Egalitarian Flummery No. 2

Is this a manly woman?  Or, what?In the comments section of the previous blog (“Godly Men and the Manly God”) Sue challenges the idea that manliness is something women lack.  I thought her observations were worth highlighting, so I’ve promoted them to a separate blog.  Here’s how Sue put things:

Curiously, for over 2000 years the Bible said that woman was manly. In Latin, in Gen 2:23 woman was called “virago”, for she was taken out of “vir.” At that time this word meant a woman who was manly, courageous and heroic. Only later men thought that a manly woman was domineering. But the Bible says that woman was created courageous and strong.

This, of course, is the meaning of the woman of Proverbs 31, that she too was manly, courageous and heroic. She was the “eshet hayil” in Hebrew, the mighty woman, and in Greek it was translated as “andrea,” courageous and manly.

The woman of the Hebrew scriptures is named by God as manly, a fit companion for man, one who resembles him because she is of the same species.

It is time to read the Bible in its original language and understand once again what God says in the Hebrew language. How much has been lost by those who do not read the scriptures in the light of 2000 years of interpretation.

First, let’s explode a bit of lexical legerdemain.  Sue wrote these words about Eve: “The woman of the Hebrew scriptures is named by God as manly, a fit companion for man, one who resembles him because she is of the same species.”

A couple of corrections here:

(1) God did not name the woman.  Adam did, and he did so because God told him to name things, including the woman.

(2)  While Adam does indeed recognize the woman as “a fit companion for man, one who resembles him because she is of the same species,” this does not make her manly.  Sue’s application of the word “manly” is the sort of lexical slight of hand that egalitarians use to hoodwink the unwary.  “Manly” means “to have qualities traditionally or customarily ascribed to males, pertaining to or suitable for males.” 

Hairy chests and thick beards are manly.  Having two feet is irrelevant to manliness.  So, when women have two feet, they are not for that reason manly.

Otherwise, Sue’s fantasies of interpretation arise out of the “etymological root fallacy,” an interpretive error common among the amateurs and those with special agendas.  Sue’s musings on manly women – as this notion is supposedly conveyed in the passages she cites – are a good example of this. 

For an explanation of the root fallacy, click here .  Also on this page is an explanation of an error dubbed “the overload fallacy.”  It looks very much like what D. A. Caron has styled “the illegitimate totality transfer fallacy,” and Sue’s comments might well be an example of this interpretive fallacy as well.

The vir/virago vocabulary of the Vulgate obviously seeks to reproduce the euphony of ish/isha vocabulary of Genesis 2.23, rather than to impute masculine qualities to a feminine person.  And the sense of these pairings (vir/virago, ish/isha) is expressly explained in the Hebrew text.  Unless Sue wishes to assert that the Vulgate has the same theological authority as the Masoretic text, the vocabulary pairs express the woman’s raison d’être. As Paul would deduce from this passage centuries later, “Woman was made for the man’s sake, not man for the woman’s sake.” 

But, as Sue must know – since she reads the Scripture in the original languages – the Hebrew ish and isha are from different Hebrew roots, not the same root.  The word ish originates in the root ‘i š, while issha derives from the root ‘n š.  Their similarity in sound does not derive from their sharing the same root.  It is a phonetic feature of Hebrew, suited to express euphonically what is explained by the subsequent words of the Hebrew text. 

So also with the fantasies Sue infers from andreas in the Septuagint text of Proverbs 31:10.  Whatever notions of “strength” or “wealth” or “virtue” may reside in this Greek term, it does not carry the sense of “manly,” viz. “masculine.”  And, once more, the import of the Hebrew term  “chayil” is explicated at length in the subsequent verses.   

Sue, do you wish to assert that the Proverbs 31 Wife is “strong?”  I’ll agree with you!  It so happens that my own mother was one like this.  I married someone like this.  I know her kind well, and I am blessed by them.  And, there isn’t a manly bone in any of them. 

Do you wish to assert that the Proverbs 31 Wife is masculine?  Flummery. 


Filed under Egalitarianism, Flummery

46 responses to “Egalitarian Flummery No. 2

  1. The worst root-fallacy I’ve ever seen comes from the egalitarian “scholar” Diane Eck, who once claimed that the people of God gradually changed the word “Spirit” from being feminine in Hebrew (“ruach”) to neuter in Greek (“pneuma”) to masculine in Latin (“spiritus”) to coincide with a patriarchal system. Hideous!

  2. Lane,

    It’s the Great Patriarchal Conspiracy (!!!), dontcha know.

  3. I am always upset by the assertion that in order to really know the will of God and His mind about thing you have to know Greek and Hebrew. I believe in the perspicuity of the Scripture and believe that all through the Psalms it is something that is promised to us. To tell a woman or man who use every minute of their day trying to make ends meet and raising their families, etc. that they need to be a Greek and Hebrew scholar on top of all the just to know what God wants them to do is so mind blowing to me. It is discouraging to me to see so many who take a lexicon, match words up without a lick of herminutical train, and then tell others that this is what the Bible really says and build a doctrine on it divorced from a simple reading of the Scriptures. I know a little about Greek and Hebrew thanks to my dear husband who has studied it and is, in my opinion (and he was top scholar in all his classes) a genius–okay, bragging over:-). I would never pit my knowledge against his and declare that he is wrong up one side and down the other. It is so illogical. But that is what so many voices our there are doing and it angers me (and I know this is a character fault) to have people with their two cents of knowledge trash godly men who have made it their life’s work to study and interprete the Scriptures for His sake and the sake of the Kingdom.
    Okay, rant over. You can delete this if you think it is inappropriate.
    Thank you again for hashing all this out.

  4. Kamilla

    Leigh Ann,

    You warm my heart! I wouldn’t call it a character flaw to be angered by the mistreatment of Holy Scripture, though.

    Fr. Bill,

    Flummery, indeed! By the way, I’ve been watching the complete series on DVD. I have to step up my pace, though, because the library wants their dvd’s back.


  5. ethscott

    Friar Bill,

    Well done! When I read your post recently about an ultimately masculine God, I didn’t understand what you meant by that. But now you have explained that by “masculine” you mean “having hairy chest and beard.” That is the face of God.

    I am familiar with the word play but thought that you might just rate Latin and Greek along with English as being adequate for the expression of theological ideas. Now I am not so sure. You seem to rest heavily on the word “manly” from “man”. The only comparison I could find was “andreos” from “aner,” meaning “manly, masculine, courageous” and of course, applied to woman. This is often translated as “virtuous,” or having the qualities of a “vir”. So, in fact, in Latin and Greek, women are commonly called “manly”. This is because “manly” meant “courageous”. I even find that this is the meaning of “manly” in the OED, having the qualities admirable in a man, courage and frankness.

    But now and rather belatedly, you explain that when you use the word “manly” you do not mean to refer to what might be found in the OED, but rather you mean that God has a hairy chest.

    I must say that you could avoid a lot of confusion if you just said that at the outset “God has hairy chest.”


  6. ethscott

    And indeed the Proverbs 31 woman was called “andreios” in the LXX, which the Lord himself quoted from. So I believe that Jesus has sanctioned the “masculine” wife of Proberbs 31. And this is because “andreios” meant “qualities admirable in a man” – that is, wisdom and courage and strength. It did not mean hairy chest.

    (The word was spelled andreios in the LXX, but can be found as andreos elsewhere.)

  7. Kamilla


    You’re too too funny! “It is time to read the Bible in its original language and understand once again what God says in the Hebrew language.” then you repeatedly refer us to either a translation (LXX) or a very modern source (OED). So, which is it to be – Hebrew, a translation of the Hebrew or the Queen’s English? I’d ask you if you have studied under Cathie Kroeger, but I think that might be an insult to Cathie. Or is it Kenneth Copeland you’ve been studying with that you think Father Bill was talking of a god with a physical body?


  8. P.S. Where did you get that picture?

  9. Don’t remember, Leigh Ann. I’m always trolling for odd photos, and when I find them I squirrel them away in my blogfoto folder. Then I rummage through them, looking for something that seems to fit. I find this a lot “faster” than looking for the “right” photo from scratch.

    Fortunately, I’m on the mail lists of several people who seem to think it’s their mission to share strange photos with the universe. In my case, I welcome their submissions.

  10. ethscott

    Thanks Kamilla,

    From the Hebrew “chayil” straight through the Greek and Latin to the OED, the adjective for “manly” means courageous and this is the word used for women in the Hebrew scriptures. There is no such thing as the manly virtues for men and not for women, until we meet the “fantasies” on this blog.

    But, I see that the beard and hairy chest are the only two attributes of manliness touted here.

    No, I haven’t studied with any of the female theologians. I have had a healthy mix of the classical and traditional language professors, translators all.

  11. Sue,

    If you think that studying dictionaries is the way to do theology, I think we’ll always be talking past one another. It helps to read all the words, in the Biblical text, rather than run to a lexicon and cherry pick your way to the conclusion you want.

    As to the face of God, He has one in Jesus Christ. It’s a man’s (i.e. a male’s) face.

  12. sue

    Thank you Bill,

    I usually consider a dictionary useful when I do not understand what is being said, as happened here. But if you insist that you do not use words in their dictionary meanings then I will accept that.

    Christ was indeed a man, but what attributes of his character and what fruits of the spirit apply to men but do not apply to women also?

  13. sue

    Excuse the switch in moniker. I had to create a wordpress account elsewhere and got muddled.

    I notice that you have promoted my ideas from fantasy to “running to a lexicon.” That is indeed what I do. I do think that using a word in a correct way honours God and facilitates communication.

  14. Sue,

    There’s no problem with running to a lexicon. The problem arises when one gets there and finds a range of meanings, dependent on context, which the lexicon-user then ignores, resorting first to an interpretive criterion alien to the text in which the word appears. This generates any number of word-meaning fallacies, some of which I referred to in that link I provided. The “root fallacy” is one of the more common of these. It is the root fallacy that rears its head in your treatment of vir/virago, aner/andreias, and what you (incorrectly) infer to be the case with ish/issha.

    You seem to have revealed the criterion you champion when you challenged me with this: “… what attributes of [Christ’s] character and what fruits of the spirit apply to men but do not apply to women also?” I take it that you’re championing something like this:

    Fruits of the spirit, Christ-like character — these are gender-nuetral, so to speak, manifesting themselves in men and women in ways that are irrelevant to a believer’s sex. You may wish to reframe this for me if I’ve not quite nailed it down.

    But, that’s the point of contention between egalitarians and complementarians (or patriarchalists or traditionalists). The latter believe (as the Church has always believed) that in the Bible God ordered relationships between the sexes (that ordering is named patriarchy), and that He reveals expectations He has of either sex, expectations that are different in many cases, particularly in the ways that the sexes relate to one another. Or, to God. Yes, God expects some things from men He does not expect from women, and vice-versa.

    Admitted, there are any numbers of ways that an individual’s faithfulness to God has no “sexual component.” Take truth-telling, for example. The moral prescription against lying not only applies to men and women without qualification for reasons of sex, the behavior of an individual (to tell the truth, or to lie) is identical when it is done by either sex. So, you and I would jointly endorse “Do not bear false witness” as applicable to either sex, as something that is identical when obeyed (or disobeyed) by either sex.

    But, I expect that we would not jointly endorse this command: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord … as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Even if you insist that “submission” runs both ways – from husband to wife as well as from wife to husband – Paul shows that this submission is different for the wife (who is supposed to obey her husband) and for the husband (who loves her sacrificially). You must have read egalitarians who so “interpret” these things as to insist that finally there is no difference between the wife’s submission to her husband and his “submission” to her, rendering Paul’s distinctions between the sexes here of no account.

    And, that’s why you and I use the lexicon differently. I am guided by a set of criteria obvious in the Bible that relates to God’s ordering of the relationships between the sexes, while you are guided criteria which discount (or, flatly reject) these same Biblical criteria.

  15. I was musing on the night watches and had a question that is sort of off topic, but you kind of touched on it, Fr. Bill.
    Were the Ten Commandments in a sense given to the men of Israel to be disseminated among all of the people. I know that they apply to all, but I found it interesting that in the command not to covet it speaks to not coveting your neighbor’s wife but speaks nothing of your neighbor’s husband. The principle is there–don’t covert anything or be content, but it seems like in the wording it was addressed to men.
    Any thoughts?

  16. Leigh Ann, not to jump in and answer for Fr. Bill, but my thoughts on your question are these: the way a household was viewed in the OT was covenantal, which means that the husband/father was head of household. As such, he had the responsibility to disseminate knowledge to his family. He had the responsibility to instruct his wife and children in the ways of the Lord. If it is addressed to men (and certainly the tenth commandment seems to be directed that way), then it was addressed to them as head of household. I suspect Fr. Bill would answer similarly, though I won’t speak for him.

  17. sue

    “Fruits of the spirit, Christ-like character — these are gender-nuetral, so to speak, manifesting themselves in men and women in ways that are irrelevant to a believer’s sex. You may wish to reframe this for me if I’ve not quite nailed it down.

    But, that’s the point of contention between egalitarians and complementarians (or patriarchalists or traditionalists). ”

    How can such straightforward scriptural teaching be a point of contention?

    It is not to whom one submits that creates in the believer the quality of submission, but rather the fact that one submits. And so submission is the quality equally of man and woman. It is in the nature of masculinity and femininity.

    First is the submission of Christ, and then he speaks of his body, one body. And so every Christian male must submit to being a part of the one body. He is not his own body and not free to come and go as he pleases.

    And then the citizen must submit to an absolute monarch. He is not to touch or challenge or resist God’s anointed one on earth, the servant ruler that God has put over him. He is not to vote and express his rebellion against God’s servants but submit.

    Next, the slave must submit to the master. This is not a choice. He is a slave and God will reward his suffering in the next life.

    And so the women learns submission when she sees her husband’s submission, his submission to the one church, his submission to a non representative government, his submission to a hard and unyielding master.

    Seeing her husband silenced in the assembly for daring to have a ‘private interpretation’, seeing him jailed by the tyrant prince for his faith, seeing him beaten at the whim of his master, the wife sees submission in the man, and learns submission in the crucible of submission.

    Submission is not the quality of the woman first, but of the man first. I am guided by reading the scriptures in their context.

    One woman leads home her husband who has been released from jail for preaching the gospel and she submits to her Christian husband joyfully. Another woman is told what to do by her husband, a husband unsanctified by suffering himself, and she submits to the suffering as Christ submitted to the cross, as a slave to the beating.

  18. sue

    In the scriptures it was the apostles, men and women, who were stripped and beaten. In North America today it is the domain of women to be stripped and beaten.

    If you teach a woman to submit to punishment, a hit, a harsh word, a severe look, then that behaviour on the part of the man will increase. It is rewarded and reinforced.

    So the teaching of submission to women only creates sin and suffering in the lives of many.

    Teach the mutual submission of one to the other and you teach kindness, hesed, the honouring of one another, the deferment to one another, and then you teach the scriptures.

    Teach the reciprocal authority of one over the other and you teach the scriptures.

  19. Leigh Ann,

    Greenbaggins has spoken well here.

    I might quibble that “covenentally” is the most fundamental consideration. The concept of covenant doesn’t, for example, account for God’s dealings with many Gentile kings. Instead, I’d say that God has designed men and women and so ordered their relationship — by covenant, and also by their created natures — that patriarchy is the result, not only within the community of God’s people, but within human society generally.

    The point: since God holds men responsible for ruling marriage, family, church, and society generally, we should not be surprised to find the OT generally addressed to men, even when it speaks to matters pertinent only to women!

  20. Kamilla


    You said, “In North America today it is the domain of women to be stripped and beaten.”

    In response to which, I suggest you migh want to look up the word “taradiddle” in your OED.


  21. Sue


    I first became aware of this when a woman in our church who was stripped and raped in front of her children went to the elders. They advised her to submit.

    What would you say if she came to you? You say to the woman who is beaten “taradiddle.” Where is that wisdom found in scripture?

    Brother Bill,

    If you believe that men are designed to have the courage of command and women the virtue of submission you preach the very words of Aristotle. But what do Christ and Paul say about the wisdom of the Greeks? I challenge you to preach the words of Christ.

  22. Kamilla

    Look it up again, Sue. And look again at what you wrote. I do not dispute the reality of domestic violence – merely the implication that it is the domain of women to be treated so.

    Typical of so much egalitarian flummery, you deny differences when it suits your cause but turn around and deny universality, mutuality, equality when THAT suits your cause. One is understandably left a little dizzy at the rapidity of the reversals.

    Again, you appear to have been schooled at the knees of the CBE crowd in your little rhetorical games. You call Father Bill, “Friar” and “Brother” instead of acknowledging his title or simply addressing him by name without title. Congratulations, you have learned the game, as played over there, well.

    But the playbook is getting rather tiresome. I need to go figure out what to do with those delicious black beans sitting in my refrigerator.


  23. Kamilla

    I’ll be honest, Sue. I simply don’t believe your example. You egalitarians seem to have such a facility in finding yourselves in churches which give you all this delightfully awful fuel for your Cause, I find myself wondering whether you do so deliberately? Or do you simply make the stories up because you believe so strongly they must be a geuine consequence of patriarchy?


  24. Sue


    You are correct that I did not emphathize apropriately with men who statistically suffer most from the violence of other men. But, women suffer violence in the home and the greatest threat of violent death for a woman is by a man under whose “authority” she lives, as the greatest threat of violent death for a man is another man.

    I have learned my lesson to ‘call no man father’ from the strictest sect of the Darbyite Brethren. I don’t need the CBE teaching to open the scriptures to me. I was taught from the deepest Biblicism that to speak the words of nonsense such as you do is the same as speaking the worst obscenity.

    I actually thought that Fr. meant Friar. I have never been near a sect which used “Father”. “Brother” is the greatest honour that I know.

    I deny the differences between men and women only as Christ does and as Paul does. It is not the womb which bears Christ which is blessed but the person who follows Christ’s teaching. The unmarried man and woman live equally to serve God.

    This site would do well to call itself “Aristotelian logic and other nonsense.”

  25. Sue

    When I speak of Christ’s teaching it must be the sum of the law and the prophets. It is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, … and your neighbour as yourself.

    Christian men must ask themselves this one question. Is woman their neighbour? If so, then they know how they must behave.

  26. Sue


    Not only do I not make up this example, but I play it down and take out many gruesome details. The elder was a judge, the woman’s medical doctor took her case to court. The husband was convicted.

    You call me a liar. God knows between you and me who speaks the truth.

  27. Kamilla

    “I have never been near a sect which used “Father”. ”

    Then you have been deeply impoverished in your understanding of Christianity and your ignorance of the teaching of the church (throughout history and across its divisions) is perhaps more understandable. Not excusable, but understandable.

    Unfortunately, your ignorance appears to be deliberate when you go on, refusing to acknowledge that men also suffer violence in the home.


  28. Sue

    “Unfortunately, your ignorance appears to be deliberate when you go on, refusing to acknowledge that men also suffer violence in the home.”

    First, I speak from the stories told to me. Next, are you familar with the writing of Lundy Bancroft or Evan Stark. I can’t do more than quote these men.

    On the matter at hand, no one has shown me how God is manly other than the physical characteristics. I don’t see a deep familiarity with scripture and truth about God. To make Him over in the shape and form of man is idolatry.

  29. I’ve deleted the last few comments as they’re straying seriously off topic.

    Sue, there are several points I would like to address. But, I’m due soon at a fund-raising dinner for a pro-life pregnancy counseling center, and I can’t give any attention to this until tomorrow. So further interaction will need to wait until tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, the title “Father” is explained in the “About” page of this blog. Yes, it is used of Roman Catholic priests, but also it is a common title for Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran priests. I’m an Anglican, vicar of an Anglican parish. If you were reared in areas where there were never any Lutherans, Anglicans, or Orthodox, your lack of understanding is … well, understandable to a point. Still, as you’re an adult, I’m shocked you’ve never run across this pretty ordinary fact of Christian culture.

    More later,

    Fr. B

  30. Sue

    I have only attended evangelical Anglican churches and they eschew such titles. I have, in fact, heard about the term “father” but quite frankly, it is only very recently that I came across this abbreviation in print.

    It is a matter of conscience for the Brethren not to use it, just as lifting a hat was for the Quakers. It is a type of taboo because of the words of Christ. Have a good evening.

  31. Sue

    Regarding your post, I am fully aware of the etymology of ish and issha as you put it here.

    The word ish originates in the root ‘i š, while issha derives from the root ‘n š. Their similarity in sound does not derive from their sharing the same root.

    And this is why I said that God had named the woman issha. She is known as issha in the language that God gave Adam and Eve.

    Adam named her “Eve” as you know very well.

    In chapter 2:23 it says explicitly that :“of this one it will be said, ‘woman’.” And why is she known as woman? Not because she is given that name by Adam because she comes out of him, but because God had already given her that name, so that she would be known as issha.

    Regarding the woman of Proverbs 31. She was known as eshet chayil. The LXX translated this as the γυναῖκα ἀνδρείαν – the “manly” woman. She is manly in that she is strong and courageous. There is no moral virtue of the male that is not also a moral virtue of the female. This is the meaning of these scriptures.

  32. Like I said, Sue, you’re an unimpeacheable exemplar of the root fallacy.

  33. Seamus

    Just looked in to see what was new on this page, and though I don’t feel ready to jump into this particular debate with both feet yet, I do have a few questions.

    Fr. Bill, I’m having trouble with the link you posted to the root fallacy, but I assume what you mean is, incorrectly assuming that a phonetically or orthographically similar pair of words are related by meaning or etymology as well. Example, “monument” (from Latin “monere,” to remind).
    and “monolith” (from Greek “monos,” one).

    So I can only assume that your argument is that Sue is incorrectly associating the term “andreios” with ideas of manliness, even though it does not have any such sense. However, I’m fairly sure it does…just to check myself I looked up “andreios” and it is does often mean “manly” (“virile,” “valorous,” “brave,” and “stubborn” are other possible translations).

    My search also turned up the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia entry on the virtue of “Fortitude,” which begins thus:

    “Manliness is etymologically what is meant by the Latin word virtus and by the Greek andreia” (which is the noun from which andreios is derived).

    Also, as a student of Latin, I’m certain that the etymology of virago does lead to vir, “man.” (And in Latin and English, the term virago does connote a “manly woman.”)

    What particularly, then, is your argument against Sue’s “root fallacy”? Is there something else wrong with the words she’s using, or are you saying she’s choosing the wrong translations in these contexts, even if they sometimes have the sense of “manly” in other contexts?

    Moreover, (Fr. Bill), I would also be interested in hearing your answer to the question “what attributes of [Christ’s] character and what fruits of the spirit apply to men but do not apply to women also?” A follow up to this might be, “Should men and women imitate Christ differently?” I’m still not sure I know what the official complementarian line is on this issue. Is the only difference the matter of submission? If so, then what perspective should we take on Christ’s submission to the Cross and to the service of humanity, and on the individual Christian’s submission to God?

    (For sake of clarity, I’m still very much in the egalitarian camp on this right now, but I do sincerely want to know what you think about it, on your own terms.)

    Also, I just have to say that there is a lot of ad hominem abuse here that is really uncalled for, mostly directed at Sue, it appears. I’d like to remind some of you that opinions, accusations, and declarations of belief are not arguments. And you’re going to need arguments if you really want to convince Sue of the truth of your position.

  34. Hello, Seamus,

    Welcome back. A fuller answer needs to wait till this blog moves to the top of the pile of other stuff I’m also responsible for. Meanwhile, a couple of things that can be answered quickly.

    First, you do not understand the root fallacy. The link I provided seems to be dead. You may find it via Mother Google’s Excellent Memory here:

    Also, if you Google using the terms “d. a. carson” and “root fallacy” you’ll get plenty of hits explaining the fallacy. It’s not what you have described. It is what Sue falls into repeatedly, and (evidently) you’re thinking of jumping into the same error. D. A. Carson wrote a dandy little book entitled Exegetical Fallacies, and he cataloged and illustrated the root fallacy (and several others as well) in that book.

    As to ad hominem … no, you don’t understand that one either! It is not ad hominem to refer to a certain sort of epistimological arrogance as hubris. It’s a fairly common character flaw among egalitarians, one Chesteron frequently lampooned (against egalitarians too!), and C. S. Lewis as well. Sue exhibits this flaw pretty frequently in this blog.

    And, as to convincing Sue of anything — it’s something I do not expect to accomplish. I do provide answers to her for the sake of others who would otherwise be impressed by her “opinions, accusations, and declarations of belief.” I agree — hers are not arguments.

  35. Sue

    “It is not ad hominem to refer to a certain sort of epistimological arrogance as hubris. It’s a fairly common character flaw among egalitarians,”

    The one man stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, proud, fixed in my ways, and convinced that the truths I believe are the only ones that could be correct.

    I don’t think arguing the etymological fallacy means to throw out the lexicons whole hog and go with your gut.

    I still wonder how God portrays masculine characteristics that are not the also characteristics of the godly woman. It looks as if my curiosity will not be satisfied here.

  36. Seamus

    Thanks for the link, I think I understand the root fallacy now. So since you’re saying that Sue is falling into the root fallacy, you mean she is applying some kind of modern or otherwise anachronistic ideas about “andreios” or “virago” to the text, rather than reading the word as the text’s original audience would have.

    But I have to ask then, if these words didn’t mean “manly” to them, what did they mean? (And I confess that based on my (however limited) knowledge of classical languages, I have to strongly suspect those words still meant “manly” in ancient times…refer to the citation I gave from the New Advent Encyclopedia, for one thing. I can’t be as certain about the Greek andreios, but with Latin I’m fairly sure.)

    I can’t excuse Sue from using sarcasm occasionally, but it was not her I was referring to when I mentioned ad hominems. To be candid, I was referring most specifically to the unsubstantiated accusations of dishonesty and the generally derisive tone Kamilla displayed in a few of her posts above.

  37. Sue,

    You will hear my answer to your challenge about male and female versions of virtues when I’m ready. You will have to wait.

    Meanwhile, if you wish to accuse me of being a Pharisee, you’ll need to do that in another forum. Not this one. Until you can persuade me you will refrain from this kind of rudeness, your comments will find their way into the bit bucket. Go in peace.

    Meanwhile, I’ll likely elevate your challenge (male vs. female virtues) to a separate blog. It’s a good question, and its answer deserves more exposure than it would get buried in this comment thread.

  38. Sue

    A post on the male vs female virtues would be most welcome. Specifically, what vocabulary is not applied equally to godly men and women.

    That men are physically larger and stronger than women will not do, since some races of men are physically larger and stronger than others and we do not, on this, designate this characteristic of that race a godly virtue.

    There must be a virtue that is the domain of the male and not of the female, and vice versa. But the scriptures I read have leadership, submission, strength, gentleness, wisdom, knowledge, patience, provision, kindness, truth, succour, nurture, etc. for both godly men and women.


  39. Sue

    “Sue exhibits this flaw pretty frequently in this blog.”

    And I answered in kind. But if you want a respectful discourse, then it might help to change the illustration. It tickles my funny bone to the extent that I am much more mirthful and flippant here than I am elsewhere.

  40. Kamilla

    Fr. Bill,

    I don’t think Sue is going to “get it” but for the sake of the rest of us reading, posting or just lurking – I look forward to that new post when your desk clears a bit.


    I’ll hazard a guess that Fr. Bill’s response will include something about how it is not the virtue that is in question but how the virtues properly find a differing expression in men and in women.


  41. Sue

    When I saw comments were moderated I didn’t think you would post my second comment. But it s true actually that I have felt that this is a place for light banter because of the illustration.

    Kamilla, did Paul not nurture, did Christ not nurture? Did Joanna not provide and Ruth and Phoebe, and the woman of Prov. 31? Although ecah virtue may have its masculine and feminine expression, they are the same gift and provide the same grace to the church, Christ’s body. This is all the more reason to have women along side men in leadership, that the church may benefit from the feminine and masculine expression of leadership. This is how the full image of God is reflected.

  42. Sue,

    Kamilla correctly anticipates part of what I will develop later.

    Meanwhile, the image of God inhers in men and women individually, not jointly or corporately.

    This is another egalitarian flummery I’m going to have to blog on, Egalitarian Flummery No. 3!

    Coming to the Faith And Gender Blog Soon!

  43. I think that Sue has rightly raised the question of Galatians 3:28. I am going to do a whole blog post on this over at Greenbaggins.

  44. Hi, Pastor Lane,

    I see you have done just that, at this URL:

    I think the most defensible reading of this verse incorporates it into the most immediate context relating to the inheritance of covenant promises. As you noted, only sons inherited under the Law, but in Christ those who did not formerly inherit now do inherit — whether female, Gentile, or slave. Thus, with respect to inheritance, there is, in Christ, neither male nor female, Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free.

    And, of course, though all these now inherit the promise to Abraham, they do not by virtue of that entitlement in Christ cease to be male or female, Jew or Gentile, slave or free, as all these stations persist within the community of faith in the New Testament.

  45. Sue

    Do you wish to maintain slavery today?

  46. Sue,

    Whether I do or not is irrelevant to the point Paul is making in Galatians 3:28. And, the point Paul is making is NOT what egalitarians claim he is making. It is, rather, what I summarized in my reply to Pr. Lane above.

    Your question is another red herring. I will not follow it off the topic here.

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