JBMW Online

We have introduced a significant change with the release of the latest issue of JBMW. We have moved to an exclusively online format. That means all of our articles will be immediately available for download for anyone who wants to read them. We will still produce two fascicles per year, and the first one for 2010 has just appeared at the CBMW website. Starting with this issue, readers have the option to download the entire journal in one PDF document. Readers can also view individual articles in HTML or download individual articles in PDF. Current subscribers to the print version will be receiving a letter next week explaining the changes.

The full table of contents is printed below, but I want to highlight one article in particular. Tom Schreiner has writer a feature-length review (9,000 words) of Philip Payne’s recent book Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters. Schreiner’s conclusion sums up his take on Payne’s book:

“Payne is to be thanked for the tone of his book, for he is fair and respectful (even though he feels very strongly about this matter!) with those with whom he disagrees. Furthermore, complementarians will be gratified to see his high view of scripture. I suspect that Payne’s book will not have a great impact. Most of what he says is not new, and I have argued that his interpretations are unpersuasive at point after point. Surely he will convince some, for many in our culture today ardently desire egalitarianism to be true. But it will not hit the scholarly world like an avalanche.”

Read the rest here.

Item Title Author
Editorial Denny Burk
Odds & Ends JBMW
Boys Wearing Skirts to School? What’s Going On? R. Albert Mohler Jr.
Marriage as It Was Meant to Be Seen: Headship, Submission, and the Gospel Jason Hall and Peter R. Schemm Jr.
“Husbands, Love Your Wives . . .” A Practical Suggestion and Tool for Husbands to Use in Leading their Marriages for the Glory of God Rob Lister
Whither Men? A Response to a Recent Barna Study on the Increase of Female Pastors in Protestant Churches Owen Strachan
Galatians 3:28: Grammar, Text, Context, and Translation Wayne Walden
Godliness and Gender: Relating Appropriately to All (1 Timothy 2:9–12) James M. Hamilton Jr.
Philip Payne on Familiar Ground Thomas R. Schreiner
Two Egalitarian Paths toward the Same Destination Ben Reaoch
A Lack of Balance Heath Lambert
Insightful but Flawed Look at Gospel Women Owen Strachan
Fatherhood Is No Accident Phillip R. Bethancourt


  • Ali

    Denny, we’ve just got a publication from TEAR (aka Tearfund)…I’m assuming you know the organisation I’m referring to… and it appears they have settled on Christians for Biblical Equality as their theological and biblical interpreters when it comes to gender. Is there a divide along gender lines between Christian organisations such as TEAR, World Vision etc, and what are your thoughts on it if there is?

  • Denny Burk

    Dear Ali,

    I have never heard of Tearfund, but I do know about Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE). CBE is the organization that promotes the evangelical feminist view of the Bible’s teaching on gender. They do not believe in headship as taught in 1 Corinthians 11:3, and they believe that the office of pastor is open to males and females (against 1 Timothy 2:12; 3:2-4; Titus 1:6). Some of them even hold to a “trajectory hermeneutic,” which is a way of reading the Bible that sometimes recognizes a better ethic than the one taught in the New Testament.

    So I believe that CBE has a distorted understanding of scripture on this particular issue and that those who follow their point of view create dangerous and unhealthy patterns of belief among God’s people.

    Thanks for your question. I hope all is well with you.

    Denny Burk

  • Daniel Harman

    Denny – Has the JBMW ever had an article addressing the role of women in leadership positions in para-church organizations such as Campus Crusade for Christ?

  • Donald Johnson

    At least one former complementarian changed his mind after studying Payne’s recent book, so I put his book in a short list of MUST reads for Bereans looking into the gender verses.

    I encourage everyone to study both sides on the gender verses in their own words and not read from just one side.

  • dale

    Donald… I agree with you and think both sides have their strengths and weaknesses (though my previous comment that spoke more into this was deleted). I want honesty in the debate, not censorship.

  • henrybish

    I just wonder how most Christians in the world today can be expected to come to an egalitarian view of, say, 1Tim2:12, given that they do not know of the extra-biblical historical information that supposedly shows us the true meaning of the text. It is almost as if, on the egal view, that God has destined them to get it exactly wrong, since the simple face-value reading of the text is actually misleading.

    That is why I am very skeptical of doctrines that cannot be expounded from the text of the Bible alone but must rely on other historical books.

    Not that other historical information cannot be helpful but for it to be necessary to make doctrine in addition to the text of Scripture itself would seem to undermine the sufficiency of Scripture.

    I know that God has provided scholars to translate the Scriptures so that the average person may read them, but he has not provided Christians at large with the various historical documents that supposedly give a radical new meaning to what the text says.


    While I am here, would you please briefly outline for me the new idea Payne has about what Paul means in 1Tim2:12. I wanted to discuss it last time, maybe now is our chance?

    And is DBE also on your list of ‘must reads’ on gender verses?

  • Donald Johnson

    Yes, DBE = “Discovering Biblical Equality” is also a must read. I also consider “Why Not Women?” by Hamilton and “Familiar Leadership Heresies Uncovered” by Fleming to have good insights. The egal mag is Priscilla Papers.

    BFMW, RBMW and EFBT are must reads for the non-egal position. And the mag is JBMW.

    On 1 Tim 2 and verses in general, I think we should agree that verse numbering is both a blessing and a curse, a blessing in that it makes it easy to refer to a section of Scripture, but a curse in that it is now too easy to extract some part of Scripture from its immediate context, its pericope. I claim that meaning is found in the pericope as a whole, (and then in the book as a whole and then in the Bible as a whole) and taking just a part of a pericope, sometimes just a small part like a verse, risks ripping it away from its Scriptural context and misunderstanding it. That this only happens sometimes is too many times for me.

    For me, the relevant pericope incorporating 1 Tim 2:12 is 1 Tim 2:8-3:13. When I teach on this, I always discuss it last, after covering all the other gender relevant texts.

    Also, in a forum I cannot do justice to Payne, where he spends many pages developing his arguments. I can do a little, but I am limited.

  • Sue


    The Greek text of 2 Tim. 2:12 is

    διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω, οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός, ἀλλ’ εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ.

    This is best translated as

    “I do not permit a woman to teach or to coerce a man.”

    It has been agreed by Grudem and others that the only other example of authentein at the time of the NT is best translated as “to coerce/compel.” See Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth.

    It has been agreed by Kostenberger and many others that this one example is not adequate to establish the meaning of authentein and so the meaning of this word falls almost entirely on the surrounding context.

    It must be understood that there is no one reading of 1 Tim. 2:12 that everyone agrees on.

    Egalitarians agree with the historical tradition that this word meant to “dominate” or “usurp authority.”

  • Nate

    Donald or Sue,

    Dr. Schreiner speaks exactly to those many pages that Payne expounds on and gives plenty of evidence for the complemetarian position. Donald: He speaks directly to 1 Tim 2 and your contextual issues. What say you about his review and critique.

  • Donald Johnson


    On “extra-Biblical information” ALL of us rely on this and there is no choice in the matter. The text of the Bible was written in specific cultures that had meanings for words and worldviews that are different from ours today. Yes, the Bible gets to define and refine the words it uses from the normal meaning, but it does not do this for all the words so we MUST rely on historical usage for words, etc. to do our best to discern what the text meant to the original readers.

    The Bible was written FOR us, but it was not written TO us, it was written TO people living 1000’s of years ago, at various times. Too many think it is normal to teleport text from the 1st century into the 21st and read it as if it was written recently to them personally when what is needed is to do our best to understand what the text meant to the original readers.

    I am rereading Payne’s discussion on 1 Tim 2-3. He argues that it is by Paul, probably with Luke as his secretary. He claims the purpose is to help Timothy oppose the false teachers in Ephesus, and that it is NOT a letter on church order, altho it does discuss it.

    He then goes into the meanings of the various words of importance in the text of dispute. He translates Greek hesuchia as peaceful quietness and in context, classroom order for a student, rather than silence, which would be Greek sige/sigao. (I agree; heshuchia is a mark of a believer (any believer, male or female) and esp. when being taught as God is a God of order.)

    Greek epitrepo he translates as permitting and shows that without a universalizing qualifier, it is used in LXX and elsewhere in the NT as a specific situation and not a general injunction and gives many examples. So he translates the first part as “I am not permitting…”.

    And I am now on p.322 and started on p.291, and the discussion of 1 Tim concludes on p. 459.

  • dale

    Schnieder admits Priscilla taught Apollos. But grants permission to Priscilla by saying it was private and not public. Are complementarians satisfied with that unscriptural distinction that teaching by women to men is okay in private?

  • Donald Johnson


    I am still digesting Schreiner’s paper (it just came out) and also waiting to see how Payne will respond.

    P.S. I do not agree with Payne on everthing in his book. But I do think it is required reading so one can form an informed opinion. Some of his explanations are the best I have seen.

  • henrybish

    Hi Donald,

    I think you misunderstand my argument – I am not saying that scholars don’t need historical information to find out the meaning of words. How else could they translate Scripture? I am talking about the use of historical information after we already have the translated text of Scripture. For example if we found an ancient document that said women were teaching heresy in Ephesus at the time of Timothy – to build an interpretation of 1Tim2:12 on this extra-biblical information would be wrong. The interpretation must flow from the text itself otherwise we are building our lives not on Scripture but on other sources.

    Extra-biblical sources can be helpful to confirm what you can already conclude from a text, but to use them to establish a particular interpretation essentially says that the text itself is not sufficient to under-gird the interpretation being espoused.

    Do you see what I mean?

  • Sue


    We have only one other occurence of the word authentein at the time of the NT and it is agreed on by Grudem et al that it means “to compel” or “to coerce.”

    Regarding Schreiner, I note that in the JBMW edition, Schreiner acknowledges that Junia was an apostle, although he understands this to be a missionary. I don’t have difficulty with this. However, Owen Strachan finds one major flaw in Bauckham’s Gospel Women, that Bauckham believes the Greek of Acts 16:7 says that Junia was an apostle.

    With so many differences in understanding the basic meaning of scripture, and differences exist among complementarians as well as across the spectrum, it is clearly not the authority of scripture that guides conduct but the authority of human interpretation.

  • David (Not Adrian's Son) Rogers

    Schreiner says: “Space is lacking to interact with Payne’s study of authentein in detail. His
    valiant effort to wash out the meaning “exercise authority” is doubtful.”

    Payne’s discussion of authentein is exactly where detail is important. Payne attempts to refute in lengthy detail both Knight and Baldwin on the actual meaning of authentein. Schreiner’s dismissal of Payne’s details of refutation and characterization of them being a washout is merely assertion on Schreiner’s part and not demonstrated in the review.

    It is understandable that a review of a book cannot go into detail on some issues but the meaning of authentein is significant on this issue here, and Payne raises questions and draws opposite conclusions from complementarians.

    Complementarians need to step up to the plate and specifically refute the details of Payne’s arguments about authentein rather than summing up that Payne is merely on “familiar ground.” Maybe it won’t produce an avalanche of convincing because one can merely ignore the details of the argumentation rather than addressing them. Others would prefer specifics before drawing a conclusion about washouts. Hopefully complementarians will show how interested they really are in scholarly interaction.

  • Nate


    Both Aquilla and Priscilla taught and spoke with Apollos, not just Priscilla. By the way, Priscilla is not always named first – Aquila is when they are first introduced in Acts 18:2. But to your question, no I don’t believe complementarians would have an issue with this. Also, I don’t understand why you think it is unscriptural? Is is because Aquila and Priscilla took him aside (more than likely privately) and spoke and explained things with him?

    As Schreiner pointed out in his review, the complementarian notion is tied to both teaching and authority, which is exactly what the elders are given as their roles.

  • henrybish


    Also, please don’t feel obliged to hash out all of Payne’s stuff for me.

    ‘Why Not Women’ by Hamilton/Loren Cunningham was the first egal book I read. I have also read DBE. But I am not aware of a good argument that Grudem has not addressed in EFBT, except that Craig Keener made some valid points on the interpretation of 1Cor14:34 that most complementarians go for. I agree it is not that strong which is why I take 1Cor14:34 at face-value with vs26 and 35 giving the crucial context (as I mentioned in a previous post). Despite it initially seeming ‘repressive’ (Grudem) I think one can get past that and see the goodness in the text.

  • Sue

    So the fact is that we already know that authentein means “to dictate, dominate or compel.” We don’t actually have any other example in Greek literature at that time, where authentein is normally translated as “to exercise authority.”

    Some examples have been proposed, as ‘possibly’ meaning “to exercise authority’ but to my knowledge there is no other occurence anywhere, where authentein is translated as “to exercise authority” outside of articles and books produced by complementarians.

    If we look at usage first, and admit that we do have a meaning for authentein, then we come to the context, the passage and ask what it means within the passage. But it cannot mean something outside of the accepted meaning of the word.

    For example, even though it would be unexpected, I could ask why my grass is blue this morning. In fact, a child was spray painting. My question suggests something unexpected. But a translator cannot suggest that blue is another hue of green, simply on the basis of context – that is, if it is grass, it must be a shade of green. This is not allowed in translating.

    Therefore, we cannot say, ‘since it is women, it must refer to normal authority, which women may not have.’

    We must go back to the word, and say – why were women told not to dominate? This leads to the real meaning of the passage, regarding the fact that men were quarreling and women, or perhaps one woman, was dominating.

    There must be a call to foundations, to acknowledge the scholarship that we have already. This does not require extra-biblical information.

  • Donald Johnson

    hi henry,

    My take is I need (and gladly accept) all the help I can get to try my best to understand the Bible.

    There are some phrases that were used by the Pharisees in their discussions (as found in the Mishnah). If someone does not know these, then they may misunderstand what is being said and it turns out that sometimes this is incredibly easy to do. That is, it may SEEM to make sense in Greek, but what is really meant is the Hebrew meaning of the time. There are many Hebraisms in the gospels, for example.

    Another example, in 1 Cor we learn that the church at Corinth sent a letter to Paul, which is now lost. If this was ever found, it could add greatly to our understanding of the context of 1 Cor. That is, in a letter, one does not need to say things that are known to the recipient already, it is just assumed that the reader will follow along and fill in the gaps with this common knowledge, but this common knowledge is exactly what we are lacking today as we are NOT a member of the church at Corinth in the 1st century and in the 1 Tim case, we are NOT Timothy in 1st century Ephesus.

    This is not to think things are hopeless, far from it, but it does indicate we need to be humble. We seek every clue we can to fill in the gaps of our knowledge.

  • Donald Johnson


    On 1 Cor 14, the summary of my take is that 1 Cor 14:33b-35 is a quote from the Pharisaical believers at Corinth, which Paul repudiates in 1 Cor 14:36ff, but this is a teaching in itself to get into. This is contra Payne, who thinks it is also not by Paul but is an interpolation by later editors based on manuscript evidence.

  • henrybish

    Sue said:

    With so many differences in understanding the basic meaning of scripture, and differences exist among complementarians as well as across the spectrum, it is clearly not the authority of scripture that guides conduct but the authority of human interpretation.

    I don’t think it is either/or – as imperfect but born-again saints it is both. We are all guilty of letting our subjective biases guide our interpretation to some degree. I would admit that this is what complementarians do with 1Cor14:34 to escape its plain meaning.

    Regarding authentin, I found that EFBT answers the objections you have brought up pretty well. There are additional things to take into account aswell – Kostengerger’s study showing that authentin should be a positive use due to ‘teach’ being so.

    And this does not get around the fact that ‘teaching’ is still prohibited which plays against being an elder. The ‘analogy of faith’ should be applied more here aswell. Passages like 1Cor14:33-36 also inform us as to whether women should ‘teach’ or ‘exercise authority’ over men. I know this may sound not very PC and offensive to many but it says women must remain silent in the church service and be in submission. I think the Bible views this as a very dignified and beautiful thing. See 1Pet3.

    With Junia in Romans 16:7, if there are plausible differences of how to translate it (and an honest person can tell if it really is plausible or just a desperate attempt) then why not apply the classic age-old dictum and interpret the unclear in light of the clear? Passages like 1Tim2:12 and 1Cor14:34 clearly rule out Paul approving of Junia as having exercised the kind of authority over men that egalitarians speculate she might have.

  • henrybish

    Thanks for your response Donald,

    That is, it may SEEM to make sense in Greek, but what is really meant is the Hebrew meaning of the time.

    I think my distinction accounts for this. I would just include it as part of the translation task. Other historical sources are only being used to find out the meaning of a word/phrase, but the doctrines can still be rooted in those words rather than other historical documents.

    With regards to the lost 1Cor letter, I think the Scriptures God has given us are sufficient, I can’t square your thoughts here with the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture.

    Regarding 1Cor14, yes I remember reading that argument in ‘Why Not Women’. I think Grudem answered that pretty well in EFBT, I re-read it the other day.

    I think the strength of the argument against it being a rejected quotation explains why there is (to my knowledge) no translation that actually translates it as a rejected quotation. Am I correct in thinking so?

  • Donald Johnson

    The Source New Testament by Nyland translates it as a quote.

    Fleming translates it as a quote in his book.

    My translation when I teach it shows it as a quote.

    Payne mentions the quote possibility, but declines it in favor of the interpolation.

    I have read EFBT on the contra quote view and find it lacking some knowledge of relevant info. “law says” is Pharisee talk for “Oral Torah says” as the Scriptures being written are read and do not talk or say anything. And sure enough, we find in the Mishnah exactly the restrictions mentioned by Paul. There is also chiasm argument, which I use in my teaching.

  • Donald Johnson

    I think Scripture is sufficient with a believer’s faith and practise, but it needs to be understood as an original reader would have done for its primary meaning. Of course, Scripture gets to comment on earlier Scripture, which is then authoritative, but again it all needs to be understood as that LATER original reader would understand.

  • henrybish


    Of your 4 examples in your list none of them come anything close to being widely recognized Bible versions.

    As for the Source New Testament by Nyland, I looked the translators up – it turned out to be not a committee but just one person, Dr Ann Nyland, and here are some titles of the kind of articles she writes:

    Gay Christian – New Bible Evidence Says Ok to Be Gay
    Christian Divorce – New Evidence For What the Bible Actually Says

    And she is the author of The World’s first Study Bible for the Gay and Lesbian community. which is described as saying there are “no anti-gay passages in the Bible that the Church professes there are. There have been mistranslations. Check. Persecutions. Check. Bullying. Check. But none of this is set down in the original languages and context of the Bible as God’s Way”.

    This gives an indication of the kind of well those waters are coming from. I don’t think she is taken seriously by the church at large, let alone any evangelical who holds a conservative doctrine of Scripture.

    Anyone can find the odd person here and there who will argue for anything, but this in no way makes it a credible option.

    The fact remains that there is no widely recognised and respected Bible translation that translates the 1Cor14 passage as a quotation Paul rejects. Just a few solo voices here and there. I notice that even DBE, the flagship egalitarian book, did not opt for that view.

    As for Paul’s phrase ‘as the Law says’, is there a single example we have of Paul using ‘as the law says’ as referring to the Pharisee’s Oral Torah? (btw, why do you assume that ‘says’ refers to verbal speech? I can think of a number of examples where that is not the case, e.g. in Genesis, Abel’s blood ‘cries out’ and ‘though he died, he still speaks’ Heb11:4).

    The only other places in the NT where I can find the phrase ‘the law say(s)’ are Rom3:19 and 1Cor9:8. And both of them refer to the OT.

    The simple meaning is that Paul is referring to the OT when grounding his argument for why women should be in submission (vs34). Passages such as Num30:3-13 teach this, as well as (according to Paul himself) various aspects of the creation account. One could also add the general pattern of male leadership in the OT, often explicitly commanded by God, and the commendation Esther seems to receive for submitting to Mordecai even when she was Queen.

  • Donald Johnson

    Nyland is a Greek scholar. I do not agree with all of her translation choices, but she has insights based on her knowledge of Greek. You should see the arguments why she and Fleming, etc. see this as a quote and interact with those arguments, rather that bring up a bogeyman.

    I do not agree with everything in DBE, but it is a basic book that covers a lot of information.

    For a long time 1 Cor 7:1 was not recognized as containing a quote from Corinth, and then the NIV recognized in a footnote that it was possible but the main text did not translate it that way and now with the TNIV, ESV and other modern translations that is the preferred translation. So sometimes the insights about what is going on in Scripture takes time to figure out.

  • Sue

    “Regarding authentin, I found that EFBT answers the objections you have brought up pretty well.:

    In fact, EFBT is where I got the information that Grudem accepts Payne’s analysis of the fragment BGU 1208. This is the only undisputed occurence of authenteo in the era of the NT. In EFBT, on page 680, at the end of a lengthly footnote on BGU 1208, Grudem writes,

    “However, the meaning of “compel” does seem appropriate.”

    If Grudem is in accord with Payne in this book, what has changed in the meantime? Has new evidence been presented? Not to my knowledge.

    Kostenberger is also in agreement that there is no lexical evidence for the meaning of “to exercise authority.” However, he presents convincing syntactic arguments that this is one possible meaning of the word.

    I have seen no lexical evidence which supports the notion that “to exercise authority” as in “to lead in church” is a possible meaning of the word authenteo. I think this should be provided.

  • Sue

    Regarding 1 Cor. 14:34, I am convinced by the NET Bible that these verses were originally placed in the margin of this chapter, which makes most of this dicussion moot.

    Regarding Junia, there is no longer any defense for the notion that she was only well-known to the apostles, since Burer has admitted that Pss of Solomon 2:6 does not provide a parallel for Romans 16:7. I am disappointed that this has not been made clear in the NET Bible notes, but perhaps some day it will be updated to reflect the current understanding of that verse.

  • dale

    @Nate, the reasons you cited are not in the article. Read the plain meaning of it. Schreiner says Priscilla taught Apollos after he said woman are not to teach men. His caveat is that this was “private” teaching.

    I’m trying to reconcile why “private” teaching is acceptable for a woman to do to a man if women are not to teach men on the standard complementary view.

    I’m not looking for other explanations, I’m looking for justification why “private” teaching is acceptable.

  • henrybish

    Sue said:

    Regarding 1 Cor. 14:34, I am convinced by the NET Bible that these verses were originally placed in the margin of this chapter

    You seem to be implying that these verses are not original to Paul, right? If so I don’t quite understand why you base this on the NET Bible because they argue strongly against this view. They conclude:

    We are thus compelled to regard the words as original, and as belonging where they are in the text above.

    If you were not implying this then I can’t see that you have made any argument at all.

  • Sue

    Hi Henrybish,

    I skipped a few steps. First, Nyland interprets 1 Cor. 14:36 as repudiating the former verses. She translates “utter rubbish.”

    However, Payne takes the present majority opinion, that verses 34 and 35 were in the margin. I think most people agree that they were in the margin. This makes any discussion of the eta at the beginning of verse 36 “moot.” This is what I was refering to.

    So the questions are – when were these verses added, by whom were they added and did God inspire the addition of these verses as an afterthought.

    Does God providentially inspire the scripture with foreknowledge of human nature, or was this an “oops” sort of thing?

    I have to admit that I don’t know when or by whom the verses were put in the margin.

  • henrybish

    Sue, you said:

    Regarding Junia, there is no longer any defense for the notion that she was only well-known to the apostles, since Burer has admitted that Pss of Solomon 2:6 does not provide a parallel for Romans 16:7.

    Aside from the fact that there is much argument in EFBT that you have passed over, you give the impression that Burer has admitted his work does not support the ‘well-known to…’ construction. But Burer actually stood by the conclusions of his study with Dan Wallace:

    our initial assessment of Ps. Sol. 2:6 would require some modification, but not wholesale revision… But that more literal translation still supports our understanding of Rom. 16:7 as “well-known to the apostles,”… We would not be willing to change… the basic conclusion that this passage confirms our hypothesis that ἐπίσημος plus (ἐν plus) dative personal adjunct should be best understood as meaning “well known to . . .”


    Wayne Grudem also wrote a specific reply to your accusations:

    In light of this I cannot understand why you used such misleading language about Burer in your last post. It seems that you are misrepresenting the facts, and I agree with Grudem’s summary concerning you:

    From what she has written here, I would not be able to say that Suzanne McCarthy should be considered a reliable source of information for understanding Greek or for quoting other authors (like myself) fairly and with attention to context.

  • henrybish


    the present ‘majority opinion’ is that the 1Cor14 verses are original to Paul and should be located where they currently are in all major bible translations, regardless of whether Paul wrote them in the margin with an arrow pointing to where they should be or whether they were always written straight in where they are now. As the NET bible notes say:

    We are thus compelled to regard the words as original, and as belonging where they are in the text above.

  • Sue

    “the present ‘majority opinion’ is that the 1Cor14 verses are original to Paul and should be located where they currently are in all major bible translations,”

    Actually the text criticism blog reported that among 7 presenters on the origin of these verse, there were nine opinions.

    Most (perhaps all) agreed that they were in the margin, but that is where it ends as far as I can see.

    That the NET Bible concludes that Paul wrote them, is not based on evidence, but on a possible logical argument. There are many other possible origins for these verses.

    PS I am unaware that some manuscipts had an arrow in them.

  • Sue

    So I agree with the NET Bible that they were in the margin, but I don’t know the origin of these verses. Because they appear to disagree with 1 Cor. 11, I doubt that Paul wrote them. I don’t feel we are compelled by God to believe that Paul wrote them. We may be compelled by our church authorities to accept a particular interpretation of the text, but this is human authority.

  • henrybish


    Most (perhaps all) agreed that they were in the margin, but that is where it ends as far as I can see.

    I think you are overstating your case, making this matter sound unsure when in actual fact every single Bible translation in the history of the church and in the present day has decided to include the verses as being part of Paul’s original letter.

    That the NET Bible concludes that Paul wrote them, is not based on evidence, but on a possible logical argument.

    Since when has ‘logical argument’ not counted as evidence?

    There are many other possible origins for these verses.

    Just none of them have been deemed plausible by any committee of bible translators in the history of the church.

    Because they appear to disagree with 1 Cor. 11, I doubt that Paul wrote them

    This is not the case, read the article I linked to in post 29.

    As Grudem says concerning Gordon Fee’s attempt to reject these verses:

    “Fee’s decision is different from every other text-critical decision made by editors of the Greek New Testament throughout history; he thinks we should exclude a passage from the New Testament that is included in every manuscript we have!” p236-7 EFBT

    I think even the majority of egalitarians reject your view.

  • henrybish

    “every single Bible translation” except for Nyland’s which you say puts the verses not as Paul’s words but as the Corinthians words that Paul rejects. But her translation was a solo effort by a rogue scholar anyway.

    re. ‘arrows’, see the NET bible note to see what I was referring to.

  • Donald Johnson

    A problem is 1 Cor 14:34-35 contradict the plain meaning of other verses (plural), ones that clearly refer to believers (in gender-neutral ways ala anthopos) to be teaching, etc. in church settings.

    Payne, for example, goes thru all the verses that contradict 1 Cor 14:24-35 when read literally as if by Paul. Very very few church actually abide by the literal teaching, essentially everyone finds ways to water it down in some way or another.

    My way to water it down is to repudiate it entirely, as being from Corinthian Pharisees, and which Paul repudiates twice in 1 Cor 14:36 using eta, which is a perfectly valid translation choice.

  • henrybish

    Hi Donald,

    I would be interested to read Payne’s list of “all the verses that contradict 1Cor14:24:35”, I myself in reading through the bible this last year have made a list of every single verse that may be construed as contradicting it, but have found no plausible candidate. I would be interested in hearing his strongest contenders if you can remember a few of them?

    I don’t think one can plausibly say that some verses apply to both genders when scripture explicitly limits them to one gender, if you believe in the consistency of Scripture that is. E.g. when Paul says to the congregation ‘you may all prophesy’ but then qualifies it with ‘women must remain silent’ I do not think it is a fair reading of Paul to use one against the other. The text does not require it.

    Very very few church actually abide by the literal teaching, essentially everyone finds ways to water it down in some way or another.

    That is true. (I don’t actually know of any that do, do you?) Historically that has not been the case though. But surely the proper answer to this is to seek to obey the verse rather than use this as a license to water it down.

    This is why I think the common complementarian take on this verse is not helpful as it gives others silent permission to engage in implausible exegesis (except for Carl Laney, see his past JBMW article on this).

    It could also be said that very few churches had a proper view of the works/faith/justification relation in medieval times, but that is no argument for not obeying the scriptures on them. I think historically there have always been times when God has allowed certain verses to fall almost completely by the wayside, only to be recovered again at a later date. I don’t know where you stand on the charismatic/cessationist divide, but I think the verses on the charismatic gifts are a prime example.

    If you read the article I linked to you will see that historically scholars have not had a big problem taking this verse at face-value. We just happen to live in a time where feminism exists and so it is hardly surprising that we find this verse hard to stomach given our cultural conditioning. The only reason I find this verse good and desirable now is that God changed my heart.

    Also regarding you saying ‘literal’ teaching. Don’t you think that some of the Bible is intended ‘literally’. Of course there are places where metaphor etc is used, but 1Cor14:34 is plainly not one of them. The designation ‘literal’ should not be used as a derogatory word so much.

    My way to water it down…

    Ultimately it boils down to our view of Scripture. After reading Packer, Wenham, Geisler etc.. on the Authority and Inerrancy of Scripture it has served to confirm to me that Paul’s command really is God’s command and we must not assume we know better (that is ‘intellectual impenitence’ according to Packer) but rather we must come before the Word as children and humbly receive its instruction.

  • henrybish

    A good thought to consider when coming to 1Cor14:34 is this:

    Does God require us to engage in implausible exegesis when we come to this verse? Will we be commended for doing so when we die?

  • Donald Johnson

    1 Cor 14 Chiasm (Inverted parallel structure, key part is in center)

    A 26 All believers can have a verbal contribution

    B 27-28 Tongues – be silent if no interpreter

    C 29-33a Prophesy – be silent if another speaks

    D 33b-35 Legalists: “Women be silent”

    D’ 36-38 Paul: “Bunk! Bunk! Women can speak”

    C’ 39a Prophesy – desire to prophesy

    B’ 39b Tongues – do not forbid

    A’ 40 All things done decently and in order

  • Donald Johnson

    There is a 3-fold repetition of sigao, which is best shown as “be silent” and translated consistently, however, often this is not done.

    ALL translation involves interpretation, and with puzzling verses it is worthwhile to dig deeper. Translations are an AID to understanding, and I am glad we have them, but they are still only translations, a human endeavor, and subject to human error and things being lost in translation.

  • Donald Johnson

    I do not see it as implausible exegesis, what I see as implausible is that women are told to be silent, based on many other Scriptures.

  • Donald Johnson

    I look forward to discussing Scripture with the Master, as he knows the perfect interpretation. Until then I own my faith and seek to learn. I study both sides on the gender questions, learning from both; but converted from overall non-egal belief to egal belief based on my studies.

  • henrybish

    I just can’t help but think Paul was not thinking about an elaborate structure like this when he wrote! Hamilton’s (I presume) chiasm appears forced and arbitrary, one could come up with many different designations and unit sizes. For example, B could be split into:

    B 27a Tongues – 2 or 3 at most and in turn.
    C 27b-28 Interpretation – must interpret tongues, if no interpreter, no tongues.

    But this would ruin the chiasm.
    What good does it do? Does Paul ever unambiguously use chiasms elsewhere?

    Plus to get D’ is a BIG stretch, but without it the structure collapses. ‘Women can speak’ is not in the text. Also see Grudem on the use of eta, it doesn’t work.

  • Donald Johnson

    The key verse is 1 Cor 14:36 and it is important to see that the Tanakh includes contributions from both men and women who were inspired by God to prophesy and otherwise speak authoritatively in the most authoritative way possible, namely Scripture. In other words, Paul is using an indirect reference to the Tanakh to repudiate the claims of the believers who were influenced by the Oral Torah of the Pharisees, probably Messiah-believing Pharisees.

    Note also that 1 Cor 14:26 (“each one has … a lesson …”) contradicts what is stated in 1 Cor 14:34-35, but when it is realized that these statements are from Corinth (like others in the letter) and repudiated by Paul, then the whole pericope flows and makes sense.

    My translation of 1 Cor 14:33b-36:
    1 Cor 14:33b [Corinthian legalists:] “As in all the assemblies of the saints,

    1Co 14:34 the women should keep silent in the assemblies. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the [Oral] Torah also says.

    1Co 14:35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in the assembly.”

    1Co 14:36 [Paul:] Bunk! Was it from you (legalists) that the word of God came? Bunk! Are you (legalists) the only ones it has reached?

  • Donald Johnson

    The Bible is FILLED with Chiasms, but it is not much used today. It is a typically Hebrew way of presenting a discussion. A famous chiasm is the flood story, but there are many many others.

  • henrybish

    with puzzling verses it is worthwhile to dig deeper

    I can’t help but think that this verse would not be half so puzzling if it were not so repulsive to our modern sensibilities!

    We are all a product of our culture.

  • Donald Johnson

    It is repulsive to the idea that God is no respecter of persons and other verses that discuss people teaching in the congregation.

  • henrybish

    Note also that 1 Cor 14:26 (”each one has … a lesson …”) contradicts what is stated in 1 Cor 14:34-35,

    See my response to this in post 46.

    Additionally, the full text says:

    ‘What then brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn…’

    The word for ‘brothers’ can refer to both men and women, or just men, and given the explicit qualification in vs 34 it is clear who Paul is addressing.

    Thayer Definition:
    1) a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother
    2) having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman
    3) any fellow or man
    4) a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection
    5) an associate in employment or office
    6) brethren in Christ
    6a) his brothers by blood
    6b) all men
    6c) apostles
    6d) Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place
    Part of Speech: noun masculine

  • Donald Johnson

    Col 3:16 implies that all in the church can teach once they learn.

    1 Cor 14:26 implies that all in the church can teach once they learn.

    2 Tim 2:2 says to entrust things to faithful people who can pass it on.

    This is one reason why translating gender neutral words as man or men is to be discouraged (better is human or people, etc.), as some translations like the ESV mask the gender inclusivity of what is written in the Greek.

  • Donald Johnson

    In Greek, the masculine plural forms are used when a group includes 1 man, up to all males. Adelphoi is one of the general terms for believers. To restrict it to men as a tactic will ruin many other Christian verses.

    Just like restricting “one another” in Eph 5:21 as Grudem wants to do, if done wholesale destroys a LOT of verses, such as love one another, forgive one another, etc. You can end up with something that looks NOTHING like following Christ.

  • Donald Johnson

    I cannot speak for others, I speak for myself. I find it VERY convincing after study, for me it is the best fit to all the data.

  • Donald Johnson

    On quotations, as I discussed before, there was a time when essentially no one saw 1 Cor 7:1 as containing a quotation from Corinth. Then a few thought it might be the case, then more, and now it is considered the best translation. Sometimes, change takes time to percolate.

  • dale

    @henrybish, it seems part of your concern is the conclusion (since you’re influenced by the larger culture which is more patriarchal then egalitarian by far) and in part the methodology… I’m reading you as assuming that the more educated someone becomes on a text the less likely that interpretation is true. Donald has presented great evidence about the chiasm and you balk at it as unfamiliar ground. This is such common knowledge stuff among scholars that this reveals you’re in over your head.

    Take a humble posture and learn. And if the conclusion isn’t what you like it to be, nuance your position or find grounds for it in other places. Forcing the round peg of Scripture into your pre-assigned hole is hides truth.

  • henrybish

    Ok Donald, I think I’m going to call it a day here but before I go, with those 3 verses just listed:

    1) see post 58
    2) see Grudem EFBT on these kind of verses
    3) for Col 3:16 who says this is referring to a church situation? And what is wrong with women admonishing women? a la Titus 2:4. Since women were silent in the churches in those times (1Cor14:34) they would know that Paul’s instruction does not mean they should get up and teach the men or bring a ‘hymn’ to lead men in worship with (1Cor14:26).

    And joining in the congregational singing is fine, that is not the purview of 1Cor14:26,35 (which is speaking of public address – at the very least it includes addressing the church with a lesson, a tongue, an interpretation, a revelation, a prophecy, leading off with a hymn, asking questions out loud). Just as in 1Cor14:28 the tongue speaker is to ‘keep silent’ only with respect to public address since he may ‘speak to himself and to God’.

    restricting “one another” in Eph 5:21 as Grudem wants to do, if done wholesale destroys a LOT of verses, such as love one another,

    I think that is silly, there is no need (or warrant) for limiting a text if there is no other text that limits it. There is no text that limits ‘love one another’.

    Ok, it has been a good conversation, and unless you have any burning things you would like me to answer I am signing out.


  • dale

    @Donald, my thoughts EXACTLY about the ESV… political and deceptive when it comes to gender. They even force the women issue on 1 Cor 14 with the way they demarcate the verses, when not even the KJV does it.

    Have you an email address or website where I can contact you?

  • Sue

    “Just none of them have been deemed plausible by any committee of bible translators in the history of the church.”

    You are invoking tradition concerning whether these verses are in or out of the text. Other verses which have diverse traditions are:

    1) 1 Tim. 2:12 historically “dominari” or “to usurp.”

    2) Junia or Junias

    3) Gen. 3:16 “under the power of” or “desire”

    4) “repent” or “pentiance”

    5) “mystery” or “sacrament”

    And so on. Many major doctrines depend on a human decision.

    Everyone agrees that 1 Cor. 14:334,35 are unique in being displaced in the text. There is no other example like it.

    You may invoke Grudem as believing that these verses were within the original text, but that would be against the NET Bible’s opinion.

    You have also not acknolwedged that Grudem agrees with Payne that the only other occurence of authenteo at that time, means “compel.”

    We know that manuscript copiers and translators have altered the text in the past to minimize the role of women, masculinizing Nympha, Prisca and Junia. We know that the position of references to women has been shifted to lower their importance. Can we say without a doubt that no words were ever inserted into the text to minimize the role of women?

    Actually we cannot say this. We do not know whether this happened or not. We do know that it is possible that it happened.

    In any case, back to the real issue, I wish people could see how Grudem and Payne are on the same page in EFBT page 680. I wish people could also see that Strachan’s major disagreement with Bauckham is a point where Tom Schreiner also agrees with Bauckham.

    In fact, if women were subject to male decision making on the interpretation of scripture, we would all be ping pong balls, back and forth, in and out, today we rate, tomorrow we don’t.

  • Sue


    or anyone else left reading – when Thayers says “all men” this means all human beings!!

    Thayer Definition:
    1) a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother
    2) having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman
    3) any fellow or man
    4) a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection
    5) an associate in employment or office
    6) brethren in Christ
    6a) his brothers by blood
    6b) all men
    6c) apostles
    6d) Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place
    Part of Speech: noun masculine

    This means all people, including women! Wow.

  • Scott


    I know you’ve touched on this before, but let me express my complete agreement about the importance of learning Attic! It would help so much if evangelical NT scholars would invest time and energy working through a classics reading list.

  • Sue


    I have mentioned that I studied Greek for 6 years before I studied exegesis. And it did make a big difference.

    And yet, it was men who had studied Attic Greek that decided that Junia must have been a man, Junias. The fact is the presuppositions and bias are an overwhelming force in our lives. We want to justify the doctrines we live by.

    Truthfully, I did not want to know that the verses which controlled my life were ambiguous. Now, of course, I am so glad to know that I am free to seek to do the right thing at all times.

  • Donald Johnson

    One question henry bish asked was why do not more egals agree with the idea that 1 Cor 14:34-35 is a quote from Corinth.

    I am reading “Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology” and the first section is by Kaiser (an egal), who does say that this is what he believes about this passage.

    The book itself discusses 4 ways to interpret the Bible and then the other 3 critique it. I am finding it a very good introduction to various ways to thinking about this.

    Doriani is also included and he presents the non-egal position as an example of his method of exegesis.

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