Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Authentein is the Greek word used in 1 Tim 2:12 where Paul says that he does not allow a woman to "exercise authority" over a man. That is the traditional translation, others take the word to mean "domineer" or "usurp authority" or some other word denoting autocratic and illegitimate authority -- something no Christian should exercise! A friend and I were checking out the word today in my Logos Bible programme which he finally got working for me (long story, but blessed be he!)and were stunned by the bias and dismissal shown in some of the references -- especially considering how this potentially impacts 50% of the population! So I turned my indignation into a poem ..


Pull the drawstrings tight
Around your carefully garnered authority
Lest you spill it on the ground

Keep them in their place,
Not responsible for anything,
Except somehow, in their weakness,
The sin of all the world.

Oh contain the She!

Never face to face
Limb to limb
Part and counterpart,
Heirs together of glory.

Give her fine words
But not the one that matters.
Equality in the realms of philosophy,
Fantasies of fair meaning,
But guard your dictionaries well,
Lest she dream of standing beside you.

I do not know this God,
Lord of the hidebound lexicon,
Who would take one half of the parable of being
And treat it with despite.
Is your Grand Order
His true, most holy cause?

We must have regard for our sisters,
For the ones slain by a word,
Taught by the phallocentric
To move shame-faced through the world.

Go hoard and strut your primacy while we
Stand bare-head in the rain, receiving His anointing.


codepoke said...

I shiver to think the feelings that create such words.

Intellectually, I tire of the struggle over authentien. My heart rebukes my mind, and a poem like this rebukes me all over again.

Thank you, Lynne.

Lynne said...

I must admit I tire over the endless pedantic squabbling these things degenerate into, and my Greek isn't good enough to pit myself against real scholars.

But the principle matters, and I truly do thank God for people like you who are not directly personally affected by this, yet are willing to stand with those of us who are. Your support is precious.

believer333 said...

I also understand the pain. Anyone who has been beaten down, embarrassed, lorded over and more just for being who they are in Christ, who they are as a person, would understand. And the real catch is that is likely part of what that word authentein means. Its not the normal word for 'exercise authority'. It is something that no one in the body of Christ should be doing to anyone else. and the attitude is described quite well by Christ in Matt.20.

Interesting, that Zebedee's sons sent their mother to ask for them, maybe knowing she had a good way about her. After all they were called the sons of thunder. That says a lot.

And these sons of thunder wanted the best seats in town, the pre-eminence. Because of the way Christ responded, I would say they wanted to be lords like the gentiles and be great ones who had final say over other peoples lives.

But Christ said very emphatically that it should NOT BE SO among us. We are to be servants toward one another, the very picture of mutual submission. And isn't it interesting that those are two very big issues that many in the body of Christ just don't get.

I am becoming less concerned with what names we call ourselves, if we can just walk the walk of humble service seeking to better each others lives, loose the bound, bring healing, and help one another become the best that we can in Christ.

E said...

A friend and I were checking out the word today in my Logos Bible programme which he finally got working for me (long story, but blessed be he!)and were stunned by the bias and dismissal shown in some of the references

What references are you referring to? I have the Logos Scholars Gold edition (but do not have the full/unabridged LSJ or BDAG). I'd like to see/read what you saw/read - i.e., which (re)sources/books did you open up? Thanks!

Don said...

I LOVED that poem, thanks so much for sharing it.

I posted a link on

Anonymous said...

This expresses my feelings towards the way women are treated in some areas of the Christian community. Thanks for sharing this Lynne.

Kristen said...

You are an excellent poet. I've been reading over this and some of your earlier works and am very impressed.

Thanks for expressing the truth so clearly and with such beauty.