oa Conspectus : The Journal of the South African Theological Seminary - Towards a theology of authority and submission in marriage

Volume 15, Issue 03
  • ISSN : 1996-8167



The twentieth and twenty first-centuries have seen a major debate develop over the role of women in society. For the hierarchicalists represented by the 'Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood', male leadership, as raised in Ephesians 5:24, is critical and overrides all other considerations. To the egalitarian 'Christians for Biblical Equality', mutual submissionâ??as required by Galatians 3:28 and Ephesians 5:21-constitutes the point of departure.

This article explores the possibility of a bridge between the two moderate positions. To do this, the research focuses on four key areas, namely, (1) what is authority and how should it be applied; (2) how does submission relate to that authority; (3) how does authority work within the Trinity where all are equals; and (4) do Paul and Peter's eschatological beliefs assist us in building a bridge between the seemingly irreconcilable passages.
The research concluded that via the application of Paul and Peter's eschatological 'already but 'not yet' beliefs operating in the 'now', a bridge opens up to a third biblical alternative. This view operates across all cultures where 'authority and submission in marriage' is neither hierarchical nor merely mutually submissive, but mutually empowering.

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