1 Tim 2:12, My Greek vs. Stand to Reason

Status
Not open for further replies.

tellville

Puritan Board Junior
I only have one year of Greek under my belt. Thus, I'm not sure whether my reply to an article posted on my church's forum is 100% accurate. I was wonderning if the good people at Puritan Board could make sure I'm not teaching any heresy :bigsmile:
(BTW, I only intended to responded to the Greek portion of the article. Somebody else said they would respond to the rest of the article after my Greek post. But if you have any other comments on the article, feel free to mention them!)

First, I will post the article I responded too. Following this article will be my response on my church's message board.

Women Teach in Church?

Gregory Koukl

What does I Tim. 2:11-15 say about the male-female "pecking order" in the church? Greg questions the commonly held translation, shedding some light on a touchy subject. "


Churches who take what might be considered a more traditional or conservative view on 1 Timothy 2:11-15 don't allow women in leadership because of how they interpret this passage.
There is a variation on that, and that is that they will allow women in leadership if there is a man over them. For instance, we have a male pastor and a male council in our church. No women are allowed on the council, but we do have female pastors because they are under the leadership of the male head pastor and a male council. That is because the word in verse 12 which talks about a woman teaching and exercising authority over a man has the sense of usurping authority. The idea there is that if she is not usurping authority, then it is legitimate for her to teach--like teaching the youth, or even teaching from the pulpit, or running a ministry--as long as there is a man over her; but there ought not be a woman that is the head of the church, or women on the council, because then they would be in a position of ultimate authority, which this supposedly restricts.

My problem with either of those two views is that they simply do not accord with the text itself if we are to take the text strictly at face value.


"Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray lifting up holy hands without wrath or dissension. Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet."



Now, what this says is not only that a woman should not be in authority over a man such that he does the teaching, but that in the pecking order of the church, every adult male has authority over every adult female. It's like the military where every officer is in authority over even the highest enlisted man. In the case of this passage, the lowest man in the pecking order of the church is above the highest woman, such that there are no women that are in any position of authority over any man.
I don't know of any church that takes it that way, but that is just what the words say on the traditional interpretation.

They try to get around it when they say that it says not to usurp authority. It says, "I do not allow a woman to teach or usurp authority over a man." If you put a man in authority over her so she is not usurping the man's authority and then allow her to teach other men, you are still violating this verse. It doesn't say, I don't allow a woman to teach unless she has a man over her. As long as she has a man over her she can teach other men, which is the way they take it. It says, "I don't allow her to teach or usurp authority." Period.

So, neither view takes the text seriously. The text goes too far, it seems to me, than anyone is willing to take it. If a person is going to take the passage in this fashion and translate men as men and women as women, then they have to go much further than they already do if they want to be biblical.

I personally think the word "men" and "women" are mistranslated here. Here's why I think so.

First, all the men would be over all the women, and in other scriptures that we read we have occasions where women are in authority over men. Even in the Old Testament where you have a highly patriarchal society, you have women judging men. Deborah was a judge, for example. If you are identifying God's priorities, there may be a distinction between that and the church, but at least we see some pattern in the Hebrew Bible where this happened.

Sometimes you hear the explanation that there wasn't a man, so God had to raise up a woman. What a bunch of malarkey! If God does the raising up and His pattern is men over women, then He will raise up a man. That is just a weak response.

When I did my own word study on the words man and woman, I found out that the word man is aner and the word woman is gune . In the case of the word aner , which occurs something like 150 times in the New Testament, fully 40 times that it occurs, it is translated "husband." In other words, "husband" is a legitimate translation of the word depending on the context. When you look at the context, virtually every single time that it wasn't absolutely clear that the woman with the man in the context was his wife, it is almost always translated "husband" and "wife." So this really is an unusual translation, given the pattern in the rest of the New Testament.

So, I asked myself why would they break with the pattern in this passage? I think they were influenced by tradition, that's why they translated this passage man and woman and not husband and wife.

What happens if we translate it husband and wife? That strikes me as a legitimate translation. It seems that when you translate it husband and wife, everything falls into place. Let me read it in that way: "Let a wife quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness; but I don't allow a wife to teach or usurp the authority of her husband, but to remain quiet."

Is that strained? Not at all. Is that difficult? Not at all. The "quiet" there is in the context of receiving instruction. I think the point is not that she never speaks, but that she is the one who is in the position of being taught as opposed to being in the position of the teacher. The word "teach" here is not in the aorist tense. In other words, an aorist tense means a single point in time action rather than a continuous action. So, it isn't saying that a woman cannot have a moment where she can tell something to her husband, it's that the woman should not be the teacher over her husband, but that the woman is actually under the teaching authority of her husband. He is the head of the household, spiritually speaking. That's really what it amounts to.

Verses 1-8 is in one grouping, verses 9-15 is another. Verse 11 and following is directed at women in the context of their relationship with a man to whom they are supposed to be entirely submissive. That is a marriage relationship.

Finally, no other place in Scripture teaches that all women should be under the authority of all men in the church. If this passage is to be interpreted the traditional way, this makes a new and unusual pattern of submission. However, the New Testament consistently teaches that a wife should be under the authority of her husband. That fits the larger context of the New Testament much better.

There may be some problems with my understanding here, I am willing to acknowledge that. But I think that it is less problematic than the other view. Frankly, there are not too many other places in the scripture except for 1 Corinthians 7 where you have a similar kind of situation and the traditional translation there also breaks the pattern. So, I think this is as good a way as interpreting the passage as the other.


This is a transcript of a commentary from the radio show "Stand to Reason," with Gregory Koukl. It is made available to you at no charge through the faithful giving of those who support Stand to Reason. Reproduction permitted for non-commercial use only. ©1995 Gregory Koukl

For more information, contact Stand to Reason at 1438 East 33rd St., Signal Hill, CA 90755
(800) 2-REASON (562) 595-7333 www.str.org


*disclaimer*
<br>
All the discussion of the Greek is based on my current knowledge of the
Greek and the use of standard works such as the Greek NT, lexicons, and
translator notes. I am not a Greek expert, and there is much I do not
know about the Greek language. However, I feel that I have enough
knowledge and understanding of Koine (NT) Greek to make a decent case <span style="font-style: italic;"> in this instance </span>.
<br>

<br>
Now, I wouldn't normally comment on an article by Gregory Koukl, but
his "word study" and use of the [Greek] text in this article is
actually quite disappointing. Let's find out why:
<br>

<br>
</span><table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1" width="90%"><tbody><tr> <td><span class="genmed"><b>Gregory Koukl ala confessedemu wrote:</b></span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="quote">

When I did my own word study on the words man and woman, I found out
that the word man is aner and the word woman is gune . In the case of
the word aner , which occurs something like 150 times in the New
Testament, fully 40 times that it occurs, it is translated "husband."
In other words, "husband" is a legitimate translation of the word
depending on the context. When you look at the context, virtually every
single time that it wasn't absolutely clear that the woman with the man
in the context was his wife, it is almost always translated "husband"
and "wife." So this really is an unusual translation, given the pattern
in the rest of the New Testament. </td> </tr></tbody></table><span class="postbody">
<br>

<br>
I'm not sure whether Mr. Koukl actually knows Greek. I've been doing
word studies for the last four years and I only learned Greek this
year. I will assume that he did his homework correctly and that what he
says is true. <br>

<br>
</span><table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1" width="90%"><tbody><tr> <td><span class="genmed"><b>Gregory Koukl ala confessedemu wrote:</b></span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="quote">So,
I asked myself why would they break with the pattern in this passage? I
think they were influenced by tradition, that's why they translated
this passage man and woman and not husband and wife. </td> </tr></tbody></table><span class="postbody">

<br>

<br>
This is why I wonder if Mr. Koukl knows Greek. Because his argument
that this passage is translated the way it is is not because of
tradition. For starters I know of no translation that translates this
verse the way Mr. Koukl does. This is strange for I can think of
several translations which would have greatly desired to translate this
passage the way Mr. Koukl does. So I thought to myself, maybe there is
something in the Greek that precludes them from translating the passage
the way Mr. Koukl desires. <br>

<br>
Let's quote our passage:
<br>

<br>
Now I have bolded verse 12, I will be commenting on this verse below.
<br>

<br>
</span><table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1" width="90%"><tbody><tr> <td><span class="genmed"><b><a href="http://www.biblegateway.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&amp;version=KJ21&amp;x=0&amp;y=0&amp;passage=1+Timothy+2:8-15" target="_blank">1 Timothy 2:8-15</a> wrote:</b></span></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="quote">

<br>

<br>
8Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.
<br>

<br>
<span style="font-weight: bold;">Women Instructed </span>
<br>

<br> 9Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing,
modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or
costly garments,
<br>

<br>
10but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.

<br>

<br>
11A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.
<br>

<br>
<span style="font-weight: bold;">12But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. </span>
<br>

<br>
13For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.
<br>

<br>

14And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.
<br>

<br>15But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if
they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint." </td> </tr></tbody></table><span class="postbody">
<br>

<br>
If we were to translate verse 12 the way Mr. Koukl desires, it would read:
<br>
"But I do not allow a <span style="font-weight: bold;"> <span style="font-style: italic;">wife </span></span> to teach or exercise authority over <span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-style: italic;">her husband</span></span>, but to remain quiet."

<br>

<br>
Now Mr. Koukl says that this does not strain the passage, and this may be true, <span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-style: italic;">in the English </span></span>, but what about the Greek?
<br>

<br>
*David, if there is anyway to get a Greek font on our message board, that would be great!*
<br>

<br>
The Greek states (this is my transliteration, I'm not sure at what the
exact science behind transliterating is. I am just putting the
corresponding English letter for the Greek one)(omega is a w):
<br>

<br>

"didaskeiv de gunaiki ouk epitrepw, oude authentein andros alla einai en hesuchiai"
<br>

<br>
Notice that there is no possessive personal pronoun (<span style="font-style: italic;">her</span>) in the Greek or any other word that would indicate possession.
<br>

<br>Now what this passage literally says is (my translation): "to teach
(but/and)(woman/wife/female) not (I am allowing), not (to assume a
stance of independent authority/give orders to/dictate
to)(man/husband/male) but (to be) (in quietness).
<br>

<br>
Remember, Mr. Koukl's translation is:
<br>

<br>

"But I do not allow a wife to teach or exercise authority over <span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-style: italic;">her </span></span> husband, but to remain quiet."
<br>

<br>But, if we were to use Mr. Koukl's word choice, and to respect
Greek grammar, we would have to use an indefinite article, such as "a".
<br>

<br>
In other words:
<br>
"But I do not allow a wife to teach or exercise authority over <span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-style: italic;">a</span></span> husband, but to remain quiet."
<br>

<br>Now is this really what Paul is teaching? That no woman can have
authority over any male who has the aspect of husband? When I become
married to Charlotte does that now mean Vanessa can not exercise
authority over me, but before I was married she could? <br>

<br>
Also, Mr. Koukl's word usage would then not really help his case as he
would still be prohibiting women from being head pastors unless there
were no married men in the congregation. <br>

<br>
Now maybe you are asking yourself "Well, maybe in the Greek Paul (or
for those who don't think Paul wrote the pastorals, the NT) just
doesn't use possesive pronoun's when reffering to husband and wife. But
alas, this isn't the case. For example:
<br>

<br>
<a href="http://www.biblegateway.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&amp;version=KJ21&amp;x=0&amp;y=0&amp;passage=Eph+5:22" target="_blank">Eph 5:22</a>
<br>

<br>
"Wives, submit to <span style="font-weight: bold;">your</span> husbands as to the Lord"
<br>

<br>
"Ai guvaikes tois <span style="font-weight: bold;">idiois</span> andrasin hws twi kuriwi"
<br>

<br>
Literally: the (wives/women/females) the <span style="font-weight: bold;">(one's own)</span>

(husbands/man/males) (as/like/how/etc.) the (Lord/lord/master/sir).
[the word submit is idiomadictally implied, and in later manuscripts is
included].
<br>

<br>
Now here in this passage, while we do not have a possesive pronoun, we do have a word indicating possesion: <span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-style: italic;"> idiois </span></span> which means "one's own".
<br>

<br>
<a href="http://www.biblegateway.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&amp;version=KJ21&amp;x=0&amp;y=0&amp;passage=Eph+5:25" target="_blank">Eph 5:25</a>
<br>

<br>

"Husbands, love <span style="font-weight: bold;">your</span> wives just as Christ loved the church..."
<br>

<br>
"Oi andres, agapate <span style="font-weight: bold;">tas</span> guvaikas, kathws kai ho Christos hgapesen ten ekklesian..."
<br>

<br>
Literally:
<br>

<br>
the (husbands/men/males), love <span style="font-weight: bold;">(the/*your)</span> (wives/women/females), (just as/as) (and) the (Christ/messiah) loved the (Church/assembly/gathered ones).
<br>

<br>Now in this verse we have a definite article subsituting for a
posseisve pronoun in the Greek. This can be done in the Greek if the
context demands/allows it. Here we have reason to translate the <span style="font-style: italic;">tas </span> as <span style="font-style: italic;">your</span>
because the context clearly denotes possesion. Men are not suppose to
love just any ol' women like Christ loved the Church. Otherwise it
would be saying that I should love Vanessa <span style="font-weight: bold;"><span style="font-style: italic;">the very same way (including all educational activites) </span></span>I love Charlotte. I'm pretty sure Tawa would agree with me that this is NOT the application of this verse <img src="images/smiles/icon_smile.gif" alt="Smile" border="0">

<br>

<br>
Now I could use several more examples, but I think my point has been made. Our Timothy passage has neither a possesive pronoun (<span style="font-style: italic;">umwn</span> or <span style="font-style: italic;">aute</span>), a word indicating possesion (such as <span style="font-style: italic;">idiois</span>), *added: neither is <span style="font-style: italic;">andros </span>
in the Genitive which would indicate possesion but rather the
nominative*, or a definite article that could be subsituted for a
possesive pronoun (such as <span style="font-style: italic;">hoi</span> or <span style="font-style: italic;">tas</span>).

<br>

<br>
So while Mr. Koukl's exegesis is very clever, and sounds very
convincing in the English, he neglects to find out whether his word
choice strains the Greek. It does strain the Greek, which is why no
English translation translates it the way Mr. Koukl desires (at least,
this is my working hypothesis).
<br>

<br>Given that a majority of this article is based on Mr. Koukl's
incorrect word choice given the Greek grammar I am not sure how much
weight can be put into his exegesis or argument of the text here. I do
not like disagreeing with Mr. Koukl because I agree with him on a host
of issues (such as Calvinism and Abortion), but here I will have to
respectufully disagree with him. </span>
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I think you did a tolerable job, Mark. Not least for which you have but one year under your belt. Well done.

If there is one weakness to point out, I would say that it is one shared by both yourself and Mr. K. There is a legitimate "appeal to authority," especially when you can point to what could be termed "unbiased" authority. Mr. K has a significant hurdle to jump--namely, that he wants to buck what is arguably the standard, virtually unquestioned rendering in both translation and commentary. He really needs to do that on the strength of more than "Well here's my opinion."

It is not the case that there are simply "alternative renderings" scattered around. The reason the Bible versions, etc., go with the the one over against his preference is that it happens to be the most natural reading. That alone is not reason enough to lock it in stone, or say it can never be questioned. No one wants tradition to trump continual study, or disallow floating of variant opinion. But honestly, Mr. K has not made much of a grammatical case. And he certainly has not dealt adequately with arguments for the contrary position.

Likewise, you could make good use of the same kinds of sources: lexical, grammatical, commentary. You are the presumed "lightweight" to Mr. K's "heavyweight". He is the man with degrees, with a following, with published articles, etc. You come armed with a year of Greek. If both of you offer simply "opinions", he wins by TKO. You can be right, and he wrong. You can have folks agree with you on the basis of "we already thought that, thanks for giving us some reasons not to be persuaded otherwise."

But the person who has no strongly formed opinion? He may say, "Well, Mr. K certainly sounded confident, but you were only confident up to a certain point." The average guy knows ZERO Greek. He also has some built-in cultural biases. In this age, Mr. K sounds like someone singing a highly plausible tune. "If holy kisses are 'cultural', if head-coverings are 'cultural', maybe NO women in ministry is 'cultural' too?"

Showing that standard grammar is on your side by an appeal to lexicons or grammars, and pointing to other contemporary men with similar credentials to Mr. K who disagree with him is not dirty pool, its sensible.

Again, good show, Mark.
 

fivepointcalvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
my dad is a 3rd year Greek student. He sent me this a while back; it may be useful for you....

1 Tim 2:12 διδάσκειν γυναικὶ οá½Îº á¼Ï€Î¹Ï„Ïέπω οá½Î´á½² αá½Î¸ÎµÎ½Ï„εῖν ἀνδÏός
I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man
If this were a descriptive present (as it is sometimes popularly taken), the idea might be that in the future the author would allow this: I do not presently permit"¦ However, there are several arguments against this: (1) It is overly subtle. Without some temporal indicator, such as ἄÏτι or perhaps νῦν, this view begs the question. (2) Were we to do this with other commands in the present tense, our resultant exegesis would be both capricious and ludicrous. Does μὴ μεθÏσκεσθε οἴνῳ"¦, ἀλλὰ πληÏοῦσθε á¼Î½ πνεÏματι in Eph 5:18 mean "œDo not for the moment be filled with wine, but be filled at the present time by the Spirit" with the implication that such a moral code might change in the future? The normal use of the present tense in didactic literature, especially when introducing an exhortation, is not descriptive, but a general precept that has gnomic implications. (3) Grammatically, the present tense is used with a generic object (γυναικί), suggesting that it should be taen as a gnomic present. (4) Contextually, the exhortation seems to be rooted in creation (note v 13 and the introductory γάÏ), rather than an address to a temporary situation.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Get (or look at) two resources on this text, and get them soon:

George Knight's commentary on the Pastorals
Kostenberger, Schreiner and Baldwin, Women in the Church
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top