Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why Arguments Against Women In Ministry Aren't Biblical

Biblical scholar and author Ben Witheringon III has written a column on his Beliefnet blog entitled: Why Arguments against Women in Ministry Aren't Biblical (Sunday October 25, 2009). As he explains:
[I]n this post I am going to deal with the usual objections to women in ministry, one by one. Some of these objections come out of a high church tradition, some tend to come from low church traditions, some are Catholic/Orthodox some are Protestant, but we will take on a sampling of them all without trying to be exhaustive or exhausting.
Agree or disagree with Dr. Witherington, you should read his post and the comments.

FWIW, I contributed the comment "EricW October 28, 2009 10:53 AM," which I have revised and expanded for this posting in order to ask the following question:

What is the status or relationship of man vis-a-vis woman in Christ? I.e., to what state has Christ restored the sexes?

I see at least four main possible understandings or viewpoints (with some subpoints) of this:

I. Christ has restored man and woman to where they were just after the Fall - i.e., with the woman desiring her husband and him ruling over her, and the woman being in (having fallen into) transgression (1 Timothy 2:14).
A. This may also include seeing the woman as still having a greater propensity to being deceived. See comments below at II.B.1. re: 1 Timothy 2:13-14.
II. Christ has restored man and woman to where they were in Genesis 2 before the Fall in one of the following two ways:
A. Man and woman are essentially equals in all respects (other than physical/sexual), with no hierarchy of superordination/subordination between them.
Note: There is no essential difference between this and viewpoint III. II.A. relates the status of the man and the woman to the Genesis 2 creation account, whereas III. relates it to the Genesis 1 creation account.
B. The woman is subordinate to the man because the man was created first and the woman was created from him as a helper corresponding to him and for his sake.
1. Viewpoint B. may also include seeing the woman as still having a greater weakness or propensity when it comes to sin or deception (or enticement), per 1 Timothy 2:13-14:
13 Aδαμ γαρ πρωτος επλασθη, ειτα Eυα: 14 και Aδαμ ουκ ηπατηθη, η δε γυνη εξαπατηθεισα εν παραβασει γεγονεν.
For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived*, but the woman, having been deceived*, has fallen (lit. "has become") into transgression.
* or "enticed"
III. Christ has restored man and woman to where they were in Genesis 1 - i.e., both created equally and equal in the image and likeness of God (or perhaps "male and female" together being the image and likeness of God), with no sense of one being subordinate to the other.

IV. Christ has done away with the Genesis 1 "male and female" as Paul may be saying in Galatians 3:28 where he changes the conjunction joining his pairs from ουδε ("nor"; lit. "and not") to και ("and") when he says that there is not "male and female" (i.e., the LXX phrasing of Genesis 1:27) - unless it's normal Greek practice to make the last in a string of ουδε's a και instead). I.e., in Christ there is not simply a restoration of the original creation, but a New Creation, One New Man, whose Head is Christ and whose Body is the church in which there is no "male and female," but all the members, male and female, are also the Bride of Christ.

When it comes to the topic of women in ministry, I think questions that need to be asked and answered include:
  • What did Christ accomplish and inaugurate?
  • What did He restore and/or establish?
  • What of His work is to be evident and put in place now, and what must await the eschaton and/or the restoration of all things?
I think how one answers these questions and the one question that these derive from - i.e., "What is Man and Woman in Christ?" - both affects and effects one's beliefs and assumptions about women in the church and in ministry.
What do you think of my list and questions? Which viewpoint I. - IV. (or another one you might propose) reflects how you see Christ's work and women's consequent position in the church, and why? Please indicate if you are a man or a woman, and your approximate age or stage in life.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thoughts On 1 Corinthians 11:17-34: The Lord's Supper

The following notes about the Lord's Supper are from my sermon/teaching on 1 Corinthians 8-14 and the Church: Unity, Edification and Love I gave October 11 & 18 at the Sunday morning fellowship meeting at The Hydrant Cafe in Denton. A future teaching or post on my understanding of the meaning and practice of the Lord's Supper will examinine all the relevant texts, not just 1 Corinthians 11.

To recap from October 11, read Ephesians 4 and also Romans 14:1-15:13.

The principles:
  • Christ is the fullness. The church is to mature and grow up into Him in all aspects.
  • The body is one, but it has many members.
  • Christ has measured out gifts to each and all.
  • Each member contributes to the body's growing up and building (up) of itself in love.
  • Christ as the Head supplies what the body needs for its growth Christ-ward as each member, according to the proper operation and working of each member by the grace which Christ has given it, works together with all the other members (with whom it is joined) to build up the body in love.
  • One's liberty is to be balanced by one's obligation to the welfare and well-being of the other.
With respect to the specific example of eating meat sacrificed to idols, Paul warns the church members not to let their freedom and behavior be or become a stumbling block or cause of offense to others, nor should they rest assured that they themselves are immune to stumbling – in fact, one's own stumbling can be a result of a misguided sense of spiritual superiority and independence and freedom that causes one to treat others in the body wrongly. Paul explains that even though ALL the Israelites ate THE SAME spiritual food and ALL the Israelites drank THE SAME spiritual drink, not ALL of them were protected or prevented from falling. Paul might even be saying that the spiritual food and drink the Israelites partook of was THE SAME thing that Christians partake of at the Lord's Table, for he says that the Israelites were drinking from Christ, and that they tested/tempted the Christ in the wilderness. So, how does the Lord's Supper fit into this? Here is a possible translation of 1 Corinthians 11:17-34:
  • Note the repetition in this passage of "coming together [in/as a church]." Paul uses similar wording in 1 Corinthians 14:23,26, which suggests a close relationship between assembling for the Lord's Supper and assembling for worship in terms of when these occasions occur and the proper behavior of the members toward each other during such gatherings.
  • Also note the interplay of -κρίνω (to judge)/κρίμα (judgment) words in 11:29-34.
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17 Τοῦτο δὲ παραγγέλλων οὐκ ἐπαινῶ ὅτι οὐκ εἰς τὸ κρεῖσσον ἀλλὰ εἰς τὸ ἧσσον συνέρχεσθε. 17 Now in commanding this, I don't praise you, because your coming together isn't for the better, but for the worse.
18 πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ συνερχομένων ὑμῶν ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀκούω σχίσματα ἐν ὑμῖν ὑπάρχειν καὶ μέρος τι πιστεύω. 18 For I hear that when you come together in church, there are divisions among you, and I partly believe it.
19 δεῖ γὰρ καὶ αἱρέσεις ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι, ἵνα [καὶ] οἱ δόκιμοι φανεροὶ γένωνται ἐν ὑμῖν. 19 For there must be factions among you, so that those who are proven (or tested) may be seen among you.
20 Συνερχομένων οὖν ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ οὐκ ἔστιν κυριακὸν δεῖπνον φαγεῖν· 20 So when you come together [in one place], it's not to eat a "Lord's" supper;
21 ἕκαστος γὰρ τὸ ἴδιον δεῖπνον προλαμβάνει ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν, καὶ ὃς μὲν πεινᾷ ὃς δὲ μεθύει. 21 For each person grabs and eats his own supper first, and some end up hungry and others get drunk.
22 μὴ γὰρ οἰκίας οὐκ ἔχετε εἰς τὸ ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν; ἢ τῆς ἐκκλησίας τοῦ θεοῦ καταφρονεῖτε, καὶ καταισχύνετε τοὺς μὴ ἔχοντας; τί εἴπω ὑμῖν; ἐπαινέσω ὑμᾶς; ἐν τούτῳ οὐκ ἐπαινῶ. 22 It's not like you don't have your own houses to eat and drink in! Or do you look down on the assembly of God's people, and shame those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you? I will not praise you in this.
23 Ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου, ὃ καὶ παρέδωκα ὑμῖν, ὅτι ὁ κύριος Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ ᾗ παρεδίδετο ἔλαβεν ἄρτον 23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed over to you, that: the Lord Jesus, in the night in which He was being handed over, took the loaf of bread
24 καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ εἶπεν· τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ σῶμα τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. 24 and, giving thanks to God, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you. Do this for My remembrance."
25 ὡσαύτως καὶ τὸ ποτήριον μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι λέγων· τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε, ὁσάκις ἐὰν πίνητε, εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. 25 And He likewise also took the cup after the supper, saying, "This cup is the New Agreement made and sealed by My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, for My remembrance."
26 ὁσάκις γὰρ ἐὰν ἐσθίητε τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον καὶ τὸ ποτήριον πίνητε, τὸν θάνατον τοῦ κυρίου καταγγέλλετε ἄχρι οὗ ἔλθῃ. 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.
27 Ὥστε ὃς ἂν ἐσθίῃ τὸν ἄρτον ἢ πίνῃ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ κυρίου ἀναξίως, ἔνοχος ἔσται τοῦ σώματος καὶ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ κυρίου. 27 Thus, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be liable for (ἔνοχος)* the body and the blood of the Lord (i.e., as if responsible for the death of the Lord, or the penalty thereof?).
28 δοκιμαζέτω δὲ ἄνθρωπος ἑαυτὸν καὶ οὕτως ἐκ τοῦ ἄρτου ἐσθιέτω καὶ ἐκ τοῦ ποτηρίου πινέτω· 28 So a person should prove (test, examine) (δοκιμάζω)** himself, and after that eat from the bread and drink from the cup.
29 ὁ γὰρ ἐσθίων καὶ πίνων κρίμα ἑαυτῷ ἐσθίει καὶ πίνει μὴ διακρίνων τὸ σῶμα. 29 For he who eats and drinks without discerning (διακρίνω)*** the body eats and drinks judgment (κρίμα) to himself.
30 διὰ τοῦτο ἐν ὑμῖν πολλοὶ ἀσθενεῖς καὶ ἄρρωστοι καὶ κοιμῶνται ἱκανοί. 30 For this reason there are among you many who are weak and sick, and some have fallen asleep (i.e., died).
31 εἰ δὲ ἑαυτοὺς διεκρίνομεν, οὐκ ἂν κρινόμεθα· 31 But if we were discerning (διακρίνω) ourselves, we would not be being judged (κρίνω).
32 κρινόμενοι δὲ ὑπὸ [τοῦ] κυρίου παιδευόμεθα, ἵνα μὴ σὺν τῷ κόσμῳ κατακριθῶμεν. 32 But when we are judged (κρίνω) by the Lord, we are being disciplined (or: educated, corrected, given guidance) so that we will not be condemned (κατακρίνω) with the world.
33 Ὥστε, ἀδελφοί μου, συνερχόμενοι εἰς τὸ φαγεῖν ἀλλήλους ἐκδέχεσθε. 33 Thus, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for each other before you begin.
34 εἴ τις πεινᾷ, ἐν οἴκῳ ἐσθιέτω, ἵνα μὴ εἰς κρίμα συνέρχησθε. τὰ δὲ λοιπὰ ὡς ἂν ἔλθω διατάξομαι. 34 If someone is hungry, he should eat in his own house, so that your coming together doesn't result in judgment (κρίμα). And I will arrange the remaining things when I come.
* See the list of ἔνοχος in the Bible and the list of its translations in Josephus, Philo and The Apostolic Fathers (below).

** See the list of translations of δοκιμάζω in Josephus, Philo and The Apostolic Fathers (below).

*** See the list of translations of διακρίνω in Josephus, Philo and The Apostolic Fathers (below).

* ἔνοχος in the Bible

ἔνοχος, ον literally held fast in, caught in; (1) of spiritual bondage subject to, held in, under the control of (HE 2.15); (2) as a legal technical term, with the genitive denoting the guilt or punishment guilty of (MK 3.29); liable to, answerable to (MT 5.22a, b); deserving of (MT 5.22c; 26.66); (3) with the genitive denoting what one has transgressed against guilty of doing wrong against (1C 11.27); of law guilty of violating or disobeying (JA 2.10) Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. (2000). Vol. 4: Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker's Greek New Testament library (152). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

New Testament
Matthew 5:21 Ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη τοῖς ἀρχαίοις• οὐ φονεύσεις• ὃς δʼ ἂν φονεύσῃ, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει. 21 "You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, 'You shall not murder'; and 'whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.'
Matthew 5:22 ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει• ὃς δʼ ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ• ῥακά, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ• ὃς δʼ ἂν εἴπῃ• μωρέ, ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός. 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, 'You fool,' you will be liable to the hell of fire.
Matthew 26:66 τί ὑμῖν δοκεῖ; οἱ δὲ ἀποκριθέντες εἶπαν• ἔνοχος θανάτου ἐστίν. 66 What is your verdict?" They answered, "He deserves death."
Mark 3:29 ὃς δʼ ἂν βλασφημήσῃ εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, ἀλλὰ ἔνοχός ἐστιν αἰωνίου ἁμαρτήματος. 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"—
Mark 14:64 ἠκούσατε τῆς βλασφημίας• τί ὑμῖν φαίνεται; οἱ δὲ πάντες κατέκριναν αὐτὸν ἔνοχον εἶναι θανάτου. 64 You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?" All of them condemned him as deserving death.
1 Corinthians 11:27 Ὥστε ὃς ἂν ἐσθίῃ τὸν ἄρτον ἢ πίνῃ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ κυρίου ἀναξίως, ἔνοχος ἔσται τοῦ σώματος καὶ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ κυρίου. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.
James 2:10 ὅστις γὰρ ὅλον τὸν νόμον τηρήσῃ πταίσῃ δὲ ἐν ἑνί, γέγονεν πάντων ἔνοχος. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.
Hebrews 2:15 καὶ ἀπαλλάξῃ τούτους, ὅσοι φόβῳ θανάτου διὰ παντὸς τοῦ ζῆν ἔνοχοι ἦσαν δουλείας. 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.

Septuagint (LXX) – OT & Apocrypha. Lancelot Brenton's translation of the LXX is used except where I reference the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS).
Genesis 26:11 συνέταξεν δὲ Αβιμελεχ παντὶ τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ λέγων Πᾶς ὁ ἁπτόμενος τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τούτου ἢ τῆς γυναικὸς αὐτοῦ θανάτου ἔνοχος ἔσται. 11 And Abimelech charged all his people, saying, Every man that touches this man and his wife shall be liable to death.
Exodus 22:3 ἐὰν δὲ ἀνατείλῃ ὁ ἥλιος ἐπʼ αὐτῷ, ἔνοχός ἐστιν, ἀνταποθανεῖται. ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ὑπάρχῃ αὐτῷ, πραθήτω ἀντὶ τοῦ κλέμματος. 3 But if the sun be risen upon him, he is guilty, he shall die instead; and if a thief have nothing, let him be sold in compensation for what he has stolen.
Exodus 34:7 καὶ δικαιοσύνην διατηρῶν καὶ ποιῶν ἔλεος εἰς χιλιάδας, ἀφαιρῶν ἀνομίας καὶ ἀδικίας καὶ ἁμαρτίας, καὶ οὐ καθαριεῖ τὸν ἔνοχον ἐπάγων ἀνομίας πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα καὶ ἐπὶ τέκνα τέκνων ἐπὶ τρίτην καὶ τετάρτην γενεάν. 7 and keeping justice and mercy for thousands, taking away iniquity, and unrighteousness, and sins; and he will not clear the guilty; bringing the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and to the children's children, to the third and fourth generation.
Leviticus 20:9 ἄνθρωπος ἄνθρωπος, ὃς ἂν κακῶς εἴπῃ τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ ἢ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ, θανάτῳ θανατούσθω, πατέρα αὐτοῦ ἢ μητέρα αὐτοῦ κακῶς εἶπεν, ἔνοχος ἔσται. 9 Every man who shall speak evil of his father or of his mother, let him die the death; has he spoken evil of his father or his mother? he shall be guilty.
Leviticus 20:11 ἐάν τις κοιμηθῇ μετὰ γυναικὸς τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, ἀσχημοσύνην τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ ἀπεκάλυψεν, θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν ἀμφότεροι, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. 11 And if any one should lie with his father's wife, he has uncovered his father's nakedness: let them both die the death, they are guilty.
Leviticus 20:12 καὶ ἐάν τις κοιμηθῇ μετὰ νύμφης αὐτοῦ, θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν ἀμφότεροι, ἠσεβήκασιν γάρ, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. 12 And if any one should lie with his daughter-in-law, let them both be put to death; for they have wrought impiety, they are guilty.
Leviticus 20:13 καὶ ὃς ἂν κοιμηθῇ μετὰ ἄρσενος κοίτην γυναικός, βδέλυγμα ἐποίησαν ἀμφότεροι, θανατούσθωσαν, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. 13 And whoever shall lie with a male as with a woman, they have both wrought abomination; let them die the death, they are guilty.
Leviticus 20:16 καὶ γυνή, ἥτις προσελεύσεται πρὸς πᾶν κτῆνος βιβασθῆναι αὐτὴν ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ, ἀποκτενεῖτε τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ τὸ κτῆνος, θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. 16 And whatever woman shall approach any beast, so as to have connexion with it, ye shall kill the woman and the beast: let them die the death, they are guilty.
Leviticus 20:27 Καὶ ἀνὴρ ἢ γυνή, ὃς ἂν γένηται αὐτῶν ἐγγαστρίμυθος ἢ ἐπαοιδός, θανάτῳ θανατούσθωσαν ἀμφότεροι, λίθοις λιθοβολήσατε αὐτούς, ἔνοχοί εἰσιν. 27 And as for a man or woman whosoever of them shall have in them a divining spirit, or be an enchanter, let them both die the death: ye shall stone them with stones, they are guilty.
Numbers 14:18 Κύριος μακρόθυμος καὶ πολυέλεος καὶ ἀληθινός, ἀφαιρῶν ἀνομίας καὶ ἀδικίας καὶ ἁμαρτίας, καὶ καθαρισμῷ οὐ καθαριεῖ τὸν ἔνοχον ἀποδιδοὺς ἁμαρτίας πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα ἕως τρίτης καὶ τετάρτης. 18 The Lord is long-suffering and merciful, and true, removing transgressions and iniquities and sins, and he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.
Numbers 35:27 καὶ εὕρῃ αὐτὸν ὁ ἀγχιστεύων τὸ αἷμα ἔξω τῶν ὁρίων τῆς πόλεως καταφυγῆς αὐτοῦ καὶ φονεύσῃ ὁ ἀγχιστεύων τὸ αἷμα τὸν φονεύσαντα, οὐκ ἔνοχός ἐστιν, 27 and the avenger of blood should find him without the bounds of the city of his refuge, and the avenger of blood should kill the slayer, he is not guilty.
Numbers 35:31 καὶ οὐ λήμψεσθε λύτρα περὶ ψυχῆς παρὰ τοῦ φονεύσαντος τοῦ ἐνόχου ὄντος ἀναιρεθῆναι, θανάτῳ γὰρ θανατωθήσεται. 31 And ye shall not accept ransoms for life from a murderer who is worthy of death, for he shall be surely put to death.
Deuteronomy 19:10 καὶ οὐκ ἐκχυθήσεται αἷμα ἀναίτιον ἐν τῇ γῇ σου, ἧ κύριος ὁ θεός σου δίδωσίν σοι ἐν κλήρῳ, καὶ οὐκ ἔσται ἐν σοὶ αἵματι ἔνοχος. 10 So innocent blood shall not be spilt in the land, which the Lord thy God gives thee to inherit, and there shall not be in thee one guilty of blood.
Joshua 2:19 καὶ ἔσται πᾶς, ὃς ἂν ἐξέλθῃ τὴν θύραν τῆς οἰκίας σου ἔξω, ἔνοχος ἑαυτῷ ἔσται, ἡμεῖς δὲ ἀθῷοι τῷ ὅρκῳ σου τούτῳ, καὶ ὅσοι ἐὰν γένωνται μετὰ σοῦ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ σου, ἡμεῖς ἔνοχοι ἐσόμεθα. 19 And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall go outside the door of thy house, his guilt shall be upon him, and we shall be quit of this thine oath; and we will be responsible for all that shall be found with thee in thy house.
1 Maccabees 14:45 ὃς δ̓ ἂν παρὰ ταῦτα ποιήσῃ ἢ ἀθετήσῃ τι τούτων, ἔνοχος ἔσται. 45 And whosoever should do otherwise, or break any of these things, he should be punished.
2 Maccabees 13:6 ἐνταῦθα τὸν ἱεροσυλίας ἔνοχον ἢ καί τινων ἄλλων κακῶν ὑπεροχὴν πεποιημένον ἅπαντες προσωθοῦσιν εἰς ὄλεθρον. 6 And whosoever was condemned of sacrilege, or had committed any other grievous crime, there did all men thrust him unto death.
Job 15:5 ἔνοχος εἶ ῥήμασιν στόματός σου οὐδὲ διέκρινας ῥήματα δυναστῶν, 5 Thou art guilty by the words of thy mouth, neither hast thou discerned the words of the mighty.
Sirach Prologue: 13 ὅπως οἱ φιλομαθεῖς καὶ τούτων ἔνοχοι γενόμενοι 14 πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἐπιπροσθῶσιν διὰ τῆς ἐννόμου βιώσεως. 13 to the intent that those which are desirous to learn, and are addicted to these things, 14 might profit much more in living according to the law.
Psalms of Solomon 4:3 καὶ ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ ἐν πρώτοις ἐπʼ αὐτὸν ὡς ἐν ζήλει, καὶ αὐτὸς ἔνοχος ἐν ποικιλίᾳ ἁμαρτιῶν καὶ ἐν ἀκρασίαις. 3 (NETS) And his hand is first upon him as if in zeal, and he himself is guilty of various sins and self-indulgence.
Isaiah 54:17 πᾶν σκεῦος φθαρτόν. ἐπὶ σὲ οὐκ εὐοδώσω, καὶ πᾶσα φωνὴ ἀναστήσεται ἐπὶ σὲ εἰς κρίσιν, πάντας αὐτοὺς ἡττήσεις, οἱ δὲ ἔνοχοί σου ἔσονται ἐν αὐτῇ. ἔστιν κληρονομία τοῖς θεραπεύουσιν κύριον, καὶ ὑμεῖς ἔσεσθέ μοι δίκαιοι, λέγει κύριος. 17 I will not suffer any weapon formed against thee to prosper; (NETS: every perishable vessel. I will not make it prosper against you) – and every voice that shall rise up against thee for judgment, thou shalt vanquish them all; and thine adversaries shall be condemned thereby (NETS: and those who are held by you shall be in sorrow [lit. "it"]). There is an inheritance to them that serve the Lord, and ye shall be righteous before me, saith the Lord.
Susanna 1:53 (OLD GREEK) πιστευθεὶς ἀκούειν καὶ κρίνειν κρίσεις θάνατον ἐπιφερούσας καὶ τὸν μὲν ἀθῷον κατέκρινας, τοὺς δὲ ἐνόχους ἠφίεις, τοῦ κυρίου λέγοντος Ἀθῷον καὶ δίκαιον οὐκ ἀποκτενεῖς, 53 (NETS) when you were entrusted to hear and to judge cases carrying a death sentence and you condemned the innocent while you were acquitting the guilty, though the Lord says, "You shall not kill an innocent and righteous person."

* ἔνοχος, ** δοκιμάζω, and *** διακρίνω as translated in:

  • ἔνοχος guilty
  • δοκιμάζω approve, esteem, judge, like best, recommend, suppose, think best/fit/proper, test/try
  • διακρίνω determine, discern, dispute, distinguish, select, separate, solve
  • ἔνοχος blamable, bound by, condemned, guilty, liable, worthy of death (lit. "worthy")
  • δοκιμάζω account, approve, come to a proper understanding, comprehend, consider, determine ("arrive at a knowledge of its true nature"), estimate, examine, judge, look upon, pronounce (declare), prove, rightly account, see/show, select, test, test and approve, think fit
  • διακρίνω decide, differ, discriminate, disjoin, distinguish, divide, interpret, judge, part, select, separate, well-judge
The Apostolic Fathers
  • ἔνοχος (none)
  • δοκιμάζω approve (Hermas, Didache, Ignatius, 1 Clement), challenge (Papias), determine (Hermas), examine (Didache), judge (Hermas), prove (Hermas, 1 Clement), test/try (Hermas, Didache, 1 Clement, Papias)
  • διακρίνω arrange (Diognetus), compare (Hermas), consider (Hermas), discern (Didache), discuss (Hermas), distinguish (Diognetus, Hermas), doubt (Hermas), evaluate (Didache), examine (Didache), separate (Ignatius), worry about (Hermas)

Friday, October 09, 2009

More Manga

Following Manga Messiah and Manga Metamorphosis, we now have Manga Mutiny, covering Genesis - Exodus 15. Get a copy!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What Does Paul Teach About Head Coverings? Thoughts On 1 Corinthians 11:2-16.

Someone has suggested in his Google docs-posted notes and comments on Biblical Headship that what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11 about headwear for men and women when they are praying or prophesying relates to the kind of glory their head displays.

Here is how I might translate 1 Cor 11:2-16 per his comments about κεφαλη (kephalê - "head") and δοξα (doxa - "glory") and head coverings:

2 επαινω δε υμας οτι παντα μου μεμνησθε και καθως παρεδωκα υμιν τας παραδοσεις κατεχετε

Now, I praise you because you remember all the things I told you and, just as I passed the traditions on to you, you are keeping them.

3 θελω δε υμας ειδεναι οτι παντος ανδρος η κεφαλη ο χριστος εστιν κεφαλη δε γυναικος ο ανηρ κεφαλη δε του χριστου ο θεος

So I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of a woman is her man, and the head of Christ is God.

4 πας ανηρ προσευχομενος η προφητευων κατα κεφαλης εχων καταισχυνει την κεφαλην αυτου

Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered shames his head, [God].

5 πασα δε γυνη προσευχομενη η προφητευουσα ακατακαλυπτω τη κεφαλη καταισχυνει την κεφαλην αυτης

And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered shames her head, [her man].

εν γαρ εστιν και το αυτο τη εξυρημενη

For she is one and the same as a woman who's head is shaved.

6 ει γαρ ου κατακαλυπτεται γυνη και κειρασθω

So if a woman does not cover her head, then let her hair be shorn.

ει δε αισχρον γυναικι το κειρασθαι η ξυρασθαι κατακαλυπτεσθω

But if it's shameful for a woman to have her hair shorn or to have her head shaved, then let her cover her head.

7 ανηρ μεν γαρ ουκ οφειλει κατακαλυπτεσθαι την κεφαλην εικων και δοξα θεου υπαρχων

A man should not cover his head since he is the image and glory of God [, who is his head].

η γυνη δε δοξα ανδρος εστιν

But a woman is the glory of [her] man.

8 ου γαρ εστιν ανηρ εκ γυναικος αλλα γυνη εξ ανδρος

For man did not come from woman, but woman came from man.

9 και γαρ ουκ εκτισθη ανηρ δια την γυναικα αλλα γυνη δια τον ανδρα

Indeed, man was not created for the woman, but woman was created for the man.

10 δια τουτο οφειλει η γυνη εξουσιαν εχειν επι της κεφαλης δια τους αγγελους

For this reason the woman should have [a sign of]* authority on her head, because of the angels.
* While many (including myself at one time) argue that because "a sign (or symbol) of" isn't present in the Greek text it is therefore an incorrect interpolation for a translation to add it here (as many do), BDAG (Bauer, Danker, Arndt, Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed.) on εξουσια says:
7...It is abstract for concrete, as βασιλεια [1] [i.e., kingship, royal power] in Diod[orus] S[iculus] [1st Century BC] 1., 47, 5: a stone figure εχουσα τρεις βασιλειας επι της κεφαλης = that wears three symbols of royal power [diadems] on its head.
So just as the diadems on the statue are referred to by the abstract term "royal power," and they are said to be on the statue's head, I think the argument can indeed be made that the veil or covering the woman in 1 Corinthians 11 is to wear "on her head" is very possibly being referred to in 11:10 as "a sign or symbol of" authority that she is to wear. Thus, the phrase εξουσιαν...επι της κεφαλης does not necessarily mean that the woman has "authority...over her [own] head." Rather, επι της κεφαλης can (per this statue description) simply mean the place she is to display such a sign or symbol of authority (i.e., "on her head"), and not that over which she has authority.

Knowing nothing more about the statue than what BDAG quotes about it (e.g., I don't know who or what the statue represents), the statue figure might be wearing a sign of its own royal power on its head. Thus, while a woman might be being told here in 1 Corinthians to wear "a sign of" authority on her head, it could be a sign or symbol of HER OWN authority that she possesses for and over herself.
11 πλην ουτε γυνη χωρις ανδρος ουτε ανηρ χωρις γυναικος εν κυριω

However, woman is not apart from man, nor is man apart from woman in the Lord.

12 ωσπερ γαρ η γυνη εκ του ανδρος ουτως και ο ανηρ δια της γυναικος

For just as the woman came from the man, so also man comes from woman.

τα δε παντα εκ του θεου

And all things come from God.

13 εν υμιν αυτοις κρινατε πρεπον εστιν γυναικα ακατακαλυπτον τω θεω προσευχεσθαι

You judge for yourselves: Is it fitting for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?

14 ουδε η φυσις αυτη διδασκει υμας οτι ανηρ μεν εαν κομα ατιμια αυτω εστιν

Doesn't the nature of things itself show you that if a man has long hair, it is dishonorable to him?

15 γυνη δε εαν κομα δοξα αυτη εστιν οτι η κομη αντι περιβολαιου δεδοται αυτη

But if a woman has long hair, it is related to her glory – because she has been given long hair as a covering for her head?

16 ει δε τις δοκει φιλονεικος ειναι ημεις τοιαυτην συνηθειαν ουκ εχομεν ουδε αι εκκλησιαι του θεου

Now, if someone wants to be contentious about this, I want them to know that we do not have a custom like this, nor do the churches of God.

Some Final Comments

As I stated, one reason I interpreted and translated εξουσιαν εχειν επι της κεφαλης in 1 Corinthians 11:10 the way I did – i.e., "should have [a sign of] authority on her head" – was because my translation of the passage was based on how I would do it in light of the statements made in the writer's notes and comments about κεφαλη and δοξα and head coverings. Per the example in BDAG, I concluded that this translation of εξουσιαν εχειν επι της κεφαλης, in line with the writer's thoughts on this matter, can probably be supported. What I cannot determine, though, is whether such a sign of authority represents someone else's authority over the woman or the woman's own authority over her own head. Furthermore, if εξουσιαν εχειν επι της κεφαλης simply means to have one's own authority over one's own head or self, then the translation of this phrase as "[a sign of] authority" is incorrect.

As a side note, some argue that κατα κεφαλης εχων (lit. "downward-from head having") in 11:4 is referring to (long) hair, and not to an additional head covering, and that the adjective in 11:5,13 from ακατακαλυπτος (its component parts can literally mean "not-downward-covered/hidden") is referring to the absence of long hair. The verbs in 11:6-7 from κατακαλυπτω have the literal component parts meaning "to downward-from cover/hide," and also don't specifically refer to a covering other than one's own hair. Such an interpretation perhaps explains the comments about κομαω ("to wear-long-hair/let-hair-grow") in 11:14-15. If this understanding is correct (though it is not without its problems, and no version I know of translates the passage this way), then the debate on whether or not women should cover their heads in church is based on a misunderstanding and mistranslation of this passage.

Conclusions (?)
  1. I can't clearly tell which parts of what Paul wrote here are from himself, or are his quoting of what someone else said or wrote to him, or are his response(s) to what someone else said or asked.
  2. When Paul says in 11:16 that neither his group nor the churches of God have such a custom as this, I can't tell if he's referring to the custom of women not being covered when praying or prophesying, or the custom of women being covered when praying or prophesying.
  3. If, as Paul writes in 11:15, nature has given woman long hair in place of a "covering," and if a woman is to cover her head when she is in God’s presence, wouldn't that support a long-haired woman NOT having to cover her head when praying or prophesying? I'm not sure that one can assume or conclude that γυνη δε εαν κομα δοξα αυτη εστιν in 11:15 means that a woman's long hair "displays" her glory and hence argue that her uncovered head competes with God's glory, for Paul seems to be saying that the long hair acts as a covering for the woman - and hence "covers" her glory. The meaning of this verse is unclear.
  4. As explained above, I can find support for translating 1 Corinthians 11:10 as "[a sign of] authority on her head." But it could be a sign of her own authority over her own head, and not a sign of someone else's authority over her.
  5. I still am unable to determine what Paul is finally concluding or affirming or rejecting here, or what he is telling them to do or not do.
  6. I think #5 would also be the case for just about everyone else who wrestles with this passage.
  7. The confusing nature of the passage and the different cultural assumptions and practices (along with a nearly two-millennia time gap) that separate us from the writer and his audience make it nearly impossible for me to conclude, as some do, that this passage teaches that men today are to pray or prophesy with their heads uncovered and women today are to pray or prophesy with their heads covered, or that a woman is to have a man (father, husband, pastor) as her spiritual "covering."
  8. And as I note in my Final Comments, this passage may not even be about head coverings, but about long hair.