Mutual Submission, Part 3

This is part of a series on patriarchy, headship, and submission. See this index.

Mutual submission can be seen in the following observation: it is good for husbands and wives to be humble, respectful, courteous, kind, loving, deferential, honoring, and understanding towards each other, aiming towards unity. Any marriage in which either husband or wife fails at this is not one characterized by a submissive attitude. It isn’t about authority or roles, whether equal or not.

In Part 1 of the series, I centered in on the phrase hypotassomenoi allēlois (“be submitting yourselves to one another”) in Ephesians 5:21. I shared the following footnote:

Mike Aubrey
St. John Chrysostom emphasizes both mutuality and ordered relationships. The fact that he does not see O’Brien’s suggested understanding of αλλήλων [allēlois; “to one another”] as even possible in verse 21 must be seriously noted.

“If … [Chrysostom] fails to address a linguistic problem because he does not appear to perceive a possible ambiguity, his silence is of the greatest value in helping us determine how Paul’s first readers were likely to have interpreted the text.” — Moisés Silva, Philippians, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005): 27.

Instead Chrysostom attempts to explain a complex idea. He does not recognize an impossibility in the mutuality of αλλήλων [allēlois; “to one another”] and the orderly structure of υποτάσσω [hupotassó; “to submit”] and validates O’Brien that “υποτάσσω” [hupotassó; “to submit”] must be understood within structured, orderly relationships. But on the other hand, Chrysostom quite clearly views “αλλήλων” [allēlois; “to one another”] with the sense of mutuality. He sees Paul’s words as leveling the playing field, so to speak. To explain, Chrysostom appeals to the analogy of the master/slave relationship.

“Let there be an interchange of service and submission. For then will there be no such thing as slavish service. Let not one sit down in the rank of a freeman, and the other in the rank of a slave; rather it were better that both masters and slaves be servants to one another;—far better to be a slave in this way than free in any other.” — translator Philip Schaff, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Vol. XIII, First Series (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997): 142.

This explanation may be confusing, so I’m going to boil it down into an analogy.

Imagine if I say to you “They were singing together.” If “singing together” had no reciprocity, then you would conclude that there were a group of people made up of separate singers and listeners, like at a concert where nobody in the audience knows the lyrics. But if “singing together” had reciprocity, you’d conclude that there were a group of people all singing the same song, like at a church.

As an English speaker, it’s not confusing at all what “they were singing together means” because “singing together” is reciprocal. No native English speaker would think you were at a concert if all you said was “we were singing together.” Grudem (and others) are claiming that hypotassomenoi allēlois (“be submitting yourselves to one another”) must always be non-reciprocal: separate people submitting and leading.

If the phrase “singing together” was always reciprocal, then there would be no ambiguity as to which meaning was the correct one. If a native speaker in Greek knew that the phrase hypotassomenoi allēlois (“be submitting yourselves to one another”) was always non-reciprocal, as Grudem claims, then when Chrysostom—a native Greek speaker—read Paul’s words he would have—must have—immediately understood it that way. There would have been no ambiguity or confusion in his understanding. His answer would have reflected the “always that way” nature of the phrase. But Chrysostom gave a separate complex analysis that implied that he didn’t know that hypotassomenoi allēlois (“be submitting yourselves to one another”) was always non-reciprocal.

This is the point that Mike Aubrey, Moisés Silva, and others have made about Paul and John Chrysostom. Chrysostom not only failed to enunciate what Grudem claims the Greek language required, but he came to the opposite conclusion that Grudem did! Chrysostom’s failure to see the obvious invalidates Grudem’s claim that it was always that way.

Consider this obviously fictitious exchange:

Paul: “My wife and I were talking to each other last night.”

Grudem: “Oh, so you were talking and she was listening. Good job being a leader and exercising your authority by telling her what to do. No man should let a day go by without asserting his Frame and authority over his wife.”

Paul: “No, we were both talking and listening. We were having a conversation.”

Grudem: “No, you are wrong. Only you were talking: “talking to each other” is not reciprocal.”

Chrysostom: “Bruh…”

This highlights the absurdity of Grudem’s argument in light of Chrysostom’s understanding.

Grudem’s viewpoint implies that he—a native English speaker from Wisconsin—knows Paul’s 1st-century Koine Greek better than a 4th-century native Koine Greek speaker from Antioch (only 150 miles from where Paul was born in Tarsus!). Now, it’s quite possible that the language had shifted in that time—just as Shakespeare’s language shifted from modern English in roughly the same amount of time—but if that were the case here then we should see a ton of evidence for it.

But Grudem’s viewpoint is not even close to universal even among his modern peers, let alone among the ancient witness. No English Bible translation translates Ephesians 5:21 in a way that is non-reciprocal in English, not even the ESV which he had a part in making. All of them use language that is compatible with John Chrysostom’s understanding. Even the interlinear here calls allēlois (“to one another”) a “Personal / Reciprocal Pronoun — Dative Masculine Plural.”

Grudem’s implicit view of the unreliability of the Greek language is especially ironic because he relies on an even later medieval understanding of the Greek kephale (“head” in the sense of “leader” or “authority”) in order to come to his understanding that “submission” implies authority.

So far I kept things simple to the point of being simplistic. But there is one other important clarification that must be made to eliminate this.

Grudem claims that the phrase hypotassomenoi allēlois (“be submitting yourselves to one another”) must be non-reciprocal because the word hypotassomenoi is always non-reciprocal. His ideological opponent claimed that hypotassomenoi is sometimes reciprocal. But in the footnote I shared, there is another option: hypotassomenoi is non-reciprocal (whether always or not doesn’t matter) but allēlois is reciprocal at the same time. This is the sense that Chrysostom seems to have understood it: you have two people wielding unidirectional authority over the other person in a mutual way. This is precisely what Paul describes elsewhere:

1 Corinthians 7:4 (ESV)
For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

The husband has authority over his wife, and she submits to his authority. The wife has authority over her husband, and he submits to her authority. It is unidirectional authority applied mutually.

Two people have authority over each other.


  1. professorGBFMtm

    ”In Part 1 of the series, I centered in on the phrase hypotassomenoi allēlois (“be submitting yourselves to one another”) in Ephesians 5:21.”

    A certain critic accused you of gynolatry / pedestalization. This is funny in light of them linking to a guy who has these named posts.

    The Legacy and Achievement of Mark Driscoll

    To Serve or To Impress a Woman

    Dalrock Hurting Women

    That same well-known in the golden-age ‘sphere gyno-worshipper and pedestalizer also said this in 2014 in a post titled ”Status versus Power in Women’s Relationships with Men”.

    ”Women are very powerful in men’s lives, or at least they should be very powerful in a man’s life, particularly regarding their romantic capacity or romantic role. A man’s life can center around a woman, a man’s life should center around a woman I would say for the majority of men who either are married or plan to marry. When I say the man’s life should “center around” a woman I mean that the majority of the man’s productive efforts should be directed towards the woman’s benefit and the benefit of the woman’s project and mission (particularly children). More than this a woman plays the role of being the central organizing force of a man’s life; what the man does is legitimated and given purpose derivative of the woman’s moral value and purpose. For instance the man’s job is given a higher moral value and purpose because the earnings from the job will be used to support the woman. All of the man’s efforts that are directed towards the woman herself and the woman’s project (his children) are justified as forms of service to the woman and her moral purpose. This ethic of serving women goes beyond just a man’s wife however, broadening the field to “womanhood” or “womankind” all of civilization can be thought of as a means to protect hearth and home and the women who are the foundation of hearth and home. Life and the social order makes sense with a woman at the center of the moral universe (from the man’s point of view); life and the social order doesn’t make sense if the woman is missing from the picture however, if the woman is missing from the picture then things are broken in a very serious way.”

    Yet a certain critic said your posts were ”gynolatry / pedestalization” after having given you the benefit of the doubt.

    That above guy he thinks is ”classic Manosphere” doesn’t even say it’s based on God’s word but evolution!

    I’m starting to think Sharkly was right about Jack being a wolf in sheep’s clothing and a glowie fed too!

  2. professorGBFMtm

    Some guys are starting more in-fighting by not knowing the history timeline of the Manosphere.

    ”Back in 2013, before the rise of MGTOW, fellow blogger Jim argued that there was no schism in the Manosphere.”

    Here by another classic Manosphere historian ( like the GBFM & MOD) from 2013 at saint Dalrock’s , supposedly long before ”the rise of MGTOW”

    Novaseeker says:
    May 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm
    Can someone please tell me what MGTOW means?

    “Men Going Their Own Way”. It has kind of morphed in meaning over time. The origin of the term was among MRAs an referred to a group of MRAs who didn’t want to be a part of the “organized” MRA any longer, due to disagreements with it, and who therefore decided to go their own way. Over time it has morphed to mean guys who generally are living aloof from the world of women.”

    See? i know people don’t like that the ‘sphere didn’t start with their goddess-tingling Game but with a group of guys named in honor of another group that has a longer lineage than theirs , that doesn’t grovel to goddesses’ whims like their hero jesse powell(whose posts they often like while looking to fight others for white knight honour and his supposed patriarchy , but in reality it’s the most hated gynolatry / pedestalization by the supposed same who accuse others of it .

  3. professorGBFMtm

    i forgot to further have Novaseeker( who that guy who loves in-fighting in the ‘sphere and blaming other MEN for his failures, supposedly ”respects”)”explain” the history of MGTOW(way before 2013) as the predecessor of what is called the Manosphere.

    mackPUA says:
    May 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    “MRAs existed long before MGTOW forums and blogs like no ma’am.”

    What sites are you referring to? All the MGTOW sites predate mra sites by at least 5 to 6 years …”

    Novaseeker says:
    May 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm
    Anyway i’m referring to internet presence & movement

    From my research, the mgtow had the earliest & largest internet presence & influence, which then went onto give birth to the more radical MRA

    Okay. Well, the reason for that was that MGTOW really gained momentum in the early to mid 2000s, which was right before the manosphere thing started to pick up steam in the late 2000s with the rise of Roissy. But the MGTOWs came from MRAs, not the other way around. MGTOWs were initially mostly ex-MRAs who turned away from activism, for various reasons. MRAs are not radicalized MGTOWs. It’s more the reverse. The history is important because it helps place the contemporary MRAs in their proper context — which isn’t a radicalized version of MGTOWs. They’re the descendants of an MRM that goes back a few decades.”

    I know he rejects the true history of the ‘sphere as it doesn’t align with his purposes of gynolatry / pedestalization-which probably ”explains” why he keeps a defender of holy de@th penalty for adulterers in moderation there too as it conflicts with his ideology and understanding of to ”serve women ”patriarchy” and not classical patriarchy.

  4. professorGBFMtm

    Remember this from your Feminism Part 3 – The Psychology of Gender Equality post?

    Who should die today?
    One of the fundamental problems with feminism is its incoherent notion of equality. There is no consistent definition of feminism[1] that agrees on who or what must be equal vs unequal, nor whether equality must be of opportunity or outcome. This is shown plainly in the women’s suffrage movement.

    Women have had the right to vote ever since the passage of the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920. Voting is not about the individual, but about the group: the group with the most votes carries the day. If the opinions of men and women as a group were equally valid, then there would be no need for women to vote. Suffrage implies that there must be at least some issues upon which women’s opinions are unequal and (implied to be) superior to men’s. Let’s see what their notion of equality looks like.

    Lewis Petrinovich and his team performed psychological research on hypothetical moral dilemmas. Trolley problems are not new, but this research took a twist by asking men and women to decide whether to save their own dog or a person. The results show a stunning gender disparity.

    The research shows that women are dramatically more likely to let a person die than to let their dog die. Moreover, they show strong intuition that this is the morally right choice. Your sister is approximately 5 times more likely to let you die than you would let her die. If your best friend is a woman, she’s 4 times more likely than you to let you die than let her precious dog die. A woman is approximately 2 times more likely than you are to let an extended family member die.

    Other research on gender differences in morality has led to additional interesting conclusions. When justice is carried out against wrongdoers, the brains of men are stimulated in the pleasure centers. For women the pain centers are stimulated. Women do not like when justice is served. Women are sensitive to context, while men are sensitive to principles. This helps explain why women are so frequently given a pass for their misbehavior (e.g. lighter sentences).

    The research shows that women are more empathetic than men, but they develop empathy over time in response to child development. This suggests that women who do not marry and raise a family fail to develop proper empathy to compensate for their lack of principles.[2] Feminism produces hordes of voting women who shun families for career. Those who lack principles and empathy make natural incoherent feminist soldiers. They are the women who would leave you to die.

    Those of us who are not feminists recognize that giving women the right to vote meant giving those with non-principled, context-based moral centers the right to shape our laws. The research shows that women are much more likely to value an animal over human life. For proof, look no farther than the abortion laws and statistics.”

    I notice that supposed Patriarchy MEN usually never discuss the above or these quotes from women stunned at MEN who supposedly believed in Patriarchy.

    ►1916 – Agnes McHugh – Chicago attorney

    “A man jury will not convict a woman murderer in this county, if the prosecutor is a man. I think this leniency may be traced to the chivalry latent in every man. The jurors see two or three big strong men sitting at the prosecutors’ table, and subconsciously feel that these fierce prosecutors are attacking the frail, pretty woman in the prisoner’s chair. Their instinct is to defend her. Perhaps their pity would not be stirred so profoundly if a woman was in the prosecutor’s chair. I believe the leniency of juries with feminine slayers is responsible for the wave of ‘affinity crimes’ sweeping Chicago. The woman criminal will receive justice only when there’s a woman in court to prosecute her. We demand justice for women — not maudlin sympathy or leniency.”

    ►1921 – Alice Robertson – U. S. House of Representatives (Oklahoma)

    “Women who murder get off too easy. They’re not judged according to the same standards as men who murder, but you don’t hear the suffragists demanding equal rights for the men, do you? No the suffragists want equal rights for women with special privileges.”

    ►1922 – Judge Florence E. Allen – First Criminal Court Judge, in 1922 Elected to Ohio Supreme Court

    “Men have always sit on juries and men instinctively shrink from holding women strictly accountable for their misdeeds. Now that women sit on juries I expect the percentage of convictions in cases of women to be greater. Women are more clever than men in arousing sympathy. I had on a woman, a hardened criminal, stage a terrific fainting spell in my courtroom after the jury found her guilty. It took four men to carry her to jail. She continued having these spells, so long that I had to defer pronouncing sentence. Finally I sent her word that the longer she acted so, the longer she would be in jail. Within a few moments she sent up word that, she would be good and received her sentence meekly, with no trace of feeling”

    Yeah, Florence was right Men will make big boasts of believing in blind justice and steamroll ”other” Men in a heartbeat while looking for IOIS from women.

    1. Derek L. Ramsey

      Less than an hour ago, I saw a commercial for fancy elitist dog food where a woman kicks her family member (mother?) out of the trailer. It was billed as “only enough room for the dog or the family member” and, of course, she chose the dog. Advertisers are well aware that a huge portion of women would let a family member die rather than let harm come to their dog, and they cash in on it.

  5. Lastmod

    Forced concentration of driving up to Sacramento and back over the weekend gave me time to actually think. It was a grueling 7.5 hours (including stops) on Interstate 5 from LA to the state capital. A bit longer coming back because of Sunday traffic in LA.

    I-5 is pretty much a desolate slingshot of a freeway up the western edge of the grand San Jocquine valley once you cross over out of the LA basin. Fields. Groves of almonds. Dairy. Towns with names like Buttonwillow, Firebaugh, Tipton, and Kettleman. There are stretches where you will be driving at 75 mph and no exit or rest stops for 40, 50 miles. The golden hills to the west and a vast flat plain eastward. Once you hit Stockton, it becomes the California we all know. But that vast strtech from climbing out of Los Angles (Santa Clairita) to Stockton not much of anything. Hard to believe you are still in California by the images, media, news and tourbooks.

    I thought about my own life….and it is indeed well over half way done now. I traded in my 2020 Volswagen Jetta (paid off) and bought a new 2024 Jetta GLI sport model in April, the car cruised nicely up and back to Sacramento.

    Blue-brass sky and golden hills. Music on a comfotable level as I sped past farms, fields and occassionaly passing another car.

    I wasnt sad about my life. I wasnt really happy about it. I just figured I am a product of my times. No books will be written about me. No “made for TV movie” based on a “real” story will ever be made about me. I am just a man who had the fortunate birth of being born into a first world country living on the edge of civilization (the far, far West).

    I didnt tell myself the the 1980’s “sitcom” story of “how-lucky-I-am” nor did I dwell on what I didnt have, or get, or thought I should of had.

    I realized that in the future, people will look back on the era and palce I lived in (1970’s thru 2024) as a period of “freedom” and I think they will envy that the most about us collectively. Not our music. Nor fashion. Not who was president or who wasnt. They will indeed see an image or have a view of one….

    A man who got in his newer, cool car. Drove almost halfway up the state for a DJ gig. No worries really about where his next meal was coming from. Not worried about paying for the gas. The hot California sun, windows down and the wind passing by tossling his hair.

    We’re living in a twilight era now…….this county and place will be very different in the next few decades and frankly……..the new era coming wont be a cakewalk for just about everyone.

    Mutual submission cant work on a societal level right now, we’re too “free” (theorhetical freedom) it will be the only solution in a not too distant future when men and women will indeed have to depend on each other, not just for family / biological reason…but to indeed survive.

    Our modern “family first” pundits in the church and on the “conservative” side are clueless as well today.

    1. Derek L. Ramsey

      “It was a grueling 7.5 hours”

      Weather permitting (cross my fingers), I’ll be taking a couple 8 hour drives in a couple weeks. Going on a 1,400-mile four-day-three-roller-coaster-park trip with some of the kids. Since I don’t drink coffee, I’ve started bringing along 100mg caffeine pills. Makes the drive much, much easier.

      “I-5 is pretty much a desolate slingshot of a freeway up the western edge”

      While the scenery is different, the drive on I-80 is quite remote. Lots and lots of trees, gorges, and high elevation (for the east coast anyway). I enjoy the drive quite a bit. But, because it is toll-free, it gets a lot of truck traffic from those avoiding I-76.

      “Blue-brass sky and golden hills. Music on a comfotable level as I sped past farms, fields and occassionaly passing another car.”

      My son and I went to see the solar eclipse in Erie. We listened to an audiobook in the car. A memory for a lifetime.

      Mutual submission cant work on a societal level right now, we’re too “free” (theorhetical freedom) it will be the only solution in a not too distant future when men and women will indeed have to depend on each other, not just for family / biological reason…but to indeed survive.”

      That is probably one thing most people in the ‘sphere agree on: everything is currently structures so that women don’t need men for anything direct in their lives. Men certainly provide for everyone, but women don’t need to marry to benefit. A lot of men in the ‘sphere think this is the current state of affairs and that it will be changing soon. We’ll see.

      If I had to predict anything, it is that our personal freedoms will become even more restricted and mutual submission will become more appealing. When Peter (in 1 Peter) describe the suffering that the early Christians had at the hands of unbelievers, he described Abraham and Sarah obeying each other in their times of trouble. Mutual submission is likely the kind of thing that works best among those who are experiencing persecution or hardship. It’s not popular in times of plenty.

    2. professorGBFMtm

      ”Mutual submission is likely the kind of thing that works best among those who are experiencing persecution or hardship.

      It’s not popular in times of plenty.”

      Okay, that plus it’s not the golden-age=classic Manosphere anymore =what?

      Here’s a hint: it has something to do with some of those in the mainstream current ‘sphere.

      See where someone’s latest post is based on a two-year-old comment from you MOD?
      That ties in with the rest of the sentences above.

      1. Lastmod

        Yeah…saw that. It’s fine.

        He can say whatever, twist, agree, or disagree with any of my comments. I mean, that is what many over there have been doing anyway, even when I was posting there.

        My case is mild compared to what is coming up after me with Incels. Telling them to “man up” or listen to Dave Ramsey, go get a STEM degree, read Rollo, or join-a-church-that-practices-biblical-manhood and has women with headcoverings, and men are respected for who they are. Works if you the guy who is like them and doesnt have a need for Rollo, or any of that anyway.

        Eugenics, and biochemistry and psychobabble will be told to them (it kind-of is now) as to why they should shut their mouths and follow Jesus and listen to “the leaders” and “stay in their lane”

        They have an utmost disdain for most of their fellow men, let alone women . They want a continuous high school where they can flush the nerds head in the toilet, still after being married talk about how many IOIs they get daily, how “important” they are and frankly, more and more men have awakened to this “game”

        they can have it, more and more men now are refusing to play a stacked Game with women……and now with their fellow men.

      2. Derek L. Ramsey

        “See where someone’s latest post is based on a two-year-old comment from you MOD? That ties in with the rest of the sentences above.”

        Two years and two months! That ties in with what I said three days ago in this thread:

        That article was posted here today. My comment proved prophetic:

        Here is the comment being referenced.

  6. professorGBFMtm

    It’s like sharkly said about himself and other red pillars ”We intentionally deceive people,
    Anyhow, We are not who we portray ourselves to be, and we seem to me to be trying to waste people’s time and make them tire of the manosphere as we did in the golden age which led to it’s implosion. Too many good Men like Derek, LastMOD & professorGBFMtm know WE Greatly disdain f most of their fellow men, let alone women. And that more and more men now are refusing to play a stacked Game with women , But WE tradcon redpillers shall continue to abuse all MEN&woMEN until civilization is no more bwa wawaw wa wa. As our left-right oligarchy, NWO is the natural enemy of the MGTOW (who first thought they could stop us some 26 years ago then WE first tried to destroy their earliest foundations or ‘spheres with the fed-funded feministic and goddess worshipping & tingling Game that WE still push on them to this day. WE knew they would otherwise restore a working civilization-which WE naturally detest,scoff,debase and hateth!”

    But I mainly can’t understand why Jack said Trump won’t restore civilization or at least America if re-elected When sharkly thinks he will? i thought their synergy together was off the charts and ”off the hook” in ’90s lingo.

    1. Lastmod

      They right in the USa today are no better in these matters. They think if “their guy” is in, everything will be great forgetting we live in a country that has a Congress and Senate, never mind Statehouses and their respected Houses. Also, the federal agencies over the decades have become more powerful that the Congress that created them….and watch the hearings.

      All the “tough talk” from Sen Cruz, Congressman Jordan, Sen Cotton and the like……and no one gets fired. No “agencies” dismantled, scaled down or shuttered… questions answered and the people they are grilling KNOW nothing will happen to them. Its political theater. Trump psychophants cheering them on, and still nothing happens.

      No swamp will be drained. The deficit will still grow but the political class will still use a wedge issue(s) to divide. Guaranteed when Trump wins…..we will spend the first two to three years no “going after” and “prosecuting” the other side. Its a game to them and I am bit shocked and surprised that they have all their hopes pinned on one man.

      The left does the same thing.

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