Re: 1 Timothy 2:12

From: Michael Haggett (
Date: Mon Oct 18 1999 - 18:23:47 EDT

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<DIV><FONT size=3>Picking up on what Carl said in his response to George Goolde,
</FONT>(5:13 PM -0700 10/17/99) and his post of </DIV>
<DIV>Monday, October 18, 1999 4:33 PM:</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3>I don't much like what most people take this verse to say
either.&nbsp; So I&nbsp;confess at the outset that my approach is to try and see
if the text can&nbsp;legitimately be interpreted another way.&nbsp; I feel like
Henry Fonda in "Twelve Angry Men" - over the years I have got to the stage where
I think I can put a large enough question mark over the normal interpretation to
find Paul not guilty, but I'm not sure that I&nbsp;can yet PROVE him innocent.
</FONT>I thought that Michael Abernathy (<FONT size=3>8:13 PM -0700 10/16/99)
was moving in a similar direction, </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>I think that we&nbsp;have established that the text COULD possibly be
<DIV><FONT size=3><FONT size=3></FONT></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3><FONT size=3>"but as to teaching, I do not permit a wife to be
independent from a husband either" </FONT></FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3>instead of </FONT></DIV>
<DIV>"but I do not permit a woman/wife to&nbsp;(a) teach <FONT size=3>nor
(b)&nbsp;</FONT><FONT size=3>be autonomous of a man/husband"</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>But DOES it?&nbsp; The first thing is to&nbsp;re-construct some sort of
plausible circumstances in which Paul could make such a statement.&nbsp; We have
to do this with many of Paul's letters, a prime example being the nature of the
Colossian "heresy" - if there actually was one!&nbsp; Please forgive me
for&nbsp;moving off-base, but I can't think of another way to make the
<DIV><FONT size=3>I think that such a notion of independence might be derived
from Paul himself.&nbsp; Romans 5:12-19 talks of sin entering the world through
one person, with death being the result for all mankind.&nbsp; He refers only to
Adam, not Eve.&nbsp; He says the same sort of thing in 1 Cor 15:21-22, death
came through a human ... for as in Adam all die, so in Christ will all be made
alive.&nbsp; Now, would it not be at least possible for some to take this as
meaning that sin was&nbsp;male-transmitted?&nbsp; Also, would that not be
corroborated by Jesus being without sin because he did not have a human
father?&nbsp;&nbsp;So is it impossible to imagine that&nbsp;some people could
have thought that sin was a male problem rather than a human problem?&nbsp;
Doesn't Paul also say that it is better to be single in 1 Cor 7, which could be
taken to mean independence?&nbsp; And mightn't such ideas be all the more
readily fostered in Ephesus, the centre of the cult of Artemis?&nbsp; Of course
this is conjecture, but I think that it fits the thrust of Paul's argument very
well. Certainly much, much better than the alternative -&nbsp;that women are
gullible and must therefore&nbsp;be subservient.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3>Back on-base now!&nbsp; With this scenario, it doesn't much
matter whether the prohibition is on women teaching it, or anybody teaching it
(although of course it's hard to imagine any MEN doing so) that's why I said
that there was a degree of ambiguity in the Greek, which I tried to reflect in
the translation I offered.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>I hope this answers Carl's&nbsp;second query.&nbsp; I wouldn't like to say
that either of his options was the TRANSLATION of what the verse says.&nbsp;
But, if I can draw a distinction between translation and interpretation, (i.e
the difference between what the text says and what it means) I think it is most
likely to mean, in Carl's&nbsp; words:&nbsp; </DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3>&lt;&lt;That is to say: you intend AUQENTEIN ANDROS/GUNAIKOS
to be what the author forbids a woman (as well as a man) to teach--and you
understand AUQENTEIN with the genitive as meaning "act independently of."
<DIV><FONT size=3>In his: </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3>&lt;&lt;you understand the author to be saying: "I don't allow
a woman to teach being independent of a husband, nor do I allow a man to teach
being independent of a wife."&gt;&gt; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV>... the second sentence can probably be inferred as a corollary.&nbsp; But
I don't think&nbsp;the Greek could actually be construed as saying that, even
elliptically.&nbsp; </DIV>
<DIV>Now I need to put our "problem&nbsp;verse" into the context of what
precedes it.&nbsp; First, I would&nbsp;imagine Paul putting a very positive
emphasis on the imperative MANQANETW (v11) that&nbsp;women SHOULD&nbsp;learn, in
exactly the same way as men.&nbsp; Perhaps it is in the nature of English that
third person commands read more like grudging concessions.&nbsp; To me, the
emphasis is on the MANQANETW (learning) rather than the EN PASH hUPOTAGH <FONT
size=3>(in all submissiveness).&nbsp; But anyway, I do not interpret this as
submissiveness to MEN, but instead as self-control, the same way as the
hUPOTASSETAI of 1 Cor 14:32.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>This in turn relates to&nbsp;v8, where MASCULINE MEN, not women, are to
hold up holy hands without ORGHS KAI DIALOGISMOU (anger or being
argumentative).&nbsp; I think that this is in every way a parallel to the
hUPOTAGH and hHSUCIA (quietness of disposition, NOT silence) that he wants women
to have.&nbsp; Paul is surely being completely even handed.&nbsp; In the first
place, Paul is putting himself forward as DIDASKALOS EQNWN (v7) - which is what
occasions the rest of the chapter - and therefore these&nbsp;Gentiles need to
have what we might call a teachable spirit - reflected in&nbsp;men by the
absence of anger and&nbsp;being argumentative, and in women by self-subjection
and quietness of disposition.&nbsp; </DIV>
<DIV>As so often, Paul is treading a tightrope between the equality
that&nbsp;both genders have (1 Cor 11:11 and Gal 3:28) but, at the same time,
respecting the&nbsp;fact that the men and women of his churches did tend to
behave in different ways.&nbsp; </DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3>Now, back to Carl's first question.&nbsp; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3>&lt;&lt;Are there any other instances of AUQENTEIN in the
sense "act independently" with an ablatival genitive of the one of whom one acts
independently in Christian or non-Christian Greek? There are sufficient
examples, even if they be few, of AUQENTEIN with a genitive of the person over
whom one exercises authority, and such genitives are common with verbs of
exercising authority.&gt;&gt;<BR><BR>Here I have to confess that I haven't
researched enough to be able to PROVE the point.&nbsp; I would love someone else
who can help out here to do so.&nbsp; To me, the use of a word other than
EXOUSIA seems to indicate that Paul intends something different.&nbsp;&nbsp;Most
of Perseus' examples of AUQENTE-W are of murder or suicide - but&nbsp;I suppose
that is&nbsp;the ultimate form acting independently or "taking things into your
own hands".&nbsp; I don't read any of the examples there as meaning "having
authority over".&nbsp; I would like to have Carl's few examples.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV>|||||||&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Michael
Haggett<BR>|||||||&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 164 Holland
Road<BR>|||||||&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; London&nbsp; W14 8BE</DIV>
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