Thursday, July 19, 2007

Quick Questions on Seminaries

I am looking to work on a Th.M degree after I finish seminary and have narrowed down my choices (for various reasons) to three seminaries.

(In no particular order)

Covenant Theological Seminary
Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Erskine Theological Seminary

Any information anyone has on these schools (I have already visited their websites. I am looking for personal interaction) would be greatly appreciated.


Gary said...

I like Covenant's free courses they offer online. Try those and see if you like them. The ones I listened to were all recorded from live courses so they should give you an idea of what the seminary is like.

When I asked one of my Professors about Calvin Theological Seminary, his response was it could certainly be more reformed with a twinge of disgust in his voice. This same professor was very supportive of my applying and now enrolling to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (and also praised its library on numerous occassions when research papers were coming due). So my take on that is that PTS is more orthodox than Calvin.

I know nothing of the third.

Reformed Catholic said...


I think you know what Dr. Purves would say ...

"Forget those and head to Aberdeen !!"

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

I wish my wife would think the same...

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Nay, nay, nay, good Backwoods! 'Tis to Greenville Seminary ye must flee. Ye can do it at a distance, the cost is relatively low, and they are so stodgily Reformed that they will put ye to shame. Joey Pipa and Morton Smith can grumble and grump with the best of 'em, and make RC Sproul look positively cuddly.

Rev. Brian Carpenter
Former PCUSA minister,
Having fled Sodom and and now residing in Abraham's tents.

Chris said...

Since GPTS is redesigning its curriculum and remains unaccredited (though of higher quality than most accredited programs), I'd say go with Covenant. It's a great campus, friendly students and profs, and you can get a taste of the teaching by the online lessons.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Ah, yes, what has been said about Greenville is true. I was not aware. Sorry. The PCA pastor just down the road from me is getting his ThM there, but since he's one of the "already enrolled" it doesn't affect him.

I hate to say it, but at this point I'm having a little trouble recommending Covenant. I know, I know. It's my own denomination's seminary. I've got a good friend who is in the adminstration there and I spoke with him during this last General Assembly about my concerns, so this is not gossiping. My presbytery examined a couple of candidates who had just graduated Covenant and found them a little weaker than we'd like on the basics of Confessional theology. Of course, you get out what you put in.

Three other suggestions, then. One is Mid America Reformed Seminary. That place is an academic workout!

RTS Jackson with Lig Duncan would be well respected.

Or if you've got deep pockets, Highland Theological College in Dingwall, Scotland. I'm friends with the librarian and several of the faculty there. When I win the lottery or some hitherto unknown rich Auntie takes her dirt nap, that's where I'm going to go for my PhD. Plus you get to go to Scotland. And not just Scotland! Dingwall is on the Cromarty Firth and one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland.

Why do you want your ThM? Is a doctorate in your future?

BTW, all, I've finally started a blog of my own. I'd appreciate a gander and some Reformed feedback.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

Rev. Carpenter,

I would like to work on a Th.M in Reformed Worship/Liturgy/Preaching. That is one of the draws of Covenant is the opportunity to work under Bryan Chapell. I am a huge fan of the Upstate area of South Carolina and would really enjoy a stay in Greenville. We'll see how the GPTS Th.M program sorts out. I'll see if I can get my wife to go to Scotland. :)_

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

If that's the case, then I stick to my original recommendation of Greenville, or RTS Jackson as a substitute.

Reformed worship issues are consistently THE bone I end up picking with Covenant folks. I like Bryan Chapell. He spoke especially well at Alistair Begg's pastor's conference a few years ago. "Holiness By Grace" is a very good book.

But there has been a pervasive softness from Covenant's grads on the Sabbath, on images of the persons of the Trinity, and on the Regulative Principle. I can think of none who has understood that psalmnody is a requirement of the scriptures (and I don't mean exclusive psalmnody, just the singing of psalms period... to whatever genre of music you prefer)

I do not wish to be unnecessarily critical. I try very hard to be a happy T.R. My friend Wes ( I are actually trying to put a couple of things in place to help strengthen Covenant and its grads. One is an internship to be offered to Covenant students only. The other is a secret.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

RTS Jackson is not really an option because of location. We'll see what happens with Greenville's program but I am still kind of leary of its unaccredited status if/when I want to pursue a Ph.D.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

I understand completely. I suppose it depends on where you get your PhD and what you do with it. If you want to teach at Princeton, it's probably more important than if you want to teach at, say, Covenant.

You know it's inevitable that you're coming over to the Dark Side, don't you Luke? You're gonna end up in the PCA or the OPC sooer or later. Once the last of the quasi-evangelicals leaves, you'll be even more persona non grata than you are right now. You've already made your feelings about the EPC quite clear.

There is a network of Reformed seminaries that doesn't worry too much about the accreditation stamp of approval from the enemies of God. They're much more concerned with your orthodoxy and the quality of your work.

And I think (just my opinion here) that if you did want to go someplace like Princeton for a PhD, your ThM from an unaccredited school wouldn't hurt you as long as your work was good. They are remarkably good at bending the rules when they want to be.

Gary said...

I'm curious since someone mentioned Princeton Seminary. How are they? I doubt I could be lucky enough to have it be the "other" PCUSA seminary that is orthodox. I forget where I saw someone say that PTS is one of two orthodox PCUSA Seminaries. Since once I'm done at PTS I would like to earn a PhD and I'd love to do it at the Seminary with the best library in the US.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

Well our Library at the better PTS is nothing to be ashamed about.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

I'm not speaking from much personal knowledge, most of it is second hand, but indications are that Princeton isn't a total disaster.

The big problem you've got with any seminary in the PCUSA is that it is by necessity a mixed seminary... with liberals and evangelicals. I think Machen made it abundantly clear in "Christianity and Liberalism" that theological liberalism is a different religion and ought not be called Christianity at all. The evangelicals who teach at these places must needs pay a price in intellectual honesty and integrity on this issue just to get along and get tenure. You can't very well go around saying the professor down the hall is actually in league with the Devil if you want job security.

So you've got to play the "This is my point of view, but of course you're entitled to your own and it doesn't have to agree with mine" game. You also have to play the "I can criticize the others in my own camp" game to show that you're a team player.

And of course, there really is no monolithic theological liberalism anymore. It's all fragmented and growing more and more radical with each passing year, and that process is dragging the evangelicals slowly and inexorably toward the Left. In Friday chapel services at Louisville, the mild-mannered and not normally rabidly liberal President of the seminary took a text from one of the minor prophets where God pronounced judgement on Israel via some national tragedy. On the theory that our Bibles are just the record of human beings pasting their ideas about God up on to heaven instead of God's revealing himself, he said that if that is who God is, then (and he addressed the Deity himself, with upward looking eyes) "God, you're an abuser!"

That was the last time I ever went to Friday chapel.

In the PCA he would be terminated immediately and with great prejudice. But the liberals were all in awe and the conservatives mumbled in their beards and shuffled their feet like schoolboys. You've got an integrity issue if you can teach in a place like that and pretend that we're all pulling in the same yoke together. I'm sorry, but that's how I see it.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

I have stopped going to Chapel here at Pitt Theo Sem because of many of the reasons you have stated Rev. Carpenter. You never know what you are going to get. As for "mixed campuses" I unfortunately have to concur. We have had serious issues on campus. For example last fall we had some students hold "Gay Jeans Day" and the brouhaha that followed nearly had me outta here. There is definitely a lot of tension on campus.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Then why are you still there? What are you hoping to accomplish in a denomination that God has so obviously reprobated?

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

God only knows Rev. Carpenter. I suppose partly its my unwillingness to depart from my tradition to a world I do not know. Honestly most of it stems from my reluctance to deny my Mother's ministry to rural churches who otherwise would have no leadership (she is not ordained but is a CLP).

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Those are tough issues, and I won't pretend they're not. I understand them. I've experienced some of them for myself. But they stem from fear... fear of the unknown and fear of offending your mother.

But fear is not the Christian way, is it? It's really a temporary case of atheism.

Moses was afraid. Elijah was afraid. David was afraid. So was Jeremiah. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel were undoubtedly afraid. Surely Abraham was afraid.

And there was good reason to be so. Go reread Hebrews 11 and see the terrible price they paid. There were great victories, sure. But they were also sawn in two. They were destitute. They went around in sheepskins and goatskins and lived in caves and holes in the ground.

Are you really liable to suffer as much as they did for the sake of the purity of the gospel? If you want to be God's man, why do you boggle and startle at the lesser price that you might have to pay? Doesn't He have the right to demand that you lay down your life for him? Why not some lesser thing?

In my own personal experience, I cast my bread fearfully on the waters and after many days I found it again. What the Psalmist says about the lines falling in pleasant places more than accurately describes my lot in life right now. God has been kind to me beyond belief.

I know these are hard words from a stranger. But they are good words, spoken in brotherly love.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

P.S. You could also take a 5 hour drive east on the Turnpike and stumble onto a pretty decent seminary for a ThM there in Philadelphia.

Gary said...

Yeah at #3 in the US the PTS library has nothing to be ashamed about.

Now #2 on the other hand... They're proud of their progressiveness if I remember right. I can't actually remember their name. They're in NY. And not surprisingly, I have no interest in attending there.

Thanks for the answer on Princeton Brian. I too am a member of the PCA. (Ben you need to join us.)

I think there is a good thing about a mixture campus... You see the enemy, know what the enemy thinks, and I believe that makes you better prepared to conquer the enemy because of the 1st hand experience. Plus there's always the chance of embarrassing them in class on some point. And when you get tired of the liberal bs, you can always fall back to the evangelical faculty.

"Gay Jeans Day"... and tension on campus...

May be a good thing I'm a commuter.

And it doesn't sound like I'll be to upset if I miss chapels if I'm not on campus...

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

"Offending" may be a little strong because I do not think she would be "offended" in the way you may think. She certainly understands my anguish better than I do. But you have me pegged pretty good. Fear of the unknown is certainly keeping me where I am. I find myself preferring for some reason to put out the fire that has engulfed my home rather than let the Fire Department take care of it.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...


You've got to know, Brother, that the Evil One has more than one way to get nonsense and error into your skull. Be very careful. Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

You also need to know that because it's so small, much of what goes on in the PCA is based on relationships, and by attending the seminary you're attending, you are depriving yourself of some valuable relationships. It would be profitable to find a way to make some of those relationships.

I'm on the candidates and credentials committee of my presbytery. Based on some of the grads I'm seeing coming out of the orthodox Reformed seminaries, you've set yourself up for double the work, 'cause you gotta learn the nonsense and then the right stuff. I had to do it that way and it was hard, painful work.

It is, however, fun to embarass the liberal professors in class. Several of mine at Louisville couldn't think their way out of a wet paper sack, and one quite literally hated me for embarassing her with a basic question on epistemology that she couldn't answer. She wouldn't call on me in class anymore for the rest of the semester.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...


You won't put out that fire. The really competent firemen left in the 1930's. The second string cut out in the 1970's, and the third string is clambering out of the windows in disarray right now and taking the hoses with them.

Leave the building to God's Providence and go find a new home.


Benjamin P. Glaser said...

To Defend our Seminary a little Rev. Carpenter we do have some very Godly Men on the Faculty including Dr.'s Purves, Gagnon, and Partee. However I readily agree with you that it plainly just takes a lot of time to "unlearn" what I was taught by certain Profs (Rev. Dr. Cole-Turner among them) or just plain old learn what I was not taught to begin with. For example John Knox was narily mentioned in our Church History II course.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

Rev. Carpenter I really appreciate your words. Please keep me in your prayers.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Yes, I know of them. Purves in particular seems to do some good work. What public stand have the good Dr's Purves, Gagnon, and Partee taken on the Gay Jeans issue, for instance? Have they said that the practice of homosexuality will lead the practitioner straight to hell, and that it is itself evidence of a mind given over to darkness and depravity?

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

I will indeed pray for you, my Brother. You have a hard road ahead no matter what you choose.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

Well Dr. Gagnon is the Authority on Sexual Issues in the wider Church today as I am sure you know (or you can click on his website on the bottom right of my blog). As seems to be the norm for American academia the Faculty seems to stay out of campus issues providing little to no guidance for the wider student body in general. Rev. Dr's Purves and Partee are quite Orthodox, Dr. Purves being a specialist in Paleo-Orthodoxy, and Dr. Partee being an expert (with an upcoming book) in Calvin.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

I will indeed pray for you, my Brother. You have a hard road ahead no matter what you choose.

Thank You Rev. Carpenter, as one of my favorite Marine Corps Recruiting Posters proclaims, "We Didn't Promise You a Rose Garden".

Reformed Catholic said...

Just a quick comment, Ben.

In the PCA, your mom couldn't be a CLP, nor hope to be ordained. Which would also eliminate any call for my wife, whom I know you would call very conservative.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Orthodox, would you do me a kindness? Would you please exegete 1 Timothy 2:11-14 for me?

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Excuse me. I meant to say "Reformed Catholic" not "Orthodox." Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Whitworth (now known as university) is beginning a Masters in Theology the summer of 2008. It will be geared toward commuters. The professors and community there are orthodox, esteemed and well-published.

Reformed Catholic said...

Rev. Carpenter,

As I am not in seminary, and do not have the benefit of a theological education to fall back on, I can only refer you to a study on ordination of women elders/deacons/trustees made in 1980 by an admitted conservative Presbyterian couple:

Direct references to women in the New Testament have Paul talking about Phoebe in Romans 16:1, "I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea" (NIV). A subscript points out that "servant" could also be translated as "Deaconess". Then he goes on to say "Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus" Rom 16:3(NIV)

There is a biblical inquiry written by Aurelia T. Rule Th.D in 1976 that covers much of Paul's writings on this:

Finally, I would love to hear Dr. Purves' exegesis of the passages.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Yes, but read the scriptures for yourself. What does it say?

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

I read the Aurelia Fule article. On this particular verse her arguments on pp 19-21 are:
1. Paul didn't write 1 Timothy
2. The writer misread Genesis, and Aurelia is actually a much more accomplished exegete.

Are you really comfortable with that view of the authority of the scriptures?

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Hmmm. It's really quiet in here. Almost like somebody let a really nasty fart in the living room, so everybody decided to quietly retire to some other room in the house.

Reformed Catholic said...

Well ... we've gotten into some basic theological differences.

I did some additional research, and in reading a text that was used at PTS on the Pauline Letters taught by Dr. Gagnon, it notes that many biblical scholars note differences and contradictions in thinking between the letters that are definitely Paul's, and the 'Pastoral Letters', of which Timothy is one.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

To be clear, you are now denying Apostolic, Pauline authorship for the Pastoral Epistles? Okay. I'm gonna unload both barrels here. Please forgive me if I'm intemperate.

Doesn't each one of those letters begin with the greeting, "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ"?

In addition to my MDiv from Loopy Lefty Louisville, I've got a minor in religious studies with an emphasis on New Testament from the University of Missouri. I'm pretty well versed in liberal biblical critcism. Liberal scholars call this "pseudonymity" or "pseudonymous authorship." Pseudonymity is a fancy word for "lie."

If Paul did not write the pastoral epistles, then your Bible is in error, (nay, is actually actively LYING to you because it is asserting something that is not so) in at least those three sentences. How then, is it the inspired Word of God?

Where else might it be in error? Where else might it be lying to you? How will you determine which parts are errors and lies and which parts are not? What standard will you use, now that you have agreed to gut the standard itself?

How do you know your Bible isn't wrong in Galatians where it asserts that there is no Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free? Pauline authorship of Galatians was challenged at one time, tho' not so much now. But you never know. Since you presumably like that one, I assume you'll keep it, but on what basis? Will you simply keep what you like and throw out what you don't?

Will modern scholarship do it for you? Modern scholarship doesn't speak with one voice anymore, so which modern scholar are you going to listen to?

Are the sodomites then correct in asserting that the Bible is in error in Romans chpt 1? If not, how will you argue with them. You've ripped out page 986. Why are you angry about them ripping out page 724?

Is the Jesus Seminar correct in asserting that most of the sayings attributed to Jesus in the gospels weren't really his?

Is Bultmann correct in asserting that the resurrection and the Virgin Birth never happened?

Do you see what you are willing to give up just to keep your wife in seminary because she thinks she's called? And you're doing it mouthing the moniker "conservative" the whole time!

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

There I go again, farting in the living room.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

My email address is if anyone wants to continue this conversation in a less public forum.

Reformed Catholic said...

Considering that I have never said that the Bible was in error, nor have I said that the Bible is not the inspired word of God, I think that the diatribe you unleashed is rather harsh.

What I said is that many scholars over the years have come to the conclusion that some of the Pastorial Letters were not written personally by Paul based on the contradictions found in the various letters. The praise of Phoebe and Priscilla in Romans, definitely contradicts the sentiments in 1 Timothy.

Finally, denying that my wife has a call, when you have never met her, nor know her background, nor know of her spirituality and love of the Lord is downright insulting and demeaning and, dare I say it, unChristian.

Anonymous said...

With the idiots in the PCA making fools of themselves over the "New Perspective on Paul" and the "Federal Vision" I'm convinced that their seminaries (Covenant) lack any theological credibility.

I would like Erskine for Hughes Oliphant Olds' teaching... a PCUSA minister. Don't know if he teaches Th.M. courses.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

"I have never said that the Bible was in error,"

"The praise of Phoebe and Priscilla in Romans, definitely contradicts the sentiments in 1 Timothy."

Think carefully, brother. Are those two statements logically consistent?

I am sorry I offended with my "diatribe." I was not implying that your wife is a bad Christian.

However I also don't believe that I need to know her to determine that she's not called to ministry. According to 1 Timothy, nobody's wife is called to ministry.

Finally, answer me plainly: Do you believe Paul wrote 1 Timothy or not?

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

I should say, "nobody's wife is called to ordained leadership." We all are called to one kind of ministry or another.

Gary said...

anonymous said
"With the idiots in the PCA making fools of themselves over the "New Perspective on Paul" and the "Federal Vision" I'm convinced that their seminaries (Covenant) lack any theological credibility."

Maybe you should read your own site. The one that gave cudos to the Covenant members for the way they conducted their study.

And as for idiots, maybe the idiots are the ones that are having to say, "that's not what I mean. When I use the word... I mean..." And that's just looking over the responses to different studies on your site.

It reminds me of the same thing liberals do when they say an orthodox creed and then go against what they just said.

Maybe if they employed different tactics, their opposition wouldn't have carried the day. Like they should write clearly what they believe the first time instead of waiting for the rebuttal to say that's not what I mean.

As for the whole federal vision controversey, color me completely uninformed of the whole affair with the exception of what I just read on your site.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...


We dealt with our idiots. The determination of this year's General Assembly to accept the Ad Iterim Report is a polite invitation for them to repent or quietly dismiss in good order. The vote was over 90% in favor of rejecting the Federal Vision/NPP.

If anyone wants to dive understand that debate, a fellow pastor in my presbytery eats, sleeps, and breathes it. He hates it with a holy fire. His blog is

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Arggh! Fumble fingers. Sorry for the incoherent post.

Cameron Mott said...

Does 1 Timothy 2 say "do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man" or "do not permit a wife to teach or to have authority over a husband" in the context of Adam and Eve?

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Well, both. One by implication of the other. Since there is no possessive pronoun connected with "andros," as you would expect if it was to be translated "husband," it must be universal. If it were speaking of a woman having authority over her husband, you would see the word "her" modifying "andros."

This universal would, of course, imply the particular.

I've just written an essay on this issue on my blog, and I offer it up for your consideration, your savaging, or your amusement.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

It is also surely part of the immediate context of these verses that right after the teaching on male headship, the qualifications for "episkopoi" (overseers, i.e. elders) are given (3:1-8) An overseer must be "the husband of one wife" and one who "manages his household (especially his children) well."

I.O.W. headship in the Christian home and headship in the church are not independent of each other. They are actually dependedent on each other.

Cameron Mott said...

According to KJV this word is translated as "wife" half of the time even in the Timothys and 92 of 221 occurences in the whole NT. If Paul meant wives/husbands in that context of the relationship of Adam and his wife then that would be a very different meaning than women/men, universal or no. Wouldn't it?

It could explain why, in Scripture, some women appear to teach their non-husbands.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...


Yes, the liberal NRSV tries to slide that one through in the text notes, doesn't it? It doesn't work. The text note says that "her husband" is an alternative translation for "a man" in verse 12. But that is not exegesis. It's eisegesis. There is no possessive pronoun in the Greek text. If you want one, you're going to have to write it in there yourself. Even those jokers weren't bold enough to translate the actual verse that way. They keep the universal and traditional translation. They had to resort to footnote subrtrefuge.

The fact that andros can be either man or husband and gune can be either woman or wife is a fact. That doesn't mean you can interchange their meanings whenever you feel like it. You tell from the context. I can think of no instance in the Greek off the top of my head where the translation "wife" or "husband" is not correlated with a possessive pronoun (i.e. his wife, her husband.)

Finally, your logic would compel poor Reformed Catholic to go and find a different church from the one his wife is ordained to in order not to violate your version of things. If she were preaching and he were in the pews, a wife would be instructing her husband.

Cameron Mott said...

I'm just a layman and so some of this is lost on me. So it could be translated as "do not permit a wife to teach or to have authority over a husband". Is the gune in 1 Timothy 2:14 connected with a personal pronoun? In the KJV it is translated as "the women" but does it not mean Eve, Adam's wife?

The Blue Letter Bible is not helping me out at this level.

Cameron Mott said...

Could not 1 Timothy 2:12 also be legitimately translated as "do not permit the wife to teach or to have authority over the husband" as per the KJV's 1 Timothy 2:14?

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

Cameron, you ask intelligent questions. I commend you for your reasoning skills.

Though the definite article in Greek (the word we translate as "the") is sometimes slippery, it has a fairly consistent rules of usage. "the wife" and "the husband" are not accurate translations.

I don't have my Greek text here in front of me presently, so I am going on memory. But I looked at it earlier today, so memory should be fresh. If memory serves, there is no article at all modifying the relevant nouns in the text, so in English the indefinite article is usually the preferred translation, i.e. "a wife" and "a husband." (or "a woman" and "a man" as all the translators have universally translated it from the beginnings of New Testament translation without exception.)

But think of what that means... "I do not permit a wife to teach or have authority over a husband." Or to restate it to clarify my point, "I do not permit any wife to teach or have authority over any husband."

That hardly makes a case for women's ordination into pastoral ministry, does it? Nobody's wife may teach anybody's husband? And you've still left poor Reformed Catholic having to find a different church than his wife, should she be ordained. Only now all the other husbands in the church have to join him.

It just doesn't work, Brother. There's a sound exegetical and grammatical reason that no serious translator or translation team has ever translated those verses that way, ever. The only ones who have are the ones with an agenda. In a way I respect the radical theological feminist more. She recognizes that the text says what it says. She simply refuses to acknowledge it's authority over her and insists that she will do as she pleases.

I have a paper on this issue written by a friend of mine who is a much better grammarian than I am. It's in draft form and so it's not ready for "prime time," but I don't think he'd mind you seeing it. I'd be willing to send it to you if you'd like, though I'd ask that you don't disseminate to others without letting me ask him if it's okay first, as it is in draft form. My email is

I can also recommend "Women in the Church" edited by Kostenberger and Schreiner if you'd like a more scholarly treatment of the relevant passages.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...

And now I'm wondering if I should shut up. I am Ben's guest here, and I do not want to be a rude guest. I have emailed him and asked him if he wants me to be quiet and have gotten no reply. I don't know why. Perhaps discretion is the better part of valor and I should retire the field so as not to offend my host.

So I think I'll write no more on the women's ordination subject on this page. If some of you wish to continue the conversation, I have made my email address and my blog address available here, and I am glad to speak with you in those places. If I have offended unnecessarily, I apologize and ask your forgiveness, confident that as fellow Christians you will grant it to me.


Cameron Mott said...

I guess "A woman" or "A wife" would be the best translation in the absence of any words meaning "any" or "every" or "all"?

A quick check of Blue Letter Bible shows Scriptures with "gune" translated as "wife" without a possesive pronoun, it looks like the pronoun is mostly used when it is a particular persons "women"/"wife" rather than woman or wife in the abstract or universal or general.

Not many have translated to "wife" and "husband" in 1 Timothy 2 but the Wycliffe and Young's Literal have used "husband" which should make the other a "wife" even though they use "woman" without a personal pronoun. Maybe? Just as the deceived "woman" is Adam's "wife", not any or every woman/wife, without a personal pronoun.

Anyway, I'll get back to you on your offer of your friend's paper.

Rev. Brian Carpenter said...


Ben has given permission for me to write on, so I suppose I will continue to do so for now.

I don't know the Blue Letter KJV, nor who made the letters blue and why. The Wycliffe and Young's Literal was new to me, too, being fairly obscure. I don't agree with his translation, but even if it is permissible, it still doesn't make your case for women's ordination. "A woman may not teach or rule a husband." Not "her husband" but "a husband." i.e. any husband.

I checked my Bauer, which is the standard single volume Greek dictionary at most seminaries. Every place in the NT where "gune" is best translated as "wife" except two, it is accompanied by a possessive pronoun. In those two cases, the context makes it obvious that wife is meant.

I don't think you have a case.

Cameron Mott said...

Here is Blue Letter Bible:

This resource shows several places where both "wife" and "husband" are used without personal pronouns or pronouns for "any".

Apparently no one else is feeling this meaning as a possibility either. I'll send that e-mail, thanks for your help.

Steven W said...

I'm a little late commenting on this, but in my own opinion, for liturgy Erskine is the only option. Covenant would be mediocre, and Greenville would be completely minimalistic and basically non-liturgical (I know- everyone is liturgical in some regard).

Hughes Oliphant Olde is the authority on reformation-era worship.

robert austell said...

I agree with Steven W in recommending Erskine.

Hughes Old is a recognized authority on Reformed worship. If you are still up in the air about denominations, Erskine as an ARP seminary would allow you good paths in any Reformed direction (PCA, ARP, PCUSA, or other). There are several solid PCUSA professors there who are active in the renewal/reformation of the PCUSA and they would be good contacts, either because of your background or your future calling, if you stay.

In Christ,

Robert Austell
Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church
Charlotte, NC