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.
Part 1 answering Tom is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here. Below are the final comments from Tom (part four)
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?”
It seems that everywhere we look these days, complementarian men are quoting the act of creation as God’s intention to put the women underneath the rule of the man. They are also quick to note that there are two different kinds of rulership of the male. The first kind of male rule is that of an autocrat, tyrant or despot who rules in spite of the woman’s own will or intention. This kind of rule, they say, is not what is taught by Christian men. The second kind of rulership is described by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as headship and this is defined as “two spiritually equal human beings, man and woman, the man bears the primary responsibility to lead the partnership in a God-glorifying direction.” (pg 95 Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood a Response to Evangelical Feminism edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem). The difference between the two rulerships is that one allows the man to rule the woman for his own benefit and the other rulership has the man ruling the woman for the benefit of God as a God-ordained spiritual leader.
Let’s unpack this down to the presuppositions that are required to form the foundation of the God-ordained male rule. This post will consider the first two claims of male-only rule: …
Phil Johnson over at Pyromaniacs has struck up some heat on a post that he titles “The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of the Discernment Divas”. In this post and in his subsequent comments he makes his position plain that women are not allowed to publicly point out an error of a “duly ordained pastor”. Phil classifies many “housewives and homeschool moms” as bad discerners who are discernment divas. These “divas” believe that God has called them into a ministry of discernment but their abilities are not in rational understanding of doctrinal truth but an ability “to use a really sharp tongue” which Phil says is counter productive and embarrassing. Phil doesn’t seem to mind that this may offend a lot of women as he tells Friel that he is a descendent of the John Knox clan. It was John Knox who offended more than a few when he wrote the book The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women in 1558. In this book, Knox wrote that women compared to men were blind, weak, sick, impotent, mad, frenetic and their counsel is foolish. …
In a recent blog post, there has been some discussion on 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 in the comment section, and the question of whether “a woman” is generic woman or a specific woman. I always appreciate questions and challenges on my position as it continually pushes me to continue to do research in order to answer the questions that are posed to me.
The question that was posed to me was regarding “a woman” and whether there is any proof that she is a particular woman that Timothy was aware of. The reason the question was asked is because in 1 Timothy 2:14 “the woman” is referenced and it is clear from the grammar that this is not Eve because “the woman” is still in the after effects of her transgression and her deception and since Eve is dead, her transgression is not on-going. A similar situation is in 1 Timothy 2:15 where “she” will be saved…if… The grammar is future tense and again it is impossible for this to be Eve as Eve is dead and gone and her salvation cannot be in the future and conditional. …
Yesterday I received two polar opposite views of Ephesians 5:22 by email. One was from “NN” who has responded here in the past. He is a complementarian who has commented on authority in marriage, one of a handful of complementarians who have been willing to give their views on women on this blog in a respectful manner. …
While God is Sovereign, some men believe that they can set a limit on God’s gifts. In the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s doctrinal stand, they believe that God is allowed to distribute gifts to men and women alike with the gifts listed in 1 Cor. 12:4-26 but that He does not gift women with the gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 or 1 Peter 4:10, 11 for those gifts are for men alone. Randy Stinson and Christopher Cowan writing an article for the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood a work of CBMW write that: …
In our continuing topic of common objections to women in ministry, the objection is raised that women cannot have authority in the church since wives are under their husband’s authority. The concern is that if women had leadership roles in the church, then their leadership role would be in submission to their own husbands. So instead of women making individual decisions, their husbands would be the ones making the decisions for them and the wives would be obligated to obey.
The objection comes from the theory that the husband is the ruler of the wife so that any decision she would make in a leadership role outside the home would come under his control. In essence, it is believed that women’s leadership in the church would result in their own husbands leading through their wives and how would that look if he was an unbeliever? …
The 2010 Together for the Gospel conference is on right now as I write this article. The conference this year is called The Unadjusted Gospel and according to J. Ligon Duncan III’s blog post on CBMW’s blog, complementarianism is a necessary testimony of the Gospel that cannot be denied or the witness of the Gospel is damaged. While the T4G conference is affirming The Unadjusted Gospel, at the same time they are continuing in their pattern to adjust the Gospel to add in complementarianism.
Instead of seeing Christians united on the Gospel while having charity and grace on the non-essentials, the T4G conference has once again chosen to separate from other Christians over non-essentials and made complementarianism such a necessity that it is introduced as the fulfillment of Biblical teachings that make this doctrine essential as a witness to the Gospel. …
In our continuing topic of common objections to women in ministry, we come to the claim that Eve usurped Adam’s authority when she spoke to the serpent. To deal with this claim, we will be looking at both the claim that Eve rebelled against Adam in the garden and the claim that God gave Adam a responsibility to lead that He clearly denied to Eve.
In chapter 3 of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood written by Raymond C. Ortlund Jrheadship is defined as a right that the man possesses to lead women in a God-glorifying direction. Ortlund writes:
First, the issue is framed in terms of “equal rights.” That sounds noble, but does God really grant husbands and wives equal rights in an unqualified sense? Surely God confers upon them equal worth as His image-bearers. But does a wife possess under God all the rights that her husband has in an unqualified sense? As the head, the husband bears the primary responsibility to lead their partnership in a God-glorifying direction. Under God, a wife may not compete for that primary responsibility. It is her husband’s just because he is the husband, by the wise decree of God. The ideal of “equal rights” in an unqualified sense is not Biblical.
According to Ortlund’s definition of head, women are not allowed by God to have any part in “competing” with men for the responsibility of leading. This is where the idea comes from that Eve sinned against Adam by taking a leading position. According to this complementarian thinking Eve usurped Adam’s authority and his responsibility to lead the relationship. But is this Biblical fact or complementarian fiction? The only way that we will know is to test this truth claim by the Scriptures.
Is there any Biblical text that gives rules and regulations for Eve regarding who she can talk to? Are there also any Biblical texts that show that Eve could not make any decisions on her own without consulting with her husband?
Another reason some complementarians claim for denying women opportunities to minister in the church is that it is said that women are more easily deceived than men so men alone are permitted to minister in the church. A good example of this kind of rationale is found here with this excerpt:
But why should Eve’s being beguiled in the Garden of Eden cause Paul to say that women should be silent in church? The answer must be that women in general have a tendency to be more easily duped than men. Because of this tendency, they are not to be teachers, or preachers, or hold an office (which implies authority) in church. …
…we must remember that Paul clearly states that women are to remain silent in church because of the creation order and because Eve was deceived.
Is Paul really saying that women are more easily deceived than men? Let’s examine the text:
1 Timothy 2:14 (NASB) And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
Paul clearly says that “Adam was not deceived” but in 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul specifically lists Eve by name as the one who was deceived:
2 Corinthians 11:3, 4 (NASB)
4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
So is Paul really saying that Eve was created with a “tendency” to be easily deceived? No, that would be reading into the text something that is not there. Rather than describing a flaw in God’s design of the woman that provided for a deceived Eve, the emphasis is on the cunning, craftiness and trickery of the one who deceived her. She was not created as one who was easily deceived. She was deceived through the cunning, manipulative trickery that was a masterful job in deceiving the very first woman.
Complementarian Arguments – Has the Greek Grammar been refuted?
According to those who have been followed a trail left by our old friend Neopatriarch (who many of you may recall was the young complementarian who used to post challenges on this blog until he left in exasperation when his arguments didn’t make the grade), he has apparently been presently himself recently on several discussion boards as the one who has refuted my exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. How interesting that he has been refuted time and time again and is still claiming victory. Also how interesting that he has picked me as the one who has the exegesis that has to be refuted. Well, I am quite flattered by all of his attention, and even though he is undoubtedly a very intelligent young man, his attempts to refute my sound argument have only called attention to my argument. I guess I should say thanks.
Let’s have a look at Neopatriarch’s latest edition of his “refutation” of my exegesis. Neopatriarch’s latest revision says:
How is it that there are millions of Christians who all look to the same Genesis account yet find themselves with different and contradictory truth claims from the same account? While many conclude that man was designed in a special way that sets him above the woman with special God-given privileges, there are still many others who conclude that God created both man and woman as equal rulers over creation. We all need to be careful that we don’t just see what we want to see because there is a tendency for each one of us to read our own position into the account. But as Christians, we should desire to value truth above all else for it is God’s design that we want to discover, not mankind’s aberration of God’s design.
As we search diligently in the creation account in Genesis, we look for how God conveyed His design differences to the attention of the first man and woman. Did the man know that he had been designed differently? Did he know that his design gave him special privileges that were withheld from his wife because she did not have the same design? And was it conveyed to Eve that she was not on the same level as Adam? According to Ray Ortlund, God gave the man a special mission, and a special “call” to accomplish and the woman had a special mission to please him. …
Another common objection to women in ministry is the claim that when women speak and lead publicly it dishonors men.
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) speaks of this as dishonoring the “calling” of men:
We would say that the teaching inappropriate for a woman is the teaching of men in settings or ways that dishonor the calling of men to bear the primary responsibility for teaching and leadership. This primary responsibility is to be carried by the pastors or elders. Therefore we think it is God’s will that only men bear the responsibility for this office. (pg 64 online version)
One thing that we can notice from the quote above is that CBMW says “we think it is God’s will…”. The fact that they don’t know for sure is telling. …
One of the first objections to women in ministry is the fact that Jesus chose only males as his twelve apostles. If Jesus only chose men for this special “class” of people who were to be His witnesses of the resurrection, then didn’t Jesus show by this act that He does not allow women to minister in the church as men alone are to have a special position of authority?
I would like to suggest that Jesus deliberately chose men as part of the group of 12 who were to be witnesses to the resurrection since these men were to be witnesses to the world while Jesus assigned women to be the first witnesses to the church. …
One of the problems with the definitions that complementarians provide is that the definitions aren’t complete enough on the surface to reveal the underlying hierarchical nature. However, when one pushes to get the answers to some difficult questions, the picture becomes a lot clearer. The clearer picture shows the complementarian stand to be a male bias inside the pretty outer package of complementarian wording. However, when the veil is pulled back, a contradictory view is shown which views an inequality in God’s design of humanity. In addition, their man-made restriction is also placed on God Himself in how He is allowed to express Himself through half of humanity. Let me give a few of examples of the pretty package and then we will dissect the statements. The examples are all from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW). …
It is important to realize, when reading Baxter and the Puritans, that there was no guarded language when speaking of how the Christian household ought to look like. They simply assumed the clear, biblical teaching of a husband’s authority in the family and a wife’s joyful submission. So then, at one level, Baxter’s direction for women wouldn’t sound too different than John Piper’s or Wayne Grudem’s.
However, Baxter, in a way that Puritans are known for, approaches the heart of the wife. What would cause a wife to rebel against the biblical mandate to follow the leadership of the husband? Baxter gives a few reasons:
1. Failure to believe God’s will is best. God’s design for the Christian family, which includes the structure of authority and submission, is best! God is wise and we, as sinners, need divine wisdom. He writes, “Who are you to assess God’s Word in a way different than his own qualifications.” What Baxter means is, we are to allow God?s Word to explain itself in its own terms. We must not explain away difficult, but clear, instruction. As Christians, we must trust God’s counsel for the home. Failure to trust God’s will can only bring turmoil and unrest.
According to Baxter, we as sinners need divine wisdom. And where does that wisdom reside? The wisdom for the wife and for the home apparently resides in the husband who exercises God’s will through the man’s own authority. Is this really the “clear” teaching of God’s word? Let’s test this by the Word of God in Proverbs 31. In verse 10 we see what is defined as an “excellent wife”. Let’s consider verses 10-12:
Prov 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
Prov 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.
Prov 31:12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
Instead of setting the wife up as one who finds divine wisdom alone in the man, these verses show that it is her husband’s heart that finds trust in her. Notice that it doesn’t say that her husband takes authority over her or that she has no wisdom from God on her own. Proverbs lists her as a woman who is wise and who uses her wisdom to do good for him.
I am creating a new post to continue the great discussion that we have been having on a previous post while I am out of the country. The original discussion is on this post https://mmoutreach.org/wim/2009/07/05/wayne-grudem-part-2/ and since we have grown to over 240 comments, I would ask that we continue our discussions with Mark the complementarian here.
Those who argue for the permanent subordination of women will frequently use the argument that Adam named the animals and that this showed his unique “role” given to him by God.
In a CBMW article written by Bruce Ware, Dr. Ware makes it clear that Adam was given authority in the beginning of creation that the woman was not given.
Under the heading B. Fallen Disruption of God’s Created Design, Dr. Ware states that there is an authority given to Adam at creation that is not given to Eve.
Gen. 3:15-16 informs us that the male/female relationship would now, because of sin, be affected by mutual enmity. In particular, the woman would have a desire to usurp the authority given to man in creation…
What authority is Ware talking about? Both the man and the woman were explicitly given the rule over animals in Genesis chapter one. However Ware believes that no one knows how Eve was going to rule, but Adam was special, and as the designated ruler of the world he had the right to rule by naming the animals. Ware writes:
Challenging my position that 1 Timothy 2:15 is a single woman
Neopatriarch has taken a second stab at trying to refute my teaching on 1 Timothy 2:11-15 as he has rewritten his article. Once again he has failed to poke a hole in my argument, but this time, he has dropped the charge that I am exasperating. Good for Neopatriarch for taking a much kinder tone in his introduction! He now calls it his “canned response.” From reading the comments, it appears that Neopatriarch has come to the understanding that brothers and sisters in Christ can argue their position passionately without attacking the other person’s character and their motives. This is certainly a change in his approach, and I commend him for that.
I must also give Neopatriarch credit for trying to answer my interpretation when others who make their living off of promoting the complementarian message just run and hide. However, Neopatriarch has major flaws in his argument, and his argument fails to present contradictions or holes in my own argument, so I am very pleased to be able to present this second refutation of Neopatriarch’s attempt to tear down my argument.
I will start my response by saying that I have no doubt that Neopatriarch is a brother in Christ. However, on the issue of patriarchy, he is dead wrong. It is a loving thing to confront a brother in Christ with his errors so that he can learn from his mistakes. I am certain that Neopatriarch continues to read my blog, even though he doesn’t want to post here any longer, and since my blog seems to have a higher following, I am posting my response here.
At this time I would also like to commend Mike Seaver for his willingness to debate me in this public setting. I do not take this kind of bravery for granted. Although Mike’s answers were not very weighty, the fact that he was willing to work with me to bridge the gap between complementarians and egalitarians was truly a remarkable act on his part. Hats off to Mike for being brave, loving and kind!
Now back to Neopatriarch’s second attempt at refuting me. Neopatriarch writes:
Schatz’s view has cropped up in various discussion groups like CARM and Worthy Boards, and, you might see it in various blogs as well. If you’re thinking about engaging her in a debate or discussion, you might first want to listen to this debate between her and Matt Slick:
On July 27th, 2009 Mike Seaver and I started a ten session debate on Women in Ministry where I was able to ask Mike questions on his position, he answered my questions and then we each had one response. Mike is still considering whether he will continue with another ten sessions where Mike will ask me questions, and I get the privilege to answer his questions on women in ministry.
Today I would like to summarize the ten sessions that I had with Mike. …
There is a good natured debate going on over at the Women in Ministry blog conference at the Presbyterian church in Ryde blog between myself and Peter Barnes. Those who would like to watch an Aussie and a Canadian duke it out over the issue of whether there is a “law” that forbids women to teach the bible to men can see the “brawl” (tooth and nail fight!) happening on this post linked here.
In the meantime I am visiting with my elderly folks for the next few days and will be in and out of my own blog as I have time as I also try to make time to help an Aussie realize that all of his arguments are invalid 🙂
In the last blog post, Cheryl Schatz posed her fifth set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their discussion/debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post. This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #5 and Mike’s rejoinder. Mike’s matching blog post is here. …
Women in Ministry Debate – Does God Contradict Himself?
This is question #5 of a 10 question discussion/debate between Mike Seaverand Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry. The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz. Each question and answer session will be followed up in the next post by one response each from both Mike and Cheryl. Links to the questions and the responses will be at the bottom of this post.
In the last blog post Cheryl Schatz posed her third set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post. This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #3 and Mike’s rejoinder.
Are Witnesses and Repetition needed to Prove Women may not teach the Bible?
In the last blog post, Cheryl Schatz posed her second set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their discussion/debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post. This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #2 and Mike’s rejoinder.
Regarding Mike’s denial that there is a need for a law to have a second witness:
Facing the spiritual “law” head-on from 1 Corinthians 14
In the last post, Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz started a discussion/debate on women in ministry. Here is a link to Cheryl’s Question #1given to Mike. This post will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers and Mike’s response to Cheryl’s response. Mike’s corresponding post on his Role Calling blog is here.
Cheryl responds to Mike’s answers:
God’s law is always clear and distinct. Paul explained in 1 Cor. 14 that a word that is not clear is as useless as speaking into the air with no one to hear or understand. Similarly, a law that is not clear or distinct has no power to prepare a person to identify sin, keep away from sin and judge sin. The clearness of God’s law prevents us from misunderstanding what God requires. God has blessed us with a clear message and the clearness of the message guides our conduct.
On the contrary, an unclear word produces confusion, disagreement amongst Christians and an inability to prepare for spiritual warfare.
1 Cor 14:7 Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp?
1 Cor 14:8 For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?
1 Cor 14:9 So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.
I have noticed how useful Paul’s words are for judging false interpretations about the law. Whenever I have asked complementarians to point to the “law” that forbids women from speaking in the congregation, I have noticed the indistinct sounds that come forth without a consensus among complementarians about where this “law” is to be found or even what the “law” forbids. Instead, we hear indistinct words like “probably” “possibly” “seems to be” “not absolute” “likely” “general pattern”. Not only is there no “distinct” and “clear” law that can be pointed to in the Old Testament, but no matter what is “guessed” for the original location of such a “law”, complementarians are unable to explain how the wording of the OT quote qualifies as a law. How does the account of the creation of the woman provide the basis for such a “law” (no other law is ever stated in such an unclear fashion) or what the law even mean?…
Today is the first post of a discussion between Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry. The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz. The format will be as follows:
Post 1 – Question #1 by Cheryl then answer by Mike
Post 2 – Response to Mike’s answer by Cheryl and rejoinder by Mike
Post 3 – Question #2 by Cheryl then answer by Mike
Post 4 – Response to Mike’s answer by Cheryl and rejoinder by Mike
This format will continue until all five questions have been posed and answered with responses by both parties. After this Mike poses questions to Cheryl, and the order above will be reversed until all five questions have been answered and responded to by both Mike and Cheryl. Mike and Cheryl will both be posting the discussions on each of their blogs. Cheryl’s blog is Women in Ministry, and Mike’s blog is Role Calling. Mike’s corresponding post on debate question #1 is here.
We hope that the respectful dialog that Mike and Cheryl have will be thought-provoking. Both of our blogs will be open for comments although our ability to respond to the comments may be limited due to our busy schedules. We just ask those who would like to comment feel free to do so making sure to keep on topic and with no personal attacks. God willing the discussion will be Christ-like and respectful even though both of us will be passionately arguing from our own viewpoint. We are hopeful that this will be a step towards building bridges between the two sides so that if nothing else at least complementarians and egalitarians will see the other point of view presented in a respectful manner. After all, we are all in the body of Christ, and despite our differences, we are to love one another because we belong to one another in Christ.…
This is the part 6 of answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open Letter to Egalitarians” and his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”. Today I am posting his sixth question, Suzanne McCarthy’s answer and my own questions below that.
Question #6 from Wayne Grudem:
6. Women teaching false doctrine at Ephesus: In 1 Timothy 2:12, where Paul says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man,’’ many of you say the reason for Paul’s prohibition is that women were teaching false doctrine in the church at Ephesus (the church to which 1 Timothy was written). Our problem in understanding the basis for your claim is that we see no evidence inside or outside the Bible that tells us that any women were teaching false doctrine in the church at Ephesus. More than that, since Paul’s prohibition applies to all women, it seems to us that your position really needs to show that all the women at Ephesus were teaching false doctrine. So we are wondering if there is any text that tells us that all (or any) Christian women were teaching false doctrine in the church at Ephesus. …
This is the part 5 of answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” and his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”. Today I am posting his fifth question, Suzanne McCarthy’s answer from the Greek and my own questions below that. My blog does not yet have the ability for me to use the Greek fonts, so I have included a link to Suzanne’s article that has the Greek.
Question #5 from Wayne Grudem:
5. “neither X nor Y’’: In 1 Timothy 2:12, where Paul says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man,’’ the grammatical structure in Greek takes the form, “neither + [verb 1] + nor + [verb 2].’’
Regarding this verse, many of you tell us that the phrase “to teach or to have authority’’ means “to teach in a domineering way,’’ or “to teach in a way that usurps authority.’’ You base your understanding on the idea (already mentioned above) that the verb authenteo has a negative sense such as “domineer’’ or “usurp authority.’’ …
This is the part 4 of answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” and his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”. Today I am posting his fourth question, Suzanne McCarthy’s answer from the Greek and my own questions below that. My blog does not yet have the ability for me to use the Greek fonts so I have included a link to Suzanne’s article that has the Greek.
Wayne Grudem’s Question #4:
4. authenteo: In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul writes, “I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men.’’ Many of you claim that the word translated “have authority’’ (authenteo) means “misuse authority’’ or “domineer’’ (or even “instigate violence’’) in this sentence, so that Paul is not prohibiting women from having authority over men, but he is prohibiting women from misusing authority or domineering over men.
Our problem is this: we have never seen any clear example in ancient Greek literature where authenteo must mean “domineer’’ or “misuse authority.’’ Whenever we have seen this verb occur, it takes a neutral sense, “have authority’’ or “exercise authority,’’ with no negative connotation attaching to the word itself. We are aware that a related noun, authent¯es, has several different meanings, but that is not the word Paul used, and we are interested in the word that Paul actually used. So our question is this: Will you please show us one example in all of ancient Greek where the verb authenteo means what you claim, namely, “misuse authority or domineer’’ (or even “instigate violence’’)? …
This is the part 3 of answering Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” and his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”. Today I am posting his third question and my own answer.
Wayne Grudem’s question #3:
3. “or’’ (Greek e): In 1 Corinthians 14:36, some of you argue that the Greek word e (“or’’) shows that the preceding verses are a quotation from the Corinthian church which Paul denies. Therefore you say that Paul is not really telling the Corinthian church,
“the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church” (1 Cor. 14:34–35),
but the Corinthians are saying those things, and Paul is just quoting them. You tell us that Paul’s response might be paraphrased as “Are you crazy?’’ This, you tell us, is the force of the tiny Greek word e, which is usually translated “or.’’ You tell us that e, “or,’’ is used in Greek to deny what went before it.
Our problem is that when we look at other examples of e used in constructions like 1 Corinthians 14:36, where the following material is clearly false (that is, Paul and the Corinthians know that the word of God did not come from them), then “or’’ functions to show that the preceding material has to be true. This would mean that verses 34–35 are affirmed by Paul.
To put it another way, Paul is arguing:
You must do A.
Or: Is B true?
Then you must do A.
This is just the opposite of what you claim. You claim that Paul uses “or’’ to deny A (verses 34–35). In fact, we can find no parallel examples where it is used to deny both what precedes and what follows. This is also what all the Greek lexicons tell us. So our question is this:
Will you please show us one example in all of ancient Greek where this word for “or’’ (e) is used to introduce what the readers know to be false, so the author can deny both what goes before and what follows?
If you can show us one example, we would be happy to consider your interpretation further. But if you cannot, then we suggest that you have no factual basis for your interpretation of this key verse, and we respectfully ask that you stop writing and speaking as if you did, and that you also reconsider your understanding of these verses.
In my last post I copied Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians”, and I listed the first question of his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”. Today I am posting his second question, Suzanne McCarthy’s expert Greek answer, and my own challenge after that.
2. hypotasso: Where the Bible says that wives are to “be subject to’’ to their husbands (Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1, 5; and implied in Eph. 5:22, 24), you tell us that the verb “be subject to’’ (hypotasso, passive) is a requirement for both husbands and wives—that just as wives are to be subject to their husbands, so husbands are to be subject to their wives, and that there is no unique authority that belongs to the husband. Rather, the biblical ideal is “mutual submission’’ according to Ephesians 5:21, “be subject to one another,’’ and therefore there is no idea of one-directional submission to the husband’s authority in these other verses (Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1, 5; and Eph. 5:22, 24). But we have never been able to find any text in ancient Greek literature where hypotasso (passive) refers to a person or persons being “subject to’’ another person, and where the idea of submission to that person’s authority is absent. In every example we can find, when person A is said to “be subject to’’ person B, person B has a unique authority which person A does not have. In other words, hypotasso always implies a one-directional submission to someone in authority. So our question is this:
Will you please show us one example in all of ancient Greek where this word for “be subject to’’ (hypotasso, passive) is used to refer to one person in relation to another and does not include the idea of one-directional submission to the other person’s authority?
If you can show us one example, we would be happy to consider your interpretation further. But if you cannot, then we suggest that you have no factual basis for your interpretation of these key verses, and we respectfully ask that you stop writing and speaking as if you did, and that you also reconsider your understanding of these verses.
In 1998 Wayne Grudem wrote “An Open Letter to Egalitarians,” and in the letter, he gave six questions that he said have never been satisfactorily answered.
This is the first in a six-part set of posts addressing Mr. Grudem’s questions.
First of all, I will reprint the “Open Letter” that is found on Mike Seaver’s Role Calling blog. Right after that comes the refutation of Mr. Grudem’s question #1 by Suzanne McCarthy and after that, I pose my own question to Complementarians on the error of their teaching that there is an eternal subordination within the nature of the Trinity.
An Open Letter To Egalitarians
by Wayne Grudem
“Here Are Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”
Dear Egalitarian Friends,
We know that many of you within the evangelical world hold your views because you have been convinced that egalitarianism is what the Bible teaches. You tell us that our differences on male and female roles are just differences in interpretation, and that Bible believing Christians can honestly and fairly interpret the Bible to support complete equality in most or all roles for men and women in the family and the church. You say that you are sincere in adopting your views not because of modern cultural pressures but because you think that the Bible itself supports your position. In response to this, we want to say that we appreciate your sincerity in these matters and we believe that you are telling us the truth about your motives.
There are, nevertheless, certain questions of fact that come up frequently in your writings. We focus on these specific questions in this letter because they do not involve detailed arguments about interpretation, but involve only matters of factual data. We are simply asking to see the evidence that has convinced you about certain key interpretations of Scripture passages. If you can point out this evidence to us, then we will be able to understand more fully how you have come to your understanding of key passages. But if you cannot point out this evidence, and if no one among you can point out this evidence, then we respectfully ask that you reconsider your interpretations of these passages.
Semigalitarianism, Undercover Enemy and “feminist air”
When does explaining God’s Word make one an enemy of the church? According to Mike Seaver, a woman who is allowed to teach the Word of God to men, even if she is under the authority of her husband and even if she has received authority from her pastor to teach the Bible (and assuming her pastor is monitoring her teaching), is like a drunken adulterer ministering to God’s people. [Mike Seaver has written a blog post at CBMW identifying the issue of women teaching the bible to men as the undercover enemy of the church. Mike is a pastor at CrossWay Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina and regularly posts at Role Callingsee his original article here.]
According to Seaver the church has been breathing “feminist air” and this has caused many churches to become “semigalitarian”. [According to Seaver, semigalitarianism is defined as those people (both men and women) who say that a woman should not be allowed to preach in a church on her own authority, but if she claims to be under the authority of her senior pastor (who is a man) and under the authority of her husband (who is obviously a man) then it is okay for her to teach men in the church.] But while Seaver is complaining of “feminist air”, he has unwittingly become infected with a “disease” that allows Christians to see passages of scripture as “clear” (1 Timothy 2:12-13) instead of as a complex passage in its complete context (1 Timothy 2:11-15).
The attitude of identifying godly women as enemies of the church is clearly an aggressive stand equating a woman explaining the meaning of the scriptures with a drunken adulterer. It reminds me of the prejudiced view of the Orthodox Jews who believe that only men are allowed to touch the Torah.
Apparently touching the Bible by giving an explanation of the meaning of a passage now makes one an “undercover enemy.” How far has the church fallen that some feel free to attack our sisters in Christ identifying them as enemies? Notice that Seaver says nothing about whether the woman’s teaching is correct or not. He is lumping true Bible teaching in with error because it is the vessel which is the enemy, not the words that she speaks. It is the mere fact that she would touch the Word of God in public that makes her an enemy. This is the same tradition of the Pharisees who added a restriction on the teaching of God’s Word. …
Some have wondered why “Chris” the complementarian stopped posting here. Apparently, he could not get his refutation of my work to stand in an interactive forum so he moved it over to a place where he could have the floor to himself. He has posted a claim that he has refuted me in his post called A Refutation of Cheryl Schatz on 1 Timothy 2:12.
Chris is now posting under the name Neopatriarch, and he describes his post as filling a need for those who are exasperated with me and my “associates.” (Paula I think he is referring to your excellent refutation of his logical fallacies.) This gives me an opportunity to examine Chris’ (aka Neopatriarch) claims that he has “refuted” me. Let’s have a look to see if what he has to say is worthy of his lofty claims. …