Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

Myth: “You could simply read “the man is head of the woman” on face value.”

There is actually a large debate in the Christian community on what that meant when written.

The Greek say man is the kephale, literally meaning the body part above the neck, of the woman. Head is a metaphor for leader in English, and reading our metaphor into it may not be what the metaphor meant in 1st century Greek.

Some Greek scholars favor “man is the source” as meaning, others “man is the prominent part”. Others believe it refers to the image of the man and women being a one-flesh union, with the head and body needing each other. Some favor leader, but it is not the only and obvious meaning as an English reader may suppose.

(The other interpretations are not new and inspired by the feminist movement either. For example, Greek speaking bishops of the 4th and 5th centuries  wrote that head mean source in the two Bible verses that call man the head of women, and they were close to the language and idioms the Bible was written in.)

Comments on: "Myth: “You could simply read “the man is head of the woman” on face value.”" (3)

  1. Somebody told me recently that he believe the one-flesh interpretation, but it still means the head is the decision-making part.

    In the thinking of the era when the Bible was written, hearts, not heads, were said to make decisions. Several passages in the Bible speak of thinking in your heart, and choosing in your heart. None speak of thinking in your head, and choosing in your head. The head-body metaphor does not make the man the decision-maker.


    • Can a head exist by itself without the body? Head without body is brain dead and cannot make decision. Head cannot exist/make decision/whatever, without body, and vice versa. Some argue that Christ is head of church and can make decision for the church. But to carry the metaphor so far as to make husbands into little christs is idolatry.


  2. Keith Giles just posted a different interpretation his son brought home from a Christian College.

    Liked by 1 person

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