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: …
In my last post, I presented one of the best sermons that I have ever heard on Ephesians 5, regarding the evidence of Spirit-filled lives for both men and women. This post is on the opposite of the Spirit-filled life which is an influx of worldly infection through male-centered pride. The outgrowth of this infection is the teaching that encourages men to focus their efforts on taking the “lead” over women, putting them under their authority and control. They are taught that women were made to be led and when men don’t take leadership over women’s lives, women will not be able to fulfill their “role” in Christ. Recently I heard a teaching where young Christian men were rebuked for taking the authority over their girlfriend’s by deciding for them what university courses they would register for. The speaker chastised the young men and told them that they were “not yet” responsible for making their girlfriend’s decisions. They needed to wait until they actually became their husbands and then they had this authority. It is no wonder that many women are surprised with an entirely different man on their wedding day than who they thought they were marrying. The teaching that men are responsible for the entire home including their wife and her spirituality has caused many young men to subjugate their women in order to fulfill their calling and for the wife’s “own good”. The spiritual harm that has resulted from the teaching that the man has the mandate to rule his wife for God, has caused untold pain and suffering and a stifling of the woman’s ability to seek after God for her own life. She is no longer in control of the exercise of her own gifts and calling – he is. …
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. …
Some egalitarians suggest that the object “a man” in 1 Timothy 2:12 should rightfully be connected to only one verb “authentein” and that the infinitive form of the verb “to teach” was not meant to be connected to the object “man”.
Let me first state that I am an egalitarian and I appreciate men who passionately contend for women in ministry. At the same time, I am more interested in knowing what God intended in the text rather than hold to a particular party line so I am free to disagree if I believe that a view is not correct. In this post I would like to examine the view that denies that two verbs are connected to the same object in 1 Timothy 2:12. The view that I will be examining is presented by Philip B. Payne in his book Man and Woman, One in Christ An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters. …
The body of Christ is a body ministry where each of us are needed and each gift that God has distributed among us is needed. So why is it that many men say that they do not need for a woman teacher when this personal rejection of their own need is contradicted by 1 Corinthians 12:21?
1 Corinthians 12:21 (NASB95)
21And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
Why does the Bible say that the eye cannot say to the hand that others may need you, but I have no need of you? In other words, why is it that some say what the Bible says they cannot say? …
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. …
The comments on the original post have gone over 400 comments and for some reason the original page is not properly loading just by the link so I will need to find out what the problem is. It does look fine when one goes to http://mmoutreach.org/wim and then scroll down to the March 26, 2010 post called “Adam and Eve and the sin nature that comes through the man – how does this affect the issue of women in ministry?” It is loading okay that way so that one can read the post but when one tries to read the comments that page won’t load. **update – It looks like the 175 pages of comments was just too much for the blog post and there is nothing I can do to get the comments to show up. In future I will try to start a second page sooner so that this doesn’t happen again** (Note – Dec 2012: I have updated the blog and I think all the comments are now back.)
In the meantime, the comments can continue on this post.
The dialog has been lively and Mark our regular complementarian blog visitor has been going through his Calvinist proof texts with me as we dialog on John 6 verse by verse discussing sin and free will. Future comments should continue on this new part 2 post.
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?
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. …
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). …
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).
Wade Burleson has an interesting post about marital authorityand the only time that the Bible uses the word authority in the context of marriage. Burleson writes:
The often quoted book complementarian book Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanwood (1991), devotes entire chapters to passages like Ephesians 5:21-33, 1 Corinthians 11:3-16. Colossians 3:18-18, and 1 Peter 3:1-7. But the ONLY text in the Bible that actually uses the word “authority” in the context of marriage, 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, is given no consideration. Likewise, in John Piper’s book What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined by the Bible (2001) there are two lists of verses dealing with marriage provided, but 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 is not even included (see pages 21,66).
It is certainly interesting that the only place were the Bible gives the husband and wife authority over the other is missing in the sections dealing with authority and submission in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. …
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.
On November 11, 2009, the Georgia Baptist Convention adopted a policy that ended its 148-year relationship with First Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia. According to the Associated Baptist News,
Pastor Julie Pennington-Russell read a letter at the end of both worship services Nov. 15 from Robert White, executive director of the 1.3 million-member state convention. It informed her that messengers to the group’s recent annual meeting took action to declare them “not a cooperating church,” because “a woman is serving as senior pastor.”
The policy that declared the First Baptist Church in Decatur as officially disfellowshipped, resulted from a strict enforcement of the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message (BFM 2000) which made the issues of women pastors as a cause for dividing the church. No longer is there room for personal conscience as far as women leaders in the church. Wade Burleson writes that it is dangerous thinking to make the Baptist Faith & Message tier 1 primary doctrine so that “if a Southern Baptist expresses any disagreement with any portion of the BFM 2000, he is not a true Southern Baptist and is not worthy of leadership in the SBC. “
Burleson goes on to explain why this thinking is so dangerous. …
This post is the second part in a “first” for Women in Ministry blog. I have never before taken the writing of a complementarian and posted it on my blog. To facilitate dialog, I have agreed to post Mark’s articles so that we can have a jolly good discussion/debate with those who care to participate on the issue of what “head” means. The first part of Mark’s article dealing with the context of 1 Corinthians 11 is here. These posts are carried forward from a previous postthat 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.
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. …
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. …
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. …
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.
John Piper: “What should a wife’s submission to her husband look like if he’s an abuser?”
On August 19, 2009, John Piper tackles a question on an abusive husband, and Piper’s answer directs women on how they should take abuse from their husbands. The answer is typical of a complementarian who sees the husband as king and priest and the wife as the follower of her priest-king.
My comments will be below the transcript. I recommend you listen carefully to what Piper says. I think there is a lot to discuss especially his Freudian slip calling the husband “lord.” An edited transcript of the audio is below. …
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.
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?…
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.