Women Leaders: Eph. 4
- Therefore it says,
"When he ascended on high
he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men."
11And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Eph. 4:8, 11-14 ESV
This is why it says:
"When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people."
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Eph. 4:8, 11-14 TNIV
I admit that it sounds more poetic to say, "he gave gifts to men". There is a distinct advantage to a word of one syllable in writing poetry. If you want a poetic version then by all means read the KJV or the NKJV. This is extremely useful in developing an understanding of the role of the Bible in English literature.
However, the ESV team assures us that when it says 'men', they think it means 'men'. The ESV page says, "
- the words “man” and “men” are retained where a male meaning component is part of the original Greek or Hebrew
In a translation like the KJV or the NIV, the word 'men' is used consistently for anthropos (pl). But in the ESV the word anthropos (pl) is often translated as people, or humans, and sometimes translated as 'men'. It is one of the most frustrating features of the ESV.
The ESV also translates 2 Tim. 2:2 with 'men', because the ESV translators think that it means men,
- and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also
Here is the same passage in the TNIV.
- And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others
This term 'manhood' is contrasted with nepios the 'infant'. So we want to be mature men, not infants. I don't think that there is a sudden exclusion of women here. But this was the usual way to say adult in Greek.
For some reason, the ESV has used 'children' here instead of 'infant'. Since this is a special word emphasizing immaturity, it is usually translated as 'infant'. There are other words in Greek which we usually translate into English with 'children.'
I can't say that the ESV gets too many marks for transparency to the Greek in this passage. It mixes up anthropos, but it does translate manhood more or less literally. No, that isn't right - it really should be the 'mature man' - let's leave this 'manhood' thing out. It really doesn't say that.
In Hebrews 5:13-14 the same expression occurs, this time without the 'man'.
- 1for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature
Labels: women leaders