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Women In The Church: An Analysis And Application Of 1 Timothy 2:9-15
~Andreas J. Kostenberger , Thomas R. Schreiner
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Product Information

Media: Paperback
ISBN/ASIN : 080102904X
Manufacturer : Baker Academic
Release data : August, 2005

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    1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star    What's New With Women in the Church?

    Second editions testify to the enduring worth of a book. They also provide an opportunity for the author/authors to update and improve upon the arguments presented in the first edition. Such is the case with the second edition of Women in the Church: An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 edited by Andreas J. Köstenberger and Thomas R. Schreiner. The original edition marked by thoroughness and judicious exegesis quickly became a standard as well as a formidable foe for most egalitarian interpreters. Ten years after the initial publication, while retaining its original content, the second edition offers several improvements.

    The most substantive change is the subtraction of two chapters from the first edition and the addition of a new chapter. The chapter on 1 Timothy's genre by T. David Gordon and the chapter by Harold O. J. Brown on the relationship between 1 Tim 2:9-15 and Galatians 3:28 are omitted in the second edition. Instead, a new chapter by Dorothy K. Patterson offering one woman's perspective about what women should do in the church is inserted at the end. This change also precipitates the alteration of the subtitle between the two editions from A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 to An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Patterson's slightly autobiographical chapter attempts to apply, in a positive way, the complementarian interpretation of scripture. This chapter along with the shift from footnotes to endnotes makes the second edition more accessible to a broader audience.

    The chapters by S. M. Baugh and H. Scott Baldwin basically reproduce the content found in the first edition. Most likely this is due to the lack of new data on the historical background of 1 Timothy or word studies on αυθεντεω.

    Andreas J. Köstenberger's syntactical analysis of 1 Tim 2:12, however, includes a new section where he interacts with the responses to the original essay. He cites several initial positive reviews by Peter O'Brien, Helge Stadelmann, Alan Padgett, and Craig Keener (the latter two are egalitarians). Other scholarly responses include I. H. Marshall, William Mounce, Kevin Giles, Linda Belleville, Craig Blomberg, William Webb, Esther Ng, Judith Hartenstein, and Wayne Grudem. Köstenberger's survey reveals that the scholarly responses to the original essay have shown that "the identification of two distinct syntactical patterns has met with virtually unanimous acceptance and has held up very well." (p. 84) Some of the more noteworthy reactions deserve mention. The first substantive interaction arrived with Marshall's commentary on the Pastorals (1999) who argued for a negative sense of both "teaching" and "exercising authority" although he admits that Köstenberger has "argued convincingly." Giles wrote a thirty-eight page critique of the first edition remarkably agreeing with Köstenberger's syntactical analysis, but concludes that Paul must have broke the rules of grammar because he could not have possibly intended to restrict women from teaching or authority. Amusingly, Hartenstein agrees with his analysis that 1 Tim 2:12 demonstrates a hierarchical distinction between men and women, but concludes "with a different, far more critical view of the Bible, I need not accept it as God's word. (It helps that I do not regard 1 Timothy as written by Paul.)" (p. 81) Thus, leaving Belleville as the only one who blatantly disagrees with Köstenberger's syntactical analysis by arguing (1) that διδασκειν and αυθεντειν are not verbs, (2) the structure is a poetic device following grammatical rules of its own, and (3) there are no parallels for a pattern from a specific to general (i.e., authority [specific] to teach [general]). Despite several critiques, Köstenberger's essay remains as the definitive syntactical assessment of 1 Tim 2:12.

    Thomas R. Schreiner's chapter on the interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 also incorporates relevant responses since the publication of the first edition. Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of Schreiner's essay is that he arrives at a couple of different interpretations regarding two verses. In the first edition, Schreiner argued that "silently" is the preferred translation for εν ησυχια in 1 Tim 2:11. However, he corrects this in the second edition where he states, "[i]t seems more likely that Paul refers to a quiet and nonrebellious spirit instead of absolute silence." (p. 98) Another improvement relates to his conclusions regarding the deception of Eve in 1 Tim 2:13-14. In the first edition he averred that because women are more emotional and less critical than men they are, therefore, more susceptible to false teaching. In the second edition, he corrects this ridiculous notion by arriving at far more biblical conclusion. He states, "[t]he significance of the serpent targeting Eve is magnified, for apparently Adam was with Eve (Gen. 3:6) during the temptation. In approaching Eve, then, the serpent subverted the pattern of male leadership and interacted only with Eve during the temptation. Adam was present throughout and did not intervene. The Genesis temptation, therefore, is indicative of what happens when male leadership is abrogated . . . Thus, the appeal to Genesis 3 serves as a reminder of what happens when God's ordained pattern is undermined." (p. 115). Although still unpleasant to egalitarians, these conclusions offer a more balanced interpretation of this difficult passage.

    Robert W. Yarbrough's chapter offers several improvements, owning in-part to the fact that his original essay received the most criticism. Aside from an assortment of statistical and literary updates, Yarbrough provides a helpful critique of William Webb's redemptive-movement hermeneutic. In addition some may notice a number of stylistic variations between the two editions.

    Readers will discover that this edition of Women in the Church contains a number of improvements as well as continuing to offer one of the most comprehensive treatments of 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Doubtless many will take umbrage at the conclusions it renders. Perhaps Judith Hartenstein has best articulated the dilemma that this book forces readers to face. Because the arguments of this book are so firmly grounded in solid syntactical and exegetical research one must admit that the text of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 does indeed prohibit women from authority positions in the church (i.e., elders). Therefore, one must decide whether the text is authoritative and normative for the church or marginalize the text in order to accommodate it with the current socio-cultural climate.


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