Christmas is not far away, and so I figure it’s time to offer a few recommendations regarding Bible software programs. What would possibly make for a better Christmas present?
I am very fortunate to have a copy of each of the four most prominent Bible software programs. I have Logos, BibleWorks, and Accordance because I’m a world-famous blogger — and so I received these for free in exchange for writing a review or two. I have e-Sword for free because, well, it’s free.
It’s not like blogging pays all that well, but it’s nice to get the occasional bene, even if I have to write a review or two to get them. But this review is strictly of my own initiative. I will get nothing for this. Continue reading
We are talking about veils, you know, so “wrapping up” just kinda made sense. Right?
So one interpretation of this and a few other passages is that “head” refers to the “spiritual leadership” of men in the church.
Fifty or more years ago, the Churches of Christ taught the spiritual leadership of men in all settings, including the work place. But there are now too many women at church who work in business, where they supervise men. We gave that argument up.
And so, we took a supposed universal, eternal principle regarding the relationship of men and women and retreated into the church and the family, insisting that men must be spiritual leaders at church and at home. Business is different. Too much money is at stake, and the women are too obviously competent and gifted at what they do. Continue reading
So let’s take a stab at a fresh translation in light of what we’ve considered.
(1Co 11:3-16 ESV) 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every [husband] is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
4 Every man[/husband] who prays or prophesies with his [literal] head covered dishonors [Christ, who is] his head, 5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her [literal] head uncovered dishonors her [husband, who is] head, since it is the same as if her [literal] head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her [literal] head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her [literal] head, let her cover her [literal] head. Continue reading
(Eph 5:22 ESV) 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
As Paul explains in Ephesians 5, the wife’s obligation to her husband does not mean the husband has no reciprocal obligation.
Rather, while Paul finds the role of wives in their prototype, Eve, he finds the role of husbands in their prototype Jesus as the husband of the church (and from the Old Testament, the Lord as husband of Israel). Continue reading
So, finally, we get to 1 Corinthians 11 — but hopefully with a rich, full understanding of Jesus and our relationship to him in mind.
(1Co 11:3 ESV) 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
There’s a good case from context that “head” or kephalē means source, but Greek is devoid of any prior use of kephalē in that sense. Rather, the more common uses are as the most prominent part, the end point, the beginning, and as chief, leader, or ruler.
But metaphors are always defined by context, and we cannot ignore the context in deciding what Paul has in mind. Moreover, we cannot assume that Paul abandons his understanding of Christ or of men and women.
Notice that the ESV translates anēr as “husband” and gunē as “wife,” contrary to the NIV. This is for a couple of reasons. First, as pointed out earlier, the subject of the passage is veils, and only wives were expected to wear a veil. Continue reading
I know I’ve wandered far from 1 Corinthians 11, but it’s necessary. You see, we have a tendency to revert to our childhood understanding when we take a text out of context — the context of all of scripture.
And so it’s easy to imagine that “head” requires a hierarchical relationship of power and dominance, even though the rest of scripture points us in the opposite direction.
We have to remember the big lessons before we start inserting our preconceptions into the text.
And we have to cover one more essential truth before we return to “head.” What is the image of God? What does God really look like? If we were to be restored to his image, what would that be like? Continue reading
While the idea of being on the throne with Jesus seems utterly foreign to modern Christians, it was an important theme for First Century Jews — who knew their scriptures better than we often do.
Paul had already introduced the idea in 1 Corinthians —
(1Co 6:2-3 ESV) 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!
Remember that in the ancient world the king was also a judge. That’s why we read of the greatness of Solomon in terms of his wise rulings as judge. Continue reading
I’ve put up a post at Wineskins with a couple of follow up questions to Paula Harrington’s thoughtful post from a few days earlier.
I just received a message from an American missionary to Latin America asking whether someone might translate my ebooks into Spanish. He writes,
My wife and I lived in Latin America for several years and plan to return to work among the Churches of Christ. We know how steeped in patternism/legalism/creedalism the church leaders are. It is very rare, extremely rare to hear a Latin-American Church of Christ preacher who openly questions “the pattern.” Pray for a like-minded brother or sister to translate your works and make them available to the many Christians who need them. God bless you.
My Spanish begins and ends with “taco,” but I bet there’s someone out there whose sleeve is being tugged by the Spirit to do some translation work.
Contact me at jfguin(at)comcast(dot)net.
This is not a money-paying thing. It’s strictly for jewels in your crown.
The meaning of “head” in 1 Corinthians 11 is controversial. After all, the entire passage is replete with difficulties.
In First Century Greek, “head” can refer to the highest or most prominent part of something, to the beginning, to the extremities or ends of something, or to life.
And, of course, Paul was free to coin his own metaphors, discernible from context. Continue reading