not overruling the man
Theophrastus has introduced a discussion of 1 Tim. 2:12 already, so I thought I would take up this passage with a post rather than just a comment.
I am not too worried about how to translate 1 Tim. 2:12, but fall back on the Vulgate in this case. It has the advantage of being a translation backed by tradition, not always a bad thing. Oh, and not motivated by feminism either,
Docere autem mulierem non permitto, neque dominari in virum: sed esse in silentio.
But to teach I permit not unto a woman, nor to have dominion over the man, but to be in silence. Douay Rheims 1610.
Jerome has used dominari in two other contexts so we have some idea what he meant by it. Here is 1 Peter 5:3 and Gen. 3:16,
neque ut dominantes in cleris, sed forma facti gregis ex animo.
neither as “overruling” the Clergie, but made examples of the flock from the hart. DR 1582
et sub viri potestate eris, et ipse dominabitur tui.
thou shalt be under thy husband’s power and he shall have dominion over thee. DR 1609
It is hard not to suppose that the translators of the Douay-Rheims regarded “to have dominion” as a positive thing, and “overruling” as a negative thing. (I won’t suggest a feminist agenda for these translators.) A man could have dominion over a woman, but not the reverse. However, the “Clergie” is not to be overruled!
Just think what it would be like if 1 Tim. 2:12 had said that the woman was not to “overrule” the man. And should a man overrule a woman? What did they think on that score? The clergy is not to be overruled by the bishops (?), in spite of their relative positions, so why should a man overrule a woman?
I am becoming a little curious as to who translated the Douay-Rheims, and how they were able to suggest that the clergy should not be overruled. What was the power dynamic that this translation was intended to challenge or reinforce? I’d be interested in any ideas on this account.
My citations are from the facsimile version of the Douay Rheims, accessed through the Look Higher website, under “Historic Bibles (graphic.) One of the constants in my blogging has been, and will continue to be, to rediscover historic Bible translations and understand them within their context. And one of the benefits of group blogging is accountability, making sure that one’s references are reliable. That’s where the facsimile Bibles come in handy.