Shall the husband rule? Or not? Tom the complementarian has challenged and strongly criticized my view. This post is the last part of his remarks. The last of his comments are in direct response to Pinklight, one of the commenters on this blog. Tom has labeled me as a bigot because of my view of mutual submission in Ephesians 5:21-22.
Pinklight: It doesn’t have anything to do with whether Eve’s nature changed. That is because the Bible does not say that. It just says, the husband shall rule. Then, in the New Testament, the passages about submission and covering refere (sic) to
1. the order of creation,
2. the woman being deceived and in the transgression.
That’s all God has told us. See?–what we have to do is not go beyond Scripture and start arguing over surmises and speculations and reading between the lines. Just, “What has my Lord said?”
I would like to challenge Tom to answer these questions:
#1 In Genesis 3:16 “he will rule” is in the imperfect
yiqtōl (imperfect) — The prefixed conjugation in Hebrew. The prefixed conjugation denotes the imperfective aspect of the verb. That is, it views the action of the verb from the inside or from the perspective of the action’s unfolding. This imperfective aspect can speak of (depending on context) habitual actions, actions in progress, or even completed actions that have unfolding, ongoing results.
Heiser, M. S., & Setterholm, V. M. (2013; 2013). Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology. Lexham Press
The grammar of the inspired text has the imperfect aspect for “he will rule.” This shows “the action from the inside or from the perspective of the action’s unfolding” (not action mandated as a command). The text does not state that God has made Adam rule over the woman, nor does God tell the woman that she is to submit to him as ruler over her, so how do you balance the original text where God said that both man and woman are to rule the earth (Genesis 1:26) with your view that God has made the man as the woman’s ruler?
#2 Isn’t the order of creation in the Old Testament about unity and a mate that is corresponding to him, rather than about a ruler and one to be ruled?
#3 Isn’t the deception of Eve a result of the man who was not deceived failing to protect the woman who was deceived? Doesn’t God curse the earth because of the man’s sin, the one who knew the truth and was silent? Why would God place a man who refused to protect his innocent wife, now to be the ruler over her?
#4 The order of creation in 1 Timothy 2 is stated as important, but isn’t that order speaking about deception and the deceived rather than a prohibition against godly Christian women who are not deceived?
#5 Haven’t you gone beyond the Scripture when you put words of command into the mouth of God that He has not commanded? Is it possible that you have surmised, speculated, and read between the lines? Wouldn’t God have clearly told us that the woman was created to be ruled over if that was what He really meant? Why can’t we just take God at His word? Why can’t we understand that He told what Adam would do in his sinful nature? Why cannot we just understand that God did not command Eve to be in obedience to the sinful man who had not protected her against the serpent, but that He just told her what she was going to have to endure in the future?
I have sent these posts to Tom to allow him to provide answers. I hope that he does stop by again and answer the questions. Comments are always open to those who would like to comment respectfully.