Denton Bible Church Hosts Complementarian Event

Pastor Tommy Nelson is trying to get the word out about an upcoming series of messages that will be hosted by Denton Bible Church beginning on Sunday, June 15. There will be three messages delivered over three Sundays from three different speakers, each of whom will be addressing the question, “Can a woman be in authority over a man in the local church?” Here’s the line-up:

June 15 – Pastor Tommy Nelson

June 22 – Dr. Bruce Ware

June 29 – Dr. Russell Moore

If you are in the area for any or all of these Sundays, I would recommend attending Denton Bible Church. Pastor Nelson has written an open-letter to area pastors that explains more about the series. You can read it below.

[By the way, many of you may recognize Pastor Nelson from his ubiquitous sermon series on the Song of Solomon.]

——————————————

June 4, 2008

Dear Pastor,

I’ve pastored for 31 years in Denton and have never had a reason to contact other pastors with what Denton Bible was doing—until now.

We are doing a 3-week series at DBC on the egalitarian issue, “Can a woman be in authority over a man in the local church?””Can they serve as pastors, elders or deacons over a man?”

The teaching of the Bible is “no” (I Tim. 2:9-15; 1 Cor. 14:34);

The example of the Bible is that men lead;

The historic position of the church is that men lead;

Because of these, this has been our position at DBC.

In the last 20 years this has been challenged. Even within my own seminary—Dallas Theological Seminary—this has been challenged. But it is not primarily being challenged because of a difference in the interpretation of a particular verse (lower criticism) but rather a difference of hermeneutic (higher criticism); meaning that the Bible was true then for that time, but not for ours. The hole in the theological dike here is obvious: At what point do we say what is now “outdated”? Something is ended only if Scripture says it is ended.

With this in mind, DBC is doing a 3-week Sunday sermon series on the egalitarian issue from June 15 to June 29. In these three weeks, I and two other men who are tops in their field will address this issue.

On June 15 I will bring the message in the 2 morning services (9:00 and 11:00 AM). Our College Pastor will bring the message in the evening service (5:00 PM).

On June 22 we have invited Dr. Bruce Ware to speak at all three Sunday services (9:00 and 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM). Dr. Ware is Professor of Theology at Southern Baptist Seminary having previously taught at several seminaries most recently at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is a highly esteemed theologian, popular speaker and prolific author. He has spoken and written frequently on a wide variety of gender role issues.

On June 29 Dr. Russell Moore will be speaking at all three Sunday services. Dr. Moore is Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President of Academic Administration at Southern Seminary. He is also the Executive Director of the Carl F. H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement and Senior Editor of Touchstone Magazine: A Journal of Mere Christianity. He too is a frequent speaker and writer on gender issues and matters affecting popular culture.

On June 22 and 29 our 5:00 PM evening service will have the same men preaching to those (the younger crowd) of that service. It is not often that this issue is addressed. If we can be of any service to you men who support this tradition in your churches or to your churches, DBC would simply offer its services.

May God equip you in every good thing to do His will,

Tom Nelson

Senior Pastor

141 Responses to Denton Bible Church Hosts Complementarian Event

  1. Sue June 5, 2008 at 3:52 am #

    I have just been reading through Chrysostom who deplores “tyranny” authentein, and strongly instructs men never to authentein (tyranize) their wives. This is further evidence that authenteo did not mean “be in proper authority” in Greek. Funny that this mistranslated verse is the favourite of so many. How sad that the church is so disconnected from the original languages.

    In reference to 1 Tim. 2:9-15 Chrysostom writes,

    Wherefore you see, she was not subjected as soon as she was made; nor, when He brought her to the man, did either she hear any such thing from God, nor did the man say any such word to her: he said indeed that she was bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh: Genesis 2:23 but of rule or subjection he no where made mention unto her.

    But when she made an ill use of her privilege and she who had been made a helper was found to be an ensnarer and ruined all, then she is justly told for the future, your turning shall be to your husband. Genesis 3:16

    But Ware writes,

    Gen. 3:16 – Sin brought about, not the beginning of a male/female relational hierarchy, but a disruption of the God-intended role of male-headship and female submission in the male-female relationship. Most complementarians understand the curse of the woman in 3:16 to mean that sin would bring about in Eve a wrongful desire to rule over her husband (contrary to God’s created design), and that in response, Adam would have to assert his rule over her

    I note that the complementarian hermeneutic owes rather much to Aristotle who writes,

    It appears, then, that both the one who commands and the one who obeys should each of them learn their separate business:

    It should be considered that complementarianism is a new hermeneutic rather than a traditional hermeneutic, this would level the playing and may allow some women the opportunity to understand that God did not design women to be subject. That was the teaching of Aristotle.

    Denny,

    Do you think that the CBMW will ever take down the statement of concern against the TNIV?

    I would welcome of forum to show that the TNIV makes legitimate use of gender accurate terms.

  2. quixote June 5, 2008 at 6:20 am #

    It’s interesting to note that Pastor Nelson has not invited any scholars who have an opposing view…to allow them to present their respected research and to allow debate and discussion. To present “both sides,” if you will, and to allow the people of the church to decide rather than only presenting the side he prefers (albeit he has stated it’s only his preference because it’s also God’s). If he is so convinced that this is THE truth, then he shouldn’t be opposed to presenting both sides and allowing the people to clearly see truth and untruth at odds.

    Also interesting to note, his final comment: “If we can be of any service to you men who support this tradition in your churches…” The word “tradition” stood out to me…the Bible says it’s the traditions of men that make the power of God of no effect. Something to consider.

  3. B June 5, 2008 at 8:09 am #

    quixote:

    You seem to have a problem with the fact that Pastor Nelson did not invite anyone to preach bad doctrine from his pulpit. Anyone who knows Pastor Nelson or Denton Bible Church would not find this “interesting”, they would find it heartening.

    There is certainly a proper place and time for the kind of debate you are talking about. That place is not the pulpit of a church and that time is not on Sunday when we gather to hear the truth exposited from God’s word.

    Pastor Nelson does not purpose to present both sides of this issue and allow the congregation to decide which is true. He purposes to do what a good preacher must do: explain and apply Biblical truth on an important and contested topic in our day.

    It sounds to me like you are suggesting Denton Bible Church should allow its Sunday pulpit to be used as a forum for debate. This would be a serious error which would inevitably lead to confusion, chaos, and deep divisions within the church. It’s a recipe for disaster not only doctrinally but in terms of the unity of the church. It’s bad church leadership.

    It is *because* he is convinced of the truth that he will not allow the congregation to decide for themselves. Think about it: what kind of pastor would shepherd his flock by allowing both truth and error to be presented equally, and then leave it up to the congregation to decide which is right!? A very weak and very bad pastor, indeed!

    You also seem to be suggesting that if both sides are not presented by proponents of each the congregation will be unable to think critically. This is a false assumption. Do you believe the congregation of DBC cannot not gain understanding of what God’s Word teaches on a particular issue without hearing a debate over it? This is a strange line of reasoning, indeed. (Not to mention a very underhanded insult to the members of the church.)

    As for your analysis of the word “tradition”, you are either badly misunderstanding or deliberately misrepresenting Pastor Nelson’s intent. He’s not merely preaching a tradition of men, he’s preaching Biblical instruction. This is made clear eariler in the letter where he lists the teaching and example of the Bible before the historic position of the church; I believe the list to be prioritized by importance.

    So let’s review. You have accused Pastor Nelson of being a bad shepherd of his flock by not allowing his pulpit to be turned into some kind of debate platform. You have accused the congregation of DBC of being too dim to think through an issue Biblically unless they hear false teaching given equal time to truth. You have accused Pastor Nelson of attempting to make the power of God of no effect.

    I have to ask you, what relationship do you have to DBC and Pastor Nelson? Have you ever sat under his preaching? Have you ever attended DBC? Just curious as to your motives. Your arguments make no sense and, in fact, seem aimed at tarnishing the reputation of this pastor and his flock.

  4. Brian (Another) June 5, 2008 at 8:17 am #

    quixote,

    well, I would offer the question, given Pastor Nelson believes this is THE truth, why would he bring to the pulpit someone professing what he believes is not THE truth? This is the church he pastors, not a debate forum.

    Along with that, I would also say this (I know we don’t agree) is biblical application (a method or manner, i.e. tradition). And the bible also says that in the end they will not follow sound doctrine, but would be followers of teachings of their own desires. Again, given this is the belief and teaching, this is something that honors God. I konw that isn’t something with which you agree.

  5. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 8:24 am #

    Sue,

    I don’t know Greek so it’s hard for me to respond to your excellent comment, but just observing the context of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, it seems hard to justify a tyrannical woman in view here. Is a tyrannical woman really professing reverence to God (v 9)?

    Also, if Paul was coaching Timothy specifically on a situation of dealing with tyrannical women, wouldn’t there be evidence for this? The passage looks a lot like a conduct-outline for women who are professing reverence to God, and not, over and against Chrysostom, dealing with the tyrany of certain women. Or, are the tyrannical women also dressing nicely in gold and pearls and expensive clothing with braided hair?

    This is only an undergraduate observation and might not warrant your time.

    Thanks,
    Michael Metts

  6. quixote June 5, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    Gentlemen,

    This is, by Pastor Nelson’s own admission, not a typical Sunday morning service. Most pastors do not invite other pastors and other pastor’s flock to skip their own church service and attend his instead, not on a typical Sunday morning. These “talks” seem to be geared more in a scholarly and lectionary style…as seen by whom he invited and his letter of invitation. I have no bone to pick with Pastor Nelson. I was merely commenting on what seemed interesting from his letter.

  7. quixote June 5, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    Ooops. I meant “lecture” style (as opposed to pastoral); not sure how “lectionary” got in there.

  8. Lance June 5, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    There are fewer pastors I admire more than Tommy Nelson. He has played a significant role in my Christian growth.

    I want to call into question, though, his comments re: deacons.

    I think (correct me if I’m wrong) that even such complementarians as MacArthur and Piper, agree that women can serve as deacons. Perhaps it’s the “over a man” issue, though, that Nelson is stressing.

    I may be wrong, so please correct me, if so.

  9. Lance June 5, 2008 at 9:15 am #

    To follow up on comment #8:

    MacArthur: God has ordained that elders be men, but among deacons there are to be both men and women. (http://www.biblebb.com/files/mac/54-26.htm)

    Bethlehem Baptist (Piper): It appears then that the role of deacon is of such a nature that nothing stands in the way of women’s full participation in it. Within the deaconate itself the way the men and women relate to each other would be guided by the sense of appropriateness growing out of the Biblical teaching of male and female complementarity. (http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/
    Articles/ByTopic/71/1491_
    Rethinking_the_Governance_Structure_at_
    Bethlehem_Baptist_Church/ )

    [Sorry: I don’t know how to input links without entering entire addresses].

  10. B June 5, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Lance,

    I dug through the archives. Here’s a transcript of Tommy Nelson from March 2006:

    “Men are to lead. Well, in [1 Timothy] chapter 2 verse 9, here’s what a woman is to do. She is to be truly spiritually lovely. Verse ten: she is to be a leader in good works. And in verse 11, she is to receive instruction. She is, in verse 12, not to exercise authority. And that is in the context of chapters 3 and 4 and 5 about being deacons and elders and pastors.

    “A woman is not to be a deacon. She is not to be an elder. She is not to be a pastor. And she is not to teach men.

    “Now, you run into some obvious decisions you’ve got to make on Sunday School, Sunday School Directors, and stuff like that. On the by and large, a church can really get away with a lot with its staff — if its elders and deacons are men.”

    I’ll add a few comments of my own for clarification:

    At Denton Bible Church there are no women with the title of “deacon”. There are women serving in leadership areas of the church including Preschool and Elementary Ministry and Women’s Discipleship Program. The distinction, I think, is simply that of spiritual authority over men and teaching men.

    I think in many churches the term “deacon” is used more loosely. DBC has women serving in roles that other churches might define as “deaconess”. I think Tommy Nelson and DBC choose not to use that word in line with this understanding of 1 Timothy.

    Incidentally, women at DBC who are recognized to have a gift of teaching do teach other women (Bible studies, conferences, etc.) They can speak and read scripture in a church service to men. But women do not teach the Bible to men without being recognized as subject to another man in a position of authority.

    Hopefully that helps clarify Pastor Nelson’s position. It is pretty much the “over a man” issue. Women are definitely allowed (indeed, must) serve in the body of Christ according to the gifts given them by the Holy Spirit.

  11. Barry June 5, 2008 at 9:52 am #

    B,
    Thanks for the Tommy transcript. Few have impacted me like Tommy Nelson.

    I am curious about one of the last statements you made, and I am wondering if you can clarify. You wrote,

    “But women do not teach the Bible to men without being recognized as subject to another man in a position of authority.”

    Does that mean that at DBC, a woman can teach a group of men (or mixed group) as long as there is a recognized authority present, such as one of the DBC elders?

    Barry

  12. Lance June 5, 2008 at 10:23 am #

    Thanks B (#9).

    Perhaps the degree of even this issue reveals how there may perhaps even be differing degrees of complementarianism.

    The more I read both sides, the more I am humbled by the difficulties there are in interpreting these issues.

    Although I would consider myself more complementarian than egalitarian, I would have to admit that neither side has fully convinced me, as each seems to reveal biases of its own. That, again, is what humbles this man, who would like to take a clear stand, but would also like to be as objective and considerate of each side as possible.

    May all of us be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to become angry on such volatile issues.

    Semper Reformanda.

  13. Barry June 5, 2008 at 10:56 am #

    I have often pondered the psychology of egalitarianism. I think that I understand the desire for women to know that they are respected and are not seen as dull or irrelevant or marginalized in their homes and churches. Have some complementarian homes and churches treated women this way in the past? Some have. We ought to do more to encourage and make ways for gifted women to serve and teach (if gifted to do so). Should pastors know, respect, and make provisions for the unique needs of their female congregants? Yes. Have we always done this in the past? No. I admit that. In the church, have women frequently been made to feel inferior, marginal, or even dumb? I am quite sure that many have at times felt this way.

    So, in some ways I can understand the deep-seated frustration and angst that some women feel. When such angst is answered by the siren’s song of egalitarianism, the outcome is understandable. A woman might think, “I can stay in one environment and continue to be made to feel inferior and second class, or I can join this ‘movement’ known as egalitarianism and have full leadership roles and full role equality.” The deep-seated angst is supposedly quelled, though such gives way to another deep-seated angst: Scripture. The fly in the ointment is, as usual, the Scripture. So ways must be devised to get around it and justify the position.

    As a complementarian with a gifted wife, it is essential to my leadership as a husband to make sure that we are in a church environment where my wife is respected, her gifts are used, and her soul is nourished with the word. We are and she is thriving. I wonder that if more complementarian churches would make greater strides to make their women feel respected and make ways for their gifts to be used, that we would and could greatly reduce the “heat” of the current debate?

    All of those things can be done without violating the Scripture’s teaching. Can a woman teach? Sure. With over 50% of congregants female (80% in the African American church), we need gifted women to teach them and disciple them. This is Titus 2. But ought they be in authority over all the church, teaching all of the church? No. Is it a matter of gifting? No. Can the same gift be used in what I would argue is a proper context (other women)? Yes. Therefore, I can see no scenario in which a gifted women ought not be able to thrive in a complementarian setting. Comp. pastors, I think, ought to think more about how they can utilize their gifted ladies.

    You see, when I hear a woman say that she should be able to teach men, I always ask, “Are you saying that you are not complete as a woman or as a Christian until you have taught a man?” Doesn’t this run counter to the feminist psyche? What that says is that she is not complete without a man (in this case not complete until she teaches men). Isn’t this a self-refuting assertion for feminists? Even “evangelical feminists”? Why wouldn’t a “true feminist” be happy just teaching women?

    We all have limits placed on us. We live within the limits of the law, of a budget, and even limited by location and our own abilities, so it’s not really about being “free.” We, as men and women, simply have different jobs (some recoil at the word “roles”) that God has given us. Equality in personhood, but different God-ordained jobs to do under his lordship. I teach this in my theology classes, and one would be surprised at the pleasant reaction I get even from the female students who had previously dug in their heels. What many have said is that they really don’t care about teaching men, but what they really want is their gifts to be used and to be respected and honored as equal persons under God. What they keep telling me is that they want to be made to feel that way, but that it is hard to find a complementarian environment where that is the case. Thus, the impetus is on pastors to think in these directions. One can do this and still be fully complementarian. When I show the students this, there is almost a gasp of relief. The impetus, again, is on pastors and churches in the application of these things.

    Perhaps I have over-analyzed the current debate. It is arguably not the same for all, but I know that what is said here is true for many, because I hear it over and over again. I do pray that the Lord would give us clarity as well as charity, and that Christ-honoring biblical manhood and womanhood would rise to the need of the current hour.

    Barry

  14. Truth Unites... and Divides June 5, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    “I do pray that the Lord would give us clarity as well as charity, and that Christ-honoring biblical manhood and womanhood would rise to the need of the current hour.”

    I’m with Barry and Pastor Tommy Nelson and Professor Denny Burk on this issue.

  15. B June 5, 2008 at 11:07 am #

    Barry,

    Sorry I wasn’t clear. I have been a DBC member for several years and can’t recall ever observing women teaching (providing Biblical instruction) to men at all. I’m trying to choose my words carefully because I don’t want to misrepresent my church or make anything unclear!

    I guess one could really start splitting hairs over what constitutes “teaching”. Could a woman at DBC, say, “teach” an application of a passage to other men in the church? Could a woman lead a Bible study by herself as long as an elder or other male church leader was present?

    I’m not an elder or leader in the church, so I can’t speak to specific scenarios like that. But I think the clear position of Tommy Nelson & DBC is:

    – men are to be in positions of spiritual authority in the church and women are not

    – women are not to teach the Bible to men in the church

    These are the general guidelines which they understand from scripture. One could certainly become legalistic in how they determine practice. But I think that kind of legalism is avoided at DBC, in my experience.

    I have observed women speaking (reading scripture, sharing testimonies, giving words of encouragement and exhortation, etc.) in our church, to mixed groups. This happens usually in small groups or meetings of various ministries (college, singles, marrieds, etc.) as opposed to main Sunday services where the entire congregation is gathered.

    Also, every time I can remember hearing a woman speak at DBC, her speaking was part of a larger service, study, or other event in which a male pastor, teacher, or church leader did the bulk of the speaking and teaching from the Bible.

    Honestly, I’m starting to sound pretty silly to myself. To get this detailed in matters of practice can easily become legalistic. I don’t think Pastor Nelson’s complementarian teachings and leadership are that difficult to understand and apply consistently. Hopefully this isn’t a cop-out, but if you want to know more, just come visit the church! We love visitors 🙂

  16. Stacey June 5, 2008 at 11:27 am #

    As a member of DBC, I agree with Tommy. I have been led and taught by Tommy for three years, and have never learned or been as challenged as I have from being part of DBC. I not only trust Tommy’s judgement and agree with his stance on this issue, but I think he is wise to confront an issue that has been divisive in churches today. He has always been upfront and stood strong on issues that our society disagrees with, or even issues within the body of Christ that cause divisions, and I have never found any of his teaching to have strayed from Scripture. I look forward to hearing Tommy, Dr. Ware, and Dr. Moore preach and teach on this issue.

  17. Barry June 5, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    B,
    Thanks for the clarification. I have been to DBC on several occasions, and even sang (with Denny Burk!) in the Sunday services.

    I agree with you on the application of the principle. Difficulty in application does not negate the principle, as many egalitarians might have us think. Such is a bad line of argumentation.

    Barry

  18. Ferg June 5, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    It always amuses me when a woman speaks in a church, gives an amazing message and then just to make sure they stick to their theology, a man speaks for a little bit longer than the woman to make sure he was the “main speaker”.

  19. Barry June 5, 2008 at 12:59 pm #

    I’ve never seen that happen. From the sound of it, Ferg, you see that quite often?

  20. Ferg June 5, 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    the church I attend doesn’t allow women to speak. I don’t agree with that, but thats what their doctrine is and I attend there church so I respect it. However, what frustrates me is their hypocracy. They allow my wife to ‘lead’ the sunday service, to do the prayers, they allow a woman to ‘lead’ the worship, yet they do not allow a woman to speak.
    they also allow women to teach sunday school which included teaching 17 year old men. whats the difference between a 17 year old and a 50 year old man? the 17 year old is actually more impressionable and when Paul spoke about men in biblical times, he was talking about guys over the age of 13.
    and finally, apart from my point n post 17, it drives me nuts that the very same women who are not allowed to speak to men in their congregation are allowed to teach men on mission trips. how disrespectful.
    this is not a broad frustration, I’m sure your church deals with it sensitively, I just get very annoyed at people who say one thing and do not follow through with the same thing.

    as an aside, is leading worship sometimes not a bigger spiritual sense of leadership to speaking?? I guess it depends on what kind of church one goes to.

  21. Barry June 5, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    Ferg,
    I would definitely agree with your point on worship leading. Not to see it as a pastoral role is not to see it correctly.

    The best I’ve seen on this is Bob Kauflin, in his recent book Worship Matters. You can read his blog etc. over at http://www.worshipmatters.com. He is one of the only ones making good sense out of what a worship pastor ought to be, biblically speaking.

  22. quixote June 5, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Barry,
    I think you meant well, but your statement: “Comp. pastors, I think, ought to think more about how they can utilize their gifted ladies” sounds very demeaning and chauvinistic. “Their gifted ladies”???

    Also, to answer your question…you asked, “You see, when I hear a woman say that she should be able to teach men, I always ask, “Are you saying that you are not complete as a woman or as a Christian until you have taught a man?” Doesn’t this run counter to the feminist psyche?”

    Methinks you miss the point. It’s not about feeling complete. What runds counter to the feminist psyche is having a man tell women what they can and cannot do.

  23. Barry June 5, 2008 at 2:03 pm #

    Q – Methinks you missed my point. “Gifted ladies.” What’s wrong with that? Would it have been better to say, “all their gifted people regardless of gender”? I was not making a dichotomy between “gifted” and “non-gifted.” Is that what you thought? All are gifted to serve in some capacity. Perhaps I could have said “all ladies who are gifted to teach.”

  24. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    For those who believe that the 1 Tim. 2 passage applies to forbidding women teaching or leading men and support that prohibition as being universal because Paul makes claim to a “creation ordinance” (The following implications seem to logically come forth):

    (1) The prohibition cannot be restricted to only the assembled congregation, because the “creation ordinance” basis makes no distinction about public assembly or private instruction. If Paul’s context implies only the congregation, the theological basis implies any and all men-women scenarios of relationships. Paul appeals to a larger principle to support his APPLICATION. One should learn from the larger PRINCIPLE.
    Therefore, women cannot teach or have authority over a man or men. Ever. In any situation, public or private. Supervised or unsupervised by a male pastoral authority.

    (2) While a woman may be able to read Scripture in public or private to a man, she must NEVER make any comment about it. Teaching cannot be restricted to only doctrinal matters. Any comment on ethics or devotional insight coming from the Scripture would meet a Pauline definition of teaching. Restricting “teaching” to only doctrine has no biblical warrant.

    (3) When a woman gives any testimony of faith to a man or men in public or private, she must NEVER use Scripture to support her comments because they would then become “teaching” which has been prohibited in the men-women scenario of relationship.

    The problem with these implications is that there are biblical examples which contradict them. Thus, the question may be raised whether the conclusion about the traditional interpretation of 1 Tim. 2:8-15 is as accurate as it should be from a canonical context.

    Questions for subsequent comments to my comment:

    Do you hold to the “creation ordinance” concept?

    If so, how do the above implications not follow from that interpretive conclusion? Please demonstrate.

    Do you restrict teaching only to “doctrinal matters”? What is the biblical basis for the division of “teaching” into doctrine, ethics, devotion? (I understand the pedagogical methodology for dividing them in systematic theology for academic training, but would Paul differentiate them for congregational instruction?)

  25. Sue June 5, 2008 at 2:28 pm #

    Maybe I should ask that only women read this.

    1. It is a fact, regardless of the resulting hermeneutic, that authentein (1 Tim. 2:12) was never used for proper church leadership or authority. We must start with the facts and develp a hermeneutic which includes the words actually used in the original languages.

    2. Early church fathers did not hold that woman was subordinate in creation. Chrysostom wrote,

    Wherefore you see, she was not subjected as soon as she was made

    3. Women need to teach women that in 1 Tim. 5:14 the woman is the “head of/master of the house.” Women is to oikodespoteo (be head of the house.) In direct contrast to authentein, oikodespotes, the noun, is used 12 places in the New Testament. All are in the synoptic gospels: Matthew 10:25, 13:27,52, 20:1,11, 21:33, 24:43, Mark 14:14, Luke 12:39, 13:25, 14:21, 22:11.

    So there is significantly more material for semonizing on woman who must oikodepoteo (head the house), than on woman who is not to authentein (be a tyrant and usurp authority.)

    4. While Chrysostom believed that women were subordinate, he taught that this was due to the sin of Eve, and the earthly relation between husband and wife was one of reciprocity, of desire on the man’s part, and obedience on the part of the wife. He also accepted divorce and remarriage, realizing that reciprocity was not always possible, but that some men were violent.

    5. Chrysostom clearly stated that the relationship of Father to Son was not the same as the relationship of husband to wife. We must not equate the two relations, because sin on the part of both man and woman required subordination of one party to avoid contention.

    6. He also taught that kephale has two certain meanings. One, that the two beings are one flesh and of the same passions (feelings), and that there is perfect union between head and body.

    And second that the head is the first principle, the beginning, but not the “ruler.”

    These are the things that can be taught to women, that they were created to function as equals; and the tragedy of human sin has intervened.

    Unlike Chrysostom, I do believe that it is possible for men and women to function with equal authority. We are not bound by contention to have one party always subordinate.

    These are the teachings that a conference for women would include. And reading the original language would be a great blessing to all concerned.

  26. B June 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    David, those are great questions (24). I could probably bust out some commentaries and come up with some answers. But I would probably end up sounding foolish. Instead I’ll just say I look forward to hearing those issues addressed by Pastor Nelson and Dr’s Ware and Moore. I am hoping with three Sundays devoted to this issue they will go deep enough to provide some good answers.

  27. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 5, 2008 at 3:11 pm #

    B,

    I wish I could hear Pastor Nelson and Drs. Ware and Moore also. Since I cannot, because I am a pastor in Arkansas, if there is a question and answer session, would you or someone else inquire of them for a response regarding the issues I raised.

    I would also humbly and peaceably disagree with Pastor Nelson’s description of the issue.

    “But it is not primarily being challenged because of a difference in the interpretation of a particular verse (lower criticism) but rather a difference of hermeneutic (higher criticism); meaning that the Bible was true then for that time, but not for ours.”

    My conclusions are on the interpretation of the particular verses AND I find that his particular phrasing
    “meaning that the Bible was true then for that time, but not for ours”
    is rather straw-manish.

    The hermeneutical question is regarding what do the verses mean then and how do they apply now. It is not so cut and dry and obvious to the casual English text reader. (Translation from Greek to English is crucial here.) I come to the conclusion that Spirit-gifted Christian women in principle can teach men in general (with particular restrictions based in exegesis of particular verses) because I do believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.

    Blessings and Peace,

    David

  28. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    Is Sue’s argument correct? Where is Barry? 🙂

    Sue, I can’t really participate with you academically on this, so I understand if you are overlooking my efforts to interact here. I do have one question though, and that’s, what, by your understanding, would equality in gender look like if there was no contention or necessary subordination by a spouse?

    I just feel there should be more of a distinction in your argument between your excellent proofs of man and woman equality and, what I believe is a separate matter, gender roles.

    Did Paul think he was encroaching on man and woman equality when he was prescribing gender roles? Aren’t these two different matters?

  29. Sue June 5, 2008 at 4:57 pm #

    Michael,

    I am not quite sure what you mean by gender roles.

    There are several possible areas of discussion.

    First, the household codes, the three asymmetric relations were a part of Greek philosophy. They provided structure, but Paul says that “submit to each each other” is defined by sacrifice and submission, a symmetry. Since the husband had legal power, his yeilding was a sacrifice, and the wife’s submission was an acceptance of the legal position that the husband had in those days.

    Now, the wife is equally responsible in law for the care of the children, and for debts. Since she bears equal responsibility, she must legally have equal authority in the home. Otherwise there would have to be a separate legal code for complementarian wives, freeing them from liability.

    Second, gender roles has often been configured so that the husband has a career or business and the wife runs the home. She is in practical terms the head, and has her domain of authority. If the wife made a decision about home budgeting or child rearing, her decision could not be simply over ridden by the husband. She was not under him, but had complementary domains with him.

    However, since the workplace, and life itself, is insecure, women have to earn a salary in many circumstances – if they are single, or their husband leaves them, dies, is sick or unemployed. Therefore, women are best trained equally to their husbands.

    I personally know some couples where both have a profession, some where the wife works part time, or returns to work as the children grow, and some where the wife is at home. Each of these arragnements has pros and cons. I do not see that the women in the scriptures all fit one model. Many of them clearly worked and/or headed up the house.

    Third, in the area of characteristics, I cannot think of one single characteristic in the scriptures that was only for one gender.

    I don’t presume to suggest how people should arrange their private lives, but women should be treated as full adults. Putting women “under authority” gives cause for male entitlement, and some will misuse this. Giving men more power in the marriage than women, is, sadly, in some cases, abetting crime.

    Fouth, if by gender roles, you mean simply that men have authority, and women are under male authority, then that is a form of inequality. I can’t comment on that. “Created for inequality” is not something I see in the scriptures.

  30. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 5:55 pm #

    Sue,

    Thank you for answering my questions. This is such a broad topic, very controversial and hot-button, and further troubling conversing through a weblog comment box from a weblog post on Tommy Nelson. That being said I shall continue.

    The scope of your argument is much more grand than my own. I think handling these matters in simpler terms best though. I do not think it is necessary to extrapolate the debate into secular marriages where an abusive husband might be causing his wife unfortunate detriment, but you have provided a good idea of where you are taking your standpoint, and I could not agree with you more given any cases of injustice or abuse of authority.

    On your fourth point, about men in authority, I would have to disagree with your conclusion of inequality. If we perceive our equality through our roles, I might argue for inequality also. I cannot pretend to know what some of the burdens of husband submission (again, in Christian perspective) can be like for a wife, but as a husband I can assure you that authority can also work like a yoke, and it does at times prove to be. Cannot equality be maintained while functionally, roles remain, perhaps, disproportionate? I do not believe they are disproportionate myself but I understand how others might.

    Further, if rulership is seen as an advantage for being man, then the wife’s enjoyment of her husband’s constant nourishment of her and loving her might also be seen as an advantage. Ephesians commands quite a lot from husbands in the caretaking of their wives and only the careless husband would take these commands lightly.

    To elaborate on authority as a yoke, we’d only have to look at the many unfortunate tragedies which occur in this world to realize leading a family through it would not be considered a prize position. The death of a son or daughter. The loss of a home. Etc.

    Lastly, I strongly disagree with your mischaracterization of Paul’s words. Your “Created for inequality” refutation is not something you will find in scripture because Paul does not say or suggest that.

    “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female – for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

    Surely Galatians 3:28, even while acknowledging the considerable tension this verse might put on Paul’s prescribed leadership by men elsewhere, is still true.

  31. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 6:05 pm #

    EDIT:

    …Paul’s prescribed leadership for* men…

  32. jeremy z June 5, 2008 at 6:10 pm #

    let me guess—each speaker is a older white male?

    such nuetrality and diversity in the SBC.

  33. Lance June 5, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    The Son submitted to the Father, yet He was equal in nature, eh?

  34. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    Jeremy Z,

    Please offer a more fruitful observation.

    I’m not old (25) or SBC.

  35. Sue June 5, 2008 at 6:27 pm #

    Michael,

    It is extremely important to come at this from a standpoint of reality. You write,

    I do not think it is necessary to extrapolate the debate into secular marriages where an abusive husband might be causing his wife unfortunate detriment,

    I made no mention of secular marriages. The rate of violent abuse is about one fifth of marriages. This does not vary depending on affiliation (ie being Christian). Among women I know, married to Christian men, some of them ministers, I would also put the rate at about 20%.

    However, I realize that many do not consider this to be relevant.

    Let us look at the exceptionally strong stand that World Vision has taken.

    Furthermore, World Vision suggests partnership with social institutions such as churches, council of elders, community leaders and other sources of influence to remove barriers that prevent women from full participation.

    The question is why women should be restricted from doing morally good things like leading a home and being responsible for their children, things that they are created with the capability to do.

    If women are restricted to a list, then they are allowed to do less than a man. (Let us not bring in what each gender cannot do. A man cannot bear children, women do not work in the oilfields. Neither one is an essential for leadership.)

    If a woman is by design in creation to do less than a man, because she is restricted to less tasks than a man, then she is created for less. She is created to function under man. She is by design inferior.

    Ware writes,

    But, as Gen. 2 bears out (as seen in its own context and as understood by Paul in 1 Cor. 11 and 1 Tim. 2), their humanity would find expression differently, in a relationship of complementarity, with the female functioning in a submissive role under the leadership and authority of the male.

    First it is clear from this that women function in the inferior position.

    Second, according to Ware that is because of the way God designed the female to function under male leadership. (Does this connect to reality? Is there no such thing as a female leader?)

    Third, when the male is not there, has died or is absent, the female functions in every way as the male, making adult decisions, and wearing the “yoke” of authority. Perhaps the concern is regarding the design of the male, that he cannot function without a female under him.

    Fourth, since authentein does not mean “to have authority” but actually means “to dominate,” and was considered by Jerome to have the same meaning as “rule” in Gen. 3:16, where do the scriptures say that women are under male authority as a result of sin?

    Fifth, it is likely that in some way Paul was in this environment and accepted an inferior position for women, as he did for slaves. But where does he actually say that women are created to function under male authority? In the Greek scriptures? No, I don’t think he said that.

    And why did Paul not relieve Lydia, Nympha and Chloe from wearing the yoke of authority for their families? I realize that their husbands may have been dead – but why didn’t Paul put these women under authority of some other male so that they could function according to God’s design.

    I believe, as Chrysostom says, that women was designed for equal authority and sin intervened.

    I do hope that Ware will address the many ways that complementarianism varies from historic Christianity.

  36. Sue June 5, 2008 at 6:30 pm #

    Sorry a typo. I wrote,

    where do the scriptures say that women are under male authority as a result of sin?

    It should be,

    where do the scriptures say that women are under male authority except as a result of sin?

  37. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 6:31 pm #

    Where is Barry!

  38. Sue June 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm #

    The Son submitted to the Father, yet He was equal in nature, eh?

    Has Ware written about the way in which his view of the subordination of Christ contrasts rather sharply with that of Chrysostom? I would be interested in reading that.

  39. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    Sue,

    I feel like you’re creating a haphazard construct of cultural imperfections and marital problems and throwing it on top of a questionable interpretation of Paul. He’d likely sweat a tad for being responsible for gender problems at the global scale. Surely, his desire is to paint an illustration of man and woman as Christ and the Church and the evangelical outworking of this will witness to the world something about gender roles, and hopefully about God himself.

  40. Sue June 5, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    I have a very rubust interpretation of Paul because it depends on being able to read Hebrew, Greek, Latin, the church fathers and the reformers.

    I am just dealing with a lot of info, and don’t know how to trim it.

    If Christianity supports the subordination of women in any corner of the world, then that is a shame. No, not Paul but the way Paul is interpreted.

    Women are already working their guts out in Africa and some people want to preach the gospel of male authority and female submission! It doesn’t help in a society where men are getting AIDS and bringing it home to their wives.

    If our gospel is not good for the world then we should not preach it. We should return humbly to the scriptures and ask what the women who work under their husbands need. They need equal authority. We do not find that the scriptures justify keeping women from full adult participation. The women of the gospels and the epistles were not parceled out to men. We need to teach first the full development of female adult rights for women who are the providers for their families.

  41. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 6:53 pm #

    Sue,

    I apologize for the response length in #39 but I cannot reasonably respond to the latter half of your argument without writing a book. A lot of what you have mentioned here alarms me as well, since you seem to be greatly challenging some very basic doctrines found in the Bible. So basic that most of my argument would need to be strongly grounded in and fashioned by epistemology, which I know little about.

  42. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 7:08 pm #

    Sue,

    Again, you seem to be adopting a position that woman are ultimately to be treated as property and inferiorly based on the simplest reading of 1 Timothy 2:12.

    If you don’t mind I’d like to change direction with this. Can you offer me your revision of 1 Timothy 2:12 using your translation of authentein? Then, maybe it will become more easily understandable how the authority translation is doing so much violence to the reading.

  43. Sue June 5, 2008 at 7:45 pm #

    Here is an English translation of the Latin Vulgate which was a translation of the LXX, the Bible accepted by the early church as authoritative.

    “To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have domonion over thee.” Gen. 3:16

    “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over the man: but to be silent.” 1 Tim. 2:12.

    Either “have dominion” means proper authority,” or it means “cruel harsh dominatiopn.”

    The stand that complementarians take is that in Gen. 3:16, this is harsh and cruel domination. (They teach that there was proper male authority in creation.)

    But if that is the case then in 1 Tim. 2:12 it must mean that women must not have harsh and cruel domination over males. But complementarians do not teach this.

    Conversely, it means that women was put under proper authority of the male in the fall, and therefore could never have proper authority over men.

    Complementarians do not teach either of these. They mix the terms, which the church fathers never did. Therefore, the church fathers always taught something different from complementarians.

    I am just saying that complementarians do not teach the historic Christian docrines about both the subordination of Christ or of woman.

    It would help if complementarians interacted with Chrysostom’s homily on 1 Cor. 11 in some depth. Or with the LXX or the Vulgate. I am not saying these are authoritative but that all theology up until after the Reformation was based on these texts.

    Of course, women were always subordinated, but curiously for completely different reasons. You cannot expect women not to notice this.

  44. Jason Seville June 5, 2008 at 7:46 pm #

    Sue (and others),

    Just wanted to point out (I’m sure Sue already knows this) that not everyone sees Ephesians 5:21 as belonging in the Haustafel (“household code”). I’m sure I haven’t studied the original languages as much as Sue has, but I’m partial to the translation of this passage as seen in the NET Bible.

    The word often translated “be subject/submit” (I’ll leave out Greek transliterations just in case some haven’t studied Koine Greek) in Eph 5:21 is a participle that is dependent on “be filled” in 5:18. Instead of pushing this participle for “submit” down into the Haustafel, we should view it as belonging to the preceding verses dealing with being filled with the Spirit. So, instead of v.21 kicking off the household codes (i.e. beginning with a commanded “mutual submission,” it should be understood as connecting to the previous passage).

    Also, participles rarely have imperatival force (though they can). Therefore, I think that the translations that command mutual submission in v.21 and make this the first verse in the household code are misunderstanding the force of this participle.

    In short, before everyone dies of boredom… just be aware that not everyone (nor every Bible) commands mutual submission in Eph 5:21 and includes that verse in the household code. Instead, as with the NET, may I suggest that the word for submit in 5:21 is one of the 5 participles coming off of “be filled” in 5:18 and should be translated as “submitting to one another.” Thus, “be filled with the Spirit… speaking…singing…making melody…giving thanks…and submitting to one another…”

    Furthermore, if mutual submission is commanded in v.21, how shall we understand that when we get to the other relationships in the household code? Should parents submit to children? Should masters submit to slaves?

    This doesn’t explain everything regarding the topic at hand, but I thought it might be a good note bene since Sue brought up Eph 5:21 and the Haustafel.

  45. Jason Seville June 5, 2008 at 7:58 pm #

    I realize I didn’t really finish that thought… The submitting to one another in 5:21 obviously applies to both men and women… but I’m just saying that it doesn’t have to be an imperative command that begins the household code as some have asserted (but, I could be wrong – it wouldn’t be the first time!). Rather that being a command in the same sense as “wives submit/husbands love,” the submission in 5:21 is relating to being filled with the Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit should evidence itself in a general submissiveness in the same way that we should all have encouraging speech, joyful hearts, etc.

  46. Sue June 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm #

    There is no verb for “submit” in Eph. 5:22 so I am not sure what a woman is to do, if verse 22 is separated off from verse 21.

    It is also important to realize that contrary to complementarian teaching, the Greek verb for submit is be translated in other literature as “yield” – for example, when a king gives in or yields to his subjects. There is nothing that says that submit is to an authority – it can be to anyone. Other church fathers wrote that each Christian should submit to his neighbour.

    The scriptures ask a wife to submit but there is no mention of the authority of the husband. The text does not say, husbands lead and wives submit, it says husbands sacrifice and wives submit. There is no scripture that clearly states a leadership role for the husband.

  47. Sue June 5, 2008 at 8:14 pm #

    PS When it comes to masters and slaves, once again Chrysostom on Ephesians is rather good. I don’t want to take the time to quote it here. It is available by google.

    Truly, we must not bind women under male authority on the basis of two texts, poorly translated at that, when we have let slaves go free.

  48. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    If someone reasoned with your conclusions on authentein, that women should not have a harsh dominion over men (gender role equality in view here), does this negate a woman’s submission duties to a husband (I almost think that is what is being snuck through back door).

    If not, then in what ways would a woman’s submission differ from 1 Timothy 2:9-15 in corporate practice? Wouldn’t it look like, while the men are leading, that the women, who are not leading or being taught, that they are otherwise quiet? (Don’t hate me lol.)

    If I were looking for a position to attack Paul on inequality in gender roles, I would go after the texts declaring that women should submit to their husbands moreso than the texts dealing with who has authority in the corporate arena, since the former is likely making the contingency for the latter.

    That’s what is hard for me to understand about the fantastic weight put on 1 Timothy 2:12, even when given the alternate definition for authentein; the burden of proof still lies on your expressed position, which declares that women are being treated inferior, since women would also be seemingly inferior in light of other Pauline submission texts using this same logic.

  49. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    EDIT:
    …snuck through the* back door…

  50. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 8:22 pm #

    Jason and Sue, you may wish to disregard my last comment then, since I don’t have Greek training yet, I cannot interact in light of your continuing discussion. I have enjoyed very much all the discussion today though.

    God bless you all,
    Michael

  51. Rick June 5, 2008 at 8:28 pm #

    to (25) and (29),

    As has been pointed out in other posts, it must be admitted that men have abused the Biblical teaching of headship in the family and church, and that this is a situation that should be rectified. Outside of psychologizing the issue, Post #13 above did a good job of presenting the truth of the responsibility of the man as head of the household to not shackle his wife in the use of her gifts for the service of the church and ministry of the gospel to the community, and that the church must do a better job of employing the gifts and abilities of women in ministering to the Body of Christ and in the community, within Biblical parameters.

    However, in response to “Sue”…

    25.1. In regards to point 1, it is not necessary that authentein was ever applied to church leadership, for if a woman was not to exercise authority over the man as head of house then it stands that the woman would not exercise authority over the man in the teaching of scripture and leading of the church, the family/household of God. Secondly, it is clear from scripture that the head of house was the patriarch of the family. This notwithstanding, the woman had authority in matters pertaining to the running of the house which did not extend to making her the head of the household over the man. That women today are often in the position of head of household due to the fracturing of families is not an argument in support of a woman’s exercising of authority in the church (post 29).

    25.2 Agreement here. No one should hold that man or woman was created superior to the other. This runs contrary to the revelation of scripture.

    25.3 While 1 Tim 5:14 does exhort younger widows to remarry and run their house this does not infer that they are the head of the household in the position of the patriarch (see 25.1 above), nor is it necessary to infer that this is meant. To say that this is the inference from the rest of the scriptures cited in post 25.3 above is a reach at best, and is not good hermeneutic practice in the least. Nothing is said in those references which indicates the woman as head of house, and it is culturally most likely that those references to head of house refer either to the male head of the family or to the steward he left in authority as head of house.

    25.4-6 It is a narrow foundation on which to base an argument to quote only Chrysostom as the position of the early church. This is not a strong enough argument. Secondly, it is not enough to assert that the headship of the male is based upon sin – that headship is necessary because of the sin of Eve. Similar to Paul’s argument that salvation is based upon faith, not obedience to the Law, because faith came first with Abraham’s faith being the basis for salvation in Genesis 15:6 before the Law; Paul will argue from the very nature of God as Trinity and the created order of man and woman that there is a functional order of authority even prior to sin and the Fall. Thus, man and woman are created equal but with an order of functionality.

    This is where the egalitarian position must ignore a wider Biblical and Theological context in order to make their argument stand. The issue must be simplified to an issue of culture then and now – that Paul was writing truth to a specific cultural context that has since changed.

    Paul’s argument on the headship of the male is based directly from the doctrine of Trinity – that God is the head of Christ who is the head of man, who is the head of woman; and that this is supported by the created order of man and then woman.

    Within the doctrine of Trinity there is the distinction of the immanent Trinity – the nature and relationship of God within Trinity, the Father, Son, and the Spirit – and the economic Trinity, or how God relates to creation. In the Immanent Trinity there is complete equality between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. However, as God relates to creation there is an ordering of authority. The Father decrees, the Son obeys the Father, and the Spirit responds in obedience to both the Father and the Son. Thus, from the very nature of God arises the truth that there can simultaneously be equality of person and a functioning order of authority. This is the argument of Paul in regards to the exercising of spiritual authority by a woman over men through the teaching of Scripture. The “head covering” of 1 Corinthians 11 is thus a cultural symbol of a spiritual reality, a reality that is no longer symbolized by the covering of the head but which is still to be practiced in the church.

    While it must again be said that men have abused the position of headship given them in the family and the church this is a result of sin. The fix is not to go against scripture (using a new “redemptive-movement hermeneutic”)in making women able to teach men in the church but to teach men and the church how not to abuse authority, and how to utilize the gifts, abilities, and passions of women for ministry like any person in the congregation.

    Rick

    As Rick’s wife, I would like to add something. First, I believe as a woman that it is scripturally clear that the authority of the house and the church has been given to men. When men responsibly exercise this authority it is extremely freeing in my experience. I feel that I have been given a covering in my husband that reflects the covering Christ gave to the church in His death as he (my husband) strives to “take the hits” for me and our family. Additionally, I am encouraged to, and provided opportunities to, use my gifts and passions to minister in the church and the home. Thus, in my experience there is a burden lifted by appropriate servant-leadership of my husband and by men in the church, not a cultural oppression placed upon me as a woman.

    Niki

  52. Sue June 5, 2008 at 8:38 pm #

    (I almost think that is what is being snuck through back door).

    No, some women are not married. Maybe only unmarried women, or women who are single parents, should have equal status to men in the church.

    I am not quite sure of some of your other questions. In actual fact, a king could submit to his subjects so the passages on submission to not say the husband is the authority.

    I only mentioned authentein because it appears that 1 Tim. 2:12 is going to be the text in question.

  53. Sue June 5, 2008 at 8:48 pm #

    Rick,

    I am sorry I am not quite sure what scriptures you were referring to in your post. Where do the scriptures say that the man is the head of the house?

    I mention single women since life expectancy was much lower in ancient times and widows were very common. Some worked for the church and clearly some hosted churches in their houses and had households under their direction. I see no absolute connection between head of the house and gender in the scriptures, quite the opposite. Culturally men were patriarchs. In practice, some women did head up households and thse women were Christians. But the word kephale was not used for “head of the house” in Greek.

    Paul’s argument on the headship of the male is based directly from the doctrine of Trinity – that God is the head of Christ who is the head of man, who is the head of woman; and that this is supported by the created order of man and then woman.

    I recommend Chrysostom’s homily on 1 Cor. 11:3. I would like to mention other church fathers, but naturally hesitate to take up more of anyone’s time.

  54. Michael Metts June 5, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    I applaud your constant revelations Rick everytime I seem to be engaged in the women in authority debate. Or else I’ve confused you with someone else. 🙂

  55. Sue June 5, 2008 at 9:06 pm #

    Rick,

    Sorry, I now see that you wrote,

    Paul’s argument on the headship of the male …

    In English “headship” means a position of command or leadership. I have only once found the expression “head of” (kephale + genitive)used in a way that might be similar to this, in Hermas’ Shepherd, after Paul. I am not aware of any other cases where kephale is used in an expression like “head of the house” or “head of the tribe” or “head of the nation/people” or anything of that kind. Perhaps I have missed them.

    As Chrsyostom said, kephale means “of one flesh” and “first principle” or “beginning.” But not command or rulership. We should not confuse English meanings with Greek meanings.

  56. Quixote June 5, 2008 at 9:24 pm #

    Sue,

    I respect your research. I may not be educated enough to understand it, but I respect it. However, I fear your battle here is an uphill one at best and a losing one at worst. Why? Because the very men you wish to enlighten on the true meaning of the Greek text are convinced beyond un-convincing that you cannot teach Scripture to a man. It matters not what proofs you offer. To paraphrase Jerry Maguire, you lost them at hello.

  57. Sue June 5, 2008 at 9:31 pm #

    You are right, Quixote, but I have learned a lot myself in this exercise. It helps me to further my own reading.

  58. Nathan Boyette June 6, 2008 at 4:00 am #

    Hello,

    I enjoyed reading the discussion you all are having in this thread. I am not able to really converse on this subject with most of you (I do not know Greek, Hebrew, or Latin). However, I know how to use good search engines to find useful articles.

    Here is a good article written by Wayne Grudem. The article directly addresses many of the issues raised here. Grudem specifically raises 6 questions and then there is a response from an egalitarian author and then Grudem responds again. This article is especially helpful because it talks about many of the Greek words that you all have been discussing. I suggest that you all read it, it could be very helpful.

    http://www.cbmw.org/Resources/Articles/An-Open-Letter-to-Egalitarians-Revised-2003

    I am sorry, I do not know how to make the website appear as a link but I am sure it is easy enough to copy and paste. I hope that this article helps contribute to finding the truth.

  59. Rick June 6, 2008 at 6:18 am #

    Sue,

    In reading your posts I really only perceive a couple of arguments being utilized. One, that men have abused women and oppressed them on the basis of the authority the Bible has seemed to give to them in the family and church. Two, that “head of” most appropriately means source, or first principle, in the original language. Three, That Chrysostom is the major source for your argumentation. Additionally, asserting knowledge of the original languages, early church history and theology only makes an argument sound strong and is not necessary if the position actually is a strong one.

    Again, on the first point, that men have in their sinfulness abused and oppressed women does not provide an adequate foundation for the argument of egalitarianism. Men should lead self-sacrificially as Christ did, daily dieing to their own desires as they lead their family and their homes rather than selfishly pursuing their own desires to the detriment of their wife and family; the same for their leading in the church.

    As to the second, the meaning of head as source or origin, from what I have been able to find, this is taken from one lexicon and has been adequately refuted as being the most likely usage of the word in the contexts in which this discussion is concerned. This is from the pre-eminent scholars in the arena of lexicography. See http://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-2-No-5/The-Meaning-Source-Does-Not-Exist . Headship does not mean leadership only in English but also in the original languages, being the most common translation of the Hebrew term r’osh which was commonly used as well to indicate the leader of a household, etc. The problem in English is that leadership has come to mean domination rather than a Christ-like servant leadership.

    As to the third, the consistent use of Chrysostom’s homilies, methinks Chrysostom does not adequate burden of proof make. No one today would base a position on one commentator in opposition to a quorum interpretation and be respected as having a strong position on a text. Unless there is a much wider foundation other than your assertions that this is “the” historical position of the church and theology up to the reformation based upon one man’s homilies, it seems that you are on thin ice.

    Additionally, you did not address the issue from the foundation of Trinity or creation as Paul does in his argumentation, instead continuing to stand upon Chrysostom’s view that headship is only a necessary result of sin. You cannot water the conversation down to a lexical argument over one word that is tenuous at best, or to the homily of Chrysostom on Corinthians 11 which seems from your prior posts to be concerned with the sinful results of men oppressing women in the name of authority – a sad fact which any Christian man seeking to follow Christ’s example of servant-leadership in the home and church would deplore; and which again is not an adequate basis for the egalitarian position.

    Lastly, how do you apply the usage of hupotasso in its appropriate passages to this conversation?

    The burden of proof is most definitely on the egalitarian, and I am not seeing near enough proof being brought to the table.

    Men and women are equal in the sight of the Lord, no question. Men are given the burden of sacrificial leadership in the home and the church in which they are to die to self in order to elevate and honor women, their spouses, and their children.

  60. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 7:49 am #

    “I am not able to really converse on this subject with most of you (I do not know Greek, Hebrew, or Latin). However, I know how to use good search engines to find useful articles.”

    This is funny! Nathan, you’re in good company. 🙂

  61. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 8:20 am #

    Jason,
    I feel like your #44 deserves more treatment and though I’m not equipped for the task, I did read FF Bruce on Ephesians some last night and can offer an observation.

    “The word often translated “be subject/submit” in Eph 5:21 is a participle that is dependent on “be filled” in 5:18. Instead of pushing this participle for “submit” down into the Haustafel, we should view it as belonging to the preceding verses dealing with being filled with the Spirit. So, instead of v.21 kicking off the household codes (i.e. beginning with a commanded “mutual submission,” it should be understood as connecting to the previous passage).”

    FF Bruce seemed to be suggesting that Eph 5:21 was, yes, a participle which belonged to the “be filled” verb in verse 18, but also provides the understood verb “be subject/submit” for verse 22’s “wives, [submit] to your husbands as to the Lord”.

    If memory serves his reconstruction looked something a lot like vs 23 in the NET. Let’s set them side-by-side:

    Bruce’s reconstruction of 21-22 (according to my groggy memory):
    “…submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ – wives [especially], to your husbands as to the Lord.”

    Vs 23 (NET):
    “because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church – he himself being the savior of the body.”

    In short, I believe Bruce does maintain the paragraph break between 21 and 22, but he also maintains the submission verb supplied in verse 21 to give emphasis on the woman’s gender role in the man/woman relationship, and he’ll continue to unfold this argument while observing the parallel between Christ and the Church as reinforcing his work. Talk about a tricky passage to understand.

    Bruce also maintains that if mutual submission is understood for the text preceding verse 21’s command for submission, this would not go well with Paul’s comparison of Christ and the Church and would in fact cause confusion in relationships where submission is not intended to work both ways, such as parent/child relations, which you seem to have picked up on in your statement, “furthermore, if mutual submission is commanded in v.21, how shall we understand that when we get to the other relationships in the household code? Should parents submit to children? Should masters submit to slaves?”

    Hope this helps.

  62. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 8:21 am #

    Jason,
    I feel like your #44 deserves more treatment and though I’m not equipped for the task, I did read FF Bruce on Ephesians some last night and can offer an observation.

    You mentioned:
    “The word often translated “be subject/submit” in Eph 5:21 is a participle that is dependent on “be filled” in 5:18. Instead of pushing this participle for “submit” down into the Haustafel, we should view it as belonging to the preceding verses dealing with being filled with the Spirit. So, instead of v.21 kicking off the household codes (i.e. beginning with a commanded “mutual submission,” it should be understood as connecting to the previous passage).”

    FF Bruce seemed to be suggesting that Eph 5:21 was, yes, a participle which belonged to the “be filled” verb in verse 18, but also provides the understood verb “be subject/submit” for verse 22’s “wives, [submit] to your husbands as to the Lord”.

    If memory serves his reconstruction looked something a lot like vs 23 in the NET. Let’s set them side-by-side:

    Bruce’s reconstruction of 21-22 (according to my groggy memory):
    “…submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ – wives [especially], to your husbands as to the Lord.”

    Vs 23 (NET):
    “because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church – he himself being the savior of the body.”

    In short, I believe Bruce does maintain the paragraph break between 21 and 22, but he also maintains the submission verb supplied in verse 21 to give emphasis on the woman’s gender role in the man/woman relationship, and he’ll continue to unfold this argument while observing the parallel between Christ and the Church as reinforcing his work. Talk about a tricky passage to understand.

    Bruce also maintains that if mutual submission is understood for the text preceding verse 21’s command for submission, this would not go well with Paul’s comparison of Christ and the Church and would in fact cause confusion in relationships where submission is not intended to work both ways, such as parent/child relations, which you seem to have picked up on in your statement, “furthermore, if mutual submission is commanded in v.21, how shall we understand that when we get to the other relationships in the household code? Should parents submit to children? Should masters submit to slaves?”

    Hope this helps.

  63. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 6, 2008 at 9:01 am #

    Rick,

    I noticed this in your post in comment 51:

    “Paul will argue from . . . the created order of man and woman that there is a functional order of authority even prior to sin and the Fall. Thus, man and woman are created equal but with an order of functionality.”

    Would you care to respond to the questions I raised in my comment in post # 24 and which I will re-introduce here:

    For those who believe that the 1 Tim. 2 passage applies to forbidding women teaching or leading men and support that prohibition as being universal because Paul makes claim to a “creation ordinance” (The following implications seem to logically come forth):

    (1) The prohibition cannot be restricted to only the assembled congregation, because the “creation ordinance” basis makes no distinction about public assembly or private instruction. If Paul’s context implies only the congregation, the theological basis implies any and all men-women scenarios of relationships. Paul appeals to a larger principle to support his APPLICATION. One should learn from the larger PRINCIPLE.
    Therefore, women cannot teach or have authority over a man or men. Ever. In any situation, public or private. Supervised or unsupervised by a male pastoral authority.

    (2) While a woman may be able to read Scripture in public or private to a man, she must NEVER make any comment about it. Teaching cannot be restricted to only doctrinal matters. Any comment on ethics or devotional insight coming from the Scripture would meet a Pauline definition of teaching. Restricting “teaching” to only doctrine has no biblical warrant.

    (3) When a woman gives any testimony of faith to a man or men in public or private, she must NEVER use Scripture to support her comments because they would then become “teaching” which has been prohibited in the men-women scenario of relationship.

    The problem with these implications is that there are biblical examples which contradict them. [Deborah, Miriam, Huldah, Proverbs 31 mother to King Lemuel, Elizabeth, Mary the mother of Jesus – the Magnificat, Priscilla] Thus, the question may be raised whether the conclusion about the traditional interpretation of 1 Tim. 2:8-15 is as accurate as it should be from a canonical context.

    Questions for subsequent comments to my comment:

    Do you hold to the “creation ordinance” concept?

    If so, how do the above implications not follow from that interpretive conclusion? Please demonstrate.

    Do you restrict teaching only to “doctrinal matters”? What is the biblical basis for the division of “teaching” into doctrine, ethics, devotion? (I understand the pedagogical methodology for dividing them in systematic theology for academic training, but would Paul differentiate them for congregational instruction?)

    Thus, what I am saying is a woman can NEVER comment on Scripture in any way shape or form to any man at any time because the commenting will be “teaching” the man.

    I think all of this logically follows if you conclude that Paul is basing an absolute universal prohibition of women teaching men on “creation order.” Where is this “logic” wrong?

  64. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 6, 2008 at 9:12 am #

    Oh, by the way.

    I do believe that there is a way to translate 1 Tim. 2:8-15 and interpret it in a way that will allow it not to contradict the other scriptural examples of women teaching men and also exercising a measure of authority over them.

    I will hold off from expressing now for the following reasons:

    (1) I’m interested in hearing the responses of pure complementarians to the questions I asked.

    (2) The exegesis will take some time to express and this kind of forum may not be the best way to communicate it.

    (3)My schedule today is tight.

    Oh, one more thing, I have read Wayne Grudem’s responses and also Thomas Schreiner’s and I still find them unconvincing as they do not address the issues that my exegetical conclusion raises. Grudem’s “Evangelical Feminism” is not as comprehensive in treating the issue as some would think. In my opinion and research.

    Blessings and Peace,

    David

  65. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 9:23 am #

    “Thus, what I am saying is a woman can NEVER comment on Scripture in any way shape or form to any man at any time because the commenting will be “teaching” the man.”

    Adrian, I believe this is a false dichotomy. It seems one is to either side with your point because of the logical conclusions you draw from men-in-authority passages, or one acknowledges that women should also be in authority (despite the text)? Is Paul trying to make men into some kind of proto-totalitarian figure because he believes they should carry the burden of servant leadership in the corporate setting, over and against women (who seem to be vulnerable in leadership; 1 Tim 2:14)? Surely there’s other ways to understand the matter.

  66. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    Adrian, also:

    “I do believe that there is a way to translate 1 Tim. 2:8-15 and interpret it in a way that will allow it not to contradict the other scriptural examples of women teaching men and also exercising a measure of authority over them. I will hold off from expressing now for the following reasons…The exegesis will take some time to express…”

    I’m sure it would!

  67. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 9:29 am #

    I’m so sorry. David. I somehow misread your name. David, I mean. Apologies.

  68. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 6, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    Michael,

    One quick reply before I’m off to busyness.

    Please show how this is a false dichotomy. Please show how the conclusions I presented do not “logically” follow the premise that Paul is arguing from a “creation ordinance.”

    You use the word “proto-totalitarian”. If that is what the implications are from the pure complementarian position, that is what it has to be if their assumptions are correct.

    I am only asking that those who argue from the “creation ordinance” assumption take the implications out to their necessary ends, or show how my logic is faulty.

    I said nothing about what men are to be, I only spoke of what women are to do (or, better, not do) if one takes the interpretive conclusion that Paul is arguing from a “creation ordinance” position that this text applies to all men and all women at all times in all places.

    If it is bothersome to you to hold these implications, either submit to Scripture if they are true, or consider that these implications are contradictory to other Scriptures, and thus, one must begin again to come to a conclusion where one Scripture does not contradict another.

    Off to busyness and awaiting replies that will be checked out later today,

    David

  69. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 6, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Don’t worry about the name confusion. I prefer the discussion of ideas rather than name accuracy. However, your apologies indicate that you are indeed a person of character and that is greatly appreciated.

    David

  70. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 10:10 am #

    David,

    Thanks for responding. I anticipate reading your later exegesis when you have time. I am especially interested in how one is to reconcile the model for man/women relations, which is Christ and the Church, and further – in agreement with Rick’s #51 – the complimentary work of the Trinity, when aspiring to demonstate functional inequalities of men and women in efforts to prove gender inequalities along the complimentarian stance.

    Again, it does not seem Paul’s defintion for equality in Christ (Galatians 3:28) is called into question where he has elsewhere prescribed functional roles amongst the genders – although some would perceive such an inequality occuring from these roles – but rather, these functional roles stand to prove the equality of man and woman with the backdrop of Christ and the Church as the model for gender patterns.

  71. Sue June 6, 2008 at 10:29 am #

    Rick,

    I have very little time, but in short no the Hebrew rosh is not usually translated by kephale when it means “head of a family.”

    In fact, “head of the family” or “head of the household” is a common phrase in English and in Latin as “caput familiae.” In Greek it was οἰκοδεσποτέω and is found in 1 Timothy 5:14,

    βούλομαι οὖν νεωτέρας γαμεῖν τεκνογονεῖν οἰκοδεσποτεῖν μηδεμίαν ἀφορμὴν διδόναι τῷ ἀντικειμένῳ λοιδορίας χάριν

    So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.

    The LSJ lexicon clearly offers only one definition for οἰκοδεσποτέω oikodespoteo and that is “to be master of a house or head of a family.” However, it is never translated that way.

    Let’s see what happens when we do find “head of a family” in the original language. First you won’t find that kephale is ever used in such an expression in the scriptures. It is carefully avoided. Here is the pattern in Hebrew in Joshua 22:14, (head of a paternal house – rosh beit-avotam)

    וַעֲשָׂרָה נְשִׂאִים, עִמּוֹ–נָשִׂיא אֶחָד נָשִׂיא אֶחָד לְבֵית אָב, לְכֹל מַטּוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְאִישׁ רֹאשׁ בֵּית-אֲבוֹתָם הֵמָּה לְאַלְפֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל

    καὶ δέκα τῶν ἀρχόντων μετ αὐτοῦ ἄρχων εἷς ἀπὸ οἴκου πατριᾶς ἀπὸ πασῶν φυλῶν Ισραηλ ἄρχοντες οἴκων πατριῶν εἰσιν χιλίαρχοι Ισραηλ LXX

    et decem principes cum eo, singulos de tribubus, unusquisque erat caput familiae in cognationibus Israel. Vulgate

    and with him ten chiefs, one from each of the tribal families of Israel,(A) every one of them the head of a family among the clans of Israel. ESV

    Clearly Greek breaks the pattern. It is the word for the physical “head” in Hebrew, rosh; Latin, caput; and English. However, in Greek the word αρχων archon (ruler) is used instead and not kephale. So when Paul uses κεφαλη he knows very well that he is not using the normal Greek word for what we understand when we hear “head of the family.” κεφαλη is not the way to say “head of state,” “head of the nation” and “head of the family.” There is a perfectly good Greek word for that – archon. Or, of course, οἰκοδεσποτέω.

    I would recommend that Grudem be read in tandem with Cervin or the Mickelsons.

    I must go, but I have read all the original passages that Grudem has taken his examples from and they are for the most part not well represented. The king of Egypt was never called “head of the nation” He was the most illustrious of his line.

    Rick,

    If you are really interested in these things find my profile and email on the Better Bibles Blog – I have to run.

    F.F> Bruce was an egalitarian from the Brethren as am I.

  72. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    EDIT on #62:

    “Bruce also maintains that if mutual submission is understood for the text following* verse 21’s command for submission…”

  73. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    FF Bruce was Egalitarian? Haha, proof I need more schooling. Time to go! How embarrasing…

    Great post Sue.

  74. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 11:56 am #

    What should be discerned from the model of Christ and the Church, then, for gender roles?

    What exactly are Egalitarians arguing for, simply that they want to teach and exercise their gifts over men?

    That’s an understandable desire if they are gifted in that area, I suppose, but what of all the Pauline discussions on gender roles? I don’t think his texts can retain accuracy after being shown by rigid exegetical practice that his intentions are in fact only to demonstrate that men and women can both function in the duty of authority, since all are now defined by Christ. Because then there seems to arise much more confusion and a crushing burden of proof on several of his other passages about things pertaining to men (which amount to a seemingly inequality for women) and other passages which pertain to women. Why all this talk from Paul if he truly intends to demonstrate that anyone, man or women, has authority, and both should submit to one-another. If equality is to come in light of the function of the role, then surely Paul has misunderstood even himself!

    The kinds of things suggested by the antagonistic argument (Egalitarian) simply do not make since, it is not that the exegetical practices seem incorrect to me, it is more that the conclusions being demonstrated seem to argue, at least to me, against the very foundation Paul is wanting to lay in gender roles. In a way, I am almost glad that I’ve been able to participate in this discussion without the language skills that much of you share, because the conclusions which are being found seem to stand against even (my) basic English reasoning skills like a firmly-rooted tree against raging winds of basic understanding.

    Surely, it stands to reason that we have prescriptions for followers of Christ to practice based on gender, and further, it stands to reason, that this entails the delegation of authority/teaching, based, not only on a demonstrable proof-text, but upon the very fabric of gender differences demonstrated all through the scriptures.

    That is why, not because one is a condescending devaluer of womanly abilities or gifts, but that is why the complimentarian position seems to resist egalitarian positions, at least in my thinking.

  75. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 12:06 pm #

    EDIT:
    since=sense.

  76. Paul June 6, 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    Sue, et al.

    1. Was Chrysostom the only Church Father? I wonder what the other Church Father’s thought. I think you will find they were quite varied.

    2. Someone tell me if I have gotten the Trinity all wrong. The Trinity has always existed in perfect harmony (before the creation and fall). And they have always been equal in being and served different roles. And they seem to not make much of it. Have I missed something?

    4. Do a little more research on kephale? Especially by all Church Fathers.

    3. Are we allowing 20th century feminism influence our Bible?

    I am glad this has sparked so much excitement. May God be blessed as these three men preach the Word and may this issue keep from being swept under the rug. Let’s celebrate complementarianism (as the Trinity does).

    Have a blessed weekend. I am off to marry a dear brother and sister and I am preaching from Eph 5:21ff (the man submitting in the fear of Christ by leading and the woman submitting in the fear of Christ by following). It makes good sense.

  77. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm #

    Slow blog Fridays 🙁

  78. Ferg June 6, 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    May I say it was a joy to read such a cordial and well thought out and argued flow of posts. it’s a nice refreshing difference to most other posts. thanks guys. Oh, and there’s a lot to ponder on!!

  79. Jason Seville June 6, 2008 at 1:48 pm #

    Sorry Sue – it’s taken me a while to get back on here… but MAN, do we have some good discussion going!

    This post is regarding my comments in 44-45 and your subsequent response in 46. I also thank Michael for bringing this back up in 61.

    As Michael points out, some commentators, like Bruce will maintain the separation between 5:21 and 5:22, but still collect the verb from 5:21. However, there are others who pick the “submit” up from 5:24.

    Here is my take on this Haustafel (“household code”) section of Ephesians 5 that deals with wives (v.22-24):

    In each of the three relationships discussed in the Haustafel, the instructions are first given to the person in that relationship that is in a position where submission to another is necessary. Wives are first addressed in 5:22 as children and slaves are in 6:1 and 6:5, respectively. The initial verse of this passage has a few elements that slightly complicate the interpretation. First, this section is unique in that it is the only paragraph in Ephesians (after 1:3) that begins without a conjunction. This phenomenon, known as asyndeton, is typically used with (1) commands and exhortations in rapid succession; (2) sentences in a series; or (3) unrelated sentences or a topic shift. Second, there is difficulty in interpreting 5:22 because it lacks a verb. One of two verbs for “submit,” hupotassesthosan or hpotassesthe, appear in many of the manuscripts for this section, but the earliest and best manuscripts do not contain a verb at all (p46 and B). Moreover, the shorter and more difficult reading should be favored in this case as it is easy to see how this could explain the rise of the manuscripts that contain one of the verbs. The addition of hupotassesthosan or hupotassesthe by a scribe is easy to see, while the removal of it in this context would be hard to substantiate.

    Another point that directly influences interpretation, though outside of our specific passage under discussion, should be noted. As a result of the asyndeton and lack of verb mentioned above, some have suggested that the Haustafel paragraph should begin with an imperative command in 5:21 for “mutual submission” out of reverence for Christ. This exegetical move should not be made. Like I said in a previous post, the hupotassomenoi of 5:21 is a participle that is the fifth successive participle that is dependent upon plerousthe from 5:18. Participles rarely have imperatival force in the New Testament and such force should not be given to hupotassomenoi in 5:21. Rather, the exhortation to mutual submission in v.21 should be understood as result of being filled with the Spirit, in the same sense as speaking to one another in psalms, singing, making music, and always giving thanks (v.18-20). As Daniel Wallace explains, “Only by exegetical gymnastics can it be made directly applicable to both halves of the three groups in 5:22-6:9 (should parents be submissive to children?).” [See Wallace’s ExSyn, 659, note 6]

    The verb that is to be supplied for the missing verb in v.22 is hupotassetai from v.24. This helps to complete the parallel structure between the submission of wives to husbands (v.22) and the submission of the church to Christ (v.24). Hupotasso is a word used in the New Testament by Paul as well as in Luke, Hebrews, James, and 1 Peter. If used in the active voice, it means “to place under” and in the passive voice, it can mean “to become subject” or “to subject oneself.” [See TDNT, 39-40 and BDAG, 1042] The usage in Ephesians 5:22 is best understood in this latter sense. More specifically, this use “demands readiness to renounce one’s own will for the sake of others…and to give precedence to others.” [see TDNT, 45]

    Paul also lays out the manner in which wives should submit to their husbands. They are to do it “as to the Lord” (hos to kurio). Though the use of the adverbial conjunction hos could be used here in v.22 in several different ways, the best explanation is to read it as a motivation for submission. In other words, as the wife submits to her husband, she submits to the Lord. In this sense, the conjunction here is introducing the perspective that the wife should have on her role as one who submits. She should be motivated, then, to submit to her husband as if she were submitting to the Lord because that is indeed what she is doing.

    That’s my take after some research (albeit limited). That’s also the feel I got from my Greek professor at DTS who challenged us to find mutual submission commanded in Ephesians 5.

    Good discussion.

    Rick – you’re the man.

  80. Michael Metts June 6, 2008 at 4:06 pm #

    Sue,

    In regard to #71 and #25:

    It seems the Egalitarian argument against kephale is similar to the argument against authentein: Paul could have used, and certainly knew of, another, better, word if he wanted to say… but he didn’t… he chose this particular word…

    Can you build a credible case on this kind of speculation? This is not to besmirch your expertise in constructing this argument but I’m quite sure the same rigor could be applied to other texts where an allocation, perhaps, of a better Greek word might also be in view.

    Also, considering these word-replacement theories, does this legitimately stand the test when given the models for gender roles that Paul gives? It seems like a poor argument in contrast to the models of projection he offers.

    Also, while you may have proven your case for a better word to use in the instance of authority (the word you mentioned from 1 Tim 5:14), I don’t feel like this has appropriately vindicated the Egalitarian stance on kephale meaning source (#25; “the head is the first principle, the beginning, but not the ‘ruler’”), especially in view of Rick’s suggested article, http://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-2-No-5/The-Meaning-Source-Does-Not-Exist.

    Here’s an excerpt of Glare from the article:
    “kephale is the word normally used to translate the Hebrew r’osh, and this does seem frequently to denote leader or chief without much reference to its original anatomical sense, and here it seems perverse to deny authority”

    I still feel as though Egalitarians are still left with the burden of proof, in light of these unsatisfactory arguments of alternate words and of Chrysostom’s understanding of kephale (#25 again).

    Lastly, here’s a quote from Bruce (our good Egalitarian friend):

    “But – for this is the matter in hand – as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything.” This is the most satisfactory account of the connection between vv. 23 and 24, since v. 24 is largely resumptive of v. 22, adding a reference to the church’s submission to Christ as the pattern for the wife’s submission to her husband. (NICNT pgs. 385-386)

    Regarding verse 25 Bruce comments, “…here the self-sacrificing love of Christ for the church is set forth as the pattern for the husband’s love for his wife.”

  81. Scott June 6, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    First of all, this is a great discussion! I’ve enjoyed it immensely!

    I think any discussion of Eph. 5:22 has to take into consideration the socio-cultural grid in which the household codes appeared, and just as importantly, understand why the modified code appeared in the letter in the first place. I’ll argue that Eph. 5:22-33 is primarily a justification for marriage in response to the over-realized eschatology that developed in light of 1 Cor. 7:7-8, 39-40.

    I’m going to post a summary of some research I’ve done on the topic! Hope it’s not too long for you guys/girls!

    Aristotle developed the codes to advise aristocratic men on matters pertaining to the governance of their extended family and slaves (Aristotle, Pol. 1.2.1-2, 1.5.3-4). They were popularized in the Hellenistic world as means to govern civic and political affairs (Plutarch, Sayings of Spartans, Mor. 228CD; Seneca, Epistles 94.1) and as means to regulate legislation pertaining to familial matters (Gaius, Inst. 1.48-51). They were used primarily in the NT era as a way for Romans to safeguard their traditional family values over and against the spread of competing ideologies emerging from the spread of Eastern religions (Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary [Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1993], 550). Household codes were popular throughout the biblical world, and in Jewish, Greek, and Hellenistic Egyptian settings, women were taught to submit to their husbands just as children and slaves were taught to submit to their parents and slaves respectively (Ross Dudrey, “Submit Yourselves to One Another: A Socio-Historical Look at the Household Code of Ephesians 5:15-6:9,” Restoration Quarterly 41.1 [1999], 27). It is often assumed that Paul presumes a Roman cultural matrix, relates Christianity to the standards of that culture, and then subverts the popular cultural values by either going far beyond them or placing strict ethical or moral qualifiers on the material. In every host-culture of the NT world, the primary virtue of wives was obedience for the sake of familial health and socio-cultural stability (Dudrey, 28). The operational thesis of this paper is that Paul used that form of the household code precisely for such a function. He appeals to the familiarity of Christians in Asian Minor with the form and function of the Haustafel to argue for the continuing existence and function of societal norms in mitigation of any tendency that sought to abolish marriage on the grounds of his teaching in 2:11-22.
    Some believers may have taken Paul’s preaching on the virtues of singleness to be an all-embracing endorsement of the unmarried state (1 Cor. 7:7-8, 39-40). Mertz notes that in the subsequent reception of Paul, both supporters of marriage and ascetics laid claim to his teaching in justification of their position. Paul modifies the household code in Col. 3:18-19, which contains only one brief sentence on the marital relationship, in order to present a general justification for marriage (Annette Merz, “Why Did the Pure Bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11.2) Become a Wedded Wife (Eph. 5:22-33)? Theses About the Intertextual Transformation of an Ecclesiological Metaphor,” JSNT 79 [2000], 135).

  82. Sue June 7, 2008 at 1:24 am #

    I have extremely limited time so let me restrict my response to kephale. Please accept that my view of Eph. 5 is one of sacrifice and submission etablishing reciprocity.

    Regarding Glare and kephale, someone wrote,

    Here’s an excerpt of Glare from the article:

    “kephale is the word normally used to translate the Hebrew r’osh, and this does seem frequently to denote leader or chief without much reference to its original anatomical sense, and here it seems perverse to deny authority”

    This is factually incorrect as anyone who has read the Septuagint can tell you. Only Jephthah, exiled from his tribe for misbehaviour was called “kephale,” because he could not rightly be called a ruler. Out of some 200 cases in the Septuagint where rosh meant leader, it was translated as archon, archegos, hegemon and chiliarch among other things. Rosh was translated as kephale in a handful of passages where the translation had dropped to a very literal level. There is no academic support for claiming that kephale is a proper translation for rosh when it means leader.

    We must engage with the examples next and examine each item on Grudem’s list. I have done this.

    My honest guess concerning Glare is that as editor of Greek and Latin dictionaries, he does not read Hebrew. In this case his comment is not useful to the discussion. I have read it before and discovered that his remark is not a reflection of the usage of kephale.

    Thanks, I will try to check in later.

  83. Sue June 8, 2008 at 1:59 am #

    (the man submitting in the fear of Christ by leading and the woman submitting in the fear of Christ by following)

    I think you will find that God instructed women to take the iniative in many significant events throughout scripture. Every time God speaks through a woman this will be stifled if the wife is instructed to restrict herself to following.

    It seems the Egalitarian argument against kephale is similar to the argument against authentein: Paul could have used, and certainly knew of, another, better, word if he wanted to say… but he didn’t… he chose this particular word.

    Not at all. I am not saying that there are better ways to indicate authority than using kephale. I am saying that kephale had never been used with the meaning of authority before Paul wrote the epistles.

    There is the peculiar case of Jephthah, with so many oddities that it is raretly quoted. Can anyone thnk of any other example, out of over 2000 occurences in Greek literature when kepahle was used with the meaning of authority?

  84. Michael Metts June 8, 2008 at 10:31 am #

    The text in question should show up somewhere in this discussion:

    5:21 and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 5:22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, 5:23 because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church – he himself being the savior of the body. 5:24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 5:25 Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her 5:26 to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, 5:27 so that he may present the church to himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. 5:28 In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 5:29 For no one has ever hated his own body but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, 5:30 for we are members of his body. 5:31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. 5:32 This mystery is great – but I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 5:33 Nevertheless, each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

    I understand that the word kephale anatomically indicates the head. If I were trying to outline gender roles symbolic in the body of Christ, as Paul is doing in Ephesians 5, I cannot imagine a better word to indicate authority in my vocabulary, especially one that would fit so well with the body symbolism. While the authority definition may be lacking in the Greek dictionary, surely it is imposing itself greatly in this body metaphor! I do not believe Paul is going to use a word which describes (to borrow your word) an “illustrious” ruler (to the Egalitarian satisfaction), because his analogy is a humble one of the body of Christ.

    Also, how are you making the leap to “establishing reciprocity” among the roles? Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? These two words together are quite troubling and I believe require great textual vindication.

    We can be quite confident that woman’s submission is in fact not to be reciprocated because the outline for the man/woman relationship is Christ and the Church, and just as Christ’s headship of the Church results in the Church’s submission, (this is shouting authority!), so we can be sure man’s headship indicates an authority of some kind since the wives submission is to follow (as to the Lord). In fact, three times this is commanded in the span of only a couple of verses:

    5:22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord

    5:24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    5:32-33 …I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church…and the wife must respect her husband.

    Again, I believe the authority definition of kephale is sustainable because we can go from A to B given the conclusion, or the end result, which is the wife’s submission:

    The text demonstrates:

    A. Christ and the Church portray the exemplary roles for man/woman relations.

    B. Christ’s headship results in the submission of the Church.

    C. Man is symbolic of Christ and head of the wife.

    D. Woman is symbolic of the Church.

    E. Woman’s submission to man is as to the Lord.

    We can premise then:

    F: Man can be said to have authority in his headship role because the wife’s submission follows as a result of his symbolic position over her.

  85. Sue June 8, 2008 at 11:52 pm #

    I quoted “reciprocity” from the intro to one of Chrystostom’s homilies on marriage. However, he can equally be represented as teaching hierarchy in other passages. He was not consistent any more than the other church fathers.

    Thanks for condidering that kephale did not normally have the meaning of authority.

    I quoted the “illustrious leader” Philadelphus from Philo, because I have been concerned about how the kephale study by Grudem has misrepresented the facts. We must start from ground zero and recognize that kephale did not have the meaning of “authortiy over” as one of its recognized meanings in Greek. We need that as a factual starting point.

    We also need to recognize that authentein was never used to talk about leadership in the church, but was quite a negative word.

    Then we can look at the household codes. We know that these were inherited in their structure from the Greek and Roman cultural codes of the day.

    Husbands were the legal representative of their wives at the time, and we can understand that husbands supplied the security, the wherewithall to live, at that time. In that sense the husband represented Christ’s role to the church. I do not believe that the husband is the authority over the wife. This would make the primary human dyad and the sexual act infused with hierarchy, directly countering 1 Cor. 7.

    Just as we have moved in the direction of participatory government, the abolition of slavery and self-government for the colonies, I believe that women too need to be treated as equals.

    Since I have observed enormous physical and psychological damage resulting from the subordination of women, it is not something that I believe honours God. It is difficult to make the subordination of women consistent with Christs command to love ones next one as oneself.

    Naturally, when men no longer abuse women, we could reopen the merits of the subordination of women. Until then, we should work towards freedom from harm for all involved. Surely God is honoured by wholeness.

  86. Steve June 9, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    Sue,

    In your comment on #25, I think you’ve misunderstood 1 Tim. 5:14 and the usages of oikodespotes in the NT.

    oikodespotein in 1 Tim is the only place where it was used as a verb, all the other instances oikodespotes were used as nouns, masculine nouns. oikodespotein in 1 Tim was not used to indicate a woman’s position in the home but rather her function. The woman’s role is ultimately to be a subordinate to her husband’s as in 1 Tim 3:5, 12 where he is to proistēmi (to rule/manage) his household.

    Even if you do not except this clear indication of the original text there is no way you can possibly extent oikodespotein to a woman extending her authority in Church where she would rule over other men who are not a part of her home.

  87. Sue June 9, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    Steve,

    I do not accept that there is a fundamental difference between noun and verb. But I simply want to show that the woman must “be the leader of the house” and in 1 Tim. 2:12 it says Paul will not allow a woman to “teach nor dominate.” I think it would be refreshing if speakers used the original meanings of words in their sermons, rather than leveraging off the English translation to overpower women.

    In any case, men should treat women as they want to be treated themselves. Woman is a fellow human being.

  88. Michael Metts June 9, 2008 at 10:58 am #

    I just have one last observation and I’ll be going.

    Man’s headship, I feel, is not for the sake of authority, but for the sake of fulfilling his symbolic duty of Christ’s headship. Since he has been instructed to head the wife, because in the marital relationship he is symbolic of Jesus Christ, it seems, then, to think of this symbolic role as purely authoritative as a mistake since Jesus has demonstrated quite clearly what leadership for a husband entails – and this is no easy feat for the best of husbands. It is also instructed of the wife of her role, which is, in this complimentary relationship between a man and woman, to be as the Church is to Christ – or characterized by submission. I guess my point is, it should not be necessary to demonstrate that man has been vested with authority (maybe because his authority is not necessary to demonstrate if his wife is complimenting him with submission), and this defensive stance of the husbands clear headship, at least for this discussion, has only been necessary because some seem to be clinging so strongly to gender equality in Christ (which is not in question nor should be) at the cost of functional duties – and further this defense of man’s headship has resulted in trying to illustrate fundamental gender differences to one who perceives (what my conviction is) a mistaken functional reciprocity.

    In short, I believe the fundamental mistake in the arguments at hand (#85) is quite simple – there does not seem to be a Christ honoring man in view, and what is one to do as a wife?

    It is my strong conviction that no Christian man, I repeat, no Christian man would cause harm to his wife through exploiting his functional duty as symbolic head in the sacred institution of covenant marriage. The arguments portrayed in this discussion antagonistic to the demonstration of functional roles prescribed to the genders have mistakenly been interpreted against these negative circumstances of spousal abuse and cannot do justice to what Paul has hoped to be a replica of something so beautiful as heaven itself.

    I suppose another way of illustrating this perceived fundamental mistake is like this: the abuse of authority of a husband is not as a result of the husband understanding his ascribed place as head (so there should be no concern over sharing the complimentarian view to cultures exhibiting spousal abuse) but has resulted rather from a misunderstanding and in fact the best remedy for this would not be to demand unjust submission from the wife at the cost of safety, but that the husband be remedied by actually understanding scripture and his role as head.

    How unfortunate that this side of heaven we interpret the scriptures against the backdrop of sin, instead of the Kingdom and its glorious righteousness.

    To borrow a phrase that Denny often borrows from the Bible, Maranatha!

  89. Cheryl June 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm #

    It would seem that the differing views are going round and round and saying the same thing over and over.
    Sue,
    I have a hard time understanding your logic and the way you translate the 1 Timothy passage. Please excuse my assumption but you seem to be harden to other views by your personal opinions. I will agree with you these verses in Scripture have been misused to be abusive but any and all verses in the Scriptures have been misused at some point in time. You should look to the Trinity as your model for the church. All are equal in their beings and Father, Son, and Spirit are in submission to the each other in their differing positions/roles.
    Personally, as a single woman I find great comfort in being complementarian at Denton Bible Church. Being part of the full time staff I am encouraged to use my gifts freely and within the authority of the Pastors and Elders of my church. I teach Bible Studies to Women, plan events with deacons and other staff, and serve in various other areas. I in no way feel like I am in less than any man in our church, even Tommy Nelson. God has a divine plan in the Scriptures, our responsibility is to know God through His word and live out what He has given each of us to do within our unique and distinct roles.
    If you have any questions about this issue I would strongly suggest you attend the services at DBC on June 15, 22, 29. These sermons will also, be on our website: http://www.dentonbible.org. There will be staff and elders at all our services to dialog with you.

  90. Steve June 9, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    Sue,

    I commend you for going back to the original language. Using the “original meaning” or getting back to the original Greek text is exactly what we are doing, therefore it doesn’t matter if we accept or not the difference in the noun and verb. The difference is there in the Greek and you know that Greek is precise in that way. I should have also pointed out that oikodespotein was used only once in the NT, in all the other instances they were “masculine” nouns. The Greek text clearly shows that a woman is not the head or leader over a man.

    I also think you misunderstand the original intent of Paul’s epistles. The Word of God is not meant to subjugate women or mistreat them. Of course women are every bit as human and children of God as men. Women have every bit as much dignity as men do. Paul is referring to a functional responsibility. An illustration that I’ve heard on this is the distinction between the President of the U.S. and a citizen of the U.S. There is no difference between the intrinsic value of a President and a citizen. They are both human beings with the intrinsic value as endowed by their Creator. Here in the U.S. we can disrespect the person who holds the Office of the Presidency, but we respect the Office. Functionally the President is the head of our country and leader but no more or no less in dignity than every individual citizen.

  91. Sue June 9, 2008 at 1:56 pm #

    I certainly do not suggest that woman is the head over man. I simply show how clearly simplistic it is to take 1 Tim. 2:12 and without reference to the actual meaning of the word, restrict women from leadership. One could as easily using another single verse and a single word teach the leadership of women. I have to ask why 1 Tim. 2:12 is chosen over and over again to preach against women.

    Someone suggests the offices of a participatory government. Husband and wife do not work that way unless the wife has authority also.

    Since, short of heaven, we cannot make husbands behave as Christ, it would be best to follow the guidelines of World Vision and preach the equal authority of women or accept the collateral damage. That damage is, of course, not acceptable to me.

    Thanks for letting me comment here.

  92. Steve June 9, 2008 at 3:17 pm #

    Sue,

    I agree with you that 1 Tim. 2:12 should not be use to preach against women. I don’t think that is what those who accept male leadership are doing. We are merely exegeting the Text which clearly indicates a woman is not to exercise authority over a man. But this is not an isolated verse used to support the doctrine women should not be in leadership of a Church. Just look at 1 Tim 3 which is a continuation of the end of 1 Tim 2. Titus 1:5-9 is another.

    I think it is great that you can comment here also.

  93. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 9, 2008 at 3:22 pm #

    Cheryl (and all others),

    I don’t know if you have read all of the posts here, but I would like to know your opinion regarding some implications of a certain interpretation of 1 Tim. 2:8-15 that I noted in post # 24 and repeated in post # 63. People seem to want to interact in detail with Sue (which I have no problem with, she provides some important information) but no one has really responded to my points in extensive detail. While I don’t want to be prideful, I do think that the issues I raise are relevant to the discussion here. Just wondering if you have any comment.

    I will now re-post my points:

    For those who believe that the 1 Tim. 2 passage applies to forbidding women teaching or leading men and support that prohibition as being universal because Paul makes claim to a “creation ordinance” (The following implications seem to logically come forth):

    (1) The prohibition cannot be restricted to only the assembled congregation, because the “creation ordinance” basis makes no distinction about public assembly or private instruction. If Paul’s context implies only the congregation, the theological basis implies any and all men-women scenarios of relationships. Paul appeals to a larger principle to support his APPLICATION. One should learn from the larger PRINCIPLE.
    Therefore, women cannot teach or have authority over a man or men. Ever. In any situation, public or private. Supervised or unsupervised by a male pastoral authority.

    (2) While a woman may be able to read Scripture in public or private to a man, she must NEVER make any comment about it. Teaching cannot be restricted to only doctrinal matters. Any comment on ethics or devotional insight coming from the Scripture would meet a Pauline definition of teaching. Restricting “teaching” to only doctrine has no biblical warrant.

    (3) When a woman gives any testimony of faith to a man or men in public or private, she must NEVER use Scripture to support her comments because they would then become “teaching” which has been prohibited in the men-women scenario of relationship.

    The problem with these implications is that there are biblical examples which contradict them. [Deborah, Miriam, Huldah, Proverbs 31 mother to King Lemuel, Elizabeth, Mary the mother of Jesus – the Magnificat, Priscilla] Thus, the question may be raised whether the conclusion about the traditional interpretation of 1 Tim. 2:8-15 is as accurate as it should be from a canonical context.

    Questions for subsequent comments to my comment:

    Do you hold to the “creation ordinance” concept?

    If so, how do the above implications not follow from that interpretive conclusion? Please demonstrate.

    Do you restrict teaching only to “doctrinal matters”? What is the biblical basis for the division of “teaching” into doctrine, ethics, devotion? (I understand the pedagogical methodology for dividing them in systematic theology for academic training, but would Paul differentiate them for congregational instruction?)

    Thus, what I am saying is a woman can NEVER comment on Scripture in any way shape or form to any man at any time because the commenting will be “teaching” the man.

    I think all of this logically follows if you conclude that Paul is basing an absolute universal prohibition of women teaching men on “creation order.” Where is this “logic” wrong?

    I do believe that there is a way to translate 1 Tim. 2:8-15 and interpret it in a way that will allow it not to contradict the other scriptural examples of women who teach men and who also exercise a measure of authority over them.

    Any takers on this issue?

  94. Cheryl June 9, 2008 at 3:53 pm #

    Sue,
    I truly believe that you are only understanding part of these Scriptures. I do not believe that anyone teaches or preaches from a single verse on gender issues. There are several more that speak to these issues:Ephesians 5:21-33; Col. 3:18-19; 1 Peter 3:1-7; Titus 2:5; 1 Timothy 3:4, 12; Genesis 1-3….And I know that the men in my church do not preach against women. They preach and teach about the unique and different roles of man and woman. Women are honored here!
    You misunderstand their roles if you feel women have no authority. I feel as though you may have been hurt by men in the past. Yes, this side of heaven none of us will be like Jesus- that is what we all should be striving for not only men.
    As Christians we should be set apart and not follow World Views, we follow Christ. As far as being equal in our personage; we are. The difference is in our roles. Just like I am an event planner and Tommy Nelson is a pastor- this makes neither one of us better or lesser than the other. We just have different jobs.

  95. Steve June 9, 2008 at 6:22 pm #

    David,

    You suggested 3 implications that follow the “creation ordinance” and then you cited some examples of prophetesses as contradiction to your implications. First, the examples of woman prophetesses in no way contradict male headship, even if someone holds to the implications that you’ve suggested.

    Second, you confuse the relationship between a mother and son with the relationship between a man and a woman.

    Third, Deborah was the strongest case for feminine authority. However this may be more of an exception than a rule. Most scholars would say the judging of Deborah depicts how spiritually impoverish Israel was at that time. There is no ongoing ministry or leadership by women as in the case of male leadership. When it came time to raise a military Barak was called to lead it.

    While Deborah might be the best argument for female leadership it is still ambiguous. I think comparing the examples you cited against the many clear teachings of male leadership in the Bible. I prefer the latter.

  96. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 9, 2008 at 10:08 pm #

    Steve,

    Thanks for responding.

    If you hold to a “Creation ordinance” interpretation then I see the logical implication that by God’s pre-Fall design males are always to have authority over females and thus no female can ever teach a male. How can there be exceptions to God’s sovereign intended design and will for the Creation order of male-female relationship? Isn’t anything contrary to God’s intended design to be understood as “sin”? Why would the Spirit of God lead any female at any time to teach a male in this present sinful age since it is contrary to God’s Creation design. [Would God give any exception to the male-female Creation ordinance of marriage? Can a male marry a male on occasional exception. The homosexual New Hampshire Episcopal bishop might like the idea of exceptions to Creation ordinances.] God is the same yesterday, today and forever. But if we have even one, yes even one, legitimate Spirit-inspired female teacher of males then one must realize that any so-called universal at-all-times “Creation ordinance” about females teaching males is more “flexible” than pure complementarians teach.
    You noted that the spiritual impoverishment of Israel may have created the opportunity for females to be anointed by God; well, I say this present 21st century time is pretty perverse, and is it possible that God may raise up some more Spirit-anointed female proclaimers? If He did it then under the Old Covenant, why can’t He do it under the greater New Covenant which speaks in Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:16-18 of the Spirit of God being poured on daughters and women who will then prophesy? Surely the New Covenant outpouring of the Spirit on females who prophesy does not contradict God’s design.

    I made no comment about “male headship”, however I will introduce my conclusion that “headship” with regard to males-and- females is only described in the Scriptures in terms of husband-wife not generically male-female. Please cite me an example which teaches any male because he is a male is therefore the “head” of any female because she is female. The marriage covenant between one male and one female is what initiates the “headship” relationship not chromosomal gender.

    With regard to mother and son, male children eventually become adult men. The rabbinic understanding of adulthood for males is 12 years of age, thus by application no female can teach any male above the age of 12, or at the very least 18. This means no female teachers for any 18 year old males since this is recognized as legal adulthood by even secular standards. This means that at any college age conference in which a woman teaches (e.g. Beth Moore) the males must be dismissed for her teaching time. Any male preacher who would allow any adult male to remain is being inconsistent in his application of his “Creation ordinance” interpretation. (Does John Piper insist that Beth Moore only teach females at the college age conferences they both lead? I don’t know, I’ve never been to one.)

    All of these implications “logically” follow if one takes a “Creation ordinance” restriction of females teaching males. If one wishes to back off of the “Creation ordinance” interpretation, then these implications do not follow. Where are the mistakes in my “logic”?

  97. Sue June 9, 2008 at 11:55 pm #

    Cheryl,

    Thanks for your warmth and caring. I hope you can understand that it depends on how you look at things. For most of history, restricting women has been the worldly view, the pagan view. Even today, for some women male authority still seems like an expression of worldly and sinful impulses.

    In any case, I am glad to see that you are a strong female leader in your own context.

  98. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 10, 2008 at 6:31 am #

    Steve,

    Thanks for responding.

    If you hold to a “Creation ordinance” interpretation then I see the logical implication that by God’s pre-Fall design males are always to have authority over females and thus no female can ever teach a male. How can there be exceptions to God’s sovereign intended design and will for the Creation order of male-female relationship? Isn’t anything contrary to God’s intended design to be understood as “sin”? Why would the Spirit of God lead any female at any time to teach a male in this present sinful age since it is contrary to God’s Creation design. [Would God give any exception to the male-female Creation ordinance of marriage? Can a male marry a male on occasional exception. The homosexual New Hampshire Episcopal bishop might like the idea of exceptions to Creation ordinances.] God is the same yesterday, today and forever. But if we have even one, yes even one, legitimate Spirit-inspired female teacher of males then one must realize that any so-called universal at-all-times “Creation ordinance” about females teaching males is more “flexible” than pure complementarians teach.

    You noted that the spiritual impoverishment of Israel may have created the opportunity for females to be anointed by God; well, I say this present 21st century time is pretty perverse, and is it possible that God may raise up some more Spirit-anointed female proclaimers? If He did it then under the Old Covenant, why can’t He do it under the greater New Covenant which speaks in Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:16-18 of the Spirit of God being poured on daughters and women who will then prophesy? Surely the New Covenant outpouring of the Spirit on females who prophesy does not contradict God’s design.

    I made no comment about “male headship”, however I will introduce my conclusion that “headship” with regard to males-and- females is only described in the Scriptures in terms of husband-wife not generically male-female. Please cite me an example which teaches any male because he is a male is therefore the “head” of any female because she is female. The marriage covenant between one male and one female is what initiates the “headship” relationship not chromosomal gender.

    With regard to mother and son, male children eventually become adult men. Is the son then the “head” of his mother? The rabbinic understanding of adulthood for males is 12 years of age, thus by application no female can teach any male above the age of 12, or at the very least 18. This means no female teachers for any 18 year old males since this is recognized as legal adulthood by even secular standards. This means that at any college age conference in which a woman teaches (e.g. Beth Moore), the males must be dismissed for her teaching time. Any male preacher who would allow any adult male to remain is being inconsistent in his application of his “Creation ordinance” interpretation. (Does John Piper insist that Beth Moore only teach females at the college age conferences they both lead? I don’t know, I’ve never been to one.)

    All of these implications “logically” follow if one takes a “Creation ordinance” restriction of females teaching males. If one wishes to back off of the “Creation ordinance” interpretation, then these implications do not follow. Where are the mistakes in my “logic”?

    Deborah did have on ongoing ministry of teaching/leading males. She was judging Israel at that time. She sat under the palm tree. Everyone knew where to find her. Apparently she was regularly there. From that societal context, it looks public to me. Thus, she was in a regular public ministry of judging the “sons of Israel.” The same with Huldah. When Josiah commanded for the LORD to be inquired of, the priests went to her. She apparently had enough of an ongoing reputation of prophecy that these priests knew that she was one to go ask.

    A “Creation ordinance” cannot be limited to only institutionally organized local church meetings because the very nature of a “Creation ordinance” is to establish the overarching theological principle of what God’s design is for all situations. This is why those who say Paul grounds his restriction of women teaching men being based on a “Creation ordinance” and yet will not apply the restriction beyond the local church assemblies are being inconsistent. A “Creation ordinance” is for all situations in which men and women interact not just preaching during an assembly time of a local congregation. Thus, women cannot teach or lead men in ANYTHING or AT ANY TIME because to do so would be contrary to the primogeniture principle appealed to by pure complementarians.

    I am calling for pure complementarians who adopt the “Creation ordinance” basis for the restriction to be consistent in their beliefs and practice. Or, demonstrate how “Creation ordinances” can have exceptions or are only restricted to certain times and places; or, show how these implications do not follow.

    Like I have said before, I believe that these verses do not need this interpretive approach. I am interested, however, in how one responds to these “logical” implications to one’s interpretive conclusions regarding 1 Tim. 2:8-15.

    Piper promotes a complementarian perspective, yet participates in conferences with Beth Moore who teaches adult males. [She does this regularly. I have seen men in attendance of her teaching sessions numerous times.] Saying that it is not the assembled church does not wash. I have a hard time believing that Paul would refuse to see the assembling of believers as a representation of the assembling of the Church. Making this distinction between an institutional church versus an assembling of believers for worship and instruction is anachronistic.

  99. norma June 12, 2008 at 11:48 pm #

    I’ve read most of the thread.
    I am amazed and encouraged by the open dialogue..to learn.
    My question is this,What is the goal in taking up this issue? Is it to assure that we can know how to interpret the precious Word so that we can glorify God as a body?

    Secondly,seriously does any one really believe that a woman exercising authority over a man is: effective, wise or biblical?
    Seriously?

    Thirdly, can’t we allow Godly leadership of a local body to determine what “exercising authority looks like in light of biblical truth”? Some bodies allow women to read scripture from the front stage and to serve communion, some do not as they feel this is exercising authority.

    I think there is blessing in obedience and in this case obedience is submitting to leadership’s biblical understanding.
    If I’m wrong there is no sin in submission.

    Men have their own challenges as leaders as they themselves have to learn how to submit and obey and be humble, to other leaders and to God.

    Women, frankly have enough on their hands to use a lot of time arguing this issue. Someone has to be the boss, let’s give the men the baton.

    Abuse is never ever acceptable.
    The problem is Christian women “take it”.
    They think it is submitting.
    It’s not, it’s stupid.
    It’s scary to get help if you are getting physically or emotionally abused, but that is what women must do.

  100. bprjam June 13, 2008 at 9:23 am #

    Norma (#99):

    You state that it is not a sin to be submissive, and I normally agree with this. However, some women believe that the Holy Spirit has laid upon them the direction that they are to lead, teach, and prophesy.

    Please grant me this hypothetical. IF such a thing occurs, isn’t ignoring the prompting of the Holy Spirit a sin? And going further, if the woman tries to follow the leading of the Spirit, and her church (run by men) tells her that her leadership is not okay, and that she should stay submissive, don’t they sin against the Spirit as well?

    So, given the hypothetical, the question becomes (for men in leadership like me, who want to be attentive to the Spirit) – Is it even possible for the Spirit to prompt a woman to lead? If so, what does that look like (e.g., what are its boundaries)?

    This is indeed an effort to interpret the “precious word so that we can glorify God as a body”. If men are excluding women from God-inspired leadership due to bad Biblical interpretation, that matters. If men are including women in leadership due to bad Biblical interpretation, that also matters.

    In other words, I believe the issue is that those in the debate are trying to be 1.) faithful to the scripture and the promptings of the Spirit, 2.) as well as taking seriously the idea that a woman can have effective leadership that is wise and biblical, due to the (presumed) presence of the Spirit in her ministry.

  101. norma June 13, 2008 at 11:32 am #

    bprjam,
    Beginning with your last paragraph,I have absolutely no problem with debate. This I heartily applaud. The goal being: Glorifying God with the process and the results. Regarding your numerated points: faithful to the scripture would demand the debate and study but should not be dictated by experience. For indeed a woman may be prompted to lead/teach but the Spirit never prompts outside biblical context. This is a connundrum in it’s truest form eh?

    So now let’s moveto a common sensical approach:
    IF a woman is walking intimately with God as are her male colleagues or authority figures such as her leaders or bosses, and she feels strongly the the Spirit is leading her to teach or lead, she has 3 choices:1) remain in her current circumstances and submit to leadership’s direction(if it is NO) as unto the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit what to do with the promptings.2) leave, 3)Stay and lead and teach as leadership prayerfully allows.

    I don’t think I just shared anything with you that you don’t know. I agree that ignoring the Spirit can be the sin of disobedience. I agree that men in leadership are accountable to interpret the scripture and lead accordingly. All any believer, in great humility, can do is their very best. For those who earnestly seek the Lord will be rewarded.

    If a woman feels that her leadership is in serious error, she can choose to be the verbal deliverer of the truth and accept the consequences or she can grieve, pray and move on. Any one individual in service or employment doesn’t have to be the “changer” unless God indeed is leading them to be that and they are ready for the consequences.

    To now jump into the context of wisdom and obedience I do think there is a middle ground in a woman’s position and this is repetitive: stay and obey both leaders and God, or go.

    Whatever the decision: humility and love have to be the venue for indeed the Spirit , when invading our hearts, has these two things.

  102. bprjam June 13, 2008 at 1:49 pm #

    Norma (#101):

    The root of our primary disagreement is probably on the role of the Spirit and of the scripture.

    For instance, I’m not positive I can fully agree with the assertion, “the Spirit never prompts outside biblical context.” I have problems with how this squares with the idea of the Spirit as a wind that blows where it pleases (John 3), and in that passage Jesus even says that his followers testify to what they have seen and what they know (experience?). (Wow – this opens up entire theologies of the Spirit that cannot be dealt with in a blog comment.)

    I’m being lazy here, but off the top of my head I can’t think of other passages that speak of the Spirit only doing things in line with what is in the Bible. I would argue instead that God indicates that as time moves forward he does a new thing (Isaiah 43 – “See how it springs up. Do you not perceive it?”). Probably based on these two scriptures alone, we already disagree on how to view the Spirit.

    From my vantage point, I’m faced with squaring the scriptural teachings with the current, unbounded activity of God in the world. How can such activity be discerned apart from experience, filtered through the Spirit?

    In any case, we both seem to agree that leaders need to take the scripture seriously, as well take seriously the as the promptings of the Spirit upon those in their congregations. I suppose where we differ is the woman’s options. You say there are really two options 1.) stay and submit to current leadership (which may or may not allow some teaching/leadership from females) or 2.) go. I just don’t see that submitting “as unto the Lord” is as robust an option as you. Wouldn’t following the promptings of the Spirit be a more faithful action “as unto the Lord”?

    I’m going to point out a spec in your eye (while knowing full well you could build a cabin with the logs in mine – that’s why I rarely comment at all. Please don’t assume judgement on my part, since my intent is simply to point out an observation.). You state that humility and love need to be the venue in decision making. I wholeheartedly agree. However, in post #99, you state:

    “Secondly,seriously does any one really believe that a woman exercising authority over a man is: effective, wise or biblical?
    Seriously?”

    I don’t want to assign intent to this statement, but prima fascia it seems to indicate that no one can be serious about women exercising authority over a man, and that if she did it would be unwise, ineffective, or unbiblical. This sort of tone strikes down genuine dialog before ideas like the role of the Spirit, the biblical role of women, translation issues, cultural issues, etc can be explored. My prayer is that, whatever the decision, knee-jerk responses are sacrificed in exchange for the Spirit’s humility and love.

  103. Sue June 13, 2008 at 3:02 pm #

    Norma,

    I am concerned that the world not be deprived of the works of leading women, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and many missions. I am concerned that women not be deprived of giving their whole capability to God. Clara Barton was rejected as a headmistress of the school she founded because she was a woman. She could have stayed at a lower level and submitted but she left and founded the Red Cross. I argue that the single or older woman does not have enough to do without transgressing into the founding and leadership of institutions.

    What about a married woman? Sometimes they end up single too, and then they must make their own decisions, earn a living and lead their own family. Leadership and provision is part of the created nature of woman. Why suppress it? Did God create man to experience his grace in the fulfillment of their nature, and woman to experience grace in the restriction of their created nature. Is it a sin for a woman to do what is right for a man to do. If the product is a work of God, does it matter if a woman or a man is the doctor, teacher, leader, or vehicle of God’s love and grace to others.

  104. norma June 13, 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    See, I love how you all are teaching me. I do have some holes don’t I.
    I think I would like to comment first on “women leading”. Female bosses, military figures, scientists, that is all great.
    I”M saying there is a difference when it involves THE PULPIT.
    Teaching and exercising authority over men in the body of Christ , I believe is not wise or biblical. Then there is the splitting of hairs, which I am open to somewhat..as to what defines: teaching and exercising authority.
    Here is where wisdom and humility pay off.I too am being lazy and quick to write since I must run, but I’ll be back. To learn, to listen. Thank you

  105. Sue June 13, 2008 at 5:38 pm #

    Hilda, of course, taught five bishops. I rather think that women were leaders as abesses, but not as priests because of the sacramental aspect. But they still had authority over men, especially the ones who were princesses turned abesses. (There were some coed convents.)

  106. norma June 13, 2008 at 7:10 pm #

    I am back to apologize about the “seriously” statement in post 99.
    I was definitely talking about in the Church.
    Not the World.
    But looking back at the tone of my statement, it shuts down dialogue and learning.
    I admit I do “feel” that way but I’m open to
    being open to biblical thought and learning.

    I have been thinking in the last few hours about the last few posts. The things that kept comming to mind were: someone has to be the leader, the team captain, the boss. No matter the gender.
    In the church, in marriage as mandated by scripture, in our relationship with Christ; the man is to be the head, Christ is to be the head.
    Regarding single moms, I know some and they led well before they were divorced and they lead well now.
    A great leader is a greater follower as noted by Howard Hendricks.
    Lastly, men themselves as they lead each other, their congregation, their staffs and their wives, must serve the very people they lead. There is submission on their part to God to serve those they lead.

  107. Sue June 13, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    Norma,

    Much of what you say is true. But if a woman can give her best to the world, why not to the church? It is a hard thing for women to be constrained to a list which does not accord with the fact that women have been endowed with all the same gifts men have.

    And in the home, moms spend time with their children, no one really thinks that the father should outrank the mother in making decisions for the children, do they? And to stand by and watch the father make a decision about a child and simply silence the mother. These are the things which do not honour God.

    It honours God when husband and wife take care of each other and provide for each other, and their children.

  108. norma June 13, 2008 at 10:32 pm #

    I like your words Sue, I have some thoughts.
    A woman can give all of her best that a church will take. If the church she chooses to serve in as unto the Lord doesn’t want to use all of her gifts, it doesn’t change the fact that she has them.

    Are all good things best? Because we have a talent as women do we necessarily have to be the one leading?

    I’m merely throwing things out there at this point versus trying to prove anything. I do learn a lot from your responses.

    I have not addressed the point yet of hermeneutics and cultural interpretation etc.
    Probably this was addressed well in the above posts and I’ve been lazy about going back to read them.

    I think the reason this entire thing started per Pastor Nelson’s letter was because of the concern that if we interpret the Bible culturally in this matter, where will we stop?
    Is there absolute scriptural truth? Do we negate that it is true just because of some experience that seems legitimate(leading of the spirit to teach) but in context of the bible seemssomewhat contradictory?
    On the other hand…
    If we are to say that women can teach men in the church then I believe we should grab a lot of proof from the entire Bible instead of a few verses. We may be able to prove it to a point, but if it causes such division, really, is it worth fighting for? I’m not merely being rhetorical at this point but asking. Is it worth fighting for?

    So sorry to have swung the pendulum so drastically there…

    It may seem clear whose side I am on but I hope not. Maybe I’m far too passive. I’m open to that criticism. Or possibly I’m passive aggressive. In God’s sovereignty I believe He’ll accomplish His will , even if it means that women could teach and men won’t let them. I think there are way too many things women can do and I’m not talking about meal preparation here. A great female bible study leader once taught hundreds of us and said: if something is not going well and no one will listen..run to God and tattletale to Him. I think , since some women’s hearts are so lovingly focused and they still think they should lead..I would say: run to God and tattletale on leadership
    and expect God to work!!
    As we lay our heart’s desires at the Altar for God to consume, I believe we must wait on His answers. They are not always immediate. He only asks us to surrender them and wait.

    This all takes me back to post 99 where I said” seriously is it effective for a woman to lead” and what I meant is: will a man culturally accept it even if it could be biblically right? Is God saying..find a way to lead that is strifeless?

    I apologize ahead of time for any holes in the above chatter. I see that this sight has very scholarly , biblicaly bloggers and I am perhaps one of the more chatty, emotional bloggers.

  109. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 13, 2008 at 11:08 pm #

    Norma,

    I’m glad you are here and it is fine to be a “chatty, emotional blogger” especially since you are in the majority of the populace. Most people are not academic pinheads like myself, and I need constant reminding that my communication as a pastor should be accessible to people. I do believe that laypeople need to be stretched theologically, and thus exposure to scholarship is important, but I as a “scholar” need to be reminded that the end purpose of scholarship is for communication to the “non-scholarly.”

    You said in comment # 108

    “If we are to say that women can teach men in the church then I believe we should grab a lot of proof from the entire Bible instead of a few verses. We may be able to prove it to a point, but if it causes such division, really, is it worth fighting for? I’m not merely being rhetorical at this point but asking. Is it worth fighting for?”

    You seem (to me) to be assuming that it is “clear” that the Bible teaches that women should not teach men. I know that the general Church traditions assume that, but now that this issue is raised, one needs to ask whether the traditions should be questioned. The Protestant Reformation movements were faced with the possibility of causing division but their study of the Scripture led them to begin to question the “authorities” of the Church, and the result was a splintering of Western Christendom.

    My point is: Now that you have been exposed to some who question this “traditional” interpretation of women’s ministries, will you begin the study for yourself or will you default to what you have always believed?

    This should be settled by seeking to understand the biblical texts, not whether it threatens the traditions or seems mean or unfair to women.

    It is to be understood that the discussion should be done with humility and civility. It should also be exercised with rigorous analysis.

    Sometimes division comes about because the ones we try to have dialogue with are too lazy to study or too arrogant to consider change. (I don’t sense this from you, however.) The OT prophets, John the Baptist, Peter and John, Paul, and yes even Jesus were gadflies speaking truth to power. False teachers also raise a ruckus, but they can be separated from the Spirit-led prophetic voice by looking at their arrogant attitudes and their lack of willingness to submit to an re-examination of the Scriptures.

    Sometimes cries about “slippery slopes” only mask a hardened heart mired in the “traditions of men.”

    I’m glad that I don’t sense that from you.

    Rev. David Rogers
    Pastor, FBC Biscoe, AR

  110. Sue June 14, 2008 at 12:57 am #

    Because we have a talent as women do we necessarily have to be the one leading?

    If a woman founds an organization shouldn’t she be allowed to lead it? There were many women preachers in the north of BC who had to pack and leave when the congregation was big enough to support a minister. The institutions started by women are not something we can just dispense with.

    In the family, the wife is in every way as liable in law for the well-being of he children as the husband is. She needs to consider that.

    I have no personal desire to “lead” but every woman must take full responsibility for what is in front of her to do.

  111. Norma garza June 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    I lead as a woman in my current circumstances. But I dont exercise authority over men in biblical teaching.
    I dont feel like its the same : church vs org’s on the outside of the church.
    it just doesn’t seem to work well in the church even if it were proven biblical. I apologize for the abbreviated response, on the run.

  112. Norma garza June 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm #

    I should say: received well

  113. norma June 15, 2008 at 5:34 pm #

    Rev. Rogers, Just out of curiosity only, where do you pastor? I did not even know there was a Briscoe ,Arkansas!
    I’ve continued to think about your most recent post along with Sue’s and I’m learning and chewing on things.

  114. Sue June 15, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    Norma,

    This post is going to slide off the end of the page soon, but sometimes we discuss these things on the Better Bibles Blog or complegalitarian.

  115. norma June 15, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    Fantastic, thanks Sue!
    I will go there.

  116. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 16, 2008 at 9:13 pm #

    Norma,

    Biscoe, Arkansas is located about 54 miles east of Little Rock on I-40 going east toward Memphis. It is a small farming community of about 400. The rest of Arkansas will grow and then Biscoe will. The church is part of the Caroline Baptist Association. Thanks for asking.

    David

  117. Steve June 21, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    David,

    I apology if I have given you an incorrect impression of what my position is. I never said that Deborah was an exception to male leadership. I was merely trying to take you side and make the best argument for female leadership. What I said was this, “Third, Deborah was the strongest case for feminine authority. However this may be more of an exception than a rule. Most scholars would say the judging of Deborah depicts how spiritually impoverish Israel was at that time. There is no ongoing ministry or leadership by women as in the case of male leadership. When it came time to raise a military Barak was called to lead it.

    And then I said this, “While Deborah might be the best argument for female leadership it is still ambiguous.” No I do not believe that even your best case for female leadership is valid.

    Second, If God makes an exception to a rule then it is obviously acceptable and I am not saying this is an exception. The context of that exception is also significant. e.g. Mt 12:3-5

    I also think your usage of the homosexual hyperbole as a counter to an exception is invalid, because you are using a personal rationalization which has no Biblical basis. Again I am not trying to say Deborah is an example of an exception to exclusive male leadership. Barak (a male) was called to be the leader of the people.

    You said,

    Please cite me an example which teaches any male because he is a male is therefore the “head” of any female because she is female.

    That is not what I am saying. Of course there is a difference between headship in a marriage covenant and the “male” leadership of a Church. The Scripture speaks to both as it has already been pointed out in I Tim. 2:9-15; 3, 1 Cor. 14:34, Titus 1:5-9

    Again your logic is flawed in your argument for a mother and son relationship as a counter to male leadership. The Bible does say that children are to honor and obey their parents. However, that does not mean that a mother can become the leader of a synagogue. If you want to argue and make a case against the “creation ordinance” do so with your own arguments and not with some contrived implications that does not represent or have been espoused by Biblical literalists.

  118. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 21, 2008 at 7:18 pm #

    Steve,

    Thanks for responding.

    All I know is that Deborah “judged the sons of Israel” and the implication is that she was following the leadership of God in doing so. Thus, if a woman today were to “claim” that God was raising her up to some kind of position of “leadership” I cannot say that God would NEVER do so. I might have other objections to her “claim” but the presence of one legitimate example in Scripture opens up a “possibility” that God could do it again. Would God do it now? Who knows? Sure, the majority of leadership in the church has been and will likely be men. But when some complementarians claim that God would NEVER lead a woman to exercise any authority over men or teach a man then I believe the Deborah and Huldah and Prov. 31 and Mary and Priscilla,etc. examples should motivate those complementarians to “revise” their pronouncements. (Grudem’s dismissals do not hold water in my opinion.)

    Regarding the “headship” issue, as far as I can see the “headship” between a male and a female is restricted to the husband-wife relationship. And yet I constantly read complementarians saying “men are the heads over females” or “a man is head over a woman”. Precision is crucial here. No man at the congregation I pastor is “head” over my wife. Only her husband is. Me. Again I don’t know what you believe, all I know is that I have heard and read complementarians use sloppy language which genericize male-female roles using “headship” language and yet I only find “headship” language in marriage relationships. I am open to examining examples contrary. But precision is crucial here.

    I will wait to make my case “against” a “Creation ordinance” in 1 Tim. 2:8-15 until I get some more interaction with the issues I have raised above. I want to be able to address any relevant objections that some here would want to raise.

    Again thanks for engaging in the conversation.

    Blessings,

    David

  119. Steve June 21, 2008 at 8:27 pm #

    David,

    As I said Deborah is egalitarian’s best support for woman leadership but it still falls short. A prophet receives and relays without error words from God but that does not necessary mean she can have a teaching ministry, and women are never priests or monarchs. Again it is ambiguous to try and establish Deborah as a rule that women can be leaders over men. What is not ambiguous is the clear examples of male leadership in the OT, the creation order and the clear declarations in the NT.

    I don’t think anyone is trying to usurp your authority over your wife. Nevertheless, the pastors and elders of a Church is decidedly male and have authority over the sheep they Shepard. This includes male and female. The male headship of his family and the authority of Church leadership are not mutually exclusive.

    I await to hear your egalitarian case.

  120. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 22, 2008 at 8:20 am #

    Steve,

    I am not interested in making either an egalitarian or a complementarian case. I only want to look at all the biblical evidence and formulate a position based on my estimation of the best understanding of that evidence. That is what all should desire. The question is whether all the evidence has been take into consideration. The more I read what some complementarians claim, the more I notice a lack of attention by some in some areas. Thus, so far, I have discovered that the complementarian position needs more work. Having come from that position, when I did more work in exegesis, I discovered the complementarian position had not answered satisfactorily all my questions.

    So, back to the evidence.

    Was Deborah’s actions of “judging the sons of Israel” actions of leadership or actions of authority in some way? If not, please explain to me how they are not. (I have already stated that I believe the evidence points toward it being a “public” and “regular” “ministry”.)

    Was Huldah’s action of instructing the five men an action of teaching? If she did not have a “regular” “ministry” of speaking for the LORD, then why did they go to her? If not, please explain to me how it is not.

    Was Priscilla’s action of instructing Apollo an act of teaching? If not, please explain to me how it is not.

    What is a “teaching ministry”? Is it more than one act of teaching? Can a woman teach a man at least once? I don’t mean to be facetious. I want precise and concise explanations. In light of the Scriptural evidence I’ve suggested, how should one develop an understanding of what a “teaching ministry” is?

    What I would like is how one can claim that there is a “creation order” of roles for males and females which thereby limit what a woman can do, and yet there are a few divinely ordained instances which seem to go against that suggested “creation order”. What I would like is an explanation of how those instances should inform me when I am presented with a clearly gifted woman who has something to say about the Scriptures.

    Complementarians who say that instruction of a woman to men is prohibited in the context of a gathered assembly (and yet allowable in private) seem to be saying that the “creation order” is flexible as regards to public and private. But I fail to see how the Genesis account which establishes a so-called “creation order” of role design makes the public-private distinction. Also, I see Deborah as having public actions of leadership. Please explain.

    By your saying that “women are never . . . monarchs” are you saying that women should never be in any position of secular rule? Some complementarians limit the prohibitions about women only to the gathered church (and I’ve already asked about that with regard to “creation order”). Are you proclaiming a prohibition for women in all positions of leadership, secular and religious? If so, you are at least being consistent with the theological conclusion of “creation ordering” of roles for females. Be proud of that consistency and make sure that others know that you want consistency in all areas of life, whether secular or religious. I respect those who strive for a full-orbed consistency even if I may think they are mistaken. If you do not think women should be prohibited automatically from secular leadership, then how does that belief function in light of the “creation order” of roles?

    Blessings,

    David

  121. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 22, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    Steve,

    A few more comments.

    One purpose in being here on this blog is to challenge my own conclusions by facing those who have contrary positions.

    Another purpose is pedagogical. I desire that whatever position one holds, one have a fully comprehensive view which has been tested at the weak points. My comments and questions can strenghten your conclusions if you are able to formulate a response to them. That is how I’ve come to the position that I currently hold. If you cannot formulate a response, then what should you do then? How solid is your conclusion?

    Please know that I want all of us to hold to biblical positions that will weather the questions and provide some measure of response.

    Blessings,

    David

  122. Steve June 22, 2008 at 9:17 pm #

    David,

    What is a “teaching ministry”? Let me ask you this, if I stand in front of the United Nations building in New York and talk to foreigners as they come in and out of the building does that make me an ambassador of the United States?

    If you had something you didn’t understand and you asked a female to teach you on that subject, does that make her your leader or does that mean she has headship over you?

    Would you please explain to me who said

    there are a few divinely ordained instances which seem to go against that suggested “creation order”

    Would you like to specify what “creation order” you seem to think your examples have gone against? Was Adam created first? Did any of the prophetesses reverse that order? Was Adam created as a helper for Eve or was Eve created as a helper for Adam? Did any of the prophetesses reverse that order? Was Adam created from Eve’s rib or was Eve created from Adam’s rib? Did any of the prophetesses reverse that order?

    Yes I am one of those who make a distinction between private and the established authority of a Church, just as I make the distinction between a Church and the relationship between husband and wife. In both cases the leadership is male.

    Although this is getting away from our main emphasis, I do not object to secular woman leadership. If the right woman candidate comes along I would even vote for her as President. I don’t see any contradiction here because we don’t live in a theocracy. The structure of a secular government is not meant as a representative of God’s intended order for Man and Woman. The gender of a political office does not affect my ethical conducts. However, a Church is a direct representative of God’s economy and therefore must follow God’s intended order.

    My difficulty in accepting your challenge to the complementary view is your lack of explicit Scriptural support that would authorize women as leaders over men. Yet somehow you seem to so cavalierly dismiss clear and explicit passages that said only males are qualify to be overseers. Do you think Paul was just kidding when he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit ”I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent .” “women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.”

    I agree with you we all should diligently seek Scripture and make sure the positions we hold is in concert with that of God’s. My approach to Scripture is to take the clear and explicit passages and attempt to understand and interpret the ambiguous passages in light of the clear. I think in order for anyone to hold the egalitarian view one must take very ambiguous passages as examples of women leadership and trump the clear passages that explicitly forbid women to be leaders.

  123. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 23, 2008 at 6:37 pm #

    Steve,

    Thanks again for responding.

    So, what’s a teaching ministry? Your example is an analogy in what it may not be, but what is it?

    Receiving a teaching does not have to mean that someone has “authority” or “headship” it can mean they share some ideas and I evaluate them.

    Reminder: “headship” (“kephale”-ship)with regard to human beings is contextually a reference to husband-wife relationships, unless you can give me some other examples of “headship” which use that terminology. And also define what “headship” means.

    You seem to be saying that there is a God-designed order/purpose of creation roles that established that males are to instruct females and that females may not instruct adult males or lead adult males. That is what you seem to conclude from the 1 Timothy statement “Adam was formed first.” Have I misunderstood you?

    If that is the creation order/purpose then how can you support any female having leadership or teaching adult males at any time in any place, secular or religious? Why is the secular nature of our political system able to trump the creation order/purpose? Shouldn’t you instead prophetically denounce the degradation of God’s design in allowing females to lead or teach? I only encourage consistency in applying theological beliefs in all of life. Whether or not it is popular, one should proclaim what the Bible teaches. This so-called creation order/purpose that is the original design and thus an overarching defining principle for life should indeed apply to all of life not just to the religious aspects. It is the design of God. How can one separate God’s will in that way? Why not preach it? That is, if indeed that is what it is intending to teach?

    Please do not think that I have not done more extensive work of exegesis on these passages. You accuse me of seeming to be cavalier. I have responses to these so-called “clear” passages. In fact the ones you claim as “clear” are actually more complex than at first appearance in my opinion. I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. My current conclusions aren’t just some kind of emotional distaste against some kind of so-called patriarchy. I have actually done quite a bit of research on the subject.

    I would caution you in thinking that you know my total conclusions about the matter just from reading my questions to you. Being cavalier about Scriptural matters is a serious accusation.

    So, a question about Deborah and Huldah. Some complementarians say that these examples do not set any kind of example for women leadng or teaching men. So, that is what they do not do. What is the purpose of the accounts? How do they speak to us today? What relevance do they have for women today? If I preach on them, what applications should I draw for the women in my congregation. I can spend all day saying what they are not, so what do they teach us?

    I think that if complementarians are going to spend their time in telling me what they do not mean, there should be even more time spent in telling me what they do mean and how they do apply for women in the church today.

    I am going to youth camp tomorrow and will not be able to interact until Sunday, but I do anticipate the continuation of the conversation.

    Blessings,

    David

  124. Steve June 24, 2008 at 1:07 am #

    David,

    You said,

    Receiving a teaching does not have to mean that someone has “authority” or “headship” it can mean they share some ideas and I evaluate them.

    I think that’s my point. The examples of women prophetesses that you pointed out are not in any established corporate leadership positions. It is true that people come to seek Deborah’s judging but that does not mean she is their leader and has authority over them.

    You said,

    Reminder: “headship” (”kephale”-ship)with regard to human beings is contextually a reference to husband-wife relationships

    I never said it was otherwise. You’ve again attempted to conflate different relationships. I’ve never used kephale to support exclusive male leadership for the Church. Let me repeat myself one more time. I point to Paul’s explicit instruction to Timothy that the overseers of the Church must be male. I pointed to Paul’s explicit instruction to the role of women in the Church. I pointed to Paul’s explicit authentication of the role of men and women and his emphasis of the creation and fall order in Genesis.

    You said,

    You seem to be saying that there is a God-designed order/purpose of creation roles that established that males are to instruct females and that females may not instruct adult males or lead adult males.

    That is exactly what I am saying within the context of the Church.

    You said,

    If that is the creation order/purpose then how can you support any female having leadership or teaching adult males at any time in any place, secular or religious?

    Two reasons, first, because Paul was giving instruction to Timothy for the Church at Ephesus. I would not want to be presumptuous and read into the Text and draw the conclusion that it applies to all situations and all circumstances. Second, as you’ve said receiving a teaching does not necessarily make the teacher a leader or have authority over the student.

    You said,

    Why is the secular nature of our political system able to trump the creation order/purpose? Shouldn’t you instead prophetically denounce the degradation of God’s design in allowing females to lead or teach? I only encourage consistency in applying theological beliefs in all of life.

    I know you want to create a tension why none exists and erect a straw man just so that you can knock it down. Let me remind you of the case when the Pharisees asked Jesus is it right to pay taxes. Didn’t Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”? Do you see something in the Bible that says we must overturn our present political system and establish a theocracy?

    You said,

    I would caution you in thinking that you know my total conclusions about the matter just from reading my questions to you. Being cavalier about Scriptural matters is a serious accusation.

    You are right I have no idea how much study you have put into the passages that I’ve pointed to. The only evidence I have to go on is what you have demonstrated here between our dialogues. Up to this point you have not shown any indication or respond to the clear passages that I’ve pointed to and you seem to be fixated on ambiguous passages that may or maybe indicate woman leadership.

    I find it even more ironic that you seem to think Deborah and some of the other prophetesses are clear indications (or as least clear enough for you to be convince by it) to justify woman leadership. Yet you find passages when it explicitly prohibits “woman” from teaching a “man” as complex and thus unclear? I am sorry but from what you’ve demonstrated it seems to want to massage the fact to fit your conclusion. I would also note that at the end of your last comment you still have not address any of these “clear” but actually more complex passages.

    You said,

    What relevance do they have for women today? If I preach on them, what applications should I draw for the women in my congregation.

    Good question. Many women are truly gifted and they should exercise their gifts in accordance with the prescribed roles of the Church. I think they can certainly teach other women. Women can give testimony and witness. Women can manage children classes and activities. I personally think, and I don’t think all complementarians share in this view, that if a man for some reason finds it necessary to seek a woman to instruct him on certain things in the Bible, that would be fine. e.g. I think Kay Arthur has some helpful instruction on how to study the Bible using her inductive method or Gretchen Passantino is a good teacher on cult issues. As long as these women do not violate afore mentioned Scriptural mandates then they should exercise their gifts to the glory of God.

  125. Steve June 24, 2008 at 1:15 am #

    I just want to clarify a point that I made in my previous comment when I said,

    Paul was giving instruction to Timothy for the Church at Ephesus. I would not want to be presumptuous and read into the Text and draw the conclusion that it applies to all situations and all circumstances.

    I didn’t mean that instruction was only specific to the Church at Ephesus but the Church universal. I just don’t think we can assume these same mandates outside of the Church.

  126. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 24, 2008 at 7:45 am #

    Steve,

    I think the discussion is now preceeding nicely.

    At least, you are a complementarian who does allow (on occasion) some allowance for a woman instructing an adult male. That is more than some would allow. (I’m thinking of the issue of female seminary professors. Would that be allowed? She wouldn’t be “leading” a congregation or be having “church” authority over him. A seminary class is less than “public”. Some complementarian seminary presidents and trustee boards think absolutely no. What about Sunday School teachers? Is that a “biblical” position of authority? Could it be “semi-public”?)

    I’m glad that you don’t use “kephale” to support male leadership. I made the point because some complementarians conflate those passages with the congregational leadership passages.

    With regard to the political issue: I made no statement about overturning a political system or establishing a theocracy (that cannot really occur until Jesus returns). My point was about complementarians “proclaiming/preaching/shouting from the rooftops” the creation purpose for the roles of males and females. Rendering to Caesar and allowing for secular governing does not mean that there can be no preaching against them. I’m assuming you believe that. I’m only asking that you or other complementarians expand their preaching to cover that topic in order to be more fully consistent. Also, why would YOU consider potentially voting for a female? Do you see Deborah as a precedent for at least “secular” female leadership? The freedoms of our nation allow for that kind of preaching and for that kind of refusing to vote.

    A few points about your response about the application of the Deborah and Huldah passages (by the way, thanks for beginning to respond). The book of Judges does contextually present Deborah as having an “equivalent” position as the other “judges” in the book. I fail to see how the verb “judging” does not carry at least some level of “authority”. The burden of proof is on those who want to argue that it does not. I am open to hearing the argumentation. I also think that Huldah at the least would establish some precedent possibly for female seminary professors or maybe even Sunday School teachers. I think maybe even more but would you even see that?

    Complexity does not mean unclear. But unclear to whom?

    You said: (By the way, how do you do the neat quote thing, I’m pretty blog comment “techno-illiterate”.)

    First quote: “Paul was giving instruction to Timothy for the Church at Ephesus. I would not want to be presumptuous and read into the Text and draw the conclusion that it applies to all situations and all circumstances.”

    Clarification: “I didn’t mean that instruction was only specific to the Church at Ephesus but the Church universal. I just don’t think we can assume these same mandates outside of the Church.”

    Be careful here, my brother. You will now have to develop a careful hermeneutic that will tread dangerously close to “trajectory hermeneutics” if you are going to maintain consistency.

    You seem to be drawing the distinction at the level of the secular and religious: universal for the Church but not for the world. Fine, for now.

    Let’s now stretch it out further. (I know you may be frustrated because I have not explicitly given my explanations for why I conclude what I conclude about the passages, and actually I’ve not really revealed what I conclude, I’ve only asked questions that may or may not hint at what I conclude. How’s that for a long sentence? My conclusions will take a long time for typing into a comment box. I can suggest reading Ben Witherington’s socio-rhetorical commentary and Gordon Fee’s to get some hints at my reasoning.)

    In 1 Timothy 5:14 Paul says,

    “Therefore, I want (boulomai) younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;”

    The Greek verb Paul uses here is the same one he uses in his wanting the “men” to pray and the “women” to adorn themselves in 1 Tim. 2:8-15. Some argue that the 2:8-15 passage is to be applied to all churches at all times in all details. Others fudge on the specificities of prohibiting jewelry wearing but insist that the prohibition of a “woman” teaching or “having authority” is universal for all churches at all times. So now I submit this question. (Please demonstrate how this may be a “straw man”. I think it is a legitimate question deserving of a well thought out answer.)

    Is Paul’s desire here universal for all times and congregations? Must all young widows now re-marry? He does use the same Greek verb. If you think they must, you are being consistent. If not, please explain your hermeneutical principle for removing this from universal injunction. Your well-principled response will only strengthen your position.

    I now must depart, but please know that I have enjoyed the discussions. Your responses have helped me think things out.

    Back on Saturday, or Sunday.

    Blessings,

    David

  127. Steve June 25, 2008 at 4:21 pm #

    David,

    You said,

    (I’m thinking of the issue of female seminary professors. Would that be allowed? … What about Sunday School teachers? Is that a “biblical” position of authority?)

    Sunday School no. That would definitely be under the domain of the Church. Seminary professors, eh… I don’t think that should be a problem, personally speaking.

    You said,

    Rendering to Caesar and allowing for secular governing does not mean that there can be no preaching against them. I’m assuming you believe that.

    Of course, but Church leadership is an ecclesiastical matter. At one point you seem to say that we must apply all roles and functions of Biblical guidance to a secular government. I don’t believe the Scripture supports that view.

    You said,

    Also, why would YOU consider potentially voting for a female? Do you see Deborah as a precedent for at least “secular” female leadership? The freedoms of our nation allow for that kind of preaching and for that kind of refusing to vote.

    No I do not see Deborah as a precedent for “secular” female leadership, because I do not think her role described in the Bible was that of leadership, especially leading males. And I am not sure why you are confused because I’ve been saying all along that there is a distinction between secular government and ecclesiastical mandate. Ideally I would prefer male leadership even in secular government but that is not how our government works. In this secular environment I have to base my choice of the candidate based on values rather than gender.

    You said,

    A few points about your response about the application of the Deborah and Huldah passages (by the way, thanks for beginning to respond). The book of Judges does contextually present Deborah as having an “equivalent” position as the other “judges” in the book. I fail to see how the verb “judging” does not carry at least some level of “authority”. The burden of proof is on those who want to argue that it does not.

    Nice try, but if we are seek the will of God then the burden is on us both. Our mutual approval don’t mean zilch if we have it wrong.

    I think we both agree that coming to someone even a prophet/prophetess and asking his/her inspired discernment on a matter does not make that person your leader. In the case of Deborah and much less so with Huldah there is no evidence from Scripture that they had the authority to command or lead over others. The circumstantial evidence would suggest they were not leaders. Notice while they are identified as prophetesses, they are always attached to their husband as “the wife of …”. It is almost a deliberate implication to provide a covering for them through a male. You won’t find any of the male prophets or judges having the requirement to be identified to their wives i.e., “the husband of …”.

    The best evidence that Deborah was not in the position of leadership comes from her own mouth. When it came time to “lead” an army, Deborah instructed by the Lord to call a “male” Barak to be the leader, not Deborah. Unfortunately, Barak was an egalitarian so he insisted Deborah to go with him. Deborah being a complementary prophetess of God knows better, and said to him because of your misguided egalitarian thinking, the honor will not be your but it will go to a woman. The army followed Barak in battle not Deborah. Male leadership is implicit and ordained by the Lord.

    You said,

    Complexity does not mean unclear. But unclear to whom?

    I think you must be confused. I never said Paul’s passages were unclear. I remember distinctly saying numerous times that I thought Paul’s instruction of gender roles were clear and “clear and explicit”. It was you who said

    In fact the ones you claim as “clear” are actually more complex than at first appearance in my opinion.

    You are the one that first linked complexity against clarity. I beg to differ, complexity does not lend itself to clarity, but we can save that philosophical debate for a later time. What is important now is that you are saying the obvious and clear instructions for gender roles in Paul’s writings have alternative meaning other than the obvious. In other words, it depends on what “is” is.

    You said,

    You will now have to develop a careful hermeneutic that will tread dangerously close to “trajectory hermeneutics”

    mē genoito

    You said,

    Is Paul’s desire here universal for all times and congregations? Must all young widows now re-marry? He does use the same Greek verb. If you think they must, you are being consistent.

    Your emphasis on the usage of the same Greek verb is irrelevant in the interpretation of these 2 passages. Maybe you can explain why you think it is significant.

    With regard to interpretation and application, you had it right when you said God is the same yesterday, today and forever. This would mean that any moral and ethical mandates are universal and timeless. For instance, murder was wrong during the time of Cain and Able, it is wrong today and it will be wrong forever.

    I am puzzled by your pattern of insisting on picking certain elements of a passage and forcing an interpretative link between the two without a proper hermeneutic justification. e.g. You take a broad swipe of 1 Tim 2:8-15 which has many different elements of instructions and forced an interpretative link with 1 Tim 5:14 with only one directive. You then base on a single word in 2 verses claim that if allowances are made for jewelry selection that everything else should be open to flexible application. This is a straw man argument and desperation in forcing an interpretation to a predefined conclusion.

    Be that as it may, let me give you my understanding of these passages not wanting to be as coy as you’ve been. Hopefully this will encourage you to be more forthright and finally present your total conclusion on these passages and this subject.

    In 1 Tim 2:9-10 and 1 Tim 5:14 there are ethical and cultural elements to these verses. v.9-10 Paul’s objective is to instruct women to behave in a manner that is appropriate for people who profess to worship God. This is an ethical value that would not change because it reflects the glory of God and a witness to our transformed life as Christians. The cultural elements in these verses are the jewelry, clothing and hairstyle.

    Paul’s objective in 5:14 is that young widows should behave in a way where Satan could not find a cause to attack Christians. We can safely infer that when Paul wrote the behavior of some young women were of concerned. He even said that some have turned aside to follow Satan. The ethical objective in v14 will never change. Young widows should behave in a manner that would glorify God and not give cause to the enemy for attack. The cultural and methodical aspect of this is to be married, managing the household and bearing children. In essence keeping herself busy so as to not to go out and get into trouble. Remarriage is not an immutable method for a young widow to stay pure and dedicate to God. If they can stay single and still keep pure and glorify God that is even better 1 Cor. 7:8–9.

    From v11 on Paul is no longer just talking about the woman but Paul now focuses on the interactions between a man and a woman. The command is clear and explicit a woman may not teach or have authority over a man. To emphasize that this principle transcends time and culture he refers this back to the creation order. More explicit is ch 3 where Paul prescribes the qualification of an overseer and deacon. It is all male there is no mention or room for female leadership. I just can’t see how one can get around the obvious.

    This command cannot be a cultural dependent because it involves more than just the genders. It involves the exercise of authority. Authority unlike jewelry and clothing is not cultural and time dependent. To have authority over someone means the same in every culture and every era. To have authority over someone is to have the right to be the leader and decide over someone. This is true whether a woman has authority over a man or a man has authority over a woman, and it is true in the west or in the east, authority is authority. Paul certainly knows this. So when he said a woman is not allowed to have authority over a man, he can’t possibly mean for now only. It will be different in the future when we have the rise of the egalitarians. A woman and a man 20 centuries ago are still a woman and a man today that has not change. To have authority 20 centuries ago is still the same as having authority now.

    What egalitarians are asking Christians to accept is that because culturally our view of gender relationships has changed. Christians need to change the explicit order of authority between man and woman. Why not say that divorce was wrong then but now it is culturally acceptable. Why not go further and say that our view of God has also changed in the 21st century. Some view God as a New Age only loving deity who will never hold us to account for our sins. So maybe John 15:14 is outdated and we need to change our relationship with God and put ourselves in a more equal footing. Sin is an antiquated notion and we should the way we want without the psychological bondage to drag us down.

    I also appreciate this dialogue. It has helped me to codify and reinforce my understanding on this issue.

    p.s. The quote thing is done by a couple of html tags.
    <blockquote>put the text between these 2 html tags <\blockquote>

  128. Steve June 25, 2008 at 11:59 pm #

    David,

    I am having trouble posting so I will try this in 2 parts, this being part 1.

    You said,

    (I’m thinking of the issue of female seminary professors. Would that be allowed? … What about Sunday School teachers? Is that a “biblical” position of authority?)

    Sunday School no. That would definitely be under the domain of the Church. Seminary professors, eh… I don’t think that should be a problem, personally speaking.

    You said,

    Rendering to Caesar and allowing for secular governing does not mean that there can be no preaching against them. I’m assuming you believe that.

    Of course, but Church leadership is an ecclesiastical matter. At one point you seem to say that we must apply all roles and functions of Biblical guidance to a secular government. I don’t believe the Scripture supports that view.

    You said,

    Also, why would YOU consider potentially voting for a female? Do you see Deborah as a precedent for at least “secular” female leadership? The freedoms of our nation allow for that kind of preaching and for that kind of refusing to vote.

    No I do not see Deborah as a precedent for “secular” female leadership, because I do not think her role described in the Bible was that of leadership, especially leading males. And I am not sure why you are confused because I’ve been saying all along that there is a distinction between secular government and ecclesiastical mandate. Ideally I would prefer male leadership even in secular government but that is not how our government works. In this secular environment I have to base my choice of the candidate based on values rather than gender.

    You said,

    A few points about your response about the application of the Deborah and Huldah passages (by the way, thanks for beginning to respond). The book of Judges does contextually present Deborah as having an “equivalent” position as the other “judges” in the book. I fail to see how the verb “judging” does not carry at least some level of “authority”. The burden of proof is on those who want to argue that it does not.

    Nice try, but if we are seek the will of God then the burden is on us both. Our mutual approval don’t mean zilch if we have it wrong.

    I think we both agree that coming to someone even a prophet/prophetess and asking his/her inspired discernment on a matter does not make that person your leader. In the case of Deborah and much less so with Huldah there is no evidence from Scripture that they had the authority to command or lead over others. The circumstantial evidence would suggest they were not leaders. Notice while they are identified as prophetesses, they are always attached to their husband as “the wife of …”. It is almost a deliberate implication to provide a covering for them through a male. You won’t find any of the male prophets or judges having the requirement to be identified to their wives i.e., “the husband of …”.

    The best evidence that Deborah was not in the position of leadership comes from her own mouth. When it came time to “lead” an army, Deborah instructed by the Lord to call a “male” Barak to be the leader, not Deborah. Unfortunately, Barak was an egalitarian so he insisted Deborah to go with him. Deborah being a complementary prophetess of God knows better, and said to him because of your misguided egalitarian thinking, the honor will not be your but it will go to a woman. The army followed Barak in battle not Deborah. Male leadership is implicit and ordained by the Lord.

    You said,

    Complexity does not mean unclear. But unclear to whom?

    I think you must be confused. I never said Paul’s passages were unclear. I remember distinctly saying numerous times that I thought Paul’s instruction of gender roles were clear and “clear and explicit”. It was you who said

    In fact the ones you claim as “clear” are actually more complex than at first appearance in my opinion.

    You are the one that first linked complexity against clarity. I beg to differ, complexity does not lend itself to clarity, but we can save that philosophical debate for a later time. What is important now is that you are saying the obvious and clear instructions for gender roles in Paul’s writings have alternative meaning other than the obvious. In other words, it depends on what “is” is.

    You said,

    You will now have to develop a careful hermeneutic that will tread dangerously close to “trajectory hermeneutics”

    mē genoito

  129. Steve June 26, 2008 at 12:00 am #

    Part 2

    You said,

    Is Paul’s desire here universal for all times and congregations? Must all young widows now re-marry? He does use the same Greek verb. If you think they must, you are being consistent.

    Your emphasis on the usage of the same Greek verb is irrelevant in the interpretation of these 2 passages. Maybe you can explain why you think it is significant.

    With regard to interpretation and application, you had it right when you said God is the same yesterday, today and forever. This would mean that any moral and ethical mandates are universal and timeless. For instance, murder was wrong during the time of Cain and Able, it is wrong today and it will be wrong forever.

    I am puzzled by your pattern of insisting on picking certain elements of a passage and forcing an interpretative link between the two without a proper hermeneutic justification. e.g. You take a broad swipe of 1 Tim 2:8-15 which has many different elements of instructions and forced an interpretative link with 1 Tim 5:14 with only one directive. You then base on a single word in 2 verses claim that if allowances are made for jewelry selection that everything else should be open to flexible application. This is a straw man argument and desperation in forcing an interpretation to a predefined conclusion.

    Be that as it may, let me give you my understanding of these passages not wanting to be as coy as you’ve been. Hopefully this will encourage you to be more forthright and finally present your total conclusion on these passages and this subject.

    In 1 Tim 2:9-10 and 1 Tim 5:14 there are ethical and cultural elements to these verses. v.9-10 Paul’s objective is to instruct women to behave in a manner that is appropriate for people who profess to worship God. This is an ethical value that would not change because it reflects the glory of God and a witness to our transformed life as Christians. The cultural elements in these verses are the jewelry, clothing and hairstyle.

    Paul’s objective in 5:14 is that young widows should behave in a way where Satan could not find a cause to attack Christians. We can safely infer that when Paul wrote the behavior of some young women were of concerned. He even said that some have turned aside to follow Satan. The ethical objective in v14 will never change. Young widows should behave in a manner that would glorify God and not give cause to the enemy for attack. The cultural and methodical aspect of this is to be married, managing the household and bearing children. In essence keeping herself busy so as to not to go out and get into trouble. Remarriage is not an immutable method for a young widow to stay pure and dedicate to God. If they can stay single and still keep pure and glorify God that is even better 1 Cor. 7:8–9.

    From v11 on Paul is no longer just talking about the woman but Paul now focuses on the interactions between a man and a woman. The command is clear and explicit a woman may not teach or have authority over a man. To emphasize that this principle transcends time and culture he refers this back to the creation order. More explicit is ch 3 where Paul prescribes the qualification of an overseer and deacon. It is all male there is no mention or room for female leadership. I just can’t see how one can get around the obvious.

    This command cannot be a cultural dependent because it involves more than just the genders. It involves the exercise of authority. Authority unlike jewelry and clothing is not cultural and time dependent. To have authority over someone means the same in every culture and every era. To have authority over someone is to have the right to be the leader and decide over someone. This is true whether a woman has authority over a man or a man has authority over a woman, and it is true in the west or in the east, authority is authority. Paul certainly knows this. So when he said a woman is not allowed to have authority over a man, he can’t possibly mean for now only. It will be different in the future when we have the rise of the egalitarians. A woman and a man 20 centuries ago are still a woman and a man today that has not change. To have authority 20 centuries ago is still the same as having authority now.

    What egalitarians are asking Christians to accept is that because culturally our view of gender relationships has changed. Christians need to change the explicit order of authority between man and woman. Why not say that divorce was wrong then but now it is culturally acceptable. Why not go further and say that our view of God has also changed in the 21st century. Some view God as a New Age only loving deity who will never hold us to account for our sins. So maybe John 15:14 is outdated and we need to change our relationship with God and put ourselves in a more equal footing. Sin is an antiquated notion and we should the way we want without the psychological bondage to drag us down.

    I also appreciate this dialogue. It has helped me to codify and reinforce my understanding on this issue.

    p.s. The quote thing is done by a couple of html tags.
    <blockquote>put the text between these 2 html tags <\blockquote>

  130. Steve June 26, 2008 at 12:04 am #

    You said,

    Is Paul’s desire here universal for all times and congregations? Must all young widows now re-marry? He does use the same Greek verb. If you think they must, you are being consistent.

    Your emphasis on the usage of the same Greek verb is irrelevant in the interpretation of these 2 passages. Maybe you can explain why you think it is significant.

    With regard to interpretation and application, you had it right when you said God is the same yesterday, today and forever. This would mean that any moral and ethical mandates are universal and timeless. For instance, murder was wrong during the time of Cain and Able, it is wrong today and it will be wrong forever.

    I am puzzled by your pattern of insisting on picking certain elements of a passage and forcing an interpretative link between the two without a proper hermeneutic justification. e.g. You take a broad swipe of 1 Tim 2:8-15 which has many different elements of instructions and forced an interpretative link with 1 Tim 5:14 with only one directive. You then base on a single word in 2 verses claim that if allowances are made for jewelry selection that everything else should be open to flexible application. This is a straw man argument and desperation in forcing an interpretation to a predefined conclusion.

    Be that as it may, let me give you my understanding of these passages not wanting to be as coy as you’ve been. Hopefully this will encourage you to be more forthright and finally present your total conclusion on these passages and this subject.

    In 1 Tim 2:9-10 and 1 Tim 5:14 there are ethical and cultural elements to these verses. v.9-10 Paul’s objective is to instruct women to behave in a manner that is appropriate for people who profess to worship God. This is an ethical value that would not change because it reflects the glory of God and a witness to our transformed life as Christians. The cultural elements in these verses are the jewelry, clothing and hairstyle.

    Paul’s objective in 5:14 is that young widows should behave in a way where Satan could not find a cause to attack Christians. We can safely infer that when Paul wrote the behavior of some young women were of concerned. He even said that some have turned aside to follow Satan. The ethical objective in v14 will never change. Young widows should behave in a manner that would glorify God and not give cause to the enemy for attack. The cultural and methodical aspect of this is to be married, managing the household and bearing children. In essence keeping herself busy so as to not to go out and get into trouble. Remarriage is not an immutable method for a young widow to stay pure and dedicate to God. If they can stay single and still keep pure and glorify God that is even better 1 Cor. 7:8–9.

    From v11 on Paul is no longer just talking about the woman but Paul now focuses on the interactions between a man and a woman. The command is clear and explicit a woman may not teach or have authority over a man. To emphasize that this principle transcends time and culture he refers this back to the creation order. More explicit is ch 3 where Paul prescribes the qualification of an overseer and deacon. It is all male there is no mention or room for female leadership. I just can’t see how one can get around the obvious.

    This command cannot be a cultural dependent because it involves more than just the genders. It involves the exercise of authority. Authority unlike jewelry and clothing is not cultural and time dependent. To have authority over someone means the same in every culture and every era. To have authority over someone is to have the right to be the leader and decide over someone. This is true whether a woman has authority over a man or a man has authority over a woman, and it is true in the west or in the east, authority is authority. Paul certainly knows this. So when he said a woman is not allowed to have authority over a man, he can’t possibly mean for now only. It will be different in the future when we have the rise of the egalitarians. A woman and a man 20 centuries ago are still a woman and a man today that has not change. To have authority 20 centuries ago is still the same as having authority now.

    What egalitarians are asking Christians to accept is that because culturally our view of gender relationships has changed. Christians need to change the explicit order of authority between man and woman. Why not say that divorce was wrong then but now it is culturally acceptable. Why not go further and say that our view of God has also changed in the 21st century. Some view God as a New Age only loving deity who will never hold us to account for our sins. So maybe John 15:14 is outdated and we need to change our relationship with God and put ourselves in a more equal footing. Sin is an antiquated notion and we should the way we want without the psychological bondage to drag us down.

    I also appreciate this dialogue. It has helped me to codify and reinforce my understanding on this issue.

    p.s. The quote thing is done by a couple of html tags. I think this blog is filtering out the code I am using to print the “”. So in the following text replace the “_” with “” brackets.
    _blockquote_put the text between these 2 html tags _\blockquote_

  131. Steve June 26, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    David,

    There should be a left angle bracket and a right angle bracket inside the two “” above. My comments were not getting posted because I try to use some ascii code to print those brackets.

  132. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 26, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    I’m glad any dialogue helps someone to better examine and express whatever position they hold. Being able to formulate an answer to contrary views without being insulting is a good virtue to have.

    A few coments/questions and then I have to go.

    Of course, both of us has a burden of proof for our argumentation. My comment about burden of proof was focused on the meaning of “judging”.

    Did the male judges in the book of Judges exercise any authority, any leadership? Does the Hebrew verb “was judging” contain any sense of “authority” or “leadership”? That’s what my question was focusing on. My conclusions about what Deborah was doing should be drawn from what the text says she was doing. She “was judging the sons of Israel”. So what does “was judging” mean and does it contain any “leadership” nuances?

    If you have any insight that the verb does not contain any “leadership” or “authority” nuances, then consistently we should go through the other male judges and remove any sense of “leadership” and “authority” from the passages where the same verb is used.

    I said nothing about the New Age or sin being dumbed down or anything like that. I don’t claim to have the same conclusions as other “egalitarians” whatever or whoever that is or means. I just want to know, when Paul said “I WANT young widows to get married” was he then establishing a from then on universal injunction? Or, was he responding to a specific situational context in that Ephesian community that needed a firm “I WANT” without absolutely speaking to all situations.

    Is it at all possible that the “I AM NOT PERMITTING . . .” prohibition was speaking to a particular Ephesians situation?

    The “Adam was formed first” may mean that he was formed first and therefore deserved respect, especially in public. Could it have been that Ephesian Christian wives were publicly disrespecting their husbands with their teaching and their nagging in public and Paul wanted them to show decorum and respect for their husbands and thus he referred to the Genesis account that the first husband was “formed first” and thus an “elder one” deserved proper decorous respect?

    Being formed first is not an absolute universal status of authority over all that come later. God reversed chronological firstness all throughout the OT and NT. Esau born first, Jacob was the chosen pathway. Saul was first king, David the chosen pathway. David himself was way down the line of his father’s children. So was Joseph. But what is common to all these examples, the first in the line did deserve respect and proper decorum of treatment, but their “firstness” did not convey automatic authority for all times.

    Thus, as I see it currently, Paul by referring to “Adam was formed first” was not necessarily saying anything about Adam as representative male or representative husband having absolute universal authority over all females or every wife but instead the reference was an indication that a husband should be respected and treated with respect especially in the assembled congregation. A Spirit-filled prophecy receiving wife cannot claim her spirituality as a trump over the call to treat her husband with proper respect. Adam was formed first thus deserving respect and the first wife was deceived, so all you Ephesian women who are listening to these false teachers should show respect for your husbands and also learn biblical doctrine with respect and realize that your spirituality does not trump your marital and household duties.

    The prohibition of a wife teaching and compelling a husband was spoken in light of that situation.

    I know that is speculation, but almost all our interpretive efforts have some “speculative” aspects to them.

    Have to go now but will return later, maybe today or tomorrow or later.

    Blessings

    David

  133. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 26, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    1 Timothy is a personal letter written for an Ephesian situation.

    1 Timothy is also inspired by God.

    So, how do we interpret and apply in our chronologically, culturally, situationally separated context an “inspired personal situational letter”?

    Very carefully.

    Some things we apply totally, some partially, some with alteration.

    We make our best efforts at trying to understand what Paul was saying to Timothy in his Ephesians context and we try to then also ask what is the Spirit intending for those of us who are not 1st century Koine Greek readers, not Timothy, not Ephesian Christians, not ancient world thinkers but instead 21st century people.

    Some things we transfer totally, for some we make analogies, and some we leave in the first century (Paul’s command to send the parchments mentioned in 2 Timothy; however we can learn the lesson that study is important by analogy).

    The debate over 1 Timothy and all Bible texts for that matter is to develop a consistent hermeneutic which can attempt to formulate principles which will attempt to resolve inconsistencies between one text and another.

    This will involve some speculation, some more definite conclusion, and some mystery.

    All we can do is make our best effort with humility, be open to learn and listen and most of all yield to the Spirit and not lose the primary point of it all: worship of Jesus Christ.

    Blessings,

    David

  134. Steve June 27, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    David said,

    Did the male judges in the book of Judges exercise any authority, any leadership? … So what does “was judging” mean and does it contain any “leadership” nuances?

    I’ve answered this in my previous comment.

    David said,

    Is it at all possible that the “I AM NOT PERMITTING . . .” prohibition was speaking to a particular Ephesians situation? … Thus, as I see it currently, Paul by referring to “Adam was formed first” was not necessarily saying anything about Adam as representative male or representative husband having absolute universal authority over all females or every wife but instead the reference was an indication that a husband should be respected and treated with respect especially in the assembled congregation.

    Your view is extremely unlikely. You’ve completely ignored the context of that passage. There is very little doubt that Paul is speaking of women and men in general and not in the context of a husband and wife relationship. If he meant how a woman should act towards her husband in public, Paul would have specified it as such in so many other passages of his epistles. And let’s not forget this is just before his mandate on male Church leadership.

    David said,

    Being formed first is not an absolute universal status of authority over all that come later.

    But you’ve left out the fact that Eve was created as a ”helper” for Adam. She was created out of Adam with his rib. It was the woman that was deceived not the man. What do you think was Paul’s purpose for pinpointing the woman on these things? Do you really think it is for the wife to stop nagging the husband in public?

    David said,

    1 Timothy is a personal letter written for an Ephesian situation.

    1 Timothy is also inspired by God.

    So, how do we interpret and apply in our chronologically, culturally, situationally separated context an “inspired personal situational letter”?

    Very carefully.

    Why bother? If what you say is true then we can just throw the Bible out the window because the entire Bible was written for someone else and not for us.
    Why would you want to put your faith in an antiquated document written to an unenlightened patriarchal society? What authority can you possibly have to urge someone else to accept any application that you might divine from such an anachronistic document?

    I take the Bible literally (historically and grammatically) and to be the inerrant Word of God. As such, it is applicable to all people and all times.

  135. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 27, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    I’m a little amazed at how you’ve take my comments.

    I say we need to interpret “carefully” and you say that I’m implying “we can just throw the Bible out the window because the entire Bible was written for someone else and not for us.”

    You also read me as implying it is an “antiquated document” and that it is an “anachronistic document”.

    Wow.

    If that is how you read what I typed then I really don’t see much point in proceeding in conversation.

    I asked specific questions.

    E.g. the meaning of the verb “was judging” with regard to its use for male judges.

    I see no comment from you on that.

    I commented that I think it is primarily a husband-wife context because I note the following reasons:

    a. the Greek words do allow that translation

    b. similarities with the 1 Cor. 14 has a husband-wife context

    c. the shift from plural references to single reference (gune) to single reference
    (andros)

    d. Adam and Eve were husband and wife

    e. the mention of “childbirth” is usually associated in Christian contexts with marriage

    f. many of the themes in the rest of the book rotate around domesticity in the home

    g. public nagging of a husband would bring disrepute to the Gospel in the Greco-Roman world and thus that made it a major concern

    Philip Towner’s commentary on 1 Timothy mirrors some of my notations and he demonstrates much research that would lend itself toward those ideas. (Not that he would agree with all I think.)

    I bother to study and interpret the Bible because of 2 Tim. 3:16, but taking a flattened literal reading and application for every passage will eventually lead to foolishness for some passages.

    I’ve already noted elsewhere about those who fudge on letting women wear jewelry. A “literal” application to all people and all times would require prohibition of jewelry wearing for today. If you think “literal” doesn’t mean that, then I can’t do anything more to help with that.

    Paul “literally” commanded Timothy to drink wine for his stomach. Is that for all times and all people? I’m taking your hermeneutic seriously. How historically and grammatically can you say it does not apply now?

    I’ve already asked you about Paul wanting younger widows to “literally” get married and he used a decisive word literally “I want”. You mentioned “cultural elements” in a previous reply and yet now you say “applicable to all people and all times.” Which is it? Do you culturally dismiss some commands and not others.

    A “literal” hermeneutic for all passages requires a “literal” application for everything for all times and all people in all places.

    I still desire blessings on you and yours, but I am increasingly getting weary of replies to things I do not say and that I honestly cannot see as the only implication for what I have said.

    Plus, I have to work on a paper presentation for a conference in July so I may only hang out here for a little longer since time constraints limit me.

    Blessings,

    David

  136. Steve June 27, 2008 at 5:42 pm #

    David said,

    I’m a little amazed at how you’ve take my comments.

    Actually what I was responding to your implication that what Paul wrote was only applicable to the Church at Ephesus. That sounds too close to existential liberal theology. Is Paul’s letter to Timothy applicable to the church at Galatia and Corinth?

    Are you implying that Paul is saying women are not allowed to teach at Ephesus but it is fine at Corinth? Or are you implying Paul’s prohibition for women to teach will expire in 10yrs, 50yrs, 500yrs, 5000yrs? Is there any indication in the Greek syntax that would give rise to such time limit? What’s the difference between the Church at Ephesus in the first century compared to the Church today? Isn’t the only difference is in today’s society most find it socially unacceptable to prevent women in leadership and to teach men? God’s mandates have not change but we have.

    I don’t find much point in continuing this discussion unless with someone who accepts the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. That means the principles commandments and guidance in the Bible are timeless for all people, because the Lord is the God of all.

  137. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers June 28, 2008 at 7:42 pm #

    Steve,

    On the basis of the first sentence of your last paragraph we could still continue this discussion because I do indeed believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.

    I, however, think that your second sentence in the last paragraph is too vague and will eventually lead you to have to re-state and re-explain “the principles, commandments and guidance in the Bible” as being “timeless for all people”.

    I think your statement of belief in inerrancy seems to me to be tainted by a refusal to observe the details of certain texts that question some already assumed conclusions.

    You have clearly stated that Deborah was not in a position of leadership and yet you have still not dealt with the “literal” verb and noun “shaphat” and “mishpat” that was used of her. These Hebrew words have clear associations with leading, governing, authority.

    shaphat –

    1) to judge, govern, vindicate, punish 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to act as law-giver or judge or governor (of God, man) 1a1a) to rule, govern, judge 1a2) to decide controversy (of God, man) 1a3) to execute judgment 1a3a) discriminating (of man) 1a3b) vindicating 1a3c) condemning and punishing 1a3d) at theophanic advent for final judgment

    mishpat –

    1) judgment, justice, ordinance 1a) judgment 1a1) act of deciding a case 1a2) place, court, seat of judgment 1a3) process, procedure, litigation (before judges) 1a4) case, cause (presented for judgment) 1a5) sentence, decision (of judgment) 1a6) execution (of judgment) 1a7) time (of judgment) 1b) justice, right, rectitude (attributes of God or man) 1c) ordinance 1d) decision (in law) 1e) right, privilege, due (legal) 1f) proper, fitting, measure, fitness, custom, manner, plan

    I have already stated that I think the text shows that this is a regular and public work of some kind of authority. Sure, Barak was a leader also, but she was acting as one also as the text indicates and she comes off with a better portrayal in the text.

    The Huldah passage is similar.

    I used to be a pure complementarian, but as I was driven to examine these texts and others I came to realize that my position forced me to conclusions that either ignored passages or that they must contradict one another. Neither of those were an option. So I had to re-examine all the passages to see if there was some kind of resolution that would resolve the appearance of contradiction.

    On re-examination I noted that the prohibition of a “gune” teaching an “aner” (1 Tim. 2:12) was located in a personal letter which specifically notes that it was an encouragement about dealing with a particular situation in Ephesus. I listed above some reasons for my adopting a position that it also was referring to a prohibition about a “wife” and a “husband.” I also have noted that there are other injunctions in this letter that situationally are contrary to Paul’s sentiment in another letter (the counsel about widows re-marrying).

    I could not come to a conclusion that these are contradictory so I attempted to see them in the context in which they are presented and which God decided to inspire them: dealing with an Ephesian situation.

    Now, this does not mean total rejection of everything which you seem to think I am saying and I have said no such thing. I have presented initial ideas and asked exegetical questions. Our back and forth dialogues have not approached my conceptions about today’s application. You have jumped to that with your conclusions about what you think I would do. You have suggested that I am close to “existential liberal theology” and yet I am perplexed how that is so, since we have not finished our conversation. I’ve been making exegetical comments. You have not interacted with some of them. You have leapt to some place that you think they are going without actually following the journey there.

    The exegetical journey would not go there, but I am doubting more and more whether it really is worth the time conversing in this format. It is taking too much time and the interaction is not exegetical enough. And there seems to be little patience to proceed step by step to see where the evidence takes us. (And I am willing to recognize my own impatience.)

    I’ve been thinking lately that I am not suited to regular blog commenting. I am becoming too obsessed with checking in and responding. The format is not really conducive to rigorous exegetical analysis and back and forth scholarly commentary.

    I do appreciate the time you have spent in the discussion thus far, but I see we are coming close to frustration, and I do not wish to become too snarky, sarcastic, and dismissive.

    I think the best I can suggest is that we retreat to our own corners and each of us continue the important work of exegesis and investigation. I will continue to read those works which would question my current positions and I would hope that you would be willing to go to all the texts and see if they really support all the conclusions you have been told previously.

    You may come to the same conclusions after the study, or you may change, or you may adapt here and there, whatever the outcome, the work of study of the inerrant Scriptures will indeed be time well spent.

    Exegesis, exegesis, exegesis of all passages with willingness to hear what the passage says as the text presents it, as you can truly surmise how the author intended it.

    I have not yet revealed all I think on this matter in these comments, but I don’t think that this will be the place if I should write it all out.

    I’ll probably bid adieu to other commenters on the latest comment that seems the most recently posted and the most relevant.

    Blessings in Christ,

    David

  138. Quixote June 28, 2008 at 8:00 pm #

    David,

    If you do depart, please leave us a place where we can go to further read your writings regarding your exegesis. I have found your comments at once compelling, articulate, intelligent, and always patient, even when not warranted. I’ve found a way to keep tabs on Sue’s findings (BBB)…do you have a blog or site where we can read of yours?

  139. Steve July 2, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    David said,

    I think your statement of belief in inerrancy seems to me to be tainted by a refusal to observe the details of certain texts that question some already assumed conclusions. … These Hebrew words have clear associations with leading, governing, authority.

    From my perspective I can say the same about you. Let me remind you that I clearly said “While Deborah might be the best argument for female leadership it is still ambiguous.” I acknowledged that in Judges 4 does give suggestive implications since all other Judges are always male with clear leadership. What you’ve failed to address is what I pointed out with Barak.
    Let me remind you what I said and I would like to see you address my specific points.

    The best evidence that Deborah was not in the position of leadership comes from her own mouth. When it came time to “lead” an army, Deborah instructed by the Lord to call a “male” Barak to be the leader, not Deborah. Unfortunately, Barak was an egalitarian so he insisted Deborah to go with him. Deborah being a complementary prophetess of God knows better, and said to him because of your misguided egalitarian thinking, the honor will not be your but it will go to a woman. The army followed Barak in battle not Deborah. Male leadership is implicit and ordained by the Lord.

    What you’ve failed to address is why was Barak even necessary if Deborah was the undisputed “female” leader of Israel? There was never any need by another male judge to ask another male or female to command the army, is there?

    David said,

    The Huldah passage is similar.

    Absolutely not. Huldah’s position was nowhere close to what Deborah’s was. All Huldah did was gave a prophetic message on a couple of occasions. There was no mention about judging. This I think is an indication why I think egalitarians are grasping at straws.

    David said,

    I commented that I think it is primarily a husband-wife context because I note the following reasons:

    a. the Greek words do allow that translation

    b. similarities with the 1 Cor. 14 has a husband-wife context

    c. the shift from plural references to single reference (gune) to single reference
    (andros)

    d. Adam and Eve were husband and wife

    e. the mention of “childbirth” is usually associated in Christian contexts with marriage

    f. many of the themes in the rest of the book rotate around domesticity in the home

    g. public nagging of a husband would bring disrepute to the Gospel in the Greco-Roman world and thus that made it a major concern
    Philip Towner’s commentary on 1 Timothy mirrors some of my notations and he demonstrates much research that would lend itself toward those ideas. (Not that he would agree with all I think.)

    I will respond point by point.

    a. Although Greek words do have nuances in meaning, the question is what is the probable and what is possible? From Strong’s “AV translates as “women” 129 times, and “wife” 92 times. 1 a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow. 2 a wife. 2a of a betrothed woman.” What is your exegesis justification for choosing this particular definition of gune and aner?

    b. To which verse are you referring to in 1 Cor 14? It seems to me 1 Cor 33-35 is amply supportive of the complementary view. 1 Cor 14:35 does refer to the wife but the context of that passage is undoubtedly addressing all females.

    c. Again this is an argument I think supports the complementary view. This shifting from plural to singular is generally indicative of a more generic use of the word. More importantly if Paul wanted to restrict this to a husband and wife relationship, why didn’t he use a definite article or a possessive pronoun in front of andros?

    d. So? Isn’t it obvious the emphasis was not about their relationship but rather the creation order and thus male leadership?

    e. Childbirth? If that is correct, is Paul telling only husbands to lift up their holy hands in prayer? Only wives should dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes? All unmarried women can dress indecently? Only wives need to do good deeds, appropriate for who profess to worship God? All unmarried women can do evil deeds? Only wives should learn in quietness and full submission? All unmarried women can be loud and rebellious? Your connection does not make much sense to me.

    f. Does that mean this passage refers to domestic guidance? The context in Chapter 2 and 3 certainly has no indication that it is domestic in nature.

    g. If public disrespect of the husband I wonder if the public teaching and authority over the husband would be a problem? For the sake of argument, let’s assume you are right about everything you’ve said. You view then is that women can teach and have authority and thus become overseers and pastors in the church. Does this mean her husband has to attend another church because she is not allowed to teach him or have authority over him?

    Since you’ve brought up 1 Cor 14, in vv 33-35 it makes it clear that what Paul is instructing women in all congregations to keep silent and be in submission to the authority those leaderships. It is kind of hard to teach without speaking, don’t you think? Paul even goes so far as to say that even if she has questions, she should save it until she gets home.

    Also in the last part of v35 and this goes back to your point about the switch from plural to singular. Here Paul makes the switch back to gunaiki to refer to females, in generic, are disgraceful to speak in the church.

    David said,

    but taking a flattened literal reading and application for every passage will eventually lead to foolishness for some passages.

    I’ve already noted elsewhere about those who fudge on letting women wear jewelry. A “literal” application to all people and all times would require prohibition of jewelry wearing for today.

    You seem to have an incorrect view of literalist. If you remember I did say I take a historical-grammatical literal hermeneutic of the Bible. This means that I consider the mean in the context of history, culture and textual considerations to understand what the message the inspired authors were trying to convey. It seems you are the one who is forcing a wooden interpretation on the literalist, because the view that I’ve explained on the wearing of jewelry makes logical sense through the historical-grammatical method.

    One reason why I said you sound close to a liberal is that you implied before and repeated again here, is that it is foolish to take the Bible literally and therefore it must have a different application to different people and different times. If that is true then the inspiration of authorship is irrelevant but the inspiration of interpretation is crucial. How is divinely inspired interpretation to be established? The other problem with your hermeneutics is can you tell me for every Bible verse which culture does it apply to and for how long? But most importantly, where do you get your authority to make such a determination? And please don’t tell me that it is from the Bible because that would be circular reasoning.

    I have not debated theology with other Christians for a long time. In recent years I spend most of my time debating atheists on the topic of Intelligent Design and Darwinian evolution. Unfortunately I have not had much time lately to do either. To be honest, I’ve just stumbled on to this blog topic and decided to jump in.

  140. David (not Adrian's son) Rogers July 2, 2008 at 3:30 pm #

    Dear Steve,

    I do appreciate the reply back, but I have decided to cease my interactions here. It has nothing to do with you or your specific questions and comments.

    I am choosing not to become so obsessed with keeping up with the back and forth.

    I am sending this comment to let you know that I am not purposefully ignoring you nor am I conceeding your points due to silence. (I do have specific rejoinders to each of your points.) I am just choosing to move on from these interactions. (Not interactions with you specifically, but with all.) I bid adieu on Monday on the Russell Moore comment section and posted a final comment on the Albert Mohler talk show comment section.

    Blessings on you, your further study of the Word and whatever ministry the Lord has for you,

    David Rogers

  141. Donald February 22, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    The time and the place for presenting other points of view on the role of women in the church is during the services when many of the members will be present to hear. I am surprised that nobody mentions that people in entrenched heirarchial positions have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

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