BDAG says that KEFALH, when employed metaphorically,
(1) A being of high status (Iren. 1, 5, 3; Hippol.
Ref. 7, 23, 3).
(a) "in the case of living beings, to denote superior
BDAG lists 1 Cor 11:3; Eph 5:23a as examples of what I
have labeled 1a. Cf. Eph. 1:22; 4:15; 5:23b.
Marion Soards (1 Corinthians in the NIBC Series)
discusses the views of commentators such as G. Fee and
N. Watson, who both argue that KEFALH means "source"
in 1 Cor 11:3. But he then adds the following caveat
on page 229 of his commentary:
"Nevertheless, the interpretive debate is not settled.
J. A. Fitzmeyer ('Another Look at KEFALH in 1
Corinthians 11:3,' NTS 35 , pp. 503-11) examines
the LXX and Philo alongside Paul to argue 'head' could
be understood as 'authority over' another person; also
J. A. Fitzmeyer, 'KEFALH in 1 Corinthians 11:3,' Int
47 (1993), pp. 52-59. In a creative interpretive
essay, S. E. McGinn ('EXOUSIAN EXEIN EPI THS KEFALHS:
1 Cor 11:10 and the Ecclesial Authority Woman,' List
31 , pp. 91-104) argues that the charismatic
gift of prophecy gave the women who were endowed with
this gift an authority over their heads--the
men--because of the Spirit's presence and power at
work in their contributions to the congregation's
D. A. Carson also reports the following in Exegetical
Fallacies (2nd Edition):
"Although some of the New Testament metaphorical uses
of KEFALH . . . could be taken to mean 'source,' all
other factors being equal, in no case is that the
required meaning; and in every instance the notion of
'headship' implying authority fits equally well or
better. The relevant lexica are full of examples, all
culled from the ancient texts, in which KEFALH . . .
connotes 'authority'" (pp. 37-38).