How Should We Understand πιστοις ανθρωποις in 2 Tim 2:2?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by TCGreek, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

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    Is Paul referring to both males and females? Or does he have only males in mind? Well, my questions are based on what I see in ESV and the TNIV; both are actually revisions. ESV has "faithful men" and TNIV has "faithful people."

    Then there is the NET, which has "faithful people in the text but the following as a footenote: "Grk “faithful men”; but here ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") is generic, referring to both men and women.

    Then I read this in the ESV: "but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:7)

    "And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:8)

    "Men" in v.7 is ανθρωπων and in v. 8 "human" is ανθρωπος. Why two different English words? The only difference is that one is plural and the other singular.

    So I am wondering about 2Tim 2:2.
     
  2. Hope of Glory

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    Check your inbox.
     
  3. Bluefalcon

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    The Greek word in question is used over 500 times in the NT, sometimes refering to human beings in general, sometimes to males specifically, but never to females specifically. Some examples of pointing to the male gender include, e.g., Mt 10:35; 11:8; 19:5, 10; Mt 25:24; 1Co 7:1; Eph 5:31. Only the context can tell. The Greek word for the male gender is used some 200 times in the NT, and could have been used here, but wasn't.

    Nevertheless, since Paul didn't allow a woman to teach (1Ti 2:12), it is difficult to imagine Paul at this place commanding Timothy to authorize women to teach (2Ti 2:2). Although not related logically, the connection between one of the qualifications of a pastor (i.e., "fit to teach" [1Ti 3:2]), interestingly enough, is equivalent to the qualification of those to whom Timothy is to commit this teaching (i.e., "fit to teach others also" [2Ti 2:2]).

    Interestingly, one of the adjectives used to describe elderly Christian women has to do with "teaching good" (Tit 2:3), but the objects of their exhortation is determined in the following verse, i.e., the younger women. The only place where the verb "to teach" (DIDASKW) is used of a woman is Re 2:20.
     
  4. John of Japan

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    I think this passage will be decided by one's theological presuppositions. Grammatically and according to the lexicons, it could go either way. :type:
     
  5. TCGreek

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    Good stats, but I am with John of Japan on this one, even though elsewhere didasko for women is confined to other women (Tit.2:3).

    But what do we make of Acts 18:26, where Priscilla and Aquila both "explained accurately the way of the Lord" to Apollos? "Explained" is aor.mid. 3prs. pl. of ektithemi, which would include not only Aquila but Priscilla in the teaching of Apollos.
     
  6. EdSutton

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    How about a revolting idea!

    You think just maybe a woman could actually have the spiritual gift of pastor/teacher??

    Ed
     
  7. Bluefalcon

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    We are not in disagreement, for I agree, as I said, that only the context may tell, and in this case I attempted to show that the context can tell.

    As for Acts 18:26, much has been written on this by those of both the complementarian and egalitarian standpoints. Of the figurative use of the verb in question, precious little is known. Does it mean "expound," or does it mean "relate" or "testify" as it almost certainly does in Acts 11:4? Can we even know from this verse that Priscilla was materially involved (i.e., she EXEQETO Apollos), or do the verbs simply comply grammatically since Acquilla and Priscilla were both mentioned as hearing Apollos in the synagogue, not to mention that both are always mentioned together as a couple (6 times)? But actually this isolated event, though interesting if one is excited by the complementarian/egalitarian debate, has little to do with the context of Paul's instruction to Timothy in 2Ti 2:2 and the question of the OP.
     
  8. TCGreek

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    Your point is taken on Acts 18:26; we have too little to work with in that text. But is the injunction in 2 Tim.2:2 to be understood publicly or privately? Or is it a both/and situation?
     
    #8 TCGreek, Jul 10, 2007
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  9. Bluefalcon

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    I'm not sure this question would have entered Timothy's mind. The implication is that Timothy is to entrust Paul's public teachings to pastor-type people who are fit to teach others.
     
  10. TCGreek

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    Do we then extend the rest of the chapter to pastor-type people?
     
  11. John of Japan

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    "Accurately explained" is a good translation for this passage. But then you use the word "teaching." There is quite a difference between "explain" and "teach" in my view. "Teach" indicates authority, "explain" does not. I think it is a mistake for "Biblical feminists" to use Acts 18 for their position.
     
  12. TCGreek

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    Wouldn't some form of teaching be involved in "explaining," without losing grounds to biblical feminism? I would think so.

    I am complementarian at best. I believe in role distinctions in the home and in the life of the church. But I am somehow not pleased with what versions do with 2 Tim.2:2.

    If we argue that what Paul says in 2Timothy only applies to the pastor/teacher, then that presents an issue that most be resolved.

    I do not understand why "faithful people" means that Paul is contradicting what he says in his first letter to Timothy. In that letter he is specific. That has taken care itself.
     
  13. Bluefalcon

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    It is not so much the "faithful people" part as it is the "fit to teach" part, as I mentioned in my first response. The "fit to teach" qualification may indicate that the ANQRWPOI are to be men, although it does not necessarily do so. If women musn't teach, why then tell them to teach? Therein lies the difficulty with assuming that ANQRWPOI must mean "people" and not "men" in 2Ti 2:2.
     
  14. TCGreek

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    Indeed it is a serious difficulty. What then is the purview of teaching that Paul has in mind? Should we only understand him to be referring to the public gathering of both genders?
     
  15. John of Japan

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    I would say the opposite, that teaching includes explaining, not that explaining includes teaching. When you explain to a traveller how to get somewhere, or to a co-worker how to run the copy machine, you have no authority.
    Looking at the verse again, I do see something in the context that might apply. Paul points to how he himself taught Timothy, which is man to man. Then he says to Timothy that you (singular) must teach others. It seems to me that Paul means Timothy should continue the man-to-man process (bearing in mind that this is a pastoral epistle). But as I said before, ultimately the translator's theological presuppositions will govern the translation.
    I agree. :type:
     
  16. IveyLeaguer

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    Quite simply, I believe Paul is telling Timothy to pass along what he has learned to other faithful men, that they may teach others. To let scripture interpret scripture, it is clear that Paul means men here and not women, as he was specific about women teaching elsewhere.

    Also, I get the sense that Paul is concerned here about passing the torch down through generations of the church, which would also rule out humankind.


    I like the NET Bible, it does a great job in places. But I think they got this one wrong.

    :godisgood:
     
  17. TCGreek

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    When does teaching always means exercising authority over? If my child teaches me how to kick a ball, does that mean he have authority over me? Hardly. There is a sense in which teaching not exercising authority over.

    I can see how that will follow because Paul took Timothy under his wings and deposited so much into him (3:14); it doesn't end with Timothy teaching faithful men/people; they too must teach others.

    It seems like this is the flow: Paul to Timothy, Timothy to faithful men/people, faithful people to others.

    The man-to-man ends with Paul and Timothy according to this text. Then I see Timothy imparting to a group.

    Calling it "Pastoral" is of our doing, not Paul's.
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Interestingly enough, the Japanese word for to teach (oshieru) has a wide range of meaning, everything from teach to tell to explain. My impression of the English word "teach" is that it is usually used for an authority-submissive relationship, but can be used in a light sense for "explain/tell," as in your illustration. However, if you say, "My little boy taught me how to kick the ball," everyone knows you don't really mean he is your teacher. So "teacher," if not "teach," to me definitely has the authority meaning in it, as in Japanese, where sensei (literally, "first-born one") in its proper use always means one in authority.

    What is important, though, is the range of meaning of didasko. My impression here is that didasko has a narrower range of meaning than the English word "teach," though it would take me a lot more research to prove it. Check out Louw-Nida on it:

    "διδάσκω ; διδαχή a , ῆς f ; διδασκαλία a , ας f : to provide instruction in a formal or informal setting - `to teach, teaching.' διδάσκω· κύριε, δίδαξον ἡμᾶς προσεύχεσθαι `Lord, teach us how to pray' Lk 11.1. διδαχή a · ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ ἔλεγεν `as he taught (them), he said' Mk 12.38. διδασκαλία a · ὅσα γὰρ προεγράφη, εἰς τὴν ἡμετέραν διδασκαλίαν ἐγράφη `everything written formerly (in the Scriptures) was written to teach us' Ro 15.4."
    It's a point of view. At this point I disagree, but not strongly.
    Surely you would agree that we have good reason for this label! But that is something for another thread, another time.
     
  19. Mexdeaf

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    I feel like I am getting a seminary educacion just reading this thread! Thanks for the scriptural enlightenment!
     
  20. TCGreek

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    Interesting stuff! I call it the riddle of semantics, moving from one language to another can be so difficult. Understanding words in a receptor language is at the heart of our discussion too. Well, you know that all too well.

    "To provide instruction in a formal or informal setting" could this be what Paul had in mind? So this would include both genders without him contradicting himself (1 Tim 2; Titus 2).

    You might swing my way.:thumbs:

    I would grant that but not with too strong of a grip, where we distort or understand every reading to fit that grid.
     

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