Saturday, December 4, 2021

Woman bad man good?

The old 1 Timothy 2:12 debate has rocketed into the light on the Julie Roys website.

There are some interesting articles on this:

The meaning of authentien

Men and Women in the Church

Greek verb authentein

and my comment:

The 'blunt' reflexive translation of authenteow as 'exercise authority' fails to properly deal with the issues. 'Usurp' wouldn't help, because in today's climate that would be taken as usurping the man's 'power'. Not what we want, or what I think Paul was writing into.

It is hard to put one's mind in the ancient world, particularly ancient paganism's androgyny (Peter Jones has a great paper on this in JETS). Peter doesn't explore the feminisation of the earth, but it is there as a theme too. So with that in mind, I would suggest that Paul is countering a pagan intrusion where some women are deprecating men because of their sex verses the male sex. Completely unbiblical given Galatians 3:28; the scene setting passage concerning status in the church.

This might be their asserting a superior femininity: we are seeing this today in the modern reassertion of pagan ideas.

So, a rough translation might be that Paul is not permitting a woman to vociferously deprecate a man, not to shout him down, but to be in quietness [in the gatherings]. Quietness? Polite, listening and contributing in an orderly way which Paul enjoins elsewhere.

It needs work, of course, but this is the sense I get with the pagan context the Galatians passage and Paul's expecting that woman would participate in gatherings in other letters.

This also makes sense of Paul's reference to the creation account. Man is male and female, together to order and care for the creation, and to look after the fish!. It is together, not in some hierarchy that people imply from Eve as the one who gives succor to Adam: helper in his limitation of loneliness.

Pagans would have femaleness as the primary progenitor with maleness being deprecated: thus androgynous male pagan priests and shamans: denying their maleness in preference to (and indeed, seeking to adopt and at the same time to usurp) femaleness. That word: usurp, again!

And on 'women pastors'?

I refer you to Darryl Erkel's work.

What the lexicons say:

Friberg's Analytical Greek Lexicon: of one who acts on his own authority, hence, have control over, lord it over.

Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: to control in a domineering manner.

BDAG: to assume a stance of independent authority, give orders to, dictate to.

Now, to say that Paul is teaching women to be quiet in terms of such inclinations, is not to permit the same of men. For both sexes this mitigates against the mutuality of the marriage relationship as upholding the image of God.

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