Subordination in Scripture: κεφαλή in 1 Corinthians 11:3

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TylerR's picture


When I was preaching on the Trinity a few years ago, I went to 1 Cor 11:3 to discuss the economic Trinity. I didn't call it "the economic Trinity," of course, but I pointed out that there is a subordination of role within the Trinity, but not of nature and essence. I drew the analogy to a husband and a wife, to a manager and a subordinate, etc. The husband and wife are completely equal in dignity and honor because they are both made in the image of God, but their roles are complementary and distinct - one role is subordinate to the other.

This was before the ESS controversy blew up, and before I had ever read anything on ESS by anybody. It seemed to me to be a natural analogy for the economic Trinity.

I need to go back and take a closer look at this. I am not sure if (a) this is a bad analogy for the economic Trinity, or (b) if the ESS folks are really putting more weight on 1 Cor 11:3 than it can really bear. I've been leaning towards the latter.


Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government.