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Stats: 2,711,179 members, 6,403,416 topics. Date: Sunday, 25 July 2021 at 08:32 AM
|The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 7:46pm On Sep 12, 2020|
I have had a very interesting encounter with a Bible scholar last week who told me so many things about the Bible I didn't know. We were discussing the passages on homosexuality in particular but it sparked an interest in me which led me to do some more research, some of which I am about to share with you.
I also opened a thread asking what qualifications Nigerian pastors have to be teaching the word of God because I was most grateful for having had the pleasure of interaction with someone who was able to tell me so much more about the Bible than I knew and most Christians normally like to quote (out of context and without any background knowledge) and I realized how hard it is to come by Nigerian pastors whose knowledge extends our own. How much more interesting Church would be if we were taught more about the Bible than we know from self-study.
I am aware I have chosen a controversial passage from the Bible and I am aware that it will spark controversy which is welcomed. My main intention, however, is to demonstrate how much more it takes to interpret the Bible than just read it. I don't want to discourage anyone to read on but I do hope that it will encourage you to look for different meanings, etymology of words, historical context, source/identity of the writer, addressee of a particular passage and the possible intention behind it.
Ready? Let's go ...
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|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 7:51pm On Sep 12, 2020|
Ephes. 5:21-32 - Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church:  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Three words: (1) “Head” –(2) “Be subject to” (3) “Love”
Even in the English translation, one may note that the scope of this passage is limited to husbands and wives (except the first sentence, which is directed to all members of the Church). Moreover, although this scripture is often lifted up in reference to women, more of it is written to husbands than to wives (in the Greek, 47 words are directed at wives while 143 are directed at husbands).
Now, there are three key words in this passage that embody the concepts within the new model Paul presented for Christian couples, words that are easily misunderstood when translated into English.
Key Word #1: Head
"The husband is head of the wife," Paul explained, "as Christ is head of the church." In English, the word head means literally the physical head of one's body and figuratively the leader of a body of people. The two meanings are intertwined.
Not so in Greek, where two different and distinct words are translated "head." One of these is arche (pronounced ar-KAY). It means "head" in terms of leadership and point of origin. It was used to denote "beginning" in the sense of the first or point of inception (and we use this Greek word as a prefix in such words as archaeology, archetype, and archives, all relating to old or first things). just as it was used to denote point of origin, so we use head that way in the word headwaters (of a river). Arche was also used to denote "first" in terms of importance and power (and we use it as a prefix in such words as archangel, archbishop, archenemy, archduke, and so on, all relating to the head or a group in terms of leadership). Forms of arche are used throughout the New Testament, including the writings of Paul, to designate the head or leader of a group of people. These forms are translated "magistrate," "chief," " prince," "ruler," "head," and so forth.
Now, in the Bible we find many puns, not as a form of humor so much as a form of wisdom, where a word was used that meant two things, both of which were true and were intended to be understood by the one word. For example, Jesus told a woman in Samaria that he would give her "living" water (John 7:10), and the word translated "living" also means "running." Another time Jesus "breathed" on his disciples and told them to "receive Holy Spirit" (John 20:22); in Greek (and also in Hebrew) the word for "spirit" also means "breath."
Therefore, if Paul had believed as Aristotle taught, that husbands should command their wives and rule over them, then Paul could have made a pun out of the word arche. He could have written that the husband is the arche (head) of the wife, and in that one sentence he would have meant that the husband is to rule over the wife and at the same time have reminded his readers how man (Adam) was the source of woman (Eve, who was formed of Adam's rib). Both senses of arche (ruler, and point of origin) would have been invoked.'
However, Paul did not choose to use the word arche when he wrote of how the husband is head of his wife. He was well aware of that word, but he deliberately chose a different term.
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|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 7:55pm On Sep 12, 2020|
Instead, Paul used the word kephale (pronounced kef-ah-LAY). This word does mean "head," the part of one's body. It was also used to mean "foremost" in terms of position (as a capstone over a door, or a cornerstone in a foundation). It was never used to mean "leader" or "boss" or "chief" or "ruler." Kephale is also a military term. It means "one who leads," but not in the sense of "director." Kephale did not denote "general," or “captain," or someone who orders the troops from a safe distance; quite the opposite, a kephale was one who went before the troops, the leader in the sense of being in the lead, the first one into battle. (Like a Pointman.)
Therefore, two words in Greek can both be translated into the one English word head. One word means "boss," the other means "physical head" (or, sometimes, "the first soldier into battle". Unfortunately, an English-speaking person who reads that the husband is head of his wife will normally conclude that this means the husband is to rule over his wife. This is what Aristotle taught and what most Hellenized people thought. The husband is an arche to his wife, head of the household and ruler over all his family. Paul deliberately chose the other word. But people who depend on the English translation cannot know that.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 7:55pm On Sep 12, 2020|
Can one be certain that arche and kephale were so different from each other in meaning? Could kephale not sometimes mean "boss" or "ruler"? One way to be certain is to note how these two words were used in the Septuagint. The Old Testament, except for a few portions, was written in Hebrew. But by the age of Paul, few persons could read that language. Instead, they depended upon a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek, which was called the Septuagint. Paul was familiar with this translation and quoted from it.
Now, in Hebrew, just as in English, one word means both "physical head" and "ruler." The word is rosh. If arche and kephale were more or less synonymous and could be used interchangeably, then when the seventy scholars who wrote the Septuagint came to the Hebrew word rosh, they could have used either Greek word as they wished, or instead just used one of the two all the time. However, they were very careful to note how the word rosh was used, whether it meant "physical head" or "ruler of a group." Whenever rosh meant "physical head," they translated it kephale; or whenever rosh referred to the first soldier leading others into battle with him, they also translated it kephale. But when rosh meant "chief" or "ruler," they translated it arche or some form of that word. Every time, this distinction was carefully preserved.
Paul was certainly familiar with both words. He knew the language, he read and quoted from the Septuagint, and he used both words in his own writing. The difference between the two would have been obvious to him. Modern readers, however, may misunderstand Paul, assuming that the word for head that Paul used also carried the figurative meaning of "boss" or "ruler." Paul in fact took great care not to say that.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 7:56pm On Sep 12, 2020|
Key Word #2: Be Subject To
In the translation of Eph. 5:21-33 given earlier, the words be subject to appear three times. Church members are to be subject to one another, and wives are to be subject to their husbands just as the Church is subject to Christ. Three kinds of relationships are defined by a key word that is usually translated "be subject to."
This phrase in English may bring to mind images from children's fairy tales of medieval settings, with kings and their subjects. "Be subject to" may sound like a command to bow before the ruler, who sits on his throne dressed in ermine and holding a jeweled gold scepter. And one might then assume that Paul was telling wives that they are to obey their husbands as a subject would obey the king.
Now, if the word translated "head" meant "boss," then husbands are to rule their wives; and the word translated "be subject to" would naturally mean "to obey." But since kephale does not mean "ruler" or convey any sense of leadership (aside from meaning "the first into battle", then perhaps the word Paul used that is translated "be subject to " does not convey a sense of obedience. In fact, the use of that word in verse 21 ("be subject to one another" clarly demonstrates that it does not mean obedience, for it would be as impossible for a group of people to be obedient to each other as it would be for a group to follow each other.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 7:57pm On Sep 12, 2020|
Now, in Greek there is a word that means 'to obey." It can be translated 'be subject to,' but it carries the idea of dutiful obedience. It is hupakouo (pronounced hoop-ah--o), a word that a parent might use regarding a child or master might use regarding a slave. And Paul knew this word. In fact, he used it a few sentences later in reference to children (Eph. 6:1). But while Greek philosophers would place wives under the tutelage of their husbands, and while the custodianship of a Jewish girl was passed at the time of her marriage directly from her father to her husband, Paul had no thought of wives being like children to their husbands, so he did not use this word. It is not the word that is translated "be subject to."
Moreover, in Greek there is another word that means "be subject to" and "obey." It is peitharcheo (peith-ar-KAY-o), one of the words built upon arche, "ruler." This word is found only three times in the New Testament, twice in Acts (5:29 and 27:21) and once in Titus (3:1). There, and in other writings outside the New Testament, it describes obedience to someone who is in authority. When Peter and the other apostles were arrested for disobeying their Judean rulers who had ordered them not to teach in the name of Jesus, they used peitharcheo in their courageous response: 'We must obey God rather than men." But Paul had no thought of husbands governing their wives.
When referring to wives, Paul used a form of yet a different Greek word, hupotasso (hoop-o-TASS-o). It is not a word one would normally use regarding children or slaves. In its active form, hupotasso might be used of a conqueror concerning the vanquished. It means "to subject to," "to subordinate." But Paul did not use hupotasso in its active form to describe any person. He used it only to tell what God does. He did not tell husbands to hupotasso their wives.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 7:57pm On Sep 12, 2020|
Instead, Paul used this word in addressing wives only in its imperative, middle voice form (compare Col. 3:18). By writing it in the imperative mood, he was instructing wives. He was not describing them (as Aristotle did when he claimed that "the male is by nature fitter to command than the female". Instead of describing them, he was appealing to them. And in writing the word in the middle voice form, he was emphasizing the voluntary nature of being "subject to."
This latter point needs an explanation. In English, verbs can be in the active or passive voice. In the active voice, the subject of the verb is acting. In the passive voice, the subject of the verb is being acted upon. Greek has the same active and passive voices. But it has also a third, middle voice, in which the subject of the verb is acting in a way that affects the subject.
It is difficult for English-speaking persons to grasp the subtle yet important distinction between middle and passive voice in Greek verbs just by reading the definition, and yet we think in ways that the Greek verb forms express. For example, a person may teach-an active verb. And, one may be taught-a passive verb. But a person may also teach himself or herself by careful listening, discovering, reasoning, learning. In that sense, the person is both subject and object of the action. That is what the Greek middle voice expresses, a voluntary action by the subject of the verb upon the subject of the verb.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 7:57pm On Sep 12, 2020|
Now, it would be possible in Greek to tell a person to subject someone else (although Paul never did so); and it would be possible to describe someone as being subject to another. But one cannot tell another to be subjected, any more than one can tell someone to be learned. However, Paul used hupotasso in the middle voice. This way, he was requesting that wives voluntarily, willingly, actively be subject to their husbands. This is the form hupotassomai (hoop-o-TASS-o-my). Since it is asking for something that is voluntary in nature, "be subject to" is an awkward translation at best. Hupotassomai means something like "give allegiance to," "tend to the needs of," "be supportive of," or "be responsive to." Perhaps the best meaning of hupotassomai is found in a German translation of that word, sich unterstellen, "to place oneself at the disposition of.113
There is, in addition, another meaning to hupotassomai. It also served as a military term, referring to taking a position in a phalanx of soldiers. In this sense, there is no reference to any idea of rank or status-it was an equal sharing of the task for which the soldiers were ordered. If a soldier failed to join the others, or held back during an advance, a captain might use a form of the verb hupotassomai to order him to return to the line, join his fellows, be supportive of them, fulfill his part of the assignment.
In that sense, Paul could tell all the members of the Church to be subject to (hupotassomai) one another, and he could also tell wives to be subject to their husbands. For hupotassomai is not a ranking of persons as ruler and ruled. It is a concise appeal for the Church to have its members live out their call to be "the body of Christ and individually members of it" (1 Cor. 12:27; compare Rom. 12:15; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; Eph. 2:16, 3:6, 4:4,16; Col. 1:18), to be willing to "bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). What is true of the Church, Paul added, is to be true of a marriage.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 8:02pm On Sep 12, 2020|
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|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by daddytime(m): 8:39pm On Sep 12, 2020|
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 9:06pm On Sep 12, 2020|
No need to litter every thread with the same picture. It is getting stale and I am pretty sure Xi Jinping did not even say that because the Chinese are known to be staying out of everyone's business as long as it does not concern them.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Romangalactic(m): 11:37pm On Sep 12, 2020|
Hathor5:Funny stuff is dat u typed dat thinkin u juss said sometin new and der are no bible scholars on nl who already do all dat wen reading the bible. Of course it takes more to interpret d bible dan just read it, did anyone say otherwise 2u before or ar u just tryin to be ur usual twoface self cos I know u tink u're d only one on nl wit access to these tins
Lots of peeps on nl can teach you a proselyte, a neophyte plenty things abt scriptures. Dont go pretending like u have the faintest clue abt anytin u just typed
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Romangalactic(m): 11:38pm On Sep 12, 2020|
Hathor5:Always so reactionary Wat's ur psychological trauma?
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Magnoliaa(f): 11:15am On Dec 14, 2020|
Choosing to go the ad hominem route. Invalidation first...
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Magnoliaa(f): 11:19am On Dec 14, 2020|
I wonder why this didn't draw so much engagement... lol.
Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this, Hathor5. And one point that sticks out for me is this: that Paul was addressing wives to voluntarily be subject to their husbands. It makes a whole lot of difference, as compared to one seeing it from a view of him commanding husbands to rule over their wives.
What do you think of this write-up?
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 11:53am On Dec 14, 2020|
Too long a read for most people but I am glad you enjoyed it.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Magnoliaa(f): 11:58am On Dec 14, 2020|
Texts I absolutely do not mind reading at all. As long as the content makes sense.
And again, this is in the religion section. Have you seen people arguing here? Talking about things from 5 million years ago and God's origin...? I think they just decided to not engage.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by onlyfacts: 3:33pm On Dec 14, 2020|
Thanks for referring me to this. Interesting write up to be Frank. Here are my observations:
1. As rightly pointed out in her write-up the greater responsibility of Ephesians 5: 21-33 greatly rest upon the husbands, to LEAD as the HEAD and not to OPPRESS as the HEAD. Biblical HEADSHIP goes with leadership of a SELF-SACRIFICING TYPE and consideration and not that of OPPRESSION. This is evident in Ephesians 5:25, where it admonishes HUSBANDS to continue LOVING their wives, just as the CHRIST also LOVED the congregation and GAVE HIMSELF UP (by choosing to willing DIE) for it.
This is also evident also in Ephesians 5 : 28-31 where it admonishes HUSBANDS to view their WIVES as their own BODIES when exercising their HEADSHIP. With that conclusion it wraps it up by saying, A HEAD (husbands) can never hate his own body but he FEEDS and CHERISHES IT, same way a husband should love and cherish his wife because they are no longer TWO but ONE FLESH. Taking all this context into account it becomes clear the kind of HEADSHIP STYLE God wants HUSBANDS to have towards their WIVES. So if I may ask, which fits the description of HEADSHIP most accurately in the bible, will it be OPPRESSIVE STYLE of HEADSHIP or CONSIDERATE STYLE of HEADSHIP?
- i believe the later would fit perfectly. Which is the point I made in the previous post and which the writer also made here.
2. To the address given to women at Ephesians 5 :22,23,24, and 33, I raise an objection to the write-up. Here are my objections. Ephesians 5:31 points to the fact that at marriage a husband and wife are no longer two flesh but ONE FLESH. It is for this sole reason that husband is told to love and cherish his "OWN BODY" because HIS WIFE is now a PART OF IT, since they are now ONE FLESH. This admonition is not VOLUNTARY in any way. A man cannot say he will decide whether to LOVE his wife or not. If he does decide to not LOVE his wife then he has broken the VOW he made to God to LOVE her as his OWN BODY and become ONE FLESH with her. This also goes for a wife who has taken a VOW she made before GOD to become ONE FLESH with her husband, they are now ONE and not TWO FLESH. To say she will decide VOLUNTARILY whether she will honor her part of the arrangement to RESPECT or SUBMIT to her HUSBAND is to go against her VOW to the marriage before God and humans. A true biblical husband cannot be ONE FLESH with you by making your interest his priority while you the biblical wife put YOUR OWN INTEREST ABOVE his OWN and remaining TWO FLESH.
Another reason that points to this is found in Ephesians 5: 23,24, and 1 Corinthians 11: 3. There is shows that the HEAD of man is the CHRIST, while the HEAD of a woman is the MAN. There is a lot we can learn from this comparison. While CHRIST is the HEAD of EVERY MAN, he DOESN'T FORCE any MAN or anybody to accept his HEADSHIP (afterall we all have FREE WILL) but when a MAN VOLUNTARILY chooses to follow CHRIST and accept CHRISTIANITY, starting from that DAY, that man has CHOSEN out of his FREE WILL to SUBMIT to CHRIST HEADSHIP, this is NONE NEGOTIABLE. We cannot be under CHRIST LAW as Christians and still claim we can voluntarily decide whether or not we submit, listen or obey CHRIST. That Christian would be a confused christian.
Bringing this to man and woman, just the way a single unmarried man is under no obligation to LOVE as his FLESH any woman, so also a single unmarried woman is under no obligation to RESPECT or SUBMIT to the HEADSHIP of any man. But when they both decide to take their marriage VOW they come under oath VOLUNTARILY to fulfill the requirements of BIBLICAL MARRIAGE. if a husband abuses his wife after taking this vow then he has failed his obligation before GOD and if a wife takes this vow and decides she will decide when it is convenient for her to respect or submit to her husband, she also has failed in her obligation before GOD. You cannot VOLUNTARILY go into an "arrangement" and still VOLUNTARILY FAIL to meet up with the requirements, that will either be irrational or wicked.
Sorry I couldn't reply on time. Its Monday and I'm working on an online project.
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|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Magnoliaa(f): 4:26pm On Dec 14, 2020|
It's fine. This isn't long at all for when the response came. It seems you have a thing for time and 'punctuality.'
I'll go through your reply and understand it. It's in-depth, and I see some striking points. I'll respond when I can- it can be days from now LOL. (Or months?)
Don't be looking forward to speedy replies from me oh. Take it like that.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by onlyfacts: 4:39pm On Dec 14, 2020|
Lol, to an extent you get me.
Please take your time (not in years sha ). I'll still be here whenever you are ready
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by livingchrist: 6:03pm On Dec 14, 2020|
onlyfacts:great response there. like you said the responsibility of leadership falls on the man not the woman.
While the responsibility of the woman is to submit to the leadership of the man.
The summary is this, the man brings christlike leadership to his home while the woman submit to it.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 9:33am On Dec 15, 2020|
I am actually surprised this topic did not draw more attention but I also know that many people shy away from extensive reading.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by LoveJesus87(m): 9:50pm On Dec 20, 2020|
Hathor5:I said it. You must be a good girl
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 12:00am On Dec 22, 2020|
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by livingchrist: 7:40am On Dec 22, 2020|
This topic has being overflogged, the rise of feminism has seen the continuous questioning of this verse and other verse in the bible. The reason being that the philosophy of feminism is in sharp contrast to the teachings of the bible.
Feminism is from a humanistic point of view that there should be no distinction between a man and a woman whatsoever.
feminism is against any form of roleship between men and women based on gender, tagging it as gender discrimination or inequality or even sexism, on the other hand the biblical teaching is a theological system where God gives definition to all things, where men and women are different and given different roles.
It is clearly written in the bible that women were created for men not the other way round, this is clearly against the feminist ideology hence feminist cannot wrap their heads around it.
This proves the word of God true which said that the carnal mind is an enmity to God.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 12:56pm On Dec 22, 2020|
Have you read the OP at all or decided to come and rant about feminism without any reference to the OP?
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by LoveJesus87(m): 1:28pm On Dec 22, 2020|
Hathor5:because you are a good girl
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by livingchrist: 6:46am On Dec 24, 2020|
Hathor5:The op only tries to interpret what she does not even know, born out of a particular mindset, the biblical advice is for those who it is met for. If you dont know the bible is directly opposed to the feministic ideology which op is stylishly trying to incorporate.
The man has be made the leader of his home and the woman is to submit to his leadership, it is not optional it is the will of God.
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Hathor5(f): 6:48am On Dec 24, 2020|
And what makes you think that you have the expertise to interpret the Bible for me?
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by livingchrist: 9:56am On Dec 24, 2020|
Hathor5:why do you need interpretation?
|Re: The Ephesians 5 Syndrome by Goshen360(m): 1:48pm On Dec 24, 2020|
Why don't you investigate what the OP had said like the Berean Christians to see if what was taught is wrong or truth? You can investigate by yourself with an open mind and come to your own conviction. That's the only way you can be persuaded about Bible doctrines.
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