Gods Authority

Biblical authority structures are often the subject of significant ridicule. Some of it is self inflicted in the past, in the present, and to be sure, will be in the future.

It’s earthly origins, however, were explicit in the role that authority was intended to have reign. It was in the roles of the family that this authority was exampled by God in the garden of Eden.

There, authority was placed in a twofold intention: first, it was protection, and secondly, responsibility.
God was over Adam, and thus, Adam was given headship over Eve, and Eve would eventually have headship over the children.

Satan’s first attack sought to disengage this authority structure by divorcing God from His rightful authority in two places- the role of God “hath God not said…ye shall be as gods…” and in the guardian of the tree, Adam, a role that was priestly, both of the home and the way of worship.

So not only was Godly authority subverted, so was earthly order. Eve presumed the authority of Adam in deciding to eat without consulting him.

Flash forward through the millennia, and Paul is forced to address the issue in the church at Ephesus.

There, Paul had a problem within the church that ultimately came down to Godly authority, what would be termed Apostolic authority in the NT. But it was a sideswipe at authority by way of, unsurprisingly, Apostolic order.

There is a disturbing, deeply disturbing, blasphemy noted by Paul in the case of Hymenaeus and Alexander at the end of chapter one.

20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

This blasphemy was left undefined, or at least it appears that way. How did they blaspheme?

If we don’t know, and are left to guess, Paul has left us in the dark and that is profoundly disturbing because we could blaspheme and never know it.

But…the way that our Bible is divided into chapters and verse is the issue, not the missing definition of blasphemy in their case.

Chapter one does not end the thought process, and neither does it leave us wondering what this blasphemy was and how it plays out. The Greek language is crisp and clear in this.

1 ¶ I exhort therefore, that, first of all,

When Paul wrote these words there was no chapter and verse truncation. It was continuous with the blasphemy of Hymenaeus and Alexander.

Paul was clear.
“I exhort therefore…” or paraphrased “because of that blasphemy, then…” and thereby identifies what Alexander and Hymenaeus had brought to the church by their teachings.

The blasphemy was the breaking of God’s authority and its public face when the blasphemy is brought to life both in the world and more specifically, within the church.

Paul would proceed through chapter two to describe how not to blaspheme, and continues into chapter three, perhaps further to keep us from committing the same.

The idea of Apostolic order by way of Apostolic authority is emphatically demanded by Paul’s words in this letter.