Note: This address was originally delivered at the banquet of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) in Atlanta, GA, on Monday, November 16, 2015.
Good evening! I’m very grateful to all of you for your leadership and untiring work on behalf of the biblical teaching on gender roles.
Thank You for Wayne Grudem Award
I wanted to take a moment to thank you personally for awarding my wife and me the Wayne Grudem Award for Complementarian Scholarship. This is a very high honor and very encouraging to us as we try to be faithful to the legacy of those who, like Wayne, have shown such passion and courage in representing what the Bible teaches about God’s design for man and woman.
New BibleMesh Course
I also wanted to tell you briefly about a new course my wife and I were recently able to record with the help of BibleMesh that was launched earlier this fall. Like the book, it’s called “God’s Design for Man and Woman” and is available through BibleMesh on their website, www.biblemesh.com. In that course, as in the book, we try to wed complementarian teaching to biblical theology, because we’ve found this to be the most effective way of showing how God’s plan is consistent and coherent throughout Scripture rather than merely depending on a few isolated passages.
Women in the Church (3rd ed.)
Tom Schreiner and I, as well as the contributors, have been hard at work on the 3rd edition of Women in the Church, which will be published by Crossway at the end of February. This is going to be a significant advance over previous editions. There are several brand-new chapters: Al Wolters on authente?, which I believe will set a new standard of scholarly excellence on that subject. Al argues strongly and convincingly for a non-pejorative, non-ingressive understanding of authente?. Denny Burk wrote a new chapter on Bible translation and 1 Tim 2:12, and Steven Baugh and Bob Yarbrough have essentially written new chapters for this 3rd edition.
Tom Schreiner and I have updated our chapters. In my case, I reran literally 100s of TLG searches and found over 30 new syntactic parallels to 1 Tim 2:12. I also included a new discourse analysis of the passage, with helpful input from Steven Runge. Looking at the larger discourse context is very important, because it shows that the interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12 is not only a matter of word meaning, and syntax, or even hermeneutics, but especially of understanding the flow of the larger discourse. With regard to 1 Tim 2:12, I believe the discourse context shows conclusively that Paul is supremely concerned with proper lines of authority in God’s household, the church.
BTCP on Letters to Timothy and Titus
Finally, I’m close to finishing my commentary on the LTT (Letters to Timothy and Titus). It’s part of the Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation (BTCP) series with B&H Academic (you may have seen Tom Schreiner’s inaugural volume on Hebrews). I don’t have time to tell you all that I’ve learned in working on this commentary, but let me just share with you very quickly 2 areas that are relevant for complementarian scholarship but sometimes overlooked: (1) the use of the OT in these letters; and (2) the household metaphor.
On the use of the OT in the LTT, I believe Paul’s teaching on men’s and women’s roles in keeping with God’s design for Adam and Eve is one of quite a few OT connections. Others include the way in which the Paul-Timothy relationship is patterned after the Moses-Joshua relationship; the way in which Paul’s understands his apostolic suffering in keeping with righteous sufferer in David’s psalms; and the way in which Paul understands his apostolic mission in keeping with OT teaching on the inclusion of the Gentiles in the last days. So Paul’s grounding of his teaching on men and women in OT antecedent theology is part of a much larger pattern of grounding apostolic doctrine in the OT.
Second, the household metaphor, too, which pervades the LTT and is the primary metaphor for the church in these letters, clearly implies male headship, because in both Jewish and Greco-Roman culture the man was in charge of the household. So my recent study and work on my commentary on the LTT has further deepened my conviction that Paul didn’t espouse egalitarian teaching but rather extended and applied God’s original design for men and women to the church. As Frances Young points out, “The theology of the Pastorals unquestionably assumes that God is the apex of a hierarchically ordered society in which obedience is a prime value. The church is God’s household, and he is King of the Universe. By God’s grace and favour, Christians are members of his household …” (Theology of the Pastoral Letters, p. 94).
Thanks again for your faithful witness to the biblical teaching on God’s plan for men and women, and God bless you, your families, and your ministry!
New BibleMesh course on God’s Design for Man & Woman
Andreas & Margaret Kostenberger’s book God’s Design for Man & Woman
Third edition of Women in the Church
The Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation series