In 2006 my DVD Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free came out and since that time I have seen my share of scarecrows who are intent on destroying the message of women in ministry. One such scarecrow refuses to go away and it is time to create a blog post where others who have been hurt by the issue of women in ministry can share their pain. If you are a woman in ministry or a woman teacher and you have been hurt, abused or silenced and you would like to share a short story, this is the post for you to share with us. I will moderate the comments so that any scarecrow/troll who would like to sound off against women in ministry will either have their comments moderated or removed. This is a safe place where others who are like minded can encourage you as there are many who come to this community of loving Christians who value the worth and ministry of women.
The reason I named this post Stubble, Straw and Scarecrows is because those who are vehemently opposed to women’s gifts used for the common good are planting chaff and their words are nothing more than stubble and straw. Stubble, straw, and scarecrows are not God’s tools nor are they things to be afraid of. We are to fear God and allow Him to decide what gifts we receive for the fact is that the gift we receive from God comes with His permission to use His gift for God’s glory and the common good (1 Peter 4:11). No man can give us spiritual gifts and no man may kill God’s gifts within us. We are accountable to God and we must be faithful with what God has given us rather than holding back because of the fear of man.
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. …
Today I was emailed a letter that was just FedExed to Dr. Randy Stinson and Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III on behalf of the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition which is demanding an apology for harm done to Christian women because of the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood. …
When is authority given and when can it be rightfully assumed? These are questions that have divided egalitarians and complementarians in the area of marriage. While egalitarians generally will agree that submission is a characteristic of Spirit-filled Christians who love and respect the body of Christ, and who serve each other with love, complementarians say that husbands are never commanded to submit to their wives because husbands maintain a God-given sphere of authority that requires sacrifice and not submission. To a complementarian, submission is always something given to an authority. Since they don’t believe that a wife has authority over a husband they refuse to submit to their wives. Is this Biblical? …
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?
Do women have the right to keep their “good portion”?
“…Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
In the complementarian Christian community, there is a lot of pressure to keep women away from a place that doesn’t belong to them. Because of the teaching that there is a “biblical manhood” and “biblical womanhood,” and the way we follow Jesus depends on our gender, many have been focused on dividing and protecting the man’s portion as if something has been given to men alone. Is this really biblical? Is there really something that belongs to men alone that need to be held back from women? …
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.
One of the positions that complementarians commonly hold is that male and female were created with distinct roles so that one (the male) is said to have been given the authority over the other (the female) and the fact that Adam names Eve is used as proof of the man’s authority. CMBW (The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) records it this way:
Male and female were created by God as equal in dignity, value, essence and human nature, but also distinct in role whereby the male was given the responsibility of loving authorityover the female, and the female was to offer willing, glad-hearted and submissive assistance to the man. Gen. 1:26-27 makes clear that male and female are equally created as God’s image, and so are, by God’s created design, equally and fully human. But, as Gen. 2 bears out (as seen in its own context and as understood by Paul in 1 Cor. 11 and 1 Tim. 2), their humanity would find expression differently, in a relationship of complementarity, with the female functioning in a submissive role under the leadership and authority of the male.
CBMW’s statement of their position says that Genesis 2 as viewed in its own context will show Adam’s authority over Eve as God’s original design, and this is borne out in the act of Adam naming Eve. Let’s have a close look at the context of Genesis 1-3 to see where Adam could have been given authority over Eve.
In my post on February 17th on Common Objections to Women in Ministry: God’s Design in Genesiswe saw that Adam and Eve were given equal authority over all of God’s creation in the land, air and the sea. If God had wanted to add to Adam’s authority the responsibility to a rule over the woman, Genesis 1 would have been a perfect place to list that authority, but God never gives Adam an authority over his wife in the original design. The authority of rulership for Adam is clearly over animals and the earth, not people. So if God did not give authority for Adam to rule Eve in the original creation, when is God supposed to have given him that authority? Let’s look to Genesis chapter 2 for any evidence of an added authority given to Adam.
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:
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). …
The November 17, 2009 CBMW blog post by John Starke that we started to evaluate last post, is an amazing “piece of work” that exalts the 17th century writings of a Puritan named Richard Baxter who attempts to put women in their place. Starke continues to summarize Baxter’s writings:
2. Discontentment. There is something about the sinful heart that is always wanting something other than the place in which God has placed him or her. When something other than God is the desire of the heart, it begins to desire more than the portion granted. The sinful cravings of the heart are deceitful and can justify sin or can explain away divine instruction. Baxter’s appeal to wives is to find your contentment and treasure in Christ and you will recognize the joy in resting in his purposes. (emphasis is mine).
Was it Adam alone who brought sin into the world? Was it Adam alone who was kicked out of the garden?
These are some of the issues about “Adam alone” that have brought some lively discussion on another post at https://mmoutreach.org/wim/2009/11/12/mark-head-as-authority/ and since the comments are now at 446, I am going to move our discussion over to this post so that we can continue with what will likely be many more passionate arguments and comments here. For those want to follow the original source of the discussion that pertains to this new post, the comments from #238 and on at the above link start the movement towards questions and comments about “only Adam” and these thoughts are important for what will continue here on this post.
There is a hot debate in the church today regarding whether a woman is in “sin” for teaching the Bible to men. While some say that a godly woman’s teaching of the Bible is okay for use with women and children, but all teaching by women to men is considered sinful. Others state that a woman may teach the Bible to men as long as it is in her home or perhaps outside on the lawn, but if she were to teach men inside a church building, she would immediately be involved in committing a sin.
The issue of a “special sin” that is only applicable for one gender becomes complicated by the understanding that the church originally met only in people’s homes. There were no designated church buildings during the early years of New Testament Christianity, so how could the “place” where she taught rather than what she taught, be a source of sin for the godly Christian woman? However, there is an issue much deeper than just the issue of within what building men allow women to teach. The issue is whether God taunts and torments a woman with gifts that she cannot use. If God gifts a woman with the spiritual gifts of pastor or teacher is He tempting her to sin when she freely uses her God-given gifts for His glory and for the benefit of His body?
Let’s think this one through. First of all, it is God’s Sovereign choice regarding whom He chooses to gift. Many complementarians will freely admit that God has gifted women with the gift of pastor and the gift of teacher. If only a man is allowed to be a pastor, surely God would not gift a woman with a forbidden gift, would He?
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.
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 🙂
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.
Sign up to receive blog conference email updates at www.achurchinryde.com/blog This should be an interesting conference as participants have different views and will be interacting with anyone wanting to dialog and question the presenter on their view. You will see from the conference promotion that I am a participant. I look forward to the opportunity to answer questions and interacting with people from a world away down under in Australia. I do not yet know which day I will be presenting my thesis. I am sure that it will be announced on the web site so if you sign up for email updates you should be able to get that information.
I hope that many of you will interact with this unique venue so that it is a successful venture for Pastor Dave and the Presbyterian church in Australia.
In the last blog post, Cheryl Schatz posed her 4th 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 #4 and Mike’s rejoinder.
Women in Ministry Debate: What authority do men have to restrict women’s gifts?
This is question #4 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. Mike’s corresponding post on his blog is here.
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.
This is question #3 of a 10 question debate 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. 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.
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:
Is there a Second Witness that forbids Christian women from teaching the Bible to men?
This is question #2 of a 10 question discussion/debate 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. 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. Mike’s corresponding post on his blog is here.
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.…
Stay tuned to this blog for a discussion/debate between Mike Seaver and myself starting on Monday, July 27th, 2009.
I have been in email contact with Mike Seaver in a very cordial way over the issue of women in ministry and he has agreed to discuss this issue with me publicly on both my blog and Mike’s blog simultaneously.
I have posed 5 sets of questions to Mike and he has posed 5 questions to me. My first question to Mike and his answer will go online on July 27th. Two days after that we will both post my response to his answer and Mike’s concluding response. Both of our blogs will be open for comments and you may want to check out both of our blogs for comments as I am sure that Mike has a different audience than I do.
So far our discussions have been respectful and I think the back and forth discussion between Mike and I may be helpful for many to see both sides of the issue from a complementarian and an egalitarian who both love the Lord Jesus. Our discussion/debate will be passionate but respectful.
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.