Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Women Rising | Rogue Theologian

Women Rising | Rogue Theologian

5. Gilbert Bilezikian, Th.D. Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says About a Woman’s Place in Church and Family. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985. ISBN: 0-8010-0885-9.

On page 248, Bilezikian writes, “It is worth noting that in 1
Corinthians more than in any of his other Epistles, Paul uses the é
particle to introduce rebuttals to statements preceding it. As a
conjunction, é appears in Paul’s Epistles in a variety of uses. But the
list below points to a predilection for a particular use of é, which is
characteristic mainly of 1 Corinthians. “The verses he listed I also
list below, in the order they appear, with a notation indicating the
appearance of the é particle, in each case translating it as “Nonsense!”
as Bilezikian did to indicate its flavor: 1 Cor. 6:1-2–”If any of you
has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for
judgment instead of before the saints? (é Nonsense!) Do you not know
that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world,
are you not competent to judge trivial cases?”

The e of which he speaks is the Greek letter “eta,” which looks like h

This device is called the “rhetorical eta,” many of my Greek
professors confirmed its use. Paul uses this device many times in 1
Corinthians. Its importance here is that it clearly marks a refutation
of the previous passage. That is what the rhetorical ate is for, it
indicates that what precedes it immediately is being refuted. Since the
Greeks did not have quotation marks, this device serves as quotation
marks and shows the injunction against women speaking was actually the
statement of the Corinthians to Paul. Apparently some faction in the
church, perhaps Judaizers, or some group the Corinthians has been in
contact with, had said this to them.

We can see this clearly in English, if we know what to look for. The
verse states: (35)”If there is anything they desire to know, let them
ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in

(36) What! Did the word of God originate with you, or are you the only ones it has reached?”

Clearly that sounds like a reversal of what has been said. One can get a
sense of the refutation of the previous remark, after all, those who
want to allow women to speak are not demanding that mean be silent. Why
would they seem to come across, as thinking that they were the only
one’s to hear from God? That idea makes much more sense if they wanted
to silence someone. It makes more sense in speaking to the silencers,
because they are acting like they are the only ones to receive the word
of God.

Those sky-blue italicized words, “what” and “or” represent where
the h comes. There are two of them, grammatically two of them should
make it say “what, or” but they can also function as rhetorical and that
fits the sense of the passage much better. Otherwise it sounds like
nonsense, with Paul railing against those he supports! So the etas are

h “did the word of God come only to you? h are you the only one’s it has reached?” This signals the refutation of the previous idea, the silencing of women.