on the radar when Paul uses “head of”.

  98. (sorry for the multiple posts.)

    Of course, English also uses “head of” as origin or source, as in “head of the river”. But that type of usage is not related to people, so we don’t consider that maybe in Greek the origin/source usage may be much more common when talking about humans. To sum – we default to head=authority when the bible talks about humans because in English head=authority is the consistent result in human contexts, and in turn, we ignore the possibility that head=origin when the bible talks about humans because in English, we are unaccustomed to thinkinhg about “head” this way in human contexts.

  99. gengwall,
    Thanks for the additional explanation. Perhaps I am too much into looking at the original languages that I forget that the English words are what people see first, not what the words mean in the context.

  100. gengwall,
    Looks like we posted at the same time 8)

    So all of this talk about “head” as authority or “head” as origin really boils down to the context. This is why I felt that Mark’s work on the context would help his position. But unfortunately Mark has not yet shown from the context that his view was in Paul’s mind. I am open to hearing the other side even though I believe that origins is so clear in the context that it cannot be dismissed, but as of yet I have not been shown a single piece of evidence that Paul’s point was to show that men were superior in some way.

  101. Another flaw in reliance on the English idoims is that they are not anatomically based. When we say “head of the company” we don’t get an image of a head and a body. In a sense, in English, “head” has a completely non-anatomical usage and it is that specific usage that is employed when we talk about the “head of the company”, et al.

    The opposite is true in almost all of Paul’s metaphors. They all parallel the human relationship with an anatomical relationship. Because of that, we really need to throw the English idoms out the window and start from scratch. We need to examine if there is a hierarchical authority structure within our anatomical body. Now, some may say that the head is “in charge” of the body. But Paul never even implies that. Paul’s usage is clearly relational, not hierarchical. Paul is never trying to teach us that certain parts of the body are superior to others. And when the Corinthians apparently attempted to employ a hierarchy within their body, Paul quickly put such a notion to rest.

    So, on a number of levels, we fall into significant error when considering the English idioms related to “head of…” We fail too when we look at the Hebrew idioms (and any Greek translations of them) that parallel our English ones. Again, their is no anatomical relation present so they can’t be used to define Paul who very specifically is employing anatomical themes.

  102. Excellent words, gengwall! Good for all of us to meditate on this and throw off our false presuppositions. We are all subject to those false presuppositions but if we are lovers of the truth, we will earnestly desire the truth and not just to have our ears tickled by what we really want to find in the passage.

  103. “So, on a number of levels, we fall into significant error when considering the English idioms related to “head of…”

    Yes gengwall, much the way using ‘person’ when describing the members of the Godhead brings differing human connotations to different believers.

  104. Just when I was losing interest…Kay can you email me a photo of your bike 😉

    Thanks for your insight gengwall. I hope you enjoyed your dancing!

  105. “We are all subject to those false presuppositions but if we are lovers of the truth, we will earnestly desire the truth and not just to have our ears tickled by what we really want to find in the passage.”

    I once was having a debate with another brother about domestic discipline. He was trying to demonstrate that Revelation 3:19 was proof that disciplining of the wife by the husband (including physical punishment) was a Christlike activity. Here is the verse, and his line of reasoning.

    “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline”
    Since husbands are to love their wives LIKE Christ loves the church; and since one of the wasy in which Christ shows love to the church is through discipline; domestice discipliine of the wife by the husband is a Christ-like, loving act.

    Now, there are many ways to defeat this argument, but my first stab at it was to look at the Greek. I pointed out that the type of “love” in the Revelation’s verse was phileo while the love of husbands for their wives, and the corresponding love of Christ for the church, in Ephesians 5 is agapeo. Therefore, one can’t even begin to make a parallel between the two sections of scripture. His response astonished me (and effectively cut of any further discussion).

    He responded that he didn’t know Greek and “love is love” (in English) and therefore he didn’t care what the different Greek words were, the two passages were talking about the same thing.

    This is the error that ensues when we ignore the original languages, and even more importantly, the original cultural and linguistic contexts and idioms, in preference for the much more easily derived belief we arive at from trusting in our native language. *sigh*

  106. Thanks Dave. We are going again tonight. Last night was a catch up lesson and tonight is the real class. We are learning Texas Two Step. (Later they are teaching Waltz but my wife and I rock at waltzing so I’m not so intimidated by that).

  107. Wow – I actually tracked down the thread where the afore mentioned debate took place. So all know I am not exagerating, here is the actual response I received regarding the two kinds of love in the Greek:

    “There is no distinction. Christ loves the church, meaning all believers, the same…I only speak one language, English. I trust that God led the translators of the time tested English versions and so I have no need for knowing Greek”

  108. “Have you even read my paper? If so why are you asking such questions since i give reasons for my view in what i wrote.

    “Why are you assuming it is husband/wife?”

    Sue answered for me:
    Perhaps I gave the impression that I thought this passage was about husbands and wives. Personally I do not think that. I think it means clearly that God is the first cause of Christ, Christ of man, and man of woman. That is, this is a cosmological discussion about origins.

    I am afraid it is you that has to assume it is husband and wife to read authority into it. Otherwise how is it that you or Dave are my authority?

  109. “1. I have been persistent in telling you i believe Jesus is equally God.”

    Because my experience with comps such as Bruce Ware is that they say that but then go on to teach a chain of command structure within the Trinity for all eternity. It amazes me they do not see the cognitive dissonance of their teaching. Reading authority/chain of command structure into everything leads to a lessening of Jesus Christ, Lord of Hosts, whether one sees that or not.

  110. Bruce Ware doesn’t seem to be able to see that, but he consistently elevates the Father to the point that highest authority, highest will, highest honor make the Father the only true Sovereign and Jesus and the Holy Spirit as secondary in they do not receive the highest honor.

    If there is an inequality in honor, in praise, in will, in authority there will be an inequality in their essence. I don’t see how anyone can get around that. It is so amazing how people like Ware speak out of both sides of their mouth but never explain how having the highest of all things doesn’t effect the essence of the one who does not have the highest of all things.

  111. “Note the creational order Paul uses to support his argument. Eve was made out of Adam and for Adam, not the other way around”

    Mark, thanks for sticking with this and all the stuff thrown at you. The statement above is the main problem. It is how you view the foundational interpretation of creation. You automatically assume authority and preeminance for the man. If you start there, all the NT passages are going to read authority/follower to you. It means you cannot get what Paul is teaching. (Why would Paul teach more legalistic rules or laws in the NT that are NOT in the OT? It makes no sense)

    If you read 1 Corin 3 close, you see that Paul is making an argument like a good Jew would. Note he says a bit later that MEN come from women. So after Adam, all men come from a woman. But ALL things come from God.

    I don’t blame you. It would be hard for me to give up preeminance, too, especially if I had been taught this at church and seminary.

    But this view does not fit with the theme of the NT. We are lowly servants. The greatest is the lowliest servant of all. The first will be last and the last first, we are not to lord it over anyone and let us not forget all the one anothers. So, where does authority/ follower fit into this within the Body and Marriage? There is no ‘servant-leader’…just lowly servants, depraved sinners…ALL of us…saved by grace. There are no special class of Christians. Comps cannot get around the fact they are making a special class of Christians who stand as a layer between a woman and her Lord and Savior. She is not saved or sanctified by how well she ‘plays’ her role. She is to abide in Christ, just like any man.

    If we start with a wrong premise of creation order meaning big cheese/junior assistant to the big cheese, we have lost the entire redemptive story. Patriarchy started right after the fall. We see its sin evidence right away. God worked through and around sin for His Glory.

    As a matter of fact, it means we are teaching the sin of the fall as virtue. Sanctified sin. It really is a problem for comps and why we see so many comps who are searching for truth going egal. We also see some comps going patriarchy as CBMW is doing.

    The comp view needs a Talmud to tell us what is formal church..What age can boys no longer be taught by women, can they pray in church, etc., etc. Many comps do not agree on the specifics of what their interpretations mean in application. It is a big problem for them. If I hung around you, I would constantly be worried about what constitutes ‘formal’ church. Is it when the men are around? Is it when an elder shows up? Is it in a building with a steeple? What is it?

  112. “(Later they are teaching Waltz but my wife and I rock at waltzing”
    gengwall – “rock at waltzing”? LOL that’s too much!

    Dave, I’d like to, but haven’t seen my camera’s computer cord since moving several months ago – could “snail mail” one to Ryde PC though.

    Now, off to read Mark’s new post…

  113. Here is proof that the early church fathers saw the term the incarnated Lord as “Christ” where God is His head.

    32. But the saying, that in respect of the Incarnation God is the Head of Christ, leads on to the principle that Christ, as Incarnate, is the Head of man, as the Apostle has clearly expressed in another passage, where he says: “Since man is the head of woman, even as Christ is the Head of the Church;”26 whilst in the words following he has added: “Who gave Himself for her.”27 After His Incarnation, then, is Christ the head of man, for His self-surrender issued from His Incarnation.
    33. The Head of Christ, then, is God, in so far as His form of a servant, that is, of man, not of God, is considered, But it is nothing against the Son of God, if, in accordance with the reality of His flesh, He is like unto men, whilst in regard of His Godhead He is one with the Father, for by this account of Him we do not take aught from His sovereignty, but attribute compassion to Him.
    Schaff, P. (1997). The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series Vol. X (266).

  114. Another quote where the early church fathers deny that the term God in 1 Cor. 11:3 means father:

    31. Let God, then, be the Head of Christ, with regard to the conditions of Manhood. Observe that the Scripture says not that the Father is the Head of Christ; but that God is the Head of Christ, because the Godhead, as the creating power, is the Head of the being created. And well said [the Apostle] “the Head of Christ is God;” to bring before our thoughts both the Godhead of Christ and His flesh, implying, that is to say, the Incarnation in the mention of the name of Christ, and, in that of the name of God, oneness of Godhead and grandeur of sovereignty.
    Schaff, P. (1997). The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series Vol. X (266).

  115. “…because the husband is not the source of his wife.”

    Have you read the end of Eph 5 lately? ;P

  116. The end of Eph 5…

    Eph 5 (Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 and the point is WHAT preceeds Gensis 2:24)
    After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31″For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

    Genesis 2
    The man said,
    “This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called ‘woman, ‘
    for she was taken out of man.”

    24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

  117. “Why are you assuming it is husband/wife? Do you think there were no women attending the church who had unbelieving husbands? No widows? Their uncovering in worship could have been scandalous in that day and time. It could be cause for divorce.”

    I think Paul is refering to husband and wife since the context IS a reference to Adam and Eve (woman made for and from man), but Christ being the “head” of every “aner” I’m undecided as to whether he meant males or humans beings. I don’t see how men and women in general can even fit into this passage.

  118. Good point, pinklight. Placing them side by side makes it rather difficult to refute the obvious correlation.

  119. “If you really believe i don’t think Jesus is equal to God, you either haven’t read my actual article OR you are just ignoring it…”

    Mark, so you believe that Jesus is equal in authority and power to God (meaning the Father in your case?) but that he is SUBORDINATE by choice? I’m not sure what you “think” but based on what you’ve communicated my opinion would be that you think Jesus is UNDER God which = subordination which = NOT equal. Jesus is not equal (in function) by choice then. That’s how I read you. Please fine tune this for me where I’m not understanding you…

  120. Gengwall, glad to hear you rock at walting!

    Kay, I am sorry to hear that you cannot show me a photo of the machine, but not nearly as distressed as I am about you having a bike that is 200% bigger in engine capacity! I have a Honda 450 Cafe Racer from 1972.

    I feel I should be truthful at this point and confess to Mark that currently I am working towards getting it registered…so I mainly ride it around the backyard at the moment. I feel so small.

    Cheryl I did not really lose interest, not with your commenting. We could do with more pictures though.

  121. “But “Christ” is only “Christ” from His incarnation. “Christ” is the term for the time that He took on flesh. “Christ” as the fleshly man had a beginning but the Word who became flesh did not have a beginning. So the source of Christ (who had a beginning in the flesh) is God.”

    This is GOOD!

  122. “It is not unlikely at all since “Christ” is the man. The eternal God in the person of the LORD of hosts was never called “Christ” except in prophesy. Because Paul says that the “head” of Christ is God and not the “head” of The Word is God, we can be sure that this is talking about the incarnation.”

    We are moving forward!!! 🙂

  123. “Nowhere else is God said to be the “head” of Christ so we cannot know what Paul means until we understand the connection between the three sets of “heads”. The connection is origins and that is clear in verse 8.”

    THIS is really GOOD!! Thanks Cheryl!!

  124. “I think Paul is refering to husband and wife since the context IS a reference to Adam and Eve (woman made for and from man), but Christ being the “head” of every “aner” I’m undecided as to whether he meant males or humans beings. I don’t see how men and women in general can even fit into this passage.”

    Cheryl, help me out here. Can women and men in genral fit the passage/context?

  125. “This creation order was necessary since creating Eve before Adam would not have allowed her to be made out of his body. She would then have been made out of dirt as he was and they would not have the intimate union of one flesh dividing and coming back together.”

    And there would have been no foreshadowing of Christ and the Church – the mystery – Eph 5.

  126. “To me, the problem is that it is the height of presumption for finite humans (not specifically you -any of us) to presume to be able to place ‘order’ in the Trinity (as in sub-ordination of the Son).”

    The END.

  127. “Guys, you tell me, is it really in all or most men to want to have superiority over women so that it is easy to read this into the text?”

    I think it applies to men who are married or want to be. 🙂 Back to Adam and Eve we go in Gen 3…

  128. “It is our preference for English meanings that causes a presumption of authority and then we ignore THE FACT that authority is never even on the RADAR when Paul uses “head of”.”

    LOL!

  129. “Since man is the head of woman, even as Christ is the Head of the Church;”26 whilst in the words following he has added: “Who gave Himself for her.”27 After His Incarnation, then, is Christ the head of man, for His self-surrender issued from His Incarnation.”

    The first time Christ is said to be “head” is AFTER his death.

  130. 31. Let God, then, be the Head of Christ, with regard to the conditions of Manhood. Observe that the Scripture says not that the Father is the Head of Christ; but that God is the Head of Christ, because the Godhead, as the creating power, is the Head of the being created. And well said [the Apostle] “the Head of Christ is God;” to bring before our thoughts both the Godhead of Christ and His flesh, implying, that is to say, the Incarnation in the mention of the name of Christ, and, in that of the name of God, oneness of Godhead and grandeur of sovereignty.
    Schaff, P. (1997). The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series Vol. X (266).

    Why would the Apostle Paul have had a problem penning “the head of Christ is God, the Father if that is what he meant? Could the Holy Spirit miss such an important detail? I don’t think so.

  131. “2. ‘kephale- as I’m sure we are all aware we disagree on this word. If we take this to mean ‘source’ we naturally have to read the passage as man-woman relationships, not husband and wife?”

    No. Why would we have to read the passage as man-woman relationships if we take kephale as “source”?? That logic does not follow. Adam and Eve were husband and wife.

  132. pinklight,
    I think your brain is in high gear. You are way smarter than I am at this time of night. I have to wait until I can get some coffee in the morning. Good job at thinking this through. I think I might just wait until you finish processing and then you can teach me with your ability to reason through these things. You go girl!

  133. “However in relation to the evidence i know about kephale and the way it was used metaphorically in this grammatical construction, and the way i read the rest of the bible i feel that what i have offered here is reasonable.”
    Mark,
    The way I read the rest of the Bible, it never once states that a man or a husband has been given ‘authority’ over a woman or a wife. Not once -for it to be seen in the Bible it must be previously assumed by the reader.

    Nothing, Jesus said is used by comps/hierarchialist to prove their view – because nothing He said bolsters it. Not once did He command His female followers never to teach or preach to a man. In fact, His words say just the opposite of what comps espouse.
    “Not so among you”
    “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life”
    “If I then, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet”
    “All authority (exousia) has been given to Me”
    “All authority”
    “All”
    “All” as in not a jot of it has been given to anyone else.

  134. “Mark, so you believe that Jesus is equal in authority and power to God (meaning the Father in your case?) but that he is SUBORDINATE by choice? I’m not sure what you “think” but based on what you’ve communicated my opinion would be that you think Jesus is UNDER God which = subordination which = NOT equal. Jesus is not equal (in function) by choice then. That’s how I read you. Please fine tune this for me where I’m not understanding you…”

    I will quickly comment to pinklight as i continue to study…

    1. Yes, i think Jesus is equally God, and equal in essence, power, authority etc to both the Father and the Holy Spirit.
    2. However i do think that Jesus is ‘subordinate'(and i use that term unhappily) in relation to his subsistence. This has been the orthodox position of the Trinity since the Nicene Creed. For example, Jesus is sent from the Father, and the HS is sent from the Father and Son. The Son never sends the Father or likewise with the Spirit. This is what the bible teaches in regards to the ‘subsistence’ of the members of the Trinity.

    3. You seem to think that ‘subordination’ of subsitence must infer ‘unequal’ as God, therefore heretical. This is the commonly adopted approach of Egals, but is unscriptural and un-confirmable by the historic debates. If one cannot come to terms with the differences in subsistence, a modalistic Trinity is the result, which is condemnable- because the Son is really no different from the Father. The early church councils and Fathers, aswell as the Reformers all commented on a difference between the economic and the essential Trinity. One in relation to ‘essence’, one in relation to ‘subsistence’.

    Hope this helps you understand my view. Any thorough research of the Bible and the history will confirm what i am saying, but of course an egalitarian cannot accept this because it means that men and women can be ‘equal’ yet different in terms of roles. Therefore they must reject the orthodox position of the Trinity.

  135. Quick question for Cheryl,

    Have you had much to do with the Christadelphian cult? If so, what are some good resources for understanding/ challenging their teaching?

    Thanks

  136. Mark wrote: “2. However i do think that Jesus is ’subordinate’(and i use that term unhappily) in relation to his subsistence. This has been the orthodox position of the Trinity since the Nicene Creed.”

    Mark,
    You’ve expressed unhappiness with “subordinate,” what term would you rather use?

    The Bible says that the Father raised Jesus, the Son raised Himself and the Holy Spirit raised Jesus. If they can function in the same way in the resurrection and still be unique individuals in one God, then why do you make different ‘roles’ to be the only way that they are distinguished?
    The question has been raised – were they not individuals while they worked at the same job?

  137. Mark wrote: “Jesus is the image of the Invisible God. Hence his qualities or homoousious are God, yet he is distinct from the Father. In what way is he distinct- obviously functionality.”
    Mark,
    If Jesus is only the image of the Father but not the Godhead, how do you explain this?:
    “Who, being in very nature God (theos),
    did not consider equality with God(theos) something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.” Phil 2:6-7

  138. “5. Kay, no i don’t think women should wear head coverings. This was a cultural practice to show the wifes submission to her husband. Our culture does not use a head covering to show a wife’s submission, so i don’t believe it should be enforced.”

    -I think several of us have related enough historical evidence to show that headcovering was not *always* being worn to signify submission in NT times. Couple this with 1Tim2:9 mentioning braided hairstyles as being an issue.

  139. “If one cannot come to terms with the differences in subsistence, a modalistic Trinity is the result, which is condemnable- because the Son is really no different from the Father.”
    Mark,
    I don’t think it is that egals cannot come to terms with differences in subsistence – it is the inferences that comps/hierarchialists make from them that are the main sticking point.

  140. Perhaps it is man who has come up with “roles” to distinguish the members of the Godhead because in man’s own limited understanding he needs that somehow in order to feel that he understands and knows God better. But God is far past our finite understanding and not confined by it, even if we try to make it so.

  141. Mark

    “Paul uses a very good pastoral technique” v – 1
    “the present pastoral problem” v – 3

    Can’t find “pastoral” or “technique” in the Bible.

    Can you explain your idea of “Pastoral” please?

    When you hear words that are not in the Bible?
    don’t you wonder why we use them?
    and where they came from?

    Isn’t it challenge enough understanding?
    the truth of the words that are written?
    How much harder word’s that we make up?

  142. Hi ya all.

    Ye are having way to much fun here.

    Oh, and “today” I vote for “No Heirarchy in God” only “one.”

    Theos = Father, Son, Holy Spirit = always

    Unless of course, Jesus is the top gun. Hmmm?

    Col 1:17
    And he is before “all things,” (even God the Father?)
    and by him “all things” consist. (even the God Head?)

    Col 1:18
    …that in “all things” (the God Head?)
    he might have “the preeminence.”
    preeminence = to be first, hold the first place.

    Rev 22:13
    I am Alpha and Omega,
    the beginning and the end,
    “the first” and the last.

    And could the Holy Ghost be Jesus’ Father? Hmmm?

    Mt 1:18
    …When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph,
    …she was found with child of the “Holy Ghost.”

    Mt 1:20
    …for that which is conceived in her is of the “Holy Ghost.”

    Lu 1:35
    … The “Holy Ghost shall” come upon thee…
    …that holy thing which shall be born of thee
    shall be called the Son of God.

    Or maybe these three are one?
    1Jo 5:7
    For there are three that bear record in heaven,
    the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
    and these three are “one.”

  143. Kay

    Yes – Good one.

    “The Bible says that the Father raised Jesus,
    the Son raised Himself and the Holy Spirit raised Jesus.”

    It also says that God (theos) raised Him. :8]

    God (Theos) raised Jesus from the dead.

    Acts 10:40 Him God raised up the third day…
    Acts 13:30 But God raised him from the dead.
    Romans 10:9 …believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead…
    1Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead…

    The Father raised Jesus from the dead.

    Galatians 1:1 … and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;
    Romans 6:4 …like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father…

    The Spirit Raised Jesus from the dead.

    1Peter 3:18 For Christ …being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.
    Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you…

    Jesus raised Himself from the dead.

    John 10:17 …I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
    John 2:19 Jesus answered … Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
    Matthew 26:61 … I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
    John 5:21 …even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

    And these three are one. Glory….

    Theos = Father, Son, Holy Spirit = always

    Hmmm? Maybe some need “Hierarchy” in the God head
    So they can “lord it over” others?
    And they can “exercise authority” over others?

    Didn’t Jesus tell “His disciples” not to exercise. ;8}
    authority… Or be called leader… Mat 23:10

    Mat 20:25, Mark 10:42, Luke 22:25

  144. Hello, everyone. I have read through this post and the comments made on it, at least twice, first to make sure I correctly the arguments and counter-arguments, and then to decide what are appropri ate comments for those points on which, like Cheryl, I have done some extensive research and writing and which are of concern to me in this discussion: the Trinity, the Prophetic Gift and Ministries in the NT Church, and the Order of Creation Restored by Christ and the Spirit in the Church. Though, I promise, gengwall, to do my best not to lead us down unnecessary bunny trails, which I dislike as well. And if I should misunderstand anyone else’s previous comments, please feel free to correct me. Now, to start my part of our on-going discussion on 1 Cor. 11:2-16, I begin with the following quote from Dr. John Trull, Prof. of Christian Ethics at New Orleans Baptist Seminary, regarding the use of kephale in both this passage and Eph. 5:21-33:

    The second important but difficult word is “head” (kephale): “For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is head of the church, the body of which he is Savior” (5:23). Significant exegetical studies on the meaning of this word in the Greek language have raised questions about the uncritical equation of “head” with “authority.” After examining the claim that kephale was used in ancient Greek texts to mean “ruler or person of superior authority or rank,” several scholars have concluded, “There is no instance in profance Greek literature where a ruler or a hierarchy is referred to as ‘head’ such as ‘Alexander was the head of the Greek armies.'” Lexicographers also give no evidence of such a meaning.
    The best illustration of the reluctance of the Greek language to render “head” as “authority” is in the Septuagint (LXX). In the 180 instances where the Hebrew word ro’sh (“leader, chief, authority”) appears, the normal Greek word used is archon (“ruler, commander”). In only seventeen places did the translators use kephale–five of those have variant readings, and another four involve a head-tail metaphor, which leaves only eight instances out of 180 times the LXX translators chose kephale for ro’sh. If “head” (kephale) did not normally mean “authority over” in Greek, what did it mean? The common Greek meaning of the word is “source, source of life, source of origin, exalted originator and completer.” In English we sometimes use “head” in this way when we refer to the head (source) of a river. In the seven passages in the New Testament where Paul uses kephale, the contexts of five of them (Col. 1:18; 2:10; 2:19; Eph. 1:20-23; 4:15) clearly point to this common meaning of “source.” The concept that “head” connotes a hierarchy with men in a role of authority over women rests largely on two passages: 1 Cor. 11:3 and Eph. 5:23. When we recognize the main meaning of kephale is “source,” it becomes clear that Paul is not establishing a chain of command–he is establishing origins. Rather than a “ruler” over the wife, the husband is the “source” or “beginning” of woman (made from the side of Adam), even as God is the “origin” of Christ (1 Cor. 11:3). “If you think ‘head’ means ‘chief’ or ‘boss,'” declared Chrysostom, “you skew the godhead!” (Cf. “Is the Head of the House at Home?,” CHRISTIAN ETHICS TODAY, Issue 9, Vol. 13, No.1, Feb 1997).

    On the basis of this quote and several comments already, I will make the following observation:
    1. It is the consensus of the biblical scholars and lexicographers, except Wayne Grudem and company, that it is an “uncritical” examination of the secular and religious documents available to us, including the Greek New Testament, that would lead one to assert kephale as a metaphor can either normally mean, nor only mean, “authority over.” As someone who has studied and translated several NT books and done commentary on them (i.e., 2 Peter, Jude and 1 John) in most cases, the decision on how to translate and exegete Gk words is not based simply on the basis of the semantic range listed in one or more lexicons (helpful as that may be to a point), but how they are actually used by the author and how they actually function in the context in which they are found. And here I think Cheryl and gengwall would agree with me.
    2. Now some recent work done by NT scholars and lexicographers indicates that an additional meaning for kephale, when used as a military term, is “leader of.” But it is not used as a description of a far off commander who dictates orders to troops in the field. Rather, it speaks of the leader who willing and selflessly goes before the troops, neither demanding or expecting of them what he is not willing to do himself. For those who have served in the military like myself, we recognize that kephale, used in this sense, is referring to the “pointman,” usually the officer or sargent who, at great risk to himself, goes before and scouts all the dangers and opportunities ahead of them, then calls the troops forward to carry out the day’s mission.
    3. And these same scholars and lexicographers, after examing all the evidence afresh, argue that kephale is “a living metaphor,” and though its semantic range may run from “Source” to “Leader,” how it actually is used and functions within a given context determines its primary meaning.

    Well, I would like to say some more on this. But it is now 12:15 pm, and I need to eat some before I run on some necessary errands. So hopefully I will get back with you in the next day or two. Ciao!

  145. “He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Ps. 103:14). The disparity between us and God IS impossible really to imagine. Why should we think that the relationship within the Godhead would be like any of our relationships? All analogies fail, because the disparity here is between what is Infinite and we finite and fallen. We are merely seeing “through a glass darkly” the Perfect and the pre-fall.

  146. ““He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Ps. 103:14). The disparity between us and God IS impossible really to imagine. Why should we think that the relationship within the Godhead would be like any of our relationships? All analogies fail, because the disparity here is between what is Infinite and we finite and fallen. We are merely seeing “through a glass darkly” the Perfect and the pre-fall.”

    C,mon Kay! I agree that God and indeed the Trinity is beyond us-no doubt. But i have heard this argument all the time about ‘human analogies’. The question needs to be asked, does God use them himself to help us understand Him better. Of course he does- Ezekial 16 is a classic example. If God has given us human analogies to help us, which he has, let’s use them to better understand Him and his word.

    Frank,

    Thanks again for your insightful thoughts. I’m not sure what you mean by all scholars apart from Grudem and Co, but i have found very few, non egalitarian scholars who think that ‘source’ is the common meaning. I think that ‘beginning’ or pre-eminance are probably more common than ‘source’. I’m sure we all agree that there are many meanings for ‘kephale’. I would never suggest that ‘leader’ is the primary meaning, nor would i suggest it would be ‘source’.
    Regarding your interpretation of ‘source’ in the rest of the NT, i would have to disagree. “Authority’ would fit just as simply as ‘source’, but anyway i don’t want to get to bogged down in this and not comment to everyone else who i have missed.

  147. “The question needs to be asked, does God use them himself to help us understand Him better. Of course he does- Ezekial 16 is a classic example. If God has given us human analogies to help us, which he has, let’s use them to better understand Him and his word.”

    Mark,
    I think you misunderstand my point. The problem comps see is with trying to put man in a ‘role’ that is God’s. We certainly wouldn’t say that Ezekial 16 is license for men to do the things to their unfaithful wives which God says in that chapter, would we?

  148. Mark,
    Again, it is the inferences that comps/hierarchialists make from them that are the main sticking point.

  149. Mark

    Amen

    “If God has given us human analogies to help us, which he has,
    let’s use them to better understand Him and his word.”

    But how do we mere humans understand God’s math? Hmmm?

    1 + 1 + 1 = 1

    Could this math really work?

    Theos = Father, Son, Holy Spirit = one = always

    Is God (Theos) not complete unless all three are present?

    1 shell + 1 white + 1 yolk = 1 Egg

    1 Hydrogen Gas + 1 Oxygen Gas + 1 Hydrogen Gas = 1 liquid water

    1 spirit + 1 soul + 1 flesh = 1 Human

    1 Father + 1 Son + 1 Holy Spirit = 1 God (Theos)

    If we remove the 1 shell? Do we still have an Egg?
    All that is left is – 1 white + 1 yolk – But no egg.

    If we remove one gas? – Is it still water?
    Or two highly flamable gasses? But no liquid.

    If we remove the spirit, soul or flesh – Is it still a human?

    If we remove the Father, Son or Holy Spirit – Is it still God. (Theos)

    Is God (Theos) not complete unless all three are present?

  150. I vote for “no Hierarchy in Christ” we’re all “one.”

    Ga 3:28
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free,
    there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Does this verse male and female are equal in Christ?
    Or male and female do not exist in Christ? “One.”

    Down with “hierarchy.” Down with “lording it over.”

    Lift Jesus higher. In Christ we are one. Glory

  151. I beg to differ Amos Love. There are Complimentarians and Egalitarians in Christ – and they are equal…and yet…different…

    Welcome back Mark, my equal but different friend! 😉

    You said to Pinklight,

    “You seem to think that ’subordination’ of subsitence must infer ‘unequal’ as God, therefore heretical. This is the commonly adopted approach of Egals, but is unscriptural and un-confirmable by the historic debates. If one cannot come to terms with the differences in subsistence, a modalistic Trinity is the result, which is condemnable- because the Son is really no different from the Father.”

    That was one very un-backed up statement which we could only excuse IF you are studying hard for your exams! If you had listened to what is being said, we do not believe in a modalistic Trinity…we have maintained the difference in the Trinity…and the oneness…and we have argued from scripture. Please show clearly in scripture conclusive evidence for ESS.

  152. Thank you Mark for responding to my comment! 🙂

    Mark: #170″C,mon Kay! I agree that God and indeed the Trinity is beyond us-no doubt…”

    Mark, in #161, 163, 172 Kay has expressed the same points as I would have, though differently. Therefore a reply to THEM would be appropriate and sufficient.

    This following quote and A Amos Love’s #167 bring everything nicely together:
    “The Bible says that the Father raised Jesus, the Son raised Himself and the Holy Spirit raised Jesus. If they can function in the same way in the resurrection and still be unique individuals in one God, then why do you make different ‘roles’ to be the only way that they are distinguished?
    The question has been raised – were they not individuals while they worked at the same job?”

    What do you say about this Mark?

  153. I meant comments # 160 & 163…

    Mark, in #160, 163, 172 Kay has expressed the same points as I would have, though differently. Therefore a reply to THEM would be appropriate and sufficient.

  154. Kay,

    I understood you to be meaning that in 1 Cor 11:3, the man/woman relationship cannot be understood in the same way as the Christ/God relationship, and thus we should not use human analogies in relation to understand God…is this what you were meaning? Because what you said in #171, didn’t really seem to have anything to do with what you said in #169 to me, but i might just not be understanding you.

    Pinklight,
    i think i understand your questions. If not correct me please.

    #161- “If Jesus is only the image of the Father but not the Godhead, how do you explain this?:
    “Who, being in very nature God (theos),
    did not consider equality with God(theos) something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.” Phil 2:6-7″

    Like i have said previously Paul often uses ‘Theos’ to refer to the Father. I think the same is obvious here in Phillipians. Look how the rest of the passage finishes.

    ” 9 ?Therefore ?God has ?highly exalted him and bestowed on him a?the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus b?every knee should bow, c?in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and ?every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is ?Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

    #163- not really sure what you want me to say about this one?

    #172- same again as above????

    Now it is asked why do i distinguish- my response: simply because the bible does. The Son is NEVER said to send the Father, adn it is heretical to think the Father was crucified on the cross. Likewise the Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son not vice verse. So i am simply showing scripture. According the Amos Love’s interpretation, it must then mean that the Father, Son and Spirit were all crucified! Is this what people really want to believe?

  155. “That was one very un-backed up statement which we could only excuse IF you are studying hard for your exams!”

    LOL! ;P

  156. “Like i have said previously Paul often uses ‘Theos’ to refer to the Father.”

    Yep, you said it before and did not back it up with any evidence and you have done it again! I would have thought you would have had mopre of a case with John than Paul…but can you back it up?

    “According the Amos Love’s interpretation, it must then mean that the Father, Son and Spirit were all crucified! Is this what people really want to believe?”

    Mark I went over this before as have others. You are the one who is messing around with the Trinity! You want to say that the three who are one were completely seperate at the cross. We are simply saying that they were still three who were one at the cross. Mark, you really need to deal with this, agree to disagree OR see the light! Your view is the one that does not cater for three being one. Our view does. Our view also deals with one being three. Your view does this too well! You, Mark, are not holding the balance. I do not know how I can state this any more clearly!

    How do you deal with Jesus being raised from death by all three? Where is the conclusive Biblical evidence for ESS?

  157. Mark:
    “#163- not really sure what you want me to say about this one?

    #172- same again as above????

    Now it is asked why do i distinguish- my response: simply because the bible does. The Son is NEVER said to send the Father, adn it is heretical to think the Father was crucified on the cross. Likewise the Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son not vice verse. So i am simply showing scripture. According the Amos Love’s interpretation, it must then mean that the Father, Son and Spirit were all crucified! Is this what people really want to believe?”

    Kay’s response to Mark’s comment: #163:

    Mark:“If one cannot come to terms with the differences in subsistence, a modalistic Trinity is the result, which is condemnable- because the Son is really no different from the Father.”
    Kay:
    “Mark,
    I don’t think it is that egals cannot come to terms with differences in subsistence – it is the inferences that comps/hierarchialists make from them that are the main sticking point.”

    This is THE point, Mark. Please “work it out”, “deal with it”, “engage” this point!!

    “According the Amos Love’s interpretation, it must then mean that the Father, Son and Spirit were all crucified! Is this what people really want to believe?”

    This logic of yours DOES NOT follow!! And so, again, please “work this out” and respoond. ;P

  158. “Your view is the one that does not cater for three being one. Our view does. Our view also deals with one being three. Your view does this too well! You, Mark, are not holding the balance. I do not know how I can state this any more clearly!”

    MARK??? How much more can possibly be contributed for communication purposes??

  159. “The Son is NEVER said to send the Father, adn it is heretical to think the Father was crucified on the cross.”

    I think Augustine says that the godhead sent the Son, he was sent in a sense by himself.

    However, I get the distinct impression that complementarians see the husband as having the sending authority of the Father, and the wife as having the privilege of following the path of suffering of Christ and being crucified on the cross. Why is it a sacrilege to think of the Father on the cross, but not a sacrilege to think of woman on the cross?

  160. From what people have showed here i have yet to see how one distinguishes the Father from the Son. The closest someone came was that Jesus subordinated himself in His incarnation. The question then must be raised, was Jesus subordinate before his incarnation and after. According to everyone here apart from me, it was ONLY at his incarnation, and as yet no one has begun to understood what Jesus ‘role’ is now, since he is still in his human form is he not? Calvin saids some interesting things about the ‘eternal’ position of Jesus.

    “Besides, it was not the Father that descended to the earth, but he who came forth from the Father; nor was it the Father that died and rose again, but he whom the Father had sent. This distinction did not take its beginning at the incarnation: for it is clear that the only begotten Son previously existed in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18). For who will dare to affirm that the Son entered his Father’s bosom for the first time, when he came down from heaven to assume human nature? Therefore, he was previously in the bosom of the Father, and had his glory with the Father. Christ intimates the distinction between the Holy Spirit and the Father, when he says that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, and between the Holy Spirit and himself, when he speaks of him as another as he does when he declares that he will send another Comforter; and in many other passages besides (John 14:6; 15:26; 14:16).

    Calvin, J., & Beveridge, H. 1997. Institutes of the Christian religion. Translation of: Institutio Christianae religionis.;Reprint, with new introd. Originally published: Edinburgh : Calvin Translation Society, 1845-1846. Logos Research Systems, Inc.: Oak Harbor, WA”

    So what was Jesus position pre-incarnation…was it a subordinated position? What is his position now considering He is STILL in human form? Maybe his humanity is now void…the subordinated part according to your interpretation doesn’t really apply in His resurrected body.

  161. “However, I get the distinct impression that complementarians see the husband as having the sending authority of the Father, and the wife as having the privilege of following the path of suffering of Christ and being crucified on the cross.”

    OPPOSITE Eph 5 Ofcourse.

  162. So please stop accusing me of a unbalanced position and having no ‘proof’ or support for my argument. Maybe someone else’s eyes need to be opened away from our cultural influences.

  163. “Why is it a sacrilege to think of the Father on the cross, but not a sacrilege to think of woman on the cross?”

    Should we turn to Eph 5 at this moment?

  164. “From what people have showed here i have yet to see how one distinguishes the Father from the Son.”

    The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father. Is there any question on that?

    Do you think,, Mark that sons are to forever be subordinated to their fathers? If not it is because the analogy (Father/Son/God) BREAKS DOWN and rightly so. Do you think God surpases our very own use of analogies or not???

  165. Pinklight,

    I have said again and again that we cannot comprehend nor communicate the Trinity effectively. However we must do the best we can with Scripture, since most unbiblical positions stem from a wrong historical understanding of the Trinity, e.g JW’s.

  166. The question pinklight is in what way is the Father not the Son and the Son not the Father. It is not good enough to just say what you did. I had a Christadelphian say exactly the same line as you and he didn’t even believe that Jesus was God? Let’s begin to try and understand the ‘subsistences’ so we can better know the word.

  167. “The question then must be raised, was Jesus subordinate before his incarnation and after.”

    Good question! Hi Mark!

    “Besides, it was not the Father that descended to the earth, but he who came forth from the Father; nor was it the Father that died and rose again, but he whom the Father had sent. This distinction did not take its beginning at the incarnation: for it is clear that the only begotten Son previously existed in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18). For who will dare to affirm that the Son entered his Father’s bosom for the first time, when he came down from heaven to assume human nature? Therefore, he was previously in the bosom of the Father, and had his glory with the Father. Christ intimates the distinction between the Holy Spirit and the Father, when he says that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, and between the Holy Spirit and himself, when he speaks of him as another as he does when he declares that he will send another Comforter; and in many other passages besides (John 14:6; 15:26; 14:16).”

    This has what to do with the subordination of the Son to the Father??? What, where??

    “So what was Jesus position pre-incarnation…was it a subordinated position? What is his position now considering He is STILL in human form? Maybe his humanity is now void…the subordinated part according to your interpretation doesn’t really apply in His resurrected body.”

    You’re assuming his FORM since he died the king of the Jews but reserected the king of Isreal. WHY ASSUME anything and create doctrine from it?? In the beginning he was the word who WAS GOD (Godhead, NOT the Father).

  168. “So please stop accusing me of a unbalanced position and having no ‘proof’ or support for my argument. Maybe someone else’s eyes need to be opened away from our cultural influences.”

    Your position IS unbalanced. You have what you believe and that is IT!! And how am I influenced by today’s culture in relation to biblical manhood and womanahood, please enlighten??? Besides, Log/Speck…

  169. Since Calvin is rejecting the whole notion that Jesus was in a ‘different’ position at his incarnation to his previous position(before incarnation) it is extremely important. Perhaps you can ‘deal with this’.

  170. “Why is it a sacrilege to think of the Father on the cross, but not a sacrilege to think of woman on the cross?”
    Sue,
    You know I was wondering that as well.

  171. Mark, you came back at us with a quote from Calvin. This is not scripture (I know they teach otherwise at the PTC!). Remember when you stand on the shoulders of giants, that historically giants have been very dull creatures. As they say, “in the tallest buildings it is the top most floors that are least furnished.

    How do I see the Father and the Son seperately? The Son was baptised and the Father was proud of him and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove. The Son was crucified and the Father forsook (is that the right word?) him. Lots of differences, all there in scripture. At the same time, you cannot use any of these examples to drive a wedge between any of the members of the Trinity. Do so and you break the unity that makes the three one.

    Now you, Mark, say that the Father and the Son are so seperate that ONLY the Father sent the Son. Who was it who raised Jesus? Who was it who sent him? Where is the conclusive Biblical (Calvin not included) evidence for ESS?

  172. “I have said again and again that we cannot comprehend nor communicate the Trinity effectively. However we must do the best we can with Scripture, since most unbiblical positions stem from a wrong historical understanding of the Trinity, e.g JW’s.”

    Mark, how important is historical understanding in comparison to the Written word, in you opinion?

  173. “Maybe someone else’s eyes need to be opened away from our cultural influences.”
    Mark,
    Exactly which cultural influences are blinding us?

  174. “The question pinklight is in what way is the Father not the Son and the Son not the Father.”

    Okay. I hear you. Are sons of the earth forever under the authority of their fathers??

    “It is not good enough to just say what you did. I had a Christadelphian say exactly the same line as you and he didn’t even believe that Jesus was God? Let’s begin to try and understand the ’subsistences’ so we can better know the word.”

    Answer the question above!

  175. “…Now you, Mark, say that the Father and the Son are so seperate that ONLY the Father sent the Son. Who was it who raised Jesus? Who was it who sent him? Where is the conclusive Biblical (Calvin not included) evidence for ESS?”

    Mark, WE are going in circles!!

  176. “Are sons of the earth forever under the authority of their fathers??”

    How far do you go, Mark? You can only go as far as your human perception, logicaly speaking, so let’s get back in line with reason, please!!

  177. Maybe you have proof Mark, based on some earthly culture that we should all be trained in where the “son” is forever subordinated to the “father”???

  178. There is NO WAY to humanly comprehened some eternal divine (heirarchal – subordinate) “father/son” relationship, therefore, man (humankind) cannot place himself above divine understanding. We need to stop where reason beckons.

  179. I just finished reading through both postings by Mark, as well as their respective comments. And I’m wondering if I should abandon the line of argument I began in Comment #168 on this posting, and try another tack. I wanted to first talk about–in agreement with Cheryl, Gengwall and Susanna–that an honest appraisal of the lexical and documentary evidence revealed that whether kephale was understood as “head of” or “head over” depended on whether it was used the context of Christ as the Sustainer of his Body, the Church (cf. Eph. 4:14-16 and 5:25-30) or Christ the Victor over the powers of darkness (cf. Eph. 1:18-23 and Colossians 2:8-12). And as far as definitive lexical works are concerned, when I was trained to translate and exegete the Greek New Testament, if there was a conflict between Thayer or Bauer as to a word’s meaning or etymology, then the matter was to be resolved by consulting the Lidell & Scott English/Greek Lexicon. It is a shame that Lidell & Scott has become less appreciated and valued due to the complementarian influence.

    In the discussions over how the complementarians use 1 Cor. 11:3 to “skew” the Trinity, I noticed that not once, either positively or negatively, did he refer to my earlier, two little “tomes” on the Trinity. I don’t know if that was because he was unwilling to interact with them, or because he didn’t consider them of any worth. And I still think he has to explain how the internal relationships between the Three Persons can only be differentiated or defined by their external and temporal roles as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.

    For the Father has always been the Father of the Son, but he became the Creator of all things; the Son has always been the Son of the Father, but he became the Savior of the world; the Spirit has always been the Spirit of God, binding the Godhead together in dynamic union and communion, but he became the Sanctifier. If the Father is above the Son and the Spirit because he is the Sender, and the Son and the Spirit are below the Father because they are the Sent, to whom were they sent before the creation that would result in this demotion of the Son and Spirit?

    Well, I must go to bed. It’s 1:00 am and I need to sleep and then decide on how I should procede in this discussion. Good night and God bless you all. Amen!

  180. Mark,
    You asked:

    Have you had much to do with the Christadelphian cult? If so, what are some good resources for understanding/ challenging their teaching?

    I will send you some information by email. I haven’t dealt with them for awhile as they are pretty scarce up here, but I know that we have information on them. Will have to dig up some information from our database and files. I will get back to you on that one within a couple of days, God willing.

  181. Mark,

    The question needs to be asked, does God use them himself to help us understand Him better. Of course he does- Ezekial 16 is a classic example.

    God certainly does show his care for us in word pictures, but this is a far cry from any claims that there is a hierarchy within the eternal Godhead. Try finding anyplace in the OT where the LORD God ever commands the LORD of hosts. It isn’t there. The LORD God does not ever take his authority over the other persons in the Trinity. Authority is taken over creation but not over Himself. These are faulty human ways that are this side of the fall and taint our own view of human relations. How much more do these views taint our view of who God is?

    If God has given us human analogies to help us, which he has, let’s use them to better understand Him and his word.

    But we must not add to the Scriptures things that are not there. Adding a commanding authority removes God from a loving relationship amongst the three to a required obedience that is different than the other wills. There is never any obedience required if their wills are in perfect harmony. How anyone could even think that the LORD God has to command the LORD of hosts in the eternal nature of the Trinity is beyond me.

    Frank,

    Thanks again for your insightful thoughts. I’m not sure what you mean by all scholars apart from Grudem and Co, but i have found very few, non egalitarian scholars who think that ‘source’ is the common meaning. I think that ‘beginning’ or pre-eminance are probably more common than ‘source’.

    Beginning, source and origin are synonyms.

    Main Entry: beginning
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: start of an event or action
    Synonyms:
    alpha, basis, birth, blastoff, commencement, creation, dawn, dawning, day one, genesis, inauguration, inception, induction, infancy, initiation, installation, introduction, kickoff, onset, opener, opening, origin, origination, outset, point of departure, preface, prelude, presentation, rise, root, rudiment, source, spring, square one, starting point, takeoff, threshold, top

  182. Frank, please do not think i have just ignored what you have said. As i said in my original post, 1 Cor 11 is not a primary text regarding the Trinity, so the basis of the passage should not be primarily based around it. Thus the reason why i haven’t necessarily gone so much into it here. But since there is so much tension around it now, i will briefly comment and hopefully give some ‘proof’ that others want.

    Dave, your little comment about Calvin can be between us. I’m sure the PTC would be appaled at such a statement, although it probably does have an element of truth :). Also i will be at PTC on Monday, got an exam in the morn.

    Now about the Trinity. I would first like to say that i believe God is unchanging. Therefore when i attempt to understand the Trinity i believe that the Father has been the Father from the beginning. Likewise with the Son and the Spirit in terms of ‘relations’ between the Three. Therefore whatever Jesus revealed to us about his Sonship in the NT, in my opinion is reflective of his person as the second member, since in terms of essence He cannot change. This has been from beginning to all eternity. Jesus did not become something ‘different’ at His incarnation in regards to His divinity. Hope we all agree upon that!

    Jesus is revealed as the Son of God (one of many titles) which reveals his unity with the Father in relation to ‘essence’ (Jn 10:30). However there are passages that refer to Jesus as the ‘Son’ before his incarnation (Rom 1:3-4, Gal 4:4) showing that what Jesus was at the incarnation in relation to his deity, he was before his incarnation. See also Jn 1:1-14 where “Word’ is obvious reference to the Son-Jesus. Note in verse 18 of Jn 1, the Son is refered to as in the ‘bosom of the Father’ which is in the present tense, expressing permanent being- from eternity to eternity (this is precisely what my quote of Calvin was dealing with)
    So what ever was His Godness in His incarnation is exactly that which was His Godness before his incarnation.

    Therefore the ‘kenosis’ debate of Phil 2 must conclude that Jesus did not lose anything that was divine in His incarnation, he was rather restricted by taking human flesh. So any attempt to use Phil 2 to show that Jesus was different in his Godness in His incarnation should be abandoned as it changes Christs deity, thus changing God.

    Combine this with the fact that the Father is not begotten, but the Son is (Jn 1:18, 3:16, 1 Jn 3:9) and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son (Jn 14:26, 16:7) aswell as the great eschatological passage of 1 Cor 15:20-28, and we begin to see the unity of the one God, expressed in the distinct subsistence of being. Therefore it is unsatisfactory to simply say that the Father is not the Son and vice verse. The bible teaches far more than simply that.

    So Jesus is of one substance with the Father, yet distinct in subsistence. Now i want people to prove from scripture and church history, how a subordination of subsistence leads to inferiority or un-equal in essence. The only ‘evidence’ i have seen for such a claim comes from ‘Discovering Biblical Equality’ that Frank quoted way back which is simply based on opinion, not scripture or history. It is simply an attempt to reject orthodox Trinitarian doctrine to favour an egalitarian interpretation, and thus needs to be challenged and condemned.

  183. I don’t know what I could possibly add. I’m still trying to understand how being a son (different in subsistence) can make one eternaly subordiante. Earthly son and father relationships don’t even consist of subordination throughout the entire relationship so where does the idea of it come from? Like what (relationship) can we look at to compare it to? It’s like saying oranges grown in purple. I don’t know how else to describe what I’m trying to say.

  184. Gal
    4But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

    Ro
    3regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

    However there are passages that refer to Jesus as the ‘Son’ before his incarnation (Rom 1:3-4, Gal 4:4)

    I cannot see how these verses show that Jesus was the “Son” before his incarnation. Galatians speaks of “born of a woman and under the law”, and Romans v4 speaks of his sonship through “the spirit of holiness.” So I cannot see the distinction that you say exists, Mark.

  185. It’s like you are saying, Mark that because he is the Son and not the Father therefore he is eternaly subordinated, simple as that (!!) yet sonship does not necessitate eternal subordination unless oranges are purple.

    What does sonship have to do with being eternaly under a father?? None of this son under father “subordination” stuff makes good sense.

  186. “Now i want people to prove from scripture and church history, how a subordination of subsistence leads to inferiority or un-equal in essence.”

    Does being a slave lead to inferiority? Or does inferiority lead to a subordination of subsistence? Your beginning with a subordinated Son (slave) rather than just a “Son”.

  187. It can be proven from scripture that inferiority of essence leads to inferiority of function. Gen. But it is backwards to question if subordination of subsistence leads to inferiority of essence.

  188. essence determines function not vise versa. I can now see why comps and egals debate all day long over saying that the Son cannot be inequal in function unless he is inequal in essence and why comps reply with inequality of function does not touch essence.

  189. The whole thing is beyond considering.

    Women are not to be sent by men to be crucified either physically or psychologically. The entire notion of the subordination of women must be treated as a pathology, a wrongful concept, and one that people need to recover from.

    We need to discuss the rehabilitation of men and women who have been hurt by the notion that women are to suffer for the sins of the world.

  190. Mark, when does your exam finish? Up for a coffee at 1pm?

    Mark, you said,

    “in my opinion is reflective of his person as the second member”

    This might seem petty, but I think this reflects pure tradition that simply serves to undermine your view of the Trinity. The members ar enot numbers in the Bible! This is not ‘Get Smart’ with agent # one and agent # two! By numbering the members of the Godhead you continue to view it as hierarchy that is not there!

    You also said,

    “Combine this with the fact that the Father is not begotten, but the Son is (Jn 1:18, 3:16, 1 Jn 3:9) and the Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son (Jn 14:26, 16:7) aswell as the great eschatological passage of 1 Cor 15:20-28, and we begin to see the unity of the one God, expressed in the distinct subsistence of being.”

    Now, it is so easy to see when someone goes silly with the concordance when they put a verse like 1 John 3:9 as a reference to the Son being begotton…because this is not what the verse is about at all!

    Your reference to 1 Cor 15:20-28 is interesting as it actually show the seperateness of the members (God the Father verse 24 has the kingdom delivered to Him from CHrist) AND the unity (For God – the Trinity, has put all things under His feet v.27).

    Mark it seems to me that your view of the Trinity only allows you to see the members seperate in certain situations and then as one in certain other situations. The truth is that they are one in all situations and three in all situations. You said yourself God is unchanging. If so you then need to apply this to His unity and His threeness!

    I am glad you can keep my view on Calvin secret! I am off to church!

  191. Actually I take some of that back Mark…

    “the Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son (Jn 14:26, 16:7)”

    You do seem to be able to see the Father AND the Son sending the Spirit (poor old #3). Why can you not accept that the Son sent the Son as well as the Father sending the Son? After all, something we can learn from Phil 2 is that he humbled HIMSELF.

  192. Dave wrote: “Mark it seems to me that your view of the Trinity only allows you to see the members seperate in certain situations and then as one in certain other situations. The truth is that they are one in all situations and three in all situations. You said yourself God is unchanging. If so you then need to apply this to His unity and His threeness!”
    Well put, Dave!
    Mark,
    It’s that picking and choosing of situations that non-ESS egals see as a problem…it’s that picking and choosing the ‘who to’ and ‘when to’ apply your ‘men’s roles’ and ‘women’s roles.’

    You can never completely separate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or you no longer have the Trinity. And if you cannot do that without spoiling the Godhead, how can you possibly pick and choose such sharply divided ‘roles’ and apply them to people?

  193. Mark,
    Earthly father/son relationships don’t even consist of subordination throughout the entire relationship. Or perhaps you believe they should exist that way – is that part of the faulty cultural influence you believe we egals are under?
    Do you believe that sons continually being in subordination to their fathers is the true way father/son relationships should be?

    I would think so since the Divine Father/Son relationship should be our true standard. It would be very inconsistant to apply it only to male/female or marriage relationships, but not to the actual model relationship itself.

  194. Kay said:

    Dave wrote: “Mark it seems to me that your view of the Trinity only allows you to see the members seperate in certain situations and then as one in certain other situations. The truth is that they are one in all situations and three in all situations. You said yourself God is unchanging. If so you then need to apply this to His unity and His threeness!”
    Well put, Dave!
    Mark,
    It’s that picking and choosing of situations that non-ESS egals see as a problem…it’s that picking and choosing the ‘who to’ and ‘when to’ apply your ‘men’s roles’ and ‘women’s roles.’

    You can never completely separate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or you no longer have the Trinity. And if you cannot do that without spoiling the Godhead, how can you possibly pick and choose such sharply divided ‘roles’ and apply them to people?

    Yes, excellent thoughts to both Dave and Kay!

  195. The problem of having an eternal father/son hierarchy based on earthy fathers and sons is that on earth the sons grow up and have their own individual will not having to be under the will of their fathers for all of their lives. When does the eternal LORD of hosts get to grow up? Why is his eternal “sonship” always and forever have to be under the control and will of another? This would mean that the sons here on earth are in a better position that the eternal “Son” who never has his will or his authority used in the Trinity. That is so far off the mark regarding the original understanding of the Trinity as you can get. The fact is that the all three persons in the Trinity have no disagreements regarding their will or their authority as they are all One in Will and Authority even though as persons they each have a will. IF we separate them by putting one as authority over the others, we are trying to force a time related concept into the eternal. This is not wise nor is it accurate.

  196. Hey ya all. You’ve been busy.

    Before Mark was trying to say that sometimes Paul referred to God, (theos) as the father.
    So in Marks attempt at establishing “hierarchy in the Godhead” he sees theos as Father?

    Guess what I’ve found? Thank you Jesus…

    Sometimes Paul referred to God (Theos) as Savior, Sometimes to Jesus as Savior.
    So in Marks way of understanding scripture, NOW Theos refers to the Son???

    Is God (Theos = Father) our Savior? Or is Jesus (Son) our Savior?
    Is God (Theos = Son) our Savior?
    Or is God (Theos = Father, Son, HolySpirit,) our Savior?

    Paul, in Titus, interchanges, “God (Theos) our Savior” with “Jesus our Savior.”

    Titus 1:3 …God our Savior.
    Titus 1:4 …the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
    Titus 2:10 …God our Savior.
    Titus 2:13 …great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.
    Titus 3:4 …God our Savior.
    Titus 3:6 …Jesus Christ our Savior.

    The NT consistently interchanges “God (Theos) our Savior” with “Jesus (Son) our savior.”

    God (Theos) our Savior

    Luke 1:47
    And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.

    1Timothy 2:3
    For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;

    Jude 1:25
    To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty…

    Jesus our Savior

    Acts 13:23
    …according to his promise raised unto Israel a Savior, Jesus.

    Philippians 3:20
    …from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

    2Peter 1:11
    …into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Hmmm?
    Sometimes Paul referred to God (Theos) as Savior, Sometimes to Jesus as Savior.

    So, maybe, Hehe, Where it says, “The head of Christ is God,”
    is not referring to the Father, but to the Son? 😉

    It could say, “The Head of Christ is the Son, Jesus.”

    Sorry – I still have this funny feeling that…

    Hierarchy in Godhead = lord it over = abuse = always

  197. Cheryl

    “You can never completely separate the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or you no longer have the Trinity. And if you cannot do that without spoiling the Godhead, how can you possibly pick and choose such sharply divided ‘roles’ and apply them to people?”

    Amen – If one is missing God is not complete.

  198. Dave

    “I beg to differ Amos Love. There are Complimentarians and Egalitarians in Christ – and they are equal…and yet…different…“

    Hehe. I beg to differ Dave. Don’t really care to beg but, “all things” being Egalitarian. 😉

    Will you answer the question for Gal 3:28?

    I still vote for “no Hierarchy in Christ” we’re all “one.”

    Ga 3:28
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free,
    there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Does this verse say male and female are equal in Christ?
    Or does this verse say, in Christ there is neither male nor female? “One.”

    Has male and female put down their worldly identity
    and taken another identity – Body of Christ? Hmmm? One?

    I still vote for “no Hierarchy in Christ” we’re all “one.”

    Neither male nor female.
    Neither Complimentarians nor Egalitarians.
    Neither Calvinists nor Armenians.
    Etc., etc..

  199. By the way

    Complimentarian and Egalitarian sounds like lawyer speak to me.

    And you know what jesus thought about lawyers.

    All that gnat and camel stuff. 😉

  200. Mark

    “adn it is heretical to think the Father was crucified on the cross.”

    Oh, mmm? not so sure bout that.

    John 10:38
    …that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

    John 17:21
    That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee,

    2Co 5:19
    To wit, that God (Theos) was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,
    (Theos = Father, Son, Holy spirit,)

    Col 2:9
    For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

    Where was the Father when Jesus went to the cross?
    In Him???

    “Likewise the Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son not vice verse.”

    Hmmm? Did the Spirit send Jesus to heal the broken hearted?

    Luke 4:18
    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;
    he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted…

  201. Dave

    Praise the Lord.

    Lot’s and lots of comments.

    Jesus warned us about “the Traditions of men.”

    Those “Traditions” are powerful stuff.

    They nullify the word of God. Wow!!!

    Be blessed…

  202. Hey all

    Interesting post here on 1st Timothy 2:12-15.

    NT/History blog

    http://www.billheroman.com/

    This is the first one – 12 – 7 – 09
    Owa Tafoo Lameye

    Say it out loud quickly. This weekend I drafted a nine post series on 1st Timothy 2:12-15. Now say it again. Owa Tafoo Lameye. Unless… maybe I can show all my personal cards before I get into the business. Be gentle with me. Here goes…

    On paper, I’m probably somewhere between a ‘comp’ and an ‘egal’. I’m not really sure. I was raised with traditional ideas of husbandry and responsibility, but in real life, I’m a pragmatic egalitarian. To me, it’s real simple – both in church and in marriage. If a sister in Christ wants to and can do something that helps in the body, or in the family, we absolutely should want her to do it, especially if she does it well! (I feel the same way about brothers. We shouldn’t generalize. We should specialize. Most of all, we should all get our exercise!)

  203. Thanks for the link A. Amos Love. He has a good point that I have been showing here for years in that we need to pay attention to the grammar. The singular and plural must not be disregarded.

  204. I am not sure if this is the best place to ask this question.
    In 1 Cor 11:3, I think I can understand the comments about man being the origin of the woman and relating this to v8.
    I think I understand how “God” (Godhead) is the origin of “Christ” in the incarnation.
    I am not sure that I understand how “Christ” is the origin of every man. If Paul is thinking of the creation of man, why did he use the term “Christ” rather than “Word” for example. It was emphasised in some comments how “Christ” refers to Jesus after his birth, but he didn’t create man then.
    Thanks.

  205. Great question.

    I am a new creation in Christ. I have been born again. I have died to myself in Christ and I have been made alive in Christ. Colossians and the “firstfruits” of creation also come to mind.

    I enjoyed reading back through these comments. Did we have a hoot with Mark or what? Ahhh the good ole days.

    I had completely forgotton about “barbiblog”.

    Got any pictures Cheryl?

  206. Dave,
    I was reading back through some as well this morning – felt the same way. I’ve been so blessed by the conversations here! So, glad to have “met” you and many others on this blog.

  207. Thanks Dave. I can see how that would make sense of the Christ and man bit in v3 and “head” would have a similar meaning of “origin” in each of the three relationships.
    Regarding the wife and husband(or woman and man) bit in v3, if Paul is referencing Adam and Eve, I can see how Adam was the origin of Eve. I can see how this is the same thought as v8.
    But then I get to v5 and run into a bit of trouble connecting the thought of v3 with “every wife” (or woman) having a husband who is her head in v5. To put it another way, Paul moves nicely from every man having a head (Christ) in v3 to every man who…..dishonors his head (Christ) in v4.
    It would be easier for me to follow if Paul was talking about “every wife (rather than just Eve) having a head (husband) in v3 to every wife who…….dishonors her head (husband) in v5.
    Also, the way in which Adam was the origin of Eve, would seem quite different from the way every other husband is head.
    Any thoughts to help my confusion? Thanks.

  208. The only help I can offer before I scamper off to church is to say that it is a very confusing passage! I find it so, anyway.

    It is great that you brought verse 8 into it and are looking at the wider context of the words. At some point I think we need to realise that Paul is talking about some cultural traditions that made sense then but not so much now.

    In light of that, verses 11 and 12 are interesting as they apply to us in Christ now – Paul at this point cuts through tradition to the reality of the way things truly are. I know others can explain these verses better than I…and I have to go and toddle off to church! If nobody does answer your questions (which I find unlikely!) I will do so when I have more time.

  209. Craig,
    Consider it like this: the origin of every man is Christ – Christ is the agent of God in creation. In I Cor 8:6 Paul has just affirmed that Jesus Christ is the one “through whom are all things.”
    The origin of woman is man – Gen 2:;21-23. Woman is “taken out of man .”
    The origin of Christ is God – Jesus is Lord. Jesus
    comes from God. The origin of Jesus is God.
    We use the familiar phrase “the head-waters of a river.” The phrase does not affirm that the water which flows into the Nile is ‘created’ by Lake Victoria but rather, it flows from Lake Victoria. In the same way, “origin of” can here be seen as an affirmation of the divine source from which Jesus has come and affirmation of His divinity.

  210. Hi guys,

    I am back! I took a hiatus for a bit ’cause the marriage/submission issue was a bit too much for me and I needed to take some time to breath.

    Breath in, breath out…yup, I think I am doing better. And I LOVE the comic relief here. Thanks Dave!

    And I miss Mark too! We have had a great time discussing things especially when Mark would come over to poke us a few times. It kept things lively.

    Sorry for being gone for so long. Glad y’all kept the fires burning without me.

  211. Dave,
    You answered Craig this way:

    I am a new creation in Christ. I have been born again. I have died to myself in Christ and I have been made alive in Christ. Colossians and the “firstfruits” of creation also come to mind.

    Good answer. Jesus is the one who gives life and as such he is our source. I also think about this verse concerning Jesus:

    John 1:9 (NAS)
    9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

  212. Craig,
    You said:

    It would be easier for me to follow if Paul was talking about “every wife (rather than just Eve) having a head (husband) in v3 to every wife who…….dishonors her head (husband) in v5.
    Also, the way in which Adam was the origin of Eve, would seem quite different from the way every other husband is head.
    Any thoughts to help my confusion? Thanks.

    Paul’s passage is certainly confusing as “head” is used in several different ways from literal to a couple of metaphors so one needs to pay close attention and still Paul is so “deep” that it isn’t easy. In verse 5 we see Paul using “head” both physically and metaphorically:

    1 Corinthians 11:5 (NAS)
    5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.

    In what way is every husband “head” of his wife? I believe that Paul is referencing back the “source” of the first wife as coming from her husband and connecting this to a “one flesh” unity in the body. Since every husband is connected to his wife as a “one flesh” union, the metaphor of a united body in a unity of function and purpose would make sense to me. So every husband is “head” as part of the unity of the body for the reason that the first man was the source of his wife so that what was one physical flesh would be reunited to one emotionally attached flesh. If we are still one emotionally attached flesh as the body is bothy physically and emotionally attached, then what one does affects the other.

    The attachment of the head and body in the area of head coverings was part of the shame based culture. A woman without a head covering in public would be seen as a direct way for her to shame her husband as she would be seen as one who is unfaithful. The wife is so connected to the husband’s honor as a body is intimately connected to the head, that what she does or does not do affects him too either giving him honor or bringing him shame. It is a connection for Paul that brings in both origin and interdependence.

    In verse 8 we see Paul referencing back to verse 3 with the issue of origins.

    1 Corinthians 11:8 (NAS)
    8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man;

    And then in verse 11 he switches to the interdependency of body to the head with neither independent of the other.

    1 Corinthians 11:11 (NAS)
    11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.

    It is quite a brilliant argument, but it is very deep. It means that neither the man or the woman can claim a “first place” status. Both are interdependent on each other with the origin of woman through the man, but the origin of all men since that time as through the woman. We are interdependent on each other as a body nourishes itself with no member claiming a special status as if they were independent of needing the rest of the body. For all of us are on the same level with interdependence and only the first cause or source of all is to have first place.

    1 Corinthians 11:12 (NAS)
    12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.

  213. For all you he-men types who need another way to see this issue of interdependence without the frills of a barbiblog caricature, here goes:

    ostrich-head

  214. Thanks Dave, Kay and Cheryl for your responses. There are still some things going way over my head, and I am struggling to get my head around them:)
    On the “sister” post to this one, @ 19 Gengwall wrote,
    “1 Cor 11 is a little different animal. The body is not in view so we can’t use the anatomical context. That doesn’t mean 1 Cor 11 is speaking of hierarchical relationships. Ironically, that is why “source” fits so well there, but doesn’t exactly fit in Ephesians 5. But that is a discussion better left to the sister post of this one.”
    On this post @ 252 Cheryl wrote concerning 1 Cor 11,
    “The wife is so connected to the husband’s honor as a body is intimately connected to the head”,
    Am I correct in thinking that Cheryl is seeing the husband/wife in a head/body metaphor relationship in 1 Cor 11:5 just as in Eph 5, wheras Gengwall is not?

  215. Craig, you are right in picking that up. I see Paul use “head” in three different ways in 1 Cor. 11. That is part of what makes it so hard to follow, but it really makes sense to me. The key meaning of “head” in the passage is source as that is what Paul starts with and he later goes on to make it unmistakable by saying that the woman came through the man (her physical source) but that all men now come through a woman (the man’s physical source).

    Into the mix Paul introduces cultural and spiritual shame. It was a cultural shame for a woman to be bareheaded, yet it was a spiritual shame for a man to wear on his head the symbol of the shame of his sin. After all coming to God in apparent humility (needing a covering) dishonors our spiritual covering. Because Paul goes back and forth between the real physical head to a metaphorical head and back and forth between cultural shame and spiritual shame, the passage has been notorious for its difficulty in following Paul’s thought. One thing that can help is to look for the connection. What “connects” man to Christ, what connects the woman to man and what connects Christ to God? The thing that connects them all in a similar way is called a “head”.

    Then think how a man is so connected to his metaphorical “head” that the connection can cause shame by what he does (i.e. he wears a symbol of sin when his sin has been taken care of by his “head”). Think about how a woman is so connected to her “head” that what she does can shame him (by choosing to honor Christ by removing her symbol of shame, she can dishonor her other “head” with her bare head which is a cultural symbol of an adulterous woman).

    Then think about how man and woman is so connected together than one is honored as source in the beginning and the other is honored as source for all men now (think mother’s day).

    Then think about how our connectedness that makes us as having an interdependence with each other leads us to look beyond each other to the one who we are connected to as our original source and through whom everything came into being and through whom all holds together.

    I think that the idea of connectedness is very strong in the passage and our connectedness comes both through our origin with one humanity and not two humanities, our needing each other and needing the gifts that God brings through each gender, must bring us to the conclusion that we need each other so that neither gender is disregarded just as neither gender is to be elevated as “lord” and sole source. For our sole source is to be traced back not to the first man, but to the last Adam who is our God and creator of all.

    So if you ponder on how each part and each verse shows the connection between two things that shows how honor and shame can be a byproduct of how we handle the connection, it might help.

    I find Paul to be one who looks at a problem from every angle possible thus he uses each meaning for “head” in the passage and by looking at all angles his argument becomes bullet-proof and brilliant. Paul was indeed a “deep” thinker who used his skills in argument to trace everything back to God.

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