Sunday, September 30, 2007

Authority Part 3: Fragment and Paraphrase

A continuation of the Philodemus Fragment -

I have suggested setting aside authentein in 1 Tim. 2:12, as proof that a woman should not have authority, because the evidence for the meaning of this word is very obscure. I have found and reproduced in images the Greek fragment and the English paraphrase for one of the two most cited pieces of evidence for authentein meaning "exercise authority". It is this fragment from Philodemus. My intent is to share this information with any who come here to view it.

The first two images here are from Philodemi Volumina Rhetorica pages 161 and 162 in the electronic version and pages 133 and 134 in the book.

The second two images are from The Rhetorica of Philodemus the preface and page 32 of the electronic version and page 304 in the book.

The fragment has over half of the words missing and it is clear that this is a rough paraphrase. In the third image the middle paragraph serves as a paraphrase for fragment IV.

Click on the images to enlarge.

In the preface, Hubbell writes that

    "he is far from positive that the correct rendering has in all cases been attained. ... It would perhaps be more exact to call it a paraphrase than a translation. While it has been possible in general to translate almost literally, there are many passages where the papyrus is so fragmentary that nothing more than an approximation is possible, and the gaps must in some cases be filled entirely by conjecture. At times it has seemed best to condense some of the more prolix paragraphs."

It is evident by the amount of text which is reconstructed, and by relative length of the manuscript and the paraphrase, that this is one of the "more prolix paragraphs" and has been greatly condensed.

One suggestion might be to assign authentein the meaning which it had in astronomy and astrology texts in the second century - to dominate or domineer. This is the translation used by Jerome in the fourth century. I don't know if it is possible to find out what was used in the old Latin texts.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Authority Part 2: the Philodemus Fragment

I have been in a discussion of the meaning of authentein in 1 Tim. 2:12 on Denny Burk's blog and he has now decided to moderate out any further discussion on my part about the evidence for authentein. I wish to post here some of the evidence and resources which I have collected.

Denny recommended that I read Grudem's book, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, to see the evidence for authentein meaning "exercise authority". I have done this and found that the reference to Philodemus is incorrect. I am posting the resources for this today and will pursue the discussion as I find the time.

Here is my comment #70 in full from Denny's post,

    By way of explanation, Denny commented to me,

    “Once again, I would direct readers to Kostenberger’s study. It’s very convincing.”

    I don’t know if I have read the right article by Kostenberger. However, I read this one.

    In the footnotes, Köstenberger provides the only two pieces of lexical evidence which he thins are relevant. He says,

    41These two references are: Philodemus (1st cent. BCE): “Ought we not to consider that men who incur the enmity of those in authority (συν αυθεντουσιν) are villains, and hated by both gods and men”; and BGU 1208 (27 BCE): “I exercised authority (Καμου αυθεντηκοτος) over him, and he consented to provide for Calatytis the Boatman on terms of full fare, within the hour.” For full Greek texts and translations, see Baldwin, “Appendix 2” in Women in the Church, 275–76. (in the PDF page 13)

    The first citation is a reference to Philodemus. However, authentein is definitely not translated as “those in authority” but as “powerful lords” or something of the kind. Several lines later, there is a reference to “those in authority” but not in connection to authentein. It seems there has been a mix up.

    The second citation it the one that Grudem suggests should be translated as “compel”. Therefore, in spite of Köstenberger’s footnote, neither of these two citations gives the obvious meaning “exercise authority”. Whatever the meaning is, I would like to see it properly cited.

And here is # 69,

    The Philodemus quote is a bit difficult, since it is, as I said, a fragment, and the phrase is a quote from an unknown source, so undated, I would presume.

    But the phrase is “fighting with powerful(?) lords(?)”

    διαμαχοντοι και συν αυθεντ[ου]σιν αν[αξιν]

    Since anax is not in BDAG, I am guessing that it is not a Hellenistic term at all.

    My guess is that it is a Homeric term, but that is just a guess. But maybe the word isn’t anax, it is reconstructed also.

    The entire fragment is not translated but Hubbell gives a precis of sorts. It is all available on the internet, so you can translate this yourself and see if authentein has a positive or negative meaning. But it most certainly is not translated as those in authority, as Kostenberger claims. “Those in authority occurs further down in the piece.

    I think that if this quote is being used to shore up the translation “exercise authority” then it should be properly translated, possibly by a secular and non partisan scholar. But I don’t really think that anything new will be revealed from a fragment.

    Philodemi Volumina Rhetorica


    The Rhetorica Philodemus.

    Do you have the reference?

    My guess is that it is a more or less neutral term referring to the exercise of sheer might in this case, a secular power with no moral right attached to it. That is a concession BTW, it could mean usurpers - who knows?

Comment # 75,


    Unless you can assure me that Andreas has corrected his citation of these two references, it is not worth my time and money to acquire the book. Basic accuracy must be attended to.

    If you have the book, then it would be helpful at this point to cite how Andreas deals with Baldwin’s study.

    I have to assume at this point, given your reluctance to respond, that there is no evidence to support the meaning “exercise authority” for authentein.

    To whom will Jesus say,

    “Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.” Luke 19:17

    I claim that God gives authority to the one who is faithful in a very little.

    You claim that God gives authority to the male.

Denny responded with,

    If that is your assumption, then your assumption would incorrect. The simple truth is that I have spent a lot of time going back and forth on this thread, and I simply don’t have time to keep it up. Yes, there are alternate translations of the passages you cite. I could get them for you and type them out, but I’m not going to. You can read them in the appendix 7 of Wayne Grudem’s book, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth: An Analysis of More Than 100 Disputed Questions. What you’ll find if you survey the over 300 uses of this term (all of them are listed in Grudem) is that “exercise authority” is a possible rendering for some texts within the timeframe you’ve cited. Let me encourage you to investigate some of that evidence.

    For those who have been watching this thread, I am going to have to exit at this point. It’s becoming too time consuming. There are plenty of answers to the questions that Suzanne is asking, most of which are provided in the Grudem book I cited above. I hope that interested readers will take time to investigate this matter fully.


Denny then started moderating comments and I was unable to let him know that Grudem makes the same error. I did actually publish that error earlier in the discussion. I would be willing to continue this discussion if anyone asks for further references.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Authority Part 1

I propose that 1 Tim. 2:12 be removed from a discussion of authority until after all else has been explored. This is, first, because the word αυθεντειν in Greek had no connection with the word εξουσια the word which is usually translated authority. Second, the Latin Vulgate translated αυθεντειν as dominare, and Luther as herr sein, to be the lord. Third, in English this word was translated as "usurp authority" at a time when a usurpation was a serious crime.

I propose that the first basis of authority in the church be based on baptism. The following is from Luther's Appeal to the Ruling class.
    To call popes, bishops, priests, monks, and nuns, the religious class, but princes, lords, artisans, and farm-workers the secular class, is a specious device invented by certain timeservers; but no one ought to be frightened by it, and for good reason. For all Christians whatsoever really and truly belong to the religious class, and there is no difference among them except in so far as they do different work.

    We all have one baptism, one gospel, one faith, and are all equally Christian. For baptism, gospel, and faith alone make men religious, and create a Christian people. When a pope or bishop anoints, grants tonsures, ordains, consecrates, dresses differently from laymen, he may make a hypocrite of a man, or an anointed image, but never a Christian or a spiritually-minded man. The fact is that our baptism consecrates us all without exception, and makes us all priests.

    When a bishop consecrates, he simply acts on behalf of the entire congregation, all of whom have the same authority.

    Every one who has been baptized may claim that he has already been consecrated priest, bishop, or pope, even though it is not seemly for any particular person arbitrarily to exercise an office. Just because we are all priests of equal standing, no one must push himself forward and, without the consent and choice of the rest, presume to do that for which we all have equal authority. ....

    Hence we deduce that there is, at bottom, no other difference between laymen, princes, priests, bishops, or in Romanist terminology, between religious and secular, than that of office or occupation, and not taht of Christian status. All have spiritual status, and all are truly priests, bishops, and popes. Bu Christians do not follow the same occupation.

I accept that Luther taught that women should be quiet and submissive and not teach. However, this is a discussion of the concept of authority in the abstract. Luther does not present a theory of authority that excludes women because authority is based on baptism. We now allow women to hold office in the secular world but not in the church.

On what basis is authority in the world and in the church differentiated? On what basis are offices of authority withheld from women, if all have authority through their baptism.

We say that women have the same gifts of teaching but may not hold the office because they do not have authority. However, a gifted women who is baptized has both baptism and gift. She ought then to have the occupation, but simply lacks being appointed by men as an office-bearer. And where does it say in the scriptures that a woman shall not bear office?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Council for Biblical Hierarchy

I do earnestly appeal to you brethren to restore the people to their proper position in God's appointed and good hierarchical design, so that in God's will they may fulfill the submissive role under the leadership and authority of a unelected ruler. The following are matters of great concern to the church.

Puritans seek to retain an evangelical base while at the same time modifying Biblical interpretation to be sympathetic to the concerns of the people's movement. However, in order to embrace both, Puritans need to compromise the Bible. Puritanism therefore has become a theological crossing point between conservative evangelical theology and liberalism ... Puritanism and Christianity are like thick oil and water, their very natures dictate that the cannot be mixed.

We uphold as truth that men were created by God as equal in dignity, value, essence and human nature, but also distinct in role whereby one man was given the responsibility of loving authority over the other men, and the other men were to offer willing, glad-hearted and submissive assistance to the one. Gen. 1:26-27 makes clear that men are equally created as God's image, and so are, by God's created design, equally and fully human. But, as Romans 13:1 says , their humanity would find expression differently, in a relationship of complementarity, with many men functioning in a submissive role under the leadership and authority of one man.

Passages such as Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 exhibit the fact that God's created intention of appropriate absolute rulership and authority should now, in Christ, be fully affirmed, both in the state and in the church. Men are to submit to their ruler in the model of Christ's submitting to his father, leaving us an example, that we should follow in his steps. Monarchy, then, is seen to be restored in the Christian community as men endeavor to express their common humanity according to God's originally created and good hierarchical design.
    Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.

    Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. 20But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. 21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:13-21

    1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. Romans 13.

    Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD's anointed. 1 Sam. 24:10
Therefore, the monarch is the LORD's anointed. This holds true not only for the monarch that belongs to Him, but any ruler which God himself has allowed to have authority over you.
    Now royal unction gives no grace, but a just title only, in Regem, "to be king" that is all, and no more. It is the administration to govern, not the gift to govern well: the right of ruling, not the ruling right. It includes nothing but a due title; it excludes nothing but usurption. Who is anointed? On whom the right rests. Who is ununctus " He that hath it not? Suppose Nimrod, who cared for no anointing thrust himself in, and by violence usurped the throne; came in rather like a ranger over a forest, than a father over a family. He was no anointed, nor any that so cometh in.

    But on the other side; David, or he that first beginneth a royal race, is as the head; on him is that right of ruling first shed; from him it runs down to the next, and so still, even to the lowest borders of his lawful issue. Remember Job, Reges in solio collosat in perpetuum. It is for ever. God's claim never forfeits; His character never to be wiped out, or scraped out, nor Kings lose their right, no more than Patriarchs did their fatherhood. Lancelot Andrewes, 1610.
We learn by this that although God has created all men to be equal in dignity, only one has the administration of government. It is not based on the gift of leadership but the role of leadership. The monarch has the role of authority, and men have the submissive role.

The monarch ruleth over other men, as a father over his family, that common human dignity shall be expressed in all men by their partaking in the submissive role of Christ. For if men are not in submission to an authority over which they have no control, they will not share in the suffering of Christ and so they will be saved, but as by fire. Their works will be consumed, for they have had no part in Christ on earth.

It is seen then that "rule by the people, and for the people" is a preversion of the image of God who created humans, in all ways, to reflect the hierarchy of God's design. For if men do not submit to hierarchy, then they miss God's perfect plan. "Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." Rom. 13:2

Men need to be called to repentance and must place themselves under the authority of the servant leadership of a monarch whom God has appointed. Men must give up pursuing leaders of their own appointing and humble themselves before God's will. For if men serve only a leader which they can later depose, they make a mockery of the perfect design of hierarchy which God intended for mankind.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Lundy Bancroft Quotes

Lundy Bancroft has long experience dealing with abuse and abusers. He associates abuse with wrong attitudes towards women. These are quotes from Why Does He Do That?

    At least until quite recently, a boy has tended to learn from the most tender age that when he reaches young adulthood he will have a wife or girlfriend who will do everything for him and make him a happy man. His partner will belong to him. Her top responsibility will be to provide love and nurturing, while his key contribution will be to fill the role of "the brains of the operation,"using his wisdom and strength to guide the family. page 325

    The sex role expectations to which boys and men have historically been subjected are captured powerfully by an article called "The Good Wife's Guide," from a 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly that includes such instructions as "Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness,"and "Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this minor compared to what he might have gone through that day." This wife is further encouraged to make sure the children are quiet when he gets home, to keep the house perfectly orderly and clean, and not to complain if her husband goes our for evening entertainment without her, because she needs to "understand his world of strain and pressure." Our society's sex role attitudes have certainly progressed greatly over the past fifty years, yet the expectations laid out in this article are precisely the ones that I find in many of my abusive clients to this day; cultural values that run this deep take generations to unearth and dispose of. page 326

More to come.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

What subordination in creation?

The following are 7 reasons Grudem believes male leadership is found in the creation order. There were three more, which I don't mention but they come from the NT and I don't want to use NT material to influence a translation paradigm for the Hebrew scriptures. (my comments added)

1. Adam is created first, so he is our leader. (He is?)

2. "In Adam we all die" means that Adam is our leader. (It does?)

3. Adam names woman and naming always expresses authority. (And Hagar names God.)

4. God names the human race "Man". (Or God calls Adam the "human". Either way. God did call the human race after Adam, for sure, and Adam means "from the soil". We are all of us dust.)

5. Adam has primary accountability for the sin. (And Saphira is accountable for her own sin.)

6. Woman is helper. She has a "helping role". (God also has a "helping role".)

7. The curse is a distortion of roles which are already established and known to be good and proper. The curse on the woman is that she has a "hostile desire to resist the fair and right leadership role of her husband."
(As far as I know, the curse introduced an altogether new dynamic. Eve labours to bear children and Adam labours the grow food.)

In every case above, the idea of male leadership is read back into the narrative. I have not yet understood how Adam has authority over the human race, or why the human race is called "Man", rather than the first man being called the "Human". And how does helping someone make them the leader? More likely if you help, you would say, "Here let me show you, now it's your turn, and I'll help." You lead and then you graciously stand back.

Leadership is a blessing but believing that you have authority over someone else because of your biology is not too brilliant, no matter how you cut it. Dr. Grudem even goes so far as to say that there should be "faint echoes" of this male/female difference with respect to leadership in all our male/female relations. That is, male leadership should enter into all male/female encounters.

It appears that the paradigm of male leadership is established outside the creation narrative and then the translator has brought the paradigm to the Hebrew and declared that adam means "Man" in Gen. 5:2. But a translator benefits greatly from learning the language first. A translator also benefits greatly from knowing how previous translators have translated a verse, apparently not done, in this case.

Read the rest of my post on this subject here.

C. S. Lewis on Equality

I am aware that C. S. Lewis was no big fan of the ordination of women. But that doesn't mean he has nothing to say that is useful to the desire women have to be treated as equals. This is from an essay he wrote on "Equality" 1943, HT J. Taylor,
I am a democrat [believer in democracy] because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that every one deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they're not true. . . . I find that they're not true without looking further than myself. I don't deserve a share in governing a hen-roost. Much less a nation. . . . The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters. ("Equality," in C. S. Lewis: Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces, ed. by Lesley Walmsley [London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000,] p. 666). Cited by John Piper.
I had recently been reading about how Psalm 68 was song by the Parliamentary army during the English civil war. Men have had no qualms in understanding that God was on their side when they rebelled against the established church, or against the tyranny of a non-elected gov't. Slaves finally attained freedom and legal parity in western society, unions established fair bargaining with employers.

But women are not to have any part in this freedom. Each one is still to remain under the authority of their husband. Is this the way that men treat women as they themselves would like to be treated?

I am pondering two or three different options. Possibly many people are completely unaware that "Love your neighbour as yourself" is in the Bible. They think it comes on tea towels and is just one more liberal fuzzy wuzzy expression or non-Christian "nice saying". With the level of Biblical literacy out and about I would not be surprised.

Another thought is that in some circles men have clear in their head that a woman is not their neighbour. This could be corrected by someone pointing out that in the original languages, it says "Love your next one as yourself." And who is your next one?

But all I can think is that for those who teach unilateral submission of woman to man, they really think that there is a hierarchy of scripture texts and this one comes at the bottom.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Summary of the Colorado Springs Guidelines

In response to those wondering why an analysis of the creation narrative is so important, there are two reasons. First, a male authority interpretation of creation is a major argument preventing many from putting the subordination of women on the same level as the subordination of slaves. Many argue that the subordination of women is a fact in the pre-fall narrative and claim that those who believe that women should not be in subordination are going against the clear teaching of scripture. The post I have linked to above shows how weak the male authority interpretation of the creation narrative really is.

The other reason this passage is important is because of the Colorado Springs Guidelines. I have been able to understand where all the other guidelines came from and how misguided they are, but now I understand this one and I know how misguided it is,
So, now finally, I have been able to discover the reason for each of these guildelines and I can show how contrary they are to a correct understanding of the Greek and Hebrew.

Sadly, these guidelines form the basis of the Statement of Concern against the TNIV, and the subsequent boycott. These guidelines continue to be taught at conferences, in books, journals and articles.

A. Gender-related renderings of Biblical language which we affirm:
  1. 1. The generic use of "he, him, his, himself" should be employed to translate generic 3rd person masculine singular pronouns in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. However, substantival participles such as ho pisteuon can often be rendered in inclusive ways, such as "the one who believes" rather than "he who believes." (There is no difference in the status of gender marking between ἀυτος - "the same one as" and ὀ πιστευων - the one who believes". There is no linguistic justification for translating the gender in one case and not in the other. This guideline has no linguistic basis)
  2. 2. Person and number should be retained in translation so that singulars are not changed to plurals and third person statements are not changed to second or first person statements, with only rare exceptions required in unusual cases. (In recording the sermons of Jesus, the gospels often record his commands in one place with a singular and in another with a plural. There is no scriptural defense for this guideline.)
  3. "Man" should ordinarily be used to designate the human race, for example in Genesis 1:26-27; 5:2; Ezekiel 29:11; and John 2:25. (Historically the human race has been called Adam, Man and human. There is no scriptural basis for one over the other. The KJV uses Adam, some translations use "Man", and others "human".)
  4. 4. Hebrew 'ish should ordinarily be translated "man" and "men," and Greek aner should almost always be so translated. (I refer to David E. S. Stein's article on ish and for aner, an article by Nyland, and one by myself. There is more than adequate linguistic justification for a gender neutral translation of these words.)
  5. 5. In many cases, anthropoi refers to people in general, and can be translated "people" rather than "men." The singular anthropos should ordinarily be translated "man" when it refers to a male human being. (Then why does the ESV not translate anthropoi as people? And why is no translation allowed to refer to Jesus "a human"?)
  6. 6. Indefinite pronouns such as tis can be translated "anyone" rather than "any man." (Good.)
  7. 7. In many cases, pronouns such as oudeis can be translated "no one" rather than "no man." (Yes.)
  8. 8. When pas is used as a substantive it can be translated with terms such as "all people" or "everyone." (Yes)
  9. 9. The phrase "son of man" should ordinarily be preserved to retain intracanonical connections. (This can be done by ensuring the same translation in each case; it doesn't require "son of man".)
  10. 10. Masculine references to God should be retained. (Yes)
B. Gender-related renderings which we will generally avoid, though there may be unusual exceptions in certain contexts:
  1. 1. "Brother" (adelphos) should not be changed to "brother or sister"; however, the plural adelphoi can be translated "brothers and sisters" where the context makes clear that the author is referring to both men and women. (This relates to #2)
  2. 2. "Son" (huios, ben) should not be changed to "child," or "sons" (huioi) to "children" or "sons and daughters." (However, Hebrew banim often means "children.") (The KJV, Tyndale, Luther tradition has established "children". Since there was no gender neutral term in Hebrew, the masculine term was used to apply to a mixed group. English has a gender neutral term - "children".)
  3. 3. "Father" (pater, 'ab) should not be changed to "parent," or "fathers" to "parents" or "ancestors." (See #2. This would apply to human parents as both mother and father being the "forefathers" or ancestors. It is important to remember that God's promises were made to Eve, to Sarah and to "mothers" in the scriptures, not just the "fathers". )
In writing about Grudem's misunderstandings regarding the creation story, I can now more deeply appreciate where the disagreement which has torn apart fellowship between the translators of the ESV and those of the TNIV came from. It is a very sad thing and remains unresolved.