From: Pete Phillips (
Date: Mon May 18 1998 - 07:16:04 EDT

Thanks for your comments, Carl - Marshall comes from the evangelical wing of historical-critical scholarship, as you will probably know already. And so his dating of the Pastorals etc is a little tentative.

However, your post raises an interesting issue about contexts. Is there such an easily defined difference between the textual context and the historical context. I don't want to get into the debate re. gender-egalitarianism et al. here nor into hermeneutical issues either. I just have an inkling that a text can't be dealt with away from/by ignoring its historical context and that this, especially in a discoursive setting like 'Paul''s correspondence with one of his students, determines how the text needs to be read. Translation cannot just be a lexical task whereby we seek appropriate meanings for a word from LSJ et al. OIMAI, OIMAI, APPOLUMI takes on completely different emphasis on the lips of George Michael as it does on the lips of Iphigenia!

Beware all participants who answer this question by glibly turning to LSJ?BAGD or whatever. That's the start but not the end.

Pete Phillips,
Lecturer in NT,
Cliff College, Calver, Derbyshire, UK
Tel: 01246 582321
Fax: 01246 583739

-----Original Message-----
From: Carl W. Conrad []
Sent: Monday, May 18, 1998 11:23 AM
To: Pete Phillips
Subject: Re: AUQENTEIN


At 3:55 AM -0400 5/18/98, Pete Phillips wrote:
>I was with Howard Marshall from Aberdeen last week and he led a small
>group of us in a discussion on this actual passage. He talked of how the
>context has to be determinative of meaning - he would as an arch-defender
>of the historical-critical method. Howard made some interesting points
>however - e.g. if we cannot accept the literal interpretation of "a woman
>must be silent" (cf. the host of references to women praying and
>prophesying, teaching other women, leading churches, hosting house
>churches, being an apostle [see the archives on JUNIA] and all of that)
>because to do so would demand that Paul is contradicting himself, then
>clearly any assumption that AUQENTEIN must be interpreted literally must
>also be dismissed.
>Howard interprets the whole verse in the light of the error in Ephesus at
>the time. He suggests that certain were under the belief that they should
>abandon their families and that their salvation depended on teaching their
>gospel. This meant imposing their teaching on men (and other women) in
>Ephesus and so it was the fact that their teaching was wrong in method and
>content that was wrong rather than that they were teaching per se. Get
>it??? If not read Howard's commentaries.

"... in the light of the error in Ephesus at that time." What's the dating
of 1 Timothy assumed here? If he holds to historical-critical method, I
would guess he deems 1 Timothy and the other pastorals as non-Pauline and
toward the end of the century. Where do we know about this "error in
Ephesus"? Is it in Eusebius? It seems to me an interesting suggestion, but
is the "context" of which he is speaking really a fully-understood
historical context or is it the textual context. Seems to me that the
verses following upon this in 1 Tim are extraordinarily harshly
patriarchal, and I've argued that the argumentation of 1 Tim 2:13-14 is
just simply bad exegesis of Genesis 3 (for which I had a SCATHING
condemnation from Bill Mounce, which didn't really disturb me
particularly). But that was before the list had its present more restricted
guidelines and governance.

>Isn't it funny how no woman has offered her perspective on this verse. We
>are still a male-dominated academia - even in the global village of the

We've had that in the past, as you are probably well aware, but in view of
the last go-round we had on the strange notion that ANQRWPOS could
supposedly mean "male only" (the absurdity of which, I think, was amply
demonstrated), it became quite clear that there are two fundamental stances
among "vocal" list-participants: gender-egalitarian (my own stance, of
course) and the gender-hierarchical (for which Paul Dixon was a chief
spokesman)--and that, since people from these two perspectives would be
approaching this text with radically different hermeneutical approaches, we
could agree on little more than what the Greek text of the verse means, as
we are not likely to come to agreement over hermeneutical principles and
that's an off-limits topic for list discussion in any case. If you're
interested, I can dig up the exact dates for that long knock-down drag out
discussion of this passage wherein women had considerable input into the

Thanks very much for your post. Carl

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

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