Re: AUQENTEIN, 1Tim2.12

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat May 16 1998 - 10:17:01 EDT

At 7:20 AM -0400 5/16/98, Jonathan Robie wrote:
>>Further, I must say that this patriarchal mentality is no longer culturally
>>acceptable; and that it, like all cultural "husks" from the first century,
>>are disposable as the have nothing to do with the "kernal" of the gospel.
>>(A good Bultmannian I ever remain). :)
>What is "culturally acceptable" is not a useful heuristic for understanding
>the meaning of the original text. Naturally, we need to figure out how to
>communicate with the current culture, but that is not the role of B-Greek.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure who wrote the comment above (but I'd guess it
was Jim West--it's certainly not Paul Dixon), but Jonathan's comment is
quite to the point.

This subject and particularly this verse has been brought as a query to
this forum again and again--sometimes by persons who are not even
list-members) and it is, if any question ever was, an agenda-driven one.
Personally I don't think that much is to be gained by seeking in the text
and context of 1 Tim 2:12 any interpretation that gives any comfort to any
gender-egalitarian perspective of our own era; I also don't think it is
really possible to discuss this text and context without having gender
questions of our own era in the forefront of our minds. One may raise the
question of what AUQENTEIN means in this particular passage, but once that
has been done honestly, there's not much room for maneuver, I think, by
gender-egalitarians (and frankly speaking, I am one myself). One COULD
raise larger issues of how this text and context are to be interpreted in
the larger context of the gospel and the NT--BUT, if we are honest with
ourselves and each other, we must realize that we list-members differ in no
small degree on this matter; hermeneutics is at the core of the question
here; the hermeneutic principles we espouse will govern whether we seek to
"explain away" the authoritarian stance set forth in this passage or
whether we seek to uphold it as normative and authoritative for all gender
issues in the church, or for how we relate this passage to the gospel as a
whole and the NT as a whole. BUT: Hermeneutics is not something that ought
to be discussed in this forum. I would think that, given sufficient
"objectivity" and honesty, agreement might be reached on what this passage
by itself, in terms of its lexicology and syntax, may legitimately be
understood to be saying. That still will leave a whole complex of
interpretative questions that don't really belong to the legitimate
province of B-Greek.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243

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