Heads, you win!
- Gen. 2 - There are at least four features of this chapter which support the idea of male-headship (i.e., male God-given authority over female).
It would all be so simple if we knew that "head" meant "authority". Others suggest it means "source". It can mean both, but it is not at all clear to me that one could prove one meaning over another, I won't try.
What bothers me is that Grudem claims in The Meaning Source Does Not Exist that "source" cannot be the meaning. That is a little odd because it exists in English, for example, "fountainhead" means "source" of the fountain. At the end of the article, a curious article, which I cannot explain, Grudem concludes,
- This letter [by P. G. W. Glare] therefore seems to indicate that there is no "battle of the lexicons" over the meaning of kephalē, but that the authors and editors of all the lexicons for ancient Greek now agree (1) that the meaning "leader, chief, person in authority" clearly exists for kephalē, and (2) that the meaning "source" simply does not exist.
However, I know that Al Wolters wrote Grudem a letter explaining that the meaning "source" does exist in Greek lexicons in other languages. Sure enough, in the Magnien - Lacroix lexicon, the meaning "source" is found; and, curiously enough, the meaning "leader, chief, person in authority" or its equivalent, is not found. Does this mean that "head" means "person in authority" only for the English speaking world?
In French, you just don't have any wiggle room, so in 1 Cor. 11, there are two different words used - chef and tête.
- Christ est le chef de tout homme, que l'homme est le chef de la femme, et que Dieu est le chef de Christ.
Tout homme qui prie ou qui prophétise, la tête couverte, déshonore son chef.
However, in the Grec-Français Magnien-Lacrois Lexicon, which is considered a very respectable lexicon, κεφαλη has absolutely no entry which mentions a "person in authority."
This is a strangely muddled situation. There is no clear correspondence between "head" and "person in authority" in Greek, other than the fact that certain translators, of the 16th century and later, thought there was. There is no evidence in this regard. In fact, κεφαλη is not the head of the Greek army, but a raiding party.
I have read Grudem's articles on κεφαλη but I won't bore you with the details. They are the usual list of one or two possibly relevant suggestions, and lists of citations which are too late to be useful. I haven't read the articles proving κεφαλη means "source". However, at this point, Grudem's articles have done a good job of convincing me that "source" is the more likely meaning. This is new for me!
I don't think I would want to change the way that κεφαλη is translated into English - the metaphor would be lost. However, the claim on Bruce Ware's part, that "headship" is "the person in authority" cannot be substantiated. It is dependent, I assume on Grudem's various studies, and as we know from Wolters letter to Grudem, that Grudem did not extend his study to materials outside of the English language. (Wolters is a fellow complementarian.)
I would feel happier if the CBMW would restrain from reposting their campaign against the TNIV, but that would be too much to hope for.
On a related note, inspired by the CBMW, I posted my own concerns regarding a return to a Biblical hierarchy. It may look like a spoof but it actually represents some of my serious research into the importance of the King James Bible to the cause of the divine right of kings. I have been dipping into the sermons of Lancelot Andrewes, a translator of the KJV. I may be having fun, but in a totally scholarly way.