Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘hupotasso’ Category

Are you “subject to your husband in EVERYTHING”?
I am!
But I do not SUBMIT to him in EVERYTHING.

Newsflash: You too are “subject to your husband in EVERYTHING”!
Being “subject to” your husband is like being “subject to” gravity. It’s not something you “choose” but a state of being.
!!

The word “submit” implies choice/volition on the part of the “submitter”.
“Subject to” better conveys the grammatical nuance of the Greek PASSIVE voice (of the hupotasso verb used in Ephesians 5:24).

“but even as the assembly is subject to Christ,
so also [are] the wives to their own husbands in everything.” Eph 5:24 (YLT)

For over two decades I twisted myself into a pretzel attempting to practice “SUBMIT to him in EVERYTHING”. Once the newlywed shine wore off (by 5 years) I felt progressively more and more disrespected and by the time we were married 22 years, I was completely miserable in the marriage, I felt trapped like a prisoner in a concentration camp.

Once I realized this passage is not teaching a wifely BEHAVIOR, but describing “the state of being a wife”, what its like in a wife’s skin, THEN I was free to move toward making life in my skin more tolerable by standing up for myself and protecting myself and the children.

Here are two pictures to illustrate the difference. Perhaps this will help.

“SUBMIT in everything” looks like this:


This is WORKS.  It’s like living on a hamster wheel in a cage, always trying to please him never getting anywhere- trapped, imprisoned.  Sometimes he lays the demands on so thick and turns up the speed so fast that you fall down.  This is how I knew that the interpretation “wife, submit in EVERYTHING” cannot possibly be what God meant!  I attempted it and it is physically impossible and emotionally deadening.

Christian wife, I encourage you to get off that hamster wheel! 

Here is what I think God (via Paul) means in Ephesians 5:24 “wives ARE SUBJECT TO their husbands” –>

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS is “SUBJECT TO”:

Depending upon whether the Flower is nourished and cherished,
it will BLOOM
or it will WILT.

And if I am SUBJECT TO a man who is constantly WILTING me by his behavior and refuses to change his WILTING ways, then in this day and age (unlike the peasants of yesteryear), I have the power to choose not to be SUBJECT TO him anymore.

I am thankful that my husband has chosen to change his WILTING ways. Our marriage continues (since Oct 9, 1982) which means I continue to be “SUBJECT to” him.  He has learned to be more sensitive and instead of defending himself and blaming us, he is now open to receiving correction when his harshness has wilted me or one of our Quiver Full (our eight children plus 2 sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law- so far).

If anyone reading this is still on that hamster wheel
striving and straining to “be submissive”, weary and heavy laden,
my heart goes out to you.
I’ve been there.
I understand.
GOD understands! What you are doing is NOT what He meant!
This blog is a gift to you in hope that reading
about the things which God has shown me as I made this journey will give you
a helping hand off the hamster wheel.

Love, Charis

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This final post is dedicated to my blogging sisters who can be found in the comments  here.

Read Full Post »

If you will go to these links at BLB: Luke 10:17-20 and Eph 5:24 and scroll down, you will see that the form of hupotasso is exactly the same in Luke 17, 20, and Ephesians 5:24.   ὑποτάσσεται=hupotassetai.

If you scroll down further, you will see the   parsing of the verb under “Tense” and all three cases are identified as the PASSIVE voice.  I also checked the interlinear at: www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Greek_Index.htm
and interlinearbible.org/ephesians/5.htm  They all identify these instances of “subjection” as passive voice where the subject receives the action without volition/will on the part of the subject.  (Contrast with Romans 13:1,5  “ Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.1 … 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.” – for example-  where the hupotasso is middle imperative.  “Voluntary self-instigated yielding” would be an appropriate understanding here.)

Though on the surface it’s a shocking parallel, I think the submission of the devils to the apostles actually provides a great deal of insight as to the nature of the submission of wife to husband. Contra many egalitarians who frame the wifely subjection of Eph. 5:24 as “voluntary, self-instigated yielding”, think about this.  Do these devils have any will in their submission? Do they choose their submission? Can they decide not to submit? No, they are in subjection without any volition/will on their part. Their subjection is not a “command” that they must “obey”; their subjection their state of being, which they cannot resist even if they wanted to.

Likewise, the submission/subjection of the wife in Ephesians 5 as well as in 1 Peter 3 is stated with verbs using the passive voice. This suggests that a wife’s submission/subjection is descriptive rather than prescriptive. Its not a COMMAND, its her state of being which she cannot resist even if she wanted to.

I suggest that the passive voice of hupotasso is evidence that biblical teaching about wifely subjection is not a command to women. Commands are in the imperative. (eg. verse 25 directed to HUSBANDS is in the imperative love-agapete) . Rather this submission is a state of being and a response. Much like a garden passively receives watering, nourishing, cherishing,. The garden is SUBJECT TO the gardener. If tending, nourishing, cherishing, is neglected, the garden wilts and dies.

I suggest that the statement in Ephesians 5:24 should not make wives sweat at all. Rather, husbands should be sweating. She has no power nor control to resist. When she marries, her husband holds her heart in his hands. Will he be harsh and trample her under his feet? crushing her spirit? or will he be like Christ and minister LIFE?

And a husband has a particular power and influence upon a wife that may not go “vice versa” because she is uniquely “subject to” (being harmed by?) him moreso than he to her.  John Gottman observed this in his marriage laboratory (see “Addendum: The Scientific support for “wives are subject“).  This view also makes sense of the instruction to wives that they need to PHOBEO their husbands (Eph 5:33).

Read Full Post »

Pearls are formed when a piece of sand irritates an oyster. Over time, one layer after another is deposited upon the sand until it is transformed into something precious and beautiful. I just finished a new paper which draws upon many posts from this blog and is a pearl to me.

Genesis 3:16 and Ephesians 5:24:
A Woman’s Desire, A Man’s Rule, and A Wife’s Submission (pdf)

Read Full Post »

Here is a segment of a paper I am in the midst of writing.  My  thesis is that Paul’s statement in Ephesians 5:24 is a repetition of “the facts of life” first reported in Genesis 3:16:

“your [the wife's] desire will be for your husband
and he will rule over you” Genesis 3:16

(God describing to the first woman what marriage will be like for her)

 “wives are subject to their own husbands
in everything” Ephesians 5:24

(Paul describing marriage to the Ephesians)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING!!!!

“wives are subject to their own husbands
in everything” Ephesians 5:24

(Paul describing marriage to the Ephesians)

Paul reiterates the Genesis 3:16 description in Ephesians 5:24.  Paul is not giving the Ephesians a prescription but a description.

We are used to hearing prescription/command in Ephesians 5:24.  Wives “must be submissive”, “let them be subject”, “must submit”, “should be entirely submissive”, “ought to submit”  IN EVERYTHING.

Both complementarians and egalitarians have come up with ways to tap dance around the harsh implications of hearing prescription in Ephesians 5:24 rather than description.  Some complementarians attempt to soften the impact of Ephesians 5:24 by isolating the exercise of wifely submission to occasions of conflict where the husband is said to have “final decision making power”.  Some egalitarians attempt to soften the impact by describing a wife’s submission as a “voluntary, self-instigated yielding”.    However, being “subject in everything” has no limit, no exceptions, nor is it voluntary.   Everything means everything!

So where have I gotten this idea that Ephesians 5:24 is not a prescription/command? It comes from the grammar of the Greek.   In my study of Ephesians 5:24, I discovered that many translations, add extra words which change the grammar.

In various English Bible versions, the words of Ephesians 5:24 are rendered (source):

  • wives should submit” (NIV, NLT, ESV, ) 
  • “wives ought to be [subject to]” (NASB
  • wives must be submissive” (ISV)
  • “wives are under their husbands’ authority in everything.” (GW)
  • “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing. (KJV)
  • “so let the wives be” (AKJV, WBT)
  • “so let the wives also be” (ERV, ASV, WEB
  • married women should be entirely submissive to their husbands. (WNT)
  • And as the church is under Christ’s authority, so let wives be under the rule of their husbands in all things. (Bible in Basic English)

The latter rendition of the Bible in Basic English is noteworthy for how visibly we can see the parallel of Ephesians 5:24 with Genesis 3:16.  However, BiBE and all of the above translations add words and grammar which are not there in the Greek. The KJV at least brackets the added words so we realize they are additions.  If we take out the “let” and “be” from the 6 translations above where they have been added, then they are more accurate.  The grammar of the Greek verb hupotasso, translated “to submit” or “to be subject” is not imperative[i]: it is not a command! The grammar of the Greek verb is passive indicative.[ii]  The following two translations reflect this accurately:

Young’s Literal Translation
“but even as the assembly is subject to Christ, so also are the wives to their own husbands in everything.”

Darby Bible Translation
“But even as the assembly is subjected to the Christ, so also wives to their own husbands in everything.”

WIVES ARE SUBJECT [not "must be submissive", not "let them be subject", not "must submit", not "should be entirely submissive", not "ought to submit" ] IN EVERYTHING.

So, what does this mean?

You ARE SUBJECT to your husband IN EVERYTHING like you are subject to gravity. Though you made a choice to marry him, you have neither control nor volition regarding your state of subjection; it’s a state of being.

The context of Ephesians 5 speaks of a HEAD and a BODY which metaphor is a remarkable fit with a passive voice understanding of “is subject” in Ephesians 5:24.  The body “is subject” to the head, but there is neither volition nor even consciousness involved on the part of the body, nor is there agency involved on the part of the head.  It is a description of a state of being, not a command for a certain behavior.  Thus the head/body metaphor is a perfect illustration and object lesson of connectedness and “being subject” in the passive voice. Contextually, Ephesians 5:24 is a continuation of the thought started in Ephesians 5:21 and clarifies the nature and extent of the hupotasso Paul has in mind.  Furthermore, Paul’s two uses of hupotasso in this context (21 and 24) are a sandwich around his introduction of the head/body metaphor (23).  This head/body metaphor is key to understanding Paul’s intent.  In the immediate context of Ephesians 5, Paul maps the husband to the head and the wife to the body and refers to the couple thus organically connected as “one flesh” which harks back to the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:24).

For a Christian wife, being “subject to her husband in everything” may or may not resemble her experience being “subject to Christ in everything” depending on how much her husband reflects Christlikeness in the manner in which he treats her (which is the thrust of Paul’s teaching directed to husbands in Ephesians 5).

You might argue that in this sense the husband is subject to the wife too and I would agree with you and point to Ephesians 5:21.  However, Ephesians 5:24 clarifies that a wife has a unique and greater vulnerability to her husband which extends to EVERYTHING with  no “vice versa” claim in scripture regarding the husband.

Once a wife says “I do” (any wife in any culture of any religion, past, present, and future), she becomes vulnerable to her husband in a way which she is to no other person on earth.  The anatomy is a picture of this.  The wife opens herself up to receive from her husband, and she will tend to internalize harsh things that he says!   (See “Men and Women are Different” #3) That is why Paul repeats 5 times in Ephesians 5 employing imperative grammar (“command” verbs) that a husband needs to AGAPE/LOVE his wife.

ENDNOTES


[i] Imperative is a  Greek verb “mood” which is identified by its distinctive form.  “The imperative mood is a command or instruction given to the hearer, charging the hearer to carry out or perform a certain action.”  The hupotasso (submit) verb of Ephesians 5:24 is NOT in the imperative, although many English translations (mistakenly) add imperative language. Greek verbs change form based upon the subject of the verb and the kind of action indicated.  There are five basic parts (or aspects) that are clearly defined or indicated by every Greek verb form: Person, Number, Tense, Voice, and Mood. (ntgreek.org).  The aspects relevant to my thesis are voice and mood.

[ii] You can verify the passive indicative parsing for yourself by looking above the hupotasso verb in Ephesians 5:24 at http://interlinearbible.org/ephesians/5.htm.  Guidelines for understanding the implications of voice and mood can be found at http://ntgreek.org/  and  Wallace and Mounce.  Greek Grammar. “Passive Voice”.  Web. 5 July 2011.

Read Full Post »

Another new translation errs in imposing an imperative where there is none.  :( (This post quotes a list of translations which perpetrate this error as well as a handful with more accurate renderings.)

Wives and Husbands
22Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of his wife as the Messiah is the head of the church. It is he who is the Savior of the body. 24Indeed, just as the church is submissive to the Messiah, so wives must be submissive to their husbands in everything. ISV

Neither Ephesians 5:22 nor 5:24 are grammatical imperative in the Greek. The fact is, they are both parsed passive.  (You can verify this for yourself at http://interlinearbible.org/ephesians/5.htm and above the hupotasso verb you will find 21–>   V-PPP-NPM 24–> V-PPI-3S.)

These details of the grammar which Paul/God chose to use are providential and should not be ignored in translation!

The context of Ephesians 5 speaks of a HEAD and a BODY which metaphor is a remarkable fit with a passive voice understanding of “is subject” in Ephesians 5:24. The body “is subject” to the head, but there is no volition involved on the part of the body, nor is there agency involved on the part of the head. It is a description of a state of being, not a command for a certain behavior. Thus the head/body metaphor is a perfect illustration and object lesson of connectedness and “being subject” in the passive voice.

Paul makes a switch in the grammatical voice of the participles from the active voice for “speaking”, “singing”, “making melody”, and “giving thanks” to the passive voice for “being subject” (read more). Contextually, Ephesians 5:24 is a continuation of the thought started in Ephesians 5:21 and clarifies the nature and extent of the hupotasso Paul has in mind. Furthermore, Paul’s two uses of hupotasso in this context (21 and 24) are a sandwich around his introduction of the head/body metaphor (23). This head/body metaphor is key to understanding Paul’s intent. In the immediate context of Ephesians 5, Paul maps the husband to the head and the wife to the body and refers to the couple thus organically connected as “one flesh”.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul maps the church to a body and speaks of the interdependence of the members of that body.

But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And
the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”;
nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” .
. . . And if one member suffers, all the members suffer
with it; or if one member is honored, all the members
rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and
members individually. (1 Cor 12: 20-21, 26-27 NKJV)

Though the Greek word hupotasso is not used in the above passage from 1 Cor. 12, the concept of the organic connection between members of one body IS used. So the above passage is an excellent illustration of what Paul means when he refers to members of the body of Christ “being in subjection” to one another. They are in subjection to one another like the members of a human body are in subjection to one another. If part of me is in a hurting or weakened condition, then other parts of my body are affected. Imagine the effect of a toothache or a lame leg.

(For full citations, see: “Wives are Subject” )

Read Full Post »

Dorothy Patterson criticizes Sarah Sumner’s “Men and Women in the Church” for sloppy treatment of grammar:

For starters, one line is not always a “verse”-in fact, rarely so. Second, word order in Greek or Hebrew is quite different from that of English. Third, early manuscripts were not divided into chapters or verses. . . . Often, she ignores verb tense and other grammatical factors. . .

What complementarians can Sumner cite who suggest that the household code paragraph in Ephesians 5 begins in verse 22? (157). . . Of course, it would be “unscholarly” to suggest that the paragraph begins with verse 22 since that would be grammatically and theologically incorrect. Sumner would do well to document carefully any such accusation of incompetence lobbed against complementarians or egalitarians.

Speaking of ignoring grammatical details, perhaps some grammar housekeeping around the CBMW site is in order?

Professer Bruce Ware writes:

As one reads Paul’s and Peter’s admonition that are directed specifically to husbands and wives, one notes that there is a particular imperative given to wives in each of such cases, regardless of the larger context. In each case, wives are told one thing, the same thing, in all four of these New Testament passages: They are told to “submit to” or “be subject to” or be “submissive to” their husbands. Here they are for the reader to see:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands (Eph 5:22-24).

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord (Col 3:18).

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:3-5).
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives-when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing-but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening (1 Pet 3:1-6).

It would seem a simple and yet a highly significant observation to make, from these texts, that every single direct imperative and admonition to wives requires of them the same responsibility: Besides other things that are said to them, they are commanded in every case to submit to their husbands. The force of this point in the current debate is strong indeed, and it certainly is relevant to the question of whether the egalitarian position treats every aspect of Scripture fully and does not diminish or disregard any of it. The fact that four different New Testament letters contain this one common command to wives each time they are addressed specifically, and that both Paul and Peter share in common this same message and emphasis, and that the command is made to wives in different churches and different cultural settings, would incline one to conclude that this must be among the most important aspects of a wife’s relationship to her husband. To miss this is to miss something highly significant about being a wife, as God intends it. And certainly, as Paul develops the point in Ephesians 5, the significance of the wife’s submission can be understood more fully because God intends her submission to her husband to be a picture of the church’s submission to Christ.” (Ware)

Ware curiously refers repeatedly to the biblical references to wifely submission in terms of “command” (3X), “admonition” (2X), “imperative” (2X), “told” (2X), “directed” (1X), and “requires” (1X). However, my research (STTOH) on the Greek grammar used by the Biblical writers points in a far different direction: a direction which lines up more with Gottman’s laboratory findings than with preaching like Ware’s.

The basic Greek verb translated “submit” is transliterated hupotasso. Grammatically , imperative is the mood which is used for a “command”. However, hupotasso in Ephesians 5:24 as well as Titus 2:5 and 1 Peter 3:1 and 5 are not in the imperative! (check out the parsing for yourself at http://interlinearbible.org/ or scripture4all.org or blueletterbible.org) Adding such words as “command”, “imperative”, “required”, and “must” perpetrates error.

Read Full Post »

Trading the Double Bind for the Double Bond:
Overlooked Grammatical Details Shed New Light on
“Wives are Subject to Their Own Husbands in Everything” Ephesians 5:24

 

Read Full Post »

As I mentioned, I have been working on a research paper. The entire paper is available in pdf  at the link.  The last page is posted below:

Trading the Double Bind for the Double Bond: Overlooked Grammatical Details Shed New Light on “Wives are Subject to Their Own Husbands in Everything” Ephesians 5:24

 

The Double BOND!

In the context of the Ephesians 5 marriage treatise, Paul repeats a phrase directed exclusively to husbands (never to wives) and instituted in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world: “leave and cleave”. This direction occurs 4 times in the Bible: in Genesis 2:24 just following the formation of the woman, twice repeated by Jesus in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7 and by Paul in Ephesians 5:31. Interestingly, the Greek verb for “cleave”- proskollaó- used by Paul in Ephesians 5, similar to the hupotasso verb, is parsed by the Greek-English interlinear in the passive voice which can indicate that it is not something under the husband’s control. Perhaps it is appropriate to consider it a bonding work of God as in “what God has joined together. . . . ”? Furthermore, looking through the definitions for hupotasso (subject to) in the Perseus database, I found “post in the shelter of” and “append” which appear to me to correspond well with the definitions found for proskollaó (cleave) “glue on” or “to be stuck to, stick or cleave to”. Believing every word of the Bible in its original autographs to be God breathed down to the smallest detail, I don’t think this is accidental. We should not be surprised to discover that in the very same context of speaking of marriage as an organic unit, as a “one flesh” unified body, Paul states that the wife/body “is subject” (appended/posted in the shelter) to the husband/head, and the husband/head “will cleave” (glue) to the wife/body. They are interdependent and connected similarly to the way the systems of our bodies are interdependent and connected. Such an understanding of the Bible as supporting bonding, interdependence, and unity within marriage echoes Gottman’s laboratory findings quoted earlier as he has studied the science of a good marriage. The double bind placed on wives by much evangelical teaching on wifely submission in marriage is man made and should be cast off in favor of encouraging couples to embrace the “double BOND” which God intended.

Read Full Post »

being subject to one another in fear of Christ”
Ephesians 5:21 (interlinear)

Part 1-  “being subject to one another…”

Recap: This is the last participle in a series of participles describing what “be [ye] filled with the Spirit” looks like.  (see  “Submitting” is a Participle)

All of the  participles in the series  are parsed in the ACTIVE voice with one exception:  “being subject” (sometimes translated “submitting”)  is in the PASSIVE voice.

see http://interlinearbible.org/ephesians/5.htm

I believe that the passive voice is accurate parsing and that Paul switches from active to passive in the case of “submitting” deliberately in order to communicate the truth about the nature of the subjection.

see “Wives [Subject] to Their Own Husbands in Everything” Ephesians 5:24

In researching passive voice some more, I found a blog by Jay Guin in which he presents a passive/middle voice dispute about the word translated “adultery” (MDR: The passive-voice argument) Aha, here is a man who understands the implications of PASSIVE voice!  He also has published a book online (Buried Talents–on the role of women) which includes a chapter about Ephesians 5 (Ephesians 5–Mutual Submission).

So, I put two and two together and suggested:

I was looking at your material on Ephesians 5, and I was also looking at : “MDR: The passive-voice argument”.

Please re-consider your interpretation of the passages where “wife” and “submit” occur together. In every instance except one, the hupotasso verbs are in the passive voice!

To which Mr. Guin kindly replied:

Charis,

In v. 22, the verb is borrowed from 5:21, which is a present passive or middle participle. “Submitting yourselves” in 21 sounds very middle to my ear.

In v. 24, “is subject to” is present indicative middle.

I get my tenses from Zodhiates.

I’ve looked at your website. I’m not sure we really disagree as to the outcome. I’m no advocate for paternalism.

Mr Guin bases the choice of middle voice parsing on the fact that “‘Submitting yourselves’ in 21 sounds very middle to my ear.”  My thoughts on this are:

  1. The translation into English which he quotes has adopted the middle voice and does not reflect the ambiguity in the Greek.
  2. Paul switches from active voice for ALL the other participles in the series.
  3. The hupotasso verb used two verses down in Ephesians 5:24 is- to my ear- a clear passive voice based on  the contrast with other linguistic/grammatical choices of Paul’s within the periscope, as well as the context in which the manner a wife “is subject” is directly correlated  with the manner a body “is subject” to a head.

So I still think the passive voice is the accurate parsing and quite intentional on the part of Paul/God.  But that left me meditating, pondering, and asking God: What does being subject to one another  in fear of Christ” mean?  What does it look like in practice?

Part 2- “…in fear of Christ”

Read Full Post »

Suppose when you rode in an airplane, I was to chastise you for your “rebellion” because you “defied” gravity?

Rebellious? Defiant? IMPOSSIBLE! There is no choice and no escape from GRAVITY as long as we live on planet earth- even in an airplane, parachute, or hang glider we are SUBJECT to gravity. Scientists refer to gravity as a LAW: “the LAW of gravity”.   There is no escape on earth from our subjection to gravity. Living in denial can be downright dangerous!

In the same manner “Wives [are Subject] to Their Own Husbands in Everything” Ephesians 5:24

…and those interconnected in a body relationship are subject to one another. Eph 5:21, 1 Cor 12:12-26.

The use of the  translation “submit” in the case of the hupotasso verb in the passive voice confuses the issue, as does the addition of extra-biblical words such as “ought to”, “should”. “must”, etc.  How does it sound if I say as a COMMAND: “Mary, you ought to/should/must  SUBMIT to gravity in everything you do on earth!”.  It sounds like Mary has some choice in the matter, like she can choose to defy gravity.  But the truth is she cannot defy gravity.  She IS SUBJECT to gravity in a passive indicative sense just like wives ARE SUBJECT to their own husbands in EVERYTHING.  Passive Indicative is the parsing of the Greek verb used in Ephesians 5:24.  Its a DESCRIPTION not a PRESCRIPTION!  Just like “humans are subject to gravity” is a DESCRIPTION not a PRESCRIPTION.

A woman’s like a rose.
If you treat her right, she’ll bloom.
If you don’t, she’ll wilt.”
-Firefighter Michael in  “Fireproof”

Do you find this to be true?
Does your husband’s behavior have the power to “wilt” you?

That dynamic is what Paul is describing in Ephesians 5:24 when he says:

“but even as the assembly is subject to Christ,
so also [are] the wives to their own husbands in everything.” Eph 5:24

Read Full Post »

Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as it is fit in the Lord
Col 3:18  KJV with Strong’s

“wives, be you submissive to own husbands as is fitting in Lord”
Col 3:18 (interlinear)

5293
V-PMM-2P
ὑποτάσσεσθε
upotassesthe
be you submissive

The V-PMM-2P is the parsing of the verb.  Note the IMPERATIVE mood.  Imperative is used for COMMANDS.

As I have explained in several recent posts: The fact that the wife ” is subject” and “being subject” to the husband according to Ephesians 5:24, Titus 2:5 and 1 Peter 3:1,5  is in NONE of those cases a command, nor even in the active voice.    They are all in the PASSIVE voice which is not related to any action on the part of the wife at all.  They are descriptive of the state of being of a wife, not prescriptive of wifely behavior.  Studying the grammar of the hupotasso verb reveals this. (see   “Wives [Subject] to Their Own Husbands in Everything” Ephesians 5:24 and“The elder women… that they may teach the young women” Titus 2:3-5

So, what about Colossians 3:18.  the only case where Paul/God states a genuine instruction in the IMPERATIVE: ie a COMMAND to wives to “be submissive to your own husbands”?

Paul/God qualifies the submission with an easy litmus test.

Is what your husband wants you to do something JESUS would want you to do?  If not, don’t do it!  It isn’t ” FITTING IN THE LORD”

A wife has complete  freedom of conscience.  If whatever he is asking for does troubles her conscience; if she cannot do what he wants her to do “in faith” (Rom 14:23), if it does not meet the test of “wisdom from God” (James 3:17) then she needs to decline, resist, (and  and even defy her husband if need be- the story of Abigail in 1 Samuel 25 comes to mind).

When I was thinking of things which would be “fitting in the Lord”, where a wife might struggle a bit with submitting and need to remind herself of Paul/God’s command in Col 3:18,  I thought of a wife all stressed out from a hard day, she isn’t handling minor irritations graciously.  So  her husband comes up to her in the kitchen and says, “Honey, I can see you are tired and stressed out after a long day.  You are DONE for the day! I am going to wash the dishes, give the kids their bath, put them to bed.  I want you to go take a hot bath and then get in some comfy pajamas and RELAX in the bedroom alone with the door closed.”

Though she may feel  uncomfortable and struggle a bit with submitting,  her husband’s request is quite “FITTING IN THE LORD”.  She needs to SUBMIT to her husband’s effort to wash her feet in this manner.

The teaching to husbands and wives here is like a coin. It has two sides which go together. The “other side of the coin” is the COMMAND in the IMPERATIVE to husbands (in Colossians 3:19) which says:

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. (NKJV)

19Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. (NASB)

19A husband must love his wife and not abuse her. (CEV)

19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. (NIV)

So, a wife has a duty NEVER EVER to SUBMIT to anything Harsh nor abusive as that enables her husband to live in violation of this COMMAND to him. It is NOT “FITTING IN THE LORD” to submit to anything harsh or abusive. A wife has a responsibility to decline, resist and even defy if needed in order to avoid harshness and abuse from her husband.

Read Full Post »

being subject to one another in fear of Christ

the wives to [their] own husbands as to the Lord

for  husband is  head of  wife

as also Christ head of church

Himself savior of body

THEREFORE

as the church IS SUBJECT to Christ

so also the wives to husbands

IN EVERYTHING

and the wife that she fear husband

Eph 5:21-24, 33 (interlinear)

“being subject”- the last in a string of participles Paul uses to describe being filled with the Spirit.  This is the ONLY one of them which is in the PASSIVE VOICE.  “being subject” is a better rendition than “submitting” because it carries the passive voice over to the English.

“THEREFORE”- when one sees a “therefore” in scripture, the question is “what is it there for?”  In this case the “therefore” directly connects the concept of the HEAD and BODY connection/relationship with the nature and extent of the subjection described.  Is there volition involved when a body IS SUBJECT to a head?  No, the body IS SUBJECT IN EVERYTHING in an absolute sense, and by no volition of its own.

“IS SUBJECT”-

from http://interlinearbible.org/ephesians/5.htm

5293
V-PPI-3S
ὑποτάσσεται
upotassetai
is subject

V-PPI-3S is the Parsing taken from the interlinear.  “IS SUBJECT” is parsed in the passive voice and indicative mood.  I discussed the significance of the passive voice at some length here. Some more reading on the indicative mood renders even more evidence that “IS SUBJECT IN EVERYTHING” is not an instruction, nor a command, but refers to a state of being: its descriptive not prescriptive!

Indicative Mood
The indicative mood is a statement of fact or an actual occurrence from the writer’s or speaker’s perspective. Even if the writer is lying, he may state the action as if it is a fact, and thus the verb would be in the indicative mood. It may be action occurring in past, present, or future time. This ‘statement of fact’ can even be made with a negative adverb modifying the verb (see the second example).
This is in contrast to one of the other moods (see below) in which the writer/speaker may desire or ask for the action to take place.

For example: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.”
Rev. 12:11 “God is not mocked.” Gal. 6:7

fear- of Christ (21) and husband (33), in both cases related to “being subject/is subject”  (see also wives … enjoined to live in ‘fear’ of (the wrath of) their husbands)

from http://interlinearbible.org/ephesians/5.htm

5399
V-PMS-3S
φοβὴται
phobētai
she fear

Read Full Post »

Last night, at my husband’s suggestion, we watched “The Christmas Shoes”.  He thought I would like it, and I did.  I identified very much with Kate who is married to Robert- a workaholic who routinely misses their daughter Lily’s events.  During the movie, through several “miracles”- along the lines of car breakdowns and lost shoes-  Robert has an awakening and adjusts his priorities.

I want to point out a clip in the movie to tie into my meditations on the wife being subject to the husband in EVERYTHING as the church is subject to Christ.  The way one often hears “wifely submission” taught, it is about the wife coming under or beneath her husband and supporting his goals and dreams.  One often hears that he holds “final decision making authority”.  The wife is the vice-regent, subordinate to the husband and it is her duty to follow his lead.

I believe and have provided evidence that the above is a wrong understanding of what Paul and God are saying in Ephesians 5. see “Wives [Subject] to Their Own Husbands in Everything” Ephesians 5:24 and  “Submitting” is a Participle.

If you will watch the following from the 7:00 minute marker to about 9 minutes, you will see a husband’s attempt to “lead” his wife in the wrong direction.  His wife replies to him (in part) at minute 8:42:

“This is your dream scenario.
You just want me to follow you!

This is NOT an “unsubmissive wife” despite her resistance to her husband’s “leadership”.  This wife is an illustration of a wife who IS SUBJECT to her husband in EVERYTHING as the church IS SUBJECT to Christ.  Because her husband has his priorities totally screwed up and is putting worldly success ahead of his family, the “NOURISHment” he is giving to his wife and children is poison which is killing their marriage.  Unless and until he wakes up, their marriage is doomed.

There seems to be a veil over the understanding of  people when it comes to this.    I have been engaged in a futile attempt to explain to some egalitarians here on Complegalitarian.  Thankfully, another blogger  who has walked out a wife’s (passive) subjection to a destructive husband immediately heard what I hear (see Waneta Dawn).  The very same Eric who disputes my findings on complegal (even though he was the first on that thread to propose this understanding) also has a beef with Waneta about her use of Strong’s Concordance in her blogs.

I am gratified to be in the company of  Waneta!  :)  As far as her use of Strong’s goes (to which Eric objects)?  I say, “YOU GO GIRL!”  How many times have I heard the Strong’s definition of “submission” quoted to support all the bologna out there?  Never once have I read an EQUAL treatment of the Strong’s definition of “GAVE HIMELF UP” from Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for itUNTIL Waneta wrote it here: Husband Give Yourself Up for Your Wife

Read Full Post »

Upon reading the latest blog at The Scroll:   All’s Not Fair In “Love and War” and the comments, I have resisted commenting.  50 % of “christian” marriages end in divorce for very good reasons which are not represented thus far in the comments.

Some of the commenters are young, newlyweds.  I wish them the best!  Hopefully their “garden of Eden” experience of marriage will continue and the dream will never be shattered.

Reading the post and comments sent me back to Titus 2- interlinear; Titus 2- with Strong’s.  I am an elder woman who has been married for 27 years.

The elder women…
that they may teach the young women(neos)
to be sober, to be friend of husband and friend of children,
[To be] clear minded, chaste, keepers at home, good,
subject to their own husbands,
Titus 2

I am struck by the repetition of the exhortation for the women to be clear minded and have good judgment (see sober/discreet/self-controlled).

verse 4
4994
V-PAS-3P
σωφρονίζωσιν
sōphronizōsin

verse 5
4998
5   A-APF
5   σώφρονας
5   sōphronas

…adjacent to being pure/chaste, good,  and keepers at home (which has nothing to do with domestic servitude, BTW.   See A Woman’s Place: Keeper at Home)

Older women behave as “becometh holiness” and teaching the neos (new or younger women) to be friend to husband and children- not lover (eros), not servant:  FRIEND.

Older women teaching the neos to be sober/self controlled, good, and chaste. Please note, they are teaching MARRIED WOMEN to be chaste!!!!!!   I believe this chastity is within the context of their own marriage bed.  Personally I can feel when my husband is crossing the line into LUST and I can pray against that.

I see in there God’s intention that the mature women teach the neos (newer, younger) to the end that their mind will be whole, sound, healed, that they will live consecrated, set apart for God, being able to perceive what is good and constructive and what is evil, that they have the charge to GUARD their home/marriage and keep themselves safe, protected, and chaste within their home and with their husbands.

And please note that the hupotasso verb here in Titus 2, as in Eph 5:24,  is in the Passive voice, which means it is not about something the wife is to DO, it is a description of how marriage IS!.  (For more on this  see “Wives [Subject] to Their Own Husbands in Everything” Ephesians 5:24)

Within the context of the FACT that she “is subject” to this man for better or worse and his choices will impact her deeply,  its very important for her to be sober, clear minded, to have good judgment.

Read Full Post »

“A woman’s like a rose.
If you treat her right, she’ll bloom.
If you don’t, she’ll wilt.”
-Firefighter Michael in  “Fireproof”

Do you find this to be true?
Does your husband’s behavior have the power to “wilt” you?

That dynamic is what Paul is describing in Ephesians 5:24 when he says:

“but even as the assembly is subject to Christ,
so also [are] the wives to their own husbands in everything.” Eph 5:24

The verb translated “is subject” (upotassetai) is parsed as  Passive Voice in numerous interlinear resources [1] The Passive Voice by definition means that the subject (noun) is the recipient of someone or something else’s action.  “No volition – nor even necessarily awareness of the action – is implied on the part of the subject“.  [2]

According to Professor Carl Conrad [3] there is a judgment call about assigning the Passive Voice to verbs:

Yet the formulation of the phrase in question in the Greek by itself does not offer any clue to which alternative may have been intended by the writer who formulated it, and the question must be resolved, if it is to be resolved at all, by a careful examination of the broader context of the passage in which the phrase occurred and perhaps of the entire corpus of that author. The same is true of the Greek “middle-passive” forms—and by that I mean both the -μαι/σαι/ται-μην; -σο/το forms and the -θη- forms: since Greek does not in fact distinguish morphologically the middle and passive meanings, the determination of whether the meaning is middle or passive in any particular instance is a matter of judgment. [3]

Many (if not most) interpret Ephesians 5:24 upotassetai with a middle voice.  The emphasis is upon the wife performing the action.  Some translations even go so far as to (erroneously) insert an imperative force

SOURCE

New International Version (©1984)
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

New Living Translation (©2007)
As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

International Standard Version (©2008)
Indeed, just as the church is submissive to the Messiah, so wives must be submissive to their husbands in everything.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
As the church is under Christ’s authority, so wives are under their husbands’ authority in everything.

Bible in Basic English
And as the church is under Christ’s authority, so let wives be under the rule of their husbands in all things.

Weymouth New Testament
And just as the Church submits to Christ, so also married women should be entirely submissive to their husbands.

There is no “should be”, “ought to” nor “must” in the Greek.  Those are interpretational additions by translators.   The following versions provide a more accurate rendition of the Greek:

Darby Bible Translation
But even as the assembly is subjected to the Christ, so also wives to their own husbands in everything.
Young’s Literal Translation
but even as the assembly is subject to Christ, so also are the wives to their own husbands in everything.

The verse is not a PREscription of what a wife or the church is supposed to DO.  The verse is a DEscription of the state of BEing of the wife and the church.  The church IS SUBJECT to Christ in EVERYTHING.   And the wife IS SUBJECT to the husband in EVERYTHING.

The context of Ephesians 5 provides compelling evidence for the  accuracy of the passive voice parsing of “is subject” in Ephesians 5:24.  The context speaks of a HEAD and a BODY.  The body “is subject” to the head, but there is no volition involved on the part of the body.  It is a description of a state of being, not a command for a certain behavior.  Thus the head/body metaphor is a perfect  illustration and object lesson of connectedness and subjection in the passive voice.

Of interest to those who will object that a wife has equal power to “wilt” her husband,  the  hupotasso verb in Ephesians 5:21-  upotassomeno- is also in the passive voice according to numerous interlinear resources.[1] Again, the head/body object lesson of the context illustrates: a body is subject to the head, AND the head to the body in a  reciprocal and mutual manner.  However,  because Ephesians 5:24 is a unique statement about the wife with no reciprocal statement about the husband,   and because the statement sounds so universal: “wives [subject] to their own husbands in EVERYTHING” I suggest that Paul (and God) are  speaking of a unique, broader, and deeper vulnerability of wives to the impact of husbands than vice versa.

The Textus Receptus (TR) has an extra hupotasso in Ephesians 5:22 (hupotassesthe) which is in the middle voice[4].   The earliest and oldest manuscript called “P46″ omits the verb in Eph 5:22. Interestingly, this manuscript was not discovered until the 1930’s.[5] I presume that the hupotassesthe in Eph 5:22 Textus Receptus  is an unfortunate  interpretational scribal addition which has served to obscure the truth about the meaning of wives  being subject “to their  husbands in everything”.. “as the church is subject to Christ”.

While challenging to put aside preconceptions and read this passage with fresh vision, nevertheless I  propose a re-examination of traditional assumptions in light of the context and the use of hupotasso verbs in the passive voice.

FOOTNOTES:

  1. The following interlinears have the Passive Voice parsing of the hupotasso verb in Eph. 5:24 as well as  Eph. 5:21:

    Blue Letter Bible- Eph 5:24
    Blue Letter Bible – Ephesians 5:21
    http://interlinearbible.org/ephesians/5.htm

  2. see “Voice” in this  online Greek Grammar: “This grammar is a compilation primarily from Wallace and Mounce”
  3. “New Observations on Voice in the Ancient Greek Verb” by Carl Conrad, Associate Professor Emeritus of Classics, Washington University, St. Louis, MO. See also Active, Middle, and Passive: Understanding Ancient Greek Voice
  4. http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Greek_Index.htm
  5. There was some discussion of P46 here (or PDF archive)

Read Full Post »

Continued from  “For the Creature was Subjected to Frustration…” Part 2

In every interlinear I checked, the hupotasso verb in Ephesians 5:24 (upotassetai) is identified as Passive:

http://interlinearbible.org/ephesians/5.htm

http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Eph&c=5&v=24&t=KJV#conc/24

http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Greek_Index.htm

Following a disagreement about the voice of the hupotasso verb in Ephesians 5:24 where a commenter was quite adamant that it has to be middle voice, I was doing some web surfing trying to find more details about the  passive versus middle voice of the hupotasso verbs in Scripture.

Coincidentally, I found a discussion I had never read before on an old thread at an old hang out of mine:  Complegal, where EricW has made some comments which indicate his complete understanding of the significance of this judgment call:

Of course, if hupotassô, either by itself or in the middle/passive voice, means voluntary self-instigated subjugation, then that means the demons voluntary subjected themselves to Jesus in, e.g., Luke 10:17. (FWIW, in NT Greek plural neuter nouns normally take a singular verb, which is why you see hupotassetai and not hupotassontai in Luke 10:17.) [Charis: see my blog Irresistible Submission: of devils to apostles and wives to husbands]

Which might be indicative of the recognition of His authority and the power of His name even in and by the demonic realm. [Charis: NOT! If they had any choice they wouldn't have been subject]

Re: Ephesians 5:24 and the middle/passive form of hupotassô there – Does the church voluntarily submit itself/herself to Christ as an act of self-instigation? I.e., can the church choose not to submit herself to Christ? Or is Paul stating something about the nature of the church – i.e., the church, being His body, by its very nature is subject to Christ, just as our limbs are subject to what we with our minds tell our hands, legs, feet, etc., to do – rather than saying that the church can choose whether or not to subject itself to its head? [source]  [Charis: the latter]

And here is another comment of Eric’s:

Ephesians 5:24:

αλλα ως η εκκλησια υποτασσεται τω Χριστω, ουτως και αι γυναικες τοις ανδρασιν εν παντι.

(Literal: But as the church submits/is-submitted to-the Christ, thus also the wives to-the/their husbands in all.)

My fairly literal translation:

But (in the same manner) as the church

a. middle: submits-itself
OR
b. passive: is-submitted [by God? by Christ? - i.e., who is the agent that causes the submission?]

to Christ,

thus also the wives

a. middle: [are to submit themselves]
OR
b. passive: [are submitted] [by God? by Christ? by their husbands? - i.e., who is the agent that causes the submission]

to their husbands in everything.

So, my questions are:

1. Do you agree with this translation of Ephesians 5:24, whether with the translation of hupotassetai as a middle (option a.) or with its translation as a passive (option b.)? If you disagree with any of this translation or with these translation options, please state what you think is a more correct translation and what other options for hupotassetai there might be, and why.

2. Do you think the verse should be translated according to option a., or do you think it should be translated according to option b.?

3. If you think one clause should be translated with one option, and the other clause should be translated with the other option, on what basis do you argue that the author meant two different meanings of hupotassetai in the same verse?

4. If you don’t think that hupotassetai (or, rather, a third-person plural form to agree in number with “wives”) is the implied verb of the second clause, what other verb do you suggest and/or how do you think the verse should read instead?

5. If you choose option b. or otherwise view hupotassetai as being a passive, who or what do you think is the agent (i.e., who or what makes the subjects – the church, the wives – submit)? [source]

My Reply:

My answer to your question is option B

The wife IS SUBJECT to her husband in EVERYTHING (Eph 5:24)- passive-
no choice in it,
no power to change it
perhaps not even conscious of it in most cases.
It is GOD who has subjected her.
That happened in Genesis 3:16

Eph 5:24 is DEscriptive not PREscriptive just like Genesis 3:16 and Romans 8:20.

Romans 8:20 illuminates the concept of passive subjection.

“For the creature [the woman,
and the man but that would be in the context of his work and is another topic]
was subjected to frustration [see Genesis 3:16 in the case of the woman]
not willingly
but by the will of the one [GOD]
who hath subjected the same in hope” Romans 8:20

Read Full Post »

Continued from “For the creature was subjected to frustration…”

I believe we have to let the Word speak for itself and the hupotasso verb in Ephesians 5:24 (upotassetai) is in the Passive Voice.

Romans 8:20 is also in the Passive Voice:

“For the creature
was subjected to frustration
not willingly
but by the will of the one
who hath subjected the same in hope”
Romans 8:20

Romans 8:20 describes what occurred in Genesis 3:16.
Ephesians 5:24 also describes what occurred in Gen 3:16

“Therefore as the church is subject to Christ,
so also the wives [to] husbands in everything” Eph 5:24

The one who has subjected wives to their husbands is
not the husbands.
It is GOD.
It was done at the Fall.
And it is a subjection to frustration/vanity/futility IF the husband is a fleshly man. (Read Romans 8:20 in context)

The manner in which she IS SUBJECT (per Eph 5:24) is NOT something she chooses or is even conscious of. If her husband has been sowing death, she will be struggling, and (if she is churched) she will probably have been judged by church people as “an unsubmissive wife”. But that is not fair, nor is it true. The fact is she IS SUBJECT as described in Eph 5:24.

IMO, this is NOT something a wife should be sweating over! She has no choice, and she is powerless to change it. Its something a husband should be sweating over because he is the one who is supposed to nourish, cherish, and agape love (5X all ACTIVE VOICE, twice in the imperative in Eph 5). She IS SUBJECT to how he treats her. If he sows badly, he will reap ugliness.

Some of my egalitarian readers may be tempted to knee jerk dismiss the following because it refers to “spiritual leadership” but I do think Ken Nair gets intuitively that a wife IS SUBJECT to her husband, though he frames it in “spiritual leadership” language:

Quoted from Discovering The Mind Of A Woman The Key To Becoming A Strong And Irresistable Husband Is... by Ken Nair

Pg 115-116
In the previous chapter we covered symptoms that reveal a problem husband, a husband who is not living with his wife in an understanding way, who is not demonstrating Christlikeness in his attitudes toward her, who is not being encouraging and supportive, as Christ encourages and supports the church through thick and thin. I have discovered that all of these problems reveal a lack of sensitivity, a failure to minister to a wife’s spirit.

“Right”, you may be saying, even a bit sarcastically. “I’ve got to take all the blame for what’s wrong. But if you knew my wife, you wouldn’t say that I had failed. She had all these problems long before I met her.”

Granted. But let me ask you how long you have been married…

“Okay… HAS SHE GOTTEN BETTER OR WORSE SINCE YOU MARRIED HER?” I ask.

What would your answer be? Without fail, the husbands reply, “WORSE”. I that is your answer, then my next question is, “If you are the spiritual leader in your home, and the job of a spiritual leader is to bring the one you are responsible for to spiritual maturity, then why has your wife gotten worse instead of better?”

Read Full Post »

Previously, I noted my recent realization that in several places, the  hupotasso verb describing how a wife “is subject” to her husband is Hupotasso in the Passive Voice: A Wife’s Submission is descriptive rather than prescriptive )

I have continued contemplating the passive voice of the wife’s subjection as stated in Ephesians 5:24:

“Therefore as the church is subject to Christ,
so also the wives [to] husbands in everything” Eph 5:24

I have investigated other occurrences of hupotasso in the passive voice.

Here is a question for readers along the lines of my recent contemplation.  The hupotasso verb below is also in the passive voice (different tense but passive voice).

“For the creature
was subjected to frustration
not willingly
but by the will of the one
who hath subjected the same in hope”
Romans 8:20

When did this occur?
What was the human female creature subjected to?
Hint: see Genesis 3:16

Continued: “For the Creature was Subjected to Frustration…” Part 2

Read Full Post »

The comments on the blog Can a wife’s authority be overruled? are very interesting to me and the timing is providential as I have been meditating along the lines of some points by NN and Susanna Krizo.  Here are some quotes from the comment section (which is well worth the read IMO) and my questions and reflections which I added to the discussion (very late by blogging standards)…

NN said: Most commonly used in literary works by the ancient historians to describe military action. As time went on the word became much more widely adopted, used by Greek playwrights and considerably even in common writing. For instance, one common non military specialized usage was in document preparation to denote attachments & submissions. (E.g. “we submit the attached note for your inspection”, or “see appended note”).

I recall reading that the word hupotasso was commonly used in the postal system with the meaning, “stick (to)”, “attach”. Can you (or someone) point to the original source of that information as I would like to have an accurate citation (for an article)?

NN said (in comment 20):

Paul makes a point of “hupotassoe” when speaking to the wife (and a point of agapao when talking to the husband) indicating distinction between the two.

And on the possible meanings of “hupotassoe,” it should be pointed out that this is the word used in Luke 10 to describe the subjection of devils to the commands of the apostles. I think this could hardly be couched as a friendly exchange of suggestions.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in Greek, but I did take hermeneutics in seminary and learn how to use Word Study Tools for exegesis.

If you will go to these links at BLB: Luke 10:17-20 and Eph 5:24 and scroll down, you will see that the form of hupotasso is exactly the same in Luke 17, 20, and Ephesians 5:24.   ὑποτάσσεται=hupotassetai.

If you scroll down further, you will see the   parsing of the verb under “Tense” and all three cases are identified as the PASSIVE voice.  I also checked the interlinear at: www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Greek_Index.htm
and
interlinearbible.org/ephesians/5.htm
They all identify these instances of “subjection” as passive voice where the subject receives the action without volition/will on the part of the subject.

NN,

Though on the surface it’s a shocking parallel, I think your example of the submission of the devils to the apostles actually provides a great deal of insight as to the nature of the submission of wife to husband. Do the devils have any will in their submission? Do they choose their submission? Can they decide not to submit? No, they are in subjection without any volition/will on their part. Their subjection is not a “command” that they must “obey”; their subjection their state of being, which they cannot resist even if they wanted to.

Likewise, the submission/subjection of the wife in Ephesians 5 as well as in 1 Peter 3 is stated with verbs using the passive voice. This suggests that a wife’s submission/subjection is descriptive rather than prescriptive. Its not a COMMAND, its her state of being which she cannot resist even if she wanted to.

I suggest that the passive voice of hupotasso is evidence that biblical teaching about wifely subjection is not a command to women. Commands are in the imperative. (eg. verse 25 directed to HUSBANDS is in the imperative love-agapete) . Rather this submission is a state of being and a response. Much like a garden passively receives watering, nourishing, cherishing,. The garden is SUBJECT TO the gardener. If tending, nourishing, cherishing, is neglected, the garden wilts and dies.

I suggest that the statement in Ephesians 5:24 should not make wives sweat at all. Rather, husbands should be sweating. She has no power nor control to resist. When she marries, her husband holds her heart in his hands. Will he be harsh and trample her under his feet? crushing her spirit? or will he be like Christ and minister LIFE?

The way I am seeing this passive voice of submission in marriage is reflected by this quote from the movie Fireproof:

A woman is like a rose.
If you treat her right she blooms.
If you treat her wrong she wilts.

In this way, a wife is subject to her husband as the church is subject to Christ.

But Christ ministers LIFE, while a husband is capable of ministering a great deal of death.

And a husband has a particular power and influence upon a wife that may not go “vice versa” because she is uniquely “subject to” (being harmed by?) him moreso than he to her.  John Gottman observed this in his marriage laboratory (see quote below).  This view also makes sense of the instruction to wives that they need to PHOBEO their husbands (Eph 5:33).

Susanna Krizo mentioned this  passive state of submission/cooperation of women in comment 184:

Women tend to smile more than men, and often their smile is taken for approval, whereas it is often just part of their nature as co-operative beings (women tend to be more co-operative, especially during the childbearing years due to large amount of estrogen. This does not mean that men are less co-operative, but some studies have shown that testosterone makes men more hierarchical, and dominating in relationships)

and John Gottman has observed and reported this from his laboratory research

This observation led me to formulate the hypothesis that marriages work to the extent that men accept influence from, share power with women.  Next I applied this  to a longitudinal study of 130 nonviolent newlywed couples and found that, amazingly, those in which the men who did not accept influence from their wives  wound up divorced.  The prediction rate was very good, 80% accuracy, and it did not work the other way around: Most wives accepted influence from their husbands, and the acceptance predicted  nothing.  [from Gottman “The Marriage Clinic”]

Susanna Krizo,

I am intrigued by your research and insights on hupotasso, and by your new book.

The reason I asked NN for a source for the use of hupotasso in the postal system with the meaning, “stick (to)”, “attach” is that I have noticed a thread of “attachment” like glue :) in the teaching to BOTH husbands and wives (a head and body are quite “attached”)

From Perseus, here are some definitions of the relevant words:

upotasso LSJ
post in the shelter of
append
underlie, to be implied in or associated with

Col 3:18 anako
be connected with
belong

Eph 5:31 cleave see also http://scripturetext.com/ephesians/5-31.htm
glue on or to
to be stuck to, stick or cleave to

The latter is in the “leave and cleave” instruction. I am intrigued that “LEAVE” is in the ACTIVE voice “The active voice represents the subject as the doer or performer of the action” while cleave is in the PASSIVE voice ( as is hupotasso in Ephesians 5).

Though CLEAVE-ing is in the passive voice- implying that they cannot resist even if they wanted to-  it sounds conditional upon active  “LEAVE-ing which I take not as mere geographical departure from parents, but as a 1 Peter 1:18 forsaking of the “futile ways of the forefathers”/”vain conduct received by tradition from your fathers”.

Read Full Post »

Submission/subjection of the wife in Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 is stated with verbs using the passive voice.  This suggests that a wife’s submission/subjection is descriptive rather than prescriptive.

GREEK VERBS QUICK REFERENCE

The passive voice conveys the idea that the SUBJECT is being ACTED UPON by an OUTSIDE force or power. The SUBJECT is the RECIPIENT or the RECEIVER of the verbal action or effect.  In English passive voice is usually indicated by the phrase “to be”.

1Pe1:15 but like the Holy One Who called you, be (2PAPM) (5676) holy yourselves also in all your behavior

2PAPM: 2nd person, Plural, Aorist Tense, Passive Voice, Imperative Mood

Peter’s point then is that it is not believers who make themselves holy (eg, by keeping a list of do’s and don’t’s) but it is God Who makes us progressively more and more holy as we surrender our will to His sweet will.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God Eph 5:21

5293
21   V-PPP-NPM Verb Present Passive Participle Nominative Plural Masculine
21   Ὑποτασσόμενοι
21   upotassomenoi
21   subject

Therefore, as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives to husbands in everything. Eph 5:24 interlinear

24 5293
24 V-PPI-3S Verb Present Passive Indicative 3rd person Singular
24 ὑποτάσσεται
24 upotassetai
24 is subject

These are in the PASSIVE voice, as are the submission verbs of 1 Peter (see interlinear with parsing)

Though Greek expert Suzanne McCarthy has informed me that VOICE by itself cannot be used to PROVE the intention of the teaching, I suggest that the passive voice of hupotasso is evidence that biblical teaching about wifely subjection is not a command to women.  Commands are in the imperative.  (eg. verse 25 directed to HUSBANDS is in the imperative love-agapete) .  Rather this submission is a state of being and a response.  Much like a garden passively receives watering, nourishing, cherishing,.  The garden is SUBJECT TO the gardener.   If tending, nourishing, cherishing, is neglected, the garden wilts and dies. The garden “is being ACTED UPON by an OUTSIDE force or power” and  has no choice, no power in the matter.

The way I am seeing this passive voice of submission in marriage is reflected by this quote from the movie Fireproof:

A woman is like a rose.
If you treat her right she blooms.
If you treat her wrong she wilts.

In this way, a wife is subject to her husband as the church is subject to Christ.

But Christ ministers LIFE, while a husband is capable of ministering a great deal of death.

And a husband has a particular power and influence upon a wife that may not go “vice versa” because she is uniquely “subject to” (being harmed by?) him moreso than he to her. This view also makes sense of the instruction to wives that they need to PHOBEO their husbands (Eph 5:33). (see Eph 5:33 “wife that she fear [her] husband”)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers

%d bloggers like this: