In this fourth part of my response to Matt Slick’s article called “Genesis 2, Adam and Eve, and Authority”, I am going to deal directly with Matt’s comments regarding authority and created order. Matt writes:
Still, the egalitarians will object and say that an absolute and total equality in all things exists between men and women in the church and the created order and Adam’s naming animals and naming Eve has nothing to do with it. But, is that what is implied in Paul’s words in 1 Tim. 2:12-14? “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.” Notice that Paul says he does not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man because Adam was created first, then Eve. Obviously, in the mind of Paul the issue of authority is tied to the created order. This is not merely a cultural phenomenon.
Notice first of all that Mr. Slick uses the words “imply” and “implied” in his article. The reason that he has to do this is because scripture does not directly say that Adam had authority over Eve or that the man is to have authority while the woman is not. While 1 Timothy 2:13 does say that Adam was created first, the direct connection is to deception and “not deceived” not authority. While Slick says “Obviously, in the mind of Paul the issue of authority is tied to the created order” he cannot tell us what is in the “mind” of Paul other than what Paul actually tells us. Paul does not use the “normal” word for authority in 1 Timothy 2:12 which is “exousia”. “Exousia” means permission, authority, right, liberty, power to do something. Instead of the “normal” word for authority that Paul uses in his epistles, what Paul prohibits in 1 Timothy 2:12 is “authenteo” which is not even close to being a “normal” word for authority. In fact this unique word is never used again in the New Testament and Paul never gives males the right to “authenteo” anyone. So while Mr. Slick can believe that Paul is talking about a male right to have authority, Paul does not tie the prohibition into a “right” that belongs to someone else. Rather than tying the prohibition into a “right” that is withheld from women and given to men, Paul says nothing about anyone’s right to have authority. Instead, Paul ties the prohibition into the deception of the second one created and the non-deception of the first one created. The prohibition has everything to do with deception, not a right to authority.
Notice in Mr. Slick’s comments above that he does not comment on verse 14. He fails to tie the prohibition into deception and he makes it appear that Paul is giving the male the right to “authenteo”. This argument is seriously flawed because he does not reveal that neither Adam nor any man is given a right to “authenteo” any person either in or out of the church. What is forbidden to “a woman” in verse 12 is not given as a right to anyone else either.
Next Mr. Slick leaves “authenteo” aside and he tries to tie “exousia” from 1 Corinthians 11:10 to males alone. 1 Corinthians 11: 8-10 says:
8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
Mr. Slick comments about these verses:
Authority is a huge issue with him. Notice that Paul says a woman is to have a symbol of authority upon her. Why? Because Adam was created first. Primacy in origin is related to authority.
Is “primacy in origin” related to authority? Not at all. First of all, Paul is not talking about “primacy” in origin in these verses. In the 1 Corinthians 11 passage, Paul is talking about equality and not primacy because in verses 11 and 12 which Mr. Slick has failed to include in his quote, Paul says that men now come from women. There is no primacy of one over another, but rather the primacy belongs to God:
1 Corinthians 11:11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.
1 Corinthians 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.
Secondly, Mr. Slick says that a woman is to have “a symbol of authority” upon her showing the male’s primacy of creation, yet 1 Corinthians 11:10 says nothing of the sort in the Greek. The words “symbol of” have been added to the English however they are not in the original. The inspired word is not a “symbol” but “exousia” (authority). The woman herself is to have “exousia” or “authority”. The term “exousia” is never used in the New Testament as a term where a person is under someone else’s authority. Rather it is always used for the person’s own permission, authority, right, liberty, power to do something. Zodhiates WordStudy Dictionary says that this word “denies the presence of a hindrance, it may be used either of the capability or the right to do a certain action. The words exesti and exousia combine the two ideas of right and might. As far as right, authority, or capability is concerned, it involves ability, power, strength.”
So Paul in the inspired text is saying that the woman has the right, authority, ability, power and strength to make the decision over her own head, because of the angels. Why on earth would Paul give the woman the right and the authority to make her own decision regarding her own head and tie this in with the angels? All we have to do is go back a few chapters to what Paul has already told us about the angels and it becomes very clear. Paul said earlier in chapter 6:
1 Corinthians 6:1 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?
1 Corinthians 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?
1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?
Paul gives the woman the authority to make the decision about what she wears or doesn’t wear on her head because she will also be judging the angels in the next life. If she will have such weighty responsibility because she too will be judging the angels in the next life, surely she should have the responsibility and the authority in this life to make the decision over a relatively minor “matter of this life” decision regarding what she does or doesn’t wear on her head.
Rather than Paul saying that she is under someone’s authority and that she has no decision making authority because she was created second, 1 Corinthians chapter eleven requires that the woman is to have authority over her own head because of her equal position in the next life as one of the saints who will judge the angels.
I will continue the refutation of Matt Slick’s article in the next post. For previous blog posts regarding the refutation of this same article, see: