The Consensus and Context of 1 Timothy 2:12

The following are my notes from a talk I gave on the 28th of June 2014 at a public meeting hosted by the Sydney chapter of Christians for Biblical Equality.  The talk took 45 minutes to deliver, and that was speaking at a quick pace.  It will probably take longer to read at a leisurely pace.  (I plan to provide a pdf of this talk once I am satisfied that I’ve discovered and fixed all the typos.)

1 Timothy 2:12

Introduction

This morning I’m speaking about 1 Timothy 2:12.  I’m going to address the first part of my topic which is the consensus, or agreement, of 1 Timothy 2:12 with other Scripture, and then I’ll spend most of my time looking at this verse within the context of the entire letter of 1 Timothy, and in the context of the Ephesian church in the 1st century, because the letter of 1 Timothy was written by Paul to Timothy while Timothy was ministering in Ephesus.

Some of you will immediately notice that I am taking the traditional view that the apostle Paul was the author of 1 Timothy. Whatever your view on the authorship of 1 Timothy, it is part of the canon of Scripture and needs to be taken seriously. I want to state up front that I have an evangelical hermeneutic and approach to Scripture which includes the belief that the canon of Scripture is the uniquely inspired and authoritative word of God. I also have a firm belief that it is important to have an understanding of the social, literary and cultural contexts of biblical texts if we want to comprehend what the biblical authors were saying.

After I’ve looked at the broader context of 1 Timothy and the context of Ephesian society, I will then go through 1 Timothy 2:12 pretty much word by word.

There’s a lot I want to get through this morning, so let’s dive straight in.

 

A. The Consensus of 1 Timothy 2:12 with the Rest of Scripture

1 Timothy 2:12 as a Proof Text 

I’m sure you agree with me, that no verse is brought up more often in discussions on Women in Ministry than 1 Timothy 2:12. Many Christians seem stuck on this one verse and it influences how they view all other verses in the Bible that mention, or allude to, women in ministry situations. 1 Timothy 2:12 has effectively become for many the proof text on this subject. That is unfortunate as there are many verses in the Bible which mention women in ministry, and these other verses are sometimes downplayed, explained away, or just plain ignored in the light of 1 Timothy 2:12.

Let’s have a look at this verse. In 1 Timothy 2:12 Paul writes to Timothy saying, “I do not allow a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet”. Does this verse represent what the whole counsel of Scripture tells us about women teaching and exercising authority in ministry, including ministry to men? Do we know of godly Bible women whom God used to teach and lead men? Yes, yes we do.

Some Bible Women who Led and Taught Men 

The standout example is Deborah – everyone knows Deborah – she was a prophetess and judge who led Israel, and very clearly led Barak, the general of the army. In fact Barak seems quite dependent on her (Judges 4:1-5:31).

Huldah is another prophetess who also exercised authority in her ministry. This is what John Dickson says about her in his book “Hearing her Voice”: Huldah is “a particularly curious example of spiritual leadership. Not only did she deliver an authoritative message to King Josiah concerning all Judah, but she also validated the authority of the newly rediscovered ‘Book of the Law of the LORD’. One contemporary scholar has remarked that Huldah’s endorsement of the document ‘stands as the first recognizable act in the long process of canon formation.’”[1] (2 Kings 22:14-20; 2 Chronicles 34:22-28.)

One woman who is often overlooked in examples of women who taught is King Lemuel’s mother. This woman taught her son, a grown man and a king with an inspired message (another woman with a prophetic ministry) that is contained in the sayings of Proverbs 31. Because her words are recorded and included in the Canon of Holy Scripture, the teaching of King Lemuel’s mother has the authority of Scripture. (Many Christians believe that Scripture has the highest level of spiritual authority.) By being a part of Scripture, the sayings of this woman continue to authoritatively instruct men and women, and even kings. As do other words of women that are recorded in Scripture.[2]

We hear about Anna the Prophetess in Luke 2:37-38 where it says that Anna never left the Temple, “worshiping with fasting and prayer, night and day.” After seeing the baby Jesus she began speaking about Jesus “to all who were waiting for the redemption (or deliverance) of Jerusalem.” Surely this “all” included men as well as women.
Did the men have a problem with the fact that a woman was informing them about the Messiah and speaking about theological things to do with the redemption of Jerusalem? Apparently not.

Priscilla is another woman who taught a man about theological things. Priscilla, and her husband Aquila, explained “the way of God” more accurately to a Christian minister named Apollos. Apollos was an intelligent, educated, well-spoken, up and coming super apostle, but he did not know about Christian baptism. Priscilla and Aquila, seeing this lack, explained to him the doctrine of Christian baptism. Neither Aquila, Apollos, nor Luke (who records this event in Acts) seem to be concerned that Priscilla apparently took the lead in this conversation and, with Aquila, explained “the way of God more accurately” to a man. (See Acts 18:24-26.) It is important to note that this event happened in Ephesus. In fact, Priscilla and Aquila led a house church in Ephesus, and later in Rome. Priscilla would have had many opportunities to minister and teach in this house church setting where, presumably, men and women gathered (1 Cor 16:19; 2 Tim 4:19).

Some people argue that Priscilla did not teach but instructed or explained, and at the moment there is a big discussion among some Sydney Anglicans about what “teaching” meant in the Apostolic church. This discussion centres on the Greek verb didaskō which is usually translated as “teach”.  The Greek verb for “explain”  in Acts 18:26 for Priscilla and Aquila is not didaskō but it is the same word used in two other occasions in Acts to mean explain or instruct ektithēmi), and as you can see in Acts 11:4 and in Acts 28:23-24, it is used in the context of some weighty theological instruction by some authoritative teachers.

 

ektithemi

 

There are still other women that I would love to mention such as Philip’s prophesying daughters who are barely mentioned in Scripture but are mentioned in significant ways by other early church writers such as Eusebius who associates the prophetesses with apostolic gifts, teaching, and foundational ministry.

I believe that the overall consensus of what the Bible says about women speaking to men, instructing men, and leading men does not support the idea that wise, godly and prophetic women are prohibited from teaching men. The consensus does not support the prohibition of women in ministry. So where does that leave 1 Timothy 2:12? For one thing, it takes some of the heat off this one verse, or it should take some of the heat off, when we realise and acknowledge that there were women who taught and exercised authority in ministry to men, and that their ministry was valued and appreciated. If we are honest we need to acknowledge this and not use 1 Timothy 2:12 as leverage to somehow diminish what the Bible actually says about these women ministers.

The Agreement of 1 Timothy 2:12 with 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 

There is one verse, or rather two verses, which have some similarities with 1 Timothy 2:12, and those two verses are 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Yet these verses are not mentioned much anymore in debates about women in ministry. Why is that? Why are these verses rarely mentioned, but 1 Timothy 2:12 continues to be a sticking point for many?

There are many approaches to interpreting 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, but most Christians, complementarians and egalitarians alike, have come to understand that, in these verses, Paul was not prohibiting godly, well-behaved women from speaking, prophesying or praying aloud in the Corinthian church. For instance, Wayne Grudem, who holds to a hierarchical complementarian ideology, believes that these verses are about women being prohibited from evaluating prophecy.[3]  Craig Keener, who holds to an egalitarian ideology, believes that these verses are about uneducated women not asking too many nuisance questions in church meetings.[4] Many Christians acknowledge that the real meaning and intention of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is not as plain as it appears in English translations, yet many of these same Christians maintain that the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:12  as plain as it appears in most English translations.

 

B. The Context of First Timothy 

The Profane Teaching in the Ephesian Church 

So let’s now have a look at Paul’s first letter to Timothy. Paul had a reason for writing to Timothy, and we find his reason most clearly expressed right at the beginning and at the end of the letter.  In chapter 1, verses 3-8, Paul writes to Timothy:

“. . . stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. [Verse 5 omitted].  Some have departed from these [good things mentioned in verse 5] and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, [probably the Old Testament Law] but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.”

Paul is writing to Timothy because there are people in the Ephesian church who had strange, false teachings. In 1 Timothy 4:3 we read that some were forbidding marriage and demanding abstinence from certain foods. In 1 Timothy 4:7 we get a further inkling of what the false teaching involved when Paul writes, “Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales.” Some English translations are slightly different, but I’d like to highlight the words “profane” and “myths” that are used here. There was something profane, (heathenish and ungodly) about this heresy,[5] and it had to do with myths or mythology.

Evidence of Gnosticism in 1 Timothy

It is in his closing that Paul nails the heresy that was being taught in Ephesus. Paul closes his first letter to Timothy with one final exhortation concerning the issue of heresy where he identifies it:

“O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding profane chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge” which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. Grace be with you.” 1 Timothy 6:20-21 (My underline)

The Greek word for knowledge is gnōsis and it’s from this word that we get the word Gnosticism. The heresy in the Ephesian church was an incipient form of Gnosticism, or Proto-Gnosticism. Gnosticism rapidly grew at the same time, and in many of the same places, where the Gospel was growing. It would develop into highly organised and complicated mythological systems during the second and third centuries, and it posed a huge threat to the church at that time. However the beginnings of Gnosticism are evident in the New Testament. Several later New Testament letters address the problem of a Proto-Gnosticism (e.g. Colossians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, 2 Peter and John’s letters).

Several early church writers saw in 1 Timothy the beginnings of Gnostic beliefs. Irenaeus wrote a five-volumed work in around 180AD in which he identified and refuted several strains of Gnosticism. This work is commonly called “Against Heresies”; however its true title is, “On the Detection and Overthrow of the Falsely-called Knowledge”. Irenaeus exactly copied Paul’s expression from 1 Timothy 6:20 for the title.[6] Not only that, Irenaeus begins his works by remarking on “endless genealogies”, a phrase he copied from 1 Timothy 1:4. Irenaeus recognised certain traits of Gnosticism in 1 Timothy, and so did Tertullian. Tertullian (who died in 220) described and denounced the heresy of Gnosticism using Paul’s own expression of “myths and endless genealogies”, and he added, “which the inspired apostle [Paul] by anticipation condemned, whilst the seeds of heresy were even then shooting forth.”[7]  Tertullian recognised the seeds of Gnosticism in 1 Timothy. Eusebius (263-339 AD) also used Paul’s phrase of “falsely-called knowledge” when describing the Gnostic heresy that threatened the church in the second century.[8]  Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Eusebius used Paul’s own words to refer to the Gnosticism that they knew in the second and third centuries, and that they saw early signs of in 1 Timothy.

The “endless genealogies” that Paul mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:4 could well refer to the complex series of emanations, or aeons, in Gnosticism. These aeons were seen as a series of links between God and humanity. Rather than numerous aeons, Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2:5 that, “There is one God and one mediator between God and humanity – the human being Jesus Christ.” This verse is another piece of evidence that Paul was concerned about Gnostic-like, or Proto-Gnostic beliefs in Ephesus.[9]

So what was this Proto-Gnosticism in the Ephesian Church all about?

What is Gnosticism?

Gnosticism is about possessing secret, mysterious, esoteric knowledge. Christian Gnosticism borrowed elements from all over the place, from Platonic philosophy and pagan faiths, and syncretised them, or meshed them together, with Christian beliefs. I believe that in Ephesus, the Gnostic heresy incorporated pagan beliefs from the cult of Artemis (we’ll come to her in a minute). Moreover, the Gnostics incorporated aspects of Judaism and the Jewish Law into their beliefs. I believe that Paul alludes to this in 1 Timothy 1:6-11.

Many Gnostics were fascinated by the Genesis accounts of the Creation and the Fall, and Adam and Eve. The Gnostic texts found in Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945 show that the biblical accounts were interpreted very freely and allegorically. Eve was frequently seen as “spirit” and Adam as “soul”. Eve, as “spirit”, brought life when united with Adam’s “soul”. “[G]nostics often depicted Eve – or the feminine spiritual power she represented – as the source of spiritual awakening.”[10]

There are quite a few Gnostic Creation accounts that give Eve primacy over Adam.[11] She is also sometimes referred to as “the daughter of light”, “the creator of the Logos”, “the first virgin”, and even specifically as the mother of Jesus. In Gnosticism, not only does Eve give life to Adam, Eve was a heroine to the Gnostics; she was a heroine because she desired knowledge (gnōsis) (Gen. 3:6). It really is creepy how Gnostics corrupted the story in Genesis 2.

Next we’ll look at Artemis.

Artemis temple

Illustration of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus

Artemis of Ephesus 

Ancient Ephesus was the largest city of Asia Minor. The Ephesians were well known across the Greek world for their enthusiastic devotion to the goddess Artemis, and for their magnificent temple dedicated to her. In one of its forms, the Artemis temple was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The temple attracted many thousands of visitors each year, bringing prosperity to the city.

Artemis_Efes_MuseumThe Ephesians regarded their goddess with deep devotion and warm affection, and she influenced every aspect of Ephesian life in ways that are difficult for us to imagine. Many aspects of her cult are unclear but she seems to have been worshipped as a fertility goddess, and as a virgin. The approximately four hundred remaining statues of her feature numerous bumps on her chest. These bumps are interpreted differently by some, but many believe them to be breasts, or bulls’ testicles, or bees’ eggs: all symbols of fertility.  (Bees’ eggs may have signified virginity as well as fertility as the ancient Greeks thought that bees reproduce asexually.  Artemis also has emblems of bees on the sides of her skirt)

Artemis was known by many lofty titles; however she was most commonly referred to as “The Mother of All!” Does that sound familiar?

Artemis was like the “great mother” goddess, who was regarded as the universal mother of all life. The Ephesian Artemis was believed to have the power to bring new life into the world and to take life away. It was also believed that Artemis helped women and animals in labour. Ephesian women would call on Artemis during childbirth to speed up the labour and ease the pain, or, in dire circumstances, they would call on her to bring about a quick death to end their suffering.
Image: First century statue of Artemis, displayed in the Ephesus Archaeological Museum (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Paradoxically, Artemis was also the champion and protector of virgins – both male and female. And virginity and celibacy were highly esteemed virtues among some Ephesians. Some strains of Gnosticism promoted sexual promiscuity and other strains promoted asceticism.  As I read out earlier, some people were forbidding marriage in the Ephesian church (1 Tim. 4:3a), a sign of asceticism.

Paul visited Ephesus several times. His effectiveness and success in spreading the gospel there meant that many people were turning away from the cult of Artemis and converting to Christianity. (See Acts chapter 19.) A strong church was established in Ephesus, but it was difficult for some Ephesian Christians to completely let go of some of their pagan beliefs.

Wherever the Gospel has gone, many new believers have found it difficult to quickly and completely let go of long-held beliefs and superstitions. These difficulties were due to the fact that beliefs were often interwoven with local culture and customs. In Roman Catholicism, for example, most of the “Madonnas” and “Our Ladies” started of as local pagan goddesses which were later morphed into “Marys” when Christianity came. In Ephesus, however, the new Christians weren’t just trying to morph Artemis into Mary – both regarded as virgin mothers, I suggest that some Ephesian Christians were trying to fit Eve into the mix as well. In Genesis 3:20, Eve, just like Artemis, is called “the mother of all living”.  [More on Artemis here.]

I’ve spent a bit of time explaining the Proto-Gnostic heresy, which I suggest incorporated elements of the Artemis cult. I’ve taken this time because 1 Timothy was written to Timothy who needed to deal with this heresy and its affects. At times, when reading 1 Timothy, I even feel that Paul was concerned for Timothy’s own salvation; Paul mentions salvation several times in this letter. I believe the influence of the heresy was strong.

 

C. 1 Timothy 2:11-15 Line by Line 

Let’s have a look at 1 Timothy 2:12 within the context of the verses immediately around it.

Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was created first and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved [or saved] through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity and self- restraint.  1 Timothy 2:11-15.

Verse 11

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. (NIV)
In the previous verses in chapter 2, which I haven’t read out, Paul was addressing the conduct of men and women, plural. But in verse 11 he changes tack and suddenly begins to talk about a woman (singular). And he says a woman must learn. Why? Does he say this? Why does he abruptly say a woman must learn. Paul must have seen a need there. And hopefully that need will become apparent as I continue.

Verse 11 is the only verse in this passage (verses 11-15) that contains a clear command: “A woman should, or must, learn.”  In Verse 11 we also have the word “submission”. This is a common word in the New Testament and it is used in a variety of contexts. Here Paul is commanding that a woman should learn in a quiet, respectable, and submissive manner – the usual conduct of a good student.

Verse 12

Note again that the word for “woman” here is singular and not plural. This verse, in its most literal sense, is not saying that women cannot teach men, unless “woman” and “man” are understood generically as applying to all the Ephesian women and men . . . and it is taken that way by many people. It is important to note, however, that (as I’ve already mentioned) in the verses immediately preceding verses 11-12, Paul gives instructions to men and to women (plural). Why the shift from plural to singular? Is Paul speaking about one particular woman in this passage? Or is he speaking about an activity where one man and one woman are involved?

Epitrepō 

Unlike in verse 11, Paul does not use an imperative verb in 1 Timothy 2:12. Paul does not use any of the usual Greek command tenses in this instruction. Instead he uses the present active indicative epitrepō with the negative ouk: “I am not allowing . . .”  Andrew Perriman notes that the use of epitrepō in the New Testament, in every case, is “. . . related to a specific and limited set of circumstances . . .”[12]  John Toews notes that the use of epitrepō in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament), is likewise almost always related to a specific and limited situation rather than a broad or universal one.[13]  The Greek word epitrepō was not the word you used to make broad or definitive statements, or commands.

It could be that Paul’s statement in 1 Timothy 2:12 was a concession related to a specific, limited, local situation. The statement may even have been limited to one particular woman in the Ephesian church.

I am fairly certain that Paul intended Timothy to read his letter aloud.  (We are still reading his letter aloud.) I believe that the woman in the Ephesian church, hearing what was being read, would have understood that she was being addressed here. And that she was being addressed diplomatically.

The whole tone of 1 Timothy 2:12 is light and non-confrontational. Compare it, for instance, with what Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:17 (cf 1 Tim. 6:18) “As for the rich in this present age, charge (or, command, parangellō) them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” There is none of this “command” force in 1 Timothy 2:12 in the Greek. The word order in the Greek, which is different to that in most English translations, also indicates that Paul is speaking diplomatically here. Even cautiously.  It does make me wonder who this woman, or possibly group of women are.

I am not going to be discussing the word “to teach” (didaskein) this morning even though this one word has generated a couple of books, numerous blog posts, and vigorous discussions lately among Sydney Anglicans. I am content to believe that the meaning of “teach” is much the same today as it was in first century Ephesus, even if the methods and customs of teaching were quite different.

So we move on to the next part of 1 Timothy 2:12 which is usually translated into English as, “nor exercise authority over a man”.

A Hendiadys 

The first word I’d like to look at is the conjunction (oude) translated here as “nor” or “or”. This word joins “to teach” (didaskein) with “to exercise authority over” (authentein). Many scholars believe that these two words form a hendiadys, that is, two words or phrases that express one idea.

A usual example given to illustrate how a hendiadys works is “Don’t eat and run.” In this example the prohibition is not about eating, in fact eating seems to be recommended; what is being prohibited is eating and then running.

So we have this conjunction which joins didaskein with authentein. We have some idea of what didaskein means, but what does authentein really mean? That is a whole other story.

Authentein

The following is a table of summaries from lexicon entries of the verb authenteō. [14]

authentew Baldwin

From the lexical information we can see that the verb authenteō means to have sovereign power over, or full power and control over, or perhaps to exercise independent power and authority.[15] I’d like to suggest that, though this kind of authority and power was common in the Greco-Roman world, it has no place in the church whether wielded by a man or a woman. The gifting and authorisation to minister, that ultimately comes from the Holy Spirit, is not an authority over another person, but an authority to function in a ministry. As Christians we need to stop using words such as “over” and “under” when describing healthy relationships among fellow believers.

Other scholars have put forward other meanings of the verb authenteō, however the word used in 1 Timothy 2:12 is not a verb. Nor is it a common noun, authentein is in the infinitive form, sometimes described as a verbal noun. This is an important consideration as related verbs and nouns, etc, do not always correspond exactly in meaning.  So while I am content with what modern lexicographers say about the verb authenteō, there may be more to the infinitive authentein.[16]

Albert Wolters, another Complementarian scholar, has written an in depth paper on the noun authentēs and makes this comment: “. . . the word authentēs played a prominent role in Gnosticism; for example it was the name of the supreme deity in the systems of early Gnostics Cerinthus and Saturninus (first and second centuries AD).” Authentēs is typically translated into English as “supreme power” in works by Early Church Fathers who addressed Christian Gnosticism. In a footnote of his paper Wolters comments that it is striking that eight of the twenty-nine occurrences of authentia (another cognate noun of authetein) refer to Gnostic sources.  Wolters has demonstrated a clear link between the nouns authentēs and authentia with first and second century Gnosticism.[17]

I do not believe that what Paul was prohibiting in 1 Timothy 2:12 was a healthy kind of authority that was being exercised by a woman, and that is why Paul chose to not to use the usual Greek word for authority (exousia), but an unusual word authentein.

I’ve mentioned studies on the verb authenteō, and on the noun authentēs (and authentia), but what about the infinitive which is the form that is used in 1 Timothy 2:12? Authentein (the infinitive) is mentioned only nineteen times in the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (a data base of all known Ancient Greek words plus their literary sources), of these nineteen, fifteen are quotes of 1 Timothy 2:12, or allusions to the verse. So we don’t have much to go on when working out what the infinitive might mean.

Keeping in mind the possible connection with Gnosticism, I don’t think we know precisely what the word authentein means. But it can’t have been a good thing. Otherwise, why would Paul prohibit it? Why would Paul prohibit good, godly teaching?[18]

I cannot give you a clear, precise definition of authentein, and I suggest that, at this point in time, no one can. Since we do not have a precise meaning of one of the main words, it is extremely unwise to use 1 Timothy 2:12 as a proof text on the issue of women in ministry.

So how will we interpret 1 Timothy 2:12?

Perhaps this phrase may be interpreted as: “I am not allowing a woman to teach in order to domineer a man.” Or: “I am not allowing a woman to teach in order to influence a man with Gnostic beliefs and practice.” Complementarian Andreas Köstenberger concedes that a possible translation of this phrase might be: I do not permit a woman to teach [error] or to domineer over a man. (Köstenberger’s use of square brackets.) While Köstenberger rejects this translation himself, it actually fits the context of 1 Timothy with its concern of false doctrine, very well.[19]

Sexual Licentiousness

[I left out this section on Saturday because of time constraints.]
There is one more, rather unpleasant, point that I need to mention. The teaching of Gnosticism and Authentēs in the Ephesian church may have involved sexual licentiousness. I remember coming across this suggestion years ago and reacting with disbelief, and I completely dismissed this idea. But the more I read about the problems in the Early Church and elements of Christian Gnosticism, the more I am inclined to believe that a woman in the church at Ephesus may have been teaching, or spreading, Gnosticism in a sexual way. Clement of Alexandria writes about promiscuous women in the church, but even in the Bible we have an example of a female Christian leader who was promiscuous: “Jezebel” was a female false prophet and teacher who was teaching (didaskei) and seducing (planâ) her followers in the church of Thyatira (Revelation 2:20ff KJV).

It is important to note that there is nothing in the passage about Jezebel that suggests that, because she was a woman, she should not have been teaching.  Jezebel was not given time to repent of the fact that she, as a woman, was teaching.  Instead, the Bible says that she was given time to repent of her immorality. It was the content of her teaching and her immoral, idolatrous practices that she needed to repent of.

As I said, it may be difficult for us to imagine, but sexual promiscuity was not an uncommon problem in the early church. And sex may be the reason why “woman” and “man” are singular in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.  This verse may even refer to a wife and husband.

So what is Paul’s remedy for a woman who teaches and “authenteins” a man? She is to learn . . . learn good doctrine, and she is to be a quiet, good student. Quietness is mentioned three times in 1 Timothy chapter 2: in verses 1, 11 and 12. Quietness was a virtue for men and women in the Greco-Roman world. The Greek word for “quiet” (hesuchia) in 1 Timothy 2 does not mean silence but calmness.

Let’s move on to the next few verses.

Verses 13-14

“For it was Adam who was created first and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”
One of the most important words in this verse is the little word “for” translated from the equally little Greek word gar. Gar can be used in a variety of ways and has various meanings.  In English it sounds as though Paul is giving the reason for his prohibition in verses 13 and 14.   I suggest, however, Paul is doing something else.  

I suggest that in 1 Timothy 2:13-15 Paul is not giving a reason, or reasons, for his prohibition in verse 12 but giving his correction on the false teaching in the Ephesian church.[20]  Instead of the Gnostic teaching that Eve was made first, Paul writes, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” Instead of Adam being deceived and Eve being a heroine, Paul writes, “And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

Contrary to what many hierarchical complementarians teach, being made first has nothing to do with authority in the church. (I see nothing to indicate a gender hierarchy in any of the Pre-Fall creation accounts in Genesis chapters 1, 2 or 5.) Moreover, the idea that a person who is first has more authority than a person who is second flies in the face of what Jesus taught. In Jesus’ kingdom the humble are exalted, the lowly are the greatest, the last are first, and the first are last. We still haven’t grasped and applied these basic kingdom principles. And we corrupt these principles when we try and make primacy and hierarchies a part of relationships in Christian communities.

Being created, made, or born second does not disqualify anyone from ministry, but being in a deceived state does. Yet Eve didn’t stay deceived, and she was not the only transgressor. Adam ate the forbidden fruit too. They were both transgressors.

Eve’s deception is never mentioned again in the Old Testament after Genesis 3, nor is it mentioned by Jesus in the Gospels. None of the Old Testament or Gospel writers felt it necessary to bring up or remember Eve’s momentary failure. Eve’s deception is not picked up again in the Scriptures until Paul, who mentions it on two occasions. [In 2 Corinthians 11 he uses it to describe the gullibility of men and women.] But I don’t think he brought it up in 1 Timothy 2 in order to imply that women are more likely to be deceived and therefore all women should be prohibited for all time from teaching and leading men. The Bible nowhere states or implies that women are more easily deceived or deceptive than men. And I don’t believe Paul thought this either. He greatly valued his female ministry colleagues.

Verse 15

But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity and self- restraint.
One suggestion for interpreting verse 15 is to take into consideration that some Ephesian women may have been looking to Artemis for help during childbirth.  However it is not through Artemis, or Eve, that women are kept safe through childbirth, but by remaining in faith, love, and moral purity with self restraint – godly behaviour. The problem with this idea is that godly, Christian mothers can die in childbirth, even in this day and age.

It is more likely that Paul’s real meaning here was that he wanted the Christian women of Ephesus to know that getting married and having children would not jeopardise their salvation. Paul associates moral purity with childbearing because some people in the Ephesian church were forbidding marriage and teaching that celibacy was a necessary moral virtue (1 Tim. 4:3a). Paul encourage the women to get married and have children, which they couldn’t do if they held to the Artemissian ideal of virginity and celibacy (1 Tim 5:14).

Different strains of Gnosticism emphasised either sexual licentiousness or abstinence. Paul’s teaching in 1 Timothy 2:15, in effect, cleverly corrects both extremes.

So let me reiterate, I suggest that 1 Timothy 2:13-15 are Paul’s correction of aspects of the false, proto-gnostic heresy. These verses do not contain his reasons for, supposedly, prohibiting every woman for all time from teaching any man.

 

Summing Up

1 Timothy was written to a minister regarding specific problems in a specific church. Yes, we can garner important principles from the letter, there are plenty of them, but we must keep in mind the original recipients of the letter and their situation (as best as we can reconstruct that situation.)
• I hope that I have given you some insight into the local situation at Ephesus, and into the particular heresy in the Ephesian Church.
• I hope that I have shown you that Paul worded his prohibition in verse 12 carefully and diplomatically, and that it was possibly aimed at one woman.
• I hope I have shown you that “to teach” is tied to authentein in a hendiadys, but that we really can’t be sure what authentein means. For this reason, it is very unwise to use 1 Timothy 2:12 as a proof text on the subject of women in ministry.
• I hope I have shown you that verses 13-15 are not reasons why godly women cannot teach or lead men, especially when we have so many examples of Bible women who did just that, including Priscilla who taught a man in Ephesus.  Rather, these verses contain Paul’s corrections on the heresy.
• Finally, I hope that I have shown you that, just like 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, it is unwise to take Paul’s prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12 as applying to all women, in every place on the planet, for all time. As the esteemed scholar F.F. Bruce has said, “I think Paul would roll over in his grave if he knew we were turning his letters into torah.”[21]


Endnotes

[1] John Dickson, “Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons”,  Kindle edition 25.12.2012, Kindle Locations 145-149.

[2] The inspired songs, prayers, praises and teachings of Miriam (Exod. 15:20-21), Deborah (Judges 5:1ff), Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1ff), Abigail (1 Sam 25:28-31), King Lemuel’s Mother (Prov. 31:1-9), Mary (Luke 1:46ff) and Elizabeth (Luke 1:41ff) are considered prophetic and are included in Scripture.

[3] Wayne A. Grudem, The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today  (Westchester, Il.: Crossways,1988) p.220/1.

[4] Craig S. Keener, “Women in Ministry” in Two Views on Women in Ministry, James R. Beck and Craig L. Blomberg (eds) (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001) p. 50.  [More interpretations of Cor. 14:34-35 here.

[5] Paul uses a particular Greek word for “profane” (bebēlos) a few times to describe the false teaching in the Ephesian church (1 Timothy 4:7; 6:20; 2 Timothy 2:16.  See also 1 Timothy 1:9).  Bebēlos is only used five times in the New Testament, four times in the letters to Timothy and once in Hebrews 12:16.

[6] Ireneaus,  “Against Heresies” or “On the Detection and Overthrow of the Falsly-Called Gnōsis” at New Advent.  http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103.htm

[7] Tertullian, “Against the Valentinians” at New Advent. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0314.htm

[8] Eusebius, “Ecclesiastical History”, Book 3, 32.8, at New Advent http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/250103.htm

[9] This verse also corrects a Gnostic heresy called Docetism, which is the false teaching and belief that Jesus Christ did not really come in a human body of flesh, but only seemed to be human.

[10] Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve and the Serpent (New York: Vintage Books, 1989) p. 68.

[11] Gnostic texts from Nag Hammadi which give Eve primacy include: Apocryphon of John, Gospel of Philip, Exegesis on the Soul, Hypostasis of the Archon, Thunder: Perfect Mind, and Apocalypse of Adam.

[12] A.C. Perriman, “What Eve Did, What Women Shouldn’t Do: The Meaning of Authenteō in 1 Tmothy 2:12″, Tyndale Bulletin 44.1 (1993) p.130.

[13] John E. Toews, “Women in Church leadership: 1 Timothy 2:11-15, a Reconsideration”, in The Bible and the Church: Essays in Honor of Dr David Ewert, ed. A J. Dueck, H.J. Giesbert, and V.G. Shillington (Hillsboro, Kansas: Kindred, 1983)

[14] Copied from Table 2.1 in H.S Baldwin’s chapter “An Important Word in 1 Timothy 2:12” in A. J. Köstenberger & T. R. Schreiner (Eds.), Women in the Church: An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9-15, Second Edition, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005) p.41.  I have not included the last lexicon entry of the Greek to Spanish DGE as I feel the information is misleading.

[15] Chrysostom used the verb authenteō (the exact form is authentei) in his tenth Homily on Colossians where he wrote that husbands should not act this way towards their wives. (Scr. Eccl. vol 62, page 366, line 29. Source: TLG)   This verb is translated as “act the despot” in Vol XIII of A Select Library of the Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979) p.304.

[16] The Greek word authentein is not etymologically related to the English word “authority”.  Rather, the English word “authority” comes from the Latin word auctor which means “master, leader, author”. (Source: Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary)

[17] Albert Wolters, “A Semantic Study of authentēs and its Derivatives” in the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 1/11, Spring 2006, p44-65.

[18] In Philippians 1:15-18 Paul states that he is glad when the gospel is preached, even if it is preached from faulty motives.  Considering Paul’s eagerness for the gospel message to be proclaimed, it is incongruous that Paul would prohibit women from good preaching.

[19] A.J. Köstenberger, “A Complex Sentence: The Syntax of 1 Timothy 2:12” in Women in the Church: An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2:9–15, A. J. Köstenberger & T. R. Schreiner (Eds) (Second Edition) (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005) p.74.

[20]  I’ve noticed while reading The Acts of the Apostles in Greek that gar often introduces a new thought that is only indirectly related to previous verses (e.g. Acts 15:20-21). I’m reading the Gospel of John in the Greek at the moment, and recently came across a similar use of gar in John 4:44.  Verse 44 does not seem to be directly related to verses 43 and 45.  The NIV translates gar as “now” in John 4:44, which fits the context rather well.

[21] F.F. Bruce in a conversation with Scot McKnight, mentioned by McKnight in his book “The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible” (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008) p.207.


Related Articles

Questions about how to implement 1 Timothy 2:12
1 Timothy 2:12 in Context
Interpretations and Applications of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
Many women leaders in the Bible had this one thing in common
Bible Women with Spiritual Authority
Sexual Licentiousness in the Early Church
A Critique of John Dickson’s “Hearing Her Voice”

(984 visits since April 1st 2014, 38 in the last seven days)

Posted July 2nd, 2014 . Categories/Tags: Equality and Gender Issues, The "Difficult" Passages, Women in Ministry, , , ,

37 comments on “The Consensus and Context of 1 Timothy 2:12

  1. David says:

    Many thanks for the notes. Some interesting points,some of which I agree with and others I don’t, although I certainly agree with the overall conclusion that Paul was not seeking to prohibit all women for all time from teaching.

    I would highly recommend the chapters in Philip Payne’s book on 1 Tim 2. He sets out an excellent case for Authentein meaning ‘assuming authority’, which of course also fits in the the KJV rendering of ‘usurp authority’.

    As to the woman being saved through childbirth, do you not think Paul is referring to Eve (the woman) and spiritual salvation through the birth of Christ?

    David

    • Marg says:

      Hi David,

      I’ve never felt comfortable with the interpretation that the childbirth in 1 Timothy 2:15 refers to the incarnation of Jesus Christ. It seems too far removed from what I believe Paul was trying to address in 1 Timothy chapter 2. But I could be wrong.

  2. Thanks for this. I have been teaching 1 Timothy all year and we have come to the same conclusion: it was gnostic ideas that Paul was refuting here. This is the only verse in the Bible that talks about women (woman) not teaching! The other two verses you referenced were about silence (which is a different subject for another day). It seems so obvious that if gender restrictions were an issue on practicing the spiritual gifts we would have seen it mentioned in more of Paul’s letters, especially in his lists of spiritual gifts. But restriction is written only to Ephesus?

    I was always taught (even in seminary) that Paul is attaching the creation order/fall to the reason Paul does not allow a woman to teach. After discovering what the gnostics believed and knowing Paul was writing to a church under the influence of gnostic teachers (in Revelation Jesus commends the Ephesians for hating the teachings of the Nicolatians, a notorious gnostic group there), these verses suddenly made perfect sense, as do the ones that follow, including women being saved through childbirth (refuting another gnostic teaching). I wish I could go back to seminary and bring these ideas up, but alas my time there is over!

    Thanks for laying this out so well. I will be sending others to your site.

    • Marg says:

      Thanks Julie.

      Like you, I think that if Paul had meant there to be limitations on what women can do in ministry that he would have brought them up when listing the ministry gifts in his letters.

      But instead every New Testament verse which speaks of spiritual gifts, manifestations, or ministries is completely free of any gender bias in the Greek: Acts 2:17-18; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 & 27-28; 1 Corinthians 14:26-33; Ephesians 4:11-12; Hebrews 2:4; 1 Peter 4:9-11.

      Thanks for the reminder about the Nicolaitans. I wish we had more certain knowledge about this heresy and their practices.

  3. Don Johnson says:

    Bravo! I think your arguments show that it is not required to see these verses in 1 Tim as restricting all women in the new covenant for all time.

    FWIIW, I am not sure it is a hendiadys, altho it may be. Also, you might want to enhance your teaching by explaining Greek anarthrous nouns, which is what the Greek has (gune without the article), as there are 3 choices for the meaning: definite, indefinite and previously defined group.

    • Marg says:

      Thanks Don,

      I considered speaking about the grammatical possibilities of the anarthrous nouns “woman” and “man”, but I felt I couldn’t do it properly in just a few words, and if I used more than a few words I would have put my audience to sleep. ;)

  4. […] The Consensus and Context of 1 Timothy 2:12 newlife.id.au/equality-and-g… via @@MargMowczko […]

  5. Dalaina May says:

    Thanks so much for this, Marg. It kind of consolidated much of what I have been studying.

    I am in the process of “coming out” as an egalitarian who was raised by complimentarians, is married to a complimentarian, and employed by a complimentarian church. It’s a little awkward. :)

    I am sharing this on facebook, which might get me in trouble, but I think the depth of your scholarship and logic leaves little room for argument. Certainly, you are more articulate than I am!

    Thank you again for sharing your studies publicly. You have no idea how important your teaching has been in my own journey!

    • Marg says:

      Thank you Dalaina for you comment.

      It does sound a little awkward. I hope you find a way to flourish in Jesus despite being surrounding by an ideology that has the potential to limit women.

  6. John says:

    Excellent thorough explanation on explaining the verses that are missed out. Marg did say & show how it is required to look at the surrounding verses to connect to what paul said and meant. She showed Artemis mentioned in Acts 19, she showed 1Timothy2:13-15 to connect what paul meant on “THE WOMAN” & “THE MAN” …by displaying adam & eve and how God told eve that her husband(THE MAN) will rule over her. But that doesn’t mean the husband must abuse the wiffe(THE WOMAN) because peter says husbands respect your wives for she is the weaker vessel.

    And obviously, making kids doesn’t save you because our works can’t get us salvation. Paul said women shall be saved in child bearing if they(WOMEN/WIVES) continue in faith(JESUS CHRIST) not goddess artemis/diana. The goddess diana religion was believed that women were created 1st, then men 2nd. The city of ephesus had this crazy idea of husbands submitting to the wives only and that women are stronger then men. Paul corrects the issue if you read it right and go back in the book of Acts19:23-35

  7. John says:

    And another note to see, 1Timothy2:11-12 DOES NOT mention anything about church roles because when paul says “I suffer not A WOMAN to teach or usurp authority over THE MAN”….how does “The Man” represent a church audience? And how does “The Woman” represent every women? To those who believe this verse means women cannot teach the bible to anyone, you have to read carefully at the context.

    1Corinthians14:34-35, Paul is just quoting what the corinthian jewish church believed, which was that women had to remain silent and be divided in the corinthian church. If you go back a few verses, paul says all can prophesy & 7 chapters he says women can pray & prophecy…so that would contradict him saying they must pray & prohecy and at the same time be silent. Praying & prophecying isn’t being silent…….1corinthians14:34-35 is just paul requoting the church in his letter from their jewish belief in the hebrew law that “Women must remain silent because its ashame for them to speak in church”. Proof that he’ss quoting what they believe is because if you look at verse 36, its a totally different voice of paul speaking. He says “What? Do you thing the word of God came from you & unto you alone?…..this right here shows how paul is saying the word of God doesn’t come from 1 gender. Paul mentioned in the begiining of 1Corinthinas that there are divisions in the corinthian church. Divisions obviously included men & women seated different apart. There’s no law that says women must not speak in the church in the old testament, the law was the jewish tradition. Today in israel, women aren’t allowed in certain churches.

    • Marg says:

      John, I really, really wanted to say something about whether 1 Timothy 2:12 had anything to do with a church setting, but time just did not allow it.

      I was planning to link my comments about “setting” back to Acts 28:23-24 where Paul taught from his lodgings (and not from a recognised house church.)

      And I was going to make the point that we don’t hold Jesus’ teachings in the synagogues to be more authoritative than his teachings on a mountain, plain, seashore, or roadside, etc. It is Jesus himself who has authority, not his setting.

      The setting of any Christian teaching or teacher does not determine the level of inspiration or authority, even if we designate a place or time as somehow having more authority (e.g. Sunday mornings in a church building.)

      Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who inspires and authorises, and the Holy Spirit is not confined to any particular setting.

    • I so agree with you John that Paul is quoting some in the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 14: 34-35. As you pointed out, verses 34-35 cannot be the words of Paul because he said that when believers assemble together ALL can prophesy and this would contradict women being made to remain silent. I wish more people could understand what you so eloquently said.

    • Erica Tate says:

      Exactly, John, that’s the only way 1 Cor.14:34ff makes sense to me also, especially since all scholars agree that Paul is replying to an earlier letter, in order to address issues in the church, and he often quotes ‘their’ viewpoint before giving his answer. All other explanations (the women were talking too loudly, they’re not allowed to weigh prophecy, etc) raise more questions than answers. If the jigsaw pieces don’t fit together well, then you’re doing the puzzle wrong.
      Regards
      Erica

      • Erica Tate says:

        One more thing – in verse 36, Paul might have been addressing them as Judaizers, not as males … “did the word of God come through you [Judaizers]?”

        • John says:

          True erica, and thank you by the way. Glad you can agree with me too. And true, even though 1 Cor14:36 is paul responding to the church it can be more of judaizers or males that were more in “spiritual authority”. But I just don’t now why people don’t read or remember verses in 1 Corinthians showing evidence of paul saying how women and all can prophesy. Unfortuntaly, many read 1 verse “As Is” without reading another verse. Paul always quotes the issue to who he’s writing to and questions them back with correction. Paul was a pharisee who believed what the jews taught. But paul knew how to correct that tradition when he became a christian, that’s why he quotes them and asks a question of challenge.

          I like 2 Chronicles 34:24-28 where a king was upset how the jews couldn’t translate the book of moses and he asked for prophetess Huldah to translate and show them what the books of moses is saying. The jews believe in moses as savior, rather than Jesus. Go gave the 10 commandments to moses which was “The Law”. But the jews added & established their own teaching to it like a form of government. That’s why Jesus pointed out to them their error in teaching. Including how he was existed before moses. They laughed at him and threw him off the floor basically. And when paul points out their errors, they wanted him dead. But sadly, many of us don’t see the context of the bible from reading the entire letter or book.

        • John says:

          God* Savior*

  8. I’ve done research on this topic and found similar conclusions as you. I plan to post about women in ministry in my blog sometime in the future. Another good article.

  9. John says:

    Thank you so much kristen and marg. Absolutely kristen, have you ever notice in paul’s letter he writes to the churches that he quotes what they say or the problems that the church he writes to…and then he answers or corrects them? That’s exactly what people must realize. If paul said let them remain silent, why did the same apostle paul thank a woman’s church with her husband in Romans4:3-5 & why does paul give thanks to the women who labored/preached the gospel in philipians4:3….many overlook this sadly. They say 1timothy2:11-12 is about church role for men only, but if they read on the next verse to why paul said this verse, they’ll find that paul is referring to a husband & wife example by bringing up adam & eve. Adam wasn’t a pastor when eve decieved him, And jesus didn’t come to the cross before creation to save sins…so I don’t know where they think that adam was a pastor and eve tried to take his pastoral role…its funny and sad they believe this for 1Timothy2:11-12

    There are many churches that say women can’t wear pants and they have to cover their heads in church because in corinthians , the “law” says so…..but the law is just the 10 commandments and it doesn’t say they have to cover their head and not wear pants because pants weren’t made back in those days and paul was writing to a jewish traditional church which was the church of corinth in corinthians. The jewish tradition in the old testament took the 1st 5 books that moses written down and the ews made their own view of what God see’s fit for mankind. That’s why jesus had to come and corret their order and paul even said “For we are not under the law nomore”….so that should knock out 1corinthians14:34-35 because the traditional jewish messianic law was man made belief which jesus showed correction to them…that’s why they hated him. John1:11 says Jesus came unto his own people, but they rejected him. Jesus grew up in the jewish tradition to correct their false belief in women being used as property as he did when mary wanted to come inside the room where jesus sat with men alone, then they yelled at mary to get out but jesus said LEAVE HER ALONE, she’s doing the right thing. Another example is the women at the well who jesus came to and she preached about him. There are aalot of verses proving women being in ministry and used of God but the problem is many don’t read the surrounding verses to understand thoroughly.

    • Marg says:

      Interestingly, nowhere in the Old Testament Law does it say that wives are to be submissive to their husbands, or that husbands are to rule or control their wives. The Law also mentions nothing about head wear.

      • John says:

        True, the law in the old testament doesn’t say either anything of head gear or husbands ruling & dominating their wives. The jews made their own law by taking the 1st 5 books that moses wrote in the bible and they made it their own law on what they believe. That’s why paul said we are not under the law.

  10. John says:

    Ahhh marg, that’s terrible huh…time goes by so fast and I know what you mean when you couldn’t explain the environment and city of 1Timothy2:11-12 on time to show whether paul is talking about church roles or something else. I wish you could’ve ,but hey I’m sure you’ve explained it to the audience good enough to understand the significance and meanining of what paul is saying.

    You’re absolutely right marg, 1Timothy2:11-12 is in the same city of ephesus that the book of Acts19:24-24 is located in. The environment in this city was briefly mentionted sttarting from Acts19:24-24 when paul had to leave from converting many to christianity from their belief in goddess diana/artemis. The crowd marched in a mob to kill paul and paul had to leave. That’s why in 1Timothy1, paul writes timothy a letter to this same city in ephesus explaining he had to leave from ephesus to mecedonia. But he tells timoth to stay there and give order and correct false teaching ,etc. But if many do reesearch on the city in ephesus and who goddess diana is, they’ll see why paul says he doesn’t allow a woman/wife to teach & dominate the man/husband from the women’s belief that their goddess diana in ephesus made the female sex 1st, then male sex 2nd. Then paul says in verses 13-14 that Man was made 1st, then followed by a woman. Then he goes on to compare an example of how the wives in 1Timothy2:11-12 are deceiving their husbands with false belief of teaching just like how eve deceived her husband adam. That’s all

    • Marg says:

      Yes, I was a little disappointed to leave out a few pertinent points. But I think there was more than enough material for one lecture. :)

      • John says:

        Haha ahh, yea as long as they’ve received some lecture then that’s what matters hehe. But you thoroughly explained it in long & short ways so I believe they understand it :D

  11. raswhiting says:

    Has anyone written a thorough study, perhaps a book or Bible study guide, bringing together all of the Bible passages about the church in Ephesus? It is fascinating how much of the New Testament is related to Ephesus: Acts in several passages, Ephesians, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Revelation.

    • Marg says:

      Yes, and many prominent New Testament people spent some time in Ephesus: Paul, Silas, Timothy, Priscilla and Aquila, Apollos, John, and perhaps Jesus’ mother, etc.
      Professor Paul Trebilco has written a massive 800+ page book entitled “The Early Christians in Ephesus from Paul to Ignatius.” I’m sure there are many more books and articles that look at the church at Ephesus and what the New Testament says about it.

    • Yes!! I found a great book, by Baker Books (1992): I Suffer Not a Woman (rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-15 in light of ancient evidence), by Kroeger and Kroeger. It is very well written and goes through the gnostic texts to give a really good historical/cultural context. I found it extremely helpful.

  12. Erica Tate says:

    What an excellent exposition of this passage, Marg. I think you’ve hit the nail resoundingly on the head. :-)
    Regards
    Erica

  13. […] I am loving the ease of looking up specific topics, as well as the ease of copying and pasting quotes, references, and tables. (I used, and adapted, one of the tables here.). The Köstenberger and Schreiner book was especially helpful for my recent talk on 1 Timothy 2:12 […]

  14. John says:

    1 thing I see regarding a husband and wife being on the same page together in all aspects of life is in 1Peter3:7 where it says husbands to be heirs with your wives in the grace of life. The word heirs means being on the same rank o ruling. So for people that say women can’t teach or preach to men, 1Peter3:7 shows how a wife and husband can do all things together as heirs….even preach the grace of God on Jesus. What makes me shake my head is that they stick their belief of 1Tim3:1-13 where paul is qualifying the men interested in a church role, to where he mentions “Must be the husband”. But 1Peter3:7 is 1 example to show how a wife can be by her husband that is a pastor, and how she can preach the Gospel. Peter said a husband must love his wife and be heirs(In position of ruling together) with her in the grace of life. Plus women were alreaddy in such roles too.

  15. […] The consensus of what the Bible says about women speaking to men, and instructing men, does not support the idea that wise and godly women cannot teach men.[…]

  16. […] The Consensus and Context of 1 Timothy 2:12 […]

  17. […] The Consensus and Context of 1 Timothy 2:12 […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2009–2014   Margaret Mowczko | Powered by WordPress | Theme by Keep2theCode