1 Timothy 2:12 prohibitions revisited

April 14, 2011 — 25 Comments


I started a post months ago and then life became so complicated I had to set my blog aside to cope.  This post will now be the new “home” on the discussion on whether 1 Timothy 2:12 has two prohibitions or one.  As a review here is what I originally wrote:

Complementarians typically say that Paul is prohibiting two things (teaching and exercising authority over a man) while many egalitarians are taking the position that there is only one thing that Paul has prohibited.  The prohibition is listed as God is against women assuming authority for themselves to teach men.  This view has been brought out by Philip B. Payne in “Man and Woman One in Christ” pg 338.

I do not agree with complementarians that there are two entirely separate prohibitions that are not connected.  But I do not agree with Philip Payne either that there is only one prohibition and that this prohibition is to be defined as the forbidding of women to assume authority for themselves to teach men without a properly delegated authority from men.

As I have been reading through Philip B. Payne’s book, I have been paying special attention to his process of reasoning.  First of all I should say that I really appreciate the fact that Mr. Payne has written this book in an effort to affirm women’s place in the body of Christ.  I know that many have found his work very compelling even though I have some serious disagreements with his work.  I want to affirm him as a dear brother in Christ at the outset and I appreciate any man willing to stick his neck out to support his sisters in Christ.

Philip B. Payne’s thesis starts in chapter 19, as he asserts on page 338 that the Greek term “oude” (English “or”) is typically used by Paul to join together expressions that reinforce or make more specific a single idea.  Here it is in context:

1 Timothy 2:12 (NASB95)

12But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

Rather than the conjunction “or” connecting two related terms, Payne concludes that it must be the type of teaching that is forbidden thus it is one prohibition and not two.  His view is that “authentein” means to “assume authority” so that the one prohibition that is forbidden to women is to “assume authority” to teach men.  Payne writes:

Since false teaching is the occasion of this letter (1 Tim 3:1-11), and since false teaching influenced the women in Ephesus particularly, Paul first commands that women learn in silence and full submission in order to turn deceived women away from the false teaching and to encourage them to embrace the true gospel.  Combined with this, he institutes a present prohibition against any woman seizing authority for herself to teach a man.  Paul’s goal is to exclude any unauthorized woman from teaching men in the church.  This prohibition does not, however, restrict teaching by authorized women, such as Priscilla, (2 Timothy 4:19), since just such teaching might be critical in influencing deceived women to reject error and embrace the truth.

Paul’s prohibition of women with self-assumed authority teaching men does not imply that he approves men teaching with self-assumed authority, particularly if they also promote false teaching. Indeed, he had already commanded certain men not to teach false doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3, 20).

There are several problems with Payne’s view.  The first problem is why Paul would restrict women from teaching men but not restrict them from teaching women.  No such prohibition exists against a woman from “seizing authority for herself” to teach women.  Why is it that a woman must have an authorization to teach men but not have to have an authorization to teach women?  It also doesn’t make sense that men are not generically forbidden to “assume authority” to teach men.  Payne states that men are not approved of teaching with self-assumed authority because they had already been commanded not to teach false doctrine.  The problem is that the quote from 1 Timothy 1:3 that Payne gives is not a term specific to males but an inclusive term used for people.  Also the quote from 1 Timothy 1:20 that he gives was also not a command to men in general but a statement about delivering over of two specific deliberate deceivers so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.  Those who do things defiantly, such as teaching error deliberately with full knowledge of the truth, are said to be blaspheming the Lord.  We see this clearly in Numbers 15:30 –

Numbers 15:30 (NASB95)

30‘But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from among his people.

Paul saw the false teaching of two specific men as blasphemy and their defiant teaching against the truth was cause to turn them over to satan.  Paul did not turn those who had been deceived over to satan, but the defiant false teachers were treated in a special way.  So even though Payne says that men were specifically told not to teach with self-assumed authority, the verses that Payne quotes are generic verses for false teachers, and two specific men who are teaching error in a defiant manner such that they are said to be blaspheming.  There are no specific commands to males not to “assume authority” to teach men or women.

The assumption that Payne brings to his view, is that only women need to be authorized to teach males.  This brings a very serious problem for Payne’s position because it makes women less than “one” with men. How are man and woman “One in Christ” if one must be authorized to teach, while the other needs no authorization?  Payne shows no difference between the women who were teaching the truth and the women who were teaching error.  All were required to be authorized first before they could teach men.  This provides a less than “oneness” with men who are never said to need authorization to teach the truth.

Was there really a need to authorize women to teach men?  Jesus speaks in Revelation 2:20 about a woman teacher:

Revelation 2:20–22 (NASB95)

20‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

21‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.

22‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

Notice that Jesus said that He has this against the Church in Thyatira, that they allow the woman Jezebel, as she teaches and leads Christ’s bond-servants astray.  Notice that there are two things that are tolerated from Jezebel and although one is normally a good thing (to teach), in the context both “to teach” and “to lead astray” are related as evil acts.  The teaching is listed as teaching Christ’s bond-servants to eat things sacrificed to idols.  This act of teaching error implies that she is teaching men to go against their conscience.  Her related activity of leading astray is defined as leading Christ’s bond-servants into sexual immorality so that they commit adultery with her.

If we took Philip Payne’s view, Christ would only be saying that Jezebel has done one thing wrong with teaching error, while the list of what she did involves two things: teaching error and leading into sexual immorality.  While the two are related, they are two problems not one.

We can also notice from Jesus’ words that the Church at Thyatira is not being corrected because they allow a woman teacher.  They are being corrected because they tolerate a teacher who is teaching error and they are tolerating her leading Christ’s servants into immorality.  The Church is not corrected because Jezebel is teaching without proper authority from the men.

Notice also in verse 21 that Jesus gave Jezebel time to repent of her sexual immorality.  He did not say that He was giving her time to repent from teaching truth to men nor did He say that He was giving her time to repent for the sin of not getting proper authority to teach.  It is what she was teaching and what she was leading into that was the cause of the problems.  The problem was not the fact that she was a woman nor the fact that she had not received an authority to teach men while men were home free not needing to obtain authority from men before they taught other men.

Philip Payne also states that Priscilla was able to teach because she had received the proper authority to teach and she had not taken this authority upon herself, yet he gives no verse that would show this needed authority that was given to her.  The fact is that Priscilla taught because she had truth that someone else needed to hear.  Apollos had a need for an expanded view of the truth and Priscilla did not withhold from him the knowledge of the truth that she had.  The Bible shows that having the knowledge of the truth requires us to use this information for good.

Luke 12:48 (NASB95)

48…From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

Priscilla had the knowledge of the truth and she used it for the glory of God as she corrected Apollos.  She did not need to ask men for the authority to teach Apollos since she had been entrusted with the truth by God.  She used what she had been given for Apollos’ good and she used her knowledge without prejudice.

I will go through more of Philip B. Payne’s writings sometime in the future and I hope that this post has been helpful.

Cheryl Schatz


25 responses to 1 Timothy 2:12 prohibitions revisited

  1. Interesting interaction. I don’t yet have Payne’s book so I can’t read the full context. I would agree with you, that no woman needed to be “authorized” to teach. I am not sure if that is what Payne is saying. Have you thought to direct this question to him over on his blog. http://www.pbpayne.com I would be interested in his response. If the context of the problem being addressed in the letter to Timothy was related for example to a Cybelian type cult influence, it could be that instruction was made particularly in that situation about women assuming authority and acting in that assumed authority to teach men as inferiors. Also incipient gnostic teachings may be coming into the picture, where the woman was seen as the enlightened, thus the superior teacher, one in creation.

  2. Jay– yes, that was my understanding from Payne’s book. Payne believes that because of the particular situation of false teaching in Ephesus at that time (false teaching that was particularly impacting women), Paul’s policy was that women should not assume authority for themselves to teach men in congregational church settings, without authority being delegated to them.

  3. To clarify: Payne believes that Paul was in effect saying, “because authority to teach is being abused by women who are under false teaching in this church at this time, I’m going to restrict women’s teaching in the congregational setting to being subject to approval, for now.”

  4. Ok, thanks for your explanation. I guess I might differ from the view of Payne’s a bit if it is indeed as you say. I would prefer to see that the situation might have been that because of the false teaching that women are superior to men as celebrated in the cult of Cybele, that Paul is telling that he is not allowing women to teach in a way assuming that women have (strong, even violent) authority over men. If this was the situation, there was no need to emphasize that these women should not have the same “authentein” over women, because the nature of the false teaching in this example would be just that, that women should rule over men, therefore these teaching and ruling women would not be seeking to rule over other women so much as they would seek to rule over men. Actually, any idea of anybody in the church assuming authority over someone else, women or man is against the spirit of the NT writers and Christ himself.

  5. Jay, I agree that if there was a situation where assumed authority was a problem, it seem much more reasonable that Paul would forbid an action “assuming authority” over anyone, not just men. It is untenable to think that Paul would only be concerned about the men in the congregation, while thinking that the women can handle themselves and maybe there might be some good correction when women assumed authority over other women. It just doesn’t make sense. And if Paul was already stopping men (and women) from assuming authority by his restriction in 1 Timothy 1:3, there would have been no need to single out all women in 1 Timothy 2:12.

    I find other people’s theories interesting, but I always go back to my own understanding of 1 Timothy 2:12 because I don’t like these huge holes in other theories. And if I can find the holes in the arguments, complementarians won’t likely be convinced either.

  6. Payne’s argument flows along the same lines with the mushy middle egalitarian arguments about 1 Tim 2 being situational to Ephesis alone and not universal. Although it is a nice attempt to argue against complementarianism, or more specifically, male dominance, it is not supported in the verses in question, as Cheyl points out, or in the subsequent verses which complete Paul’s instruction.

  7. Actually, Gengwall, I found Payne’s “middle egalitarian arguments about 1 Tim 2 being situational to Ephesis alone and not universal” to be quite persuasive. Among the arguments was a detailed examination of the word “permit” in koine Greek and why it almost always referred to a temporary, situational restriction– particularly when it is in first person indicative tense, as it is in 1 Tim 2:13.

  8. Don’t get me wrong Kristen. I’m not saying there wasn’t a situation to which Paul was writing. What I’m saying is that such a situation is not confined to first century Ephesus. Paul’s instructions are universal. The mushy “situational” interpretation offered by many egalitarians is that the situation was confined to Ephesus and therefore no longer applicable to today. Such and interpretation gives ground to complementarians by basically accepting their argument about the passage.

    I have not read Payne’s book so I can not comment conclusively. But from what Cheryl has related, it seems to strike a similar cord – “Paul may be sounding complementarian but that’s ok because he is dealing with an isolated, Ephesian, 1st century situation.” At least that is what it sounds like to me.

  9. Hi Gengwall,
    You may be having a similar problem with definitions to what I had a few months ago. Please correct me if I am wrong Kristen, but I think you would see a universal, general command or principle as one that could be written by Paul to any church throughout history, without any personal knowledge of the church or situation or time they existed. For example, “serve one another in love” is a universal command. However “wash one another’s feet” is a particular command to a particular time and situation based on the universal command.
    If v12 was a universal command, it would mean that to teach or authentein is something bad only for women to do, and not for men. It could also mean that women universally have a problem with this, but men never do. Paul would not address every church this way unless the command only applied to women.
    For egals to assert that to teach or authentein is always something bad for both men and women to do, Paul must have spoken in terms of “a woman” because there was a specific problem occurring in that specific church involving a woman.
    So egals are saying that the command is specific to the situation at Ephesus, and not universal, because Paul only applies it to women. This is the same with the commands of v8-10.

  10. Wow, just stumbled here and I’m amazed how much of a power-trip some women seem to get into over not being allowed to have teaching authority according to the Bible. This site is far from convincing.

  11. Interesting perspective Rob. So let me see if I understand you. Women seeking to equally share their God given gifts with the Church are on a power-trip, but men who pull gender trump cards and try to squelch women’s gifts for their own agrandization are not. Yes. That about sums it up.

    Now, if you really believe that the bible gives men exclusive teaching authority, why not engage in the discussion? Your claim the site is far from convincing is far from convincing.

  12. Oh, yes. We uppity educated women who dare to challenge our betters. Our desire to be fully equal is obviously just a cover-up for our conspiracy to take over and bend men to our will.

  13. Hi everyone. Just thinking about the “I do not presently permit” argument that egals discuss from 1 Tim 2:12.
    Some egals say how “I do not permit” does not mean “I forever do not permit” but rather “I at the present time do not permit”. This is used to emphasize that Paul is not giving a universal law, but is rather addressing a particular situation.
    So he is saying that after she has learned correct doctrine she will be able to teach. But if “authentein” is something that is always bad, then it would be strange for Paul to be saying “at the moment, I am not permitting her to teach or authentein, but later on, once she has learned true Christian teaching, she will be able to teach or authentein.
    It would seem that if the “I do not presently permit” argument is to really work well, then it works better with a more positive view of “authentein”, so that after learning, it will be OK for her to teach or authentein.
    Any thoughts to help with my confusion? Thanks.

  14. Hi Craig,
    Thanks for your good questions. Here is the meaning of the Greek present tense:

    present — The verb tense where the writer portrays an action in process or a state of being with no assessment of the action’s completion.
    Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology.

    The only way that one can get a temporary meaning from the present tense is if the context limits the continuing action since the verb tense itself does not determine that there is an end in sight. There doesn’t seem to be an end to the prohibition regarding authentein and no Christian is ever given the right to authentein another person.

    There is a limitation implied by verse 15 but the solution is not a lifting of a ban on a Christian woman, but a resolution that will bring the woman to salvation. This implies that the prohibition is toward an unsaved person even if they think themselves as a Christian. If the authentein is something that an unsaved person is doing spiritually, then the problem should be solved once she is saved and has come out of her deception, since authentein is not a work or a condition of a truly saved person. The issue of not teaching would be resolved when the deception is gone.

    So the issue is not just about time, i.e. what she cannot do now, she can do later. The issue is about deception and salvation. Once saved the spiritual issues are dealt with and the positive side of teaching should not be an issue once she is solidly in the truth.

    So, no, I do not agree that once the woman is no longer deceived that she will be allowed to authentein the man. I have personally not seen any positive rending of authentein and so I believe this to be a solidly negative term, something that allowed for anyone.

    Does this help or have I missed addressing part of your question?

  15. By the way, Craig, this last post of your was exceptionally well-thought out and a very good question!

  16. Thanks again Cheryl for your comments and encouragement.
    This is what is now in my head.
    1 “I am not permitting” is an indication that Paul was addressing a local situation (as in 1 Cor 7:6-8, 25-40.) rather than stating a universal law that could be written in the sky for all people for all time.
    2 But “I am not permitting” does not necessarily mean “I am … temporarily, just for the moment, due to the current situation which will hopefully change …. not permitting”.
    (I have understood some egals to be saying this – but I may well have misunderstood! This is what led to my question, because if authentein is bad why would Paul only temporarily prohibit it?)
    3 If “I am not permitting” does not necessarily mean “I am only temporarily not permitting ”, then I can understand that
    4 Authentein is negative.
    This makes sense to me. Does it sound on the right track?

  17. Craig,

    1. Paul’s words “I am not…” is the main key that the prohibition is a local situation since his prohibition is not tied to any law instituted in the OT. Since God’s laws are always clear, always have a second witness and never stated as an origin of man i.e. “I am not…”, Paul’s words to a single individual regarding a known problem in a church cannot be stretched to match any of God’s laws therefore they cannot be universal indicting all godly women.

    2. The words “I am not permitting…” present tense cannot in and of themselves show whether or not the prohibition was time limited and would end. The context must show the context of limiting the application to confirm that this is what is meant. The fact that one of the prohibitions is a negative action that is never given as permission to any Christian to act upon would show that at least one of the prohibitions cannot be time limited and then it is okay to act in this way.

    Some egalitarians say that Paul was not prohibiting two things but only one thing – a type of teaching that is domineering. If these same egalitarians teach that the prohibition is only for a time, then their argument is self refuting as it would make Paul agree that domineering teaching will be okay in a bit. That just doesn’t make sense.

    3. The term “I am not permitting” does not have a grammar qualification that makes it automatically a time limited prohibition. While it can be limited by the context, it is never assumed to be that way without context proof.

    4. If authentein is an admirable action that is allowed for Christian men but denied for Christian women, Paul made a huge mistake by never using the word again thus no foundation is ever set for a good and moral activity. One thing we can be sure of and that is that a woman is never denied something in the term authentein that a man is given because of his gender.

    It sounds like you are on the right track. Your questions really caused me to think especially with the thought that there would be allowance for a woman to do something seriously negative to a man. That doesn’t make sense.

    I appreciate it when people pick up on something that didn’t readily come to my mind. Good job!

  18. Thanks again Cheryl for helping me to clarify this.

  19. Perhaps the verse should read like this…

    “I do not permit a women to teach So As(OUDE) to domineer a male but to hold her peace”.

    Perhaps the old wives tales Paul mentions later alludes to the Ephesian cults(perhaps a Gnostic Cult) that proclaimed women as superior to males and thus permitted them to treat other men with utter disdain.

  20. I have read Payne’s book and I think there are some misunderstanding about his arguments here.

    1. Payne says that the present INDICATIVE form of “I am not permitting” is what makes him feel it is a time-bound situation, since he examines other uses by Paul of his use of “I” followed by an indicative verb and finds that most, if not all situations like this reveal a present non-universal desire of Paul’s (particularly throughout 1 Cor 7 and in Philippians once).
    He stresses the importance of the “indicative” form, not that the present tense alone is what makes it limited.

    2. The example from Rev 2:20-22 is not Pauline, but written by John, and does not use “oude” (but rather “kai” to connect the verbs in Rev 2:20) ” nor the “ouk, oude” construction that Payne argues is used in specific ways by Paul that is different than how other writers of the Scripture use the same construction. He analyzes every instance of the “not, nor” or “ouk, oude” constructions from Paul to make his argument that they are used in this instance, as well as the other similar instances, to make a single prohibition.
    His argument hinges on how Paul alone uses this vocabulary (which he maintains is different than even how Luke uses “oude” in Acts), and the “oude” word, so the Revelations passage is not precisely relevant to his argument since it is not Pauline and has no “oude”.

    Also, I think you could make the “teach” and “lead astray” activities that Jezebel is doing into one activity, “leading astray by teaching”, though this is just my opinion and I don’t know if that is proper to do or not.

    3. I think Payne believes Paul prohibited all women from assuming personal authority to teach in Ephesus for a limited time because he believes the false teachers were targeting and deceiving women moreso than any other group in 1 Tim, based on what the rest of the letter says about false teaching and how widows were going astray, and using evidence from similar texts in 2 Tim. I don’t think he sees authentein as “dominate” or as something utterly negative all the time, but rather taking authority into one’s own hands to do something without delegation. I think he might say there are times when this is okay, and that authentein is not always a bad thing, but it would be in this case because of the current false teaching problem.

    4. I don’t think he would say that because women are not to do this (teach+assume authority) to men in this instance, that they can do it to women and children, but rather that Paul was explicitly speaking of women doing this to men because that’s what the problem was at the time. Just because “a woman” (or women in general in Payne’s view) is singled out as the one who is not to teach nor usurp authority (or assume authority) over a man, that doesn’t mean that all believers weren’t prohibited from it as well.
    In 1 Tim 2:8-9, men are told to pray without wrath and “reasoning” (referred to in English translations as wrangling/doubting/dissension, but the word itself can often just mean reasoning or thinking, oddly enough. Sometimes its not negative… like the word to “teach”. Hmm, so I guess men can’t reason or think when they pray, huh? No, but that’s similar to how comps interpret “teach”, that it must be positive teaching in 1 Tim 2:12.), and the women are told not to dress opulently and immodestly (which would almost certainly apply to men as well). Sometimes Paul just likes to emphasize things for one person or group without it applying only to that person or group because certain ones are causing the current problem.

    That said, I really wish Payne would have addressed the grammar in a similar fashion as you do, specifically the abrupt switch from plural to singular to plural again at the end. There is no need for using singular language in order to compare all women to Eve, since in 2 Cor 11:3 Paul compares the whole Corinthian Church to Eve with the plural “you”.

    Payne did briefly say he believed that the singulars in 1 Tim 2:11-14 are referring to each woman/all women as generics, but he did not explore this in any depth in my opinion, and he didn’t really defend his stance on this either.
    He also didn’t talk about the ramifications of the perfect tense of “has become” from verse 14 much at all, or the future tense of “she will be saved” to my recollection.

    I’d really like to have a Ph.D like Dr. Payne confirm that the perfect tense of the woman having “become” a transgressor really must rule out Eve as being “the woman” of verse 14, and that the “she” of verse 15 cannot refer to Eve because of the future tense of “she will be saved”. But I know Dr. Payne had to drastically cut the size of his book nearly in half in order to please Zondervan, so this may have been cut.
    It really seems like no egal scholar ever brings this up nor desires to take a stab at the grammar in their books… why is that? You’d think some Greek scholar would have taken up this position by now.

    Yet I know many Christian scholars are comps, so they probably don’t want these verses to be re-thought or changed in any way. Like many other poor choices by “scholars” in regards to women in the Bible and translations, they seem to just want to keep the traditions of the reformers instead of being painstakingly literal and “true” to the text and grammar.

    My take on these verses is that I think God, through Paul, is prohibiting false teaching by a singular, unnamed, but definite woman, probably in conjunction with usurping authority over a man, but it could be two separate prohibitions as well.

    As an aside, I think it’s false teaching being prohibited, despite the word being the generic word for “teach” (didasko) instead of “teach differently’ (heterodidaskaleo), because I have found that heterodidaskaleo is only used twice in the entire NT, and didasko, the generic verb for teaching used in 1 Tim 2:12, is used seven times in Scripture for what the speakers of the words in the verse believed was false teaching (eight if you count 1 Tim 2:12).
    Examples: Rev 2:14, Rev 2:20, Titus 1:11, Acts 21:28 (the teaching in this case was actually right teaching, some may protest. But the Jews who were railing against Paul in this passage, used this word for his teaching, though they believed he was teaching falsehood. Yet they still used didasko to describe it.), Acts 5:25 (similarly with the last one, the teaching was actually true, but it was viewed as evil by the people who called it simply “didaskontes”.), Mark 7:7(Matt 15:9 parallel), Matt 5:19.

    So clearly, the word “didasko” and it’s derivatives can be used for false teaching, even in Paul’s pastorals, and the verb heterodidaskaleo is not required, nor is it often used (never used outside of 1 Tim in fact). Whether “to teach” is a good thing or not is determined by context and other words around the verb “to teach”.

    Back to my interpretation of 1 Tim 2:11-15: Because the context seems to demand that she (“the woman”, and “a woman” who may be anartherous) is a deceived woman as Eve was, and is in her transgression still, if Eve cannot be “the woman” from verse 14 because of the grammar, then it’s false teaching that is prohibited, and not true teaching. That would make “a woman”=”the woman”, instead of the traditional view that “a woman”= each/all women, “the woman”= Eve + each/all women, and “she”= Eve + each/all women being the ones who “will be saved through The Childbirth”, if “they”(which also = all women) stay in true faith.

    The “they” that must remain in faith in order to save the “she” of verse 15 seems to have to be the man + woman of verse 12, not “all women” from verse 10 which is not directly connected to these verses, though I don’t know if it could be or not since I am not a Greek expert. I know there is no linking particle between verse 10 and 11, but the verses do seem to be linked by the topic of women/a woman. They could be at least.

    I believe God used the passage about Priscilla and Aquila taking aside Apollos in Acts 18:26 to help me understand that a singular man and a singular woman together can become the plural “they”, like in this passage, and that this is the most natural reading of the 1 Tim 2 passage. I always thought importing verse 10’s “women”(plural) was the natural way to deal with verse 15’s “they”, not realizing man + woman seems to be the better option.

    I’m still trying to understand the link between Adam’s prior formation and Eve’s latter formation and Adam’s not being deceived, since it just isn’t elaborated on in the passage. Is it because, as you say, Adam had more time to learn from God and therefore was not deceived, that his prior formation was important to mention?
    It seems like a plausible suggestion, but it’s not really brought up by anyone one else I know, nor is there a similar comparison elsewhere in scripture that makes Adam “not deceived” because of his having more knowledge and experience with God than Eve, due to him having been made first. But then, there isn’t a whole lot on Adam and Eve compared to each other in the NT at all, and I certainly agree that Adam clearly has more experience than Eve when it comes to seeing God’s works and majesty because of what God did with him before Eve was made. That is true, at least, if we go by just what is told to us in Scripture (which we have to I think). I don’t see that as straining the text at all.

    However, like Payne asserts, is Adam’s prior formation relevant because women should show respect for their “source” (male headship as “sourceship”) which requires a woman to honor man and not teach him with assumed authority, (as should man a woman, because she is his source now, similarly to the argument from 1 Cor 11 about mutual “sourceship”)?
    And then there is the comp view, that Adam is given authority to rule over Eve simply because he was made first (not entirely because of the fall and Eve’s sin), which I see as a possible conclusion if firstborn=headship=ruling authority, though I don’t think “head” has been proven to mean “rulership” or “authority” definitively in the New Testament.
    Also, I don’t think firstborn sons had “rulership” over their siblings simply because they were first born, they just got more inheritance. Didn’t many latter-born’s rule over their older siblings in religious, political, and social matters? Clearly. I assume this sentiment is shared by most of us here, that Adam’s possible primogeniture doesn’t equal eternal male authority over all females.

    So there are still some questions I haven’t found convincing answers for, though I like how your view considers Adam’s prior creation having something to do with his non-deception, as it seems many do not connect these two things and take them as separate unrelated reasons for each of the prohibitions, which are also taken separately (or together sometimes).

    I guess that’s all, just wanted to clear that up. I’m hoping you’ll post again soon Cheryl, haven’t seen you around in a while.

  21. I enjoyed reading what you had to say LNE. Thanks for commenting!

    The idea that Adam’s prior creation equals male authority over Eve, I think is a really silly idea. In fact, just thinking about it boggles the mind. How can people think such things? Such nonsense? All because one desires to rule? I just don’t get it sometimes. And how can a Christian man feel good about wanting to rule over his wife? How can that make one feel good about themselves? I don’t understand that. It occurs to me that it is a form of hate. That makes sense to me. And I just can’t help but think that some men like to degrade women, by placing women underneath them. Also it seems to me that the idea of Adam’s priority of creation equals rule over woman is not mature thinking.

    Just wanted to share some thoughts I was having. Comp ideology really is a pain for me. It’s a nightmare that creeps up on me ever now and then. Gruesome. Cold. And contradictory to the good will of God.

    Comps, why? What is wrong with you?

  22. What is wrong with you?

    I’m not convinced that tradition is the main problem. Not convinced that it is tradition that has taken hold of many Christians and made them to believe in male authority. For some reason, I can’t buy that. Wish I could though if it’s true. Maybe it is and people just arn’t alive enough to think and feel for themselves and so they buy into harmful teachings of tradition.

  23. Pinklight,

    I think people often keep and defend traditions that agree with their personal desires, like in this case, for male power and privilege in a world that is shifting from male-dominance to female-male equality.
    Some people just like feeling better than others at an ontological level (despite the fact that they’ll say men and women are ontologically equal, some don’t really seem to believe that, even calling women easily deceived by God’s original design.), or they fear egal interpretations are liberal and will destroy the Church.

    But some I think are truly deluded, they don’t know how badly their modern English translations have butchered the meaning of some of God’s words. They can’t imagine that flat-out interpretations are put into their Bibles as if they were in the text itself by trusted conservative translators (like “veil” or “symbol of authority” in 1 Cor 11, and changing “no such custom” to “no other custom”), or that the grammar in their NIV isn’t wholly faithful to God’s inspired text. Honestly, I think many don’t even understand that grammar is important.

    Some comps, like myself in the past, truly fear God and wish to obey Him, even if He says hard things; they just think He’s saying what the English Bible says and they make doctrines from it. They don’t know the controversies surrounding words like authentein, they don’t even know they need to look for such things.
    They think the words are all translated right, and its only the interpretation that is the issue, because they trust that scholars wouldn’t distort translations as much as they do. You can get a significantly different picture of manhood and womanhood from using the ESV than from using a Greek interlinear or a literal translation.

    I was a strict comp until I stumbled upon the blogs and egal scholars that would make clearly known to me for the first time the distortions in the translations that most of the “good” conservative website like Carm didn’t mention and even perpetuated.
    I was afraid to question the “good guys” of CBMW, the Grudems, the Pipers, the MacArthurs, the conservative heroes that I admired. Little did I realize how strange and unlikely some of their beliefs and interpretations were.

    It was the “bad guys”, the egalitarians (aka “feminists” according to many complementarians), that seemed to have much of the truly convincing textual data on their side.

    But it took me years before I realized this, because I trusted that Bible scholars wouldn’t lie, keep information hidden, and distort the text. I thought they feared God like me. Some do I’m sure, but they have blind spots, and they need God’s chastening.

    There is a lot of ye olde worldliness in “good” “conservative” Christianity that isn’t good nor truly conservative.
    I thought Jesus telling us NOT to Lord over or exercise authority over one another in His Churches like the heathen, but to be servants, and to mutually submit to each other, and to consider others before ourselves, would make any man fear to distort these things, but some are not deterred.

  24. LNE,
    Just to let you know that my intention is to get back to my blog in the New Year. I am up to my ears in the next DVD project that is due in 2013 and which is taking all of my attention. My plan is to continue to post back at WIM but I don’t know how far I will get with answering comments here in the months that I have been gone. I will try to get to your long comment/questions but in case I forget, when I start posting again in the New year, feel free to remind me to respond to your comments on this post. That should help out.

    In case anyone is interested in the new project I am working on, I have a new blog set up for discussion at http://www.mmoutreach.org/tg/ You are welcome to browse or post there as that is the place I am hanging out for the time being. It isn’t on the women’s issue, but another sore spot that causes a lot of division in the church.

    See you all back here shortly in the New Year.

  25. Hey Cheryl, thanks for responding,

    You don’t have to respond to my comment if you don’t want to, unless you want to correct me or something. It was a very long comment and I realize you may be busy. I’m not really disagreeing with you fundamentally anyway. I was just reading Payne’s book at the time and had the information fresh in my mind, and I wanted to defend some of his analysis, even though I don’t agree with him on everything either.

    Thanks for the link to your other blog and the information about your next project, at least I know you’re still around and doing well.

    By the way, if anyone is interested, I started a new blog about the same issues that this blog addresses, namely women in ministry and Christianity. It’s called “Ladies in The Lord” and I’ve got my first post up about 1 Tim 2:11-15; it’s ridiculously long and doesn’t stick entirely to the topic of 1 Tim 2 (also includes general information about women in the Bible, and men too), but it contains lots of helpful links and information I think, and answers several complementarian objections and arguments.

    Ladies in The Lord: http://ladiesinthelord.blogspot.com/

    Thanks and may God Bless everyone.

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