The inspiration of the text requires that the interpreter take that situation seriously. What can be gleaned from careful reading? There were false teachers in the church, who happened to be leaders. What was the content of their gossip? It is too easy to think that their gossip was what the neighbors were doing. They were spreading the doctrine of the false teachers, and since they had houses, they were widows with money. I will assume they supported the ministry of the false elders.
In that context Paul says, I do not permit a woman to teach. My amplified version would be I do not permit a deceived woman to teach. Now think for a minute. Would Paul permit a deceived man to teach? Of course not, so the issue is the deception and not the gender. Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to replace the false teachers. Chap 3 lays the ground rule for picking a replacement elder. Chap 4 describes their error. Chap 5 describes two classes of widows this is clearly not something that the modern church deals with — no one would say a remarried widow has sinned , and then describes the process for removing the elders who were teaching false doctrine.
Perhaps a little wine to calm the nerves of the youthful pastor charged with removing the elder leaders. So the women were deceived, just like Eve. It is curious that when Paul wrote the Romans he said that sin entered through one man. Instead of making 1Tim 2 say that Eve only was deceived, note that the comparison in Timothy is with other women and the comparison in Romans is between Adam and Jesus. When Paul needed a female object lesson he chose Eve. When he needed a male object lesson he chose Adam. Finally, and I am not sure why Paul was so excited about this, but part of the problem with the false teachers was that they prohibited marriage.
Women who had fallen under their teaching were either not marrying or denying that the were married. So the evidence of turning from the false teaching is that women returned home. Just like what is required of men. Mik, thanks for this input. There is only so much one can write in a blog post and this background info is really helpful. Yes, the problem Paul was addressing was deception, not women leading! How does the article line up with 1Timothy 3: Sorry for the delay in moderating your comments and in responding.
We had a family wedding on Sunday and are just getting caught up from the weekend events. As you may know, the male pronouns that appear in most English translations in this passage do not appear in the original Greek manuscripts. Here is an excerpt from a post that summarizes the research on this: The phrase, a one-woman man, is however an idiom and there are dangers in applying it too literally.
Also, women did not have multiple husbands running concurrently whereas men did … so they were making sure that the elder was not a polygamist, rather than making sure he was a man. I know that this is sidetracking slightly. However, i invite you all to look up verse of the Gospel of Thomas. Then Google the meaning of verse As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.
For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. JD, that is of course, a topic all of its own, and pastor Mark Kubo addressed it previously here on the blog in detail in this post https: Basically, I have the same objection to pulling these three verses out of context as I do for 1 Timothy 2: For example, in this section of 1 Cor 14 Paul is addressing order in public worship apparently there was an issue with disorderly worship , and he starts in v.
When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.
Then he proceeds to put parameters on three different groups: Some translations put these verses in brackets to show they are questionable. In addition, like 1 Timothy this is a letter to a specific church at a specific time in history, dealing with specific issues that needed to be addressed. It seems our culture has ventured so far from the culture of the first century that the Bible seems errant.
If only we could live in his kingdom and understand his ways and let that define our culture. With that said, I posed the verse because it closely related to the original post with very direct language. How then do I believe in the inerrancy of scripture? I love my bridegroom Christ and am a truly frustrated believer in his salvation.
I need to trust the word became flesh and am very discouraged lately. Thanks for your honesty, JD. I think there is reason for encouragement with the newer translations. Improvements in language scholarship and recent archaeological findings are resulting in more accurate translation and we are getting a more accurate idea of what the writers meant.
Another thing that has helped me is to filter things through the life and teachings of Christ. He came to save that which was lost, and I view gender inequality as falling into that category of something lost when sin entered the world in Genesis 3. Blessings on your journey of understanding. One thing to realize is that translations are done on a best-effort basis and since humans are doing it, there is no such thing as a translation without the potential for error.
In effect, the translators are doing their best to get the reader to understand Scripture as they do, this cannot be helped as they constantly are making translation choices. Another thing to realize is that the Scriptures we have are in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek and are ancient texts written in ancient cultures that are very unlike our culture today.
This can mean that something that was not very opaque to the original reader can be very opaque to a modern reader. For example, 1 Cor was written to the 1st century church at Corinth, it was at least the 2nd letter Paul wrote to them. Furthermore, they wrote a letter to him and also sent a delegation which asked questions verbally of him, we are not sure about any of these items, some can be surmised from 1 Cor but it is quite possible that finding his first letter to Cor or the letter from them to him could offer insights into how to better understand 1 Cor.
Also, it is in the form of a letter, which is inherently like reading a transcript of half of a phone conversation; there might be things that the people at Corinth knew about and Paul knew about so that a simple reference would be sufficient for everyone to know what was being written about, but today we do not have that shared context. So we need to be humble. Thanks for that valuable perspective Don.
I think we do God a disservice sometimes when we interpret the scriptures from our modern day lens and fail to consider the historical context. Personally, I enjoy the complexity and process of digging into all of that. Well, most of the time anyway! They are allowed to sing because their voices blend in with the men and they are allowed to ask and answer questions during Bible study, but not to teach. Many members would have concern for the souls of anyone who would worship with a congregation that allowed women to speak.
For them it becomes a salvation issue. Some progressive congregations are allowing women some minor involvement but in the conservative congregations things have not changed since the s. I dread to think of little girls growing up in churches like these. It grieves me to think of girls and women exposed to such horrific spiritual abuse. The question is, did God really say this? If the answer is in doubt, is it worth the risk to go against the traditional teaching?
We have to keep trying to come to a better understanding of scripture so that we can sure that we know what God expects of us. And as Our Lord said, they have substituted the traditions of men for the Word of God. I just want to say… I grew up in a Church of Christ. Women were not allowed to speak or participate at all in church; exactly as you describe, Joseph. They taught me to question the things I heard from any pulpit and study for myself. But that church was their community, so they stuck with it for a very long time.
With their blessing, I broke away from it when I went away to college. It breaks my heart to hide my leadership roles from other family members, especially my grandparents, who I am otherwise very close with, and who would absolutely object and would most likely fear for my salvation. One day, I may try to ask them why God would give me the gifts, education, and clear opportunity to meet tangible needs in my church and community if it is against God to do so. Nobody would argue THAT.
But spiritual needs… different story. Thank you Gail and thanks Junia Project. Most had no problem with wine or any other alcoholic beverage since the heritage was from Europe where it was, and is, common among Christians. I recall one man was picked up by the Feds in my home town for having a still in the barn. I guess it was ok to drink, and it was ok to break the law as well!
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But never would they hold up hands in prayer or praise! Chapter and verse, please. What does it profit me, a mere woman? What does it profit anyone? Why do we do it at all? I hear you Judy. Thanks for putting this in perspective. Thanks for your input. Do you think that assuming the author is Paul gives the passage more weight in the eyes of conservative evangelicals?
Thank you Gail for moving the conversation along. You did not deal with that. That, if not mistaken, seems to be the root of the issue. My view is that if God has given you a gift you should use it. If God has called you to do something then you should do it. Thanks so much for putting it in such succinct terms.
We do get tired of this hackneyed argument, however, it still needs to be put forward, so this is helpful. Reviewing the article by Wayne Grudem 83 things women can or cannot do reminded me of a comment by Alan F. Johnson Emeritus Prof of N.
5 Reasons to Stop Using 1 Timothy 2:12 Against Women
Louis CBE conference that complementarianism results in casuistry. Thank you for this excellent article. Complimentarianism re women and church leadership has several severe and glaring weaknesses. For starters, they cannot agree among themselves just how much authority women should be granted in the church—as well as the home and society.
Others do not allow a woman to be pastor or elder, but she may read Scripture before the congregation John Piper does not allow women in his church to do so. Likewise to my amusement and annoyance , though they were not allowed to serve communion, they were allowed to prepare it and clean up afterward. Second, the cannot agree at what age a boy becomes a man. Some say thirteen, others when he graduates high school, others say when he gets married.
And as you pointed out, it is the rare church that silences women entirely or preaches that women must give birth in order to be saved. Churches are extremely inconsistent when applying these verses. I must not be reading the same dictionary as they.
Another explanation of the 1 Timothy 2: The common English Bible, chooses this as the most likely translation. He recently preached five sermons on Questions about the Bible and Women. I find some merit in this point of view, which then removes this passage from any doctrine of church polity. Hugenberger shows that this passage shares many themes and words with 1 Peter 3: He also maintains that wherever these two Greek words for man and woman are used together in other passages, the passages are about husband and wife.
I have also undertaken an extensive study into these questions myself and have concluded that 1 Tim 2: There may be some truth in it, but its argued entirely from a secular viewpoint. Another thing I have seen over my lifetime 75 years is some of the worst forms of abuse, sexual and otherwise, have occurred in Christian organizations, both church and school, where male only leadership was in place. This very tired argument needs to be silenced once and for all. Emotion is not crying or weeping but is described on Wikipedia as the following:. Of course you have! I find that these emotions are generally more pronounced in men than women and that emotionalism has been crudely defined for too long as being a female trait.
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