19 Responses to Review of Philip B. Payne’s “Man and Woman, One in Christ”

  1. Rich Barcellos April 19, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    The publisher sent me a review copy I did not ask for. I skimmed the section on 1 Tm. 2 then put it down. Your review confirms my decision to let it collect dust. There are too many other things for me to read, but I am very thankful that you read it and posted this review.

  2. James Law April 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Thank you Dr. Hamilton for your critique of Payne’s work. I wrote a pastoral op-ed for our state paper recently on this subject (http://pastorjimlaw.wordpress.com/). I believe so much is at stake in getting gender roles right. These texts are not scribal glosses or the rants of a misogynist. They are God’s authoritative word on how we are to conduct ourselves in the household of God. Rejoice, Jim Law

  3. Richard Fellows May 3, 2011 at 2:51 am #

    It is hard to deny that scribes created textual variants that put women down, and that this process began very early. Also, the disputed letters exhibit this same tendency, don’t they? So isn’t it likely that 1 Cor 14:34-35 is also a latter addition? You have engaged with some of the arguments against the authenticity of these verses, but any thoughts on the arguments that Fee offers?

    • JMH May 3, 2011 at 8:16 am #

      You’re going to have to provide some evidence for your claims.

      The case that this is an interpolation is incredibly weak.

  4. Richard Fellows May 3, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Jim, I think that the case for an interpolation would be a little weak if it were not for the evidence that there was a pattern of misogynist corruptions of Paul’s letters. You are right to ask for evidence. Does this help? See also here and here.

    • JMH May 3, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

      Well, I think Paul wrote all the NT letters attributed to him, and I don’t think that in any of them he’s “putting down” women.

      As for what the scribes did, how would you prove that these aren’t inadvertent errors?

      Those scribes lived in a pre-sexual revolution world. Did they need to “put down” women? I think it would be assumed by everyone in that world that certain things were inappropriate for women, so much so that they wouldn’t need to engage in the kind of malicious behavior you’re suggesting.

      I think this kind of argument would be terribly difficult for you to prove . . . and you’d need a lot more evidence for it than you have.

  5. Brendan Payne May 24, 2012 at 4:00 am #

    JMH, I think it’s interesting that before you wrote your review of Phil Payne’s book, you not only assumed that it’s wrong, but you were totally unwilling to change your mind no matter his evidence and argumentation. This is revealed in your first paragraph, in which you said, “Male leadership in the home and the church is taught in the Bible. Even a brilliant use of the evidence and an airtight logical argument would fail to stop the rising of the sun.” So, how do you expect to give a balanced review of a book if your express intent in reviewing that book is to tear it down, since you are self-professedly incapable of being persuaded by it, and think that, by definition, to advocate the thesis of that book is to use bad logic and mishandle the Biblical evidence?

    In a broader sense, at what point do you think we as Christians should be so persuaded about an issue being the Biblical view that we stop listening to those we disagree with? I have found it very useful to engage with those with whom I disagree with an open mind, even when I don’t think they’ll ever win me over. If I may allowed to ask a personal question, when were you so persuaded of the complementarian view that you became no longer able to consider seriously the egalitarian view?

    • JMH May 24, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      You’re begging the question as to whether I evaluated Payne’s argument with an open mind, which I did. You’re also making assumptions about my intent, and perhaps it’s ad hominem for you to claim that my “express intent in reviewing that book is to tear it down.” No, my express intent is to read it carefully, think about it, evaluate it by the standard of the Scriptures and the relevant evidence, and give my assessment.

      My statements about the rising of the sun were made to make the point that (1) Payne is arguing against the teaching of the Bible, and (2) his logic is fallacious and his use of the evidence is objectionable at many points.

      I think that we should never stop listening because we are called to love people. So we want to know the Scriptures, love people, and be ready to give instruction in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict it (Tit 1:9).

      I read Payne’s book carefully. I’ve read lots of egalitarian arguments carefully. I thought through his arguments, as I’ve done with all egalitarian arguments I’ve considered. I don’t reject them because I haven’t seriously considered them. I reject them because they’re unconvincing. I think my way into the position, then I look at the evidence from that perspective, and the evidence cannot be handled from that perspective. So I leave that perspective for one that will account for all the evidence.

      • Brendan Payne June 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

        Jim, I didn’t assume you reviewed Payne’s book with the express intent to tear it down; I came to the conclusion based upon the content and structure of your review. That’s not question-begging, that’s inference to the best explanation.

        I get suspicious when a review of a book on Paul’s letters begins with a sentence on priests in the OT. The whole first paragraph was an argument that egalitarians are wrong, with the evident intent to discredit Payne’s conclusion before we even took a look at it. The rest of the review non-stop hammered Payne’s position and didn’t have a single positive thing to say about his book. The concluding sentence is less a critique of the book and more a warning against (unarticulated) consequences of egalitarianism: “the adoption of Payne’s conclusions would cause a moving away from safe paths and solid ground toward calamitous consequences.” This seems an oblique reference to the “slippery slope” argument made by Wayne Grudem in his Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, than the ordination of women leads to gay ordination and theological liberalism generally.

        Looking at the context and structure of your review, it was clear your review was not to just a critique of Payne, but a barrage against egalitarianism. How is a reader supposed to interpret that except to say you’ve got an axe to grind, and reviewing another egalitarian book is a way for you to grind that axe? Your review has “agenda” written all over it. In addition, you were asked to write that review for JETS with the self-evident purpose to provide “balance” against the positive review by Aida Spencer, an egalitarian; very few books get the double review treatment in JETS, and it is generally to provide “balance.” Your conclusion was assured before you read the first page, just as Aida’s was.

        Granted, I think you’ve sincere in your position, you genuinely find every single egalitarian argument unconvincing, and you have every right to say that. But I find it incredible for you to say that you approached Payne’s arguments with an open mind. How can you say that when you can’t find a single good thing to say about Payne’s book? You could have at least noted how long it took Payne to write the book, as Blomberg did, or conceded some of Payne’s minor points, as Schreiner did (btw, your link to Schreiner in the review didn’t work for me; CBMW links do that sometimes). Academic courteousness, not to mention Christian charity, demands at least some respect for the people we disagree with, but I didn’t see that at all in your review. Instead, I saw a reviewer who saw Payne’s book as nothing more than pernicious teaching that needed to be put down.

        • JMH June 4, 2012 at 8:40 am #

          This book was hands down the worst book I’ve ever read. The logic was bad, and I have real doubts that the evidence was handled honestly.

          I think Zondervan should be ashamed of themselves for publishing it (they never should have put something this bad into print), and I think Payne needs to repent of slandering brothers in Christ, repent of his desperate abuse of text critical arguments, and repent of his rejection of the Bible’s teaching on gender roles.

          But I insist that I read the book with an open mind. I evaluated the claims, sifted the arguments, and looked at the evidence for myself.

          And look around. The slope is slippery.



          • Brendan Payne June 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

            Jim, your over the top comments of “worst book ever” and accusations of slander against Payne just confirm the thesis that you have an axe to grind against egalitarians and can’t see Payne’s argument clearly.

            For Pete’s sake, even Blomberg and Schreiner had some good things to say about Payne’s work, various reputable evangelical scholars say Payne’s book is one of the most meticulously argued books on the subject, and I personal know of several complementarian scholars who once loudly opposed egalitarians and have since changed their positions due to Payne’s book. You don’t have to agree with Payne’s argument, but I just don’t see how “worst book ever” is a defensible claim.

  6. JMH June 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Didn’t say “worst book ever,” just “worst book I’ve ever read.”

    Payne cites some examples of articles getting rejected by journals, and he alleges abuse of editorial privilege. How is that not slander?

    I have no axe to grind about egalitarians, but I am calling them to repent of their rejection of the clear teaching of the Bible on gender roles.

    I stand by my statements. Zondervan should be ashamed of themselves for publishing this book, and I think if they’re not before then, they will be on the great day.


    • Brendan Payne June 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

      I suppose accusations of editorial abuse would be slander if they weren’t true. But if they are, I think someone else need to repent.

  7. Andrew Locke March 29, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    I love how you’ve critiqued the “interpolation” theory on 14:34-35. But the theory also falls apart on another level that most people overlook. I’d love to get your opinion on this.

    Contrary to what Payne asserts (that these verses are chauvinistic in nature and are the “suppression of a weak social group”) there are two other locations in chapter 14 where Paul tells other groups to keep silent.

    “But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.” (v.28)

    “If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent.” (v.30)

    It seems to me, far from being in any way chauvinistic, Paul is simply addressing three issues of order in congregational meetings which he wants to reiterate because there happen to be some behavioral issues in Corinth which require him to address them. Simple. In fact, Paul’s statement regarding the women keeping silent is completely consistent with an equality view! Paul places the women, in general, right up there in importance with those that are speaking in a tongue or prophesying! In addition, if he truly was chauvinistic, he likely would have told the husbands to keep their wives silent, but he doesn’t address the husbands, he addresses the women directly, showing them a high level of respect.



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