1 Timothy 2:12 "Domineering?"

Anh Michael saigon_christ at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 15 19:30:09 EST 2003

Context is important rule in determining the meaning of words. autheneo 
precise meaning is a  little difficult to determine.  This is where the 
grammar will help.  The phrase DIDASKEIN DE GUNAIKI OUK EPITRPW OUDE 
AUTHENEIN.  Note how the two verbs DIDASKEIN and AUTHENEIN are connected  by 
the coordinate conjunction OUDE.

Andrea J Kostenberger, Women in the Church:  A Fresh Analysis of 1Timothy 
2:9-15, in the Chapter entitled "A Complex Sentence Structure," argued that 
OUDE connects two positives or two negatives (not an negative and an 
positive idea) ideas closely related together. In other words DIDASKEIN and 
AUTHENEIN must both be positive or both negative.  He gave excellent 
evidence references of verb OUDE verb construction in the NT and gave 
parallel constructions inf OUDE inf  from the LXX and literature.  I have 
not found any errors in this grammatical argument as of yet.  Neither anyone 
proving the grammatical study at fault from the CBE brethern.  I do not mean 
that they support Kostenberger view point.

AUTHENEIN is rare, only 110x.  George Knight III also wrote an article in NT 
studies 34 Jan. 1988 143-57, L E. Wilshire, "the TLG computer and further 
reference to AGTHNTEW in 1 Tim 2:12.  Kostenberger's Women in the Church has 
a chapter on the word and appendix 2 contains all the known references of 

DIDASKEIN and AUTHENEIN negative or postive?  Those who argue for negative 
AUTHENEIN explain that the women were false teaching (4:6-8, 5:11-15: 2Tim 
3:1-9 see Gordon Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus NIBC as well as the CBE 
website) .  Therefore women teaching false doctrine and dominated men.  I 
and others are skeptical of these verses supporting such conclusions.

However, DIDASKEIN  has no support from the immediate or remote context that 
the teaching is negative.  Furthermore, DIDASKEW is not neutral in meaning 
but positive unless the Context makes it clear like in Titus 1:11.  the 
Pastorals use DIDASKEW to teach doctrine and one may conclude that AUTHENEIN 
in 1Tim 1:12 some sort of authoritative position.  OUDE makes them closely 

Compare Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (525) with Smyth.
"If this were a descriptive present (as it is sometimes popularly taken), 
the idea might be that in the future the author would allow this:  I do not 
presently permit. . .However, there are several arguments against this: (1) 
It is overly subtle.  Without some temporal indicator, such as APTI or 
perhaps NUN, this view begs the question.  (2) Were we to do this with other 
commands in the present tense, our resultant exegesis would be both 
capricious and ludicrous.   Does MH METHUSKESTHEOINW.  . . ALLA PLHROUSTHE 
EN PNEUMATI in Eph 5:18 MEAN "Do not for the moment be filled with wine, but 
be filled at the present time by the Spirit" with the implication that such 
a moral code might change in the future?  The normal use of the present 
tense in didactic literature, especially when introducing an exhortation, is 
not descriptive, but a general precept that has gnomic implications.  (30) 
Grammatically, the present tense should be taken as a gnomic present.  (4)  
Contextually, the exhortation seems to be rooted in creation (note v. 13 and 
the introductory GAR), rather than an address to a temporary situation.

this links to Douglas Moo's chapter in biblical manhood and womanhood, a 
FREE BOOK online.  This is his careful study on the chapter.  I am sure the 
CBE website has it critcisms of the traditonal understandings.  I would not 
dream of not mentioning them but challenge one to examine CBE conclusions 
with Kostenberger, Moo and others

I prefer to put these references as something to think about and not as a 
final word.  Only when one has checked the data, will one determine if the 
references are correct.

Michael R. Mysliwiec

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