[b-greek] Re: 1 Tim. 2:12, meaning of AUQENTEIN

From: B. Ward Powers (bwpowers@eagles.com.au)
Date: Sat Aug 12 2000 - 22:52:11 EDT

<x-flowed>At 09:10 AM 000812 +0000, Jay Adkins wrote:
>On Fri 11 Aug 2000 (12:49:28), robemon@regent.edu wrote:
> > I need some help. I'm trying to get some in-depth information on the
> > meaning of AUQENTEIN in 1 Tim. 2:12.
>I haven't got a clue myself, but I did find Louw & Nida interesting.
>37.21: AUQENTEW : to control in a domineering manner - `to control, to
>domineer.' GUNAIKI OUK EPITREPW...AUQENTEIN ANDROS `I do not allow women
>... to dominate men' 1Tim 2:12 . `To control in a domineering manner' is
>often expressed idiomatically, for example, `to shout orders at,' `to act
>like a chief toward,' or `to bark at.'

I was disappointed to read the citation, above, which Jay Adkins has given
from Louw and Nida. I would have expected greater accuracy in their work -
the above rendering gives the translation as "I do not allow women ... to
dominate men." But, as can be clearly seen from the Greek, both GUNH and
ANHR are in fact SINGULAR not plural. The correct rendering is, "I do not
allow a GUNH ... [AUQENTEIN] an ANHR." Pointing this out is not nitpicking:
this goes to the very heart of seeking to understand the meaning of the
verse. It is NOT giving a generalization about women in general and men in
general, but speaking of the relationship of one woman and one man.

And, bearing in mind that GUNH and ANHR are the words in koine Greek for
"wife" and "husband" respectively, and being guided in this verse by the
passage which is its wider context, we can see that this context is
referring to a home-marriage-family situation, not a church context. That
is to say, Paul is saying that he does not allow a wife to exercise
authority over a husband in the marriage relationship, to take to herself
the role of headship. The explanation of the meaning of this passage is to
be found in Ephesians 5:22-33E, where the headship (leadership) role of the
husband is set out, together with the wife's response. The only person who
has a headship role over a woman is a husband over his own wife; and the
only man to whom the wife is to be submissive is her own husband, with whom
she is in a one-flesh relationship. Note Epheians 5:22 for the light it
throws on this situation: hAI GUNAIKES TOIS IDIOIS ANDRASIN - note
especially the IDIOIS. That is, the husband is the head of his wife within
the one-flesh relationship of marriage. Paul states this in Ephesians 5:23,
and gives the rationale for it - the one-flesh relationship, quoting
Genesis 2:24 - in 5:31.

The passage in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 has many parallels in 1 Peter 3:1-7,
where the identical words GUNH and ANHR are used, and translated as
referring to wives and husbands (not women and men generally, in the church
at large).

The New RSV translation informs the reader in its footnotes to 1 Timothy
2:11-12 that the Greek can be translated alternatively as "I permit no wife
to teach or have authority over her husband". For reasons of context in 1
Timothy 2 and the 1 Peter 3 parallel, this is far and away the preferred

Thus I would affirm that the evidence indicates: 1 Timothy 2:12 is to be
understood as similar in thrust and intent to Ephesians 5:22-33E: Within
the one-flesh marriage relationship, a wife is not to assume the role of
teacher of her husband, nor that of headship over him: the husband has the
headship role, and the wife is to accept this EN hHSUCIA (not "in silence",
but rather) "in quietness, rest, with inner peace" - see BAGD on this word.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-9799-7501
10 Grosvenor Crescent Phone (Australia): (02) 9799-7501
SUMMER HILL NSW 2130 email: bwpowers@eagles.bbs.net.au
AUSTRALIA. Director, Tyndale College

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