Belleville, “Lexical Fallacies in Rendering αὐθεντεῖν in 1 Timothy 2:12”

Linda Belleville, “Lexical Fallacies in Rendering αὐθεντεῖν in 1 Timothy 2:12: BDAG in Light of Greek Literary and Nonliterary Usage,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 29.3 (2019): 317–41.

Abstract:
On the basis of the studies of George Knight (1984) and Leland Wilshire (1988) in NTS, the 2000 edition of BDAG eliminated “domineer over” as a meaning of the Greek word αὐθεντέω and substituted “assume a stance of independent authority,” thereby calling into question lexicons dating from AD 1st-century Harpocration and translations of 1 Tim 2:12 dating back to the Old Latin, which render the phrase οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός negatively as “nor to domineer over a man” or “nor to usurp authority over a man.” Indeed, examination of αὐθεντ- forms in Classical and Hellenistic literary and nonliterary materials shows that modern translations of αὐθεντεῖν as “to exercise authority” or “assume authority over” have no basis in the Greek of antiquity. Instead, “to murder” or “perpetrate a murder” surface exclusively in the literary materials, and “to domineer” or “to originate” appear without exception in the nonliterary materials.

This article follows two SBL presentations which discuss the same material: “What’s a Woman to Do? An Examination of authentein in 1 Timothy 2:12 in Light of Hellenistic Non-Literary Materials” (presentation at SBL Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, 20 November 2005) (abstract: https://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/abstract.aspx?id=2392); “A Translation Fallacy in Rendering αὐθεντεῖν in 1 Timothy 2:12: BDAG in Light of Greco-Roman Literary and Non-Literary Usage,” (presentation at SBL Annual Meeting, San Francisco, 21 November 2011) (abstract: https://www.sbl-site.org/meetings/abstract.aspx?id=19093)

The article follows a good bit of work done by Belleville on this and related passages, both in her 2009 Cornerstone commentary contribution on the Pastorals, as well as the following (chronologically): “1 Timothy,” in The IVP Women’s Bible Commentary (ed. Catherine Clark Kroeger and Mary J. Evans; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2002), 734‒747; “Exegetical Fallacies in Interpreting 1 Timothy 2:11–15,” Priscilla Papers 17.3 (2003): 3–11; “Teaching and Usurping Authority: 1 Timothy 2:11–15,” in Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy (ed. Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004), 205–223; “Women in Ministry: An Egalitarian Perspective,” Pages 19‒104 in Two Views on Women in Ministry (ed. James R. Beck; 2nd edition; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005).

Recent Resources on 1 Timothy 2:9-15

This most contentious of passages in the Pastorals has generated a secondary literature all out of proportion to its length. A recent comprehensive bibliography of modern works on the passage through 2014 may be found in Andreas J. Köstenberger and Thomas R. Schreiner, eds., Women in the Church: An Interpretation and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9–15 (3rd ed.; Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016). The following works — all produced in the last five years! — may now be added (note that commentaries are not listed, as every commentary will self-evidently discuss this passage):

Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, “Reproductive Salvation and Slavery: Reading 1 Timothy 2:15 with Hagar and Mary,” Neot 50.1 (2016): 71–87.

Marjorie J. Cooper, “The Prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12 in Light of Eve’s Having Been Deceived (1 Tim. 2:14‒15),” Presb 44.1 (2018): 115‒25.

Marjorie J. Cooper and Jay G. Caballero, “Reasoning through Creation Order as a Basis for the Prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12,” Presb 43.1 (2017): 30‒38.

José Aristides Da Silva Gamito, “Violência e gênero no texto bíblico: O silenciamento das mulheres na Primeira Epístola a Timóteo 2, 9‒15,” Unitas—Revista Eletrônica de Teologia e Ciências das Religiões 6.1 (2018): 1–12.

John P. Dickson, “‘Teaching’ as Traditioning in 1 Timothy 2:12: An Historical Observation,” in The Gender Conversation: Evangelical Perspectives on Gender, Scripture, and the Christian Life, ed. Edwina Murphy and David Starling (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2016), 109‒19.

Frances Taylor Gench, Encountering God in Tyrannical Texts: Reflections on Paul, Women, and the Authority of Scripture (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2015), 1–18.

Kevin Giles, What the Bible Actually Teaches on Women. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2018. [note esp. pp. 118-29; 130-34; 144-51]

Timothy W. Fisher, “Reimagining Paul’s Infamous Words toward Women: 1 Timothy 2:8–15 as Performance Literature,” PhD diss., Trinity Theological Seminary (Evansville, IN), 2018.

Timothy D. Foster, “1 Timothy 2:13–15 as Analogy,” JSPL 7.1–2 (2017): 53–67.

Godfrey Harold, “Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation: A Multi-dimensional Hermeneutical Approach to 1 Timothy 2:1–15,” South African Baptist Journal of Theology 25 (2016): 50–63.

Gary G. Hoag, Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy: Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus, BBRSup 11 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2015), 61–99.

Jamin Hübner, “Revisiting the Clarity of Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:12,” JETS 59 (2016): 99‒117.

Christopher R. Hutson, “‘Saved through Childbearing”: The Jewish Context of 1 Timothy 2:15,” NovT 56 (2014): 392‒410.

Maretha M. Jacobs, “On Fairness and Accuracy in the Academy: A Brief Response to Wim Vergeer’s Use of Terminologies, and Some Simplifications, in the Article ‘The Redeemer in an “Irredeemable Text” (1 Timothy 2:9‒15),’” Neot 51.2 (2017): 359–65.

Hefin Jones, “Women, Teaching, and Authority: A Case for Understanding the Nature of Congregational Oversight as Underlying 1 Timothy 2:11‒12,” in The Gender Conversation: Evangelical Perspectives on Gender, Scripture, and the Christian Life, ed. Edwina Murphy and David Starling (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2016), 143–54.

Lyn Kidson, “‘Teaching’ and Other Persuasions: The Interpretation of didaskein ‘To Teach’ in 1 Timothy 2:12,” in The Gender Conversation: Evangelical Perspectives on Gender, Scripture, and the Christian Life, ed. Edwina Murphy and David Starling (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2016), 125–37.

Heinz Külling, Mann und Frau, Eltern und Kindern als Bewohner ihres Hauses in den Pastoralbriefen (Zurich: Theologischer Verlag Zurich, 2017), 19–62.

Benjamin Marx, “‘Wifely Submission’ and ‘Husbandly Authority’ in Plutarch’s Moralia and the Corpus Paulinum: A Comparison,” JGRChJ 14 (2018): 56–88.

Jeff Miller, “Saved through Childbearing? 1 Timothy 2:15 as a Hermeneutical Caveat,” Stone Campbell Journal 20.2 (2017): 215‒25.

Elna Mouton, “Mothering Salvation? Gender and Class in Early Christian Household Discourse,” Neot 50.1 (2016): 1–8.

Emiola Nihinlola, “Saved through Childbearing: An African Feminist Interpretation and Theology,” ERT 40.4 (2016): 314–26.

Jeremy Punt, “Gender Studies and Biblical Interpretation: (How) Does Theory Matter?,” The African Journal of Gender and Religion 24.2 (2018): 68–94.

Dillon T. Thornton, Hostility in the House of God: An Investigation of the Opponents in 1 and 2 Timothy, BBRSup 15 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2016), 99–130.

Rob van Houwelingen, “Meaning and Significance of the Instruction about Women in 1 Timothy 2:12‒15,” Sárospataki Füzetek 19.4 (2015): 59‒71.

Wim C. Vergeer, “The Redeemer in an ‘Irredeemable Text’ (1 Timothy 2:9–15),” Neot 50.1 (2016): 71–87.

Annette Weissenrieder. “Of Childbirth and Salvation: 1 Timothy 2:15 in Light of Ancient Medicine and the Artemis Cult in Ephesus.” Pages 347–80 in Gender and Social Norms in Ancient Israel, Early Judaism and Early Christianity: Texts and Material Culture. Edited by Michaela Bauks, Katharina Galor, and Judith Hartenstein. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2019.

Annette Weissenrieder, “What Does σωθήσεθαι [sic] δὲ διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας ‘To Be Saved by Childbearing’ Mean (1 Timothy 2:15)? Insights from Ancient Medical and Philosophical Texts,” EC 5 (2014): 313‒36.

Johannes M. Wessels, “Changing the Feminine Face of Poverty: Reading 1 Timothy 2:15 from a Socio-Economic Perspective,” Neot 50.1 (2016): 105–22.

Cynthia L. Westfall, Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle’s Vision for Men and Women in Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2016), 279–312.

Thomas M. Winger, “‘Saved through Child-bearing’? Theology and Hermeneutics in Reading 1 Timothy 2:15,” in The Press of the Text: Biblical Studies in Honor of James W. Voelz, ed. Andrew H. Bartelt, Jeffrey J. Kloha, and Paul R. Raabe (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2017), 283–300.

Korinna Zamfir, “Women Teaching—Spiritually Washing the Feet of the Saints? The Early Christian Reception of 1 Timothy 2:11‒12,” ASE 32 (2015): 352‒79.

Benno Zuiddam, “Southern African Perspectives on the Role of Womanhood in 1 Timothy 2:11‒15,” Journal for Christian Scholarship 52:1–2 (2016): 279–96.