head of a family
In fact, "head of the family" of "head of the household" is a common phrase in English and in Latin as "caput familiae." In Greek it was οἰκοδεσποτέω and is found in 1 Timothy 5:14,
- βούλομαι οὖν νεωτέρας γαμεῖν τεκνογονεῖν οἰκοδεσποτεῖν μηδεμίαν ἀφορμὴν διδόναι τῷ ἀντικειμένῳ λοιδορίας χάριν
So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.
Let's see what happens when we do find "head of a family" in the original language. First you won't find that kephale is ever used in such an expression in the scriptures. It is carefully avoided. Here is the pattern in Hebrew in Joshua 22:14, (head of a paternal house - rosh beit-avotam)
- וַעֲשָׂרָה נְשִׂאִים, עִמּוֹ--נָשִׂיא אֶחָד נָשִׂיא אֶחָד לְבֵית אָב, לְכֹל מַטּוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְאִישׁ רֹאשׁ בֵּית-אֲבוֹתָם הֵמָּה לְאַלְפֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
καὶ δέκα τῶν ἀρχόντων μετ αὐτοῦ ἄρχων εἷς ἀπὸ οἴκου πατριᾶς ἀπὸ πασῶν φυλῶν Ισραηλ ἄρχοντες οἴκων πατριῶν εἰσιν χιλίαρχοι Ισραηλ LXX
et decem principes cum eo, singulos de tribubus, unusquisque erat caput familiae in cognationibus Israel. Vulgate
and with him ten chiefs, one from each of the tribal families of Israel,(A) every one of them the head of a family among the clans of Israel. ESV
I am therefore concerned about lack of clarity when someone writes about Sarah Sumners,
- She also calls into question attempts by fellow egalitarians to reinterpret 1 Corinthians 11:3 as if kephale in that passage means “source” and not “head.”
Anyway, laugh all you like, I would prefer to see a lot more precision and attention to the original languages in discussions like these. Possibly Sumners does a much better job than this quote taken out of context would imply. The truth is that I have only read a couple of famous studies on kephale and I remain puzzled at why anyone associates kephale with "governing authority." I haven't decided about "source" yet. Maybe five years down the road I'll have a better idea.