What does 1 Timothy 2:11-15 mean?

December 2, 2006 — 86 Comments

I was challenged to present my view of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 on another blog and I thought it would be good to summarize my view on my own blog. Here is the teaching from “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” our DVD series on the hard passages of scripture on the women’s issue, presenting the 1 Timothy 2 passage in a nutshell:

  1. In context, Paul is dealing with false deceived teachers who are teaching false doctrine (1 Tim. 1:3, 7)
  2. Paul did not leave Timothy behind in Ephesus to stop the false teachers AND to stop all women who are teaching correct biblical doctrine – he only left Timothy behind to stop the false teachers from teaching false doctrine (1 Tim. 1:3)
  3. Paul says that he too had been deceived and he received mercy because of his fighting against the church was because he was ignorant of the truth and he had been deceived (1 Tim 1:13, 16)
  4. Paul differentiates between those who were teaching false doctrines because they were ignorant and deceived (1 Tim. 1:3, 7) and those who were deliberate deceivers (1 Tim. 1:19, 20)
  5. Paul names the deceivers (1 Tim. 1:20) but he does not name the ones who are deceived (1 Tim. 1:3, 6)
  6. Paul gives instructions to Timothy regarding how the men and women who claim godliness should conduct themselves in the church while they are in the midst of the false teachers (1 Tim. 2:1-10)
  7. All Christians should be praying for the lost even those who are lost in their midst – those who are embroiled in false doctrine (1 Tim. 2:1-4)
  8. The Christian men in the congregation are not to handle the false teachers with argumentation that might come out even in their prayers (1 Tim. 2:8)
  9. The women in the congregation who lay claim to godliness (1 Tim. 2:10) need to handle this false teacher situation with prayer as well (1 Tim. 2:9 “likewise” links back to prayer) and continue to produce good works (1 Tim. 2:10) and not expect that it is their appearance with elaborate dressing that will show forth the godly example, but their godly works (1 Tim. 2:8-10)
  10. Paul then abruptly changes from the godly men and women (plural) to the singular form of woman and man and deals with a problem of false teaching and a false teacher.
  11. Before Paul gives the prohibition, he gives the solution to one of the problems in the church. Paul instructs that “a woman” is to be given the opportunity to learn. This identifies the problem that she is not one of the deceivers, but one of the deceived. Paul never educates the deceivers – he names them, exposes them and shuns them. His solution to deception is education in sound doctrine and he never ever identifies the deceived.
  12. Paul tells Timothy that he is not allowing “a woman” to teach or authenteo “a man”. It is out of context to even consider that Paul is here stopping godly women from teaching correct biblical doctrine. In context the prohibition can only be the stopping of false doctrine and stopping a false teacher. (1 Tim. 2:12)
  13. We know this is false teaching that is being stopped because Timothy’s mandate to stop the teachers was only for false teachers. Also in the example given later of why the teaching is to be stopped, Paul ties the prohibition into the example of the first deceived woman (1 Tim. 2:14)
  14. Whenever gune and aner are mentioned together in scripture in any type of relationship, they are always translated as husband and wife. Verse 12 should be translated as a single wife teaching/influencing her husband.
  15. Paul has several times not identified people by calling them “a man” yet the context clearly identifies the “a man” as a specific person (2 Cor. 12:2, 5; 1 Cor. 5:1) 1 Timothy 2: 11, 12 follows that example as two people are called “a woman” and “a man” without naming them. They are not named because the wife is one of the deceived and Paul never identifies the deceived ones by name.
  16. Paul identifies the reason why the first man was not deceived and why the woman was. He refers us back to Genesis to discover the reason by stating that the man was created first and was not deceived and the woman was created second was deceived (1 Tim. 2:13, 14 and Gen. 2:8, 19) See Genesis 2:8, 19 in the Apostle’s Bible which is the modern English version of the Greek Septuagint where it is quite clear the education Adam had before Eve was created.
  17. The grammar from 1 Timothy 2:15 requires the identification of a single female to refer back to “a woman” from verse 12. The “she” from verse 15 cannot be Eve because the tense is future and Eve is dead.
  18. The only “she” in this entire passage that verse 15 can refer back to is “a woman” from verse 12. “She” and “they” are given instructions regarding her salvation and it is future tense.
  19. 1 Tim. 2:15 gives the answer as to whether the deceived woman can receive salvation even though she has been deceived by false doctrine. She (refer back to verse 12 the deceived Ephesian woman) will be saved through the Messiah born of the woman (the childbearing which is a noun and not a verb), if they (refer back to verse 12 the deceived Ephesian woman and her husband) continue on in their faith in God, love for the Savior, holiness, and self-control to stay away from false doctrine. This is how one deceived woman will be saved (and is a pattern for the salvation of all deceived teachers).
  20. Summary: Paul was not making a universal prohibition that stopped godly women from teaching sound doctrine to men. He was stopping one of the false teachers in the assembly from taking her Christian husband down the proverbial garden path towards the forbidden fruit.

For a full media production of this passage along with the other hard passages of scripture on the women’s issue, see our DVD called “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” available on Amazon.com or see a fuller version of 1 Timothy 1:11-15 by clicking here.

Does this exegesis make sense?

Cheryl

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86 responses to What does 1 Timothy 2:11-15 mean?

  1. Rusty Bullerman December 3, 2006 at 2:08 pm

    She brings out some very interesting points in the previous context and I like her approach. However, item 14 about gune and aner is contradicted by one of the hot passages in this debate, 1 Corinthians 11:3. In the NASB, it is translated man and woman.

    In the careful handlings of this 1 Tim passage, most commentators point out that gune can be either wife or woman. They rule out the wife option since the address of this entire passage seems to be on a gender basis and not a relational basis. Ben Witherington has just published a new commentary on the Pastorals and does a very fine job in explaining the text and showing that the most plausible answer points to a temporary ban on teaching until a time of instruction has passed.

    I also think she is straining the singular a bit, but maybe not since both sides give extensive discussion to the singular in verse 15.

    All in all, it is a fresh take and even in the areas of disagreement with her, I have received insight and new perspectives on this troublesome passage that helps my understand the text and argument more clearly.

    Rusty Bullerman

  2. Thank you Rusty for your comments! Two things I would like to comment back on. In 1 Cor. 11:3 although the NASB says the man is the head of the woman, the understanding in commentaries is always that it is speaking of husband and wife. I am sure you would agree that no other man is the head of your wife and you personally are not the head of every woman you see. Yes once again husband and wife are the context of aner and gune when it is talking about the two in relationship.

    Secondly about the singular “she” in verse 15, if we are going to be true to God’s word, we must pay attention to his inspired words and his inspired grammar. I really like the NASB, but their rendering of 1 Timothy 2:15 as “women will be preserved…if they” completely hides the Greek “she” and “they” in this passage. If other versions had not been faithful to the Greek change from singular to plural here, I may not have come to understand this passage as clearly as I have. To complementarians, I ask, please show me who the “she” is and who are the “they” that verse 15 refers to? I believe my exegesis not only explains clearly who “she” and “they” are but keeps the meaning in the complete context of the passage regarding deceived teachers and false doctrine.

    I believe that it is completely out of context to interpret verse 12 as Paul stopping godly women teaching correct biblical doctrine to men. With that interpretation we then have Paul questioning the salvation of women in general. The salvation of women in general is never questioned in scripture.

  3. Martin Willemoes Hansen December 3, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    Great, simply great exegesis :)

    I was wondering if I can translate your blog post to Danish and pass it around to anyone I know?

  4. Hi Martin,

    You have my blessing to post my blog in Danish. Go for it!

  5. Why have you set things up on this blog so that biblical references are automatically linked to the website of ESV, a version which (as documented at the Better Bibles Blog) is fundamentally distorted (e.g. at 2 Timothy 2:2) towards a position opposite to that which you are promoting?

    But at least ESV gives a reasonable rendering at 1 Timothy 1:3, whereas it is NIV (“certain men”) which is fundamentally misleading here. For the Greek word tines is clearly gender generic; the text gives no indication of whether these false teachers were male or female. But it is interesting that whereas at 2 Timothy 2:2 the ESV translators manipulated the text to rule out the possibility of women teaching the truth, they seem to have no problem with the idea of false teachers being women!

    But I must say I am not convinced by point 4 above. It seems to me that the tines, “certain people” or “some”, of verse 19 are the same as those of verses 3,6. This group include two named men, but that of course does not imply that there were not also women in the group. The same misunderstanding continues in point 11: it is not true that “Paul never educates the deceivers“, for in 1:20 he takes steps that they may “learn”, using a Greek word explicitly of education and discipline; the intention is not to “shun” these people but to restore them.

    But this small quibble doesn’t invalidate the main point here. The real issue is with the rather strange “a woman” and “a man”.

    I don’t understand point 16. I don’t have the rather presumptuously named (and probably mis-apostrophed) “Apostle’s Bible”, but in the LXX of which it is supposed to be a translation there is nothing in Genesis 2:8,19, nor indeed anywhere between the creation of Adam and of Eve, to suggest that God taught anything to Adam which was not taught to Eve. Well, I guess Adam learned some zoology from naming the animals and birds, but that is in my Bible as well as in the supposedly apostolic version.

    Actually if the subject in the first part of verse 15 is not the woman of verse 14, there is nothing to suggest that this refers to a woman rather than a man – since you don’t understand “through the childbirth” to mean that this person personally gives birth to a child. But I accept that it does most likely refer back to the woman of vv.11-12.

    Yes, this exegesis does make sense. I wouldn’t claim that it is the only possible exegesis. But I think it is very reasonable to suppose, especially in the context of the negative word authentein, that didaskein “teach” in 2:12 refers to false teaching. And that in itself is enough to demonstrate that it is unsafe to rely on this passage to forbid all women from ever teaching Christian truth.

  6. Thank you, Cheryl. You may well be right about the two groups of false teachers. Certainly the ones in verses 3 and 6 had not gone as far as Hymenaeus and Alexander had, and so had not been put out of the congregation. But they were potential teachers. I suppose the point is that they had not yet become like H&A, but were perhaps heading in that direction and were to be stopped before the situation went so far. But surely heterodidaskein in verse 3 means something like “to teach false doctrine”, and the present infinitive here implies that they were not stop doing it, not just not to start. In verse 19, however, the group seems to have rejected conscience rather than faith, and Paul’s action in delivering two of them to Satan suggests that they had not voluntarily left the church. But I agree with you on the basic point that “Paul wants the deceived ones to be taught and the deliberate deceivers he shuns them until they have learned how to stop their blasphemous ways.

    Thanks also for the Bergen reference. This book happens to be on my bookshelf. But I will make that a separate comment simply because I must now take a break and don’t want to leave unsaved material.

  7. Well, I didn’t say I could understand the Bergen book, only that I have it! But I have worked on a translation of the Hebrew Bible, as well as the Greek NT, and so I do know a little Hebrew.

    I now understand the issue you had with Genesis 2:8,19. In Bergen’s book Randall Buth rightly argues that NIV’s use of pluperfect tenses in these verses (“had planted… had formed” – apparently an attempt to harmonise these verses with chapter 1) is without linguistic justification. Buth writes: “What is happening here is that the creation story is purposely told from two different perspectives in chapter 1 and chapter 2”. This is equally clear in the Hebrew and the LXX Greek text, but may have been clarified in the Apostle’s Bible translation of LXX which you mentioned. So, yes, in chapter 2 there do seem to be acts of creation after the formation of the man, but before the formation of the woman who in fact seems to be the last to be created, the final crown of creation. So Adam would have witnessed this further creation and so been better educated than Eve. I still don’t see the relevance of this to the situation in 1 Timothy 2, but then maybe I need to get the DVD.

  8. Hello Peter,

    Thanks for your comments. You asked why the biblical references are automatically linked to ESV. My son graciously gave me space on his site for my blog and he said he had found an add-on to automatically link to the bible. I asked him to remove the add-on. I am not really up on all these blog technical things.

    It certainly is helpful when Bibles render the passages that refer to men and women in a way that we can understand. 1 Tim. 1:3 is generic to show that the false teachers can be men, women or both. Your point is well taken that 2 Tim. 2:2 “the faithful ones who are able to teach“ is also a gender generic passage.

    I disagree with your point that the “certain people” from verses 3 and 6 are the same group as those of verse 19. Here is why I believe they are two separate groups of people.

    1. The group of people in verses 3 and 6 are apparently false teachers who are in the congregation whereas the deceivers of verses 19 and 20 had already left the faith or were already removed from the congregation due to the seriousness of their teaching (saying that the resurrection had already happened).

    2. The group of people in verses 3 and 6 are teaching myths, endless genealogies and speculations. They are not teaching outright heresy as are the two mentioned in verse 20. The fact that the teachings of the first group are also serious matters that could lead them away from God is certain because instead of following the faith some have “turned aside to fruitless discussion” Paul wants them to be instructed in the truth and stay away from the speculations.

    3. The two deceivers mentioned in verse 20 are a part of the group mentioned in verse 19 which are again generic “some” showing that this group also could be men and women. However this group had rejected the faith: “which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.” Since they have rejected the faith, they were no longer in the congregation.

    4. Paul does not advocate teaching to this second group of people who are deliberate deceivers. The fact that Paul says Hymenaeus and Alexander should be taught does not mean taught by the church. Paul handed them over to Satan so that Satan will be used to teach them not to blaspheme. “Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.” This is certainly nothing like the teaching that the church gives, but is more like being “raked over the coals” by the enemy so that their suffering may convince them to stop their deception and their error. Paul does not say that he has handed them over to the church to be taught. No, he says he handed them over to Satan to be taught. Again, I repeat that Paul wants the deceived ones to be taught and the deliberate deceivers he shuns them until they have learned how to stop their blasphemous ways. The deceivers are not to be tolerated in the church. Their learning is outside the church and once they stop their deception, they are welcome back.

    Peter, you also said “I don’t understand point 16.” The main reference to point 16 is found in the Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics book edited by Robert D. Bergen and published by the Summer Institute of Linguistics copyright 1994. Here the grammar from Genesis 2:8, 19 is analyzed and shown as the individual verbs in 2:8 and 2:19 are intended sequentially within that account. Their point is that the creating of the garden and the creation of the animals in chapter 2 is intended as a further act of creation after Adam was created. This is clearly shown in the Apostle’s bible link that I gave. The full quotes to the Discourse Linguistics book are given in our DVD “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?”

    Thank you for saying that the exegesis makes sense. At this point I believe that my exegesis makes the best sense because one must have a valid explanation for who is the “she” and who are the “they” of verse 15 to make sense of the entire passage. So far I have not read nor have I heard anyone give any viable other option to the “she” and “they” of verse 15. We cannot just ignore the grammar and the words to make sense of the passage. I have taken great pains not to ignore either.

  9. Hey Peter,

    You said “In verse 19, however, the group seems to have rejected conscience rather than faith, and Paul’s action in delivering two of them to Satan suggests that they had not voluntarily left the church.”

    How about we both agree? My understanding of verse 19 says that they rejected *both* their faith and their conscience. I also agree that although some left the congregation on their own accord, (1 John 2:19 says “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” In this verse it does seem that some left on their own accord) there were definitely those who had to be given the “boot”. I fully agree with you on that point.

    I consider it a privilege to be able to dialogue with someone who has the knowledge in Hebrew to own the Robert Bergen reference book. Most of the book is way over my head, but I feel it important enough to see the primary documents for myself so I purchased the book to check out the facts. This book really helped me to see Paul’s point in taking us back to the Genesis account in order to understand why Adam was not deceived and why Eve was.

  10. Yup, you will need to get the DVD :) It’s multi-media with high quality pictures and I think that helps to get the idea across succinctly. Well it’s me teaching so I am kind of biased, but I think you will like it. I will give you an idea of what you will see in it. If one sees with their very own eyes the Creator creating animals from the dirt and you know that you yourself were created by the Creator from the dirt, would you be convinced that you could be like Him? Or would you understand that there is a vast difference between creation and the Creator? Now how about if you didn’t have the opportunity to see this with your own eyes? Would it be easier to deceive you? Could you perhaps be convinced that you were only a bite of fruit away from being just like God? Is sound doctrine (about the difference between God and his creation) something that will keep us safe from deception and did Adam have special hands on training in sound doctrine in regards to who God is? I think we can safely say YES!

    If we follow Paul’s lead back to Genesis, we can see how sound doctrine can keep us all safe from being deceived. It is also sound doctrine that will straighten out the deception and the deceived teachers.

    So Paul’s point was that the first one created was not deceived (he had sound doctrine concerning the difference between God and creation). The second one created was deceived (she did not have the opportunity to see the difference between God and creation). The woman in verse 12 is deceived and teaching error. She needs to stop teaching and learn sound doctrine so that she too will not be deceived. Does that make sense?

  11. Thanks. Yes, this is starting to make sense. But I must get on with my Bible translation work – which today happens to be a check of 1 Timothy, so what I have learned from this thread may help me.

  12. Blessings to you Peter!

  13. A very interesting reading. I’m not sure that I am entirely convinced, but then, when dealing with an epistle in which references are made to very specific situations of which we know next to nothing, your reconstruction of the situation does make sense.

    I had always felt that in this passage, the specific prohibition was against a wife ‘talking over’ or contradicting her husband in public (during worship?). But, recognising that I do not know what, in particular, Paul was addressing – and it cannot be a general prohibition for Paul respects/values various women as fellow apostles, co-workers and so on.

  14. Hi Sam,

    The interpretation that Paul is prohibiting a wife from “talking over” or contradicting her husband in public is an interesting one. However the problem you would have with this interpretation is three-fold.

    1. It gives no explanation for the connection that Paul gives for the reason for the prohibition and that is the deception and falling into sin of the first woman. How is contradicting one’s husband in public connected to the deception of Eve and her falling into sin?

    2. The restriction in verse 12 is “teaching” and “authenteo” not “talking over” or contradicting. I think you would have a difficult time connecting a public contradicting of one’s husband with the word “authenteo”. Titus 1:9 gives the Greek word #483 which is the normal word that means to speak against or to contradict. Since Paul had at his disposal the regular word that would describe the action of contradicting or “talking over” her husband, it would seem extremely odd to describe the prohibition of contradicting with the extremely rare word of “authenteo.”

    3. In verse 15, the salvation of “a woman” is questioned. In what way would contradicting one’s husband result in having one’s salvation questioned?

    I think my interpretation of Paul restricting a particular deceived woman from teaching or influencing her husband fits the context, fits the connection to deception in chapter one and in verse 14, and gives a very understandable answer to why the salvation of “a woman” is questioned in verse 15.

  15. Cheryl, (or Peter if you are still checking in, my Dad is a scientist and I have been around scientists all my life who fully embrace the authority of scripture. Some I know have studied theology along with their science. To a person, they see no conflict between the earth being billions of years old and animal life originating 100s of millions of years ago. I have never heard this claim before that this passage must mean that animals were created after Adam.

    I would appreciate more on the idea that animals were formed after Adam and before Eve. IMO, if so, then the creation story is not a historical account but rather a nonhistorical construction to illustrate theological truths, much like the discussion at Jesus Creed awhile back. In your estimation, does the language necessitate such a reading or is it merely a possible reading?

  16. Hi Michael,

    You ask a great question about the creation of animals. First of all in answer to your question, the issue is not about animals ONLY being created after Adam. The Hebrew is specific in that animals were definitely created *after* Adam, but they were also created *before* Adam. This isn’t too hard to understand because just as mankind was created in two “acts” with the man created first and the woman created later after Adam had time to realize that he needed a mate, so the animals were created in two “acts” also for Adam’s benefit. The first set of animals was created before Adam and the second set was created as God formed each animal and brought the animal and its mate to Adam for naming. It only makes sense to me that the second set that God created was the mates to the ones that were created earlier. I can’t prove that one for sure, but it makes sense to me because that is how he created humans male first and female second.

    For those who can believe in the inspired scriptures and still believe that the earth is billions of years old and animals were created hundreds of millions of years ago, they must be able to rationalize away some of scripture to do that. There are several things that make that belief untenable to me. If you want, I can let you know what those things are.

    The bottom line is are we going to believe what God has said (his testimony) or are we going to believe the testimony of science? The one thing that I know for sure science has changed their dating system by billions of years just in my own lifetime. I remember in my early years of school being taught that the earth was millions of years old. I didn’t pay attention to when it exactly happened, but the earth got a lot older sometime through the years. Now we are told it is no longer millions of years old, but billions of years old. Animals now are not just millions of years old, but hundreds of millions of years. That is a significant change, but the truth hasn’t changed since truth is consistent.

    I came to a crisis of faith myself in the mid 1980’s. I came face to face with something that I couldn’t make fit in the bible. It was on the resurrection. I couldn’t understand how Jesus could be dead for three days and three *nights* if he died on Friday and was resurrected on Sunday morning. As I thought it through and reasoned within myself, I came to understand that I must accept the bible as God’s inspired word and accept that it was right even if I didn’t understand how it could be right. If I accepted that there were errors in God’s word and that it wasn’t completely inspired, then I could not have faith in the bible. I would have to say that it then would be hit or miss on whether it was truth or not and I couldn’t accept that. So I decided to believe God without having all the facts to convince me that it was truth. It was a definite turning point in my life. From that moment on, I have come to understand that scripture is God-breathed to the point that each word is inspired and each piece of grammar is inspired. I have seen it proved over and over again that God’s word is true even if every man is found a liar. Romans 3:4 says “By no means! Let God be found true though every human being is false and a liar, as it is written, That You may be justified and shown to be upright in what You say, and prevail when You are judged [by sinful men]. [Ps. 51:4.]”

    Since that turning point in my life, I have been privileged to have visited Israel in 1986 and that trip opened my eyes up to the Jewish understanding of some things in the resurrection passage that I had not understood before. I now understand that it is our tradition that invalidated the word of God and made it look like it was in error. Our tradition says that Jesus was crucified on Friday, but God’s word doesn’t say that. I believed God first and then had it proved to me that his word prevailed and our tradition was the one that was faulty.

    In a similar way I have come to understand that God’s word about creation is not a myth neither is it in error. Jesus believed that the first man was real and not a myth because he talked about the creation of the first man and woman. It is a test of our faith. Will we believe what God has said, or will we believe what has been a changing science throughout the years? I have lived long enough to see science change and it will continue to change. But God’s word does not change.

    God has also provided a great deal of proof to back up his word, so that if we are open, I believe that there is enough evidence out there to prove God’s word regarding creation. Men can be wrong and have been proven wrong time and time again, but God’s Word has not been proven wrong. I recommend anyone to check out the facts before they ever consider disregarding God’s inspired words. I highly recommend Answers in Genesis http://www.answersingenesis.org/. Read the material. Listen to what they have to say. Remember again that our traditions are subject to change and subject to correction. If one uses science as a measuring stick to measure the bible by, they are trusting in man instead of God who cannot change and who cannot lie. Measuring God and His Word with human understanding is like trying to measure accurately with a rubber band that is one time stretched and the next time relaxed. It just doesn’t work. I have never regretted the day that I chose of my own free will to believe the bible and set aside my human fallible reasoning process. For me it was a chance to glorify God & to believe Him even though I couldn’t understand. Now I reason through scripture starting with the understanding that His Word is true and every man is a liar that discards the words and grammar of scripture. This thinking process has enabled me to see things that others have missed. Why? Because I trust God’s word with my life and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that every word is there for a purpose and every piece of grammar is there for a purpose. When I key in on things that others disregard as unimportant, understanding has been given to me that others have missed. God is the one who gets the glory, because He alone is worthy because His word is truth (and every man a liar!)

  17. Thanks Cheryl. I can see so many avenues to go with this but all would lead far afield of your post here. I will just say that I am an old earth type and do not subscribe to the Answers in Genesis take on the Bible. I wonder if you have ever investigated Hugh Ross’ work. I would especially recommend “The Genesis Question” and “A matter of Days.” He also has an exceptional website Reasons to Believe.

    A few observations. First, the early verses do not appear to be giving a chronology of events but rather describing the habitat of the Garden and pointing out God’s care in creating a place for man to live. The story notes in verse 18 that it is not good for man to be alone. I understand verse 19 not to be describing a sequence of events.

    “Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, ” NASU

    This is stated to emphasize the origin of the animals and God’s provision for man, not the idea God set man down and created the animals in front of him. Remember that his day is a very long day.

    Gen 2:4
    This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven. NASU

    The “day” here is clearly being used in the sense of an era not a 24 hour day for as we just saw, even if you believe in literal 24 hour days, this Chapter two story is creating the whole creation in a “day.” Thus to say God created something present tense could mean anywhere along the six day timeline before bringing them to Adam.

    Furthermore, the Gen 1 passage says animals were created were created on the sixth day. God ceased creating on the seventh day. Let us assume these are twenty-four hour days. Here is what has to happen for this to work. God creates the animals. Then God creates man. Then God creates every one of thousands of animals again and brings them to the man. One stat I read estimated that if Adam had named every animal at the rate of about 1 every two seconds he might have completed his task in eight hours! Then God creates woman. Adam meets woman and we have completion.

    It seems much more plausible to me that the animals have been created prior Adam and are brought to Adam over an extended time to name them. Also, I don’t know of any teaching in the history of the church that holds that animals were created after Adam or that they were formed first as one sex and then another. That doesn’t mean it can’t be so but I think extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    Peace to you!

  18. Hi Michael,

    I am not a young earth type per se, because I just want the truth of God’s word and whatever that is, is good with me. I have looked at Hugh Ross’ material and I have seen his debates. Unfortunately I have a problem with his view of the bible. You see it is difficult to persuade me unless you use the bible and can show me from scripture the facts. I believe God’s word is fully inspired and if God’s word says it and confirms it, that settles it for me. I am not one who is easily persuaded by extra biblical evidence unless it also is able to be confirmed by the bible. Hugh Ross’ view of the flood is especially troubling to me. Also his dating of the first man and woman to about 43,000 and 40,000 years ago respectively just doesn’t match up to the bible. He has changed the age of the first man and woman several times and that also doesn’t sit right with me. Truth doesn’t change like that. My husband and I took the book of Genesis and mapped out a time line. Just taking the age of the parent when his son was born and the age that the parent died was fascinating. It really opened up the bible to us as we saw how many generations of Adam’s children were still alive that would have known the first human parents. I don’t know where we put the chart but going by memory even during Noah’s time before the flood there were still some of the original first generations of humans. It is impossible to map out Adam and Eve using births and deaths of children to go back 40,000 years. Some old earth advocates will even go so far as to try to take them back 100,000 years as Hugh Ross’ organization admits. They even say that originally the DNA of the first woman was dated to 100,000 years and then changed to 40,000 years after they figured out DNA mutates at a faster rate than assumed. That originally made her much older than the man. There is so much that doesn’t match with scripture. I never did figure out how the man lived 3,000 years before the first woman was created when we are told in scripture how old man Adam was when he died and he wasn’t even 1,000 years old. No, I don’t think that kind of back and forth dating and assuming rates of DNA decay will ever touch the inerrancy of the bible for me. Also making the biblical flood only a local flood when scripture says the waters were higher than the mountains is just plain….well, stretching facts to suit one’s theory. It would have taken a miracle for the waters to be that high above the mountains and not have the waters flow over the earth.

    Now back to topic. You said that you think the emphasis is on the origin of the animals and not that God set Adam down and created the animals in front of him. If the second set of animals was created after Adam was created, it wouldn’t matter if the creative day was a long day or not. The fact is that they were created *after* him. Why would God create animals after Adam? I see no other reason than to educate Adam regarding the difference between God and creation. The Hebrew is specific in that the creation of the garden and the second creation of animals was *not* before Adam. That is the point that we have to deal with, not how long the creative day was. The Hebrew is written as a sequence of events in chapter two and that is proven by Robert Bergen’s book “Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics” and unless you have a more accurate understanding of the Hebrew that you can show me, I will just have to stick with that precise grammar. I know that complementarians do not want to see this because they would prefer to believe that Adam was not deceived not because he had more knowledge of the Creator as the forming of the animals after Adam implies, but because he was the one that God communicated with personally and was given unique authority in the earth.

    You also said that it might have taken Adam eight hours to name the animals. That’s possible, I don’t know. I only know that Adam was created on the same day as Eve and the animals were named before she was created. It certainly is possible that just as only two dogs were needed to take into Noah’s ark that could later mate and create all the different types of dogs and dog related animals, that Adam named the kinds of animals and not all the individual variations that we have today. Whatever the case, I believe scripture when it says he did the job and still had time to get his special bride.

    I know you said that it is more plausible to you that the animals were created prior to Adam. That seems plausible to me too, however the text doesn’t say that and I find myself constrained by what the text literally says. I know that atheists have picked this up as well and challenged Christians with the second creation that seems obvious even to them. I think we would do well just to accept the text as written and admit that God did a special work of creation after Adam and before Eve. I say *special* work of creation because only one person ever was privileged to see that creative act. Wow! No wonder God blamed him for eating the fruit when he wasn’t deceived. He had no excuse at all!

    Michael, I am so glad that we can discuss these things in a spirit of Christian love and these things don’t separate us as a brother and sister in Christ. I have seen more than enough separation of Christians these last three years to last me a life time. I pray that Christ will draw his body together in love so that we can use our gifts for mutual growth. There is so much for me to learn and I know that none of us is an island. We need each other’s wisdom and gifts as we all learn where we have missed the boat regarding truth. No one yet has arrived and knows the truth about everything.

    Blessings!
    Cheryl

  19. Cheryl, getting back to my earlier comment and your response, I am no sort of scholar and really hesitate to expose my ignorance on questions like this. It has also been quite some time since I studied that passage and coming to the tentative conclusion that I had earlier stated. I remember now, when again looking up the words that what struck me at that time was the relationship of authenteo to autodikeo. I think that that’s largely why I thought of the ‘talking over’ explanation.

    I believe that the Adam and Eve parallel that Paul draws on has perhaps to do with the very specific use of the word didaskein in the context of the passing on of gospel tradition as opposed to general teaching. I think that the reason why the man is given this charge in this instance has perhaps more to do with a possible rabbinic studentship background for the particular persons (necessarily male) who were entrusted to carry or be the repository for Jesus’s ‘words of life’ i.e. the gospel (following Gerhardson). I don’t however feel that this is a sufficient explanation for Paul’s use of such a strong, creational, analogy. Perhaps the woman in question had defied Timothy’s attempts to request silence when the gospel was being taught… I don’t know.

    Your explanation makes more sense from the whole letter rather than from just these couple of verses but whether it all connects up would be my main doubt.

  20. Sam,

    I don’t think that these kinds of conversations expose ignorance at all. I think they are wonderful at helping us as Christians to experience “iron sharpening iron”.

    When I first understood that “aner” and “gune” together in a passage in relationship should be translated as husband and wife, I pondered on the same type of reasoning that you came up with. I thought perhaps that if a wife was to judge her husband’s prophecy along with the others and she found him wrong, that would embarrass him. However as I expanded my look at the verses to a larger view to include the entire chapter as well as chapter one where false deceived teachers are introduced, that view just didn’t make sense in the bigger picture. I found I had more problems than I could answer.

    Now in your explanation that only the man was entrusted to carry or be the repository for Jesus’ words of life or the gospel, that would sound reasonable due to the restrictions on women at the time, but it has a big problem. The problem is that Jesus entrusted women with the gospel and Paul could not forbid what Jesus allowed.

    For example to whom did the angel first reveal the good news that Jesus was risen? It was to the women at the tomb. In Matthew 28:7 the angel told the women to tell the good news to the disciples. In verse 10 Jesus meets them in person and tells them to pass on his message to the disciples. Here the women were the repository of the good news. When Jesus was still alive on the earth, the woman at the well was another woman whom Jesus talked to about the gospel and she went and spread the message in the town. In the New Testament and in the history of the early church no woman was ever stopped from giving out the gospel.

    Rather than stopping the giving out of the gospel by women, verse 12 should rather be looked on as a verse surrounded by the problem of deception. If one takes into consideration the fact that Paul never told Timothy to forbid godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine (or the gospel for that matter!) to men, and his only concern was false doctrine and false teachers, verse 12 can attach it’s prohibition only onto the deception of Eve and the stopping of false deceived teachers from chapter one. There is no other explanation given and if we work outside the given context of deception and false teachers, we must read another explanation into the text. I think we are better off sticking to the context of false teachers and see how that fits first.

    The last test of any view is how it fits with verse 15. In your view we would input it into verse 15 as “she (the woman who passes on the gospel to men) will be saved if all women continue on in faith, love and holiness with self-control. The problem fitting it into verse 15 is that it questions the salvation of the one passing on the gospel. That doesn’t seem to make any sense. Also how does what all women do, relate to the salvation of the one who passes on the gospel to men? I think it makes much more sense that the question of whether one is saved or not is questioned because of false teaching, not because of speaking forth of the gospel.

    You may need to ponder this for awhile. It is a new thought for you, I am sure. If you read through chapters one and two again and watch how easily and without forcing the explanations I gave, fit into the context verse after verse after verse. And when the last verse is considered, which is the questioning of her salvation in verse 15, the package is neatly tied up and it all makes sense. If you can do that with any other explanation going verse by verse through chapters one and two, I would love to hear it.

  21. Hi Cheryl,

    In Norman Geisler’s “When Critics Ask” writes (p. 35):

    Genesis 1 gives the order of events; Genesis 2 provides more content about them. Genesis 2 does not contradict chapter 1, since it does not affirm exactly when God created the animals. He simply says He brought the animals (which He had previously created) to Adam so that he might name them. The focus of Chapter 2 is on the naming of the animals, not on creating them. Genesis 1 provides the outline of events, and chapter 2 gives details. Taken together, the two chapters provide a harmonious and more complete picture of the creation events. The differences, then, can be summarized as follows:

    Gen 1 vs Gen2

    Chronological order vs Topical order
    Outline vs Details
    Creating animals vs naming animals

    Douglas Jacoby in “Genesis, Science and History” writing about the alleged contradictions between Gen 1 and Gen 2, p. 102.

    * To begin with, the focus of Genesis is man, not the creation. Genesis 1 gives us a panorama, then chapter 2 zooms in on man and his relationship with God. The focus will narrow further as Genesis moves from Abraham to his descendants through Isaac and to Isaac’s descendants through Jacob.

    * Chapter 2 seems to have the animals being created after man, rather than before him, as in the sixth “day” of creation in chapter 1. Perhaps 2:19, which in the NIV is translated “had formed,” solves the apparent problem. Most versions translate the verb “formed,” reversing the time sequence. In Hebrew the distinction between perfect and pluperfect must be determined by context, since there exists no separate form for the pluperfect (past perfect).

    * On the other hand, we are probably imposing our chronology on the text. The two accounts should be read as complementary, rather than as intersecting.

    * To sum up, Genesis 1 shows man’s special place in the creation, while Genesis 2 shows man’s special relationship with God. No contradiction.

    Looking at Jacoby’s second bullet, whether it perfect or pluperfect depends on context. It is not self evident from the text. Where should we look? To Genesis 1 where the animals were created before man.

    As to Ross, I find him exceedingly persuading. The fact that an ancient pre-scientific and pre-literate people could come up with a creation sequence that matches everything we know about the formation of the earth from science (allowing for non 24 hour days) is absolutely startling! As to genealogies, the Hebrew scholars I have talked with, to a person, do not consider these to be a complete catalog of the generations. There purpose was to lift key individuals out of the lineage to say something about origin of the descendant. Genealogies covering the same lines seem to conflict with each other yet the often list a symbolic number of people from beginning to end.

    Furthermore, because scientists have made revisions to their estimates speaks to imprecision not inaccuracy. I find no problem at all with humanity being 50,000 to 100,000 years old. I see nothing in Scripture that precludes this. However, this does provide a difficult riddle for the strict evolutionist since Neanderthal is the only potential hominid ancestor known to have survived to overlap with existence of modern humans and he has been eliminated and as genetic predecessor.

    That the DNA suggests one date for the first man and an earlier date for the first woman is another puzzle the Bible might have the answer for. Everyone living is a descendant of Noah so all male genes trace to him. However, Noah’s sons each had wives, which means our common female ancestor is Eve through these three women. The diversity of the DNA trail for woman points to evidence for the Biblical Noah story.

    I’ve gone too long, so I’ll leave it there for now.

  22. I forgot to add.

    “Michael, I am so glad that we can discuss these things in a spirit of Christian love and these things don’t separate us as a brother and sister in Christ.”

    Amen! Keep up the good fight (for the truth that is, not with me. :) !

  23. Michael,

    You said: “Genesis 2 does not contradict chapter 1, since it does not affirm exactly when God created the animals. He simply says He brought the animals (which He had previously created) to Adam so that he might name them.”

    I agree with you that Genesis 2 does not contradict Genesis 1. Additions are not contradictions. In Luke 8:27, Luke says that Jesus was met by a demon possessed man. In Matthew 8:28, Matthew tells about the same meeting but says that Jesus was met by two demon possessed men. Is one a contradiction of the other? No. Luke’s concern is only about the one demon possessed man that was healed. Matthew sees the importance in telling us that two demon possessed men met Jesus. One of them was important because he was the one that was healed. There is no contradiction in the stories even though one account has more information. In the same way, Genesis chapter one gives the details of what was created on the days of creation. In Genesis chapter two, the creation of man is the focus. Chapter two also tells us that God created animals after Adam, because this part of the creation account is important because it relates to what happened to the man. Now this is not a contradiction at all. The animals were still created before Adam. Let’s look at it this way….if I ask you when mankind was created – before or after the animals were named, what would you say? If you said before, you would be correct. If you said after, you would be correct. If you said before and after you would also be correct. Mankind was created in two separate acts. The male was created before the animals were named and the female was created after the animals were named.

    You also quoted Douglas Jacoby as saying: “Chapter 2 seems to have the animals being created after man, rather than before him, as in the sixth “day” of creation in chapter 1. Perhaps 2:19, which in the NIV is translated “had formed,” solves the apparent problem. Most versions translate the verb “formed,” reversing the time sequence. In Hebrew the distinction between perfect and pluperfect must be determined by context, since there exists no separate form for the pluperfect (past perfect).”

    In this quote you will notice that chapter 2 *seems to have the animals being created after man*. Also he says “*Perhaps* 2:19…solves the apparent problem.”  He says only *perhaps*.  Why? He also admits that most versions do not use the pluperfect and they leave the grammar as reversing the time sequence. Herein lies two problems. The first problem is that the Hebrew grammar in Genesis 2:8, 19 does not allow for the pluperfect tense to be used in these verses. As Robert Bergen’s book verifies, there is no linguistic justification for the NIV’s rendering of these two verses as pluperfect. They were apparently trying to harmonize the creation events in chapter two with the order of chapter 1. However there was no contradiction to begin with that needed justifying. God can create the same animals once, twice or as many times as he sees fit. There was a plan and a purpose for him to create all the animal kinds for Adam’s benefit after he was created and we can’t argue that it wasn’t effective. The things that Adam saw before Eve was created cemented his understanding of who God is and Adam was not deceived by the serpent’s lies.

    You also said: “Looking at Jacoby’s second bullet, whether it perfect or pluperfect depends on context. It is not self evident from the text. Where should we look? To Genesis 1 where the animals were created before man.” Actually that is only half of the story. If you were to check the reference in “Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics” you would see that the pluperfect tense *cannot* be used unless the context meets the “criteria for unmarked temporal overlay”. In other words the passage in question MUST repeat lexical material to refer the reader back to an event that had already been mentioned.

    In verse 8, the book says that the pluperfect tense cannot be used because there is no earlier mention of a garden. They say “Just the opposite is true. The mainline verb ‘and he formed man’ in 2:7 explicitly happens in the midst of a background setting where there was not yet any plant life.” So there is no justification at all to use the pluperfect tense in verse 8.

    What about verse 19 where the animals are mentioned? Here the book says “Similarly for v. 19 with…’form’. This was not mentioned earlier, though one could claim that animals had been mentioned in chapter 1. Even with the animals, however, one does not find a back-reference to which this account in 2:19 can be considered an overlay. Looking at the question of a natural semantic relationship, we find that neither v. 8 nor v. 19 is readily perceivable as a reason or explanation of the immediately preceding sentences. We *must* read these verbs as normal sequential wayyiqtol verbs. Consequently, the NIV translation of Genesis 2 *must* be rejected from a discourse syntax perspective as a misuse of a poorly defined older syntax.”

    In agreement with this precise grammar is the Apostles’ bible (the English translation of the Septuagint) renders this verse sequentially after the creation of Adam “And God formed *yet farther* out of the earth all the wild beasts of the field, and all the birds of the sky, and He brought them to Adam…” You cannot form “yet farther” in the past. This can only be done in sequence after Adam was created.

    So the question, I think we need to ask ourselves, is there a problem with accepting the text as written that shows the animals were created again after Adam? I don’t see a problem. It is not a contradiction of chapter one at all. Again, the grammar cannot be a pluperfect tense because it doesn’t match the criteria. If anyone contradicts that, they will have to show how the criteria of a pluperfect tense is matched by the two verses in question.

    Now I think the *only* problem one might have is if one believes that the animals were created many millions of years ago. Having them created AGAIN after Adam was created might be a hurdle to jump. However I believe that we should accept the bible with the grammar that it was written with even if it might contradict our views. It would be better to adjust our views (if that is needed) than to change the grammar to match our viewpoints. That’s the way I have always looked at scripture, because my human understanding is fallible and I figure that if I subjected scripture to my own understanding, then I would be judging scripture instead of having it judge me.

    Michael, you said “As to genealogies, the Hebrew scholars I have talked with, to a person, do not consider these to be a complete catalog of the generations. There purpose was to lift key individuals out of the lineage to say something about origin of the descendant. Genealogies covering the same lines seem to conflict with each other yet the often list a symbolic number of people from beginning to end.” All I can say here is that scripture is accurate regarding the age of the person when their child was born and the age of the person when they died when it comes to the ancestor’s in Genesis. Whether each one of their children is listed wouldn’t make a difference in the time line. We have enough information to calculate the time line with people who we know lived and died at a certain age and had children at a certain age. When we intersect their life line with the age that they were when their child was born and add in their lifeline of the age that child died and use that to go down the line, it is impossible to get 100,000 years out of humans. Well I suppose you could if you believe that the Bible was completely inaccurate about the age that the father was when his child was born and the age he was when he died. These are either facts or they are not. If they are facts they create a timeline.

    When you put together only the facts that are listed in scripture and intersect them with only the facts of the next generation (which can’t be wrong or there would be errors in scripture) then we have a good picture of how long humans have been on this earth. We can also chart the number of people on the earth and if humans have been on earth for 100,000 years, I am wondering why there is even a bit of earth left for humans? If we work backwards with the population, we only get about 6,000 years with the human population even including wars and pestilences.

    You also said: “I find no problem at all with humanity being 50,000 to 100,000 years old. I see nothing in Scripture that precludes this… That the DNA suggests one date for the first man and an earlier date for the first woman is another puzzle the Bible might have the answer for. Everyone living is a descendant of Noah so all male genes trace to him. However, Noah’s sons each had wives, which means our common female ancestor is Eve through these three women. The diversity of the DNA trail for woman points to evidence for the Biblical Noah story.” The idea that the first woman could be much older than the first man is a big red flag for me.  It could not possibly have any agreement with the bible which clearly says that the first woman was made from the body of the first man. This part of Ross’ findings raises a big red flag for me. I don’t agree with his view that each creative day was millions of years long, but I can understand where he could try to fit that in. However there is no justification for having Eve older than Adam and if one just accepts that, one must reject the clear wording of scripture about the origin of the woman.

    I also can see wonderful things that could come from the biblical Noah story that would trace humanity through one man once again; however that would have nothing to do with the origin of the first woman. Since the first woman got her DNA through the first man, we would have to end up with Adam no matter which way we looked at it. So if I read scripture and believe that Eve came from Adam, why would I accept a Christian journal that takes science’s calculations (that seem to change now and again) to make the first woman much older than the man? For me, and I am just talking about me here; it would be a crisis of faith. I would either have to accept scripture or accept science’s calculations. For me, it is a no-brainer. I just accept scripture and where it dovetails with science, I am fine and I accept both. Where it conflicts with science, I pick the bible.

    I am not looking to convince you of anything, so I just shared how I test things and judge them. For me, it’s not an issue of Christian fellowship so it is not a hill to die on. I would like to challenge you, if I could with one thing. If Paul isn’t referencing the act of creation that Adam saw that would have solidified his understanding of who God is and how creation is only a work of his hands, then can you explain to me why Paul connects the order of creation to the deception of the deceived teacher in Ephesus?

    Thanks for your input. It is always wonderful to dialogue with you. I appreciate your work and your obvious love for God!

  24. Hi Cheryl, just a couple general comments.

    You briefly mentioned your “crisis of faith” about the Crucifixion timing. I made a chart some years ago that I derrived solely from scripture. It can be viewed at http://theology.fether.net/index.php?id=20 . I’d be interested to know if you think it makes sense.

    Also, I totally agree that the Bible must come first in all things. We either trust God, who witnessed his own creative acts, or modern man, who wasn’t there and wouldn’t even dream of doubting Genesis unless godless people had proposed other ideas. Since non-YECs agree that science keeps changing its mind on what the facts are, science is therefore unreliable. The fact is that true science is not the issue at all, but interpretations of them based upon one’s worldview and philosophy.

    This is Ross’s fatal error, as you pointed out. He has put, not science, but interpretation above scripture. And it is a constantly changing interpretation at that. AIG has some very revealing facts about Ross’s numerous scientific and exegetical blunders at http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v13/i2/hugh_ross.asp .

  25. Hi Paula,

    You said: “Since non-YECs agree that science keeps changing its mind on what the facts are, science is therefore unreliable. The fact is that true science is not the issue at all, but interpretations of them based upon one’s worldview and philosophy.”

    That is the general idea that I get too from reading the material. When I have read Ross’ writings, I see that from his testimony he was looking for a religion that matched up with his worldview of an old earth. I find that when people come to the bible with a preconceived idea, they either find contradictions in the bible (because it contradicts their preconceived ideas) or they have to shoehorn the bible to fit into their worldview. That’s the part that I have a problem with. If we let the bible speak for itself instead of “fudging” to make the bible connect with our worldview, we usually have to change our worldview. The bible is just not going to be forced to fit someone’s idea. I am glad that you agree that scripture comes first.

    I had a look at the chart you drew. It is interesting and some of the same things I found you show as well. You are one day off though. There are a couple of things that you missed. I will email you later with my findings and we can compare. It might take me a day or so to get things together to share with you. The biggest thing is that Jesus’ resurrection happened very shortly before he spoke to Mary at the tomb because he said that he had not yet ascended to the Father. If he had resurrected in the evening before that Sunday morning, he would have had plenty of time to ascend to the Father. Anyway, I’ll email and give you the whole scoop.

    I appreciated your comments!

  26. #1

    Cheryl, your last comment was four pages single spaced when I copied into a word document. This post and the comments we are all making here may be your first book! :) I am going to address several issues you raised but I am going to break them in to multiple posts. But first I want to lay some cards out on the table.

    CBMW is fearful that if they let open the possibility that women are not subordinate then they will have opened the door to Scripture being discredited….

    (Note from CHERYL: Michael has brought up some points that deserve to be answered regarding old earth versus young earth. I have moved all of his comments over to a new blog post called “Why was Adam not deceived?” in order to give that issue attention without tying up the 1 Timothy 2 post.  All of Michael Kruse’s comments can be read here. I will also answer his comments as I am able to get to them.  Thanks Michael for dialoguing in a respectful way :)

  27. Michael,

    I am going to start another post on my blog to deal specifically with the issues that you have brought up regarding Genesis. I will move your comments over to that discussion so that we can keep the issue of the age of the earth separate from the 1 Timothy 2 passage comments. Hopefully that will make it easier to read.

  28. Cheryl,

    I understand your position on 1 Timothy 2:12-15 to be that Paul is telling one specific wife in the church to stop teaching her husband false doctrine, and that verses 13-14 serve to illustrate Paul’s meaning. This position rests heavily first, on your claims that one specific wife is in view, and second, that the woman is teaching false doctrine. Your claim that one specific wife is in view is based on 1) the singular form ‘a woman’ in verses 11-12, 2) the shift from ‘she’ to ‘they’ in verse 15, and 3) your claim that Paul is talking about a husband and wife. Your claim that the woman is a false teacher is based on a contextual argument that depends largely on 1 Timothy 1:3ff.

    As to the first point, the singular form ‘a woman’ presents no problem for the patriarchalist view. William D. Mounce writes in his commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (specifically 1 Timothy 2:11), “The anarthrous ????, ‘woman,’ functions as a generic noun here as in v 9 and v 12 (Wallace, Greek Grammar, 253-54), appropriate in the statement of a general truth.” (William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker, no. 46 (Nashville: T. Nelson, 2000), 117-118). This means that ‘a woman’ is not referring to a specific woman, but to a typical member of a group. In English, this means any woman.

    Regarding the switch between ‘she’ and ‘they’ in verse 15, John Calvin writes in his commentary on Timothy, “As to the verb being plural, and the noun singular, this involves no difficulty; for an indefinite noun, at least when it denotes a multitude, has the force of a collective noun, and therefore easily admits a change from the singular to the plural number.” Similarly, Barnes New Testament Notes says, ““If they continue. If woman continues—it being not uncommon to change the singular form to the plural, especially if the subject spoken of have the character of a noun of multitude.”

    Dr. Wayne Grudem has addressed the argument that Paul is talking about a husband and wife in his book Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. You can read it online by going to:
    http://www.efbt100.com/index.php (see pages 296 to 299 in chapter 8)

    Insisting that ‘she’ in verse 15 is singular and refers back to ‘a woman’ in verse 12 would seem to imply that the order of creation in verses 13 to 14 is not meant to show a normative, universal principle, but is illustrative instead. This would require an illustrative use of ‘gar’ in verse 13 rather than causal, but see:
    http://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-11-No-1/Causal-Gar-in-1-Timothy-2-13

    Also, is there another place in the bible that uses the order of creation illustratively? When I look at Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6, Ephesians 5:31, and 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 I see normative teachings that are not restricted to just one situation. The appeal to creation implies that the principle Paul is teaching is transcultural, and that it is for all men and women.

    Now you also claim that this wife is teaching false doctrine. This you say is based on context. Paul writes, “As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine” (ESV). Here you have failed to adequately profile the ‘certain persons’ of which Paul is speaking. He says they are teaching ‘different doctrine’ and sets it in contrast to “sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God” (10-11). In 1 Timothy 6:3-5 Paul writes, “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” Further, Paul says in Galatians 1:8-9, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” You seem to be saying the wife who is teaching her husband false doctrine is one of these certain persons, but verse 15 says “she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” That’s a lot different than “let him be accursed” and how is this wife supposed to “continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control” if she is like the heretics in 1 Timothy 6:3-5 and 1 Timothy 1:6-7?

    In conclusion, I find nothing in your position that would make it preferable to the patriarchalist interpretation. Instead, you must prop it up with unlikely hypotheses like: ‘a woman’ means a specific wife, ‘she’ in verse 15 refers all the way back to ‘a woman’ in verse 12, the passage is speaking of a husband and wife, and ‘gar’ has an illustrative use. And, as far as I can tell, you haven’t cited any experts that can match John Calvin, Albert Barnes, or William Mounce on these issues.

    PS Yes, I’m responding to an older blog post here, but this is probably your clearest and most complete layout of your position. I’ve read a few, not all of your posts on this, so I may be missing some arguments that you’ve made, though I don’t intend on responding to all of them anyway.

  29. Oops your blog doesn’t read Greek fonts. “????” in the second paragraph is “gune”.

  30. Consider the Greek of 1 Tim. 2:13-14–

    For first Adam was formed and Eve after, and Adam was not seduced. Yet woman being seduced in transgression HAS BECOME.

    It’s all about deception or seduction; there is nothing about authority. And as you should know, the Greek word authentein is hotly debated because of its rarity, and there are much clearer words for authority that Paul did not use here.

    Note also that the tense of “has become” shows continuing action in the present, meaning the woman Paul refers to is not Eve but a woman living at the time, since whoever she is she is STILL in a state of error as of his writing.

    Also note that when authorities disagree, it is fallacious to appeal to them. You only quoted those that agree with your interpretation regarding whether “a woman” can be understood generically in this passage. And when such a switch is made in the middle of a sentence, such a view stretches credulity, no matter who it is that’s doing the stretching.

  31. “Chris aka slick”
    I would like a second witness. Please produce a biblical example where a generic singular is also in the same sentence changed to plural. This is improper grammar and I challenge you to find another example of this in the scripture. It isn’t there. If you don’t agree, it should take nothing to prove me wrong 😉

  32. Paula : “It’s all about deception or seduction; there is nothing about authority.”

    Is this another negative you don’t have to prove? Apparently, you get to make all kinds of dogmatic assertions this way without ever having to produce a single piece of evidence to support them.

    Paula: “Also note that when authorities disagree, it is fallacious to appeal to them.”

    This is false. It’s not like competing authorities simply cancel each other out. Please. Besides, I’m kind of looking for the authorities Cheryl is using to support her arguments, especially on the specific points I’ve mentioned.

  33. Now you’re really falling apart, “Chris”. I quoted scripture and even bolded the “deception” words. Talk about reading comprehension problems! How do you weasel out of what is plainly written there? The letter’s stated purpose is about deception and the verses you are focusing are have deception stated explicitly. What on earth do you thing the topic is, and what on earth do you call evidence, if not that?

    And how can anyone who came here spewing logic terms not comprehend argumentum ad verecundiam? “If a criticism appears that contradicts the authority’s statement, then merely the fact that the statement originated from the authority is not an argument for ignoring the criticism.” (source) Yes, in fact competing authorities DO “cancel each other out” and show the fallacy of citing only those authorities that agree with your position, as I already stated.

    When Greek experts disagree (or any other experts for that matter), we have to acknowledge that the claims of one authority do not rule over the claims of another such that some authorities can simply be ignored.

  34. “Also note that when authorities disagree, it is fallacious to appeal to them. You only quoted those that agree with your interpretation regarding whether “a woman” can be understood generically in this passage. And when such a switch is made in the middle of a sentence, such a view stretches credulity, no matter who it is that’s doing the stretching.”

    I agree, Paula. I was waiting for quotes from Grudem to make their appearance. The problem is that these ‘guys’ are not well read because they are only presented with one side and not any of the hard questions asked of their favorite ‘scholars’ who write papers and put them on sites that allow no comments. They just ignore other scholars who bring out hard questions. I completely shut down when Calvin is quoted. After all, he was so brilliant a theologian, he was in a ‘state church’ baptizing babies. Wonder where he saw that in scripture? And lets not forget Grudem’s book that teaches that God is subordinate to us when He ‘ezer’ us in an attempt to affirm that ezer means subordinate. That is how far they are willing to go to hang on to their fleshly desires of power and control over others.

    Is “chris’ serious that he/she wants you to prove what is not there? Why doesn’t he just show us the OT scriptures that say women cannot teach men? It would save us all a lot of time. But that is not the point, is it?

  35. Cheryl, I recommend you move this discussion to the latest thread. for some reason, chris wants it buried. I can guess why but I think this needs to be more widely read. After all, it WAS on topic of your latest post: What Paul was teaching.

  36. ‘Your claim that one specific wife is in view is based on 1) the singular form ‘a woman’ in verses 11-12, 2) the shift from ‘she’ to ‘they’ in verse 15, and 3) your claim that Paul is talking about a husband and wife. Your claim that the woman is a false teacher is based on a contextual argument that depends largely on 1 Timothy 1:3ff.

    As to the first point, the singular form ‘a woman’ presents no problem for the patriarchalist view. William D. Mounce writes in his commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (specifically 1 Timothy 2:11), “The anarthrous ????, ‘woman,’ functions as a generic noun here as in v 9 and v 12 (Wallace, Greek Grammar, 253-54), appropriate in the statement of a general truth.” (William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker, no. 46 (Nashville: T. Nelson, 2000), 117-118). This means that ‘a woman’ is not referring to a specific woman, but to a typical member of a group. In English, this means any woman.’

    Chris,

    There is no way for the patri/comp to prove that Paul stopped more than one woman, so it doesn’t matter what their argument is since that’s the bottom line. What can only be proven from the passage in regards to who Paul stopped from teaching, is that he stopped one woman since one is the smallest number. That’s the big ‘duh’. But then, funny thing is, that the patri/comp does actualy want to claim that Paul used ‘a woman’ specificaly but only in v14 (as a reference to ‘Eve’)! But when they interpret vv 11 & 12, they want to claim that Paul uses the same singular genericaly, though they cannot prove it. So they want thier cake and to eat it too. They believe then that Paul uses the singular to refer to a specific woman but only when it suits their interpretive purposes. Simply, Paul uses the singular ‘a woman’ 3 times throughout the passage to refer to the same woman.

  37. Okay, everyone, I am asking that all comments be taken to my post at http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2009/03/16/interview-with-the-apostle-paul/ so that all can follow the comment stream instead of having an important part of the issue buried in an old post.

  38. pinklight your comments are good. Could you please post them at http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2009/03/16/interview-with-the-apostle-paul/ so that your words will be read on the newer post? Thanks.

    Chris, I put your comment into moderation so that you could move it yourself since you posted after I asked for new comments to be put on the newer post.

  39. Great blog! I enjoy the reading! Here in Italy there’s nothing on the internet written in Italian to explain and justify the Women in Ministry.
    Thank you!

  40. Ylenia,
    Welcome to my blog! Wish I knew Italian, but hopefully our site is still valuable to you.

  41. Nice blog, and great article.

    I had never thought of it like that…. I had thought of the “nagging wife” thing back when I saw the various meanings for the Greek. But this is something to muse over.

    Thing is… The switch from women in general to speaking of one woman and her husband is kind of strange… If it followed at the end of chapter 1, it might make more clear sense as you translate it. But it follows Paul asking women to dress modestly and with propriety. However, the patriarchal method is confusing lunacy.

    1. What does other women teaching and having authority over men have to do with the fact that the first man wasn’t deceived, while the first woman was? That’s like saying just because some of my female friends or, even better, my mother isn’t as knowledgeable about the Bible, that means that I must, therefore, not know much about the Bible. That’s stupid and proves nothing. What about when God came and told Rebekah that the babies in her womb were two nations and that the older would serve the younger? Jacob still insisted on trying to bless Esau in rebellion of God’s wishes.
    What about Esther knowing more than her husband?
    What about Deborah being ruler over her husband and other men?
    What about the Shunamite woman taking charge of her son’s death and other property matters?
    What about Pontius Pilate’s wife asking him to not do this to Jesus?
    There are lots of places where the wife got Godly council over their husbands; and they presented this council to their husbands. That line of thinking is just stupid.

    2. Second, my NIV translation makes it seem like only women fell into sin: “14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” We all know that Adam also became a sinner. Paul himself has said so many times. It makes me question my Bible’s translation.

    3. If Adam wasn’t deceived, yet he still at the fruit, what does that say about him? He knowingly walked into this. So, if women are always going to have to go to their men for correct instruction because we are always going to be deceived, I guess that means that men are always going to know what the Scriptures say but will still knowingly commit sin and not bother to give correct instruction, anyway.
    Adam is kind of like a false prophet who knows what he is saying is wrong, while Eve is kind of like a false prophet who has been deceived into thinking this is the correct doctrine. Who is the worse one here? I don’t see how that makes him better able to give correct instruction when he is unwilling to do so.

    4. What do they mean that women will be saved through childbearing? That makes no sense. We are saved by grace alone, period.

    Anyway, I don’t know enough Hebrew to be an authority or anything. I just know that the patriarchal usage of this is contradictory to the rest of Scripture and just plain strange.

    My original thought is that it would be basically translated as (Forgive me if I don’t perfectly remember the other translations of the various Greek words….. It’s been a while….) Think of women as having not gotten the Scriptural training men have gotten up to this point since it was not a priority in these cultures for women to learn things other than just obey:

    11 A woman should learn with quiet grace and great humbleness. 12 I don’t want a woman to be lecturing men with false authority; she must be humble. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived (i.e. had more knowledge by being born before her); it was the woman who was deceived (did not have knowledge) and became a sinner because of her lack of knowledge. But she will be saved through childbearing (as in reference to “the woman’s seed striking the head of the snake”?) — if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    It’s what I’ve been thinking of…; but yours is interesting…. What do you think? (Sorry if I’m not totally clear…..)

  42. …..Oops….. It’s Isaac there instead of *Jacob…. -_-;
    My mistake…

  43. By the way, one proof that the animals of the Garden of Eden were created after Adam is the fact that it doesn’t mention fish and some other animals like reptiles and amphibians being created.

    Genesis 2:19-20:
    [quote]19 Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought {them} to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.[/quote]

    See what I mean? But Genesis 1:20-25 says:

    [quote]20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
    24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. 25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.[/quote]

    In Genesis 1, God creates not only the birds of the air and the beasts of the field that were the only animal creations in Genesis 2, but also swarms of living creatures teeming the waters, great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, and creeping things.
    Where is that in the second chapter? No mention of it. Why? Probably because he created a second set of animals to dwell with Adam and Eve in the garden. (This would, however, negate your theory that God created the female counter parts in the second chapter, as there are definitely female fish and reptiles and insects etc.)

    Also, the reason why it is believed that Christ died on a Friday is because verses like John 19:31 stated that the Sabbath was the next day. The reason why it says that he rose on the third day is because he died on Friday, day one, and rose on Sunday, day three.
    That’s why. I’ve heard that Jews consider any part of the day to still be that day.

  44. Oooo…. One more thing…. It is a little harder to tell with accuracy how old the earth is based on the genealogies because we don’t know how long a year is since things have changed over there years, recently from Julian to Gregorian calendars. Also, there are small discrepancies such as the fact that I heard that the year of Christ’s birth was misplaced by 4 years. And there is the fact that we don’t have totally complete genealogies up to Christ since Matthew and Luke did skip a bit….and didn’t give ages for some of the parents and children like in Genesis…

    My thoughts on it…

  45. #44 CLC,
    You said:

    2. Second, my NIV translation makes it seem like only women fell into sin: “14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” We all know that Adam also became a sinner. Paul himself has said so many times. It makes me question my Bible’s translation.

    The Greek grammar for “became” a sinner or in the transgression is in the perfect tense.

    perfect — The verb tense used by the writer to describe a completed verbal action that occurred in the past but which produced a state of being or a result that exists in the present (in relation to the writer). The emphasis of the perfect is not the past action so much as it is as such but the present “state of affairs” resulting from the past action.

    This means that “the woman” that is being described by Paul in verse 14 is still at that very moment, in her transgression. It is an ongoing problem and this is the “she” that Paul is stopping from teaching her error. It cannot be Eve as Eve is dead and gone and cannot be continuing in her error and deception.

    Paul’s words about Adam and Eve are a reference to the first couple who had a deceived/not deceived dilemma. Adam did nothing about Eve’s deception and the husband of this woman is also not deceived and also not doing anything about her deception. Unless someone steps in to help out with the problem, the same scenario will happen to the problem couple in Ephesus.

    4. What do they mean that women will be saved through childbearing? That makes no sense. We are saved by grace alone, period.

    This is where the patriarchists run into problems because Paul never said that “women” will be saved….Paul said that “she” would be saved. It was a specific situation involving false teaching, a deceived teacher and a remedy to deception. In my DVD “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” DVD #3 goes through this passage point by point to show what verse 15 can and cannot mean within this context.

    You said:

    11 A woman should learn with quiet grace and great humbleness. 12 I don’t want a woman to be lecturing men with false authority; she must be humble. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived (i.e. had more knowledge by being born before her); it was the woman who was deceived (did not have knowledge) and became a sinner because of her lack of knowledge. But she will be saved through childbearing (as in reference to “the woman’s seed striking the head of the snake”?) — if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    It’s what I’ve been thinking of…; but yours is interesting…. What do you think? (Sorry if I’m not totally clear…..)

    It is important to note that verses 11 & 12 are singular for both “woman” and “man”. It isn’t until verse 15 that Paul suddenly switches back to the plural in the middle of a sentence. In verse 12 the Greek word “authenteo” is much more sinister than just “false authority”. It is a term that is never, ever used in the New Testament for anyone to use towards another person. The mere presence of this Greek word makes this passages extremely out of the ordinary. It is such a unique term that it is rarely found in the literature of that day. When it is found it is never found in a positive usage.

    You said:

    Where is that in the second chapter? No mention of it. Why? Probably because he created a second set of animals to dwell with Adam and Eve in the garden. (This would, however, negate your theory that God created the female counter parts in the second chapter, as there are definitely female fish and reptiles and insects etc.)

    There is no doubt that God created female fish and reptiles and insects. However it appears that these creatures were not brought to Adam to name in the garden. The question we need to ask is if God created the exact same animals again after Adam or if he created the female counterparts for the animals that God brought for Adam to name. Since Adam was looking for a counterpart, it seems reasonable that the animals that were “formed” from the dirt after Adam were the females. He found no female animal that was a counterpart to himself. Apparently there must have been females created of the fish of the sea and of the birds because God told them to multiply. We do know though that animals were created after Adam because of the inspired Hebrew words. And we do know that whatever Adam saw God do before Eve was created was enough to immunize Adam from being deceived by the serpent.

    I’ve heard that Jews consider any part of the day to still be that day.

    It isn’t the day problem that is the real problem. It is finding three “nights” since Jesus said he would be three days and three “nights” in the heart of the earth. The bottom line is that we are to believe the bible as the truth whether we completely understand how it can be true. Our own understanding is not the measuring stick.

    You are also right in that we do not know exactly how old the earth is to the day and year. ….but we do know that animals were created after Adam and that creates a whole set of problems for those who believe that animals lived and died for millions of years before Adam. Ah, but then that is another subject for another blog :)

  46. Hi guy’s. I would pity Timothy in his interpretation of this letter.
    It all seems pretty straight forward. Why do we have to make something so simple so complicated. I have read this passage over many times and the message Paul was trying to convey was as it is written. This portion of scripture shows why so many have to explain
    away something that is so simple.
    bless ya
    1 Corinthians 1:25
    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

  47. Steve,
    Many say that Paul’s meaning is “clear” and “simple”. The problem with this is that those who say that Paul’s wisdom is “clear” and “simple” may be of the ones who distort Paul’s words in their context.

    The apostle Peter said:

    2 Peter 3:15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,
    2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

    If we do not want to be of those who distort the words of Paul then we need to make sure that our interpretation fits with the entire context. Those who cannot answer the hard questions that come from the entire passage including the extremely hard saying of Paul in 1 Timothy 2:15 need to rethink if the passage is really as “clear” and “simple” as they claim.

    I also challenge my brothers in Christ who believe that I am wrong to show me where I am wrong. It is one thing to say that the passage is “clear” and my interpretation is wrong, but if they cannot show the holes in my argument, then they have failed in their oversight.

    Blessings,
    Cheryl

  48. Steve,

    I’m unclear about your meaning. What do you believe the clear meaning of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is?

  49. We have gone through this exercise before but it bears repeating. Even if we read a passage over and over we are influenced by the bias of the translation (assuming we are reading the same or only a few translations). So, just to get a flavor of how different this passage can read if we consider many sources, here is a paraphrase that matches, I think perfectly, with Cheryl’s analysis. Each verse, or portion of a verse, has been taken from a different translation. I have underlined words and phrases that are significant to the discussion.

    11. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection (KJV, Douay-Rheims)
    12. and a woman I do not suffer to teach, nor to rule over a husband, but to be in quietness (Young’s)
    13. For it was Adam who was first created, then Eve (NASB)
    14. And, Adam, was not deceived, whereas, the woman, having been wholly deceived, hath come to be, in transgression; (Rotherham)
    15a. But she shall be saved (ASV)
    15b. through the birth of the child (GodsWord)
    15c. if she and her husband continue to live in faith and love and growing holiness, with habitual self-restraint. (Weymouth NT)

    Notice when it is rendered this way, it seems absolutely “clear” that a single husband and wife are in view. The beauty of this paraphrase, and the strength of Cheryl’s argument, is that it most closely matches the actual Greek grammer of the passage.

  50. …and the underlining didn’t work, but the significant words and phrases should be clear.

  51. Cool blog.
    I have been thinking on this scripture for some time. I never hear who believe that women can preach preach on this scripture. They simply stop before they get to it or skip over it. It’s good. You seem sincere in your search from the blog. Most are just trying win arguments rather than seek truth. May the Lord bless you with that truth. I want it too.

    Funny thing is I started out listening to Joyce Meyer back in 98. I hear some women today preaching better than men. So why would God tell all of these intelligent women to keep silent (regarding preaching)? Why is there such a fight by women to be preachers? Is the pulpit the final frontier of feminism? Is it a Gideon type of deal where the men were not up to par so the woman took the initiative? When did the God who changes not change? If he can change on this issue what else of the Apostles foundation is obsolete? Who decides?

    I have been using Spiros Zhodiates for the greek and hebrew words. I do not like commentaries much because you can find a commentary on any position. I like to go to the source of what is being commented on. To me plausibility does not mean truth.
    From what I have read the book of Timothy consists of Paul instructing Timothy how to set the general church in order according to God’s order.
    In every case roles of teaching the general body are designated to faithful men. When it comes to teaching the general body the scripture says that women should keep silent. The book of Titus tells us plainly which women are to teach and to whom they should teach. The book of Titus also tells us what the Godly wives are supposed to do. Never in regards to Godly women is teaching assigned except in Titus, where the older women are to teach the younger women. There are no examples of women teaching the church except Jezebel (may be figurative of a gov) in Revelation. We see how God responded to that. Priciilla with her husband expounded to apollos. Of all the women named as fellow laborers none of them were preachers. None of them baptised. None of them were apostles or evangelists. Nonetheless they were all Godly women, Godly enough to be recognized by name in the holy scriptures.

    I see a lot of sincere sisters preaching well. But is it right? I continually ask God to give me understanding where I lack. As of yet there has been no change. I can see what you are saying but I don’t believe its true in light of the rest of the bible.
    I think you would be a good person to interview on the truthmatters show with pastor sean finnegin(sp) .

    Peace and blessings
    CaptaaaaainPlanet!!!!!

  52. Dear Captain Planet (cool name!)

    I agree that most egalitarians do not preach on the hard passages of Scripture like 1 Timothy 2:12-15 but I am different. Here is why. I believe that if you have your scriptures that seem to restrict women and I have mine that free women to serve, what good is that? All we have is scriptural ping-pong. The fact is that the correct Scriptural position we deal with each passage of Scripture in a clear and honest way from the context without disregarding any of the inspired words or the inspired grammar. That means that the 1 Timothy 2 passage cannot be ignored because the Scripture must not contradict itself.

    So why would God tell all of these intelligent women to keep silent (regarding preaching)?

    He didn’t. Just look up 1 Cor. 14 on my sidebar and read about what this passage means and doesn’t mean. There cannot be contradictions!

    Why is there such a fight by women to be preachers?

    When God calls a person no matter who they are, the person must respond. If you had a passion inside you to obey God but you are told you cannot because you are, say, an Italian, would that satisfy you? God’s gifting and God’s calling makes us passionate to serve God.

    Is the pulpit the final frontier of feminism?

    The “pulpit” is an invention of mankind. It isn’t in the Bible. If you want to know what I really think about the pulpit, just do a word search on my blog for pulpit.

    Is it a Gideon type of deal where the men were not up to par so the woman took the initiative?

    Nope. God has always had his men. If he wanted to use only males there was never a time when God had none.

    If he can change on this issue what else of the Apostles foundation is obsolete?

    God didn’t change at all. God never had a law that forbid godly women from teaching the truth of God’s Word to anyone.

    I have been using Spiros Zhodiates for the greek and hebrew words. I do not like commentaries much because you can find a commentary on any position.

    I like Zhodiates a lot. But I have a lot of Biblical helps that are very precious to me. It is such a pleasure to study God’s Word and I don’t read the commentaries very often.

    From what I have read the book of Timothy consists of Paul instructing Timothy how to set the general church in order according to God’s order.

    The order that was to be set was mostly about the issues of false doctrine and false teachers and setting up elders within the area of ability so that the false teachers did not destroy the church.

    In every case roles of teaching the general body are designated to faithful men.

    This isn’t true. The literal meaning is this:

    2 Tim. 2:2 (ALT) And what you heard from me through many witnesses, these [things] be committing to trustworthy people, who will be competent also to teach others.

    The grammar here is the generic for people. It is the same as what is used of salvation. Although the finer points of grammar are the generic with male tense, it doesn’t mean men only any more than all the salvation passages with the same grammar mean that only men can be saved.

    When it comes to teaching the general body the scripture says that women should keep silent.

    My DVD set will correct this error if you wish to order it.

    The book of Titus tells us plainly which women are to teach and to whom they should teach.

    It is interesting to note that the Bible never says that women should teach the Bible to other women. It says that women should teach other women to love their husbands and how to manage their homes, etc. If we took this as a limit on women’s teaching, then no woman could teach the Bible to another woman just because it isn’t listed in the Scriptures.

    There are no examples of women teaching the church except Jezebel (may be figurative of a gov) in Revelation.

    I won’t get into the answer here except to say that there is no law forbidding something from silence.

    Priciilla with her husband expounded to apollos.

    Yet if we take 1 Timothy 2:12 a woman cannot teach a man period. That leaves Priscilla not obeying Scripture? Or how did she get away with teaching? It doesn’t say that a woman can teach a man if another man is with her. It is a prohibition without qualification.

    None of them baptised.

    Oh my, I hope you don’t argue from silence on everything. This is not a healthy thing to assume.

    I see a lot of sincere sisters preaching well. But is it right? I continually ask God to give me understanding where I lack.

    I believe that God will answer a sincere prayer. But don’t forget that if you are drowning and looking for a rope to be thrown your way, don’t disregard God’s provision of a Savior in a boat. God may not provide exactly the way you think He should, but keep your eyes open to His provision. You are here after all on my blog, right? Perhaps this blog is God’s answer?

    I think you would be a good person to interview on the truthmatters show with pastor sean finnegin(sp)

    Well, thanks. I am a shy person who doesn’t do so well in live. But I appreciate the confidence you have in me! Now don’t tell anyone that I have been teaching you through answering your questions, eh? We will keep this our secret. And I do hope you will come back!

  53. Cheryl, thanks for your blogs. I realize my comments are years after your writing, but I’m glad your writing is still here because I am struggling with these Pauline things taken out of context too.

    I wanted to inquire about the comment “Our tradition says that Jesus was crucified on Friday, but God’s word doesn’t say that. I believed God first and then had it proved to me that his word prevailed and our tradition was the one that was faulty.” – I had struggled with the same thing, but have read that in Jewish/Hebrew custom, ANY part of a day will count as a day. It need not be a full day. (This is similar to that a father can be a father-in-law or grandfather and STILL be called a father in Hebrew.) Yet you mention that it was the 3 nights you questioned. What is the conclusion that you came to while in Israel in regards to the resurrection after 3 days and nights?

  54. Margaret,
    Welcome to my blog! I know that this post is a very old one, but I am glad that you took the time to comment.

    The issue of three nights of Jesus’ death was an important one to me since I could understand parts of three days as any part can be spoken of as a whole, but I couldn’t make three nights work. But if there were not three nights then this part of the Bible was either it was truth and I just didn’t have all the facts so that my understanding was partial and faulty or else the bible was in error and if it was in error in one area, then how could I a mere human determine which was true and which wasn’t? The big leap for me was believing that every word of the passage in question was truth and admitting to God that I believed Him over my own understanding. Then God took me outside my box to help me understand and that was the basis of my strong belief that God’s Word is trustworthy and the answer is there is I work hard to uncover God’s unfailing truth.

    My research brought me to the conclusion that Jesus died on Thursday between the two evenings (when the lamb was to be slain) and that He rose from the dead very early Sunday before the light of day dawned. The issues of the Jewish counting of the start of the days, a special Sabbath that caused a double Sabbath, the Jewish counting of two evenings when the lamb must be slain and the fact that Jesus did not stay in the grave once the dawn of the day of Sunday were all a part of my education. The Jewish counting of their day is the day starts at sundown.

    Anyway thanks again for popping in and I hope that my work can be a help to you along your journey.

  55. Absolutely no Biblical basis to my following comment:

    When I had children, my focus and my sense of self changed. I “settled down”. Being a mother that also works outside the home, I have no time to champion my causes in all self-righteousness. I only have time to try to focus on “faith, love, and holiness with propriety” (NIV) in my walk with Christ. Not to suggest that I haven’t taken the time to sin!

    I don’t know any Greek, and wonder what “saved” means. Could it be translated as a turnaround, or saved as in English we would denote saving someone from drowning? Or healed? Or as in bridging a gap that is missing? I would love to have the input.

    Rita

  56. Rita, welcome to my blog!

    The term for “saved” that Paul uses is always used by him in the epistles to mean biblical salvation. Paul says that “she” will be saved through THE childbearing. It is one definite “childbearing” which is a noun. There is no doubt that the salvation comes through the promise of the birth of the Messiah through the woman. For much more information I recommend my DVD set which goes through this passage point by point so that we can understand the relationship of verse 15 regarding salvation to the rest of the passage. http://www.amazon.com/Women-Ministry-Silenced-Set-Free/dp/B000FW4N60

  57. After Paul made this statement, he gave a brief explanation in the following verses for this statement. He pointed back to the origin of deception and how it came through the 1st woman (Eve). In this, Paul was saying that because of Eve’s part in the beginning, he didn’t permit women to teach and/or have authority over men. Whether women were victims of deceit or being deceitful, the point is that Paul was speaking of women that were derived from the beginning. Then he goes on in verse 15 to say how women could basically render their service. In verse 15 he wasn’t talking about the women who were decieving or being deceived, he was talking of women in general. Overall, we look to Paul’s explanation in 13-15 to discern what he meant.

  58. Andrew, welcome to my blog!

    Unfortunately the view that you have of these hard verses is typical of the unsatisfying answer we have had for many years. Paul is indeed talking about deception and false teaching throughout the book of 1 Timothy, but the grammar changes to a current situation in Ephesus. There is no way logically we can take Paul’s words and create a ban against Eve (and all women) when God did not pronounce a judgment of “no teaching” against her in the garden. Also it makes an extremely unsatisfying answer why Eve’s deception would cause her inability to teach only men. Why not ban her from teaching women and children?

    Paul isn’t saying that women’s nature (the way that God created them) is one of deception. That would make God the origin of what is “not good” as His original creation would be faulty, defective and the gifts He gives women in teaching would be ill advised.

    It also makes women’s salvation to have an additional factor of works to provide a “service”. How are single women going to be “saved”? How are single women going to provide a service? And what about married women who are barren?

    What we need to do is compare what we think Paul meant in these verses to what he said in the entire book and in his dealings with women. Paul never held them back or said teachers like Priscilla should not be teaching men nor did he remind the men to look out for the “easily deceived” women who were working right alongside Paul. Surely they should not have been working in the gospel but staying at home providing a “service” in making more children.

    Instead of fanciful additions to the Scripture in saving women through child birth and blaming the woman’s deception on her nature rather than the serpent and the man who listened but was not deceived, let’s work through this passage in a manner that fits the rest of Paul’s writings to Timothy and the Church and not create a “law” that restricts women when no such “law” was ever produced in the church before or after Paul’s letter to Timothy.

  59. Well, just read all this jolly good stuff,
    The words from Timothy are very clear to me and have set meanings. Trying to change them by all this argumentive prose is very clever, but is the style of a guilty woman trying to excuse her crime. The more prose you write the easier it is to see the sin being commited, So please save yourself. Paul says this can be done by child bearing. I am a man so how can I be saved? Can I bear a child?
    So how can a man be saved?
    I will tell you, by the blood of Christ. Only a woman seems to have two chances?

  60. Huh?

    What the heck?

    God never made male and female sin to be different from on another. The ten commandments apply to both equally. The two greatest commandments issued from the mouth of Jesus Christ, “love the Lord you God… and love your neighbor as yourself…” have not gender considerations.

    Pulling Paul’s words out of context, words that Peter himself found confusing doesn’t make for clear understanding of anything. Peter was a contemporary of Paul who spoke the same language as Paul but says in his letters that Paul’s words are difficult to understand.

    Men fool themselves when they say Paul’s words are clear. Translators have a hard time trying to figure out what Paul meant on so many levels.

    The words of Jesus, however, are very clear. He made no distiction between male and female sins.

    It is not a sin for a woman to preach or teach men. If it were so grievious a sin, Jesus would have made it clear and never let the woman at the well go to the men of the town and preach to them. Nor would He have ever, ever, ever sent the women from the empty tomb to preach the good news. And he would have never scold the men for not listening to and believing the women Jesus sent. If it were so bad for women to preach or teach, Jesus would have told the men first, not the women.

    Paul’s words are only ‘clear’ to you because men translate them a certain way then tell each other it means this or that.

    They are not clear, nor is the one on women being saved in childbearing clear. It makes about no sense. Yet people are so sure it is so clear even when their version of what is says totally contradicts the whole rest of the Bible and the very actions of Jesus Christ, Himself.

  61. Mara, great response.
    Words have set meanings and always will. Do you use a dictionary?
    I reckon you do like me when I am not sure of a word’s meaning.

    All sin is henious and will reap the wrath of God in all its forms revolts, earthquake, volcanos, floods, avarious bankers etc. etc. No matter how great the repentance the wrath will be visited upon gulity parties as punishemnet has to be carried out to fit the crime(sin). Even victim impact statements can not save a gulity (wo)man from jail since messages need to sent out to the peolpe that certain behaviour is not accetable in the eyes of the law. The law is usually develpoed from a moral code eg Chritianity or Isalm which has sharia law and allows judicial amputation stoning etc.

    But to answer your points paragrph by paragraph:
    God never made male and female sin to be different from on another. The ten commandments apply to both equally. The two greatest commandments issued from the mouth of Jesus Christ, “love the Lord you God… and love your neighbor as yourself…” have not gender considerations.
    My answer: Yup no arguement there.

    Pulling Paul’s words out of context, words that Peter himself found confusing doesn’t make for clear understanding of anything. Peter was a contemporary of Paul who spoke the same language as Paul but says in his letters that Paul’s words are difficult to understand.
    My answer: The text in question is a letter by Paul to Timothy the man in charge at Ehpesus who was having difficulty with the women in the congregation. So where is Peter’s place in all this? The advsice was to stop them and tell them to be quite and behave and not teach because they were bearing false witness. Seems clear they were not to be trusted and were no better than sirens.

    Men fool themselves when they say Paul’s words are clear. Translators have a hard time trying to figure out what Paul meant on so many levels.
    My answer: As you say translators(ie the clssical greek scholars) have a hard time then the answer is to get the point sorted now before anymore women are ordanined becasue the process will develope a schism in the church thus temping the wrath of God.

    The words of Jesus, however, are very clear. He made no distiction between male and female sins.
    My answer: Yup OK agreed.

    It is not a sin for a woman to preach or teach men. If it were so grievious a sin, Jesus would have made it clear and never let the woman at the well go to the men of the town and preach to them. Nor would He have ever, ever, ever sent the women from the empty tomb to preach the good news. And he would have never scold the men for not listening to and believing the women Jesus sent. If it were so bad for women to preach or teach, Jesus would have told the men first, not the women.
    My Answer: There were no women disciples, but there were and have been since women kings queens leading nations. The discovery by Mary of the empty tomb is teh realtung of a tale of discovery that Jessus body had gone. Mary did not preach whe was merely relay facts, like any good reporter. Did jesus ever say it was OK for woemen to preach or teach? Can you tell be were this is written explicitly?

    Paul’s words are only ‘clear’ to you because men translate them a certain way then tell each other it means this or that.
    My answer: See the first sentence of my reply.

    They are not clear, nor is the one on women being saved in childbearing clear. It makes about no sense. Yet people are so sure it is so clear even when their version of what is says totally contradicts the whole rest of the Bible and the very actions of Jesus Christ, Himself.
    My answer: Only women can bear children as my wife says, unless you agree that men can with medical intervention, which itself is self mutilation. So women should bear children as was intend once impregnated by their husbands. The bible is a collection of books/essays/writings written over many years and was never properly co-ordinated. Once the bible was written in everyone’s language for the masses to read and interpret not just the preists and with everyone being educated, God’s wrath has been visited upon (wo)man ever since. Ordination of women and preaching by women has just created more angst. We already have seen the Roman Catholics accepting preists from the Anglican communion becasue of the problem. A schism has started.

  62. Hi Douglas,
    You said, “Did jesus ever say it was OK for woemen (unfortunate typo there Douglas…I hope!) to preach or teach? Can you tell be were this is written explicitly?”

    Can I ask:
    Where does Jesus say explicitly that they can’t preach or teach?

    Where it is written explicitly that women teaching or preaching is a sin? (1 Tim 2 does not)

    Where explicitly does the Bible say that God’s wrath is being visited upon women for being educated? (This seems to be contrary to the spirit of 1 Tim 2:12-15 where they are expected to be taught)

    Where does it explicitly say that Mary was a ‘reporter’? (She was a witness who proclaimed the truth that Jesus had risen from the dead in response to instructions from an angel)

    Where does it explicitly say that women have two different ways to be saved? (1 Tim 2 does not)

    There has been some great info offered here by Cheryl, and comments by others. Why not interact with some things that have been said Douglas? It might be more helpful, especially as much of what has been says related to what Paul meant when he wrote to Timothy. If you have an issue with a specific thing said, then please draw our attention to it.

    Cheers

    Dave

  63. Dave, not such an exciting response as Mara’s. But here goes anyway.
    Yup there were typos. The spell check did not seem to be available. But I think you got the general jist. Well done.

    My last piece about schisms I think says it all. The ordination of women has been beyond the pale and is getting justified by linkages between books of the bible, which were written at different times and not co-ordinated. Then arguements would be coherent then and justifiable. Thus preventing schisms.

  64. Sorry not to have excited you Douglas. I am trying to follow your thinking. It is hard because you have not backed your statements up with anything specific from what has been said. How is women’s ordination being justified in the way that you suggest? Has this happened here at this blog or in another place?
    Also…

    How does speaking the truth in love create a schism? If it does, should we not speak the truth in love? Unless you can point us to something that has been said that is in error, then we must conclude that only the truth has been spoken.

    You make it sound as though errors in our thinking are obvious, but you do not seem to want to point to them?

    Dave

  65. “Words have set meanings and always will. Do you use a dictionary?”

    I certainly do use a dictionary, as you suggest Douglass, but it is important to use the right dictionary. A dictionary of English words often proves fruitless when dealing with Greek text. I suggest that you look to the Greek when analyzing 1 Tim 2:11-15. Some interesting things you may discover:

    The word often translated “silence” in verses 11 and 12 actually means to be at peace. It has nothing to do with audible sound or keeping one’s mouth shut. To infer that Paul is telling Timothy that women should not speak completely misunderstands the word.

    The word often translated “usurp authority” or “exercise authority” in verse 12 actually means to completely dominate someone. In fact, the first definition often given is “one who with his own hands kills another or himself”. To believe that such an act is not allowable for women is understandible. But is such a thing allowable for men either? Certainly not. No one in the body should domineer another person – to do so is clearly sin. So the passage is not talking about some God ordained authority that men have over women and that women are somehow usurping from men. To assume that this verse signals male authority over women comepltely misunderstands the word being used.

    The word used to speak of “the woman” in verse 14 is in the Perfect tense, indicating an ongoing action. The correct literal translation is “the woman, having been deceived, HAS FALLEN into transgression”. In other words, Paul is not speaking of Eve at this point, but of some contemporary woman in Timothy’s congregation that has fallen prey to deception as Eve did.

    The word that some translations give as “women” in verse 15 is actually singular and continues to refer to the indivudal woman from verse 14. Paul is not talking about all women, Christian women, women in Timothy’s congregation, or any other generic feminine grouping. He is talking about an individual woman. Any attempt to apply this passage to women in general completely misses Paul’s intent.

    The word often translated as a verb so as to yield “the bearing of children” or some other similar form is actually a noun. Not only that, but it is accompanied by the definite article indicating that a specific birth is in view. The literal translation is “the childbearing”. So, you see, women don’t actually have a second chance at some works based salvation. They are saved the same way you and I and our male brothers are saved – through the birth of Jesus. Paul discusses this first in chapter one, and this is just an extension of that promise. You are right that you can’t bear children. The same is sadly true for many, many women. Luckily, this passage has nothing to do with obstetrics.

    I don’t know what translation you use, Douglas, but I have reviewed over 80 English translations of this passage and find them seriously lacking. Moreover, anyone who then takes those translations and attempts to derive the meaning of the passage based on an English dictionary has doubled down on thier erroneous analysis. I give you here a very literal translation of the passage, using Greek as the basis instead of English, from the Concordant Literal New Testament. Please read it carfully. I suspect it sounds very different from what you have read in the past.

    “Let a woman be learning in quietness with all subjection. Now I am not permitting a woman to be teaching nor yet to be domineering over a man, but to be in quietness (for Adam was first molded, thereafter Eve, and Adam was not seduced, yet the woman, being deluded, has come to be in the transgression). Yet she shall be saved through the child bearing, if ever they should be remaining in faith and love and holiness with sanity.”

    I ask you, in light of this far more literal and accurate translation, what possibly could this passage have to do with women generically teaching men?

  66. Here is how I concluded my series of posts on 1 Tim 2:11-15.

    When 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is reviewed with close scrutiny of the Greek text and a mind on the overall context of the first 2 chapters of the letter, a stunning realization occurs. Not only is this passage of Scripture poorly translated, but the interpretation and application of those poor translations are completely erroneous. Entire philosophies about marriage and church leadership and conduct have been developed around this foundational error. It may be that only men should lead churches, that women should be silent, and that a woman’s place is in the home bringing up children, but Paul’s letter to Timothy does not teach it. What this passage does teach is that false teaching and domineering behaviors in the home require special handling, but even in that most private of settings, a remedy and restoration can be found in Christ.

    Douglas – please try to remove your male priviledge blinders and see Paul’s letter to Timothy for how it was intended. You are correct that the first two chapters are about false teaching. But to make some global gender based “law” is to take Paul wildly out of context. Paul never says that women as a gender can’t teach any more than he says that men as a gender can teach. He is not making gender based proclamations on marital, church, or any other hierarchies. He is dealign with specific circumstances and specific people only, some of whom happen to be men (see chapter one) and some women. To read any more into the text is dangerous and injurious not only to Paul’s words but to the Body of Christ.

  67. And just for fun, here is my “cherry-picked” version of the passage, where I take bits and pieces from various translations to provide an even more accurate, IMO, picture of what Paul is saying.

    Verse 11
    A wife should learn (Aramaic Bible English Translation)
    in peace, (The Complete Jewish Bible)
    being ready to cooperate in everything. (New Century Version)
    Verse 12
    But I do not allow (common)
    the wife (The Word of Yah)
    to teach (common)
    [false doctrine] (my extra-biblical addition based on the context)
    or to be domineering over (Concordant Literal New Testament)
    the husband, (The Word of Yah)
    rather, she is to remain at peace. (The Complete Jewish Bible)
    Verse 13
    For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. (common)
    Verse 14
    And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, having been deceived, has come to be in transgression. (Analytical-Literal Translation)
    Verse 15
    But she will be saved (many)
    through the birth of the child, (God’s Word Translation)
    if she and her husband continue to live (Weymouth New Testament)
    in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint. (common)

  68. SWQHSETAI DE DIA THS TEKNOGONIAS, EAN MEINWSIN EN PISTEI KAI AGAPHi KAI
    hAGIASMWi META SWFROSUNHS.
    James Moffatt’s translation of 1 Tim. 2:15:
    “However, women will get safely through childbirth, if they continue to be faithful and loving and holy as well as unassuming.”

    in view of the fact that ancient childbirth is by no means without risk of life (Euripides’ Medea, remember, says she’d rather face the foe with a spear on the battlefield three times to giving birth once!), and given the fact that, outside of the theological sphere, SWZEIN most normally DOES mean “bring safely,” “preserve through peril,” “keep intact” (as in the parable of the wine and wineskins; I tend to think of getting safely through a semester!), the first clause of Moffat’s translation seems very natural.

    In John 11:12 the same use of the word SWQHSETAI meaning “preserve through peril” is appropriate to for our fond friend Laz and never translated as such nor as ‘saved’. Translations have so many opinions, one needs the Holy Spirit with reliable Greek Interlinear.

  69. foggy, welcome to my blog!

    While the meaning can mean to preserve through something, unfortunately this would make Paul to be one who gave out a false promise for many godly, faithful women were not kept safely through child bearing as many of these godly women died giving birth. This is why I pressed on to find the meaning from the passage itself that would bring a true promise not a false one. I also believe that one cannot understand verse 12 without understanding verse 15 as verse 15 is the conclusion to the prohibition.

  70. “the first clause of Moffat’s translation seems very natural.”

    Except for the fact that it does not follow the grammer. Moffet presents “Childbirth” as a verb but the actual text is “the childbirth” – a definite noun. Plus, one can’t simply ignore that this passage is decidedly inside the theological sphere.

    Young’s Literal Translation is more true to the grammer and presents quite a contrast from Moffet. “she shall be saved through the child-bearing”.

    And then there is the context to consider. What could being brought physically safely through the child bearing process have to do with the rest of this passage? It would be completely out of the blue with no prior or subsequent text to warrant its inclusion.

  71. Hi Gengwall,
    @73 you said Moffet presents “Childbirth” as a verb but the actual text is “the childbirth” – a definite noun.
    I agree with your thoughts and Cheryl’s that Paul is referring to the birth of Christ in 1 Tim 2:15, but in Moffet’s translation isn’t “childbirth” a noun? I admit that English grammar is not my strong point, and I am happy to learn, but how is childbirth a verb in Moffat’s translation?

  72. Moffet translates: “through childbirth”. I used to be good at grammer but maybe my skills are rusty. I interpret Moffet’s interpretation as saying in essense “through giving birth”, not “through a birth”. At best, that would make “childbirth” a gerund (a verb acting like a noun). The translation is not indicating an act (noun) which the women is saved via, but an action (verb) which she will be saved from the risks of. Again, I might be wrong. Still, the two translations stand in stark contrast to each other.

  73. mmmmmm yes, that is so true re the childbirth process and the verb scenario. Unless perhaps that teknogonia is to mean the parenting or child REaring rather than Bearing as in the child birth process, and parenting as a NOUN

    At first, when I considered v14 in the Greek, that Eve/the woman, being seduced, as a result of that i.e. being seduced, that perhaps “has become beside stepping” (literal Greek translation). While almost all translations seem to make this word parabasis as transgression, I did wonder whether it actually meant, “distracted” or easily side tracked as in side stepping and that caring for children would preserve a woman from the peril of being side tracked i.e. to focus and not be as easily distracted, but then I thought that would be too random since children are a big distraction leaving little time for preparing to be able to teach (which is where the context follows in terms of women teaching)…………. so I went back to the childbirth idea, but I am keen to know the truth here, certainly it is not a salvation scenario.

    I enjoyed Ben Withererington’s detail on the passage though I did not get closure myself on v15. Did he review and respond to your DVD? see http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2006/02/literal-renderings-of-texts-of.html

  74. Hi Cheryl,
    I haven’t had time yet to read all the responses but I did read down to this part and I’ll quote you, not as a cherrypick but because I couldn’t get past this without questioning what you’re trying to say with the following:
    “The bottom line is are we going to believe what God has said (his testimony) or are we going to believe the testimony of science? The one thing that I know for sure science has changed their dating system by billions of years just in my own lifetime. I remember in my early years of school being taught that the earth was millions of years old. I didn’t pay attention to when it exactly happened, but the earth got a lot older sometime through the years. Now we are told it is no longer millions of years old, but billions of years old. Animals now are not just millions of years old, but hundreds of millions of years. That is a significant change, but the truth hasn’t changed since truth is consistent.”
    You are correct about science changing it’s dating of the world. That’s how science works, it keeps adapting in search of the truth. Technology has advanced in your lifetime. There are new dating methods with clear empirical evidence such as fossil evidence, Radio-carbon dating, ice core samples, just to name a few. Is denying this kind of evidence part of the pursuit of truth? Is truth really consistent? The world would still be flat and we would be at the center of the universe if truth was consistent. Truth is subjective. What I view as the truth may not be what my neighbor views as the truth. Do history books tell the truth? Do I tell the truth? Do you tell the truth? I could tell you that I tell the truth and would you have to believe me? No, you obviously wouldn’t have to believe me.
    I’ve put aside my assumptions. I’ve kept myself open to new understanding. I hold my beliefs in an open hand and not a tight fist.
    Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

  75. foggy #76,
    My sincerest apologies for being so slow in answering your question. I hope you signed up for a notification so that you do get the answer. I think my being so overwhelmed this last year and especially since late spring has caused me to miss out on a lot on this blog, unfortunately.

    Dr. Witherington did respond to me and he does have a copy of my DVD but he has given me no feedback. I would suspect that it is because the basis of my work (starting from the assumed viewpoint that the inspiration of the Scriptures includes the inspired words and the inspired grammar). Dr. Witherington comes from a far more liberal viewpoint than I have.

    As far as vs 14 Eve/the woman, I changed my view of that verse when a piece of grammar was pointed out to me that I missed that made it impossible for Eve to be “the woman”. My amended view is stated in this post http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2011/09/22/eve-prototype/

  76. Ramiro,
    You said:

    You are correct about science changing it’s dating of the world. That’s how science works, it keeps adapting in search of the truth.

    It doesn’t seem to me that “science” is in search of the truth. “Science” is published as having the truth. It was supposedly the truth when I was a child and it is supposedly the truth now. I don’t think that using a rubber ruler is helpful at determining the truth.
    You said:

    There are new dating methods with clear empirical evidence such as fossil evidence, Radio-carbon dating, ice core samples, just to name a few. Is denying this kind of evidence part of the pursuit of truth?

    There are two sides to the story so that what is claimed as “evidence” has been challenged. Answersingenesis.org has brought a serious challenge to the “evidence” of science that appears to dispute the Bible’s record. I highly recommend their web site.

    Is truth really consistent? The world would still be flat and we would be at the center of the universe if truth was consistent.

    Real truth is consistent. Faulty “facts” disguised as truth will not be consistent. The world was never flat and the Bible gives evidence of that even before any worldly scientist understood that fact.

    Do history books tell the truth? Do I tell the truth? Do you tell the truth? I could tell you that I tell the truth and would you have to believe me? No, you obviously wouldn’t have to believe me.
    I’ve put aside my assumptions. I’ve kept myself open to new understanding. I hold my beliefs in an open hand and not a tight fist.

    What is claimed as truth needs to be measured by something that is really true. We are told by the Scriptures that we are to test all things and to hold fast to what is true. When I am corrected by the truth of the Scriptures, I will let my false ideas go. But I will never test the Scriptures by science. The most important test for spiritual truth is to have the straight edge of God’s truth to test all things. This is what I aim to do and I encourage all here to do the same.

    Thanks for asking!

  77. Hello Cheryl,
    Thanks for the quick responses to my questions. I am enjoying the research and homework that you have given me.
    In response to: “It doesn’t seem to me that “science” is in search of the truth. “Science” is published as having the truth. It was supposedly the truth when I was a child and it is supposedly the truth now. I don’t think that using a rubber ruler is helpful at determining the truth.”
    I give the following: “In this situation the Church does not advocate prudence and restraint, but courage and decision.
    There is no reason not to take up a position in favor of truth or to be afraid of it. The truth and everything that is true represents a great good to which we must turn with love and joy. Science too is a way to truth; for God’s gift of reason, which according to its nature is destined not for error, but for the truth of knowledge, is developed in it.” -John Paul II to teachers and university students in Cologne Cathedral, Saturday, November 15, 1980.
    I checked out the website that you recommended for the following: “There are two sides to the story so that what is claimed as “evidence” has been challenged. Answersingenesis.org has brought a serious challenge to the “evidence” of science that appears to dispute the Bible’s record. I highly recommend their web site.”
    The following is the conclusion found at the website you recommended to me on this subject:
    “The best way to learn about history and the age of the earth is to consult the history book of the universe—the Bible. Many scientists and theologians accept a straightforward reading of Scripture and agree that the earth is about 6,000 years old. It is better to use the infallible Word of God for our scientific assumptions than to change His Word in order to compromise with “science” that is based upon man’s fallible assumptions. True science will always support God’s Word.” -Answeringgenesis.org
    I wasn’t swayed in any way unfortunately. So I did more research and I highly recommend the following website: talkorigins.org and more specifically the following page on the same site: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dalrymple/scientific_age_earth.html
    There was a lot to learn on that subject and I enjoyed every minute of it, as I’m sure you can relate.
    To this: “What is claimed as truth needs to be measured by something that is really true. We are told by the Scriptures that we are to test all things and to hold fast to what is true. When I am corrected by the truth of the Scriptures, I will let my false ideas go. But I will never test the Scriptures by science.”
    I reply with a simple two-part question: Can you envision anything that while change your mind on this subject? If the answer is “no” (as it appears to me), then is this really a discussion that we are having?
    Again, thank you for your time, enjoy this day and I hope to hear from you soon.

  78. Personally, I don’t think the Bible was intended by God to be “the history book of the universe.” It’s not a history book, or a science textbook, or a rulebook that tells us what to do in every situation, or anything of that nature. It’s the story of God’s creation and redemption of humanity; it’s the story of Christ. As such, it contains history; but telling us all about the history of the universe is simply not what it has ever been forl.

    I think finding authorial intent (both God’s and the human writers’) is the best way to interpret it. I can find no reference within it that it was ever intended to be “the history book of the universe.” I think if we’re not careful, we will apply templates to it that the original authors simply never conceived of. Scientific methods, newspaper-style reporting, and so on, are among those templates that are often misapplied. The Bible needs to be allowed to be what it is, not faulted for not being what it was never meant to be.

  79. “Personally, I don’t think the Bible was intended by God to be “the history book of the universe.” It’s not a history book, or a science textbook, or a rulebook that tells us what to do in every situation, or anything of that nature. It’s the story of God’s creation and redemption of humanity; it’s the story of Christ. ”

    Kristen – I think you have spoken well. Christ says “blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” and “If you love Me, you’ll keep my commands.” – the “book” is about salvation, not “worldly knowledge” which is not really applicable to salvation. I don’t remember Jesus ever saying we should know the secrets of creation or the universe. But He does call us to love Him, and love one another.

    Blessings in Christ,
    Margaret

  80. I do agree that the Bible is “God’s history book of the universe”. I also understand what they mean by that. The meaning is that the history of the creation of the universe is written in God’s Word. We can know how the universe came into being by reading God’s account of what He did. We can also read the history of the creation of man and the history of the entrance of sin into the world. Science can tell us nothing about the existence of sin or of God’s creating man in His own image. The Bible tells us everything that we need to know to have faith that God told the truth about what He did and the results of man’s choice.

    I also believe that the Bible, while not a science manual, has information in it that if heeded by man would keep us from making mistakes about God’s creation. By reading God’s word, we can know that the earth was a sphere, not flat, for example.

    I firmly believe that God’s Word was written as it was with inspired words and inspired grammar so that all of our spiritual questions will be answered sufficiently for us to have faith in God. I trust that the Bible is an accurate ruler to measure other claims of truth.

  81. Ramiro,
    You said about the creation science site that I gave a link to:

    I wasn’t swayed in any way unfortunately.

    The site has great audio/video material that is well done and with a lot of research. I highly recommend that you actually have a look at the material rather than dismiss their Biblical arguments without researching the facts that they present.

    You also said:

    I reply with a simple two-part question: Can you envision anything that while change your mind on this subject? If the answer is “no” (as it appears to me), then is this really a discussion that we are having?

    The answer is not “no”. I can envision something that has the power to change my mind. I will be corrected by the Bible as it is the only accurate “ruler” that tests all spiritual claims of truth including the claim to the origin of God’s creation.

    I also do not want my blog to become a discussion of evolution or scientific claims of the origin of matter. This is a blog dedicated to the issue of women in ministry and I do not want to go off of that focus. I am certain that answersingenesis.org would have information that could be given on discussion groups hosted by biblical creationists.

    Perhaps if you have time you could let me know what is your “ruler” of truth that you use to measure all other claims of truth?

  82. I agree with Cheryl that this is not a creation/evolution or old earth/young earth discussion site. There are only about a bazillion of those out there to have that argument.

    Just to show Ramiro that even within the Christian community there can be vigorous debate on such subjects, I offer another Christian creation apologetics site where they don’t adhere to a young earth view while still adamantly supporting the biblical account and the inerrancy of God’s word.

    http://www.reasons.org/

    Now, what were we talking about…..

  83. Wow,
    I really enjoy reading all of the comments. So full of education and love. I want to learn all i can on hard topics like these and im so glad i mean really glad i found this blog. May God bless everyone here and thanks so very much for teaching me about God and revealing His word. I hope to teach others the truth as well. Amen

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Women In Ministry » Blog Archive » Does God have one unique law? Part Two - December 7, 2006

    […] There we have it – handling of God’s word becomes evil in a woman’s hands unless she discriminates against men and kicks them out of her bible study. Is this really God’s way, or have we misunderstood a difficult bible passage? It is our contention that this reading of scripture that allows the teaching of God’s word to be considered an evil thing is not a proper way to interpret 1Timothy 2:12. For a reasonable and logical way to read 1 Timothy 2:12 that does not attribute the teaching God’s word to be an evil act, click here to read What does 1 Timothy 2:11 – 15 mean? […]

  2. Women In Ministry » Blog Archive » Why was Adam not deceived? - December 11, 2006

    […] 1 Timothy 2:13, 14 show that the first creation of Adam is connected to the fact that Adam was not deceived.  Why was Adam not deceived?  If the Hebrew text shows that God created the animals in two creative acts – one before Adam was created and one after Adam was created (but before Eve was created) – then we can understand that Adam had knowledge about the huge difference between God and creation that kept him safe from deception.  See my summary of the 1 Timothy 2:11-15 passage explained in 20 short points posted here to understand the complete context of what we will be talking about in this post. […]

  3. Women In Ministry » Blog Archive » The case of the battling proof texts, Part One - December 29, 2006

    […] One standing challenge that I have towards complementarians who believe that women are not allowed to teach the bible to men, is to show me from the complete context of 1 Timothy chapters 1 and 2 how they can fit into that passage the interpretation that God is not allowing godly Christian women from teaching correct biblical doctrine to men.  My exegesis of the passage in point form is found here. […]

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