A Critique of Thomas R. Schreiner’s “Philip Payne on Familiar Ground: A Review of Philip B. Payne, Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters.” JBMW (Spring 2010) 33–46
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© Payne Loving Trust 2010. All rights reserved.
This document was originally posted at www.pbpayne.com. The original post may be updated in the future. The current version of this document may be freely distributed.
I wish to thank Professor Schreiner for his detailed review (hereafter S). I am delighted that he read my book (hereafter MW) carefully enough that he acknowledges several things many other complementarians have refused to acknowledge, including the following ten:
1) “The requirements for elders in 1 Tim 3:1–7 and Titus 1:6–9, including the statement that they are to be one-woman men, does not necessarily in and of itself preclude women from serving as elders….” (S 35)
2) “I agree with Payne that Phoebe was a deacon and that women served as deacons (1 Tim 3:11). … Women can and should serve as deacons ….” (S 35)
3) “Priscilla was clearly gifted in remarkable ways, and she did instruct Apollos, and hence men should be open to biblical instruction from women.” (S 35)
4) “Junia was almost certainly a woman, and Paul identifies her as an apostle.” (S 35)
5) “[K]ephalē may denote source in some texts (Eph 4:15; Col 2:19).” (S 36)
6) “Payne rightly argues that [1Cor 11:]11–12 teach the fundamental equality of men and women in Christ.” (S 38)
7) “I agree with Payne that “one another” (allēlois) does not designate the submission of some to others.” (S 41)
8 ) “Describing 1 Timothy as a manual of church order, as Payne suggests, does not fit precisely the purpose of the letter.” (S 42) We agree on this.
9) “Payne is to be thanked for the tone of his book, for he is fair and respectful (even though he feels very strongly about this matter!) with those with whom he disagrees.” (S 44)
10) “[C]omplementarians will be gratified to see his [Payne’s] high view of scripture.” (S 45)
However, I strongly disagree with the overall thrust of the review. Schreiner’s review portrays Man and Woman, One in Christ as “familiar ground…, representing arguments that he and others have made for many years … [M]ost of the arguments made by Payne have been rehearsed many times” (S 33). It concludes, “I suspect that Payne’s book will not have a great impact. Most of what he says is not new … [but is like] another drizzly day in Portland, Oregon.” 1
S’s portrayal of WM is unhelpful for five reasons.
First, this misrepresents the extent of the original research and insights throughout MW, many of them of critical importance to this debate. Some S ignores completely, such as the insights into Gamaliel’s (under whom Paul studied, Acts 22:3) remarkable affirmations of greater freedom for women and the distinctively shaped distigme-obelus symbol that marks the location of widely acknowledged extended interpolations in Codex Vaticanus B, the oldest surviving Greek Bible. MW 237–40 identifies these locations and the extended interpolations occurring there, including the one at the end of 1 Cor 14:33. An obelus is a long horizontal bar symbol that since the time of Aristarkus has marked spurious text. Origin used obeloi to mark LXX text not in the MT.Though MW does not mention this, Codex Sarravianus-Colbertinus (G, the oldest extensive hexaplaric LXX) also uses distigme-shaped obeloi. S also downplays many of the other original contributions of MW, including the following:
the detailed documentation that “source” is a standard meaning of “head” in Greek (MW 123–28) to a degree that “leader” or “authority” is not (MW 117–39);
its comprehensive, consistent, and lexically, grammatically, syntactically, and culturally natural exegesis of 1 Cor 11:2–16 (MW 109–215);
the thoroughness of its external and internal arguments for the interpolation of 1 Cor 14:34–35 (MW 217–67);
the identification for the first time in print of fifty-one distigmai (symbols marking the locations where other manuscripts have variant textual readings) that match the distinctive original ink color of Codex Vaticanus (MW 232–46);
the clarity of its exegesis of the apposition in Eph 5:23 and Col 1:18 explaining “head” (κεφαλή) as “savior” and “source” (ἀρχή), respectively (MW 283–90);
and its thorough documentation that αὐθεντεῖν in 1 Tim 2:12 should be understood as “to assume independent authority without proper authorization” (MW 361–97).
Second, S obscures the most important contribution of MW, that it puts together the disparate pieces of this puzzle, integrating the insights and discoveries of others in a way that makes sense of all Paul’s statements about women. It shows that the apostle Paul’s theology, practice, and each of his statements about man and woman are internally consistent. It provides a holistic understanding of Paul’s teaching on man and woman in the context of his wider theology. Some take for granted that Paul’s teachings on women are inconsistent, while others conveniently ignore the most natural reading of several critical passages to make them compatible with their theology, whether complementarian or egalitarian. MW takes old texts and by analysis of their words, grammar, syntax, literary setting, and cultural context, brings them to life in new and fresh way that make sense in their original setting. It then shows how their message fits within Paul’s argument and theological vision and how it applies today. This is not “familiar ground,” as S contends, but groundbreaking foundational research.
Third, I doubt that anyone who is not a specialist like Schreiner would be familiar with most of the information in the book. In any event, it does not matter whether an argument is old or new, but whether it is good or bad. Many good arguments for gender equality are old precisely because the Bible teaches them. It is inconsistent to criticize MW for using “old” arguments and immediately turn around and use the same old objections that MW has refuted. Many of these are identified below. Even if one does not find my refutations persuasive, they deserve to be addressed fairly, not ignored or distorted at their strongest points.
Fourth, although at the beginning of the review Schreiner states that he will “present his [Payne’s] interpretation” (S 33), S misrepresents MW eighty-one times, ten times attributing to MW the opposite of what it states! In twenty-two additional instances, S attributes to MW a position MW nowhere states. Beyond these, in various instances it:
attributes to MW an argument that MW does not make, then attacks that argument;
accuses MW of doing something it does not do;
says that MW does not do something it does do;
overstates what MW argues, then criticizes MW for overstating its case;
misrepresents the scope of the evidence MW presents;
omits crucial elements of MW’s statements, making them sound foolish;
mischaracterizes what MW does;
uses innuendo to make it seem like MW advocates a foolish position that MW does not state or support;
misuses, and so apparently misunderstands, crucial ideas in MW;
makes unfair generalizations about MW.
S then calls these misrepresented views “wrong,” “error,” “most implausible,” “quite weak,” “overly simplistic,” even “untenable” (S 40). Every good review must be careful to treat its subject with enough respect to address its arguments fairly. Misrepresentations, even unintentional and seemingly small ones, can dramatically distort one’s understanding of the truth and lead to great error, especially on such a sensitive issue as gender.
Fifth, S is replete with dubious assertions. The detailed analysis that follows identifies forty-one of these.
For these reasons, S left much to be desired. I encourage you to read MW, then read his review and decide for yourself if his review – or my critique of it – is fair. At https://www.linguistsoftware.com/orders/pbpayne.com.html autographed copies are $17.75 instead of the $29.99 list price.
A More Detailed Response to S’s Eighty-one Misrepresentations and Forty-one Dubious Assertions
I take no delight in pointing out the errors of others. My desire is solely that the truth will prevail and that we will come to appreciate the message of Scripture in accordance with God’s intention and obey it. It was only because my reverence for God’s Word is more important to me than the preconceptions with which I began my research that the exegetical data was able to change my mind on point after point. It is my prayer that you, too, will read my analysis of the data with a primary commitment to the truth of Scripture, not to any preconceptions you have about gender roles.
Following is a more detailed critique of S for those who have requested it and for those who careto see how distorted its depiction of MW is. First, it identifies eighty-one of S’s misrepresentations of MW’s positions, then forty-one of S’s dubious assertions. Specific identification is necessary because they frame the debate unfairly and cause people to misjudge MW. The detailed refutation is required because it would be unfair and unscholarly to allege such a large numbers of misrepresentations without showing why each is a misrepresentation. Also, Schreiner, as a major spokesman for the complementarian viewpoint,2 expresses many stock complementarian ideas in his review. Consequently, this critique answers widely held concerns of complementarians. In a comparatively brief space, it permits you to find concise answers to the most crucial questions in this debate.
The following detailed delineation of eighty-one misrepresentations of MW by S does not include misrepresentations for which I imagined a plausible justification. The misrepresentations are grouped according to the following categories:
- Ten times S attributes to MW the opposite of what MW states.
- In twenty-two additional instances, S attributes to MW a position MW nowhere states.
- In five additional instances, S attributes to MW an argument that MW does not make, then attacks that argument.
- In six additional instances, S accuses MW of doing something it does not do.
- In three additional instances, S says that MW does not do something it does do.
- In one additional instance, S overstates what MW argues, then criticizes MW for overstating its case.
- In two additional instances, S misrepresents the scope of the evidence MW presents.
- In twelve additional instances, S omits crucial elements of MW’s statements, making them sound foolish.
- In seven additional instances, S mischaracterizes what MW does.
- In one additional instance, S uses innuendo to make it seem like MW advocates a foolish position that MW does not state or support.
- In two additional instances, S misuses, and so apparently misunderstands, crucial ideas in MW.
- Ten times S makes unfair generalizations about MW.
This critique puts each misrepresentation into the lowest numbered category it fits. It then assesses forty-one of S’s dubious assertions. It concludes by contrasting Schreiner’s evaluation of MW to the evaluations of other scholars.
1. Ten times S attributes to MW the opposite of what MW states.
S 34 “He [Payne] argues that … Priscilla is always named before her husband.”
Not only does MW not argue this, page 64 n. 14 states to the contrary, “Both Luke in Acts 18:2 and Paul in 1 Cor 16:19 introduce them listing Aquila’s name before his wife’s, proving that something like her wealth or social status did not necessitate this reversal of convention.” This makes an even stronger case for the prominence of Priscilla’s ministry in contexts mentioning their active ministry (Acts 18:18, 26; Rom 16:3), since in each such case, both Paul and Luke list Priscilla’s name first before her husband’s, contrary to Greek and Hebrew custom. This includes the instance in Acts 18:26 when “Priscilla and Aquila… explained to him [Apollos] the way of God more accurately” (NASB).
S 36–37 “Payne says that 1 Cor 11:3 points to Christ being the source of Adam, but the text says that Christ is the ‘head of every man.’ There is nothing about Adam in particular in this verse. Paul speaks universally here.”
This gives the false impression that MW argues that “every man” in “Christ is the head of every man” refers to Adam. MW never states this. Quite the contrary, MW 129 states, “The prominent position of “every man” at the start of this statement emphasizes its universal scope.” Since the source of all men goes back to the creation of Adam, it is, however, appropriate to regard the temporal event of Adam’s creation as the source of all men. This is why Genesis 1–3 is commonly referred to as describing the creation of mankind. The association of “every man” with Adam is thoroughly Pauline, e.g. 1 Cor 15:22 “in Adam (ἐν τῷ Ἀδὰμ) all (πάντες) die.” It reflects the Hebrew idea of a person’s descendents being in his loins” (e.g. Heb 7:9–10).
It is not this clause, but the following clause, that specifies “the man [with the article] is the head/source of woman.” It is about this following clause that MW 130–31 argues, “As with each of the three statements in verse 3, the second member is highlighted with an article: ὁ Χριστός, ὁ ἀνήρ, ὁ θεός. Since in both of the surrounding cases an article identifies a specific person (Christ, God) and since by far the most common use of an article in Paul’s letters is to specify, it is most natural to understand “the man,” as in 11:12 as a reference to “the man,” Adam, from whom woman came. This fits perfectly with the established meaning of κεφαλή (head) as source since Adam was the source from whom the woman was taken and since both verse 8 and verse 12 refer to this event.”
S 38 “Payne … wrongly concludes that such teaching on equality precludes a role difference between men and women in vv. 8–9.”
Not only is this not true, MW defends the opposite of what Schreiner alleges. MW 180–81 states that “verses 8 and 9 reinforce Paul’s stress on the differentiation of man and woman, his sexual mate … she can complement him as his mate.” This differentiation entails different roles in sex, childbearing, and nursing. What verses 11–12 repudiate, required by the disjunctive “However” [πλήν], is that although Paul argues for different head coverings for men and women, this does not entail any separation between women and men in Christ. See MW 189–98. This is why both men and women may prophecy as long as they do so in a way that does not symbolize repudiation of marriage.
S 38 “Against Payne, Paul teaches both differences of role and equality of essence in these verses.”
See the immediately preceding repudiation of this distortion of what MW teaches. Paul requires different head covering conventions for men and women in 1 Cor 11 in order to avoid cultural symbolism for each that undermined marriage. Paul affirms that these differing requirements do not limit women’s freedom to prophecy publicly. Paul’s appeals to shame imply that women’s prophecy is public. MW, like Schreiner and Paul in 1 Cor 11:11, denies that women and men are separate in the Lord. MW like Paul, affirms the equality of man and woman, not only in essence, but also in their equal standing in Christ and in the church. Like Paul, MW argues from women’s equal standing in Christ to women’s freedom to minister both vertically in prayer and horizontally in prophecy.
S 38 “Payne falls into the error of thinking that if a text teaches equality then role differences are precluded.”
See the two preceding repudiations of this distortion of what MW teaches.
S 39–40 “Since MS 915 is non-Western, the idea that only Western texts place vv. 34–35 after v. 40 is falsified.”
Not only does MW not make such a claim, MW 249 and n. 133 cites MS 915, a non-Western text, as having 34–35 after v. 40.
S 41 “The mystery of marriage (Eph 5:32) is rooted in Christ’s relationship to the church. Astonishingly, Payne doesn’t even mention this interpretation, and so there is no reason for complementarians to be convinced by his interpretation of Eph 5:22–33.”
The opposite is true. The MW section on Paul’s Vision of Marriage in Ephesians 5:21–33 explicitly states on p. 277, “In Eph 5, Paul compares the relationship between husband and wife to the relationship between Christ and the church.” Furthermore, this chapter refers to “the church” forty-five times.
S 42 “Payne … [says t]he women are to be submissive to the truth of God’s word, not to men or their husbands.”
MW never says that women are not to be submissive to their husbands, but repeatedly affirms the opposite, e.g. MW 275–76, “The reasons he [Paul] gives for wives to submit are reverence for Christ (Eph 5:21), Christ’s command to love, and a desire to follow his example (Eph 5:1–2; Phil 2:3–8), not to uphold a hierarchical structure.” MW 289 “When a husband is the ‘head’ of his wife in this sense [loving their wives as their own bodies … just as Christ does the church] his wife has good reason to submit to him (5:23 “because,” ὅτι), and submission to loving nourishment becomes a joyous response.”
The submission 1 Tim 2:11 enjoins specifically modifies “to learn.” Consequently, it is natural to understand the submission to be submission to the truths that they are learning. Learning “in all submission” (ἐν πάσῃ ὑποταγῇ) is the opposite of being deceived and falling “in transgression” (ἐν παραβάσει 2:14). Since transgression was disobedience to God’s command, submission in contrast is best understood as obedience to God’s commands.
S 43 states, “Women should submit to apostolic teaching, but that teaching is communicated by the elders/overseers/pastors, so Payne presents us with a false dichotomy.”
Nowhere does MW make such a dichotomy regarding this passage. MW 403 explicitly states the opposite on p. 403, “A woman’s quiet teachable spirit in submitting (v. 11b) to the teaching she receives shows proper respect to her Christian teachers such as Timothy.” Schreiner’s “teaching is communicated by the elders/overseers/pastors” seems to assume that overseers alone conveyed apostolic teaching or were the only ones from whom women were to learn, but 1 Cor 14:26 states, “When you come together … each has a teaching,” and Paul commands the church in Colossae, “teach one another in all wisdom” (Col 3:16).
S 45 “[Regarding “Payne’s interpretation of v. 14”] Nor does it work to say that Eve was ignorant of the prohibition given to Adam.”
MW does not state or in any way support the idea that Eve was ignorant of God’s prohibition of eating from that tree. In fact, MW 413–14 states the opposite: “Hurley also makes the dubious assumption that God did not communicate directly with the woman but only with Adam, and that the woman was not ‘prepared by God to discern the serpent’s lies’ [Biblical Perspective, 216]. Genesis does not say that God did not communicate directly with the woman or that God talked to her only through Adam. It would be strange indeed if God brought forth the climax of creation, so that it was at last “very good,” but did not bother even once to tell Eve about this mortal danger at hand.” Ironically, Schreiner in “Dialogue,” WCA 113–14, has argued, “An appeal to Adam sinning willfully and Eve sinning mistakenly (being deceived) would seem to argue against men teaching women, for at least the woman wanted to obey God, while Adam sinned deliberately.”
2. In twenty-two additional instances, S attributes to MW a position MW nowhere states.
S 35 “[Payne’s] view is most implausible that 5:21 functions as the thematic verse for the household code (Eph 5:22–6:9).”
Nowhere does MW state or imply that 5:21 is a thematic verse for the household code. See MW 277–90.
S 35–36 “the gift of prophecy should not be equated with the regular teaching and preaching of God’s Word.”
MW never equates prophecy with other gifts or the regular teaching and preaching of God’s Word, nor does it equate gifts and acts. Nevertheless, MW rejects the underlying assumption that teaching is more authoritative than prophetic utterance. How much more authoritative can one get than declaring, “Thus saith the Lord…”?
S 36 “Payne goes on to say that the reference to “God” in 11:3 and 11:12 refers to the
“Godhead” and cannot be restricted to the Father.”
MW 134 argues in light of 1 Cor 8:6, “Jesus Christ, through whom all things came,” that in 11:12 “all this comes from the God (ὁ θεός),” “the God” must include Christ. Consequently, “the God” in 11:12 should be understood as a reference to the Godhead, not exclusively to the Father. Paul’s use of “the God” in 11:12 for the Godhead heightens the likelihood that “the God” (also ὁ θεός) in 11:3 is likewise a reference to the Godhead rather than restricted to the Father. Contrary to Schreiner’s allegation, however, MW never says 11:3 “cannot be restricted to the Father.” Rather, MW 134 states, “Even if “the God” in 11:3 were a reference specifically to the Father, it would still make good sense to understand κεφαλή to mean “source” referring to the incarnation. This is how Jesus himself expressed that he came from the Father in John 8:42; 16:27–28 and 17:8.”
S 36 “[For Payne] to say that the term cannot mean ‘authority over’ in 1 Cor 11:3 since not all acknowledge Christ’s authority misses the point.”
MW 129 never states that the term cannot mean authority over but rather it states, “‘Source’ fits better than ‘authority’ as the meaning of κεφαλή in ‘the Christ is [ἔστιν] the κεφαλή of every man’ (1 Cor. 11:3)” and gives substantial evidence for this. MW 129 notes: “The prominent position of ‘every man’ at the start of this statement emphasizes its universal scope.” Yet Paul in this letter states that Christ has not yet “put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Cor 15:25). Heb 2:8–9 states, “At present we do not see everything subject to him.” Furthermore, Paul implies that Christ alone is “the” κεφαλή of every man by adding an article to it in contrast to the other two occurrences of κεφαλή in verse 3. Christ is not in the present, however, the only authority over men, but Christ as creator is uniquely the source of every man, and Paul draws attention to this in 1 Cor 8:6; 11:7, 8, and 12, where this theme is foundational to his whole argument. The “authority” interpretation also fails to explain a distinctive sense in which Christ is the authority over every male person, as required by the Greek word usually translated “man” here, ἀνδρός. Why would Paul say that Christ is the authority of every male human being? Is there any sense in which Christ would be the authority over men but not over women? If so, that would undermine the universal lordship of Christ. The English translation “every man” conceals the awkwardness of the “authority” interpretation since, unlike ἀνδρός, “man” in English, especially older English, commonly refers to both sexes. In contemporary English the use of “man” to include women invites misunderstanding, and many find it objectionable. The “source” interpretation does not have this problem because of Christ’s distinct actions in first creating man, then woman from the side of man. Unlike a difference in authority relationships, this temporal difference in creation does not undermine either the authority of Christ or the equality of man and woman as affirmed in 1 Cor 11:11–12.
S 37 “Payne wrongly charges those who think there are economic distinctions among the members of the Trinity with the subordinationist heresy.”
MW does not even use the word “economic” in this regard. MW 133 argues that necessary and eternal or ontological Subordinationism “conflicts with Christ’s ontological equality with God the Father” as taught in Paul’s letters. Affirmations of necessary and eternal or ontological subordination of the Son to the Father also conflict with the Athanasian Creed’s statements that each person of the Trinity is “almighty” and “Lord,” “none is before or after another;” “none is greater or lesser than another;” and all are “coequal.” See MW 130–36. “Economic” in discussions of the Trinity typically refers to the “modes of operation” of the Trinity, particularly in creation and redemption through the incarnation. MW 133–34 argues from many passages in Paul’s letters and elsewhere in the NT that “Christ’s submission to incarnation and death was the voluntary submission of an equal for the specific purpose of redemption. It was not the submission of a subordinate in a hierarchy of authority.” MW 135 points out that “Many who interpret κεφαλή as ‘authority’ attempt to avoid the subordinationist heresy by saying that ‘the κεφαλή of Christ is God’ refers to Christ’s voluntary submission to the Father in his work of redemption.” I affirm economic distinctions among the members of the Trinity in their modes of operation in creation and redemption. In His redemptive role, the Son did submit to the Father. This, however, is, as Paul teaches in Phil 2:6–8, the voluntary submission of an equal, not the “necessary and eternal” or ontological subordination of the Son to the Father that characterizes the subordinationist heresy.
S 38 “Payne insists the verses must be interpolated, for the disruption in the context is too severe for the verses to be original.”
Nowhere does MW state or imply this. What MW 254–56 does argue is that these verses disrupt the context. This and the eight other internal factors along with the seven external factors examined in MW 227–65, however, provide powerful evidence for interpolation.
S 38 “Payne defends this interpretation because MW 88 is a non-Western, and hence its inclusion of vv. 34–35 cannot be attributed to Western influence.”
MW never states that the “inclusion of vv. 34–35 cannot be attributed to Western influence.” MW 250 states, to the contrary, one advantage of the view that MS 88 was copied from a MS that omitted vv. 34–35 is that it “does not depend on its scribe having access either to a Western manuscript or a non-Western manuscript with a reading totally out of keeping with its textual tradition.”
S 38–39 “Payne argues that … Paul never appeals to an OT verse for the practice of the church.”
MW never says this. In fact, pages 260–61 and footnotes 168–73 cite many instances where Paul appeals to an OT verse for the practice of the church. MW 261 does state, however, “This theological tension between 14:34–35 and Paul’s teaching about freedom from the law, along with the absence of appeals to a precept of the law to establish rules for Christian worship elsewhere in Paul’s letters, and the absence of any OT statement that matches what 14:34 commands, are irrefutable evidence that 1 Cor 14:34 is out of harmony with what Paul teaches about the law and how he expresses it elsewhere.”
S 40 Schreiner cites Kloha, “Payne had described this as a possibility before ruling it out.”
Contrary to this allegation, MW never rules out this possibility but simply argues that MS 88 is more easily explained if it was copied from a MS omitting 1 Cor 14:34–35.
S 40 “Payne argues that the call for wives to submit to their husbands is culturally limited.”
To the contrary, MW does not argue “that the call for wives to submit to their husbands is culturally limited.” It accepts Paul’s call for wives to submit to their husbands as it is in Eph 5:21–22, an instance of mutual submission enjoined on the church. MW 271–90 does not even mention culture as a reason for it. MW 272, however, does point out that “Advocates of a hierarchical structure in marriage of wives to their husbands in effect endorse the patriarchal structure of marriage that was pervasive in Paul’s day.”
S 40 “Payne argues that the call for wives to submit to their husbands is culturally limited, for Paul doesn’t draw on creation in Eph 5:22–33 or Col 3:18–19.”
Unlike the implication of S’s “for” MW does not make this argument, nor does MW characterize Paul’s call for wives to submit to their husband as culturally limited. MW 273 states, “Ephesians 5:21–33 and Col 3:18–19, however, say nothing about creation,” precisely in order to correct the opposite and textually baseless allegation of people like George W. Knight III in RBMW 177. The OT and NT passages that do mention creation do not teach or logically entail a hierarchy of male authority based on creation. MW 41–54, 176–81, 195–98, and 399–415 argue that attempts to read affirmations of male headship into these texts are of dubious validity and misconstrue the overall thrust of the creation narratives.
S 40–41 “Payne argues that … the Pauline resistance to hierarchy is evident in his call for Philemon to free Onesimus and for slaves to avail themselves of freedom if possible
(1 Cor 7:21).”
MW does argue that Paul used all his and the church’s influence to pressure Philemon to receive his slave Onesimus back “forever no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother … both in the material and spiritual realms” (Phmn 15–16), cf. MW 90–92. MW never argues, however, that Paul opposed hierarchy per se, nor does it ever speak of “Pauline resistance to hierarchy.” To the contrary, Paul repeatedly calls on children to obey parents (e.g. Eph 6:1–2), on believers to submit to Christ’s authority (e.g. Phil 2:9–10), to governing authorities (e.g. Rom 13:1–7; Titus 3:1), and to church leadership (e.g. 1 Cor 16:16). He encourages elders to “rule well” (e.g. 1 Tim 5:17) and describes church leaders, including Phoebe, as “standing over” others (Rom 16:2; 1 Thess 5:12). Indeed, Paul argues for his own apostolic authority (e.g. 2 Cor 12:11–12; 13:10; 1 Thess 2:6). MW argues not that Paul opposes hierarchy, but rather that Paul opposes the exclusion of entire classes of people (gentiles, slaves, women) from full fellowship, including leadership.
S 41 “Payne argues that the text on marriage is cultural since Paul doesn’t mention creation.”
Nowhere does MW argue that Eph 5:21–33 is “cultural since Paul doesn’t mention creation” or even that the application of this text is culturally limited, as is evident in MW 271–90. Understanding its cultural context helps explain why Paul wrote what he did and how following what he commands fit cultural demands then, but this does not mean that Paul’s commands have no ongoing relevance or that we can ignore these commands today.
S 42 “Payne contends that 1 Tim 5:13 demonstrates that women were propagating the heresy.”
MW never makes such a claim, but does use 1 Tim 5:13 as contributing evidence for it.
S 42 “Payne contends that … the word phlyaroi in the verse [1 Tim 5:13] designates an aberrant philosophy or teaching.”
MW never contends that phlyaroi designates an aberrant philosophy or teaching. See the next entry.
S 42 “Payne’s arguments here [regarding phlyaroi] are quite weak. For example, in 4 Macc 5:11 the term modifies “philosophy,” indicating that from the speaker’s perspective the philosophy is foolish. But it does not follow from this that the adjective itself denotes false teaching.”
MW never states that the adjective itself denotes false teaching. To the contrary, MW 301–2 cites the meaning of φλύαροι directly from LSJ 1946, “silly talk, foolery, nonsense, tattler, babbler.” MW cites examples for every statement it makes about this adjective, and it argues from context to support the meaning in 1 Tim 5:13,“talk nonsense” or “rubbish.” MW shows how this meaning fits this context most naturally.
S 42 “The verb ‘permit’ is regularly used to denote temporary restrictions according to Payne.”
MW never states that this verb “denotes” temporary restrictions. What MW 320 does demonstrate is that “Every occurrence of ἐπιτρέπω in the Greek OT refers to a specific situation, never to a universally applicable permission. Similarly, the vast majority of the NT occurrences of ἐπιτρέπω clearly refer to a specific time or for a short or limited time duration only.”
S 42 “[A]ccording to Payne [i]t is illegitimate to derive from the present indicative a command that continues to be binding.”
MW never states this. MW 320–25 discusses this.
S 43 “Against Payne, the present tense of “I do not permit” (v. 12) and the so-called intrinsic meaning of the term (as if the term itself denotes a temporary restriction) must not be pressed.”
Nowhere does MW refer to the “intrinsic meaning” of ἐπιτρέπω. Nor does MW state or imply that the term itself denotes a temporary restriction. MW 319–35 does, however, show that the preponderant use of this verb throughout the Greek Bible favors a present prohibition over a universal prohibition. MW stresses that the present indicative, not just the present tense, is the issue at hand. To excise the “indicative” portion of MW’s argument is to misrepresent it. Cf. MW’s discussion on p. 320 n. 20 of Daniel Wallace’s Grammar, page 225 n. 30, which makes this same error.
S 43 “Whether the command is binding long term must be assessed in context; it
cannot be decided by the present tense of the verb or what the term means elsewhere.”
This gives the false impression that MW argues that one can determine whether the command is binding long term by the present tense of the verb or what the term means elsewhere. MW does not argue that these factors exclude the possibility of a permanent injunction. Typical word usage and typical use of the present indicative (MW stresses the present indicative, not just present) are relevant factors that should be given their full weight regarding this question, and they clearly weigh in favor of a present rather than a permanent universal injunction, as MW 319–35 makes abundantly clear.
S 43 “Payne thinks that 2 Tim 2:2 is just personal discipleship, but this probably reflects the popular evangelicalism of our day. What Paul has in mind is the correct teaching based on the apostolic deposit that should be passed on to the next generation (2 Tim 1:12, 14; 2:2).”
MW 320–25 does not write that 2 Tim 2:2 is “just” personal discipleship, but its wording shows that personal discipleship is an appropriate application. Paul commands Timothy, “what you have heard from me through many witnesses, pass on (παράθου) to faithful people (ἀνθπώποις, not “men,” ἄνδροι, limited to males), who will be able to teach others also.” Nothing in this command restricts the means of doing this to public teaching. Indeed, it is a general command to “pass on,” not a specific command to “teach publicly in church assemblies.” Furthermore, Paul specifies its audience as “faithful people who will be able to teach others also,” which suggests a specific audience more targeted than typical church assemblies. Its content is as broad as “what you have heard from me through many witnesses.” What Timothy is to “pass on” includes not only doctrine but also matters of practice in light of 2 Tim 1:13, “Follow the pattern of the sound words you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” Since the command itself “pass on” normally entails various forms of communication and since it has a specific audience, “faithful persons,” it makes sense to understand the goal, that, they, “will be able to teach others also,” to refer similarly to “teaching” in the broad sense, not restricted to public teaching in church assemblies.
S 44 “Payne maintains that the “for” (gar) in v. 13 is illustrative rather than causal.”
MW does not even mention “illustrative” in this context. MW 401 argues the opposite: “It is appropriate to look for a reason when a command is followed by a γάρ clause. The one other parallel in Paul’s letters, 1 Cor 11:8 and 12, and Philo’s QG 1.27 also argue that since woman was formed from the side of man, woman should “honor man.” See the full discussion of this “for” at MW 399–407.
3. In five additional instances, S attributes to MW an argument that MW does not make, then attacks that argument.
S 35 “Nor does the reference to prophecy prove Payne’s thesis [that mutual submission applies to believing spouses].”
The chapter on Ephesians 5, MW 271–90, makes no attempt to prove mutual submission based on women prophesying. This chapter does not even use the noun “prophecy” or the verb “prophesy.” Even the complementarians George W. Knight III in “Husbands and Wives,” RBMW, 165–67 and 492 n. 1 and James Bassett Hurley in Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective, 139–41, agree with Payne against Schreiner that the submission of wives to husbands in Eph 5:22 is linked to the principle of mutual submission in 5:21, giving one instance of it. Indeed, the verb is stated only in verse 21 in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts, P46 B Clement Origen, confirming the dependence of verse 22 on 21 within the same sentence. Cf. MW 271–90.
S 40 “Payne [says]… that Paul would not exhort wives to speak with their husbands since some of the husbands might be unqualified. This kind of extraneous objection could be raised against just about anything in the scriptures, and it is quite surprising that Payne thinks the argument is worth stating.”
MW does not say “that Paul would not exhort wives to speak with their husbands since some of the husbands might be unqualified.” See the explanation of MW’s point in the next entry and below, pp. 20–21, regarding S 38–39 for more detail.
If these verses were about Paul’s command to judge the validity (διακρινέτωσαν) of prophecies, as Schreiner alleges, one would expect its example (v. 35) to address this issue. 1 Cor 14:35, however, mentions nothing about judging the validity of prophecies. It is instead about women asking questions out of a desire to learn. This is no extraneous objection, but exposes a crucial weakness with Schreiner’s interpretation that 14:34–35 is only about women judging the validity of prophecies from 14:29, not other kinds of speech.
S 41 “Payne maintains that … [w]omen are prohibited from speaking because they were uneducated and purveyors of the false teaching (1 Tim 2:14).”
This misconstrues MW’s logic. MW does not argue that Paul prohibited women from teaching because they were uneducated, but rather that their lack of education was a “contributing factor” to their being duped. It is doubtful that Paul gave this prohibition because women were uneducated, or that this was even a significant cause, for Paul nowhere else makes such a prohibition because any group is uneducated. MW 335 states rather, “A probable contributing factor to Paul’s restriction was that most women in Ephesus from either a Jewish or Gentile background would have had little knowledge of the Scriptures and the Christian message. Paul’s most complete description of the false teachers concludes, “They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm” (1:7 NIV). This description fits women in the Ephesian church who, because of inadequate Christian education, were deceived by the false teaching. Particularly significant in this statement is the implication that their error was not in desiring to be teachers of the law, but rather in teaching without adequate knowledge. Until they are properly taught, they should not make blundering attempts at teaching, but rather learn, just as 2:11–12 requires.
S 43 “[Payne says that] Paul prohibited women from teaching in 1 Tim 2:12 because they were duped by and spreading false teaching and were uneducated.”
See S 41 immediately above, regarding: “because they were uneducated.”
S 44–45 [Regarding] “Payne’s interpretation of 1 Tim 2:14 … Nor is it plausible to conclude that the women of Ephesus were banned from teaching because of a lack of education.”
This misconstrues the logic of MW’s interpretation, as explained regarding the similar allegation shortly above regarding S 41 on p. 13 “because they … were uneducated.”
4. In six additional instances, S accuses MW of doing something it does not do.
S 37 “[I]nconsistently he [Payne] defines ‘nature’ (1 Cor 11:14) in terms of the ‘established order of things’ (204).”
S accuses Payne of inconsistency here, but it is not inconsistent to interpret word usage based on the immediate context. Rom 1:26–27 uses “nature” to refer to biology in describing homosexual acts: “even their females changed the natural [τὴν φυσικήν] use into the [use] against nature [παρὰ φύσιν].” 1 Cor 11:14, however, is not an appeal to nature per se, but rather to what is perceived in their cultural setting as natural because it upholds rather than undermines the actual distinction of the sexes in nature. It is precisely this understanding of nature as natural expectation within the culture that fits perfectly with all the words Paul uses in 1 Cor 11:14–15. Nature teaches what is “degrading” to a man and what is “glory” to a woman. “Degrading” and “glory” are terms describing cultural perception that could not be deduced solely from the natural world. See MW 200–204.
S 37 “Payne … argues that there is no evidence that it was dishonorable for a woman to pray without a head covering in Greco-Roman or Jewish culture.”
MW does not argue that there is no such evidence in Greco-Roman or Jewish culture. MW 158–59 discusses Plutarch Roman Questions 267A–B, and MW 162 cites b. Ketub. 72 a, b, though this evidence is late, and acknowledges the seclusion of women extolled by certain Jewish authors. In contrast to the paucity of even ambiguous evidence that it might have been dishonorable for a woman to pray without a garment head covering, MW 165 concludes “There was in Paul’s day an overwhelming consensus in Greek, Roman, and Jewish cultures that women should have their hair done up.”
S 41 “Payne confuses function with meaning here, as if the former determines the latter. Once again, it makes perfect sense for Jesus as our master and Lord to support and nourish us.”
MW is not confusing “function with meaning” here. MW 283–90 simply acknowledges the normal use of apposition to specify meaning. If Paul had intended “head” in the sense of “master” he could have written, “Christ the head of the church, he the master or authority (ἐξουσία) of the body,” but he did not. Paul’s following explication of what Christ did as savior identifies that Christ loved the church gave himself up for her. These point to Christ as the source of life and nourishment of the church. They do not focus on his lordship (though of course, it is true that Christ is Lord). MW simply identifies how Paul explains what he means by “head” in terms of the function of Christ as savior as a model for how husbands should relate to their wives.
S 42 “[H]e relies on parallels and questionable exegesis (cf. his rather strange reading of “profess” in 1 Tim 2:10) to establish his conclusions.”
This accuses MW’s reading of “profess” as “strange.” What is “strange” about accepting the standard lexical definition “profess” for both ἐπαγγελλομέναις in 1 Tim 2:10 and its parallel use (ἐπαγγελλόμενοι) describing false teachers in 1 Tim 6:21, which the table of parallel terminology does on page 300 describing women and false teachers? BAG 280 and BDAG 356 (both citing this verse) also define this word: “profess, lay claim to, give oneself out as an expert in someth.,” as does LSJ 602 “profess, make profession of.” Schreiner demands specific parallels. False teachers are described as 6:21 “professing” (ἐπαγγελλόμενοι) knowledge. Women are described using the same participle but with the feminine ending in 2:10 as “professing (ἐπαγγελλομέναις) godliness.” Even the word “godliness” (θεοσέβειαν) parallels the description of the false teachers who have a form of “godliness” (εὐσεβείας) but deny its power in 2 Tim 3:5.
S 44 “Payne’s … valiant effort to wash out the meaning ‘exercise authority’ is doubtful.”
MW makes no effort to wash out any valid meaning of αὐθεντεῖν. To the contrary, MW 373–80 identifies the meaning “exercise authority” in various later church writers. MW 361–97 assesses every early instance of αὐθεντεῖν and shows that there is not a single instance where it can be demonstrated to mean “exercise authority” prior to ca AD 370. Schreiner appeals to Baldwin, but not even Baldwin, Women in the Church, 51, includes the meaning Köstenberger alleges, “exercise authority” or “have authority” in “the range of meanings that might be appropriate in 1 Timothy 2:12.” Although MW 373 points out that Schreiner adopts a meaning other than the range of possible meanings identified by Baldwin, Schreiner’s review ignores this. He writes as though the meaning “exercise authority” is settled even though neither he nor his colleague Baldwin has established a single instance of αὐθεντεῖν with this meaning prior to ca AD 370. The meaning S assumes is not even listed in BDAG 150, which lists the meaning of αὐθεντεῖν as “to assume a stance of independent authority.” “Independent authority” is authority that is not dependent on others delegating or authorizing it. It is self-assumed authority taken on one’s own initiative. S misrepresents MW’s meticulous documentation showing that every early instance of αὐθεντέω meaning “assume authority” refers to the assumption of authority without proper authorization. Of all the examples meaning “assume authority” listed in MW 385–91, the only instances of assumption of legitimate authority use a related but different word, αὐθεντίζω, that LSJ 275 defines as meaning “take in hand,” citing, as MW 390 does, the 6th to 7th century ecclesiastical papyrus BGU 103.3. PGL 262 lists it as a separate entry and identifies it as “a variant of αὐθεντέω.” In his July 21, 1993 letter cited on MW 391, Werner states: “initiative, lack of delegation from above, is a common component in all the examples, contradicted only Hesychius’ exousiazein.” Schreiner either did not notice this or distorts it by writing, “Assuming or taking authority is not necessarily a bad thing if one has a position of authority” (S 44). The apparently universal early use of this word when it means “assume authority” refers to people who did not have a position of authority, but nevertheless assumed it.
S 44 “At the same time he [Payne] washes away what the verse actually says, i.e., women are not to teach or exercise authority over men.”
In fact, 1 Tim 2:12 does not use the Pauline word for “to exercise authority” (ἐξουσιάζω). It uses a different word that in Paul’s day normally meant “to assume authority without proper authorization” and MW 361–97 shows that in surviving literature from before ca AD 370 it is never clearly used with the meaning “to exercise authority.” Schreiner evades this issue by stating, “Space is lacking to interact with Payne’s study of authentein in detail.” He does not cite a single Greek reference or a single study that supports his allegation for a meaning that is not even listed in BDAG. Furthermore, as MW337–59 argues, and neither Schreiner nor Köstenberger has refuted, οὐδέ typically in Paul’s letters joins two elements to convey a single idea, not two separate ideas as Schreiner interprets this verse.
5. In three additional instances, S says that MW does not do something it does do.
S 36 “Payne’s discussion of the word “head” does not advance the discussion.”
What other publication provides such an extensive list of instances with proper documentation where κεφαλή means “source”? What other publication gives such clear and concise arguments from their contexts that κεφαλή means “source”? What other publication identifies as many misrepresentations of the data by proponents of the view that “authority” is a common meaning of “head” in Greek literature?
S 41 “Payne … fails to see that Paul grounds the marriage relationship in what is transcendent rather than in what is cultural.”
To the contrary, MW 277–90 argues that Paul’s vision of marriage is based on Christ’s relationship to the church, concluding on 290, “Christ is the source of life, love, and nourishment for the church as husbands should be for their wives.”
S 41 “Payne’s work on 1 Timothy 2 is not dramatically different from what is argued by many other egalitarian commentators.”
If that is so, who are these “many other egalitarian commentators” who argue that αὐθεντεῖν here means “assume authority without proper authorization”? or argue that Paul is only prohibiting women from teaching that is combined with assuming authority over a man? or lay out the case based on an examination of all Paul’s uses of οὐδέ that Paul typically thereby joins two elements to convey a single idea?
6. In one additional instance, S overstates what MW argues, then criticizes MW for overstating its case.
S 36 “[Payne] argues that ‘source’ was a common meaning for the term ‘head’… Payne actually gives very few examples.”
Although MW 123–28 cites 40 examples of “head” meaning “source” in Greek literature, it does not say this meaning is “common.” Instead, it affirms that this is an “established” meaning of the word in Greek, and on p. 123 cites nine Greek lexicons confirming this meaning of κεφαλή.
7. In two additional instances, S misrepresents the scope of MW’s argument.
S 36 “there may be a few examples where kephalē means “source,” but Payne actually gives very few examples (which are themselves debatable) to substantiate his thesis.”
MW 124–28 cites 40 examples, providing evidence that in each, κεφαλή means “source.” MW 127 notes 11 other examples cited with this meaning by Marcus Barth, Ephesians, 1:185. Schreiner himself writes in “Women in Ministry,” 228 n. 99, “Probably … ‘source’ [is] involved” in 1 Cor 11:3.”
S 37 “Strikingly, Payne says almost nothing about 1 Cor 11:8–9; he devotes only one page to it in nine chapters on 1 Cor 11:2–16!”
In fact, although these two short verses have no disputed grammar or syntax, and so do not require extended exegesis, MW shows how important they are in their context on pages 130–31, 136, 138, 177, 180–81, 193, 195–98, 319, 351, 403, 405, and 443.
8. In twelve additional instances, S removes crucial elements of MW’s statements, making them sound foolish.
S 36 “He [Payne] suggests the meaning ‘crown’ for Eph 1:22 and Col 2:10 where the meaning is obviously ‘authority over’ since Paul refers to Christ’s headship over demonic powers.”
MW 128 n. 72 states, rather, “The meaning ‘top’ or ‘crown’ fits the remaining two: Eph 1:22 and Col 2:10.” “Top” is a standard meaning of κεφαλή and is indicated by its association with “over” (ὑπέρ) and “he has put all things under (ὑπό) his feet” in Eph 1:22. The sense of “top” is reinforced by v. 21 “far above (ὑπεράνω) all rule and authority.” This same note 72 refers to the detailed treatment of these passages in P. B. Payne, “What Does Kephalē Mean in the New Testament? Response,” in Women, Authority and the Bible (ed. Alvera Mickelsen; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1986), 118–32, 131, which states “that the very nature of the things over which Christ is top (“all rule and authority”) made it sufficiently clear to his Greek audience that Christ’s being top entails his having authority.… The idea of a gift to the church seems to be primary; see Barth, Ephesians 1–4, p. 158. This earlier article argues that it would be a mistake to attribute as a separate meaning of “head” each of the categories over which someone as top is “head.” Just as it would be wrong to assume that “head” means “highest GPA” because someone is “head of her class” or that that “head” means “best shot-putter” because a shot-putter is “head of his field,” so also it does not necessarily follow that “head” means “authority” because “God has made Christ head over all things for the church.” Unlike English and Hebrew, where “leader” or “person having authority” is a dominant metaphorical meaning of “head,” the paucity of evidence for the meaning “authority” for “head” in native Greek literature is such that this meaning or anything like it is not listed in most classical Greek lexicons, including LSJ. See MW 117–37.
S 40 “When Payne appeals to the fact that vv. 34–35 are missing from Clement of Alexandria and the Apostolic Fathers, he relies on an argument from silence.”
MW 250–51 argues on the basis of Clement of Alexandria’s express statements. Clement of Alexandria, Paed. 3:11, explicitly states, “Woman and man are to go to church … embracing silence … fit to pray to God … as they fashion themselves in the church for the sake of gravity.” This passage also encourages women to “pray veiled,” alluding to 1 Cor 11:5, 13. This shows that Clement is concerned with women’s behavior in church. Clement cites elsewhere from 1 Cor 14:6, 9, 10, 11, 13, 20; 15:32, 33, 34, 41, 50, 55 but never any part of 14:34–35. If Clement’s text of 1 Corinthians had included 14:34–35, one would expect some mention of its restrictions when his discussion of the behavior of women specifically mentions “embracing silence.” Instead, however, Clement writes of both “woman and man … embracing silence” and of women praying, which seem incongruent with a text including verses 34–35. It is the apparent conflict between Clement’s call to both men and woman “to go to church in silence,” his many comments in this passage about worship and its reference to women praying veiled, along with his many citations from other parts of 1 Cor 14 that provide evidence that Clement’s text of 1 Corinthians omitted 14:34–35. MW’s argument is based on Clement’s explicit statements that affirm what 14:34–35 prohibits. Clement’s respect for the authority of Scripture indicate that he would not have done this if 14:34–35 had been in his text.
S 40 “The argument from silence seems a bit desperate given the partial reference to biblical texts in the church fathers.”
See the preceding explanation that MW’s argument is based on Clement’s explicit statements that affirm what 14:34–35 prohibits, which he is unlikely to have done if 14:34–35 had been in his text.
S 40 “Payne’s objection regarding the law is overly simplistic.”
It is Schreiner who is overly simplistic in depicting MW’s nuanced and carefully qualified statements, explained in the footnotes in MW 258–61.
S 40–41 “Payne argues … The word ‘head’ in Eph 5:23 means ‘source’ since it is in apposition to the word ‘Savior.’”
MW does argue that Paul by apposition explains the meaning of “head” as “savior” in Eph 5:23, but MW 287 explains that “Christ as ‘head-savior’ of his ‘body,’ modeling how husbands should be ‘head’ to their wives is not a dead metaphor with a simple established meaning, but is an original living metaphor.” MW 288 further explains, “Paul’s metaphor effectively resonates with his readers, inviting these associations [head as source of nourishment, alerting the body to danger and protecting it, etc.] because ‘source’ was an established meaning of ‘head’” (cf. MW 123–28). Of all the meanings of κεφαλή (“head”) listed in lexicons, “source” is by far the closest in concept to what Paul describes here. Christ is literally the source of the church since he brought it into being, but it is clear from Paul’s following concepts that he also, and perhaps primarily, has in mind that Christ is a source of spiritual nourishment for the church. It is this latter aspect that applies perfectly to the husband-wife relationship. Husbands are not literally the source of their wives, but as Christ loves and nourishes the church, they should love and nourish their wives. The parallel use of “head” in Col 1:18 confirms that Paul could use this “head” image to convey an idea related to “source.”
S also misrepresents MW’s view by capitalizing “Savior.” MW 284 n. 45 specifically argues that since “savior” here has no article and is clearly descriptive of Christ’s life-giving work, not an established title, it should not be capitalized. Paul’s only other use of “savior” prior to the Pastoral Epistles, Phil 3:20, also has no article. In contrast, “Savior” is a title with an article and should be capitalized in 2 Tim 1:10; Titus 1:4; 2:13; and 3:6. Thus, in several respects (see the next entry), this statement in S attributes positions to MW that it does not espouse.
S 40–41 “Payne argues … Husbands, as the source of their wives, nourish and support their wives.”
MW never describes husbands as “the source of their wives.” Cf. the prior entry. MW 288 explains that as the church depends on Christ, “Wives depended on their husbands as the source of food, clothing, shelter, the physical source of her children, and her emotional source of love.”
S 41 “Payne … makes the mistake of thinking that the word in apposition (“Savior”) demonstrates that the word “head” means source.”
MW does not argue that the word “head” means source in Eph 5:23. Cf. the previous two entries.
S 42 “But the parallels must be more specific and sharper to establish Payne’s thesis.”
MW 299–304 identifies many specific and sharp parallels. Its goal is to try to understand the situation Paul is addressing based on his own letter. For instance, 1 Timothy describes women using terminology paralleling all of the descriptions of the false teachers. It does not describe men other than the false teachers similarly. Women are prohibited from assuming authority to teach a man. Men are not. Women are identified as duped by the false teachers. Men are not. Actual deception of women and their involvement in conveying it is the most natural reason for 1 Tim 2:12’s prohibition based on the woman’s “deception.” The summary of the false teaching as “old womanish myths” surely hints at women’s involvement. Any one of these in isolation does not by itself constitute proof that women were conveying the false teaching. Their cumulative effect, however, gives the strong impression that women were the primary group that were duped by the false teaching and that after the expulsion of the original false teachers, they became the primary promulgators of the false teaching. This is the most natural reading of the letter as a whole.
S 43 “[E]ven though Titus 2:4–5 says the older women should teach the younger women, Payne says that the purpose clause here is not exhaustive, and so men could also be taught by women.… Does Payne really think these arguments are persuasive? His case seems even weaker when he advocates arguments like these.”
Schreiner ignores the context for MW’s evidence that “the purpose clause here is not exhaustive.” MW is responding to Moo’s allegation that “the teaching activity of these women is explicitly restricted to the younger women” even though this verse contains no explicit restriction such as “only other women.” In response to Moo’s reading into this passage what is not there, MW 330 states, “Purpose clauses are rarely exhaustive.… Paul’s praise for Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice [2 Tim 1:5] for teaching him the Holy Scriptures [2 Tim 3:14–16] shows that younger women were not the only group older women should teach what is excellent.”
Yes, I do think this argument is persuasive, for it demonstrates that Paul did not believe that women should teach only other women. S 43 acknowledges, “Yes, there are contexts in which women can teach men. They can share informal instruction from the word in the assembly (1 Cor 14:26; Col 3:16) in the same way as all other believers. They can teach men in private settings (Acts 18:26).” Consequently, Schreiner should understand the validity of MW’s objection to interpretations that say that women may teach only younger women and not ridicule its statement as though it is naïve. Note, however, that Schreiner substitutes “informal instruction” where Paul used “teaching” in both 1 Cor 14:26 and Col 3:16. S 43 alleges, “public and regular instruction is prohibited,” but surely both 1 Cor 14:26 and Col 3:16 refer to what Paul regards as normal and regular practice in public worship.
S 43 “In the same way, he [Payne] says that Timothy’s mother and grandmother continued to teach him when he became an adult. Does Payne really think these arguments are persuasive? His case seems even weaker when he advocates arguments like these.”
Schreiner misrepresents MW as making the positive assertion, “Timothy’s mother and grandmother continued to teach him when he became an adult.” In fact, MW 330 states, “‘from infancy,’ [is] a phrase expressing when their teaching began but giving no indication that it stopped at any point in Timothy’s life. The implication is natural that these women, who had made known the Holy Scriptures to Timothy, used them for ‘teaching’ (3:16) as well as for ‘rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.’ The association of ‘teaching’ with these other functions that typically occur outside of formal settings implies that teaching, too, in Paul’s usage is not restricted to formal settings.” Yes, I do think this argument is persuasive. See the entry immediately above.
S 44 “Nor, says Payne, is it clear what Paul is saying if he restricts women based on the created order, for elsewhere Paul argues for the equality of men and women.”
MW does not argue this based on the equality of men and women. It argues based on Paul’s closest parallel passage defending a restriction on women based on an appeal to Eve being formed from Adam. MW 403 argues, “The best basis for understanding 1 Tim 2:13 is Paul’s argument that woman comes from man in 1 Cor 11:8 and 12. Paul argues that woman should respect man since he is the source from which God made woman (1 Cor 11:3–12). Similarly, in 1 Tim 2:13 man being “formed” first, then woman, implies woman being “formed” out of man and so points to the respect woman owes man as her source. … [This understanding] provides appropriate support for every part of 1 Tim 2:11–12.”
S 44 “The Lord created man first to signify male headship in the church. Payne’s claim that there was not preaching in Genesis is irrelevant, for the order of creation communicates an abiding principle.”
MW does argue that there is an abiding principle, the same principle that Paul explains in 1 Cor 11, that woman should respect man, from whom she was created. Schreiner shows no evidence from the Genesis narrative that the “Lord created man first to signify male headship in the church.” Does Schreiner think Paul’s statement applies only in the church, but not in business, government, and society, a distinction Grudem espouses? It is specifically to highlight this weakness in Grudem’s position that MW 403 points out (it is not just “Payne’s claim”): “there is no assembled congregation in the creation narratives that could suggest this restriction.” John Ball in 1381 challenged a similar unsupported appeal to creation order to establish a specific hierarchy of authority unrelated to the creation accounts (the authority of the aristocracy) by stating, “When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?” MW substitutes “preacherman” for “gentleman” in order to show the parallel between two illegitimate claims. The creation narrative does not mention an aristocracy and so cannot legitimately be appealed to as establishing a creation order granting aristocracy authority over peasants. Likewise, the creation narrative does not mention the church and so cannot legitimately be appealed to as establishing a creation order granting men authority over women specifically in the church.
9. In seven additional instances, S mischaracterizes what MW does.
S 36 “[Payne] underestimates the evidence from the LXX, for there are more than six instances where kephalē has the meaning ‘authority over.’”
MW 119 n. 10 does not estimate the evidence; it identifies all six and explains why every other proposed example does not qualify. Schreiner does not cite even one new example.
S 38–39 Schreiner fails to identify the central issue of MW’s fourth internal argument for interpolation: “why would Paul command wives to ask their husbands at home when their husbands may be unlearned and even unbelievers?”
MW’s point, stated on p. 257 is, “Verses 34–35 conflict with the goal of instruction in church. … The central thrust of this chapter, summarized in 14:26 and 31 … is that in church ‘everyone may be instructed’.” Verses 34–35, however, prohibit women who wish to learn from asking questions in church. This undermines the goal of learning in church.
MW 221 n. 21 specifically argues that the author of verse 35 did not intend it to cover all possible cases, but rather to show that women must be silent in church even when their motive is the pure desire to learn. The problem with the intent of the author of 1 Cor 14:34–35 is that it undermines Paul’s expressed goal of instruction in church. The fact that it is unreasonable to assume that a woman’s husband would be better prepared to answer questions than the church as a whole, especially not unbelieving husbands, shows how important it is for learning to take place in church. This is reinforced by Paul’s statement in 14:29 that other prophets in the group, which would include women, should provide a check against prophecies that might be misleading, a check lacking at home.
S 40 “[Payne’s external] arguments supporting an interpolation are untenable.”
Just because one or two people challenge a position does not mean that the arguments for it are untenable. Neither Schreiner nor the people to whom he appeals have demonstrated that any of the external arguments in MW 227–53 is untenable. If they were all untenable, why would the majority of text-critical analyses of this passage conclude that it is an interpolation? MW 235–40, 248, 250 gives clear answers to Niccum’s objections. Each of Peter Head’s objections is answered at https://www.pbpayne.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Critique-of-Vaticanus-Marginalia-15Apr2010.pdf. This shows the implausibility of Head’s alternative hypothesis. Regarding errors in Kloha’s statements as reported by Schreiner, see comments above on p. 9 regarding S 40 and below on pp. 32–33, the five entries from S 39–40.
S 40 “Payne’s arguments from internal evidence are quite subjective and should be rejected as special pleading.”
MW113–215’s argument that 1 Cor 11:2–16 affirms women prophesying shares this conclusion with virtually all scholarly assessment of this passage. That 1 Cor 14:34–35, in contrast, prohibits women from speaking is the obvious reading of the text, as evidenced in its explication by, e.g. Origen and Chrysostom. It is simply not true that this is “special pleading.” Each of the nine internal evidences for interpolation MW 253–65 cites is based on objective features in the text.
S 40 “Even Payne admits that what is written here is rather close to what we find in 1 Tim 2:11–14.”
MW 262–63 argues that “the crucial vocabulary of 14:34–35 reflects 1 Tim 2:12 and its surrounding verses, but restricts women’s activities more than 1 Timothy does. This is not an admission that Paul subordinated a weak social group. It is an argument that an interpolation based on 1 Tim 2:12 best explains the remarkable parallels in vocabulary and grammar with 1 Cor 14:34–35.
S 41 “Payne’s support for the interpretation “source” is also flawed.”
Schreiner appeals to Fitzmyer as an authority regarding the meaning of kephalē. MW 127 states, “Fitzmyer argues that each of the metaphors cited above mean “source” and concludes, ‘These examples show that kephalē could indeed be used in the sense of ‘source.’ ” Joseph A. Fitzmyer, “Kephalē in I Corinthians 11:3,” Int 47 (1993): 52–59, 54, 58 and Joseph A. Fitzmyer in “Another Look at ΚΕΦΑΛΗ in 1 Corinthians 11.3,” NTS 35 (1989): 503–11, 509. Is Fitzmyer’s evidence for the meaning “source” also flawed even though Schreiner appeals to both of these articles in his footnote 2? Is evidence for the meaning “source” in the most authoritative classical Greek Lexicon, LSJ, also flawed?
LSJ lists forty-eight figurative translations for κεφαλή, but neither it nor its supplement by Renehan, nor the lexicons by Moulton and Milligan, Friedrich Preisigke, Pierre Chantraine, S. C. Woodhouse, or any of the thirteen additional lexicons cited by Richard S. Cervin [“Does Κεφαλή mean ‘Source’ or ‘Authority Over’ in Greek Literature? A Rebuttal,” TJ 10 NS (1989): 85–112, 86–87] give even one example of κεφαλή that implies authority. Schlier’s article in the TDNT 3:674 concludes that in secular usage this word “is not employed for the head of a society. This is first found in the sphere of the Gk. OT.” Apart from a few NT lexicons, the vast majority of Greek lexicons list no such meaning. Cf. the detailed documentation in MW 121–23.
S 36 states, “Grudem has carefully sifted the evidence in three major articles, showing that the meaning ‘authority over’ for kephalē is well attested.” In spite of the explicit statements in so many lexicons to the contrary, Wayne Grudem, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth: An Analysis of More Than One Hundred Disputed Questions (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah, 2004) 206 writes, “All the recognized lexicons (dictionaries) for ancient Greek, or their editors, now give kephalē the meaning ‘person in authority over’ or something similar; but none give the meaning ‘source.’” For a detailed refutation of Grudem’s specific examples, see Richard S. Cervin, “Does Κεφαλή mean ‘Source’ or ‘Authority Over’ in Greek Literature? A Rebuttal,” TJ 10 NS (1989): 85–112 and Gilbert Bilezikian, “A Critical Examination of Wayne Grudem’s Treatment of Kephalē, in Ancient Greek Texts,” in Beyond Sex Roles (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985), 215–52. P. G. W. Glare, to whom Grudem appeals, also disagrees with many of the examples that Grudem says mean “leader”: “Where I would agree with Cervin is that in many of the examples, and I think all the Plutarch ones, we are dealing with similes or comparisons and the word itself [κεφαλή] is used in a literal sense.” This is cited in Wayne Grudem, “The Meaning of κεφαλή [‘Head’]: An Evaluation of New Evidence, Real and Alleged,” Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth: An Analysis of More Than One Hundred Disputed Questions (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah, 2004), 552–99, 588. On May 1, 1991, Cervin submitted “ΠΕΡΙ ΤΟΥ ΚΕΦΑΛΗ: A Rejoinder” (unpublished, 1991), 1–39 to Trinity Journal, but its editor, Douglas J. Moo, refused to publish it even after devoting two articles totaling 111 pages to Grudem’s view and only 34 pages to Cervin’s.
S 44 Ironically, although himself deriving a principle specifically regarding “the church” from the Genesis narrative, Schreiner writes, “When Payne says that women are to respect men as their source, he imports an idea that is not stated in the text.”
The text of Genesis to which Paul appeals, however, does state that woman “was formed” from man, and 1 Tim 2:13 clearly alludes to this by stating that Eve “was formed” after Adam. In both cases “formed” implies that man was the source from which woman was formed. Furthermore, Paul in 1 Cor 11 explicitly identifies the problem as one of shame, and women letting their hair down was an established symbol of sexual freedom that disrespected any woman’s husband. Consequently, it is a natural corollary to understand Paul’s reasoning that woman was “formed” after (and from) man as an appeal for women to respect man as their source, not to disrespect their own husbands by letting their hair down while leading worship.
10. In one additional instance, S uses innuendo to make it seem like MW advocates a foolish position that MW does not state or support.
S 37 “[T]he idea that 1 Cor 15:28 refers to ‘the Godhead’ rather than the Father is rather strange and fits awkwardly with the idea that Christ submits to God. Is the verse saying that Christ submits to himself insofar as he is God? Such an interpretation seems quite improbable.”
This gives the false impression that MW argues that “Christ submits to God,” namely that the “him” to whom the Son “will be subjected” refers to “the Godhead.” MW specifically argues, rather, that the introduction of “the God” (ὁ θεός) in the final clause of 1 Cor 15:28 “may be better translated: ‘in order that the Godhead (ὁ θεός) may be all in all’.” 1 Cor 15:28 states, “When all things are subjected to him [the Son], the Son himself will also be subjected [future passive] to him [the Father, as in v. 24] who put everything under him, in order that the Godhead may be all in all.” MW 135 n. 88 argues from the future passive that the subjection of the Son to the Father is a future event, not an eternal state: “Robertson, Grammar, 871 states ‘that in the future passive we have with most verbs a purely punctiliar future.’ Ernest de Witt Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1898), 32 states, ‘any instance of the Predictive future not clearly progressive must be accounted as aoristic.’ MW 134–35 argues: “The shift from ‘God the Father’ in verse 24 to ‘the God’ in the final clause of verse 28 makes sense as indicating a shift in reference from the Father to the Godhead. This is also suggested by what it affirms, namely, ‘that the God may be all in all.’ This final statement, ‘that the God may be all in all,’ is more appropriate as an affirmation of the oneness and encompassing authority of the Godhead than as a restricted reference to the Father. Other statements by Paul show he did not believe that in the new age, God the Father would be everything to the exclusion of Christ. For instance, Romans 9:5 refers to Christ as ‘God over all, forever praised’.” To exclude the Son from “the God” in the final clause and to treat this as describing an eternal reality where God the Father, not including the Son, is “all in all” is contrary to orthodox Trinitarian theology.
11. In two additional instances, S misuses, and so apparently misunderstands, crucial terminology in MW.
S 44 Schreiner repeats Köstenberger’s misrepresentation of what MW means by “one idea.” He writes, “ ‘If there is a single idea, then the verse teaches ‘that women ought not to serve in authoritative church positions, whether by teaching men or by ruling (both functions are reserved for male elders)—two functions that are distinct yet closely related.’ Seeing a single idea, therefore, does not clearly support Payne’s idea.”
Shreiner and Köstenberger both describe as a “single idea” “two functions that are distinct.” If Paul is prohibiting two distinct things, “teaching men” and “ruling,” then he is not conveying a single idea as MW 337–59 explains it, but two ideas. If Schreiner had read MW carefully enough to understand that by “a single idea” it really means a single idea, not two ideas, he would have realized that seeing a single prohibition in 1 Tim 2:12 clearly does support MW’s argument.
S 44 “Assuming or taking authority is not necessarily a bad thing if one has a position of authority.”
I apologize if I did not make it sufficiently clear that every example of αὐθεντέω meaning “assume authority” refers to the assumption of authority without proper authorization (see above, p. 15). S 44 confuses “exercising authority that one has been granted” and “assuming authority although one has not been granted it.” S 44 uses “assume authority” contrary to MW’s meticulous documentation showing that every early instance of αὐθεντέω meaning “assume authority” refers to the assumption of authority without proper authorization. MW 391 cites Werner’s July 21, 1993 letter: “initiative, lack of delegation from above, is a common component in all the examples, contradicted only Hesychius’ exousiazein.” Schreiner apparently did not notice this or chose to use MW’s terminology with a different meaning that conceals the heart of MW’s interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12. Cf. both entries referencing S 44 above on pp. 14–15.
12. In Ten Instances S Makes Unfair Generalizations about MW.
S 34 “One of the key principles of word study (which Payne too often ignores) is that words derive their meaning from context.”
Every one of the exegetical studies in MW stresses the meaning of words in context. Schreiner may disagree with its analysis or wish to lay greater emphasis on some parts of the context than others, but it is simply not true that MW too often ignores the context in assessing the meaning of words. Zondervan originally told me I could make the book as long as necessary in order to make it the definitive work on the subject. After I had submitted over 1000 pages of text for the book, however, they put a 450 pages limit on the text. In order to meet this new page limit, I had to cut the text to about a third its original length. Consequently, one should not assume that I ignored a particular aspect of a given context simply because MW does not give an expansive treatment of it.
S 41 “It seems that Payne has a tendency to accept too easily readings that are palatable to our culture.”
If that were my motivation, why would MW 141–46, 175–81 argue that in 1 Cor 11:4, 7–9, 14 Paul is arguing against men displaying effeminate hair because of its use at that time as an advertisement for homosexual relations? The fact is that it was my study of these texts that forced me to change my attitudes, not vice versa. I was very keen that my wife include in her vows that she would obey me. I was very happy to be the head of the house, having final say and authority. It was only after many years of study of Paul’s teachings that I became convinced that my cultural background affirming “male headship” did not accurately reflect the Scriptures on these matters.
S 41 “I should add at this point that Payne often fails to state, or addresses in a very cursory fashion, texts or arguments that support a complementarian view.”
MW 79–463 deals in detail with every Pauline text regarding women. Schreiner has not identified a single Pauline passage regarding women used by complementarians to support their view that MW ignores or addresses in a very cursory fashion. MW fairly assesses both the strengths (e.g. 373–74) and weaknesses of complementarian arguments. Unfortunately, Zondervan required the excision of about 500 pages of critique of complementarian arguments in order to meet MW’s current page length. I suspect Schreiner would have been less happy if there had been room for the more detailed critiques of complementarian interpretations.
S 42 “what Paul teaches in the letter stems from his worldview and theology and thus is rightly used today for the life and practice of churches (cf. also 1 Tim 3:14–15). Payne does not emphasize this latter truth sufficiently.”
MW lays great emphasis on the importance of understanding Paul’s particular statements from the context of his worldview and theology, e.g. MW 69–76. Furthermore, it stresses the importance of recognizing the principles underlying his particular statements specifically addressed to Timothy (cf. 1:2 “to Timothy” and 3:14–15 “I am writing these instructions to you [singular], so that, if I am delayed, you [singular] may know how to behave in the household of God.”) and stresses the applicability of his teachings today for the life and practice of churches. Nevertheless, it does not necessarily follow that what Paul wrote in the present indicative (2:12) specifically to Timothy automatically applies in all situations, including “today for the life and practice of churches.” The very different statements Paul gave to the churches in Corinth (1 Cor 14:26, “each has a teaching”) and Colossae (Col 3:16 “teach one another in all wisdom”) give evidence that 1 Tim 2:12 is a particular prohibition for a particular situation. Ironically, the passage Schreiner cites in support of this, 1 Tim 3:14–15, is a passage that Schreiner acknowledges on S 42 “is directed to a specific situation” and he writes that he agrees with me that: “Describing 1 Timothy as a manual of church order … does not fit precisely the purpose of the letter.”
S 42 “Payne does not pay sufficient attention to the context and draws unwarranted deductions.”
Anyone who reads MW knows that it pays extraordinarily close attention to the context of each passage it exegetes. Unlike S’s forty-one dubious assertions listed at the end of this critique, it explains why it draws its deductions. S’s example about phlyaroi in support of this allegation misrepresents MW, as shown in the last two S 42 entries above on p. 10, extending to p. 11.
S 43 repeats this allegation regarding epitrepō in 1 Tim 2:12: “what he [Payne] needs to do is to interpret the meaning of the verb in context.” MW 323–34 identifies eight exegetical indicators in the immediate and wider context that Paul did not intend a universal prohibition on women teaching. The following chapters show how this reading “I am not permitting” best fits the syntax of the verse, what is prohibited, and the reasons for the prohibition in 1 Tim 2:13–14.
S 42 “Payne often makes mistakes like this in defining words.”
The only example Schreiner cites (cf. above, the last two S 42 entries above on p. 10, extending to p. 11) misrepresents MW. As in this case, MW is extraordinarily careful throughout to define words in accordance with the support of standard lexicons. It does not, however, simply assume that lexicon entries are correct. Based on examination of word usage in their original contexts, MW 121–22 (cf. 117–37), 301 n. 22, and 433 n. 59 identify BDAG errors and MW 63 and 117–27 identify BDAG omissions.
S 42 “We must be careful and discriminate in our scholarship, so that we do not claim to know more than is warranted.”
This is why MW speaks regularly about “evidence” and “more natural readings” and almost never of “proof.” MW repeatedly argues precisely this point regarding many unwarranted assertions by complementarians. For instance, it is not warranted, as Schreiner repeatedly does, to claim that 1 Tim 2:12’s prohibition is broader than confirmed contemporary usage of its vocabulary warrants (αὐθεντεῖν “to assume authority without proper of its authorization,” see MW 361–97 and above, p. 15) or that typical use of Paul’s syntax (οὐδέ joining two elements to convey one idea, see MW 337–59) justifies. One must consider whether it is warranted to insist that this particular statement to Timothy is a universal command for all churches at all times.
S 42 “Payne seems too eager to prove his thesis, and as a result he relies on parallels and questionable exegesis.”
Any exegesis that ignores parallels by the same author is irresponsible. As MW 7–29 describes, I began my research on this topic in order to disprove the very position my research caused me to adopt. I started my research by reading 1 Timothy in Greek every day for several months. It was by becoming familiar with the letter as a whole that I realized how extensive the letter’s references to women are and how closely they parallel its description of the false teachers. It was a close examination of the texts that forced me to change my understanding of them. It took me decades of research to come to my present position. Is this too eager?
S 43 “Too often Payne seems too anxious to make his case, which doesn’t inspire confidence in his work elsewhere.”
I waited over 36 years before publishing this book to be sure I got the facts right. Is that “too anxious”? Each of S’s illustrations of this asserts that MW says something it does not say, as the two entries regarding S 43 show above on pp. 19–20.
S 43 “[I]t makes me less confident that he is right when I can’t verify what he [Payne] says.”
“[W]hen I can’t verify what he says” implies that MW provides statements that Schreiner cannot verify. MW provides detailed verifiable documentation for its statements from beginning to end, so Schreiner should be able to verify them. If Schreiner really can’t verify MW’s statements, he is not qualified to write this review. If he means simply that he hasn’t verified what MW says, he should acknowledge this.
Forty-one Dubious Assertions by Schreiner
In addition to the above misrepresentations of MW, Schreiner’s review is filled with statements or arguments of dubious validity, including the following forty-one. Regarding each of these, Schreiner should have heeded his own words on p. 42, “We must be careful and discriminate in our scholarship, so that we do not claim to know more than is warranted”:
S 34 “[In] the NT … women served as prophets but never as elders/overseers/pastors.”
This gives the false impression that women in the church are distinguished from men in the church in not being identified in the NT as overseers and pastors. In fact, apart from Christ (Heb 13:20; 1 Pet 2:25; 5:4), no overseer (ἐπίσκοπος) of a church or a pastor (ποιμήν) is named in the NT. John calls himself an elder in 2 John 1; 3 John 1, and Peter calls others “fellow-elders” (συνπρεβύτερος), but no other named man is called an “elder” in the NT in the sense of a church administrator. Consequently, it is hardly surprising that no women elders/overseer/pastors are named in the NT. Contrary to the impression given by Schreiner, the title closest to “overseer” or “pastor” given to any named local church in the NT is the title given to Phoebe, [προστάτις, “leader, chief,” “president or presiding officer,” “one who stands before,” LSJ 1526; cf. MW 62–63]. Paul requests in Rom 16:2, “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is deacon (διάκονος, not feminine in form, which could imply “servant” or “deaconess,” but masculine in form, hence “deacon”) of the church of Cenchrea, that you receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and give her support in whatever matters [covering all kinds of business and legal affairs, e.g., 1 Thess 4:6] she may have need from you, for she has been a leader of many and of myself as well.” Since Romans was written before any surviving reference to the office of a local church “overseer,” “deacon” may have been the only officially recognized title for a church leader at that time and/or place.
Every meaning of every word in the NT related to the word Paul chose to describe Phoebe as a “leader” (προστάτις) that could apply in Rom 16:2 refers to leadership. This includes the usage shortly before in Rom 12:8, “Let the one in leadership [ὁ προϊστάμενος] govern diligently;” 1 Thess 5:12, “respect those who … who have charge over you [προϊσταμένους] in the Lord;” and 1 Tim 5:17, “The elders who rule [προεστῶτες] well are worthy of a double honor.” Used in relation to the family, it means “ruling one’s household” (1 Tim 3:4, 5, 12). G. H. R. Horsley, “Sophia, ‘the second Phoibe,’ ” New Documents 4:239–44, 242 identifies citations of προστάτης, including O. Tebt. Pad. 67 and I. Eph. III.668a, to identify the president of an association. Horsley also cites “Sophia, ‘the second Phoibe’” and six other inscriptions or papyri about “female deacons and office-holders” published in 1979 alone. Προστάτις can also, like the Latin patrona (“patroness”), denote the legal representative of strangers and their protector; for as aliens they were deprived of civil rights. Barrett, however, in Romans, 283 argues that meaning does not fit Rom 16:2 since “Phoebe cannot have stood in this relation to Paul since he was born free, Acts 22:28.” Even Charles C. Ryrie, The Role of Women in the Church (Chicago: Moody Press, 1958), 140 and 88 who teaches that woman’s role in church is “not a leading one,” acknowledges that προστάτις “includes some kind of leadership.” This term almost always refers to an officially recognized position of authority. See the examples in Leonard Swidler, Biblical Affirmations of Woman (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1979), 310–11; Dunn, Romans 9–16, 888–89; and Philip B. Payne, “The Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11–15: A Response to Douglas J. Moo’s Article, ‘1 Timothy 2:11–15: Meaning and Significance’,” TJ 2 NS (1981): 169–97, 195.
S 34 “The creation of man before woman signifies the headship of men. Such a reading fits with a canonical reading of the scriptures, for Paul appeals to this very order when he posits a distinction in role between men and women (1 Cor 11:8–9; 1 Tim 2:12–13).”
None of these passages explains that the creation of man before woman signifies male headship or posits a distinction in role between men and women. MW 43–44 shows that this interpretation is not a natural implication of Gen 3; MW 180–81 and 195–98 show this of 1 Cor 11:8–9; and MW 399–405 shows this of 1 Tim 2:12–13. Instead, 1 Cor 11:2–16 affirms the both men and women may pray and prophesy in worship as long as they do no do it in a disgraceful manner. 1 Cor 11:11–12 explains that in Christ woman is not separate from man and 11:12 shows that just as woman should respect man as her source, so man should respect woman as his source. Paul explains woman coming from man as a reason for woman to respect man, not to assert male headship. For women to let their hair down was disrespectful to men (1 Cor 11:2–16), just as for women to teach and (in conjunction with this) to assume authority over a man without proper authorization was disrespectful to men (1 Tim 2:12–13).
S 34 “So too, he recognized the uniqueness and distinctiveness of woman by calling her such, and hence expressed his leadership in the relationship.”
Recognition does not by itself imply leadership. Neither does recognition combined with calling someone something that expresses that recognition imply “leadership in the relationship.” For instance, anyone can recognize uniqueness and distinctiveness of one’s boss and call the boss a name that expresses this, but that done not imply one’s leadership in that relationship.
S 34 “But it seems that God coming to Adam first, even though Eve sinned first, supports the idea that Adam bore primary responsibility for sin.”
Genesis 3 does not draw the conclusion that Adam bore primary responsibility for sin.
As MW 48–49 shows, the order of the questions introduces a chiastic review of the events in reverse that exposes the sin and traces it back to the serpent’s deception. This in turn is followed by a recapitulation of the consequences for the participants in their original order: serpent, woman, man. This literary structure would be broken if the order of the questioning were changed. Furthermore, this order exposes the man’s passing the buck in verse 12 and the woman’s admission that the serpent had deceived her. Since there is a clear literary explanation for the order of the questions, to impose a theological reason for it that the passage does not identify constitutes gratuitous speculation.
S 35 “The elders, not the deacons, have the responsibility for doctrinal purity and leadership of a church.”
The NT nowhere states, “The elders, not the deacons, have the responsibility for doctrinal purity and leadership of a church.” Timothy is identified as “young,” and is distinguished from “the body of elders [πρεσβύτεροι who] laid their hands on you” [1 Tim 4:14]. Timothy is never identified as an “elder” or “overseer.” Yet Paul in writing to Timothy in 1 Tim 4:6 affirms, “If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister [διάκονος, literally “deacon” or “servant,” though probably not the title of a local church office] of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.” [NIV] Clearly, Paul wanted the “διάκονος” Timothy to assume responsibility for doctrinal purity and leadership of a church. Verses 11–13 make it clear that he also taught, “Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but … devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.” [NIV] Similarly, 1 Cor 14:29 commands prophets to take responsibility for doctrinal purity, “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge the validity of what is said.” If heresy is taught, deacons and prophets as well as elders have the responsibility to support doctrinal purity. Schreiner affirms women as prophets, so he should not deny their role in supporting doctrinal purity. Indeed, it is doubtful that any believer should simply be passive and assume that doctrinal purity is only the responsibility of the elders.
S 35 “It is significant that 1 Tim 2:12 prohibits women from teaching and exercising authority over men. Women are excluded are [sic] from the two activities that distinguish elders from deacons (teaching and exercising authority).”
As noted above, pp. 14–15, the first S 44 entry, there is no demonstrated instance of αὐθεντεῖν meaning “to exercise authority” prior to ca. AD 370. Not even Baldwin includes “exercise authority” or “have authority” in “the range of meanings that might be appropriate in 1 Timothy 2:12.” Cf. MW 361–97 and above, p. 15, the second S 44 entry. Furthermore, Paul’s typical use οὐδέ joins two elements to convey one idea, not two. See MW 337–59 and below, the second entry regarding S 43 on p. 38.
S 35 “The play on words between “help” (parastēte) and “helper” (prostatis) assists us in discerning Paul’s meaning.”
This hides the fact that the Greek verb translated as “help [her]” (παραστῆτε from παρίστημι, “I help,” which combines παρά = “along side” + ἵστημι = “I stand”) is almost opposite in meaning to the word describing Phoebe as a προστάτις “one who leads,” which combines πρό = “in rank before” + ἵστημι = “I stand.” Paul’s logic is natural, “Help her in whatever matter she has need, because she is a leader of many, including myself also.” If Paul had intended to say simply that Phoebe had “helped” others, it would have been natural for him to repeat παρίστημι to make his reason parallel his request. The NRSV “for she has been a benefactor of many and of myself as well” has the disadvantage that this meaning is not listed by LSJ or BAG, and that Paul’s companion Luke uses a different word that LSJ, BDAG, and BAG identify as meaning “benefactor,” “those in authority over them are called benefactors [εὐεργέται]” (Luke 22:25). Thus, the linguistic evidence and the context of Phoebe’s standing in the church strongly favor the normal meaning of the term, προστάτις, namely, “leader.” Since her leadership was in the church it would entail spiritual oversight.
Since Paul includes himself as having been under Phoebe’s leadership, this was not simply a leadership role over other women. It should not be thought strange that Paul, who commanded all Christians to “be subject to one another” (Eph 5:21), should himself be subject to others, at least in certain situations, such as submitting to the local church leadership in the churches he visited, as he does in Acts 21:26.
Consequently, not only could a woman be given a title of a local church leader that is similar to “overseer” and “pastor,” Phoebe, a woman, is the only a local church leader the NT given a title closely analogous to these. Furthermore, she is the only named person given the title “deacon” (διάκονος) of a local church. Paul (1 Cor 3:5; 2 Cor 3:6; 6:4; 11:23; Eph 3:7; Col 1:23, 25, Tychichus (Eph 6:21; Col 4:7), Timothy (1 Thess 3:2; 1 Tim 4:6), and Epaphras (Col 1:7) are described as “minister” or “servant” (διάκονος), but not as the title of a local church official. Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), 461, concludes there is no “argument whatsoever to be derived from Paul’s epistles that it was only the non-official charisma that was extended to the woman [Phoebe] and not regular office.”
S 35 “Paul is scarcely suggesting that she functioned as his leader or as the leader of the church. Paul even declared his independence from the Jerusalem apostles (Gal 1:11–2:14), and so it is impossible to believe that Phoebe was his leader.”
Gal 1:11–2:14 does not, however, state that Paul “declared his independence from the Jerusalem apostles,” and certainly not in the sense that when in Jerusalem he would not submit to their leadership, since he does submit to their leadership in Acts 21:26. In the passage Schreiner cites, Paul affirms that God “was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews” (Gal 2:8). Paul went to the Jerusalem apostles to resolve the dispute over circumcision of the Gentiles (Acts 15:1–35), and he affirms that James, Peter and John “gave me and Barnabas the right had of fellowship” (Gal 2:9). Acts 16:4 confirms, “As they [Paul and Timothy] traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.” Thus, Paul submitted to the leadership of the apostles and elders in Jerusalem and delivered their decisions. It is perfectly natural that he who writes, “I have become all things to all people” (1 Cor 9:22), would submit to local church leadership elsewhere, including Phoebe’s, as long as it did not undermine the truth of the Gospel (e.g. Gal 2:11–21). Acts 16:3 shows the extent to which Paul would accommodate local concerns: “Paul circumcised Timothy “because of the Jews who lived in that area.”
S 35 “Phoebe is commended here as a patroness who probably helped many with her finances.”
As stated above, pp. 27–28 regarding S 34, προστάτις can, like the Latin patrona (“patroness”), denote the legal representative of strangers and their protector; for as aliens they were deprived of civil rights. Barrett, however, in Romans, 283 argues that meaning does not fit Rom 16:2 since “Phoebe cannot have stood in this relation to Paul since he was born free, Acts 22:28.”
S 35 “Paul teaches that prophecy involves the spontaneous reception of oracles from God (1 Cor 14:29–32).”
Nothing in 1 Cor 14:29–32 states that prophecy must be “spontaneous reception of oracles from God.” 1 Cor 14:31 states, instead, “For you can all prophecy in turn so that everyone may learn and be encouraged.” “In turn” implies order and “learn” is a natural pair with “teach.” “Be encouraged” has broad reference. 1 Cor 14:32 “The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets” would be an odd statement if prophecy had to be “spontaneous.” Furthermore, part of the prophet’s work was to “assess the validity” (1 Cor 14:29) of other prophesies. This does not sound spontaneous. 1 Cor 14:1, 5, and 39 stress the central importance of prophecy for worship and describe it as “for strengthening, comfort, and encouragement” (14:3, 26, 31), “edifies the church” (14:4, 5), “convicts of sin” (14:24), and leads to “learning” (14:31). Schreiner’s restrictive definition of prophecy does not fit Paul’s description of its importance and purposes.
S 35 “Teaching involves the explanation of tradition, whereas prophecy is new revelation.” The italics stressing new are Schreiner’s.
Some prophecies are new, but Paul does not teach that prophecy must be new or cannot involve “explanation of tradition.” Against Schreiner’s definition of prophecy as “new revelation” is its broad range of purposes cited in the previous entry and its centrality for worship.
S 36 “Furthermore, it is clear that “head” means “authority over” in Eph 5:23, for the wife is to “submit” to her husband as the head (Eph 5:24). The call to submission fits perfectly with the idea that husbands are the authority over their wives.”
It makes just as good, if not better, sense for a wife to submit to her husband since he sustains her life and nourishes her both physically and spiritually, and this has the advantage that this is how Paul explains his use of “head” here by apposition, “as Christ is head of the church, he the savior of the body.”
S 36 “kephalē may denote source in some texts (Eph 4:15; Col 2:19), but even in these instances, in accord with Hebrew thought, the one who is the source is also the authority.”
Schreiner does not cite a single instance in the Hebrew Scriptures where the context identifies a word meaning “source” or “origin” to entail the idea of “authority.” HALOT 2:579 identifies the Hebrew word for “origin” as hr:Wkm]. Ezek 16:3 states, “Your origin and your birth are from the land of the Canaanite, your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite” (NASB). This does not imply that an Amorite or a Hittite is the authority over Jerusalem or its people, nor does this word imply authority in any of its other occurrences in the Hebrew Scriptures. Nor does the Hebrew word for origin in reference to someone’s descendents in Esth 6:13 referring to Mordecai being “of Jewish origin” (NASB, NIV [r”Z<mi) imply a relationship of authority. Similarly, the “descendent of the woman” who will crush the head of the serpent (Gen 3:15), Christ, is not under the authority of Eve. None of the occurrences of “source” or “origin” in the NASB OT entails the idea of authority. All of this undermines Schreiner’s allegation. Only the context can show whether source implies authority, and MW 109–215 argues that the only reference to authority in 1 Cor 11:2–16 is the affirmation of the woman’s authority in 11:10, reinforced by the affirmations of the equal standing of women and men in the Lord in 11:11–12, all in the context of a passage affirming prophecy and prayer by both men and women. In any event, if Paul in writing to a Greek speaking church intends to use κεφαλή in 1 Cor 11:3 with the standard Greek meaning, “source,” it does not make sense that he would expect it also to convey a Hebrew meaning, especially since “source” is not a Hebrew meaning for “head” (varo), at least not as listed in HALOT, KB or BDB.
S 37 “[Women] must adorn themselves and speak and pray in such a way that they do not violate male headship.”
MW 109–215 argues that the idea of “male headship” is absent from this passage. To the contrary, 1 Cor 11:10 explicitly states that a woman ought to have authority over her head, and 1 Cor 11:11–12 directly affirms the equal standing of woman and man in the Lord.
S 39 “It should be noted, incidentally, that even if these verses are judged to be secondary, the complementarian case would still stand on the basis of many other texts.”
If this verse is an interpolation, there is only one other verse in the Bible that might prohibit women from teaching or having authority over a man, 1 Tim 2:12. As MW 319–415 shows, however, careful analysis of all instances of the verb normally meaning “to assume authority without proper authorization” near the time of Paul combined with Paul’s typical use of the conjunction he chose to link it with “to teach” argues that Paul restricts only the unauthorized assumption of authority to teach a man. Complementarians have not to my knowledge identified any other passage of Scripture that explicitly limits the ministry of women in the church.
S 39 “Kloha argues that the “bars” point to the evidence of a new paragraph, not an interpolation.”
MW 237 explicitly affirms the use of bars to mark paragraph breaks. The bar that occurs between 1 Cor 14:34–35, however, is significantly longer than most paragraph breaks and is conjoined with a distigme. MW 237–40 points out that virtually all such long bars just below distigmai occur at exactly the location of a widely-recognized, lengthy interpolation. They extend noticeably farther into the margin (and hence closer to the adjacent distigme) than typical paragraphoi, arguably to associate them with the adjacent distigme. Photographs showing the contrast between paragraphoi and distigme-obelus symbols marking the locations of extended interpolations are at https://www.pbpayne.com/?p=303. These give strong evidence that these long bars, including the one at the end of 1 Cor 14:33 do mark an interpolation.
S 39 “According to Kloha, the umlaut points to a textual variant, but what is most likely is that the scribe was signaling that didaskō followed hagiōn.”
The NA27 and UBS4 do not even list this variant, and as far as I have found, it occurs only in Western manuscripts that also have vv. 34–35 after v. 40. If the Western text were being compared, by far the most obvious textual variant would be the transposition of verses 34–35 to follow v. 40. It is virtually impossible that the scribe noting the location of textual variants would notice this single word variant but not that two full verses (36 words in the NA 27) are missing at this point in the same manuscript and occur instead after v. 40. The reason it is unlikely that the distigme-obelus here marks the Western transposition is that there is no corresponding distigme after v. 40, as there should be to mark the identical change in the text there, if that were the variant being noted.
S 40 Schreiner quotes Kloha, “He added a superscript double slash at the beginning of v. 36,”
Kloha, as cited by Schreiner, is mistaken. MS 88 has a superscript double slash over the last letter of v. 33, not at the beginning of v. 36.
S 40 “He then continued writing until the end of v. 40, where he placed a double slash both in the text and in the margin.”
Kloha, as cited by Schreiner, is mistaken. There is no double slash in the margin next to the end of v. 40. In addition, the double slash is on the baseline before the period at the end of v. 40, not after the end of v. 40. See the photograph of MS 88 in Philip B. Payne, “Ms. 88 as Evidence for a Text without 1 Cor 14.34–35” NTS 44 (1998): 152–58, 158.
S 40 Schreiner quotes Kloha, “This is precisely what stood in his exemplar, now known through 915.”
This is conjecture and should not be stated as though it were an established fact. We do not know what caused MS 915 to read as it does here. It could have been any Western MS, and we do not know that the 12th century MS 88 and the 13th century MS 915 were copied from the same exemplar.
S 40 “First, the so-called contradiction with 1 Cor 11:5 can be resolved, for in 1 Cor 14:34–35 women are exhorted to quit interrupting the congregation with questions that contend with male leadership. Women are not prohibited from all speaking, but from the kind of speaking that undermines male leadership.”
Nothing in 1 Cor 14:34–35 mentions “interrupting the congregation with questions that contend with male leadership … [or] speaking that undermines male leadership.” To the contrary, it reiterates three times the unqualified prohibition of women speaking in church: “Let women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak … For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” Delling (TDNT 4:216) explains that in the Greek and Hellenistic Roman world, “threefold utterance of a word, expression, or sentence gives it full validity and power … three is characterized by fullness and solidity.” Consequently, the threefold repetition calling for the silence of women without qualification in 1 Cor 14:34–35 is most naturally read as giving its unqualified statements full validity and power, namely, that in the churches women must not speak, period. As MW 222–23 shows, contrary to Schreiner’s thesis, verses 30–33, must not elaborate 14:29a, since verse 31’s “all may prophesy” contradicts verse 29a’s limitation to two or three prophets speaking. This implies, instead, that verses 30–32 introduce something other than what verse 29 addresses. Furthermore, the four words about judging prophecies are not only too far from 14:34–35 for this association to be apparent, they are in separate paragraphs since verse 33 concludes the preceding section. Furthermore, if Paul had intended these verses to apply only to “questions that contend with male leadership” the example he gives illustrating its application should have been about “questions that contend with male leadership.” It is not. Instead, the example provided by verse 35 specifically states, “if any wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home.” This is a perfect example, however, to a potential objection to the obvious meaning of Paul’s thrice-repeated unqualified prohibition, namely that if women can’t speak in church, how can they learn when they have questions? Verse 35 answers this directly. Consequently, it is Schreiner’s view that is “quite subjective and should be rejected as special pleading,” not the objectively argued interpretation of MW.
S 40 “Paul was careful in 1 Cor 11:2–16 to support women speaking when it was done in a way that was submissive to male leadership.”
There is nothing in 1 Cor 11:2–16 that even mentions male leadership or submission by women to it. This is, rather, as MW 141–73 argues, a passage about hairstyles that repudiate marriage and cause shame.
S 40 Schreiner writes that it “is by no means clear” that verses 34–35 of 1 Cor 14 “interrupt Paul’s argument.”
Schreiner himself writes on p. 39 as his explanation for the Western text transposition of these verses to follow v. 40, “by moving the verses scribes would keep the verses on prophecy together (vv. 29–33 and vv. 36–38).” He thereby acknowledges that vv. 34–35 interrupt Paul’s argument about prophecy. Everything in 1 Cor 14:27–33 and 36–39 is about prophecy and tongues. Verses 34–35, however, are not about prophecy or tongues. They are a thrice-repeated demand that women be silent in the churches, even prohibiting women from asking questions out of a desire to learn.
S 40 “Paul appeals to the teaching of the law in general as well (Gal 4:21).”
This is apparently intended to rebut MW 258, “In all other instances when Paul appeals to the law, the passage cited is clearly recognizable as an OT passage.” The appeal to the law in Gal 4:21 is to a passage Paul specifically identifies, “are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman.” Paul goes on to elaborate specifically about that passage in Gal 4:21–31. Gal 4:21a addresses “you who want to be under the law,” but this general use of “law” is unlike 1 Cor 14:34, for it does not make an appeal to a commandment or other saying in the law. The one example S cites to repudiate MW’s statement, does not repudiate MW’s statement. S has provided no example anywhere in Paul’s letters that appeals to a commandment or saying of the law for which no corresponding commandment or saying has ever been identified in the OT. MW 261’s statement stands unrefuted: “This theological tension between 14:34–35 and Paul’s teaching about freedom from the law, along with the absence of appeals to a precept of the law to establish rules for Christian worship elsewhere in Paul’s letters, and the absence of any OT statement that matches what 14:34 commands, are irrefutable evidence that 1 Cor 14:34 is out of harmony with what Paul teaches about the law and how he expresses it elsewhere.”
S 40 “The text fits with what Paul teaches elsewhere. Women should be submissive to male leadership and should not speak in the assembly in such a way that male leadership is subverted.”
Paul nowhere else commands women to be silence (σιγάτωσαν) or says they should not speak. The “quietness” (ἡσυχίᾳ) 1 Tim 2:12 calls for is different. 1 Cor 14:34–35 does not mention “to male leadership.” Furthermore, no other passage in the Bible commands the silence of women. Nor does any other passage in the Bible state that women “should not speak in the assembly in such a way that male leadership is subverted.” To the contrary, since Paul specifically regulates the demeanor of women prophets in 1 Cor 11:2–16, it is natural to include women in the “other” prophets Paul commands to judge the validity of prophecies in 1 Cor 14:29. This command could require women prophets to question statements of male leaders.
S 41 “it is quite unclear that Paul demanded Philemon to free Onesimus.… It seems that Payne has a tendency to accept too easily readings that are palatable to our culture.”
It is Schreiner’s “reading” that conflicts with the natural reading of Phmn 6, “no longer as a slave,” as “Paul Applies Maximum Social Pressure for Philemon to Free Onesimus,” at https://www.pbpayne.com/wp-admin/Onesimus_no_longer_as_a_slave.pdf shows. A specific command to free a particular slave is not incompatible with Paul exhorting slaves to serve their masters. In practice, serving well provided the best chance of freedom. One does not have to incite revolution to promote change. The absence of a general command in Paul’s surviving letters to all masters to free their slaves does not mean that Paul did not undermine slavery in other ways. For examples of things Paul wrote that undermine slavery, see MW 90–92 on “slave and free” in Gal 3:18 and “Twelve Reasons to Understand 1 Corinthians 7:21–23 as a Call to Gain Freedom,” at https://www.pbpayne.com/wp-admin/1_Cor_7-21_escape_slavery.pdf.
S 41 “I agree with Payne that “one another” (allēlois) does not designate the submission of some to others, but it does not follow from this that mutual submission is enjoined for husbands and wives. Verse 21 specifies the need to submit to one another as fellow believers in the body of Christ. Such a calling does not yield the conclusion that husbands should submit to wives.”
I am pleased that Schreiner agrees with MW against Grudem’s claim “that “one another” (allēlois) does not designate the submission of some to others …[and that verse] 21 specifies the need to submit to one another as fellow believers in the body of Christ.” I do not, however, agree that one should deny its application to the most intimate of all relations in the body of Christ, namely that between husbands and wives. Syntactically, Paul’s statement is so closely attached to this relationship that the verb from “submitting to one another” is assumed and not repeated in “wives to your husbands.” Consequently, “wives to your husbands” is grammatically dependent on “submitting to one another.” Furthermore, Paul’s paired command to husbands in v. 25 “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” entails subordinating his interests even to the point of death for his wife. If this is not mutual submission, what is? Even the complementarians George W. Knight III and James Bassett Hurley agree that this sentence links the submission of wives to husbands in verse 22 to the principle of mutual submission, giving one instance of it (see above, p. 12 regarding S 35).
S 41 “He makes the mistake of thinking that the word in apposition (‘Savior’) demonstrates that the word ‘head’ means source. But it also makes perfect sense to say that one’s ‘Lord’ is one’s Savior. Other grounds are needed to determine the definition of the word ‘head.’”
Apposition by definition is “the placing of a word or expression beside another so that the second explains and has the same grammatical construction as the first” (Webster’s New World Dictionary [NY: Prentice Hall, 1991] 67). LSJ lists forty-eight English metaphorical equivalents for κεφαλή (“head”), so it makes sense that Paul would define the sense he intends by apposition. The word Paul chose to explain “head” in Eph 5:23 was not “lord” or any other word that would suggest a hierarchy of authority. Of course, Christ is Lord, but Christ repeatedly speaks against those who “lord it over you” and argues that this should not be the model among believers and argues instead for servant leadership. We should respect Paul’s explanation of what he means by “head” in this context, namely “savior,” which he goes on to explain as the source of life and nourishment of the church by saying that he “gave himself up for her” (v. 25), as husbands should do for their wives (v. 26) and to be a source of nourishment for them (v. 29). This image of Christ as “head/savior” of his “body,” modeling how husbands should be “head” to their wives is not a dead metaphor with a pre-established meaning, but is an original living metaphor that Paul explained to highlight the aspect of this metaphor he was emphasizing. Cf. MW 283–90.
S 41 “Wives should ‘submit’ to their husbands because husbands are their authority, just as Christ is the authority over the church (Eph 5:22–24).”
Paul does not use the word for “authority” (ἐξουσία) in this passage. It is a circular argument to assume that “head” means authority and on this basis conclude that because the argument of the text is about authority, therefore “head” must mean authority. The assumption is unwarranted since Paul explains using apposition that by “head” he means “savior,” not “authority.” Furthermore, the meaning Paul explains by apposition, Christ’s and a husband’s loving nourishment, is a more compelling argument for submission than authority.
S 42 “The women speaking what is not fitting (1 Tim 5:13) … does not indicate that they were teaching heresy. … In the same way a mere reference to Satan does not prove that the women were actually promoting the false teaching.”
Speaking “what they ought not (τὰ μὴ δέοντα)” is stronger than merely “speaking what is not fitting.” It points to content that is wrong to speak and must be silenced. The parallel in Titus 1:11 states, “they must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not (ἃ μὴ δεῖ) to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain” (NIV). If someone wrote that I had “already strayed after Satan,” I would not regard this “a mere reference to Satan”! Is it common to say this of someone who is doing no more than gossiping? It is the combination of these descriptions together in the same context that together does indicate something serious, RSV: “11 grow wanton against Christ … 12 incur condemnation for having violated their first pledge … v. 13 going from house to house [house church to house church?] saying what they should not … 14 give the enemy no occasion to revile us. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan.” Cf. the parallel description of the false teachers and of women in MW 299–304.
S 43 “Since Paul grounds the exhortation in v. 12 in creation (v. 13), the injunction for women not to teach or exercise authority over a man cannot be limited to a specific situation.”
This statement presupposes that the γάρ is illative (giving the reason for something) and that the reason it identifies has to do with immutable characteristics of the creation order. Neither is required by the text. In 1 Cor 11:3, 8–9, and 12 Paul uses parallel appeals to the sequence of the creation of man before woman to call for respect to one’s source instead of shaming one’s source. He does not use them to establish a hierarchy of authority. To the contrary, Paul specifically concludes in a way that highlights his central concern, that “woman is not separate from woman, nor is man separate from woman in the Lord, for just as the woman came out of the man, so also man comes through woman, and all this is from God” (1 Cor 11:11–12). Verse 12 shows that the respect owed to one’s source should cause men to respect women, just as it should cause women to respect men. The egalitarian statements of verses 11–12 fit perfectly with respect for one’s source but are at odds with a hierarchical interpretation. Paul’s appeal to sequence in creation in Corinth as a reason for women to respect men supports the view that Paul uses sequence in creation as a reason for women in Ephesus to respect men by not independently assuming authority to teach men.
S 43 “Contrary to Payne, teaching in the Pastoral Epistles is the public transmission of authoritative material (cf. 1 Tim 4:13, 16; 6:2; 2 Tim 4:2; Titus 2:7). The elders especially are to labor in teaching (1 Tim 5:17), so that they are able to refute false teachers who promulgate heresy (1 Tim 1:3, 10; 4:1; 6:3; 2 Tim 4:3; Titus 1:9, 11).”
If “teaching in the Pastoral Epistles” is limited to “the public transmission of authoritative material,” why do all the examples Schreiner identifies as referring to those “false teachers who promulgate heresy (1 Tim 1:3, 10; 4:1; 6:3; 2 Tim 4:3; Titus 1:9, 11)” describe their actions as “teaching”? Surely their “teaching” is not “public transmission of authoritative material.” Consequently, it is incorrect to regard the word “teaching” in the Pastoral Epistles as by definition identifying “public transmission of authoritative material.” For instance Titus 1:11 states, “They must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families by teaching (διδάσκοντες) for base gain what they ought not (ἂ μὴ δεῖ).” This parallels the description in 1 Tim 5:13 of women who were “saying what they ought not (τὰ μὴ δέοντα).” Ironically, Schreiner’s restrictive definition of “teaching” to apply only to “public transmission of authoritative material” would mean that 1 Tim 2:12 is only prohibiting women from “the public transmission of authoritative material.” It would not prohibit women from the public transmission of false material since only “teaching” in his narrow sense is prohibited! It is precisely because MW argues from context that Paul is prohibiting the combination of “to teach” and “to assume authority over a man” that it depicts the teaching that is prohibited to be public teaching where at least one man is present. Furthermore, according to Schreiner’s definition of “teach” in the Pastorals, Paul calls older widows in Titus 2:3 to give “public transmission of authoritative material.”
S 43 alleges, “public and regular instruction [by women] is prohibited,”
Surely both 1 Cor 14:26 and Col 3:16 refer to what Paul regards as normal and regular practice in public worship. S 43 acknowledges that these verses permit women to “share informal instructions from the word in the assembly,” but both use the word “teaching that S 43 says, “in the Pastoral Epistles is the public transmission of authoritative material.” In 1 Cor 14:26 Paul writes, “when you come together each has a teaching” (διδαχή) and in Col 3:16 he commands the saints at Colossae to “teach (διδάσκω) one another in all wisdom.” Both refer to public and apparently regular instruction (at least this is Paul’s desire and command), and Schreiner acknowledges that both apply to women. Yet he does not acknowledge the tension between this and his statement, “But public and regular instruction [by women] is prohibited,” Schreiner clings to his anachronistic reading of 1 Tim 2:12 as though it prohibits women “to exercise authority,” a meaning of αὐθεντέω first clearly documented 300 years after Paul and for which neither Schreiner nor Baldwin has provided an earlier clear instance. Although he does not challenge that Paul’s most common use of οὐδέ is to join two elements to convey a single idea, he rejects the natural application of it to 1 Tim 2:12 in spite of all the evidence MW 337–59 documents.
S 43 “Köstenberger has now responded to Payne, demonstrating that his analysis of the evidence is unpersuasive.”
Professor Köstenberger’s rejoinder is defective at three crucial points. First, Köstenberger misrepresents my NTS “οὐδέ” article sixteen times. The editor of the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has confirmed he will publish the identification of these sixteen misrepresentations. A detailed critique of Köstenberger’s review will be posted at www.pbpayne.com. Second, his analysis of the primary data fails to reveal many crucial factors that undermine his thesis. Third, and most importantly, he does not address the significance that when an οὐδέ construction conveys a single idea, then its author views both together as conveying that idea. Consequently, even if he were correct that the author views both items in οὐδέ construction either positively or negatively, it would still not undermine MW’s interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12. What Paul prohibits he must view negatively. He prohibits women from the combination of teaching and assuming authority over a man in 1 Tim 2:12. Consequently, he must view the combination of a woman teaching and assuming authority over a man negatively in this context.
S 44 “Women are prohibited from teaching and exercising authority because such actions violate male headship.”
As MW 319–97 argues, a more natural reading is that Paul prohibits women in Ephesus only from teaching that is combined with unauthorized assumption of authority over men. Furthermore, as MW 399–415 argues, a more natural reading is that the two reasons Paul gives for this single prohibition are 1) woman should show respect to man, as the source from which woman was formed, and 2) just as Eve was deceived, leading to the fall, women in Ephesus had been deceived by false teachers and so should not teach but rather learn in submission to true doctrine. See also the following entry.
S 44 “It seems that the logic of the verse is not hard to understand. Women are not to teach or exercise authority over men because of the created order. The Lord created man first to signify male headship in the church.”
One must first understand the prohibition before explaining the reasoning behind it. Paul’s readers read the prohibition in v. 12 before the following explanation. If the prohibited action is disrespectful, as MW argues it is from the early pattern of use of αὐθεντέω, namely assuming to oneself authority that had not been authorized, then a reason for it expressing the need to show respect to the men over whom they were assuming authority makes perfect sense. This understanding also fits Paul’s parallel appeal to man created before woman in 1 Cor 11:3, 8, 12. Schreiner uses the expressions “created order” and “male headship” not because they are in the text; neither is. He uses them because it evokes an authority structure that is not conveyed simply by temporal sequence. Schreiner exposes the weakness of his interpretation by his qualification, “in the church.” If the “created order” established “male headship,” why restrict this to the church, which is not even mentioned in the creation narrative?
S 44 It is ironic in light of Schreiner’s many assertions about Scripture cited above that are not in its actual text, that he asserts, “The rock on which all egalitarian interpretations stumble is the wording of the biblical text.”
I began my research in order to disprove the very egalitarian understanding of this verse that Schreiner attacks, but it is precisely the wording of the biblical text that forced me to abandon his view that “the complementarian reading is the most natural and plausible interpretation.”
S 45 “The verse does not suggest that women were disseminating false teaching.”
Yet Schreiner himself wrote, “it is likely that the prohibition [1 Tim 2:12] is given because some women were teaching men” in “An Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:9–15: A Dialogue with Scholarship,” WCFA, 141. In the second edition, WCA 112, he changed this to “it is certainly possible that the prohibition was given because some women were teaching men.” Schreiner’s new assertion ignores both the content and the context of this verse. Paul typically prohibits things that have become a problem, namely things that have been done but should not be done. In this context, “I am not permitting a woman to teach and in conjunction with this to assume authority over a man without proper authorization” at least “suggests” that some women were doing this in Ephesus. Furthermore, the reasoning for this prohibition, “for Eve was deceived,” implies a parallel between what is being prohibited and what Eve did. The Serpent deceived Eve (Gen 3:13) and she conveyed a message verbally to her husband that led him into disobedience, as Gen 3:17 demonstrates, “because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree.” Paul’s argument from Eve’s deception proves that he was concerned enough about this happening in Ephesus that he prohibits a woman to teach and in conjunction with this to assume authority over a man without proper authorization. In the context of the letter, this suggests that some women were disseminating false teaching. In a letter focused throughout on false teaching, if women were not involved in disseminating false teaching, why would Paul restrict their assuming authority to teach men, and why would he base this on the example of Eve’s deception leading to the fall?
S 45 “More likely, Paul promises women that they will be saved if they fulfill their role as women and continue in the faith.”
This sounds like Schreiner is proposing a different requirement for salvation for women than men. This would be contrary to Gal 3:28 and 1 Cor 11:11 and all Paul’s teachings that salvation comes only through Christ.
S 45 “Paul does not teach that women must be married or have children to be saved on the last day (cf. 1 Corinthians 7).”
While this is certainly true, how is this compatible with Schreiner’s interpretation that “saved through” in 1 Tim 2:12 teaches that women “will be saved if they fulfill their role as women”? What in the text indicates that “bearing children” is optional? Alternatively, what in the text justifies interpreting the Greek words meaning “saved through the Childbirth” as “saved through fulfilling their role as women”? Schreiner (“Dialogue,” WCA 117) correctly identifies “through” (διά) as instrumental but inconsistently explains in WCA 120 that “conforming to her God-ordained role [is] … necessary to obtain eschatological salvation.” This latter statement seems to imply that S views the διά not as instrumental, but as signaling necessary accompaniment. Although MW 425–26 points out this inconsistency, Schreiner continues to make these conflicting assertions even though he has correctly affirmed in “Dialogue,” WCA 115 with extensive bibliography: “σώζω always has the meaning of spiritual salvation in the Pastoral Epistles … and the other Pauline writings.”
S 45 “He selects bearing children because it represents in a concrete way that women are embracing their role as women.”
Schreiner’s view still leaves Paul affirming that women are saved through “embracing their role as women.” This is contrary to many of Paul’s other statements about salvation only being through Christ.
Furthermore, Schreiner’s interpretation of “the Childbirth” as the far broader category, “embracing their role as women” could be subject to the same criticism Schreiner in “Dialogue,” WCA 117 and n. 241 levels against Moo’s view that sees “in the word τεκνογονία the idea of rearing children.” Schreiner’s view also seems inconsistent with his own reasonable assertion regarding 1 Tim 3:15, “Neither is it persuasive to see διά referring to attendant circumstances” (Schreiner, “Dialogue,” WCA 117).
In light of the above-documented eighty-one misrepresentations of MW and forty-one dubious assertions, how does one assess S 45’s judgment that MW as “another drizzly day in Portland, Oregon”? One way is to contrast it with the many other assessments listed at https://www.pbpayne.com/?page_id=255, including those by:
Scot McKnight, “the most technically proficient study ever published on women in the Pauline texts,”
Ron Pierce, “The most comprehensive and well-reasoned contribution by an individual evangelical scholar in the modern history of the debate.”
Ben Witherington III, “meticulous research … thoroughly biblical… deserves the highest commendation,”
Eldon J. Epp, “meticulously formulated, cogently argued, and of lasting significance.”
The best way, however, is to read Man and Woman, One in Christ and decide for yourself if Schreiner’s evaluation or this critique is fair. Only then will you know if MW proves to be for you what it was for David R. Booth, a long-time adherent to CBMW’s Danvers Statement, “a fruitful and stimulating paradigm-changing challenge.”
1 Personally, I find both the rainy and sunny days in the Great Northwest to be incredibly invigorating. They explain why this region has densest biomass of any region in the world, even more than the Amazon. I am glad I chose to live in the Seattle area.
2 Thomas Schreiner’s publications include, “Head Coverings, Prophecies and the Trinity: I Corinthians 11:2–16,” pages 124–39 and “The Valuable Ministries of Women in the Context of Male Leadership: A Survey of Old and New Testament Examples and Teaching,” pages 209–24 in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism. Edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 1991 [hereafter RBMW]; “Women in Ministry,” in Two Views on Women in Ministry (ed. James R. Beck and Craig L. Blomberg; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001) 173–232 [hereafter “Women in Ministry”]; “An Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:9–15: A Dialogue with Scholarship,” pages 105–54 in Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9–15. Edited by Andreas J. Köstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995 [hereafter WCFA], and pages 85–120 in Women in the Church: An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9–15. Edited by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Thomas R. Schreiner. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005 [hereafter WCA].
A PDF version of this post is available here.