Complementarian Series from Mark Dever

Dr. Mark Dever is the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D. C. He is a faithful pastor and expositor of God’s word, and I have benefitted greatly from his ministry over the years.

Dr. Dever recently completed an excellent sermon series on gender roles, and all of the audio is available via his church’s website and podcast. The four sermons are listed below.

Gender Identity in Creation – Genesis 1:27

Gender Identity in Redemption – Galatians 3:28

Gender Roles in the Family – Genesis 2:20-24

Gender Roles in the Church – 1 Timothy 2:12

The introduction to the sermon on 1 Timothy 2:12 is an adaptation of an article that appears in the most recent issue of the Journal for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (which I noted yesterday). If you would like to read that article, you can order the journal here.


  • jeremy z

    I would be curious to see how understand how the complementarian perspective flushes out in the real and secular society?

    Maybe a good fifth sermon would have been:
    Gender Roles(as Christians) in secular society.

    I feel like the complementarian perspective is not even an option in secular society.

    I wonder why Christians are soo quick to define gender roles? Seemingly the corporate/political world would never define gender roles.

  • Paul


    (sheesh, the conservatives around here are gonna start calling me one of their own soon…)

    to your first point of Christians living in a secular society: we as Christians ARE called to live apart from “the world.”

    to your point about government and the corporate world not assigning gender roles: nurses, teachers, secretaries and many other roles are traditionally filled by women. In politics, a big deal is made every time that there is a first woman anything because of the glass ceilings that are put in place constantly in the political world.

    There are gender roles, and we ARE different, and those differences should be cherished and appreciated.

    That said, I think that the ends that some take it to are kinda funky. Firing a teacher that was on track for tenure because of her gender is ridiculous. Firing a SUNDAY SCHOOL teacher because of her gender is even more ridiculous.

    But I have to say, I have never been to a church with a female preacher that has moved me spiritually. Which leads me to wonder if Paul wasn’t onto something.

  • D.J. Williams

    Paul said…
    “sheesh, the conservatives around here are gonna start calling me one of their own soon…”

    Whenever you’re ready, we’ve got the T-shirt for you. Don’t mind the purple kool-aid stains, though. They’re nothing, I promise 🙂

  • Joshua

    Re: Paul

    I think that myself too, about a female preacher. I’ve seen many sermons, and one wedding, performed by a woman. And it just lacks something. However, Sunday School teachers that were women or youth pastors, if they’ve got the drive, they are better than any man ever dreamed.

    Having said that, I’ve heard some pretty non-inspiring male preachers who just don’t try too. I am not against female preachers, I just haven’t met one I felt who felt (to me) gifted to preach a sermon to the crowd. Hmm, something to think about though….

  • Joshua

    Also, please don’t get me wrong here, I’m sure there might be someone who is gifted, I just never have seen them. So in my experience…is what I’m saying here.

  • Wade Cashion

    “I would be curious to see how understand how the complementarian perspective flushes out in the real and secular society?”

    Do women carry guns in battle? Has that been an issue of debate lately? Serious inquiry!

    “I feel like the complementarian perspective is not even an option in secular society.”

    I know I am looking for it, but it seems that to some degree the complementarian position is built into all of humanity. No matter what arena that we are discussing, secular, Christian, or other, there are some very basic distinctions. In secular society there is, for the most part, a distinction between men’s and women’s restrooms. I think that even in the physical anatomy we see a complemnetarian position, in that there are some things a woman can’t do, which a man must, and things a man can’t do, which a woman must. Women must give birth for any society to continue, men can’t. I am thankful to my mom, not my dad, for giving birth to me. My mom made a conscious decision to carry me, during which time she had to give up her pot and chose not to get an abortion. And yes, my dad was involved in the process, preforming an act which my mother alone could not have accomplished. So, it seems that at the very core of all societies, we, men and women, each have unique roles to play. So, if we can recognize this truth, assuming that there would be little disagreement on the complementary roles in birth and reproduction, then why can we not see also a distinction in other realms of life, such as male vs. female roles in war, in business, in the family, or in the church.

    God, Neighbors, Brothers- Lovin them all!

  • Bryan L

    Speaking of women speakers I was listening to a lecture from Margaret M. Mitchell of Chicago Divinity today on the Religious Right in Modern America and she was great. A highly informative and even entertaining lecture. I was nicely surprised.

    Amy Jill Levine is also really good to hear speak.

    Those are two that just came off the top of my head.

    I’ve also heard John Oderberg’s wife is really good.

    And whether you like her or not and completely disagree with her theology or message I don’t think you can deny that Joyce Meyers can really bring it.

    I think women are just as good at speaking and preaching (maybe better if you were to look at the percentages compared to all the men preachers/speakers out there) and bring their own unique qualities. If nothing else their voices often sound nicer to listen to to me : )

    Either way I think the idea that women may some how be inferior at speaking or lack something important (but hard to define) may perhaps reveal a need for someone to travel outside of their own circles and see what else is out there.


  • D. Taylor Benton

    jeremy z,

    when has the actions or roles (in this case) of secular society had any say in what the church does? I think the secular society could learn a few things, along with the fact that honestly, we all know that women (in most cases) don’t have the leadership skills or capabilities like most men do….i know that is a generalization…don’t flip out…

    and yes Wade C…that is Dr Dever in all his glory…lol 😉

  • Bryan L

    We don’t all know that and I really disagree with your generalization about the leadership skills and capabilities of women even if it was just a generalization.

    It’s interesting learning the underlying presumptions about women that many complementarians have (they don’t preach or speak as well, the don’t have the leadership skills or capabilities men do). I wonder how much these views of women influence the reading and interpreting of scripture more than exegesis or theology. After all the people commenting on how women are inferior to men in certain respects did not get that from scripture but have observed it on their own. So which came first, the views about the capabilities of women or the theological belief about gender roles, and which has a greater impact on the other?


  • MatthewS

    Regarding #13 and #14,

    Complementarian spokespeople are careful to point out that it isn’t an ontological issue – that women are not inferior human beings. This is the “equal in being, unequal in role” formula.

    Statements like “we all know that women (in most cases) don’t have the leadership skills or capabilities like most men…” are contradictory to this claim. I am not an egalitarian but I think some of their complaints against complementarians have some traction. If the complementarian position is that women are ontologically inferior (a position that has great historical precedent) then they should stand up and say so. If, on the other hand, they believe that women are not ontologically inferior to men then they should be the first to defend their sisters against such false claims when made by their own.

  • Brett

    Good point Bryan, I find that interesting as well. Maybe our drive for a rigid complementarianism is due to the fact that in OUR experiences and opinions women are not as good at preaching and leading…which in turn adds fuel to the fire from those texts in the Bible that denote for women to remain silent, not teach, wear head coverings, etc.

    It’s really kind of an immature argument. “Of course women can’t teach and lead, I’ve never heard or seen a good one.” I’ve heard some excellent women speakers (Beth Moore is phenomenal, but she’s just one most would be familiar with), and the women leadership I have observed is second to none.

    I appreciate the set of lenses my female sisters bring to the text and believe they make a viable contribution to biblical interpretation (see Phyllis Trible’s work on feminist hermeneutics). I will sit under a woman and let her teach me the Bible any day. We can argue until we turn blue in the face as to whether they should be the primary leaders in the church or household, but I certainly stand by the statement that they should be able to teach men…and men would be much better for it (even you Denny).

  • Quixote

    “…we all know that women (in most cases) don’t have the leadership skills or capabilities like most men do…”

    Oh my.

  • Wade Cashion

    Do we put our trust in the Bible? If not, and obviously there are some here who don’t, then we should appeal to how we think on the matter. Like, does that seem right, or is that logical. However, if we affirm the Bible, and if we believe that God has revealed himself and his plan in it, then we must not lean on our own understanding, but rather turn to the very plan that God has given us. Just because something seems right to us or our ability to reason on the matter does not make it right. I use the terms “seem” and “understanding” with purpose.

    Proverbs 3:5 Trust int he LORD with all your hear, and do not lean on your own understanding.

    Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death!

    Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

    Be cause of the momentous and undeniable force with which God has changed my heart(my motives and desires) and continues to move in me today, I must believe the Bible. I trust what God has written, even when I don’t fully understand the why of it. I know that God has done an indescribable work in my life through the Bible, therefore I have no other choice but to trust and obey it. Every time I submit myself to it, God moves in me.

    So, when the Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:12 that a woman should not teach over a man, then I must believe it, and if I believe then I obey it.

    I though this kind of faith was at the core of Christianity? By this kind of faith, I mean a faith that does not originate from within me, but one that was created in me by God, who is to be praised for it. He is the reason I believe like I believe.

    God, Neighbors, Brothers- Lovin them all!

  • D. Taylor Benton

    first of all, how is one to assume that I am a complimentarian? (Brett, matt, and Brian)…second of all it is not an “unequal” correlation, I can tell you my wife is amazing at things that I am horrible at, and vis versa. And like I said, people get all in a tizzy when people use generalizations, like I said…i know it is a generalization, but generalizations sometimes are necessary. I wouldn’t take anything away from the giftedness of a woman like Beth Moore, but to prove my point, if you take 100 men that are preachers, and 100 woman, I would say that those 100 men would be naturally gifted more in a leadership and teaching role then those 100 women on average.
    This is also by nature evident in our society, look at the fact that there are more women in the society and yet the vast majority of the great leaders are all men, and that goes for the church as well. and I would argue that this is ok. this doesn’t mean woman are inferior or have some sort of second class status, but it shows the natural tendencies and giftedness of people in general. if you can’t recognize that you are blind.

    and to Bryan L,
    “After all the people commenting on how women are inferior to men in certain respects did not get that from scripture but have observed it on their own.”

    I have never commented on how they were inferior to men, rather it is the fact that women’s general giftedness is in different areas than men’s and that men are generally more gifted at leadership on a large scale…as to how this effects interpretation and theology, biblically speaking I think there is a lot the be said from personal experience along with the commands and examples from scripture. now if you don’t trust scripture and how it displays the roles…that is a whole different issue along withe fact that you would actually have to go to a “feminist hermeneutic” to see what the text says is more of example of enforcing one’s views on the text than mine is….

  • Bryan L

    I don’t even know what you’re trying to get at so… moving on…

    Are you a complementarian? I am assuming based on you comments (plus you accusing me of employing a feminist hermeneutic). Are you not? Are you an egalitarian or some undecided person? Let me know. If you’re a comp then why even bother bringing it up?

    Sorry but your generalization here is useless and so is your anecdotal evidence and hypothetical survey of women and men preachers (just as any other anecdotal evidence employed here is including mine). Honestly it has no place here because it’s completely unfounded and proves nothing, and at the same time it puts women down.

    And your appeal to leaders in society to prove how women are less qualified is also useless. Do you realize where women were in this society just 50 years ago D? Do you realize how long ago it was that they couldn’t even vote? When you have a particular group in society that has been oppressed and held back for a very long time and then finally you give them some freedom and justice (although still not equal to white men in every way) it takes time for that work it’s way into society and for women to be given the shot to show their leadership abilities and just because there may be more men leaders than women it only proves that there is still a lot of work to do and more time that needs to pass.

    Let me use another illustration to show you what I’m talking about. I’m Mexican. How many Mexican leaders do you see in our society? Would you conclude that that means Mexicans are not as good at leadership than White men? If not why and what’s the difference? What about black men? What about black women?

    “I have never commented on how they were inferior to men,”

    I never said that you made a blanket statement that women were in inferior to men. I said (bringing up the words of mine that you quoted) “After all the people commenting on how women are inferior to men IN CERTAIN RESPECTS did not get that from scripture but have observed it on their own.” I said in certain respects you were saying that women are inferior to men, which according to you one of those things is leadership. And I think you sure have said that women are inferior to men in terms of leadership. I don’t think there is anything in your statements that would cause me to doubt that is what you think.

    And as far as me not trusting scripture as to how it display roles what is that supposed to mean?
    I have to go with a feminist hermenutic? What does that mean? Are you going with a patriarchal hermeneutic? Do you think we should still have slaves too?

    One of the things I hate about these conversations and why I don’t participate in them much any more is the severe reductionism that goes on. It makes me sick. When people act like all we do is go and read what the Bible says and that’s that and those who disagree are the ones who don’t trust the Bible I want to just role my eyes and move on because I can tell this is gonna be a waste of my time.


  • Brett

    Amen Bryan, if they were consistent with their hermeneutic they would have their women wear head coverings and tell them not to say one single word in church. I highly doubt that they do this. We can use that method with so many destructive things: “My Bible says to kill all the men, women, and children. My Bible says to eat, drink, and be merry.”

    You catch my drift?

  • D. Taylor Benton

    OK Bryan L,

    Let us take this piece by piece of what you just argued…

    I did not accuse you for employing a feminist hermeneutic,
    I was using Brett’s example that he said he appreciated this woman’s feminist
    Hermeneutic. The reason I was saying that, honestly is because when you have to
    Classify your hermeneutic in a special category like “feminist” hermeneutic, there
    Probably is not a whole lot of good to come out of it. I mean seriously, let us stick with
    An author centered hermeneutic and understand the cultural circumstances and
    Then understand the Authors meaning to the text.
    Yes, I am a complemetarian and the reason I brought up the question is because
    All the comments assumed this, and in honest discourse you should not assume
    People position, it just is not good dialog.

    You say my anecdotal evidence is useless and then you go on to use some yourself…
    I will state why your “illustrations” are not accurate and not helpful to the conversation
    I was not using my illustration to show the “status” of women in the society, I was
    Pointing to the fact that most woman are not naturally prone to leadership positions
    In addition, this is evident in the society of today…and I am sorry but you cannot compare
    Women’s suffrage and this topic, because last time I checked feminism is alive and
    Well in the society and women are not “oppressed” like days of old…that is a good thing…
    In addition, even in this environment of “freedom” women still tend not to be the predominant
    Leaders in the society.

    To use race as an equality to gender in this circumstance doesn’t work because scripture
    Doesn’t teach that roles of people are different based upon race, so culturally that point
    May stand but applying that same illustration to the second criterion of the Bible, the
    Illustration falls flat…

    I would agree with you that in MOST cases woman are inferior men when it comes to
    OVERALL leadership, but that does not mean women can’t lead, or that some woman
    Is more gifted in leadership than men. However, your comment honestly needed clarification
    Because if you wouldn’t have reposted that is how it read, that is you thought I was saying
    Women are overall inferior to men. Nevertheless, I say this; this does not make men any better
    Than women in any overall sense because women are much more gifted in many ways
    That men are not.

    Coming back to your comment of the hermeneutic, rhetoricizing about slavery has
    Nothing to do with the patriarchal Hermeneutic. In addition, I would say that
    I have an author centered hermeneutic, I read the scriptures to ascertain what
    God is trying to say through the words of this author and his intentions he was
    Trying to communicate to the audience and those words cultural “entrapments”
    And then try to grasp the meaning and intention and apply it to today, understanding
    That some cultural issues that are addressed cannot be translated to today’s church

    In addition, your last paragraph is especially unhelpful in the fact that it is aimed at me but you
    Cannot address me directly because it would sound ridiculous….that last comment did nothing for the conversation and was mean for inflammatory purposes, was it not?

    And Brett, seriously…your comments are overstatements and if you believe anyone
    Reads their Bible like that, you may need to stop drinking the cool aide and engage in some real conversation. It is better to be quiet and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. And that comment is foolish

    So overall…let me ask a question….does anyone truly think that women and men’s roles are interchangeable? If this is a mischaracterization, I earnestly want to know…

  • Brett

    D. Taylor,

    I was directing my post to Wade…not you, and from Wade’s post, the hermeneutic I laid out describes him exactly. It doesn’t describe you, nor did I intend it at you…but thanks for the complement, the cross is foolishness too.

  • Bryan L


    “Yes, I am a complemetarian and the reason I brought up the question is because All the comments assumed this, and in honest discourse you should not assume People position, it just is not good dialog.”

    I assumed based on past interactions with you and things you’ve said here in the past that you were a complementarian. I didn’t just assume based on this conversation. Besides what difference does it make if we assumed you were a comp since we were right. Is it good dialog to complain about people assuming you are something that you actually are?

    “You say my anecdotal evidence is useless and then you go on to use some yourself…”

    Exactly. I said all of it was useless including my own. I only shared it to show that there is different anecdotal evidence to counter your’s and other’s but ultimately it is all useless in proving anything. Sorry I didn’t make that clearer but I thought I did by saying “(just as any other anecdotal evidence employed here is including mine)”

    Sorry you’ve misunderstood my illustrations and what they were intended to show and why your view that because women aren’t more predominant as leaders in society that means they are not as gifted or skilled at that as men are. I don’t feel like explaining it again so if you’d like reread what I said, if not then never mind.

    “I would agree with you that in MOST cases woman are inferior men when it comes to
    OVERALL leadership,”

    Sorry but you aren’t agreeing with me about women being inferior in most cases to men in terms of leadership because I don’t believe that. I think you mean you are agreeing with my assessment of what you believe.

    As far as your author centered hermeneutic, you are being reductionistic because you know (I hope) that your appeal to the author’s intention doesn’t solve anything but that these issues go much deeper and are more complicated than that.

    And my last comment wasn’t meant to further conversation but to show why I don’t really think conversation here on these kind of issues can really be furthered anywhere.

    As far as roles? If you are speaking about biological roles, then I would say no. I don’t think men can get pregnant and I don’t think women can pee standing up (that well at least). But no Egalitarian I know of think that there aren’t any differences between men and women.

    In fact some think there are important differences psychologically and socially and that women bring somethings to leadership that men often lack and that is why it is good to have both genders in leadership and pastoral roles because then women can truly compliment men and vice versa.

    Egalitarians generally don’t believe that there are roles that men are automatically assigned to and that women are automatically assigned to and that neither can transgress that. They believe roles are a based on giftedness and ability. I don’t think just any women should be a preacher or pastor, just like I don’t think just any man should either. But only those who are called by God and gifted for that.


  • brian l.

    Paul is very clear,/b> in his epistles on this.

    “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

    Now I do know that this could be translated “wife and husband” instead of “woman and man,” but either way you decide to translate it, it defines roles for women and men.

    Maybe we should shape our lives and churches by the Word, not the other way around.

  • Bryan L

    So it clearly says women shouldn’t talk in churches (or maybe anywhere) right? After all what else could it mean when it says they women are to be (or remain) quiet? So do you not allow your wife to speak in the home or at church or both? Or is it only when men are around that she can’t speak.

    After all it is pretty clear isn’t it?


  • Brett


    Your comment leads me to believe that you have not honestly engaged this issue. There have been many evils done in “Maybe we should shape our lives and churches by the Word, not the other way around” thinking. Paul also tells women to wear head coverings, does your church do this? Paul is pretty darn clear when he says it too. He’s also pretty dang clear when he tells slaves to obey their masters.

    Honestly, it is that line of thinking and comments like those that make me lose respect for the conservative side. They always act like it is so black and white and clear. It’s funny how on other issues they’re not so consistent.

  • Wade Cashion

    Finals for the Southwestern students will be over this week, and when I am done I will adequately reply.

    At the heart of the matter seems to me to be that Scripture MUST be read in context, and I will clarify the difference between a woman teaching/having authority over a man (why women don’t teach in my church) and women wearing head coverings(why they don’t wear them in my church).

    Brett in 29 writes, “Your comment leads me to believe that you have not honestly engaged this issue.”

    You making the above comment leads me to believe that you have not honestly engaged the context of the texts being discussed. I really don’t have time tonight or tomorrow to explain, but later this week I hope to have time to explain. There are plenty of works already written on this issue that you can read.

    I hope that this will provide some immediate help.

    God, Neighbors, Brothers- Lovin them all!

  • Brett

    I know the answer; it’s called “inconsistent hermeneutics,” or maybe “passages I like, my tradition follows, and want to obey; vs. passages I don’t like, my tradition doesn’t follow, and don’t want to obey.” Either one will work.

    Honestly guys, I honestly don’t care to debate about egalitarianism/complementarianism. I don’t even know where I stand on the issue (though I do know it’s certainly not where Piper or Burk stand). The only thing I want everybody to acknowledge is that this is not such an easy issue where we can just say “lets just do what the Bible says.” Both sides have very compelling arguments and their strengths and weaknesses. I wish everything in life was so easy where I could just quote a little verse and have the issue settled, but unfortunately it’s not that simple. I love the Bible, I believe it is inspired and is a means to know our God and Lord, but it is not some little magical book where we can just quote little verses and have issues settled. It’s contextual. Some of those contexts contain eternal, timeless truths and principles, but it is a mistake for a 21st century Christian to try and live rigidly by a few little verses.

  • Wade Cashion

    I like what you have written above, and the spirit with which you have written it. And, I agree with you that it is more than just using a verse here and there to live our lives by. I am very saddened by the way many of our brothers and sisters just pull a verse out and use it like a trump card in some game. I commend you for looking deeper than surface level. I too wrestle with issues of practice.

    My goal for a later lengthy response now seems unneeded. I would have only been trying to show that I am attempting to be faithful to the doctrine presented in Scripture that has been given to us to govern our practice. Since you have said “both sides have very compelling arguments and their strengths and weaknesses” I am happy.

    Paul telling Timothy to watch his life and doctrine is one reason we must search for the truths presented for guiding the practicing of our faith.

    We may come down on different sides (concerning practice) while here on earth, but I look forward to the day that we can sit together before our Savior as He gives us the final word.

    Grace and Peace to you my brother!

  • brian l.

    I agree w/Wade.

    I don’t want to debate all of these things on here right now anyways b/c you men won’t change your mind anyhow, and frankly, I don’t have the time. Read the link that Wade posted for that.

    My WHOLE POINT was not the meaning of the gender roles, etc., but rather, that the Bible does give us instruction regarding different roles with respect to gender. Now what those mean and how they are fleshed out is a whole other topic which men much wiser than I have written on.

    Bless you men,

  • Bryan L

    brian l,

    I understand what you are saying brian and believe me I’m not up for a debate right now either. I just wanted to point to the fact that you said a passage clearly said something and that there was something else in that passage that was clearly said that will cause a lot of people trouble if they try to take the “clearly says something” point of view.

    I’m sure you have an answer to the issue I raised with my literal reading of “remain quite” but as soon as you try to speak about a wider context or the meaning of the phrase “remain quiet” or what Paul really means (assuming he doesn’t mean women should never talk and instead remain silent around men) then you have just gone against your own argument for what Paul clearly says because you are then saying it is not actually that clear. I ‘m sure you see what I’m getting at.

    And as far as the link from Wade, I’ve read plenty of CBMW resources and I just don’t find them convincing at all, and instead I often see them approaching the evidence in sort of a pick and choose method (like young earth creationists do with science) and jumping to weird conclusions that either don’t go where the evidence leads or go further than the evidence can take them. Plus it’s generally made up of a particular conservative brand of scholarship that I don’t see eye to eye in terms of method, presuppositions and hermeneutics.

    All that to say for some of us who do not agree with complementarianism, it is not a case of us not having read the relevant books or evidence.

    Bryan L

  • Sue

    “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” (1 Timothy 2:12)

    Now I do know that this could be translated “wife and husband” instead of “woman and man,” but either way you decide to translate it, it defines roles for women and men.

    Maybe we should shape our lives and churches by the Word, not the other way around.

    The ‘word’ here is authentein, which occurs once in the scriptures and once outside the scritpures at that time.

    Kostenberger writes,

    he likelihood was suggested that “exercise authority” (Grk. authentein) carries a neutral or positive connotation, but owing to the scarcity of the term in ancient literature (the only NT occurrence is 1 Tim. 2:12; found only twice preceding the NT in extrabiblical literature) no firm conclusions could be reached on the basis of lexical study alone.

    The two pieces of evidence which Kostenberger cites are,

    41These two references are: Philodemus (1st cent. BCE): “Ought we not to consider that men who incur the enmity of those in authority (συν αυθεντουσιν) are villains, and hated by both gods and men”;

    and BGU 1208 (27 BCE): “I exercised authority (Καμου αυθεντηκοτος) over him, and he consented to provide for Catalytis the Boatman on terms of full fare, within the hour.” For full Greek texts and translations, see Baldwin, “Appendix 2” in Women in the Church, 275–76. (in the PDF page 13)

    But, of course, the first piece of evidence does not exist as many people now recognize, and I can prove to you if you read Greek or have some patience.

    The second occurrence is usually translated as “compel.” There was no official authority of any kind. One person made someone else do something.

    So, that is the evidence for authentein. Jerome translated it as dominari, which is how he translated the verb mashal in Gen. 3:16,

    I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for[a] your husband,
    and he shall rule over you.

    So, 1 Tim. 2:12 should read,

    I do not permit a woman to teach or to rule over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

    Then we would understand that it is a result of sin that man rules over woman, and this is not to be corrected by woman ruling over man.

    So, how did “exercise authority” enter the text. Erasmus in 1516 revised Jerome’s Vulgate and wrote “usurpare authoritatem” instead of dominari.

    Then Tyndale, 1525, translated that as “have authority” and the KJV went back to “usurp authority.”

    However, the reality is that “to exercise authority” is a revision of Tyndale’s translation of Erasmus’ revision of Jerome’s translation of the Greek word authentein. In fact, authentein had such a bad rap that Chrysostom forbade a man from ever authentein his wife.

    So, those who quote that a woman is not to “exercise authority” over a man, are quoting an odd text.

    Kostenberger earnestly argues that if one of “teach” or “authentein” is either positive or negative, the other is attracted to it in meaning, so if authentein is neutral then it must be a good thing because teaching is good.

    But others argue by the same token that authentein is clearly negative, so the text says that a woman shall not teach and dominate a man.

    Well, there is a little history of interpretation that is not much wanted in the church. All of this is known as a fact to some of the best complementarian scholars but they keep it quiet.

    Brian you write,

    Maybe we should shape our lives and churches by the Word, not the other way around.

    I wonder how much the church has shaped the word in this case.

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