Biblical studies: August 2004 Archives

I wrote this entry on November 28, 2002 for an off-topic list for a Christian progressive rock music discussion list. The subject of who wrote the pastoral epistles (I Timothy, Titus, II Timothy) came up, and someone on the list said something about most scholars' view that Paul didn't write them even though they say they're by him, mostly due to a difference in style (which is easily explained by the fact that they're a very different sort of letter) and the claim that they're different in theology, which I just don't see. This was my response, with some format modifications and a couple minor content changes.

Proverbial Wife posted a piece of David Keirsey's Please Understand Me II in which he claims biblical support for the four temperaments he discusses at length in his book. He sees them symbolized by the four faces on the theophany of Ezekiel 1 and the four bodies on the living creatures around the throne in Revelation 4. He also thinks each gospel writer was of a different personality type, thus representing each type's distinctive account of the gospel story. I commented on her site, but I realized after I posted it that it was a significant chunk of writing and might as well go on my own blog. I already submitted it there, so it's there in case you want to read her whole post before seeing my discussion, but I figured if I'm going to write four substantial paragraphs (one for each temperament?) then I might as well post it on my own blog, especially because I've been over-politicking lately for my tastes. Here's my comment on her post:

Mutual Submission

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Tim Challies is on a roll lately, tackling some controversial topics. Now he's got a succinct argument for why Ephesians 5:21 does not and cannot mean that every individual in a congregation submits to each other person in the congregation. This has important consequences for one relatively recent interpretation of the passage that begins with the next verse about wives' submission to husbands and husbands' love for their wives as reflecting the relationship between Christ and the church. One view that's become common maybe in the last twenty years is that the call for wives to submit to their husbands is part of every believer's call to submit to every other believer and thus isn't a specific instruction just for wives. The problem is that this passage requires a non-symmetrical relationship to make sense of the Christ-church analogy. That means something of the wife's submission is not true of the husband's love, and something of his love is not true of her submission.

There are so many other issues that this brings up, but since his post basically says nothing false that I could detect on one reading, and I think that's extremely rare when it comes to such issues, I had to give it a mention.

Update: For more on the Challies family, you can read about his drunk toddler. Should we trust his views on the family?

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