“… FOR THE MAN IS THE HEAD OF THE WIFE”: A THEOLOGICAL STUDY OF EPH. 5, 23 IN RELATION TO THE AFRICAN MAN’S DOMINEERING ATTITUDE

Abstract

The practical significance of the text of Eph 5,23 is very enormous when viewed under the prism of the problem of equality and subordination in Christian families especially in Africa. Perhaps the greatest single secular problem of the family today is the rise to power of women who traditionally were relegated. With the incipient feminism and women’s growth in social status the traditional African man now finds it difficult to move with the signs of the time. The result is crisis in family life. This paper is poised to expose Paul’s integration of ethics and theology in the singular coinage of kefalh,, with a view to delineating the subtle difference between the ordinary understanding of Eph 5,23 as signifying subordination of women to men. The paper argues that Paul by describing men as the head does not imply superiority in status but in function. Paul has always defended the equality of all in Christ as evident in Gal 3,28; Col 3,11.19; 4,1 and 1Cor 11,2-16, and cannot just contradict himself so cheaply. His choice of word was only but precisely an adaptation to his own age sequent to social condition of his time and culture.

Keywords: Paul, Superiority, cohesion, equality, family, functionalism, kefalh


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 61-72 (Download PDF)

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