Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Head II part A

Does kefalh mean "source?" The primary evidence that I can find is not as strong as I would like it to be. Some authorities can be found that render the word as such:

Catherine Clark Kroeger

"The Classical Concept of Head as "Source", from the appendix of Gretchen Gabelein Hull's book Equal to Serve. pgs. 267-268

The concept of head as "source" is well documented in both classical and Christian antiquity and has been long accepted by scholars. Some evangelicals, however, have shown a reluctance to deal with the data…….…… To find earlier works, we must use Greek-Latin dictionaries, of which there are a great abundance. In these the definition of "source" for kephale is well attested. Henry Petrina's Lexicon Dictionarium Graecolatinum of 1577 lists the following meanings: caput, vertex, summa pars, apex cerni, exorium, origo (source or origin), statura coporis.

Clark's article then goes on to give several examples of head being used as source in ancient Greek. Following is first example:} Pages 268

Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria, wrote of Adam: Therefore of our race he became first head, which is source, and was of the earth and earthy. Since Christ was named the second Adam, he has been placed as head, which is source, of those who through him have been formed anew unto him unto immortality through sanctification in the spirit. Therefore he himself our source, which is head, has appeared as a human being. Yet he though God by nature, has himself a generating head, the heavenly Father, and he himself, though God according to his nature, yet being the Word, was begotten of Him. Because head means source, He establishes the truth for those who are wavering in their mind that man is the head of woman, for she was taken out of him. Therefore as God according to His nature, the one Christ and Son and Lord has as his head the heavenly Father, having himself become our head because he is of the same stock according to the flesh.

In case you have lost count, kephale is defined as "source (arche) no less than four times in this single paragraph. In his application of the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:3, Cyril bases his argument upon this definition. Christ was begotten of the Father, who is His source, woman was drawn from man, who is her source.

She also gives examples from classical Greek consisting of:
the Orphic Fragments.

She sites Patristic examples:

Athanasius (fifth century A.D.)
Cyril of Alexandria (died 444 A.D.)
Theodore of Mopsuestia (died 428 A.D.)
Basil (the Great) (329-379 A.D.)
Eusebius (died 339 A.D.)
John Chrysostom, (Bishop of Constantinople--A.D. 347-407)
Photius (died 891 A.D.)

Payne also gives extra biblical examples (see P. B. Payne, ‘Response’, in Women, Authority and the Bible, edited by A. Mickleson, (IVP, 1986).

One of the major early articles which influenced the Mickelsens was Stephen BeDale's "Meaning of Kephale in the Pauline Epistles," Journal of Bilical LIteartureV (1954) 211-215

Kroger also mentions a Clark article.

Answering the Critics

Perhaps the major defender of the Complamentarian cause is Wayne Grudem. Grudem is connected to the councial for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He is a Bible scholar and has a prodigeous output, much of which is amied at arguing with the major egalitarians. Grudem's arguments, however, are lack luster and misleading. Let's critically examine an article published on Leadership Universitie's website:

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
A Response to Evangelical Feminism
Wayne Grudem and John Piper
this article is on Leaderhsip University

Appendix 1 Part A
The Meaning of Kephale ("Head"):
A Response to Recent Studies
Wayne Grudem

Grudem is concenred to answer an article from 1989 by Richard S. Cervin in Trinity Journal, "Does Kephale ('Head') Mean 'Source' or 'Authority Over' in Greek Literature?

I am not concerned to defend Cervin as I am to examine Grudem's arguments. Most of his article is about arguing with Cervin.Rather than go by the order of the article, I will isolate what I think are the four major issues, and take them in my own order, by passing most of the argument with Cerin.

(1) few sources for Kephale as "source"

(2)Many more sources for "supirior rank."

(3) Method (patristics vs. classical Greek)

(4)Battle of the Lexicons

Examining these issues:

(1) few sources for Kephale as "source"

Grudem begins by criticing two exaples of classical Greek that Cervin presents. These are two of the examples used by Kreoger.

a. All the articles and commentaries depend on only two examples of kephale in ancient literature: Herodotus 4.91 and Orphic Fragments 21a, both of which come from more than four hundred years before the time of the New Testament, and both of which fail to be convincing examples: Herodotus 4.91 simply shows that kephale can refer to the "end points" of a river---in this case, the sources of a river, but elsewhere, the mouth of a river---and since "end point" is a commonly recognized and well-attested sense of kephale , we do not have convincing evidence that "source" is the required sense here. The other text, Orphic Fragments 21a, calls Zeus the "head" of all things but in a context where it is impossible to tell whether it means "first one, beginning" (an acknowledged meaning for kephale ) or "source" (a meaning not otherwise attested).

It seems that Grudem is reading in an assumption about what the Greeks would make of Zeus being "head" of all things; it could have meant 'source' and seems reminicient of Pauline usage in speak of Christ in Collosians. Grudem also seems to admit that "end-point" is a "commonly recongized and well attested sense of Kephale," which would seem to document the egalitarian cause better than his own; he admits that kepahle is used of souce. He acknolwedges that kephale is used as begining, or first, that would seem closely related to source. But there is a way to tell. That example is actually in Liddell and Scott, it's listed in plural meanings, where it also says that Kephale means "source" or head of a river!

On the Perseus site:

d. in pl., source of a river, Hdt.4.91 (butsg., mouth, oida Gela potamou kephalêi epikeimenon astu Call.Aet.Oxy.2080.48 ): generally, source, origin, Zeus k. (v.l. archê), Zeus messa, Dios d' ek panta teleitai tetuktai codd.) Orph.Fr.21a; starting-point, k. chronou Placit. 2.32.2 (kronou codd.), Lyd.Mens.3.4; k. mênos ib.12. e. extremity of a plot of land, PPetr.3p.72 (iii B.C.), PFlor.50.83 (iii A.D.). III. Homêreiê k. bust of Homer, IG14.1183.10.

The dictionary entry itself says its starting point. That would indicate origin or source. But my own translation:

"From out of the midst of Zeus all things are made perfect."

That would seem to imply source.

But the use in Orphic literature is more than just this one fragment, as Kroeger* expalins:

In the case under discussion, a line of Orphic poetry may be found in the works of seven later writers, running all the way from the sixth century B.C. to about one thousand A.D. Here we discover the word kephale (head) being used interchangeably with arche (beginning, source or point of origin). The fragment speaks of Zeus as the beginning, middle and end of all things. The interchange of two terms recurring in the same quotation is important because it demonstrates that in the writers' minds they have the same semantic value and may be freely exchanged. It is the more valuable because the usages extend over so long a period of time.

The oldest, an Orphic fragment probably from the sixth century B.C., declares:

Zeus was born first, Zeus last, god of the bright bolt:

Zeus is the head (kephale), Zeus the middle, from Zeus are all things made.

Sometimes, however the last line runs

"Zeus the beginning (arche), Zeus the middle and Zeus the end".

She concludes:

"Four times Zeus is called head, kephale, and three times arche, source or beginning. Thus the two terms appear synonymous in this context."

(2) More sources for Kephale supirior rank?

Grudem continues:

"The search of 2,336 examples turned up forty-nine texts where kephale had the meaning "person of superior authority or rank, or 'ruler,' 'ruling part'"; therefore, this was an acceptable and understandable sense for kephale at the time of the New Testament."

This is rather amazing that out of 2,336 examples only 49 are in his favor and yet he takes it for victory! What about the other 2,287 examples? If this proves that Kephale doesn't mean "source," surely it also proves that it doesnt' mean "authority over, or supiroior rank." This would average out pretty fairly with the LXX evidence, in both cases "supirior rank," while not impossible is fairly rare. Of course he adds, "the meaning 'authority over' best suits many New Testament contexts." That is of course if we ignore the evidence given on the preivious page and forget that all NT examples invovle some aspect of 'source' if they do invovle authority at all.

I have not found Grudem's list, but it would be crucial to check it to see how many times he find Kephale used for arche. If his past performance is any indication, he probably assumes that any time Kephale is put over in palce of arche, it means ruler. Actually, this is not the case, as Kroeger documents:

The confusion over various sources was compounded when my colleague repeatedly failed to differentiate between archon, meaning ruler or commander, and the cognate arche meaning beginning, first principle or source. To be sure, arche can also indicate authority, rule, realm or magistracy. Almost never, however, does arche denote the person ruling. That sense is supplied by the cognate, archon. This misunderstanding of meaning led to a number of mistranslations and hence to unwarranted conclusions.(Ibid.)

Head II part B

The upshot is that we cannot be sure how many of Grudem's examples really hold, and there aren't that many to bein with. Moreover, his 18 examples of Kephale or Rosh in the LXX have been whittaled down to about 8 or 4 (if we aren't charitable). On on the other hand, as Kroeger points out, there are more examples in the Orphic lit of kephale as source than just that one listed above, and the ancient lexicon she uses of Photius contains more than one reference. There are also multiple references in the Patristic lit.

(3)Method:Patristic vs. Classical

He castigates Cervin for not examining the new testatment exampels of the word. he taks him to taks for using sources far removed from the NT. In so doing he alys out a pretty good method of approach:

"If the meaning of a certain term as used by Aristotle was "under dispute" because some author had recently challenged the traditional understanding of Aristotle's use of that word, I imagine Dr. Cervin would use the following procedure: He would first look carefully at the uses of that term in Aristotle and try to decide from the context what meaning the word had in each case. Next he would look at the uses of that word in literature closest to Aristotle in time (what linguists call "synchronic analysis" of a term). Then he would look at uses further away in time, subject matter, and culture---writers who shared less of a common linguistic stock with Aristotle because of the possible changes in language over time. ("Diachronic analysis" refers to such tracing of the different uses of a word over time.) Such a procedure would be characteristic of sound linguistic analysis. But this is just the opposite of what Cervin does, for he dismisses the New Testament texts without examining even one verse. Then by other means he dismisses examples from other literature closest to the New Testament.

This method is a pretty good way to proceed. It is surprizing that it is also not what Grudem does either. Most of his examples come from the Patristics. Now he criticizes Cervin for using Heroditus who was Ionian and wrote 500 years before the NT. But himself uses North African and Byzantine Patristic sources which are at least 300 years after the time of Paul, and which are more heavily influenced by the Latinate meaning, that will become important latter. Iononian is very different than Koine. I've read the entire NT in Greek, and I've read Heroditus. They are very different, but not so different that I could not understand them. I found Heroditus confussing in places but readable. Corinth may not have been as far removed from Ionia as fourth century Byzantium. Moreiver, Ephasis of Paul's day was probably closer in language to Corinth than was Byzantium of the Eastern empire and the Patristics.

It could be more logical to use examples from 500 years before the NT and not from the next century after, as the influence of the Roman meaning had begun to change the understanding of "head." The Latin sense would carry the authorotative connotations.

Gilbert Bilezikian
Beyond Sex Roles

It was much later that the word kephale began to be used as "authority" under the pressure of Latin usage, as evidenced in the writings of some post apostolic church fathers. For Paul and his correspondents the use of the word kephale as a synonym for ruler or authority would have been as meaningless as attempting to do the same today with tete in French, or Kopf in German.

Grudem continues:

"The other corpus of literature most closely related to the New Testament is commonly referred to as "the Apostolic Fathers" (the name originally was intended to signify authors who knew the apostles personally). These writings are also extremely valuable for understanding New Testament usage, because the proximity in time, culture, and subject matter means that these writers shared a linguistic stock that was almost exactly the same as that of the New Testament writers. Yet again with regard to a citation from the Shepherd of Hermas (Similitudes 7:3, where a husband is referred to as "the head of your household"), Cervin admits that the sense "leader" attaches to the word head, but he rejects this as valid evidence for the use of a word in the New Testament because he says that the author was unknown: "We do not know who wrote the Shepherd. . . . If the author were a foreigner, it is entirely possible that this metaphor could have been calqued from his own native language. If this were the case, then this would be another example of an imported, not a native metaphor" (p. 105).

How very strange then, that his first criticism against Kroeger is that she uses mostly Patristic literature: "Since all the additional metaphorical examples cited come from the fourth century A.D. and later, it does not seem that they are very helpful for determining New Testament usage, especially in light of Ruth Tucker's research showing that earlier Fathers took kephale to mean authority and not source."

But the Patristic literature is not closest to the environment and linguistic usage of the New Testament, not by a long shot. It is the closest we have from Christian literature, and so Grudem assumes it would bare the closest theological resemblence, but even that is an assumption that cannot be borne out. The doctirne of the chruch changed a great deal by that time, but I will not go into that here. The closest linguistic usage fo NT Greek would be the Koine Greek of the common merchents of the day, especially those living in Palestine. The Syboline Oracles and other Jewish heterodox works in Greek would be closer to the NT usage than the Patristics, as has been illustrated on my Messiah pages with the use of Logos for Memra.

The next closest would be Josephus. He lived in Palestine in the first century (although late), he wrote in Greek. On the other hand, he was writting for Roman audience, so the Latin meaning of "head" might be an influence. After that the next closest might be Attick Greek of Arostotle, as Grudem's discription of method indicates. What we see in the evidence for Kephale as "source" is a wide range of uses, which cover classical, Jewish intermtestamental, and patristic, and only begins with Heroditus.

But this is hardly a sufficient basis on which to reject the evidence of this quotation. The Shepherd of Hermas was so widely known in the early Christian world that for at least two centuries many thought that it should be included as part of the New Testament canon (in 325 Eusebius still classified it among the "disputed books"; see Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 3.3.6)."

But yes it is a sufficient basis, because the Shepard of Hermas probalby orinated at Rome (according to Ramsey, and Kirsop Lake) which means it would use the term in the Latonate sense and thus not be representative of Jewish usage in Asia Minor of Palestine. It doesn't matter how beloved the book was in third century Aisa minor.

On the other hand, it is not just a simple matter of Patristic vs classical; as Kroeger shows above, the meaning "source" was still clinging to the word in Patristic times. There is probably a complex admixture of neuanced meanings that we haven't evne begun to explore, involved in the Patristic use of Kephale. Perhaps this is a fertile ground for future scholars.

Grudem tries to imply that the meaning of "source" for kephale came latter than his patristics:

"Apart from these six late patristic writers, Kroeger cites no new metaphorical uses of kephale in her article.... in light of Ruth Tucker's research showing that earlier Fathers took kephale to mean authority and not source." That is absurd! To think that it didn't mean "supirior" or "authority" in the interestamental period (born out by the LXX) but then came to mean that in Paul's day, then changed to mean source after the Patristics? That is especially unlikely in light of the analysis of Paul's use of Kephale aside from 1 Cor 11 and Eph. 5. Most Grudem supporters admit that these passages connote "source" as well as "authority." (see previous page).

Kroeger demonstrates that Grudem's major Patristic source is actaully not documentation for the comp. meaning of Kephale, but supports the view that the word means source:

The definition of kephale is of contemporary importance not only because of the debate over the proper role of husband and wife in Christian marriage but because I Cor. 11:3 speaks of God as head of Christ. One of the points of disagreement between my colleague and my own work was over the treatment of the term by John Chrysostom, one of the earliest exegetes, a fourth century scholar whose first language was Greek. The commonly held anatomical views of antiquity, that the head was the source of the body's existence, led him to conventional metaphorical uses. From the head, he said, the senses "have their source and fount."

In the head are the eyes both of the body, and of the soul. . . . All the senses have thence their origin and source. Thence are sent forth the organs of speech, the power of seeing and of smelling, and all touch. For thence is derived the root of the nerves and bones.

The spirit or vital principle, he explained, "descends from the brain, communicates the sensitive faculty which is conveyed through the nerves."

Chrysostom's twenty-sixth homily on I Corinthians 11:2 demonstrates concerns for both theology and praxis.. The text reads "But the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God". He realized that this text might be pounced upon by heretics wishing to subordinate the Son. He uses here the technical term elattow, employed in christological controversies for the diminishing of the Son.

The first section of the homily is in fact a refutation of subordinationist arguments. He observes that the heretics propel themselves into a dire situation by their misunderstanding of the text. They misconstrue what the apostle intended by his use of the term kephale. For this reason he engages in a semantic discussion with profound theological implications. A major part of his argument revolves around the definition of kephale.

Chrysostom understands well that in I Cor. 11:3 "head" is employed as a metaphor and as such cannot be comprehended in precisely the same sense in each of its occurrences within the text.

"Therefore if we choose to take the term "head" in the like sense in all the clauses, the Son will be as far removed from the Father as we are from Him. Nay and the woman will be as far removed from us as we are from the Word of God."

The meaning in the individual case must be determined by the occasion (to aition). No wooden assignment of definition for him. He fully recognized that there was a broad semantic range.

How then should kephale be understood as informing the relationship between Father and Son? In what way could the imagery be comprehended, what associations should be accepted and what rejected? As applied to the Trinity, kephale must imply "perfect oneness and primal cause and source." Although Chrysostom elsewhere argued for the subordination of women to her husband, here he maintained that the term "head" in no way implied inferiority. Indubitably he viewed one of the meanings of "head" to be "source" or "point of origin" and deemed it theologically important.(Ibid.)

*The abvoe URL for the Kroger qutoation on Orphic lit. is to a text document created on google search. This article was downloaded by permission of the author from, where other free articles are also available. (the original article requires a speicail "reader" software).

The quotation is fomr an original paper presented by Dr. Kroeger at a recent meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. Google search says:If you have questions, please contact Dave Leigh at


Monday, November 21, 2005

Relation between God and Logic

It has become necessary to clarify my position. Fleetmouse makes the comment that (given all my other expressed ideas) I should say that God is logic, or that logic is some crucial part of God like I say God is being itself (I guess that would be "logic itself). But since I have expressed indignation for tag argument this seems like an inconsistency.

First, to dispense with Tag: Tag argument is silly because atheists obviously use logic. There is no copyright stamped upon rocks or trees saying "Nature by God, C can't use without permission." What is he charge Royalties? "Well, atheist, behold, you died unbelieving so I must condemn you to hell, but before you go, there's a little matter of royalties for all the times you posted on CARM."

Now here we must distinguish between logic as a tool and logic as an organizing principle. Logic, as in "the natural light of Reason" of which the enlightenment philosophies waxed eloquent (and mushy about) is something different from just using your brain to figure things. Just figuring is something we do because of the way our brains are wired. the things we figure makes logical sense logic at that level is just relationships between concepts, space, and things in space. So we recognize these relationships, we apply that recognition to work out verus machinations of our figuring, and that's the use of our logical faculties. God gave us that, it's stupid to say we can't use it without believing in God, because God didn't make our rational faculties pay per view.

Now as for the idea that Logic is part of God or God is logic itself, and here Fleet brings up the logos, yes, of course, I do think of that, I do say that. But that's not exactly the same as rationcentenation that we do in figuring that the tag argument talks about. That's the transcendental signified, or signifier, the big picture organizing principle that places all special creational relationships and all sense data under it's rubric of organization. That is clearly God in the most abstract sense, and that is exactly how medieval theologians saw the logos as being.

I think the tab argument is silly in spite of this revelation. Because logic is not a substance one can copy right. Even at the grand abstract level of the transcendental signifier logic, if we can manage to understand or use any, is there to be used. God gave us that in making us the beings we are. So either God exists, and we are welcome to partake of logic or no God, and no tag argument. So either way Tag set's out a claim about the relationship between God and logic that makes the relationship too literal.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Check in with our Exotic Visitors

We have a wonderful batch of exotic visitors this time. One is from Japan and found the blog through a google for religious story. Check out that unknown country. Every interesting, must be where the Hypoboreans live. Or Perhaps Prestor John. Or could it be, the secret white people?

Num Perc. Country Name
49 52.69% United States
17 18.28% Canada
10 10.75% United Kingdom
3 3.23% India
2 2.15% Unknown -
2 2.15% Philippines
2 2.15% Netherlands
1 1.08% Japan
1 1.08% France
1 1.08% Venezuela
1 1.08% Germany
1 1.08% Ireland
1 1.08% Malaysia
1 1.08% Belgium
1 1.08% Thailand

What use can the Country Stats have?

the meaning of "Head" in the Epistles

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Gloria Steinem

I have decied to spend the next few blog times with a running campaign to make the arguments of the egalitarian movmeent more visable to the public. The Egalitarians are the altnertaive to the male bashing femanztis that right wing "complametnarians" like to imagine lurk in all Unitied Methodist Chruches. The Egalitarian Christain alliance is a wonder group of really intelligent and totally dedicated Chrsitian women. They deserve much more support from us, their Christian brothers. Now what kicked off my anger on this one is a freind of mine heard Focuss on the Family give a totally one sided attack agisnt the gender awre translation fo the NIV, and upon writting to them, was told that Dobson is not interested in givnig both sides.(Dr. James Dobson of christian Child rearing fame, Dare To Discipline). So Dobson is not into being fair, ok fine. I will present the egalitarian side here for the next few times.

I being with "Head" or Kephale (Greek) because another freind also found an article in which all the work of the egal movment in undersanding this word was dismissing with no good reason being given. So I will show you why when Paul says "man is the head of woman" he is not saying "man is the boss of woman."

IV. "Headship" in NT.

(grounds for Female Submission?).

1 Corinthians 11:3

(3)But I want you to understand that Christ F112* is the head R418 of every man, and the R419 man is the head of a woman, and God is the head R420 of Christ. F112

Ephesians 5:

(23) For the R320 husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head R321 of the church, He Himself being R322 the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

*numbers for quick look up in Strong's Concordence.

No HeadshipDoctrine

Those who take preconceived notions to scripture for quick confirmation, via proof testing, often set out to validate something called "the doctrine of Headship. That is merely turning a word into a concept. There is no "doctrine of Headship" mentioned in the Bible. The term "head" is used of the husband in connection to the wife only the two passages sited above. To turn that into a ship is to come to it with the preconceived notion that there is a fully developed doctrine to be explicated. There is no such doctrine. There is no ship in the "head" menionted above. It is used only in these two verses and it is never developed into an office but is merely a description of a relationship which Paul resorted to twice.

The nature of that relationship, husband and wife, is never fully developed in the New Testament, but it is clear that Paul is speaking from within his own cultural context. To apply this to all times and all places would be like asking 'where is the verse banning women astronauts?' In Paul's day there was only one kind of marriage anyone knew about in all the Greaco/Roman world: Patriarchal. What choice did Paul have but to write about marriage from inside the assumption of a patriarchal society? Surely this would color the assumptions that he made, and would limit his exposition of the marital relationship to an understanding framed by that culture.

Yet bring our own assumptions to the text. We see the word "head" and think, "my boss is called the 'head' of the company, so 'head' must mean 'boss.' Some may try to soften this blow by calling it Leadership, but a rose by any other name....The point is, we assume that the author of these epistles, and the Greek speaking audience to whom he wrote, would understand the term in the way that we use it in common English jargon. Such is not the case.

Head in Greek: kefalh and it's rendering in lexicons

The English pronunciation is written as Kephale (kef-a-lay). The Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon (abridged).Oxford: Oxford at Clearendon Press, 1983.

The head, lat. caput, from head to foot, formost (1) The head, as the nobelist part, the whole person, just as Latin caput is used; especially in salutation.(3) the life, as we use head, "on my head be it." II. head or upper part of anything, coping of a wall, in pl head or source of a river.III. metaphor., point sum or conclusion.

We do not see among these renderings the idea of boss, leader or commander. Liddell and Scott is a better source to use than Bauer or Strongs or most New Testament lexicons because it is a dictionary of classical Greek and has no theological ax to grind.

The translators of the Septuagent, the Greek Old Testament did not understand Kephale to mean "boss," "leader" "ruler," Or "commander." When they had the opportunity to tanslate the Hebrew Rosh (head) and it did bear these tersm, they did not use Kephale. In thier groundbreaking article "The Head of the Epsitles," Berkeley and Alvera Mickelsen point this out:

However, another commonly used lexicon is the koine Greek lexicon by Arndt and Gingrich (usually called Bauer's). It does list "superior rank" as a possible meaning for kephale. It lists five passages in the New Testament where the compiler thinks kephale has this meaning. As support for this meaning New Testament times, the lexicon lists two passages from the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, where kephale implies leadership or authority. Those who support Bauer's view that kephale meant superior rank" point to these passages in the Greek translation the Old Testament as evidence that this meaning of kephale is familiar to Greek-speaking people in New Testament times.However, the facts do not support that argument.

Contrary to Bauer's use of the term, Hebrew translators of the intertestamental period, chose not Kephale as the rendering of the Hebrew Rosh (which does carry implications of command) but they uusally chose archon or some other word.

Turn to the Mickelsen's again:

About 180 times in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word ro'sh (head) is used with the idea of chief, leader, superior rank (similar to the way English- speaking people use "head"). However those who translated the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek (between 250 and 150 B.C.) rarely used kephale (head) when the Hebrew word for head carried this idea of leader, chief, or authority. They usually used the Greek word archon, meaning leader, ruler, or commander. They also used other words.

In only 17 places (out of 180) did they use kephale, although that would have been the simplest way to translate it. Five of those 17 have variant readings, and another 4 involve a head-tail metaphor , that would make no sense without the use of head in contrast to tail.

That leaves only 8 instances (out of 180 times) when the Septuagint translators clearly chose to use kephale for ro’sh when it had a "superior rank” meaning. Most are in relatively obscure places.Since kephale is so rarely used when ro’sh carried the idea of authority, most of the Greek translators apparently realized that kephale did not carry the same “leader” or “superior rank” meaning for “head” as did the Hebrew word ro’sh.

That's only about 8% or less that kephale is used of Rosh.

Paul's other uses of kefalh

Basically the Egalitarian argument understands Kephale to mean "source" or "origin." This is basically the case but it is more complex than that.It means source, streagth, life, source of life, the most prominent thing, the first thing grasped.

The meaning of Kephale is too often short handed in discussions on this topic. It is so convient to give a one word description such as "source" or "origin." Then as an illustration it is easy to compare to English usage, such as 'the head of a river.' This meaning becomes rubber-stamped and before long people are using the wrong prhase. This short-hand gets egalitarians in trouble, as it furnishes amunition since there is no Lexical authority which clearly renders the word "source of origin," in the singular, with no other meanings. The problem is there is ambiguity, a wide range of meanings, and it is too simplistic and wrong to just say "source." In fact the meaning of source applies to the plural, and is baiscally confied to talking about the head of a river. We have the same meaning for head in English as well.

The chapion of the complamentarian hierarchalists Grudem quotes a letter from the editor of Liddell and Scott saying that Kephale only means "head" (as in head of the river) in the plural form. But that's because the editor was not asked to give an exposition on the theology of St. Paul. He was asked about the use of the phrase "head of the river" in determinig the meaning of kepahle. The meaning is more complex than just reducting to "source." Nevertheless, as we see clearly from the defiton abvove even Lidell and Scott give source of life orlife as one of the meanings.

We can see this from the use of New Testament Lexicons as well: Greek lexicon based on Thayer's and Smith's Bible Dictionary plus others; this is keyed to the large Kittel Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. These files are public domain (crosswalk online dictionary).

the head, both of men and often of animals. Since the loss of the head destroys life, this word is used in the phrases relating to capital and extreme punishment. metaph. anything supreme, chief, prominent of persons, master lord: of a husband in relation to his wife of Christ: the Lord of the husband and of the Church of things: the corner stone

In this defition we see used all the hieararchical terms for husband comparing him to king and lord, leader and boss. But the problem using a biblical lexicon is really like circular reasoning, because they base the meanings upon what they see in the verses. That means they aren't using the control of secular literature for the meaning, but reading in their own theological undersanding. That's why Lidell and Scott is always better. Even here, however, we see other meanings such as cornerstone, and life where captial punishment is invovled.

Hierarchical meanings reflected in New Testament Lexicons are derived from interpretration of the New Testament passages themselves. It is easy, therfore, for a Lexicogrpher to read his favorite doctrine into the word.Comparing Paul's other uses of the term we find equally that they need not be rendered with these hierarchcial meanings, but reflect issues dealing with source, source of life, life itself and so on.

A Challenge for Proponents of Female Subordination To Prove Their Case from The Bible.

By Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian
Professor Emeritus
Wheaton College

The New Testament defines the headship ministry of Christ to the church as a servant relation designed to provide the church with life and growth. This headship is never presented as an authority or lordship position.

Eph. 1:22-23. Christ is supremely and universally sovereign, but as head for the church, it is not said that he rules over it. Instead, he provides his body with the fullness of him who fills all in all. He causes the church to grow and flourish.
Eph. 4:15-16. Christ as head provides the body with oneness, cohesion and growth. This is a servant-provider role, not one of rulership.

Eph. 5:23. Christ is head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. His headship to the church is defined as saviorhood which is biblically defined as a servant, self-sacrificing function, not a lordship role.

Col. 1:18. Christ is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead. As its head, Christ is the source of the church’s life.

Col. 2:19. Christ is the head from whom the whole body grows because it is nourished by him. He is servant-provider of life and growth to the church.Obviously, Christ is Lord of all and therefore Lord of the church. But never does the New Testament define Christ’s relation to the church as its head in terms of lordship, authority or rulership. As head to the church, Christ is always the servant who gives the church all she needs to become his radiant Bride. So is the husband to his wife (Eph. 5:25-30), within a relationship of mutual submission (v. 21).

The word “head” used figuratively in the English language refers to boss, person in authority, leader. It never has that meaning in New Testament Greek. There are hundreds of references in the New Testament to religious, governmental, civic, familial and military authority figures. Not one of them is ever designated as “head.”Even Christ, as “head” of all rule and authority, remains their original giver of life and fullness (Col. 2:10; 1:16).

Similarly, Christ was never called “head” of the church until after his crucifixion, the supreme expression of his servant ministry as the giver of new life.Whenever Christ is described as “head” to the church, his ministry is that of servant-provider. Similarly, as head to his wife, a husband is a servant-provider of life, of fullness and growth, not one who exercises authority over her.

Complamentarians often argue that each of these examples may show some faint trace of the idea of "source," but they also imply an obvious authority as well. that is clearly true. What seems significant, however, is that these are basically the only metaphorical uses of head by Paul. He never uses it of authority figures in government, or municipalities, or slave owners,employers or the like. Moreover, the never uses it apart from the aspect of source of life either!It may be tempting to assign an authority aspect based upon our cultural bias that the head is the center of the brain, the seat of the intellect. This would not have occurred to the Greeks, however, as they knew little of accruate physiology. To the Greeks the chest was the seat of the intellect, the head was the source of life, because if cut off, the body dies. This fact of the Greek outlook is documented by several scholars:Stephen Bedale, "The Meaning of Kephale in the Pauline Epistles," Journal of Theological Studies, 5 (1954):212; Ridderbos, Paul: an Outline, p. 380 and note 64; see also Fred D. Layman "Man and Sin in the Perspective of Biblical Theology," The Asbury Seminarian, 30 (1975):39-41 and bibliography there.

The point is that of course there is an authority aspect in Paul's metaphorical use of kephale, he's talking about either Christ's relationship to the chruch, or the universe! There has to be a sense of authority in any relationship involving Christ! But all metaphors and anlogies have their limits!. There must be a point at which the authority aspect breaks down when one is only comparing some other kind of relationship to that of Christ/Church/universe. Should this authority aspect be carried over to the husband/wife relationship? Why should it? This is critical given the view point already expouded in the frist three pages, since there is n gronds for female submission outside of these questioned verses! Many Biblical scholars have echoed the view that the authority aspect cannot be extended from Christ/Chruch to husband/wife:

Wesley Center Online:

Wesley Center for Applied Theology 2002

There is no question but that the relationship between Christ and the church involves lordship and submission in the New Testament. But the question still remains: is that the thrust Paul intended here in his use of the idea of headship? I think not. The fact is that Christ's headship and Christ's lordship are two different, though related, ideas for Paul. Paul's metaphorical use of the word kephale corresponds to a like use of the word rosh in the Old Testament, both meaning the "beginning," "source," or "ground" of something.38 In Colossians 1:15-20, for instance, Christ was the beginning of the natural creation (v. 16), which has its origin and ground in Him and achieves its final destiny in relation to Him (v. 17). He has a relationship of priority and sustainer to the creation (v. 18). He was also the beginning of the church and was the first-born of the new order. He is thus pre-eminent in the original creation and in the new creation (v. 18). The new creation has its origin and ground in Him (v.18). He has this role as a divine being (v. 19, cf. 2:9). God intends to reconcile all things in Him (v. 20) Because He is the source and ground of all creation, He is also the source of all rule and authority (2:10). Ephesians contains a comparable set of ideas. Ephesians 1:21f. parallels Colossians 1:18-20 in its emphasis on Christ's headship in the new creation, a headship that extends to all things and is above all rule, authority, power, and dominion. Ephesians 4:15f. and Colossians 2:19 emphasize the unity which exists between Christ and the church. He is the origin and ground of the church and directs its growth to Himself. The church is edified through His gifts and He is its eschatological orientation (Eph. 4:11-16). None of this can be attained however apart from faith; for this reason the relation of the body to the head is always that of obedient submission. All of this is said without any identification of Christ's headship and His lordship. The two ideas are drawn together in the Ephesians passage where the Lord Jesus Christ (vs.2f.,15,17; cf. Col.2:10) is exalted above all rule, authority, power, and dominion (v. 21), but they are not the same. Christ's headship speaks of Him as the beginning, origin, and ground of all being. His lordship speaks of His governing rule in the creation. Thus His lordship in the creation is the result of His headship, but the two ideas are not synonymous. When we look again at the Ephesians 5:21-33 passage, it becomes obvious that Paul did not incorporate all that belongs to Christ's headship when he paralleled it with the husband's headship. He did not affirm that "the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church" (v. 32) and leave it open-ended for his readers to fill in the specifics. Given the proclivity for fallen man to put himself in the place of God, Paul was very aware as he wrote of how his motif could be misused for sinful purposes. He was very careful therefore to circumscribe and limit his meaning.

Layman footnotes the following sources:

38Bedale, "The Meaning of Kephale" pp. 298f., n. 41; Heinrich Schlier, "Kephale, " in Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1964-), 3:679-81; Scroggs, Paul and the Eschatological Woman, pp. 298f., n. 41; Ridderbos, Paul an Outline, pp. 381f.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

which Starfleet Captin are you?

kirk wallpaper
You are Captain Kirk!
Definately the most renouned Starfleet Captain,
your missions explored every facet of the
humanoid being. Your no guts no glory approach,
although considered too risky by some, has
earned you Starfleet's highest honors. Your
zest for life exemplifies what humans should
be; free, alive and honorable beyond compare.
You have twice died upholding the ideals which
humanity holds so dear. Had you not been so
brazen in your command during Starfleet's
greatest expansion period, it most assuredly
would not be what it is today. You however,
have been known to let your libido make your
decisions for you. Best keep that in check.

Which Starfleet Captain Are You?
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Sunday, November 06, 2005


does this work?

Lourdes Miracles

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One of the standard opporating procedures I use in my apologetics on boards, is the use of Lourdes evidence for miracles. I think it's hard for atheists to get their minds around what that means. Lourdes is a town in France, and there is a major Catholic Shrine to Mary there. The town does not own or run the shrine, but it clealry benifits from the Shrine, or whatever that means. The purpose of the shrine is to mark the appearing to three frnech chrilden, one girl in particular (Bernadette Subarou) of the Virgin Mary who said to her "I am the immaculate conception." The thing is people are healed of diseases when they partake of the water and pray. Millions of peopel have been through the shrine. Estimages of healings run as high as 20 million, although documented cases are not nearly that high. Of all these the Catholic chruch has only taken 65 cases as official miracles, but there are 4000 "remarkable" cases that just barely missed because they could not meet all the strengent rules required by the committee.

The rules the committee has set have grown over the years. They are strict, they are oreitned around a scientific understanding of medicine, and they are callculted to promote a scientific outcome. For example, they don't take Lukemia cases unless they have been free of the symptoms for 10 years, that's because they know the remission rates and want to avoid the prospect of just getting someone in remission. They require complete medical documentation for the prognosis and diagosis. All x-raya snd results of other texts, and the full course of treatment must be known to the committee before they will even consider a case.

The atheist I was arguing with on CARM,and several others and different times, have demanded that I show a double blind experiment with control group and experimental group. They argue that unless I can show that the percentage of miracles is higher than the rate of natural unexplained cures then there's no way to say that something was a miracle. I say they don't understand the nature of medical research. First of all, it would nice sure, if we had an ideal double blind experiment with good controls. But we dont' have that nor can we if we are talking about Lourdes. There's no way Luourdes can do this since it has to be expost facto. The people have already had the illness, treatment failed completely, and sought and recieved healing from the shrine at Lourdes. It would be impossible to set up a control group to run an experiment that's already over before you know of the partcipants in it.

Even so, the evidence form Lourdes doesn't need to be proven in double blind experimcment to be effective evidence of a miracle. First we must understand what we are talking about. We are not talking not talking about proving a statistical average, nor are we field testing a drug. If we thought that God woreked automatically as a force of nature we would hve to seek an incidence rate, that would helpt have a control group. But God is a will, God has "his" own ideas about things, and one is suggesting that we can automatcially compell God to action by prayer. So it would be foolish to even think about a control group. Moreover, control group and double blind would be important if we thought the outcome could be affected by knowledge of the participants. But these participants of course know they have prayed adn sought healing at Lourdes so the whole concept is just idiotic. From whom would the double bilnd be hidden? In what way can the people effect their healings by knowing they prayed?

The whole concetp of a miralce is predicated upon the idea that there is 0 probalbity of this happening. Its' not that its something that is just very very rare, but could happen. It has to have a 0% probalbity. Medical science knows this for many diseases, and the Lourdes rules are dsigned to screen out cases that remitt or that don't fall within that 0% range. That's why they don't take Lukimea cases for 10 years. But the incidence rates and cure rates, death rates, remission rates, are well estabished and well known to most of medical scinece.

The point of investigating Lourdes miralces for the chruch is to give glory to Mary, not to establish a scientific law or a statitsitcal incidcnece rate on miralces. But the comparision of a 0% probalghity veres this did happen, the impossbile happened is enoguh to know a miracle happened. There will always be some epistemic gap between what we think has happened and what could have happened. One coudl stand before God in judgment and argue that it's not happening, how do I know this isn't a delustion. The first couple of million years in hell can be used to sort that one out. When a patient comes in with total black lung and prognosis gives him just weeks or days to live, and the next day after prayer his lungs are like knew, with no trace of the diesease, we know something happeened that was not suppossed to have happened. We don't need a control group of Minors with black lung and an experincmental group that we pray for to know that something amazing and beyond explianation has occurred.

One athiest arguing on CARM has stated that unless the cure rate for miracles is stiatistically higher than the rate of unexplained cures then we have to assume that it is a naturalistic phenomenon that we will someday come to understand. This is nothing more than sheer garbabe. It assumes that God is an automatic force and is bound to work x% of miracles in all cases of disease. God doenst' have to do anyting. God can't be pinned down to a statistically cure rate, that's why its' a miralce, it's contextually impossible.

form a memeber of the Lourdes commitee (quoted on Doxa):

Balzaretti with same members of Lourdes International Medical Committee (LIMC)

Italy is represented by three members; in addition to the undersigned, LIMC members include Prof. Fausto Santeusanio, Director of the Chair of Endocrinology at Perugia University, and Prof.Graziano Pretto, Director of the Otolaryngology Department of the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza Hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo. Each complete medical file, accurately drawn up by the medical practitioner in charge of the competent Medical Service, after having been checked and accepted by the Bureau Médical, currently chaired by Dott. Patrick Theiller, is submitted to the LIMC, which meets in Paris or Lourdes once a year.

Just like a court of appeal, the LIMC confirma or invalidates the position taken by the Bureau Médical in the “first instance”, after having carefully examined and evaluated the various files and, should this be required, it can request the advice or opinion of highly qualified external experts. The LIMC is currently analysing two very interesting cases, which may lead to major developments. In order to take into account the acknowledgement of a recovery, the premises of the following two fundamental aspects (which however need to be carefully distinguished) need to exist: 1. The abnormal fact: the phenomenon of recovery itself, which is characterised by its being absolutely unexpected and unexplainable, compared to ordinary medical predictions and to scientific literature data, and which will be subject to an in-depth medical analysis; 2. The sign: which leads to the belief of a special intervention by God, by intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes; this intervention has to be acknowledged by the Church, based on the report of the cured person. But at this stage, we also need to point out: a) The definition of miracle: this is an extraordinary and exceptional event, which cannot be explained through today’s scientific knowledge; b) The features of a miracle: this is a sudden or exceptionally rapid event, with permanent effects and no relapses, which can be assessed through a scientific and interdisciplinary methodology involving biology, forensic medicine, theology, etc. c) The context in which the miracle occurs: historic age, documentation and iconography, taking place within catholic religion and not other religious beliefs and/or cultures, etc.; d) The authority proclaiming the miracle: after the favourable judgement passed by the CMIL (Comité Médical International de Lourdes), this is the ecclesiastic ordinary of the diocese of origin or another authoritative representative of the Church.

After 1977, following the proposal put forward by Mgr. Donze (who has recently died) to reword the rules laid down by Benedict XIV in the light of nowadays’ scientific and technological innovations, a 16 query scheme prepared by the LIMC was laid down; among other things, this introduced the need to rule out any psychopathic component, as well as any other subjective pathologic statea or manifestationa (which are therefore not verifiable), hence only taking into account the recovery acknowledgements relating to serious and provable affections, the only ones that could be deemed as “scientifically inexplicable”. And therefore, in this case it will be possible to close the medical report supporting a “certain and medically unexplainable” recovery, only when:

1) The diagnostics and authenticity of the disease has been preliminarily and perfectly assessed;

2) The prognosis provides for an impending or short-term fatal outcome;

3) The recovery is sudden, without convalesce, and absolutely complete and final;

4) The prescribed treatment cannot be deemed to have resulted in a recovery or in any case could have been propitiatory for the purposes of recovery itself. These criteria are still in use nowadays, in view of their highly logical, accurate and pertinent nature.

They undoubtedly and straightforwardly set out the standard features of an unexpected recovery and have actually made it impossible to put forward any objection to any form of lack of scientific exactitude on the part of the medical practitioners belonging to the Bureau and to the LIMC. The rigour of the Lourdes medical practitioners, whose scrupulousness throughout the years has been centering on the suddenness of recoveries, on the relative effectiveness of the therapies administered, on the objective evidence of the disease found, or on the shorter or longer length of the monitoring period (depending on the disease), has always been exemplary and appreciated by all the Diocesan Canonical Committees that have been called to express their opinion.

Compliance to such criteria has corroborated the seriousness and objectivity of the former Bureau des Constatations and, today, it continues to guide the Comité Médical International de Lourdes, whose conclusions have always represented an indispensable expert’s piece of evidence generating and motivating any further canonical judgements required to acknowledge the real Miracles amongst the thousands of recoveries ascribed to the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

why do we need a God to run the universe?

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I believe it was Tilk (CARM boad) on the thread about the OA, but it could have been any number of atheists who said "I don't see God runnning the universe." In other words, the only reason he can concieve of for belief in God is an explaintion as to how things work. This is the case with so many. They keep their sights lowered and only think of little reasons. I'm not putting down Tilk or saying that he isn't a fine thinker, or that he doesnt' think big in other ways, but I think this is very narrow kind of thinking in religious terms.

Religion has gown up with modernity and postmoderity. It has developed very sophisitcated theological ramifcations. The reasons for beling are as old as the hills, but they can be put into sophisticated postmodern terms. The reason for belief in God never was to expalin the way the uninverse works. It never was to compete with scinece as a means of understanding how things can come into being.

The reason to believe in God is to understand the human problematic,that is the problem at the heart of being human. That problematic turns upon the nature of the numinous wich we sense in so many thigns; in the sublime, in the mysterious, in the incomprehensable, in the asthetic. Taht sense of the sublime is a hint abotu that aspect of being we call "the numinous" and how it offers the answer to the human prolematic.

All religions seeks to identify some aspect of being human that creates the whole system of trouble that confonts us in life; some call it "sin," Others see it as imbalance with nature, or whatever. We resolve it through Ultimate Trnasformative Experice (communicated by the sense of the numionous). It is the task of a religoius tradition to mediate that sense of tranformative power and resolve the problematic.

These are the only real reaons, the only valid reasons for belief, and what they really spell out is a world view. One believes in God because one comes to understand God as the center peice of a world view.