FOR THE HUSBAND IS THE HEAD OF
THE WIFE AS CHRIST ALSO IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH: hoti aner estin (3SPAI) kephale tes gunaikos
os kai o Christos kephale tes ekklesias: (1Corinthians
11:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) (Ep 1:22,23; 4:15; Colossians 1:18)
For - Paul
explains why the wife is to be subject to her own husband as to the
Lord. He explains that the husband is the head of his wife, just as
Christ (the Bridegroom) is the head of the Church (His Bride).
Husband is the
head of the wife - The issue is order not superiority or
Paul explains this
spousal order to the Corinthians writing...
But I want you to understand that
Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and
God is the head of Christ. (1Corinthians 11:3)
Clearly Paul is
not saying the woman is inferior to the man, just as Christ is not
inferior to His Father. Paul is speaking of a divine order that in
context of this letter will create an environment in which the marital
partners will be "diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace." (See note
Paul goes on to
in the Lord, neither is woman
independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.12 For as the woman
originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the
woman; and all things originate from God. (1 Corinthians
Men and women are
interdependent, and women are not inferior to men since they give birth
In Genesis it is
quite clear that both men and women were created in God's image, Moses
And God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
has an interesting comment on the meaning of this verse...
If you ever meet an egalitarian
(an evangelical feminist) claiming that the word "head" in the
Bible doesn't mean "authority" but means "source," you may
wonder how to answer. Their purpose, of course, is to get rid of the
idea of authority in the family in verses like,
"The husband is the head of the wife
as Christ is the head of the church" (Ep 5:23).
So they claim that the word "head"
(kephale) meant "source" rather than "authority" in the ancient world.
Sometimes they quote some ancient Greek texts which, they say, show Zeus
to be the "source" of all things, or Esau to be the "source" of his
clan, or which mention the "head" of a river. For a verse about husbands
and wives, even this idea makes no sense (I am not the source of my
wife!), but they will usually then suggest a more specific meaning like
"source of encouragement. .
(Grudem goes on) You claim that the
Greek word for "head" means "source without the idea of authority." Will
you please show me one example in all of ancient Greek where this word
(kephale) is used to refer to a person and means what you claim, namely,
"non-authoritative source"? In the Greek speaking world, to be the
"head" of a group of people always meant to have authority over those
people. Notice the egalitarian examples: Zeus is the chief of the Greek
gods! Esau was the leader of the clan descended from him. These examples
don't disprove the idea of authority; they confirm it. The example of "head
of a river" doesn't prove "source without authority," because (1)
this usage is not referring to a person at all, and (2) the example is
misquoted for Eph. 5:23, because there "head" is singular, and "head" in
the singular is in fact used to refer to the other end of the river, the
"mouth," while only in the plural is it used of the "source" of the
river (see the Liddell-Scott-Jones Lexicon, p. 945), and (3) in both
cases it just means "end point," in the same way that it can refer to
the "head of a column" or "head of a pole," and these examples have
nothing to do with the ideas of "source" or "authority. I once looked up
over 2,300 examples of the word "head" (kephale) in ancient
Greek. In these texts the word kephale is applied to many people in
authority, but to none without governing authority: the king of Egypt is
called "head" of the nation/the general of an army is called the "head"
of the army/ the Roman emperor is called the "head" of the people/the
god Zeus is called the "head" of all things/David as king of Israel is
called the "head" of the people/the leaders of the tribes of Israel are
called "heads" of the tribes/the husband is the "head" of the
wife/Christ is the "head" of the church/God the Father is the "head" of
1, No. 3 - Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood)
Christ also is the Head of the
Church - This truth is reaffirmed elsewhere in Scripture.
And He put all things in subjection
under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,
which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all. (See
but speaking the truth in love, we
(the church) are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head,
even Christ, (See note
He (Christ) is also head of the
body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the
dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.
(ekklesia from ekkaléo = call out in turn from ek =
out + kaleo = call) literally "called-out ones". The Greeks used
ekklesia for assembly of
citizens called out to transact city
business. The church is a living organism, composed of living members
joined together; through which Christ works, carries out His purposes
and He lives.
The Church is a spiritual organism
entered by means of the baptism of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Everyone who has
been saved belongs to the body of Christ, the universal church. The
universal church is manifested in the world by individual local
churches, each of which is to be a microcosm of the body of Christ. The
church is to function under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, operating
under His sovereign rule. Jesus Christ is the Founder and Lord of His
church and has guaranteed its perpetuity until He returns.
HE HIMSELF BEING
SAVIOR OF THE BODY: autos soter tou somatos: (Ep
5:25,26; Acts 20:28; 1Th 1:10; Rev 5:9)
Himself...the Savior of the Body - this clause definitely emphasizes
that although Christ resembles the husband in respect to headship, at
the same time He differs from the Husband by virtue of His role as
Savior. The husband is not the "savior" of his wife. The husband is head
of the wife and in that role he is like Christ.
In this particular the comparison
between the husband as the head of the wife, and Christ as the head of
the Church, does not hold. Hence Rev., properly, renders for and He is,
being Himself; Himself separating the clause from what was previously
said. The comparison lies in the fact of headship alone. The husband’s
love and protection cannot be called salvation, in which respect
Christ’s headship is peculiar to Himself. (Vincent, M. R.. Word Studies
in the New Testament 3:401)
rescue from peril > from saos = safe; delivered) refers to the
agent of salvation or deliverance, the one who rescues, delivers, saves
and preserves. Anyone who saves or delivers can be called a deliverer or
rescuer (a soter).
used of God as the source of salvation - the Deliverer, the
Preserver, the Protector, the Healer, the One Who rescues man from
danger or peril and unto a state of prosperity and happiness. Soter
is used of Jesus Christ as the agent sent by God to bring
deliverance to sinful mankind.