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.)


Anonymous said...

I've read Grudem's article (Wayne Grudem, “Does Kefalh (“Head”) Mean “Source” Or “Authority Over” in Greek Literature? A Survey of 2,336 Examples,” Trinity Journal ns 6.1 (Spring 1985): 38-59) and I have to say that the blog author's bias and poor reasoning shows through badly. Grudem's point was that 87% of the 2336 examples refer to a "physical head" and the other 13% (302 examples) to kefalh's metaphorical meanings. Out of those 302 metaphorical meanings 119 times (39.4%) kefalh is used to refer to "the whole person", 49 times (16.2%) to refer to a person of superior authority or rank, 69 times (22.9%) to mean extremity or end, and (without detailing all the other metaphorical meanings) there are 0 TIMES (0%) where kefalh was used to mean source or origin.

I'm not defending Grudem's overall position with my comments above, but the misrepresentation of the facts in this example should make readers wary of the blog author's commentary in general.

Joe Hinman said...

A Survey of 2,336 Examples,” of what" they are not rom 2,336 different sources. Nothing I;ve said misrepresents his argument, hes taking most his examples from one source.

Bottom lime In your above Grudem lists "there are 0 TIMES (0%) where kefalh was used to mean source or origin." That is clearly a lie. you say: I am detective Thais a clear bold faced lie because I show many examples of it being so used,,it is not 0% that is just a lie any scholar knows this. No real shoal would say it;s 0%.

It's a ridiculous criticism to say I am showing my bias because of course;I'm bias I'm arguing against him! But said nothing dishonest just because I didn;t use his irrelevant list of percentages,

I use a better lexicon than he does
I quote several more scholars than he does
and He is tally misleadimg about the the LXX which goes way out of it;s way to avoid every linking head with boss or commander,