infinitive -> finite verb

B. Ward Powers bwpowers at optusnet.com.au
Thu May 23 03:15:32 EDT 2002


Dear b-greekers,

I wish to disagree somewhat with Iver.

At 08:41 AM 020521 +0200, Iver Larsen wrote:
> > 1TIM. 2:8 BOULOMAI OUN PROSEUCESQAI TOUS ANDRAS EN PANTI TOPWi EPAIRONTAS
> > hOSIOUS CEIRAS CWRIS ORGHS KAI DIALOGISMOU.  9 hWSAUTWS [KAI] GUNAIKAS EN
> > KATASTOLHi KOSMIWi META AIDOUS KAI SWFROSUNHS KOSMEIN hEAUTAS, MH EN
> > PLEGMASIN KAI CRUSIWi H MARGARITAIS H hIMATISMWi POLUTELEI,  10 ALL' hO
> > PREPEI GUNAIXIN EPAGGELLOMENAIS QEOSEBEIAN, DI' ERGWN AGAQWN.  11 GUNH EN
> > hHSUCIAi MANQANETW EN PASHi hUPOTAGHi:  12 DIDASKEIN DE GUNAIKI
> > OUK EPITREPW
> > OUDE AUQENTEIN ANDROS, ALL' EINAI EN hHSUCIAi.

>For me, all the words in 11 are part of the
>"topic", i.e. woman, silence, learn, all, submission. I suppose I have a
>holistic view of semantics, rather than a dichotomistic view that 
>separates something into two: topic and comment. Rather than "focus", I 
>prefer to talk about relative prominence. The five concepts in v. 11 are 
>to me all part of the "topic" and are ordered the way they are because of 
>relative prominence. I would ask five questions in a progressive order 
>which basically follows the word order:
>1) Who are Paul talking about? - Women.
>2) What does he say about women? - Be in silence.
>3) What should they do in silence? - Learn/be taught.
>4) What should their attitude be as they are taught in silence? -
>Submission.
>5) How strong a submission? - Full/complete/heartfelt. (The word
>"all" is fronted within its phrase, because it is more prominent than the
>noun it modifies. One needs to look at clause level prominence and phrase
>level prominence as separate layers.)


Iver subtly changes a few of the factors here, and ends up with a meaning 
at variance with the text. Let's look at each point he makes.


>1) Who are Paul talking about? - Women.


No. Not so. The Greek word here in verse 11 is GUNH. This does not mean 
"women" - it means "woman". And "wife". Ditto verse 12 - singular. This is 
not a minor matter, changing this singular to a plural. It makes the 
reference become one relating to women in general, and thus gives a basis 
(albeit a false one) for making this passage relate to women in general 
(notice how Iver uses the plural throughout his explanation?) Those taking 
this line also pluralize the reference to ANHR (verse 12, ANDROS). Then it 
is an easy step to relate this to the whole church, and then to women in 
general in relation to men in general. Thus by changing the underlying 
Greek we can arrive at an interpretation that women must not teach men in 
church.

There are several ways of approaching the interpretation of 1 Timothy 
2:11-15, yielding very different results. But first, we should recognize 
the use of the singular in the Greek through these verses. Second, we 
should take note of the range of meaning of GUNH and ANHR. They are the 
standard words in the G.N.T. when you want to say "husband" and "wife". 
Third, a basic principle of exegesis is that one Scripture throws light 
upon another in instances of ambiguity or uncertainty. So we should take a 
look at the parallel in 1 Peter 3:1-7, which discusses many similar issues 
(count all the points of comparison) and which translates these same words 
to be speaking of husbands and wives. Fourth, there is nothing anywhere in 
1 Timothy 2 which limits the scope of reference here to being a church or a 
meeting of the church. If we see such a meaning, it is because we read it 
in. Note that the example Paul gives as illustration in the next two verses 
relates to Adam and Eve: they were a married couple, not a meeting of the 
church! Then the last verse of the passage discusses a woman in childbirth. 
This took place in the home, not in a meeting of the church.

The provenance for this passage is home and family, not the question of 
ministry in a meeting of the church. And therefore ANHR and GUNH should be 
translated here a "husband" and "wife", as in the parallel in 1 Peter 3. 
And the reference is to headship in the marriage relationship, not to 
ministry in the church, concerning which it says nothing at all. Paul must 
not be pressed into saying and meaning something he did not say or mean.


>2) What does he say about women? - Be in silence.


The Greek word here is hHSUCIA. It does NOT mean silence (that is 
SIGH/SIGAW); rather, it means "quietly", "in quietness". This term does not 
require absolute silence.


>3) What should they do in silence? - Learn/be taught.


True - once we have it clear who is doing the teaching, and that it means 
"in quietness", not "in silence".


>  4) What should their attitude be as they are taught in silence? -
>Submission.


True - once you put it into the singular (which it is in the passage) and 
link it with passages which explain the biblical teaching about headship, 
and especially the explicatory passage Ephesians 5:21-33). The implication 
here in this fourth point is that a general submission is being required of 
all women to all men at all times. I protest that that is not what Paul is 
saying.


>  5) How strong a submission? - Full/complete/heartfelt. (The word
>"all" is fronted within its phrase, because it is more prominent than the
>noun it modifies. One needs to look at clause level prominence and phrase
>level prominence as separate layers.)


So the word PASHi comes between EN and hUPOTAGHi. Nothing remarkable in 
that - a perfectly normal word order. There is no basis here for making a 
big deal out of this.

Everyone please note: I am taking issue solely with some matters which 
derive from the Greek in this passage. I am not opening up questions of 
women's ministry as such, which are not appropriate for b-greek. I am 
saying that if you want to take up a position re women's ministry, be aware 
of what you can (and can't) establish from these verses, and beware of 
making Paul say here what he did not.

Any who would like to know more of what I have written re this are referred 
to The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Eerdmans), Volume 4, 
"Women in Church Leadership" (p.1099), and my monograph "The Ministry of 
Women in the Church" (SPCKA), described on my website (see below).

In a nutshell: so, Iver, I cannot agree with the thrust of your five points.

Regards,

Ward


                                http://www.netspace.net.au/~bwpowers
Rev Dr B. Ward Powers        Phone (International): 61-2-8714-7255
259A Trafalgar Street          Phone (Australia): (02) 8714-7255
PETERSHAM  NSW  2049      email: bwpowers at optusnet.com.au
AUSTRALIA.                         Director, Tyndale College




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