Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Parchment and Pen

I have been in a discussion with Dan Wallace on Parchment and Pen. I am sure that those who read it will understand that I am much in need of Emily Post or some such thing. If you have come here from there, then please, just input authentein into the top search window or use the comment zone to ask me a question.

I call on diverse primary documents when I blog. However, everything I write on authentein can be backed up in complementarian articles, if you read the footnotes. In fact, there is no broadly accepted evidence that authentein means "to have authority." I will most certainly take back this statement if someone provides such evidence.


Bryan L said...

I feel for you Sue. I've seen you bring up the evidence time and time again on the blogs of various scholars only to have them tell you that their blog is not the place for that discussion and then refer you to an article to read. And when you try to discuss the accuracy of those articles then the conversation pretty much shuts down.

I don't know how you keep doing it. : )

It seems odd to me though how many of these complementarian scholars aren't really that familiar withe arguments of these articles they refer to since they never seem to be able to defend them.

Have you ever had a really good exchange with a complementarian scholar where they actually responded to your arguments and were able to defend the arguments from the articles they refer to?

Bryan L

J. K. Gayle said...

Have you seen Franziska E. Shlosser's review of Michael Grünbart's work? (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2005/2005-10-09.html) What do you think about this following statement? Are the Byzantine's uses of αὐθέντης too late?

"Addresses used for foreign rulers are extant in a few letters dating to the ninth and tenth centuries. There is, however, a list of such addresses in the works of Konstantinos Porphyrogennetos. Thus the letters can be compared with a contemporary source. Most commonly used are ἀδελφός (brother), τέκνον (child) and υἱός (son). As mentioned above, the fictitious relationship between foreign rulers and the Byzantines gave rise to these forms of address. The rest of this chapter gives examples of forms of addresses in letters to the clergy, and secular addressees. In case of the latter we find that αὐθέντης, δεσπότης and κύριος (lord) are commonly used."

I'm sure you've seen Albert Wolters article reproduced at cbmw.org: (http://www.cbmw.org/images/jbmw_pdf/11_1/semantic_study.pdf). Wolters, of course, contends "that
αὐθέντης appears to have three distinct
senses in ancient Greek (‘murderer’,
‘master’, and ‘doer’), and it is a matter of

"It should be pointed out that in none of these cases is ‘master’ used in the pejorative sense of
‘autocrat’ or ‘despot’. In fact, it is used twice in Christian contexts to refer to the lordship of Jesus Christ. [fn] 25 Furthermore, I have found no evidence to support Dihle’s contention that αὐθέντης in this sense refers primarily to a ‘boss’ in the workplace. [fn] 26"

Is this the evidence you are looking for?

Suzanne McCarthy said...


I have read Wolters and discussed this with him in the past but cannot remember all the details. My sense is that authentes has both a very negative meaning and a positive meaning.

The positive meaning is that Christ is the Lord. But this cannot apply to men in church leadership. In 1 Peter 5:3 church leaders are not to lord it over the flock. That Christ can be "master" does not mean that a human leader can be "master."

That is my take and I think the position of the early church fathers. For them women simply could not be leaders so they did not have to be as concerned about this one verse in 1 Timothy.

Bryan L,

I think the main reason that women are excluded from leadership is basically tradition. That's it.