1 Timothy 2:8-15
8 I desire then that j in every place the men should pray, k lifting l holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9 likewise also m that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 n but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly o with all submissiveness. 12 p I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 q For Adam was formed first, r then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but s the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through t childbearing—if they continue in u faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
1 Timothy 2:8-3:1
8 Βούλομαι οὖν προσεύχεσθαι τοὺς ἄνδρας ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ ἐπαίροντας ὁσίους χεῖρας χωρὶς ὀργῆς καὶ διαλογισμοῦ. 9 Ὡσαύτως [καὶ] γυναῖκας ἐν καταστολῇ κοσμίῳ μετὰ αἰδοῦς καὶ σωφροσύνης κοσμεῖν ἑαυτάς, μὴ ἐν πλέγμασιν καὶ χρυσίῳ ἢ μαργαρίταις ἢ ἱματισμῷ πολυτελεῖ, 10 ἀλλʼ ὃ πρέπει γυναιξὶν ἐπαγγελλομέναις θεοσέβειαν, διʼ ἔργων ἀγαθῶν. 11 Γυνὴ ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ μανθανέτω ἐν πάσῃ ὑποταγῇ• 12 διδάσκειν δὲ γυναικὶ οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός, ἀλλʼ εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ. 13 Ἀδὰμ γὰρ πρῶτος ἐπλάσθη, εἶτα Εὕα. 14 καὶ Ἀδὰμ οὐκ ἠπατήθη, ἡ δὲ γυνὴ ἐξαπατηθεῖσα ἐν παραβάσει γέγονεν• 15 σωθήσεται δὲ διὰ τῆς τεκνογονίας, ἐὰν μείνωσιν ἐν πίστει καὶ ἀγάπῃ καὶ ἁγιασμῷ μετὰ σωφροσύνης• 3 1 πιστὸς ὁ λόγος. Εἴ τις ἐπισκοπῆς ὀρέγεται, καλοῦ ἔργου ἐπιθυμεῖ.
Godly living celebrates the goodness of God our creator Introduction Context: part of steering away from shipwreck. Building a healthy church. God's gospel for everyone, last week. What about men and women and gathered worship 2.8 a link verse, since it mentions prayer. This is not simply wives and husbands, since 8-15 have public worship in view, not the home. The language illustration: all cultures find some bits of the Bible offensive, and others they readily receive. Just like everyone's own accent means you'll say some new words fine, and others with difficulty when you learn a new language. People haven't always had the offense we have with 1 Tim 2.9-15 . We should realise this. 1. Godly living looks different for men and women 2.8-10 self-control. Habitual government of yourself. Context of the letter, regarding women. Some were saying things they shouldn't 5.13 , some deceived by Satan 5.15 . Ephesus culture would have encouraged bling. cf 1 Peter 3.3-4 , and 1 Samuel 15 God looks at the heart. Highlight the free PDF of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, both the exegetical essay and the other essays within it. Men and women equal before God, yet different guidelines given. Men, stop solving disputes in fleshly male ways. [illustration - surgeons having a dispute]. Instead, raise hands in prayer together - rather than raise hands in dispute. That's godly manhood [cf superficial cultural versions of godly manhood, in US or UK] So men, don't lift hands in fights, but lift hands in prayer. Women, don't wear bling but wear good works. Different temptations and tendencies between men and women; this is just the case. [cf Jordan Peterson, the two genders organise themselves differently cf Scandinavia nurses/engineers. Or my family service with snakes] Unlike different clothing styles, godliness will never be out of fashion from God's perspective. There should be no mistaken resemblance to those worshiping Diana, in the way they dressed. 2. Rejoice that God our creator is God our redeemer 2.11-15 Paul speaks with apostolic authority, even though personally. And he links argument to creation 2.13 anyway. v11 - quietness, silence. Quietness in general. NB most women not well educated in those days. It's quietness as demeanour and manner! Same word as 2.2! If you go for silent, then we must conduct our lives in silence! It's applied to both men and women in 2.2. Like meekness or gentleness etc. We miss, Paul was encouraging women to learn! In itself counter-cultural! He clearly encourages women to teach, eg in Titus 2 - teach other women. So it wasn't mere lack of education that precluded women from teaching roles, and that now it thus doesn't apply. And eg 5.14 women are to 'manage' - so he does also endorse authority (and cf Prov 31 ). Teaching is fine, depending on the oversight. E.g., Prisca teaching Apollos, with Aquila overseeing. Or women prophesying but not weighing the interpreting in 1 Corinthians. [Raising girls as wallflowers is not Biblical womanhood, and neither is being a dragon] verb to have authority - is sense of domineer, be an autocrat, to have mastery over, be dominating. NB the many ways in which women/wives do just this, even amidst seemingly traditional church structures. If it quacks like a duck, it's a duck. No doubt part of the problem in Ephesus was the mighty goddess Diana, and the knock on effects on women and their behaviour. [CMF conference where a friend was so disappointed by the answer given. Also more subtle versions, eg professional blogging super-moms] Do some prophylaxis: I have no one in mind at TCC when I say this - for which I truly praise and thank God. But I have seen this in other contexts and want us to be clear about it. So let me speak strongly for a minute. v13 chronological argument, not functional. NB the chronology means Paul thinks Gen 1 is true. If women are by nature gullible, they shouldn't be allowed to teach anyone - especially children! Rather the issue was improper initiative in Gen 3 , which usurped Adam's authority and reversed the creation architecture. Is Paul outdated, and now we set it aside? His argument won't permit that, since it's grounded in Genesis order. 'For' - a train track word/conjunction. He also does this in 1 Cor 11 . In the fall, male headship was disordered by Eve being deceived by a creature - ie it was all upside down. That's it. It's not that women are more likely to be deceived [cf the Biblical evidence!], but simply that God has an architecture, and a grain, and life does not go well when we upturn it. [cf people who say 'if the Bishops did their job we wouldn't need women bishops. Or, 'the lady vicar really preached the gospel so winsomely'. Spectacularly missing the point! It's not, 'women won't do this well so don't'. It's, 'God has a headship structure in home and church, don't mess with it.' Does 2.15 refer to bearing the messiah? cf Genesis 3 and the serpent crusher. No, this verse talks about childbearing, not the birth of a child per se. We miss the plain meaning of the text because we are post-contraception explosion. Through the ages, the normal state of womanhood has been having a family. So the normal context of godly living hasn't been the courtroom, the operating room, the dental surgery, the butcher's shop, etc but the home, which implies bearing and raising children. cf Proverbs 31 again. It's not what defines Biblical womanhood, but it is a core part of it. So the call of 2.10, to live a life full of good works, pleasing to God, can be done within a normal family setting. You don't have to become a man, or even a mystic! In support of this understanding of 2.15, is 5.10-5.14; good works and raising children are directly connected, and the word for childbearing again. And, it makes sense in context - since we know the false teachers were forbidding marriage, children were out too! How were women responding? By trying to lead the church. Instead, Paul affirms the complementarity of women and men, and their full participation in church ministry. [also address the unspoken embarrassment of women who aren't that excited by motherhood, or take to it slowly, or are gutted when they find out they are pregnant again] False teaching chews at the creation order. Undermines distinctions, and authority structures of men and women. Here in 2.8-15, and also later 4.3 . cf Soviet experiments, or modern gender militancy. We still live in Gen 1 , even through we have a Gen 3 overlay. Context again; if marriage was out 4.3 , then so was childbearing. So what should women do? The same as men I suppose - lead etc in just the same way. NB the similarities to the wider church scene today. And it was male false teachers leading this way in the first place - Alexander and Hymenaeus. Form and function. When you get rid of the structures, all you have is pragmatism. And when all you have is pragmatism, you have abuse and injustice. Do you eat at meal times, or do you eat when you're hungry? Latter sounds fine - but who gets to choose? People start to go hungry. Or a large roundabout with no traffic light filters. Take away creation structures of authority and it's just the rule of the strongest. This is why the supposed liberation of high profile women like Germaine Greer actually goes hand in hand with the exploitation of vulnerable 15 year olds on council estates. The freedom to choose for one is the exploitation of the other. The strong personalities rule in a church, and weak-minded men become even worse. But when the structures are affirmed and celebrated, weak-minded men grow in headship. This is centred and affirming, rather than restrictive and harsh. There were, and are, those who were unmarried, widowed, or unable to have children. Clearly upheld by the Bible. But in general this still stands. Being a mum is in general a normal and godly way for a saved woman to live! [cf Julian of Norwich]. Raising children is a good work! [cf cultural apparent acceptability to tell mums to work, even if they don't need to nor want to] Before men start having a go at women for abandoning their 'place', realise that men are constantly abandoning their 'place'. Authority is always the authority to guard and nurture - Genesis 1 again. Anytime you are playing golf while your wife is exhausted with the children, you've rejected God's design. God's creation order is intrinsically non-reversible. You can try, but never win against the grain. It is always exhaustingly expensive to try and re-create a version of God's architecture. Examples: day and night. Family and marriage. Work and rest (ie the week). cf Norman Dennis etc. Punctuation shows 3.1 is part of this thought. Also the other trustworthy sayings relate to salvation 1.15 , 4.9-10 . So this comment in 2.15 is not an addendum but the glorious conclusion. Conclusion 'If the false teachers were asked how they knew they were on the path to salvation, their answer would relate to the rules they kept, or to the knowledge that they had acquired. Paul wants the women to have full assurance that they are on the path to salvation if they rejoice in God's creation, which includes marriage, childbirth, child-bearing, and if they rejoice in God's salvation by continuing in faith and love - the very signs identified by Paul at 1.5 which signify the goal of God's work in us.' cf difference between complementarianism, egalitarianism, and traditional coalition-ism. So our FCF is a rejection of God's created order. Men discarding their headship (in anger and passivity rather than proactive prayerfulness), women rejecting womanhood and usurping men. Jesus: the creator steps into the creation and upholds the order. He is the true servant-man, who truly guards and nurtures, even to being put to death by those he came to save. In his resurrection he upholds the creation order. This is not a caterpillar to butterfly story - crucial detail for false teaching. You aren't born again into something different, but into this life redeemed. In him I rejoice in his creation - physical stuff, marriage, therefore family, therefore community. Work and rest. Civil government of a form that knows its limits. I, dependently embrace my part within it - a serving, suffering headship, or a quiet, vigorous flourishing helper-ship. The solution is not to insist on brittle traditional forms, but to be redeemed and restored to celebrating God's good design, through life in Jesus Christ.