Previous | Next

Fall 2004  ·  Vol. 33 No. 2  ·  pp. 171–184 

Reading 1 Timothy 2:9-15 in Its Literary Context

Doug Heidebrecht

The current debate among Evangelicals regarding women in ministry leadership is often framed as pivoting on one’s understanding of the meaning and significance of 1 Timothy 2:9-15. 1 The interpretive options emerging from the extensive dialogue over the last few decades have essentially coalesced around opposing positions in the dispute (Complementarians vs. Egalitarians). 2 J. M. Holmes observes that “later twentieth-century literature on 1 Tim. 2:9-15 displays little evidence of hope that the text itself has anything new to offer. . . . [T]he general impression given is that it must be the historical background or the hermeneutic of the interpreter that unlocks the remaining enigmas.” 3 Nevertheless, perhaps John E. Toews’ perceptive observation should be examined further: “when two alternative readings of the text are so diametrically opposite, they usually share a common assumption which, if challenged, creates the possibility of a different reading.” 4

Reading 1 Timothy 2:9-15 within its literary context indicates that Paul is not addressing women here simply because they are women.

The apparent impasse in the debate may warrant exploring whether our assumptions have actually clouded the exegetical process. As contemporary readers of 1 Timothy, we observe the interaction between the author and the recipient(s) of a letter written to address mutually understood issues from a shared situational context. 5 We hear only one side of the conversation (the letter from the author), yet in order to understand the meaning of this brief conversation, we seek to deduce what motivated the author to address the issues raised in the letter, and we make {172} inferences about the situational context that provided the original setting for that communication. A problem arises when, as contemporary readers, we encounter a text that remains unclear or disputed. Where do we turn for interpretive cues to understand the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:9-15?

APPROACHES TO 1 TIMOTHY 2

One approach has been to recreate the original situational context by means of archaeological reconstruction or external literary parallels. 6 At times these reconstructions appear to set aside the “plain” meaning of the text in favor of defining the meaning on the basis of evidence from outside of the text. 7 Furthermore, the fragmentary nature of the archaeological evidence, the inability to establish direct rather than speculative connections with external literary parallels, and the plain uncertainty surrounding the date of writing present significant challenges.

Another approach has been to read 1 Timothy 2:9-15 in the light of contemporary values and attitudes. The primary grid for defining meaning, whether patriarchal or feminist, mirrors the perspective of the interpreter, which is then read back onto the text. 8 While we recognize that we are unable to dislocate ourselves from our own context, any lack of caution about imposing unexamined or even unconscious presuppositions upon the text raises serious concerns. Trevor Hart cautions,

[W]e should never take the fatal step of identifying our interpretations (however careful they may be) with the text itself, or with “the meaning of the text itself.” To do so is to bestow upon them a finality, a sufficiency, which lifts them above the text and out of reach of criticism. Far from establishing the text’s authority, therefore, this is a strategy which effectively overthrows it, and enthrones our interpretation in its place. . . . [We] are no longer genuinely open, therefore, to consider it afresh, or to hear it speaking in any other voice than the one which [we] have now trapped, tamed, and packaged for observation. 9

What often remains unexplored is a reading of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 within the literary context of the Pastoral Epistles: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. Both the fragmented approach of contemporary commentaries and the narrow focus of studies limited to the issue of women in the church detract from an appreciation for the connectedness between this text and its larger literary setting. Reading {173} 1 Timothy 2:9-15 within its literary context calls for a “hermeneutics of hearing” that encourages a careful listening to the text. 10 This approach recognizes the significance of the author’s choice of language and the coherence of the canonical text.

DIFFERENT TEACHING IN THE CHURCH

Paul explicitly identifies the presence of different teaching within the church at Ephesus as the primary reason for writing to Timothy. “As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith” (1 Tim. 1:3-4 ESV, passim). His instructions are directed to both Timothy and the church (1 Tim. 1:18; 3:14-15). The nature of this different teaching remains relatively ambiguous, in part because the letter itself is the primary source for our knowledge of what the different teaching entails. Parallel descriptions within 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus suggest that a similar issue is being addressed, although the setting and time frame vary. 11 While a precise description of the different teaching continues to elude scholars, several elements are discernible from the text.

First, Paul describes the teaching that has pervaded the church as “different” from his own proclamation of the gospel (1 Tim. 1:3; 6:3). This language parallels his concerns about a “different” gospel that was causing contention in the churches in Galatia and Corinth (Gal. 1:6; 2 Cor. 11:4). Paul labels this different teaching as something that is “falsely called knowledge,” which contrasts with “healthy” teaching (1 Tim. 6:3, 20). Surprisingly, very little of the actual content of this “different” teaching is outlined, although it appears to involve the forbidding of marriage, the promotion of abstinence from certain foods, and the claim that the resurrection has already taken place (1 Tim. 4:3; 2 Tim. 2:18). Numerous references to myths, genealogies, and the law suggest that this different teaching is connected with a particular understanding of the Hebrew Bible (1 Tim. 1:4, 7; 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:4; Titus 1:14; 3:9). Paul alludes to a Jewish influence but does not explicitly identify the actual content of these myths (Titus 1:10).

Second, Paul’s alarm about the propagation of this different teaching appears to be directed towards people within the church itself. Those who occupy themselves with this different teaching have “deviated from,” “renounced,” “missed the mark,” or “wandered away” from the primary goal of Paul’s instruction (1 Tim. 1:4-6; 4:1; {174} 2 Tim. 2:15; 4:4). Several individuals are named, presumably because they are known by people in the church (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:15, 17-18). Concern about the character and behavior of leaders within the church (1 Tim. 3:1-13; 5:17-22; Titus 1:5-9) alludes to Paul’s earlier warnings that “some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them” (Acts 20:30). The danger that some leaders may “fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil” appears to be very real (1 Tim. 3:6-7).

Third, this deviation from the truth reveals an emerging division between teaching and lifestyle evidenced by the rejection of conscience (1 Tim. 1:5, 19; 4:2; Titus 1:15). Those who teach differently hold to an outward form of godliness but deny its power—“they profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions” (2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 1:16). They appear to be motivated by the lure and love of money, “imagining that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Tim. 3:3, 9; 6:5, 10; 2 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:10). In contrast, Timothy and the church are called to express godliness, which reflects a true knowledge of God demonstrated by a corresponding lifestyle (1 Tim. 2:2; 4:7-8; 6:3, 6, 11). 12

Fourth, Paul characterizes the different teaching that is pervading the church as meaningless talk, disputes about words, and profane chatter (1 Tim. 1:6; 6:4, 20; 2 Tim. 2:14, 16). This idle talk, which breeds senseless controversy and promotes speculation, is furthermore described as “contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Tim. 1:4; 6:4, 20; 2 Tim. 2:23; Titus 1:10; 3:9). On the one hand, Paul asserts that those promoting this different teaching do not really understand what they are saying; on the other hand, this idle talk is a direct result of deception (1 Tim. 1:7; 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:13; Titus 1:10). This inability to understand the truth is likened to being caught in the snare of the devil and held captive to do his will (1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 2:15-26).

Fifth, the different teaching appears to have had a significant influence upon entire households (Titus 1:11). Certain women have been captivated by this teaching, but despite their desire to learn, they have not been able to comprehend the truth (2 Tim. 3:6-7). The profane myths of this different teaching are also likened to “old wives’ tales” (1 Tim. 4:7).

The description of the different teaching that emerges from the Pastoral Epistles themselves must provide the overarching context within which the individual passages are to be interpreted. Not surprisingly, significant parallels are apparent between this larger context and the two texts that address women in 1 Timothy. {175}

LITERARY PARALLELS WITHIN 1 TIMOTHY AND WITH THE PASTORAL EPISTLES

Two sections in 1 Timothy use the household structure as a framework for addressing relationships and behaviors within the church that have been affected by the appearance of the different teaching. The evident parallelism suggests that these sections should be read in light of one another.

1 Timothy 2:8–3:13 1 Timothy 5:1–6:2
2:8 Men
2:9-15 Women
3:1-7 Overseers
3:8-13 Deacons
5:1 Men
5:2-16 Women
5:17-25 Elders

6:1-2 Slaves

Furthermore, the use of matching words and similar ideas in both sections addressing women in the “household” of the church suggests that the same situation underlies both sets of instructions. 13

1 Timothy 2:1–15 1 Timothy 5:2–16

2:2—godliness

5:4—godliness

2:3—pleasing in sight of God

5:4—pleasing in sight of God

2:1—supplications, prayers

5:5—supplications, prayers

2:9—braided hair, gold, costly attire

5:6—self-indulgent

2:10—good works

5:10—good works

2:10—profess godliness

5:12—abandon former faith

2:11—let a woman learn

5:13—learn to be idlers

2:11—quietly with all submissiveness

5:13—idlers, gossips, busybodies

2:11—do not permit a woman to teach

5:13—going house to house

2:14—woman was deceived

5:15—strayed after Satan

2:15—saved through childbearing

5:14—bear children

The introduction and conclusion for the first section (1 Tim. 2:8—3:13) identifies Paul’s overarching concern that behavior within the “household of God” must continue to support the realization of God’s desire that everyone be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:1-7; 3:14-15). The effect of the different teaching within the {176} church presumably was undermining this objective. Prayers offered for everyone, especially those in high positions, will result in a quiet and godly life that reflects what is pleasing in God’s sight and witnesses to God’s offer of salvation through Christ Jesus. In light of this overarching concern, Paul’s call for men to pray in “every place” corresponds to his earlier call for the church to pray for “everyone” (1 Tim. 1:1, 8; cf. Mal. 1:11; 1 Cor. 1:2). The implication is that such prayers should lead to a “quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and dignity” in contrast to the quarreling and anger that arises from the different teaching (1 Tim. 6:4; 2 Tim. 2:23; Titus 3:9).

Interestingly, these same concerns are also found in Titus 3:1-11 where the parallel progression of thought leads to a discussion of the impact of the different teaching instead of addressing the behavior of men and women. This suggests that Paul in 1 Timothy 2 is also addressing the quarrels and controversies that have arisen because of the different teaching.

1 Timothy 2:1–15 Titus 3:1–11

Kings/those in high positions

Rulers and authorities

—lead a quiet and peaceable life

—be gentle, and show every courtesy

God our Savior

God our Savior

—desires everyone to be saved

—he saved us

I desire . . .

I desire . . .

—good works

—good works

Pray without anger or quarreling
Learn in silence with submission

Avoid stupid controversies,
dissensions, quarrels, divisions

—became a transgressor

—is perverted, sinful, self-condemned

INSTRUCTIONS FOR WOMEN

With this same purpose in mind, Paul addresses women and calls them to also live in a quiet, peaceful, godly, and dignified manner.

. . . likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. (1 Tim. 2:9-10) {177}

The characteristic of self-control frames the entire set of instructions for women, thereby highlighting the underlying concern (1 Tim. 2:9, 15). Self-control or moderation is not viewed restrictively as a female quality but as a virtue that must characterize all people within the church (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8; 2:4-6). Caution regarding the lure of wealth corresponds to the danger facing older widows whose practice of offering prayers and supplications to God is contrasted with self-indulgence in luxurious living (1 Tim. 5:5-6). While the love of money is a peril that Paul deals with later in the letter (1 Tim. 6:9-10), the distinction between exorbitant expressions of adornment and the inner qualities of a gentle and quiet spirit is the focus here (cf. 1 Pet. 3:3-4).

Women who profess godliness (cf. 1 Tim. 2:2) need to demonstrate good works just as the widows who set their hope on God must be attested for their good works (1 Tim. 5:5, 9-10). The prevalent concern for good works in the Pastoral Epistles does not undermine an understanding of salvation by grace but recognizes the inextricable link between belief and lifestyle (2 Tim. 2:21; 2:17; Titus 1:16; 2:7, 14; 3:1, 8, 14). The public promise or profession of godliness by women recognizes its lasting value (1 Tim. 4:8) and is contrasted with the younger widows who have abandoned their former faith (1 Tim. 5:11-12) as well as those who profess a “false knowledge” (1 Tim. 6:20).

The theme of “quietness,” continued from 1 Timothy 2:2, frames the next few verses, again highlighting the underlying concern for a gentle, peaceable response.

a woman in quietness
I let learn in all submission
but to teach, a woman I do not permit
nor to have authority over a man
but to be in quietness 14 (1 Tim. 2:11-12)

The contrast between living a quiet life and being idle and a busybody (1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:11-12) corresponds with the concern about younger widows who are active idlers, gossips, and busybodies (1 Tim. 5:13). This parallel suggests that the activity of these younger widows may underlie the following prohibition. Rather than “learning to be idle,” women are called to learn in all submission. While the object of learning is not stated here, learning in the Pastoral Epistles is coupled with a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 3:6-7; cf. 1 Tim. 2:4) and a devotion to good works (Titus 3:14; cf. 1 Tim. 2:10)—both ideas present in this context. Submission is used to characterize relationships when {178} there is a concern about ensuring that the church not be discredited with people in the wider society (1 Tim. 3:4; Titus 2:5, 9-10; 3:1-2).

THE SOUNDNESS OF TEACHING

The content which a woman is not permitted to teach is not stated. Paul’s purpose for writing 1 Timothy is to combat the emergence of a different teaching in the church, which he contrasts with the sound teaching that corresponds with godliness (1 Tim. 1:3, 10; 6:3). Paul’s contention that he taught the church both “publicly and from house to house” (church to church) parallels the activity of the younger widows who go about “from house to house” spreading idle talk (Acts 20:20; 1 Tim. 5:13). To prohibit women from teaching within this context implies that what they are teaching is not sound, for elsewhere women are encouraged to teach what is good (Titus 2:3). The prohibition of teaching is precisely Paul’s response when he encounters rebellious empty talkers and deceivers:

they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. (Titus 1:10-11)

This “muzzling” of errant teachers is in direct contrast with Paul’s call to hold on to sound teaching so that one may be able to refute those who contradict it (Titus 1:9). 15

Paralleled with the restriction on teaching is the call for a woman not “to exercise authority” over a man. The single use of this rare term in the New Testament has led to vigorous debate over its exact meaning and whether the concept of authority is used in either a positive or negative sense. 16 Grammatically, both terms (teach and authority) should together be rendered either positively or negatively. 17 It is the context that must determine the best choice from among the following probable options:

  1. to control, to dominate
  2. to compel, to influence someone
  3. to assume authority over
  4. to flout the authority of 18

It would appear that in light of the larger context of Paul’s concern about the promotion of different teaching in the church that the restriction of teaching error and an unhealthy use of authority was necessitated. {179}

CONCERN FOR THE SALVATION OF WOMEN

Paul then appeals to the relationship between Adam and Eve as a rationale for his prohibition of women. The emphasis on the relation between being formed and being deceived is underlined by the parallel structure. The climax of the sentence is not the sequence of creation, but that despite being formed second, Eve was deceived and as a result she became a transgressor. The conclusion drawn is that she will be saved, not from her subsequent creation to Adam but from her state as a transgressor due to her deception:

For Adam was formed first
then Eve
and Adam was not deceived
but the woman was deceived
and became a transgressor
yet she will be saved through childbearing. . . . (1 Tim. 2:13-15)

Paul does not spell out why the relation between being formed and being deceived is significant because the line of reasoning seeks to address how the woman’s state as a transgressor can be remedied with the possibility of salvation. This alludes to the earlier connection between knowledge of the truth and salvation (1 Tim. 2:4), which points to the significance of Eve’s deception for the situation facing the church in Ephesus.

The themes of salvation, godliness, and knowledge are all found in the serpent’s claim,

You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (Gen. 3:4-5)

Clearly, deception was a characteristic of teachers who were promoting the different teaching in the church (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 2:13; Titus 1:10) and Paul feared Satan’s continuing ability to influence those in the church (1 Tim. 3:6-7; 2 Tim. 2:26).

In particular, some of the younger widows who have violated their first pledge “have already strayed away after Satan” resulting in their alienation from Christ (1 Tim. 5:11-12, 15). Interestingly, in the only other reference to Eve in the entire New Testament, Paul uses her deception by Satan as a warning against following a “different gospel” and the possibility of being led astray from one’s devotion to Christ: {180}

I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Cor. 11:2-4, emph. added)

The concern for woman’s salvation returns to the earlier assertion that God desires everyone “be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). In light of the possibility of being deceived by Satan, this concern understandably follows, and reflects the broader affirmation in 1 Timothy that salvation in Christ Jesus challenges the different teaching (1 Tim. 1:15; 2:5-6; 3:16; 4:10).

While to be “saved through childbearing” most likely includes a reference to eschatological salvation, the idea of being kept safe or protected is also suggested by the parallelism with 1 Timothy 4:16 (cf. 2 Tim. 4:18; 1 Cor. 3:15; 7:16). Paul instructed Timothy to train himself in godliness (1 Tim. 4:7), which is demonstrated by setting an example for believers in his lifestyle (1 Tim. 4:12) and by paying attention to his teaching (1 Tim. 4:13). Believers are saved/kept safe if they follow his model.

1 Timothy 2:15 1 Timothy 4:16
yet she will be saved through childbearing if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist 19 in this for by doing so you will save both yourself and your hearers.

This does not imply that salvation is by works (Titus 3:4-7) but that the danger of wandering away or missing the mark of faith because of deception by the different teaching can be counteracted. The concern for remaining firm in the face of deception is also the context for the only other call “to continue” in the Pastoral Epistles:

while evil people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in {181} what you have learned and have firmly believed. (2 Tim. 3:13-14, emph. added)

Continuing in the true teaching of the gospel and demonstrating a lifestyle consistent with that teaching will keep one safe from the menace of deception.

The danger of being led astray by Satan for younger widows who are idlers, gossips, and busybodies is thwarted when they marry, bear children and manage their households (1 Tim. 5:13-15). Similarly, women are saved/kept safe through childbearing because it reflects a practical expression of their “profession of godliness through good works,” which contradicts immodesty, lack of quietness, and deception (1 Tim. 2:10; 5:10). The list of characteristics women are called to “continue in” parallels the broader concern for the maintenance of character and a lifestyle that is consistent with the gospel (1 Tim. 1:5; 2:2, 15; 4:12; 6:11). 20

CONCLUSION

The literary context of 1 Timothy in particular and of the Pastoral Epistles in general provides the best interpretive cues for understanding the meaning of Paul’s instructions to women in 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Rather than looking outside the text for meaning, this approach calls us to read the passage within the flow of the entire conversation of the larger context. The context provides a check on the perspective we bring to the text in the midst of the current debate over women in ministry leadership. A “hermeneutic of hearing” invites the church to listen with openness and discernment to God’s Word together.

Reading 1 Timothy 2:9-15 within its literary context demonstrates that Paul’s instructions for women are integrated with his larger purpose for writing Timothy: a proper response to the presence of different teaching in the church. Women, most likely the younger widows, were involved in some way with the promotion of different teaching, and Paul seeks to prohibit them from continuing to deceive others. Paul’s overarching concern that women reflect godliness through good works acts as a counterbalance to the deceptive temptation and destructive effects of the different teaching. Paul’s response is consistent with both his instructions for the entire church and his concern for Timothy, thereby indicating that he is not addressing women here simply because they are women.

The relevance of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 for the life of the contemporary church is grounded within the purpose of the entire book. Instead of {182} using a selective “cut and paste” approach to application, the significance of this passage emerges out of a holistic reading of the text within its context. The correction of those who were caught in deception was to be done with gentleness because “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil” (2 Tim. 2:25-26). Sometimes the appropriate response was even to “rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in faith” (Titus 1:13). Paul’s instruction in 1 Timothy 2:9-15 is an example of his correction of women who were involved in promoting different teaching in the church. In the face of threats to the faith of the church, the goal of Paul’s instruction was the call to godliness: true knowledge of God reflected in a consistent lifestyle. Godliness is to be evidenced by self-control, quietness, submission, and continuing in faith, love, and holiness. This is a message the church also needs to hear today.

NOTES

  1. For example, see Andreas J. Köstenberger, Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin, eds., Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1995). For a bibliography of the extensive literature on this text, see William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2000), 94-102.
  2. The dialogue between Douglas Moo and Philip Payne is still representative of the key arguments. See Douglas J. Moo, “1 Timothy 2:11-15: Meaning and Significance,” Trinity Journal 1 (1980): 62-83; Philip B. Payne, “Libertarian Women in Ephesus: A Response to Douglas J. Moo’s Article, ‘1 Timothy 2:11-15: Meaning and Significance,’ ” Trinity Journal 2 (1981): 169-97; and Douglas J. Moo, “The Interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11-15: A Rejoinder,” Trinity Journal 2 (1981): 198-222. For a balanced presentation of both sides in the larger debate see James R. Beck and Craig L. Blomberg, eds., Two Views on Women in Ministry (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001).
  3. J. M. Holmes, Text in a Whirlwind: A Critique of Four Exegetical Devices at 1 Timothy 2:9-15, Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement, no. 196 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 2000), 24.
  4. John E. Toews, “I Permit No Woman to Teach,” in Your Daughters Shall Prophesy, eds. John E. Toews, Valerie Rempel, and Katie Funk Wiebe (Winnipeg, MB: Kindred, 1992), 151.
  5. While many scholars dispute Pauline authorship of the Pastoral {183} Epistles, I am following the text when referring to Paul as the author. For a helpful introduction to the authorship debate, see Mounce, lxxxiii-cxxix.
  6. For a helpful guide to understanding the social setting of first-century women, see Bruce W. Winter, Roman Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003).
  7. For example, see Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger, I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1992).
  8. See Kevin Giles, The Trinity and Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God and the Contemporary Gender Debate (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2002), 169-93.
  9. Trevor Hart, Faith Thinking (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1995), 138.
  10. Klyne Snodgrass, “Reading to Hear: A Hermeneutics of Hearing,” Horizons in Biblical Theology 24:1 (2002): 1-32.
  11. See Holmes, 108-10.
  12. For a discussion of godliness in 1 Timothy, see I. H. Marshall, The Pastoral Epistles (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1999), 135-44, and Philip H. Towner, The Goal of Our Instruction: The Structure of Theology and Ethics in the Pastoral Epistles, Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement, no. 34 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1989), 147-52.
  13. See Gordon D. Fee, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, New International Biblical Commentary, ed. W. Ward Gasque, rev. ed. (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1988), 70, and Gordon D. Fee, “Women in Ministry: The Meaning of 1 Timothy 2:8-15 in the Light of the Purpose of 1 Timothy,” Journal of the Christian Brethren Research Fellowship 122 (1990): 11-18.
  14. This translation by the author reflects the word order in the Greek text.
  15. Mounce, 397.
  16. For example, see H. Scott Baldwin, “A Difficult Word: authenteo in 1 Timothy 2:12,” in Women in the Church, 65-80; George W. Knight III, “Authenteo Reference to Women in 1 Timothy 2:12,” New Testament Studies 30:1 (1984): 143-57; Carroll D. Osburn, “Authenteo (Timothy 2:12),” Restoration Quarterly 25:1 (1982): 1-12; Andrew C. Perriman, “What Eve Did, What Women Shouldn’t Do: The Meaning of authenteo in 1 Timothy 2:12,” Tyndale Bulletin 44:1 (1993): 129-42; and L. E. Wilshire, “The TLG Computer {184} and Further Reference to authenteo in 1 Timothy 2:12,” New Testament Studies 34 (1988): 120-34.
  17. Andreas J. Köstenberger, “A Complex Sentence Structure in 1 Timothy 2:12,” in Women in the Church, 103.
  18. Baldwin, 73, 79-80.
  19. The word translated “persist” is the same Greek word (meno as found in 2:15, except that it includes a prefix (epi) which provides emphasis. The meaning is synonymous. See Mounce, 265.
  20. While the shift from the singular to the plural may include both Adam and Eve from the immediate context (1 Tim. 2:13), it is more likely a return to the earlier references to women (1 Tim. 2:9-10).
Doug Heidebrecht is an instructor in biblical studies at Bethany College, Hepburn, Saskatchewan.

Previous | Next