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I have been blessed to have many enlightening conversations with people in the CRC who disagree with me on the topic of Women in Office. However, I haven't seen a suitable venue for these conversations. Maybe this is it! What are your thoughts on women in office? What is the most vital point (or two) that leads you to endorse or not endorse Women in Office?

Possible points of discussion:

1 Tim 2:12 and the use of "teach" and "authority." 

Female leaders in the OT (Deborah, Hannah, etc.)

Potential female leaders in the NT (Junia, Pheobe) 

Gal 3:28; 1 Cor 14:34; Lk 24:22

Why did the church not endorse Women in Office until the 1970s when feminism arose? 



Hi Rob, thanks for starting this new post for this discussion. Look forward to respectful, rich & robust engagement on behalf of God's Kingdom, what is His best for His holy people as we love one another as He has loved us, as we go to His Word with the help of the Holy Spirit, to find His principles & truths. 

Lord, we thank You that we can search the scriptures for Your truth, that Your Holy Spirit leads & guides us into all truth. We pray for Your wisdom & discernment as we dig into the ancient texts and cultures, help us to test what is from You & recognize where the enemy is trying to bring confusion & division. Heavenly Father, we ask that our hearts & minds are humble and open to whatever You intended for us as part of Your family, as Your children & as brothers & sisters in the Lord. For Your glory & our good, in Jesus' precious Name, may it be so...

The following was a comment I posted originally in Rob's What's So Hard About Being a Pastor? | CRC Network ( Rob has graciously moved the conversation here to it's own post.... I hope many will join us as we wrestle with our views of women leadership in the church & what that looks like.

Rob, Bonnie, Kristen, Keith, Hetty & anyone else who is interested...

since it came up...

I would love to have a discussion on 1 Tim 2:12 etc regarding women in ministry with whoever is interested... I have done a deep dive into the hapax legomenon "Authentein" & other very rare Greek words used in 1 Timothy related to women... what I have found is these words are associated with sorcery/witchcraft of specific goddesses that were worshipped in Ephesus, including Artemis of the Ephesians per Acts 19 & the crone goddess hecate (old woman/crone in 1 Tim 4:7 & also referred to in 5:13 re the Greek word for boiling, seething pot ie cauldron & the Greek word for sorcery also used one other time in Acts 19:19)... this cultural context of 50+ gods/goddesses in Ephesus has often been ignored & dismissed in the discussion of "authentein" & 1 Timothy.

when we understand "authentein" as general authority in 1 Tim 2:12, we ignore the horrific history of authentein, along with limiting women in ways that were never intended... up until about 100 AD, the "authente" root was almost always used in the context of violence... ie murder, suicide, sacrifice (ie Septuagint Wisdom of Solomon 12:3-6 where it is referring to parents who murdered/sacrificed their children to idols...

from Strongs: a. according to earlier usage, one who with his own hand kills either others or himself.

authentein was violently evil until around 100 AD when the early gnostics coopted the "authente' root to describe their divine all powerful being...  from Strongs b. in later Greek writings one who does a thing himself the author" (τῆς πράξεως, Polybius 23, 14, 2, etc.); one who acts on his own authority, autocratic, equivalent to αὐτοκράτωρ an absolute master; cf. Lobeck ad Phryn., p. 120 (also as above; cf. Winers Grammar, § 2, 1 c.)); to govern one, exercise dominion over one: Strong's Greek: 831. αὐθεντέω (authenteó) -- to govern, exercise authority (


Meanings for authentein in the TLG between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. (a 400-year span with the New Testament period at its center) include the following:

– “doer of a massacre”

– “author of crimes”

– “perpetrators of sacrilege”

– “supporter of violent actions”

– “murderer of oneself”

– “sole power”

– “perpetrator of slaughter”

– “murderer”

– “slayer”

– “slayer of oneself”

– “authority”

– “perpetrator of evil”

– “one who murders by his own hand”

excerpt from: Defusing the 1 Timothy 2:12 Bomb: What Does Paul Mean by Authority (Authentein) | The Junia Project

the descriptions that have to do w authority are post 100AD in the gnostic writings... we have to look at pre Paul & Post Paul bc the word started morphing via the early gnostics within a few years/ decades after Paul used it in his letter to Timothy. I believe we have conflated the pre Paul (Earlier usage) & the post Paul (later Greek writings starting with the early gnostics around 100AD) that has caused much confusion over the ages... it is critical we differentiate between before Paul & after Paul.

Authentein then morphed, as a result of the gnostic using the 'Authente" root in their writings, over the next 300 years so that by400 AD, Jerome used the Latin  "dominare" in the Latin Vulgate... then in early 1500s Erasmus used "usurp authority"... authentein kept getting less & less negative over the ages & now we have a neutral general authority... but Paul would have most likely been familiar with the use of the authente root word in the Septuagint as a violent form of complete power over someone who had NO power ie young children. 

that's just the tip of the iceberg... the research is fascinating but also heartbreaking as it seems some very, very rare Greek words have been misunderstood regarding women & we are still struggling with the impact of this! 

FYI on Hecate, she was known as the Crone goddess of WITCHCRAFT & CHILDBIRTH (1 Tim 2:15)... one of her symbols was a cauldron... her altar/idol was in the temple of artemis in ephesus (artemis was also known as a goddess of childbirth).. Everything You Need To Know About Hecate (Maiden, Mother, Crone) (

I have never, ever heard or read anyone mention hecate in the context of 1 Tim & Ephesus... but there are some very rare Greek words that indicate Paul is referring to her as the crone in 1 tim 4:7 & again in 5:13 along with numerous other references to satanic beliefs (ie doctrines of demons, throne of satan, synagogue of satan, secrets of satan, etc). in Ephesus/Asia Minor.. 

& here's the portion from Septuagint's Wisdom 12... that parallels the cultural context Paul & Timothy are dealing with in Ephesus... 

For it was thy will to destroy by the hands of our fathers both those old inhabitants of thy holy land,

4Whom thou hatedst for doing most odious works of witchcrafts, and wicked sacrifices;

5And also those merciless murderers of children, and devourers of man's flesh, and the feasts of blood,

6With their priests out of the midst of their idolatrous crew, and the parents, that killed with their own hands souls destitute of help:


murder is definitely on Paul's mind in 1 Timothy... he mentions 3 very specific type of murders in 1 Tim 1:9-10, each is a hapax legomenon like authentein.

Thoughts? Can we move this to it's own discussion post? (YUP, it happened! Here we are!) where can we have this discussion? since the women as pastors came up for various reasons, I think it's important that we take another hard look at 1 Timothy & other scriptures that have been used to limit women serving in various ways...

the family of God is not about authority over anyone (per Jesus in Matt 20 & Peter in 1 Peter 5 ), it's about how we love/serve one another by character. & example through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Case for "One Another" (See These 59 Commands in the Bible) | CRC Network (

anyways, some food for thought from a bit of my research on 1 Timothy & Ephesus

I came across this 2019 lecture from Clinton Arnold, Dean & Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology (Biola Un in CA)...  thought it was interesting confirmation of what a significant part of the Ephesian/Asia Minor culture the worship/witchcraft/magic of the gods & goddesses were back in the time of Paul & Timothy.  Introduction to Ephesians | Clinton E. Arnold (

I haven't forgotten about this discussion, just been swamped with unexpected extras as well as regular responsibilities.

Bev! Thank you for your patience with me and for reposting your comment. I'll repost my response so we can get this rolling again. Thank you so much for thoughtfully engaging this important topic with me! 

Hi Bev, 

Thank you so much for this post. I love the idea of moving this discussion somewhere so that more could get involved. But, I'm not sure how to do that. Until then [now were here!] here's my thoughts: 

I hear what you're saying about the use of authentein in Paul's context. I don't disagree that the word was frequently used in a negative context. However, here's my hesitations: 

First, I did my own TLG search for authentein and the earliest source it provided was Athanasius (4th Cent.). I can't put up a screenshot here of my search, but I can provide the link of my search and maybe if you click on that you can see what I'm talking about:  I'm by no means a TLG power-user and maybe I did something wrong. But the same search parameters for agape turn up results as early a 2nd cent. BC. I tried different lexical forms of authentein (authenteo) and all the different search parameters I could try. So, I would want to see those sources that allegedly use authentein as if it only applies to witchcraft. For me personally, it's not enough that a blog cites a book that says this word was used in this way. I want to see the original source. This is a motto of the Reformation: ad fontes -- back to the sources! 

Secondly, if Paul meant this word in such a negative way, why does he couple it with didasko (teach) which is a positive term throughout the Bible? It would be strange, in my mind, to say, "I don't permit women to domineer in witchcraft cults and I don't permit them to teach men." Wouldn't Paul want to specify something like: "I don't want them teaching witchcraft." Or, "I don't want them teaching until they stop doing witchcraft and the elders determine that they're ready to teach." Or, "I don't want them teaching unless they've never been tainted with witchcraft." Also, wouldn't the word "witchcraft" or something like it occur at some point somewhere? 

Thirdly, Paul says women must "learn quietly" (v. 11). The biblical context for v. 12's authentein is v. 11's "learn quietly." So, authentein doesn't seem to be contrasted with witchcraft, but with learning in an outspoken way.

In the same way, fourthly, the context for authentein (v. 12) is obviously the preceding verse (v. 11) which says that women should learn "in all submissiveness" (hupotage). What is the opposite of authentein? Contextually the answer must be hupotage—submissiveness. This is the same positive word used in 1 Cor 9:13 "... they will glorify God because of your submission (hupotage) that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ..." So, Paul is saying, "Women should not exercise authority (authentein) rather they should be submissive (hupotage)." To me, this means: women should do the opposite of authentein. What is that? Hupotage

So, in my opinion, whatever the precise meaning of authentein is isn't all that important. We know what "submissiveness" (hupotage) means (v. 11). We know what "learn quietly" (hesuxia) means (v. 11). We know what "teach" (didasko) means (v. 12). All these things point to the traditional understanding of women in church since the early church up until the 1970s. 

Finally, we know what "for" (gar) means (v. 13). It's a logical connector. BDAG says it's "used to express cause, clarification, or inference." The cause or clarification of Paul's instruction for women to not teach or excercize authority isn't witchcraft, but it is the creation order: “**For** Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (1 Timothy 2:13–14, ESV). The logical grounds (gar) for Paul's statement comes in verse 13 where God's order in creating humans is mentioned and witchcraft is not. 

I understand there is potentially some witchcraft background to 1 Timothy. But there is certain context for 1 Timothy--the book itself. When we read the context of the book the meaning seems plain. If we assume there is some witchcraft in the background, that doesn't invalidate the biblical commands given because they are not grounded in Timothy's or Ephesus's context, but in the created order. 

Anyways, those ar my thoughts. I'd love to hear yours in response. 

What do you think about this, Bev (or anyone)? Thank you again for stimulating conversation! God bless you! 


I appreciate the need for a different forum to have a new conversation about women in the CRCNA.  May I suggest the importance of considering larger Biblical teachings, such as justice for women within the CRCNA.  Yes, we can disagree about what justice means, but it is a relevant Biblical principle, as much as specific instructions to specific churches about who could teach on not in a particular context.  

May I add a few points from history and current context:

1. I noted the question about the 1970's and feminism, with an assumption that was the motivation.  That is inaccurate and continues to be a reason to dismiss legitimate issues.  I have been active since the beginning:  the origins were and remain a desire to use all gifts of all women in ministry, not feminism.  Opponents raised the bogeyman of "feminism" as a way to dismiss the concerns and claim women were just motivated by secular evils.  This is important because this pattern continues today and gets in the way of productive dialogue. 

2.  The focus on using all gifts of all women is missional in origin, recognizing all kinds of diversification in the society to which we are to witness as Christians.   It was also part of the work on addressing abuse in the CRC, after a 1960 report that showed rates of abuse within the church are similar to society at large.  The lack of women in any leadership positions was named as an important part of what prevents abuse from being taken seriously.  My experience in Safe Church work confirms the importance of having both women and men in leadership positions to deal effectively with abuse within church communities. Even many  leaders who oppose women in office will acknowledge the value of having those different perspectives in the decision-making rooms of our churches.  Why don't we give any weight to the Biblical teachings about judging by the fruits, when the evidence after 25 years seems abundantly clear that God is blessing the work of women in leadership in the CRC? 

3.  Justice for all women within the CRCNA is an important consideration for our current context.  I hear from women who are silenced in their local churches, under the current policy.  I weep about the lost potential, first of all, for women who are called by God and responsible to God first of all for the use of their gifts, who face barriers that we have put in place and refuse to even listen to them, let alone remove barriers to ministry. I weep for the church as I counsel women to take their gifts elsewhere and give priority to their calling before God to use them weill in service to God and their neighbors. I hear from women leaders who continue to face dismissal by men on the grounds that the CRCNA allows them to dismiss women - and there are no effective mechanisms to address these on-going injustices that women face within the CRCNA.   I hear valid concerns about decreasing space for women within the CRCNA as the impacts of Synod 2022 and 2023 play out - and no one is naming or addressing this seriously.  There is a growing body of research showing the harmful impacts for women and girls of complementarianism in practice.  While the CRCNA never endorsed complementarianism for good reasons, it is now accepted within our circles and no one challenges it.  I weep because I am complicit in the continuing injustices for women in the CRCNA.  I worked for some mechanisms, such as a part-time position to focus on Women in Leadership, now broadened as a supposed improvement under Thrive, but in actuality it means even less focus on justice for women.   

Yes, we need a new forum to have a dialogue  - one that gives high priority to listening to women, as full moral agents called by God to use their gifts in God's service, and also takes seriously broader Biblical teachings, such as doing justice for women within our own circles, as well as very specific texts that address contexts in which women were considered property.  I rejoice that God works outside the church to advance justice for women.  When will the CRC join God's on-going work and remove barriers for women to use all their gifts in church and outside,as God calls them to do? 

Kathy Vandergrift 

I agree with all you have written Kathy. Women and girls get a raw deal in churches that follow the directive to keep women submissive and quiet. I’ve been observing the way men run churches and it lacks something that only a female was created to do. In general (I’m aware that I am stereotyping) women contribute empathy and care. They gravitate towards language and actions that are akin to a warm embrace, rather than a checklist. And for those women and girls who have no gifting or desire to be homemakers and childrens ministry workers, being shut out of roles of leadership to the entire church is frustrating. And they leave.

Hetty, I know this can be frustrating for some. I regret that it is. My prayer is that we all settle into the roles God has given us and we flourish under His will which is always best for us. Also, though I'm not among them unfortunately, I know many men who are just as empathetic and caring as women! For example—Jesus! But, I don't know any men who can bear a child. That is a God-given task only women who are called to do it can fulfill. 

Regret from a male church leader is not appreciated by those women frustrated by the church’s stance. I have many gifts that are completely ignored by church leaders. Not because there’s something wrong with them but because there’s something wrong with me - I’m a woman. I don’t want to be in the children's ministry, the church kitchen, or the ladies’ group. 

The discussion may be theoretical and academic, a hermeneutical tennis match, but the frustration is the reality. 

Don’t tell me I should be having babies and staying out of the church council room. It’s not helpful.

Hetty, I understand that frustration. Also, I'm not saying you should have a baby. I'm saying the roles of men and women in the church are different. Though we disagree over the extent of the difference, biology requires you to agree that there are some things essential to the church that men cannot do, like have babies (no babies, no more church militant). To that extent, we have some agreement. Of course, this assumes you agree that only women can have babies. 

Thank you so much for this comment, Kathy! I really appreciated the historical context regarding the 1960/70s WIO debate. Indeed, women are just as gifted and important to the church as men! 

I wonder, however, if it's true that we need women in leadership to avoid abuse. That seems to me to paint male leadership in a demeaning light, as if men can't but be abusive without women by their side. What about single men? Churches where women aren't available to lead? Are they doomed to be abusive? This is my response to your statement: "The lack of women in any leadership positions was named as an important part of what prevents abuse from being taken seriously.  My experience in Safe Church work confirms the importance of having both women and men in leadership positions to deal effectively with abuse within church communities."

To your third point, it sounds like you're saying complementarianism is unjust toward women. Is that correct? Perhaps I misunderstood your third point. But if that is what you meant, again, I find that demeaning to God-honoring people—both men and women (like John Piper and Jackie Hill Perry)—who are complementarian. In my experience, complementarianism is very just toward women because it honors the roles God has given them (raising children, teaching women and children, and serving the church in non-teaching roles, etc. etc.). 

Finally and most importantly, though you raise excellent pragmatic arguments for your position, I think pragmatic arguments are always secondary to Scripture. If God says, "Don't do it," but we think "doing it" is better for us, that doesn't excuse not following Scripture. Hence, the main topic of this post is hermeneutical, not pragmatic. As an example, your argument that the fruit of women in office is good fruit is the exact same argument proponents of same-sex marriage use. They say same-sex marriage is good for the church, so we should do it. But again, the argument is about what God says, not what we think it best for us. 

Thanks again for engaging and may the Lord bless you as you serve His church. 


I did not say all men are abusive. It is often that kind of generalizing dismissal that prevents constructive dialogue.  The reality is that women who are abused are less likely to disclose what happened if they have to report to a man and/or know it will be discussed and decided by a group of men.  We know from experience that secrecy and minimizing what is disclosed is a major barrier - and we know that follow-up to disclosures often stops at the level of councils who often work very closely with persons of concern and often make women feel guilty about raising any issues that might affect the reputation of the church or its leaders.   I am speaking from real experience because that is what justice does.  Justice,  which is a Biblical calling named in far more verses than silencing women, starts with creating a context where women can be heard and then seriously listening to them, without pre-lectures about their duty to submit.  Submission is mutual in the Bible - why does it get raised for women, but far less often and with far more emphasis on respect for the leadership for men?

Justice is a core Biblical teaching. It is also part of any hermeneutics that takes seriously the whole teaching of the Scriptures.  it received too little attention in the earlier rounds of discussion.  Time and experience have provided more evidence for both understanding specific texts and understanding the implications of core themes in the Bible that continue to be unfolded in God''s work in his world.  I give thanks to God for using forces outside the church to advance justice for women in society.  There is still a lot to be done, e.g. reducing intimate partner violence and domestic violence throughout both churches and society. I wish the CRC was leading in that - it would be a stronger public witness to the good news of the gospel than the continuing focus on excluding women from any leadership positions in the church. 

The CRCNA rightly never did endorse complementarism.  It is also an ideology.  I find it curious that those who label feminism as evil because it is an ideology are willing to endorse another "ism" that reduces women to fit with an ideology.  My point, however,  was that the work for women in the CRC was not motivated by any ideology.  It was motivated by the goal of using all gifts of all women in ministry and respect for the moral agency of women who are called by God and accountable to God first for the use of their God-given gifts.  It is very Biblical to remove barriers to God's callings - we see that in the stories of the early church in Acts, for example.  There is ample evidence about negative impacts for women and girls in many situations of rigid complementarism.  Yes, I realize that may not be all.  Again, my point is to avoid both ideologies and deal with the specific realities that affect the ability of women to live out all of their God-given callings within the CRCNA. 



Kathy, I apologize for misunderstanding you. I thought you indicated men are incapable of preventing or acknowledging abuse. But now I understand your point is that it is easier to acknowledge abuse when women are present to receive reports. I agree with that! But, remember, women don't need to be pastors to be on staff or serve as volunteers as abuse of power reporters, etc. Also, male pastors can improve in the way they present themselves so that women will feel more comfortable reporting abuse to them. Though this may be difficult in some contexts, it is the biblical standard (abuse was reported to the apostles, cf 1 Cor 5) that make pastors should strive for. 

I'm grateful for your work in understanding and ostensibly contributing to the work of ensuring justice for women. It is sorely needed and a God-honoring pursuit. Again, however, I don't think women need to be ordained for this to occur. 

To your third point, I agree the CRCNA wasn't motivated by feminism in the 1960s and following. However, one question I have is why it just so happens that the Church never really thought about women in office until 1960s feminism. Do you attribute that to coincidence? 

Finally, what about what the Bible says? To repeat an above post, Though you raise excellent pragmatic arguments for your position, I think pragmatic arguments are always secondary to Scripture. If God says, "Don't do it," but we think "doing it" is better for us, that doesn't excuse not following Scripture. Hence, the main topic of this post is hermeneutical, not pragmatic. As an example, your argument that the fruit of women in office is good fruit is the exact same argument proponents of same-sex marriage use. They say same-sex marriage is good for the church, so we should do it. But again, the argument is about what God says, not what we think it best for us. If a Christian is convinced that the Bible prohibits the ordination of women, do you think the pragmatic argument you make (i.e. look at the fruit) should outweigh the scriptural argument? What would you say to someone (like me) in that position? 

I wish the church had been a leader in justice for women and provided models for the larger society, instead of being a laggard.  No, I do not think the timing is a coincidence.  God often uses other parts of society to teach his church a lesson.  That happened in Biblical times and it continues to happen throughout history.  I'm thankful God continues God's work throughout creation and history, and is not limited to relying on the church.  The question we face is joining God in God's work or continuing to resist and put up barriers.  Jesus had some harsh words for church leaders who did that. 

I did address the question of what the Bible says by drawing attention to the over-riding theme of justice throughout the Bible. I observed that hermeneutics also needs to consider the context of specific texts and the larger themes of Scripture, instead of using selected, isolated texts as prescriptive commands for all time when they were advice to particular churches in particular contexts where women were considered property I mentioned that the book of Acts includes examples of how the early church worked through somewhat similar challenges.  All of these are relevant to an approach to interpreting Scripture, especially in the Reformed branch of Christianity.  It is not a matter of pragmatic or the Bible.  Jesus also modeled for us a much richer way to learning to live out prior teachings and the Good News of the gospel, including how he modelled full respect for women and children.  



Hi Kathy, thanks for your response and patience (despite not being given a choice on my tardiness...)

Thanks for clarifying regarding pragmatics. But, I think there is often a divide between pragmatics and the Bible. Not always, but there is often. For example, do we search the scriptures to shape our worship? Or, do we shape our worship based on what we think will gain the most people? One is a pragmatic option that many take, and the other more biblical. Of course, the pragmatists will use the Bible. But the question is whether the Bible is the sole rule of life and faith, or if it is a contributing factor to other pragmatic considerations. That is the huge burden on my heart in this discussion. I'm not saying you do this, but I do get the sense that some enter this discussion—from whatever side—and look to practical considerations as if they held as much sway as Scripture. 

That said, I share your desire to see the church lead in justice. Obviously, we have different views on what that justice is. For you, it's equal roles of women. To me, that isn't justice but is rather a modern invention that the Bible refutes all the while supporting equal status of males and females. So, that's probably part of the reason why the Church hasn't lead here—we can't figure out what we want to lead!

Peace to you,




be discerning & test everything... 

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

The CRC's decision in 1995/1996 regarding women was a landing place for something that has been a source of contentious concerns, intense debate, & voluminous writings over the decades & centuries. I can see why the view of women was not clear back then, with both sides seeking to follow God's heart in scripture... however since then, there seems to be a continuing undercurrent running just below the surface regarding each other's view that shows up when we get both views in the same "room"... instead of trying to resolve the different views, each side seems to be getting further entrenched & divided, finding new alliances that agree on their particular view. The egals seem to be focused on the big picture principles & want to move forward, no longer looking at the difficult scripture passages that the comps cite as "clear" and "plain" & the comps seem to be getting more entrenched that the difficult passages are clear regarding women, through groups like CBMW, Together for the gospel (T4G), Sovereign Grace, the Gospel Coalition, etc. type of groups that are all "complementarian" in their view of women, promoting the "created order" as the end all of the discussion, finding alliances with other comps despite many historic differences that have separated denominations over the ages.

I agree with aspects of compl, egal & feminism, but also disagree with aspects of each. I believe tradition of man/elders has elevated authority, power, titles, hierarchy, degrees, institutions at the expense of the Spirit & ALL the gifts especially prophecy (for both men & women), at the expense of the one another commands/principle, at the expense of the priesthood of all believers, at the expense of Jesus saying we (men & women) are not to "lord it over"/exercise authority over in the Body of Christ. Both sides need to consider giving up the idea of traditional hierarchical leadership power structures. If that possibility make you uncomfortable, ask yourself why. These are the way of the world based on business models, based on man's way, based on traditions of man/elders- including the eternal submission of the Son (thanks to George Knight lll & Wayne Grudem) that literally nullifies God's word in ways per Matt 15/Mark 7! This is an entire discussion on its own! Is this a systemic threat to the status quo? definitely! But God's way is so much more beautiful when we cooperate & collaborate together, loving one another instead of lording/ruling/exercising authority over one another! God's best for us as His family, is to flourish and thrive in our journey of faith following our Lord & Savior, that we can have abundant life in Christ (this is John 10:10b, not the prosperity gospel).

Rob mentions that being pragmatic is secondary to God's word... I was thinking about this & I had to laugh... God forming Eve from Adam is very pragmatic! the only time God said "it is not good..." during creation is after Adam was created, when Adam was alone... the only time God said "very good" is after He created Eve! Problem solved! We are mandated to steward/rule over creation together, not over each other!

The pragmatic fruit Kathy shared is part of what helps us test what is good & what is not as scripture encourages us to do... unfortunately the LGBTQ views adds confusion to the views on women & has been used to dismiss valid support for women. Lumping these 2 together is not helpful & causes confusion. of course, everyone is going to say whatever they believe is good! I agree there has been a correlation between egal view of women & SSM that needs to be discussed. But there is also a correlation between compl & patriarchy that adds to the confusion & should be discussed! Both views have aspects that add to the confusion! God warns us around 30 times in the NT to not be deceived. It's a (painful) prayer we all can pray for God to show us where we might be being deceived. I have a long list of answers! the key is being open & humble to being wrong! (this reminds me of something I compiled re metanoia that maybe I will share in a new post)

I have also experienced & witnessed the "feminist" label (& other labels) used as a way to dismiss legitimate questions, information, quest for God's best for His people, similar to the LGBTQ comparison, instead of taking an honest, humble look at the information. The enemy uses all kinds of tactics to cause chaos & confusion... that's why we need the discerning of spirits gift of the Spirit along with prophecy...

I will address the abuse aspect in another response... it's complicated, but there's plenty of reason the (not so) good old boys club is a reality!

for now... The Inner Ring from CS Lewis... Innerring - CS Lewis Society of California

the quest for power & positions of influence is an age old battle... As followers of Jesus, He asks us to do the opposite.

20Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and knelt down to make a request of Him. 21“What do you want?” He inquired. She answered, “Declare that in Your kingdom one of these two sons of mine may sit at Your right hand, and the other at Your left.” ...

24When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25But Jesus called them aside and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. 26It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Dear Bev,

I’ll try to focus on some highlights and respond where I have the most pressing question, or think a response would be most suitable to all the wonderful comments you’ve provided. In regards to this post, two things stand out.

First, you said, “I believe tradition of man/elders has elevated authority, power, titles, hierarchy, degrees, institutions at the expense of the Spirit & ALL the gifts especially prophecy (for both men & women), at the expense of the one another commands/principle, at the expense of the priesthood of all believers, at the expense of Jesus saying we (men & women) are not to "lord it over"/exercise authority over in the Body of Christ.”

To which I mostly agree! I think the Church, whatever the gender of the officer, has the unfortunate capacity to stifle the work of the body. I’ve also noticed that much of this stifling is bottom-up. That is, many people are content just being spectators and not, to use John Wimber’s phrase, “doing the stuff.” But, our difference lies here: I think the solution to this problem is a proper understanding of the priesthood of all believers. I think the CRC has endorsed a “dominee” understanding of pastors as if they are the only people allowed to pray, speak about the gospel, or teach. This is unfortunate and unbiblical. From my perspective, women should be empowered to teach women and children, share the gospel, pray for everyone in person or when absent, publicly share what God is doing in their lives, and yes, even share a prophetic word in submission to the elders if the woman (or man!) feels led. In sum, yes there’s stifling but I think the solution is in broadening our understanding of what lay Christians can do, not broadening our understanding of the pastorate. Ironically, from my perspective, the latter merely continues the unhelpful trend of intimating that only pastors, whether male or female, “can do the stuff.”

Second, you say, “Rob mentions that being pragmatic is secondary to God's word... I was thinking about this & I had to laugh... God forming Eve from Adam is very pragmatic! the only time God said "it is not good..." during creation is after Adam was created, when Adam was alone... the only time God said "very good" is after He created Eve! Problem solved! We are mandated to steward/rule over creation together, not over each other!”

I think your point here is that God is pragmatic? I’m not quite sure what you were intending with the reference to God creating Adam and Eve as it relates to the question at hand. Perhaps you could flesh that out a bit?

On the other hand, I noticed that your dichotomy in the last sentence is this: we either rule together or over each other (“We are mandated to steward/rule over creation together, not over each other!”). Unfortunately, this is a caricature of complementarianism that I hear often. A CRC pastor recently told me the linchpin in his becoming an egalitarian was his belief that Genesis teaches men are women are equal. I said I wholeheartedly agree!

No complementarian believes men and women aren’t equal in their inherent value, or that men should “rule over” women. Rather, complementarians believe that women should willingly submit to the delegated male authority of the church. If women reject this leadership, they are free to do so. The picture is of willing submission and loving leadership, not unwilling submission and ruling over. Furthermore, **women do participate in the creation mandate to rule creation.** We are all prophets, priests, and kings. Women rule over creation with men, but they do not lead men, according to the comp. view. This is analogous to our position with God—we rule over creation as we follow God. For women in the church, it’s the same relationship. Hence, Paul says, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman…” (1 Cor 11:3).

Thanks for your response Rob... lots of thoughts...  I have a long, long list of laments of unfortunate, unbiblical, opposite of scripture, out of alignment with scripture stuff/traditions in the institutional church...

it's systemic - part of the institutional/denominational DNA... I grieve over the state of the Church & the CRC as that's my camp/expression/tradition that I've been a part of my entire life...I will save most of my response for later... but here's a few thoughts...

on God being pragmatic, I just found it humorous that God forming women for relationship, to help steward creation & be fruitful & multiply together, is not only beautiful, but so practical! The good fruit is often practical, helping others flourish & thrive! 

Ok, on men & women being equal in inherent value... this is really only in the last 50 years - it's NOT the traditional view, it's a pretty recent view... before that, everything was pretty much through the lens of men being superior... read the church fathers, reformers, etc. there are some pretty demeaning quotes about women from them. Then there are the people that call themselves "comp" but are actually patriarchal... I would give Doug Wilson as an example, but I think he says he is patriarchal.

& I like to call it loving servantship (based on Phil 2/Matt 20) not leadership... & leading (verb) is not about a title or a position... it's about being an example (I have a compilation of verses on this) that convinces/persuades others by our character & love for one another to walk in God's Spirit & Truth together. Sometimes, that includes teaching/sharing/testifying/exhorting/etc. 

anyway, that's not even the tip of the iceberg... 


Kathy, thanks for joining in this discussion (& Hetty as well)! I know you have been on the front lines of this debate for decades!  I appreciate your experience and perspective. I agree on using broader principles of scripture as a lens. That's why I love the "one anothers"...  we need both/and... & we can trust God's best for us on this journey of seeking His heart/truth!

so how do we reconcile when there are two different views?  We need to take another look... the information that has become available in the last 25 years or so since Synod's decision in the mid 90s, needs to be tested and discerned in this discussion. For example, Josephus was unheard of in the 90s for the most part... so why is his name familiar to many now in 2023? Well, there was this place called Caesarea Philippi that Josephus wrote a LOT about how amazing it was! The scholars, theologians thought he was a nut case because they were not aware of evidence of such a fantastical city...


archeologists discovered significant parts of this amazing Caesarea Phillipi in the late 70s & 80s that validated what Josephus had written... then it took about another 10 years for Josephus writings' to make it through acadamia & be accepted as accurate & credible & become more commonly known in our study of biblical history. So, we basically only started including Josephus' work in the last 20 years or so. 

There is other information that is now more commonly available that gives a different story of women in the early church... why did councils ban women from being ordained as elders in the 4th century? Because women were functioning as elders & deaconesses in the early church. This history needs to be looked at, the Council of Nicea seems to be a turning point on what women could do in the Church. Up until then, history & archeological evidence show women involved in ways that are now not allowed by comps.

So both comps & egals have work to do. Both sides need "peithesthe", a Greek word that means to be open to being persuaded/convinced by another's view. Someone shared with me that "peithesthe" was the word that opened debates in the Greek forums. 

Peithesthe/Be persuaded/convinced by those who lead (by their example, including character, experience, maturity) and willingly choose to follow their Godly example because it is God's best for you, so that these Godly believers, who watch out on your behalf (including your soul), can rejoice in your testimony of faith, instead of grieving when you choose not to follow God's best for you... based on the Greek in Hebrews 13:17

I will respond to other aspects of Kathy's comments in reply to Rob's response. 

I no longer have any interest in defending my calling as an ordained minister. 

Rather, I need to focus on grieving for my son who just passed away, while also leading the church I love through this holiday season -- as their pastor.

oh Bonny, I am so sorry.  May you & your loved ones sense the Peace and Presence of the Good Shepherd as you journey through this valley in the shadow of death...  the journey of grief is brutal, yet beautiful as it expresses our deep love for the one that is no longer physically with us... may the family of believers that you minister with, surround you with their love & compassion in so many ways as we remember Jesus' birth and transition into 2024... know that you are a precious, priceless beautiful daughter of the King & are deeply loved by Your Creator!

Indeed, may the Lord give you peace and fresh vistas of His love, Bonny. I totally understand and don't expect you to feel the need to defend your pastorate here. This is just an opportunity for those interested to discuss this important question. May the Lord bless you and your family. I pray the Lord gives you His comfort in this extremely difficult time. 

Before I jump back into this discussion, I want to take a moment to reflect on Christmas, along with recognizing that many women here and around the world have experienced deep pain &/or abuse because of the different views of women. My heart is for one another & that all, men and women, flourish and thrive on our journey of faith together and on behalf of those around the world. I just watched the video of another woman arrested recently in Iran by the morality police for not having her hair covered - the abuse of women I witnessed in a number of contexts, but especially the church & Islamic countries where many women were becoming Christians, is a key part of what prompted me to take a deeper dive into traditional views of women - that is a story in itself which bits & pieces might come out in the discussion. I am not a complementarian, egalitarian or a feminist although there are aspects of each that I agree with, I am "one another" and want God's best for everyone! The Case for "One Another" (See These 59 Commands in the Bible) | CRC Network (

I hope ya'll were able to spend some sweet time with family as we reflected on the birth of Jesus, coming to earth as a baby, remembering Who He is and what He has done... I also know that these sacred times can be difficult for families, especially after losing a loved one, but also for many other reasons why people are struggling... know that the Counselor, the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, God is with us and will never leave us as we journey together with Him.

Here are 2 songs that are in my top 100 favorites that I would like to share with you as we transition from Christmas into 2024...  the Lord bless you and keep you...

 What Child Is This / Child of the Poor | The Hound + The Fox - YouTube

(750) David Phelps and Maggie Beth Phelps - Agnus Dei [Live] - YouTube (FYI: this is a different version of Agnus Dei, not the MW Smith one)

... back to regularly scheduled discussions...

I actually posted most of this last week sometime on the What's So Hard About Being a Pastor? | CRC Network (, it was deleted before Rob started this post, so I'm reposting a slightly edited version in case anyone is confused if they think they might have read this somewhere before... otherwise I hope I am not adding to any confusion...

Thank you, Rob, for your thoughtful & respectful response... those are great questions - they really open the door for an amazing discussion... I didn't want to hijack your post, so tried to limit the firehose of information ;) (ps. that's why we started a new thread on this specific aspect of women as leaders, pastors)

I have a few minutes right now (ps. last week), so will share some thoughts on your 2nd hesitation...

what I've found (per Andreas Kostenberger see ****) is when "oude" 1 Timothy 2:12 Greek Text Analysis ( is used in any Greek literature, his conclusion is that whatever is being referred to on both sides of "oude" are either both positive or both negative, no exceptions that he could find (you are welcome to test that!). So if one word/phrase is negative, then both are a negative type of behavior... if authentein is negative, the teaching was also a negative type of teaching (of course Kostenberger believes they are both positive, along with Al Wolters)... so the teaching could be referring to what Paul & Timothy are addressing in Ephesus in ch 1:3-8, 4:1-2, etc...  that is why a very important question is: did the Holy Spirit via Paul intend for authentein to be negative, neutral or positive here? I have landed on it's negative, but how dare I disagree with some of the experts like Andreas & Al?  Well, it is daunting, but I hope to present the evidence for why I disagree based on usage in historical sources before Paul & after Paul, for why I think that authentein is negative & would love for it to be tested! The Septuagint's use of "authente" in Wisdom of Solomon 12:6 has a very interesting context that is very similar to Ephesus in Paul's time.

**** Köstenberger’s chapter builds on his previous work for the rendering of 1 Tim. 2:9-15 by exploring other uses of the conjunction οὐδέ (oude) and arguing that Paul must either be arguing for a positive or a negative function for both teaching (διδάσκω, didasko) and exercising authority (αὐθεντέω, authenteo).  A Review | Women in the Church: An Interpretation and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 - CBMW

I hope to get back to you later when I have time but wanted to initially respond that I saw/read your response & really appreciate your testing what I shared & your thoughts/insights!  If I'm off/wrong, I want to know... I believe honest feedback is healthy! We are both searching for His truth! 100% in agreement on let's go to the sources!!

Blessings.  For His glory & our good!


ps. ok, I now have some time to follow up on Rob's other concerns and hesitations... 

I also posted most of this as a 2nd follow up comment to Rob's response last week... so most of it might be a repeat for some...

PS... Rob, on your TLG search for authentein...  FYI: the following is copied from the last comment on Lost In Translation: A Look at 1 Timothy 2:12-15 | The Junia Project by Bob Edwards... this additional info of who said what when, might help you just in case you want to find the original sources!!! I am working on that myself, but struggling a bit bc it's all Greek to me ;)...

I have found Perseus to be a helpful source for original evidence a number of times in my research - it is so amazing to be able to go to the ancient source & read it in English!!! I am not sure, but I think this is one of the uses of "authente" by Josephus... feel free to test it!!! Again, I really appreciate that you are willing to search for the original sources!!!

Flavius Josephus, De bello Judaico libri vii, *flaui/ou *)iwsh/pou i(stori/a *)ioudai+kou= pole/mou pro\s *(rwmai/ous bibli/on a., section 34 (

for the following, very specifically note which are before Paul & which are after Paul!

START of Bob Edward's comment that he posted on his article "Lost in Translation" linked above:

Here is a glance at Wilshire’s research related to the meanings of the Greek word “authentein” as used in Greek literature between the years 200 B.C. and 200 A.D.. The New Testament era is the intentional center of this range:

-Polybius used the word authenten, 2nd century B.C., to mean the “doer of a massacre.”

-The word authentian is used in III Macabees, 1st century B.C., to mean “restrictions” or “rights.”

-Diodorus Siculus used three variations of the word (authentais, authenten, authentas), 1st century B.C. – 1st century A.D., to mean “perpetrators of sacrilege,” “author of crimes” and “supporters of violent actions.”

-Philo Judaeus used the word authentes, 1st century B.C. – 1st century A.D., to mean “being one’s own murderer.”

-Flavius Josephus used the words authenten and authentas, 1st century A.D., to mean “perpetrator of a crime” and “perpetrators of a slaughter.”

-The apostle Paul used the word authentein once during the same time period as Diodorus, Philo and Josephus. [I believe, therefore, that it likely had a similar meaning, particularly given the Ephesian context we have just examined.]

-Appian of Alexander used the word authentai three times, and the word authenten twice, 2nd century A.D., to mean “murderers,” slayer,” “slayers of themselves” and “perpetrators of evil.”

-Sim. of the Shepherd of Hermas used the word authentes, 2nd century A.D., to mean “builder of a tower.”

-A homily by Pseudo-Clement used the word authentes once, ? A.D., to mean “sole power.”

-Irenaeus used the word authenias three times, 2nd century A.D., to mean “authority.”

-Harpocration used the word authentes, 2nd century A.D., to mean “murderer.”

-Phrynichus used the word authentes once, 2nd century A.D., to mean “one who murders by his own hand.” (Wilshire, 2010, p. 28)

Whereas the word authentein was used on rare occasions (e.g. by Irenaeus) to denote authority, it was much more commonly used to indicate something violent, murderous or suicidal.

A significant shift in meaning is found by the 4th Century in Rome, largely in the work of St. Jerome and John Chrysostom. St. Augustine’s commentaries further emphasize this shift in meaning to one of “exercising authority.”

I thought this information might make a helpful supplement to the post :). Those interested in studying this subject in more depth might enjoy some of the books listed as references (see above).

END of Bob Edwards comment...

Since posting this last week, I have reached out to Bob & Helga Edwards to help find the original sources, because I am finding that it seems English translations vary a bit. I am 99% sure the Pseudo Clement use tx as "sole power" has to be post Paul since Clement himself wasn't around until the 2nd century...

Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification... For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.… I Cor 14:26,31 NKJV

please test & discern! 

The following is in response to Rob's first hesitation with his research of "authentein" in the TLG... I really appreciate Rob's interest in trying to find the original sources! It's one of the things I've been trying to work on & get help with, with very little progress that included considerable frustration so far, partially due to my nonexistent Greek capabilities. (:/) \0/

authentein & the TLG...  I would love to find the original context/narrative for each use of the "authente" root that we know of... especially between about 500 BCE until 400 CE, very intentionally noting where the shift in meaning became the more common usage... it seems, this word has quite a history & it is critical we research it more in depth... The Septuagint's usage carries a lot of weight for me, that I have not seen given to its use by others in my research & I am not convinced on why it hasn't been given more weight (the only indirect reason I have come across is because the Wisdom of Solomon is classical/attic Greek instead of koine Greek which adds to the confusion). The context of idolatry/witchcrafts/sacrifices are such a significant part of the Ephesus/Asia Minor culture that Paul & Timothy are addressing & Paul was quite likely familiar with this context & usage in the Septuagint. I will elaborate on why I believe Paul was familiar with the usage of "authente" words & used "authentein" in this context at the end of this post in a bit...

I found this interesting as I was following up today on the TLG website link that Rob shared in his response since part of this discussion is about witchcraft- TLG - Home ( :

  • Word of the day:
  • θέλγητρον, ‑ου, τό
  • a charm or spell

  • First attested: 6 B.C.
  • 158 time(s) in TLG corpus

I personally have not used TLG before... I would love to learn more about it... I am only aware of TLG via Wilshire's work on authentein using the TLG platform. Now, as I am reading the history of TLG, it makes me cry, it's so amazing!!! TLG - History ( I love when technology is used well for the common good! It is an incredible resource to have access to all these ancient documents, that anyone who is interested can read, that someone like me who never studied Greek can access & read in English!  I am thankful that others are willing to look into these documents & test them with me, information that was not accessible for most of us before the last 20 years or so... I know I am getting to the point where I need others to help further research & test the witchcraft aspect of Ephesus/Asia Minor & 1 Timothy, & I believe that the Holy Spirit helps us find God's truth... discerning God's heart for women is something that has caused much contention & divisiveness for far too long... We should not fear this path we are on, because whatever we find, we are searching with a love for His truth, knowing that God wants what is best for us, whatever that might be! 

In the last 5 years or so, I personally have wrestled with a lot of the concerns and questions that Rob & others have brought up in various discussions/research over the years. The reasons why a more intensive, in-depth research started for me in 2018 is its own story... I am sharing some of what I have found in my journey ... I want to test everything, because there are dynamics that were not discussed when this went through Synod in 1995-1996, that I'm aware of &/or were dismissed for various reasons in the 1990s that the reasons are sketchy, so I took another look - I could be wrong & am open to any evidence that supports otherwise...

Here is an example of something that was discussed & dismissed by some scholars (not aware of this being discussed in the CRC, but I could be wrong): in the 90's, some scholars dismissed the witchcraft aspect in Ephesus as "bizarre" and "far-fetched"... what scholar or intellectual is going to risk their reputation on something that is viewed as irrational? One of my favorite TED talks is "dare to disagree"... Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree | TED Talk (you can read the transcript as an option if you prefer) ... A key to my journey of discovery was becoming aware of Artemis of the Ephesians' significant influence in that culture as a goddess (Acts 19 & her temple as one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world) ... The more I researched, the more a traditionally difficult passage made sense to me, & it didn't stop with Artemis or 1 Timothy 2:12!

I have done a fair amount of research on "authentein" over the last 5 years or so (along with digging into other Greek words) ... my research includes going through Al Wolters findings... 00-Text_JETS52-4 ( AUQENTHS AND ITS COGNATES IN BIBLICAL GREEK ...  I will probably have to re-read it at some point, as it's been about 3 years since I read it...

All this to say, I don't think we can or should minimize or dismiss what Paul meant when he used "authentein" here! It is a key word used & in my experience that a lot has hinged on over the ages, in a verse that is often the default used at some point to support the complementarian view of women in the Church to say the "Bible is clear", when there are a whole lot of questions that this verse/passage raises!

At this point, what I have found, is that it is very possible that the Greek root "authente" has a very negative meaning that Paul had in mind when he uses this very rare Greek word "authentein", used only 1 time in the NT in 1 Timothy 2:12. It's possible it might be "kin- murderer" or a broader type of abuse of power that harms others, especially the vulnerable, that includes murder & sacrifice.

Here's some of my support for that: 

1) Paul uses 3 hapax legomenon in 1 Tim 9 to describe 3 specific types of murderers. 2 of these are a specific type of "kin murderer". I would love to see research on each of these words, where they are used in other Greek literature... I have not been able to figure out how to do this yet... any help would be much appreciated!!! What are the chances that just a few paragraphs before Paul uses "authentein", he intentionally mentions murder 3x!

2) Paul was familiar with the Septuagint, he quotes it verbatim at places in his letters, he was more than likely familiar with the Wisdom of Solomon as part of the Septuagint. He would have seen the similarity of the worship of gods/goddesses going on in his time, that the Septuagint refers to going on centuries before. The worship of gods/goddesses was so commonplace in that time, it would be like us talking about sports & different sports teams today. But somehow over the ages, that significant aspect of culture got lost/minimized/ignored. There is a history here, that needs to be looked at. I hope to share some of the history, when I respond to Rob's hesitation that women were not allowed in leadership for the last 2000 years until the early 70's... It's a fascinating journey, one that I had never heard/read about in any of my research/discussions on this for either complementarian or egalitarian. Not saying it wasn't mentioned somewhere, just not in what I was aware of before I did my own research into the original languages, history of the early church & church fathers.

3) Paul had spent time in Athens @ the Areopagus/Mars Hill per Acts 17. The Areopagus was a place where authentes/murderers were tried by the council of elders there. Paul would have been aware of that~! The worst murderers were tried there because there was a belief that people did not want to be tainted by being under the same roof as the authentes/murderers, so this was an open-air court room. At the foot of this hill, was a place called the temple of Erinyes/Eumenides, the Furies, generally considered to be comprised of 3 goddesses, that were believed to be a part of the authentes/murderers sentencing...  Erinyes - Wikipedia (warning, includes some graphic info about what the gods/goddesses did) ... 

Paul had also lived in Ephesus for about 3 years (Acts 19), so he was very familiar with the cultural context of Artemis & the 50 or so other gods/goddesses that were being worshipped there... Paul most likely encountered cultic worship in every area he visited. Again, it was as common as sports teams in many countries, each with their own unique aspects, but also a lot of overlap. 

4) Paul mentions "doctrines of demons" in 1 Tim 4:1, he mentions satan several times as well in this letter to Timothy.  Asia minor was home to a pantheon of mythical gods & goddesses, many/most? who practiced mystery/secret rituals that are often referred to as the "mystery religions". These secrets are referred to in the Revelation letter to Thyatira (160 miles from Ephesus).

There is more, but one of the things I would love help with is finding the actual narratives of where "authente" is used in the original sources... I have the English translation, I have names of who used it that we know of, & the century when it was used...  Now having the actual context for each one would be amazing!

My apologies, my comments get so long ie TLDR... but we are discussing something that has become very complex over the ages, including the letter to Timothy that includes one of the most difficult passages, that has had a lot written about it, especially in the last 50 years or so. Even with minimal research on this, we can no longer say It's "clear" & a "plain reading of the text" for various reasons - that is why the CRC has allowed both views & with the information commonly available at the time, I can see why. I think the meaning of authentein was obvious when Paul wrote it for what he meant, because the practice of witchcraft in the name of the gods/goddesses was so common as part of that culture, but somehow, for a variety of reasons, since then, this aspect has been obfuscated & lost.

I encourage everyone to research this for themselves, however if anyone wants links about something that they wonder about, let me know & I will try to find them again...

My prayer is we can look into this & test this together as the priesthood of ALL believers, where EVERYONE has something to share to edify, encourage & build up the body of Christ so that ALL may learn! 

For the Glory of God & our good... 

The following response includes more discussion on 1 Timothy 2:11-12, addressing Rob's 3rd hesitation...

read as you have time & space to process... be a Berean, test everything!

before 2018, I was oblivious to much of this information for various reasons, partly because I never heard it in church or came across it in my CRC readings. If there is anything on this in the CRC context, I am interested in listening to or reading it!

Per Rob's response: Thirdly, Paul says women must "learn quietly" (v. 11). The biblical context for v. 12's authentein is v. 11's "learn quietly." So, authentein doesn't seem to be contrasted with witchcraft, but with learning in an outspoken way. EOQ

I wonder if the learn quietly (hésuchia) has to do with the teaching/didaskein based on 1 Tim 1:3&7? Paul commands Timothy to give this woman an opportunity to learn her new faith before she is permitted to teach, otherwise her teaching included false teaching/doctrines, possibly ones that came from myths/fables (god & goddess worship) & endless geneologies (1 Tim 1:3-4,6-7) that were part of her former cultic beliefs. It's possible that she had been (false?) teaching in a domineering & forceful way similar to how things were possibly taught in the cults (I haven't done a lot of research on the teaching in cults but have come across a bit that implied it was loud & domineering - interestingly, I have come across that one of the more common meanings of hecate is: makes her will dominate/ prevail).

I believe Paul had a certain woman in mind, along with a few other people based when he wrote "certain people" in 1 Tim 1:3 that also probably included the men named in 1 Tim 1:20. For whatever reason, the 1984 NIV says "certain men" in 1 Tim 1:3, where most translations use a gender inclusive term/phrase here, which seems to be more accurate based on the Greek.

Another reason why I believe this is a specific woman is one of the very interesting things in v11-12 is that Paul switched from using plural women in v 9-10 to singular woman in 11-12. Now, I've been told that I'm making way too much out of a difference of 1 letter. Maybe... but the difference might be between 1 person & half of the Kingdom Church. Why would Paul do this? If we believe it's through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we cannot ignore this switch.

It's possible that Paul is thinking of a very specific woman that might have been one of the many new converts from the Artemis, etal cults (Acts 19) who possibly served as a priestess on behalf of Artemis &/or other goddesses. So, her attempts at teaching (referred to in v12) could include beliefs & practices from her former life (support for this includes the doctrines of demons aka witchcraft in 1 Tim 4:1, along w millions of $ worth of magic/sorcery scrolls burned in Acts 19:19 that many of the new converts destroyed), teaching things when she doesn't know what she's talking about (1v7) as a new believer & she needs to learn more about her new faith with a calm and cooperative attitude before she can teach.

This whole section v8-15 is a point-by-point corrective of certain beliefs/practices that were associated with the gods/goddesses, especially, but not exclusively, Artemis. This passage is part of the chapter that has been titled instructions on worship, but it is not limited to worship. It's a collective list of various correctives of problems that Timothy is dealing with. This becomes more apparent when we understand how Artemis, etal were worshipped at the time, especially when we look at v15 & childbearing! Aeschylus, Suppliant Women, line 667 ( A verse that over the years, many theologians have struggled with how to interpret. None of the commentaries that I have read so far, say anything about the goddesses as guardians of childbirth. If I missed it, let me know! here's an extensive sampling! 1 Timothy 2:15 Commentaries: But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint. ( 

I love that v 11 includes the only command in this passage to "let a woman learn"! I am brought to tears just thinking about how revolutionary this was in that culture and time, how gracious it was to this woman who was possibly part of the problem of bad teaching in 1 Tim 1:3&7! Even now, this is an amazing command for ALL women, as I think about the women in Afghanistan who have been banned from university & any education beyond elementary, that is going on even today, when I read about patriarchal parents who do not encourage (& sometimes strongly discourage) their daughters from going to university. These limitations for women learning break my heart, especially when to "let a woman learn" is the command that is given to Timothy, as God's Holy Word.

Looking at the various translations of v11, some seem to emphasize that the command is about a woman's (all womens'?) quietness/silence & submission/subjection instead of learning. Why did some versions use "silence" instead of "quietness" & calm as the Greek word implies? It's best for everyone, women & men, to learn with a calmness & quietness, that's not just for women, it's part of the fruit of the Spirit.

Strong's Greek: 2271. ἡσυχία (hésuchia) -- stillness (

HELPS Word-studies

Cognate: 2271 hēsyxía (from hēsyxos, "quiet, stillness") – quietness, implying calm; for the believer, 2271 (hēsyxía) is used of their God-produced calm which includes an inner tranquility that supports appropriate action. This term "does not mean speechlessness, which is more directly indicated by 4602 (sigḗ)

So what is the universal message of v11? that all should have opportunities to learn & grow in our faith, especially for those new in the faith, that we ALL should learn in quietness & cooperation with those who are more mature & experienced in the faith, being open to teachings, revelations, etc that others share with us. Does this mean we never question or use discernment when we are learning? Of course not, we are all called to test everything... that needs to be taught as well!  The Bereans were a noble people who searched the scriptures after they heard Paul preach. May we do the same!

We can have an entire discussion on the use of "silence" by the KJVs & how that has limited women over the years & even still today is impacting the Kingdom Church, but I will skip that for now... it's part of a discussion on 1 Cor 14:33-35 & women being allowed to speak or not in church gatherings.

I will share my research on "hupotage" in the next comment!

my apologies if this seems to be a firehose of information... it's been a profound, but also painful, journey of discovery for me as I come across information that as far as I'm aware, has not been a significant part of the discussion if mentioned at all (ie the v15 childbearing & the goddesses as guardians watching over the women during childbirth so they would not die). How did we miss this for so long? or am I so far off base/deceived with what I'm finding?

What I have found makes sense to me, I cannot ignore it, and I really appreciate when people honestly & humbly test what I share - thank you Rob!

My research includes so many different sources, including the original languages of Scripture. This is not a low view of scripture, or caving to modern culture, or rebelling & usurping authority as has been suggested by some who do not believe women are allowed to teach/preach/be in authority over men in the Church but refuse to engage with what I share... this is going back to the ancient paths/sources/texts/culture (& yes we can discuss "created order" at some point as that seems to have become the definitive basis for exclusively male pastors/elders in more recent years using 1 Tim 2:11-15 & ch 3 to justify it)...

Jeremiah 6:16a This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths: 'Where is the good way?'... 

Blessings to everyone in this New Year! Praise God His mercies are new every morning, not just once a year! 

well, after 2 weeks of holiday gatherings & our rhythm is settling down again, I've been meaning to post my response on hupotage, but it hasn't happened yet, so I'm going to give a spoiler on hupotage for now... I said I would post on hupotage next but I have been sitting in ICU with a friend so she's not alone, & took my laptop with me tonight so I can work on some things including following up on this discussion. However, my hupotage draft comment is on my home computer...  so in the meantime... 

Here is what I found on my journey of discovery re hupotage/hupotasso...

there was a military and a NON military context for the use of hupotasso & related words like hupotage! It seems the NON military meaning has almost been completely lost since who knows when! 

Hupotasso (hupotage is based on hupotasso) does NOT mean submit in a NON military context = ie marriage & the church as brothers & sisters in the Lord, as the priesthood of all believers.  It means COoperation & sharing responsibilities & burdens... a mutual collaboration! how beautiful is that!

Hupotasso Meaning - Greek Lexicon | New Testament (NAS) (

I hope to post more on this tomorrow sometime... for me, this makes so much sense with the 59 one another commands & Jesus saying multiple times, if we love Him, we will keep His commands... 

Your Creator takes GREAT delight in you & REJOICES over you with LOUD, JOYFUL, EXUBERANT singing!

Strong's Hebrew: 7440. רִנָּה (rinnah) -- a ringing cry (

What Exactly is High Praise? | CRC Network (

Please join me in prayer for God's best for ALL!  men, women, young, old, rich, poor, every tribe, tongue, people & nation! FOr our good & His glory!

A brief break from lots of words... I came across this video in my research for sources of authente type words... he also shares around 7:50 another possibility of the meaning "authentein"... (yup, there has been a lot of work on this specific word in the last 30-50 years!)

(755) Why Women Must Learn in Quietness and Submission: Xenophon of Ephesus and 1 Timothy 2 (Gary Hoag) - YouTube

I had completely forgotten about the Ephesiaca document... this video shares why it has been largely ignored until the last 20 years or so due to erroneously dating of the Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus to a century or more post Paul... in 1996, it was determined it was written about 50AD... this 1st century contemporaneous document confirms the correctives that Paul is writes Timothy in 1 Tim 2... again, this is an example of the information that has come out post Synod 1996.  @ 5 minutes, Gary talks about how teaching/learning happened in the temple of Artemis (I said I hadn't researched that part much, but I had heard this concept somewhere before, just didn't remember the details...)

ps... I do have the hupotage comment drafted... so you will see that later!

Finally… Here we go on hupotasso…

excerpt from Rob's response:

In the same way, fourthly, the context for authentein (v. 12) is obviously the preceding verse (v. 11) which says that women should learn "in all submissiveness" (hupotage). What is the opposite of authentein? Contextually the answer must be hupotage—submissiveness. This is the same positive word used in 1 Cor 9:13 "... they will glorify God because of your submission (hupotage) that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ..." So, Paul is saying, "Women should not exercise authority (authentein) rather they should be submissive (hupotage)." To me, this means: women should do the opposite of authentein. What is that? Hupotage

again note that Paul uses singular woman in v11&12 compared to the plural women in v9-10... there is something unique going on here that is specific to one woman that is being a bit of a problem in the ekklesia of Ephesus as part of the Way. 1 Timothy 2:11 A woman must learn in quietness and full submissiveness. ( 

Ok, (I wrote this last week before I posted the spoiler yesterday ;) let's take a look at the meaning of "hupotage" a form of hupotasso... it's kind of a game changer when we consider a little known understanding about hupotasso: there is a military context & a non-military context. For various reasons, it seems the military meaning has been the one that has been almost exclusively used over the ages (see 1-6 below) & the non-military almost completely lost over time (see bold below). I came across the non-military meaning a few years ago, then tried to find it again & it took me a bit, as the military meaning has overwhelmingly been the default.

The body of Christ, marriage & family relationships are not the military... so what might that mean if we recognize that there is a different meaning in non-military usage that is probably more appropriate in the Church? I get quite a range of interesting responses when I share this non-military context meaning with people, so I have no idea how anyone is going to respond to this! for some it's a huge relief, for others, it ticks them off... but I'm not making this meaning up, here is a Greek Lexicon that includes the non-military meaning...

Hupotasso Meaning - Greek Lexicon | New Testament (KJV) (




  1. to arrange under, to subordinate
  2. to subject, put in subjection
  3. to subject one's self, obey
  4. to submit to one's control
  5. to yield to one's admonition or advice
  6. to obey, be subject

A Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, COoperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden". (My emphASis added)

Non-military: CO prefix: together, mutually, in common; When you cooperate with another person, you work together with them to accomplish something.

Military context: SUB prefix: under, beneath... accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person:

& FYI, here’s some of the definitions of responsibility! the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization; also, a moral obligation to do what’s right & being accountable. Interestingly, burden can refer to a problem, difficulty &/or responsibility that one carries.

For me, the non-military meaning makes so much sense with the 59 one another commands in the NT while the military meaning seems to be what Jesus is specifically saying not to do - "do not rule/lord it over like the Gentiles do"! Unfortunately, the military meaning has been used abusively & harmfully in far too many relationships. "Submit" has been used as a weapon to control those that are more vulnerable. (PS: this is some of the abuse / bad fruit that Kathy referred to)

So Biblical language like one another Strong's Greek: 240. ἀλλήλων (allélón) -- of one another (, brothers & sisters in the Lord (adelphos is gender inclusive, siblings from the same womb; Strong's Greek: 80. ἀδελφός (adelphos) -- a brother (, royal priesthood (of ALL believers), holy people/saints Strong's Greek: 40. ἅγιος (hagios) -- sacred, holy (, co-laborers/fellow workers type of language Strong's Greek: 4904. συνεργός (sunergos) -- a fellow worker ( indicates this collaborative use.

Interesting, that last Greek word reminded me of synergy: the combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately.

I do NOT believe Paul is saying, "Women should not exercise authority (authentein) rather they should be submissive (hupotage).” Both Greek words here need a careful reexamination of their meaning, along with wrestling with why did Paul switch to a singular woman. Also, v12 is not a command.

It seems in v11 Paul is commanding Timothy to let a woman learn in an appropriate manner (calmly & cooperatively that is conducive for all people to learn) & in v12 he is saying in this situation with this specific woman he does not allow/permit/"epitrepo" (this Greek word seems to be always used in a case by case basis from what I have found in my research so far) this woman to teach (bc she's teaching something inappropriate/negative) &/or force her will/dominate, possibly harm (again some inappropriate/negative behavior) a man with her teaching/actions. This woman is doing something very inappropriate in the Body of Christ (but possibly ignorantly as in Ch 1 where Paul shares he was ignorant when he lists how he was the chief example of violent inappropriate sinful behavior), so Paul is telling Timothy do not permit her to continue in her harmful teaching/behavior until she learns differently & knows better.

My conclusion: The way in the Body of Christ is a loving, mutual, collaborative relational sharing of responsibilities based on a variety of dynamics. That is the non-military application of hupotasso/hupotage which I believe is more appropriate for the Body of Christ in our relationships with one another!  If we are following the one anothers, then we will be praying together as well & when we pray together there is a unity that the Spirit brings...

Teach and counsel/exhort/admonish one another (Colossians 3:16a - no restrictions on gender!)

Mutual edification: encourage and build up one another (Romans 14:19b; 1 Thessalonians 5:11)

This response is a Bit of a switch of pace to share a bit on Deborah & Barak... 


Judges 4:9 Commentaries: She said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman." Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. (

A few years ago, I remember coming across an article about Deborah & Barak, that made me take another look at the understanding that I had picked up in the CRC over the years. What I found stunned me! 

I read something that the glory was always going to go to a woman, but what I had been taught was that the glory was going to a woman BECAUSE Barak was a weak cowardly man & God was using a woman to humiliate and shame him for not being the man he was supposed to be.  God was using a woman only because the men refused to step up and do what they were supposed to do!

“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh… per NIVs

Many of the commentaries back up this idea of Barak being a timid coward… here are a few samples from the bible hub link above:

This was a prediction which Barak could not understand at the time; but the strain of it conveyed a rebuke of his unmanly fears. Per Jamieson Fausset Brown

To enter into the force of this we must remember the humble and almost down-trodden position of women in the East, so that it could hardly fail to be a humiliation to a great warrior to be told that the chief glory would fall to a woman. Per Ellicot

It is greatly to the honour of a conqueror to take the general of the enemy’s army, or to kill him with his own hand; which, she tells him, should be denied him, as a small punishment for his diffidence and reluctance to comply with her directions; and as he would not go without a woman, so a woman should take away his honour from him. per Benson

However, what I found was pretty much ALL the other versions used “nevertheless”, “notwithstanding” that doesn’t place the blame and shame on Barak.  Several commentaries support this view:

Those who in God's name call others to their duty, should be ready to assist them in it. Barak values the satisfaction of his mind, and the good success of his enterprise, more than mere honour. Per Matthew Henry

Lest Barak’s hopes should soar too high, the prophetess foretells that the crowning glory shall not be his but Jael’s. It is doubtful whether any blame of Barak is implied: the words mean simply ‘thou wilt not gain the honours of the expedition.’ Per Cambridge Bible

So after taking another look at this story, the Hebrew used, along with looking at the Song of Deborah and Barak in Judges 5 where Barak is celebrating, not hanging his head in humiliation and shame, AND that Barak is listed as a HERO OF THE FAITH in Hebrews 11, I now believe this was a test for Barak, whether he would do what was right and needed to be done even if he didn’t get the glory…

I love Matthew Henry’s commentary on this:

Barak values the satisfaction of his mind, and the good success of his enterprise, more than mere honour.


Judges 4:14-16

Then Deborah said to Barak, "Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the LORD gone ahead of you?" So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. At Barak's advance, the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot. Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera's troops fell by the sword; not a man was left. (NIV)

1 Samuel 12:11

Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal, BarakJephthah and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety. (NIV)

Hebrews 11:32

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, BarakSamson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets. (NIV)

I now believe God always intended to give the glory to a woman, as part of the justice for the women of Israel who had been sexually violated by Sisera’s soldiers per Judges 5, a common practice in war per Sisera's mother.

I now see this as a powerful picture of men and women COLLABORATING and CELEBRATING together under the prophetic leading of the Spirit resulting in justice and safety for the common good & for the glory of God…

Hi Bev, 

Thank you for this wealth of information! I'll try to respond to it more fully later. As I've been promoted to research regarding "authority" in 1 Tim 2:12 (as you mentioned above) I found something really helpful that you might like to see. I don't know if you've heard of Mike Winger, but he's a strong Christian who I've met. He has an 11 hour YT video on this topic (yikes!). But, it has chapters in it and there is a very helpful section on "authority." The most important thing to keep in mind, I think, is what the word meant when Paul wrote it. We see words changing meaning before our eyes in the digital word (see this article for 24 examples: The same happened more slowly in Paul's day, as always. So, "authority" had a negative connotation at one time, but what was the meaning at Paul's time? 

That's the key question addressed here:



Thanks Rob, I have watched over 2 hours so far of MW of what looks like a 4&1/2 hour chapter on authentein... I have a # of concerns, but for now, here's a limited response...

I agree that a very important part of this discussion is when did authentein change its meaning & especially, at what point did it become COMMONLY used in its koine form. There is an underlying reason why both comps & egals seem to be hyper focused on proving whether authentein is positive or pejorative when Paul uses it. Because whether authentein is positive or pejorative influences whether the teaching/didaskein is a positive or pejorative type of teaching because of the use of the Greek word "oude".

Somewhere over the course of 250 years (50BC-200AD), the meaning of this word morphed. So at what point would the koine meaning become the common usage (especially instead of exousia)? As you said, the process of a word changing what it means would have been a lot slower back then, & I believe that it became COMMON after Paul, especially when the Gnostics started using it in the 2nd century AD. Many of MW's references to uses of it are post 1st Century AD with 2 in astrological contexts which the Gnostics had a keen interest in astrology for their "secret (special) knowledge".

At this point, I disagree with both Al Wolters & MW that the koine understanding became the common use of understanding around 0 BC/AD (pre Paul - not saying it was never used at this point but extremely RARE!) & seems to become more common after Paul (still RARE, but several hundred uses) but really didn't COMMONly become the new meaning until the 2nd century AD. The 1st century is some of the slow change of that word, but it took over 100 years! Sure, there are a few examples to show it started before Paul, but it took time & did not become COMMON until after Paul. Those 100 years make a BIG difference & that's the confusion because it happened in bits & pieces over 200 or so years, in the 100 years before & 100 years after the time of Paul. In the past, the 300 years post Paul was all lumped into the research of authentein, but I think most of the shift is post Paul & even then, authentes words often had a very domineering vibe. I believe the Gnostics/post Paul co-opted this rare word & have added to the confusion. So far have not heard any mention of the Gnostics by MW other than indirectly when referring to 2 astrological texts (you can do your own research on the connection b/t Gnostics & astrology, but here's one example: The Gnostic Tradition & Astrology: A Philosophical Investigation - NightFall Astrology; in addition to this, I find it interesting that statues of Artemis of Ephesus had the Zodiac around her neck & her "image fell from heaven" Acts 19:35)

MW references A LOT of Al Wolters material which Al basically disregards any attic use of the "authentes' root word in Paul's time (even though there is indication post Paul of a pejorative usage in the church context- ie Chrysostom, Council of Chalcedon). The two hundred years (50BC- 150AD) are the transition with most of it seeming to happen AFTER Paul based on other uses that have been found so far. Paul would most likely have been familiar with the attic Greek with all of his education, especially since the Septuagint's Wisdom of Solomon is in the Attic Greek. Even though we no longer recognize WoS as part of canon today, it was still considered part of the Septuagint/Scripture in Paul's time & for centuries afterward, though there was some dispute on it in by a few early church fathers post Paul. So everyone who studied the Septuagint, would have been familiar with "authentes" in this context, let alone that Paul had been at Mars Hill, which was where authentes were tried & the Furies dealt with murders, including kin murders Tisiphone - Wikipedia.. ; Excerpt: from these writers we learn that down to the second century A. D. there were five different homicide courts at Athens-the Areopagus, Palladium, Delphinium, Phreatto and Prytaneumn. (pg 331 of The Homicide Courts of Ancient Athens on JSTOR)

So far, I have not heard MW mention that Jerome translates it with a negative meaning (dominare), I have not heard MW mention the specific kin murders in 1Timothy (patroloais/matroloais), I have not heard any reference to the satanic rituals aka god/goddess worship going on in Ephesus that included "kin murder" similar to the Wisdom of Solomon context. It is far more likely Paul would have read WoS over any obscure letters from Tryphon. So for me, the Septuagint carries far more weight for how Paul would have used it at that point in time. That the Koine Greek was the common use by Paul's time is sketchy at best (although I do appreciate that MW got the entire Tryphon letter translated).

I agree with MW that egals can be all over the place with different interpretations (but comps have done the same with very inconsistent applications of 1 Tim 2:8-15 as well, so both sides are guilty). I have my theories on that, one of them is that I think some will make a stmt of their view that is published & then pride will not let them admit they are wrong. I have had a few interactions on social media with some, & I have found that most are not willing to look at any other possibility then their view. Both sides have issues! That's why I'm "one another"... The Case for "One Another" (See These 59 Commands in the Bible) | CRC Network (

In addition to the 59 one anothers, Jesus pretty clearly states NONE OF US in the Body of Christ are to exercise authority over others... Now why would Paul not have used the same Greek word that Jesus uses, if Paul meant "exercise authority" (along with ironically why did Paul not use "exousia" which was the common word for authority in Koine Greek) instead of this very rare obscure word? Maybe that will be answered in the next 2&1/2 hours?

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them aside and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. (

Strong's Greek: 2715. κατεξουσιάζω (katexousiazó) -- to exercise authority over (

NOT SO WITH YOU... Matt 20:26

These 2 Scriptural principles are part of the reason why I do not believe "authentein" means a general authority or exercise authority in 1 Timothy 2:12. I have other reasons, but these are some key principles for me!

Part of response to MW's 4.5 hr section on authentein... still have an hour to go... 

The context of the BGU 1208 papyrus use of "authentein" being translated into English (a long discussion of this use starts about 4:43:50 & I can understand why MW's excited about this even if I don't agree with him) is an amazing answer to prayer of the following from an earlier response! This is what I'm looking for. I believe these will help unlock the meaning of what has been called a very strange, rare, coarse, vulgar word not used in polite company & whether it's positive or pejorative!

excerpt from 2nd comment on 12.26.23: There is more, but one of the things I would love help with is finding the actual narratives of where "authente" is used in the original sources... I have the English translation, I have names of who used it that we know of, & the century when it was used...  Now having the actual context for each one would be amazing! EOQ

what especially caught my attention when I read the letter (THIS IS FASCINATING! FINAL-BGU-1208-Translation-and-Notes.pdf ( ) are the indication by the translator that the letter probably includes some level of sarcasm & I wonder if "authentein" is a bit of coarse slang between guys where Tryphon writes that I showed him & put that con man in his place bc how dare someone try to cheat us. "Authentes" & cognates were considered vulgar words that were not used in polite company (I read that authentein words were not used in polite company somewhere in an article about the murder trials on Areopagus, but haven't been able to find that specific article again, but MW gives me the vulgar reference (see time stamp & link below), I have also read that someone also called authentein "odious" but don't have a specific source yet).

Moeris, also in the second century, advised his students to use another word, autodikein, as it was less coarse than authentein. The Byzantine Thomas Magister reiterates the warning against using this objectionable term. Ancient Heresies and a Strange Greek Verb - CBE International

See Clip that includes evidence of authentein being considered “vulgar” @ 5:52:52 ALL The Debates Over 1 Tim 2:11-15: Women in Ministry part 12 (it took me a year to make this) (

I am not saying I'm in agreement with the use as a positive example. I think there is more to this story & the hint that there is sarcasm piques my curiosity about that possibility... Authentein was a coarse & vulgar word not used in polite company, yet Paul used it!

There is something very unusual about this word & why Paul used this word instead of the much more common & acceptable exousia Strong's Greek: 1849. ἐξουσία (exousia) -- power to act, authority ( or kurieuo' Strong's Greek: 2961. κυριεύω (kurieuó) -- to be lord of, rule (!

Lord, we have a love for You, Your people, Your truth, Your principles, Your ways, these are beautiful, precious & powerful... lead us, guide us in Your ways that are higher than the heavens above ours! For Your glory & our good!

oh my!!!  so far have watched about 6 -7 hours of the 11 hours (I've been sick, so this was something I could do to keep my mind off being tired & miserable)... now I know a bit of what others feel like reading my long posts... but there is so much to cover that is being brought to the table for the first time especially in the last 5 years or so on this!

here's a few more thoughts so far...

So I did watch the last hour of the 4.5 hour chapter on 1 Tim 2:12... this hour pretty much dealt with the "oude" word & I had mentioned this in a 12.26.23 response on Rob's #2 concern: Secondly, if Paul meant this word in such a negative way, why does he couple it with didasko (teach) which is a positive term throughout the Bible? 

I agree with MW that Kostenberger makes a strong case that oude makes either both positive or both pejorative, however, I still believe they are both negative in this usage. I don't think it became considered commonly neutral/positive until the gnostics started using it to describe their all powerful divine being in the 2nd cent AD, but even then it could be considered negative bc the Gnostics believed their "authentia" was supreme over the Hebrew God, so BIG problem!

a bit disappointed with both sides, lots that needs further work recognizing most of this material has only recently come to the attentions of both sides - the pantheon of gods/goddesses in that region have been mostly ignored over the ages for a lot of reasons, including there was very little information that could be accessed until recently on how these cults impacted Ephesus & surrounding regions... This context of Artemis/Diana, etal (& to make it even more confusing there are some significant differences b/t Artemis of the Ephesians & several variations of the Greek Artemis aka Roman Diana aka Egyptian Isis aka Persian asherah aka OT Queen of heaven are all different culture's manifestations of a fertility type goddess), the specifics of these cults have really only started to be researched, with exception of the Kroeger's 1992 Suffer not a Woman, in the last 20 years or so & probably most of it in the last 5 years or so with increased realization that Artemis is a significant aspect of the Ephesus culture, despite what MW has concluded (unfortunately the Kroeger's book was dismissed by scholars as bizarre & farfetched bc it dealt with bizarre & farfetched rituals of the mystery religions (aka witchcraft) that were secret... no one seems to want to touch that! Some egals are distancing themselves from any bizarre fertility rites (aka witchcraft!!!) going on in Ephesus region!  Well, it does make one cringe as emasculation seems to have been part of the process for some of the male priests of some of the goddesses like cybele & it seems like she had an altar/statue in the temple of Artemis...

MW right away dismisses the negative uses of authentein for a variety of reasons & some of his reasons don't make sense. Like well, men shouldn't teach false doctrine (or murder) either, so that can't be what authentein means, since that doesn't just apply to women, all the while ignoring that Paul switched from plural women to singular woman, yet seems to believe whatever the prohibition is should be applied to only women!

even 6-7 hours of MW's work has a lot of information that needs to be looked at. I haven't watched any of his other videos, but I know others have responded to his earlier videos... What Winger Presently Gets Wrong: The Head Covering Debates (1 Cor 11) - Terran Williams

& they haven't had time to process these 11 hours yet  A First Response to Mike Winger’s 11½ Hrs Video on 1 Timothy 2 - Terran Williams

so far, did not see any mention of the Gnostic influence as one of the false teachings being spread in Ephesus... also did not hear any reason why Paul/Holy Spirit would have chosen authentein, which is such a rare word, if he really intended a general authority.  He would have known authentein would probably have been kind of shocking to those who heard it. Using this here for exercise authority doesn't make sense even if it was just becoming common at the time, instead of exousia or kurieous, words that were common & had already been used by Paul in other letters. 

At about 6:02 MW notes that Clement with his classical background, uses both negative & positive uses of authentes bc he would have known both attic & koine Greek, why can't we use the same logic for Paul for those who think it had a positive common meaning at the time?!? Paul most likely also had a classical background & was a complex intellectual, he knew & possibly quoted the Wisdom of Solomon in Romans 1.  There are a number of significant aspects that still have not been addressed... granted I have about 4 -5 more hours to watch

MW addresses artemis of the ephesians to a point & completely missed that the Greek word tx as busybodies in 1 Tim 5:13 is the same Greek word for workers of magic in Acts 19.. No reference at all to hecate who I believe is also alluded to in 1 Tim as the crone goddess of witchcraft. Cybele is another significant influence that had very bizarre & bloody rituals.  MW mockingly dismisses "murders" as any possible meaning of authentein even though just a few paragraphs earlier he specifies 2 kin murders, manslayer & refers to himself as violent (I think most probably knew he was also guilty of murder via persecution!). as one fairly well known egal that MW mentions said to me "murder was definitely not on Paul's mind"... I disagreed & said "murder definitely was on Paul's mind"... based on chapter 1!

Bees are somehow part of the cult of Artemis of the Ephesians,. Those who mate w queen bees die in a gruesome way.... the "regalia" of Artemis of the Ephesians has significant meanings that we have barely looked at. I think Clinton Arnold was very uncomfortable thinking about the possibilities of what those strange large eggshaped objects on Artemis are! 

These cultic practices were secret for millenial, there's a reason many cults are connected with "mystery religions".  I believe there was a 2nd temple of Artemis close to Ephesus that was specifically for where the mystery rites were practiced. Rev 2 talks about the deep things of satan aka mystery rituals. Evidence of spells & curses have been found in Western Asia Minor including re poisoning husbands. 

So there are still other considerable aspects of the culture that need to to be looked at.  around the turn of the era, there was a syncretism of judaism + sorcery + astrology => secret knowledge aka mystery religions... later Christianity was added into the mix, this eventually developed into what we now call gnosticism. the Gnostics co-opted the use of "authentes"... this very likely influenced how early church fathers, including Jerome understood it.

the myths & geneologies (1 Tim 1:3) of the cults & the gnostics are pretty bizarre with probably more overlap than we know bc of the secret mysteries associated with them both... it gets into the essenes (started 2nd BCE), the naassenes & their snake worship venerating satan in the garden bc the serpent gave humans, specifically EVE, the key to KNOWLEDGE! The creation story gets blasphemously twisted by the gnostics & some of their ideas seem to have started in the 1st cent BC. probably not your typical SS class!!!

The following is evidence of the gnostics (Cerinthus was considered an early gnostic, part of the Simonian school - yes that Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8) being a problem in Ephesus at the time of the Apostles....Here's an encounter of the Apostle John at a bathhouse in EPHESUS per Irenaeus as told to him by Polycarp his mentor who was a student of John...

In Asia, early Christian writers identify Cerinthus as an adversary of the Apostle John. According to Irenaeus, his teacher Polycarp, himself a student of John,[15] told the story that John rushed out of a bathhouse at Ephesus without bathing when he found out Cerinthus was inside, exclaiming, "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is inside!"[16][17] Irenaeus also relates that John sought by proclamation of his gospel "to remove that error which by Cerinthus had been disseminated among men".[18]  Cerinthus - Wikipedia

Hope you found it a bit enlightening & entertaining!  Against Heresies by Irenaeus is something that might need to be read to better understand the gnostics... The gnostic writings found in 1945 added a new dimension to this discussion in the last several decades as their translations did not become released into the broader public until the late 80s & gradually became a part of the general academic discussion over the next few decades. Again, after the 1995-1996 synod decision re women.

I can’t believe people actually spend their life going over the same issues with the same arguments. Do you realise these ideas you are quoting have been around for hundreds of years, probably since Paul first wrote his letters. And it matters not a jot to a person’s qualifications to enter heaven. Women will be in heaven whether they’ve been preaching or a submissive wife. Men will be there regardless of whether they encouraged their daughters to enter the ministry, or forbade them. However some people will not hear the gospel while we are busy ‘parsing’.

That's fine if this is not where you are at, but for others, it can be life & death, as well as seeking truth & justice as part of our discipleship journey. My concern are the many women around the world that are experiencing significant oppression due to a view of women that is far less than a mutual respect of "one another", along with the men that are being executed for protesting on their behalf... women continue to be arrested by the morality police in Iran, which also happens to be one of the fastest growing Chr movements in the world. Thankfully there are some women pastors in Iran (I have had the honor of meeting one of them & what she shared was fascinating!), but traditional limitations are hindering other women from serving in that capacity there!  'Sheep Among Wolves': Documentary looks at fast-growing Christian movement in Iran, led by women | Entertainment News (

We are dealing with ancient traditions/beliefs regarding women that fuel the oppression, it's time to take another deep look at the history of how we got here & what did God really mean in His word about women and the church...  the very RARE authentein word is a HUGE piece of the discussion!

Iran recently executed a number of protesters that supported women, life, freedom... the enemy seems to continue trying to oppress/silence women.

While the World Looks Elsewhere, Iran Hurries Executions | TIME

Sure, these discussions might not be for everyone, but that doesn't mean they aren't necessary as part of seeking first the Kingdom of God... & for me that includes how we relate with "one another"...

Those who want to oppress women will not be swayed by anyone’s studies of this word or that word. And do you think a woman in Iran will be comforted to know that God doesn't want women to be abused by their husband, because she now has a correct understanding of the meaning of a single word? 


Hetty, there are multiple dynamics that especially came together regarding various views of women, about 6 years ago in my journey. I weep and hurt with the women & the church who have had some of their gifts/insights/voices hindered & treated as unwelcome and unwanted. I weep & hurt with women who have experienced abuse, but instead of receiving support & justice from those in the church who had the power to do so, they were blamed, shamed & silenced. There are numerous reasons I am pursuing this at this time. The women and church in Iran is one of many, but it is a significant one for me, for several reasons!

I have experienced significant impact through how God uses the internet (including this CRCNA Network) for women's voices to be heard & be at the table. God can use this however He wants & I can testify of how He has encouraged others, especially women, through the information I share, of who we are in Christ. He knows each of our journeys, including how we got to our views on women in the Church & what His truth/heart is. He calls us to be Bereans, to search the scriptures & test everything. What this looks like, can be very different depending on each person's unique journey.

There are those who want to do what's right & are in the process of testing the traditional views of women, there are Christian women leading others in Iran, that can share God's view of women as equal co laborers/ministers/servants in Christ as brothers and sisters in the Lord. 

Our identity in Christ is another HUGE reason, I wrestle with the traditional view & search for God's heart, what does HE say! The most important part of our identity is that we are His children/people, part of His family!


Here's a list of who GOD says we are because of Who He is! (I'm thinking I might start a new post with this)...

 Our Identity in Christ Jesus

                       YOU ARE PRECIOUS AND PRICELESS

He calls us HIS SAINTS, HIS HOLY PEOPLE (over 90 times in NT)...

To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints  Rom 1:7;

 because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  Rom 8:27;

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord  I Cor 1:2;

To all the saints in Christ Jesus Phil 1:1;

He calls us sons and daughters, His children, over and over...

“I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”  2 Cor 6:18

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!  I John 3:1

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith  Gal 3:26

He calls us righteous...

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers  I Peter 3:12

He calls us dearly beloved Colossians 3:12

He calls us temples of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 8:9, 2 Timothy 1:14

He calls us new creations in Christ 2 Corinthians 5:17

He calls us anointed

He calls us upright in heart

He calls us faithful and Godly

He calls us those who fear Him

He calls us friends (John 15:13-15), forgiven, redeemed, cherished, loved, upright, Beloved of God (Rom 1:7), Beloved Brethren (James 2:5), Children of God (John 1:12), Sons of the Living God (Rom 9:26), Sons of the Most High (Luke 6:35), Children of the Promise (Rom 9:8), Chosen (lots of verses), Co workers/fellow workers/co-laborers (1 Cor 3:9, etc) Dear Children (Eph 5:1), Elect of God (Col 3:12), The Faithful (Ps 12:1), The Godly (2 Pet 2:9), Heirs of God (Gal 4:7), Holy/Royal Priesthood (I Pet 2:5-9), The Just (Hab 2:4), Little Children (1 John 2:1), Living Stones (1 Pet 2:5), Special People (Titus 2:14), Slaves of Righteousness (Rom 6:18), Sheep of Christ (John 10:1-16), Servants of Christ (1 Cor 7:22), Salt of the Earth (Matt 5:13:16), His treasured people (Malachi 3:17), etc.!

and this list is not complete!


God, also through His Word, calls us blessed (lots of times - I have a list)

the Aaronic blessing... The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you, the Lord lift His countenance toward you and give you His peace... Numbers 6:24-26

Excerpt from comment on 2.1.24: So far, I have not heard MW mention that Jerome translates it with a negative meaning (dominare) EOQ

Alright got to the part where MW talks about Jerome & "dominari" & wow - was not expecting MW's conclusion of how he (& Al W) considers it positive & means "servant leadership"! That's a FIRST that I've heard that meaning! Feel free to prove me wrong if this is a common understanding from other sources besides Al W! Or maybe I am understanding it wrong? I've watched it a few times & read the words & am still in a bit of disbelief & will go through it down below!

I love that this is challenging me to keep digging deeper into the ancient languages! it is so amazing that I can pull up the parallel English & Latin translations on one screen & the Greek & English on another & within seconds find a passage that I want to compare!!!

So that's what we are going to look at today!!

@ about 6:23 MW starts looking at translations... around hour 7, MW shares a bit about how words can change over the time w each translation & a bit on how Erasmus ends up adding what MW says is an "illegitimate" "usurp" into the mix -  I agree that authentein has quite an interesting & horrific history.. & agree to a point on Erasmus, the usurp is not there in the Greek at all, but Erasmus did pick up a negative vibe somewhere in his study on this verse & the meaning of authentein! I can't ignore that, & usurp was the best he could do with what he had at the time... authentein lost the murderous dynamic from Pre Paul, somewhere it lost the authoritarian vibe that seemed to be associated with it from Pre Paul at least through Jerome, & now w Erasmus, authentein lost the authoritarian dynamic while implying an illegitimate authority. The next step is general authority! if that's the case, then why did Paul use this very rare & strange word!

AL W & MWS believe that what Jerome meant with his use of "dominare" in 1 Tim 2:12 is servant leadership... & I agree with MW who says we can do better (then Erasmus) today bc we have better research today into the original languages (I have used that rationale with pastors/elders & have recd all kinds of less than supportive responses regarding translations!) so I'm going to use one of the research tools we now have to show that Jerome meant a domineering type of lording it over others, not servant leadership. 

so lets go back to about 6:34 where authentein -> "dominari" has been often translated as "to domineer" and to "lord it over"...

Old Latin dominari - MW says authentein was not pejorative at the time in the 2nd century so therefore dominari must be positive or neutral...  so per Al W dominari has a positive sense of simply rule, reign or govern & at 6:36:45-6:37:33 MW says ***1  "dominatur" is rules by SERVING (per usage on bottom of screen text) & dominor is consistent with SERVANT LEADERSHIP!  WOW!  ok, so me being me (gotta test this stuff!!!) I looked up "dominatur" & one response was it's not a latin word, but "dominator" is derived from "dominari"... another, this comes from "dominor" & is the action of domineering as lord & master as well as rule, reign & govern,which is what we are not supposed to do as brothers & sisters in the Body of Christ! 

little bit of my personal journey as I'm pondering of what we are dealing with... My mind cannot compute how on one hand we say lording it over is a good positive thing when Jesus expressly forbids it? I have struggled with this as I have wrestled with abuses of power over the last 10 years! Bc this is how abuses of power happen & gives permission to authoritarian leadership yet call themselves "servant leaders"! Obey your leaders & submit to their authority bc they know what's best for you...! Right?  Nope! Hebr 13:17 in the 1984 NIV is an entire discussion on its own w at least 10 red flags when we look at the Greek! But the 84 NIV seems to support that authoritarian type of leadership is a good thing. 

Back to word study on the domini family... 

dominatur‎ (Latin): meaning, synonyms - WordSense


  1. I am lord and/or master or have dominiondomineer.
  2. dominaterulereigngovern.

dominor, dominaris, dominari A, dominatus sum (Dep.) - Latin is Simple Online Dictionary (  

  1. to be master/despot/in control
  2. to rule over
  3. to exercise sovereignty

Now, let's look at where Jerome himself uses & does not use the domini family of words!!!

Here is the Latin/english for 1 Tim 2:12 Latin Vulgate New Testament Bible - First Epistle of Paul to Timothy 2

12docere autem mulieri non permitto neque dominari in virum sed esse in silentio

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to use authority over the man: but to be in silence.

Guess what, Jerome uses ***1 "dominatur" (remember that word from Al & MW's belief that it is positive?) when Jesus tells His disciples that they are NOT TO LORD IT OVER like the Gentiles do but Jerome DOES NOT use it for general authority or to exercise authority, where it seems he consistently uses the Latin potestatem for power/authority/exousia... so why would Jesus be telling His disciples NOT TO be servant leaders if that is what dominatur means? This is part of the confusion that is happening on both sides! 

So what does Jerome use for a servant leader?  the Latin "minister" in v26! The Latin "servus" in v27, & "ministrari/e in v28...  see Matt 20:25-28Latin Vulgate New Testament Bible - Matthew 20

Latin Vulgate New Testament Bible - Epistle of Paul to the Romans 16 see v1 for Phoebe being in ministry, sometimes tx as deacon (ie 2011 NIV, NLT), but often tx as servant in a # of English versions such as 1984 NIV, ESV & KJVs...

*** 2 Domini, Domine, Domino, Dominus all refer to God/Jesus as the/our Lord! There are 9 uses of "Lord" in this chapter, Rom 16!

Guess what word is NOT in this chapter of Paul's co-laborers? There's quite a number of descriptions, but none that include any form of dominari other than referring to the Lord Himself! This chapter would be a great place to include dominari if it's about servant leadership!

there's more, but I have NO IDEA how Al & MW can say that dominari is meant to be positive &/or neutral & mean "servant leadership"... seems to be quite a bit of a stretch to me... especially when we look at other uses of domini words in the Vulgate!

(*** 2: I find it concerning that the Dutch & Scottish traditions have used domine over the last 400 years or so to refer to ordained ministers/pastors but that is another discussion).

we already looked at 1 Tim 2:12 & Matt 20:25-26... ok, here's a few more & see if these are positive or pejorative...

here's a fun one...

Acts 19:16 remember the sons of Sceva?

et insiliens homo in eos in quo erat daemonium pessimum et dominatus amborum invaluit contra eos ita ut nudi et vulnerati effugerent de domo illa

And the man in whom the wicked spirit was, leaping upon them and mastering them both, prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

nope, definitely not the type of servant leadership we want!

how about... I Peter 5:3

3 neque ut dominantes in cleris sed formae facti gregi et ex animo

Neither as lording it over the clergy but being made a pattern of the flock from the heart.

in this case again, lording it over doesn't seem to be a positive thing to do whether to the clergy or by the clergy...

I think it is a considerable speculative leap to say that Jerome used "dominari" with a positive or neutral sense! I believe Jerome was influenced by the Gnostic use of Dominari to mean absolute Divine Ruler... so it lost the violent/murderous aspect, but still kept the authoritarian dynamic!

At some point MW pointed out that one of the egals used despot along with autocrat when he's referring to M&M's info @5.51.10... this is a case where both sides are wrong... MW's response seems to be very nitpicky & the egal seems to be a bit sloppy, bc *** 3 despot is a synonym for autocrat (however notice the use of vulgar in M&M's note on the side)...


[ˈôdəˌkrat, ˈädəˌkrat]


  1. a ruler who has absolute power:

    "like many autocrats, Franco found the exercise of absolute power addictive"



    *** 3 despot





    absolute ruler

these seem pretty negative to me!

So in conclusion at this point, it seems a bit ironic that MW is accusing Linda B of the same stuff re dominari being negative (@5:32-33) while he & Al Wolters are using similar tactics trying to make "dominari" mean a positive "servant leadership"!

This has been one of my big red flags from a few comps is the intense push to make "authentein" positive or neutral... but both sides are guilty to picking & choosing to varying extents. I try to include links to support what I share but cannot always find them again! This specific hapax legomenon has definitely generated A LOT of ink because a lot depends on what it means in the context of Ephesus/asia Minor during Paul's time!


Enough for this week, have a wonderful weekend with family, fellowship of the saints & worship!

Here's a recent find that is an example of what I lament regarding how women's voices have literally been disregarded over the ages, especially because so many complementarians have said comps have a "high regard of the Word" compared to egals who I have heard a number times that comps believe have a low view of the Word, which has been used to discredit the egal position. Yet, it seems translational biases like this get a free pass by comps instead of lamenting & repenting of how some translations have partially nullified the Word of God regarding women through limiting the Greek ALL THESE to exclusively men...

Acts 2:7 Astounded and amazed, they asked, "Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? (  (Berean Standard Bible; click link for parallel translations)

Acts 2:7 in the 1984 NIV also specifies men when the Greek is an inclusive ALL THESE... There were women in the upper room, including Mary the mother of Jesus per Acts 1:14!  ALL 120 were speaking in tongues, not just the men...

here's the Greek...  Strong's Greek: 3956. πᾶς (pas) -- all, every (

 all, the whole, every kind of... 

3956 pás – eachevery; each "part(s) of a totality" (L & N, 1, 59.24).

3956 /pás ("each, every") means "all" in the sense of "each (every) part that applies." The emphasis of the total picture then is on "one piece at a time." 365 (ananeóō) then focuses on the part(s) making up the whole – viewing the whole in terms of the individual parts.

Strong's Greek: 3778. οὗτος, (houtos, hauté, touto) -- this (

this; he, she, it.  (Seems very inclusive to me, yet it has been made exclusive in some translations, including the 1984 NIV which has been the primary version used in the CRC for decades!)

Again, I hurt & weep with the women who have received a message in various ways & for various reasons that they, their gifts, voices, should be excluded in ways in the church, unless they are obedient, silent, submissive Miss Marthas instead of mutually ministering/prophesying together with one another as brothers & sisters in the Lord, as co-laborers, working together seeking His Kingdom first!

Thank you, Bev, for naming the role of mistranslation in the exclusion of women from many roles in churches, and for recognizing the harms done to girls and women and the barriers created for the use of all gifts of all women for God's work in God's world.  What puzzles me is that many Bible teachers and pastors now recognize those errors, and also now recognize early women theologians that had been ignored, but do not take any steps to remove barriers for women in ministry in their own church circles. 

Thanks for your response Kathy... I also struggle with the refusal of leaders to publicly admit where we/they have been wrong &/or ignorant in some of our understanding/translations of Scripture. The silence has been deafening! I actually wrote to the NIV publishing company asking for them to publicly apologize for the harm the 84 NIV caused to women because of all the added male references that are NOT in the Greek! No response! (I understand the 2011 NIV corrected that, but can't they publicly admit that the 84 NIV included a bias regarding women?) So comps say they have a high view of scripture, yet many continue to use the 84 NIV & now the ESV which was intended to be a "comp" version!

I have found I have been wrong about 100+ things that I have been taught over the years in the reformed tradition. It's a very painful but profound journey. (I call this my long list of laments) God's truth is beautiful; however, traditions of man/elders have nullified His truth/word in various ways over the ages, including in translations. Speaking His truth brings clarity, healing & flourishing. Continuing to ignore our errors brings confusion and further harm, especially for the vulnerable & oppressed & maintains the status quo that perpetuates abuses of power. 

Malachi 2:16 is another example that has caused much harm to women in abusive marriages, especially in contexts where the pastor/elders have a permanence in marriage belief no matter what!! 

The traditional translation that God hates divorce needs to be corrected & the traditional view on divorce only in the case of abandonment and adultery needs to be intentionally expanded to include abuse/treachery/violence & recognized that God hates the treachery that causes the divorce.  

Malachi 2:16 "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel. "He who divorces his wife covers his garment with violence," says the LORD of Hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit and do not break faith. (  Berean Standard Bible

“The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the LORD Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful***. 2011 NIV

***  Strong's Hebrew: 898. בָּגַד (bagad) -- to act or deal treacherously (

***this word includes so much more than just being adulterous/unfaithful...

acted deceitfully (1), acted treacherously (2), betrayed (1), betrays (1), deal (1), deal treacherously (10), deal very treacherously (1), deals treacherously (1), dealt treacherously (8), dealt very treacherously (1), faithless (2), treacherous (15), treacherous one still deals treacherously (1), treacherous deal (1), treacherously (1), unfairness (1).

Treacherous:  involving betrayal or deception; marked by hidden dangers, hazards, or perils

The permanence of marriage & refusal to recognize abuse as a biblical reason for divorce needs to be reconsidered!  Amazingly Wayne Grudem did change his mind several years ago... now praying for John Piper & others like him to admit they were wrong as well! A well known reformed theologian privately admitted they believe abuse is a biblical reason but were not willing to publicly say it! This is how these harmful distortions are perpetuated!

Grounds for Divorce: Why I Now Believe There Are More Than Two - Wayne Grudem

Hebrews 13:17 in the 84 NIV is another example that needs to be looked at & publicly corrected... here "obey" 2x + "authority" + "men" are added as the Greek does NOT support these words & has been used as an authoritarian weapon to intimidate & silence concerns re abuses of power that maintain the status quo that perpetuates & gives permission to abuses of power/authoritarian lording it over! This verse has a number of red flags when comparing it to the Greek! I found 10 flags in the 84 NIV translation of this one verse alone! This verse seems to be used as the very opposite of Jesus telling us NOT to lord it over or exercise authority over our brothers & sisters in Christ!

This made me cry. The hurt never goes away, especially when those in leadership pretend the issue isn’t there anymore. I don’t live in a country where churches of the reformation allow women to be leaders. My greatest sorrow is seeing women remain silent and accepting the status quo. And men (leaders) who just shrug and say it’s too difficult to change the system.

I am so sorry Hetty! I cry too! So many women harmed & limited by lies of the enemy over the ages (it is only in the last 50 years that some are accepting women as equal in value, not inferior as has been the belief for 1000s of years)... The refusal to recognize these translational errors is the very opposite of saying we have a high view of God's Word!  as Beth Moore shared, some only want to use their version/interpretation to support their view...

A Letter to My Brothers - Living Proof Ministries Blog Living Proof Ministries Blog (

BOQ: Then early October 2016 surfaced attitudes among some key Christian leaders that smacked of misogyny, objectification and astonishing disesteem of women and it spread like wildfire. It was just the beginning. I came face to face with one of the most demoralizing realizations of my adult life: Scripture was not the reason for the colossal disregard and disrespect of women among many of these men. It was only the excuse. Sin was the reason. Ungodliness.

This is where I cry foul and not for my own sake. Most of my life is behind me. I do so for sake of my gender, for the sake of our sisters in Christ and for the sake of other female leaders who will be faced with similar challenges. I do so for the sake of my brothers because Christlikeness is at stake and many of you are in positions to foster Christlikeness in your sons and in the men under your influence. The dignity with which Christ treated women in the Gospels is fiercely beautiful and it was not conditional upon their understanding their place. EOQ

Not saying that all men are complicit, but the abdication of pursuing justice on behalf of women, along with being compromised with sin (ie porn which is included in human trafficking where women & children are the primary victims) & the silence of many continues to harm women around the world!

Church/priesthood of ALL believers/family of God, we can & must do better!

Sorry for the delay, Bev. You certainly are a wealth of information! Unfortunately, I don’t have time to respond to everything you wrote. Thus, I’ve selected some key points and responded in kind here. Thank you for your though provoking insights!

Are both words positive? This is unlikely since there are no good examples of authentein in a purely negative sense at the time of Paul. However, even if they are both positive, Paul would only limit women from teaching in a domineering way, but he should do so for the men especially. Which leads to the next point:

You say Paul’s switch from women (pl) to woman (sing) is significant, but I don’t see how. The only way that would be significant in my mind is if he had a specific woman in mind but then his prohibition would leave domineering teaching open to the other women. Furthermore, if Paul meant he was only speaking about a single woman, we would expect a definite object marker like “that” (ekei; εκει). Also, Paul could have just as easily said, "I don't permit a woman (sing) or a man (sing) to..." What if this community just had female teachers? That would be strange since Paul was writing to Timothy as their leader (a man) and gave other instructions to male leaders (1 Tim 3).  

This is my own point (not a response): Does not “in all submission” (v. 11) provide the opposite of “authentein”? Whether authentein means “domineer” or “have authority” Paul makes clear what he does want—submission. A woman cannot reasonably teach and have good authority while remaining in submission to the men that she has authority over.

Murder? As with the prohibition to domineer and teach doctrine based on heresy, Paul would not need to specify, “I don’t permit women to murder men” or “I do not permit women to rule in a sinful way and teach heresy.” These things are obvious. Paul was a busy man. He didn’t need to state the obvious. “Murder” being mentioned earlier in the letter doesn’t mean that’s what Paul was talking about here any more than my mention of singular and plural in the second paragraph above means I’m referring to singular and plural now. Mentioning something earlier doesn’t mean what is currently being written has the same theme as a topic.

Why did Paul / the HS choose such a rare word? Great question! But, I do not think this question is sufficient to overthrow the basic sense of the text. There are many hapax legomenae in the NT yet we never allow these to overthrow our interpretation if the general sense is clear. In this case, Paul’s positive exhortation (to submit) and his grounding it in creation (Adam and Eve) make for a clear passage. Even if we had much more evidence that authentein was used in a negative way in Paul’s day, it would still be difficult to overturn the basic sense of the text since these other aspects are clear (“Adam and Eve” “submit”).

So, I do agree this is a strange word. But, it would need to be convincingly negative for me to change my view. As I see it, there is a 80/20% chance it means “authority” / “domineer” respectively. I would need to know it meant “domineer” at least 99% if not 100% to change my mind, since the rest of the passage and Bible seem to clearly to accord with the traditional interpretation, not to mention—very importantly—the fact that reversing our interpretation would require that the church misunderstood not only this verse but it’s ecclesiology for ~2000 years. That is to say, reversing the Church's 2000 year old teaching would need a very solid argument that authentien is negative, but the argument is tenuous, as you point out. Furthermore, even if authentien was certainly negative, Paul could still prohibit women from teaching in a positive sense as well. E.g. "The women shouldn't be in authority at all. But, they're even domineering. I don't permit such domineering!" The third sentence obviously doesn't preclude the first. 

Hi Rob, thanks for your response... after being sick for almost 2 weeks, then being out of town quite a bit the last few weeks, along with a number of crisis situations connected to ministry that came up where my help was requested, I am now working on catching up on what I got behind on over the last month, so it might be a bit before I get back on this in more detail! I remember waiting for my son a few weeks ago & thinking, finally, I think things have calmed down a bit & not even a half hour later got a text re a crisis, along with several more since then! It's been a pretty chaotic year so far! We don't talk about spiritual warfare much in the CRC, but it seems like 2024 has had its share already! PTL, that as believers, God works all things for our good & His glory, & even though it's often a painful journey, it's profound as well!

So a few general thoughts for now, (I was trying to make this a quick/short response, but no surprise to anyone I'm sure, that didn't happen ;)...

there are a number of inconsistencies/errors on both sides of the comp/egal discussion. For example, I wonder why is this type of energy not directed to ALL MEN raising their hands in PRAYER as a UNIVERSAL behavior per 1 Tim 2:8 if comps are trying to make 1 Tim 2:12 UNIVERSAL for ALL WOMEN? & let's talk about the pathetic stats on PRAYER in the Church, something EVERYONE is CLEARLY COMMANDED to do, privately AND collectively, especially for those considered elders (Acts 6:4)! Prayerlessness is a SIGNIFICANT sin in the Church! Even the CRC title of "Minister of the Word" based on Acts 6:4 should be Ministers of the Word AND Prayer with seminaries training pastors/elders to have a balanced emphasis on both (generally not the case from the conversations I have had with pastors & with those who have talked/connected with multiple seminaries to address this gap)! Prayer is a primary calling for everyone, yet the stats are heartbreaking (Avg about 3-5 minutes/day, pastors avg about 7-8 minutes/day, only about 5% of churches have a collective prayer meeting outside of praying during the worship service) & the lack of much good fruit is pretty obvious as we are living in a time when evil is blatantly being called good & good being called evil! I could say a whole lot more about this as prayer has become a primary focus in my life since 2006! All that to say, why not at least have an equal focus on challenging prayerlessness, not just the roles of women, when we are looking at 1 Tim 2:8-15? Because prayer creates a unity we cannot explain... Ie the divorce rate for couples who consistently pray together drops from 1 in every 2-3 marriages to 1 in TEN THOUSAND! (see link for stat) This unity can also happen when we pray together as families & as sisters & brothers in the Lord! 

The Enduring Impact of Prayer in Marriage | Abounding in Hope with Lyme

Back to roles of women in the Church... 1 Tim 2 regarding women is not clear (you shared you see an 80% / 20% possibility of different meanings of authentein which indicates some of the confusion in this passage, v15 has historically been considered by scholars to be one of the most difficult passages of scripture), especially when we examine the cultural context of the pantheon of gods & goddesses & their practices (incl witchcraft) along with the early gnostic beliefs (incl. bizarre creation stories that elevate Eve & denigrate the Hebrew God, YHWH) & practices (incl astrology, sorcery, syncretism) that have gotten very little attention over the ages as far as I can tell & seem to get dismissed fairly quickly by comps when it comes up re 1 Timothy.

There are other hapax legomenon in 1 Timothy (as well as other NT books) that I hope to dig into this year that I want to further research, however, my time is limited & my background with Greek is limited. Authentein was the first Greek word that introduced me to becoming aware of hapax legomenon in the NT & that was at some point about 5-6 years ago & it's only in the last 3 years or so that I have looked into other hapax legomenon in the NT that have raised questions for me about the translations of these rare words! I hope to pursue this research when I can have some help from someone that is far more knowledgeable & experienced with Greek. At this point I would say most of the Body of Christ does not even know what a hapax legomenon is or are aware that authentein is one, & that an entire doctrine regarding women has been heavily impacted by this one very rare, strange word that has a complicated & confusing history, & is anything but "clear", despite what comps say! 1 Tim 2:12 is often (not always) the first verse referred to by comps & a good share of the attention/energy is often focused on this verse (ie Mike W's 11+ hour video after a year of research! even though, I appreciate him taking time to look into this bc it needs to be done, it shows how complicated & confusing the support for limiting women in various roles in the institutional church is).

Also, I mentioned this in another comment/response, the recognition of women as equal in value is a recent shift. That has not been the traditional belief for 1000s of years! Women have not been protected & provided for, instead often been abused (1 in 3 sexually abused by age 18, let alone physical/emotional/verbal abuse) & exploited (porn/prostitution/human trafficking) with men often adding to the harm or abdicating seeking justice on behalf of the women abused & exploited! How did the Church get the value of women wrong for so long? Why did it take women's voices to advocate on behalf of other women to bring the abuse & exploitation of women (& children) to the attention of others?

Part of my lens based on several key principles of scripture is that the Body of Christ is meant to be a cooperative (mutual submission per Eph 5:21), collaborative (synergos/co labors per Paul), prophetic (1 Cor 14 +), loving (& 40+ other) one another (The Case for "One Another" (See These 59 Commands in the Bible) | CRC Network ( ), seeking justice (Micah 6:8 + tons more), walking humbly as servants (Micah 6:8+) & the royal priesthood of ALL believers, not lording it over or exercising authority over others in the Body of Christ (per Jesus)!

Somehow, from my perspective, it seems tradition has focused on men being superior & exclusively allowed to exercise authority as pastors (poimen) / elders (presbuteros) / deacons or ministers (diakonos) / bishops or overseers (episkopos) over inferior women through hierarchy (over/under, authority/submission) & titles at the expense of these KEY scriptural principles of mutuality/one another, justice, etc!

This is one possible way God's word can be nullified over 1000s of years by commandments/traditions of man/elders per Matt 15 & Mark 7!

I would rather be responding to your comments more in depth but need to get back to the backlog that accumulated over the last few weeks, especially since it includes bills & taxes!

I continue to think about & wrestle with this & have been working through some of MW's videos... I did come across these responses to MW's videos which is far more than I could ever do! so here's a website with responses to MW videos #1-12 on women & the Church, including the 11.5 hr video on 1 Timothy 2! 

A 14-Point Biblical Case for Women Leaders and Teachers And Why Mike Winger, The Gospel Coalition, and the Southern Baptists Are Wrong About This - Terran Williams

 Again, both sides have some things right & some things wrong, what both sides seem to get wrong is an obsession with who has authority in the church when Jesus says we are NOT to exercise authority over one another in the church, & also at the expense of what He DOES command, to love one another as He has loved us x 17 + >40 other one another commands in the NT!  I am baffled by how these seem to have been almost completely ignored in the Church! Shifting our lens from authority over one another to the one another concept is going to take the Holy Spirit helping us see where we got off course as a catalyst for metanoia to change our hearts & minds!

 Metanoia: Moving Beyond Mere Repentance | CRC Network (

So even if "authentein" means "exercise authority" (which I continue to doubt that is what Paul meant), no one, male or female, is supposed to exercise authority over their brothers & sisters in the Lord!  That instead of sibling rivalry of who rules or submits, we are called to COLLABORATE together aka the 59 ONE ANOTHER commands!

I'm starting to read this bookThe Atlas Factor & a few days ago when it came, I  just randomly flipped it open to page 95 & found it confirming & encouraging that the author shares about some "one anothers" on this page!!!

The Atlas Factor

Shift Your Leadership Onto the Shoulders of Jesus

Renew your organizational culture, allowing everyone to thrive with their gifts, talents, and wisdom.

peace & prayers until next time... 

7 Powerful Prayers for the Truth to Be Revealed - Prayrs

Here's another example of "men" being added in the 84 NIV when the Greek is inclusive...  Makes me cry & ask why?!?!? What is the reason to add it?

 John 3:35 in the 84 NIV (& several other versions) adds men...  the KJV puts it in italics to signify it is added...

"... By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another." (

John 13:35 Greek Text Analysis (

Strong's Greek: 3956. πᾶς (pas) -- all, every (

all, the whole, every kind of.

HELPS Word-studies

3956 páseach, every; each "part(s) of a totality" (L & N, 1, 59.24).

3956 /pás ("each, every") means "all" in the sense of "each (every) part that applies." The emphasis of the total picture then is on "one piece at a time." 365 (ananeóō) then focuses on the part(s) making up the whole – viewing the whole in terms of the individual parts.

Going back to one of Rob's opening questions:

Why did the church not endorse Women in Office until the 1970s when feminism arose? 

They did ordain women for the first several hundred years...  Marg's article gives examples of women serving as deacons & elders... so what happened?

QUOTE: Perhaps the biggest clue that a few churches (and not necessarily heterodox churches) had women elders is found in the Council of Laodicea. In a misguided move, this council banned the formal ordination of women who were elders, or priests, and who were serving their church as leaders.

It is not allowed for those women who are called ‘elders/ presbyters/ priests’ (presbytides) or ‘women presidents’ (prokathēmenai) to be ordained (kathistasthai) in the churches.
Canon 11 of the Council of Laodicea (circa 360) EOQ from the following:

An Overview of Women Ministers in the Early Church - Marg Mowczko

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