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SBLGNT:

διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω, οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός, ἀλλ’ εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ.

From what I can tell, this is the only use of any form of this word (often translated "to exercise authority") in the NT. In contrast, ἐξουσιάζω (similarly translated) shows up 3 times as a verb (twice in Paul: 1 Cor 6:12 and 7:4) and 93 times in the related noun form (ἐξουσία - 25 times in Paul.) Is there a different shade of meaning in αὐθεντεω? I don't have a readily searchable LXX, but I'd also be interested to know if/how it is used there.

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I'm aware of an informative set of eight posts (there are two Part 6's) from a few years back. (You need to start from the bottom of that page.) Much of the relevant literature is cited there. Might be worth exploring while awaiting an answer here. –  Davïd Feb 26 at 7:45

2 Answers 2

I liken the meaning of exousia to having a driver’s licence. When you have a driver’s licence you have the authority, right and freedom to drive a vehicle on public roads.

Here is a sample of most of the verses from 1 Corinthians (NABS) of exousia which demonstrates a range of usage. (I have italicised the English translation of exousia.)

The wife doesn’t have authority over her own body, but the husband. Likewise also the husband doesn’t have authority over his own body, but the wife (1 Cor 7:4.) [Compare this translation with the very good NLT translation.]

But he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own heart, to keep his own virgin, does well (1 Cor 7:36).

But be careful that by no means does this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to the weak (1 Cor 8:9).

Have we no right to eat and to drink? (1 Cor 9:4.)

Have we no right to take along a wife who is a believer, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord,and Cephas? (1 Cor 9:5.)

Or have only Barnabas and I no right to not work? (1 Cor 9:6.)

If others partake of this right over you, don’t we yet more? Nevertheless we did not use this right but we bear all things, that we may cause no hindrance to the Good News of Christ (1 Co 9:12.)

Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power (1 Cor 15:24).

As to what authentein means? That's a whole other ball game.

Most lexicons give the meaning of the verb authenteō as something like "domineer". But authentein is not a verb. Albert Wolters 1 notes that the cognate nouns authentēs and authentia are used in texts about Gnosticism that date from the 1st and 2nd centuries (as well as in other contexts.) But authentein is not a noun. It is in the infinitive.

In the TLG, a data base of all known ancient Greek literature, authentein occurs only 19 times, 15 of those times are references to 1 Timothy 2:12. So we don't have much to go on there. However, I suggest, based on what we do know, that exousia and authentein are very different as far as "shades of meaning" go.

Furthermore, cognates of authentein do occur in the LXX. In Wisdom 12:6 authenta is used describe parents who murder their children. A cognate also occurs in 3 Maccabees 2:29.

It is important to note that the English word "authority" is not etymologically related to "athentein".

I hope this helps.

  1. Albert Wolters, “A Semantic Study of authentēs and its Derivatives” in the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 1/11, Spring 2006, p44-65.
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Thank you, and welcome to BH.SE! There's some interesting information here. A couple questions: 1) Which lexicons? I'm looking at BDAG which doesn't say that; 2) I don't understand what you're getting at with "it's not a noun...it's not a veb." As far as I'm concerned, it a verbal noun, but I don't see where this is going; 3) You conclude that there are very different shades of meaning, but you don't say what the shade of authentein is other than "most lexicons say..." and the reference to the "murder" usage which I would need to be convinced is relevant... –  Susan Jul 22 at 9:06
    
And finally, I would be interested to know more about how it's used in the 1st/2nd century texts about gnosticism. Sorry for the nitpicky questions - this is one I've been trying to get an answer to for a long time and I appreciate you taking it on! –  Susan Jul 22 at 9:09
    
Hi Susan, the lexicons I used include LSJ, Louwe & Nida, Sophocles, as well as BDAG. BDAG, however, does not give the meaning "domineer". The type of authority given in the lexicons, including BDAG, is not the kind of authority that I believe Jesus would want in his church (e.g. Matt. 23:8-12). Cognate nouns and verbs don't always match in meaning. So knowing the meaning of a verb does not always mean we know the meaning of the noun, and vice versa. That was my point. I don't give the shades of meaning for authentein because I don't know what they are, except in Classical Greek useage. –  Marg Mowczko Jul 22 at 10:42
    
Wolters cites his sources in his paper about the nouns authentia and athentes. Albert Wolters, “A Semantic Study of authentēs and its Derivatives” in the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 1/11, Spring 2006, p44-65. –  Marg Mowczko Jul 22 at 10:51
    
I agree that the Wisdom 12:6 verse is not necessarily relevant, but the original question mentioned the LXX, so I included it. –  Marg Mowczko Jul 22 at 10:52

Here the Authority is Defined by God

Then Moses spoke to the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: (Numbers 30:1 NKJV)

When a Man prays/prophecies

If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. (Numbers 30:2 NKJV)

Note: Here we see how important it is that what the man says should happen.

Here a woman prays/prophecies without her head covered

Or if a woman makes a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by some agreement while in her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears her vow and the agreement by which she has bound herself, and her father holds his peace, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement with which she has bound herself shall stand. (Numbers 30:3-4 NKJV)

Note: The agreement is now bound to her. The agreement now has authority to afflict her soul. If the agreement fails the disgrace falls to the woman.

The Father prays/prophecies against the word.

But if her father overrules her on the day that he hears, then none of her vows nor her agreements by which she has bound herself shall stand; and the Lord will release her, because her father overruled her. (Numbers 30:5 NKJV)

Note: This scenario the woman is saved from disgrace, but disgrace is given to the father, because he prays/prophecies against the word. The shame is similar to that of a woman who is forced to get her head shaved. {Numbers 30:15, 1 Cor 11:5}

Here a woman has a current binding when taking a husband

“If indeed she takes a husband, while bound by her vows or by a rash utterance from her lips by which she bound herself, and her husband hears it, and makes no response to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her agreements by which she bound herself shall stand. (Numbers 30:6-7 NKJV)

Note: Here the new husband may void a verbal binding, yet with silence it can still afflict her soul.

Here the new husband voids the womans binding

But if her husband overrules her on the day that he hears it, he shall make void her vow which she took and what she uttered with her lips, by which she bound herself, and the Lord will release her. (Numbers 30:8 NKJV)

Note: This scenario the woman is saved from disgrace, but disgrace is given to the father, because he prays/prophecies against the word. The shame is similar to that of a woman who is forced to get her head shaved. {Numbers 30:15, 1 Cor 11:5}

Here a woman prays/prophecies without her head covered

Also any vow of a widow or a divorced woman, by which she has bound herself, shall stand against her. (Numbers 30:9 NKJV)

Note: The agreement is now bound to her. The agreement now has authority to afflict her soul. If the agreement fails the disgrace falls to the woman.

Here a woman prays/prophecies without her head covered

“If she vowed in her husband’s house, or bound herself by an agreement with an oath, and her husband heard it, and made no response to her and did not overrule her, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement by which she bound herself shall stand. (Numbers 30:10-11 NKJV)

Note: The agreement is now bound to her. The agreement now has authority to afflict her soul. If the agreement fails the disgrace falls to the woman.

Here the husband voids the woman's binding

But if her husband truly made them void on the day he heard them, then whatever proceeded from her lips concerning her vows or concerning the agreement binding her, it shall not stand; her husband has made them void, and the Lord will release her. (Numbers 30:12 NKJV)

Note: This scenario the woman is saved from disgrace, but disgrace is given to the father, because he prays/prophecies against the word. The shame is similar to that of a woman who is forced to get her head shaved. {Numbers 30:15, 1 Cor 11:5}

Dishonor and Bearing Guilt

Every vow and every binding oath to afflict her soul, her husband may confirm it, or her husband may make it void. Now if her husband makes no response whatever to her from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or all the agreements that bind her; he confirms them, because he made no response to her on the day that he heard them. But if he does make them void after he has heard them, then he shall bear her guilt.” (Numbers 30:13-15 NKJV)

Every man who prays or prophesies against the word dishonors his head. (1 Corinthians 11:4 Decoded)

Note: After making void an agreement the man has heard means that he shall bear her guilt. The shame is similar to that of a woman who is forced to get her head shaved. {Numbers 30:15, 1 Cor 11:5}

As Commanded by the Lord

These are the statutes which the Lord commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, and between a father and his daughter in her youth in her father’s house. (Numbers 30:16)

What is this head covering referring to?
It means to be in agreement with the man before the prayer or prophecy. His OK means she is covered. That way he does not need to dishonor himself by making it void causing himself so much dishonor. A shame that is similar to that of a woman who is forced to get her head shaved. {Numbers 30:15, 1 Cor 11:5}

What Does it Mean To Exercise Authority Over

But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. (1 Tim 2:12 NKJV)

The woman is not to suffer the shame of make void the saying of a man. The man is built to suffer that shame. Neither should a woman have to suffer through the experience of teaching a man. So in both teaching and in usurping authority the woman has been saved of this responsibility.

In 1 Tim 2:12, how does αὐθεντεῖν (αὐθεντεω) differ from the more commonly used ἐξουσιάζω?

γυναικὶ δὲ διδάσκειν οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός ἀλλ' εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ

Here we see that αὐθεντεῖν is used instead of ἐξουσιάζω. But Why?

What does αὐθεντεω Mean
831 authentéō (from 846 /autós, "self" and entea, "arms, armor") – properly, to unilaterally take up arms, i.e. acting as an autocrat – literally, self-appointed (acting without submission). (Source).

What does ἐξουσιάζω Mean
Cognate: 1850 eksousiázō (from 1849 /eksousía, "delegated power," see there) – having authority to act; "empowered because authorized." See 1849 (eksousia). (Source)

To Unilaterally Self Armor vs. Empowered Because Authorized
We can see that the topic of 1 Tim 2:12 is in the presentation of a woman to a man. Let us create a context to fill within.

  • When teaching a man not to unilaterally self armor
  • When teaching a man not being empowered because authorized

What does Unilateral Mean
(of an action or decision) performed by or affecting only one person, group, or country involved in a particular situation, without the agreement of another or the others.

What does οὐδὲ Mean
[Regardless of how 3761 (oudé) is translated, it means: If "A" (the preceding statement) isn't true (valid) – then "B" (which extends from it) is also not valid. As in the previous example: If 100 is not enough (valid), then automatically neither are 90, 80, 70, etc.]. (Source).

Without Agreement Self Armor
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. To teach however, a woman if not permitted then neither (Armor/Authorize) a man instead to be quiet.

What if ἐξουσιάζω was used?
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. To teach however, a woman if not permitted then neither (being empowered because authorized) a man instead to be quiet.

Here we see why it is not used because "Not Being Permitted" she is "Not Authorized" as the nature of the Greek word οὐδὲ declares.

Another Way to Say 1 Tim 2:12

If a woman is not permitted to teach, then she is not authorized to teach a man and should instead remain quiet. (1 Tim 2:12 Decoded)

Why?

For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Timothy 2:13-14 NKJV)

Since the risk of falling into transgression, why should the man suffer the shame making what she says void?

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Regarding the last paragraph - note that "suffer" meant something different in KJV English than it does now. (This is translating a different Greek word, but it makes fairly transparent use of the English word "suffer".) –  Susan Aug 8 at 20:18
    
Thank you God for correcting my error. Is any more error in this text? –  Only he is good. Aug 8 at 20:25
    
I appreciate the effort you've put into this. I'm having a hard time understanding what these "decoded" translations are. Are these your translations? In 1 Cor 11:4, where does "against the word" come from? (I see where you get "against", but it says "having against head" which just means "having the head covered.") For 1 Tim 2:12, I don't understand where the "if...then.." construction comes from, nor do I understand how the entire sentence lost the "I do not permit/suffer..." context. –  Susan Aug 9 at 12:02
    
I am writing the decoded translation slowly with the help of God. The Head of Man is Jesus. Jesus is the Word. To have against the Head for a man, is to be against Jesus who is the word. So it means to against the word. The construction "having the head covered" comes only from textual interpretation, not the actual Greek words. The reason for the If Then Construction is because of the nature of the Greek word "οὐδὲ". Which is explained in the answer. –  Only he is good. Aug 9 at 15:56
    
Being as how the nature of the word "οὐδὲ" meaning: If "A" (the preceding statement) isn't true (valid) – then "B" (which extends from it) is also not valid. The Text reads as "To teach | however/but | a woman | not | permit" this first not is ouk. ouk is used before smooth breathings and oux before a rough breathing. This means a "soft no" not a "sharp no". "οὐδὲ" can be understood as "if not". So (permit if not authority). To teach | however/but | a woman | soft no | (permit if not authority) | Man | but to be quiet. We see Authority comes from man. –  Only he is good. Aug 9 at 16:15

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