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Does Gordon Fee Discard Part of the Bible?

In the third part of his interview series, Adrian Warnock makes the following comment in asking a question of Dr. Wayne Grudem:

I was impressed by your compassion and fairness in the introduction of your new book expressed towards your egalitarian colleagues who you mention by name.

At a later point, talking about Dr. Gordon Fee, Wayne Grudem says:

I doubt that people understand the full implications of a move like Gordon Fee’s in his commentary on 1 Corinthians when he basically says that 1 Corinthians 14:33

7 comments to Does Gordon Fee Discard Part of the Bible?

  • […] I’ve posted something on this over on my Threads blog, titled Does Gordon Fee Discard Part of the Bible?. That post is a response to part of a interview with Wayne Grudem by Adrian Warnock. […]

  • Thank you, Henry. This is very much what I would have wanted to post on this if I had time.

    On the NET Bible footnote, I find the argument that the marginal note must have been written by Paul a very strange one. Why is it more likely that a marginal note written by Paul himself would have been incorporated in two different places than a note written by someone else? It is clear from the references to Paul’s own handwriting in several of the letters, e.g. 16:21 in this one, that he did not personally write out most of the letters, but used an amanuensis; Tertius is named in Romans 16:22. It is anyway unlikely that copyists would have recognised Paul’s personal handwriting. I can agree with the NET Bible editors as well as with Fee that a very likely explanation for the textual issue is that a marginal note was included by copyists. But there is no good reason for any claim that it was Paul rather than say one of his Corinthian critics who penned the note.

  • Thanks for your kind comments.

    On the NET Bible footnote, I find the argument that the marginal note must have been written by Paul a very strange one. Why is it more likely that a marginal note written by Paul himself would have been incorporated in two different places than a note written by someone else?

    The claim that Paul wrote the note sounds like a species of special pleading to me. Someone really wants this note to be authentic, so even though it is a marginal note, they try to claim apostolic authorship for it.

    I do think the NET note was much more fair than Grudem’s comment, however, in that they admit the evidence involved, while Grudem suggests that Fee’s primary motivation is theological and not textual. That inverts Fee’s own statement of his process of reasoning which puts the textual arguments first, and then adds that the difficulty of reconciling the texts (1 Cor. 14 & 11) adds weight to the argument.

    But there is no good reason for any claim that it was Paul rather than say one of his Corinthian critics who penned the note.

    I can easily see a critic penning the note. My thought is that this critic was dissatisfied with Paul’s guidelines for order and thought that in addition women must never speak, so he made a note to that effect. That is speculation, of course, but the bottom line that it is a marginal comment is on solid ground. Claiming that a careful textual scholar such as Gordon Fee decided to throw it out on purely theological grounds is frankly ludicrous.

  • […] [Update 12/10/06-I don’t want to add another post on this topic right now.] On the Better Bibles Blog Suzanne has summarized her response, and I think her response and summary of her position is excellent. It also ties in well with my response to Grudem’s criticism of Gordon Fee. There seems to be an odd tendency here to make snide remarks about others, and then to be horrified at snide or snarky comments about one’s own work. Personally I prefer a fairly forceful style. In the view of the presence of certain comments on qualifications in this discussion, I’d note that my earlier comments on Fee’s expertise in textual issues are extremely relevant. I don’t expect one to accept Fee’s argument based on his expertise. In fact, I decry such behavior. But if one is going to have a battle of expertise, Fee has the edge here on textual matters. […]

  • yuckabuck

    It’s nice to see that I was not the only one astounded at the way that Dr. Fee’s position was mis-represented. He actually re-visited the textual evidence regarding 14:34-35 in “God’s Empowering Presence,” where he tackles head on accusations like Dr. Grudem’s. He affirmed that 1 Cor 11 and 14:34-35 do contradict, but that was not what lead him to see the verses as an interpolation, but rather it was the textual issues as you have set them out here that was the deciding factor.
    Blessings!

  • […] Does Gordon Fee Discard Part of the Bible?  3 yuckabuck, Henry Neufeld, Peter Kirk […]

  • […] The answer, I suspect, is very little. Nonetheless I think it is important for people in various streams of Christianity to hear the arguments of others as much as possible. Since I am not evangelical, I make it a practice to read works of evangelical theology and in particular evangelical commentaries. Many, though not all of the evangelical commentaries I read would not be evangelical enough for Dr. Grudem. I happen to think that Gordon Fee’s commentary on 1 Corinthians is one of the best commentary written on a single book of the Bible for a general educated audience. Grudem is dismissive of Fee’s work (see my previous post). […]