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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wayne Grudem: Bridgebuilder?

Adrian suggests that Wayne Grudem is a bridge-builder. He says,

    John Piper, like you, is better known as a theological bridge-builder, rather than a theological warrior.
Let readers be the judge. Some of you know my position, that I have been told personally by translators of the TNIV of the personal pain that the following criticism has caused. I feel no reticence in saying that Dr. Grudem causes other people pain unjustly.

In this post, Dr. Grudem claims that

    evangelical feminism involves, implicitly at least, a denial of the authority of the Bible.
And here Dr. Grudem has 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” (italics added). 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. So it is no surprise that egalitarian churches are eager to adopt the TNIV.
There is absolutely no indication here that Dr. Grudem is aware of the King James Version of this verse.

    But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
So I looked up 'assume' and 'usurp' in the OED.

    assume- 1. take or accept as being true without proof, for the purpose of argument 2 simulate or pretend 3. undertake 4. take or put on oneself or itself 5. arrogate, usurp, or seize

    usurp - 1. seize or assume 2. encroach
I now assume one of the following must be true.

a) Dr. Grudem is not aware of the meaning of assume and its similarity to usurp
b) Dr. Grudem is not familiar with the KJV of this verse
c) Dr. Grudem believes that the KJV is a 'novel and suspect' translation
d) Dr. Grudem did not think through his statement.

I find myself to be an increasingly irritable and school-marmish sort of person. I am less and less able to overlook the grammatical and lexical errors of a certain theological cohort.

I ask myself if dictionaries and the King James Version have gone completely out of style and we are now entering a new ahistoric and counterfactual age. An age in which certain writers have one goal and only one, keeping women from teaching men in church. Keeping women from doing what they were put on earth to do, be obsessed about correct usage in grammar and lexicon. (I guess some men favour this activity themselves - we are not so different after all.)

I know that Adrian thinks I don't get the point. He feels that nothing I say disproves the obvious fact that women are without authority. My point is this, regardless of what is 'obvious', people should stick to the facts -- and perhaps the King James Bible!

Note: Due to technical difficulties this post has been regenerated. Apologies for clogging your RSS feed.


One of our commenters has noted an error. I acknowledge that my dictionary references are from the Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1990.

usurp: seize or assume (a a throne or power, etc.) wrongfully
assume: arrogate, usurp or seize (credit, power, etc.)

My purpose is to show that 'assume' in the TNIV is not a 'highly suspect and novel translation', but one that existed already semantically in the King James Version. My purpose is not to claim that the King James Version is correct.

My purpose is to claim that Dr. Grudem appears to be deficient in awareness of the King James Version. My purpose is to show that Dr. Grudem makes public statements without any conscience about whether they are true or not. If authority is about being male rather than about telling the truth, I am simply not interested.

Dr. Grudem is the single biggest reason in Christendom today not to believe in the authority of the male.


At Fri Dec 15, 12:29:00 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

Another bridge built by Wayne Grudem in his Systematic Theology:

I do not think that ... an extensive analysis of liberal views is the most helpful way to build a positive system of theology based on the total truthfulness of the whole Bible. In fact, somewhat like the boy in Hans Christian Andersen’s tale who shouted, “The Emperor has no clothes!” I think someone needs to say that it is doubtful that liberal theologians have given us any significant insights into the doctrinal teachings of Scripture that are not already to be found in evangelical writers.

In other words, liberals have nothing to contribute; we invented it all first. Even reading liberal writings or answering liberal questions is a waste of time.

I myself would characterize this attitude as unscholarly -- or even wimpy.

At Fri Dec 15, 02:39:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Suzanne, you haven't even mentioned Grudem's latest example of "bridgebuilding" in which he accuses one of the UK's most prominent evangelical leaders, Steve Chalke, of "blasphemy", when Chalke simply dared to question some of the more extreme ways in which the doctrine of the atonement has been expressed. If it is "blasphemy" to describe a rather extreme form of a mainstream doctrine and suggest that in fact those in the mainstream hold to the extreme form, which is the worst of which Chalke could be accused, then Grudem needs to take care himself.

At Fri Dec 15, 03:32:00 AM, Blogger Tim Chesterton said...

On 'anonymous's point, note also that Grudem assumes there are only two points of view, 'liberal' and 'evangelical'.

Poor old C.S. Lewis - he's not included in either of those positions!

At Fri Dec 15, 05:22:00 AM, Blogger D. P. said...

Maybe that bridge is in Brooklyn and Grudem is looking to sell it.

At Fri Dec 15, 08:10:00 AM, Blogger MCC said...

Give me a break. I must suppose you are taking a tongue in cheek approach to this post. Dr. Grudem has written extensively on this subject, and his analysis on authenteo is very easy to find.

His arguments are particularly cogent, and while I can understand your disagreeing with some conclusions he draws from the evidence, he makes serious points which ought to be accepted or refuted by reasoned analysis.

Comments like "certain writers have one goal and only one, keeping women from teaching men in church" veer toward--excuse me--childishness. It is easier to deal with those who hold opposing views by ascribing ignoble motivations to them than by sober argumentation. This is particularly true for those who are having to defend the weaker argument.

C.S. Lewis has been cited in these comments. He has a name for your approach. He calls it "Bulverism." See the article by that name in God in the Dock.

I challenge you to read up on Dr. Grudem. An objective reader will find a commitment to diligent exegesis, not misogyny.

At Fri Dec 15, 08:11:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Maybe the bridge that Grudem is trying to sell is in Avignon. That bridge certainly gets no further across the river than Grudem's bridge gets across the main divides between Christians today.

At Fri Dec 15, 09:12:00 AM, Blogger Adrian Warnock said...

Dr Grudem has expressed regret for the use of the word "blasphemy", and as far as the quote from his systematic theology goes you have to understand that his aim is explicitly to build a theology based on the assumption that the bible is inerrant - I am not too sure how you think a liberal theology would help in that aim...

At Fri Dec 15, 09:53:00 AM, Blogger Michael Kruse said...

As to versions of the Bible and what they said.

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

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

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

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

New English Bible (1961): I do no permit a woman to be a teacher, nor must woman domineer over man.

New Translation (1990): “I do not permit a woman to teach or dominate men.”

With all these secular feminists and liberals throughout the ages, no wonder the Church is so messed up!


At Fri Dec 15, 09:55:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


I have read several of Dr. Grudem's books cover to cover. I know of no other author who has poured the same amount of verbiage into any single issue as he has into the subordination of women - and the eternal subordination of women at that. An no, I do not find his exegesis cogent. I have read many of his books and his articles.

His references to Junia for example are outlandish. He makes some pretense of the chance that Junia might be a male name Junias, but that is entirely unsubstantiated.

No, Marvin, I have to admit that the more I read of Grudem the more I marvel at the limitations, especially at his reluctance to use lexicons before he starts out rather than afterwards - some kind of afterthought.

Maybe you would indicate your own background, because I would find it very odd if anyone who was educated in Greek would find Grudem cogent. I just don't believe that is possible.
So, no, I ma not writing tongue in cheek.

I have read the TNIV and the Gender Neutral Bible Controversy, Biblical M and W, I can't even bear to print that title, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical truth, all cover to cover, and several articles - maybe 2000 pages of Dr. Grudem at his best!

At Fri Dec 15, 10:08:00 AM, Blogger Michael Kruse said...

Suzanne I have probably not read the amount of Grudhem you have but I have read a lot. I second your analysis. There is something very "not right" going on here but who can fully assess another's motives from a distance.

At Fri Dec 15, 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

I don't think that saying Dr. Grudem promotes the eternal subordination of women is assessing his motives. I think it is a direct quote from one of his books. But I will have to find that and if I can't I will take it back.

At Fri Dec 15, 10:32:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


I remember now that you gave that brilliant (tongue in cheek!) review of "Junia the Apostle". Have you read Eldon Jay Epp or Richard Bauckham. It always helps to read a scholar on these kinds of questions.

At Fri Dec 15, 06:13:00 PM, Blogger MCC said...

Thanks for reading my post at any rate.

At Fri Dec 15, 08:28:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


I did read your review and I want to reference it properly. You wrote about Junia, The Lost Apostle, by Rena Pederson, which I have not read.

At Sat Dec 16, 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Glennsp said...


• verb 1 take (a position of power) illegally or by force.
2 .take the place of (someone in power) illegally.

The above is from the OED.

Why you have chosen to water it down in your post, well, I will leave that to others.

I will now return to my none commenting norm (as regards this site)

At Sat Dec 16, 09:18:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Glenn said:


• verb 1 take (a position of power) illegally or by force.
2 .take the place of (someone in power) illegally.

The above is from the OED.

Why you have chosen to water it down in your post, well, I will leave that to others.

Hello Glenn. Thanks for that helpful quote from the OED. Yes, although it is debated by exegetes, I have assumed that the meaning of "usurp" is part of the meaning of the Greek word authentein in 1 Tim. 2:12. Obviously, the other part of the meaning has to do with authority. Whatever was going on improperly in Ephesus, Paul wanted women not to usurp authority from men. We should not water down the strong meaning of what Paul wanted the women not to do, as do a number of English versions, including the ESV which just has "exercise authority over a man". The Greek seems to be saying something stronger than this, and that is the point I understand Suzanne to be making, that the KJV got it right, not watered down. But Suzanne can speak for herself if I have misunderstood her.

At Sat Dec 16, 11:32:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


In fact, I did not quote from the OED but from the Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1990. So, that was my error. I don't have access to the OED.

My intent was not to water down but just to show that assume was in the meaning of 'usurp' and vice versa.

I will edit the post, but I am not sure what difference it makes. I am not trying to prove the meaning of authentein, I am trying to show that Dr. Grudem is in error when he claims that the TNIV is a 'novel and suspect translation.' Usurp and assume are close in meaning, usurp was in the KJV, that is all. I often sense that Dr. Grudem is not that familiar with the KJV and he has made clear his life-long use of the RSV.

At Sun Dec 17, 06:05:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

This is just too much. Glenn is just making up OED definitions. Here is what the OED actually says.

usurp, v.

(ju:'zȜ:p) [ad. OF. usurper (14th c.), ad. L. ūsūrpāre (whence It. usurpare, Pr., Sp., Pg. usurpar) to seize for use, to use, employ.]

I. 1. trans. To appropriate wrongfully to oneself (a right, prerogative, etc.). †Also const. against, upon.

a1325 MS. Rawl. B. 520 fol. 56b, Ȝif þe Eir mid wronge vsurped þe seisine of Eldere þoru deseisine. 1399 LANGL. Rich. Redeles III. 257 To vsurpe þe service þat to sages bilongith, To be-come conselleris er þey kunne rede. 1569 J. SANDFORD tr. Agrippa's Van. Artes 154b, Apicius more then all others haue vsurped ye glory and fame of this arte. a1578 LINDESAY (Pitscottie) Chron. Scot. (S.T.S.) I. 18 [He] sould have usurpat all honnour riches and authoritie. 1596 Edward III, I. i. 80 Tell him, the Crowne that hee vsurpes is myne. 1607 COWELL Interpr., Quo Warranto, is a writ that lyeth against him, which vsurpeth any Frawnchis or libertie against the king. 1656 EARL OF MONMOUTH tr. Boccalini's Pol. Touchstone (1674) 277 That pretence of Right, which the violence of the Sword hath usurp'd upon other mens Estates. a1680 BUTLER Rem. (1759) I. 346 They were fain to usurp the Right of his Cause, to justify their own. 1709 STRYPE Ann. Ref. I. xiv. 187 The people by a great consent usurped them [sc. favours] to themselves. 1791 COWPER Iliad I. 624 Him with shame The King of men hath overwhelm'd, by force Usurping his just meed. 1813 SHELLEY Q. Mab VI. 223 The almighty Fiend Whose name usurps thy honours. 1838 LYTTON Leila I. ii, My uncle usurped my birthright.

fig. and transf. a1586 SIDNEY Arcadia II. vii, So ougly a darkenesse..usurped the dayes right. 1634 FORD Perk. Warbeck II. iii, Tis our pleasure To giue our Cosen Yorke for wife our kinswoman the ladie Katherine: Instinct of soveraigntie Designes the honor, though her peevish Father Vsurps our Resolution.

b. esp. To intrude forcibly, illegally, or without just cause into (some dignified or important office, position, etc.); to assume or arrogate to oneself (political power, rule, authority, etc.) by force; to claim unjustly.

1440 Jacob's Well 28 þo þat vsurpyn of newe tyme þe kepyng or þe amonicyoun of ony cherch in tyme of voydaunce. 1447 O. BOKENHAM Seyntys (Roxb.) 28 tyranny Usurpyd the pryncehood of that plas. a1513 FABYAN Chron. IV. xx. 49 He..vsurpyd the Rule and domynyon of the lande. 1538 TONSTALL Serm. Palm Sund. (1823) 5 Wherfore he [sc. Christ] dyd not vsurpe equalitie vnto god, but [etc.]. 1598 BARRET Theor. Warres IV. i. 103 To vsurpe the preheminence, which onely is due to the Camp-Master. 1651 HOBBES Leviath. II. xxviii. 162 The acts of power usurped,..are not acts of publique Authority. 1681 H. NEVILE Plato Rediv. 34 Either to usurp Tyranny over his own Country, or to lead men forth to..subdue another. 1729 T. INNES Crit. Essay (1879) 32 Carausius..usurped the empire in Britain towards the end of the third century. 1751 JOHNSON Rambler No. 166 ¶5 Eager to usurp the station to which he has no right. 1836 THIRLWALL Greece III. 245 Cleon..did not wish to usurp the functions of Nicias. 1844 H. H. WILSON Brit. India III. 280 To set aside the local government, and usurp an independent and paramount authority. 1891 Pall Mall G. 9 Oct. 2/1 Mr. Parnell repeated..—‘You attempted to put the resolution and usurp my authority as chairman’.

fig. and transf. 1603 SHAKES. Meas. for M. III. ii. 99 To..vsurpe the beggerie hee was neuer borne to. 1667 MILTON P.L. XII. 421 So he dies, But soon revives, Death over him no power Shall long usurp. 1722 WOLLASTON Relig. Nat. 24 The bridle will be usurped by those appetites which it is a principal part of all curb. 1781 COWPER Conversat. 745 The world grown old,..Usurps God's office, lays his bosom bare. 1799 R. SICKELMORE Agnes & L. II. 195 In the silent hours of retirement reflection usurped the empire of the leaden god. 1839 SIGOURNEY Lett. to Mothers xv, The worldly and common trains of thought, which usurp dominion over us. 1857 TOULMIN SMITH Parish 119 Too much inter~meddling from the Home Office has been allowed to be gradually usurped.

2. To seize or obtain possession of (territory, land, etc.) in an unjust or illegal manner; to assume unjust rule, dominion, or authority over, to appropriate wrongfully. Also const. on, upon (= against), over.

c1400 MANDEVILLE (1839) 145 He..usurped the Lond, and helde it to himself, and cleped him Emperour of Trapazond. 1432-50 tr. Higden (Rolls) II. 103 The Danes vsurpede the realme of Estenglonde. 1483 CAXTON Gold. Leg. 224b/1 By cause that he wold usurpe to hym self hys herytage. 1507 Reg. Privy Seal Scotl. I. 208/2 Gif ony of thaim occupiis and usurpis ony part of the kingis propir lands. 1579 FENTON Guicciard. 358 To reconquer to the sea Apostolike, all those places..that had bene vsurped vpon the Church. 1598 HAKLUYT Voy. I. 147 The cities adhearing vnto the king vsurped diuers Castles belonging to the Master, tooke certain..knightes. 1653 H. COGAN tr. Pinto's Trav. iv. 11 Having usurped the town of Goa upon him. 1687 A. LOVELL tr. Thevenot's Trav. I. 223 That Church..was usurped by the Turks, and serves them..for their chief Mosque. a1721 PRIOR Dial. Dead, Cromwell & Porter Wks. 1907 II. 267 The three Kingdoms You Usurped. 1809 BAWDWEN Domesday Bk. 2 Walden usurped two houses of Ketel the priest.

fig. and transf. 1592 SHAKES. Ven. & Ad. 591 Whereat a sudden pale..Usurps her cheek. 1592 Arden of Feversham I. 99 Sweete Mosbie is the man that hath my hart: And he vsurpes it. 1633 G. HERBERT Temple, Bunch of Grapes i, One aire of thoughts usurps my brain. a1700 EVELYN Diary 3 Aug. 1656, Blasphemous and ignorant mechanics usurping the pulpets every where. 1726 POPE Odyssey xx. 430 Universal night usurps the pole! 1807 J. BARLOW Columb. II. 210 Ere..Memphian pyramids usurp'd the skies. 1841 EMERSON Ess., Love ¶4 The proportion which this topic of personal relations usurps in the conversation of society.

b. transf. To occupy or take the place of, physically; to encroach or trench upon.

1635 QUARLES Embl. I. ii. 10 The white-mouth'd Water now usurpes the Shore. 1687 DRYDEN Hind & P. III. 863 A just Reprise would only be Of what the Land usurped upon the Sea. 1764 GOLDSM. Trav. 290 The firm connected bulwark [= dyke of Holland] seems to grow; Spreads its long arms amidst the watery roar,..and usurps the shore. 1817 BYRON Manfred III. iv, Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth. 1841 T. R. JONES Anim. Kingd. 730 The placenta completely usurps the place of the allantois.

c. Of feelings, passions, etc.: To take possession of, occupy, or assume predominance in (the mind, bosom, etc.).

1749 SMOLLETT Regicide V. viii, Distemper'd passion..Usurped my troubled bosom. 1798 FERRIAR Illustr. Sterne, etc., Genius 282 When frenzy and imposture usurp the regard. 1824 CAMPBELL Theodric 490 usurp'd his brain. 1853 KANE Grinnell Exp. xviii. (1856) 138 The object which seemed to usurp the undivided attention of our party.

d. to usurp the place of, in fig. uses.

1573 BARET Alv. Kki, Concerning I consonant, which oftentimes vniustly vsurpeth the sounde and place of g. 1739 BUTLER Serm. Wks. 1874 II. 229 True religion takes up that place in the mind, which superstition would usurp. 1781 COWPER Table-t. 320 When tumult..usurp'd authority's just place. 1863 HOLLAND Lett. Joneses xix. 271 The love of party has always usurped the place of the love of Country. 1879 H. PHILLIPS Notes Coins 5 Copper began to usurp the place of other metals.

†3. To take or hold possession of (something belonging to another or others) by sleight or force; to appropriate by ruse or violence; to steal.

c1412-20 LYDG. Chron. Troy v. 73 þat he þis relik reioisshe shulde of riȜt, Be sleiȜte wonne.., And vsurpeth, be maner of avaunt. 1484 CAXTON Fables of Æsop II. xviii, I beleue wel that thow hast vsurped and robbed som thynge. 1560 J. DAUS tr. Sleidane's Comm. 242b, The reuenewes of some they haue vsurped already. 1620 BRENT tr. Soave's Hist. Counc. Trent. I. 100 The Ecclesiasticall goods should not be vsurped. 1643 J. BURROUGHES Exp. Hosea vii. 375 As a man that hath his goods taken away from him usurped.

fig. and transf. a1425 tr. Arderne's Treat. Fistula, etc. 30 Any oþer witty man perceyuyng his werk mow vsurpe it to hymself. 1602 SHAKES. Ham. I. i. 46 What art thou that vsurp'st this time of night? 1605 —— Lear IV. ii. 28 To thee a Womans seruices are due, My Foole vsurpes my body. a1637 B. JONSON Discov. Wks. (Rtldg.) 747/2 Their own fox-like thefts..are so rank, as a man may find whole pages together usurped from one author.

4. To make use of (something not properly belonging to one or one's estate); to use or employ wrongfully.

c1412 HOCCLEVE De Reg. Princ. 440 Certes to blame ben þe lordes grete,..þat hir men lete Vsurpe swiche a lordly apparaille. a1548 HALL Chron., Hen. VI, 114 Beside this, she vsurped a cote of arms. 1578 LYTE Dodoens 727 The barke in some places wrongfully vsurped..for the diseases of the milte. 1601 SHAKES. All's Well IV. iii. 119 His heeles haue deseru'd it, in vsurping his spurres so long. 1661 SPARROW Bk. Com. Prayer (ed. 2) A6, Learned Jews from that time, usurp the same partition of Chapters on the Old Testament. 1713 ADDISON Cato IV. i, Who's this that dares usurp The Guards and Habits of Numidia's Prince? 1831 SCOTT Ct. Rob. iii, A portrait of Alexander, in executing which, some inferior dauber has usurped the pencil of Apelles.

fig. and transf. 1598 B. JONSON Ev. Man in Hum. (Q.) V. i. 307 Which suit..I put on, and vsurping your mans phrase and action, caried a message to Signior Thorello in your name. 1744 Harl. Misc. I. 66 To Prince and People, that usurp unlawful Methods to accomplish their unjust Intentions. 1781 COWPER Table-T. 637 [To] claim the palm for purity of song, That lewdness had usurp'd and worn so long. 1813 SHELLEY Q. Mab. IX. 100 The old thorn..Usurped the royal ensign's grandeur.

b. To assume or claim (a name or title) unduly as one's own; to arrogate or take to oneself. Also simply, to assume, bear.

1549 W. THOMAS Hist. Italie 15b, Theyr owne priuate capitaines enterprised many tymes not onely to rebell, but also to vsurpe the name of emperours. 1577 HOLINSHED Chron., Hist. Eng. I. 202/1 Euery vsurp ye title of King. 1592 SHAKES. Ven. & Ad. 794 Call it not love, for Love to heaven is fled, Since sweating Lust on earth usurp'd his name. 1610 HEYWOOD Gold. Age F4, Let that Clime henceforth Be cal'd Arcadia, and vsurpe thy name. 1675 DRYDEN Aurengz. v. (1676) 81 The noble Arimant usurp'd my name. 1776 GIBBON Decl. & F. I. 58 The name..of Orator was usurped by the sophists. 1781 COWPER Retirem. 319 He that has not usurp'd the name of man. 1883 F. POLLOCK in Proc. Roy. Instit. X. 381 The name of claymore (commonly usurped by the much later basket-hilted pattern).

c. To take (a word or words) into use; to borrow or appropriate from another language, source, etc.; to employ, use.

1531 ELYOT Gov. I. xxii, Of them two [sc. ‘celeritie’ and ‘slownesse’] springeth an excellent vertue where unto we lacke a name in englisshe. Wherfore I am constrained to usurpe a latine worde, callyng it Maturitie. 1559 W. CUNINGHAM Cosmogr. Glasse 56 [The word] vsurped, for a place where men exercise ther horse, ronnyng a rase. 1573 J. DAUS tr. Bullinger on Apoc. (ed. 2) 254b, And these wordes haue more grace in ours and other straunge languages, vsurped than translated. So haue remayned in the Church, Osanna, Amen [etc.]. 1601 B. JONSON Poetaster III. i, ‘White’ is there vsurpt for her brow. 1649 MILTON Eikon. 126 He usurps a common saying, That it is kingly to doe well and heare ill. 1690 LEYBOURN Curs. Math. 347 ddd is..there usurped for ggc. 1859 SIR W. HAMILTON Lect. (1877) I. xi. 197 The[se] Latin terms..were very rarely usurped in their present psychological meaning.

†5. To exercise, practise, or inflict (injury, cruelty, etc.); to put into act, impose. Occas. const. on, towards. Also transf. Obs. rare.

1456 SIR G. HAYE Law Arms (S.T.S.) 134 It is..honest to oppos..all injure or violence unlauchfully usurpit. 1583 T. STOCKER Civ. Warres Lowe C. III. 103b, Usurping on them all kinde of crueltie, and warlike licence. 1625 [? SKINNER] tr. Montanus Inquis. 89 Certaine penalties and punishments vsurped towards offenders. a1700 DRYDEN Sigism. & Guisc. 419 [State laws] are usurp'd on helpless Woman-kind, Made without our Consent, and wanting Pow'r to bind.

6. To supplant, oust, or turn out (a person); †to deprive (one) of possessions. Also refl. rare.

a1325 MS. Rawl. B. 520 fol. 56 þoru þat he him vsurpede bi-þoute iugement þoru his oune propre auctorite. 1512 Helyas in Thoms Prose Rom. (1828) III. 91 The erle..wyllynge to usurpe her of her duchy. 1601 SHAKES. Twel. N. I. v. 198 Vio. Are you the Ladie of the house? Ol. If I do not vsurpe my selfe, I am. 1622 MABBE tr. Aleman's Guzman d'Alf. I. 194 No man shall dare or presume, to vsurpe or defraud one another in this kinde. 1890 Pall Mall G. 9 Oct. (1891) 2/1 ‘How dare you, sir, attempt to usurp me in the chair?’ he [sc. Mr. Parnell] exclaimed.
transf. 1821 SHELLEY Hellas 260 O miserable dawn, after a night More glorious than the day which it usurped!

II. †7. intr. To claim or make pretensions, to assume or attempt arrogantly, to be or do something. Obs.

c1391 CHAUCER Astrol. Prol., I ne vsurpe nat to haue fownde this werk of my labour. 1430-40 LYDG. Bochas VIII. 772 This Karansynvs..Proudli vsurped to be ther gouernour. Ibid. IX. 125 He gadred peeple, gan wexe a werreiour, Ageyn Heraclius,..And vsurped to ride in tho cuntres. 1483 CAXTON Gold. Leg. 204/4 To be crucyfyed upryght I haue not usurped. 1521 in Ellis Orig. Lett. Ser. II. I. 282 The said Dukes fader tooke upon hym and usurped to be king ageinst his elder broder.

8. To act or play the usurper; to rule or exercise authority as a usurper. Also const. over, against. Now rare.

c1425 WYNTOUN Cron. V. x. 2476 He..hald him of his part content, Vsurpand nocht oure his extent. 1477 NORTON Ord. Alch. v. in Ashm. (1652) 67 When he usurpeth above equality. a1513 FABYAN Chron. IV. lxxiv. 51 Whenne he had reygned, or more verely vsurped, by the terme of iiii. yeres. c1585 [R. BROWNE] Answ. Cartwright 83 If any do usurpe, as traitors, against her maiesty. 1592 KYD Sol. & Pers. III. iv, Your Lord vsurps in all that he possesseth. 1596 [see USURPATION 4]. 1640 HABINGTON Edw. IV, 224 The house of Lancaster usurping against Edward. 1653 HOLCROFT Procopius, Vandal Wars I. 9 Basiliscus..attempted to usurp, and prevailed... And Basiliscus usurped a year and eight months. a1733 RAYMOND Reports (1743) 954 Though he afterwards usurp and die, and the advowson descend to his heir.

fig. 1667 MILTON P.L. IX. 1132 Sensual Appetite..Usurping over sovran Reason claimd Superior sway. Ibid. XI. 823 All fountaines of the Deep Broke up, shall heave the Ocean to usurp Beyond all bounds. 1827 KEBLE Chr. Year, Sexagesima Sunday vi, Chaining to earth..Hearts that would highest else aspire, And o'er the tenderer sex usurping ever most.

9. to usurp on or upon: a. To practise usurpation upon, to commit illegal seizure or action against (a person or persons).

1470-85 MALORY Arthur I. iii. 39 Kyng Vther felle seke.., And in the meane whyle hys enemyes Vsurpped vpon hym. 1530 PALSGR. 769/2 Howe longe it is sythe he began first to usurpe upon you. 1576 Southampton Court Leet Rec. (1905) I. 138 His breethren doo vssurpe vppon the Comers vnto of this towne. 1640 HABINGTON Edw. IV, 21 Women who usurpe on their husbands. 1677 Govt. Venice 250 Popes..have usurped upon Seculars in the very power of suppressing of Heretical Books. 1701 WATSON Clergyman's Law 85 If any other Person..doth usurp upon the Lessee. 1760-72 H. BROOKE Fool of Qual. (1809) III. 36 When any of the three estates have usurped upon the others. 1889 LOWELL Latest Lit. Ess., Walton (1891) 77 When he speaks of himself he never seems to usurp on other people.
fig. 1603 FLORIO Montaigne III. x. 606 The motions of love, which I felt to vsurpe vpon me. 1608 SHAKES. Per. III. ii. 82 (Q. 1), Death may vsurpe on Nature many howers, and yet The fire of life kindle againe the ore-prest spirits.

b. To encroach or infringe upon (a right, privilege, etc.); to arrogate to oneself unjustly.

1493 Acta Dom. Conc. (1839) 287/1 Vsurping apon þe fredomez & priuilegis of þe said burghe. 1531 Dialogues on Laws Eng. xxvi. 58 That they vsurpe vpon the popes auctorite. 1594 O. B. Quest. Profit. Concern. 31*b, Such destroying fathers vsurped vpon the right. 1598 DALLINGTON Meth. Trav. L2b, The Noblesse of Athens hauing vsurped vpon the Democratie of that City. 1643 S. MARSHALL Copy of Let. 25 It is most apparent that they have not usurped upon His Majesties Prerogative. 1684 T. BURNET Theory Earth I. Ep. to King, Those that would usurp upon the fundamental priviledge and birth-right of mankind. 1720 GORDON & TRENCHARD Independ. Whig (1728) 153 It is..the highest Sacrilege to usurp upon this great Authority. 1771 GOLDSM. Hist. Eng. II. 141 The commission..had usurped upon his authority. 1822 Monthly Mag. LIII. 333 This would..suffer Sweden and Prussia gradually to usurp on its Baltic ascendancy. 1868 MANNING in Ess. Relig. & Lit. Ser. III. (1874) 12 The Saxon and the Norman kings gradually usurped upon the freedom of the Church by customs. 1879 M. PATTISON Milton 123 Many matters, in which the old prelatic church had usurped upon the domain of the state.

transf. 1599 B. JONSON Ev. Man out of Hum. Charac. Persons, Shift, a thread-bare shark:..He vsurps vpon cheats, quarrels, and robberies which he neuer did. 1654 G. GODDARD in Burton's Diary (1828) I. 83 Whensoever any advantage offers itself, the one will usurp on the other, and..strive totally to subvert it. 1670 H. STUBBE Plus Ultra 137 To prevent the Virtuosi from usurping upon my discoveries and intendments. 1840 DE QUINCEY Style Wks. 1859 XI. 175 This tendency in political journals to usurp upon the practice of books. 1870 LOWELL Study Wind. 212 The unclean rites of Baal..usurp on the worship of the one only True and Pure.

c. To seize, intrude or lay hold upon (land, property, etc.) without right or just cause; to assume authority or domination over, to become superior to.

1630 R. Johnson's Kingd. & Commw. 576 The Moores or Arabians,..usurping upon the maritime coasts of the Country, have built them places and Cities. a1674 CLARENDON Surv. Leviath. (1676) 160 When he usurp'd upon France with equal Tyranny. a1700 EVELYN Diary 18 March 1649, The parish churches, on which the Presbyterians and fanatics had usurp'd.

fig. and transf. 1588 SHAKES. Tit. A. III. i. 268 This sorrow is an enemy, And would vsurpe vpon my watry eyes. a1613 BREREWOOD Lang. & Relig. (1614) 10 At this day, the Greek tongue is very much west, the natural languages of the countries have usurped upon it. 1622 WALLER On Danger his Majesty escaped 86 The loud winds usurping on the main. 1633 MARMION Antiquary I. i, Usurp then on the proffer'd means, Show yourself forward in an action. 1709 MRS. MANLEY Secret Mem. (1720) II. 263 Her killing Eyes now seem'd to lay aside their Darts: Languishments usurp'd upon the Fire. a1859 DE QUINCEY Posth. Wks. (1893) II. 42 The heart of stone had usurped upon the heart of flesh.

d. To encroach upon physically. (Cf. 2b.)

1658 CLEVELAND Rustick Rampant (1687) 447 The honest Husbandmen..repairs the Banks, but does not usurp upon the Stream.

†10. To take possession of a thing by usurpation; to become participator of. Obs.

a1513 FABYAN Chron. VII. (1811) 429 He had vsurpyd of the comon grounde of ye cytie, in settynge of the said towre. 1609 BIBLE (Douay) Joshua vii. 1 The children of Israel transgressed the commandment, and usurped of the anathema.

At Sun Dec 17, 10:08:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Thank you Anon,

I was wondering who might have access to the OED, since I don't. I was using the Concise Oxford and typing it in, which I was too lazy to do properly.

It does seem that the KJ 'usurp' was even stronger than the TNIV 'assume'. But some people don't go back earlier than the RSV in their knowledge of Bible translations.


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