Daddy answers to God for all of us. Believe it or not, it doesn’t make me feel less of a person when my four-year-old goes around saying, ”God’s the boss of Daddy and Daddy’s the boss of Mommy.” ” – Pearl Barrett in “Why not submit”, Above Rubies magazine
This is central to the gospel message: Jesus is the way. Not “Jesus is the way, if you are male. Jesus-plus-husband is the way, if you are female.” Pearl Barrett denies the very gospel of Christ. And that brings me to the two verses that seem to support women following men plus God or men instead of God:
1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:
Now, if you know the gospel, you will know that Pearl Barrett’s interpretation cannot be true. These texts has to be understood some other way.
You regulars here already know that the Greek word kephale, translated to English as head, has several meanings: The literal head on your neck; origin; beginning; capstone; source; provider; prominent part. Some Greek scholars say leader is among those meanings, some say it is not. When a word has several meanings, the sentences around it determine which meaning is in view.
Here are some reasons why I do not believe man is called the leader in 1 Cor.11/ Eph. 5 :
Reason #1: If head mean authority here, Eph 5:23 and 1 Cor 11:3 oppose the gospel of Christ.
This point was already discussed.
Reason #2: If head mean authority here, Eph 5:23 contradicts itself.
“The husband is head the authority over the wife, as Christ is head the authority over the church”-Eph 5:23 if head mean authority figure.
That would mean that the Christian wife should listen to her husband’s authority above all, the way the church has to listen to Christ as supreme authority. But she should also put Christ’s authority first, as she is part of the church. Who should she put first?
Reason #3: God is probably not the authority figure of every man.
(I may misunderstand this point and this may be a bad argument. If so, correct me, please.)
“But I would have you know, that the head authority figure of every man is Christ” – 1Co 11:3 if head mean authority figure.
Every man would include:
*The male convict who is in jail for rape and murder
* The man who is a witch doctor in an African village
*The young tik (crystal meth) addict who steal to get money for his next fix
* The aggressively anti-Christian atheistic blogging guy
I would say that Christ is not the authority figure these guys listen to. If He is their head, head probably mean something other than authority figure in this text.
– * – * – * – * – * –
My main reason for rejecting that head mean authority figure in these texts? I cannot proclaim Christ-plus-someone-else as the way, the truth and the life.
If you conclusively prove to me that kephale certainly mean “leader” here, then I may dump Ephesians and Corinthians, because I will conclude it opposes the gospel of Jesus. But I will not throw away Jesus. However, I think the head-as-leader people misunderstand Paul. I do not think we should dump Paul’s writings as anti-Christian.
So, I choose to simply accept Paul never said husbands should lead wives.