Scriptural Basis for the PCA BCO on Deacons

Posted by Bob Mattes

I posted on the 36th General Assembly proceedings on deaconesses here without duplicating Lanes or TE Aquila’s posts on the subject. My initial thoughts on the issue of female deacons/deaconesses can be found here on GreenBaggins. I wanted to comment in this post on an item in both Overture 9 and the Overtures Committee minority report.

The operant phrase in Philadelphia Presbytery’s Overture 9 reads:

Scriptural teaching bearing on women’s eligibility for election and ordination to the office of deacon and recommending, if necessary, changes to the BCO in keeping with any findings proceeding from the study of Scripture;

And in the minority report from the overtures committee concerning Overture 9:

Is the Book of Church Order more, or less, restrictive than the Scriptural teaching bearing on the role of women in the diaconal ministries?

I thought that I’d help answer these questions by showing the direct connection between the BCO and the applicable Scriptures. Perhaps that will help some folks who think that they need a study committee to look at a handful of verses that we can all read for ourselves.

First, there’s a direct connection between 1 Tim 3:12 (all citations ESV):

Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. [my emphasis]

and Acts 6:3:

Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. [my emphasis]

And BCO 7-2:

7-2. The ordinary and perpetual classes of office in the Church are elders
and deacons. Within the class of elder are the two orders of teaching elders and ruling elders. The elders jointly have the government and spiritual oversight of the Church, including teaching. Only those elders who are specially gifted, called and trained by God to preach may serve as teaching elders. The office of deacon is not one of rule, but rather of service both to the physical and spiritual needs of the people. In accord with Scripture, these offices are open to men only. [my emphasis]

BCO 9-3:

9-3. To the office of deacon, which is spiritual in nature, shall be chosen men of spiritual character, honest repute, exemplary lives, brotherly spirit, warm sympathies, and sound judgment. [my emphasis]

and BCO 24-1:

24-1. Every church shall elect persons to the offices of ruling elder and
deacon in the following manner: At such times as determined by the Session, communicant members of the congregation may submit names to the Session, keeping in mind that each prospective officer should be an active male member who meets the qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. [my emphasis]

Here you can see that Scripture commands deacons to be men only, and this guidance is followed exactly in the BCO. Nothing more or less.

Further, both the Scriptures and the BCO cover the issue of providing outside help to the diaconate. We find 1 Tim 5:3-16:

3 Honor widows who are truly widows. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 5 She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, 6 but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. 7 Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are really widows.

corresponding nicely to BCO 9-7:

9-7. It is often expedient that the Session of a church should select and
appoint godly men and women of the congregation to assist the deacons in caring for the sick, the widows, the orphans, the prisoners, and others who may be in any distress or need.

No disconnects, just unity of thought and approach between Scripture and the BCO. So what about Phoebe and Rom 16:1?

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae,

The word for “servant” in that verse is ‘διακονον’ in the Greek. I cover this in some detail in this post, so will not duplicate all that here. Bottom line is that as far back as the Geneva Bible in 1560, Phoebe has been called a servant in accordance with good translating practice and the context of the verse. I will post a fairly comprehensive word study on the word ‘διάκονον’ and its close relatives in both the Greek New Testament as well as the LXX in the next few days. To get a sense for Paul’s usage in the meantime, look at Romans 15:8 and tell me if Christ is called a deacon:

For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs,

or 2 Cor 3:6 if we all are:

who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Or the well-known Matt 20:26 for Christ’s usage of the word:

It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,

Are we all to become deacons? Of course not. I picked these particular uses of the word because they are very similar to the context in Romans 16:1. There’s no real case to be made here for female office holders.

Yet, some still disagree and think that Phoebe may have been a deaconess in the office-holding sense. Though I and other complementarians disagree with such a mistranslation, let’s assume for a moment, just for the sake of argument, that the details of this verse are unclear. Making Phoebe a deaconess here would make Paul inconsistent in his teaching on the role of women in the church. It certainly wouldn’t square with very clear verses like 1 Tim 3:12, 1 Tim 2:12, and 1 Cor 11:1-24 just to name a few. Roll Luke’s Acts 6:3 in as well. According to the analogy of faith, if one verse or passage isn’t clear, then we turn to others that are clear. Those standing on Rom 16:1 in hopes of finding deaconesses would do well to consider this basic Reformed principle and seek clarity from Scripture rather than the feminist culture.

None of this is rocket science. The majority report of the Overtures Committee cited these portions of the BCO. For those that want a Scriptural warrant, I have cited several clear Scriptural teachings in this and my previous post.

I’ll repeat here something that I posted on my blog earlier tonight. If we treat Scripture like a wax nose to accommodate the culture, we fall for the same lie that Eve swallowed in the garden: “Did God really say…” This deaconess thing is a Scripture authority issue, pure and simple. 1 Tim 3:12 by itself should be clear enough to settle this issue for those that hold to Scripture’s absolute authority. If we decide to try to conform Scripture to the world for whatever reason, we trade the gospel for a lie.

Posted by Bob Mattes

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98 Comments

  1. mary kathryn said,

    June 22, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Bob – Thanks for the hard work put into this post. I did find your ending paragraphs a bit harsh. I do not feel that Christians who seek to understand God’s intent for women’s work in the church, are being influenced by feminist culture, or that their desire is to conform to that culture. It seems to me that they desire to be CERTAIN, absolutely certain, that they are not denying an opportunity for ministry to women, that God wants for women to have. That’s all. If women are being (and have been) denied in any way a role or opportunity for service because of an overly strict understanding of these Scriptures, then it needs to be corrected.

    One might just as well say that your view of the verses is held because you cling to a male chauvinist culture. That would be equally unfair to you. Your desire is also to understand Scripture accurately. I think the conversation would be improved if these types of accusations from one side were curtailed.

    We’ve hashed through this all before. But as you noted, the emphasis placed in I Tim. 3:12 IS YOURS. We don’t know what Paul’s emphasis would be. What a strange phrase: “of one wife.” It seems just as likely that he was promoting monogamy among his church officers. And the next verse you mention merely shows that the first deacons were male – not that they were REQUIRED to be male – simply that they were. Thus, I do not find your presentation of these two verses convincing.

    Regarding your discussion of the use of the Greek word for deacon, and its frequent use as “servant” or “minister,” I’m sure there are plenty of examples of its use as “deacon.” If I use your argument, I’m back where I started: the word can mean deacon.

    As I’ve said before, I’m not in favor of women being ordained as deacons. What I want to hear is a better argument. And I’d like to hear one that is free from unfair accusations that only weaken your argument, Bob.

  2. David Gray said,

    June 22, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Mary,

    If you wanted to adopt a position that was without substantial precedent in church history because you decided to interpret the scriptures in a new and novel way would you be comfortable with that?

  3. JR Harris said,

    June 22, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Mary,

    Bob’s nuance of ‘διάκονον’ meaning “deacon” (i.e. the office) in 1 Tim. 3:12 but “servant” (i.e. a role) in Romans 16:1 is also supported much further back than just the Geneva Bible of 1560. The Latin Vulgate makes the same distinction some 1,100 years earlier. For the former usage, the Vulgate uses the Latin term ‘diaconi’ and for the latter, ‘ministra.’ You can see the English derivatives from these Latin roots. Yes, there is only one Greek term used in both instances, but the church has understood (for at least 1500 years) that one describes an office (diaconi) while the other describes a role or a work (ministra).

    Perhaps this doesn’t help, but I thought it worth while to mention.

    With you in the struggle,

    JR

  4. mary kathryn said,

    June 22, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    David,
    I am not comfortable with your proposal. However, I am neither assuming a position without substantial precedent, nor am I giving Scripture a new and novel interpretation. (I’ll say again, I do not support ordaining deaconesses in the PCA.) When I look at church history, I find that there is precedent for deaconesses. When I look at the Scriptures, I see that I have many people telling me various ways to interpret Scripture passages that are not wholly clear.

    JR, thanks for the interesting information.

    Both of you bring up an important point: how much should the traditions of the church influence us as we examine this (and any other) issue? It would be my desire not to look to tradition (which can be fallible) too much for guidance, but to Scripture. The historical tradition gives evidence both of the use of deaconesses, and then later the discontinuation of the office. And now I find both sides of this argument using the same passage from Romans to prove conflicting opinions.

    When I look at the rest of the NT, and the practice of the early church, I find it clear that Paul instructs us not to put women in positions of spiritual authority over men, particularly their husbands. It also seems clear to me that women served in significant roles of particular, designated service/ministry, doing diaconal work. Obviously, there was no conflict in Paul’s mind. He sees these women, whom he commends, working as servants/ministers/deacons (choose your term), but not violating his command not to rule over men in the church.

    Yet, because of how we have defined the “office” of deacon, we cannot allow women to serve as such, without violating Paul’s clear command. In essence, I’m wondering if we have turned the role of deacon, which should be a role of service, into an office which is prohibited to women.

    Frankly, I don’t like this distinction of ordained/not ordained. Either a person is a deacon, or he is not. Either women are deacons, are they are not. I don’t like this muddy middle-ground. But as the office presently stands in the PCA, with deacons clearly having authority over others, I don’t think the PCA can place women there.

    It saddens me that the solution is to deny women the opportunity to use the gifts God has given them, in work that his Scriptures clearly show they may do, because of how the church (in its traditions) has decided to define ordination/office. I commend those churches that look for ways to organize their women in ways that allows them to serve. I feel that a deacon IS a servant; service is the essence of the office. Women surely can serve others, and the church should be able to honor this work.

    Besides, in the US church, we have effectively given the diaconal work, long ago, to the government. Those mercy ministries were what women are particularly good at. The rest of the deacon’s work (counting the money, maintaining the church plant) is what remains under our church roofs. This diminution of the diaconate is a sad thing.

    (Sorry to ramble. As you can tell, I’m still forming my thoughts on this.)

  5. Towne Tomae said,

    June 22, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Mary Kathyrn (#4):

    In response to your comment:

    “It saddens me that the solution is to deny women the opportunity to use the gifts God has given them, in work that his Scriptures clearly show they may do, because of how the church (in its traditions) has decided to define ordination/office.”

    What you seem to be saying is that where there is no title, there is no service.
    Is that what you believe? Or that without some “official” title, women are somehow robbed of the opportunity to serve? Have I mis-read you? I do hope so.

    In the PCA’s Book of Church Order, Chapter 9, paragraph 7, it says “It is often expedient that the Session of a church should select and appoint godly men and women of the congregation to assist the deacons in caring for the sick, the widows, the orphans, the prisoners, and others who may be in any distress or need.”

    So no one (at least with proper authority and reason) is denying women the right and ability to serve in this capacity, appointed (not elected or ordained) by the Session to do a very necessary and important work. There is full recognition in BCO 9-7 that women can do work that men cannot or should not do, in many instances.

    Why does the lack of an official title make that work any less God-honoring, any less fulfilling, or of any less worth? If we are seeking honor, is not the fact that the Session appointed some to this work, in itself of sufficient honor?

  6. June 22, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Mary Kathryn, RE #1,

    Thanks for the hard work put into this post.

    Thank you for saying so, and thank you for the continued discussion.

    I did find your ending paragraphs a bit harsh.

    Sorry, but I call them like I see them, and most of us have seen this path before. As others have illustrated well here, this issue has been a settled matter for several thousand years until about 100 or so years ago. The creeping feminism in the church cannot be coddled or excused.

    But as you noted, the emphasis placed in I Tim. 3:12 IS YOURS. We don’t know what Paul’s emphasis would be. What a strange phrase: “of one wife.”

    Actually, I believe that the emphasis is Paul’s. It follows neatly and logically from 1 Tim 3:1-7. As I said in my post, it is also consistent with Paul’s other related writings like 1 Tim 2:12 and 1 Cor 11:1-24.

    Also, if there is any lack of clarity over what Paul intended by “husband of one wife,” there’s no question that he said “husband” meaning a male individual. That’s the only part that impacts this discussion directly, so we would do well by not getting side-tracked on a different issue.

    As I’ve said before, I’m not in favor of women being ordained as deacons.

    Ditto, but then you knew that. :-)

  7. June 22, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    JR,

    Thanks for researching the Vulgate and keeping me honest!

  8. greenbaggins said,

    June 22, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Towne, thanks for your comment, and a hearty “amen” I give to it as well. All the things listed in the BCO 9.7 are so crucially important. I do hope that, in arguing against women being deacons, we never forget (and I don’t think Bob or anyone else is forgetting) all the things that the Bible tells women that they may do in the church.

  9. June 22, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Lane,

    Indeed not. That’s why I quoted BCO 9-7 in its entirety in my post. I also covered that angle in my last post on the subject back in February. I fervently believe that the Lord created us all with unique abilities and gifts, and provided a wonderful framework in which to use those to His glory.

  10. June 22, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    [...] Basis for the PCA BCO on Deacons I posted on this topic over at GreenBaggins. Still coming is a word study on the Greek ‘διακονον’ in Romans 16:1 which is the [...]

  11. mary kathryn said,

    June 22, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Thanks, guys. I do appreciate your kind input. I promise, Lane, I don’t want to rehash all this that we already did a while back. And I do appreciate the mentioning of the BCO passage that encourages sessions to recognize the necessity of women to do some work in the church. This is important, and it’s encouraging to me that it does occur.

    I think the church today is making good strides in allowing and encouraging women to fill necessary roles of service in the church. I think it’s better than it used to be. I think of 2 very godly, older women I know who, when they were younger, were appalled at the idea of even attending WIC meetings, because they had been taught so thoroughly all their lives that women should only sit and listen to men teach them, and nothing else. They couldn’t conceive of taking ANY action whatsoever, in any type of church work. Thankfully, this attitude has changed in today’s church.

    Towne – I want to say this carefully. Neither women, nor anyone else, should seek an office merely for the honor of the office. However, Scripture certainly teaches that there is honor attached to offices, whether offices in the church, or even in the government. The church, rightly, gives honor to those who hold office. It is a noble thing. No one reprimands a pastor, for instance, for sensing and defending the honor of his office – he’s supposed to. So: IF it were decided that women could serve as deacons, then I would hope that the honor that if attached to that office would be given them also. I would not reprimand any woman who was a deacon with the snide criticism, “She only wanted the honor. She wasn’t satisfied to just do the work.” That’s a horrible thing to say. You’d never say to your pastor, “You should just preach and do all the work of the pastor, but we’re not going to give you the honor of actually CALLING you our pastor. Shame on you for wanting it!” No, with the labor goes the honor of that labor. If the women are doing the work of the deacons, then they should receive the honor of the deacons.

    What I want is for the church to be straight up. I don’t want women sneaking in where they are not supposed to be. Neither do I want churchmen using unfair arguments against their congregants.

    If the PCA, through its church sessions, wants to choose some women as deacons’ assistants (as the BCO allows), that’s great. For some, perhaps that’s all that’s meant by a deaconess. They should recognize these woman as such, organize their work, and recognize them for it. However, I still get the feeling that some men (and women) are uncomfortable with this. They seem to feel that the farther we keep women from ANY organized work in the church, the safer we are. It may be difficult for some of you men to relate to this, but this attitude makes me feel as if I’m regarded as some type of a danger, like a cancer in the church, or like something vaguely unclean. I would truly like to see God’s women able and welcome to do ALL that Scripture allows for them to do. In reading Paul, don’t you think the women in the early church were very active in its work?

  12. June 22, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    [insert train whistle here]

    Yes, folks, the PCA is on track for absolute irrelevance in ministry and life as it continues to focus on yet one more issue that the wider body of Christ cares little about. Just yesterday, they dispensed with their “heretics” by condemning the Federal Vision. Today, they’re doing all they can to keep women in their proper nineteenth-century roles. Tomorrow, elders will be able to wear flip flops to church and preach from the Readers’ Digest version of the Westminster “We like it the way Kline likes it” Confession of Faith. Stay tuned here for more news as it happens and whatever you do, don’t read Greg Bahnsen or Cornelius Van Til. Instead, try Meredith Kline and Valentinus. RSS feeds will continue during reading breaks for your enjoyment and information. Remember to set your phasers to stun!

    All aboard!!!

    [repeat train whistle here]

  13. June 22, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Mary Kathryn, thanks for #11 — you made some *excellent* points!!

  14. David Gray said,

    June 22, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    >Yes, folks, the PCA is on track for absolute irrelevance in ministry and life as it continues to focus on yet one more issue that the wider body of Christ cares little about.

    Actually orthodox Christians, including Reformed, Lutheran, Catholic and Orthdox are quite concerned about the inroads of a corrupt egalitarianism into church life.

  15. June 22, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Kevin,

    Do you have something substantial to add to the discussion or are you just here to throw meaningless stones and spill the beer?

  16. June 22, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    [...] only men may serve as deacons, and that this is indeed a Scripture authority issue. As I’ve already shown, the PCA Book of Church Order follows Scripture accurately on the [...]

  17. June 22, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Mary Kathryn, RE #11,

    If the PCA, through its church sessions, wants to choose some women as deacons’ assistants (as the BCO allows), that’s great. For some, perhaps that’s all that’s meant by a deaconess. They should recognize these woman as such, organize their work, and recognize them for it. However, I still get the feeling that some men (and women) are uncomfortable with this.

    I’m not sure what you mean. BCO 9-7 clearly allows that “the Session of a church should select and appoint godly men and women of the congregation to assist the deacons in caring for the sick, the widows, the orphans, the prisoners, and others who may be in any distress or need.” What else do you need?

    As for the title “deaconess,” I can only repeat what I said back in February about the plain English word usage. A female actor is an actress, a female lion is a lioness, and a female tempter is a temptress. Therefore, a female deacon is a deaconess. Those are verbotten in the PCA, a position with which you say you agree.

    So, anyone may help the deaconate in their mission of mercy. They may even be appointed by the Session. There’s no barrier erected by the BCO against such valuable service.

  18. HaigLaw said,

    June 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Re: #11: “You’d never say to your pastor, “You should just preach and do all the work of the pastor, but we’re not going to give you the honor of actually CALLING you our pastor. Shame on you for wanting it!” No, with the labor goes the honor of that labor. If the women are doing the work of the deacons, then they should receive the honor of the deacons.”

    Excellent point, Mary Kathryn. And I think it’s interesting that in return for raising questions about the proper hermeneutic for passages like Romans 16:1 & 1 Tim. 3:11, I’ve been called a liberal and egalitarian, and accused of being against the Reformation and sola scriptura.

    And never have I suggested or even hinted that anyone maligning me is a male chauvinist.

    Once 30 years ago as a PCA elder I took the position that passages like 1 Cor. 14:34 meant women should always remain silent in church services and not even ask a question in Sunday School. I considered myself Reformed and sola Scriptura then, and still do.

    That position then caused a lot of grief, and I came to learn about the Grammatical-Historical method of hermeneutics later and to believe that 1 Cor. 14:34 dealt with disciplinary excesses.

    I’m wondering now whether Paul’s command in 1 Tim. 2:12 is like 1 Cor. 14:34 in dealing with disciplinary excesses, rather than an outright total prohibition that would seem to conflict with the fact that the early church during the time of the writing of the N.T. obviously had women deacons (Romans 16:1), pastors (2 John 1) and prophets (Lk 2:36).

    Again, the grammatical-historical hermeneutic considers all verses that address a given subject, rather than ignoring some that are inconvenient to a given conclusion.

  19. June 22, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    HaigLaw,

    Both Lane and I have covered Rom 16:1 in posts here. I go into even greater detail on the Greek involved in my latest post tonight. I look forward to the exegetical basis for your disagreement. As to 2 Jn 1:

    The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth,

    The letter writer is the elder, not the female recipient. There’s no hint there that she’s an elder of any kind. Elect, yes, but not an elder. I’m not sure what Lk 2:36 has to do with any of this.

    1Tim 2:12 means what it says. The grammatical-historical and immediate context supports Paul’s commands across 1 Tim 2:8-14. The language and construct are plain. What else do you suggest Paul means in that context? Again, what’s your exegetical basis for disagreeing with Paul’s plain language?

  20. Sue said,

    June 22, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    I find this quite fascinating. If we bring in the Vulgate for deacon, what about for 1 Tim. 2:12. There we find that authenteo (have authority over) is translated as “dominari,” which is the same word as is used in Gen. 3:16, “her husband shall rule over her.” Is this rule a curse, or is a man allowed to authenteo a woman?

    No, Chrysostom says that a man may never authenteo (have authority over) his wife, (homily 10 on Colossians). Who is allowed to authenteo (have authority over) someone? God is. Authenteo means to have absolute rule, and only God has that. But authenteo is the kind of thing that a master might do to a slave. I should most certainly hope that a woman may not authenteo, nor a man either.

    In fact, the meaning of “have authority” came from Erasmus, who translated authenteo into Latin as authoritatem usurpare, and the translations split from there. Some translated “have authority” a proper thing to do, and others, the KJV translated “usurp authority” a crime worthy of death. So should a woman not do what is a good thing, and undertake a work of God, or should a woman not do what is a bad thing for anyone to do, usurp authority of others.

    I can see the dilemma over diakonos and its cognates, but I wonder about prostatis and its cognates.

    Throughout the LXX the prostates was the temple leader and official. Perhaps Phoebe was one of those. Perhaps Junia was an apostle, and Lydia, Nympha, and Chloe were the heads of their own households. Perhaps there is a reason for these women being mentioned – because they were leaders.

  21. June 22, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Sue,

    Welcome to GreenBaggins! I’m not a fan of the Vulgate. I’m sure that Jerome did the best that he could, but the whole mistranslation of justificare for dikaioo made quite a mess. I prefer to make my arguments from the original languages.

    The word αυθεντειν can mean to domineer, as it probably does in 1 Tim 2:12. That’s the only occurrence of the word in the NT. We are all supposed to serve and not lord it over anyone, but I don’t see how that makes your point. Again, Paul’s point seems clear from the context of that entire paragraph.

    I don’t see where any of the women in the NT are addressed as anything official-sounding. Being a widow/single mother over a household is not the same as being a church officer. I think that Paul was encouraging and recognizing these women as valuable and effective servants of Christ as in 1 Tim 5:3-16.

  22. Sue said,

    June 22, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Thanks. Yes, I do think in 1 Tim. 2:12 it means to do something that is rather negative. So women are not to either “teach or domineer: a negative thing. It seems that the men were fighting among themselves and the women were domineering.

    As far as official sounding titles, we do have prostatis, diakonos and apostolos. We also have women as presbuterai. It really all depends on how you read it. But you must not depend solely on circular reasoning.

    Those who are known to be of the house of Chloe were more than just her children and slaves, don’t you think. She has some leadership capacity. I guess the question is – how many male deacons and elders do we know by name and how many female. A handful either way.

    Thinking of Deborah and Huldah, I guess I am wondering why women are worse off in terms of gender relations after Christ came than before.

  23. June 23, 2008 at 8:36 am

    Sue,

    I find it interesting that you think προστατις is some kind of leadership position. It doesn’t mean that at all. A προστατις is simply a helper or wealthy patron(ess) in Rom 16:2. In the male form it could also mean a legal representative of a foreigner in Roman society, as well as a legal representative or wealthy patron in Jewish society. In any case, it does not denote a leadership position.

    As for women referred to as πρεσβυτιδας in Titus 2:3, that simply means aged or older women. It does not denote a church office. I don’t know of any translator that takes it to mean other than aged women. This also follows from the parallel use of πρεσβυτας in Titus 2:2 to mean aged men. No church office denoted there.

    I’ll address the rest of you points after work tonight. Thank you for the continued discussion.

  24. Sue said,

    June 23, 2008 at 9:19 am

    In the male form prostates was the governor of the temple in 2 Macc. 3:4. It is also a title for Christ in the early church – our high priest and prostates. It surely denotes a leadership position?

    I see “leader” as the first meaning of prostates, and then “chief” “ruler” “administrator” “officer” “president” etc. in the LSJ.

  25. June 23, 2008 at 10:12 am

    [...] Posted by Les Prouty on June 23, 2008 Bob Mattes has posted two pieces over at Green Baggins on Phoebe. Here are excerpts: Yet, some still disagree and think that Phoebe may have been a deaconess in the office-holding sense. Though I and other complementarians disagree with such a mistranslation, let’s assume for a moment, just for the sake of argument, that the details of this verse are unclear. Making Phoebe a deaconess here would make Paul inconsistent in his teaching on the role of women in the church. It certainly wouldn’t square with very clear verses like 1 Tim 3:12, 1 Tim 2:12, and 1 Cor 11:1-24 just to name a few. Roll Luke’s Acts 6:3 in as well. According to the analogy of faith, if one verse or passage isn’t clear, then we turn to others that are clear. Those standing on Rom 16:1 in hopes of finding deaconesses would do well to consider this basic Reformed principle and seek clarity from Scripture rather than the feminist culture. See Scriptural Basis for the PCA BCO on Deacons [...]

  26. June 23, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Sue,

    Here are other views:

    4368. προστάτις prostátis; gen. prostátidos, fem. noun from proı̈́stēmi (4291), to set before. It meant not only a leader, ruler, or director (Sept.: 1 Chr. 27:31; 29:6; 2 Chr. 8:10), but was also used by Plutarch for the Lat. patronus, a patron, a defender of a lower person. The word denoted those in Athens who were the patrons, i.e., took care of strangers. In Rom. 16:2 it means a patroness, helper. (Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G4368). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.)

    4188 παραστάτις (parastatis), ιδος (idos), ἡ (hē): n.fem.; ≡ Str 4368—supporter (Ro 16:2 v.r. NA26); not in LN (Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.) (DBLG 4188). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)

    4368. προστάτις prostatis; fem. of a der. of 4291b; a patroness, protectress:— helper(1). (Thomas, R. L. (1998, 1981). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : Updated edition (H8674). Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.)

    προστάτις, ιδος, ἡ (Cornutus 20 p. 37, 20; Lucian, Bis Accus. 29 θεὰ προστάτις ἑαυτῶν; Cass. Dio 42, 39 al.; PGM 36, 338) protectress, patroness, helper προστάτις πολλῶν ἐγενήθη καὶ ἐμοῦ αὐτοῦ she has been of great assistance to many, including myself Ro 16:2 (Ltzm., Hdb. ad loc. The masc. προστάτης took on a technical sense and is found w. this mng. in Jewish [Schürer III4, 89] as well as in pagan [Dit., Or. 209, Syll.3 1109, 13; CIG I, 126; GHeinrici, ZWTh 19, 1876, 516ff.—EZiebarth, Das griech. Vereinswesen 1896, index s.v.; WOtto, Priester u. Tempel im hellenist. Ägypten II ’08 p. 75, 1] religious circles). M-M.* (Arndt, W., Gingrich, F. W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (1996, c1979). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature : A translation and adaption of the fourth revised and augmented edition of Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-deutsches Worterbuch zu den Schrift en des Neuen Testaments und der ubrigen urchristlichen Literatur (718). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.)

    4368. προστάτις prostatis; fem. of a der. of 4291b; a patroness, protectress:— helper(1). (Thomas, R. L. (1998, 1981). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : Updated edition (H8674). Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.)

    Rienecker and Rogers in their Linguistic Key to the Greek NT say on Rom 16:2:

    προστάτις helper. The masculine form of the word was used by the Romans for the legal representative of a foreigner. In Jewish Communities it meant the legal representative or wealthy patron. Here it indicates the personal help given to Paul.

    All of the 15 English translations I checked, even the liberal RSV and NRSV, translate προστάτις as either helper, patron, or benefactor. I see no support from translators or commentators for your unique view that προστάτις in Rom 16:2 has anything to do with leadership. Nor does it fit the context. We’re not talking about what the word could mean, but what it likely means in context. She was a helper/patron.

  27. Kyle said,

    June 23, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Bob,

    You may (or may not) find some helpful material in a back-and-forth discussion I had with Ms. McCarthy on this issue here. My comments start about half-way down; of course, there are plenty of worthy comments preceding mine, as well as a few following.

  28. Scott said,

    June 23, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    “It saddens me that the solution is to deny women the opportunity to use the gifts God has given them, in work that his Scriptures clearly show they may do, because of how the church (in its traditions) has decided to define ordination/office. I commend those churches that look for ways to organize their women in ways that allows them to serve. I feel that a deacon IS a servant; service is the essence of the office. Women surely can serve others, and the church should be able to honor this work.”

    Mary Kathryn,
    I know a lot of people are thinking through this.

    It is comforting to know much work has been done on this exegetically and practically by those who have gone before us, so we are not without guidance.

    There are very big issues tied up in all this, which is why we must be very careful:

    1) devaluing the office of Deacon
    2) devaluing ordination
    3) devaluing male ecclesiastical leadership
    4) devaluing womens’ involvement in mercy (diaconal) ministry
    5) devaluing non-Deacon mens’ involvement in mercy ministry

    If women are being denied the ability to do mercy (diaconal) ministry ministry it needs to be addressed. If something in our Book of Church Order is creating a barrier, it needs to be changed. If not constitutional, the local Session is responsible to reform its policies and that needs to be addressed through them.

    My understanding of the office of Deacon is that it oversees mercy ministry and property stewardship. The office has administrative authority to carry out this important part of church life. It is a basic part of Church government.

    Although the Deacons are most directly responsible before God, many others under their oversight carry out manifold ministries of mercy.

    At my church, women are fully involved in Women in the Church, Comfort and Care, Stephen’s Ministry, , New Baby Committee, Military Moms, and many other ministries. There are also men involved in most of these ministries. These members, men and women are not ordained, and ordinarily do not take titles, but are doing very important work. We need more to be involved- women and men, we are limited only by people and resources.

    If the focus here is to get a title (e.g. “deaconess”) I think that is misplaced. There are all sorts of biblical reasons to be humble servants.

    We also have a high calling to exhibit reconciled relationships between men and women before the world per 2 Corinthians 5. Impossible to do, yet, with God’s grace all things are possible.

  29. HaigLaw said,

    June 23, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Re: #19: You said, “I look forward to the exegetical basis for your disagreement. As to 2 Jn 1:

    The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth,

    The letter writer is the elder, not the female recipient. There’s no hint there that she’s an elder of any kind. Elect, yes, but not an elder. I’m not sure what Lk 2:36 has to do with any of this.

    1Tim 2:12 means what it says. The grammatical-historical and immediate context supports Paul’s commands across 1 Tim 2:8-14. The language and construct are plain. What else do you suggest Paul means in that context? Again, what’s your exegetical basis for disagreeing with Paul’s plain language?

    I didn’t realize I’d apparently been that unclear. In 1 John 1, I was not confused, as you suggest, over the writer referring to himself as an elder. The “elect lady” he addresses is obviously a pastor of a church with a lot of “children.” (Gk tek’-non – G5043 From the base of G5098; a child (as produced): – child, daughter, son.) Obviously referring to spiritual children, as seen in v. 4.

    Nor was my reference to Lk 2:36 at all unclear as you suggest. I cited that as an example of a female prophet. The context was my statement: “the early church during the time of the writing of the N.T. obviously had women deacons (Romans 16:1), pastors (2 John 1) and prophets (Lk 2:36).”

    And my exegetical/hermeneutical basis for suggesting 1 Tim 2:12 refers to disciplinary excesses was likewise clear, although apparently not to you, in that otherwise there are conflicts with the fact that there were female church leaders in N. T. times, and they obviously were not ministering mute, and they obviously had whatever authority their office carried with it.

    It seems to me — and I made this point on the Overtures Committee with no correction from any of those present who are much more learned than I — that the hermeneutic which treats 1 Tim. 2:12 as an absolute prohibition on any women ever exercising any authority over any man is the same as that which treats 1 Cor. 14:34 as an absolute prohibition on any woman every uttering any sound in any church service. I think it is a false hermeneutic in both instances. It fails the test of the Grammatical-Historical because it fails to take into account all the passages that deal with the subject at hand, which is, women exercising spiritual authority and speaking in church groups.

  30. Kyle said,

    June 23, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    HaigLaw,

    There is nothing “obvious” about the “elect lady” of 2 John being the pastor of a church. In fact, there’s nothing obvious to suggest that, if she herself is a literal woman, her children are “spiritual” rather than literal. V. 4 is frequently clarified in translation as being “some of your children” (NASB, ESV, NIV, NKJV, HCSB) (the ASV has “certain of your children”), “some” being inferred. The Greek is “ἐκ τῶν τέκνων σου.” If indeed “some” of her children are walking in truth, there’s no reason to regard her children as being spiritual. (Shouldn’t all of her spiritual children being walking in truth?)

    I think there is reason to believe that John is actually writing to a church which he refers to with veiled language as a lady. He uses plural verbs and pronouns throughout:

    v. 5 “that we love one another”
    v. 6 “you have heard … you should walk in it”
    v. 8 “watch yourselves … you do not lose … you may receive”
    v. 10 “if anyone comes to you … do not receive … do not give”
    v. 11 “I have many things to write to you … I hope to come to you”

    And there’s the interesting final greeting from the “children of your chosen sister.” Why not “your chosen sister and her children”? I suppose the sister could be dead! But it works well if it is another veiled referrence to a church.

  31. Kyle said,

    June 23, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Let me emend #30 by removing the argument about the “spiritual” children. My thinking did not come out in my writing as I wanted it. Essentially, there just isn’t any reason in the text itself to regard the children as “spiritual” if we regard the lady as literal.

  32. June 23, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Kyle,

    Thanks for the heads up. I’m still scanning the discussion, but perhaps more enlightening is looking over Suzanne’s site. I didn’t realize we were dealing with egalitarian crusaders who troll the blogosphere. I’m rethinking my approach with these folks.

  33. Sue said,

    June 23, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Lane,

    I thought you recognized me from last year. I would not have said anything but there were some oddities in the discussion about Phoebe. You clearly did not mention that prostatis had leadership in its semantic range. Its only fair to consider both sides.

  34. Sue said,

    June 23, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Sorry,

    I don’t actually know who is who here.

  35. June 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    HaigLaw,

    I didn’t realize I’d apparently been that unclear. In 1 John 1, I was not confused, as you suggest, over the writer referring to himself as an elder. The “elect lady” he addresses is obviously a pastor of a church with a lot of “children.” (Gk tek’-non – G5043 From the base of G5098; a child (as produced): – child, daughter, son.) Obviously referring to spiritual children, as seen in v. 4.

    I don’t see that. The plain language reading looks like a greeting to a woman with natural children. There’s no reference to her pastoring anything anywhere in the letter. I suppose that it’s possible that John may be using veiled language, using “lady” for the church and “children” for the congregants.

    Nor was my reference to Lk 2:36 at all unclear as you suggest. I cited that as an example of a female prophet. The context was my statement: “the early church during the time of the writing of the N.T. obviously had women deacons (Romans 16:1), pastors (2 John 1) and prophets (Lk 2:36).”

    Of the three, I only see the Luke passage as accurately categorized in your statement. I’ve already dealt with Rom 16:1 and 2 Jn 1. I don’t think that Lk 2:36 applies to the issue of female deacons.

    And my exegetical/hermeneutical basis for suggesting 1 Tim 2:12 refers to disciplinary excesses was likewise clear, although apparently not to you, in that otherwise there are conflicts with the fact that there were female church leaders in N. T. times, and they obviously were not ministering mute, and they obviously had whatever authority their office carried with it.

    I see no conflicts since I see no clear evidence of female officers in the NT. I guess we’re talking across each other a bit. I was looking for some exegetical reasoning for your assertions.

  36. HaigLaw said,

    June 24, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Re: #35: “Of the three, I only see the Luke passage as accurately categorized in your statement. I’ve already dealt with Rom 16:1 and 2 Jn 1. I don’t think that Lk 2:36 applies to the issue of female deacons.”

    It will not do to ignore passages that do not fit a pre-formed opinion. Luke 2:36 refers to Anna the prophetess. The argument was obviously from the greater to the lesser. You dismiss my argument has having no “exegetical reasoning,” but 1 Cor. 12:28 is a familiar passage setting forth prophets as high in the order of gifts, second only to the apostles. If a woman can be a prophet, which is a higher office than deacon, how can one argue that a womon cannot even be a deacon, since that involves authority, without dealing with the obvious fact that a woman held an office with even higher authority? One could also invoke Deborah, a prophetess who judged all of Israel. Judges 4.4. She certainly had authority over men.

    It seems to me that one can bury one’s head so deep in the greek grammar and gender that one does not see the forest for the trees.

  37. HaigLaw said,

    June 24, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Re: #30: Kyle said, “If indeed “some” of her children are walking in truth, there’s no reason to regard her children as being spiritual. (Shouldn’t all of her spiritual children being walking in truth?)”

    It seems you are trying to spiritualize this passage away so as to have no meaning. Some of our children, spiritual and literal, don’t always follow us, either in faith or life otherwise. Some went away because they were not of us to start with — Calvinism says. 1 John 2:19.

    Paul refers to Timothy as his son in the faith. 2 Tim. 2:2 refers to many generations in the faith. This is a common concept. Why refuse to consider this analogy in 2 John 1, just to avoid the obvious point that a female leader is being addressed?

  38. David Gray said,

    June 24, 2008 at 7:15 am

    >Why refuse to consider this analogy in 2 John 1, just to avoid the obvious point that a female leader is being addressed?

    And you are shocked that people recognize you as a liberal?

  39. HaigLaw said,

    June 24, 2008 at 7:41 am

    re: #38: “And you are shocked that people recognize you as a liberal?”

    Not really. I have been called an arch-conservative, for some of my past stands, too. I am trying to follow Scripture wherever it leads. If people call me derogatory names, then so be it. Luther said, “I am a captive of the Word of God…; I cannot do otherwise.”

    The problem with deciding you’re going to be conservative, or whatever, and then finding verses to back you up, is that Scripture does not fall into the convenient labels of any generation.

  40. David Gray said,

    June 24, 2008 at 9:34 am

    >Luther said, “I am a captive of the Word of God…; I cannot do otherwise.”

    Luther and Calvin’s approach to scripture was very different from yours. And if you want to understand liberalism perhaps some time with Machen would be of help.

  41. Kyle said,

    June 24, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    HaigLaw, re: 37,

    It seems you are trying to spiritualize this passage away so as to have no meaning.

    See # 31. I don’t see as how I’m spiritualizing anything away. You’re the one spiritualizing the children, and this is apparently the only basis on which you conclude the elect lady is a pastor. Even supposing these are her “spiritual” children, how does this make her a pastor? There is no indication within the letter or anywhere else in Scripture that 2 John’s elect lady is a pastor or any other sort of officer within the church. A leading lady she may very well be. But that’s not indicative of office.

    As to your comments in 36, the extraordinary office of prophet has formally ceased. That the office of prophet is a greater office than the office of elder or of deacon does not require that, if there were some prophetesses, there should also be elderesses or deaconnesses. And Scripture is clear that the offices of elder & deacon are limited to men.

  42. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    That the office of prophet is a greater office than the office of elder or of deacon does not require that, if there were some prophetesses, there should also be elderesses or deaconnesse,

    This is what I understand from Mary Kathryn also. I had not really understood this before so allow me to ask. Is the generally held belief that women were prophets in the past, and the prophet is a higher gift and indicative of a leadership role? (although I hesistate to say “office.”)

    However, because the spirit does not work in individuals now the same way He did in the Old Testament and New Testament, there are no longer any prophets. And as a result there is no longer a place for women in leadership of mixed groups in the church.

    Does this represent your thoughts?

  43. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Unintentional “winkie”

  44. June 24, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Prophets were generally messengers, not leaders/officers. In fact, they were “helpers” to the leaders of nations, not usually the leaders themselves. They are not necessarily a “higher” office and Paul’s list isn’t necessarily in rank order. His point was to say that there are a variety of ways that God gifted individuals, not to create a hierarchy.

  45. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    His point was to say that there are a variety of ways that God gifted individuals, not to create a hierarchy.

    Yes, that is a good way to think of it. Then women would be able to participate I forget why women are left out of the hierarchy but since they are then a shift away from hierarchy would benefit women. Except that a prostatis could equally be a leader/officer. It is the feminine of the temple leader in the OT.

  46. June 24, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Sue,

    Christ fulfilled the temple and sacrifices. They have no place in the NT era. Ezekiel called down fire from heaven in the OT, but that ain’t happening anymore either. I note from your blog that you are not of the Reformed faith, so I’m not sure where you come from theologically other than generally liberal.

  47. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    If the priesthood of Aaron is past, then the priesthood of all believers is the only priesthood remaining. Phoebe was nonetheless a leader.

    I was raised Plymouth Brethren where there is no clergy or even elders. But the women are silent. For many generations the women in my family learned Greek and were respected as equals in the home within a traditional family setting, but not allowed to speak in church. It always seemed so odd because none of the men studied Greek.

    I have attended many different evangelical churches since then, but settled in an Anglican Church. Many Brethren go to the Anglican church as the Brethren came out of that in the 19th century.

    There is some similarity in the focus although not in the structure, and it is the centrality of Bible reading over the sermon. Neither Brethren nor Anglican put as much weight on the sermon as the communication of God’s word, as on the reading of the word.

    As you know the Anglican Church ordains women. Many years ago my sister taught Greek to clergy in Hong Kong. She was also at the first regular ordination of a woman as priest in the Anglican church, and she knew Florence Li TIm Oi, who was an Anglican priest in China during WWII.

    I come out of an egalitarian ethic, although the Brethren did not treat women as equals, but the antihierarchical thinking is genuine on my part. Also many in my family and acquaintances were missionaries, both single and married. Whatever I thought when I was younger, I now see that the subordination of women is not the will of God.

    I am sad to see that 1 Tim. 2:12 is so badly translated. It should read “nor rule over a man as his master” since authenteo refers to the rule of a master over a slave. It can also refer to taking over the legal power of someone else. It was the use of absolute power from your own strength.

    If that is what some women were doing then it was wrong and had to be stopped. But Paul did treat many women as coworkers. Many “leading women” were recognized. Women fared better in some ways in the Old and New Testaments than they do today in modern American Christianity.

  48. June 24, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Sue,

    Thank you for sharing your background. It helps us understand your perspective as you approach the discussion.

    I’ve already addressed the issue with αυθεντειν and showed that the traditional translation in 1 Tim 2:12 both falls within the lexical domain of the word and Kyle has shown that it fits into the overall context of Paul’s argument 1 Tim 2:9-14. When analyzing individual words, they must remain within the context of the argument wherein they appear.

  49. June 24, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    HaigLaw,

    The difference with 1 Tim 2:12 is that Paul bases his argument in 2:9-14 on God’s creation ordinance, not local conditions or the law. While the civil and ceremonial law has been fulfilled and local cultures change, creation ordinances stand forever. Paul isn’t giving a new command, but simply reiterating what God decreed in creation. Thus instruction like 1 Tim 2:9-14 are not subject to the whims of local human cultural.

  50. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve already addressed the issue with αυθεντειν and showed that the traditional translation in 1 Tim 2:12 both falls within the lexical domain of the word …

    I do remember the discussion, but I do not recall seeing an example of authenteo that includes one person “having authority over” another in a positive context.

    Without quoting a lexicon entry, can you provide an example of one person who autheteo‘s another person in a good way – before the 4th century, or at all? Because I don’t know of any, but if I am saying something wrong then I want to know that.

    To pick up where Kyle and I left off. He quoted,

    page 682 Ev. Fem and Biblical Truth

    “Inhuman masters will have legal authority over their servants”

    as an example of a positive use of authenteo.

    However, the full quote for that as represented elsewhere is,

    Wherefore all shall walk after their own will. And the children will lay hands on their parents. The wife will give up her own husband to death, and the husband will bring his own wife to judgment like a criminal. Masters will lord it over their servants savagely, and servants will assume an unruly demeanour toward their masters. Hippolytus On the End of the World 7</a.

    Clearly “lord it over” is not used in a positive sense. I don’t really think that it is possible to use the word authenteo in the positive sense. Chrysostom would not let a man authenteo his wife.

    So, if it is negative and something that no one should do to anyone else, then women can’t do it either. And maybe since these women were doing it, Paul would not let them teach. It is not adequate to quote this verse as a reason for not giving women proper leadership.

  51. Scott said,

    June 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Sue said:

    “As you know the Anglican Church ordains women…”

    They did not do this historically. It is a very recent practice.

    After 460 Years, The Anglicans Ordain Women
    By JOHN DARNTON,
    Published: March 13, 1994
    Thirty-two women knelt this evening in Bristol Cathedral for the laying on of hands by the Bishop and became the first women ordained as priests in the Church of England’s 460 years.

  52. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    In Canada, 1976, several women, some who had served in remote areas and licensed as lay readers, were ordained. In Hong Kong, a couple of years earlier.

  53. David Gray said,

    June 24, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    >They did not do this historically. It is a very recent practice.

    Generally women are ordained before homosexuals are ordained. But the trend is pretty clear and a theology which will ordain women has no logical reason to object to ordaining homosexuals.

  54. Todd said,

    June 24, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I am somewhat sympathetic to HaigLaw´s thinking, and there is a certain irony to FV supporters labeling Haiglaw as a liberal. My question for Haiglaw – do you give any weight to the redemptive-historical argument that sees I Cor, Paul´s early letters still dealing with the supernatural, revelatory gifts imparted by the Apostles, where ín I Tim. Paul is about to die and is establishing the post-apostolic, permanent life and maintenance of the church? If you are not a cessationist this argument wouldn´t hold much water, but as one it seems more weight would be given to Paul´s instruction in I Tim. about who can authoritatively teach in the church than you seem to give it? In other words, the women issue in I Cor 14 deals with a temporary time n the church where Paul is regulating the use of these special gifts, while I Tim deals with a more permanent instruction post-apostolic age. What do you think?

    Thanks,

    Todd

  55. June 24, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    Sue, RE #50,

    Without quoting a lexicon entry, can you provide an example of one person who autheteo’s another person in a good way – before the 4th century, or at all?

    What’s wrong with Lexicons? As you well know, those are standard language tools for translation and interpretation. In this case, we’ve already shown that the traditional translation lies well within the lexical domain for the term. As I pointed out earlier and you know, αυθεντειν only occurs once in the NT. I quote from AGDB below because they reference early Christian literature in their lexicon:

    αὐθεντέω (Philod., Rhet. II p. 133, 14 Sudh.; Jo. Lydus, Mag. 3, 42; Moeris p. 58; Hesychius; Thom. Mag. p. 18, 8; schol. in Aeschyl., Eum. 42; BGU 103, 3; 8; 1208, 38 [27 bc]) have authority, domineer τινός over someone (Ptolem., Apotel. 3, 14, 10 Boll-B.; Cat. Cod. Astr. VIII 1 p. 177, 7; Bl-D. §177) ἀνδρός 1 Ti 2:12 (Mich. Glykas 270, 10 IBekker [1836] αἱ γυναῖκες αὐθεντοῦσι τ. ἀνδρῶν. According to Diod. S. 1, 27, 2 there was a well-documented law in Egypt: κυριεύειν τὴν γυναῖκα τἀνδρός). M-M.* (Arndt, W., Gingrich, F. W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (1996, c1979). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature : A translation and adaption of the fourth revised and augmented edition of Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-deutsches Worterbuch zu den Schrift en des Neuen Testaments und der ubrigen urchristlichen Literatur (121). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.)

    I have at least 10 lexicons around here with further information. I have already quoted several. I know this is a centerpiece of your anti-complementarian / anti-CBMW campaign, but the historical weight of Biblical scholarship supports the traditional translation. And that’s just the language. The context provides even stronger support for the traditional translation as Kyle and I have both pointed out.

  56. HaigLaw said,

    June 24, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Re: #40: “Luther and Calvin’s approach to scripture was very different from yours. And if you want to understand liberalism perhaps some time with Machen would be of help.”

    I’ll add this to my list of generalities with no proof or argumentation, which I’ve been subjected to.

    You obviously don’t know how much Machen & Van Til, and all those who stood up against the departure of Old Princeton from orthodoxy, have meant to me over the years.

  57. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    First,

    I would be incredibly grateful if you signed a name or do you prefer RM.

    Kyle was good enough to engage at the level of the examples. These are the examples mentioned in the lexicons. For starters, Philod., Rhet. II is reconstructed and authentein is not translated by “to have authority.” Neither are any of the others, as is turns out. I was rather surprised.

    Look at the examples in the Baldwin study preceding the 4th century. There are only 3, so it is not too difficult.

    (1st century BCE) BGU 1208, “compel”
    (2nd century AD) 2nd century) Ptolemy Tetrabiblos “dominate”
    (3rd century AD) Hippolytus (d. AD 235) On the End of the World. 7
    “Masters will lord it over their servants savagely,”

    I realize that the lexicon makes it look as if there is more evidence than this but I am sure that if Baldwin, Grudem, Schreiner and co, had found more they would have presented it.

  58. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    I would prefer to discuss the context when the lexical range of the word is understood. I know I should just give this up, but it doesn’t seem truthful to translate authentein with “to have authority.” I know how that tradition got started in 1516 or so, but it does seem without basis.

  59. HaigLaw said,

    June 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Re: #54: “I am somewhat sympathetic to HaigLaw´s thinking, and there is a certain irony to FV supporters labeling Haiglaw as a liberal.”

    Those who’ve known me for 30 years or even a large portion of that time find it not only ironic, but hilarious. I recall 5 months ago when I started reporting on LA Presbytery’s change of position and opposition to FV, even some FV opponents labeled me a liberal and some thought me pro-FV as well. So I’m used to name-calling.

    As for the redemptive-historical argument, I’m not that familiar with it. And I don’t consider myself a cessationist. I consider myself an adherent to the grammatical-historical hermeneutic, but some readers apparently dispute that. Perhaps that answers your question.

    If not, let’s discuss it some more. I like dialog. Dialog is a lot more likely to show me the error of my ways, if I’m indeed in error, that the types of attacks I’ve been receiving. :)

  60. June 24, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Sue,

    I would be incredibly grateful if you signed a name or do you prefer RM.

    I go by Bob. You can click on the hyperlinked “Reformed Musings” next to my post numbers to get to my blog. My about page tells a little about me.

    As for examples, I have no interest in examples outside the 1st Century when the NT was written. Language changes both with time and geography. Anyone can cherry-pick later examples to make a point, no matter how far off-base from the truth. I’m not accusing anyone of doing that, just saying it isn’t difficult.

    Another issue with outside sources is that Biblical writers gave new nuances or even meanings to some key words. “χάρις” is a great example. ἀγάπη is another. So, appeals to secular writings may or may not be representative of how the Scriptures use them.

  61. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    As for examples, I have no interest in examples outside the 1st Century when the NT was written.

    Then the word is a hapax legomenon and the meaning is empty. So, that means that one can give it any meaning that one likes and ignore that fact that this word was translated as “dominari” and “usurp authority” for 2000 years. You surely don’t think that people just have the right to assign the word any meaning at all without resorting to any research at all, do you?

    Is your such an attitude wide spread in your church?

  62. June 24, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    Sue,

    I would prefer to discuss the context when the lexical range of the word is understood.

    The two are inseparable. No word’s true meaning can be separated from its context. If I say that one baseball team “killed” another team in a game, would you assume that they took out their chainsaws and chopped up the opposition? Yet, that is within the semantic range of “killed”. By separating words from their context, one opens up a whole host of potential trouble. We already see that in your treatment of αυθεντειν within the context of 1 Timothy 2:9-14.

    I know how that tradition got started in 1516 or so, but it does seem without basis.

    Not so. John Wycliff translated it that way in the 14th Century:

    1TIM 2:12 But Y suffre not a womman to teche, nether to haue lordschip on the hosebonde, but to be in silence.

    Tyndale translated it that way as well:

    12 I suffre not a woman to teache nether to have auctoricie over a man: but forto be in silence.

    So the traditional translation dates to the very first English Bibles. No help there.

  63. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Yes, I was referring to Tyndale, who based it on Erasmus Latin translation of authoritatem usurpare.

    But Wycliff said “have lordship on” and that represents the master-slave relationship which we see in the Hippolytus passage. It also represents the curse in gen. 3:16.

    and thou schalt be vndur power of the hosebonde, and he schal be lord of thee.

    Because the word had this negative meaning, that is why Chrysostom later said that a husband may never do this to a wife.

    There are no examples of where this word is used of authority or leadership in church. It is the power a master has over a slave. Or it can be to usurp or take someone elses authority – to overpower them.

  64. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    There are NO examples that support the meaning of church leadership or proper authority.

  65. June 24, 2008 at 11:09 pm

    Sue, RE #61,

    Nice try. I wasn’t born yesterday. I’m talking about lexical range, not wholesale redefinition, although the latter also occurs. What restraining the time domain does is remain true to the actual historical context of the usage. I know that doesn’t help egalitarians who wish to impose a 20th Century gloss on 1st Century writing. Can’t help that.

    English example: Does “careful” mean exactly the same thing today as it did in 1611? The KJV uses “careful” in Phil 4:6:

    Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

    The ESV uses a different word now:

    do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

    “Careful” in 1611 meant what “anxious” means now in 2008. Careful is used differently now and the idea of “anxious” is considered archaic. Look at the quotes from Wycliff and Tyndale. Does that look like 21th Century English? Yet all these are separated by the same relative time periods from which you propose to pull examples to justify your egalitarian views. Sorry, that just doesn’t cut it.

  66. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Excuse me. We have established that there are NO other occurrences of authenteo in the same century as the epistle. So, that means, according to you, that is must be a hapax legomonon. How do you establish the lexical range of a hapax. Is the meaning imposed on a hapax binding to the rest of the church?

    And is there even one occurrence anywhere of authentein meaning to have proper authority? I have not seen one.

    You have not provided any evidence of any kind at all.

  67. June 24, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Sue,

    But Wycliff said “have lordship on” and that represents the master-slave relationship

    In English, it also represents a sovereign or ruler over his people, as in Christ over the church, as well as lesser authority examples. You are inappropriately imposing constructs from across cultures with very different experiences and languages.

    There are NO examples that support the meaning of church leadership or proper authority.

    So, you have perfect knowledge of everything written in the Greek-writing world of the 1st Century? What you really mean is that you haven’t found any. My point still stands. I’ve got at least 10 lexicons and over a dozen of translations that say the traditional meaning in 1 Tim 2:12 is correct, and that it fits the context of the entire 1 Tim 2:9-14, which you continue to totally ignore. Seems like you just don’t like the complementarian implications of the actual contextual meaning, so you’re off on a wild goose chase trying to redefine something that has been settled for 2000 years. Although it’s not nearly as old, I’m still liking my baseball example.

  68. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    And are you claiming that Wycliff and Tyndale are evidence?

  69. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Bob,

    What I mean is that if you take all the occurrences in those lexicons, the only ones from any century near the epistles are the ones I cited. That is it.

    So, take from those three examples, “compel” “dominate” and “lord it over.” I can’t follow your other examples. Does a church leader have a master-slave power over others. Does a husband have a master slave relationship over his wife?

  70. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Bob,

    I know its hard to believe but there really isn’t evidence for “to have authority.”

  71. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    BTW

    Wycliff translated from the Latin “dominari” and we know that “dominari” was the word used in Gen. 3:16. So now we have to ask if the “rule” of the husband over the wife in Gen. 3:16 was a curse and sinful or not.

  72. June 24, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Sue, RE #66,

    You have not provided any evidence of any kind at all.

    To the contrary, I have provided the definitions from several lexicons and can offer many more. I stand on the shoulders of giants that go back to at least the 14th Century in English, and back to 2000 years in interpretation. The Roman church, for all the disagreements I might have with it, taught the passage the same way well before the 14th Century. And again, the traditional rendering fits the context of the broader passage.

    You only need extra-Biblical examples to try to crack that 2000-year history of translation, interpretation, and teaching. I don’t need them to prove anything. I’ll stand with my fathers in the faith, and on the inerrant Scriptures as inspired by God.

    I have to go to work today. I’m calling it a night. Thank you for the discussion.

  73. Kyle said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Suzanne,

    You yourself said, “One cannot prove that authenteo is purely negative.” So, arguing it’s negative implications from extrabiblical sources in different centuries is not going to get you anywhere; and it certainly won’t prove your case when I can argue neutral usage from some of the same extrabiblical sources. Remember the citation from Basil, writing in the 4th century? Or the multiple citations from Chrysostom, also in the 4th century? In fact, the citations where you wanted to argue that the usage was negative rather than neutral were all later citations than these! Even the Latin dominari is not a negative term, as I showed before.

    You cannot prove your position linguistically. The semantic range of auqentew allows for neutral and even positive usage. What is left is for you to prove your position by systematic exegesis. That was the last challenge I issued you, and you never took it up. Instead, your argument turned to characterizing my position as one of trying to subordinate women rather than enjoying kindly fellowship with them.

    If we allow, for the sake of argument, that auqentein in I Tim. 2:12 is a purely negative usage (that is, for Paul auqentew indicates an action that is inherently negative), that doesn’t explain why Paul forbids women from teaching (is this an inherently negative action?), nor does it help us to understand his explicit reasoning in vv. 13-14.

  74. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Kyle,

    I have since then been restricted to the occurences from before the 4th century, so I have not researched all the occurrences in the 4th century. So, I quote here, “compel” “dominate” and “lord it over.” One of these was labeled hostile by Grudem, the second is astrological, and the third is a very negative use. So, I think that the lexical range alone, demonstrates that it is a negative word.

    For the syntactic argument, Kostenberger writes,

    “Complementing the lexical analysis was the syntactical study of the phrase “not . . . to teach or have authority,” which yielded the unequivocal conclusion that both terms, “teach” and “have authority,” carry the same force, whether positive or negative, when joined by the coordinating conjunction “or” (Grk. oude). This was demonstrated by a plethora of examples both from the NT and extrabiblical Greek literature.”

    So, if authentein has a negative meaning, then “teach” must be the teaching of something negative.

    No doubt the women were doing something negative in their teaching just as the men were fighting. So Paul tells the men, “don’t do this” and the women “don’t do that.”

  75. Sue said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Kostenberger contiinues,

    “A case in point is I. H. Marshall. In his 1999 ICC commentary on the Pastorals, Marshall at the outset indicates his acceptance of the findings of my study by noting that it has “argued convincingly on the basis of a wide range of Gk. usage that the construction employed in this verse is one in which the writer expresses the same attitude (whether positive or negative) to both of the items joined together by oude.”

    Yet Marshall proceeds to opt for a negative connotation of both terms “teach” and “have authority,” because he says false teaching is implied in the reference to Adam and Eve in verse 14. ”

    I agree with Marshall.

  76. David Gray said,

    June 24, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    >I am somewhat sympathetic to HaigLaw´s thinking,

    That does not bode well for you.

    >and there is a certain irony to FV supporters labeling Haiglaw as a liberal.

    I haven’t seen any here.

  77. Kyle said,

    June 25, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Suzanne,

    (By the way, you mischaracterized my argument up there in #50. I didn’t quote that as a positive usage. You quoted it as a negative usage, and I responded that the usage there of auqentew itself was not obviously negative, but could very well be read as neutral, as Baldwin cogently argued.)

    So, I quote here, “compel” “dominate” and “lord it over.” One of these was labeled hostile by Grudem, the second is astrological, and the third is a very negative use. So, I think that the lexical range alone, demonstrates that it is a negative word.

    Of these three citations, one is a negative usage within a century prior to Paul; one is an indeterminate and possibly neutral usage within a century after Paul; and the last can be argued as being “neutral” for the simple fact that it is modified by a negative adverb. As I said, you aren’t getting anywhere.

    Let’s take Kostenberger. Say Paul is prohibiting two actions to women that are either positive or else negative. Marshall says that both didaskein and auqentein are negative because of Paul’s subsequent reasoning. In fact, he concludes that auqentein is negative, not because it is inherently so, but because didaskein appears negative as Paul implies false teaching in v. 14. This hardly supports your position. All it says is that because of Paul’s reasoning in the following verses, the color of both prohibited actions in v. 12 is negative. We might as well say that they are colored negative for the simple reason that they are prohibited in the first place.

  78. Sue said,

    June 25, 2008 at 12:44 am

    By the way, you mischaracterized my argument up there in #50. I didn’t quote that as a positive usage. You quoted it as a negative usage, and I responded that the usage there of auqentew itself was not obviously negative, but could very well be read as neutral, as Baldwin cogently argued.)

    You are right. Sorry, that was unintentional. I must have meant neutral. The issue is that Baldwin retranslated that passage to make it look neutral when it had been translated in a negative way elsewhere. The connotation is negative.

    The range is from negative to possibly neutral. What evidence do you have for positive? So, the preponderance of evidence is neutral to negative, and add to that the exegesis of a negative meaning if we don’t know the meaning.

    The probability lies with a negative meaning. But whole denominations make decisions to restrict women on the basis of this text. It boggles the mind.

  79. Sue said,

    June 25, 2008 at 12:46 am

    What I am saying is that you cannot prove a positive meaning, so you cannot prove the meaning of this text. It could mean A or B. But, look at the weight it is given in the church. All women have their lives affected by this one verse. And no one knows for sure what it means.

  80. Kyle said,

    June 25, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Suzanne,

    You are right. Sorry, that was unintentional. I must have meant neutral. The issue is that Baldwin retranslated that passage to make it look neutral when it had been translated in a negative way elsewhere. The connotation is negative.

    The connotation is negative because of the adverbial modifier, “savagely,” not because auqentew is inherently negative. If I say, “the king ruled with an iron fist,” his “rule” has a negative connotation because of the modifying clause, “with an iron fist,” not because “to rule” is a negative activity.

    Paul doesn’t modify didaskein or auqentein with negative adverbs. Nor is his argument for prohibiting these activities to women that they are inherently negative activities in which even men should not participate. His argument is on these two bases: 1) Adam was created first, then Eve; 2) Eve was deceived, not Adam. The reverse implication of Paul’s argument is that he allows men to didaskein and auqentein because Adam was created first and Adam was not deceived!

  81. Sue said,

    June 25, 2008 at 1:26 am

    It is the rule of a master over a slave. We see the use of dominate and compel. There is no suggestion that there is a positive side to this. Of course, one can also say “he beat him up rather badly” and the fact that “beat him up” is modified by “badly” does not make “beat him up” a positive word. The modifier only indicates that the word ranges from neutral to negative. There is no indication that a man could properly authenteo anyone at all.

    Adam was created first, then Eve; 2) Eve was deceived, not Adam. The reverse implication of Paul’s argument is that he allows men to didaskein and auqentein because Adam was created first and Adam was not deceived!

    Several centuries later the word was used for the pope, But still a husband could not authenteo a wife. So there was always even later something about the kind of rule, that it was despotic.

    There is absolutely no indication that men were allowed to authenteo anyone. Jerome was clear when he translated Gen. 3:16 as dominari, and authenteo as dominari, that it was a curse.

    None of this can be proved so you will just subordinate women on a whim. That is the meaning of authenteo. To take over control of just because someone has the power to do so.

  82. Kyle said,

    June 25, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Suzanne, re: 81,

    It is the rule of a master over a slave. We see the use of dominate and compel. There is no suggestion that there is a positive side to this.

    Again, I refer you to our previous discussion for the examples I provided.

    Of course, one can also say “he beat him up rather badly” and the fact that “beat him up” is modified by “badly” does not make “beat him up” a positive word.

    Indeed. But you have not established that auqentew is negative. You have asserted it. You have provided some citations in which it is negative and some in which it could be negative or neutral. I showed, using Baldwin, that there are other occurrences that are neutral and even positive. You have not shown at any rate that it is, in fact, negative in its lone biblical occurrence; and there is particularly no reason to believe that it is negative when it is paired with didaskein, an otherwise not illegitimate activity. The question in Paul’s argument is not whether these activities are inherently problematic; the question is whether women are permitted to do them.

    This is why I have told you that you need to do systematic exegesis. Your linguistic analysis does not do enough work.

    Several centuries later the word was used for the pope, But still a husband could not authenteo a wife. So there was always even later something about the kind of rule, that it was despotic.

    Chrysostom, a citation of whose you have in mind here, used auqentew with a semantic range encompassing both positive and negative, as I showed in our previous discussion.

    There is absolutely no indication that men were allowed to authenteo anyone. Jerome was clear when he translated Gen. 3:16 as dominari, and authenteo as dominari, that it was a curse.

    As I also showed in our previous discussion, dominari is NOT inherently negative. It has a semantic range which encompasses both the curse of Gen. 3:16, and legitimate rule. That Jerome used it to translate both Gen. 3:16 & I Tim. 2:12 does not prove your position.

    None of this can be proved so you will just subordinate women on a whim. That is the meaning of authenteo. To take over control of just because someone has the power to do so.

    This kind of characterization of me is why I ended our previous discussion. Will you kindly refrain? I have not maligned your character or motives; what reason have you to malign mine?

  83. Sue said,

    June 25, 2008 at 2:10 am

    You are right. I should not have said that.

    As I also showed in our previous discussion, dominari is NOT inherently negative. It has a semantic range which encompasses both the curse of Gen. 3:16, and legitimate rule.

    There is no luse for egitimate rule demonstrated within several centuries, and there is no way of proving that this word had a legitimate meaning. Does God really mean that the same word can be used for harsh abusive rule and the godly authority of church leadership.

    The fact is that you cannot prove a positive meaning There are exegetes on both sides. I cannot prove to you that it is negative and you cannot prove that it is positive. That it had a meaning, we know. So, if negative then not related to church rule, but “control” as the other three examples demonstrate. It is lar that the negative has the preponderance of evidence.

    The fact is that I don’t have to prove a positive meaning but just demonstrate that you cannot prove your case. You cannot prove that egalitarians are wrong on this.

  84. Sue said,

    June 25, 2008 at 2:11 am

    luse for egitimate rule – no use for legitimate rule

  85. Sue said,

    June 25, 2008 at 2:14 am

    I am just so astounded that a decision that affects women so deeply, as we can easily see, can be made on such an unprovable and arbitrary basis.

  86. Kyle said,

    June 25, 2008 at 3:21 am

    Suzanne,

    There is no use for legitimate rule demonstrated within several centuries, and there is no way of proving that this word had a legitimate meaning.

    I’ll let others judge whether these referrences are universally to illegitimate, harsh, or abusive rule.

    Deuteronomy 15:6
    fenerabis gentibus multis et ipse a nullo accipies mutuum dominaberis nationibus plurimis et tui nemo dominabitur
    Thou shalt lend to many nations, and thou shalt borrow of no man. Thou shalt have dominion over very many nations, and no one shall have dominion over thee.

    Judges 8:22-23
    22 dixeruntque omnes viri Israhel ad Gedeon dominare nostri tu et filius tuus et filius filii tui quia liberasti nos de manu Madian 23 quibus ille ait non dominabor vestri nec dominabitur in vos filius meus sed dominabitur Dominus
    22 And all the men of Israel said to Gedeon: Rule thou over us and thy son, and thy son’s son: because thou hast delivered us from the hand of Madian. 23 And he said to them: I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you, but the Lord shall rule over you.

    I Samuel 9:17
    cumque aspexisset Samuhel Saulem Dominus ait ei ecce vir quem dixeram tibi iste dominabitur populo meo
    And when Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him: Behold the man, of whom I spoke to thee, this man shall reign over my people.

    Psalm 109:2
    virgam virtutis tuae emittet Dominus ex Sion dominare in medio inimicorum tuorum
    The Lord will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of Sion: rule thou in the midst of thy enemies.

    Proverbs 17:2
    servus sapiens dominabitur filiis stultis et inter fratres hereditatem dividet
    A wise servant shall rule over foolish sons, and shall divide the inheritance among the brethren.

    Proverbs 19:10
    non decent stultum deliciae nec servum dominari principibus
    Delicacies are not seemly for a fool: nor for a servant to have rule over princes.

    Tobit 4:14
    superbiam numquam in tuo sensu aut in tuo verbo dominari permittas in ipsa enim initium sumpsit omnis perditio
    Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind, or in thy words: for from it all perdition took its beginning.

    Wisdom 17:2
    dum enim persuasum habent iniqui posse dominari nationi sanctae vinculis tenebrarum et longae noctis conpediti inclusi sub tectis fugitivi perpetuae providentiae iacuerunt
    For while the wicked thought to be able to have dominion over the holy nation, they themselves being fettered with the bonds of darkness, and a long night, shut up in their houses, lay there exiled from the eternal providence.

    I Maccabees 8:16
    et committunt uni homini magistratum suum per singulos annos dominari universae terrae suae et omnes oboediunt uni et non est invidia neque zelus inter eos
    And that they committed their government to one man every year, to rule over all their country, and they all obey one, and there is no envy, nor jealousy amongst them.

    The fact is that I don’t have to prove a positive meaning but just demonstrate that you cannot prove your case. You cannot prove that egalitarians are wrong on this.

    The fact remains, Suzanne, that Paul prohibited women from teaching or from exercising (some kind of) rule over men. He commanded that they learn in silence. He said in I Cor. 14:34-35 that women are to keep silent; they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves; it is shameful for women to speak in church. He laid down the qualifications for elders and deacons in I Tim. 3, and they are to be men; and again for elders in Titus 1, they are to be men. In Ephesians and Colossians Paul commands that wives be subject to their husbands, as the church is to Christ. In I Cor. 11, man is the head of woman, as Christ is the head of man. Everyone whom we know without a doubt to have been an apostle was a man. Everyone whom we know without a doubt to have been a deacon was a man. The prepoderance of clear biblical evidence, on any straightforward reading of Scripture, favors the traditional position that men are to be the leaders in the church and in the home. The egalitarian case rests entirely on exceptions and questionables.

  87. greenbaggins said,

    June 25, 2008 at 7:22 am

    You clearly did not mention that prostatis had leadership in its semantic range. Its only fair to consider both sides.

    This is amazing, Sue. Since when have you been considering the complementarian side as anything but misogynist? By the way, folks, this is the same Sue who posted a while back on the thread regarding Galatians 3 and 1 Timothy 2:

    http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2007/11/03/galatians-328-and-feminism/#comments

  88. HaigLaw said,

    June 25, 2008 at 7:37 am

    Re: #86:

    “The fact remains, Suzanne, that Paul prohibited women from teaching or from exercising (some kind of) rule over men. He commanded that they learn in silence. He said in I Cor. 14:34-35 that women are to keep silent; they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves; it is shameful for women to speak in church.”

    So any church that allows women to say anything at all is apostate, then?

  89. Kyle said,

    June 25, 2008 at 9:46 am

    HaigLaw, re: 88,

    I don’t recall mentioning anything about apostasy. My position is that Paul is prohibiting women from preaching/teaching in the public assembly of the church.

  90. Sue said,

    June 25, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Yes, Kyle your examples confirm what I said, that authenteo is the rule of power often negative, sometimes neutra, and nlever proven to be a good thing.

    The rule of a man over a woman is a curse.

  91. Scott said,

    June 25, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Mary Kathryn,

    Thanks for your posts.

    I realize there is a seven-way dust up going on, hard to follow.

    If you have time to respond to my thoughts on your earlier post (see #28), I would be interested in more fully understanding your thoughts on this. You may have already done so, but I’m finding it a challenge to follow the discussions here as some are now multi-thread postings.

  92. Sue said,

    June 25, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I apologize for ending with the previous statement, although it was intended as a reference to Gen. 3:16.

    Lane,

    I note that in our last conversation, you felt you did not have time to pursue the evidence which I had presented. I have presented evidence that authenteo had a predominantly negative range implying absolute power and lording it over someone. The probability is that a woman was not permitted to do something negative in this verse. There is not adequate evidence to relegate women to subordination if you took this quote to court. All it says is that a woman may not do what a man may not do either.

    Thanks for allowing me to post.

  93. Kyle said,

    June 25, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Suzanne, re: 92,

    All it says is that a woman may not do what a man may not do either.

    Then why does Paul base his prohibition on Eve being created after Adam & Eve being deceived while Adam was not? If the actions are prohibited to both men and women, why does Paul give these reasons for the prohibition?

  94. Sue said,

    June 25, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Kyle,

    I’ll try to keep this on a friendly basis. There was a teaching that woman is the mother of man, and is represented by the godess of fertility and protector of women in childbirth. Women producing life and dying in the process is the one universal reality of human life. It is the core of our physical existance.

    Paul is saying that woman was first created from Adam and cannot, because she is the mother of all living lord it over man. Paul is also saying that although man becomes the ruler of woman as a consequence of sin, woman was deceived first, and so, no, woman cannnot lord it over man in the state of redemption.

    The verse about childbearing is not normative, as a single woman can serve God with more devotion than a married woman and mother, as Paul says elsewhere.

    So, the verses about childbearing refer to the notions that people has about childbearing tat time, in their pagan culture. Childbearing is a form of power for women. But it should not be for us as Christian women. As Christians, we, men and women, learn in quietness and submission to the word, and woman is still saved by being the representative childbearer, as man is the representative “first created” by God.

    And so we should offer each other respect and mutual dependence and familial bonds of affection. We should not be in a position where one gender rules over another. We owe our earthly existance to one another. If women experience the rule of men as grievous, then it is up to men to follow the teaching of Christ in Phil.2.

    If women in any church experience the restrictions on women as negative, then men should humbly ask how they can either, a) not treat women as subordinates, but as siblings and neighbours (fellow Christians) or b) make the subordinate state less grievous for women.

    These are my feelings. On another point I would like to ask you what software you are using to do your searches of the Vulgate, etc. I don’t own any software and don’t know where to start. What do you use? Thanks so much.

  95. greenbaggins said,

    June 25, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Sue, I would recommend Bibleworks, version 7, which not only has the Vulgate, but also the new Vulgate, as well as all the English translations you could want, Philo and Josephus in Greek and English, OT and NT, of course, and hundreds of other tools. At $350, a real steal.

  96. Sue said,

    June 25, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Sounds great. I didn’t realize it covered so much. I am glad, however, to see that the search results fall within my understanding of the words. It would be a little worrisome otherwise. :-) Good stuff.

  97. June 25, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Sue,

    For software, I’d recommend Logos System 3 which I linked in my other post. You can choose a package tailored to your needs/interests. I have been using the Original Languages Library (includes the Vulgate), which now sells for $415.95, as my base library for over a decade (in earlier versions). It does some very nice lexical and other analyses, and comes with an extensive selection Greek and Hebrew texts, English texts, Syriac texts, Egyptian texts, lexicons, interlinears, etc.

  98. June 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    Sue, RE #94,

    Nice egalitarian pitch. Unfortunately, it does not represent the teaching of the Scriptures. Paul would easily recognize your argument as parallel to the pagan goddess cults of ancient Greece and way before that. Railing against God’s created order will not change it one iota.

    I personally don’t have the time to answer every frequent departure you make from orthodox Christianity. Kyle, I, and others have presented the Biblical basis for God’s complementarian plan for us. We’ve all just been going in circles for the last several rounds. Your entire argument is based on the fact that you don’t like what the Bible says in context about God’s ordained roles for men and women, so you try to parse it out in “changeable chunks” and rely on your unique interpretations of unrelated and distant writings to change those chunks. That’s not how Biblical scholarship is done, at least not in the Reformed faith world.

    The original post was about the PCA BCO and its basis in the Scriptures. We’ve been quite indulgent in allowing you to wander far afield of that topic and pitch your egalitarian opinions. Now it’s time to return to and stay with that topic in this thread. Thank you for your cooperation.


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