Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Adam as male and female

There have been quite a few posts about the first human and maleness, on Nick's blog, and Bryan L's, then Nick again, TC, and James Pate.

In comments, I referred to an androgynous Adam. Here is the original passage from the Genesis Rabbah.,
    And God said let us make a human, etc... R. Yermia, the son of El'azar interpreted: When the Holiness (Be it Blessed) created the first human, He created him androgynous, for it says, "Male and female created He them." R. Samuel the son of Nahman said: When the Holiness (Be it Blessed) created the first human, He made it two-faced, then He sawed it and made a back for this one and a back for that one. They objected to him: but it says, "He took one of his ribs (tsela')." He answered [that it means], "one of his sides." similarly to that which is written, "And the side (tsela') of the tabernacle" [Exod. 26:20] Theodor and Albeck 1965 p. 54-65
There is a discussion of this passage on JewishEncyclopedia.

One reason why I presented this passage was to demonstrate that the text of Genesis does not tell us that the first human was male. We may assume that this human was male, but the word for the first human was simply adam. This human was not called ish until ishah was taken out.

We know that adam does not necessarily designate a male human since 32,000 young women were called adam in Numbers 31.

When the topic came around to the Passover lamb having to be male, I pointed out that the red heifer had to be female. Apart from the priesthood, in which only intact males of a certain tribe could participate, there are few other roles which require maleness in a absolute sense. In the Hebrew scriptures there is at least one woman prophet, judge, landowner, warrior, builder and householder.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

McCarthy vs Wallace 6

I have been thinking that this example given by Wallace and Burer from the epigraphy collection is a very close parallel to Romans 16:7. Here it is again.
    οὐ μόνον ἐ]ν̣ τ̣ῇ [π]α̣τρίδι πρώτου,
    ἀλ̣λὰ [καὶ ἐν τῷ ἔθ]νει ἐπισή̣μου
    Not only in the hometown first
    But also in the nation prominent (My literal translation)
Now I want to look at some of the basic problems with how Wallace and Burer treated this citation.

They translated ἐ]ν̣ τ̣ῇ [π]α̣τρίδι as "in his own country," and not "in his hometown." By translating as "country" they set up a false contrast between the home country and the nation. I think that somehow there is an assumption that patris (patridos) means "homeland." Well, it sort of does, but in ancient literature this usually means "home town." I don't know on what basis they suggest that the nation is a population of outsiders but they do.

But we can see from New Testament usage what these two phrases mean. First, ἐ]ν̣ τ̣ῇ [π]α̣τρίδι, and then [καὶ ἐν τῷ ἔθ]νει ,
    εἶπεν δέ· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν
    ὅτι οὐδεὶς προφήτης δεκτός ἐστιν
    ἐν τῇ πατρίδι
    αὐτοῦ. Luke 4:24

    And he added, “I tell you the truth,
    no prophet is acceptable
    in his hometown.
    NET Bible

    τὴν μὲν οὖν βίωσίν μου [τὴν] ἐκ νεότητος τὴν ἀπ' ἀρχῆς γενομένην
    ἐν τῷ ἔθνει μου ἔν τε Ἱεροσολύμοις
    ἴσασιν / ἴσασι πάντες [οἱ] Ἰουδαῖοι Acts 26:

    Now all the Jews know the way I lived from my youth,
    spending my life from the beginning among my own people
    and in Jerusalem. NET Bible
In fact, we can see that en plus the dative does refer to being a member of the group, of one's own hometown, or one's own people. There is no justification for Wallace and Burer's translation which goes,
    not only foremost in his own country,
    but also well known to the outside population
In fact, it appears that the translation of patris as "own country" is not well-founded at all, and not a very good translation of the Greek. It seems to be a simple misunderstanding that patris means home country in Greek. This does not look like an error that someone who is familiar with Greek would make.

Further exploration has lead me to read an article by David Jones, posted on the CBMW site. He also might have hoped to prove that Junia was not an apostle, I don't know. However, he writes, about the construction en plus the dative,
    Second, even though many of the 42 occurrences of this construction in Romans are instrumental uses of the dative (e.g., 1:9, 10, 27; 3:4; 5:9, 10; 10:9 [x2]; 13:9; 15:30), only two refer to persons rather than things (2:24; 16:7). In the former reference, Paul quotes Isa 52:5, ... Even if we were to take Rom 2:24 instrumentally to denote human agency, it still would not apply perfectly to Rom 16:7, where an adjective is used instead of a verb. Thus, Paul's use of this construction elsewhere in Romans suggests that the locative rendering, "among" is most likely correct in 16:7.
In fact, Jones could not find more than this one other occurrence of en plus dative where it might not have the meaning "among." Jones reviews the rest of the New Testament and then concludes his section on this topic, writing,
    Thus, the locative understanding "among the apostles" is by far the best understanding of the construction en tois apostolois, whatever Paul might mean by the term "apostles." It is very unlikely that Paul expects us to read "by the apostles" or "in the eyes of the apostles" here, for he could have used hupo ton apostolon with much less ambiguity. Therefore, regardless of whether Iounian is a man or a woman, and apart from whatever Paul means by the term "apostles," Andronicus and his partner are envisioned as being prominent members of the group which Paul refers to as "the apostles."
It is interesting to note these authors do not refer to each other. But then what made Wallace and Burer suppose that en tois apostolois could mean "known to the apostles?" Here Wallace wrote, first that there was a consensus that Junia was female, and then explained,
    There is an even stronger consensus that ejpivshmoi ejn toi'" ajpostovloi" means “outstanding among the apostles”—i.e., that Andronicus and Junia were apostles and were excellent examples of such. But the expression seemed odd: would we not expect ejpivshmoi tw'n ajpostovlwn if the meaning were “outstanding among the apostles”? On the hunch that that was the case, two of the editors did some research in extra-NT Greek on ejpivshmo" followed by (ejn +) dative and ejpivshmo" followed by the genitive.
But, the fact is that if you read Greek, then you would NOT expect to see twn apostolwn if it meant "outstanding among the apostles." You might see it, or you might see exactly what you read in Romans 16:7.

Among the many articles on Junia, posted on the CBMW site, there is one, by David Jones, that says Junia is possibly a woman, among the apostles, but without authority. There is another by Wallace and Burer that Junia was most likely a woman but not among the apostles. And Wolters writes that Junia was possibly not a woman after all.

The case of Junia raises some serious questions surrounding the validity of exegesis in general, in my view.

*TAM 2.905.1 west wall. coll. 2.5.18

Sorry to bore all you people. I know this should be in a journal, and I should move on. However, I needed to transfer this data from the BBB over here in an improved form, and now I have done it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Boys, girls and cooties

CD has blogged about a conversation I had with him on New Leaven. I had to laugh. Girls have cooties?? Read his post. (Actually, both girls and boys have cooties.) CD's post is based on a conversation starting approximately here on New Leaven about the creeds and heresy.

I do want to say something a little more frank than normal - if that is possible - on a different topic.. There are many great guys listed on my blogroll of a wide range of persuasions. There are many more not listed, all who have been good friends for the journey. Here is my angst. I sometimes wonder what I read like, what impression my rants make. I know that I am not anti-male, but I am sure I must sound like it sometimes. Forgive me.

I don't know what else to say, but I want to share that my older brother, who has been a good friend for my entire life, has recently retired from his job as a science consultant in the public school system, and is now in a second career and will be receiving his M.Div. next week. He is a thoughtful and moderate Christian leader, who defies categorization, as do we all. By writing warmly about my brother, I wish to also honour and thank all my male readers.

Theological Heavyweights

By a happy happenstance. Dave Ker blogged exactly what I was going to blog today. I am sure you know my opinion on this.

Mighty Men: South Africa

I remember one of the American theologians on radio, storming over how the TNIV had removed the term "mighty men" from the Old Testament, and replaced it with "warriors," a gender neutral term to be sure.

But now I see the popularity of the Mighty Men movement, conference this weekend, in South Africa. Here is an article which elaborates on some of the difficulties with the ministry of Angus Buchan. Links are provided to this statement of Buchan's,

“God gave me a directive to turn fathers back to sons and sons back to fathers, to take back the family unit.”

Although he has been asked why there was no conference for women, he said his directive had been to challenge men to stand up and be counted: “To be prophet, priest and king. They must be the breadwinners, protect their wives and discipline their children.”

Here we can read the new term for these men, the Buchan Men. Apparently 200,000 of them. That is some potatoes.

Thanks to Jane for letting me know about this.

Friday, April 24, 2009

McCarthy vs Wallace 5

The previous post in this series started a discussion on expressions using en episemo with a following noun referring to a place. I also commented that, as far as I know, the expression en episemo with the noun omitted, does not actually exist, apart from one occurrence judged to be accidental.

But now I want to look at the core of Wallace and Burer's argument, that episemos followed by the genitive means "among," but followed by en plus the dative means "to."

They write (I have reformatted their text for easier reading),
    In TAM 2.905.1 west wall. coll. 2.5.18 we read the description of a man who is

      “not only foremost in his own country,
      but also well known to the outside population”

      (οὐ μόνον ἐ]ν̣ τ̣ῇ [π]α̣τρίδι πρώτου,
      ἀλ̣λὰ [καὶ ἐν τῷ ἔθ]νει ἐπισή̣μου
      ). (54)

    Here the person who is ἐπισή̣μου is called such only in relation to outsiders (πρώτου is used in relation to his own countrymen). It is not insignificant that en plus the dative personal noun is used: the man is well known to a group of which he is not a member.

      54 ἔθνει here evidently refers to outsiders—that is, a group to which this man does not belong. This is evident from the strong contrast between the two phrases (οὐ μόνον. . . ἀλ̣λὰ καὶ,), with the man’s fame receiving the laudatory note with the ascensive καὶ, hinting that such a commendation is coming.


I want to explore this. First, the following is the identical citation that I was able to find in the TAM database, along with a literal translation produced by using the LSJ lexicon.

    Καλ[λιάδου οὐ μόνον ἐ]ν̣ τ̣ῇ [π]α̣τρίδι πρώτου,
    ἀλ̣λὰ [καὶ ἐν τῷ ἔθ]νει ἐπισή̣μου καὶ διαπρεποῦς
    TAM II:905, 2:15

    Calliades, not only in the native town, first,
    but also in the nation, prominent and distinguished.
What can legitimately explain the translation by Wallace and Burer? Why did they translate patris as "own country" and then ethnos as "the outside population?" I have used the first and standard translation of these words in the LSJ, "native town" and "nation." What lexicon did Wallace and Burer use to establish their meanings?

Wallace and Burer introduce the notion of an "ascensive kai" in the notes. They say that οὐ μόνον. . . ἀλ̣λὰ καὶ is enough evidence to establish that Calliades is among the first group, but the second group are outsiders. Repsectfully, I feel that they fall short of success.

In fact, it is only in the plural form, ta ethne, that it is common for this word ethnos to refer to "other" nations, or the gentiles. There is no possible way that the phrase, as it appears in this line, can refer to "outsiders."

In their article, Wallace and Burer conclude,
    episemos followed by en plus personal datives does not connote membership within the group, but simply that one is known by the group. Thus, the inscriptions, like biblical and patristic Greek, supply a uniform picture of episemos with personal nouns: when followed by en, the well-known individual is outside the group.
Clearly they have not proven this. There is not one piece of evidence for this. My difficulty with the argument goes far beyond the status of Junia. If this article is the standard for exegesis today, what does this mean overall ?

It is easily shown that an adjective followed by the genitive, and an adjective followed by en plus the dative, create constructions of similar meaning. Wallace and Burer suggest that this is not the case with episemos, since it involves words of perception. Episemos, in Greek, however, is not a word of perception.

These details provide some context for my saying,
    "It is very painful for me to constantly have to watch people make simple grammar mistakes, as well as not look in the lexicons, as Dr. Grudem admits."
In this case, of course, Grudem did not write this article. But he has admitted to not looking in the lexicon for his work as well.

I admit that it is intemperate and not politically savvy to have said what I said, in that way. However, I still think that there are some accountability issues here that have not been addressed. This article forms the basis for the translation decision regarding Romans 16:7 for two, and perhaps more, influential Bibles.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You shall love your ....

    veahavta l'reyacha kamocha,

    You shall love your ..... as yourself.
What if our Bibles gave us an actual translation of the Hebrew or Greek instead of that odd word "neighbour"? What if it said,
    You shall love your companion as your self.

    You shall love your spouse as your self.

    You shall love your fellow (Christian/Jew/you name it) as your self.
These are all accurate translations. The word is used for members of the same community in the Torah, or for spouses and lovers, as in Song of Solomon. Except in S. of S. it is translated as "my love."
    You shall love your mate as your self.

    You shall love your fellow human as your self.
But think about it. Imagine a Bible that says that the full Torah on marriage is that you should love your spouse as yourself. You would just have to get on with it, and figure out how to do that, considering how different one person is from another. It would be a challenge all right, but with a little help from a comedian like Mark Gungor, we could get right down to it.

The larger question, of course, is where to draw the line. What about our fellow human beings? What about our work-mates, and colleagues, or families?
  • mate
  • companion
  • fellow human
Not to overstress the point, what is the best translation? And how can we make it clear that men and women are indeed "fellow humans" to each other?

McCarthy vs Wallace 4

I have figured out by now that I have not actually communicated the difficulty with Wallace and Burer's position. I'll try from a different angle.

Wallace and Burer state, "The parallels include (a) people as the referent of the adjective."

Here are four translations of this line from Psalms of Solomon 2:6.
    "the sons and the daughters in painful captivity, their neck in a seal, in (a place) visible among the Gentiles" (Brenton translation).

    "The sons and daughters (were) in harsh captivity, their neck in a seal, a spectacle among the gentiles." Psalms of Solomon by R. B. Wright in J. H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (London: Darton, Longman, and Todd: 1985), vol. 2, p. 652

    “Sealed (?) (was) their neck, branded (?) (was it) among the nations.” R. H. Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), vol. 2, p. 632: “in the sight of” as an alternative translation.

    The sons and daughters were in harsh captivity, their neck in a seal, with a mark among the nations. New English Translation of the Septuagint. Kenneth Atkinson in A New English Translation of the Septuagint by Albert Pietersma and Benjamin G. Wright, OUP 2007
These are the options -
  • a [place] visible
  • a spectacle
  • branded (ie with a brand)
  • in the sight of
  • with a mark
These reduce to three options.

a) an adjective qualifying an elided (omitted) noun topos (place)- 1 translation
b) idiomatic (based on an adjective with elided noun) - 2 translations
c) a noun - 2 translations

I argued for option c) that episemo is a noun in this case. Wallace and Burer argue that episemo is an adjective refering back to the Jewish captives. This in impossible since episemo is in the dative singular and the Jewish captives, "the sons and the daughters," in the nominative plural. They have to match and they don't. Episemo, in this passage cannot refer to the Jewish captives, or to people at all.

My comment, that episemo is a noun, is possible and is used in the most recent and very literal translation of the Septuagint, the NETS. My comment on, Adrian's blog, mentioning this translation, was deleted.

In their article, Wallace and Burer did not cite any translation of the Septuagint, making it impossible for me to verify the origin of their translation of this phrase.

They also state that, "it is followed by the dative plural referring to people" that is ethnesin - the "nations," which are according to them, are people, and explicitly not places. Later, in his blog post, Burer elaborates,
    But that more literal translation still supports our understanding of Rom. 16:7 as “well-known to the apostles,” for in Ps. Sol. 2:6 the place was “visible” or even “well-known” to the Gentiles. (The text does not say, “in (a place) visible among other places” or something like that, which would be parallel to “outstanding among the apostles.”)
Working from the English, Burer emphasizes that "apostles" in Rom. 16:7 and "gentiles" are both people, and therefore parallel. He indicates that it does not say among "places." I argue that the Greek says "nations." This is a possible parallel to the other papyri that say "cities" and "regions.` These are all places. If this is taken to be significant, then the phrase means "in a prominent [place] within the gentile nations," and not "visible to" the gentiles as Burer concludes.

In fact, we have no occurrence in Greek literature of en episemo meaning "visible to" other than the English translations for this one verse, that we see above. We cannot argue from these translations if we do not know if they are accurate.

Wallace and Burer cannot cite even one case where en episemo unambiguously means "visible to." Since none exist, then it is encumbant on the authors of this article to demonstrate that their prefered translation for Psalms of Solomon is correct, or at least, possible.

Wallace and Burer stated that episemo was

1) an adjective refering to the Jewish captives, (no)
2) was followed by en plus dative plural (yes)
3) and the dative plural referred to people, that is "gentiles" and specifically NOT places (no)

I protested.

It is not as if this has any relation to Romans 16:7 anyway, because Romans 16:7 does not contain the alleged idiom en episemo. In fact, Wallace and Burer, in their original article did not mention en episemo as an idiom at all.

It is possible that this is because there is no record that the idiom en episemo ever existed. What did exist was an idiom tois episemois tou nomou topois - "the prominent places of the region." That is as close as it gets. The other instance, which, once again Burer calls a parallel, omits topos and the editor of the manuscript has commented that
that "its omission was a mistake on the part of the original author of the papyrus." Burer cites this here.

So, let me recap. The so-called idiom, in which episemo is an adjective modifying an elided noun, is not verified to have ever existed, apart from the one time it is thought to be accidental. Apart from the English translations that we see of this phrase in Psalm of Solomon 2:6 and in 17:30, we have no evidence that the expression en episemo, with an elided noun, actually exists. The recently published NETS translation treats each occurrence of episemo as a noun, and not an adjective qualifying an elided noun.

If en episemo with an elided noun does not exist as an idiom, then episemo cannot be an adjective, and must be a noun. That is what I said. (It is technically possible then that Bible Works is wrong in this case.)

At this point, I note that the Wallace and Burer article

- did not mention the phrase en episemo but only episemo
- did not provide evidence that the expresson en episemo with an omitted noun (in which episemo can be an adjective) actually exists
- did not provide a literal translation for episemo
- did not reference the translation which they did use
- did not correctly note the case agreement of episemo
- did not provide evidence that the idiom en episemo existed

Their further comment that the use of en plus the dative indicates that the first group of people are not members of the second group of people, cannot be proven to be true in NT Greek. Many times en plus dative is used to indicate the members of a group - ὁ μείζων ἐν ὑμῖν Luke 22:26 (en plus dative) "the greatest among you."

When Wallace and Burer mention "collocation with words of perception" there is another difficulty, since there is no word of perception in the Greek. Episemos, as an adjective, means "to be marked."

My comment, that in Psalm of Solomon episemo is a noun, rather than an adjective, agrees with all the evidence concerning this verse and with the recent NETS translation. The only reason that two or three of the translations have used an idiomatic expression like "spectacle" and "visible" is because Psalm of Solomon is translation Greek, thought to be based on a Hebrew original and contains many phrases that are difficult to translate. This is one of them.

If, in fact, this work is a translation of the Hebrew, then it is even more unlikely that an idiom, not actually attested to elsewhere, would be used. Likely this is an over literal translation of an underlying Hebrew meaning "with a mark or brand" and stands in parallel to the words "captivity," "seal" and "yoke" in Pss. of Solomon 2:6 and 17:30. Branding slaves was not uncommon.

I did say that "It is very painful for me to constantly have to watch people make simple grammar mistakes." Yes, I stand by that statement.

PS. I don't expect anyone, except perhaps Mike Aubrey, to read these posts. The question is whether it is possible to clearly refute Wallace and Burer's article, or is it still such a muddle that it is basically his word against Linda Belleville, myself and a few others.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This and that

The last time I wrote a long series of posts on Junia or whatever, I had just had my wisdom teeth pulled. This time I have strep throat. So, just sit and write. This image is not exactly my afghan but I bought one very much like it two years ago, and crawl under when I have to. Like now.

Here are some good thoughts that are not on Junia.

CD has a several posts on some rather interesting Bibles. Snoop around his site for some more. El Shaddai has written about a female Pharoah.

Kurk and Bob have written about Afghanistan here and here. Here is another one that is heartbreaking. Back under the afghan. Wayne Leman has posted a new article on compegal that is worth reading.

It is very seldom that I ever eat something entirely new created in my own kitchen, but this afternoon my daughter brought me a choc. chip cookie, made with white choc chips, toasted walnuts, and small cubes of cut up apple. (I really don't like regular dark choc chip.) Those cookies were amazing. They are all gone now (I say wistfully.) Whisked out of the house for the nourishment of some lucky group of buddies.

McCarthy vs Wallace 3

I am continuing this series. I hope it will contain some new information. I also want to make it comprehensible to at least a few readers. In his post on Adrian's site on Wallace and Burer's article on Junia, Grudem wrote,
    5. The Brenton English translation of the Septuagint from 1844/1851 (which comes up in Bible Works as LXE) translates as an adjective, saying the Jewish sons and daughters among the captives were "in (a place) visible among the gentiles." This supports Burer and Wallace's claim because the place was not a gentile, but it was "visible" or "well-known" to the gentiles. This is very similar to Romans 16:7, where Junia was "well known to the apostles" but was not herself an apostle. This again argues that McCarthy is wrong to say "they mistook a noun for an adjective." Did Lancelot Brenton also mistake a noun for an adjective? One begins to wonder who has made the mistake.
For the sake of argument, I will deal with episemos as an adjective for the remainder of this post, and demonstrate why this cannot relate to Junia in Romans 16:7. In order to do this I need to go back to Grudem's point #3, where he says,
    (The construction is somewhat strange, but en does not decide the question of whether it should be taken as a noun or adjective in any case. For example, Psalms of Solomon 17:30 provides a close parallel where en episemo means "in (a place) visible ...")
Wallace and Burer did cite Pss. of Solomon 17:30 in their article. They wrote,
    In Pss. Sol. 17:30 the idea is very clear that the Messiah would “glorify the Lord in a prominent [place] in relation to all the earth” (τὸν κύριον δοξάσει ἐν ἐπισήμῳ πάσης τῆς γῆς). The prominent place is a part of the earth, indicated by the genitive modifier.
By explanation the phrase πάσης τῆς γῆς - of all the earth - is in the genitive. And this is what they wrote about Pss. of Solomon 2:6,
    When, however, an elative notion is found, evn 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)

    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.
What Wallace and Burer have hidden from the readers of the article - by removing the preposition en from their analysis - is that there is no Greek word episemos in Pss. of S. 2:6 which means "notoriety." There is only the expression en episemo, which must mean then "in a prominent place." The place itself was among the gentiles. To say that the "Jewish captives were not gentiles" does not relate in any way to the Greek being discussed.
    P.Oxy. 1408 “the most important [places] of the nomes” τοῖς ἐπισημοτάτοις τῶν νομῶν
    P. Oxy. 2108 “the most conspicuous places in the villages” τοῖς ἐπισημοτάτοις τόποις τ[ῶ]ν κωμ[ῶν]
    P. Oxy. 2705 “the well-known places of the nome” τ[οῖς ἐπι]σήμοις τοῦ νομοῦ τόποις
In the latter two, the word topos, meaning "place," has not been elided. This now gives us four examples of the expression en episemo/ois [topo/topois] followed by the genitive case, which all mean "in a prominent place within a certain place or region." Term A is within term B.

We are left then with the single example of the Jewish captives which are en episemo en tois ethnesin and the idiom is followed by en plus the dative. The question is whether the place where the Jewish captives are, is within the gentile nations, or is only "in a place that is visible to" the gentile nations.

Wallace and Burer argue that because the previous four are followed by the genitive they support the meaning "among/within" and for the instance with en tois ethnesin which has en plus the dative following, the meaning must be "visible to the nations, but not in the nations."

However, logically, and by context, we must assume that the Jewish captives actually were in a place among/within the nations. The Pss. of Solomon says they were. In addition to this, there is not one occurence of en episemo in which topos (place) is unambiguously not a part of the place following.

Fortunately we can test from looking at examples from the New Testament to see if there is a significant difference between using the genitive case or en plus the dative case. Do these two make a difference of meaning, or not?
Consider these instances.
    ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν Matt. 23:11 (genitive)
    the greatest among you

    ὁ μείζων ἐν ὑμῖν Luke 22:26 (en plus dative)
    the greatest among you
In view of these examples I cannot give credit to an argument which proposes a difference based on the fact that the adjective episemos is followed by ἐν plus dative rather than by the genitive. These two constructions can be used synonymously.

However, here Wallace asks,
    would we not expect ἐπίσημοι τῶν ἀποστόλων if the meaning were “outstanding among the apostles”?
No. Here are a few examples of the comparative form of an adjective followed by ἐν plus dative, but there are more in the Greek NT.
    καὶ σύ Βηθλέεμ γῆ Ἰούδα οὐδαμῶς
    ἐλαχίστη εἶ ἐν τοῖς ἡγεμόσιν Ἰούδα Matt. 2:6

    'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; ESV

    ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν οὐκ ἐγήγερται ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν μείζων Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν Matt. 11:11

    Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. ESV

    Ἰούδαν τὸν καλούμενον Βαρσαββᾶν καὶ Σιλᾶν
    ἄνδρας ἡγουμένους ἐν τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς Acts 15:22

    Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas,
    leading men among the brothers ESV
The Greek of the New Testament indicates that using en plus the dative is very common for expressing when one person is among (and a member of) a group of other people, as Junia was.

There is every indication that ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις actually means "prominent among the apostles." She is a member of the group.

The Greek NT of the 19th century, the Vamva version, updated Romans 16:7 to say,
    ᾽Απάσθητε τὸν ᾽Ανδρόνικον καὶ ᾽Ιουνίαν τοὺς συγγενεῖς μου καὶ συναιχμαλώτους μου, οἵτνες εἴναι ἐπίσημοι μεταξὺ τῶν ἀποστόλων οἵτνες καὶ πρὸ ἐμοῦ ἦσαν εις τὸν Χριστόν
It is unequivocally "among the apostles." It stuns me that Wallace and Burer's article has influenced several Bible translations and its premise is used to inhibit Christian women in leadership.

This is a contination of my response to Grudem's post on Adrian's blog, which googles so highly to my name.

What does Burer say to all this?

    Important to mention are two other critiques of our work, ..... My schedule has not permitted me time to develop an in-depth response to any of these reviews. What I can say at this point is that I have not read anything in any of them that has dissuaded me from the viewpoint Wallace and I advanced in the original article. (In the next few years I hope to develop a suitable response to these critiques.)
Once again, this is the level of scholarship used to keep Christian women out of leadership positions in the church.

McCarthy vs Wallace 2

I am continuing this series. I hope it will contain some new information. I also want to make it comprehensible to at least a few readers. In his post on Adrian's site on Wallace and Burer's article on Junia, Grudem wrote,
    4. Bible Works parses episemos in Psalms of Solomon 2:6 as an adjective, which makes most sense in the context. This gives Burer and Wallace's meaning, that the Jewish captives were "a spectacle visible among the gentiles." This argues that McCarthy is wrong to say "they mistook a noun for an adjective." Did Bible Works also mistake a noun for an adjective?
Let me elaborate. There is no translation which says "a spectacle visible among the gentiles." This is a conglomeration of two other translations, which I will provide later.

I did say that Wallace and Burer "mistook a noun for an adjective." Episemos can be either a noun or an adjective. The form is identical, but it depends on the rest of the sentence. I did think that it was a noun.

However, even if episemos were an adjective - which is technically possible - in Pss. of Solomon 2:6, it is in the dative singular case and cannot possibly refer to the Jewish captives, which are in the nominative plural. The cases do not match.

What it says is that "The sons and daughters are in evil captivity, their necks in a seal, en episemo among the nations."

If episemos is an adjective then it qualifies a noun topos (meaning "place") which has been omitted. It would mean that they were in captivity in a prominent [place] among the nations.

And yet, when W & B, in their article, provided "a spectacle among the gentiles" giving no reference for this translation, I assumed that it was their own literal translation, and that they were indicating that "spectacle" was a literal translation for

In that case, from what Wallace and Burer said, it seems that they were describing it as an adjective in the dative singular refering to the Jewish captives, which are in the nominative plural. This is impossible. So, I thought, perhaps with the preposition en followed by the noun episemo one can loosely translate - they are "in view"among the nations. And, in that case, episemo is a noun. Oh, I thought, they have mistakenly said adjective, when they meant noun, that is "spectacle."

In fact, "spectacle" is an idiomatic translation for a Greek idiom en episemo (with topos elided). This translation was done by R. B. Wright, 1985, but this was not cited in W & B's original article. Also Wallace and Burer did not supply the preposition en in their article. They simply said epismo en tois ethnesin. Nor did they refer to the idiomatic nature of the translation they offered, since this would make it entirely obvious that there was no parallel with Junia in Romans 16:7. It is obvious that Romans 16:7 does not contain the Greek idiom en episemo.

So, of course, I should never have second-guessed what Wallace and Burer were thinking when they wrote their article on Junia. They provided no references for their translation of Pss. of Solomon. They did not mention the idiom en episemo. They did not give any valid explanation for finding Pss. of Solomon 2:6 to be a parallel to Romans 16:7. They made no grammatical connection between episemo and the captives.

I have no idea what they mistook for what. My apologies. I officially take back my statement that "they mistook a noun for an adjective."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We all need a good laugh

This is NOT Mark D****ll ! Here is Mark Gungor.

Men's sex drive
Song of Solomon Girl
Men's vs Women's Brains
Men's vs Women's Brains extended

I hope you all get a belly laugh out of these.

Compassionate listening

I am working on many of the other issues raised by commenters, but I would like to post a quote from Eric Reitan's comment on Exploring Our Matrix. I know that readers here are seeking to understand the vast range of biblical interpretation. We are trying to make sense out of the fact that much of the preaching we have been exposed to silences us and denies out circumstances.

I don't presume to suggest what people should believe but I will stick to writing about biblical interpretation in the clearest way I can.

Reitan comments,

It's rewarding to see that a quote from me can stimulate such a lively discussion.

For even broader context than my RD article provides, it may help to locate the quote within my ongoing work on the nature of divine revelation. Some of that work is summarized in Chapter 8 of my book, IS GOD A DELUSION? A REPLY TO RELIGION'S CULTURED DESPISERS, especially on pp. 175-177. But the full development of my ideas here has yet to be published.

The gist of it is this: a God whose essence is love would not choose, as His primary vehicle of revelation, a static text. We learn most about love through loving and being loved. And it is PERSONS whom we can love, as well as who can love us. And so it is in persons and our relationships with persons that the divine nature is made most fully manifest.

Christianity affirms this when it maintains that God's most fundamental revelation in history was in the PERSON of Jesus. And Jesus was, if nothing else, a model of agapic love. His core message was love. And He never wrote anything. Instead, He made disciples--PERSONS--whom He sent out into the world.

In this context, a text that collects human testimony concerning divine revelation in history, especially one that reports on the life and teachings of Jesus, is going to be invaluable. But it will cease to be valuable if we come to pay more attention to this text than we do to our neighbors. Jesus Himself declared that He is present in the neighbor in need, and the community of the faithful is called "the body" of Christ, that is, the place where Christ is present, embodied, on Earth today. Not in a book. In persons.

When the biblical witness is treated as the proxy voice of persons who lived long ago, and we listen to the voices of those persons as we do the other members of the body of Christ, then the biblical witness becomes an invaluable partner in our efforts to understand what God is saying to us--that is, what God is communicating through the web of human relationships and the spirit of love that moves within that web.

But when the biblical witness is treated as inerrant in a way that no human being is inerrant, it trumps the voice of the neighbor and is used as a conversation-ender. It becomes an excuse not to listen to the lived experience of the neighbor. Or it becomes a measuring stick for deciding which neighbor should be listened to (their experience conforms with the biblical template) and which should be dismissed (because their experience does not conform).

And since compassionate listening is one of the most essential acts of neighbor love, it follows that a doctrine of biblical inerrancy is an impediment to such love.

Therefore, I conclude (contrary to what Craig argues here) that a God of love would NOT create an inerrant text.

As far as 2 Timothy 3:16 goes, let us recall that at the time this letter was written, "Scripture" referred to what Christians today call the Old Testament. The author of second Timothy says that these Hebrew writings are "God-breathed and...useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness."

Now we can ask two questions here. First, was the author of second Timothy right? Second, if he was, what does that imply about how we should approach these Old Testament Scriptures? Focusing only on the second question, we can reasonably ask what we have to believe about the Old Testament Scriptures in order to affirm that it is useful in the ways mentioned? And we can reasonably ask about the different possible senses of "God-breathed."

On both questions, Karen Armstrong's THE BIBLE: A BIOGRAPHY offers a concise historical account of the numerous different answers through both Christian and Jewish history. There is, in short, not a single, incontrovertible interpretation.


We learn how to love by getting on with the messy business of loving one another. And one of the most fundamental features of loving one another is really paying attention to one another. But why pay attention to fallible people when you think you've got an infallible book? Why listen to them when they share life experiences that are in tension with the most obvious meaning of the book? The tendency is to silence them by quoting chapter and verse: "It's says so here. It's never wrong. So you must be wrong. Now shut up."

The fruits of the doctrine of inerrancy are particularly vivid in the case of homosexuality: the anguished cries of gays and lesbians who are excluded from full participation in the life of the community are ignored in favor of Romans 1:26-27. For a vivid sense of how poisonous these fruits can be, the documentary FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers a dramatic example.

Monday, April 20, 2009

McCarthy vs Wallace

I am going to address point #3 of Grudem's. He writes,
    3. It is not true that Burer and Wallace "mistook a noun for an adjective." What McCarthy should have said is that according to the spelling of the word in Psalms of Solomon 2:6, it could be either a dative noun (dative of episemon, "mark, seal") or a dative adjective (dative of episemos, "conspicuous, visible") and the translator has to make a judgment on which it is.

    In cases like this, it seems to me decidedly unhelpful to a discussion for someone like McCarthy to make absolute pronouncements like, "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."

    That sounds so confident and assured, but 99 per cent of readers of your blog (I would guess) have no ability to check out the facts in question in this Greek text from literature outside the Bible in order to know that McCarthy's claim is incorrect.

    Burer and Wallace did not misquote, for their quote is exactly what the Greek says. I think McCarthy is implying that they should have included a longer quote, including the preposition en before episemos, but that is a judgment call on how much to include in a quote and not a "misquote." (The construction is somewhat strange, but en does not decide the question of whether it should be taken as a noun or adjective in any case. For example, Psalms of Solomon 17:30 provides a close parallel where en episemo means "in (a place) visible ...")

    Nor does my section on Junia in Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth have any "factual errors" known to me (it has been out now for two years). I try to be extremely careful in all my citations of fact in what I publish and it seems to me inappropriate for McCarthy to make an unsupported blanket accusation that my work is "riddled with factual errors." This is intemperate, polemical language rather than argument, and I consider it a false accusation.
So how will you, the readers of my blog, know who is right? Here is the Greek verse from Pss. of Solomon 2:6
    6 οἱ υἱοὶ καὶ αἱ θυγατέρες
    ἐν αἰχμαλωσίᾳ πονηρᾷ
    ἐν σφραγῖδι ὁ τράχηλος αὐτῶν
    ἐν ἐπισήμῳ ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν
And here is the relatively literal NETS translation,
    The sons and daughters were in harsh captivity,
    Their neck in a seal
    With a mark among the nations NETS
And this is what Wallace and Burer wrote,
    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 ἐπισήμῳ,
Here is Brenton's translation,
    2:6 the sons and the daughters in painful captivity, their neck in a seal, in (a place) visible among the gentiles.
Here are the NET Bible notes,
The first choice of meaning for episemos in this passage is a noun as the object of the pronoun en. The second possibility is that it is an adjective modifying an elided (omitted) noun "place." If episemos is a noun, then there is no connection to Romans 16:7. If episemos is an adjective qualifying an elided or omitted noun, then it must be comparative and once again not related to the phrase in Romans 16. It must literally mean that the place is "prominent among the nations." Episemos does not contain a verb of perception as Wallace and Burer suggest. There is no "collocation with words of perception" in the Greek of this passage.

I would say that in the most literal translation, episemos is considered to be a noun. In a less literal translation it is an adjective qualifying an omitted noun - "place." It is NOT elative in either case, as the place was prominent among the nations, it was in the nations, not a place that was visible to the nations. The captives were captive among the nations.

At this point Mike Burer was asked to comment on this issue on Adrian's blog. He wrote,
    We appreciate that several writers have pointed out that our translation and citation of the passage in the original piece were not the best. (In reflecting on this, neither Dr. Wallace nor I could remember who was responsible for this part of the article.) We should have included more of the Greek text, including the preposition ἐν so that readers could see that there was another way of understanding the construction.

    The English translation we gave, “a spectacle among the gentiles,” was exactly the wording given in a recent, standard English translation of Psalms of Solomon, in James Charlesworth’s The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (1985), vol. 2, p. 652. The translation “spectacle” is a way of saying in English that they were “in a place visible/notorious” and so the translation is not incorrect, though not as literal as “in (a place) visible” or “in (a place) notorious” among the Gentiles. But that more literal translation still supports our understanding of Rom. 16:7 as “well-known to the apostles,” for in Ps. Sol. 2:6 the place was “visible” or even “well-known” to the Gentiles. (The text does not say, “in (a place) visible among other places” or something like that, which would be parallel to “outstanding among the apostles.”)
In my opinion, it does say "a [place] prominent among the nations." It does not say "visible to the nations." If it did, the word for place could not be elided. You cannot elide a noun that is not understood to be 'among' the other nouns.

In any case, I do not think that the original Wallace and Burer article was appropriate for publication. However, the conclusion, that Junia was not "among the apostles" remains in the NET Bible notes, and has affected the ESV, and HCSB. Wallace and Burer suggested to me at that time that they would prepare a further article defending their position. They have not done this and in fact, Burer has publicly stated that he will not be doing this. He writes,
    My schedule has not permitted me time to develop an in-depth response to any of these reviews. What I can say at this point is that I have not read anything in any of them that has dissuaded me from the viewpoint Wallace and I advanced in the original article. (In the next few years I hope to develop a suitable response to these critiques.)
It is pretty sad when scholarship of this level is used to disempower Christian women. Here is an article which missed the main point of its most important citation, mentions "collocation with a word of perception" which does not exist, and did not cite its sources.

I have been asked for this explanation. I hope that at some point I will be able to dissect this thoroughly enough and in a way transparent enough to communicate what happened in this exchange.

Fear or respect

Not long ago there was a post on the BBB about the book of Philemon which has since been removed. In this post and the thread there was some discussion about the ESV being a more concordant translation than other translations.

Since the topic was slavery, I noticed that in Eph. 6:5, the ESV has,
    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,
But in Eph. 5:33 the ESV has,
    However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
You would not know that in Greek the word for "respect" and "fear" are the same. In the T(NIV) they are both translated as "respect." The T(NIV) is simply more condordant in this case than the ESV.

However, the ESV does continue the tradition of the KJV, RSV and NRSV on this word. The difference between the ESV and these other translations is that the ESV claims to be concordant, while the others don't.

My first concern is that the phrase "love and respect" has been used to describe the appropriate marriage relation for today. But I would say that just as we do not expect employees to fear their employers, so a wife should not have to fear her husband. However, we are in no doubt that slaves and wives did fear their masters and husbands in this passage.

My second concern is that slavery is no longer supported by most Bible-believing Christians, but the subordination of the wife is still vigourously taught, based on this passage. This passage has huge significance. To me it says that the marriage relation at this time, described in this passage was one of "love and fear" and ideally the "fear" part should have been done away with by the "love" part.

Here is 1 John 4:18
    There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
According to this verse, fear relates to punishment. We fear God because we accept that he has the right to punish us for our wrongdoings. A slave fears the master for the same reason, and a wife the husband.

Perhaps, this demonstrates that Christian love should override fear in the wife. She should no longer fear her husband, if he loves her.

However, if "fear" is translated as "respect" then the unsuitability of this chapter for establishing a status quo in a Christian marriage is cloaked. The fact that the slave - master relationship and the wife - husband relationship have something in common is not so obvious. Mind you, I have also read those who do believe that these relationships are parallel. They argue that the wife is to the husband, as the employee is to the employer.

All in all, the problematic issues of basing a marriage on Ephesians are clouded by a poor translation. However, rather than agitate for a better translation, a better Bible, the other option is to reimagine the marriage relationship as a bond of two people who function as equals, and treat this passage as one that is tied to a culture which contained slavery and unequal status for women.

I recognise that equality does not guarantee a happy marriage, which must be based on affection and forgiveness, but it does provide a foundation. Sadly, there are many marriages, both complementarian and egalitarian, which lack compassion and tenderness. It is hard to legislate these things.

Anyway, I want to mention that when I brought up gthe lack of concordance in this passage in Ephesians on a post about Philemon, I was put on moderated status on the BBB. It appears they only want better bibles for men. Its okay to advocate for concordance for general issues, but not for women's issues. Perhaps they don't see that slavery and male dominant marriages appear to be the same topic in a woman's eyes.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Betrayed by spell-check

I have read posts where spell check was not able to do its thing. For example, someone writing about how language refering to "body" parts works in Hebrew, wrote "boy" parts instead. Yes, pray tell me, how do words refering to boy parts function in Hebrew.

But yesterday, I learned something about "girl" parts. Spell check is such a traitor. In a post about The Shack, the author wanted - I presume - to say that Sarayu is a wispy, ethereal female. However, she wrote that Sarayu is a "wispy, urethral female." I do not think of urethra as a gendered word.

He called her Life

The way I see it is that the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, was used by the writers of the Christian scriptures as a base text. There is a publication of the Septuagint called the Apostolic Bible since it was the Bible of the apostles.

Therefore, we should take these scriptures as authoritative in some way - I would think -that is, if we think of the Bible as having authority, and that authority deriving from the apostles.

So, it is with interest that I read some of the Septuagint as a commentary on the Hebrew Bible. Although it is in some ways literal enough, interpretation is added, as we can see in any translation.

For example, in the opening three chapters of the Bible, the story of the creation of man and woman, and of the sorrow of man and woman, is described in this manner.

Forming the human
    2:7 And God formed the human,
    dust from the earth
    and breathed into his face
    a breath of life
    and the human became
    a living being.
Forming the woman
    2:21 And God cast a trance on Adam,
    and he slept,
    and he took one of his ribs
    and filled up his flesh in its place

    2:22And the rib that he had taken from Adam
    the Lord God fashioned into a woman
    and brought her to Adam.
    2:23 And Adam said,

    This is now bone of my bones,
    and flesh of my flesh
    this one shall be called woman
    for out of man she was taken
Cause of pain and death for woman
    3:16 I will increasingly increase
    your pains and your groaning
    with pains you will bring forth children
    and your return will be to the man
    and he will dominate you.
Cause of pain and death for man
    17b cursed is the earth in your labours
    with pains you will eat it all the days of your life

    19 By the sweat of your face
    you will eat your bread
    until you return to the earth
    for you are earth
    and to earth you will depart

    20 And Adam called the name of the woman Life,
    because she is the mother of all living.
Whether this is a "correct" interpretation or not, this is the commentary of the Greek translation on the original Hebrew. The man was taken from the earth and returns to the earth, while the woman was taken from the man and returns to the man. The woman's pain is in bearing children of the man, and the man's pain is in extracting fruit from the ground.

The parallels and chiasm are clear in the Greek. Most striking is that in Gen. 3:16 and in Gen. 3: 19, the Greek uses the same word for "return." The woman returns to man, from whom she was taken, and man returns to the earth, from which he was taken. Each one bears fruit from that from which they were taken, and they bear this fruit with pain.

This is not about the subordinate role of women, or the equal role of women. No, this is about the reality of those substinence farmers who have no way of limiting births, who live off the soil, for whom life is pain and labour, from youth to premature old age.

It is a beautifully crafted commentary on life. The Greek is shaped into a chiastic pattern, which is not evident in the original.

Add to this shape, the plot line. Humans will die if they eat the fruit of the tree. They eat and this is the cause of mortality, the cause of prolific and painful child-bearing, and the cause of the struggle with the land, to wrest a livlihood from the earth. They experience not only death, but the many little deaths of pain and failure.

And what is the culmination of this tale? The man turns to the woman and calls her "Life."

If you read Greek you can verify that I have provided a translation based on the NETS but altered to make it concordant with the Greek in ways that the NETS is not. I have also benefitted from a discussion of this passage in The Septuagint, sexuality and the New Testament.

Note: This post has been edited.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Baron-Cohen and complementarianism

I don't really want to be a full time debunker of complementarianism (well sometimes I do) but I can't help but notice things in passing. Here is a blog post which is reaffirming Foh's interpretation of Gen. 3:16. It says,
    Men are more task-oriented than women. And not to say that women are not ambitious or do not value their jobs, but research has supported that men are more more systematic. The pastor mentioned research by Carol Gilligan (In a Different Voice), which I have read and definitely agreed with most of it. There has been some controversy over her work, fueled by the fact that she for a long time refused other researchers’ requests to view her data. But, if you want a more modern source, check out Autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen, PhD. I did research with him back in high school. Absolutely amazing theories (and evidence) on differences between the “male” and “female” brain. ...
    Thus, in the same way, women are cursed to try to manipulate, control, and exert authority over their husbands,
And she goes on the show how true Ephesians 5 is with respect to men and women. Once again social science is seen to back up gender-based hierarchy in marriage.

But back to the research of Baron-Cohen. Here is an excerpt of the NY Times review of The Sexual Paradox by Susan Pinker, which I read recently,
    In her zeal, Pinker veers to the onesided. She doesn’t acknowledge that some of the research cited in her footnotes is either highly questionable as social science (Louise Story’s 2005 article in The New York Times, for instance, about her survey of Ivy League women’s aspirations) or has never been replicated — like the findings from Simon Baron-Cohen’s laboratory that newborn girls showed more interest in looking at human faces, while newborn boys preferred mechanical mobiles.

    Pinker omits the work of scientists who have shown that sex-based brain differences pale in comparison to similarities. We shouldn’t wish the role of sex differences away because they’re at odds with feminist dogma. But that doesn’t mean we should settle for the reductionist version of the relevant science, even if the complexity doesn’t make for as neat a package between hard covers.
Tiddly, piddly, men are biggly and women are liddly. This at least has been replicated. BTW, I love all you guys who read my blog.

Big PS here - Men are not more "systematic." Males are more "systematizing." There is a big difference. As controlling is to control, so is systematizing to system. It is not a compliment, it is an observation based on the fact that there are more males with Asperger's than females. There are more males with Down's syndrome also. I hope we are not going to call males "downsian."

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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brighten and illuminate

What if, instead of "smack down" theology, instead of authority and submission, we were to define "complementary" as "to brighten and illuminate?"
    Complementary, in the color wheel, are two colors opposite one another. The important thing to note is that these complementary colors, although opposite, brighten and illuminate one another. One does not overshadow the other, nor are they neutral.
Erin Bolton

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,
ὅτι ἀνήρ ἐστιν κεφαλὴ τῆς γυναικὸς
καὶ Χριστὸς κεφαλὴ τῆς ἐκκλησίας,
σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος.
ἀλλὰ ὡς ἐκκλησία ὑποτάσσεται τῷ Χριστῷ,
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?