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Catherine Clark Kroeger's Testimony

Catherine Clark Kroeger is adjunct associate professor of classical and ministry studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  She holds a Ph.D. in classical studies from the University of Minnesota.  Catherine is founder and former president of Christians for Biblical Equality. 

As I tottered out of my dishpan and back to graduate school, one verse above all others impelled me:  I Tim 2:12.  In the King James Version, it reads, "I suffer not a woman to teach or usurp authority over a man."

From the writings of Katherine Bushnell, I knew that there might be other ways to translate and to interpret this Bible verse that had obstructed so many women from a full-orbed ministry.  In particular, Bushnell had targeted the Greek infinitive authentein, traditionally translated "to have power or authority over."  She observed that it was a rare word, used only here in the entire New Testament; but that in other types of Greek literature, it had other meanings that could lead to quite different understandings.

Bushnell had called for women translators and interpreters who would give themselves to the task of conscientiously and faithfully examining the difficult texts that were often used to disbar women from certain types of Christian service.  I determined, as God led, to enter the department of classical studies at the University of Minnesota in order to deal with many different Greek materials to examine usages of authentein in other occurrences and to understand all I could of the lives and religious practices of the women addressed by the Apostle Paul.  I sought a reconciliation of the difficult Pauline passages with the clear directives empowering women to proclaim Christ.

I progressed in the confidence that the Bible is the Word of God presenting different aspects of a coherent and integrated message.  I Suffer Not a Woman, the book which I produced in collaboration with my husband, seeks to set forth a new understanding of I Tim 2:11-15 in the light of linguistic, historical and archeological evidence.  It was written with the prayer that God might use it to open new doors of gospel opportunity for women and men alike.

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