[b-greek] Hermeneutics, 1 Tim. 2:12,and AUQENTEIN

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sun Aug 13 2000 - 10:55:42 EDT

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 --></style><title>Hermeneutics, 1 Tim. 2:12,and
<div>At 6:25 AM -0500 8/13/00, Harold R. Holmyard III wrote:</div>
<div>(citing Ward Powers)</div>
<div>&gt;&gt;The New RSV translation informs the reader in its
footnotes to 1 Timothy<br>
&gt;&gt;2:11-12 that the Greek can be translated alternatively as
&quot;I permit no wife<br>
&gt;&gt;to teach or have authority over her husband&quot;. For
reasons of context in 1<br>
&gt;&gt;Timothy 2 and the 1 Peter 3 parallel, this is far and away
the preferred<br>
&gt;It is a possible reading of the verse, but the traditional
understanding of<br>
&gt;a church setting is far more likely. Paul does not have the
authority to<br>
&gt;forbid a wife to teach her husband. But that is what Paul would
&gt;forbidding in 1 Tim 2:12 according to the above view. There are
many other<br>
&gt;contextual indicators opposed to the above translation.<br>
</x-tab>Harold Holmyard<br>
<div>Since this passage of 1 Timothy has been a recurrent focus of
B-Greek discussion over the years and the same stances toward its
&quot;proper&quot; interpretation have (more or less) been the same
ones, I'd like to repeat a portion of a comment that I wrote on one
of the more recent recurrences of the discussion, and then append a
comment on why we avoid discussion of hermeneutics on B-Greek.</div>
<div><font color="#000000">Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 07:27:41 -0500<br>
To: Biblical Greek &lt;b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu&gt;<br>
From: &quot;Carl W. Conrad&quot; &lt;cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu&gt;<br>
Subject: Re: 1 Timothy 2:12<br>
I'm not really going to try to have much more input on this matter,
because I've already stated as clearly as I can my own views about
how the<br>
text ought to be construed. But I'd like to make an observation
personal comment which I do not think it appropriate to discuss on
the list itself.<br>
My observation is that the text of the Bible turns out, sooner or
later, to<br>
be an embarrassment for most of us (I won't say all, but I have seen
happen to persons of conservative as well as to persons of liberal<br>
theological tendencies). By &quot;an embarrassment&quot; I mean that
we encounter,<br>
sooner or later, a passage that says something that strikes as wrong
shocking or inconsistent with what we think &quot;the real
teaching&quot; of the<br>
Bible about one or another topic is. ... For me this chapter of 1
Timothy is such a passage, and I confess that I find it difficult to
square the passage we've been discussing in this thread with
Galatians 3:28 and with my own reading of Genesis 1-3. I frankly
don't see how anyone who thinks the Bible teaches
gender-egalitarianism can be comfortable with chapter 2 of 1 Timothy.
I've confessed my own discomfort in previous posts on this thread.<br>
What disturbs me more than the passage itself, however, is what seems
to me<br>
to be a temptation that I imagine we all feel when confronting such
passage: &quot;It can't mean what it seems to say, so it must mean
different.&quot; If it's not this passage&nbsp; then it may be some
other: after<br>
looking for a simple solution such as an overlooked variant in the<br>
manuscript solution, we consider more desperate alternatives such as
possibility of interpolation of the passage into a context where it
belong, or we seek to reinterpret the grammar and vocabulary to
something other than what they pretty clearly seem to indicate.<br>
And yet, as I wrote just a few weeks ago, &quot;Nevertheless, however
interpretation may depend upon what the reader brings with him/her to
Greek text being interpreted, the process of interpretation can
hardly be<br>
arbitrary. While we may all be inclined to favor one legitimate
way of understanding a text over another legitimate alternative on
basis of our personal belief, I think (I certainly HOPE) that we all
so far as we are able, to avoid EIS-egesis: we want to read a meaning
we honestly think is there in the text for us to see, not to force
upon the<br>
text a meaning that we think would be convenient to find there. So,
<div><font color="#000000">our theological assumptions do have a
bearing on how we look at the alternative meanings that grammatical
analysis discloses to us--and occasionally they may even incline us
to construe the syntax in a way that seems suspect to others, but I
really don't believe any of us honestly wants to be deluded about
what the text really means. ... &quot;</font></div>
<div><font color="#000000">=====================</font></div>
<div>At 10:57 AM -0700 8/12/00, clayton stirling bartholomew
<div>&gt;I have been reading a book which sheds some light on the
background of some<br>
&gt;of our disagreements on b-greek. We cannot discuss this topic on
b-greek but<br>
&gt;perhaps I can get away with mentioning the book.<br>
&gt;Bartholomew, Craig&nbsp; Reading Ecclesiastes. Old Testament
Exegesis and<br>
&gt;Hermeneutical Theory, Analetca Biblica #139&nbsp; Roma,
Pontificio Istituto<br>
&gt;Biblico 1998<br>
&gt;This book draws a clear map of the hermeneutical landscape. The
author is<br>
&gt;very lucid and he reduces the material under discussion to a
manageable form<br>
&gt;without trivializing it. This book is for advanced students. It
assumes a<br>
&gt;level of general knowledge which will perhaps be somewhat
daunting to first<br>
&gt;year seminarians.<br>
&gt;The SBL review which is not as lucid as the book itself can be
found here:<br>
<div>&gt; [omission]</div>
<div>&gt;The book is listed in Eisenbrauns Scholars Source
<div>I've read only the SBL review for which Clay has cited the URL,
but it has made me want to read the book. Even the review reinforces
my view that people who seriously contemplate the Biblical text as
scripture need to become conscious of and perhaps periodically to
review the hermeneutical presuppositions which they bring to bear
upon their understanding of the Biblical text. One major question to
be asked is how we go about resolving the problems that arise when we
find that some particular text makes us uncomfortable because it
seems to be at odds with one or more other Biblical texts: do we try
to force upon the text in question a meaning that is questionable? do
we attempt to discover some principles whereby we discern greater
authority in some Biblical texts than in others, thereby discovering
or attaining a &quot;canon of the canon&quot; such as Martin Luther
did when he declared the book of James &quot;a right strawy
epistle&quot;? Or do we simply pray for help in understanding a text
that we honestly confess we do not understand? And I certainly don't
imagine that exhausts the alternatives when we come upon such a
disquieting passage in the Biblical text.</div>
<div>I do NOT want to initiate a discussion of these issues on
B-Greek; It behooves us rather to keep our discussions focused
strictly upon the Greek text itself and how we may legitimately
understand a particular Greek text. We cannot do more than that
precisely because we come to the text with different hermeneutical
presuppositions, some honestly believing that the Biblical text is
inerrant and wholly consistent with itself, others holding different
beliefs regarding the unity and coherence of the Biblical corpus. We
steer clear of hermeneutical discussion as we steer clear of
theological discussion because these are areas wherein list-members
are to a greater or lesser degree at odds with each other. The only
point I want to underscore is that we need to be aware that different
list-members are bringing different hermeneutics to bear upon
particular texts, whether the text is that of 1 Timothy or that of
some other Biblical passage. It is not our business here to attempt
to demonstrate the superiority of any one hermeneutical doctrine over
another--that leads ultimately to flame wars and has been the
decisive factor in the dissolution of more than one internest
discussion group. Let's agree to disagree about hermeneutical
principles and respect those who hold with hermeneutical principles
that are not our own. I would hope that we can more readily agree
upon the legitimate range of possible meanings of particular Greek
texts than we can ever reach a consensus on the totality of
&quot;what Scripture teaches.&quot;</div>

<div>-- <br>
Carl W. Conrad<br>
Department of Classics, Washington University<br>
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243<br>
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com<br>
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/>

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