- Complementarians and Egalitarians both find their position from Scripture. The Armenian and Calvinist positions both claim they are found in the clear teaching of the Bible. Charismatic and non-Charismatic both base their stance on the Scriptures. The Church of Christ claims it best reflects God's desire for the way "church" ought to be, but then again, so does the Baptist and the Pentacostal, and all three of them point to the Bible for "proof" that they are right.
- But in no case are we free to say that the teaching of the Bible on any subject is confusing or incapable of being understood correctly. In no case should we think that persistent disagreements on some subject in the history of the Church mean that we will be unable to come to a correct conclusion on that subject ourselves. Rather, if a genuine concern about some such subject arises in our lives we should sincerely ask God's help and then go to Scripture, searching it with all our ability, believing that God will enable us to understand rightly. (Bible Doctrine. p. 53)
1. Gen. 3:16
- et te soumettras à ton mari, Bible Olivétan (with preface written by Calvin)
(and you will submit to your husband)
- Susan Foh has effectively argued that the word translated "desire" (Heb. teshûqah) means "desire to conquer," and that it indicates Eve would have a wrongful desire to usurp authority over her husband. (Systematic Theology. page 464)
2. 1 Tim. 2:12 An early English translation from 1560, called the Calvin Bible, translated the verse this way,
- 1 Ti 2:12 But I suffer not the woman to teach, nor to assume authority over the man, but to be silent.
- To take one example: in 1 Timothy 2:12 the TNIV adopts a highly suspect and novel translation that gives the egalitarian side everything they have wanted for years in a Bible translation. It reads, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man”
3. Eph. 5:21
- submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
- “So in our case let the whole body be saved in Christ Jesus, and let each man be subject (ὑποτασσέσθω) to his neighbor, to the degree determined by his spiritual gift,”
- ”[King Antiochus Eupator] got word that Philip, who had been left in charge of the government, had revolted in Antioch; he was dismayed, called in the Jews, yielded (ὑπετάγη) and swore to observe all their rights, settled with them and offered sacrifice, honored the sanctuary and showed generosity to the holy place.”
- But in spite of all these different forms of submission, one thing remains constant in every use of the word: it is never "mutual" in its force; it is always one-directional in its reference to submission to an authority.
How else can one explain the significant difference in interpretation between Grudem and Calvin, or Grudem and Clement (a native speaker of Greek) if not by saying that scripture is confusing. In fact, I find Molly to be incredibly generous when she simply comments,
- Was the Bible ever supposed to be clear? That's what I'm wondering.
Now, I won't disagree if someone says that Calvin and Grudem have somewhat similar attitudes to women preaching. Calvin probably wasn't too happy with Marie Dentiere. But one must admit that if we hold to sola scriptura, one really has to wonder how these two came to the same conclusions with such a different view of what scripture actually said.