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Dealing With Abuse

David M. Scholer is Professor of New Testament and Associate Dean for the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary where he has been since 1994.  He has served on the School of Theology faculty as professor of New Testament since 1994 and has been associate dean of the Center for Advanced Theological Studies (CATS) since 1997.  He previously taught at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and North Park College and North Park Theological Seminary. He is now in his 37th year as a seminary professor.  He holds a BA and MA from Wheaton College, a BD from Gordon Divinity School and a ThD from Harvard Divinity School.

Scholer’s two volumes Nag Hammadi Bibliography 1948-1969 (1971) and Nag Hammadi Bibliography 1970-1994 (1997) represent his long-term commitment to gnostic studies. Also a specialist on women in ministry, he teaches "Women, the Bible and the Church" and is the author of numerous articles on women and ministry in the New Testament. He has in recent years received formal citations of appreciation for his work in this area from the American Baptist Women in Ministry, the Women’s Concerns Committee at Fuller Seminary, and the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Caucus.  He is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches and served as a pastor for two years and an interim pastor for three years.

Dr. Scholer is married to Jeannette Mudgett Scholer; they recently celebrated their 45th anniversary. They have two adult daughters and three grandchildren. 

The Evangelical Debate over Biblical “Headship”

by David H. Scholer

On August 17, 1549, a Bible, fundamentally a new edition of the 1537 Matthew's Bible, was published in London by Jhon [sic] Daye, edited with notes by Edmund Becke. [I]  The most famous of all the notes in Becke's Bible is the one for the phrase, “Likewise, you men, dwell with them (your wives) according to knowledge" in 1 Peter 3:7.  Becke annotated: "He dwelleth wyth his wyfe according to knowledge, that taketh her as a necessary helper, and not as a bonde servante, or a bonde slave.  And yf she be not obedient and healpful unto hym, endeavoureth to beate the feare of God into her heade, that thereby she maye be compelled to learne her dutie, and to do it.”[2]

Although Becke's note may be unique in the history of Bible publication, the idea that the Bible may justify and even encourage husbands to compel their wives to obey by force is, regrettably, deep within the tradition and life of the church and has shaped a painful reality for countless anonymous women throughout the last two millennia. 

Background and Perspective

Christian Literature on Abuse

It is not my intention here to attempt either a psychological or sociological study of the connection between the abuse of women and the Bible; that is not my expertise, and others will do that.  But it is important to note here at the beginning of this biblical study that the connection between the abuse of women and the Bible is a pervasive and constant theme in literature on the sexual abuse of women. 

The connection between abuse and the Bible appears to have at least two dimensions, especially within the various strands of the Christian tradition.  First, many men who abuse their wives appear to feel that the alleged biblical teaching of "male headship" is warrant, at least in some degree, for their behavior.  Second, many abused women, especially those who have been taught the biblical principles of male headship and female submission, have understood the abuse they have received as either God's rightful punishment for their sins or God's will for their lives, even if it involves suffering unjustly. 

Not only are these connections between the abuse of women and the Bible important issues, the other painful reality is that the church, and perhaps in particular the evangelical movement within the church, has been embarrassingly and wrongfully silent on these issues.  One fears that most of the silence is the consequence of patriarchy and androcentrism, if not misogyny, in human history and within the church.  It would appear that the silence has been significantly broken only in our modem period with the empowerment of women to speak for themselves. 

One of the early articles on these issues in our own time was the 1981 essay of Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, "Battered Women and the Bible: From Subjection to Liberation." Thistlethwaite's article was followed by what is now the 1983 classic of Marie Marshall Fortune, Sexual Violence: The Unmentionable Sin.  Chapter 10 in that book, "Religious Concerns and Pastoral Issues," documents the reality of the use of the Bible to sustain sexual abuse of women. [3]

Much of the Christian literature in the past five years (especially the evangelical publications) on domestic violence and sexual abuse of women contains pointed discussions of the relationship between biblical teachings of "male headship" and the reality of abused and battered women.  The third chapter of Rita-Lou Clarke's Pastoral Care of Battered Women is on "Theological Issues Related to Battering." These issues are pervasive in Kay Marshall Strom's book In the Name of Submission: A Painful Look at Wife Battering, as well as in Margaret Josephson Rinck's Christian Men Who Hate Women: Healing Hurting Relationships.  Both James and Phyllis Alsdurf's book Battered into Submission: The Tragedy of Wife Abuse in the Christian Home and Carolyn Holderread Heggen's book Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches, the two most important evangelical discussions of this issue now available, treat in significant ways these issues of relationship between the Bible and the social reality of the abuse at women.[4]

One recent example of the connection between the Bible and the abuse of women is the popular article by James L. Franklin, "Clergy Vows New Support for Victims of Battering," which appeared in the Boston Globe on November 14, 1993.[5] This newspaper article includes a graphic insert on "The Bible on Love and Marriage," in which one column is entitled "Passages Used as Rationale for Abuse," and the other is entitled" A More Positive Message. "

It is remarkable to me that the magnum opus of the so-called traditionalist evangelical position-John Piper and Wayne Grudem's Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism so silent on the issue of the sexual abuse of women.  The Danvers Statement of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood states in its Fourth Affirmation that "The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women." This is then expanded as follows: "In the home, the husband's loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity . . . . In the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility"[6] In light of this, I would expect the Piper/Grudem volume to treat significantly and denounce clearly the abuse of women perpetrated by men, especially when it is a corruption of what they see as "loving headship." Yet no article in the volume addresses this question.  There are no entries in the index under “abuse,” sexual violence,” or “violence,” although three page numbers are given under "wife, abuse." The index has lengthy entries, however, for "authority," "headship," and "submission.”

As indicated, there are three references to wife abuse in the Piper/Grudem volume.  The first occurs in the chapter called" An Overview of Central Concerns: Questions and Answers," in which, catechism style, fifty-one questions are posed and answered.  Question 9 reads: "Don't you think that stressing headship and submission gives impetus to the epidemic of wife abuse? The short answer is "no." The full answer, which is about one-fourth of a page, stresses that Christlike husbands would not abuse wives.  Further, it is stated that "we believe that wife abuse (and husband abuse!) have some deep roots in the failure of parents to impart to their sons and daughters the meaning of true masculinity and true femininity." It seems to me that the introduction of "husband abuse" without further comment trivializes the historical and social realities of the tragedy of wife abuse in the history of the church.  More critically, the answer does nothing to actually address the reality of the issue or the pain of women. 

The second reference to wife abuse in the Piper/Grudem book occurs in one sentence in James A. Borland's article on "Women in the Life and Teaching of Jesus," in which he states that instances of wife abuse recorded in Scripture are not actions sanctioned by God.[8]

The one strong statement in the Piper/Grudem volume comes from Wayne Grudem in a footnote to his article "Wives Like Sarah, and the Husbands Who Honor Them: I Peter 3: 1-7." The footnote reads: "However, nowhere does Scripture condone or support the abuse of wives by husbands, but explicitly forbids even harsh attitudes . . . and therefore certainly condemns any physical violence used by husbands against wives.  Evangelical churches have a strong responsibility to prevent such abuse and to protect those threatened or harmed by it." [9] The importance and value of this statement should not be underrated.  Nevertheless, as the one such statement in the 566-page book--and a footnote at that--it appears to me to be too little too late. 

The Tradition and Heritage of the Church Fathers

Carolyn Osiek, in her wonderful and powerful book Beyond Anger: On Being a Feminist in the Church, makes a disturbing analysis of the message of the cross in the tradition of the church:

It has been to women and other oppressed groups that the message of the cross has been particularly directed.  Women have been exhorted to enter into the destiny and vocation that belong to them through their superior capacity for self-sacrifice, self denial, and suffering that has been thought . . .  to belong to their “proper nature”. . . . Women have been invited to participate in and conform themselves to the suffering of Christ by remaining passive and powerless because it is these qualities that will humanize the children they raise and the men for whom they provide a home. . . . This persistent portrayal of women as demonstrating heroic but fitting sacrifice by submitting passively and silently to pain and abuse . . .  leads directly to the image of the battered woman.  She is the victim, not only of the rage of her abuser but the blindness of a whole society that in the name of the sanctity of home and family will do nothing to rescue her . . . .  Women are to imitate the victim Christ while at the same time they are denied any possibility of fully identifying with him.  Doomed to be like him in suffering and humiliation, they are equally doomed to be unlike him in power, authority, or exaltation. [10]

Such a pattern is found in the famous, fifth-century spiritual classic, Augustine's Confessions, cited in Elizabeth A. Clark's Women in the Early Church.  Here the greatest theologian of the ancient church expresses eloquently the story of his spiritual pilgrimage, including his devotion to his mother, Monica.  In one passage about Monica and her pagan husband, Patricius (who converted at the end of his life) Augustine talks explicitly about certain features of their relationship:

She was given to a husband whom she served as a lord . . . .  Moreover, she thus endured the wrongs to her bed . . . .  Indeed, more than this, just as he was an excellent person when feeling well-disposed, so he was raging when he was angry.  She learned not to resist a wrathful husband, not only in deed, but not even by a word . . . .  In short, while many married women with milder husbands nonetheless bore on a dishonored face the traces of beatings, women who would in friendly conversation betray their husbands’ lives, she would censure their tongues . . . .  She would tell them that from the time they heard read aloud those matrimonial tablets, they should consider them instruments by which they had been made servants; accordingly, remembering the conditions of the marriage contract, they ought not to take the upper hand against their masters.[11]

It is not really surprising that Augustine could lift up his mother's submission even to abuse as a model for all women and their husbands.  Augustine, in line with the traditional understandings of Scripture held by the early church fathers, held a rather negative view of women.  For example, Augustine reflects on the creation of the woman in Genesis 2:

If it were not the case that the woman was created to be man's helper specifically for the production of children, then why would she have been created as a "helper"? Was it so that she might work the land with him? No . . . a male would have made a better assistant.  One can also posit that the reason for her creation as a helper had to do with the companionship she could provide for the man . . . .  Yet for company and conversation, how much more agreeable it is for two male friends to dwell together than for a man and a woman! . . . I cannot think of any reason for woman's being made as man's helper if we dismiss the reason of procreation.[12]

Augustine further understands Genesis 3 to show the inferiority of women:

That a man endowed with a spiritual mind could have believed this [the lie of the serpent] is astonishing.  And just because it is impossible to believe it, woman was given to man, woman who was of small intelligence and who perhaps still lives more in accordance with the promptings of the inferior flesh than by the superior reason. [13]

Augustine applied his understanding of male headship and female submission to a specific instance in which he wrote to Ecdicia, a Christian woman, about her problems with her husband.  According to Augustine, her lack of submission to her husband led him to commit adultery; she had asked her husband for intercourse after they had agreed to continence, and she had given away some of her clothing and jewelry to the poor without consulting him.  Augustine wrote to her:

In his great anger at you, he was destructive to himself . . . .  This great evil occurred when you did not treat him with the moderation you ought . . . you as the wife ought to have been subject to your husband in other things, accommodating yourself to the marriage bond, particularly since both of you are members of the body of Christ.  And certainly if you . . . had had a husband who was not a believer, it would still have been proper for you to act in a submissive manner . . . .  You ought to have yielded to him in your domestic association with great humility and obedience . . .  .  Furthermore, you ought to have consulted with your husband and not despised his wishes . . . I have written this to you because I am saddened by your husband's behavior, behavior that came about by your unruly and reckless action.  You ought to think earnestly about recovering him, if in truth you want to belong to Christ . . . Write to him, making amends, begging his forgiveness for the sin you committed against him. [14]

Of course, Augustine is not alone in his attitudes.  Two other well-known church fathers may serve to confirm the patterns of thinking in the early church about male headship and female submission.  Tertullian, about A.D. 200, talks about what women have inherited from Eve: "I mean the degradation of the first sin and the hatefulness of human perdition.” Tertullian continues:

 God's judgment on this sex lives on in our age; the guilt necessarily lives on as well.  You are the Devil's gateway; you are the unsealer of that tree; you are the first foresaker of the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the Devil was not brave enough to approach; you so lightly crushed the image of God, the man Adam; because of your punishment, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die. [15]

John Chrysostom, the great fourth-century preacher and scholar, also had a negative view of women.  He argues that only the man has the image of God:

The "image" has rather to do with authority, and this only the man has; the woman has it no longer.  For he is subjected to no one, while she is subjected to him . . . Therefore the man is in the "image of God" since he had no one above him, just as God has no superior but rules over everything.  The woman, however, is "the glory of man," since she is subjected to him. [16]

Chrysostom elsewhere argues that:

If the more important, most beneficial concerns were turned over to the woman, she would go quite mad.  Therefore God did not apportion both duties to one sex . . . Nor did God assign both to be equal in every way . . . But taking precautions at one and the same time for peace and for decency, God maintained the order of each sex by dividing the business of human life into two parts and assigned the more necessary and beneficial aspects to the man and the less important, inferior matters to the woman.  God's plan was extremely desirable for us . . . so that a woman would not rebel against the husband due to the inferiority of her service. [17]

The early church fathers set a pattern for the history of the church, which certainly continued to be a pattern in the patriarchal structures of the medieval church.  Ruth Tucker and Walter Liefeld point out that Thomas Aquinas, the greatest medieval theologian, believed that women were inferior, dependent, dominated by sexual appetites, and unfit for any important role in society or in the church.  Thus, Thomas Aquinas argued, as did all medieval male theologians, that women should be subordinate and submissive to men in virtually all matters.  [18]

The implications of such views meant that women were often demeaned, harassed, and abused.  Both civil and church law codes permitted wife beating although church law often stressed that such physical punishment should be done only with reason.  Although extreme, the 1486 Witcbes' Hammer represents the ultimate denigration of women as completely inferior and as willing to cohabit with demons.  As Tucker and Liefeld observe, "Indeed, the witchcraft frenzy of the late Middle Ages was one of the most sexist atrocities to have occurred in all of history.”[19]

Contemporary Expressions of the Evangelical View of Male Headship

It is not possible here to give a complete survey of various expressions of the contemporary evangelical view supporting male headship and female submission, nor is it necessary.  Some of the major proponents of this view will serve to express it well and clearly. 

Robert D. Culver's essay, “A Traditional View: Let Your Women Keep Silence,” is a forthright presentation of the evangelical traditionalist view.  Culver finds that the New Testament strongly supports male headship and leadership, concluding the New Testament section of his article with a citation of H. D. M. Spence in the nineteenth-century, Ellicott commentary on the Bible: The catastrophe of Eden is the beacon for all generations when the sexes repeat the folly of Eve and Adam and exchange their distinctive position and function..” Culver finds that the Old Testament supports male leadership and sees Deborah as “no precedent,” and the few prophetesses whom he does not name, as exceptional.” [21] Near the end of his article, Culver makes several general comments arising out of his mention of the phrase "he shall rule over thee” in Genesis 3:16 (KJV):

With occasional exceptions, this is the way it has always been and likely always will be . . . it is a statement of fact, which neither the Industrial Revolution nor the feminist movement is likely to overturn . . . The radical feminists should give up and quit.  Normal, universal, female human nature is against them.  Most women prefer things the way they are, at least wherever biblical norms have prevailed . . . Male ascendancy in most affairs is not a legal ordinance to be obeyed; it is a fact to be acknowledged . . . Ordinarily the authority of adults over other adults ougbt to be by men and almost certainly will be.  The scriptural standard for male leadership of churches is even stronger. "[22]

Susan T. Foh's essay" A Male Leadership View: The Head of the Woman Is the Man" also supports male headship and female submission, although she explicitly attempts to distinguish her view from that of Culver.[23] Foh's view of Genesis 1 and 2 stresses the complementary view of the relationship of men and women.  She wants to stress what she calls “ontological equality” or “equality in being;" thus, she argues that Genesis 2 does not establish the inferiority of women.  What Genesis 2 does establish is a difference of function and male leadership.  She supports this with two observations: first, man was created first, which means that woman is dependent upon man; and second, according to her reading of Genesis 2:23, man named woman, establishing male authority.  Foh then writes:

Is God's arrangement fair? Our objections, whether philosophical or emotional, to this hierarchical system arise because we do not know what a sinless hierarchy is like.  We know only the tyranny, willfulness and condescension that even the best boss-underling relationship has.[24]

I cannot help but wonder at this point in her argument what redemption and new creation in Christ ought to mean even now in the church; must it always and only be even there "tyranny, willfulness and condescension"? Foh's essay continues with a long survey of New Testament texts that she understands to support her perception of ontological equality and male headship coupled with female submission existing at the same time in the relationship of men and women in the church.  Her view of Paul's remark that "there is no longer male and female" in Galatians 3:28 is that "the male-female distinction is . . . fundamental; God established it at creation, and it cannot be removed . . . . [Thus,] Galatians 3:28 does not annul the passages that teach the submission of women in the church or in marriage. "[25]

I consider James B. Hurley's book Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective to be the single most important book on the New Testament by a New Testament scholar in defense of the traditionalist evangelical view of male headship and female submission.  In my estimation, the most critical juncture in the whole book for the understanding of male headship occurs in Hurley's struggle with Paul's phrase "but the woman was deceived" in I Timothy 2:14 and its use of Genesis.  Hurley states that "we may similarly dismiss the likelihood that Paul was saying that all women are gullible . . . and therefore are untrustworthy teachers.”[26] Yet, and I struggle to be fair with Hurley, it seems that he goes on to present an argument which says, in essence, that all women are indeed gullible.  Hurley states that Paul's point in 1 Timothy 2:14 could be paraphrased as follows:

The man, upon whom lays responsibility for leadership in the home and in religious matters, was prepared by God to discern the serpent's lies.  The woman was not appointed religious leader and was not prepared to discern them.  She was taken in.  Christian worship involves re-establishing the creational pattern with men faithfully teaching God's truth and women receptively listening. [27]

I find it difficult to understand this in any other way than as an assertion of male headship and female submission that is based on a view that God created women in such a way that they are gullible.  In Hurley's words, "not appointed religious leader and . . . not prepared to discern . . . [the lies of the serpent.”[28]

A final example here would need to be, of course, the virtually official interpretive book of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem.[29] The editors wish to identify their position as one of complementarity, which I understand to be the position of Susan Foh described earlier.  This position is held in distinction from what these persons identify as the traditionalist position, which they see as wrongly arguing for the inferiority of women.  For example, the title of chapter three, written by Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., may be paradigmatic for this perspective: “Male-Female Equality and Male Headship: Genesis 1-3."

Nevertheless, as I read the Piper/Grudem/Council position, its view of male headship and female submission is certainly the traditional view in the history of the church.  This volume develops these themes in careful detail through twenty-six essays divided into the five sections of the book.  In my judgment, however, the most revealing comment in the entire volume about these issues comes in John Piper's opening essay entitled: "A Vision of Biblical Complementarity: Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible." Near the end of the chapter, Piper gives an illustration meant to clarify the "brink of contradiction" between his biblical-theological point about male headship and leadership and the social reality of women's leadership, or what Piper seems to want to call influence:

It is simply impossible that from time to time a woman not be put in a position of influencing or guiding men.  For example, a housewife in her backyard may be asked by a man how to get to the freeway.  At that point she is giving a kind of leadership.  She has superior knowledge that the man needs and he submits to her guidance.  But we all know that there is a way for that housewife to direct the man that neither of them feels their mature femininity or masculinity compromised.[30]

It is difficult to comment on this.  It seems far removed from the biblical issues and concerns about the relationship of men and women.  In short, the comment seems to trivialize the issue. 

It is my judgment that the male headship/female submission issue in biblical interpretation, especially within the evangelical tradition, revolves primarily around a series of five separate (but clearly related) topics and texts.[31] These are, in what I perceive to be the order of their importance in the discussion and debate, the following:

(1) the meaning of the term kephale (head; the term understood traditionally to indicate authority or headship) which also involves 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 and Ephesians 5:21-33, the two New Testament texts in which kephale is used with reference to the relationship of men and women;

(2) the meaning of authentein (usually translated in Bibles as "to have authority over") and its use in I Timothy 2:I2 within the I Timothy 2:8-15 passage;

(3) Genesis 1-3 and its interpretation with respect to the relationship of men and women;

(4) the biblical examples of women in positions of some type of authority, including women in the Old Testament, in the life of Jesus, and within Paul's ministry circle of leaders; and

(5) the meaning of submission and silence for women mentioned in I Corinthians 14:34-35, and the place of that passage itself in the debate. 

It is not possible in this context, of course, to discuss all of these topics and texts, rather, this essay will focus only on the first two issues of these five, since they have involved the most intense, careful, and technical debates within evangelical circles.  Further, it is not possible to discuss here all the interpretive issues in the Biblical texts in which the terms kephale and authentein occur; the emphasis will be only on those precise points on which the so-called headship debate rests.

The Meaning of the Term Kephale

The modem discussion of the meaning of kephale for passages in the New Testament about the relationship of men and women goes back to the 1954 article of Stephen Bedale, who suggested that the metaphorical meaning of the term kephale could be "source" in some instances rather than the traditional sense of "authority over" or "leader.”[32] Probably the first introductions of this perspective into the evangelical discussions came in the 1971 commentary of F. F. Bruce on I and 2 Corinthians and in the early evangelical feminist book of Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty, All We're Meant to Be: A Biblical Approach to Women's Liberation, published in 1974.  Perhaps the most dramatic presentation of "source" as the understanding of kephale in these texts came with the two articles of Berkeley and Alvera Mickelsen in Christianity Today in 1979 and 1981. [33]

The challenge from the traditional side, arguing that kephale means" authority over" came from Wayne Grudem in 1985, with his famous article covering 2,336 examples of kephale in Greek literature.  Grudem argues that kephale clearly means "authority over" or "ruler," and that it never means "source" or "origin.”[34]

The next year, 1986, saw further escalation of the debate.  Berkeley and Alvera Mickelsen's major article on kephale was published in the summer with responses by Ruth A. Tucker and Philip Barton Payne.  These were papers that had been presented at a conference in October 1984, so they do not enter into dialogue with Grudem's 1985 article.  Essentially, the Mickelsens argue in detail for the meaning "source" or "origin" (and other nuances which do not come into the authority category).  Tucker raises objections from the writings of theologians throughout the history of the church; Payne agrees with the Mickelsens but attempts to broaden, deepen, and refine their arguments. 

The 1986 meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (its 38th annual meeting! was held in a suburb of Atlanta, and devoted considerable time to a debate over the meaning of kephale, with Wayne Grudem, Gilbert Bilezikian, and Catherine Clark Kroeger participating.  Christiamty Today reported on the meeting in a news article entitled "The Battle of the Lexicons." Grudem utilized his 1985 material.  The presentations of Kroeger and Bilezikian were subsequently published in 1987 and 1990, respectively.  Both Kroeger and Bilezikian argue as extensively for the meaning "source" as Grudem had for the meaning "authority over." Bilezikian's article responds to each one of Grudem's examples from Greek literature, text by text.  [36]

Gordon D. Fee's thorough and excellent commentary on 1Corinthians in the Evangelical New International Commentary on the New Testament series appeared in 1987.  Fee includes a brief but sophisticated discussion of kephale under 1 Corinthians 1:1-3, utilizing the critical evangelical literature in the debate published to that time, even Kroeger's 1987 article.  Fee concludes that kephale means "source” or "source of life."[37]

In 1989, Richard S. Cervin joined Kroeger and Bilezikian in critique of the work of Grudem.  Cervin's work was published in Trinity Journal, in which Grudem's 1985 article had also appeared.  Cervin also responds to each one of Grudem's examples text by text, and concludes against Grudem.  He shows that kephale does not mean “authority over" in most cases cited by Grudem, and that it can mean "source." But Cervin concludes that in the New Testament texts at stake in the discussion, kephale has the meaning "preeminence,” which he contends is its basic Hellenistic meaning.  Cervin also responds to a 1989 article of Joseph A. Fitzmyer, which concluded independently of and without knowledge of Grudem.  That kephale means "authority over" in Greek literature and in 1 Corinthians 11:3.

Grudem then responded in great detail to Cervin in the Trinity Journal in 1990, strongly reaffirming his 1985 position.  There also appeared in 1990 an unpublished thesis on kephale by Terrence Alexander Crain at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia.  Crain's work is not generally known.  His findings, often in considerable dialogue with Grudem, generally support the meaning of "source" rather than "authority over" for kephale.  Andrew T. Lincoln's interpretation in the Evangelical Word Biblical Commentary on Ephesians also appeared in 1990.  In connection with Ephesians 5:23, Lincoln comments very briefly on kephale, noting only Grudem's 1985 article and the contributions of Fee and Kroeger.  He concludes that kephale probably contains a mixture of the concepts of "source" and "authority over," concluding that it means "authority over" in Ephesians 1:22, 4:15, and 5:23.  Finally, Craig Keener in 1992 discussed kephale in his book on Paul and women.  Keener mentions most of the literature and provides a summary of Fee's conclusions, with which he expresses his agreement. [39]

What is the result of this two-decades-long debate within evangelical circles over the meaning of kephale, and how does it relate to the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 1:2-16 and Ephesians 5:21-33? [40] It is not likely that further progress can be made now in the analysis of the Greek word kephale; the evidence is in and has been sifted from various perspectives.  It seems clear to me that the evidence shows the metaphorical meaning of kephale can be varied, including "authority over," "preeminence," and "source." It is, however, especially important to note that the Septuagint evidence rather clearly indicates that the Greek kephale was not normally used to translate the Hebrew rosh when the Hebrew term meant a ruler, leader, or someone in authority.  This considerably weakens the argument that kephale in Hellenistic Greek means "authority over" or "ruler." In my judgment, Bilezikian and Crain have made this case especially well.  Further, it seems clearly established that kephale can mean "source," as many (such as Kroeger, Fee, and others) have shown.  Perhaps Fee has given the most succinct statement of the basic evidence.  However, and this is a very important point that so much of the kephale debate seems to ignore or to put aside, the determinative evidence for the meaning of kephale is its use and function in particular contexts.  Thus, proving a range of meanings for kephale is important, especially against the undue limits argued by Grudem but the critical issue is how kephale functions in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 and in Ephesians 5:21-33. 

Although I Corinthians 11:2-16 (especially in the allusions to Genesis 2 in verses 7-9) does reflect to some degree the traditional Jewish understanding of androcentrism, the passage as a whole provides considerable support both for an understanding of kephale as "source" and also for a genuine equality and mutuality between men and women in the church.  The Christological issue in the words" and God is the head of Christ; (11:3 NRSV) is better served in Pauline theology by the understanding “source" rather than by "authority over.” Further, even the Genesis argument (11:7-9) fits very well with understanding kephale as "source." Paul’s strong balancing statement (11:11-12) introduced by the emphatic adversative plen makes clear that his intent "in the Lord” is for the mutuality (or equality) of men and women.  Further, the clear recognition that women as well as men participate in prayer and prophecy (11:5) also underscores this understanding.  Finally, the fact that Paul states (11: 10) that women in the Lord who wear the proper cultural head covering do have active, positive authority (exousia) makes clear the authoritative participation of women in worship. [41]

Ephesians 5:21-33 certainly reflects the general Jewish and Greco-Roman understandings of marriage in which wives were understood to have the responsibility to submit to their husbands in all things, as Ephesians 5:24 indicates.  However, it is clear that this cultural understanding of marriage is significantly qualified for those in Christ, so that the passage teaches an overarching concept of mutual submission.  In this context, kephale hardly means "authority over” especially in the leadership and authority-bearing sense for husbands over wives given to it by so many of the traditionalist and complementarian interpreters.  Kephale may mean “source” here, although it could just as likely mean “authority over,” especially in light of the use of kephale in Ephesians 1:22 and 4:15. 

Whatever kephale might precisely signify in Ephesians 5:21-33, the context makes it clear that it carries for those in Christ no authoritarian sense for men.  The opening sentence (5:21 NRSV) is the theme of the passage: "Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ." In addition, husbands are three times commanded to love their wives, an injunction that was not typical in first-century Mediterranean cultures.  This injunction is explicitly modeled on Christ’s relationship to the church, which is described totally and only in terms of self-giving activity.  Thus, what Christ is to the church is the archetype for behavior within the believing community--subjection to one another out of reverence for Christ, a wife's submission to her husband as to the Lord, and a husband's love for his wife.[42]

The use of the term kephale in the New Testament texts about the relationship of men and women, understood in their own contexts, does not support the traditionalist or complementarity view of male headship and female submission as described by those authors noted earlier.  Rather, this data supports a new understanding in Christ by which men and women are viewed in a mutually supportive, submissive relationship through which either men or women can bear and represent authority in the church. [43]

The Meaning of Authentein and I Timothy 2:8-I5

The King James (Authorized) Version translated the verb authentein in 1 Timothy 2:12 44 as "usurp authority over" (see also the New English Bible translation: "domineer over").  The word authentein has frequently been understood as a general term for authority.  Thus, the phrase "I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silence in I Timothy 2:12 has traditionally been understood as strong support for the male headship and female submission viewpoint.  Such an understanding is replete in the literature surveyed earlier representing the traditional position within the evangelical tradition. 

Whether 1 Timothy 2:8-15 supports a male headship view has, in the evangelical debate of the last fifteen years, revolved primarily around the discussion of the meaning of authentein.  Although other significant issues are relevant, especially the use of Genesis in 2:13-14 and the nature of the heresy combated in 1 and 2 Timothy and its bearing on the interpretation of the teaching and character of the passage (whether it is normative/universal or contingent (particular) attention here will be focused on the authentein debate, which it turns out has been rather dramatic, especially in the last decade. [45]

What needs to be noted is that authentein is a very rare verb.  Its only occurrence in the New Testament is at 1 Timothy 2:12.  It is rare, too, in the Greek language outside of and prior to Paul, with less than forty examples of its use given in the standard New Testament Greek Lexicon of Walter Bauer.  It is only within the last few years on the basis of the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) computer database project (which contains virtually all three thousand ancient Greek authors from Homer to A.D. 600) that we now know that this rare term and its cognates occur about 330 times, which means that it is still a relatively rare word. 

The current evangelical debate may well have been initiated by Catherine Clark Kroeger's 1979 popular article in the Reformed Journal.  Although Kroeger's article suggested a possible sexual connotation for authentein (a meaning that has never been adequately or significantly documented in my judgment!, her article correctly and powerfully noted that authentein was not the usual word for positive authority, and that there was substantial evidence that it had a negative connotation, thus developing the alternative (second) translation of "domineer" given in Bauer's lexicon.  Kroeger developed her discussion further in an article written in 1984 but published in 1986. [46]

Between 1981 and 1984, three studies appeared defending the traditional interpretation of authentein, understanding 1Timothy 2:12 as a prohibition of normal, positive authority in the church to women.  Two studies, those by A. T. Panning and C. D. Osburn, were relatively minor.  However, the study of George A. Knight III published in 1984 in the prestigious New Testament Studies was a major contribution to and very strong defense of the traditional interpretation. [47]

Four years after Knight's article appeared, Leland Edward Wilshire published an article on authentein in the same New Testament Studies.[48] Wilshire's article was the first study to be able to use the TLG database, and so constituted for the first time a study of virtually all the evidence.  This alone gave Wilshire's study great significance.  The findings of Wilshire are critical and diminutive for the discussion.

Wilshire found that in the classical Greek period (sixth to the fourth century B.C.) the word group almost exclusively means “a perpetrator of a violent act, either murder or suicide.” In Hellenistic Greek, the period of Greek in which the New Testament was written, Wilshire found that lithe word continues its meaning of murder or murderer.  There is also beginning to appear a wider usage of the word, still revolving around personal involvement in a crime." Wilshire notes that with the church fathers, the term authentein begins to take on the meaning of “have authority over” without the negative connotations.  He then observes: “There are authors, roughly contemporaneous with Paul (Apollonius Rhodius, Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Flavius Josephus, Appian of Alexander, Philo Judaeus, LXX-Wis), who use the word almost exclusively with the meaning of 'to murder/murderer' or 'to perpetrate a crime/perpetrator of a crime.” [49]

Thus, Wilshire's study and summary of the evidence clearly and strongly supports the view that authentein carries almost exclusively a negative meaning in Paul's Greek context, which would support the idea of "domineer," "usurp," or some such translation.  Consequent upon this, the case is very strong on the basis of this term alone that 1 Timothy 2:8-15 is addressing a particular problem of abuse in the church, undoubtedly related to the false teaching/teachers opposed in 1 and 2 Timothy (as I argued in my 1986 article). 

What struck me as strange and inexplicable when I read Wilshire's article in 1988 was the fact that, beyond his summaries of the evidence given above, his conclusions did not seem to flow out of his own evidence.  At one point, he cautiously says that: “The conclusion by Knight that the recognized meaning for first century BC and AD documents is that of “to have authority over” is increasingly to be questioned."50 Rather than "increasingly to be questioned," I would have expected something like “shown” to be incorrect." In the closing pages of his article, Wilshire seemed to give some weight to the view of the church fathers on authentein as if it were legitimate context for the meaning in 1 Timothy 2:12.  He then finished the article with what seemed to me to be a very ambiguous statement about the meaning of authentein in 1 Timothy 2:12. 

Paul W. Barnett, an Australian, was the first person known to me to use the work of Wilshire on authentein in a published article.  Barnett, who is a strong evangelical supporter of the traditional position (excluding women from authority and leadership in the church), used Wilshire in support of his traditional position and interpretation of authentein, even though that is actually against the evidence Wilshire presented, as shown above.  Barnett only briefly, and in my view quite inaccurately, summarizes the evidence presented by Wilshire, and then states:

What, then, is Wilshire's conclusion? With due caution this scholar suggests that . . . it is the notion of 'authority' [meaning normal, positive authority] which is in the apostle's mind.  In other words, Wilshire, while rejecting Knight's generalizations based on the small sample available to him, nonetheless appears to have reached the same conclusion, though this is implied rather than stated outright. [51]

Barnett has, in my judgment, done two things: He has actually misrepresented the evidence presented by Wilshire and yet he has correctly noted Wilshire's own ambiguities in drawing conclusions.

Barnett's work drew two fairly immediate responses, both from other Australians, published in 1990.  Kevin Giles's response, actually presented at the same 1988 conference at which Barnett's paper was originally presented, correctly recognizes that Wilshire's data disproves Knight (and the traditional rendering of authentein), thus correcting (indirectly) Barnett's reading of Wilshire.  Further, Giles also identified clearly Wilshire's own problematic conclusions: “All of the information needed to refute Knight is found in Wilshire's article, but his presentation of the data is at times hard to follow and his conclusion that we should take authentein in 1 Timothy 2:12 to mean . . . can hardly be taken seriously." [52]

The other response came from Timothy J. Harris and was published in the same journal in which Barnett’s article originally appeared.  Harris calls attention to Knight, Wilshire, and to Barnett's use of them, but in rather brief terms.  Without explicitly naming Wilshire, Harris criticizes the utilization of the church fathers' use of authentein in determining Paul's meaning of the term, which is what Wilshire appears to do.[53] Harris goes on to criticize Barnett at another, related point.  Barnett has a section in his 1989 article headed “Other Exegetical Approaches.” Nevertheless, Barnett mentions for a short page and a half only Payne, Kroeger's first article on authentein, and Padgett; Harris scores Barnett for not also engaging Kroeger's later work, Fee, and Scholer.[54] By omitting these perspectives, the real nature of the debate is skewed. 

In 1992, Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger published their long-awaited book, I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:1 1-I5 in Light of Ancient Evidence.  Part 2 of this book features a lengthy study of authentein.  The Kroegers, who mysteriously and unfortunately do not mention at all Wilshire's 1988 study (as well as several other articles on the 1 Timothy passage), conclude that authentein has at its core the concept of “origination” or "source." They translate 1 Timothy 2:12, then, in this way: “I do not permit a woman . . . to represent herself as originator of man.”[55] They understand the cultural-social context to be a fusion of gnostic and pagan “feminism” in Ephesus, which promoted the idea that woman was, in fact, the source of man.  Thus, Paul attempts to correct that false teaching in 1Timothy 2:13 by reference to Genesis 2 and the priority of man's creation.  It is very debatable, in my judgment, whether or not the social-cultural construction of the Kroegers is correct.  Although their discussion of authentein is fascinating, it does not appear to have marshaled the evidence in as convincing a way as has Wilshire. [56] Of course, the ultimate thrust of the Kroegers' book I believe to be correct--1 Timothy 2 is a culturally limited text and does not exclude women from the legitimate exercise of authority in the church.  In 1993, at least three more evangelical publications dealt with the authentein debate.  A. Wolters, in a review of the Kroegers’ book, uses the 1988 article of Wilshire, understand it (incorrectly) to support the traditional understanding of authentein as legitimate authority. [57]

A.C. Perriman also published a substantial article on authentein in another evangelical journal. [58] Perriman notes the problem of Wilshire's ambiguous 1988 conclusions, as well as noting the Barnett/Wilshire 1989/1993 exchange with Wilshire’s clarifications.  Perriman argues that “authorship" not “authority" is at the heart of the meaning of authentein (but in a sense different from that argued by the Kroegers, whom he extensively critiques).  Perriman understands that in 1 Timothy 2:12, authentein refers to women “initiating" or “perpetrating” something on men, which he understands, correctly I believe, to be the heretical teaching that 1 Timothy was written to oppose.  Thus, 1 Timothy 2 is not an exclusion of women from the exercise of legitimate authority in the church.  Perriman has made a good case, but it is not clear to me whether the distinctions he draws are actual or substantial differences from the evidence as presented by Wilshire in 1988.

Finally, Leland E. Wilshire published in 1993 a “correction” to his 1988 article in the same journal in which the Barnett and Harris articles appeared.  Wilshire was now responding explicitly to the use of his landmark 1988 study.  For our purposes here, the first section of his article may be the most interesting; it is entitled, "Misunderstandings.” Wilshire says that Barnett "has made me say something that I scrupulously did not say, quoting the same section of Barnett on Wilshire's conclusions quoted earlier in this paper.  Wilshire goes on to say: “Barnett has taken my utmost caution in dealing with philology to arrive at conclusions unwarranted by the evidence and neither stated, explicitly or implicitly, by myself.” Wilshire finally says that his study differed from Knight's at all crucial points and that, therefore, “it is a grave misunderstanding to think that we arrived at the same conclusions.” [59] I continue to think that Wilshire himself is the cause of some of the misunderstanding of his 1988 article, but I am delighted that he has now made it explicitly clear that he was misunderstood, and that Barnett’s use of his study was a misrepresentation of the evidence and of his intention. 

Wilshire goes on in his 1993 article to speak clearly about the meaning of authentein--its specific meaning in I Timothy 2:12, and its implications for the headship debate and the place of women in the church.  He concludes for the term authentein and its cognates that “the preponderant number of citations . . . have to do with self willed violence, criminal action, or murder or with the person who does these actions.”[60] He notes that the infinitival form of authentein, which is used in I Timothy 2:12, does not occur in Greek literature prior to Paul.  The meaning of authentein in I Timothy 2:12 Wilshire gives as instigating violence.”[61] Wilshire is unclear on the precise social and rhetorical intent of the term in its context, but does suggest one major option, which happens to be my own conclusion, that the widows of 1 Timothy 5 who were speaking on behalf of the false teachers are here told not to instigate violence in the church, but to be silent.  Wilshire notes other readings and comes to no firm conclusion.  Wilshire does, however, draw a clear application based on his study:

Does the term authentein in 1 Tim. 2:12 have to do with exercising ecclesiastical power or ecclesiastical authority? The answer is probably not . . . Both men and women are created good, are to be received with thanksgiving, and by being consecrated by the word of God and prayer, are set free to serve their Lord in the church and in the world.[62]

The "final" chapter in this debate (for now) is Paul W. Barnett's 1994 brief counterresponse, in the same journal, to Wilshire's "correction." Here Barnett reaffirms his previous reading of Wilshire's 1988 article (again clearly noting Wilshire's ambiguity), recognizes that Wilshire's 1993 article explicitly and clearly supports a negative meaning for authentein, and rejects that interpretation. [63]

This interpretive survey of the recent debate on authentein virtually speaks for itself.  I am convinced that the evidence is in and that it clearly establishes authentein as a negative term, indicating violence and inappropriate behavior.  Thus, what Paul does not allow for women in 1 Timothy 2 is this type of behavior.  Therefore, the text is not a transcultural, normative establishment of male headship and leadership with the concomitant view of female submission.  I understand the impact of these further studies of authentein to support and establish more clearly the view I and many others have expressed that I Timothy 2 is opposing the negative behavior of women, probably the women mentioned in 1 Timothy 5:15 who follow and represent the false teachers 1 and 2 Timothy are dedicated to opposing. 

Conclusion and Implications

In full recognition of the complexity of the exegetical and hermeneutical issues relevant to the so-called headship debate within evangelical circles, I am fully convinced that the Bible does not institute, undergird, or teach male headship and female submission, in either the traditionalist or complementarian forms of evangelical thought, which exclude women from equal participation in authority with men within the body of Christ, whether in ministry or marriage or any other dimension of life.  Rather, the Bible affirms, supports, and teaches by precept and example a mutuality or equality in Christ for women and men, both in ministry and in marriage.  This is what is rightfully called evangelical feminism, although I fully realize that the term "feminism" creates conceptual and emotional difficulties for some people. 

Because the Bible, and in particular the New Testament, affirms, supports, and teaches a genuine mutuality and equality in Christ, I believe this position should actively, even aggressively--in the Pauline sense of gospel obligation--be taught and acted upon in the church.  This requires commitment and understanding, sensitivity and patience, love and forgiveness, humility and courage. 

The exceedingly difficult bridge to cross is whether or not this commitment is part of the gospel.  In other (radical) words, drawing the analogy of the assessment of apartheid in South Africa, is the lack of this commitment only ethical misunderstanding and moral failure, or is it heresy, a perversion of the gospel? I am dedicated to understanding this commitment as part of the gospel, especially on the basis of the inclusion of women in the call and ministry of both Jesus and Paul.  In saying this, I am fearful of placing myself in the position of judging others without humility or sensitivity that I do not want to do.  In other words, I would call no one a heretic, but I would call an expression of the gospel that excludes women in any way or sense from equality with men in Christ in status, response, action, and ministry a misguided form of the gospel as presented in the New Testament. 

Given these convictions, I believe it is critical within the evangelical debate over male headship and within the social context in which we live to commit ourselves with gospel vigilance to speak out, to act fearlessly against the abuse of women, and to do all within our ability to make certain that biblical misinterpretation and misrepresentation is never used or allowed to be used--even indirectly, implicitly, or unconsciously--to justify, by men or women, the abuse of women anywhere, but especially within the household of faith.[64]


     1. This Bible was also printed in 1551.  For the technical data see A. S. Herbert, Historical Catalogue of Printed Editions of The English Bible 1525-1961 (London: The British and Foreign Bible Society; New York: The American Bible Society, 1968), entries 74 (pp. 40-41) and 93 (p. 52); and William J. Chamberlin, Catalogue of English Bible Translations: A Classified Bibliograph of Versions and Editions Including Books, Parts, and Old and New Testament Apocrypha and Apocryphal Books, Bibliographies and Indexes in Religious Studies 21 (New York: Greenwood, 1991), 5-6.

     2. The citation of the note is taken from F. F. Bruce, The English Bible: A History of Translations from the Earliest English Versions to the New English Bible, 2d ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970),83-84.  Bruce gives only the 1551 publication date; see also the reference to Becke's note in Geddes MacGregor, A Literary History of the Bible: From the Middle Ages to the Present Day (Nashville: Abingdon, 1968), 134 (the publication date is incorrectly given as August 16, 1549).

     3. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, "Battered Women and the Bible: From Subjection to Liberation," Christianity & Crisis 41, no. 18 (16 November 19811: 308-r3.  Also Marie Marshall Fortune, Sexual Violence: The Unmentionable Sin (New York: Pilgrim Press, r983), 191-217; see also Fortune's Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers Ear the Abused Woman (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1967), 13-2r; and her Is Nothing Sacred! When Sex Invades the Pastoral Relationship (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1989) .

     4. Rita-Lou Clarke, Pastoral Care of Battered Women (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1986),61-85; see also her article "The Bible and Battered Women," Daughters of Sarah 15, no. 3 (MayfTune 1989): r8-19.
Kay Marshall Strom, In the Name of Submission: A Painful Look at Wife Battering (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1986),49-58.     

Margaret Josephson Rinck, Christian Men Who Hate Women: Healing Hurting Relationships (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990),71-75,81-86.
Jame.and Phyllis Alsdlhrf, Battered into Submission: The Tragedy of Wife Abuse in the Christian Home (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1989); see especially chapter 6, "Wife Abuse and the Submission of Women," 81-95.

     Carolyn Holderread Heggen, Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 19931; see especially chapter 5, "Religious Beliefs and Abuse,” 82-97.
See also Elizabeth S. Bowman, "When Theology Leads to Abuse," Update: Newsletter of the Evangelical Women's Caucus 12, no. 4 (winter 1988/1989}: 1-4; and Sarah J. Couper, "Prelude to Equality: Recognizing Oppression," in Gender Matters: Women's Studies for the Christian Community, ed. June Steffensen Hagen (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990), 249-63, especially 256-63.  The literature cited in this article from the last fifteen years is, of course, not an attempt to provide a complete bibliography.  Rather, I have noted the most important contributions both from the Christian church in general and the evangelical movement in particular.

     5. James L. Franklin, "Clergy Vows New Support for Victims of Battering," Boston Globe, 14 November 1993, p. 128.

     6. John Piper and Wayne Grudem, eds., Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1991 I, 470.

     7. Ibid., 62.

     8. James A. Borland, "Women in the Life and Teaching of Jesus," in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 113-23.  The specific sentence is on p. 114.

     9. The footnote is number 13 on p. 501 (and is referred to again in note 19 onp. 502.); the article is on pp. 194-208.

     10. Carolyn Osiek, Beyond Anger: On Being a Feminist in the Church (New York/Mahwah: Paulist, 1985). The quotations here are from pp. 68-70.

     11. Augustine, Confessions 9.9, quoted in Elizabeth A. Clark, Women In the Early Church, vol 13, Message of the Fathers of the Church (Wilmington, Del.: Michael Glazier, 1983), 252-53.

     12. Augustine, Literal Commentary on Genesis 9.5, quoted in Clark, 28-29.

     13. Augustine, Literal Commentary on Genesis 11.42, quoted in Clark, 40.

     14. Augustine, Letter 262, quoted in Clark, 65-69.

     15. Tertullian, On the Dress of Women, 1.1.1 for the short quotation; 1.1.2. for the long quotation, quoted in Clark, 39.

     16. John Chrysostom, Discourse 2. on Genesis 2., quoted in Clark, 35-36.

     17. John Chrysostom, The Kind of Women Who Ought To Be Taken As Wives 4, quoted in Clark, 37.

     18. Ruth Tucker and Walter Liefeld, Daughters of the Church: Women and Ministry from New Testament Times to the Present (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 19871, 164-65.

     19. Ibid., 165-70.  The quotation is from p. 166.

     20. Robert D. Culver, “A Traditional View: Let Your Women Keep Silence," in Women in Ministry: Four Views, Bonnidell Clouse and Robert G. Clouse, eds.(Downera Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1989), 37; quoting from Charles John Ellicott, A Biblical Commentary for English Readers, vol. 8 (London: Cassell, n.d.), 188.

     21. Culver, "A Traditional View," 38.

     22. Ibid., 41-42.

     23. Susan T. Foh,  "A Male Leadership View: The Head of the Woman Is the Man," in Women in Ministry, 67-105; see her critique of Culver in the same volume, pp. 53-54·

     24· Ibid., 73.

     25. Ibid., 89.

     26. James B. Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981), 215.  On the same page Hurley similarly writes, "I think it very unlikely that Paul meant to say that . . . all women are too gullible to teach.” See my essay review of Hurley: “Hermeneutical Gerrymandering: Hurley on Women and Authority,” TSF Bulletin 6, no. 5 (May/June 1983): 11-13.

     27. Ibid., 216.

     28. I have discussed this point concerning Hurley: as well as articles by Douglas Moo “1 Timothy 2:11-15: Meaning and Significance,” Trinity Journal [1980]: 62-83; and "The Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2.:11-15: A Rejoinder,” Trinity Journal 2 [1981]: 198-222, in my "1 Timothy 2:9-15 and the Place of Women in the Church's Ministry," in Women, Authority, and the Bible, ed. Alvera Mickelsen (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1986), 193-219.  The specific discussion of Hurley and Moo is on pp. 211-12.  See also Philip B. Payne's critique of Moo in "Libertarian Women in Ephesus: A Response to Douglas J. Moo's Article, '1 Timothy 2:II-15: Meaning and Significance,'" Trinity Joumal 2 (1981): 169-97.

     29. Piper and Grudem, eds., Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The copyright is held by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

     30. Ibid., So. The entire chapter I covers pp. 31-59.

     31.I have treated some of these issues before in a very brief article: "Male Headship: God's Intention or Man's Invention?" WATCHword 12, no. 1 (February/March 1988): 3-4, 7.·

     32. Stephen Bedale, "The Meaning of kephale in the Pauline Epistles," Journal of Theological Studies 5 (1954): 211-15·

     33. F. F. Bruce, 1 and 2 Corinthians, New Century Bible (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1971), 103, with credit to Bedale.

     Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty, All We're Meant to Be: A Biblical Approach to Women's Liberation (Waco: Word Books, 1974), 30-31, 100.  The second edition appeared in 1986 as All We're Meant To Be: Biblical Feminism for Today (Nashville: Abingdon), where the parallel pages are pp. 42-46, 121-22.  The third edition appeared in 1992 with the same title as the second edition (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans), where the parallel pages are pp. 33-37, 149-50.

     Berkeley and Alvera Mickelsen, "Does Male Dominance Tarnish Our Translations?" Christianity Today 22 (5 October 1979), 1312-18; and "The 'Head' of the Epistles," Christianity Today 24 (20 February 198I), 264-67.

     34. Wayne Grudem, "Does kephale ('Head') Mean 'Source' or' Authority Over' in Greek Literature? A Survey of 2,336 Examples," published as appendix 1 in George W. Knight III, The Role Relationship of Men and Women: New Testament Teaching, 2d ed. (Chicago: Moody, 1985), 49-80.  Knight's first edition was entitled The New Testament Teaching on the Role Relationship of Men and Women (I977).  Grudem's article was also reprinted in Trinity Joumal 6 (1985), 38-59.

     35. Berkeley and Alvera Mickelsen, "What Does kephale Mean in the New Testament?" in Women, Authority, and the Bible, 97-110, with Ruth A. Tucker's response (pp. 111-17) and Philip Barton Payne's response (pp. 118-32). The October 9-11, 1984, conference was held in Oa Brook, Illinois, and was organized by stanleyN Gundry,Catherine Clark Kroeger, and David M. Scholer.

     36. David Neff, "The Battle of the Lexicons," Christianity Today 31, no. 1 (16 January 1987), 44-45. Catherine Clark Kroeger, "The Classical Concept of Head as 'Source,'" Appendix 3 in Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, Equal To Serve: Women and Men in the Church and Home (Old Tappan, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell, 1987), 267-83; Gilbert Bilezikian, "A Critical Examination of Wayne Grudem's Treatment of kephale in Ancient Greek Texts," appendix in Gilbert Bilezikian, Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says About a Woman's Place in Church and Family, 2d ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990),215-52.

     37. Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1987), 502-3.

     38. Richard S. Cervin, "Does kephale Mean 'Source' or 'Authority Over' in Greek Literature? A Rebuttal," Trinity Journal 10 (1989): 85-112. Joseph A. Fitzmyer, "Another Look at kephale in I Corinthians 11:3," New Testament Studies 35 (1989); 503-11.  Fitzmyer's article has been reprinted as “The Meaning of kephale in I Corinthians 11:3," chapter 6 in J. A Fitzmyer, According to Paul: Studies in the Theology of the Apostle (New York: Paulist, 1993), 80-88 (in which he does take note of Grudem and Cervin).  Fitzmyer has reasserted his view in another article, "Kephale in 1 Corinthians 11:3," Interpretation 47 (I993): 52-59.  Fitzmyer, a prominent Roman Catholic scholar, discusses kephale in the work of various non-evangelical New Testament scholars, some of whom also have argued for the meaning “source."

     39. Wayne Grudem, “The Meaning of kephale ('Head'): A Response to Recent Studies," Trinity Journal II (1990): 3-72.  This is reprinted as appendix I to the Piper/Grudem volume (1991), 425-68.  Richard S. Cervin has prepared a response (1991), which has not been published (I have the 39-page manuscript copy from Cervin).     

     Terrence Alexander Crain, “The Linguistic Background to the Metaphoric Use of kephale in the New Testament." (I was the external examiner for this thesis, which explains my acquaintance with it.  It has not yet played a role in the public scholarly discussion.)
Andrew T. Lincoln, Ephesians, Word Biblical Commentary 42 (Dallas: Word, 1990), 368-69; and Craig S. Keener, Paul, Women, and Wives: Marriage and Women's Ministry in the Letters of Paul (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1992), 33-34.

     40. See the useful summary presentation of views on headship given in an appendix to a book by 'Elaine Starkey, What's Right with Feminism (London: SPCK, 1985/Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1986), 180-83.

     41. For details of exegesis on I Corinthians 11:2-16, see the commentaries of Fee (pp. 491-530) and of Bruce (pp. 102-81). Bruce's comment on 11:10 is worth citing: "In Christ she received equality of status with man: she might pray or prophesy at meetings of the church, and her veil was a sign of this new authority" (p. 106).

     42. See R. Wall, “Wifely Submission in the Context of Ephesians,” Christian Scholar's Review 17 (1988): 272-85.

     43· For some further discussion of I Corinthians 11:2-I6 and Ephesians 5:21-33, see my "Feminist Hermeneutics and Evangelical Biblical Interpretation," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 30 (1987): 407-20, especially pp. 415-17.  This article was reprinted in the Evangelical Review of Theology 15 (1991): 305-20, and was abbreviated as “How Can Divine Revelation Be So Human? A Look at Feminist Hermeneutics," Daughters of Sarah 15, no. 3 (May/June 1989): 11-15.
At the April 15-16, 1994 conference, A. C. Perriman (currently from Amsterdam, The Netherlands) gave me copies of two of his articles on kephale, unpublished at that time: "The Head of a Woman: The Meaning of kephale in 1 Corinthians 11:3" and "Headship and Submission: Disputing the Excuse for Abuse.” In these articles! Perriman argues that kephale is best understood in the sense of "prominence," a conclusion very similar to that of R. S. Cervin.  Perriman argues strongly for the equality of men and women in the church and all forms of its ministry; he also directly confronts the abuse of women in the name of alleged understandings of kephale.

     44· See my extensive article of a decade ago on this text: "1 Timothy 2:9-15 and the Place of Women in the Church's Ministry," in Women, Authority, and the Bible, 193-219; abridged as "Women in the Church's Ministry: Does I Timothy 2:9-15 Help or Hinder?" Daughters of Sarah 16, no. 4 (July/August 1990): 7-12.

     45· In addition to my own article cited in the previous note, for other representative evangelical discussions of the issues of the. use. of Genesis and of heresy and the consequent nature of the passage, see the articles by Moo and Payne mentioned in note 28; Douglas Moo, "What Does It Mean Not To Teach or Have Authority Over Men?: 1 Timothy 2:11-15," in Piper/Grudem, 179-93;Hurley, 195-223; Gordon D. Fee, "Issues in Evangelical Hermeneutics, Part III: The Great Watershed-Intentionality and Particularity: 1 Timothy 2:8-15 as a Test Case," Crux 26, no. 4(1990): 31-37, reprinted as "The Great Watershed-Intentionality and Particularity-Eternality: 1 Timothy 2:8- 15," in Gordon D. Fee, Gospel and Spirit: Issues in New Testament Hermeneutics (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1991), 52-65; A. Padgett, "Wealthy Women at Ephesus: I Timothy 2:8-15 in Social Context/I Interpretation 41 (I987): 19-31; Keenerj 101-32; and Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger, I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking I Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992).

     46- Catherine Clark Kroeger, "Ancient Heresies and a Strange Greek Verb," Reformed Journal 29, no. 3 (March 1979): 12-15.  Catherine Clark Kroeger, "1 Timothy 2:I2--A Classicist's View” in Women, Authority, and the Bible, 225-44, with pp. 229-32 particularly devoted to authentein.  Kroeger does mention the 1984 article of Knight, but it had appeared too recently for her to have taken full account of it in this article.  See also Kroeger's "Women in the Church: A Classicist's View of 1 Timothy 2:11-15," Journal of Biblical Equality I (1989): 3-31.  See note 55 for extensive, further work on authentein by Kroeger.

     47. A. J. Panning, "Authentein--a Word Study," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly 78 (1981): 18S-91; and C. D. Osburn, "Authentein (1 Timothy 2:12)," Restoration Quarterly 25 (1982): 1-12.  George A. Knight III, "Authenteo in Reference to Women in I Timothy 2:12," New Testament Studies 30 (I984): 143-57.  Knight mentions only briefly his own study and the study of Wilshire in his The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans/Carlisle: Paternoster, 1992), 141-42.

     48. Leland Edward Wilshire, "The TIG Computer and Further Reference to authentein in 1 Timothy 2:12," New Testament Studies 34 (1988): 120-34.

     49. The three citations in this paragraph are from Wilshire, 122, 123, and 130.

     50. Ibid., 124.

     51. Paul W. Barnett, "Wives and Women's Ministry (1 Timothy 2:11-15); Evangelical Quarterly 61 (1989): 232.  The article is reprinted in a virtually identical form as "Women in the Church with Special Reference to I Timothy 2.," in The Bible and Women's Ministry: An Australian Dialogue, ed.  Alan Nichols (Wanniassa, ACT: Acron Press, 1990),49-64, without any mention of the Evangelical Quarterly form of the article.  The article was first presented as a paper in May 1988 in Kurrajong, New South Wales, at a conference of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (Australia).  The Evangelical Quarterly article was also reprinted in the Evangelical Review of Theology 15 (1991): 321-34.

     52. Kevin Giles, "Response," The Bible and Women's Ministry, ed. Nichols, 65-87; the specific discussion of authentein and the quotation are from p. 75.  For the record, it should be said that Kevin Giles and I had discussed Wilshire's article in early 1988.

     53. Timothy J. Harris, “Why Did Paul Mention Eve's Deception? A Critique of P. W. Barnett's Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2," Evangelical Quarterly 62 (1990): 342-43.  Harris had earlier critiqued very briefly Knight's 1984 article on authentein in his [Harris's] "The Buck Stops Where? Authority in the Early Church and Current Debate on Women's Ministry," Interchange 41 (1987): 21-33, especially p. 32.

     54. Ibid., 350-51.

     55. Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger, I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-I5 in Light of Ancient Evidence (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992), 103.  Part 2, “The Prohibition” (I Tim. 2:12), constitutes pp. 77-113 of the book.

     56. See my review of the Kroegers' book in Themelios 20, no. 2 (January 1995), 30-31.  Other reviews of the book, basically by evangelicals, are those of R. H. Finger, Daughters of Sara 19, no. 4 (fall I993): 50-52; R. Oster, Biblical Archaeologist Digest 56 (1993): 225-27; J. F. Watson, Ashland Theological Journal 24 (1992): 121-22; A. Wolters, Calvin Theological Journal 28 (1993): 208-13; and R. W. Yarbrough, Presbyterian 18 (1992): 25-33.  See also the article of A. C. Perriman, cited in note 58, especially pp. 132-34. See also L. E. Wilshire cited in note 62.

     57. A. Wolters, Calvin Theological Journal 28 (I993): 208-13, especially p. 211.

     58. A. C. Perriman, "What Eve Did, What Women Shouldn't Do: The Meaning of authentein in 1 Timothy 2:12," Tyndale Bulletin 44 (1993): 129-42.

     59. Leland E. Wilshire, “1 Timothy 2:12 Revisited: A Reply to Paul W. Barnett and Timothy J. Harris," Evangelical Quarterly 65 (1993): 44 (all three quotations)!  60. Ibid., 47.

     61. Ibid., 48.

     62. Ibid., 52-53. It may be noted that Wilshire has a brief addendum at the end of his article (pp. 53-54), in which he gives his critique of the Kroegers' book on 1 Timothy 2 (see note 55), especially objecting to the fact that it does not utilize his 1988 article on authentein, but also noting that there is much to commend in the book.

     63. Paul W. Barnett, "Authentein Once More: A Response to L. E. Wilshire," Evangelical Quarterly 66 (19941: 159-62.

     64. This essay, here in a slightly revised form, was prepared as an invited paper, presented on April 16,1994, for the "Women, Abuse, and the Bible" consultation sponsored by Christians for Biblical Equality, April 15-16, 1994, Chicago O'Hare Marriott, Chicago, Illinois.

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