Wednesday, April 15, 2009
P46 and submit
The following is the critical text or the NA27. or the United Bible Society 4 text. It is used for most translations today. For this passage the critical text is the same as P46 (see image - the bottom 7 lines of text from here).
21ὑποτασσόμενοι ἀλλήλοις ἐν φόβῳ Χριστοῦ.
22Αἱ γυναῖκες τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ,
23ὅτι ἀνήρ ἐστιν κεφαλὴ τῆς γυναικὸς
ὡς καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς κεφαλὴ τῆς ἐκκλησίας,
αὐτὸς σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος.
24ἀλλὰ ὡς ἡ ἐκκλησία ὑποτάσσεται τῷ Χριστῷ,
οὕτως καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἐν παντί.
The following is the majority text which is very close to the Received Text (Textus Receptus) which was used for the KJV. I have bolded differences from the critical text above.
21 υποτασσομενοι αλληλοις εν φοβω χριστου
22 αι γυναικες τοις ιδιοις ανδρασιν υποτασσεσθε ως τω κυριω
23 οτι ανηρ εστιν κεφαλη της γυναικος
ως και ο χριστος κεφαλη της εκκλησιας
και αυτος εστιν σωτηρ του σωματος
24 αλλ ωσπερ η εκκλησια υποτασσεται τω χριστω
ουτως και αι γυναικες τοις ιδιοις ανδρασιν εν παντι
There are lots of other manuscripts and many have "submit" in verse 22 but in a different position and a different form. It is likely this variety, as well as the fact that P46 does not have "submit" at all, that makes it unlikely that it was original.
It makes no difference. The meaning is the same, that a wife should submit. However, the context and the paragraphing are also considered. If "submit" is not in verse 22 then verse 22 must be closely linked to verse 21, which says "submit to one another." I cannot possibly agree that this could mean "some submit to others." It must mean that "each submits to other." Every human to the one next.
I note that in the Majority Text displayed at this website, the text has been provided with a paragraph split between verse 21 and verse 22. If P46 represents the most accurate text we have, then this break is not possible.
When looking at the image above, on the second line down you can see the word ΑΔΡΑΣΙΝ andrasin at the end. At the beginning of the next line you can see ΚΡΥ with a line over top. This is the "Lord." There is no space available for υποτασσεσθε (submit).
The possible interpretations are that 1) a wife must submit to her husband within the context of mutual submission, or 2) that sacrifice and susbmission create mutuality, or 3) that there is a conflict between the cultural values of the day and the gospel and that wives were still to submit and hope that their husbands would resolve this conflict.
This passage also speaks to slavery. I have no doubt that slavery is wrong. I have no doubt that the unilateral vow of obedience of a wife to a husband is wrong. I don't know exactly what Paul intended but I think he sets up the gospel values and the contemporary cultural values in tension.
I am very tired of reading around the internet that this passage does not mean "what I want it to mean." I have not discussed the meaning because I was unable to get anyone to admit that the BDAG clearly interprets verse 21 in the light of Clement 38 in the first place. obfuscators and timewasters! Why do people make so free with my thoughts. Do I belong to you?