Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.
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gregcoupe
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Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Post by gregcoupe » May 18th, 2016, 11:02 am

Is it possible to interpret auqentein andros in 1 Tim as “exercising man’s authority.” That is, for the genitive to construe “man’s” rather than “over man.”
I realize that “over man” is the standard interpretation due to the genitive normally signifying that over which verbs of ruling are being exercised, but am wondering if the alternative interpretation is possible and how likely it would be.
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Post by Stephen Carlson » May 18th, 2016, 4:43 pm

The meaning of αὐθεντεῖν is a famously difficult question. Since this question is posted in the beginners forum, my advice is to look at what the lexicons say. If the meaning you're looking for is given, then it's possible but you have do more work and check for contextual fit. If the meaning is not there, then don't worry about. (Occasionally, it is possible to propose new, overlooked meanings but not at the beginners level.)
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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gregcoupe
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Re: Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Post by gregcoupe » May 18th, 2016, 4:52 pm

Hey, thanks for your reply. I've done a lot of research on authentein and concluded that it most likely means exercise power/authority, but I'm mainly just concerned about how it relates to the genitive (see original post). Any thoughts?
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MAubrey
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Re: Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Post by MAubrey » May 18th, 2016, 7:28 pm

Genitive objects don't really work like that. As far as I'm aware, they don't do possession the way they do in noun phrases.

Also: the debate notwithstanding, I would caution you to conclude anything at all. The data is so limited and the evidence so tenuous in general that not drawing a conclusion is the safe route.

This is a case where either side of the issue could arguably respond to the other with this meme:

Image
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Post by Stephen Carlson » May 18th, 2016, 7:42 pm

gregcoupe wrote:Hey, thanks for your reply. I've done a lot of research on authentein and concluded that it most likely means exercise power/authority, but I'm mainly just concerned about how it relates to the genitive (see original post). Any thoughts?
Accordingly, I have moved from the Beginners forum.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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gregcoupe
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Re: Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Post by gregcoupe » May 18th, 2016, 11:23 pm

I've written the following as part of a book on gender roles in the church, but have still to have it checked by "professionals." Anyway, to my mind
this info seems to suggest "exercise power/authority":

About AD 150 (less than one hundred years after Paul wrote his letter to Timothy), the Greek grammarian Aelius Moeris maintained “authentēn” corresponds to Attic autodikēn (self-judging/determining), with the implication “to have independent jurisdiction.” Slightly later, in the latter part of the second century AD, the grammarian Phrynichus of Bithynia said the legal rhetoricians used the noun authentēs corresponding to despotēs (master, lord, “[one] who exercises complete jurisdiction [in a particular sphere]” ). Around fifty years later, the Greek-speaking Christian scholar Origen interpreted authentein in 1 Timothy to mean, “the woman is not to become leader [hēgemona: guide, commander, governor ] of the man [in the ministry of] the word.” Around AD 400(?), another Greek grammarian, Hesychius of Alexandria (or possibly his later redactors), interpreted authentein as exousiazein (“executing authority”), and defined the related noun authentēs as autocheir (self-hander: “one who does things with his own hand”).

There is also good evidence roughly contemporaneous with and prior to 1 Timothy where apparent authentein cognates imply lordship, mastery, and legitimate responsibility. I haven't seen any good evidence to interpret authentein as "domineering" let alone any of the other strange interpretations that have been offered.
But, I'm just a beginner, so am open to correction.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 19th, 2016, 2:13 am

When we were in the second year of Classical Greek, we treated the language as a set of rules that could be manipulated at will to do and create whatever we wanted it to do. That is typical of language learners at lower-intermediate level. As a learner gains more experience in the language they are learning the possibilities become limited and actual usages become systematised.

If I was back in grammar classes of second year, I could have made a speculation like yours. To put the reasoning into a Socratic dialogue might be helpful.
LI: Could a possessive genitive be used to express possession of the action of a verb?
Ad: What are you getting at?
LI: In 1 Timothy 2:12 αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός is usually taken as a genitive object of what is ruled, but what if it is a possessive genitive instead?
Ad: How could that be?
LI: It could be a genitive together with an omitted cognate accusative.
Ad: But then where would the genitive object be?
LI: Understood from context.
Ad: Who would it be.
LI: A man.
Ad: How would that be expressed in Greek?
LI: ἀνδρός
Ad: So the ἀνδρός we see is the genitive of an omitted cognate accusative which we don't see, and the genitive we don't see is same as the genitive we do see, but it not what we see?
LI: You could say that.
Ad: So you are saying that what is seen together with what is unseen requires something else that is unseen to bee the same as what is seen, and what is seen is only what it is because what is unseen has required it to be that?
LI: That seems to be it.
Ad: Are you trying to sell me a used car?

(Of course, in the formal atmosphere of a Classical Greek classroom, where the students were addressed as "Mr Hughes" etc. - where everywhere else was on firstname bases, and only the best things were tolerated, we would not have heard the used car punchline.)

Greg, disregarding for a moment how the Greek language expresses it, for a moment, what is the role of γυναικὶ in relation to αὐθεντεῖν? The woman is the subject of the verb αὐθεντεῖν, she is the one doing it. If someone were to imagine it happenning, if it had been allowed, it would be ἡ γυνὴ αὐθεντεῖ. There are then two things to consider; how is the subject of αὐθεντεῖν expressed here, and how is the subject of an accusative expressed?

The subject of αὐθεντεῖν in this phrase is is taken from its parent phrase, the one based on ἐπιτρέπειν. ἐπιτρέπειν's indirect object is the subject of the verb in the accusative following ἐπιτρέπειν. The indirect object of ἐπιτρέπειν and hence ithe subject of αὐθεντεῖν is in the dative. The dative form of γυνὴ is γυναικὶ. The ἀνδρός we see here is genitive not dative, so there is no suggestion that it could take the same function in the sentence as γυναικὶ does.

The subject of an accusative is often expressed by the accusative and sometimes by the nominative, depending on the wider syntactic context. The genitive ἀνδρός together with this accusative αὐθεντεῖν is neither accusative nor nominative, so it is not likely to have been taken as the real world (as opposed to the way the grammar expresses it) subject of αὐθεντεῖν.

In effect, your hypothesis says that ἀνδρός means "as a man does (or should)". Let's look at a way that is expressed in 1 Corinthians 13:11; Ὅτε ἤμην νήπιος, ὡς νήπιος ἐλάλουν "when I was a child, I spoke as a child". Perhaps that's a little difficult, because it is tautological, basically what comes after the ὡς is adverbial, expressing the way it was done. Used with the nominative case, the subject-of-a-sentence case, it expresses something about how the subject does it. Let's look at other cases.

As an example of the accusative, Acts 7:37 says Προφήτην ὑμῖν ἀναστήσει κύριος ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν ἐκ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ὑμῶν ὡς ἐμέ. The prophet would be raised up as he was. For the dative, Acts 11:17 Εἰ οὖν τὴν ἴσην δωρεὰν ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ὁ θεὸς ὡς καὶ ἡμῖν. The "to them" is the same way as the "to us". For the genitive, there is the awkward 1 Peter 1:19 ἀλλὰ τιμίῳ αἵματι (ὡς ἀμνοῦ ἀμώμου καὶ ἀσπίλου) χριστοῦ. Here the blood of Christ is explained by another genitive.

So the ὡς functions with all four cases, in ways that are appropriate for that case.

In the construction in1 Timothy 2:12 αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός, there would be two ways to express what you want to say. The first would be to use a dative in the broader context of the ἐπιτρέπειν construction, as αὐθεντεῖν ὡς ἀνδρί, meaning "as I let a man". The second would be to use a nominative to express a parallel for how the construction in side the ἐπιτρέπειν construction would have been, before it was put into that construction. That is to say adding ὡς ἀνήρ would describe the way that man exercises authority (if that's your take on the meaning of αὐθεντεῖν), ὡς ἀνήρ being an explanation of the finite expression ἡ γυνὴ αὐθεντεῖ.

In short, αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός in the sense of "of a man" implausible when considered within the context of those two words alone, and also within the broader syntactic functioning of the language.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

gregcoupe
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Re: Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Post by gregcoupe » May 19th, 2016, 5:15 am

Hey Stephen, thanks so much for that explanation.
It was really helpful and detailed, and I really appreciate it.
I will stick with the usual translation "over a man."
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 19th, 2016, 2:24 pm

gregcoupe wrote:that explanation ... was really helpful and detailed, and I really appreciate it.
Keep going with your Greek. Until you can actively criticise my thinking and understanding based on your own knowledge and experience as well, you should at least begin by comparing what I have just said with the views of others. Actively and critically engage with the texts and also with your own views and the views others about the text.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

gregcoupe
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Joined: May 8th, 2016, 4:17 pm

Re: Authentein andros as "exercising man's authority"

Post by gregcoupe » May 19th, 2016, 2:44 pm

Thanks, will endeavour to do that as I improve in my understanding. Also, to the other Stephen (Carlson), sorry if I was a bit short or opinionated.
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