Q. Please Explain 1 Cor. 11:3. Are the Baptists correct in their interpretation that a man is the "head" or "authority" over his wife?
1 Cor. 11:3
3* But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
This verse teaches a certain hierarchy of authority. However, due to the rise of Christian feminism "the head of the woman is man" does not sit well and causes many to reject this view. An alternative is to interpret "head", not as authority, but as "source" or "origin", which means this verse is merely referring to the creation of Eve from Adam.
This interpretation is based more on opinion than on solid reasoning. According to all the standard New Testament Greek lexicons, the word translated "head" is NEVER used to communicate the idea of "source" or "origin" (in fact they state the meaning "superior" instead).
Notice that verse eight EXPLICITLY states that woman came from man, but the normal word for "from" is used, NOT the word translated "head"! In any case, "head" is not only used to describe the relationship between man and woman but also the relationship between Christ and man, and God and Christ. So if we assume the interpretation "source", then we would have Christ being the source of man, and God being the source of Christ. Now, God being the source of Christ is quite OK (see John 1), but Christ is obviously not the source of all men, since there were countless generations before the birth of Christ!
So is this verse teaching that men are superior beings to women? Absolutely NOT! A man is superior only with respect to authority over his wife – this verse does not mean or imply that God regards women as inferior to men in any respect. Both men AND women are made in the image of God.
The marriage relationship is much like a team. Every player is important and makes valuable contributions, but one player has to take the lead and be the "captain". It is clear from this and many other scriptures that God has given this responsibility to the husband.