Blomberg Calls TNIV the Standard English Version

Dr. Craig Blomberg has recently rotated on to the NIV/TNIV Committee on Bible Translation. At a blog hosted by Zondervan Academic, Blomberg comments on the TNIV and its place among other English translations of the Bible. His remarks deserve a response, so I will give a brief one here. He writes:

‘What about the big debate over gender-inclusive language for humanity at its peak in the late 1990s? After over a decade since the NIVI Britain’s first stab at an evangelical, inclusive language translation) was produced, I am convinced more than ever that it is the right way to go. I barely ever hear anyone any more in public speech (which is what the Bible was originally written for) even hesitate over sentences like, “Everyone who want to pass the test tomorrow should study their notes intensely,” which is the most common kind of change the TNIV introduced. . . the vast majority of us can soon recognize the TNIV for what it deserves to be—the truly standard English-language version for years to come.’

Blomberg’s point about English usage is correct, but it is also beside the point as far as the inclusive language debate goes. “Their” instead of “his” in the previous instance is not all that controversial, and there would not have been a debate about gender-inclusive translations if that was all there was to it. But that’s not all there was to it.

Gender-inclusive changes in English usage over the past 50 years have been the result of feminist propaganda, not the result of natural changes in usage. Generic masculines have dropped off in usage not because they are incomprehensible to native English speakers, but because of an artificial, ideological agenda to remove all vestiges of patriarchy from language.

I don’t believe that Blomberg and the other members of the Committee on Bible Translation are rabid feminist ideologues. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m just observing that the gender-inclusive impulse originates with feminist ideology, not with the gradual changes in usage that every language undergoes.

The problem with the gender-inclusive impulse is that its criteria can be at odds with accuracy in translation in some situations. With respect to the TNIV, Wayne Grudem has compiled a list of texts in which the TNIV actually does obscure the meaning of the author in an effort to be gender inclusive. Take a look at these examples for yourself, and see if he is not on to something.

I know many will disagree. But if Grudem’s list does anything, it shows that the TNIV has a long way to go before becoming the “standard” English translation. For now, I’m hoping that Blomberg is wrong about the TNIV’s pride of place among English translations. Whatever its strengths may be, it simply does not deserve that distinction.

72 Responses to Blomberg Calls TNIV the Standard English Version

  1. GUNNY HARTMAN August 12, 2008 at 2:03 am #

    I concur, though I must say I was frustrated with the ESV over that point as well.

    Claiming to be more literal than others (e.g., NIV) it actually goes gender inclusive in areas where the NIV is more literal (e.g. Matt 5:16, “before men” in NIV, but “before others” in ESV).

    I’m an ESV user and proponent, but that’s one criticism I have.

  2. Mike Bird August 12, 2008 at 3:57 am #

    Denny,
    None of the distortions of the TNIV can match the reprehensible case of Rom. 16.7 in the ESV which is the most irresponsible feat of Bible translation that I have ever seen. This is a lucid act of rewriting the text to make it say something that it does not say in order to suit the ideological agenda of the translators. Yes, I know of Dan Wallace’s argument for “well known to” but to say that Junia was (i) not a women, and (ii) not an apostle, seems all to convenient given what we know of the gender views of the ESV team, i.e. Wayne Grudem. Everyone harps on about the textual violence that egalitarians do to 1 Tim. 2.11-15 to suit their agenda (many criticisms I’d agree with) and so it goes that these can only be done by denying inerrancy. Yet it is clear to me that the textual violence of the ESV here equals or surpasses anything that egalitarians do. When you make the Word of God say something that it does not say, and go against just about every English translation known to man and the best of evangelical scholarship on Romans (e.g. Morris, Moo, and Schreiner), then a case needs to be answered and I think the ESV translators are undermining the inerrancy of the autographs. Their translation of Rom. 16.7 is a piece of complementarian propaganda and is the biggest work of fiction since vows of fidelity were introduced into the French wedding service. If assenting to Rom. 16.7 (ESV) is what one has to believe in order to be a complementarian or a member of CBWM, never in a million years would I join! Okay, that was a bit more of a rant that I intended, but your post struck a chord!

    Other than that, the ESV isn’t a bad translation overall and I generally like it esp. on the epistles and I do use it in class. But until they revize certain sections like this, it should not become to Standard Version either!

    Blessings

  3. Craig Blomberg August 12, 2008 at 4:24 am #

    Thanks for calling attention to my post. In the 21st century we need to distinguish between what changes have occurred in the English and why they have changed. Just as very few people who didn’t live through World War II have no idea that Jeep originated from an acronym, few young people today consciously think about the fact that a server in a restaurant was once either a waiter or a waitress. I commented explicitly and at length on Grudem’s controversies in my article on the TNIV in the Bible Translator in the summer of 2005 which was also on the official TNIV website for a long time. Even if Wayne were right on most of his points (and I don’t think he is), they still scarcely outweigh the misleading nature of texts that say “A man must. . .” in countless proverbs and general truths in exclusive-language translations. Yes, one can teach a new generation about the usage, but if the culture doesn’t normally speak that way it makes Christianity sound unnecessarily chauvinistic, generally foreign, and certainly not koine. I regularly minister among non-churched and non-Christian people and could give you countless stories. My sense is that those who remain so adamant against this language simply don’t do ministry on any regular basis in these contexts!

  4. Denny Burk August 12, 2008 at 8:04 am #

    Mike,

    You will never be accused of being understated!

    Why did you read this post as an apologetic for the ESV? It’s not. I still use the NASB when I preach and teach (though it’s not without it’s own problems).

    Thanks,
    Denny

  5. Denny Burk August 12, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    Mike,

    BTW. The ESV does render “Junia” as a feminine. You are simply objecting to the adoption of Wallace and Burer’s “well known to” interpretation, which by the way was first published in New Testament Studies (which last time I checked is no mean journal among the specialists).

    You may not like the interpretation, but let’s not pretend that it came from Mars.

    🙂

    Denny

  6. Adam Omelianchuk August 12, 2008 at 8:34 am #

    The ESV has updated to Junia, but it still retains a footnote for the masculine name.

    I have both the TNIV and the ESV and reading through both can be a headache at times. Both can be really good too. I lean towards the TNIV, but that is because I still love the NIV. Bible translation philosophy is fun to argue about, but I think it gets too much press in my opinion.

  7. Joanna August 12, 2008 at 8:47 am #

    I brought a TNIV to replace my current bible that is about to wear out. I haven’t used it yet. Do you believe it is worth using despite issues surrounding inclusive language or are the problems serious enough that i should go buy another bible in a different translation?

  8. Brendt August 12, 2008 at 8:58 am #

    Attacks on the ESV as a response to an article that doesn’t even mention it are the theological equivalent of “I know you are, but what am I?”

  9. Luke Britt August 12, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    I recommend the ESV most of the time, but I enjoy the TNIV very much. I’m not too concerned with some of the inclusive gender language – it’s simply not that big of a deal to me. It sure does bother those he-man-woman-haters!

  10. volfan007 August 12, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    Denny,

    We have many today who are very willing to bow down to the fad philosophies of the day. I do believe that if Dr. Lightbritches and Oprah say it, then some Pastors and Profs will agree with it, and they will try to make the Bible fit it. They like to be accepted by the intellegencia of the day. They dont like to be looked upon as stupid and backward, yet, as Christians, we are to stand out in the crowd. We are to be a peculiar people.

    David

  11. Mike Bird August 12, 2008 at 11:04 am #

    Denny,

    I was somewhat overstated and retract any accusations of denial of inerrancy by the ESV committee which was uncharitable (I shouldn’t read blogs before I’ve had my morning cup of tea, otherwise I get cranky)! Do delete my previous post!! In hindsight, my criticisms probably apply more to Piper/Grudem in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 79-80. Problem is that I still have memories of a copy editor at a certain publishing house insisting that I change my translation of Rom. 16.7 in order to comport with the ESV! Suffice to say, I was not amused. Also, I didn’t think of you as defending the ESV. It was just that your statements about gender and TNIV reminded me of the failings of the ESV on this one particular verse. Burer and Wallace do a good job as can be done of defending their particular translation, and I admit that the Greek is ambiguous, but I still think that Belleville gets the better of the argument. D.A. Carson’s book is probably the standard of the gender inclusive debate. FWIW, today I was teaching a class on Romans in the Reformed Tradition largely using the ESV set in a synopsis with Tyndale’s translation and the Geneva Bible. But I do prefer the TNIV on the Gospels. So there we are!

  12. Nace August 12, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    Thanks for the link to Grudem’s article. Very helpful.

  13. David Hamilton August 12, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    I’ve noticed that it is “PC” here in “the states” to use feminine pronouns for gender neutral, hypothetical situations in writing today. However, a couple of books from the U.K. (David Robertson’s “The Dawkins Letters” and “Pierced for Our Transgressions”) use masculine pronouns in such cases. “He/she” and “he or she” are awkward, and “their” is plural, which makes it preferable to use either “he” or “she.”

    In older American works, masculine pronouns were the norm, but I definitely think that feminism has led to a shift to feminine pronouns. In my opinion, making this change seems to connote that the female gender is the lesser of the two (or however many liberals say there are today), and therefore we use feminine pronouns so as not to offend females. Another case of feminism having a negative effect, I think.

    If feminists truly wanted to improve the status of women, they would strive for womanhood, marriage, and motherhood to be celebrated; and for “separate-but-equal” rather than simply equal.

    Thanks for the post, Doc, keep up the good work,
    -That Guy Who Tells People Not To Use Your Comments Section As Their Blog, Then Uses Your Comment Section As His Blog

  14. Wayne Leman August 12, 2008 at 11:50 am #

    Denny, you wrote:

    Gender-inclusive changes in English usage over the past 50 years have been the result of feminist propaganda, not the result of the natural changes in usage. Generic masculines have dropped off in usage not because they are incomprehensible to native English speakers, but because of an artificial, ideological agenda to remove all vestiges of patriarchy from language.

    It is true that there has been feminist attempts to engineer English to make it more gender inclusive. And feminists called for far more, linguistically, than what they got. I won’t detail the data here, but it is available by googling on key terms such as “feminist pronouns”.

    But by no means can we give feminists all the credit for loss of masculine generics. The linguistic struggle over what forms to use in English for generics has been ongoing since the 1300’s. Ordinary speakers of English as well as some of the greatest English authors (the file I maintain includes Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, and James Dobson), by no means feminists, have used “they” as a form for referring to semantic indefinites (e.g. someone, no one, whoever).

    There is nothing sacred or more biblical about a language using masculine gender pronouns as generics rather than gender neutral ones. There are languages in the world which have no gendered pronouns. God’s written Word can be expressed just as accurately in those languages as it can be in languages which use masculine generics.

    Finally, language change happens, and it is seldom due to engineering from any ideological quarter. Yes, many English speakers today still understand the intended meaning of masculine generics. But many speakers also prefer using non-masculine generics, just as they have been doing so since the 1300’s. I’m happy to supply actual data, if it would be of any help.

    FWIW, the prescriptive requirement to use a masculine pronoun as a generic was itself an instance of language engineering. It occurred as a legal act in the late 1800’s where it was stated, by law, that references to “he” were to be understood as including women. Since then school teachers have told their students to use “he” as the generic rather than allowing students to use what sounded most natural to them. English speakers naturally used both masculine and non-masculine generics before prescriptivism declared the masculine form to be “correct”.

  15. Mike Bird August 12, 2008 at 12:44 pm #

    Mike,

    Yeah, your first comment was a bit cranky. Happens to the best of us. 🙂

    I do want to point out another case of overstatement. You said, “This is a lucid act of rewriting the text to make it say something that it does not say in order to suit the ideological agenda of the translators.”
    And later, “Burer and Wallace do a good job as can be done of defending their particular translation, and I admit that the Greek is ambiguous, but I still think that Belleville gets the better of the argument.”

    So, you see that it’s ambiguous, but think that “among” is the better translation. OK. I don’t have an educated opinion, myself. But that ambiguity means that it’s not a “a lucid act of rewriting the text to make it say something that it does not say in order to suit the ideological agenda of the translators.”

    Certainly, bias is a particular danger here. We should read Burer and Wallace with an extra helping of discernment. But… The exact same caution applies to Belleville. Your side is just as susceptible to clinging to a translation in in order to suit your ideological agenda.

    Unfortunately, ESV, NIV, NASB, NKJV, and TNIV do not have footnotes to indicate the ambiguity–while NET does. I wish they all did.

  16. Jugulum August 12, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    Whoops! Sorry, I typed in the wrong name in the name field. The previous comment was by me.

    If the blog maintainers can fix that typo, it would be welcome.

  17. Sue August 12, 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    I am disappointed that you would link to Grudem’s statement. There is no reason for him to accuse the TNIV of being inaccurate. Here is my response to some of his points.

    A – Was Moses the son of a two-father family, or perhaps the Greek word pater can mean “parent?” Hebrews 11:23

    B adelphoi refers to couples like Cleopatra and Ptolemy, Orestes and Electra. We are obliged to translate these as “brother and/or sister” in English. The TNIV has good precedent on this.

    C The Greek word autos means “one’s self.” It is appropriately translated “to oneself” – I do not find “when alone” to be a mistranslation.

    D Hebrews 2:6 is a translation of enosh in Hebrew which is properly translated into English as “mortal” and is an appropriate translation of anthropos. Why is the Hebrew normally obscured in other translations?

    Perhaps the most curious statement in the article you link to is this,

    “Man” (when translating the male-specific term aner) is changed to things like “people” or friends” 26 times.

    Denny,

    Are you aware that the word aner was translated into English by the words

    – person, people
    – citizen, both male and female
    – friends
    – they
    – anyone

    from classical texts, Plato et al. in the early 20th century? This was due to accuracy and not feminism.

    Unfortunately, the TNIV committee did not take time to carefully explain that modern culture was a challenge to translate the Bible with greater accuracy, not with less accuracy.

    Ït should be common knowledge that 32.000 young girls were named adam, that women, as citizens are called aner, that adelphoi means “sisters and brothers.

    I have found that translations which claim to use “men” where there is a male semantic meaning to be quite non-transparent to the Greek in 2 Tim. 2:2, Eph. 4:8, 2 Peter 1:21.

    Denny,

    I am glad that you still use the NASB, where the word “man” is still understood as generic – both men and women, and have not given in to using “man” to mean the male, as the ESV has.

  18. Sue August 12, 2008 at 3:16 pm #

    Regardless of where the original article on Junia was published, the authors have not responded to Belleville. Since she pointed out how they took the citation from Pss. of Solomon 2:6 as an adjective attributed to “people,” rather than a dative substantive following a preposition, the conclusions are without standing.

    Burer has stated recently that he will not respond to Belleville for the next few years. I cannot understand how several supposedly literal Bibles have adopted the non-literal “well-known to the apostles” phrase. Surely, the fact that all Greek references to Junia from ancient times until today acknowledge her as an apostle is also evidence. The 19th century Greek Vamva version of the NT has replaced εν with the non-ambiguous μεταξυ.

    I confess that I do not understand why certain Bibles are called literal and others are not.

  19. carissa August 12, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    thanks for your comments, sue! you’ve said all that i would have said. i too have read that article by Grudem and find almost all of it wholly unconvincing and unfounded (with just one or two exceptions – and i do respect Wayne Grudem). i’d also add that, even if it were true that “gender-inclusive” language is a result of “feminist propaganda,” what difference would that make? the point is that it is now American English convention to say “their” instead of “his” and “people” instead of “men,” and it seems mere stubbornness to try to force the language back to the “good old way.”

  20. Jugulum August 12, 2008 at 4:56 pm #

    Sue,

    “A – Was Moses the son of a two-father family, or perhaps the Greek word pater can mean “parent?” Hebrews 11:23

    Er…Grudem said, “The TNIV mistranslates the Greek terms huios (“son”) and pater (“father”), which in their singular forms do not mean “child” or “parent,” and surely not “children” or “parents.” [bold added]”

    Grudem is objecting to the TNIV rendering “pater” as “parents”–he’s not objecting to them rendering “patres” as “parents”.

  21. Mike J August 12, 2008 at 6:54 pm #

    The ESV’s rendering is hardly unique…

    CSB Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow countrymen and fellow prisoners. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were also in Christ before me.

    ESV Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

    NAS Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

    NET Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my compatriots and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me.

    NIV Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

    NKJ Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

    NLT Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews, who were in prison with me. They are highly respected among the apostles and became followers of Christ before I did.

    YLT Romans 16:7 salute Andronicus and Junias, my kindred, and my fellow-captives, who are of note among the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me.

  22. Brandon August 12, 2008 at 7:01 pm #

    “Everyone who want to pass the test tomorrow should study their notes intensely.”

    Call me a niggler, but while it is becoming more accepted to use a plural possesive ‘their’ to refer to singular indefinite pronouns, the use of ‘want’ instead of ‘wants’ is a tad bit odd, don’t you think? Compare 2 Timothy 3:12 (TNIV): “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

    Will the next version of the TNIV read, “Everyone who want to live…”?

  23. John August 13, 2008 at 1:12 am #

    Denny,

    So, because of “feminist propoganda” we should not use inclusive language and should sign statements saying we don’t approve of Bible translations that do? Feminist propoganda or not, it has changed whether you like it or not. So english is becoming less patriarchal…who cares? English is not inspired, and as the speech changes (even though people can still comprehend other ways) so should our translations. We use and translate the word “slave” as “servant” due to our country’s horrendous past of the practice of slavery. Should we be true to the text and translate doulos as “slave” even though anti-slave propoganda tells us not to? Slavery, in the technical sense, is very “biblical,” so why not?

    You said even the beloved NASB is not without it’s many problems, and the same is the case with all translations. Just because Wayne Grudem has compiled a list of problems he sees doesn’t dictate that the translation is bad and we should not use it.

    I honestly don’t understand your beef with the TNIV, and I think the case against it is extremely weak. What do you think about the NET translation?

  24. jeff August 13, 2008 at 2:02 am #

    Dear Denny and others,
    Keep pushing for accuracy and let us overcome cultural hurdles with our own brains. Oh and I have a question: why does the ESV cling to the textual accretion of “baptizing couches” (Mark 7:4) that was even abandoned by more recent corrections to the KJV?? Just curious.
    Thanks,
    Jeff

  25. Craig Blomberg August 13, 2008 at 5:55 am #

    I came to faith in 1970 through Campus Life/Youth for Christ and the Living Bible Paraphrased! I learned that there were some inaccuracies in that paraphrase, indeed more than in any of today’s plethora of translations. I moved on from that but my girls were weaned on the New Living Translation until they were old enough to enjoy and benefit from the NIV. My passion is not to convince NIV readers to switch to the TNIV but for the lost. I work with Scum of the Earth church in urban Denver with twentysomethings raised to use inclusive language as a matter of course with no political agenda behind it. For them the NIV, ESV, and HCSB, for all their many strengths, are still jarring when in countless texts “A man must. . .” appears in proverbs and other generalized truths. Who is the audience we are most concerned to reach? The polls make it clear how we’re not reaching the younger generation adequately, and they are rightly sensitive to the harm traditional Christianity has done to people in various ways in the past. My motives have nothing to do with feminism but everything to do with 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, avoiding every possible stumbling block except that of the foolishness of the cross to bringing people to Christ. The TNIV helps me best in that effort, when people have enough education to move beyond the NLT.

  26. Sue August 14, 2008 at 1:08 am #

    Jugulum,

    Er…Grudem said, “The TNIV mistranslates the Greek terms huios (”son”) and pater (”father”), which in their singular forms do not mean “child” or “parent,” and surely not “children” or “parents.” [bold added]”

    His point is debatable. Clearly one man and one woman can be patres, and one man and one woman can be adelphoi. There is no common word for “parent” or “child” or “sibling” in either Greek or Hebrew. Therefore, we have to ask what the meaning is of an unnamed generic adelphos, or pater or huios. Isn’t it just as likely that they refer to a generic human being? A brother or a sister?

    The “son of her womb” in Isaiah 49:15 appears to refer to a female. How much better to translate it as the “child of her womb.” I have seen this verse used in a touching way by a mother who lost a daughter to miscarriage – but of course, she used the (T)NIV. Why should we be deprived of much of the Bible in an affective sense, which is what happens when male language is used throughout.

    I don’t have an educated opinion, myself. But that ambiguity means that it’s not a “a lucid act of rewriting the text to make it say something that it does not say in order to suit the ideological agenda of the translators.”

    I have checked every reference in both Belleville’s article and Wallace and Burer in the original Greek. The facts are that the citation of Pss of Solomon 2:6 which is referenced in the NET Bible notes is not as it was described. It is not an adjective modifying a personal noun and therefore is not a parallel with the passage in Romans 16:7. There is no defensible reason for translating the Greek phrase episemoi en apostolois as “well-known to the apostles.” It is not literal and it is not a grammatically defensible option.

    It is simply not factual that NT Greek prefers a genitive construction to designate that the people described are members of the group. Let’s look at these.

    καὶ σύ Βηθλέεμ γῆ Ἰούδα οὐδαμῶς
    ἐλαχίστη εἶ ἐν τοῖς ἡγεμόσιν Ἰούδα Matt. 2:6

    ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; ESV

    ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν οὐκ ἐγήγερται ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν μείζων Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν Matt. 11:11

    Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. ESV

    Ἰούδαν τὸν καλούμενον Βαρσαββᾶν καὶ Σιλᾶν
    ἄνδρας ἡγουμένους ἐν τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς Acts 15:22

    Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas,
    leading men among the brothers ESV

    The translation of Romans 16:7 in the ESV and NET Bible is without defense. Mike Burer emailed me last year that he would be responding to Belleville’s article. However, something he wrote in an article in JBMW this year indicates that he will likely not be doing this.

    The ESV and NET Bible translation of Romans 16:7 may not be unique but it is highly reprehensible.

  27. Mike J August 14, 2008 at 1:28 am #

    ‘The ESV and NET Bible translation of Romans 16:7 may not be unique but it is highly reprehensible.’

    I somehow doubt that the NLT had in mind a ‘reprehensible’ ‘agenda driven textual tinkering’ at this point.

  28. Denny Burk August 14, 2008 at 1:44 am #

    Dr. Blomberg (#3 and #25),

    Thanks for taking time to comment. I just bought your book on the reliability of the NT for a relative who is wrestling through those issues. Thanks for all you do.

    I don’t insist on generic masculine renderings every time I see a generic masculine in Greek. As far as I’m concerned, I just don’t see that as the main point of this debate. The problem is the occasional tendency to render gender specific terms as if they were generic. The TNIV’s rendering in Hebrews 12 is illustrative:

    NIV Hebrews 12:7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?
    TNIV Hebrews 12:7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their parents?

    Grudem is correct to argue that this example ‘Mistranslates Greek terms huios (“son”) and pater (“father”), which in their singular forms cannot mean “child” or “parent.” Obscures the parallel with God as Father.’

    In my view, the distortion represented in this text is a characteristic weakness of the TNIV–one that stems directly from an effort to be gender-inclusive. That’s the way I’ve sized things up, anyway.

    Thanks again for stopping by.

    Denny Burk

  29. Sue August 14, 2008 at 1:44 am #

    Mike J,

    The KJV is a literal translation of the Greek, as good as it gets.

    Andronicus and Junia … of note among the apostles KJV

    The Greek word episemos means “outstanding” or “marked on.” It doesn’t literally mean “respected” or “well known.” But the NLT does not claim to be so literal. It also offers an ambiguous translation. The ESV and NET are without defense.

  30. Sue August 14, 2008 at 1:46 am #

    Obscures the parallel with God as Father.

    Just as the “son of her womb” obscures the relationship of God as mother to her daughter Zion.

  31. Denny Burk August 14, 2008 at 1:48 am #

    Thanks.

  32. Sue August 14, 2008 at 1:57 am #

    Denny

    You really ought to appeal to CBMW to take down the statement of concern against the TNIV. I am ashamed that such a thing exists in the Christian community. Clearly the ESV has its own gender problems but there is no statement of concern against it.

  33. Brian (Another) August 14, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Sue:

    Regarding the analogy I presented, I was bringing up examples in the bible that go against a biblical command. The presence does not mean we can ignore the command. But DJ already hit on that one. Just wanted to chime in specifically.

    Timothy and Titus speak on Deacons and elders (overseers).

    That being said, just because there is a biblical command doesn’t mean God can’t (won’t?) use means outside of that command (i.e., I fully believe God’s ordained plan includes how we will go outside of His command). The examples are that He has. And He will continue to do so.

    Also, to temporarily ignore the quibble about who/what Junias was (at most, it is not clear), if I were to say that Junias was an apostle, does that mean we ignore Timothy and Titus?

    Thanks!

  34. Brian (Another) August 14, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    Sorry, folks. I cross-threaded (kind of punny, isn’t it?) there. Sorry for the confusion as I had read the Egalitarian/heresy post and thought I had opened that post. Sigh.

    Have a great day, all.

  35. Mike J August 14, 2008 at 12:59 pm #

    “I have checked every reference in both Belleville’s article and Wallace and Burer in the original Greek. The facts are that the citation of Pss of Solomon 2:6 which is referenced in the NET Bible notes is not as it was described. It is not an adjective modifying a personal noun and therefore is not a parallel with the passage in Romans 16:7. There is no defensible reason for translating the Greek phrase episemoi en apostolois as “well-known to the apostles.” It is not literal and it is not a grammatically defensible option. ”
    Grudem has responded to this here: http://adrianwarnock.com/2006/12/wayne-grudem-replies-to-critic.htm
    Read especially points 3,4,5,6.

    Incidentally, while some raise a big fuss over the Junia/Junias distinction, I find that to be an interesting criticism given the arguments for gender neutrality. After all, the argument claims to be one of bringing the text to the vulgar tongue, so to speak. Yet, in the vulgar tongue, I’d figure that 99.9% of the laity could not tell you whether Junia is masc or fem or Junias is masc or fem. That the ESV has the alternative in the footnote is practically irrelevant since the average reader isn’t going to notice the distinction.

  36. D.J. Williams August 14, 2008 at 2:00 pm #

    Mike, thanks for that great resource. Sue, you don’t seem to be doing a very good or charitable job at representing the work of your opponents.

  37. Sue August 14, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    If the examples of women in leadership do not count in light of so called “commands” against women in leadership, then examples of men in leadership do not count either. If we discount the narratives of the scriptures we deny the whole counsel of God. There really isn’t anywhere to go in a discussion with someone who argues like that.

    I am glad that the post on Adrian’s blog was linked to. All my comments were deleted and the post was left standing as is.

    #3 Wallace and Burer claim a parallel between Pss. of Solomon 2:6 and Romans 16:7. The parallel does not exist. However, they cited the word as if it were an adjective modifying a personal noun and not a substantive or an adjective modifying an elided impersonal noun.

    However, in their original article they wrote that this verse was a close parallel. They depended on this parallel to prove their point. The parallel does not exist.

    Neither Wallace and Burer, nor Grudem quoted the NETS edition although it had been published on the internet at that time. The argument was not presented in the light of recent scholarship on Pss. of Solomon 2:6.

    The section on Junia in Ev. Fem and Biblical truth by Grudem has factual errors in it in that Origen is cited as a source of a masculine Junias, when, in fact, the only masculine citation of Junias in Origen occurs in a Latin translation of Origen dated in the 12th century. Ev. Fem and Biblical Truth is deliberately misleading. Epiphanius also cites a masculine Junias and a masculine Prisca. This is not counted as evidence. Therefore, Grudem wrongly argues that there is early evidence of a masculine Junias.

    #4 You probably know that I don’t use software to parse Greek forms so I won’t respond to this.

    #5 Brenton’s translation is a dynamic equivalent, especially for this phrase. Once again, why is the literal translation of the Septuagint, the NETS, not acknowledged by Grudem?

    #6 Here Grudem does acknowledge that the word could be the noun episemon. Why was this information not in Wallace and Burer’s article?

    Mike Burer admitted that Belleville, Epp and Bauckham had legitimate criticisms of the article. He specifically responded that he would be writing on this topic again. Here is what Mike Burer wrote this year,

    “In the next few years I hope to develop a suitable response to these critiques.”

    Why would it take years? And why is the tenuous and unsupported translation “well known to the apostles” still in the NET and ESV?

    Mike J,

    I think you miss the point. Most scholars, except Grudem and a few others who are working on a new not yet published hypothesis, seem to accept that Junia is female. But the translation says that she is only well known to the apostles, not among the apostles.

    Why do all Greek sources simply accept that she was one of the apostles. If Greek speakers accept her as an apostle, why do Americans not accept her as an apostle? This is just an example of how supposed scholars are playing with scholarship. If they go unchallenged, then anything in the Bible can be translated in any way at all and no one will be the wiser.

    The verse that have been translated in significantly different ways over the last 2000 years are Gen. 3:16, with 4 major variations, all different doctrinally, 1 Tim. 2:12, 1 Cor. 11:10, Rom. 16:7 and a few others.

    If these verses are used as proof texts, then someone needs to explain how these proof texts have been created by the translators.

    I do not intend and never have claimed that Junia was one of the 12. However, she was labeled as an apostle, whatever that means, and other women were prophets, whatever that means. It seems that some people would just like to say that these women are in the Bible, but that does not mean that God approves of them having these positions.

    In that case, you can argue any part of the Bible away.

    PS I would like to recount one further point on my side of the exchange. When I stated that Grudem’s book was “riddled with errors” I was imitating a phrase that was used in Grudem’s original book 3 or 4 times when he wrote of egalitarian scholarship. Somehow Grudem seems to have missed my play on words, and was not aware that I was, in fact, citing his own rhetoric. He finds that when I, a woman, use that phrase in a blog comment, it is intemperate, but when he uses that same phrase in a published book it is not. I do not conform to his standards of different behavior. I do not recognize Grudem’s paradigm, that what is acceptable for a man is not acceptable for a woman. (Actually, no, I had no clue that he would find my imitation of one of his favourite phrases to be reprehensible.) So, Dr. Grudem had the last word and my comments both preceding and after, were deleted.

  38. Sue August 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    Mike J,

    You will have to be specific. I have written about 20 posts on Wallace and Burer’s article and have addressed every point in great detail. If you raise a particular point, I will respond to it.

    I can assure you that I have communicated with Dr. Wallace and Dr. Burer on this and they are aware that there article is not defended. Mike Burer did write a subsequent post after Dr. Grudem’s post, linked to here. I then responded to that post. These posts are extremely technical.

    I would like to simply point out that Burer knows that the article needs a defense and he does not at this time have a defense worked out.

  39. Sue August 14, 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    Denny,

    My continued thanks to you for allowing me to present this.

    Sue

  40. Sue August 14, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    DJ,

    My remark to Mike was actually intended to be addressed to you. If you have any questions at all about the details of the Junia dialogue I would be happy to respond with more detail.

    At this point there is little further to say. Wallace and Burer admit that the ball is in their court and they have not returned it. Scholarship will simply leave their interpretation of Rom. 16:7 on the shelf.

  41. D.J. Williams August 14, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    “Wallace and Burer admit that the ball is in their court and they have not returned it.”

    I’m sorry, Sue – but after reading both you and Grudem in your own words, I simply can’t trust that. I’ve not seen evidence that you accurately represent the other side, dating back to our previous discussions. Do you have a link to them actually admitting that their work is indefensible?

  42. Sue August 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm #

    I cannot find a quote made in public at this time.

    Here are statements from the NET Bible on this topic.

    1. When a comparative notion is seen, that to which ἐπίσημος is compared is frequently, if not usually, put in the genitive case (cf., e.g., 3 Macc 6:1 [Ελεαζαρος δέ τις ἀνὴρ ἐπίσημος τῶν ἀπὸ τής χώρας ἱερέων “Eleazar, a man prominent among the priests of the country”]; cf. also Pss. Sol. 17:30).

    When, however, an elative notion is found, ἐν (en) plus a personal plural dative is not uncommon (cf. Pss. Sol. 2:6).

    This statement is not reflected by the facts. See my comment #26. For example,

    Ἰούδαν τὸν καλούμενον Βαρσαββᾶν καὶ Σιλᾶν
    ἄνδρας ἡγουμένους ἐν τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς Acts 15:22

    Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas,
    leading men among the brothers ESV

    It is clear from this example and many more, that en + dative is usually used to express the comparative or inclusive notion. (Comparative means inclusive, and elative means exclusive.)

    The citation of Pss. of Solomon 2:6 does not have a “personal plural dative” in it. That statement is not accurate.

    When the note says that it is not uncommon, they are referring to the fact that there are 2 or 3 examples in all of Greek literature where episemos is used with an elided non-personal noun to refer to the most visible place in the country. This is most certainly a comparative and not an elative use of the word episemos. This point has not been rebutted.

    2. Although ἐν plus a personal dative does not indicate agency, in collocation with words of perception, (ἐν plus) dative personal nouns are often used to show the recipients.

    Episemos is not related in any way, shape or form to a “word of perception” in Greek. This statement implies that this note was constructed from an English understanding of a loose, dynamic equivalent translation of the word, which is found in Louw and Nida.

    This is the entire argumentation found in the NET Bible note. I am unaware that there has been any academic attempt to defend this note, but it remains and influences the translation of Romans 16:7 in the ESV.

  43. Michael Metts August 14, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    Sue,

    You should switch sides and bring your expertise over to the Complementarian position.

    What do you say?

  44. Mike J August 14, 2008 at 3:40 pm #

    “I think you miss the point.”

    Nope. Didn’t miss that. Hence I said, “regarding … [junia(s)] stuff.” That word “regarding” introduces a side note wherein I made an observation on the translation of the name.

  45. Brian (Another) August 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm #

    Sue:

    I did no such thing as discount the narratives. Evoking a false argument (that I did not make) then dismiss the question is a bit odd. And, in most interactions, uncharacteristic. How unfortunate.

    My statement was that there are examples of many commands by God that go unheeded and yet blessings can result (or the narratives are still recorded). I said nothing alluding to dismissing the narratives. I did indicate that the presence of things (lives, stories) on the contrary do not mean we get to knowingly circumvent (shirk, dismiss) a biblical command (thus I was using the David analogy). 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are the command(s?) to which I was referring. God utilized lives that don’t follow that example. And He will continue to work in ways that I cannot wholly explain as well. But there is a clear biblical call (above, as well as including 1 Timothy 2:12 that you cited speaking against women teachers). I understand that we do not agree.

  46. Sue August 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    Brian (Another),

    Perhaps you can understand that the David analogy, ie adultery and murder, is not an appropriate comparison to women like Deborah et al. I don’t know how to address this further. We shall have to agree to disagree on this.

    I do not accept 1 Tim. 2;12 as a clear biblical command specifically to women, since 1 Peter 5:3 is a similar command made to both men and women. Leaders in the church should not dominate others, men should not dominate women, nor women men. 1 Tim. 2;12 is open to interpretation in the light of other scriptures.

    There is no command in 1 Tim. 3 or Titus 1 that the leaders must be male. There may be an assumption that the leaders are male, but this is not a command. There is also an assumption that an elder must be married. However, I am not aware that it is understood as a biblical “command” that elders be married.

    I confess that I am not aware of where you find the biblical command that elders be male.

    Mike J,

    I simply want to apologize for what was an honest misunderstanding. I can’t defend myself on this. I just wasn’t sure what you were saying. You have packed in a lot in your comments, trying to address both the gender of Junia along with her inclusion/exclusion among the apostles. It is often better to address these two issues separately and I am happy to do so.

    Michael Metts,

    I do not find the complementarian model to accord with the way God dealt with women in the Bible. However, I am quite prepared to admit that online I have many complementarian friends. If you really just want to talk philology, then anything is possible. Thanks for the invite!

  47. Sue August 14, 2008 at 7:24 pm #

    Since someone has linked to Grudem’s response to me, I would like to link to Burer’s response. He writes,

    We appreciate that several writers have pointed out that our translation and citation of the passage in the original piece were not the best. (In reflecting on this, neither Dr. Wallace nor I could remember who was responsible for this part of the article.) We should have included more of the Greek text, including the preposition ἐν so that readers could see that there was another way of understanding the construction.

    The English translation we gave, “a spectacle among the gentiles,” was exactly the wording given in a recent, standard English translation of Psalms of Solomon, in James Charlesworth’s The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (1985), vol. 2, p. 652. The translation “spectacle” is a way of saying in English that they were “in a place visible/notorious” and so the translation is not incorrect, though not as literal as “in (a place) visible” or “in (a place) notorious” among the Gentiles. But that more literal translation still supports our understanding of Rom. 16:7 as “well-known to the apostles,” for in Ps. Sol. 2:6 the place was “visible” or even “well-known” to the Gentiles. (The text does not say, “in (a place) visible among other places” or something like that, which would be parallel to “outstanding among the apostles.”)

    It is important to realize that he bases his conclusions on a similarity between Oxy 1408 and Pss. of Solomon 2:6 and Pss. of Sol. 17:30 and Rom. 16:7.

    Here is Oxy. 1408 and this is what Burer writes,

    P.Oxy. 1408 speaks of “the most important [places] of the nomes” (τοῖς ἐπισημοτάτοις τῶν νομῶν). …In this text that which is ἐπίσημος is a part of the nome; the genitive is used to indicate this.

    The phrase in P.Oxy. 1408 is governed by ἐν, and the word τόποις is not in the text of the papyrus (although the editors do suggest that its omission was a mistake on the part of the original author of the papyrus); this is a nice parallel to the text in Ps. Sol. 17:30.

    I scratch my head over that.

    If there was a parallel, then Burer’s work in this post could be presented in an academic paper. this is Burer’s last word on the subject.

    This was my response to Burer at the time. Burer Responds

    and My response to Mike Burer

    As I said, the NET Bible notes on Junia are not defensible.

  48. Brian (Another) August 15, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    Sue,

    I did no such thing as to say that Deborah judging is equal to adultery. Though I understand your desire to project the conclusion upon me.

    Perhaps I should have used a different analogy. Like divorce (a certificate only) or marriage (plural wives). Biblical examples contrary to a biblical command do not indicate that I can ignore the biblical command. Which is what I was trying to indicate it appears you are doing.

    Given that I am not a Greek nor a linguistic scholar (with English, I’m one of the “not have way” people mentioned by Steve Martin). I’ll leave that to Dr. Grudem, Dr. Wallace, Dr. Burk, etc. They have on many occasions and the response seems to be “the waters aren’t clear, they’re muddy”. Over time, perhaps the work scholars have done in the past will be taken as incorrect. Time will tell that.

    Well, I, for one, don’t want to see this go to 1700 posts. Mostly b/c my browser chokes at about 1690. So, yes, Sue, we will have to agree to disagree.

  49. Daniel August 15, 2008 at 9:51 am #

    It is simply a matter of exegesis. The world of the Bible was patriarchal. They tended to use masculine terms in the generic sense.

    Thus, as an exegete, we must translate the Bible according to their culture. The TNIV reads our culture back into the text.

  50. Michael Metts August 15, 2008 at 10:28 am #

    There is no command in 1 Tim. 3 or Titus 1 that the [elders] must be male…this is not a command.

    I confess that I am not aware of where you find the biblical command that elders be male.

    Titus 1:6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife.

    Sue,

    If this statement by Paul is not a command, then it is certainly a presupposition. If Paul presupposes that all elders are male then that is more strict than saying elders can only be men because he is demonstrating that this statement doesn’t need buttressing (perhaps he sees no opponent on this matter and therefore no necessity). Paul will in fact buttress his reasons for male headship elsewhere, and that is the Complementarian stance, but that is what Egalitarians are resisting.

    I don’t know Greek, so I am not one to say if this is a command or not, but it is certainly a presupposition of Paul’s, that the elders are all male, and that presupposition is certainly consisitent throughout all of the Pauline corpus.

    Now, if Paul is inspired by the Holy Spirit, I find it intellectually dishonest for you to make a claim such as:

    I do not find the complementarian model to accord with the way God dealt with women in the Bible.

  51. Mike J August 15, 2008 at 10:33 am #

    “I simply want to apologize for what was an honest misunderstanding.”

    That’s fine, there was no need for an apology; nevertheless, thank you. I don’t have time to be anything but brief in a combox, and I certainly don’t hold it against people if they misunderstand me (especially given how commonly we all do this).

    “I do not accept 1 Tim. 2;12 as a clear biblical command specifically to women, since 1 Peter 5:3 is a similar command made to both men and women. Leaders in the church should not dominate others, men should not dominate women, nor women men. 1 Tim. 2;12 is open to interpretation in the light of other scriptures.”

    Sue, this isn’t a justifiable parallel. I gather that it is your understanding that authentew has a near synonymous meaning with katakurieuw – you can correct me if I’m wrong. Now, even granting this for the sake of argument, Paul’s argument in 1 Tim. 2:12 assigns the reason for the command not to ‘domineer’ to God’s order in creation. This argument makes no sense if Paul is upholding an egalitarian sense of headship and gender roles with respect to authority. Why would Peter, on the one hand, command elders not to domineer (with the reason being the reward for rightly serving God), while Paul commands women not to (granting your lexical opinion) domineer men, giving a very sex specific argument, namely, that (a) man was created first, (b) Eve was deceived, not Adam? It is plain that the reason for the command applies to women and not to men. Why argue this way if this is a command that mutually applies fully to both men and women? Why ground the command to women prohibiting domineering in female-specific reasoning when this command applies to both men and women? Not only does this stretch your lexical understanding of the term to its breaking point, but it isn’t terribly sensible.

    Not only so, but elders are commanded to teach everyone in the church, whereas in 1 Timothy 2:12 restricts women teaching men. The lexical debates over authentew aside, it wasn’t the only word used in the restriction.

  52. Mike J August 15, 2008 at 11:32 am #

    “I do not accept 1 Tim. 2;12 as a clear biblical command specifically to women, since 1 Peter 5:3 is a similar command made to both men and women.”

    Notice:

    The passage that precludes women from eldership by forbidding teaching over men (1 Timothy 2:12) is excluded by assuming that elders are men and women in a command written to elders (1 Peter 5:3).

    The line of thinking is:

    1) Elders are both men and women.
    2) 1 Peter 5:3 is a command to elders precluding domineering (katakurieuw).
    3) Therefore 1 Peter 5:3 is a command to men and women.
    4) Men and women are not permitted to domineer.
    [Assuming argument – for the sake of argument – concerning (authentew >= domineer) is valid]
    5) 1 Timothy 2:12 does not permit women to domineer (authentew)
    6) Given (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), there is a parallel between 1 Peter 5:3 and 1 Timothy 2:12.
    7) Therefore, the prohibition against women domineering men in 1 Timothy 2:12 is simply a reinforcement of the command for men not to domineer men/women and women not to domineer men/women.
    8) Therefore, 1 Timothy 2:12 does not preclude women from teaching men.
    9) The office of elder includes teaching men.
    10) Therefore, 1 Timothy 2:12 does not preclude women holding the office of elder.

    Put another way, if one asked the question, “are women permitted to teach men?” so as to ascertain if they are eligible for eldership, the answer given by this reasoning is:

    1 Timothy 2:12 does not prevent women from teaching men and therefore being elders because elders are both men and women and 1 Peter 5:3 contains a parallel command to 1 Timothy 2:12 and since 1 Peter 5:3 is a command for elders, who are both men and women, then 1 Timothy 2:12 doesn’t exclude women from teaching men since it is the same prohibition as 1 Peter 5:3.”

    That’s begging the question.

  53. Mike J August 15, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    Correction: “teaching over men” should be “teaching men.” The “over” assists in translating authentew in many translations. This is a fragment left over from a sentence restructing; I mention it because I don’t wish to obfuscate.

  54. Sue August 15, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Brian (Another),

    I’m sorry. I just don’t know how to respond. I think that Deboran, Hulda, Junia, Phoebe, Prisca, Chloe, Nympha, etc. are leaders and don’t go against a biblical command. But I don’t want to offend. It’s just that I can’t respond further. My computer choked at 1700 whatever comments.

    If Paul presupposes that all elders are male then that is more strict than saying elders can only be men because he is demonstrating that this statement doesn’t need buttressing.

    Then we can also say,

    If Paul presupposes that all elders are married then that is more strict than saying elders can only be married because he is demonstrating that this statement doesn’t need buttressing.

    I have an appt. with the beach – back later.

  55. Brad August 15, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    Sue,

    I admire your work with Greek etc. I too love Greek, although i bet you are more skilled at the language than I am. I would just mention that I have noticed an interesting thing: many skilled in Greek or Hebrew (i.e. Carson, whom I greatly admire), can miss the plain meaning of scripture by over-analyzing certain words and phrases and sections etc. Others, like Calvin, who was probably inferior with Greek, exegete the scriptures better because they see the forest more than the trees. This is what we should expect, for rarely in language are words chosen to convey a great deal of meaning. More often, a word carries very little meaning. Books have meaning, paragraphs have meaning, sentences have some meaning, and words even less meaning.

    In Romans 16:7, I think “noteworthy among the apostles” seems preferable after a quick study, but that does not necessarily mean that these individuals are apostles any more than the same grammatical construction in Baruch 2:13 implies that the Israelites are gentiles/heathens rather than merely being among them.

  56. Sue August 15, 2008 at 5:00 pm #

    Sue, this isn’t a justifiable parallel. I gather that it is your understanding that authentew has a near synonymous meaning with katakurieuw

    Yes, the best evidence we have strongly suggests this. We don’t have much alternate evidence.

    Paul’s argument in 1 Tim. 2:12 assigns the reason for the command not to ‘domineer’ to God’s order in creation. This argument makes no sense if Paul is upholding an egalitarian sense of headship and gender roles with respect to authority. Why would Peter, on the one hand, command elders not to domineer (with the reason being the reward for rightly serving God), while Paul commands women not to (granting your lexical opinion) domineer men, giving a very sex specific argument, namely, that (a) man was created first, (b) Eve was deceived, not Adam?

    It is clear from the scripture that Ephesus was the centre of a widespread religious tradition of worshiping Artemis, the goddess of childbirth. Women were priestesses in this tradition and the focus was on women as mother. The priority was clearly on women. Paul is writing in this context.

    I don’t think Paul puts a priority on headship and authority, but on shepherding, and nurturing.

    I do not know what Paul intended to say about women. I have no secret information or inspiration regarding these texts. I simply know for certain that authenteo does not refer to anything that is acceptable in Paul’s description of church leadership. We have to start with facts.

    It is also clear that when Paul wrote about Phoebe as diakonos (minister), he wrote in the context of having just referred to his own diaconal service (ministry) in Jerusalem. He used the same term for her as he did for himself.

    Here is a literal translation of the end of Romans 15 and Rom. 16:1-2,

    “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to struggle together with me in prayers on my behalf to God.

    31 that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my ministry which is for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,

    32 so that I may come to you with joy by God’s will and together with you be refreshed. 33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

    16:1 I stand Phoebe with you, being a minister of the church at Cenchrea, 2 that you accept her in the Lord, in a manner worthy of the saints, and stand beside her in whatever matter she may have need of you; because she also has stood before many, even me.”

    Not only does Paul use parallel vocabulary to describe Phoebe and himself, but he uses specific vocabulary for Phoebe, “stand with” and “stand before.” It is worth noting that the word prostatis is regularly used in the early church as a form of address to Christ, “our prostates.”

    I would like to see the Bible read in Greek in the churches.

  57. Mike J August 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm #

    “I would like to see the Bible read in Greek in the churches.”

    As in – in english speaking churches? If that is the case, you would have us revert back to the dark oppression of the papacy. Not only so, but it is quite elitist.

    Do you have a problem with Christ’s use of LXX?

    I will note that there wasn’t a response to my argument in there.

    “I do not know what Paul intended to say about women.”

    We DO know that Paul did not permit women to teach men and that he predicated this argument on the created order.

  58. Scott August 15, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    So I’m assuming that all on this board believe Paul wrote 1 Tim.?

  59. Sue August 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm #

    As in – in english speaking churches?

    Just kidding! 🙂

    We DO know that Paul did not permit women to teach men and that he predicated this argument on the created order.

    Then you disagree with the basic interpretative premise for this verse, that if one verb is negative in connotation the other must be. You must present a consistent case. You can’t pick a word here and a word there. You have to put the sentence together so that it makes sense and present a case for your interpretation. The one that uses “to have authority” is, to me, excluded on a lexical basis, and yours on a syntactic basis.

    Mike J,

    It happens to me sometimes that I am unable to clearly ascertain the point oe question in a comment. I apologize sincerely, but I was unable to pick up on what question you wanted to ask. I am truly sorry about this. It makes me feel rather dense when I don’t understand someone, but it happens. 🙁

  60. Brian (Another) August 15, 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    “I simply know for certain that authenteo does not refer to anything that is acceptable in Paul’s description of church leadership.”

    Interesting.

    Again, I did not say that any of the women in the bible went against a biblical command (that is an entirely different discussion). The HS spoke through Paul to specifically address leadership in the church (and home). I don’t reserve the ability to say there is an exception, thereby it must be wrong. It is a biblical command (1 Tim 3, Titus 1, 1 Tim 2). But I feel we’re going in circles.

    Also, the domineer concept doesn’t flow with the text. I think that may also be part of what Mike was saying. It would have to flow with the surroundings and the letter. You constructed outside circumstances, but then it doesn’t actually flow in the text. Or im(very)ho.

    Hope you enjoy(ed?) the beach, Sue.

    I’m out and off for business. enjoy the thread and I hope it doesn’t go to 1700.

  61. Sue August 15, 2008 at 5:41 pm #

    You constructed outside circumstances, but then it doesn’t actually flow in the text.

    It explains perfectly the preoccupation with childbearing. I did not construct the circumstances, they are recorded in Acts.

  62. Mike J August 15, 2008 at 5:43 pm #

    “Just kidding!”

    Phew! 🙂

    “The one that uses “to have authority” is, to me, excluded on a lexical basis, and yours on a syntactic basis.”

    Actually, I disagree with your understanding of authentew.

    You likewise have to account for a negative connotation of ‘teaching.’

    I am aware that the construction here, negated finite verb-infinitive-oude-infinitive, must be taken as a positive/positive or negative/negative pair. I take didaskein positively in this verse, especially given the immediate followup on the qualifications for elders, in which the term it is framed positively (as well as Paul’s general positive use of it). I don’t think that didaskein in itself has a negative connotation in 1 Tim. 1:3, either.

    So I don’t think that I’m being inconsistent. I have granted for the sake of argument some of your lexical argument in the course of our dialog, but I don’t actually agree with you there.

  63. Sue August 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    You constructed outside circumstances, but then it doesn’t actually flow in the text.

    It explains perfectly the preoccupation with childbearing. I did not construct the circumstances, they are recorded in Acts.

    I don’t want to write 1700 comments. However, egalitarians have a well informed approach to the Biblical text.

  64. Sue August 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm #

    Mike J,

    If you disagree on authenteo then you have a more consistent case. I understand.

    However, my case is that I have put the two pieces of evidence that Dr. Kostenberger cites for authenteo on my blog, Philodemus fragment and BGU 1208, google them. I have looked at all the evidence and I cannot agree with “to have authority” as a translation, on a factual basis. Didaskein is also used negatively in Titus 1:11 so the evidence leans toward the negative, strongly.

    My case accounts for all the facts.

    What is important here is not that the two of us agree, but that complementarians understand that egalitarians have an understanding of this verse that accounts for all the facts. Egalitarians are not, by definition, heretics.

  65. Lydia August 16, 2008 at 11:28 pm #

    Titus 1:6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife.”

    Paul was not qualified to be an elder? :o)

  66. Don August 17, 2008 at 3:41 am #

    The second qualification: “Faithful spouse” (3:2)
    The second qualification in the list deals with the
    overseer’s married life. Careful research has shown that
    this qualification means that whether one is a husband or
    a wife it is important to be a “faithful spouse.” It requires
    that an overseer, if married, be faithful and be “a one-spouse
    kind of person.”

    According to Lucien Deiss (notes to the French
    Bible, the TOB, Edition Intégrale, p. 646, note a), this
    Greek phrase was used in Asia Minor, on both Jewish
    and pagan gravestone inscriptions, to designate a woman
    or a man, who was faithful to his or her spouse in a way
    characterized by “a particularly fervent conjugal love.”

    When I read Deiss’ comment about how this phrase
    was used on ancient grave inscriptions in Turkey, where
    Paul and Timothy ministered, I confirmed it with him
    myself, reaching him by telephone in Vaucresson, France.
    Some might find this insight into 1 Timothy 3:2
    surprising because modern versions of the Bible
    translate this Greek phrase as – “husband of one wife” –
    making this qualification appear to be restricted to men
    only! Instead, rightly understood, this qualification is
    about faithfulness in marriage by a Christian spouse. It is
    not saying that oversight is “for men only.”

    Pages 87-88
    Think Again about Church Leaders by Bruce C. E. Fleming

    ——–
    This explains how Phoebe can be a diakonos (and also Junia an apostole) yet be female and is the best explanation I know. We need to understand the Greek as the original reader would have.

  67. Don August 17, 2008 at 4:40 am #

    I use both the TNIV and the ESV, I think both have value. I think the TNIV is an overall improvement on the NIV, which I also use. The ESV has an admitted masculinist bias, altho they do not use that word, so one takes that into consideration when reading it.

    In some sense, any translation is imperfect.

  68. Sue August 18, 2008 at 1:06 am #

    Brad.

    That was a great comment. “Few among the gentiles” “famous among the apostles.” For some reason the Greeks themselves have always honoured Junia as an apostle. I am not sure why in this century we have new light shed on this. It is the fact that complementarians claim the traditional ground that is so odd.

    I have just been reading a biography of a Chinese woman missionary, preaching and teaching, founding a mission, and helping chapels to be built – without being submitted to male leadership. It is very sad that some American women are not encouraged to give God their best.

  69. Don August 18, 2008 at 3:13 am #

    The late 20th century non-egal arguments are new; this is because it was just “obvious” before that that women were inferior, but those types of arguments are not considered good form today.

    In the 19th century women could not take doctoral math classes, see Noether for an example of what she had to go thru. It was only with WWI and WWII that women came into the industrial workforce and discovered they COULD do what a man could do, at least a lot of it. And with income, their choices became greater.

    The essence of the non-egal argument today is:
    1. God can free and restrict as God wishes.
    2. God clearly DID restrict women.
    3. Therefore obey the clear commands of God.

    The fact is that in step 2, the non-egals are making interpretive choices to come to their conclusions. Egals make different interpretive choices and come to egal conclusions. So there is this exegetical debate. However, notice that the very EXISTENCE of the debate denies the central non-egal claim, as their interpretive choices are just that, their choices that are not required to be made and in fact are not made by egals.

    The “Junia among/within the apostles” is just one example. The non-egals CHOOSE to interpret this verse the way they do, but most do not even recognize there is a choice, the non-egal leaders tell them how to do it. This is why the ESV translates this verse as they do, with very little grammatical or lexical justification.

  70. Sue August 18, 2008 at 3:18 am #

    Don,

    If there had been a choice about how to interpret Junia then the Greek orthodox church would likely not consider her an apostle.

  71. Don August 18, 2008 at 4:17 am #

    Sue,

    I agree. The evidence is in about Junia and she is an apostle, see Epps. What might that mean to the non-egal reading of the few other verses? It means those are wrong.

    This is why the non-egals have to deny the primary meaning on the Junia verse, even contra the ECF and EOC. They have no real answer, as there is no real answer, just that they do not believe what is says in the Greek.

  72. Don August 26, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    On gender inclusive language, if we translate that to another area, one can see how wrong it can seem to NOT use it.

    Douglas Hofstadter did this with whites and blacks in a famous essay. The premise of the essay was a USA where white was a racial category and also the term for all people, while black was the term for blacks, but sometimes white was used. His essay was shocking and meant to increase awareness that just because something might not shock us because we are used to it, sometimes it SHOULD shock us and we have been numbed thru use.

    We need to be aware that just because some idea might originate with someone we might consider an ideological opponent, does not mean it is not the truth, we need to evaluate each claim on its own merits.

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes