[b-greek] Re: 1 Timothy 2

From: B. Ward Powers (bwpowers@optusnet.com.au)
Date: Mon Aug 06 2001 - 12:34:01 EDT


> > At 11:21 PM -0400 8/5/01, David Bielby wrote:
> > >1 Timothy 2:12 Should GUNAIKI and ANDROS be translated in a way that
> > >references marriage instead of simple gender? Is the context a family

> > >context within a house Church? Should we consider translating this as
> > >wife/husband instead of woman/man? Are you aware of anyone who has
> > >tackled this issue with material available that I can read up on? I'm
> > >also trying to find credible information on the potential reference in
> > >this passage to syncretism with the pagan temple in Ephesus. Can that
> > >information have a direct bearing on the translation here?
> > >
> > >Thanks for helping me on this.

At 11:19 AM 010806 -0400, L. J. Swain wrote:
>I should have checked the archives before posting, but I'm lazy. Didn't
>Ward Powers and others discuss this text a couple of years ago, and
>didn't Ward publish a book on the subject in the early 90s?
>Larry Swain

Indeed this is so. The book is entitled "The Ministry of Women in the
Church" (224 pages, pb, SPCK Australia, 1996, ISBN 1-876106-05-0). In this
book I examine in some detail the basis of the usual translation of ANHR
and GUNH as "man" and "woman" in this passage, and find it inadequate, and
put forward the case for translating these words here as "husband" and
"wife" - which I consider is strongly supported in the context, as well as
from the somewhat parallel passage 1 Peter 3:1-7 (where these same words
are uniformly translated as "husband" and "wife").

This question of how to understand the Greek will make a significant
difference to interpretation. If my argument is valid, then the passage is
referring to a "marriage, home and family" situation, is in effect saying
the same thing about the husband's role as is said in various "headship"
passages in the NT, and is not addressing (and not to be interpreted as
addressing) the issue of women in general teaching men or exercising
authority in the church of God.

For any who may be interested, more details of this book will be found on
my web site (URL below). My thesis about this passage has been discussed on
page 1099 of Volume 4 of "The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia"
(Geoffrey W Bromily, Ed., Eerdmans), which sums up its assessment of it
thus: "Interpreting 1 Tim 2:8-15 in terms of the home is especially
attractive in light of the often overlooked but extensive verbal parallels
that this passage has with 1 Pet 3:1-7 (so Powers, p.58), where the sphere
for submission is clearly domestic."

My book itself is readily available; I can arrange for copies to be sent to
any who cannot locate it in their usual library.

May I encourage those who are seeking to come to terms with 1 Timothy
2:8-15 to give consideration to whether the factors in the passage
(especially the Greek words being used) are best understood as referring to
a "marriage, home, and family" situation.



Rev Dr B. Ward Powers Phone (International): 61-2-8714-7255
259A Trafalgar Street Phone (Australia): (02) 8714-7255
PETERSHAM NSW 2049 email: bwpowers@optusnet.com.au
AUSTRALIA. Director, Tyndale College

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