Christianity,  Personal

Note: A New Ministry and a New Article

Congratulations to my good friend Jim Hamilton who has just been appointed Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Jim is the most prolific young scholar that I know, and his work in both testaments in the area of biblical theology has been a great contribution to the church. Southern could not have gotten a better guy. You can read the announcement here.

On a side note, Jim and I wrote a little article together for JBMW last fall, and it has recently been made available for free download from the CBMW website. The article was a brief survey of younger evangelicals and their views on gender. Here are the links:

“Younger Evangelicals and Women in Ministry: A Sketch of the Spectrum of Opinion” by Denny Burk and James M. Hamilton Jr. in JBMW 12.2 (2007): 26-40. – – – – [PDF verson]


  • Sue


    I respectfully urge you to explore the meaning of the word authenteo. Here is the BDAG entry.

    authenteo, (Philod., Rhet. II p. 133, 14 Sudh.; Jo. Lydus, Mag. 3, 42; Moeris p. 54; cp. Phryn. 120 Lob.; Hesychius; Thom. Mag. p. 18, 8; schol. in Aeschyl., Eum. 42; BGU 1208, 38 [27 BC]; s. Lampe s.v.) to assume a stance of independent authority, give orders to, dictate to w. gen. of pers. (Ptolem., Apotel. 3, 14, 10 Boll-B.; Cat. Cod. Astr. VIII/1 p. 177, 7; B-D-F §177) avndro,j, w. dida,skein, 1 Ti 2:12 (practically = ‘tell a man what to do‘[Jerusalem Bible]; Mich. Glykas [XII AD] 270, 10 ai` gunai/kej auvqentou/si t. avndrw/n. According to Diod. S. 1, 27, 2 there was a well-documented law in Egypt: j, cp. Soph., OC 337-41; GKnight III, NTS 30, ’84, 143-57; LWilshire, ibid. 34, ’88, 120-34).—DELG s.v. authenteo. M-M.

    And here is the ONLY occurrence of authenteo in ancient literature within a century of the epistle.

    BGU 1208 (first century B.C.): “I had my way with him [authenteō ] and he agreed to provide Catalytis the boatman with the full payment within the hour.”

    This citation is listed in the original study by Baldwin under the meaning of “to compel, to influence someone.” and Grudem agrees with the translation “compel.” (Ev. Fem & Biblical Truth. page 677 – 680.) According to Grudem other translators suggest “prevail” and mention that this is a hostile relationship involving insolence.

    Jerome translated authenteo as if it were synonymous to mashal in Gen. 3:16. Jerome’s translation is the best evidence that we have as to the meaning of the word.

    There is good reason for Jerome doing this. Each of these words are used for astronomical bodies.

    And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule (mashal) the day, and the lesser light to rule (mashal) the night; and the stars.

    Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos III.13 [#157] (second century A.D.): “Therefore, if Saturn alone takes planetary control of the soul and dominates (authenteō ) Mercury and the moon …” Gen. 1:16

    Here are the highlights of the translation history of Gen. 3:16 and 1 Tim. 2:12.

    et sub viri potestate eris et ipse dominabitur tui Jerome’s Vulgate

    ocere autem mulieri non permitto neque dominari in virum Jerome’s Vulgate

    und dein Verlangen soll nach deinem Manne sein, und er soll dein Herr sein. Luther

    Einem Weibe aber gestatte ich nicht, daß sie lehre, auch nicht, daß sie des Mannes Herr sei Luther

    In 1516 Erasmus published the Greek text with a Latin translation which contained the expression “authoritatem usurpare” for authenteo.

    From that we get,

    and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. KJV

    But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, KJV

    Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” ESV

    I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; ESV

    So, in fact, “to exercise authority” is a misunderstanding of Erasmus’ translation. There is no evidence to support anything other than “compel.”


    Over the last two years I have frequently asked you to examine the translation of the word authenteo. I am unsure whether you have done this and prefer not to make your research public, or whether you have not found time to do so.

    What I have posted here are widely acknowledged to be the facts regarding authenteo.

    Rather than discuss whether

    Translation #1: “I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man.”

    Translation #2: “I do not al­low a woman to teach with authority over a man.”

    is more accurate, we should discuss whether or not it says,

    I do not allow a woman to teach or set herself up as an independent authority over a man.

    There is no evidence that proper church leadership of any kind was being discussed in this verse. As the men were asked to refrain from fighting, so the women were asked to refrain from setting themselves up as an independent authority. (see BDAG above)

    If you do not supply counter evidence I shall assume that you accept what I have posted here as factual. Would you be so kind as to communicate this material with Jim as well. Thank you. I appreciate as always your willingness to host debate.

  • Brett

    Benjamin A,

    You couldn’t stop her man!


    WE GET IT ALREADY! It’s not like we can’t go to one of the 50 blogs you’ve already posted your word study on anyways. We understand that the word involves a degree of ambiguity. In any case, there are better ways (in my mind) to defend an egalitarian position (re: trajectory hermeneutics). Please understand that what you say will not change hardcore complementarians’ minds. They already have their mind made up and the only way for them to consider otherwise is if somebody they respect or look to as a spiritual leader convinces them otherwise.

  • Sue

    I am still smarting from the time someone on this blog told a woman that she was in sin if she preached because of 1 Tim. 2:12. The spiritual abuse poured out on women from this one word is mind-numbing.

    I understand trajectory hermeneutics. I do not understand people that use non existent evidence to lower the status of women. That I do not understand. How can people actually do that to women?

    How can others stand by while some people do this to women?

  • Brett

    I understand Sue, and I totally share your convictions and feel your pain. I applaud you for speaking up against the oppression of women with using proof-texts such as these. Please forgive me for trying to slow you down as you fight this battle (I feel very convicted). I’m sure I would not have reacted that way had I not been a man. I’m not 100% sure where I stand on the issue (regarding complementarianism/egalitarianism) because I do believe men and women are different and “complement” one another, but I stand by my statement that I will let a woman teach me any day of the week; whether it be the Bible or not.

    God bless you Sue. Keep speaking up for the oppression of women. You are doing a noble thing sister and I commend you for it!

  • Sue


    Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it. I wonder would you think that complementarity has anything to do with hierarchy?

  • Brett

    Good question. I think the people who hold to the complementarian position would probably deny hierarchy (since it sounds kind of negative), however, I don’t see any way around it. The church I was formerly in certainly had a “hierarchy” mindset in regards to men and women (women couldn’t pray, take up the offering, or even take prayer requests!). But I assume the complementarian would emphasize different “roles” while shunning the “hierarchy” question.

    Sue, just be glad you’re not married to a hardcore complementarian! I’ve seen this position abused so much in my former southern Baptist church it wasn’t even funny. It didn’t result in “leadership,” it resulted in downright oppression and abuse!

  • Sue

    Sue, just be glad you’re not married to a hardcore complementarian!

    You have no idea. My personal story is a great tragedy. Male entitlement is one of the great contributors to coercive abuse in marriage. Any preacher who preaches female submission in a sermon, ought to offer women the choice of entering a shelter rather than returning home from church that day. There should be a special door and armed guards allowing those who need it to escape.

    I have no desire to live as anything other than female, but subordination of women is in to my mind as bad as any other form of vicious and violent enslavement. I wait for the day when the vow of obedience for wives will be outlawed.

    Why on earth do you see no way around hierarchy? How on earth does hierarchy in marriage relate to passages like “love your neighbour as yourself?” Can a man not treat a wife as well as a neighbour? Can a man not ever treat a woman as he wishes to be treated himself? Is there no common humanity?

    I regret that the level of emotion which must always block out my actual scholarship. But does one take a black man who was beaten and pleads for the end of slavery and berate him for the emotion in his voice? Just because some slaves were well fed and taught to read, does that justify slavery. Were no former slaves ever allowed to have their voice heard?

    No point in telling me a wife is not a slave. A wife who is bound to obedience is a slave.

  • Brett


    I said, “I don’t see any way around it” in regards to the complementarian position that many espouse (which I certainly DO NOT). I was not stating my personal beliefs. I certainly don’t believe there is a hierarchy in the marriage…and if you asked my wife and spent some time with us, you would find out pretty quickly that if there is a hierarchy, she is the one at the top!!

    I think it’s a shame how women have been treated throughout history and certainly rejoice in the reversal of that trend. I have women teachers at my seminary and I gladly sit at their feet and listen to them any day of the week. Jesus even speaking to women (and Samaritan women at that) did much to redeem their dignity and value as human beings. I always make it a point to involve women any time I am in a teaching or leadership position mainly because my circles have been so ingrained with letting males do EVERYTHING. So I always ask women to pray, ask their opinions, etc. I consider it a tragedy for them to be “good little submissive wives” and never speak up and let their husbands tell them what to do and never have a voice.

    And precisely because of the view my former church taught on women, there were many women who were severely depressed, abused, etc. And whenever they were in a leadership position (teaching elementary schoolers, VBS, etc of course!) they went ballistic and were raging “B” words.

    Trust me Sue, we’re on the same page here. I think it’s somewhat tragic that men like Denny, Piper, Burer, et al react so much against the egalitarian position that they somewhat revert to borderline oppression again. In any case, none of them are consistent with their hermeneutic or they would never allow women to say one single word in church, and they would believe in inclusivism for women who give birth to kids!

    I understand your emotion and consider it most welcome. Jesus’ teaching was driven by emotion at the injustices of his day, as ours should be too. Thank you for speaking in behalf of all women Sue, I consider you an honorable and zealous follower of Christ and seeker of truth.

  • Brett

    And by the way, unless your name ends with “Piper” “Mohler” or “Carson,” most people on here will probably disagree with you (just an FYI for interacting on ultra-conservative reformed blogs).

  • Darius

    Sue, you drastically misunderstand and misrepresent the Biblical purpose of marriage and complementarianism. Read Ephesians 5:22-33 without your personal and cultural blinders and you will see that the purpose of marriage is to represent the relationship between Christ and the church. And if you can read past verse 24, you will see that husbands are called to an even higher standard, one that is quite humbling in fact. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” How did Christ love the church? He willingly died for it. In the same way, I, as a husband, must be willing to sacrifice myself for my wife. Getting hung up on the “submit” part and ignoring the “husbands as Christ” analogy is poor hermeneutics. I personally know many women who would disagree vehemently with you, as they understand that the proper Biblical roles of women and men are for one to SACRIFICIALLY lead and the other to respectfully follow.

  • Sue

    Thanks Brett,

    I thought that was your position but wanted to be sure. It is really helpful when others get it.

    Denny had a real struggle whether or not to moderate me out for a long time, so I have to give him credit for allowing me to participate at all.

    My main point here is not just how women suffer under the “leadership” of men, but how much it hurts to find out that the articles and arguments used against women are based on constructed evidence. Those who write against women are so intent on their purpose that they do not allow themselves to be challenged by the facts.


    Are you aware that the word hupotasso can be used in Greek without any sense of submitting to an authority. You leave out Eph. 5:21, you write as if the word submit were actually in Eph. 5:22, as if men only sacrifice, and women only submit.

    The daily life of a mother is that she sacrifices, sacrifice is mutual. Submission too ought to be mutual.

    Mutual submission is required by Eph. 5:21 and I notice that you don’t have that verse in your quoted scripture.

  • David Hamilton

    Lets here it for that Hamilton guy that this blog post was about, eh?

    He definitely got all the brains in the family! Moore said 150 years from now Jim’s name will be among the top of Southern faculty.

    Conversely, 150 years from now the only response to my name will be, “who?”

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