Wednesday, August 26, 2009

For John Starke

I saw the misunderstanding on complegalitarian and since this will contain a citation or two I am posting my contribution here. I know that is not what you meant to say, but it is a little confusing.

There seems to be a misunderstanding about whether some think that "man" refers to all humans, or to "man" the male. I do think that this was intended to refer to human beings,
    “There is an intentionality expressed in these words indicating that man, more fully than any other part of creation, will reflect and represent what God is like. Although the heavens declare God’s glory (Psalm 19:1), only man is made in God’s image” (132).
However, I can't help but think that the confusion could have been avoided, since English has a perfectly good way to express the meaning of people, male and female. We are called "humans." Its a good word. I recommend it.

But here is what Bruce Ware wrote on male and female in the image of God,
    Second, in Gen. 5:2, God chooses to name both male and female with a name that functions as a masculine generic (i.e., the Hebrew term áa„d£a„m is a masculine term that can be used exclusively for a man, especially in Gen. 1-4, but here is used as a generic term in reference to male and female together).

    In Gen. 5:2, we read that God created man in the likeness of God, as male and female, and "when they were created he called themman'" (emphasis added). It appears that God intends the identity of both to contain an element of priority given to the male, since God chooses as their common name a name that is purposely masculine (i.e., a name that can be used also of the man alone, as distinct altogether from the woman, but never of the woman alone, as distinct altogether from the man).

    As God has so chosen to create man as male and female, by God's design her identity as female is inextricably tied to and rooted in the prior identity of the male.[18]
My understanding of the word adam is that it can refer to a single human being whose proper name was Adam, or it can refer to a human being, male or female. It indicates that the item being referred to is human.

Adam can, in fact, be used of women alone, as we see in Numbers 31,
    32 Now the plunder remaining of the spoil that the army took was 675,000 sheep, 3372,000 cattle, 3461,000 donkeys, 35and 32,000 persons (nefesh adam) in all, women who had not known man (zakar) by lying with him.
I really don't think that it is best overall to translate adam with the English word "man." It contributes to a very sad and entirely unecessary misunderstanding between the complementarians and egalitarians. It is difficult enough with the very uneven way that the ESV has translated the different Greek and Hebrew words for human beings already.

I think it is important to note that the Hebrew is very distinct in saying that the females were adam "human beings" who had not slept with zakar "males." The Hebrew uses these words in clear and explicit ways. But the ESV calls the zakar "man" and then wants elsewhere to call adam "man" and so on. It is entirely too confusing.

*****

Back to how women are in the image of God. Ware appears to be saying that a single male is in the image of God. However, a woman who has not grounded her identity in man - the male - is not in the image of God.

This is problematic, since half of all women my age are single, and for many or us, our fathers have passed on. We don't feel that we need to ground our identity in another human being, any more than a man does. This doesn't appear to be a logical statement to us women.

Does this help explain why some of us older women are baffled, perturbed and irritated by Bruce Ware. I am so sorry that it makes us cranky. I looked at compegal, and I am sorry, John, but some of commenters are very cranky, actually.

Continued: Here is more of Bruce Ware,
    God's naming male and female ‘man' indicates simultaneously, then, the distinctiveness of female from male, and the unity of the female's nature as it is identified with the prior nature of the first-created man, from which she now has come. Since this is so, we should resist the movement today in Bible translation that would customarily render instances of áa„d£a„m with the fully non-gender specific term ‘human being'.[19] This misses the God-intended implication conveyed by the masculine generic ‘man,' viz., that woman possesses her common human nature only through the prior nature of the man. Put differently, she is woman as God's image by sharing in the man who is himself previously God's image. A male priority is indicated, then, along with full male-female equality, when God names male and female ‘man.'
We can now see that Ware wants three Hebrew words to be translated as "man" adam, ish and zakar. Let's add geber and enosh. Ware seems to be saying that God intends males to have priority, so let's translate all these words by "man." But, doesn't God want us to be able to communicate. Didn't he give us language for that purpose?

23 comments:

Bob MacDonald said...

The imposition of power is what some people need - too bad they miss out on the joy of those who relinquish the will to power. In some ways I am sorry that you have to fight this battle. I think you fight it well. I regret that so many of my fellow males have neither cultural nor linguistic understanding - yet they promote themselves to ignorance thinking they are strong.

Those who think they are strong should beware lest they fall - someone said that somewhere.

My mouse is breaking so I accidently clicked here - http://www.sdbh.org/vocabula/index.html - what do you think of the lexical entry for אָדָם at this site?

Anonymous said...

Reading Bruce Ware's opinions on gender can be summed up in one statement:

ALL HAIL THE MALE!

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Okay, that made me chuckle. Its a little bit like toddler's rules, isn't it?

http://parents.berkeley.edu/jokes/toddlerrules.html

Bob,

Yes, I see that David Stein has contributed to that project. Here it is,



Reinier de Blois

with corrections from: David E.S. Stein
(1) noun, m | ‏ אדם ‎
(a) People
= human beings as individuals or as a class of living creatures; ≈ associated with mortality - human, humankind, human being(s) (GEN.1:26,27; 2:5,7,7,8,15,16,18,19,19,20,20,21,22,22; JOS.14:15a ...) [show/hide contextual meanings]
- ‏(הָ)‏אָדָם‎ - human, humankind (GEN.6:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,7; 7:21,23; 8:21,21; 9:5,5,6,6; JOB.31:33b; HOS.6:7c ...)
- ‏בְּנֵי (הָ)‏אָדָם‎ - sons of man > humankind (PSA.12:2,9; 21:11; 45:3; 57:5; ECC.1:13; 2:3,8; 3:10; 8:11; 9:3,12; ISA.52:14; JOL.1:12)
- ‏אָדָם, (בְּנֵי)‏ הָאָדָם‎ // ‏ בְּהֵמָה ‎ - human beings (and animals) (GEN.6:7; 7:23; EXO.8:13; 9:9,10,19,22,25; 12:12; 13:2,15; LEV.7:21; 27:28; NUM.3:13; 8:17; 18:15 ...)
- ‏אָדָם,(בְּנֵי)‏ הָאָדָם‎ :: ‏ בְּהֵמָה ‎ - human beings (as opposed to animals) (EXO.13:13; LEV.24:21; JOS.11:14; ECC.3:19,21)
Kinship ‏הָאָדָם‎ - (the first male) human being (as ancestor of all humankind) (GEN.2:7,7,8,15,16,18,19,19,20,20,22,22,23,25; 3:8,9 ...)
Status ‏בְּנֵי אָדָם‎ :: ‏ בְּנֵי־אִישׁ ‎ - people of low status (PSA.49:3)
Status ‏אָדָם, בֶּן(־)‏אָדָם‎ // ‏ אִישׁ, אֱנוֹשׁ, גֶּבֶר ‎ :: ‏ אֵל, אֱלֹהִים ‎ - (mere) human being (as opposed to God) (GEN.11:5; NUM.23:19; DEU.4:28; 32:8; 1SA.15:29; 26:19; 2SA.7:14; 24:14; 1KI.8:39; 2KI.19:18; 1CH.21:13; 29:1; 2CH.6:30; 19:6; 32:19; JOB.16:21 ...)
Care ; Animal Husbandry > Control ; Human > God ‏חַבְלֵי אָדָם‎ // ‏ עֲבֹתוֹת אֲהָבָה ‎ - (God draws people to himself with) ropes of man > acts of kindness shown to humans (as someone draws an animal to himself) (HOS.11:4)
Wisdom ‏כְּסִיל אָדָם‎ - foolish person (PRO.15:20; 21:20)
Authority ‏נְסִיכֵי אָדָם‎ - leaders among humans (MIC.5:4)
Human > Animal ‏פֶּרֶא אָדָם‎ - person that is unruly like a wild donkey (GEN.16:12)
Animal > Human ; Quantity ‏צֹאן אָדָם‎ - flocks of people (EZK.36:38)
Warfare ‏רֶכֶב אָדָם‎ - manned chariots (ISA.22:6d)
(2) noun, name | ‏ אדם ‎
(a) Names of People
= first man; ◄ created by God; ► husband of Eve, father of Cain, Abel, and Seth - Adam (GEN.3:17,21; 4:1,25; 5:1,1,2,3,4,5; 1CH.1:1; JOB.31:33b; HOS.6:7c)
(b) Names of Locations
= town; ◄ located near the river Jordan near Zarethan - Adam (JOS.3:16,16; HOS.6:7c)

Unfortunately, it is difficult to link to this exact page, or to copy it without all the hidden text. But, yes, this is excellent.

believer333 said...

Thank you Suzanne. Kind of you to notice and take the time to respond.

Part if the confusion, is that when I read these words....

"“There is an intentionality expressed in these words indicating that man, more fully than any other part of creation, will reflect and represent what God is like. Although the heavens declare God’s glory (Psalm 19:1), only man is made in God’s image” (132)."

I also hear these words of Ware's (and others similar) reverberating back at me ....

"God's naming male and female ‘man' indicates simultaneously, then, the distinctiveness of female from male, and the unity of the female's nature as it is identified with the prior nature of the first-created man, from which she now has come."

They all remind me of the many times I've heard it said by this group that man is more able to reflect God's image than woman; that woman reflects God's image through the man. Thus to them, woman's reflection is secondary, one step removed. Which paints a picture of lessor. Woman is lessor a reflection of God's image than man is.

To me it is all double talk, patronizing pats on the head that "of course women are equal" .... sort of. But one has to sort painstakingly through all this double talk to get a grip on what is actually being said and promoted.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Here is what Ware says about single women in this article,

"Second, the temporal priority of the male in the image of God means that in general, within male-female relationships among singles, there should be a deference offered to the men by the women of the group, which acknowledges the woman's reception of her human nature in the image of God through the man, but which also stops short of a full and general submission of women to men. Deference, respect, and honor should be showed to men, but never should there be an expectation that all the women must submit to the men's wishes.

And for single men, there should be a gentle and respectful leadership exerted within a mixed group, while this also falls short of the special authority that husbands and fathers have in their homes, or that elders have in the assembly. Because all are in the image of God, and because women generally"

But the scriptures seem to say that deference and honour are owed to one another in the church.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

B333,

This is very much like my misunderstanding about the verse that says, "as a man wipeth a dish" I always thought it was refering to men because that is what someone told me.

My view now is that if someone wants to communicate in English they had better call human beings human beings, and men men, and be done with it.

believer333 said...

LOL :)

I'm for that. I'd be completely at peace if all the instances in the Bible where 'man' is used, but the meaning is really 'men and women', that it should be replaced with : human, person, humanity or something similar.

Being a new retired older (trying to avoid 'senior or elderly') woman, I can remember when the word 'man' was understood as either men or women unless it was clearly stated otherwise in the context. Now it gets really irritating to hear young men and women go, but it says 'man'. yeeeesh! Half the time I don't know what the writer is thinking when he/she uses 'man'. :)

Suzanne McCarthy said...

That's the problem. I don't know what someone else is saying and I don't know if they know what they are saying either.

I read a whole post once about women not seeking the approval of men, or man, or other people. I really wassn't sure what the author meant.

Bob MacDonald said...

The toddler's rules are a hoot - they should be given a wider reading!

Tom Kelley said...

I dunno ... if we go with human, that still has "man" in it ... and huwoman isn't a word. Person is ok, but since the law doesn't recognize all humans (e.g., the unborn) as persons, confusion could arise on that account also. Plus, person has "son" in it, another masculine word.

"Man" used to be accepted as a generic, non-gender-specific, English word for humanity (just as Adam was in Hebrew), but nowadays it is cumbersome to use it in that way, since it always has to be explained. Especially when folks like Ware are reading gender not only into the English but also the Hebrew and Greek.

Maybe it's time to invent a new word. Suzanne, I think you're just the man ... er, huwoman ... ummm, perdaughter ... ah, whatever ... for the job.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Bob,

Thanks, I will think about it.

Tom,

The reason why some don't like the word human is not because it has "man" in it, but because it is derived from the word "homo."

human Look up human at Dictionary.com
c.1250, from M.Fr. humain "of or belonging to man," from L. humanus, probably related to homo (gen. hominis) "man," and to humus "earth," on notion of "earthly beings," as opposed to the gods (cf. Heb. adam "man," from adamah "ground").

Anyway, if we went back to calling men "wers" then it would be okay - we could all be called men. Check this out. See what you think.

Tom Kelley said...

Suzanne,
That wer-ks for me! :)

Ruud Vermeij said...

"we should resist the movement today in Bible translation that would customarily render instances of áa„d£a„m with the fully non-gender specific term ‘human being'"

This babelonical sex-confusion is typical English. In Dutch "áa„d£a„m" has always been translated as "mens" (human).

Dutch has a lot of words imported from English. Maybe it is time to import a Dutch word into English...

"So God created the mens in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

Kristen said...

. . .within male-female relationships among singles, there should be a deference offered to the men by the women of the group. . .

I have seen this attitude before-- in novels written in England or other European nations, particularly before the 20th century. It goes like this: the upper classes ought to be offered deference in general by the lower classes, in acknowledgement of God's design of the upper classes to rule-- even if a particular member of the upper class is not in direct authority over a member of a lower class. The deference comes from recognizing this "fact":

All are "equal" before God-- but that refers only to eternal salvation. In all other matters, we who were born to be ruled ought to know our place and recognize those of "quality," who were born to rule over us.

It's the exact same thinking-- a way for those in power to feel good about staying there.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Hi Ruud,

Its good to hear from you. Yes, the situation is almost bizarre in English although I think it must be similar in French. You could always post on this here if you were so inclined. I haven't magically acquired the ability to read Dutch in the last couple of years, sorry. :-)

Thy Peace said...

Unfortunately, it is difficult to link to this exact page, or to copy it without all the hidden text. But, yes, this is excellent.

SEMANTIC DICTIONARY OF BIBLICAL HEBREW > אָדָם.

Anonymous said...

It seems this blog does not see or understand the love and relationship between a women and a man? How very sad to loose this beauty and gift of creation. Given by God. And who is the Triune God? But LOVE Itself!

Suzanne McCarthy said...

hy Peace,

Ha. you got it. Thank you so much.

Anonymous,

I am glad that you have found so much beauty in your relationship.

Kristen said...

Ware seems to be saying that God intends males to have priority, so let's translate all these words by "man."

Classic circular reasoning, as I'm sure you noticed, Suzanne. God intends males to have priority, so we translate all these words as "man" -- by which we see that God intends males to have priority!

Don said...

I agree that some non-egals contribute to the confusion by choosing to use man in ambigious ways. I would prefer everyone to use man for male humans only.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

NYT > Italian Women Rise Up.
It’s about time. Mr. Berlusconi’s behavior has been outrageous. When a female student asked him for advice about her financial troubles, he suggested that she marry a man who was rich like his son. (Mr. Berlusconi claimed he was joking.) He has bragged about the beauty of his party’s female parliamentary candidates, and raised eyebrows by putting former starlets into the government. He designated a former model with whom he had publicly flirted to be Minister of Equal Opportunities. This spring, his wife accused him of cavorting with young women and declared that she wanted a divorce.
...
Furthermore, Italy’s glass ceiling has proved to be more resistant than it is elsewhere in Europe. Italy ranks 67th out of 130 countries considered in a recent report of the World Economic Forum on the Global Gender Gap Index, ranking lower than Uganda, Namibia, Kazakhstan and Sri Lanka. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, just under half of Italy’s women have jobs, compared with an average of nearly two out of three. At the same time, Italian men have 80 more minutes of leisure time per day — the greatest difference in the 18 countries compared. This is probably explained by the additional time that women devote to unpaid work, like cleaning the house. It is no surprise, then, that many Italian women are unwilling to take on an additional burden of raising children. As a result, the country has an extraordinarily low birthrate.

Anonymous said...

It seems this blog does not see or understand the love and relationship between a women and a man? How very sad to loose this beauty and gift of creation. Given by God. And who is the Triune God? But LOVE Itself!

12:29 PM

Does there have to be male preeminance for there to be love and beauty in marriage. A big complaint by Russell Moore is that comp marriages too often operate as egal marriages. :o)

A.Admin said...

There was a lot in that post to follow so forgive me if I mis-interpret something.
This Bruce Ware was saying, “we should resist the movement today in Bible translation that would customarily render instances of [ADAM] with the fully non-gender specific term ‘human being'.”

Interesting to note,
Gen. 1:27 (NASB) God created man [ADAM] in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Numb 31:35 (NASB) and of human [ADAM] beings, of the women who had not known man intimately, all the persons were 32,000.
Numbers 31:40 and the human [ADAM] beings were 16,000, from whom the LORD'S levy was 32 persons.

I supposed with the Hebrew “Adam nephesh”, you could have been translated “living men”, “men living”, “men still alive”, I’m guessing, but the point is this is the very conservative NASB. I think this is from the ’95 update.

It looks like “man” and “human” are acceptable translations for the Lockman foundation for ADAM. I hope Bruce isn’t an NASB user, it’s using “human” and that’s half on his ban list.

Interesting to note that in both verses the ESV uses “persons”, just persons, where’s the translation for “nephesh”??!! According to John Piper, we need a Bible with all the words. Isn’t the ESV missing something?!