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As Easy as X-Y-Z: A Review of William Webb’s "Slaves, Women and Homosexuals"

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Delivered at the Southwest Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society

Criswell College, Dallas, TX

Editor’s note: Clay Daniel was one of my interns during the 2001-2002 school year. This paper, as well as Bill Webb’s book, are well worth reading.

Daniel B. Wallace

If an alien from outer space were teleported to the United States, given a copy of the Christian Scriptures, and asked to assess the sanity of our faith’s adherents, he would no doubt conclude that American Christians are a rather schizophrenic lot. Walking into one of our evangelical churches, he would probably observe men, some of them long-haired, greeting women, many of them short-haired and almost none of them wearing any kind of head covering, with both men and women stubbornly refusing to kiss each other (in a “holy” manner, of course) at all! In Gen-X churches, at least, our intrepid extraterrestrial would be astonished to see young men and women in their 20’s and 30’s failing to rise in the presence of any elders entering their worship service. Our stupefied spaceman would be baffled to discover Pentecostals dancing within the church walls but not outside of them, Presbyterians dancing outside the church walls but not within them, and Southern Baptists not dancing anywhere! Further, all of these bodies would rarely, if ever, be seen using tambourines and cymbals (unless, of course, the cymbals were part of drum set). And even if certain members of these churches might be found to occasionally take wine for medicinal reasons, probably none of them, to the utter confusion of our befuddled bystander, would even think of administering beer to the poor, downtrodden, and dying of their congregations. In the end, our marveling Martian would probably throw up his hands in resignation and blast away in a trail of stardust, desperately seeking a group of people who actually do what their Holy Book tells them to do.

Our friendly foreigner, of course, has just dealt firsthand with the challenges of cultural hermeneutics and contemporary application. He seems to have assumed (quite naturally) that any command found in the Christian Scriptures would be binding upon Christians of all times, and that cultural differences would have little effect upon the application of an ancient text to a modern setting. Although most of us would probably claim to be at least somewhat more hermeneutically savvy than our vexed visitor, no doubt all of us could identify with the frustration of trying to understand why ancient commands may sometimes be applied differently in our modern context—or sometimes not at all. The issue of cultural relativity versus transcultural application is bedeviling to scholar, pastor, missionary, and layperson alike. Any kind of rigid standard for determining how and when a modern Christian should apply an ancient text to himself (or his family, his church, etc.) will undoubtedly fall short of accounting for the dizzying diversity of teachings found in the Old and New Testaments. Perhaps the daunting nature of the task is the reason why relatively few works in cultural hermeneutics have become widespread, even in evangelical circles.1 However, I find William Webb’s Slaves, Women and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis to be a noteworthy attempt to address this vacuum. The following is an effort to acquaint the hearer with some of the issues raised in Webb’s work, along with some questions to provide for further evaluation and discussion, hopefully well beyond this particular forum.

Summary of the Argument

Slaves, Women and Homosexuals addresses the dilemma of the modern (and especially postmodern) reader of the Bible, namely, that, when read with the lenses of our own culture, many of Scripture’s texts seem anachronistic, if not downright cruel. As one of many examples one might take Exodus 21, where provisions are laid down for the acquisition and management of Hebrew slaves. Not only does the apparent sanctioning of slavery make the modern person uncomfortable, but certainly the following provision must do so also: “If a man sells his daughter as a female servant, she will not go [free] as the men servants do” (Exod 21:7).2 These texts are problematic, of course, because with respect to our culture they seem regressive. At the same time, however, evangelical scholars would certainly acknowledge that from the perspective of the original audience these texts would have been considered redemptive; in other words, they represented liberating advances over other practices commonplace to that day. With this kind of “redemptive movement” in mind, and considering that such movement continues in the New Testament (for example, Paul’s implication to Philemon that Onesimus the slave be set free), one can argue that slavery in our modern day would be far from the spirit of the biblical text. Furthermore, when one applies new covenant principles such as that found in Gal 3:28 (“There is…neither slave nor free…for you are all one in Christ Jesus”), the case against slavery in our culture is strengthened. In other words, the “redemptive movement” of the text, combined with a gospel that proclaims freedom to the captive, demands that Christians constantly push the boundaries of their culture toward an “ultimate ethic” with regard to the treatment of those oppressed by slavery as well as other means. This is an argument familiar to and embraced by evangelicals in large measure.

The terms used above—“redemptive movement” and “ultimate ethic”—make up the crux of Webb’s argument; indeed, Slaves, Women and Homosexuals is largely an apology for a “redemptive movement hermeneutic” in which the above principles are applied. After a preliminary discussion of the Christian’s relationship to culture in Chapter 1, Webb begins Chapter 2 with the following articulation of the “redemptive movement hermeneutic”:

The term “redemptive-movement hermeneutic” captures the most crucial component of the application process as it relates to cultural analysis, namely, the need to engage the redemptive spirit of the text beyond its original-application framing. A sense of the biblical or redemptive spirit can be obtained by listening to how texts compare to the broader cultural milieu and how they sound within the development of the canon. When taking the ancient text into our modern world, the redemptive spirit of Scripture is the most significant dimension with which a Christian can wrestle. Sometimes, by simply “doing” the words of the text we automatically fulfill its spirit today, particularly where the horizons of the ancient and modern worlds continue to overlap and where the biblical text has already moved the ancient-world standards in a particular direction as far as one could possibly go. At other times, however, living out the Bible’s literal words in our modern context fails to fulfill its redemptive spirit.3

As to how the cumulative effect of this “redemptive spirit” (thus creating the “redemptive movement”) may be diagrammed and understood, Webb pictures a kind of “X-Y-Z” movement, in which “X” represents the original culture, “Y” represents the biblical text, and “Z” represents the “ultimate ethic” toward which the commands and principles of Scripture are pointing.4 The reason that slavery is discussed is that it constitutes what Webb calls a “neutral example,” that is, a hermeneutical issue on which evangelicals will generally agree. In the case of slavery, as noted above, the biblical text (“Y”) shows “redemptive movement” with respect to the original culture (“X”) in both Old and New Testaments. As for as the “ultimate ethic” (“Z”), evangelicals would probably agree that it would go well beyond emancipation to the elimination of racism and the provision of equal opportunities for all people. Webb pictures modern North American culture as standing somewhere between “Y” and “Z”, with slavery abolished and much progress made in civil rights, but with racism still a specter and equal opportunity for minorities not always a reality.5

The issue of slavery, however, is not the only “neutral example” that Webb discusses. On the other end of the spectrum from slavery we find the issue of homosexuality. In this case Webb refers to the original culture (“X”) as having “mixed acceptance and no restrictions of homosexual activity”6 (in this case Webb is referring primarily to Greco-Roman, rather than to Ancient Near Eastern, culture), while the biblical text (“Y”), as evangelicals would no doubt agree, offers a consistently negative assessment of homosexuality with “complete restriction of homosexual activity”.7 In this case, then, there is no progressive “movement” in the Scriptures as the writers interact with culture; rather, there is consistent condemnation of what culture sometimes condones, sometimes opposes. The ultimate ethic (“Z”), then, must include this prohibition; Webb also suggests that it includes greater compassion and a more nuanced understanding of homosexual behavior than currently exists in evangelicalism.8 Another interesting note here is that modern North American culture, far from standing somewhere between “Y” (the biblical text) and “Z” (the ultimate ethic), rather locates itself far on the other side of “X” (the original culture); Webb suggests that we might even call it “W”.9 That is to say, our culture is even more permissive with regard to homosexuality than was the Greco-Roman culture, and even less inclined to embrace a prohibition of homosexual activity.

Webb introduces these two examples—slavery and homosexuality—to put in context the way Scripture, and the way modern interpreters, treat the role of women in the home and the church.10 His central argument is that Scripture most emphatically manifests “redemptive movement” with regard to women’s worth and position, relative to the Ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman cultures in which the text is set. Webb then proceeds to demonstrate this “movement” through an examination of various criteria by which the text’s treatment of women may be considered. In Chapter 3, an introduction of these criteria, the reader discovers that they break down into three types: persuasive, moderately persuasive, and inconclusive criteria.

Among those criteria deemed by Webb as “persuasive” (Chapter 4) we find such categories as “seed ideas” and “breakouts.” An example of a seed idea would be that found in 1 Cor 11:11-12: “In any case, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman. But all things come from God.” Webb’s contention is that this text contains the beginnings (“seeds”) of certain social implications which could not be fully worked out in the culture of the day but which have, and should continue to, grow and bear fuller fruit as culture allows for women to realize the implications of the text.11 “Breakouts,” meanwhile, are those biblical examples, such as that of Deborah in the Old Testament or Priscilla in the New, in which individuals or concepts are seen to “break out” of norms stated or suggested in other biblical texts.12 It is important to note here that Webb is not suggesting that the rather egalitarian substance of 1 Cor 11:11-12 nullifies the seemingly hierarchical implications of what comes before, or that the presence of a Deborah or a Priscilla in the history of God’s people overrules a text such as 1 Tim 2:12 (“I do not allow a woman to teach or have authority over a man. She must remain quiet”). What he is saying, however, is that these “seed ideas” and “breakouts” should suggest to us that other texts such as 1 Tim 2:12 may have a cultural component that is not necessarily binding for all time. In other words, before we as modern interpreters affirm that Paul’s prohibition of women teaching men is a rule that transcends particular cultures and exists for all time, we ought to take careful note of biblical principles and specific biblical examples that might seem to suggest otherwise.

Under “Moderately Persuasive Criteria” (Chapter 5) Webb lists some issues commonly embraced as decisive by complementarian writers, most notably the question of primogeniture and its basis in original creation. Primogeniture, the cultural practice dealing with the unique rights of the firstborn son, is understood by many who hold a patriarchal view to be in view in Adam’s creation before Eve, as well of his naming of her subsequent to the naming of the animals. Such a conclusion is later explicitly drawn by Paul in 1 Tim 2:13, in which he justifies his prohibition of a woman’s teaching a man with the following statement: “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.” The prior “birth” of the first man, then, if not also his naming of the woman, is pointed to as a transcultural basis for continuing functional subordination of women to men in the church and the home.

Webb begins his discussion of 1 Tim 2:13 by quoting several leading complementarians13 to show that primogeniture is by far the most commonly understood referent of Paul’s statement in verse 13. He grants that Paul is in fact using this logic in verse 13, but then contends that modern interpreters should not necessarily follow the same logic in light of cultural differences. His argument is twofold:14 First, Scripture often “breaks out” of the primogeniture tradition (he lists over 20 examples, including Jacob over Esau, Ephraim over Manasseh, and Solomon over Adonijah). Therefore, the practice is not necessarily binding or transcultural. Second, primogeniture is more of an ancient than a modern concept. Since Christians do not, as a rule, continue the practice, then not only the practice itself but also principles derived from it are likely culturally bound. Thus is the crux of Webb’s dealings with primogeniture; I will analyze this argument a little later.

The most notable category listed under Webb’s “Inconclusive Criteria” (Chapter 6)15 is the question of continuity between Old and New Testaments. That is to say, Christian interpreters will often insist on the transcultural nature of a practice because it is practiced and/or commanded in both Testaments. The fallacy in this reasoning, however, is readily apparent when one considers the issue of slavery. The practice of slavery was clearly condoned in the Old Testament and at least tolerated in the New, and yet few today would therefore argue that slavery should be a transcultural institution. The problem, suggests Webb, lies with the rigidity of this particular hermeneutic; it does not allow for the kind of “redemptive movement” vis--vis slavery that Scripture clearly demonstrates, or at least does not consider the implications of such movement.16 Webb points out that, in terms of this approach to interpretation, the Bible’s treatment of women and of homosexuality mirrors that of slavery: both Testaments seem to suggest functional subordination of women to men, and both Testaments staunchly oppose homosexual practice. In other words, there is significant continuity. The natural conclusion of this matter, Webb argues, is that continuity between the Testaments does not tell the interpreter as much as many might claim it does.17 This is not to say, of course, that it says nothing, but rather that its significance can only be determined in light of other criteria. As for the issue of women’s roles in the church and home, then, Webb insists that the continuity between Old and New Testaments (both suggesting their functional subordination to men) has little to say about the transcultural nature of the text’s message. We must, says Webb, look at other factors to make our determination.

Webb concludes his argument with an interesting final chapter entitled “What If I Am Wrong?” Temporarily granting the assumption that he is wrong about the culturally bound nature of 1 Tim 2:13, he provides seven other reasons why the application of his hermeneutic should still lead the interpreter to one of two final views: either “ultra-soft patriarchy” or “complementary egalitarianism.”18

In summary, Webb uses the two “neutral issues” of slavery and homosexuality for two primary purposes: 1) to show that traditional evangelical perspectives on both slavery and homosexual practice are consistent with a “redemptive movement hermeneutic”; and 2) to use these two issues as “guardrails” between which the issue of women’s roles may be considered. This second purpose of Webb’s work will be the primary focus of the evaluation to follow.

Critique and Evaluation

The following critique will take the form of a series of questions; some answered partially, and some perhaps not much at all. My purpose here is more to leave the hearer with avenues of further exploration than it is to make final judgments about the quality and validity of Webb’s arguments.

Question #1: What is the relationship between the ‘redemptive spirit’ of a text and the principle(s) underlying that text?

Webb’s answer to this question is excellent. He compares, first, the principle(s) underlying a text to the sails on a boat, which may be raised and lowered. A Bible reader will unconsciously perform the process of “raising the sail” to find a more abstract principle when s/he recognizes the differences between a commandment such as “You must love the Lord your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and your whole strength” (Deut 6:5) and, say, the command to farmers to leave a certain amount of their produce in their fields for poor people to glean. The first of these two commandments is sufficiently abstract, so that no more abstract principle needs to be drawn. The second, on the other hand, is both concretely stated and based in a primarily agrarian culture. Most interpreters, then, will “raise the sail” in order to find a principle such as God’s people must take care of the poor—a principle whose validity is confirmed by its reiteration in one form or another throughout both Old and New Testaments.

The redemptive spirit, according to Webb, resembles more the wind that blows the sails than the sails themselves. Using the text on masters and slaves in the household codes of Ephesians as an example, Webb points out that simply “raising the sails” to a higher level of abstraction results only in a principle such as “submit to those in authority in the workplace.” But this application fails to recognize that employers do not own employees in the same way masters used to own slaves. There needs to be enough “wind in the sails” here to push the application out of the ownership-based ethic of the ancient culture to the contract-based ethic of modern corporate culture. A better application, then? Webb suggests something like “Fulfill the terms of your contract … in a manner that brings glory to God.”19 This kind of directive regarding application is helpful, not to mention, it seems to me, rather uncontroversial. Other examples of Webb’s application, as we will see below, will no doubt create more debate.

Question #2: Is one’s view of primogeniture the single greatest determinant in one’s ultimate endpoint regarding women in the church and home?

Webb’s research leads him to conclude that primogeniture, especially as applied in 1 Tim 2:13, is the single greatest factor underlying the traditional complementarian argument. He devotes an appendix to a historical survey of patriarchalists who have used primogeniture as a fundamental argument.20 Further, in recommending a final position of either “ultra-soft patriarchy” or “complementary egalitarianism,” Webb understands one’s view of creative order prominence to be the deciding factor between the two.21 Clearly, Webb considers one’s view on primogeniture to the primary determining factor in the ultimate endpoint one’s view takes on the issue, since he believes that traditional complementarians depend on this argument more than any other.

Is this characterization fair? There is little doubt that 1 Timothy 2:13 is a traditional starting point for many complementarian arguments, and yet such arguments rely on a wide diversity of texts and principles to make their case.22 In particular, Piper and Grudem’s Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood23 (probably the most thorough and diversely argued complementarian treatise) uses 1 Tim 2:13 and primogeniture as only one of many exegetical and theological arguments. In short, the case for traditional complementarianism seems largely reliant on creation order priority, but not uniquely dependent on it. Here, Webb seems guilty of some oversimplification.

Question #3: What are the implications of Webb’s approach to 1 Tim 2 (for example) for biblical authority?

In what I consider an extremely important section of his conclusion, Webb makes the concession that many readers have no doubt been anticipating: “Obviously there exists a crucial difference between slavery and patriarchy. The former is not found in the creation story, while the latter, perhaps in implicit ways, is.”24 This is, of course, the argument that a complementarian will be eager to make. A very common reason that a patriarchalist of any stripe will continue to insist on some form of biblical hierarchy in our modern culture is the apparent patriarchy present in the Garden and the insistence with which Paul refers to that patriarchy to ground his teachings on women’s roles, especially in 1 Tim 2. Webb grants this linkage but contests the commonly assumed implications with four primary arguments: 1) the patriarchal elements of Genesis 2 are rooted in cultural conditions that no longer exist (e.g., the hegemony of dominantly patriarchal cultures at the time); 2) the patriarchy in Genesis 2 is largely implicit and only explicitly drawn out elsewhere;25 3) “Paul’s use of the Genesis text … is an application of the principle, not the principle itself”;26 and 4) Paul’s argument is based on two important assumptions, namely, “the assumption of primogeniture customs for establishing honor (2:13) … [and] the assumption that women are more easily deceived than men.”27

The first three of these arguments all beg the following question: Whether or not the patriarchal elements of Gen 2 are culturally determined, does not Paul’s appeal to said patriarchy lend validity to their continuing application, at least into Paul’s own day? This question will be dealt with indirectly in what follows.

Webb’s fourth argument, regarding Paul’s assumptions in 1 Tim 2:13-14, raises many questions, but the one I want to deal with concerns the implications of such an argument for biblical authority. The issue for us as modern interpreters is the weight we ascribe to that which Paul assumes (e. g., the validity of primogeniture). Webb spends several pages, as noted in the above summary of his work, contending that since primogeniture was primarily an ancient practice, and since it is not normative in modern North American culture, then Paul’s prohibition of women teaching men in 1 Tim 2 is not likely to be transcultural. In other words, since the practice on which the apostle bases his argument is culturally bound, then the argument itself is also culturally bound.

Let me illustrate the logic here with a colloquial example. Let’s say your son approached you and demanded an allowance double that of his younger brother, pointing out to you that the firstborn son in the Old Testament always got a double portion of his father’s goods. You would probably reply, “This isn’t the Old Testament!” At least, this would be a common way of arguing. Any of us has used the “invalid assumption makes invalid conclusion” argument many times.

This is the kind of argument that Webb would have us use in 1 Tim 2. He would grant that Paul certainly had a forceful point in his own day, since primogeniture was still a normative practice. But since such is not the case in our day, then Paul’s command has little more enduring validity today than your son’s request for a double portion of allowance. According to our common logic above, the argument is tight. But the question is, are we justified in applying this argumentation to inspired apostolic writers? In asking this question I mean to highlight the doctrine of inspiration by the Holy Spirit and this doctrine’s implications for Webb’s argument. Now, first of all, it must be acknowledged that Webb’s interpretation of 1 Tim 2:13 is not tantamount to saying, “Paul was wrong”—in other words, that Paul’s view of women was so primitive and chauvinistic that a more “enlightened” age must reject it. But I would question whether a strong doctrine of inspiration by the Holy Spirit allows the interpreter to encounter a text in which an inspired, apostolic writer makes a command with clear intent to ground that command in an aspect of creation, and then for that interpreter to consider that text culturally bound.

To be fair, Webb would certainly acknowledge the criterion of inspiration, but would apply it differently. In his mind, inspiration is not abused by his own approach but by the “static hermeneutic” against which he so vehemently argues. In other words, because the static hermeneutic does not typically take into account the “redemptive movement” inherent in Scripture, it therefore applies many texts much too rigidly, according to Webb. If this charge can be validated, then the static hermeneutic may indeed may indeed be damaging to a proper interpretation of Scripture and a proper view of inspiration. One can see, then, that considering one’s hermeneutic in light of its implications for a doctrine of inspiration can in fact cut both ways.

Question #4: Was primogeniture a normative and widespread practice in first century Greco-Roman culture, as Webb claims?

I have not personally done enough research to answer this question directly. Let me simply suggest, though, that if primogeniture was no longer widespread in first-century Greco-Roman culture, then Paul’s use of creation order in 1 Tim 2:13 is very likely to be transcultural, because he would then be not simply referring to a commonly accepted practice but rather appealing to a practice somewhat alien to the his culture. If this is so, then the fact that primogeniture is alien to our own culture would have little to say about the timelessness of Paul’s prohibition.

Question #5: Is “women are generally more easily deceived than men” the only plausible inference from 1 Tim 2:14?

Webb goes to great lengths (in an appendix28 and elsewhere) to show that the inference above has been the church’s traditional interpretation of 1 Tim 2:14. In this he is convincing. However, both Piper/Grudem29 and Thomas Schreiner30 suggest that 1 Tim 2:14 refers not to Eve’s gullibility to but the serpent’s flouting of the relationship between man and woman when he approaches the woman rather than the man (the one designated by God as having primary leadership responsibility). I will not argue for this interpretation here, but will simply suggest that if the interpretation is true it not only buttresses the transcultural nature of verse 14, but verse 13 as well, since the two verses would now form a unit both of which refer to the Edenic priority as a justification for male headship.

Question #6: If the modern interpreter strives to both “raise the sail” and “feel the wind” (that is, to account for both underlying principles and “redemptive movement”) with regard to texts on women’s roles, will the interpretive “sailboat” be blown out of the seas of patriarchy altogether?

This is, of course, the ultimate practical question. I would suggest at the very least that other texts need to be more fully addressed in light of Webb’s hermeneutic before the “seas of patriarchy” should be abandoned. By “other texts” I am thinking of texts such as “I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Cor 11:3) and “the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church” (Eph 5:23), to name just two. These are texts that do not depend on primogeniture (or, apparently, on anything inherently cultural in nature) for their validity. Further discussion of the effect of the “redemptive movement hermeneutic” on texts such as these would certainly be welcome.


Finally, in view of Webb’s laudably humble final chapter, entitled “What If I Am Wrong?”, I would like to pose one final question: What if he is right? If you decide that Webb’s arguments are cogent and unassailable, then your next question is whether or not he is correct to argue for an endpoint in which all functional subordination of a woman to a man is abolished.31 If my critiques above are ultimately without merit in your mind, then you should seriously consider adopting such a position. But wherever each of our consciences may lead us, I believe one thing is clear. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals should make anyone think long and hard before advocating any kind of patriarchy in the church or the home. It is a sophisticated, consistent, highly nuanced treatment of issues that anyone involved in the discussion must consider; in short, it is by far the best argument for egalitarianism I have ever read.

1 A list of those who have given particular attention to the area of cultural hermeneutics would include William J. Larkin, Culture and Biblical Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988) and the works of M. Daniel Carroll R. There are, of course, scores of more specific studies on culture as it relates to hermeneutics (such as those on slavery and the role of women in Greco-Roman culture). In addition, works in cross-cultural studies with a missionary bent are also helpful in this area.

2 All scriptural citations are from the NET Bible.

3 William J. Webb, Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2001), 30.

4 Ibid., 32.

5 Ibid., 37.

6 Ibid., 40.

7 Ibid., 40.

8 Ibid., 40.

9 Ibid., 39.

10 Webb also treats homosexuality at length with regard to each of his criteria, but the focus of this review is on women’s roles, since such will certainly be the more controversial topic among evangelicals.

11 Webb, Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals, 87.

12 Ibid., 95-102.

13 Ibid., 134-5.

14 Ibid., 136-42.

15 Webb also considers two “persuasive extrascriptural criteria” in Chapter 7: “Pragmatic Basis Between Two Cultures” and “Scientific and Social-Scientific Evidence.”

16 Webb, Slaves, Women & Homosexuals, 202.

17 Ibid., 204.

18 These positions are explained on pp. 241-243. They are essentially mediating positions between traditional egalitarianism and complementarianism. What is noteworthy for traditional complementarians is that both positions involve a repudiation of essential functional subordination of women to men in the church and home.

19 Webb, Slaves, Women & Homosexuals, 54.

20 Ibid., 257-62.

21 Ibid., 241-2.

22 See, for example, the work of Douglas Moo (in Trinity Journal in 1980 and 1981) and Bruce Waltke (in Crux in 1992 and 1995), who both begin with 1 Tim 2 but use that text as a jumping-off point for broader exegetical and theological generalizations.

23 John Piper and Wayne Grudem, eds. Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism (The Council and Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 1991).

24 Webb, Slaves, Women & Homosexuals, 248.

25 This position is argued in detail elsewhere in the book.

26 Webb, Slaves, Women and Homosexuals, 237.

27 Ibid., 249.

28 Webb, Slaves, Women & Homosexuals, 263-268.

29 Piper and Grudem, Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, 73.

30 Thomas R. Schreiner, “An Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:9-15: A Dialogue With Scholarship,” in Andreas J. Kstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin, eds., Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995).

31 If one chooses “ultra-soft patriarchy,” then any honor or headship given to the man is no longer functional but only “symbolic” (Webb, 241).

Related Topics: Cultural Issues