This blog originally founded by Blogger who holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Bible and Husbands Dominating Wives

One of the most destructive mistranslations of Scripture has been Ephesians 5:23 : “For the husband is the head of the wife. . . “An an article in Charisma Magazine this week raises the question: “Have we been misinterpreting the word “head” in Paul’s writing?”


A group of Biblical scholars  examined and compared how the Jewish translators of the Greek Septuagint had translated rosh, the Hebrew word for "head," into Greek. Their findings completely upends the traditional view.  They discovered that when rosh was used literally to refer to someone's physical head, they used the Greek kephale. When rosh was used figuratively to refer to the source or origin of something, they would again use kephale. However, they discovered that when rosh was used figuratively to refer to a person of authority, the Septuagint translators avoided kephale and used archon (ruler) or a similar word.

In other words, if  Paul had wanted to establish an authoritarian structure for marriage, he could easily have done so by using words such as archon (ruler), despot (master) or timē (one of rank and honor). Any of these would have unambiguously communicated the idea of superior rank and authority.  Instead, he used for “head”,  the word designated as the source or origin of something like in  the “head” waters of a river.

So, literally Adam is the “source” of Eve, not the ruler.  This is made clear in the story of  creation. Adam and the animals were made from the ground, but “the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man.” Gen.2 

Men have used Ephesians 5:23 to justify dominating their wives for two centuries now.  Fortunately, what was more in line with nearly all of Paul’ teaching was “ There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” Gal 3:28.  It took a long time, but that teaching of Paul finally won the day in our modern era.

4 comments:

guy faulkes said...

Blogger, you are the first preacher that I have ever heard admit there are discrepancies in the Bible. When I have made mention of a couple, I have been told the Bible cannot have mistakes in it.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-infallible.html

The items I mention are the camel vs.rope through a needles eye controversy

http://www.biblicalhebrew.com/nt/camelneedle.htm

and the thou shall not kill vs. thou shall not murder discussion.

http://storage.cloversites.com/makinglifecountministriesinc/documents/Kill%20or%20Murder--6th%20Commandment.pdf

My opinion is that while the Bible may e infallible, translations made of it by humans are not.

Anonymous said...

"My opinion is that while the Bible may (b)e infallible, translations made of it by humans are not."

Considering the authorship of said bible, what is the difference?

guy faulkes said...

"Considering the authorship of said bible, what is the difference?"

I do not know if Goofus is asking this or not. I have difficulty in believing it is him because it is a legitimate question.

The answer depends upon the context and the definition of what the Bible is. If one considers that the Word of God is the Bible, then it would definitely be infallible. As people that have a relationship with the Almighty can tell you, one understands when God is communicating with him. While this communication is probably not a spoken voice, the communication is both real and concise. If you have not experienced this, there is no way to explain it to you. It would b like explain color to a person that is blind from birth. The Bible, or at least the basis for it, consists of these communications.

The problem arises when those people try to relate these communication to other people. The best that can be achieved is that an accurate account of their interpretation of the communication is relayed to others. Being a product of humanity, the account will have flaws in it. Every time the account is translated or retold to another person, the information is subtlety changed to what the person passing on the information believes is correct. It will err by some varying degree. To add to the problem, some of these translations are from documents thousands of years old. While this situation does not mean the collection of translations is not very close to the truth, it does mean that slight contradictions and discrepancies are inevitable. Also, one has to wonder about the books that were omitted from this collection that is considered the Bible. In my opinion, the Gospel of Mary should have been included.

Practically speaking, there cannot be a definite listing to the differences between God's word and the things related in the Bible. Fortunately, it does not matter as the meaning is always brought back to the original. Take for example, Blogger's thread on the domination of men over women. You now know of the discrepancy and will be able (hopefully with God's help) to make up your mind as to what is right.

If Goofus asked this question, then I went way to deep for him to understand. Therefore I will try to simplify the answer. Goofus, there is no difference in the long run because God will fix it.

Blogger said...

Thanks Guy. The only time I wonder about a translation is one, a scripture is very contradictory to the rest of the Bible and secondly, if there is an equal translation that lines up with the entire Bible--a very rare occurrence. Most of the time however if something does not make sense, I just tell the Lord it does not make sense to me, put it on a back burner and He always does clear it up--but not always right away.