Skip to content

I Tim 2

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

1 Tim 2:12

Satan misused God’s Words to speak death right from the beginning.
Words of Scripture can be still be used to speak LIFE or to speak DEATH.
This passage in Timothy (esp 1 Tim 2:11-15) is sometimes misused to speak DEATH to women and that is not God’s intention.
Even churches often miss the truth of what the spirit says.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Rev 2-3 over and over)

I personally tried to live by a very strict literal interpretation of a plain english translation of verse 12. I would completely keep my mouth closed at any church meeting where business or decisions were being discussed- even though my church allowed women to participate in congregational business. I wanted desperately to be obedient and pleasing to God. Deep down inside, I really felt that God preferred HIS sons and this verse reflected HIS preference 😦

Then I started a healing process and began to be in touch with how precious and beloved I am to HIM. So, I had to change the distorted lenses throught which I was seeing God’s Word. Over and over in the course of several years, I returned to this section of Paul’s letter to Timothy trying to discern its meaning with my NEW understanding that it is not meant to demean, disrespect, or put down women!!!
My GOD is NOT LIKE THAT!
And nothing in HIS WORD will do that!

If I am understanding a passage as a put down of women, the problem is with my understanding, not with God’s Word! Here are three ways of taking the passage of 1 Timothy 2 which are consistent with God’s loving character and HIS honor and respect for HIS daughters:

1. Think about church history-
how women were sidelined by the hierarchy, and sometimes excoriated. The passage can be taken as a prophetic proclamation about the church… that some day woman will be saved/restored/made whole in a reversal of the fall’s consequences (“he shall rule over you”). She will be restored to her status as a co-heir with Christ, restored to her queenly, ruling position BESIDE Adam rather than being the mistress/subordinate/underling to Adam’s “master-hood”

2. Think about marriage-
I personally was guilty of “husband idolatry”. I put him on the throne and I was an obedient servant, while he micromanaged and controlled down to trivial detail. My desire was for my husband (to please him, to satisfy him) and he ruled over me. The passage can be taken as a PROMISE for the marriage of ANY CHRISTIAN WOMAN- that she will be saved/restored/made whole in a reversal of the fall’s consequences (“he shall rule over you”) back to her status as a co-heir with Christ, back to her queenly, ruling position of the Garden-BESIDE Adam- rather than being the mistress/subordinate/underling to Adam’s “master-hood”. Could such restoration for her be conditional upon her remaining with her husband?? Notice “if THEY continue in faithfulness…” (1 Tim 2:15) This interpretation would speak quite firmly and with HOPE to the Christian woman contemplating divorce from a husband who is sinning against her in various ways.

3. Think about what the words meant to Paul and Timothy-
for which analysis, I defer to Cheryl Schatz whom I providentially “met” (online) Click here to read her meticulously careful analysis of the entire book of 1 Tim and thorough exegesis of the plausible historical meaning of the passage to the original recipients. .
And here is another sound exegetical resource if you prefer a video: this message is taught by John Schoenheit on 1 Tim 2:11: “Free Indeed”

Here is a link to a fruitful discussion about the passage (based on paragraph 344 in Katharine Bushnell’s book “God’s Word to Women”:

“she shall be saved through the child-bearing” (YLT)

I see two styles of interpreting 1 Tim 2:11-15 which I perceive as lacking:
-treating 1 Tim 2:11-15 as “merely” historical which I perceive as diminishing God’s Word
-treating 1 Tim 2:11-15 as a “putdown” of women which I perceive as diminishing God’s character.
Here is a link to an essay which avoids both of these pitfalls 🙂
Leading Him Up the Garden Path: Further Thoughts on 1 Timothy 2:11-15

I rambled much before I was able to distill out what I posted above. I have some posts which contain my rambling:

The End

of the reader’s digest version. It took much rambling before I was able to distill out what I posted above. I have some posts which contain my rambling:

1 Tim 2:11-15 (Revelations)

1 Tim 2 notes

“authenteo”, anger, malice, clamour

quoted from God’s Word to Women by Katharine Bushnell

344. But Paul adds very important conditions beyond the mere birth of a Redeemer into the world, with which Christian women must comply before their social redemption will be wrought out, “If they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety” (R. V.). Alas! women did not “continue.” It seems clear that within fifty years after Paul’s utterance, they had largely yielded their faith,¾that they were to be saved on precisely the same conditions as men sinners. They accepted the mischievous teaching that in addition to meeting the conditions laid down for men sinners, they must do penance for the sin of Eve (as though Christ’s atonement had not been sufficient for Eve’s transgression). Faith went; love and loyalty to Jesus Christ and His atonement waned; and finally they accepted a precisely opposite condition to the one laid down by Paul so impressively,¾with sobriety.” They have now, through the weary generations since, too often bent themselves to the task of winning approval from God, by yielding all their nobler instincts towards pure living within the marriage relation to the sensual “desire” of their husbands, in mistaken obedience to the misinterpretation of Genesis 3:16. The meaning of the Greek word translated “sobriety,” we set forth as “self-restraint” (see par. 327). The word is sophrosune, and 4 Maccabees 1:31 tell us, “sophrosune is the mastery of the lusts.” Several sayings in the Greek classics tell us the same. Paul declares, and we are sure it is the truth of God, this self-control is an essential in woman’s social redemption. Woman can never be matured as a useful instrument in God’s hands, or an efficient servant of His Church, until she comes to understand that “she is not her own; she is bought with a price,” and it is neither her duty nor her privilege to give herself away to any human being,¾in marriage or in any other way. Her bodily appetites are subject to God’s control and cannot be indulged in violation of conscience; any other teaching is but teaching woman how to be a pleasing slave. There is no social redemption for woman until the chain that binds her to the lusts of her own, and of man’s flesh is broken, and she maintains the inviolability of free will, as her sustained attitude towards every human being, including her husband. There is no method of moral improvement remaining, after the loss of a free will. To attempt to accept any means or method of salvation from sin different from or beyond the simple act of accepting Christ’s atonement for sin,¾be that act “circumcision,” which Paul so strongly denounced, or woman’s service in the lusts of the flesh, is to accept a condition in which “Christ shall profit you nothing,” “Christ has become of no effect unto you” (Galatians 5:2-3).

Advertisements
4 Comments
  1. December 8, 2007 5:41 pm

    This is so great! I came out of a very similar place under 2 years ago…came out stumbling, cringing, wondering if I was leaving God by daring to question the type of “submission” I believed I was supposed to have…

    It is so wonderful to read about someone who’s story sounds very much like a parallel to my own. 🙂 We initially experienced a horrible horrible transition…I can hardly believe we made it through still married, actually…but after that first awful year, we began to discover what it meant to “take dominion” together…we are still very much on a journey, but it is already proving to be well worth it! I so appreciate my awesome husband, and it is so nice to only have *one* Lord! 🙂

  2. Charis permalink*
    December 9, 2007 1:59 pm

    Hi molleth,

    I echo your sentiment of the difficulty of the transition and the uncertainty that our marriage would survive. It was very painful for me to come out of the fog, grieve the losses, and find hope in the midst of the brokenness.

    I am married to a man who has been unswervingly commited to me, our marriage, our family. Cleaving is a strength of his for which I am very grateful.

  3. Amy permalink
    August 18, 2009 8:28 pm

    Thank you so much for this study. It really helped clarify some wrong teaching that I read and let damage my relationship with God…

    • August 19, 2009 6:59 am

      YWC Amy. Glad you found it helpful. 🙂

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: