Against Grudem: Aner and Masculinist Misprisions of New Testament Meaning.


Many in fundamentalist and evangelical circles claim that gender accurate Bible editions of recent years have changed and neutralized gender in a departure from the male-dominated language of previous translations. They argue that this is akin to blasphemy, rejecting inclusive meanings in translation as a construct by feminists (Piper, Grudem, 1991: 6, 347). The facts of the situation are emotionally dismembered into a representation of their masculinist ideals, which are that women are to be joyfully submissive to the headship of their husbands, and that women cannot take a role of leadership over men whether in the home, the church, or society in general. A masculinist is one who privileges masculine gender in language, and males in social roles of power over females.


The foremost spokesperson for the masculinist lobbyists is Dr Wayne Grudem, Vice-President of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Much of the controversy about the new gender accurate translations centres on the possibility of the inclusive translation of aner. On the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood website, Grudem presents a violent indictment of the translation of aner as anything other than “man” used gender-specifically (Ware, Grudem, Stinson, 2002: 4). I argue that aner has multiple meanings and is used in some instances inclusively of females. Grudem argues that such translation is gender false rather than gender accurate.


The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that Dr Grudem has presented specious arguments for the exclusive meaning of aner in support of masculinist interpretations of gendered language. Lexicons have been misrepresented, evidence has been overlooked, and fallacious judgements which betray sound rules of grammar have been employed. The question in Grudem’s case is surely this: does he subordinate the evidence to his own inevitable concern for masculinist ideology? The sensible critic will notice that masculinist preoccupation is wholly evident and sound argument is wholly absent. In this paper I address Grudem’s four main points he uses to support his position that aner is not used inclusively of women. He 1) cites lexicons, 2) states that aner refers only to adult males in the New Testament as well as in extra-Biblical language, 3) that aner in the plural is never used generically for humans, and 4) his ideological position that in general, the male represents the female. In my paper I demonstrate Grudem’s errors in simple Greek grammar, the way in which he misrepresents the lexicons, that aner is indeed used inclusively of females, that aner in the plural is frequently used generically for humans.


The term gender inclusive1 refers to translation which uses inclusive language in this society of this time, despite the exclusiveness of gendered language in the New Testament. For example, the translating of a Greek word for persons exclusively of the male gender by an English word inclusive of women is labeled a gender inclusive translation. In this paper I do not address this issue; rather, I focus on gender accurate language. For example, a gender accurate translation of the Greek word “person” into English is “person”, and a translation of a Greek word for “man” (male person) into English is “man”. For reasons which are not clear, Grudem objects to translating Greek words which mean “person” by the English “person”. Indeed, Grudem and fellow lobbyists like Focus on the Family and Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood conflate the notions of the relation in general between grammatical gender and biological gender in Koine Greek and modern English, and skew them in masculinist ways. Proponents of masculinist language in Bible translation arbitrarily assign the wording “gender inclusive” or “gender neutral” to any words which do not fit their masculinist paradigm, including those words which are translated gender accurately. They make no distinction.


In spite of misrepresenting evidence and making false claims, Grudem and his group2 have displayed disturbing control over Bible translation. In an attempt to shift what they see as the evil potentialities of gender accurate translation to what they see as beneficial masculinist language, Grudem and the lobbyists have succeeded in imposing restraints upon Bible publishers. The preface of the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV), released also as The Kid’s Devotional Bible, did not state explicitly that the version was gender inclusive. Terry Watkins, one of the anti-gender accurate language lobbyists, states,


“But the “dirty little secret” was the children’s NIrV was soaking in ‘gender inclusive’ feminist language. There was nothing in the Preface, nor any hint anywhere that the innocent children’s NIrV was flooded with ‘gender inclusive’ lingo. …After word leaked out about the NIrV’s ‘gender-bender’ vocabulary, Zondervan quickly re-issued the NIrV (July 1998) minus the original feminist inclusive language. Not surprising, after researching the ‘gender-inclusive’ issue, I’ve found many of the Children’s Bibles among the most corrupt and feminist influenced” (Watkins 2002: 1).


Due to pressure applied by masculinists, Zondervan, a leading publisher of Bibles, offered to refund the purchase price of any NIrVs to anyone who made a request. When the masculinist organisation Focus on the Family learnt that its own Adventures in Odyssey Bible, the International Children’s Bible, was a gender inclusive translation (in the Old Testament), it withdrew the edition from distribution and offered to reimburse parents who requested a refund.


In 1997 the International Bible Society, which owns the copyright of the NIV, planned to publish an inclusive language version as a new edition of the NIV. Several conservative Christian organizations pressured the International Bible Society to abandon these plans.3 In its July 1997 meeting in Colorado, the 40,000-member Conservative Congregational Christian Conference passed a resolution stating that it “would encourage those involved in Bible translation …to steadfastly resist the pressures of sinful human culture which would obscure, diminish, or subvert any aspect of God’s inerrant truth” (Grudem 1997: 1). In May of 1997, psychologist Dr James Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, convened a meeting of evangelical leaders with the intent of issuing guidelines to discourage the use of gender accurate language in Bible translations. The International Bible Society yielded to the pressure. It agreed not to publish the inclusive version of the NIV in America, and the following year issued a revision of its NIrV replacing the gender inclusive language with masculinist language. After various scholars spoke in support of gender accurate language, the IBS recanted and announced it would publish a gender accurate revision of the NIV. This is the edition known as the Today’s New International Version (TNIV). It was released early in 2002, but it has attracted the same charges of feminist agenda addressed to previous gender accurate editions, evidenced by Watkins’ statement, below.


“In 1995, the NIV team (International Bible Society (IBS) and Committee on Bible Translations (CBT)) created a feminist “gender-inclusive” NIV, titled the New International Version Inclusive language edition (NIVI). They found out very quickly and very loudly that America was not “prime-time ready” for a NIV feminist “gender inclusive” edition. So the NIVI was published solely in Great Britain by Hodder & Stoughton (Zondervan is the exclusive NIV publisher in the U.S.). The NIVI is so drenched in feminist changes and so corrupt, it cannot legally be sold in America.” (Watkins 2002: 1).


The release of the TNIV Bible caused a furore in evangelical Christian circles. The Sydney Morning Herald summed up the media treatment well and was not immune to the paranoiac rough-hewn disregard for the most basic principles of translation. Under the heading, “PC Bible loses true believers in the translation”, Religious Affairs writer Kelly Burke stated:


“… the ‘sons of God’ have been ejected, along with mankind. Christendom’s updated gender-inclusive version of the Holy Bible hasn’t hit the US bookstores’ shelves yet, but its detractors are already shouting heresy. …With its “we’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the generations” slogan, the controversial new translation is clearly pitching itself at those egalitarian-minded, gender relaxed Christians of the Third Millennium. But its semantic shifts, including .. references to children rather than sons of God, use of the phrase humankind …have detractors accusing TNIV’s backer, the International Bible Society (IBS), of adopting a policy of cultural appeasement…

“So vehement has opposition from some quarters been that the term ‘Bible rage’ has been coined. It was first identified in 1997 after an earlier aborted attempt by the society to launch a gender-friendly New Testament in the US. Bibles riddled with bullet holes were sent to the publisher4 and one translator was sacked from his conservative academic seminary post.5 … However, a leading Sydney evangelical, the Rev Phillip Jensen, has studied the new version on the Internet. He believes the translation has sacrificed accuracy for the sake of readability and gender-based ideology. ‘Political correctness is not a helpful translation tool,’ he concluded” (Sydney Morning Herald February 2, 2002: 3).


In May 1997, Dobson called a meeting of people interested in preserving masculinist language in Bible translation. No professional linguists or Bible translators were invited. The participants agreed that Bible translations should not be influenced by “illegitimate intrusions” of secular culture or by political or ideological agendas, and that it was inappropriate to use gender accurate language when it diminished what they termed “accuracy” in Bible translation. The participants set forth guidelines for translation of gender-related language in Scripture now known as the “Colorado Springs Guidelines” (Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 1997: 1). Two of their proposals are as follows:


Vocal supporters of the Colorado Springs Guidelines, and masculinist language in general, are Randy Stinson, the Executive Director of Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and the afore-mentioned Dr Wayne Grudem. With Dr Vern Poythress, Grudem wrote a book titled The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words (Poythress and Grudem 2000),7 in which Grudem and Poythress state that women should be taught to understand that the personal pronoun “he” is inclusive. Indeed, they state that the English “he” is theologically necessary and that it is the only English pronoun which reflects accurately what they refer to as “male representation” in the Bible. Stinson’s view on aner was cited in The Covenant Companion in May 2002:


“In the TNIV, the Greek word aner which means ‘man’, is sometimes translated as ‘human’, something Stinson says is not accurate. ‘Even if 1,000 years from now, no one understands the word “he” to mean people or persons,’ he says, ‘you still would not be able to translate aner in a generic way because it is not allowed linguistically’” (Smientana 2002: 1).


Grudem’s argument, presented in full on the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood website (Grudem 2002a: 1), reveals a strategic deferral of the facts in the case, and maps his own cultural presuppositions onto certainties of lexical categories, while demonstrating basic errors in Greek grammar.

Grudem's basic grammatical errors.

Error One.

“Dr. Strauss says I’m confusing grammatical gender with biological gender. That’s not true. The examples don’t follow, because when we’re talking about human beings, grammatical gender generally matches biological gender. And so the pronouns, autos, masculine, ‘he’, aute, feminine, ‘she’. Those are consistent. Masculine pronouns are used to refer to masculine people in Greek. Feminine pronouns are used to refer to feminine people in Greek. So, when we’re talking about pronouns referring to persons, grammatical gender is very important, because it matches biological gender (Grudem 2002f).


Grudem’s statement is incorrect. The grammatical gender of pronouns and nouns (and adjectives and participles), bears no necessary relationship to biological gender. The grammatical gender of a pronoun is determined by the grammatical gender of the noun upon which it depends. Of course instances of nouns referring to biological males or females may demonstrate an overlap of grammatical with biological gender, yet nouns referring to biologically male or female persons may not be grammatically masculine or feminine. Indeed, some are even neuter. Examples of a neuter pronoun used to agree with a
neuter antecedent when the referent is a male human being occur, for example, in Matthew 2:13, 18:2; Mark 9:36; Luke 1:59, 1:62, 2:28, 2:40, 9:47.

Error Two.

“John 3:2, Nicodemus says to Jesus, ‘No one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.’ But the TNIV says, ‘No one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with them.’
“Why can’t we call Jesus a him?” (Grudem 2002f).


The “him” is a generic “him” which the TNIV translated as the generic singular pronoun ”them,” its antecedent being the singular “no one” found earlier in the sentence. The generic “him” was ambiguous. In the Greek (and the English) the autou, “him” (NIV) or “them” (TNIV) refers to the oudeis, “no one” at the beginning of the sentence, and not to Jesus: “No one (generic) could perform such signs if God were not with them.” The “you are doing” is a relative clause referring to Jesus.  To call Jesus a “him” as Grudem desires, is to mistranslate the text and misunderstand the simple Greek. In fact, Grudem’s argument stretches so thinly as to require that the personal pronoun autos always carries male connotations, and that when autos follows an inclusive noun it turns the inclusive noun into a male representative noun, the pronoun thus governing its antecedent (Grudem 2002d: 1).

Grudem's misrepresentation of lexicons.

Argument One.

“Liddell-Scott: The standard reference work, the Liddell-Scott Lexicon (p. 138) for all of ancient Greek, gives no meaning ‘person,’ but only ‘man, husband,’ and some specific variations on those. This is very significant because aner is not a rare word: it is extremely common in Greek. Thousands upon thousands of examples of it are found in Greek from the 8th century BC (Homer) onward. If any meaning ‘person’ existed, scholars would have found many clear examples centuries ago” (Grudem 2002a: 1).


On the contrary, Liddell and Scott do give the meaning “person” (Liddell and Scott 1889: s.v.). Grudem bases his circular argument on Liddell and Scott’s gender generic use of the English word “man” which Grudem chooses to take as gender exclusive. The entries from Liddell and Scott comprise the following: “man” opposed to woman; “man” opposed to God; “men” opposed to monsters; “men” in societies and cities; “man” opposed to youth; man emphatically; husband/paramour. For the special usages of aner they list: with titles; with professions; by crasis; for hode, pas, every man, any man, every man, every one, “a man”, “any man” “ ‘Tis not every one that can go”; o daimoni andron; “individuals”. For the Septuagint, they list aner = ekastos “‘each to his fellow’ of Leviathan’s scales”; andras graphein for a male animal.


In some instances, Liddell and Scott use the word “man” meaning “person”. However, Grudem’s argument states that Liddell and Scott’s use of the word “man” is solely in its meaning “male person”. In an email to me dated 23 February 2002, Grudem objected to the meanings for aner, “person as opposed to god”, “person as opposed to monster”, and “inhabitant of cities” on the basis that Liddell and Scott used the English word “man”, which Grudem took to be in its exclusive meaning. He did not respond to my pointing out that Liddell and Scott cited “individuals”, “everyone”. Aner was used commonly with the names of cities for inhabitants; with “Nineveh” (Matt. 12:41, Luke 11:32) “Ethiopia” (Acts 8:27) “Macedon” (Acts 16:9). The standard lexicons testify to this use to indicate inhabitants (Liddell and Scott 1889: s.v., BGAD 2000: s.v.). Grudem objects to the translation “people of cities” and lists the above instances as “translation inaccuracies” under the heading, “Changes to avoid the word ‘man’”; sub-heading, “men (aner, plural) changed to people”’(Grudem 2002e: 1).


Argument 2.


“In entry 9.1, with respect to aner, Louw-Nida quote Romans 4:8 as meaning, ‘happy is the person to whom the Lord does not reckon sin.’ They then say, ‘The parallelism in this quotation from Ps 32:1-2 indicates clearly that the reference of aner is not a particular male but any person.’ They then quote Matt. 14:35 as meaning, ‘when the people of that place recognized him,’ and then say, ‘one may argue that hoi andres refers specifically to males, but the context would seem to indicate that the reference is to people in general’ (p. 104). What has happened here? They have given a new meaning for aner with no new evidence. Translators and authors of lexicons have known about Rom. 4:8 and Matt. 14:35 for centuries, and those two verses in their contexts have not been sufficiently clear to persuade them that a new meaning for aner should be established. Louw-Nida have just asserted this new meaning while producing no new evidence to prove that meaning.

“As we indicated above, in Rom. 4:8, the context does not require the sense ‘person,’ because ‘man’ makes perfect sense, especially since this is a quotation from Ps. 32:2 where David is speaking, as often in the Wisdom Literature, of the ‘blessed man’ who is an example for all the godly to follow, as in Psalm 1:1, ‘Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked’” (Grudem 2002a: 1).


Again, Grudem misrepresents the standard lexicons, as Liddell and Scott and BDAG do give the meaning “person”. Further, it is clear that aner in Romans 4:8 is used as the gender generic “person”: “(6)In the same way too David describes the happiness of the person anthropos whom God considers to be right with him (God) independently of their actions: (7) ‘Happy are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (8)Happy is the aner whose sins the Lord will not calculate against them’” (Romans 4:6-8).


Here aner is equated with anthropos (gender generic “person” of verse 6). Note also the generalizing plurals of verse 7. Paul is quoting Psalm 32:1-2, verbatim from the Septuagint (31:1-2). The Hebrew translated by the Greek aner is the gender generic ‘ADAM, generic both lexically and contextually.


Argument 3.

“BDAG: The Bauer-Danker-Arndt Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2000), needs to be read carefully so that it is not misquoted. Although they list one meaning as ‘equivalent to tis, someone, a person’ (p. 79), every one of the New Testament examples they cite refers to a man or men (such as Luke 19:2, ‘a man named Zacchaeus’; Acts 10:1 ‘a man named Cornelius’; or Luke 5:18 ‘some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed’). So the entry in BDAG really shows that aner can mean ‘someone, a person (but always male).’ Now someone could argue, ‘But maybe there was a woman helping to carry the paralytic.’ The answer is that lexical definitions cannot be built on maybe’s.

“The plural examples of aner given from the New Testament, for instance, in the Bauer-Danker-Arndt-Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon, pp. 79-80, when examined in context, all refer to men, not men and women. So it seems to us that the burden of proof is still on those who say that aner could lose its male meaning. Before we could accept this claim, it would be necessary to indicate some clear examples from the Bible or from other ancient literature. Until such examples are forthcoming, it seems to us unjustified to translate aner as “person” or the plural form andres as ‘people’” (Grudem 2002a: 1).


On the contrary, BDAG has for aner: “an adult human male, man, husband”; “equiv. to tis, someone, a person” (and cites Biblical references as well as extra-Biblical references, Theognis 1, 199 Diehl2; x., Cyr. 2, 2, 22; Sir 27:7); “individually I.Eph. 4:2”. Bauer’s German edition for this entry has “(equivalent to) tis, irgendwer, jemand,” and “einige, gewisse Leute,” gender generic (Bauer 1988: s.v..) BDAG also lists “a transcendent figure”, and among such figures cited are the Titans, some of whom were women.


Grudem also states in his debate with Mark Strauss that none of the 28 instances given by BDAG can be used inclusively of women. He states, “I looked up every one of those. … . I looked at all the ones in classical Greek literature and extrabiblical. They’re all ‘man’” (Grudem 2002f).


Grudem has overlooked Theognis, and makes no mention of the other references, including the citation of
I.Eph. 4:2 “individually” (also cited by Liddell and Scott). Among the Biblical references cited is Sirach 27.7, which has a parallel between the two lines. In the first is aner and in the second is anthropos, both in the plural: “Praise no people before they speak, as it is in this way that people are tested”. Among the extra-Biblical references cited by BDAG is Ignatius’ letter to the Trallians 13.2, where aner refers to those in the church who are to be loved, person by person, with an undivided heart. The same expression occurs in Smyrnaens 5.1 as well as in Polycarp 1.3. In Ignatius’ letter to the Ephesians 4.2, aner refers to those who sing praises to Jesus Christ. There is no evidence to suggest that only adult males are church members who need to be loved, or that only adult males sing praises to Christ! Grudem’s statement, “every one of the examples they cite refers to a man or men” is false.


Argument 4.

“Louw-Nida: The Louw-Nida Lexicon does not treat aner by itself, but defines both aner and anthropos in the same two entries (9.1, under the category ‘Human Beings’ and 9.24, under the category ‘Males’). It is surprising that they make no distinction between these two words, about which other lexicons regularly recognize a difference, with aner being a

male-specific term…

“The principle that would keep us from adopting the additional sense ‘person’ for aner is that if a well-established meaning makes sense in the context, then we should not adopt a previously unattested meaning in its place.

“In other words, the burden of proof is on the person who postulates a new sense. If an already established sense can account for a particular use, one must not postulate a new sense. So the Louw-Nida Lexicon has asserted a new meaning for aner, but has not supported that claim with any new or convincing evidence” (Grudem 2002a: 1).


Grudem’s statement, “It is surprising that they make no distinction between these two words, about which other lexicons regularly recognize a difference, with aner being a male-specific term”, is false. Louw and Nida do make a distinction between the two words. Grudem displays a misunderstanding of lexical method. Louw and Nida’s work is based on semantic domains and follows modern linguistic theory concerning lexicography, and as such represents a departure in New Testament lexicography.

Grudem’s statement, “So the Louw-Nida Lexicon has asserted a new meaning for aner, but has not supported that claim with any new or convincing evidence”, is false. Louw and Nida have not asserted a new meaning, they have merely agreed with Liddell and Scott and BDAG, both of which have been misrepresented by Grudem. In essence, Grudem is misrepresenting: “Liddell and Scott and BGAD do not give the meaning person for aner” (when in fact they do). “I will admit Louw and Nida do, but as they don’t agree with Liddell and Scott and BGAD” (which in fact they do) “they are wrong.”


Grudem's New Testament argument.


“Greek scholars for hundreds of years have known that aner means ‘man’ not ‘person.’ Recently, with no new evidence, but under cultural pressure, some have discovered a new meaning, ‘person.’ But no scholar has produced any convincing examples among the 216 uses in the NT. Even if it could mean ‘person’ in rare cases, would require compelling evidence from each context to overturn normal use” (Grudem 2002a: 1).


This is false. Greek scholars for hundreds of years have indeed known that aner can mean “person”. The standard Greek lexicon, Liddell and Scott, and the standard New Testament lexicons, BDAG (BDAG 2000: s.v.) and Louw and Nida, (Louw and Nida 1988: s.v.) do give the meaning “person” for aner, although it is admitted their entries are limited. Further instances of the inclusive meaning of aner follow. The goddess Athena refers to herself as aner in Aeschylus, Eumenides, 911. A clear New Testament use of aner used inclusively of the woman Damaris occurs in Acts 17:29, discussed below. Aner is used as “person” in Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, 1145a, 25; Plato, Hipparchus, 228b, Alcibiades 2, 143b, Crito, 47a; Euripides, Orestes, 1523. Aner is used for “everyone” in Aristophanes, Frogs, 1125, Clouds, 1214; Plato, Phaedo, 114d. Aner is used for “individual” in Plato, Republic 368e, 519e, 545b, 550c, 562a, 577c, 577d, 595c. Plato, Republic, 349e uses the term mousikos aner for “musician” (gender inclusive). The same use is found in Pap.Agon.: Zehn agonistische Papyri documents 1, 3, 4, 5. Apollodorus Library and Epitome, Book 1, Ch.9, section 26, uses khalkous aner for “the brazen race”. Herodotos 5.63 uses aner in the sense “human”, as does Homer, Odyssey, 21.303. Grudem states that aner can only refer to an adult male, but aner is used of a male child in a funerary epigram, I. Bithynia II.14 (Imperial period). Aner (singular) as a “person” in the context of a global statement that a wise person should consider their own health occurs in Hippokrates, Regimen in Health 9, a fragment from the beginning of Peri Pathon (Littre, 6.208 Loeb Vol 4,1979).


To support his case, Grudem cites three specific New Testament examples, Acts 17:22, and chapters 1 and 3 of James. I will examine these below.


The woman Damaris, Acts 17:22.


Grudem objects to a clear example of aner used inclusively of the woman Damaris. He compares the two Bible versions, New International Version (NIV) and Today’s New International Version (TNIV) and states:

“NIV: Acts 17:22. Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: ‘Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.’
TNIV: Acts 17:22. Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Aeropagus and said: ‘People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.’

“Comment: Suggests that there were women debating in the meetings of the Areopagus, which is historically inaccurate (see Oxford Classical Dictionary, third edition, 151-152.) Mistranslates Greek aner, ‘men’” (Grudem 2002b: 1).

“There is one other verse that people have sometimes mentioned, but it is ambiguous at best. Acts 17:34 says, ‘A few men (aner, plural) became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others’ (NIV). This verse does not mean that Damaris is included in the ‘some men’ (aner, plural), as both F. F. Bruce’s commentary and the BDAG Lexicon itself make clear (p. 79;8 note the word kai, ‘also’). It just means some men (on the Areopagus where Paul spoke and addressed them as ‘men of Athens,’) believed, and some others like Dionysius and Damaris were added to them.” (Grudem 2002a:1).


Paul is addressing the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in a meeting of the Areopagos in Athens. Grudem cites the Oxford Classical Dictionary to support his argument that women were not present, but the entry makes no mention of women.9 It was not unusual for women to be present at philosophical discussions, and indeed, the Hetairai are well known for their presence at symposiums. Nevertheless, the question of inclusiveness of aner in this instance does not depend upon Damaris’ presence at the Areopagus. Acts 17:34 states tines de andres kollethentes auto episteusan, en ois kai Dionusios ho Areopagites kai gune onomati Damaris kai heteroi sun autois: “Certain andres having joined him believed, among whom especially were Dionysus a member of the Areopagus and a woman by the name of Damaris and others together with them.”
The Greek does indicate that the woman Damaris is included in the certain
andres.
Grudem presents the idea of the verse as “A few persons of the male gender followed him and believed. Among these was Dionysus the Areopagite. In addition to these men and Dionysus there was a woman Damaris, and some others.”
This is untenable.


The New Testament provides other examples of aner used inclusively of women. Luke 14:25 speaks of andres invited to a wedding feast. Wedding celebrations were one of the many forms of festivity shared by family members. Women certainly were invited guests at dinners and at weddings, attested by Matt. 25:1-13, John 2:1 as well as by secular evidence (Horsley 1981: 7-9). For examples of secular evidence see P.Oxy. 3313: 100-03, a reply to a wedding invitation addressed to the woman Dionysia, the step-mother of the bridegroom, and P.Coll.Youtie 51-55, in which a woman named Herais sends out the wedding invitations, as do women in P.Oxy 1 (1898) 111 and P.Fouad (1939) 76.


Aner occurs in Acts 25:23, “the prominent andres of the city,” and in the following verse is used in an address to an audience which is stated to have included the woman of very high standing, Bernice. The verse mentions that Agrippa and Bernice entered with great ceremony. Festus says, “King Agrippa and all the andres who are assembled here…” This is a specific example where a woman is included in the plural andres used as a term of address.



James Chapter 1.

“A good question: If someone still claims that aner can mean ‘person,’ for example, in a verse like James 1:12, ‘Blessed is the man (aner) who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him’ (NIV), a good question to ask is this: ‘If James had wanted to say, “Blessed is the man,” wanting his readers to understand an adult male and not just a blessed ‘person,’ how would he have said that in Greek? [The correct answer is: he would have said just what he wrote in the Greek text of James 1:12]” (Grudem 2002a: 1).


In James 1:8, aner is used as the referent for the gender-generic anthropos: me gar oiestho ho anthropos ekeinos hoti lepsetai ti para tou kuriou, aner dipsukhos, akatastatos en pasais tais hodois autou: “(7)That person anthropos must not think that they will receive anything from the Lord, (8)as they’re a double-minded aner, unstable in all their ways.” Verse 5 begins the context, and features the indefinite pronoun tis: ei de tis humon, “if any of you”. In verse 1, James addresses his letter to the twelve tribes scattered abroad, and clearly women are included.


James 1:20 follows the same pattern, where aner is the referent for anthropos: (19) esto de pas anthropos takhus eis to akousai, bradus eis to; lalesai, brad;us eis orgen (20) orgen gar andros…: “A person anthropos is to be quick to listen and slow to speak! Be slow to anger, (20)for a person’s (aner) anger…” Verse 23 continues, with aner following the indefinite personal pronoun tis: hoti ei tis akroates logou estin kai ou poietes, outos eoiken andri …: “Because if someone tis is a hearer of the Word and not a doer of it, they’re like an aner …

James Chapter 3.

Aner occurs in James 3:2 and is used interchangeably with anthropos in the context. “(3)If someone doesn’t make a mistake in speech, then they’re a complete aner able to guide their whole body as if with a bridle.” Verses 5 and 6 explain the context, and verses 7, 8 and 9 contain the gender generic anthropinos and anthropos (twice):

“(5) In the same way also, the tongue is a small body part and confidently says major things. Look how small the tongue is and how large a forest it sets on fire! (6)And the tongue is a fire – the tongue is the world of wrongdoing set among our body parts, staining the whole body. It sets aflame the cycle of human life and is set aflame by Gehenna. (7)For every kind of wild animal, bird, reptile, marine life can be tamed and has been tamed by humankind anthropine, (8)but the tongue is not able to be tamed by people anthropon. It is a fickle evil, full of death-bearing poison. (9)With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father and with the same tongue we put curses on people tous anthropous, who have been made in God’s likeness.”


Other instances where aner is used inclusively are James 1:12 (“Happy is the aner”, followed in the next verse by the generic medeis “no one”);10 John 1:13 (“nor the will of aner but of God”, following the standard citations in the lexicons of aner used generically as opposed to gods); Acts 2:5, (“Jews, devout andres, out of every nation”); Acts 4:4 (“the number of andres was about 5,000”, speaking of those of the crowd, ton laon, who believed).


Plural of aner used generically for humans.


“We do not wish to deny the possibility that the plural of aner could take on a wider sense such as ‘people’ in the fixed idiomatic expression, andres + plural noun, such as ‘men of Athens,’ ‘men of Israel,’ etc. But where is the proof? If substantial evidence is forthcoming, we would be happy to change our understanding of plural andres, and we recognize that

there may be such evidence that we have not yet seen, especially with regard to fixed idioms such as ‘men of Athens,’ etc. But we have not yet seen clear evidence that this is the case. So we cannot at this point agree with the TNIV’s claim that aner ‘was occasionally used as a generic term for human beings’” (Grudem 2002a: 1).


Andres was used as a generic term for human beings in, for example, Homer: Odyssey 21.303, “That was the beginning of the feud between centaurs and humans”, in Iliad 1.544, “The father of mortals and gods answered her”, in Odyssey 10.120, “The Laestrygonians, more like Giants than humans…” In Lysias, Against Diogeiton, 11, a woman has her friends summoned as well as her father in order to address them, but says she is unaccustomed to speaking in front of andres: legein en andrasi. Grudem continually calls for “new evidence” yet the evidence that andres was used as a generic term has been around for years. For example, G. Authenrieth’s Homeric Dictionary of 1877 cites some uses of aner as “human being” and “mortals” (Authenrieth 1877:s.v.).


Grudem objects to the gender inclusive translation of andres Athenioi as “Athenians” or “people of Athens” (Ware, Grudem, Stinson 2002: 4, 8). The formulaic address andres Athenioi is most common throughout Greek literature. It was a formal address, usually translated “Athenians”, and used to address crowds. It was a common form of address in the law courts,11 while the address to the jury alone was andres dikastai.12 Grudem states, “In the ancient setting, it was understood that men rather than women would be the usual ones to appear in a formal court testimony” (Grudem 2002c: 1. Yet while Athenian women could not be jurors (Geddes 1975: 36; Pomeroy 1975: 58, 74), male defendants did bring their wives as well as their children in to court to elicit pity (Demosthenes XXXVIII, 20, L, 60-62, LIII, 29; Athenaeaus XIII, 592E-F). Athenian women did give evidence (Demosthenes XXIX, 26; Isaeus XII, 5),13 and their evidence was considered as good as a man’s. In fact, in a case of the disputed paternity sworn at the Delphinium, a woman’s evidence was preferred to that of the man’s (Demosthenes XL. 11).


Andres is used in forms of address in the New Testament to address “the whole crowd”: Acts 3:12, andres Israelitai used of “the whole crowd” in Solomon’s portico; Acts 22:1, andres adephoi kai pateres; Acts 19:35, andres Ephesioi; Acts 14:15, andres In Acts 1:16 the preceding text before the address andres adelphoi clearly states that women were present. Andres occurs with “Judea” (Acts 2:14), “Israel” (Acts 2:22), and with adelphoi (Acts 2:29, Acts 2:37), all situations where it would be most unusual for women to be absent. Acts 13:50 states that the Jews stirred up “the godly and prominent women and chief men of the city”, which led to the persecution and expulsion of Paul and Barnabas from the region. Acts 17:1-4 states that Paul and Silas preached in a synagogue of Thessalonika, while verse 4 states that a great crowd of godly Greeks and quite a few of the leading women joined Paul and Silas. The following women are mentioned in crowds: the woman with the unceasing menstrual bleeding (Matt. 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48) in a large crushing crowd, the women at Calvary (Matt. 27:55), a nameless woman from the crowd who called out to Jesus (Luke 11:27-28), Jerusalem women in the crowd when Jesus was carrying the cross (Luke 23:28). The crowds in the miracles of the loaves and the fishes included women (Matt 14:17-21, 15:34; Mark 6:38, 8:7; Luke 9:13; John 6:9). Note that the Matthean text 14:21 mentions that those who ate were about five thousand men, as well as women and children. We are also told of the women who followed Jesus and ministered to him (Luke 8:2-3), and of the girl with the Pythian spirit who followed Paul and his co-workers in public for several days (Acts 16:16-24).


Some instances of aner occur in the context of a synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia (Acts 13:15, 16, 26, 38). The evidence suggests that women were present in the synagogue, verse 50 mentioning “godly and influential women”. Aner used in a form of address to the Jewish leaders occurs in Acts 7:2; 23:1, 6; 28:17. Inscriptional evidence includes women as Jewish leaders, testifying that women were synagogue leaders as well as elders. For example, Sophia of Gortyn was an elder and synagogue leader (CII 731c), Rufina was head of a synagogue (CII 741; IGR IV 1452), as was Theopempte (CII 756). Women as Jewish elders are attested in inscriptional evidence: Rebeka (CII 692), Beronikene (CII 581; CIL IX 6226), Mannine (CII 590; CIL IX 6230), Faustina (CII 597; CIL IX 6209), Mazauzala (SEG 27 (1977) no. 1201), Sara Ura (CII 400). Further, three Jewish inscriptions from the first century B.C.E. to the fourth century C.E. mention women priests (CII 1514 (SEG 1 [1923] no. 574); CII 315; CII 1007).



Male representation and Grudem's ideology.


“So where is the evidence that aner can mean ‘person’ without implying a male person? Perhaps outside the New Testament someone will find evidence that aner could take that sense in unusual cases, but even then this would be an uncommon sense, not the ‘default’ sense that readers assume without contextual specification, and even then the male-oriented connotation or overtone would probably still attach (with the sense that the people referred to are mostly or primarily male). But until substantial evidence in that regard is found, we cannot agree with the procedure of systematically changing many NT examples of aner to ‘person’ or ‘persons.’ What seems to be driving the decision at this point is not the preponderance of evidence but an attempt to eliminate male-oriented meaning” (Grudem 2002a: 1).


No amount of evidence will satisfy those who cling to their own ideology in the light of evidence. I have cited much evidence for the inclusive meaning of aner. Here is another New Testament instance. Peter uses the formulaic address andres adelphoi to address apostles and elders in Acts 15:7,13. Acts 15:6-7 states, “Both the apostles and the elders met together to discuss the matter. When much controversy had come about, Peter said to them, andres adelphoi …”


Despite the fact alone that Romans 16:7 speaks of Junia, “noted among the apostles”, Grudem argues that Peter could not have been addressing women as women were not church elders nor did they hold church leadership positions (Ware, Grudem & Stinson 2002: 4; Piper and Grudem 1992: Chapters 9,11,13,14,15, passim). The idea that women are ineligible for church positions is supported by the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s Danvers Statement (Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 1988: 1), an overview of the Council’s core beliefs. The Danvers Statement was prepared by masculinist evangelical leaders in December of 1987, and published by the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in November of 1988. The rationale begins, “We have been moved in our purpose by the following contemporary developments which we observe with deep concern”. Three of the developments are, “the increasing promotion given to feminist egalitarianism with accompanying distortions or neglect of the glad harmony portrayed in Scripture between the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives”, “the widespread ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood, vocational homemaking, and the many ministries historically performed by women”, (that is to say, “ministries” outside church leadership14) and “the emergence of roles for men and women in church leadership that do not conform to Biblical teaching but backfire in the crippling of Biblically faithful witness.” This is supported by affirmations.15


Thus we have a circular argument: Grudem holds that women in New Testament times were not leaders, and reads this back into the Greek text, as I suggest he has done with aner. In view of the strong assertions to the contrary vehemently put forward by Grudem and other members of Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, it is worth examining the papyrological, inscriptional and textual evidence for women as church leaders of the period. Indeed, there is much evidence for women as secular leaders. Women undertook regular magistracies in the Hellenistic and Imperial periods. For example, in New Testament times the woman Iulia Lydia Laterane had been a Chief Magistrate at Ephesos, and then became an archiereia (I.Eph. V.1601e; I.Eph. II.424a). Another woman, Vedia Marcia, was both a Chief Magistrate at Ephesos and an archiereia of Asia (I. Eph. IV.1017).


In Romans 16:1-2 Paul sets down Phoebe’s credentials on the basis of her leadership in a formal recommendation: “I recommend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a minister of the church in Kenchreai, so that you will admit her into your company in the Lord in a manner worthy of the people devoted to God, and stand by her in whatever matters she needs you to help. For indeed she became a presiding officer over many, and over me also.”


Phoebe is a prostatis, “presiding officer”, “leader and protector”. The term prostatis referred to a person of the front-rank, the chief of a body of people; in general, a ruler, someone who stands in front of the people and protects them. Prostatis was used commonly for women. In Macedonia, prostates was the name for the senior civic official beside the king (Hammond 1985: 156-60). When the office of prostates eventually lapsed, the high honors associated with it lived on in the use of its title (Hammond 1985: 159-60). The term prostatis was status-laden and denoted position / office. Phoebe is also a diakonos, “minister”/ “deacon”. The papyri and inscriptions provide much conclusive evidence for women deacons in early Christianity. See for example, the woman Alexandra, an “over-deacon” in an inscription from Apollonia in Pontus (Thrace) (BE 1963: 152). Pliny Ep. 10.96.8 mentions female deacons in the time of Trajan (late 1st, early 2nd centuries). An inscription on a 6th century marble stele sates, “Here lies Maria the deacon” (Jacopi 1937: 33-36). A 5th or 6th century epitaph speaks of a female deacon (Wiseman 1973: 59-60). A 4th century epitaph from Jerusalem mentions “Sophia, deacon”: “Here lies the slave and bride of Christ, Sophia, deacon, the second Phoebe.” (EG IV.445 fig. 132).16



There is much inscriptional evidence for women church leaders. A 3rd – 4th century inscription from Thera speaks of women Elders (Gregorie 1922: 167). A 4th or 5th century epitaph for the woman Kale describes her as an “Elder” (AE 1975: 454). A 4th century Christian letter twice mentions a woman called a “Master Teacher” (Nagel 1975: 317-73). Another 4th century Christian epitaph is for a woman “exorcist” (AE 1975: 59). A 4th or 5th century epitaph from Malta for Eulogia calls her “Elder” (Kraemer 1985: 431-38). An inscription dated to the 2nd or 3rd century denoting the woman Paniskiane as a female Elder in the church (Barratte, Boyaval 1979: 264), and another of the same date identifying a woman as an Elder in Phrygia. Another describes a woman who is an Elder in a Jewish community. Inscriptional evidence tells of a female Elder from Sicily and another from Thera, and yet another woman Elder from Cappadocia around 230 A.D. An inscription dated as pre-Constantine speaks of the woman Ammion, “Elder” (Gibson 1978: 437-38). A family tombstone for a mother and her children mentions two (and perhaps 3: name uncertain) daughters as “Elders” (EG IV.368-70 Melos, IV).


In verse 1 of 1 Tim. 3:1-7 is episkopos, “guardian,” which became “bishop” after the time of Ignatius in the early 2nd century A.D. Prior to this, and at the time of Paul’s writing, it meant one who watches over, an overseer, guardian. The Athenians used to send Guardians to their subject states. Note that Paul uses the gender generic pronoun tis in 1 Tim. 3:1, “If anyone desires the position of episkopos…” In verses 5 and 12 the word proistemai (tinos) means to “care for”, “give aid to”, “be leader/ruler of” and carries the sense of presiding over activities in an official capacity (BDAG 2000: s.v.). It occurs also in 1 Tim. 3:4, 5; 5:17; Rom. 12:8; 1 Thess. 5:12; Titus 3:8, 14. The term is used in the papyri in the context of one who is a leader, patron, supervisor and director. The term was used for the pagan goddess Artemis of Ephesos in her capacity as patron of the city (Hicks 1890: 482). Artemis was described as savior, healer, protector, and was worshipped throughout the whole world (Pausanias 4.31.8). A woman called “master teacher” is twice mentioned in a Christian letter dated to the 4th century. Another Christian letter of the same era mentions a female (church) teacher Kyria and a male (church) teacher Philoxenos (Horsley and Lee 1997: 78).


There is much evidence for female guardians/bishops both at the time of the New Testament and in subsequent centuries. In fact, there is a continuity of evidence for women elders and women office holders in the church. Grudem’s circular argument that aner cannot apply to women elders as women were not elders or church leaders is untenable.


Grudem's conclusion.

“Conclusion: aner means ‘man’ (or ‘husband’) and should be translated that way in the New Testament. The Colorado Springs Guidelines are correct to say, ‘Hebrew ‘ish should ordinarily be translated “man” and men,” and Greek aner should almost always be so translated.’”

(Guideline A.4) (Grudem 2002a: 1).


In view of Grudem’s masculinist ideology, it would not be a surprise if his objection were not to the original text but to non-inclusive language English translations of the original text. Yet Grudem has chosen to object to translations of the Greek word aner as anything other than adult male, in spite of the fact that aner has been demonstrated clearly by scholarship over centuries to be used inclusively of women. Grudem misrepresents lexicons, makes errors in simple Greek grammar, and at times makes fallacious statements. He presents his interpretation of the Greek text as authoritative, rigid, and defensible. I contend it is not. I have demonstrated that aner is used inclusively of women.




Works cited.


A.E. (L’Annee epigraphique). 1975. 454. (Centuripae, Sicily; IV/V.)


Authenrieth, George. 1877. Homeric Dictionary. England: Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd.


Barratte, F. and Boyaval, B. 1979. “Catalogue des etiquettes de momies du Musee du Louvre, IV.” CRIPEL 5 (264), no. 115 (provenance in Egypt not stated, II/III).


Bauer, Walter. 1998. Griechisch-deutsches Worterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der fruhchristlichen Literatur. Sixth edition. Edited by K. Aland and B. Aland, with V. Reichmann.


Bauer, Danker, Arndt, Gingrich (BDAG). Danker, Frederick William, (Reviser and Editor). 2000. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian Literature. Third Edition. Revised and edited by F.W. Danker, based on W. Bauer’s Griechisch-deutsches Worterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der fruhchristlichen Literatur. Third edition. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.


Bruce, F.F. 1970. The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek text with Introduction and Commentary. 1951 London: Tyndale Press; repr. 1970 Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.


_________. 1992. Commentary on Acts, New International Commentary. 1965 London: Tyndale Press; repr. 1992 Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.



Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. 1997. Colorado Springs Guidelines for Translation of Gender-Related Language in Scripture.

www.cbmw.org/resources/articles/niv/guidelines.html


Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. 1998. The Danvers Statement

www.cbmw.org/about/danvers.html


Geddes, A. 1975. “The Philosophic Notion of Women in Antiquity.” Antichton (9) 33-39.


Gibson, E.P. 1978. “The ‘Christians for Christians’ Inscription of Phrygia.” Harvard Theological Studies. 32, 437-38. www.cbmw.org/resources/tniv/short-list.html


_________ . 2002c. What's Wrong with Gender-Neutral Bible Translations? www.cbmw.org/resources/articles/genderneutral.html


_________ . 2002d. Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s Interaction with the TNIV’s Explanations of Key Gender-Related Issues. www.cbmw.org


_________ . 2002e. Translation Inaccuracies in the TNIV: A Categorized List of 904 Examples. www.cbmw.org/tniv/categorized_list.html


_________ . 2002f. Debate over gender-neutral TNIV translation between Wayne Grudem and Mark Strauss, 7:30 p.m. Pacific time May 17, 2002 at Concordia University, Los Angeles. The webcast of the debate can be accessed online at the website
http://www.faithandvalues.com/channels/bibledebate.asp.


_________.1997. What's Wrong with Gender-Neutral Bible Translations? www.cbmw.org/resources/articles/genderneutral.html


Hammond, N.G.L. 1985. Journal of Hellenic Studies. 105, 156-60.


Hicks, E.L. ed.pr. 1890. The Collection of Ancient Greek Inscriptions in the British Museum. III.2 (Oxford) 482 Ephesos, c. 162-64, l.16.


Gregorie, H. 1922. Recueil des inscriptions grecques chretiennes d’Adie. Mineure I Paris. no. 167.


Grudem, Wayne. 2002a. Can Greek 'Aner' Sometimes Mean 'Person'? www.cbmw.org/resources/tniv/aner.html.


_________. 2002b. Concise listing of TNIV Inaccuracies.


Horsley, Greg H.R. 1981. “Invitations to the kline of Sarapis.” New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity. Sydney: Macquarie University: The Ancient History Documentary Research Centre.1, 7-9.


Horsley, Greg H.R. and Lee, John A.L. 1997. “A Lexicon of the New Testament with Documentary Parallels: Some Interim Entires, 1.” Etlologia Neotestamenataria. X Mavo Novembre 1997, 78.


Jacopi, G. 1937. R. Ist. d’Arch. e Storia dell’ Arte. Rome: Libreria dello Stato.


Jones, Rebecca. 1998. “Submission: a lot more than giving in: Women’s ministry focus: Biblical principles on radically honoring husbands.” Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Vol. 3. No. 4, 10-11.


Korte, A. ed. 1902. Inscriptiones Bureschianae. No. 55, repr. E. Gibson, GRBS 16 (1975) 437-38.


Kraemer, R.S. 1985. “A new inscription from Malta and the question of women
elders in the diaspora Jewish communities.” Harvard Theological Review. 78, 431-38.


Liddell, Henry George and Scott, Robert. 1889. A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon Press.


Louw, Johannes P. and Nida, Eugene A. 1988. Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains. 2 vols, New York: United Bible Societies.


Nagel, M. 1975. Zeitschrift fur Papyrologie und Epigraphik.18, 317-73.


Piper, John and Grudem, Wayne (eds.). 1991. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism. Illinois: Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.


Pomeroy, Sarah B. 1975. Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity. New York: Schoken.


Poythress, Vern and Grudem, Wayne. 2000. The Gender-Neutral Bible Controversy: Muting the Masculinity of God’s Words. Illinois: Broadman & Holman.


Smientana, Bob. 2002. “Lost in Translation.” The Covenant Companion. May 2002.


Ware, Bruce; Grudem, Wayne; Stinson, Randy. 2002. A List of Translation Inaccuracies Primarily (But Not Exclusively) Related to Gender Language in the TNIV, www.cbmw.org.


Watkins, Terry. 2002. TNIV Translation Treason.

www.av1611.org/kjv/tniv_intro.html


Wiseman, J. 1973. Stobi. A Guide to the Excavations. Yugoslavia: Beograd.



1Notes.

Likewise, gender neutral.

2 Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and those who signed the Colorado Springs Guidelines and the Danvers Statement, both of which can be found on the Council’s website, http://www.cbmw.org. On the Council’s Board of Reference are such politically influential people as Pat Robertson, founder of Christian Coalition and author of New World Order.


3 Resolutions opposing “gender-inclusive” Bible translations were also passed in the summer of 1997 by the Southern Baptist Convention, the Presbyterian Church in America, and the Conservative Congregational Christian Churches. (Online.) http://www.cbmw.org/resources/articles/niv/guidelines.html (Accessed on 3/3/02.)


4 The holes were later discovered to be drilled holes rather than bullet holes. Scott Munger, Vice President IBS, per.litt. 16 May, 2002.


5 Larry Walker, dismissed as the IBS was accused of pushing a feminist agenda, per.litt. 17 May, 2002.


6 Grudem’s discourses on aner disregard this caveat.


7 Grudem with John Piper edited Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, Illinois, 1991, in which an argument for biological inferiorities of women is made to support the use of masculinist language in Bible translation and the role of headship of the male over the female.


8 BDAG 2000, p. 79: “In Ac 17:34 aner appears to = anthropos, but the term was probably chosen in anticipation of the contrasting gune (is Damaris the wife of one of the men?).”


9 Grudem also cites F.F. Bruce to support his argument, but does not give a reference. F.F Bruce states, “The original form of the Western text probably described [Damaris] as EUSCHMWN (‘of honourable estate’), like the God-fearing women of Beroea (v.12)” F.F. Bruce, Commentary on Acts, New London Commentary, 1965, p.364, n.6). In the 1988 version (repr. 1992, pp. 343-344), Bruce states, “As for Damaris, Ramsay suggested that she must have been ‘a foreign woman, perhaps one of the class of educated Hetairai,’ (96 St. Paul the Traveller, p. 252; cf. The Church in the Roman Empire (London, 1893), p. 16.) in view of the unlikelihood of an ordinary Athenian woman being present on such an occasion. A meeting held in one of the colonnades of the Agora could not be a private meeting; there was bound to be a crowd of bystanders listening to whatever they found interesting, (97 Formal meetings of the Areopagus court were roped off, but this was scarcely a formal meeting ) and Damaris was probably one of them.  It is less likely that she was a God-fearing Gentile who heard Paul in the synagogue; the impression given is that she heard his Areopagitica.”


10 “(James 1:12.) In this instance, I would be obliged to say that aner ought absolutely NOT to be supposed to refer to a ‘male human being’ but that aner MUST be understood to mean ‘human person’.” Carl W. Conrad, Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus) bgreek@franklin.metalab.unc.edu, 9 June, 2002. (His emphasis.)


11 For example, Demosthenes, Peri tou Stephanou, 18.207; Lysias, Against Andocides, 8, 56; See also andres as a form of address, Antiphon, On the Murder of Herodes, 1; Andocides, On the Mysteries, 57; Lysias, Olympiacus, 1; Courts before the Areopagos were commonly addressed as boule, cf. Lysias, Against Simon: Defence, 1; Lysias, Before the Areopagus: Defence in the Matter of the Olive Stump, 1, 9, 12. 34, 40, 42.


12 For example, Lysias, Against Erathosthenes, 1; Against Agoratus, 39; Against Theomnestos, 6, 15; Against Pankleon, 1; Against Alcibiades, I. 23, 32.


13 Isaeus XII, 9, speaks of a mother said to be ready to swear an oath in court, and in Lysias XXXII, 13, Diogeiton’s daughter is said to swear “anywhere her father wanted”. Note also the woman Neara’s appearance in court, cf. Demosthenes, Against Neara.


14 A list of “ministries” deemed suitable for women occurs in Piper & Grudem, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, Illinois, 1991, pp. 49ff.


15 “The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women: In the home, the husband’s loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity; the wife’s intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility, in the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines women to resist limitations on their roles.” “Both Old and New Testaments also affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community.” “In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands’ leadership.”


16 The following inscriptions have female Christian deacons as their subject:

The deacon Agrippinae, described as “the most God-beloved deacon Agrippiane.” This is from the early Christian period (SEG 425).

An inscription at Mt Hymettos in Attika, no date (IG III, 2.x.3527).

A long epitaph for the deacon Athanasia, ordained by Pantamianos, early 5th century (EG IV.345-47 Delphi, V1; fig. 99).

A family tombstone for a mother and her children. One of the daughters, Agaliasis, is a deacon, 4th century (EG IV.3368-70 Melos, IV).

An inscription in memory of the deacon Eugeneias, Turkey (ZPE 18 (1975) 46, no. 141 (pl. 3).