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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Fee, Packer. Waltke, Peterson, MP3

I am experiencing another blogging slowdown. Work beckons - children will not be put off to another day.

Sadly, I have bowed out of two successful blogs in the past. The reason is NOT that I don't have enough to write about - the reason is that I have too much to write about.

However, tonight sorting through some old posts on my bookshelf blog, inspired by reading Scott McKnight's recent post on Women in Ministry: A Letter Now Open I came across this link. At the bottom of this page is the link to an MP3 Women in Ministry: Fee, Packer, Waltke, Peterson. I had previously been asked for this link and had lost it. Listen to the cultural underpinnings of the personal theological position of these men on women in ministry.

I always find it fascinating to listen to where people are starting from when they describe their beliefs about women. I notice Peter wrote about this yesterday. McKnight references this letter by F. F. Bruce on the ministry of women and I would like to post here a selection of F.F. Bruce's remarks on learning Greek.
    I have met students who claimed to ‘know Greek’ on the basis of their acquaintance with the Greek New Testament; even if that latter acquaintance were exhaustive, it would no more amount to a knowledge of Greek than acquaintance with the English New Testament would amount to a knowledge of English. Read more here. (thanks to our commenter D. Reimer for this excerpt.


    At Tue Oct 03, 08:54:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

    Thanks for this, Suzanne, and especially for the reminder of this FF Bruce quote. It's a shame you didn't think to post this in the Touchstone Magazine blog comment thread, before it was closed, in answer to those who called you a liar for suggesting that most of the ESV translation team do not "know Greek", for example in these words from a comment there: "it is she who plainly lies when she denies that she once again asserted that Dr. Poythress does not know Greek".

    Meanwhile the letter quoted at Jesus Creed encourages me and I hope you to continue blogging on these matters. If we can set just one or two people like this woman free from bondages to wrong teaching and practice (about women's roles or anything else), then our efforts have been more than a little worthwhile.

    At Tue Oct 03, 12:13:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

    Assuming that we are right of course.

    At Tue Oct 03, 01:02:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

    Indeed, Matthew. And it is interesting that even the top scholar and member of the Brethren FF Bruce agrees that we are right. This is of course in agreement with the general gospel message of freedom from detailed regulations. The woman referred to at Jesus Creed had been in bondage for 17 years, and needed to be freed from bondage just as much as the woman of Luke 13:16 needed to be set free from a similar length of bondage.

    At Tue Oct 03, 03:06:00 PM, Blogger Brian said...

    I agree that knowing how to read Greek and "knowing" Greek as a language are two completely different things. So I appreciate F.F. Bruce's comments.

    Also, I think it needs to be pointed out that an important aspect of translating the Greek and knowing which words to use (as i understand it, and this is not my expertise) depend partly on context. Turkey is meaningless by itself but once I say "I ate a turkey sandwich in Turkey" we all know what turkey means now.

    I read through some of the comments in the link to touchstone and can see there may have been some confusion that anthropoi may not always be translated people everytime, it depends on context. You probably all know this and you can bruch me aside or correct me if you wish.

    I also say that people missed Suzannes point by a New York mile. Knowing how to read Greek and knowing Greek as a language are vastly different things and I would agree that many of the tranlstors of the ESV probably were not necessrily experts in biblical Greek, at least not to the same degree of Bruce or Waltke, or the others mentioned.

    At Tue Oct 03, 03:34:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


    In isolation anthropos singular could easily be 'a man'. But in 1 Tim. 2:5 it is in apposition to Jesus Christ, it qualifies him and adds new information. The information is that he was human - mortal, vulnerable, subject to physical injury and decay.

    In the plural it would be very odd not to translate anthropoi as people or humans, depending on the context.

    On your other point, yes, I am afraid that the translators of the ESV are people (men) who have devoted years of their lives to writing about and defining gender norms for the North American Christian community in the second half of the 20th century. This is their area of production of literature. (I cannot bring myself to call it scholarship.)

    Since they have been prolific in the area of gender norms it would be odd to find that they are also recognized Biblical language scholars.

    At Tue Oct 03, 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Brian said...

    I see your point about anthropoi.

    I also agree with Dr. Packer that there may be better things to do with our time than sitting around pontificating about if women should teach men or not. That is just ridiculous. Since when was the Bible Law and not principle? Some of my best teachers have been women. Also, the biblical languages prof at Fuller NW in Seattle is a woman and she does awesome, so is the OT prof. I learned lost from her about biblical Hebrew and the Psalms. The new professor of NT Greek and New Testament at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary is a woman, and I am pretty sure she "knows" Greek.

    May the Lord bless you and please don't the anthropoi get to you. Ha!

    At Wed Oct 04, 02:02:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

    I also agree with Dr. Packer that there may be better things to do with our time than sitting around pontificating about if women should teach men or not.

    I found Packer's and Waltke's comments on the differences between Ecclesiastical "Rank" and the dynamic gifting of the Holy Spirit and how they have a bearing on "Ordained Ministry" to be quite interesting. And, honestly, I had never thought about it that way. They have a good point, and I will have to investigate it. The person in the audience that asked the question (Tracy, I think her name was) appears to have equated the two together, as I have always been prone to do.

    If I am "reading" them right, I wonder how many of us have automatically assumed that Rank = Ministry/gifting? I know I have certainly always viewed it that way. I have always assumed that someone is called to a "position" or "rank" and that that is the same thing as their "calling" or "gift" or "ministry", never stopping to think about how much influence people have had on Church Organization and our views or opinions on Ecclesiology. The huge variance in Church governance should have tipped me off ages ago that I should reevaluate the entire subject.

    At this point I am with Waltke who said: "I'm not sure that office in the Church is a calling." Packer seemed to reflect these same sentiments near the end of his final reply to questions (which Waltke picked up on).


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