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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Authentein and Grudem

I have more or less avoided discussing authenteo - to have/exercise/assume authority in 1 Tim. 2:12 up until now. I hadn't read the entire list of 82 examples cited in the appendix to Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. 2004. But now I have! It was a rainy day.

So, two things.

First, what does Grudem say about authenteo in the main text of his book?

Second, what do the footnotes to his appendix say?

He suggests in the main text that authenteo is 'approximately synonymous' with exousiazo/exousia echo - 'to have authority' and that we know what it means,
    There is a verb exousiazo which means "to have the right of control, have the right/power for something or over someone," but it is not very common in the New Testament either, since it is used only four times (Luke 22:25; 1 Corinthians 6:12, 7:4 [twice]).

    The noun exousia is quite common (102 times in the New Testament), but I see no reason why Paul had to be limited to using only common words or why anyone should say he should have used a noun in this verse. Nor can I see any reason why he should not be able to use words that were approximately synonymous, but had different nuances of meaning. There may have been nuances of exousia that he wanted to avoid, or nuances of authenteo that he wanted to include, but it is difficult for us to say what those might be.
    In any case, the verb he did use means "to have authority over,"and that meaning now, in the light of much scholarly research, is established beyond reasonable doubt. (Page 322)
He quotes Scott Baldwin, who says regarding authenteo,

    In analysing this material it becomes evident that the one unifying concept is that of authority. (page 675)
One gets the impression from this that the meaning for authenteo is established beyond reasonable doubt. However, Kostenberger disagrees,

    At the heart of the book [Women the the Church. 1995] were the two chapters devoted to lexical and semantic analysis. In the former, the likelihood was suggested that “exercise authority” (Grk. authentein) carries a neutral or positive connotation, but owing to the scarcity of the term in ancient literature (the only NT occurrence is 1 Tim. 2:12; found only twice preceding the NT in extrabiblical literature) no firm conclusions could be reached on the basis of lexical study alone.
So what is the evidence which Köstenberger admits is not decisive?

Of the 82 examples which Baldwin found and Grudem included in the appendix to his book, only two preceded Paul's epistle. The other examples followed the writing of the epistle by at least one century. They can be excluded as evidence.

So what are the two examples which might give evidence for the meaning of authenteo?

Here is the first,

    [1st cent. BC] Philodemus, Rhetorica {ref: 133.14}, "those in authority" {ptc}
    Text: Philodemus Philodemi: Volumina Rhetorica, vol. ed. S. Sudhaus (Leipzig, 1896), 133.
    Translation: Hubbell, "The Rhetoric of Philodemus,"Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 23 (1920): 306

    "To tell the truth the rhetors do a great deal of harm to many people, and incur the enmity of powerful rulers, whereas philosophers gain the friendship of public men by helping them out of their trouble. Ought we not to consider that men who incur the enmity of those in authority are villains, and hated by both gods and men?"
This sounds pretty solid - until you read the footnotes, that is. In Grudem's words,
    Several issues bear on this perplexing text. First, while it is true that Philodemus produced elegant but indecent love epigrams ... even a cursory review of this prose work shows that it is serious treatise in seven books concerning the nature and effect of rhetors and rhetoric. ... The assertion of C.C. Kroeger that the word here must have an erotic sense because it was "penned by the rhetorician and obscene epigrammatist" is apposite.
Well, maybe so. It was written by an author known for his obscene writings. Grudem is not disputing that, but he asserts that in this case it doesn't matter. Okay, maybe it doesn't. But what about this? Grudem continues,

    Second, the text as given is a reconstruction by Sudhaus. It is entirely possible that authentein could be read as authentaisin, the Old Attic plural of authentes, in which case, it is a noun and not a verbal form at all. [cognate nouns were disallowed from this study. note by S. M.]

    Third, it should be remembered that Hubbell is not giving a precise translation but a paraphrase. ... (page 679)
As if this wasn't problematic enough, Linda Belleville (Belleville. page 215) gives evidence that in this case, Grudem quoted Baldwin, who quoted Knight who misunderstood Hubbell. Knight thought that authenteo was the word for 'those in authority' in this passage, but it was actually the word for 'powerful rulers'. In fact, neither Baldwin or Grudem went to the text to check this out. So Grudem wrongly refers to this passage as providing the meaning of 'those in authority' for authenteo.

That it the first piece of evidence. What about the second?

    [27 BC] BGU 1208 {ref: line 38}
    Text: F. Schubart et al., eds. Äegyptische Irkunden aus den königlichen Museen zu Berlin, vol. 4 (Berlin: Weidmannsche, 1912), 351

    Translation: John R. Werner, Wycliffe Bible Translators, International Linguistics Center, Dallas, Tex. letter as quoted by George W. Knight III "ΑΥΘΕΝΤΕΩ in Reference to Women in 1 Timothy 2:12," NTS 30 (1984): 143-57.

    "I exercised authority over him, and he consented to provide for Calatytis the Boatman on terms of full fare, within the hour." (page 680)
Here we see the translation provided on request to Knight who had set out to prove the meaning of "exercise authority" for this word. What does Grudem say in the footnote?

    The translation of this text is disputed. G. W. Knight, 145, gives Werner's translation here. ... P. B. Payne ... implies that the translation of D. Peterson is superior, "When I had prevailed upon him to provide, ... This passage is about a hostile relationship, his action is called 'insolence' in the text." It is difficult to evaluate the strength of Payne's argument. ... However, the meaning of "compel" does seem appropriate. (page 680)
I won't hide from you the fact that I have left out various lexicon citations that Grudem believes support his interpretation. However, I have quoted his conclusion in all honesty. "The meaning of 'compel' does seem appropriate." I am dealing with examples only. We don't have conclusive lexical evidence outside of these examples.

Are these two examples Grudem's only contemporary evidence? Yes, they are. That is why Köstenberger admits that no firm conclusions could be reached on the basis of lexical study alone. He uses other internal linguistic evidence - syntactic, not lexical.

However, when Grudem quotes Baldwin saying,
    In analysing this material it becomes evident that the one unifying concept is that of authority. (page 675)
he gives the impression that Baldwin's evidence is relevant to the discussion. It is not. Grudem does supply Köstenberger's linguistic evidence, but I want to make one thing entirely clear. In spite of all the studies undertaken to prove the clear lexical meaning of the verb authenteo at the time of Paul's writing, we do not have sufficient evidence to acertain its lexical meaning in any unambiguous manner.

So how is it that Grudem had this to say about the TNIV?
    To take one example: in 1 Timothy 2:12 the TNIV adopts a highly suspect and novel translation that gives the egalitarian side everything they have wanted for years in a Bible translation. It reads, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man”. If churches adopt this translation, the debate over women's roles in the church will be over, because women pastors and elders can just say, “I’m not assuming authority on my own initiative; it was given to me by the other pastors and elders.”
    Therefore any woman could be a pastor or elder so long as she does not take it upon herself to “assume authority.” Then in the footnotes to 1 Timothy 2:12 the TNIV also introduces so many alternative translations that the verse will just seem confusing and impossible to understand.
I suggest that the TNIV is being very correct to provide the footnotes which they do. The ESV has none here. I suggest that the TNIV is in line with the evidence provided in the footnotes to the appendix in Grudem's book, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. The TNIV is also in line with the KJV.

Why does Grudem, a translator of the ESV, offer public gratuitous negative opinions on the TNIV? I don't know. The more I look at the TNIV the more I realize that the footnotes alone make it an excellent choice in a Bible translation.


Belleville, Linda. Teaching and Usurping Authority: 1 Tim. 2:11-15 in Discovering Biblical Equality. Pierce and Groothuis.

Grudem, Wayne. Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth

Köstenberger, Andreas. 1 Timothy 2:12 - Once more.

Kruse Kronicle. DBE: Chapter 12 – Teaching and Usurping Authority: 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Scholer, David. The Evangelical Debate over Biblical “Headship”

I would like to add that I am expecially uncomfortable when I read the blogs of otherwise intelligent people who gave Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth a good review. It was called scholarly partly because of the inclusion of some of this irrelevant or innacurate appendix material. Imagine, if you can, that there are women who have reined in their gifts on the basis of this book!

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At Sun Mar 18, 06:03:00 PM, Blogger Glennsp said...

I would suggest that people read Dr Grudem's book for themselves, then they can get the full picture of what was actually written. The full text of the book can be found on-line at the following URL;

Why this URL is not forthcoming in this post is a mystery as I have supplied it before and it does enable people to read the actual book without having to invest in it first.

It is interesting to compare the contents of the book as to what is selectively reported from the book.

Don't take my word for it, go and read it yourself.

At Sun Mar 18, 06:36:00 PM, Blogger Damian said...

Have you read the article "A Semantic Study of Authentes and its Derivatives" JBMW 11/1 (2006):44-65. It's available online:

It provides a truly comprehensive look at the texts up until 312a.d.

As a side point, texts that date after the epistles, even by a century, ought not be excluded from analysis. They are normally excluded if they are dependent on the epistles but "can" otherwise provide excellent insight into the use of words.


At Sun Mar 18, 09:06:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Glenn, '

Thanks - it just happened that I went there and hit a broken link. However, it looks as if the other links are good so the appendix can be accessed by going to another link and scrolling down. I wasn't aware of that.


Do you think Grudem's comment on Adrian's blog is justified considering the evidence in his book? I will check out the article you mention.

At Sun Mar 18, 09:56:00 PM, Blogger Damian said...


I don't really know how to respond. I'm just interested in words which appear rarely in the extant literature - so I read the dictionaries, glanced at a couple of commentaries (I have a shelf on the pastoral epistles), visited Perseus to read BGU 1208, did a TLG search, found another reference from before the epistles, googled it, found the article which I referenced above, and voilá.

It does appear to me - nothing to do with Grudem - that the wording of the TNIV is strange. I would go with ... I do not permit a woman to teach or to "lord it over"/"be master of" a man.

The "possibility" (and it is a real one) that the word refers to assumed-authority (acting with independent jurisdiction) as opposed to invested-authority would be best left to a footnote - not the other way around as in the TNIV.

BUT, IF Paul did not permit women, in his particular communities, at a particular time, because of special circumstances, to exercise authority over men, what does that necessarily mean for us today????? It would appear to me that if this decision were made due to some scandal in the wider community, then the exact reverse decision would be called for today. It is a scandal that women are excluded from authority positions (and I'm a Catholic priest) in the eyes of the wider community. To alleviate that scandal we should actively encourage, within our communities, the investing of authority in women.


At Sun Mar 18, 10:31:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


I'll try to back up a little. If I have a position on this word authentein, it is more or less this. It is rather difficult to ascertain the exact meaning and could be left ambiguous or at least footnoted either way.

I think that "lord it over" as you suggest would be considered too strong or to negative in connotation by some although it seems very likely to me.

"Assume" is considered to be more traditional because of its similarity to the KJV 'usurp'. That is why I think it is used.

As to the interpretation, I have tried to keep clear of discussing this too much so far. I am still trying to understand in depth the trail of evidence gathered since Knight's first study in the 80's.

At Sun Mar 18, 11:01:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Damian, I like "lord it over" also. Well, I mean I like the wording as a good translation for authentein. I don't like it when anyone lords it over anyone else. My own opinion is that if Paul had seen male leaders lording it over anyone, whether males or females, he would not have like it either, and might have written about it.

At Sun Mar 18, 11:25:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


First a little aside. I had a few surprises reading this journal.

In the journal which you link to the first article is on gender distinctions in the new creation. The author posits that the husbandly headship and wifely submission relationship will continue to exist in heaven. page 14.

In the second article the author says,

Women may prophesy in the church, and, indeed, the fact that they do so is a fulfillment of scripture (Acts 2:17–18). They do not, however, fill the role or office of prophet within the early church, since this role requires the authoritative teaching and regulation of doctrine (see 1 Tim 2:11–12).page 28

There is no discussion of why women could be prophets in Israel but not in the early church.

As to the article that you mention, here are a few notes. First, Wolters does not correct Knight's original mistake in reading the text of Philodemus. see page 48, 2.(1)

Second, he does not provide a translation for 2.(2) on the same page. The tanslation there would most likely be to "compel".

Oddly, in spite of appearances, Wolters supplies a far less complete discussion of his examples than Grudem. It is not complete. He covers more material in less detail.

He also changes the basis of the study from Grudem et al, and seems to be proving that authentein does not mean 'murderer'. I would agree. Probably Paul did not feel that he needed to command women not to murder their husbands.

The further question for Wolters is whether the word has a negative or positive connotation. There is no clear evidence in the data in Hellenstic Greek.

So in my opinion it should be footnoted.

There is one example that Wolters mentions that I am not familiar with. I will have to look it up before I can comment on it, but it does not look particularly decisive.

At Mon Mar 19, 05:46:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy said...


Maybe you should just start a new blog for this topic. I used to enjoy reading this blog because I am interested in Bible translation. Now it just seems like a place for you to vent.


At Mon Mar 19, 07:51:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


I was asked some specific questions about this topic. I didn't have time to deal with them before. This kind of research is vital. Someone has to read these studies thoroughly and understand if they have any validity.

Okay, I am a little bit surprised at what I found.

At Mon Mar 19, 08:11:00 AM, Blogger Light said...

Suzanne, I appreciate all the digging that you do. It really is essential. I am a professional writer and I do a lot of writing in the field of alternative health. I have found that there are plenty of opinions out there about what works and what doesn't (especially in advertising) but you have to know how to go to the source. I know how to read a medical study and find out what the real answers are, which is often a very different spin than a big pharmaceutical company, a journalist looking for a juicy story, or a marketer will put on stuff.

I'm sure it's the same way with the work that you do. People take things at face value, but when you do a lot of digging, you'll find that critical information has been ignored, or assumptions have been made that aren't supported by the underlying facts.

Keep up the good work!

At Mon Mar 19, 10:03:00 AM, Blogger Nathan Wells said...

It's good to know we can't know and that all the Bible translations in English up to this point have been wrong. I guess I go throw out all my translations now....


At Mon Mar 19, 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


I am saying the exact opposite of that. I trust the older traditional bibles in terms of translation more than some of the recent ones.

Here is this verse through the ages.

- Old Latin (2nd-4th cent. A.D.): “I permit not a woman to teach, neither to dominate a man [neque dominari viro]. (209)

- Vulgate (4th-5th): “I permit not a woman to teach, neither to domineer over a man [neque dominari in virum].” (209)

- Geneva (1560 edition): “I permit not a woman to teache, nether vfurpe [usurp] authoritie ouer the man.” (210)

- King James Version (1611): “I suffer not a woman to teach, neither to usurpe authoritie over the man.” (210)

Why are we so eager to believe a group of men like Knight and Baldwin, who don't even notice which word in the sentence is a translation of authentein? They say that they have found something new. That authentein means to 'have a position of proper authority'. They made a mistake.

I say, no, let's go back to the traditional understanding of this verse, if anything.

And it is the same with Junia. It was in this century that men discovered, so they say, that Junia was known 'to the apostles' not 'to be among them'.

I stand for the traditional ground, for the firm and stable understandings of 19 centuries of bible translation.

So don't throw out your old bibles. Assuming that the KJV would be one of your old biblies.

Now I do not stand for women having the same status that they had in previous centuries. Nor do I condone slavery.

At Mon Mar 19, 11:55:00 AM, Blogger Nathan Wells said...

I understand and I don't mean to throw out my English Bibles anytime soon.

Your comment does make things clearer.

It is an interesting discussion, and sometimes I feel because of our preconceived ideas and our culture it makes it extremely difficult for us to come at this text and understand it.

I mean, Paul says he doesn't allow women to teach and then adds the part about authority. So is it, "I do not allow women to teach (because that is assuming authority over a man)", or "I do not allow women to teach if that causes them to assume authority over a man"?

I think Paul settled the whole women pastor issue right then, he said women are not allowed to teach.

Yet, we have a problem with that - because of course, Paul could not have really meant what he wrote, what he wrote must mean something else. Our box doesn't have room for Paul.


At Mon Mar 19, 12:16:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Nathan commented:

I think Paul settled the whole women pastor issue right then, he said women are not allowed to teach.

Yet, we have a problem with that - because of course, Paul could not have really meant what he wrote, what he wrote must mean something else. Our box doesn't have room for Paul.

We need to consider the possibility that we have not correctly understood the Greek of this verse. That's not Paul's problem, it's ours. Elsewhere Paul speaks positively about women teaching, such as Priscilla (with the help of her husband) teaching Apollos. And surely there was some kind of teaching going on when women prophesied, which Paul approved of.

I recommend that we need to be open ourselves up to the possibility that authentein refers to a domineering kind of usurping authority away from men who had authority, and that the teaching referred to is connected with that power struggle. We also need to look at the context of all of 1 Tim. where it is clear that there was false doctrine being taught. We always need to interpret commandments within the context in which they are given.

We need to notice, also, that when Paul elsewhere discusses the gift of teaching it is not connected to gender. If Paul believed that women should never teach in the assembly, one would think that he would have said that each time he referred to the teaching gift, not just when he wrote to Timothy where there were women at the church at Ephesus teaching false doctrine.

This is not an easy passage to understand. We need to be gracious to each person who tries to understand what Paul meant by what he said. This principle applies to each of us toward each other person who sincerely tries, with God's help, to understand what Paul was saying.

At Mon Mar 19, 12:30:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


I understand what you are saying. There are several different issues at stake here.

First, what is the correct translation? I favour something moderate - possibly ambiguous. I think interpretation should play a very modest role in bible translation.

Second, how do we interpret Paul? That is another question. I am trying here to work with the translation primarily. But if someone else says, "We can prove that the Greek is unambiguous" I need to show people that that is wishful thinking. These men are misguided.

Now, we can go back to the KJV. In 1 Tim. Paul says, "I do not permit a woman to teach ..." But in Corinthians women were prohesying, women have always been prophets, prophets are ranked above teachers, so now what? ....

Paul also says in 1 Tim. to get married, but in 1 Cor. that it is better not too.

There are two seemingly different ethics at work here. What do we make of it?

We must also remember that there are so many differences throughout history in social organization. Education divided into secular and sacred spheres, is relatively recent. Education and institutions have been at times segregated for men and women. So the very organization into spheres is not God given but variable.

In the early and medieval church, in the Catholic church until recently, there were abbeys run by abesses, with advanced training and influence. They reached the top as leaders of segregated institutions. This is usually no longer open to women today.

There has been no century without women leaders and teachers, and to posit a permanent role relationship between men and women of leadership - submission is to distort both men and women.

We need to be more aware of women through history, of Hilda of Whitby, a teacher of men and women, of Elizabeth Fry, Catherine Booth, Anne Hutchinson, Phoebe Palmer, Florence Li Tim Oi. We need to really know who these women preachers were and are. They all google fairly well I think.

At Mon Mar 19, 02:01:00 PM, Blogger Glennsp said...

The problem is not what Paul wrote - it is very clear, despite some claims to the contrary - the problem is simply that people don't want to submit to Gods word in this area.
As a result we get the endless streams of attack against the (certain) words of God under the guise of supposedly bringing new understanding and clarity.

At Mon Mar 19, 02:05:00 PM, Blogger Nathan Wells said...


"Now, we can go back to the KJV. In 1 Tim. Paul says, "I do not permit a woman to teach ..." But in Corinthians women were prohesying, women have always been prophets, prophets are ranked above teachers, so now what? ...."

You are right, there are things about Paul that make it difficult, besides our own culture. But, Paul never commands a woman to prophesy in church (yes, it does seem like they were and he even gives instruction about it in 1 cor. 11, which is again, a difficult passage), and yet he does command that they not teach and that they keep silent (the silent comes from the letter to the Corinthian church).

"The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church." (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)

This is a hard saying. And I would agree, that as a translator, it would be best to leave these "as is" and not try to "fix" the difficulties.


At Mon Mar 19, 02:11:00 PM, Blogger Nathan Wells said...


"we need to be open ourselves up to the possibility that authentein refers to a domineering kind of usurping authority away from men who had authority, and that the teaching referred to is connected with that power struggle."

I guess what I am saying, is that the authority part of the verse is a mute point when Paul has just said he doesn't allow women to teach (because many times in the whole argument on this passage it always comes back to teaching, not asserting authority...because how can you assert authority over someone if you can't speak in public? Sure, privately you might, and maybe that's what Paul is talking about here - but I've never heard someone talk about that).

Having authority over a man, regardless of what type it is - it is authority, once you have 51%, you have authority, even if you have 99% - so I don't think it matters.

But can someone really be in authority if they only have %49 of the power?


At Mon Mar 19, 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

And I would agree, that as a translator, it would be best to leave these "as is" and not try to "fix" the difficulties.

That is what I think. In my opinion the ESV does more of this fixing than the TNIV. I don't think that changing the generic pronoun matters in terms of truth., on eway or the other. But the TNIV does not edit out the hard sayings.

But the ESV changes 1 Cor. 11:10, 1 Tim. 2:12 and Romans 16:7. The ESV just went around and tidied all these verses up thereby trying to close down debate. I am trying to keep debate open, keep people's eyes open to the Greek.

Then we can discuss interpretation after that.

At Mon Mar 19, 04:19:00 PM, Blogger Bryan L said...

You said,
" is very clear, despite some claims to the contrary - the problem is simply that people don't want to submit to Gods word in this area."

Really? Are you a native speaker of Greek? Were you part of the original audience? Did you live in the first century in Ephesus? Were you part of the church that Paul was writing to?

The only way you can really say how clear it is, is if you can answer yes to these questions. Otherwise all you are really saying is it's clear to you based on your reading of an English bible, your world view and the understanding you bring to this verse based on what you've been taught and become convinced of.

I'm sure you wouldn't just as easily say other verses, which seem to cause you trouble and that you're uncomfortable with, are that clear, and neither would you want to admit that you just don't want to submit to the word of God because you don't take those verses at "face value".

If you don't agree with Suzanne then answer and address the points in her argument. Don't just respond with rhetoric.

Bryan L

At Mon Mar 19, 06:16:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

As a result we get the endless streams of attack against the (certain) words of God under the guise of supposedly bringing new understanding and clarity.


As I have said so many times, I am just trying to get back to an older understanding, to the days
of the King James Bible, If you don't like the King James Bible then say so. Obviously Grudem either does not like it or is not familiar with it.

At Mon Mar 19, 07:01:00 PM, Blogger Glennsp said...

On that basis Bryan we might as well give up as none of us was alive in the first century (strangely enough!!)
If, to understand God's Word, one has to have lived in the first Century and have been a native speaker of Greek (again I assume during the first century) then we are left with the somewhat ridiculous situation that no Christian could have possibly have understood Gods word for the last over 1900 years.

Sorry, but I find that sort of thinking to be not only dubious, but farcical.

If you have a serious comment then please make it, but do not expect me to give the slightest credence to such a patently ridiculous line of (supposed) reasoning.

At Tue Mar 20, 12:21:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


This may help. It is a review of Poythress and Grudem's book by a fellow complementarian, Craig Blomberg.

What initially purports to be a linguistic debate quickly turns theological as one discovers what really annoys Grudem and Poythress. Men, according to their version of complementarianism, are the representative heads (in the sense of "authorities") for the human race, and therefore all but the very most cautious usage of inclusive language (e.g., "brothers and sisters" for "brothers" and "people" for "men" in certain but not all contexts) is muting the masculinity of Scripture and undermining the frequency with which readers can recognize the God-ordained rationale behind the use of masculine language.

At this point, they simply do not understand how language works and implicitly introduce a theory of linguistics that becomes absurd if one tries to apply it to languages that refer to gender in a considerably different fashion than does English (as a lengthy chapter in Carson's work discusses in detail, a chapter to which Grudem and Poythress offer no response except to say that they are not discussing the question of translating into anything other than English!).

Additional linguistic errors compound their theological arguments, as they claim that the Greek aner can never be generic (by the principle that if an exclusive interpretation is at all contextually possible, we can never assume that a generic meaning was meant!), and that adam in its first uses in Genesis already refers to maleness, despite the clear inclusiveness of both Genesis 1:26 and 27 before Adam is ever created.

At Tue Mar 20, 04:42:00 AM, Blogger Bryan L said...

"If you have a serious comment then please make it, but do not expect me to give the slightest credence to such a patently ridiculous line of (supposed) reasoning."

How ironic. It seems like one of your favorite thing to do is insult an argument and claiming it's unworthiness of you actually engaging it instead of actually doing just that. In fact I don't know if I've ever seen you actually put forth your own argument.

I didn't say we couldn't understand the Bible. I was speaking against your seemingly arrogant and prideful statement that the text is so clear (and people just don’t want to submit), when it obviously isn't.
Again when you speak of it’s clarity all you really mean is what’s clear to you from reading your English translation, your worldview, the place you were raised in, in the era you were raised in and according to what you’ve been taught by others.
Being that the Bible was written in other languages, in another time, to another people, it takes a bit more humility and work from us to discern what it says.

It's an insult to Bible translators (who are experts in Greek and Hebrew and Aramaic as well as other languages that are important for studying the Bible), lexicographers, textual critics, historians and Biblical scholars in general (as well as many others) when you speak of how obviously clear it is when they've devoted their whole lives to understanding it (and are way more qualified than any of us) and they still don't share your view on it's obvious clarity. I find it ironic that they are the ones who’s work goes into making an English Bible and then those who only know the English Bible turn around and arrogantly speak of it’s obvious clarity.

Again that’s not saying that we can’t understand the Bible (much less the Gospel!), but that we need just a little more humility when we speak about that understanding, and grace towards others when their understanding doesn’t agree with ours (instead of making accusations towards them).

Blessings Brother Glenn

Bryan L

At Tue Mar 20, 08:40:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

This may help. It is a review of Poythress and Grudem's book by a fellow complementarian, Craig Blomberg.

Suzanne, thanks for that helpful quote from Blomberg's review. Is it online anywhere? If so, would you now the address?

At Tue Mar 20, 09:32:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Guess I posted a bad link. I hope this works.

At Tue Mar 20, 09:34:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Is that link above working for you? Here is the URL.

At Tue Mar 20, 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Suzanne, you didn't format the link properly. You wrote:

<A REF="

But you should have written


Here, I think, is the correct link.

At Tue Mar 20, 10:41:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Thanks Peter. I must be getting old or something.

At Tue Mar 20, 01:17:00 PM, Blogger Glennsp said...

Bryan, none of that changes the fact that it is clear and I'm truly sorry if that offends you, but if standing by what I see as clear and unambiguous makes me appear proud and arrogant then so be it.
In my 36 years of being a Christian the only people I have come across who think this is a difficult to understand passage have been those who did not want to submit to what it says. This has led me to the opinion that I stated earlier.
I have put forward what I believe in comments on this blog, but as the same ground is covered over and over and over again it becomes just a little tiresome to repeat everything, but if it will keep you happy, here is a very short list of SOME of the things I believe;
I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.
I believe in a literal 6 days of creation.
I believe in a literal global flood and that Noah's Ark was real.
I believe in a balanced approach to Word & Spirit.
I believe in the gifts of the Spirit being in operation today.
I believe in the Doctrine of Grace.
I believe that the leadership of God's Church was and is limited to men by God's design.
I believe that God gave different, but complimentary roles, to men (via Adam) and women (via Eve) at creation and therefore before the fall and the entry of sin into creation.
I believe in the cleansing power of the shed blood of Christ on the cross to wipe away the sins of those God calls to repentance and salvation.

At Tue Mar 20, 07:58:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


Regardless of the interpretation I am still inerested in the appendix. Why was it added to the book when it doesn't support his thesis? Can you comment on this point? That is what my post is about? Do you have any thoughts on this?

At Wed Mar 21, 05:29:00 PM, Blogger Glennsp said...

Suzanne, As far as I can see Kostenberger does not disagree with Dr Grudem, based on the article to which you linked.

At Wed Mar 21, 11:15:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

It is clear that Grudem thought the data gave a lexical meaning of authority for authentein, but for Kostenberger there was no firm conclusion regarding lexical data. Just possibly K. was aware that in neither of the two contemporary examples was authentein translated as having authority.

Here is another quote from Kostenberger,

This renders many of the criticisms set forth by opponents of a gender-inclusive approach invalid (such as Wayne Grudem's "Response to Mark Strauss' Evaluation of the Colorado Springs Translation Guidelines," JETS 41 [1998] 263-286).

It is important to realize that egalitarians interpret some key scriptures differently from each other and so do complementarians. They do not necessarily agree on the fine points of translation.


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