Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Grudem and Ptolemy

This deserves a separate post. On Gender blog, Grudem says that when kephale is used it means "ruler of", and here is an example,
    the king of Egypt is called "head" of the nation
But this is what he is quoting, presumably,
    and, in a word, the whole family of the Ptolemies was exceedingly eminent and conspicuous above all other royal families, and among the Ptolemies, Philadelphus was the most illustrious; for all the rest put together scarcely did as many glorious and praiseworthy actions as this one king did by himself, being, as it were, the leader of the herd, and in a manner the head of all the kings. Philo Moses 2:30
In fact, Philadelphus is described as being the most illustrious, the leader of the herd, and not the ruler of the nation, at least, that is not what "head" means. "Head" clearly means that he is preeminent above other kings, he was quite simply better known, or more famous, not "ruler of the nation."

Kirby, Peter. "." Early Christian Writings. 2008. 19 Jan. 2008 .

I have since confirmed from a study by Grudem that this is indeed where he gets the notion that kephale means "head" of the nation. It is evident to anyone reading the article that Phildelphus became "head" among kings (that is, most famous of the kings in his family), and not "head" of the nation. Therefore, I assume that the manipulation of this text is open and deliberate.

Grudem also writes,
    The alleged meaning “prominent without authority,” like the meaning “source without authority,” now sixteen years after the publication of my 1985 study of 2,336 examples of kefalhv, has still not been supported with any citation of any text in ancient Greek literature.
I beg to differ. When Phildelphus is described as "head" among kings, it is clear that he does not have authority over the other kings. He is preeminent over them, without having authority over them. It is not a matter of there not being evidence against Grudem. It is simply that some people want to believe in male authority.

Grudem then argues that kephale does not have the meaning of "preeminence" in the lexicon. However, one entry lists "as the noblest part." In a thesaurus "noblest" has "Possessing eminence, elevation, dignity,". Yes, I think that is what Philadephus has over the rest of his family, not authority.

I have in the past, sent a paper to CBMW proving that aner had a gender neutral meaning in Greek, although Grudem claimed that it did not. They did take down one webpage with this claim. However, I find that they have simply moved the information around and preserve it on this page. That means more false claims on the CBMW site. Of course, Grudem knows that aner has a gender neutral meaning in the LSJ because I gave him the examples and CBMW acknowledged the receipt of my article.

1 comment:

Donald Johnson said...

I posted an extract to this info on Denny Burk's blog for Oct 27 in the thread Thielman on Ephesians.