Again, this seems to be at odds with the earlier statements “a wife’s submission to her husband is not the result of Adam’s sin in the Garden” and “God’s judgement that a wife’s ‘desire shall be unto her husband, and he shall rule over you’ speaks of sin’s effect on the relationship of a husband and wife.”
There is nothing in Ephesians 5:30-31 or Genesis 2:23-24 to suggest that “the husband is the head of the wife.” Instead, these texts point out that the two are “one flesh.” The focus is on their equality, as in `azer kenegdō, not on any idea of male “headship” or “authority.”
Hopefully, these biblical texts do not call on a wife to submit to her husband’s authority in the sense that children are to submit to their parents’ authority!
Lexicons are dictionaries [I think Dr. Segraves meant to say “not dictionaries” – JLW]. They do not define words. Words are defined by the context in which they are used. That some lexicons or other resources may not recognize the possibility that “origin” or “source” are in the range of meaning is not the final word. To reject “origin” or “source” in favor of BDAG’s “superior rank” (which is applied to “the husband in relation to his wife”) immediately introduces theological problems. “The divine influence on the world results in the series . . . : God the [kephalē] of Christ, Christ the [kephalē] of man, the man the [kephalē] of the woman” (BDAG, 430).
The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek, a more recent and complete resource that reflects current Greek scholarship, recognizes “beginning, origin” and “mouth” (as of a river) as within the range of meaning for kephalē (Franco Montnari, The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek [Boston: Brill, 2015], 1120).
The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words recognizes “the source or mouth of a river” as within the range of meaning for kephalē and comments on Ephesians 5: “It is very critical here not to read into this passage hierarchical notions. Instead, it would appear that ‘head’ is used in its well-established sense of source and nourisher of life. Rather than demand from the church, Christ ‘gave himself up for her’ (v. 25)” (Lawrence O. Richards, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words [Grand Rapids: MI: Zondervan, 1985], 327-328).
Bilezikian’s observations are perceptive. In his comments on Ephesians, he notes, “Paul’s use of the word head will be defined from the writings of Paul himself. At the same time, it should be noted that the term for head in Hebrew (Old Testament) has the meaning of superior, leader, master, ruler. This is not true of either classical or Koine Greek (New Testament). Some Greek lexicons give a simplistic translation of kephalē by imposing their own modern concept on the term and then engaging in a process of circular definition: ‘kephalē means ruler in the New Testament because it means ruler in these New Testament passages.’
“In order to understand properly the meaning of ‘head’ as used by the apostle Paul, it is helpful to determine its meaning within the language spoken by Paul. The authors of works such as A Greek-English Lexicon by Henry G. Liddell and Robert Scott (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968), or Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Kittel (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965, 10 volumes) have thoroughly investigated biblical and contemporary extra-biblical writings and reported that the word kephalē was used in secular and religious Greek contemporary to Paul, with the meaning of source, origin, sustainer, and not of ruler. The second-century B.C. translation of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament into Greek provides a case in point. The Hebrew word for head [rosh], commonly used for leader, ruler, or supreme is translated in the Septuagint by a Greek word other than ‘head’ (kephalē) over 150 times. It was much later that the word kephalē began to be used as “authority” under the pressure of Latin usage, as evidenced in the writings of some post-apostolic church fathers. For Paul and his correspondents the use of the word kephalē as a synonym for ruler or authority would have been as meaningless as attempting to do the same today with tete in French, or Kopf in German. . . .
“Making head to mean ‘authority’ raises difficulties with the doctrine of the lordship of Christ. In what sense can Christ have authority over man and not over woman at the same time? He is ruler over both men and women, and His lordship extends to all. Christ is never presented as Lord over males to the exclusion of females; neither is He Lord over husbands in any sense that would exclude His lordship over wives. When Christ is cited as a model to husbands, He is presented in His servanthood and saviorhood, never in His Lordship (Eph. 5:23, 25). And, in any case, modeling Christ is not the issue in 1 Corinthians 11:3. Therefore, head has meaning other than ‘authority’ in this passage, and it is a meaning that applies to man and not to woman.” (Gilbert Bilezikian, Beyond Sex Roles, 2nd ed. [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1985, ninth printing, October 1997), 277-279).
My comments about the use of kephalē in the LXX take into account that the revision of the LXX by Tov and Polak introduces kephalē in cases where it does not appear in the earliest text of the LXX, as in Judges 10:18, 11:8, 9. In the texts that do use kephalē, the meaning is not static. Context is always required to determine meaning.
The word kephalē does not appear in Judges 10:18. The word translated “head” is ἄρχοντα
The word kephalē does not appear in Judges 11:8. The word translated “head” is ἄρχοντα.
The word kephalē does not appear in Judges 11:9. The word translated “head” is ἄρχοντα.
Judges 11:1 does have the phrase κεφαλὴν καὶ εἰς ἀρχηγόν which the NKJV translates “head and commander.” Other translations render the phrase “head and chief,” “head and ruler,” “leader and commander,” and so forth. These two nouns are not synonyms, and since ἀρχηγόν is used elsewhere in the sense of commander, it suggests that κεφαλὴν in this case has another meaning.
Both II Samuel 22:44 and Psalm 18:43 (virtually synonymous texts) use κεφαλὴν in the sense of leadership. This is recognized by some English translations.
The use of κεφαλὴν in these verses introduces various meanings. Sometimes it refers to a city, sometimes to a person.
The use of κεφαλὴν here apparently refers to nations considered to be superior to “the remnant of Israel.”
The use of κεφαλὴν here refers to Babylon as the conqueror of Jerusalem.
The absence of a word to represent a specific meaning does not prove the word has the meaning in other contexts.
There is no connection between the absence of kephalē in Genesis 2:10 and the use of kephalē in I Corinthians 11:3. If kephalē in I Corinthians 11:3 refers to “the husband’s position of authority over his wife,” it also refers to the authority of Christ over every man (with the contextual indication that Christ is not the authority over women; that is man’s role) and that God is the authority over Christ. This creates questions about the deity of Christ and His relationship with God. The context provided by I Corinthians 11:11-12 indicates I Corinthians 11:3 refers to source or origin, not at.
This is easy to say, but if the husband has “authority” over his wife in any meaningful sense of the word and with no regard for mutual submission, it invites conflicts, struggles, and marital difficulty. If one person in the marriage has “authority” over the other, that person is the final authority. How can a married woman with a call to any of these gifts exercise the spiritual authority inherent in the gifts if her husband has authority to which she must submit simply because he is male? How would this work in the case of I Peter 3, when her husband is an unbeliever?
[End of Dr. Segraves's Response]
You can follow this link to my previously published follow up to Dr. Segraves's response in my blog post "Further Clarity on My Review of 'Marriage without a Helpmate.'"