Christian Marriage, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Reader's Prose

Complementarianism, Egalitarianism, or Mystery

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The other day when we were discussing the terms Complementarianism, Egalitarianism, and Patriarchy to describe how Christian couples view their gender roles within the marriage (What is Difference Between Complementarianism and Patriarchy?), Pastor Ken Garrett must have gotten a bee in his bonnet and wanted to dig a little deeper for himself.   I love it when that happens.  🙂

Ken is uncomfortable with labels (me, too).  We can’t put marriages in boxes.  We are all so unique in how we relate with one another, with gifts and weaknesses.  I’ve mentioned before that I’ve seen beautiful Complementarian marriages where both men and women are honored and respected and cherished.  I’ve seen good Egalitarian marriages.   The key seems to be for husband and wife to work together to find the best arrangement for themselves.   Ken’s got the floor today.  Enjoy!  ~ja

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Complementariansm, Egalitarianism, or Mystery

by Pastor Ken Garrett

Patriarchy in its Biblical application seems more related to the formal, legal transfer of family wealth and tribal leadership, as demonstrated by Abraham’s, Isaac’s, and Jacob’s deep concern for the “blessing” transfers that transpired between them and their sons. Material wealth was a big deal, and since there were no courts of law, national ordinances, etc. in the particular time-frame of that family line  (approx. 2,000 B.C. give or take a few centuries), they developed a system for transferring family wealth upon the death of the family/tribal leader.

That’s why the theft of the Patriarchal blessing meant so much to Rebekah, for instance, in leading her to scheme and plot to make sure it went to her favorite son, Jacob, and not to his brother, Esau. The Patriarchal transfer of wealth also accounted for Sarah’s insistence that Ishmael (legally Abraham and Sarah’s son) not be allowed to remain in the family and thereby threaten her own son’s rights to inheritance.

There are very few examples in the actual biographies of the patriarchs that describe the fathers/husbands as ruling with an iron hand, as modern-day advocates of Patriarchal leadership often do. For instance, Sarah seemed to call the shots in her home to the point of arranging for a surrogate to bear her a child. Rebekah played the men in her life like chess pieces, although in doing so she lost her relationships with all of them, and never saw her favorite son again after he fled their home in fear for his life.

Jacob’s wives (two) and concubines (two) at no point ever cowed under his leadership, but actually manipulated and used him to produce children, and eagerly joined him in his plan to flee from his father-in-law Laban (again, out of concern for unjust treatment in the transfer of their father’s wealth). In fact, when Jacob became convinced that he should flee Laban and return to Canaan, the first thing he did was to call his wives to him, to consult with them regarding his intention, of which they heartily agreed!

Tamar played the Patriarchal lineage and transfer of wealth game like a (literal!) pro, running circles around Judah. In short, the women of the Patriarchs do not demonstrate the type of door-mat submission that is often assumed about them. Heck, the language itself even suggests that Sarah was in cahoots with Abram when he passed her off as his sister in Egypt! For good or bad, better or worse, the marriages of the Patriarchs were ones that demonstrated a deep degree of cooperation between husbands and wives, and may even reflect a powerful dominance on the part of the wives.

However, the Patriarchal system dictated a specific way for wealth to be transferred to children and heirs and that is the primary function of the system—not the establishment of certain roles and responses in the marriage relationship. While the subsequent history of marriage in the Hebrew community remained male-led in appearance, there is strong evidence that wives co-led with their husbands (cf. Moses first wife, the daughters of Zelophehad (Josh 17), Hannah, Bathsheba, etc.) in their day-to-day lives.

As to Complementariansm, I’m not sure of the origins of the word, but we should be cautious in discarding it as a description simply on the basis of it not appear in Scripture as a word. This is a short-sighted and erroneous line of reasoning –  the word iceberg doesn’t appear there, either, but icebergs certainly existed on earth. Just because the English translation of harpazo was not translated “rapture” does not mean that the original Greek word did not, in fact, describe a literal snatching away of someone. So, for folks to have coined the term Complementarian or Egalitarian should be a source of gratitude for all, because now we have some words to describe the actual beliefs. Unlike Patriarchy, these two words describe marital relationships by design.

I’m uncomfortable with each of them, but agree with parts of each of their definitions. I agree that according to Scripture, as I best understand it, there are differences between men and women, not only in their physical design, but also in their very beginnings: each were created differently and independently by God, each in a way that was different from every other thing He made, in all of creation. This is very significant to me.  Each gender must have an independent history with God  – unless one believes that it is a mere accident that they were each created so differently from, and independent of, each other.

So, I believe in God’s design, which is expressed and described to us in the Pre-Fall, that the woman does relate to her husband as a type of partner and support. While she does not seem to be the leader, she also is not a mere employee or servant. There is no indication that the woman desired to “move up” the authority ladder and become a leader over Adam. Neither is there any indication that Adam ruled over/led, or even delegated tasks to his wife. They were together, intimate, and unashamed.

It is notable that the first instance of Eve acting or speaking independently of her partner, Adam, is when she tragically chose to rebel against God, and immediately turned to include her husband in the crime. Sure, each sinned and each chose to disobey – perhaps Adam was just as prone to enter into conversations with serpents as Eve was, but the text is all that we have of the account, and we have to play it where it lies.

My point is that as from their very creation, women have certainly been able to make independent, autonomous decisions, and have proven themselves just as prone to deception as men! This doesn’t argue (to me) that women should therefore never lead anything, but that they certainly should not claim a superior moral or ethical basis of taking leadership, at least not because of any gender distinction.  So, despite its problems in current-day application, I agree that there are gender distinctions in the Bible. The question is whether those distinctions are presented as a genuine Biblical basis of role assignment. That is a huge issue, with intelligent, godly men and women on each side, and I haven’t travelled near as far down that road of study as would allow me to write much about it!

As for Egalitarianism, I fully subscribe to the argument that my wife and I do, in fact, function as a team, and that in many, many areas of our marriage she is the initiator, leader, and organizer. I suppose many of my Complementarian brothers and sisters might have problems with that – but then, it is our marriage, and it’s blessed me (and I hope her!) for over 30 years.

I suppose in the end, if there were ever a situation that called for me to simply decide on a course of action for our family, and there was literally not time for dialogue, prayer, etc., I’d make a decision and hope she supported me in it simply trusting that I was doing my best out of love for her and my family. It would really be up to her, not me, but we really have never had that kind of crisis to face in our particular marriage.

My problem with the Egalitarian argument is that they often violate what I believe to be the basic “rules” of interpretation – of any piece of literature. Egalitarians often (just my opinion) resort to the idea that if the Bible goes against our present ideas of righteousness, fairness, equity, etc., then the problem must be with the Bible, and not with our own, quite-temporal, notions of those things.

A good example is found in a frequent use of Galatians 3 to justify the removal of gender distinctions in church polity and the home life. It is argued that because “in Christ” we are all accepted and adopted, and there is “neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28), therefore (they argue) there is no longer any gender distinctions. This application of the verse not only violates the context of the verse (which is about the general acceptance extended across all human boundaries for salvation through the gospel), but also violates common logic, as those to whom these words were written (the Galatians) certainly remained in their status and condition as slaves, Greeks, men, women, etc. In other words, the distinctions, such as gender distinction, that Egalitarians routinely seek to disregard and nullify – remained fast in place–despite Paul’s words. Therefore, Paul must have been speaking metaphorically of salvation, not church polity or marriage roles.

In summary, I continue to fall back on my assertion that the divine, inscrutable mystery of the heterosexual, monogamous marriage relationship is mostly lost on both Complementariansm and Egalitarians, and their respective doctrines and teachings do not come close to understanding, describing, or advising marriages themselves. For me, the poets come the closest to doing those things (Solomon, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, etc.)

“Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the LORD. 7 “Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it; If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, It would be utterly despised.” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)

Now the ritual begins ‘Neath the wedding garland we meet as strangers The dance floor is alive with beauty Mystery and danger We dance out ‘neath the stars’ ancient light into the darkening trees Oh won’t you baby be in my book of dreams?  (Bruce Springsteen, Book of Dreams)

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139 thoughts on “Complementarianism, Egalitarianism, or Mystery”

  1. Hey Carmen! Thank you for clarifying. I appreciate you taking the time to have read my writing, and to reply with honesty and candor!


  2. Ken, is that Portland, Oregon or Portland, Maine? I’m in Nova Scotia. .. not so far from Maine!


  3. Carmen, I try to make it up to Freeport every few years. 🙂 Acadia National Park is beautiful. I’ve never been to Nova Scotia, though. I’ve always wanted to visit PEI aslo, I’ve been a huge Anne of Green Gables fan since I was a little girl.


  4. @ Lydia s/purple
    You make many good statements and give some clear insights into the various corners of this topic. You have certainly done your homework. I appreciate your taking the time to provide numerous thoughtful explanations. You Go Girl!

    One question, in this sentence, do you mean: ‘pericope’? (Pronounced: pe’rikepi.) Meaning: “an extract from a book, especially a passage from the Bible.”

    “Sounds like a full heir who is to be the co ruler of the home when we take the entire periscope into consideration.” I think you may mean ‘entire pericope’.

    Agreed: “The comps promote: Equal but different roles. But then we find out that the “roles” are NOT EQUAL at all from their teaching.” Precisely!!


  5. @ Gary W

    What you say makes sense and resonates with me. This is a huge topic and certainly requires diligence in order to peel back so many of the standard ways of thinking about it. Keep up the thoughtful dialog!


  6. .

    Thanks for the nice compliment.

    Although I think I have too much white hair to be considered a “dude.” 😉
    And “awesome” might be a little much considering “awe” means “reverential respect.” And “awesome” means “inspiring great admiration.”

    If you would really like to know how “awesome” Amos is – I’ll put you in touch with my ex-wife. I’m sure she would love to tell you just how “awesome” Amos is. 🙂

    How about we leave the “awesome” designation,
    “reverential respect” and “inspiring great admiration.”
    for {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Seems most do NOT start out wanting to steal the Glory that belongs only to Jesus.
    They just do NOT refuse it when it comes.

    Other then “awesome” and “dude,” it was a nice compliment. 😉
    And I look forward to having “another wonderful phone conversation”

    I’m thinking, Jesus, as man, showed “WE” the way in John 5:41-44
    41 – I receive NOT honour from men…
    44 – …How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another,
    and seek NOT the honour that cometh from God only?

    The Amplified version has John 5:41, as…
    I receive not glory from men [I crave no human honor, I look for no mortal fame]

    A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.
    Pro 29:5


  7. .
    And monax

    Here is “ONE” thing to think about between now and the phone conversation. – “ONE”

    As I said, I’ve been more focused on …ye are ALL “ONE” in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:28.
    …..neither Jew nor Greek – neither bond nor free – neither male nor female

    And thinking – Maybe this “ONE” is about MORE then Equality or Salvation?
    Maybe, ALL “ONE” – “in Christ Jesus” – is about a “NEW Creation?”
    Where – “In Christ” – male and female – Do NOT Exist?

    2 Cor 5:17
    Therefore if any man be “in Christ,” he is a “NEW” *creature: (*creation.)
    old things are passed away; behold, ALL things are become “NEW.”

    Because, as His Disciples, “WE” – “Forsake ALL” – “Deny SELF” – And are willing to “Lose our Life.” His Disciples become “a “NEW Creation.” And in that process His Disciples are willing to Forsake ALL, Deny SELF, Lose their carnal, human Life, “Identity” – Male – Female – to be – “ALL “ONE” in Christ Jesus.

    John the baptist said – Jesus, He must increase, but “I” must decrease. John 3:30
    Paul the apostle said – … I live; yet NOT I, but Christ liveth in me: Gal 2:20

    And – as in marriage – It is NO longer TWO – But – “ONE” flesh. And…
    Christ and His Ekklesia, His Called Out Ones are NO longer TWO – But – “ONE” flesh.

    Is this “ONE” also in in John 17:21? – That they ALL may be “ONE”…
    …..neither Jew nor Greek – neither bond nor free – neither male nor female
    …..neither Comp nor Egal – neither SBC nor PCA – neither Clergy nor Laity
    …..neither Evangelical nor Pentecostal – neither Calvinism nor Arminianism

    Is this “ONE” also in Rom 12:5? So we, being many, are “ONE” body *in Christ,*
    …..neither Jew nor Greek – neither bond nor free – neither male nor female
    …..neither Comp nor Egal – neither SBC nor PCA – neither Clergy nor Laity
    …..neither Evangelical nor Pentecostal – neither Calvinism nor Arminianism

    Is this “ONE” also in Eph 2:15? to make in himself of twain (Two) – “ONE” NEW man.
    …..neither Jew nor Greek – neither bond nor free – neither male nor female
    …..neither Comp nor Egal – neither SBC nor PCA – neither Clergy nor Laity
    …..neither Evangelical nor Pentecostal – neither Calvinism nor Arminianism

    Is this “ONE” also in Gen 2:24
    … a man… shall cleave unto his wife and *they shall be “ONE” flesh.

    If “WE” see, designate, – male and female – as Equal?
    Don’t “WE” still see, acknowledge, – male and female – as TWO?

    And – NOT “ONE?”


  8. GW,

    fwiw, that 686 hapax legemona number as replicated across the internet via wikipedia has a suspect source. Plus this was likely a number derived at before the advent of computer software programs that now facilitate more thorough and accurate searches.

    Even today I believe there has only been a handful of men who have made such a significant search. Prior to the advent of our modern computer these would have been the biblical scholars who built our concordances and lexicons. The near 2000 hapax legomena number comes from Henry Scott Baldwin, a present day seminary “professor of New Testament literature and language at Tyndale Theological Seminary, Amsterdam, Netherlands.”


    I just finished editing a response I’ve been working on for the last few days. I’m gonna go relax for a bit now before I reread and publish it here for your consideration. It is quite lengthy, so I apologize for this. I’ve broken it up into the space of two comments. I understand it won’t be for everyone, so I ask for your grace.



  9. SSB,

    let me start out by underscoring our common foundation—what I believe to be the enormous solid ground we who have placed our faith in Christ Jesus share: that is, an understanding that because His Spirit lives within us we are all ultimately and personally Spirit-led.

    Also, I trust we all believe in the ontological spiritual equality between male and female, which is at the very least what Gal 3:28 means for us. We are all—male and female—one in Christ Jesus, made in the likeness of our Creator, together and equally the image of God.

    And hopefully we all understand that each one of us in Christ Jesus are kings and queens in His eternal kingdom, priests and priestesses to one another as unto God Himself, and prophets and prophetesses of the Most High God of the universe. This is inherently who and what we are.

    Yet in our understandings we have one critical area wherein we differ—in our reading of 1 Timothy.

    Here is the ESV translation in question:

    I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man (2:12a),

    and here is the underlying Greek, followed by its transliteration into the Latin alphabet:

    διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός

    didaskein de gunaiki ouk epitrepo oude authentein andros

    With apologies for this comment being exponentially overlong, I would now like to offer a few academic (and hopefully logical) answers for your consideration regarding two of the above Objections.

    One—that gune (γυνή) in this verse “most likely refers to a wife” and not to a woman.


    Two—that authenteo (αὐθεντέω) does not mean “to exercise authority” but instead “denotes a sort of sinister compelling.” The older translations coming much closer to its meaning with “domineer.”

    There is a lot that hinges upon the validity of these assertions, so let me begin by first answering Objection Two as simply as I know best through the quoting of a bit of scholarship from the second edition of Women in the Church—An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 (particularly Henry Scott Baldwin’s lexical findings and Andreas J. Köstenberger’s syntactical research; Baker Academic, 2005). As I could not find a digital copy of it, I have transcribed various excerpts below; and with it being a scholarly work where the Greek script is employed sans transliterations, I have provided in brackets simple [transliterations] for smoother reading.

    Yes, it is lexically true that the Greek verb authenteo can carry the negative meaning “to domineer.” Yet keep in mind this “sinister compelling” notion, as far as I’m aware, is found but only once in all the eighty-five known authenteo instances in ancient Greek literature, in the writing of Chrysostom (ca. AD 390), more than three hundred years after the writing of 1 Timothy. It is a rare word stretched out over fourteen centuries. So in our attempts to clarify the 1 Tim 2:12 meaning of authenteo, word study approaches by themselves will yield inconclusive results. So after acquiring a lexical appreciation of the term we need to study the context and grammar—particularly a specific syntactical analysis—of our phrase in question.

    First, here are two quoted conclusions from Baldwin’s lexical study of authenteo, (from the most rigorous and thorough study of the verb every done, covering all the extant papyrus manuscripts and ancient Greek literature):

    ‘Upon analyzing these eight-five currently known occurrences of the verb αὐθεντέω [authenteo], it becomes evident that the unifying concept is that of authority‘ (Baldwin, p45).


    ‘What we can say with certainty is that we have no instances of a pejorative use of the verb before the fourth century AD. The data available, however, provide clear indication that the widely understood meanings of αὐθεντέω [authenteo] were based on the idea of the possession or exercise of authority’ (Baldwin, p49).

    What is at stake here? What specifically has been called into question? And why does it matter?

    Prior to the publishing of Köstenberger’s syntactical research the 1 Tim 2:12 debate over the meaning of authenteo was centered upon the question of whether the word was to be understood as conveying a general or positive meaning such as “to exercise authority over,” or whether it should be read as having a pejorative or negative meaning such as “to domineer.”

    If the negative meaning is possible, then we can read the verse to suggest that Paul is proscribing women from only a negative exercise of authority, implying the permissibility of women teaching and possessing positive authority over men.

    Now let us turn to Köstenberger’s syntactical analysis of διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός [didaskein de gunaiki ouk epitrepo oude authentein andros].

    Köstenberger’s Greek syntactical parallel background studies within the New Testament and ancient literature seems to have rendered conclusive results to the academic community—due to syntactical considerations a negative reading of authenteo must be ruled out.

    There is about a zero percent chance of authenteo having a negative connotation in 1 Timothy. Köstenberger has identified two distinct syntactical patterns that parallel (outside the NT) or most closely parallels (inside the NT) the grammatical construction of our biblical phrase in question. I’ll let Köstenberger speak for himself below, but what I want to emphasize here is that of all the parallel examples that exist for us today, there are only two distinct patterns in evidence. No exceptions in all the known literature were found.

    Köstenberger’s work (first published in 1995) has been examined and proven true. And most importantly his study has met with “virtually unanimous acceptance” among his academic peers (complementarian as well as egalitarian scholars). So I believe the egalitarian issue now has moved beyond the question of accepting this as a proscription, biblical egalitarians most nearly all agree to the restriction, they just relegate the proscription to the local context—situational to the time and place of first century Ephesus.

    [[ Without trying to do way too much in my comments here, I believe an appeal for a mere local restriction can be answered by the text itself. These words appear to testify against it: 1 Tim 2:8 “I desire then that in every place (ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ [en panti topo] . . .” And 1 Tim 3:14-15 where Paul is writing these things “so that you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth.” ]]

    Here, now, is Köstenberger’s academic breakdown:

    Syntactical Parallels to 1 Timothy 2:12 in the New Testament

    ‘Strictly speaking, there is only on close syntactical parallel to 1 Timothy 2:12 in the New Testament, Acts 16:21, where the same construction, a negated finite verb + infinitive + οὐδὲ [oude] + infinitive is found. However, if one allows for verbal forms other than infinitives to be linked by οὐδὲ [oude], fifty-two further passages can be identified. These can be grouped into two patterns of the usage of οὐδὲ [oude]:

    ‘—Pattern 1: two activities or concepts are viewed positively in and of themselves, but their exercise is prohibited or their existence is denied due to circumstances or conditions adduced in the context.

    ‘—Pattern 2: two activities or concepts are viewed negatively, and consequently their exercise is prohibited or their existence is denied or they are to be avoided.

    ‘In both pattern, the conjunction οὐδὲ [oude] coordinates activities of the same order, that is, activities that are both viewed either positively or negatively by the writer or speaker’ (p 57).

    Köstenberger goes on to list them (pp 57-59).

    ‘These examples set forth the New Testament evidence that οὐδὲ [oude] joins terms denoting activities that are both viewed either positively or negatively by the writer or speaker. The implication of this observation for 1 Timothy 2:12 is that there are only two acceptable ways of rendering that passage: (1) “I do not permit a woman to teach [error] or to domineer over a man,” or (2) “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man”’ (p 60).


    ‘Since, therefore, the term διδάσκειν [didaskein] is used absolutely in the New Testament for an activity that is viewed positively in and of itself, and since οὐδὲ [oude] coordinates terms that are both viewed either positively or negatively, αὐθεντεῖν [authentein] should be seen as denoting an activity that is viewed positively in and of itself as well. Thus, 1 Timothy 2:12 is an instance of the first pattern, in which the exercise of two activities is prohibited or the existence of two concepts is denied by the writer due to special considerations’ (p 62).

    Syntactical Parallels to 1 Timothy 2:12 in Extrabiblical Literature

    ‘The study of syntactical parallels to 1 Timothy 2:12 in the New Testament has yielded significant insights. Two patterns of the use of οὐδὲ [oude] were identified, both consisting of coordinated expressions of the same order. However, since the New Testament contains only one exact syntactical parallel where οὐδὲ [oude] links two infinitives governed by a negated finite verb, it seems desirable to extend the scope of this investigation to extrabiblical Greek literature preceding or contemporary with the New Testament era.

    ‘The IBYCUS system, a computer program with the capability of searching virtually all the extant ancient Greek literature, has enabled the researcher to study all Greek literature directly relevant to the study of the syntax used in 1 Timothy 2:12’ (pp 62-63).

    Köstenberger goes on to list (with context and English translations) forty-eight syntactical parallels to 1 Tim 2:12 found in the extrabiblical Greek literature (pp 63-71).

    ‘Confirming the earlier study of the use of οὐδὲ [oude] in the New Testament, these instances suggest that the construction “negated finite verb + infinite + οὐδὲ [oude] + infinitive” is used to link two infinitives denoting concepts or activities that are both viewed either positively or negatively by the writer. the same two patterns of the usage of οὐδὲ [oude] are found: pattern 1, where two activities or concepts are viewed positively in and of themselves, but their exercise is prohibited or their existence is denied due to circumstances or conditions adduced in the context; and pattern 2, where two activities or concepts are viewed negatively, and consequently their exercise is prohibited or their existence is denied or they are to be avoided’ (p 71).


    ‘In analogy to the observations made in the study of New Testament syntactical parallels to 1 Timothy 2:12 above, the following conclusions may be drawn. The implication of the identified patterns of the usage of οὐδὲ [oude] for 1 Timothy 2:12 is that the activities denoted by the two infinitives διδάσκειν [didaskein] and αὐθεντεῖν [authentein] will both be viewed either positively or negatively by the writer. That is, the passage should be rendered either “I do not permit a woman to teach [error] or to usurp a man’s authority” or “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have (or exercise) authority over a man.”

    ‘The meaning of διδάσκειν [didaskein] in 1 Timothy 2:12 is therefore an important preliminary issue in determining the meaning of αὐθεντεῖν [authentein]. As was argued above, διδάσκειν [didaskein], when used absolutely, in the New Testament always denotes an activity that is viewed positively by the writer, to be rendered “to teach” (cf. esp. 1 Tim. 4:11; 6:2; 2 Tim 2:2). If the writer had intended to give the term a negative connotation in 1 Timothy 2:12, he would in all likelihood have used the term ἑτεροδιδασκαλεῖν [heterodidaskalein] (as in 1 Tim. 1:3; 6:3) or some other contextual qualifier specifying the (inappropriate or heretical) content of the teaching (as in Titus 1:11).

    ‘Since the first part of 1 Time 2:12 reads, “But I do not permit a woman to teach,” and the coordinating conjunction οὐδὲ [oude] requires the second activity to be viewed correspondingly by the writer, αὐθεντεῖν [authentien] should be regarded as viewed positively as well and be rendered “to have (or exercise) authority,” and not “to flout the authority of” or “to domineer”’ (p 74).


  10. Lastly, I’d like to answer (with what I hope is good logic) Objection One—the assertion that gune (γυνή) in this verse “most likely refers to a wife” and not to a woman.

    In 1 Corinthians 7:4 we read, “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”

    We see in 1 Cor 7:4 that a wife does in fact have a measure of authority over her husband. So as we hold 1 Tim 2:12 in tension with the rest of Scripture it would be a logical contradiction to read gune in this verse as “a wife” prohibited from exercising authority over her “husband.” The only proper reading for gune here is “a woman” in the context of the gathered assembly.

    I realize there are arguments to the contrary. Like Gordon Hugenberger’s assertion that for Paul grounding his 1 Tim 2:12 proscription in the account of Adam and Eve along with its conceptual parallels with 1 Peter 3:1-7, that we should therefore read aner and gune as “husband” and “wife” for the phrase in question “concerns marriage roles, not gender roles,” according to him.

    In 1 Peter 3 the relationship between aner and gune is specifically qualified by the word idiois, a modifier which makes it clear that a husband-and-wife relationship is what is being discussed. However, In 1 Tim 2 there is no such clarifying terms to indicate that Paul is exclusively addressing married couples.

    With all due respect to Hugenberger, I believe it is an eisegetical error to conclude on the basis of the 1 Tim 2 Adam-and-Eve reference that Paul is exclusively addressing the issue of roles within the marriage context—especially since Paul is smack dab in the middle of addressing the issue of order and qualifications of overseers and deacons within the church.

    When Paul writes “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man” he grounds this prohibition on the created order, and then details how Eve was deceived and not Adam.

    Why on earth was Paul inspired to include verses 14 and 15? For the reason that he was addressing the issue of “deceiving spirits” (4:1); and, certainly, for other significant reasons—whether clearly discernible to us or not.

    We know from Genesis 3 that the consequence of the woman’s transgression involved an intensifying of pain in childbirth, and that her “desire will be for her husband, and he shall rule over” her (Gen 3:16). This reference, I’m certain, is a vital key to appreciating the situation of 1 Tim 2.

    Here’s what Wayne Grudem writes concerning the word “desire” in Gen 3:16:

    ‘The word translated “desire” is an unusual Hebrew word, teshuqah. In this context and in this specific construction it probably implies an aggressive desire, perhaps a desire to conquer or rule over, or else an urge or impulse the woman has to oppose her husband, an impulse to act against him. This sense is seen in the only other occurrence of teshuqah in all the books of Moses and the only other occurrence of teshuqah plus the preposition ‘el [i.e., “against”] in the whole Bible. That occurrence is in the very next chapter of Genesis, in Genesis 4:7. God says to Cain, “Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

    ‘Here the sense is very clear. God pictures sin like a wild animal waiting outside Cain’s door, waiting to pounce on him and overpower him. In that sense, sin’s “desire” or “instinctive urge” is “against” him.

    ‘What a remarkable parallel this is to Genesis 3:16! In the Hebrew text, six words are the same words and found in the same order in both verses. It is almost as if this other usage is put here by the author so that we would know how to understand the meaning of the term in Genesis 3:16. The expression in 4:7 has the sense, “desire, urge, impulse against” (or perhaps “desire to conquer, desire to rule over”). And that sense fits very well in Genesis 3:16 also.’ [End of Grudem quote]

    I realize it’s a delicate subject in today’s climate to even discuss gender differences. However, without presently saying anything more about this, it appears to me that Paul is referencing something of critical importance here.

    Adam and Eve were not only the first husband and wife, they were also the first man and woman. They, inevitably, represent both marital and gender aspects. We can not separate this reality, nor confuse the intended roles God has purposed for men and women. Jesus said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matt 19:4-5).


  11. Monax,

    Did I assure you I have a working knowledge of the Greek such that I should be able to follow your analysis? Well, I’m on the very edge of having to eat crow. Or maybe not. I think I follow you. It will take time and another read-through or three, but we shall see.

    As to being able to respond on the same level as what you have presented, I fully and freely admit that I am completely over matched. Still, I will see what I can come up with. Over time. Probably in installments.

    Still, let me start with this. I’m not so sure that grammatical/syntactical parallelism is determinative where the issue is the meaning of a particular word. You cite Grudem’s argument that, due to common grammatical construction, Eve’s “desire” for her husband must be the same as sin’s “desire” for Cain.

    Let me rebut by presenting a hypothetical. If Saddam Husein were to have been quoted as saying “I desire George Bush,” we would have understood this usage of “desire” to have been similar to sin’s “desire” for Cain. If, on the other hand, I should receive an email from my wife that simply says “I desire my husband,” what am I supposed to do? Am I to reason that I should run for cover? After all, the grammatical construction of “I desire George Bush” and “I desire my husband” are quite the same. No no. While there might have been a call for extra security for the President, I’m thinking that my own best course of action would be to drop all else and make a beeline for my wife.

    So, while it is common for a single word to have multiple meanings, grammatical parallelisms cannot be said to determine an ambiguous usage. Or so I submit.


  12. One reason I do not trust Grudem as a scholar when it comes to any issue pertaining to women and interpretations:

    “John Piper and Wayne Grudem state that Epiphanius (315-403) wrote an Index of Disciples, in which he writes: “Iounias, of whom Paul makes mention, became bishop of Apameia of Syria.” According to them, Epiphanuis wrote “of whom” as a masculine relative pronoun thereby indicating that he thought Iounias was a man.8 Piper and Grudem also presented the results of their computer search of ancient Greek writings looking for the name “Junia(s).” Based on their findings, they concluded that “no one should claim that Junia was a common woman’s name in the Greek speaking world, since there are only three known examples in all of ancient Greek literature.”9

    a. Discussion. Douglas Moo discusses Epiphanius and calls into question the reliability of this evidence because in the same passage, Epiphanius thought “Prisca” (Priscilla) was a man.”10 This church father also wrote and believed that “the female sex is easily seduced, weak and without much understanding. The Devil seeks to vomit out this disorder through women… We wish to apply masculine reasoning and destroy the folly of these women” (Epiphanius, Adversus Collyridianos, Migne, Patrologia Graeca, Volume 42, Column 740 f).11″

    It is incredibly shoddy scholarship to quote Epiphanius as a source for Junia being a male since he also claimed Priscia was a male. Grudem, the scholar, neglected to mention that part when he and Piper presented their “research”.

    That is just one. Another was his claim that “God submits to us when He helps us” to try and affirm “ezer” as meaning submission since God is also referred to as an Ezer.

    There are many more examples. And most importantly, his recent backing of Mahaney calls any of his discernment into question.


  13. GW, before I retire for the evening let me come alongside you and help you make your point.

    Just as Lydia directs our attention to, teshuqah would be an example of what would be called a tris legomenon, since this word occurs thrice in Scripture, two very near occurrences in Genesis 3:16 and 4:7, and several hundred years later we find it again in the Song of Solomon, “I am my beloved’s and his desire (תְּשׁוּקָתֹו) is for me” (7:10).


  14. Grudem also teaches ESS.

    And when someone uses the word “ontological” you know you are getting ready to hear you are “equal” but not really in practical application. Same with Jesus. Grudem says of Jesus: ““ontological equality but economic subordination,” Or ““equal in being but subordinate in role.”. Keep in mind this is taught as being true in Eternity past and eternity future of Jesus Christ, Lord of Hosts. Any other belief they consider heresy. Jesus is a lesser “god”

    This is in Grudem’s ST which is the true bible for most seminarians these days.


  15. Monax,

    As I understand the argument, it is said that a comparison of syntactical parallels will demonstrate that, where Greek infinitives are used with a negated finite verb and connected by οὐδὲ [oude, roughly “nor” in English], the infinitives will both have either a positive connotation or a pejorative connotation. Acts 16:21 is presented as the only close syntactical parallel in the New Testament.

    Well, it seems to me that to say that 1 Tim 2:12 is syntactically parallel to Acts 6:21 is like saying Apples are the same as oranges because they are both fruit. Yes, both passages have a negated finite verb, 2 infinitives and the word οὐδὲ [oude]. However, in the Acts passage the infinitives are connected directly: παραδέχεσθαι οὐδὲ ποιεῖν [paradexesthai oude poien, “to accept nor (oude) to do”]. The connection of the infinitives is not at all direct in the 1 Tim passage. Rather, the infinitives (“to teach” and “to dominate/usurp authority/exercise authority”) are in two separate clauses, with οὐδὲ [oude] being used to connect, not the infinitives, but the clauses in which the infinitives appear.

    I also note that the referent in the Acts passage, “Romans,” is dative (similar to indirect object in English), while the referent in 1Tim, “(a) man/husband” is genitive (generally similar to possessive in English, though not always). I don’t want to make too big a deal of this fact, but it is at least some small detail with regard to which the syntax of the two passages is not parallel.

    I do wonder if the use of the genitive in 1 Tim 2:12 doesn’t have some significance that tends to be obscured in English translation. Maybe you can help?


  16. good eye, GW!

    short answer: for those very reasons is why the scope of Köstenberger’s (syntactical parallells) investigation was extended to extrabiblical Greek literature.

    as for your genitive question. . i don’t immediately see the obscured significance. . then again there is much in the Greek that is obscured by our English syntax, for instance, such as the infinitive διδάσκειν, “to teach,” is really the first word of our phrase in question and should therefore be read with more stress. Word order does have an effect on meaning. We could note also that it’s initial position in the phrase serves to contrast with μανθανέτω, “should learn,” in the previous sentence.


  17. and that’s why paraphrased translations of the Bible work so well. . for there’s not often a singular one-to-one Greek-to-English correspondence between words. .


  18. Monax,

    Plus which, if one can’t find a literal or so-called dynamic equivalence translation to fill the bill, one can almost always find a paraphrase to back up the point one is trying to make. Mostly joking here of course, but this seemed to me to be a real issue in Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life.”


  19. Gary, here’s something pretty cool about the word לָמַד lāmaḏ.

    It is the Biblical Hebrew word for “teach” and “learn.” Same word—the only difference is that one meaning is pronounced more intensely than the other.

    From this I see that “teaching” (from the Hebraic perspective) was understood as an intensive form of “learning.”

    לָמַד lāmaḏ


  20. David,

    So, by your teaching me all this stuff, you’re engaged in an intensive form of לָמַד? For my part, on the present topic, I’m sure my only learning is un-intensive. I’m certainly not qualified to teach.


  21. but Gary, surely you’ve had opportunities to teach. . and when you have, hasn’t this proven true—that you were the one who learned the most in the teaching process?

    that’s the way it goes for me


  22. Oh yes. Unless one is simply presenting the same old stuff over and over, the teacher definitely learns more than the student–particularly with a lecture format. I think the Socratic method, which is my preferred method, tends to even things out a bit because the students are drawn into taking an active role. The twist is that with the Socratic method there is opportunity for the students to teach the teacher.


  23. Since “Socratic” has a bit of a “gadfly” connotation to it, I like to consider our method dialogical in nature. You’re a lawyer, right?

    As a “Sunday School teacher,” for instance, I’ve come to class with sometimes ten hours of study under my belt. And mostly these were classes that were going through a book of the bible, so everybody knew ahead of time the text we would be covering (anyone else could have put in as much time as they could too). So my job mostly worked out to being a facilitator of conversation and learning.

    Through each other is where we all are led and taught by the Holy Spirit—in these dialogues with Scripture and with each other. Truly, yes, this is the best method I’ve found for teaching—in conversations with each other.


  24. as i’m thinking about it—the preferred method of inquiry for a two-year-old is the Socratic method. .

    you know, “Why?” is followed by “Why?” is followed by “Why?” ad infinitum


  25. In a Sunday School or informal Bible study type setting, Dialogical probably is what it tends to become if I’m a student, whether the teacher likes it or not. If I’m the teacher I’ll likely have a direction I want the discussion to go, so it’s more Socratic. And, yes, I’m a lawyer.


  26. Monax,

    Please allow me to make some observations I think are relevant, although I would not say they are completely determinative, with regard to Baldwin/Kostenberger and the meaning of authentein (to exercise authority, usurp authority or domineer/dominate).”

    1. (Suzanne McCarthy, cited by Lydia) points us to at least one usage of authentein prior to its appearance in 1 Tim 2, and in that instance even Grudem admits that authentein has a negative meaning. This appears to be contrary to what Baldwin/Kostenberger assert, which in turn prompts me to question their credibility on the matter. In fairness, one must also consider the possibility that it is Grudem’s credibility that is on the line.

    2. It appears that Kostenberger may be committed to the Complementarian position. If so, he must be viewed as an advocate whose arguments must be viewed with a good, healthy dose of objective skepticism. He stands in the position of a lawyer arguing a client’s case, and not as the judge who must determine which lawyer’s arguments conform to the the facts and the law. It is my observation that the more clever and creative a lawyer’s arguments, the less likely the facts and law are to be in their client’s favor. Kostenberger, it seems to me, is sufficiently accomplished in the art of mental gymnastics that he should have been a lawyer. (That, by the way, is a compliment–not to be confused with complement.)

    3. Nobody seems to be referring to even one historical instance where authentein is clearly used in a positive sense. But maybe I’m missing something?

    4. Assuming that didaskein (to teach) and authentein must both have positive connotations, or else they must both have negative connotations, the issues are still not resolved. It is pointed out that didaskein has a negative connotatioin in Titus 1:11. Why not turn the whole argument around and conclude that, because authentein is negative in connotation, didaskein must also carry a negative connotation in this particular verse?

    5. I suggest that it may be relevant that it is only fairly recently that there has been a concerted effort to give authentein a positive or neutral connotation. Surely the fact that the Vulgate uses the word dominare to translate authentein is not without persuasive significance.

    6. While freely admitting that my observations on this next point are those of an amateur, it occurs to me that the use of ἀνδρός [andros], the genitive form of ἀνήρ [aner = man or husband] may have this significance: a Greek genitive is most commonly translated as an English possessive. If authentein, in and of itself, is to be interpreted in a positive or neutral sense of exercising authority, the most common rendering of the genitive would result in 1 Tim 2:12 being translated along the lines of “I do not permit a woman to exercise authority of a man.” This, in turn, seems to me to lend credibility to the KJV rendering of authentein as “usurp authority.”

    7. The Greek terms for woman/wife and man/husband are both singular. Whatever Paul is said to be proscribing, the Greek has it relating to one woman or wife (singular) and one man or husband (singular).

    8. On the one hand the Complementarians want to argue that Eve’s desire for her husband is to be understood as a wish to dominate him. The same people argue that Paul is proscribing not just the domination of a husband (singular) by a wife (singular), but the exercise of any and all roles involving the exercise of authority by women (plural) over men (plural). Why not be content with proscribing only the very thing they see to be Eve’s fault? Because I reject the complementarian/patriarchist view of the nature of Eve’s “desire” for her husband, I cannot make too much of a substantive point here. However, to me at least, their inconsistency on this point tends to confirm my firm conviction that I need to be on guard against advocacy masquerading as scholarship–especially when considering the views presented by Kosternberger, Grudem and other “leading lights” who are (or appear to be) pre-committed to a complementarian or patriarchist view.

    In my next comment I will suggest that we are ill advised to be concentrating on the Greek infinitives for “to teach” and “to exercise authority/usurp authority/domineer/dominate.” Rather, I will suggest that we should be paying attention to the actual verb, ἐπιτρέπω [epitrepo], which, when combined with οὐκ [ouk], is generally translated as something along the lines of “I do not permit.” I intend to do my best to contest this rendering. For now, however, I have leaky plumbing clamoring for my attention.


  27. Gary W,Thanks for taking the time to read Suzannes analysis of Kostenberger’s assertion. I have always found her fair simply looking for truth and admits when there is no clear answer. Her blog is a wealth of such research concerning other Greek words that are badly interpreted in meaning such as kephale. Thank you for your irenic analysis.


  28. Irenic: tending to promote peace or reconciliation; peaceful or conciliatory. ( I do hope David/monax agrees I’m being irenic, as I expect he will. There are others, meaning our self-appointed spiritual “betters,” who seemingly would define irenic as agreeing with them. Otherwise, we’re just being divisive.


  29. GW, my friend, I expect to have some good time on Sunday to turn my attentions to your observations of Aug 4. I do, however, know I’ll first need to give myself to some fresh readings of the research before considering an answer. So I want to apologize for all my slowness in responding.

    Thank goodness for internet technology, as I can share with you three papers on my yet to read list:

    Αυθεντειν In The Aeschylus Scholium by David K. Huttar in JETS 44/4 (Dec 2001) 615-25


    A Semantic Study of authentes and its Derivatives by Al Wolters in Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 1 (2004) 145-175 [reprinted in JBMW 11/1 (Spring 2006) 44-65]

    Αυθεντης And Its Cognates In Biblical Greek by Al Wolters in JETS 52/4 (Dec 2009) 719-29

    . .

    Gary, I hope you were successful in getting your plumbing fixed.

    And regarding an irenic character. My ethic here is probably best mottoed by something Martin Luther once said, “Peace if possible, truth at all cost.”

    [[ I’m going to post this separately for knowing it will likely get held up in moderation for having three links ]]


  30. [[ cont. from above ]]

    You know, since Aug 2, I’ve spent much of my free time studying the Song of Solomon.

    Last Friday, in my efforts to understand the meaning of teshuqah (and to check Grudem’s work), I consulted a few lexicons, then decided to dive straight into a reading of the Song of Solomon—where our only other occurrence of teshuqah is found outside the Genesis 3-4 context.

    It’s been some years since I’ve read it, since I’ve swam in these Solomonic waters. However, this time around I found myself awe-struck at what in my eyes appears to be one of the most beautiful works of dramatic poetry ever written. From Solomon’s word imagery to the arrangement of the story elements—this song is one spectacular work of art!

    We read in Ecclesiastes 12:10 how “the Preacher sought to find words of delight.” We know from 1 Kings 4:32 that “he spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005.” So apparently this was his masterpiece—wherein a most teshuqah of proverbs (toward the end of the song) is embedded: “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it” (SS 8:7).

    Now the reason I find this proverb speaking to the reality of teshuqah is for a certain etymology of the word. With the noun teshuqah being so rare, I found it good to look to the verb (from whence it came) for its potential meaning.

    The Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon directed me to the verb shuq as the root of teshuqah. And the Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains: Hebrew gives shuq two shades of meaning: “—1 (polel) water sufficiently, i.e., place or give water on plants in amounts adequate and proper to keep plants growing and healthy (Ps 65:10). . . —2 (hif) overflow, i.e., to attempt to have more of a mass or quantity in a container than the container will allow, and the excess spills over the edge or lip (Joel 2:24; 4:13).”

    Shuq essentially means to be abundant; to be satiated. And so we have this negated sense played out in the proverb—Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it (SS 8:7).

    [[ I should note how this proverb is preceded in wording by a deadly, jealous love that is the “very flame of the LORD” (in SS 8:6).

    This is key, I believe, toward appreciating how the same sort of desire that Eve will have for Adam (Gen 3:16; the verse that follows our protoeuangelium, the first proclamation of a Savior), is the same sort of possessive desire that Sin has for Cain (Gen 4:7), is the same sort of irresistible desire King Solomon has for his Shulammite Queen (SS 7:10), is the same sort of intensity of desire the LORD has for His Bride—a fervent, passionate, clinging, overwhelming to death, unquenchable longing. Ultimately, teshuqah expresses a thirst that only the fountain of life can satisfy.

    Also, I should note that if the name Shulammite is etymologically related to shalem, meaning “to be complete,” then Shulammite would mean “the completed one” or “the peaceful one.” ]]

    Here’s what I know about King Solomon—the man’s love for the most beautiful of women could not be satiated! It was also the ruin of him, for we read in 1 Kings 11 how his many forbidden wives turned his heart after other gods and goddesses.

    The young Solomon was a wise scholar, and would certainly have been on intimate terms with the word teshuqah.

    He was also the beloved son of King David—the bloody warrior-poet.

    Solomon’s kingdom, however, was at peace. So where his father went out to war for the blood of men to expand his kingdom, his beloved son went out and hunted down beautiful women to add to his collection of queens and concubines and virgins without number.

    I truly suspect there might not have been any greater pursuit for King Solomon than the ongoing apprehension of the mystery and meaning of teshuqah.

    In fact, I commend his Song of Songs to you as the best commentary I know to be written on the mystery and meaning of teshuqah.

    Without going into all my many thoughts on this I want to draw our attention to a few things within the Song of Songs that serve to support Grudem’s portrayal of teshuqah as an “aggressive desire,” perhaps even “a desire to conquer.”

    So while Solomon can be characterized as a king who hunts down women to make them his brides, so can our Shulammite be characterized as a huntress who pursues and seduces and captures her prey.

    There’s a lot of violent imagery and animalistic energy in the text, and the Song of Songs is erotic to the core. Take note of the garden references and to the eating of each others fruit. Can we not see this as a potential connection to the Gen 3 context?

    (2:3) SHE: “With great delight I sat in his shadow [She likened Solomon to an apple tree], and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”

    (7:7-10) HE: “Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its fruit. Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine.”

    SHE: “It goes down smoothly for my beloved, gliding over lips and teeth. I am my beloved’s, and his teshuqah is for me.”

    The Song ends with this:

    (8:14) SHE: “Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spice.”

    Man alive! As a single man, after reading this, I nearly needed a cold shower. Had running through my head dark images of a Lebanese Queen calling upon her beloved to climb her spice-laden mountains! Goodness, if it wasn’t for the Yah reference this book probably wouldn’t have been recognized as inspired Holy Writ.

    (6:4-5) HE: “You are beautiful, my love. . . awesome as an army of banners. Turn away your eyes from me, for they overwhelm me—”

    (6:10) HE: “Who is this who looks down like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, awesome as an army with banners?”

    After SHE and OTHERS answer him, (6:13) HE says, “Why should you look upon the Shulammite, as upon a dance before two armies?”

    There it is! It appears that Solomon is visualizing this “courtship” as a dance between two war machines set to conquer and be conquered.

    I’ll stop short of saying more, but as I see it, Grudem’s assessment of teshuqah (as qualified by ‘el) in Gen 3:16 is kosher.

    While we’re here, let me drop something that is echoing around in my head from the poet-philosophers, the philologist Friedrich Nietzsche. If you’re familiar with the Song of Solomon the connections will be apparent.

    Thus Spake Nietzsche, “A real man wants two things: danger and play. Therefore he wants woman as the most dangerous plaything. Man should be educated for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior; all else is folly. The warrior does not like all-too-sweet fruit; therefore he likes woman: even the sweetest woman is bitter. Woman understands children better than man does, but man is more childlike than woman.

    “In a real man a child is hidden—and wants to play. Go to it, women, discover the child in man! Let woman be a plaything, pure and fine, like a gem, irradiated by the virtues of a world that has not yet arrived. Let the radiance of a star shine through your love!”


  31. Monax,

    What a superlative treatment of Song of Solomon! Who could do better? Certainly I could not come close. I do have a confession to make. Until I got to the very end of your insightful commentary, I thought you had changed your mind and were arguing for my view of the Gen 3:16 meaning of teshuquah!

    Still, maybe I have misunderstood Grudem’s point. Grudem’s assertion, quoted by you on 8/1 @ 4:07 PM, is that teshuquah “implies an aggressive desire, perhaps a desire to conquer or rule over, or else an urge or impulse the woman has to oppose her husband, an impulse to act against him.” If Grudem is referring to a sometimes jealous desire on a woman’s part to conquer her husband in romantic love and relationship, to rule over his maybe wandering ways, to put a stop to his tendency to pursue others than herself, if Grudem is speaking of a desire that can sometimes morph into a willingness to tolerate and enable all the ways in which a husband can fail notwithstanding the wife’s best efforts, I can agree with both you and Grudem.

    Regardless what of Grudem means, I agree with you (though I freely confess that we may need to agree that you may not agree with all the ways in which I agree with you).

    I still owe you some thoughts on the meaning of ἐπιτρέπω (epitrepo, translated “permit”) as used in 1 Tim 2:12. For now I will simply note that, although “permit” seems to be the only sense in which the word is translated in the NT, the first definition in Strong’s, according to the electronic version I am looking at, is “to turn to, transfer, commit, instruct.” Paul is either releasing women from (the burden of?) teaching and exercising authority over men, or he is outright prohibiting them from teaching/misteaching and exercising authority/domineering over men. The cynic, er, I mean objective realist, in me strongly suspects that, in choosing to apply the prohibitive sense of epitrepo, the men in charge of translation are simply living out that part of the Adamic curse whereby men misogynistically tend to seek to rule over women.


  32. very good, Gary. .

    fyi: i sent you an email with seven different lexical entries from various NT Greek Dictionaries for ἐπιτρέπω

    i believe we’re looking at a first person, singular, present, active, indicative verb


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