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1 Tim 2:11

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 10:12 pm
by Metacrock
1 Tim.2:11

11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

Analysis of The Passage:

11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.

This is not a general statement about the subordination of women. This statement applies to the learning environment. The term for 'silence,' hesuchia, means "to be quite, to be at peace, to be silent." Thayersdefines it as "quietness description of the life of one who stays at home doing his own work, and does not officiously meddle with the affairs of others silence." This is not a command that "women must be silent in the churches!" It is a statement about the proper attitude toward learning that any student was expected to exhibit in that day (unlike our own).

The important point, often overlooked, is that it does say to let the women learn! It says "let a woman receive instruction...." It is opening the door to educating women, something he Jewish world did not do in Palestine of that day, although it was closer to the norm in Paul's native Asia minor (as Ramsay and others show).

But I do not allow a woman to teach...

Not a command in the imperative. Paul does not command Timothy, "Do now allow.." He makes a statement, "I do not permit..." He is informing Timothy of his habit, his current practice, not laying down a universal command for all times. He does not say "Not I but the Lord" as he does in 1 Cor. when he feels that a command is clearly from God. This is ad hoc advice that deals with a contemporary problem in a local setting. Moreover, it may be qualified in two important ways:

(1) Temporary.

The statment is present tense and may be read "I am not now at this time allowing," so it may only pertian to that crisis.

Even if that is not the case

(2) It is qualified by learning.

Why let women learn, if the expectation is not that someday they will be educated? Since in Chapter one the concern is stetted that those false teachers do not possess the knowledge that qualifies them to teach, it would seem that the statement here is logically qualified by the condition that those who do learn might someday teach.

...or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet

This is a problematic phrase, because the root word, AuthenteoMeans to commit murder. Wayne Grudeum has tried to argue that this is not the case and that it means just any ordinary sort of authority. But it does not, Liddell and Scott define it as to commit murder, and the word used in this passage, derived from that word, authentien means to wield the power of a murderer over his victim, to have absolute power and absolute sway.Katherine Kroeger argues taht the word means "sexual mastery," or something like it.She bases her view on any examples of classical Greeks and finds that it has a sexal connotation. But in the context of this passage it probably refurs to an extreme level of authority. Clearly Paul is not speaking of the standard sort of authority found in regular church offices. He is speaking of the sort of authority that a teacher in the ancient world had over a student, a disciple, the sort of authority Jesus had over the disciples, the authority of a "guru," to put it in modern parlance. Clearly this is something that pertains to the local situation of Timothy's Ephesus. Apparently part of the problem was that some teachers were claiming for themselves a form of power greater than that which they should have possessed anyway.

Paul was a fine writer, and he had a keen facility for language. He does on occasion use words in a way that no one else does. He was sometimes a creative writer in terms of word choice. This is the only use of this term anywhere in the Bible. This could just be an example of Paul's word play, but it seems that a mind as keen as Paul's knows how to put its facility for words into precise use. So we should suspect that he had a definite and contextualized meaning and that he was not just being creative, but had a point to make by the use of a word that is not much used. That should cast a taint on the word and tell us that something different is meant here, something out of the ordinary. Paul is not forbidding ministry to women, he is warning of a practice that is over the line.

13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

Paul cannot predicating female submission upon chronological priority in creation, becasue he decontructs that kind of thinking in 1 Corinthians 11. He frist says Man is the "source" (Kephale) of woman, but then turns around and says "but man now comes from women, and everything comes from God." Thus he reverses the order and shows that there is no basis for supremecy in chronological priority.Moreover, not only is he principel not stated in Genesis, but it's contradicted. God makes the animals before man, man is over the Animals. Why woud God then turn around place male over female by making female last?

Complamentarians and Traditionalists take this statement to be the signature verse demarcating the grounds of female subjugation. This would seem logically connected to the prohibition upon women teaching and wielding authority over men. The problem is, no such pronouncement is made in Genesis, and it contradicts what Paul clearly tells us in Galations 3:28, "...neither male nor female in Christ Jesus." We should suspect, then, that something else is being said.

It's equally logical to connect the stament to learning and ignorance, since he just spoke of how the women should be taught and they should learn with a quite sprit or attitude, in silence, in quite, and they should be taught. So it would make more sense to think that rather than the grounds for submission, he's actually grounding his entire thought, the statement about learning, teaching, and authority, the whole thing, in the notion that he voices back in the first opening verses of the letter, where he says "they want to teach but don't know anything." Here is he elucidating the dangers of ignorance. Ignorance leads to sin. He is talking about deception, not rebellion!

This is an important point, if Paul is here saying that woman brought sin into he world, and thus must be subordinate as punishment, then he's contradicting his own theology penned in Romans 5, where he places the blame for sin squaring on the shoulders of the man: "Through one man sin entered the world." If the woman is to blame for sin, then the whole Adam type-ante-type view of Christ's atonement goes out the window, and Mary will have to be savior of the world! I speak tongue in cheek, but it's true, he does rest the responsibility on Adam's shoulders, and the upshot of that is Christ as the Second Adam. It would be pointless to think of Christ as the second Adam if the first Adam did not bring sin into the world.

He's speaking here of the consequences of ignorance and the importance of letting the women learn. He's saying that it was through ignorance that the woman sinned, that's the danger of not learning. He's not concerned with deciding which one is to blame for sin in the world, that's not the issue here. What is the importance of Adam being formed first? The complamentarians will say it is a secondary basis for male supremacy. But wait, that fits the knowledge/ignorance motif. Adam was older, he knew better, he was the one to whom Eve looked for guidance and instruction. So Paul is saying Eve was younger and needed to be taught. She was deceived, Adam was not deceived. Are we to say then that Adam didn't sin? Of course not! But his sin was one of rebellion and pride not of ignorance. Eve sinned from lack of knowledge and experience, because she was formed second.

Paul is not only alluding to the importance of learning and knowledge, he's also alluding to the Gnostic creation myth. Since he's battling pre-Gnosticism, and the problem is that this faction wants to teach before they know anything, he's hinting at the flaw in their wisdom, that they have gotten the basic creation story wrong. There is no way to prove that the specific group in Ephesus had the specific creation myths that we associate with Gnosticism, but it is likely that they had a similar story, because the Gnostics did have a creation story in which Adam was made second, and Eve was made first, Eve was wise and related to the wisdom Goddess Sophia, and Adam was the one who needed enlightening. Paul in grouping these concepts to show that "this is how dangerous ignorance is, and the error it can lead one into, they want to teach, but they don't even know the basic story." He does allude to points of the law they have gotten wrong in chapter one.

This last passage establishes a firm link with proto-Gnosticism as Paul warns Timothy to turn away from that which is falsely called ‘knowledge’ – Greek: gnwsewV (gnoseos), from which Gnosticism derives its name. 1 Timothy 4:3 includes among their beliefs forbidding marriage, the result of some Gnostics’ skewed belief in an ontological dualism, in which anything to do with ones humanity was deemed evil – including marriage, sex and having children. 1 Timothy 1:4 links a devotion to myths to these proto-Gnostics, and Gnostic literature abounds with myths, one specifically that reverses the order and events of creation (all bolded emphases mine):

Re: 1 Tim 2:11

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 12:31 am
by KR Wordgazer
Good analysis, Metacrock. I think it's very important to remember the context of this passage in a society where women were kept in ignorance. Paul's admonition that women are to learn is significant. So is that word "I." As you said, Paul uses the "I" when he's using his own authority to set out church policy, not when he's speaking directly as from Christ. In other places he says, "Not I, but the Lord, says. . . " to indicate when he is speaking directly from Christ. I think Paul's words about women not teaching were part of church policy for the times he lived in, not the Divine will for all time.

I also find it significant that in the passage immediately following, where Paul is speaking of the choosing of bishops, he speaks of how a bishop should "rule his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence." Does it seem significant to anyone else that having his wife in submission is not mentioned in this context? The same goes for deacons a few verses later. "Ruling" their houses appears to mean having their children in submission, not ruling over their wives. In fact, the word for "rule" here is "oikodespoteo," which means to run a household. The exact same word is used of younger widows who are encouraged a short while later in the same letter, in 1 Tim 5:14, that they are to "manage the house" or "guide the house." The Greek word is the same, "oikodespoteo." In fact, my understanding is that the Revised Version does use the word "rule" here. "I desire that younger widows marry, bear children, rule the house. . ." Apparently running the household is something both husbands and wives do.

Re: 1 Tim 2:11

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 8:48 am
by Gem
I found Free Indeed an enlightening exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:12

PAUL'S WORDS TO TIMOTHY EXPLAINED As a woman, I resonate very deeply with Paragraph 344 from this lesson in Katharine Bushnell's book and I understand "the childbirth" (I Tim 2:15) to be the formation of Christ in me (parallel passage Gal 4:19)

As far as personal application of the passage: I have found 1 Tim 2 speaks to the porn problem which is extremely disruptive to the intimacy in a marriage:
-->for the the husband - "lift up HOLY hands in prayer without anger..." vs. 2:8
-->for the wife
  • -to LEARN- steep herself in GOD and HIS WORD, I Tim 2:11
    -not to treat her husband in an “authentein” way, attempts to armtwist him are futile and counterproductive, I Tim 2:12
    -to dress modestly, (1 Tim 2:9)
    -to continue being a help MEET to her husband with “faith, love and holiness with propriety”. I Tim 2:14
    -Christ will be formed in her- “the childbirth” and her garden intimacy with the Lord will be restored- in that sense- "REVERSING EVE"!!! 8-)
It is a promise, a passage of HOPE, HEALING, DELIVERANCE, and RESTORATION!
It isn’t intended to club women into silence.

Re: 1 Tim 2:11

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:18 pm
by Gem

Have you seen this material by Cheryl Schatz?
The rest of the story - 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and Matt Slick

Re: 1 Tim 2:11

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:53 pm
by Metacrock
Gem wrote:Metacrock,

Have you seen this material by Cheryl Schatz?
The rest of the story - 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and Matt Slick

I agree with her overall objective. But there's no way to argue that "they" doesn't apply to a plurality of women. he's obviously saying "they" women will be safre, not saved but safe thorugh chrid bearing.

we do not need to understand it as "the child bearing." I specifically ruled that out in my studieso f that passage. It's speaking of the frear Ephesian women had implanted in their minds byt he Gnostic women teachers is trying to slience. The Gnsotics feard child birth because they thought flesh was evil, thus sex is evil, just having children is evil.

I really like Bushnell too. I appreciate her blog. I also have had my tensions with Slick.

Re: 1 Tim 2:11

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:57 pm
by Metacrock
I'm going to open a new thread on this