40 Days of study

A human being lives, but he is given life.

1 Timothy 2:11-15

(1 Timothy 2:11-15)

11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. 

My Thoughts:

I know that we see this video clip as being funny,

But the truth is this is how women have been thought of through-out history.

In America, the feminist movement has accomplished a lot of things, many of them good things but even they have failed to convince us that men and women are pretty much the same. The truth is, men and women really are different.

So different, one author says that women are from Venus and men are from Mars. And yes there is some truth to this comparison, because we process things differently, we have different needs in our life and relationships, and the truth is, we just see life differently.

Through-out most of history women have been oppressed and restricted. In Afghanistan women can be executed for no more than learning how to read. Unfortunately, the Christian Church has not been much better. The 2nd century theologian Tertullian called women “the Devil’s gateway”. The Christian theologian Augustine called marriage “a covenant of death.” The philosopher Socrates argued that being born a woman “was a punishment because a woman is halfway between a man and an animal.”

This is a sad reality, because much of human history has been about men oppressing women. This is not what Jesus taught and demonstrated He showed an entirely new attitude toward women, an attitude that was radical and revolutionary for His time. Jesus taught that men and women were “different but equal”.

“But different doesn’t mean better.”

So, let’s start

(1 Timothy 2:11)

11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 

Now this is one of the Bible’s most talked about and one of the most controversial passages. Some people think that this passage proves that the Bible is a woman-hating document. While others use it to say that women should not have any authority within the church.

The truth is most pastor’s refuse to preach this passage. Yet it is essential that we hear exactly what Paul “is and is not” saying before we pass judgment on this passage.

The text begins with, “A woman should learn” Now we quickly pass over that part, but it is a vitally important statement because in the Greek this is a command, “an imperative”. It literally commands the church, “to let women learn.”  Back then, most people believed it was wrong to teach women, the attitude that Jewish men had about women in the time of Christ was something like this; The Jewish rabbis prayed, “Thank you God for not making a woman.” During this time the Jewish women were forbidden from learning the Bible.

So, what Paul is saying here would be revolutionary to first century ears. This command opened a door that allowed women to learn about God for themselves, no longer, would they need to rely on their husbands or a priest or even a prophet to hear the word of God.

What is Paul is saying here, is this learning must take place in an atmosphere of quietness and full submission. In other words, the women that are learning the Bible, must be teachable. Paul is not just picking on women here. In his view, women have a high and holy calling as members within the church.

You see not only does the apostle allow women status in worship, but he insists that “a woman should learn.” He says, that they are entitled to all the privileges of full church membership.

Paul wants the women to learn, all he is saying here is when we learn we should have an attitude of submission, let the teacher teach and do not try to be the teacher. Which is really a good attitude for all of us to have when we learn about the Bible. As the word is being taught all the worshipers are to be submissive. One Cannot Learn and Talk at the Same Time.

This passage may also refer to the general lack of private and public rights accorded to the women of Paul’s time, Paul may have felt that it would be, beneficial, to give this counsel to the church. He may have just simply been saying, not to upset any social customs that would bring reproach upon the church. To me, he is saying, that the Christians should avoid even the appearance of evil.  (1 Thess. 5:22) Paul tells the church “reject every kind of evil” that would include the appearance of evil as well.

(1 Timothy 2:12) Paul says “12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”  In the days of Paul, custom required that women be in the background. Therefore, if women believers had spoken out in public or otherwise made themselves well-known, then the cause of God would thus have suffered reproach.

Paul does not mean that he forbids women from all teaching, and, by the way, she cannot exercise authority over men. He is simply saying that we must stay within the Laws of the land. So, it’s not a blanket exclusion against women teaching, if we look through Paul’s writings we clearly see that we can rank him among the more progressive, many of Paul’s collaborators in the gospel were women.

Paul commended the “ministry of a woman” throughout his writings

(Romans 16:1, 2) “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.”

Phoebe was in some sense was a “servant or even the minister” of the congregation. So she had a designated administrative responsibility in the Early Church. But as we see Phoebe was not the only influential woman in the church. And if look down a little father (vv. 3, 4). Paul addresses Priscilla before her husband Aquila placing her in a higher status. If Paul had followed ancient custom, he would have praised her husband first and there are many more accounts throughout the New Testament to support this point.

So, those who complain that Paul did not specifically mention women as pastors by name, miss the point. Paul rarely mentioned any men pastors by name, either. Paul’s most commonly used titles for these fellow laborers were “servant” and “fellow worker” both of which he also applied to women.

While passages such as these establish Paul among the more progressive writers of his era, The primary controversy is that, we use these and other passages to keep women out of authoritative roles within our church, when this is clearly not the intent Paul had when he wrote these verses

(1 Timothy 2:13-14)

 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 

Paul says that it is import that Adam was created before Eve. But he does not mean Adam is better than Eve; if that were the case then, animals would be above man, because there were created before Adam.  Paul is pointing to the fact that it was the woman who was deceived by the serpent. Now this does not mean that women are more easily deceived than men are.

But, it is true that the Eve was first in transgression, with that said this does not mean that the responsibility for the fall of the human race should rest on the shoulders of Eve, while it is true that Adam was not the one deceived by the evil one, Adam sinned with a full knowledge of the step he was taking. And let’s not forget that the Bible says that it is in Adam that the entire human race sinned.

Paul’s statement here, in no way was meant as a reflection to dishonor women, why Eve could be deceived by Satan? Especially in the full light of God’s explicit command, is beyond rational explanation. But she and Adam did and because of their transgression we suffer in this world that infested with sin.

(1 Timothy 2:15) “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”

Paul literally says, “She shall be saved through childbirth.” Now we all know that salvation is all of grace, but, what is Paul saying then?  He is saying even though the woman played the leading role in the introduction of sin. Because of her ability to give birth, she will also play a major role in the plan of salvation. God has entrusted a great honor and privilege to women.

Think about this. We focus so much on the part of the verse that Paul tell women to be submissive (in other words, to sit and be taught), that we overlook the fact that the father has given them the honor of child birth.  And because of that, she will not only give birth, but her descendant will give birth to the savor of all men and women alike.

In this verse God promised that the remedy to sin would be provided by the woman’s offspring. The fulfillment of this promise came through the birth of Jesus Christ to Mary. Paul’s reminding us here that God’s gift of salvation would came through women, and this gift of salvation would be for all people. Every time a woman gives birth to a child it should be a reminder that women played a vital role in bringing God’s plan of salvation. And because of that, both men and women are invited to equally share in salvation through Jesus Christ.

So I believe that Paul writes these words to help us men view women as equals. After all, according to the Bible both men and women bear the image of God.

Paul wrote in (Galatians 3:28) “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

We see that the gift of God’s Spirit was poured out on both the men and women, both sons and daughters, both slave and free, both young and old. So even though men and women are different, they are definitely equal in God’s eyes.

So, today we are seeing many of our churches allowing women to hold the offices of elder and pastors. And as a church, we are seeing unions employ female pastors and some of them are ordaining them.

So, the question is; Do we as a church and (I mean the entire SDA church), ordain women or not? Well this is becoming one of the hot topics with in all denominations not just ours.

In the Bible, a pastor is someone who is spiritually gifted by God to help equip other people for service. We have female Bible study leaders, teachers within our schools, and we even have women as guest speakers in our worship services. So are we and I mean (men and Women) different or the same?

Many of you may ask what my opinion as a pastor is about this issue: Do we allow women as pastors or not? For me I am still on the fence, I can see both sides of the issue and the best thing I can tell anyone about this subject is: “pray and study” I believe that when we finish our study on 1 and 2 Timothy we will have our answer.

But I will leave you with one last thing to think about The Christian Church was never meant to be male dominated. It is a household faith, were God alone is the Father, And we all are to be submissive to Him. The Church is to be a place where all can come and worship side by side as equals, and every member has a role to play.

Ellen White statement:

The Last Ministerial Work.–I wish to tell you that soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work. The work of a minister is to minister. Our ministers are to work on the gospel plan of ministering. . . . You will never be ministers after the gospel order till you show a decided interest in medical missionary work, the gospel of healing and blessing and strengthening. . . . It is because of the directions I have received from the Lord that I have the courage to stand among you and speak as I do, notwithstanding the way in which you may look at the medical missionary work. I wish to say that the medical missionary work is God’s work. The Lord wants every one of His ministers to come into line. Take hold of the medical missionary work, and it will give you access to the people. Their hearts will be touched as you minister to their necessities.  As you relieve their sufferings, you will find opportunity to speak to them of the love of Jesus.–Counsels on Health, p. 533. (1901)  {Ev 523.5}

Last thoughts:

The Apostle does Not Promote the idea that Men are to dominant over Women. As we saw in (Galatians 3:28) He Declares the Basic Principles of Equality. The Scriptures are clear that it takes both male and female to constitute humanity.

So what do we take away from this passage?

All members of Christ family have equal status before God and are responsible and accountable for service with in His ministry. In this world we see very little difference between the so called Christians and the Non-Christians especially in the way we dress.

So, the lesson here is:  We need to worry less about our outward appearance and allow Jesus to change us.

About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

One comment on “1 Timothy 2:11-15

  1. Aleida
    November 7, 2013

    Just want to say your articoe is as astonishing. The clearness to your post iis simply nice and i could think
    you’re a professional in this subject. Well with your permission let me to
    clutch your RSS feed to stay up to date with imminent post.

    Thank you one million and please continue the gratifying work.

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This entry was posted on March 2, 2013 by in 1 Timothy, 40 days, Women and tagged , , , , , , , .

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March 2013
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