Thursday, April 16, 2009

McCarthy vs Grudem (Wayne Grudem)

If you google my name, please note that I am not 59 years old, (although I will be some day) I do not write romance novels (although I would like to) I am not a commissioner of this or that.

However, I am the Suzanne McCarthy about whom Wayne Grudem writes,
    From what she has written here, I would not be able to say that Suzanne McCarthy should be considered a reliable source of information for understanding Greek or for quoting other authors (like myself) fairly and with attention to context.
I think that is quite fair and I have never felt that there was any reason to argue with this. I perceive nothing negative in this at all. Dr. Grudem is perfectly welcome to this opinion. I have been called far worse. But some people want to know about this post and what my side is. Sigh. Here are Grudem's first two points and you can read the in between text on the original post. (Note: If you are bored already please scroll down to the second half of this post.)

1. The text in question mentioned in the Burer and Wallace article is not Psalms of Solomon 6:2 (as she says) but 2:6. It says:

True, I reversed the numbers.

2. Burer and Wallace do not misquote Psalms of Solomon 2:6 in their article which I cite (from New Testament Studies 47 (2001), pp. 86-87). Here is the evidence: interested readers can see the Greek text in Alfred Rahlfs, Septuaginta (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschart, 1979), vol. 2, p. 472. People who have Bible Works software, for example, can find it by first going to Romans 16:7, then clicking on episemoi, then "search lemma" and the examples from the Apocrypha will come up on the list.

So here is what Burer and Wallace actually wrote. See what you think.
    When, however, an elative notion is found, en plus a personal plural dative is not uncommon. In Pss. Sol. 2:6, where the Jewish captives are in view, the writer indicates that “they were a spectacle among the gentiles” ( ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ). This construction comes as close to Rom. 16:7 as any we have yet seen. The parallels include (a) people as the referent of the adjective evpi,shmoj, (b) followed by evn plus the dative plural, (c) the dative plural referring to people as well. All the key elements are here.
However, this is not accurate. Pss. Sol. 2:6 actually says
ἐν ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν. Let's look at the discrete points, a) people is NOT the referent of the adjective episemos, b) it is followed by en plus the dative c) the dative plural refers to people. Point A, which is by far the most significant, is not correct.

The translation, "a spectacle among the Gentiles" provided by Burer & Wallace is a loose approximation and not an actual translation. The Greek says either "in a bond among the Gentiles" or "in a prominent [place] among the Gentiles." Grudem concurs.

How does this compare with Burer and Wallace's main point. They say,
    Semantically, what is significant is that (a) the first group is not a part of the second—that is, the Jewish captives were not gentiles; and (b) what was ‘among’ the gentiles was the Jews’ notoriety. This is precisely how we are suggesting that Rom. 16:7 should be taken.
But, in fact, either the Jews were actually in bonds among the Gentiles, or they were in a place which was among the Gentiles. In either case, the Jews were actually among the Gentiles and NOT in a place which was visible TO the Gentiles. This means that the first group is geographically in a place among the second group, it is inclusive. There is no question of episemos being an adjective referring to the Jews. That is impossible.

The example in Pss. 2:6 is not a parallel to Roamns 16:7 and it does not demonstrate the elative use of episemos, if, in fact, there is one. It does not show that Junia was conspicious to the apostles. If it means she was conspicuous, then it means that AMONG the apostles, she was conspicuous. She stood out.

Grudem then quoted what I had said in a comment on a previous thread,

"It is now well-known that Wallace and Burer misquoted Psalm of Solomon in their article. They actually mistook a noun for an adjective. In fact, Dr. Grudem's entire section on Junia is riddled with factual errors."

This is true. I said this. I regret the tone. This was only a comment on my part, not a published work, but I do believe that Wallace and Burer made a fundamental error in the way they cited Pss. 2:6 as ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν (visible among the Gentiles) instead of citing ἐν ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν (in [a place that is] prominent among the Gentiles.) They suggest that a verb of perception is involved but that is not the case. That is the first main point.

The second is this. Why did I say that Grudem's section on Junia was riddled with errors. Two reasons. If you open the pdf of Grudem's book Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth and use a search engine, you will find that he uses the term "riddled with ..." at least three times in that book. I thought it was a striking term and it stuck in my head. I regurgitated it. I am human.


In a case of serendipity, new today CBMW offers Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth in a new format. I had to try twice but then it downloaded in a trice. A quick search confirms that the expression "riddled with linguistic blunders" occurs three times in the text, and "riddled with methodological errors" occurs once. Grudem uses this term and his approach is "reasoned and comprehensive," but I use this term and my language is "intemperate." What a double standard! Oh, right, that is what complementarianism is.

And yes, Grudem made other implausible statements in discussing Junia, suggesting that there is evidence that it might be a man's name. There are two citations which all scholars agree are not valid, and then there is Wolters' recent work. Wolters does not offer evidence that Junia is a male name. He offers a plausible argument that there is an outside possibility that it could be a male name. This is not evidence. It is only logical argumentation that the evidence could exist.

Are you bored yet? I sure am. Please read the post on Adrian Warnock's blog and ask me specific questions.

Notification of new topic starting here.

Now for something that might be more interesting -

I was reminded very recently by a commenter called TUAD, that Dan Wallace once corrected my Latin, declaring that there is no such word as dominari in the Latin Vulgate. Here is the exchange regarding authentein in the Vulgate, with reference to 1 Tim. 2:12.


Sue - I discovered that Jerome had already come to the conclusion that authentein meant dominari

Dan Wallace - Jerome did not use the word ‘dominari’ (no such word in Latin); he used ‘dominare.’ Look it up in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, definition 1.

Sue - On “dominare,” I would like to ask you what form that is. It does not show up in Lewis and Short on the Perseus site. I can only find “dominor” with the infinitive “dominari” as is found in the Vulgate.

Dan Wallace - Sue, I stand corrected; the form in 1 Tim 2.12 is ‘dominari.’ The spelling with the ‘e’ is an infinitive, however.

Sue - I do think that if you check you will find that dominare is not the infinitive. I don’t mean to be stubborn and obstinate about this, but I just think that it would benefit someone to know that dominari is the infinitive of dominor, since it is a vital part of this discussion. I think then next time you will know that dominari is the infiinitive form and this is what Jerome used.

Dan Wallace - Sue, please forgive me for not noticing where you mentioned your website. I still can’t find it as I go back through the thread. Can you please list it again? Of course, I am heavily sedated so I may not be seeing things right in front of my nose!

That may explain as well why I didn’t recognize dominari as an infinitive. My classical Latin texts (I have but one Latin grammar on the Vulgate, and it’s awfully brief) list all four conjugations of the present active infinitive as ending in -e. For example, the first conjugation of laudo has laudare as the infinitive. Now, I can’t explain why the form dominari would be used in 1 Tim 2.12, since the Vulgate clearly is using it as an infinitive (as it is dependent on permitto). But the form dominare occurs in Judges 8.22 and Ps 109.2. In Judges 8.22, it’s an imperative. Perhaps someone who is not on pain killers can solve this mystery for us.


After this, several people asked me to discontinue the discussion out of respect for Dan Wallace. Eventually someone else did explain to Dr. Wallace that dominari is a deponent verb and the matter was settled. I was unable to ascertain his problem myself.

I cite this because it seems that some people think that Grudem is questioning my credibility when commenting on languages. I can only say that my Greek is much, much better than my Latin, but my Latin goes way beyond laudo, laudare. I think that it is very simple. Dan Wallace wrote the Junia article. He sometimes slips up on linguistic matters. So do I. We are all human.

There is no reason for any woman to pay any attention to any of this stuff. It is simply the scribbling of scholars and has no truck with God. Women, be free, from Wallace and Grudem. A good high school Greek and Latin teacher, such as I had, will do you much more good. Three cheers for Elizabeth Wilson.


Peter Kirk said...

Suzanne, I admire your restraint for not writing something like this!:

From what he has written here, I would not be able to say that Wayne Grudem should be considered a reliable source of information for understanding Greek or for quoting other authors fairly and with attention to context.

adventuresinmercy said...

Ah, I love you, woman!

april said...

Suzanne, I wish I had your skill! Nevertheless, I thank you so much for sharing your work with easy accessibility. It certainly helps to be armed. Your work is really empowering. Thank you.

Lin said...

Bravo! I have learned a ton from you. YOur blog is riddled with scholarship. :o)

Kristen said...

I've been lurking here for some time, Sue. I applaud you for both your scholarship and your Christian forbearance.

I have seen many times that complementarian men often feel they can say whatever they please, but if a woman doesn't remain meek and softspoken in everything, she instantly loses what little credibility she had with them.

Your ability to exercise restraint is truly a gift of God.

Kristen (also known as KR Wordgazer)

CD-Host said...

Sue --

I have to hand it to Grudam for actually replying. My experience with most of the Calvinist Patriarchy sect is that they make stuff up and then delete all criticism. So Grudem is at least willing to reply to critics that's gets him to 10% integrity in my book. Now if only he would be honest in the first place.....

"A good high school Greek and Latin teacher," you make me so jealous. I was lucky if I had a good high school anything teacher and Greek wasn't even offered. Nice to live up North.

Sarah Rasmussen said...

It appears that Wallace's Latin confusion extends beyond deponent verbs. While Googling some question about Priska, I stumbled upon some rather curious NET Bible notes.

The notes for Romans 16:3, 1 Cor 16:19, 2 Tim 4:19 Acts 18:2 each contain the sentence, "“Priscilla” and “Prisca” are the same person. The author of Acts uses the full name Priscilla, while Paul uses the diminutive form Prisca."

I wonder if this confusion about diminutives helps to explain Wallace's continued claim that Junias is a diminutive of Junianus (or technically he says Junianas, but that's probably not what he means).

Of course, Wallace might not be personally responsible for the NET notes on Priska.

Eric Breaux said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric Breaux said...

You think Wayne Grudems dismissal of your qualifications on this topic are fair? How, aren't you a Greek scholar, how does that not make you qualified to accurately critique his arguments involving the use of a Greek word? Why even bother giving refutations if you're just going to agree with critics that your studying isn't credible for this topic?