Neopatriarch once again fails to refute Cheryl Schatz

Neopatriarch once again fails to refute Cheryl Schatz

Cheryl Schatz blog Women in Ministry

Neopatriarch has taken a second stab at trying to refute my teaching on 1 Timothy 2:11-15 as he has rewritten his article.  Once again he has failed to poke a hole in my argument but this time he has dropped the charge that I am exasperating.  Good for Neopatriarch for taking a much kinder tone in his introduction!  He nows calls it his “canned response”.   From reading the comments, it appears that Neopatriarch has come to the understanding that brothers and sisters in Christ can argue their position passionately without attacking the other person’s character and their motives.  This is certainly a change in his approach and I commend him for that.

I must also give Neopatriarch credit for trying to answer my interpretation when others who make their living off of promoting the complementarian message just run and hide.  However Neopatriarch has major flaws in his argument and his argument fails to present contradictions or holes in my own argument so I am very pleased to be able to present this second refutation of Neopatriarch’s attempt to tear down my argument.

I will start my response by saying that I have no doubt that Neopatriarch is a brother in Christ.  However on the issue of patriarchy he is dead wrong.  It is a loving thing to confront a brother in Christ with his errors so that he can learn from his mistakes.  I am certain that Neopatriarch continues to read my blog, even though he doesn’t want to post here any longer, and since my blog seems to have a higher following, I am posting my response here.

At this time I would also like to commend Mike Seaver for his willingness to debate me in this public setting.  I do not take this kind of bravery for granted.  Although Mike’s answers were not very weighty, the fact that he was willing to work with me to bridge the gap between complementarians and egalitarians was truly a remarkable act on his part.  Hats off to Mike for being brave, loving and kind!

Now back to Neopatriarch’s second attempt at refuting me.  Neopatriarch writes:

Schatz’s view has cropped up in various discussion groups like CARM and Worthy Boards, and, you might see it in various blogs as well.  If you’re thinking about engaging her in a debate or discussion, you might first want to listen to this debate between her and Matt Slick:

Neopatriarch linked to the audio with Matt Slick where Slick refused to allow me to finish my argument on 1 Timothy 2:15.   I would recommend that Neopatriarch take a more fair approach and link to my article where I give my full view which includes verse 15.  I make this recommendation so that Neopatriarch doesn’t come across as being biased and merely seen as trying to stack the deck by only a partial view of my position.  If Neo believes that he is right and I am wrong, it would only be fair to link to a proper and fair presentation of my view.

After giving a quote from John Calvin, Neo writes:

As Calvin explains, Paul continues on the topic of modest conduct by forbidding women to teach or exercise authority over men.  From verses 9-10 we know that Paul is addressing the conduct of women (plural).

While John Calvin may have believed that teaching the truth of God’s word to men was immodest conduct, the context of this passage does not list it this way.  Instead we find a clear break in verse 10 where Paul is referencing women who have a claim to godliness.  These godly women were to be encouraged to dress modestly so that their godliness would be shown from their good works rather than from their outward apparel.  Would teaching the truth of God’s Word be a good work?  Of course!  There is not a single reference in the Scriptures instructing the church to stop the teaching and preaching of the truth of the gospel.  So we have godly women referenced in verses 9 and 10.  Does the reference to godly women continue?  It does not.  Here is where the break comes.  Paul goes back to the theme of chapter one where he references the stopping of teaching and here in chapter two deception as the reason given for the stopping of teaching.  In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, 11-12  not only does Paul go from plural to singular, but Paul goes from godly women (women who profess godliness) to the certain ungodliness in the issue of sin through deception.  The two portions of this chapter do not go together in one flow.  Godliness does not connect with transgression and deception no matter how much Neopatriarch would like to think it does.

Neopatriarch continues:

Since context determines the meaning of a word, the reasonable presumption here is that “a woman” refers to any of the women (plural) whom Paul is addressing.

Context certainly does determine the meaning of a word.  A “woman” is connected to deception.  Now tell me, are all women to be considered as deceived?  Are all women continuing in the transgression (verse 14)?  The context simply cannot fit all women.

Neopatriarch then quotes Rev. Lane Keister  as writing:

I believe that Paul has in mind already the reasons in verses 13-14, which require a singular to connect with Eve as a representative. Therefore, Paul is using a generic singular to make his point. Mounce argues that a general principle is being stated here, and that the singular is most apropos. I think this is borne out further by Paul’s argument in verses 13-14, which speak of Adam and Eve as representative of male and female.

Let’s test this by the Scripture.  Paul has already been using a generic form for women in verse 10 although he states that these are women who have a claim to godliness.  Are they now to be included in verses 12-15?  The claim that this is a “general principle” can only stand if it fits the context.  Let’s continue to test the context.

Where does Paul speak of Adam and Eve as representative of male and female?  Paul speaks of Adam as a man who was created first.  Are all men now to be considered created first?  Adam is said not to be deceived.  Are all men now to be as Adam and not deceived?  These facts of Paul’s do not fit generic men.  How about Eve?  Eve was created second and like Eve “the woman” in verse 14 was deceived.  Is Eve representative of all women?  In what way is Paul making Eve connected to all women?  Unless Neo can show a representative nature in this passage, he cannot add to what God has inspired to make the passage say more than it is saying.

Neopatriarch then writes:

But Schatz interprets in a way that disrupts the flow and coherence that verses 11-15 have with the preceding verses.  Indeed, she claims there is a “sharp” shift to the singular4, and thereby isolates verses 11-15 from the immediately preceding verses.

This is not true.  Here is the coherence – in chapter one Paul has reminded Timothy that he left him behind in Ephesus to rstop the deceived teachers who are teaching error.  The only teaching that is stopped according to Paul’s command in chapter one is that of the false teachers who are teaching strange doctrines.  Paul continues in chapter one to describe his compassion for those who have been deceived by comparing them to his own actions done in ignorance.  Paul says that he received mercy because he had done his wicked deeds ignorantly and in unbelief.  Paul then moves on in chapter two to say that God desires all to be saved and this would have to include even the ignorance deceived teachers.  Paul’s word to men about not praying with wrath and dissension fits in perfectly with the exasperation of the elders who were responsible for fixing the problems.  They were “fixing the problem” by arguing and this appeared even in their prayers.  Paul says that this wrath and dissension should not be shown in their prayers.

The next group to be dealt with are the women who would be the mature believers and who have works of godliness.  They are to reveal their godliness by their acts, not by their dress.  They too would have been called on to deal with the error that had crept into the congregation especially if it was a problem with a woman.  Paul connects the issue of the salvation of all men to the importance of godly leadership by saying “therefore” and “likewise”.  But there is no connecting word in verse 11.  Check it for yourself.  The first word is “woman” and it is disconnected to the grammar of verses 9 & 10.  The disconnection here cannot be ignored.  Paul is not talking about the same group of women.  The women in the previous verses are women with good works claiming godliness.

So how does verses 11-15 “flow” from the preceding verses?  The beginning of chapter 2 shows some of the problems in that the leadership is not handling the problem of the false teachers very well.  The arguments are carrying into their prayers.  Even the mature women are not relying on their godly character to handle the issue but setting forth their “class” or their right to be heard by their elaborate dress. Paul breaks from the instructions for Timothy regarding the leadership and goes back to the sore spot regarding deceived teachers.  Paul lays out the solution for the one deceived teacher who has been a thorn in their side.  She is to be stopped, but Paul is sure that with immersing her in sound doctrine  she will be saved and come to know the truth of the gospel.  Paul’s whole thought flows from deception to leadership dealing with deception back to the deception again and the final solution is how to bring the deceived one to a solid foundation in salvation that was promised after the very first deception happened on this earth.  The very first one who experienced being deceived would be used by God to bring forth the Messiah who would then make it His mission to destroy the deceiver and set the captives free.

Neopatriarch’s view, on the other hand, does not flow.  Neopatriarch cannot successfully connect Adam and Eve to all men and women since he has no basis to make “a woman” to be generic because of Eve.  Eve is not a representative of all women Neither can Neo make “a man” generic because of Adam as the reference to Adam’s first creation and his not being deceived is not applicable to all men.  Neo also cannot connect all women to the deception of Eve nor can he connect the ongoing transgression of one woman as it does not fit in context with all women.  Lastly his position cannot connect all women to the key verse which is the end result of the prohibition.  Not all women are deceived so it fails the text of context to question the salvation of all women.

Neopatriarch continues:

First, we normally read a pericope from start to finish so that contextual resources are provided to us as we move from one verse to the next.  With Schatz’s approach, the reader must wait until he reaches verse 15 to decrypt what Paul meant by “a woman” in verses 11 and 12 because Schatz has made verse 15 the interpretive key for 11 and 12.

Neopatriarch, has again failed to consider the context.  Paul is writing directly to Timothy, not directly to us.  Timothy didn’t need to wait until verse 15 to understand what verses 11 & 12 meant.  Timothy knew all about the situation in Ephesus.  We, on the other hand, have to do our homework before we can understand the passage.  Some of Paul’s writing is difficult to understand and verse 15 is the verse that dismantles the complementarian argument because they cannot make it fit in their view that Paul is talking about all women.

Neopatriarch writes:

The conjunction, “for,” at the beginning of verse 13 could be understood in the causal or illustrative sense. The causal sense would mean that Paul is giving us reasons for his proscription. The illustrative sense would mean that Paul is simply giving us an example.

Paul is not simply giving us an example.  The “for” must mean Paul’s reason for the prohibition otherwise the prohibition would not make sense in the Christian worldview that never had a law that prohibited a woman from teaching men.  The only thing that makes sense is that “for” gives the “reason” for the prohibition.  If there is no reason then there cannot be a claim to a law since the Old Testament never carries such a law against a woman’s teaching abilities.

But if (the Greek) is used in the illustrative sense, then Paul did not ground his proscription in the order of creation. Instead, he appealed to Genesis 2-3 as an example of what happens when a woman teaches a man false doctrine.

This could not possibly be Paul’s meaning since Eve did not teach Adam “false doctrine”.  In fact not even a single one of Eve’s words to Adam is recorded.  One cannot get the interpretation that Eve taught Adam “false doctrine” without doing violence to the Scriptures.  We know for a fact that Adam was not deceived and we also know from Genesis that Adam was there with Eve when the serpent was speaking to her.  Where is the doctrine that came from Eve’s mouth to Adam? It isn’t in the Scripture.  Secondly if this an example, then Neopatriarch just spoiled his own case.  He attempts to prove that Paul is stopping all women from teaching correct Biblical doctrine to men but with Neo’s  admission is that the example Paul gives is about false doctrine.  Which way is it?  Is it a “reason” for the prohibition (false doctrine) or is it an “example” (false doctrine)?  No matter which way Neopatriarch turns, he cannot make the passage say that Paul is stopping the teaching of true doctrine.

This could still be taken as justification for proscribing any woman from teaching any man false doctrine. After all, why would this example apply to only one woman?

But why should we stop with the men?  With Neopatriarch’s view that it could also be taken as stopping any woman from teaching any man false doctrine, he refutes himself since he will now have to justify why Paul only stops all women from teaching all men false doctrine but doesn’t stop them from teaching false doctrine to other women and children.  At every turn, Neo’s claim that this is generic women and generic men just doesn’t fit.   Also Neopatriarch has another dilemma.  Why would Paul have to say anything about all women’s false teaching if he already stopped the false teachers in chapter one?  If there wasn’t one sticky situation with one woman which was also concerning false doctrine, verses 11-15 would not even have to be written.  Certainly if there were multiple women teaching multiple men, women or children, Paul would have used the plural just as he did in the previous verses.  There would be no need to change the plural women to singular woman.

Neopatriarch continues:

Also, how does the fact Adam was created first illustrate the claim that only one specific woman is not to teach false doctrine? The illustrative sense fails to explain verses 13-14 as well as the causal sense. Therefore, we should understand verses 13-14 as reasons for Paul’s proscription in verse 12.

So now Neopatriarch takes us right back to the “reasons”  for the prohibition, the exact position that I have.  Now the “example” fails the test and we are back to square one.  We must ask how does the fact that Adam was created first give us the reason for why she is stopped from teaching?  Because the first one created one had sound doctrine to immunize him against the deception of the serpent.  Remember Paul started with verse 11 saying  that she must learn?  Learning sound doctrine is the key here.  Adam knew the truth and he was not deceived.  But Adam failed to speak out and stop Eve’s deception, just like the woman’s husband in Ephesus.  He was another Adam and Timothy had to go past her husband to command her to stop.  The reason for the prohibition was because of deception and the non-involvement of the one who was not deceived fits perfectly with why Timothy was being pushed to step in and stop her himself.

Neopatriarch continues:

Since presumption favors our initial conclusion that any man and any woman are meant in verse 12 and verses 13-14 function as reasons in Paul’s argument, the most natural reading takes Adam and Eve as representatives of any man and any woman.

I ask if Neo’s admitted “presumption” favors his conclusion that any man and any woman are meant, then I ask him to please explain how any man is not deceived and any woman is deceived?  Neopatriarch has failed to give  any viable explanation for the connection to all of us as women.  There is a very strong connection to a couple in the same condition as Adam and Eve were, but there is no connection to godly men and godly women who are not in error.

In his first reason, I submit that Paul is alluding to the steward-helper relationship between Adam and Eve. In Genesis 2:7, God created Adam and gave him the garden mandate not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (2:16-17). Adam was hereby entrusted with stewardship of God’s word and consequently of moral life in the garden.

Neopatriarch is alluding to the teaching that only Adam was entrusted with God’s word, but this cannot be proven since Genesis 1:26-29 describes the creation of the man and the woman and the prohibition is included within the list of what they could eat since they are given permission to eat from every tree except for the one tree that had no seed bearing fruit.  Eve also describes God’s Word given to her so there is no proof at all that only Adam was entrusted with God’s Word.  There is also nothing that says that Adam was given the stewardship of the moral life in the garden.  The Bible does say that he was entrusted with guarding the garden but this is a far cry from being responsible for Eve’s sin.  He was responsible for warning her but not responsible for her moral life.

Eve was not around when God gave Adam the garden mandate, but apparently he taught it to her because she repeated it, albeit not exactly, to the serpent (3:2-3).

As I wrote previously, Eve was given God’s Word about what she could eat and it was her testimony that she was also told by God what she was not allowed to eat.  Although Neopatriarch used the word “apparently” it is clear that he knows that there is no Scripture that says that Adam was responsible for teaching Eve the prohibition.  Eve walked with God too and her testimony counts as it came from a sinless woman before sin entered the world.

Consider an illustration of this idea: A father tells his first son to remove a boulder from the yard, but, seeing that his first son is unable to do it by himself, he sends his second son out to help. It is understood that the first son is still in charge of the boulder removing project and that the second son receives instruction from and is subordinate to the first. The second son does not take over the project. What this means for Paul’s proscription is that women are not to take over the teaching and leadership duties that belong specifically to the office of the steward of God’s word. Only other men are to be in the position of teaching and exercising authority over men.

What Neopatriarch has failed to do is to pay attention to what God said.  While he can make up all the illustrations that he wants, these illustrations do not correspond to the Scriptures, because God said that they both were to rule.  There was not one ruler and a subordinate helper.  There were two rulers over God’s creation.

Gen 1:26  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Gen 1:27  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Gen 1:28  God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Neopatriarch started with a false premise and continues on the wrong path when he writes:

In his second reason, we see the consequences of reversing the steward-helper relationship. The first part of verse 14 says, “Adam was not deceived.” He was not deceived by the serpent. Instead, he listened to wife, and God faulted him for it (Genesis 3:17).

There is no steward-helper relationship.  There is a God-given ruler-ruler relationship.  The helper then is defined by God as an equal ruler.  How do we reverse the ruler-ruler relationship?  Here it is:  ruler-ruler.  Does it look different?  It can’t look different because God’s Word is what counts and He made them both rulers.

Secondly God faulted Adam not for being nagged into eating the fruit (because there are no words recorded of Eve speaking to Adam) but God faulted Adam for remaining a silent watchman as his wife spoke to the serpent and was deceived.  This is the serious issue.  It isn’t an issue about a nagged husband but about treason.  God says that a watchman who fails to sound the warning is a traitor and deserves death.  Adam listened to the voice of his wife while she was speaking to the serpent.  He heard the deception.  He heard her as she was being deceived… and Adam did nothing.  This is what God called treacherous (Hosea 6:7)

Neopatriarch continues:

The implication is that Adam should not have listened to his wife. Why? I think the best explanation is because she was not the proper steward of the garden mandate. She did not have the authority to instruct him.

Where is Neopatriarch’s proof that Eve spoke to Adam and instructed him on anything?  It isn’t in the text.  It is the tradition of complementarians, but it isn’t Scriptural.  Where does God say that Eve took her own authority to instruct Adam?  It doesn’t.  Adam doesn’t blame Eve for “instructing” him.  He blames her only for giving the fruit to him.  Surely if she had sinned by “instructing” the man without proper authority, then someone would have said something about this sin.  Where is Neopatriarch’s proof?  He has none.

Neopatriarch now quotes Andreas Köstenberger:

Eve, Paul implies, was not kept safe at the Fall; she was deceived. Why? Because she left her proper domain under her husband’s care. What happened as a result? She became an easy prey for Satan. How can women under Timothy’s charge (and in churches everywhere) avoid repeating the same mistake? By “childbearing,” that is, by adhering to their God-ordained calling, including a focus on marriage, family, and the home. 1 Timothy 2:15 thus turns out to be Paul’s prescription for women as a lesson learned from the scenario of the Fall described in the preceding verse.7

I have already discussed with Andreas his position and I have given him the reasons why his view cannot be correct.  His view has major holes in it.  He was not to answer  my questions because his view doesn’t fit.

The first problem is that there is no indication that Eve was given instruction to be under her husband’s care.  Eve did not have to ask Adam to have a conversation with an animal.  When Eve was fully convinced by the serpent that God was holding back on her and that she would not die but receive the ability to be like God, the fruit became to her not a prohibition, but a blessing.  She did not have to ask Adam for his permission to eat any fruit.  She was a free moral agent who fell into sin through deception.  She did not leave her proper domain under her husband’s care.  It was Adam who left his position as guardian of the garden and he is the failure who did not speak out about the deception when he knew the truth.  Noepatriarch’s position is an invalid charge of sin against Eve and a failure to charge Adam with his treason.  The fact is that Eve became a prey for satan because the man failed to speak out and expose the lie.  Where did God ever blame Eve for stepping outside her “domain”?  God did not blame her for this.  He blamed Adam for listening to his wife while she was being deceived.  This was a serious sin.  It is an amazing thing to me that Neopatriarch continues to blame the deceived one and let the one who was the silent watchman go scot-free.  In Neopatriarch’s quote below the Greek words do not show up as my blog is not able to show the Greek.

Neopatriarch writes:

Eve was tricked by the serpent. The consequence was that she became a transgressor. The identity of womankind with Eve is expressed by Paul’s switch to “the woman” and the perfect tense  “has come into transgression.” So what is predicated of Eve is predicated of womankind, through the typology. That is, any woman who is typologically represented by Eve has become a transgressor through deception and continues in the state of transgression.

Neopatariarch wants all of us to think that the identify of all women (womankind) is first of all sure because Paul said “a woman” and now it is identified with Eve because all women (plural) are “the woman” (definite singular)?  That is impossible.  First of all the perfect tense is not the future tense here.  The perfect tense is maintaining that at the time of Paul’s writing “the woman” was in the transgression, however she will be saved (future tense) if… (verse 15)  All of womankind is not even alive at the time that Paul wrote this so the perfect tense cannot apply to them.  Also Paul could not have predicted that all of womankind would come into transgression through deception.  He would have to say that all womankind will come into transgression (future tense) if they fall through deception.  This is not even close to what Paul actually said.

Either Paul was inspired and his grammar was inspired or it wasn’t.  Which is it?  I choose to believe that Paul said exactly what the Holy Spirit inspired.  “The woman” was a woman in the Ephesian congregation who had been deceived by the lie.  She was like Eve in that the one who could protect her was sitting on his duff doing nothing.  He was another silent Adam allowing his wife to continue in her deception.  Timothy was to take Paul’s authority and stop her.  Timothy can now go to the woman and bypass her husband and say that “Paul is the one who is not allowing this…”  Timothy will have courage to do this necessary work of stopping this woman and he does so with Paul’s full authority and Paul’s encouragement.

Neopatriarch tries to sum up my view by saying:

Now we come to the crux of Schatz’s argument. Essentially, I believe her argument is this: In verse 15, either “she” refers to the specific woman and “they” refers to the woman and her husband, or “she” and “they” have the same antecedent. But “she” and “they” cannot have the same antecedent because the antecedent cannot be both singular and plural. Pronouns must agree with their antecedents in number. Therefore, “she” must refer to the specific woman Paul is correcting, and “they” refers to the woman and her husband. She may further claim “she” refers to “the woman” in verse 14 because it is the nearest candidate for an antecedent.

This is correct.  We cannot have hanging pronouns without the original nouns that they refer back to.  Let’s see how Neopatriarch tries to wiggle out of this one.

First, it should be recognized that the nature of Schatz’s argument as a disjunctive syllogism requires her to eliminate disjuncts to establish her own view. While she may have eliminated the disjunct she tries to pin on the patriarchalist, she presents us with a false dilemma. “[S]he” and “they” in verse 15 do not need to have the same antecedent in the patriarchalists’ view. Instead, the chiastic structure of verses 8-15 reveals the correct pronoun-antecedent relationships:

A (9-10) Christian “women” (plural)
B (11-12) “a woman” (singular indefinite noun) –it means any Christian woman.
C (13) “Eve” (generic / representative woman)
C’ (14) “the woman” (generic / representative woman)
B’ (15a) “she” has the antecedent “a woman”
A’ (15b) “they” has the antecedent “women,” Christian women in context

Women are the topic of both “she” and “they,” but, grammatically, they have different antecedents. The pronoun “she” refers to “a woman”, and the pronoun “they” refers back to “women.” In other words, “she” refers to any woman, and “they” refers to every woman. Hence, “she” is not a specific woman, but any woman who is represented by the woman Eve. Schatz’s argument fails at least so long as this is a live alternative.

Let’s see if we can unravel this womanly mess.  🙂  What Neopatriarch is saying, is that all godly Christian women are to be clothed with good works (verses 9 & 10) however it is forbidden for any Christian woman to teach any Christian man (verse 12) because Eve was a representative of any Christian woman (verse 13) and “the woman” meaning any Christian woman is in sin right now and is still in her transgression (verse 14) and has been deceived but any Christian woman will be saved from her deception if all Christian women continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control.  This is illogical to have all Christian women in sin and all Christian women represented by Eve, but the thought that no Christian woman can be saved unless all Christian women continue in faith is untenable.

In essence there is no difference between “any Christian woman” and “all Christian women” and it is by necessity that “any Christian woman” must be included with the “all Christian women” and “all Christian women” can be broken down to “any Christian woman” so there is no difference between the two groups.  For example I would ask Neopatriarch which group his own your wife belongs to?  Is she one of the “any Christian woman”?  Or is she one of the “all Christian women”?  She is by necessity a member of both so the antecedent is of necessity the same.  Not only does Neopatriarch’s explanation make a mockery of Paul’s words by attaching all women to the deception of Eve, but the Bible never uses Eve as a representative of all women.   Also since the “any” and the “all” cannot be shown to exclude any particular Christian woman, by necessity the  sides are equal and Neopatriarch’s  own convoluted explanation “she” = “they”.  This is illegal grammar.

If the reader has trouble figuring out Neopatriarch’s explanation, it is no wonder.  His explanation is nothing more than double talk.  He has no way to show that “any Christian woman” cannot fit both into the “she” group and the “they” group so although he tried to explain that these were different things, they are not.   Neopatriarch has only succeeded in trying to make Paul look foolish with confusing words that mean the same thing and the questioning of all women’s salvation which surely would spark the thought that women are somehow spiritually inferior to men whose salvation is never questioned in the Scriptures as a group.

Also I also ask Neopatriarch to show me how any Christian woman can be said to be in transgression right now because of her deception?  His explanation doesn’t hold water.  I would also like to ask how Timothy would have understood all of that “she” = “they” stuff?  And how does all of this fit in with the specific deceived teachers at Ephesus?  The thought that Paul would have connected all Christian women to the deceived Eve and said they were all in transgression in deception is so far fetched that I can’t believe that Neopatriarch could think that his explanation would refute my straightforward interpretation of the passage that allows the grammar to be followed exactly as it was inspired?

Second, although the nearest candidate for a pronoun antecedent is often correct, we must remember that context is king. As I’ve argued above, we ought to understand (a woman) as an indefinite noun referring to any woman. Hence, we choose the antecedent for the pronoun “she” that makes the best sense in the context.

So “a woman” must mean any woman and “the woman” must mean any woman.  That makes no sense at all.  So why did Paul write these verses with what appears to be  illegal grammar instead of staying with either “she” or “they”?  He could have said “she will be saved if she…” or “they will be saved if they…”  And what does a single Christian woman have to do with all Christian women?  So I can’t be saved unless all Christian women stay in the faith?  Or your wife cannot be saved unless all Christian women, (including me!) stays in the faith?  And of course that means all Christian women past, present and future!

Neopatriarch, your interpretation is nonsense.  I think you had better try one more time to see if you can get it right.  You have not found a way to poke a hole in my interpretation, but your own interpretation is so full of nonsense that we (all Christian women) could drive a Mac truck through it.

Let’s sum it up with Neopatriarch’s final words:

Third, Schatz’s view leads her to the untenable conclusion that a husband and wife are in view. But this conclusion has been answered by Michael R. Riley in his paper “The Proper Translation of Aner and Gune in the New Testament.”9

Riley’s paper is not about a particular woman and a particular man but about generic woman and generic man so my position about one particular couple has not been answered by Riley as Neopatriarch claims.

In conclusion, Schatz’s view has several problems. Among them:

1. Schatz fails to take proper account of the context. Specifically, the verses that precede verses 11-12 where Paul is giving instructions for men and women (plural).

This is a false conclusion as I have shown from the context that Paul is dealing with false deceived teachers and in the middle Paul is dealing with the leadership and their improper way of handling opposition with the men (through arguments in their prayers) and the woman (through asserting their position through their way of dressing).  Neopatriarch has failed to show that Paul was stopping the deceived teachers AND the women or that Eve’s deception has anything to do with all women.

2. Schatz violates a basic principle of hermeneutics by making an interpretive key out of what many interpreters have recognized is an unclear verse (15). The clear verses should interpret the unclear.

It isn’t an “unclear verse” if one does not shoe-horn “all women” into verses 11, 12 and 14.  When one just takes the grammar as it was written, verse 15  no longer remains “unclear”.  However Neopatriarch’s view of what he calls “clear” verses makes verse 15 so “unclear” that we may as well round up all women and keep these deceived transgressing women away from the children.  Oh, but that won’t do, because these deceived transgressing women are allowed to teach the children, right?

3. Her conclusion that “she” refers to a specific woman and “they” refers to the woman and her husband follows from a false dilemma.

And what “false dilemma” would that be?  That Timothy actually knows who the false teachers are and that Timothy knows that Paul is talking about?  While we may have trouble with Paul’s writing to Timothy, surely it is a given that Timothy who lived in the situation knew exactly what Paul meant and Timothy was not confused by Paul’s words.

4. Her explanation of the summary citation lacks the explanatory power of the patriarchalist interpretation, especially with respect to verse 13.

Oh my, since Neopatriarch has added to God’s Word throughout his explanation of verse 13 and made commands for Eve where no such commands exist and removed God’s ability to speak to Eve as well as Adam, I think that Neopatriarch is the one who lacks the explanatory power.  His view has no foundation in Genesis and it goes down hill from there.

5. Her position naturally leads to an untenable conclusion that a wife and her husband are meant. Riley demonstrates that the grammatical and contextual clues necessary to establish this conclusion are absent.

There is no such thing as an “untenable conclusion” from my explanation.  I assume that Neopatriarch read Riley’s paper.  If he did he certainly should have known that Riley has not refuted my position.  Riley does not deal with Paul talking about one couple.

Riley writes:

Those who spoke Greek did not think “Paul here is talking about wives not women, or husbands not men.”

This piece was written in 1993 and Riley was not refuting my position back in 1993.  He was trying to refute a generic representation of all wives and all husbands which is not an uncommon position for some egalitarians to hold.  This in no way touches my argument. And for the record, I have no problem if there was a specific woman who was teaching a specific man who was not her husband.  That just doesn’t seem realistic because single men didn’t normally talk to single women.  But it doesn’t change my position at all about one particular man and one particular woman.

Neopatriarch, it is nice that you have tried once again to refute me, but too bad that you have failed the second time.  Next time you try, please email me so that I can get to your argument a little sooner.  I have full confidence that you will not be able to come up with an argument that has any substance in it and my argument still stands strong and forceful by the fact that I use the inspired words and the inspired grammar as they are written without making “she” = “they”.

Back to the drawing board, my friend.  I wish you well.  Do keep me informed of your progress because it is always an interesting thing for me to watch what you will come up with next.

268 thoughts on “Neopatriarch once again fails to refute Cheryl Schatz

  1. Sorry, guys that this post is so long. I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned to refute each one of Neopatriarch’s points. It will be interesting to see if he takes another stab at refuting me. The least he can do is try to answer my questions. I invite Neopatriarch over here answer the questions. The one who makes his position public should be willing to answer the hard questions and respond to the challenge. I am always willing to be challenged and I welcome the challenge. You too Neopatriarch?

  2. Neo:
    “Since presumption favors our initial conclusion that any man and any woman are meant in verse 12…”

    This is not a most respectful way at an attempt to understand the written word. His thought CLEARLY is merely based on what he wants to presume. How can anyone honestly just make scriptural presumptions and then create doctrine out of them? What kind of Truth seeking is THAT?

  3. If neo is married I sure hope he doesn’t show his post to his deceived wife until he can round up all women through all time and ensure they are continuing in faith, etc. so his wife can understand her and her sister’s depraved state.

  4. A (9-10) Christian “women” (plural)
    B (11-12) “a woman” (singular indefinite noun) –it means any Christian woman.
    C (13) “Eve” (generic / representative woman)
    C’ (14) “the woman” (generic / representative woman)
    B’ (15a) “she” has the antecedent “a woman”
    A’ (15b) “they” has the antecedent “women,” Christian women in context

    So in Neo’s analysis, you have to wait until verse 15, (and really, verse 15b) to figure out the grammer and know what is going on. Hmmmm. Isn’t he committing the same error that he accused you of?

    First, we normally read a pericope from start to finish so that contextual resources are provided to us as we move from one verse to the next. With Schatz’s approach, the reader must wait until he reaches verse 15 to decrypt what Paul meant by “a woman” in verses 11 and 12 because Schatz has made verse 15 the interpretive key for 11 and 12.

  5. The biggest problem for Neo is that he makes the salvation of “any woman” dependent on all women remaining in the faith. So if any woman doesn’t remain in the faith we are all damned? Oy vey.

    i.e. Any woman will be saved through the childbearing if all woman continue in the faith…

    Sounds like an impossibility for any woman to be saved then because I know some women who didn’t remain in the faith. I think that if Neo had placed his ABCCBA into verse 15 as he has it listed, he might have looked over at his wife and said “Sorry honey…I don’t think you are going to make it because your salvation depends on the faithfulness of all women.” And he thinks this is a better interpretation than mine? I know of not a single person who would believe Neo’s interpretation and likely not Neo’s wife either.

  6. Maybe Neo should take his antecedent back one more so that he can connect “they” to all men thus “Any woman will be saved through (the Messiah) if all men continue in the faith…”

    No matter what, women are in trouble with his interpretation. Can any of us be saved? Yikes!

  7. Maybe Neo should take his antecedent back one more so that he can connect “they” to all men thus “Any woman will be saved through (the Messiah) if all men continue in the faith…”

    Of course, this is one of the most flagrant errors in his analysis. If the passage is a continuous flow as he maintains, it must begin in vs. 8 because the hosautos (“likewise”, “in like manner”) starting verse 9 inexorably joins vss. 8 and 9 together. But appending vs. 8 to his “chiastic” completely blows it up.

    Moreover, Neo claims there can not be an abrupt shift in Chapter 2 – that the whole thing “flows”. But his very chiastic is such an abrupt shift. Whether the issue ending in vs. 15 begins in vs. 9 as he claims or vs. 11 as Cheryl claims, the resulting passage is detached from the rest of the chapter. He claims an abrupt shift from the “flow” of the chapter is inadmissible and then he suggest the very same shift, only beginning 2 verses earlier!

  8. There it is – the official Women in Ministry “Jolly Good Try” award with the bonus wisdom to try again!

    If anyone wants to go to Neo’s blog to let him know that he has an award to pick up at the place where he has been refuted (once again!) he might like it.

  9. Most unbearable is his treatment of Genesis 2 and 3 – it is borderline misogynistic. The following, especially, is not only unsupportable but quite intollerable:

    Eve, Paul implies, was not kept safe at the Fall; she was deceived. Why? Because she left her proper domain under her husband’s care. What happened as a result? She became an easy prey for Satan. How can women under Timothy’s charge (and in churches everywhere) avoid repeating the same mistake? By “childbearing,” that is, by adhering to their God-ordained calling, including a focus on marriage, family, and the home. 1 Timothy 2:15 thus turns out to be Paul’s prescription for women as a lesson learned from the scenario of the Fall described in the preceding verse.

    This made me have to get up and pace a little to cool down I was so upset at the implications. “A lesson learned from the scenario of the fall”! How outrageous! And where is the lesson for us Adam’s (since we also are certainly represented in Neo’s interpretation)? Is it that if we simply keep our mouth’s shut and let our woman screw up, we get off scot free? That certainly was not God’s view of the whole affair. If Adam was the teacher and Eve was so easily deceived, where is the quality of Adam’s teaching? How does he even qualify to teach if he so woefully blew his first assignment? Oh, that’s right. That naughty little Eve “left her proper domain”. Adam is portrayed as the all wise dispenser of knowledge while Eve is the petulant, obstinate, rebellious 6 year old who would have been just fine if she had stayed in the classroom instead of running off school grounds at recess. How can anyone believe such hogwash!?! It is as if Neo has never read Genesis 3 or Romans 5. But certainly he has, which only makes his prideful power play more pernicious. Ugghh! I need a Dew before I blow.

  10. “By “childbearing,” that is, by adhering to their God-ordained calling, including a focus on marriage, family, and the home. 1 Timothy 2:15 thus turns out to be Paul’s prescription for women as a lesson learned from the scenario of the Fall described in the preceding verse.”

    Amen gengwall! And of course that leads straight to the question – What do the barren wives do? Wives married to sterile husbands? Women who never get a marriage proposal or never meet a man they’d like to give one?

  11. And of course that leads straight to the question – What do the barren wives do? Wives married to sterile husbands? Women who never get a marriage proposal or never meet a man they’d like to give one?

    I guess these ones must be ineligible for salvation. But even for the ones who have children, they are not saved unless “all women” remain in the faith in their God-given “roles”.

    The question is, does anyone see any hope for any woman in this kind of statement? I sure don’t.

    Thoughts?

  12. I just went over to Neo’s blog – he does show a great deal of pride and bravado. He actually says that if he as layman can refute you, then how much more could a scholar like Grudem and he feels no need to craft a response since it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where you went wrong. Hunh? I just luv it when “patriarchs” use excuses like that.

  13. Of course it is easy for Neo to claim that he has refuted me without having to deal with the refutation of his “refutation”. And is Grudem able to refute this Biblical argument? Well I asked CBMW to do this in 2006 and they would not. So I highly doubt that Grudem will refute this Biblical argument now, but if he is so inclined to try, I welcome him. After all if my interpretation is wrong, it deserves to be refuted. If it is right, then it deserves to be tested and accepted. Either way the fact that CBMW has just chosen to ignore the argument and refused to refute it doesn’t speak well of their ability.

    But I do give Neo credit for trying. He has given a very unusual interpretation that fails the Biblical test, but the fact that he tried certainly gets the bonus award. He is far more of a Christian man than those who have merely run away. And those who ran are his heroes. Go figure.

  14. Perhaps Neo could send Grudem our way. Would anyone like to see Grudem attempt to answer the Biblical argument here? Would you all be welcoming to Grudem and treat him as a brother (although a brother in error)? If so, perhaps someone would like to issue the challenge and see if Neo can pull some strings to get the one who is better than Neo to engage.

  15. The thing that gets me about his interpretation (and others similar) is that it even if women can be saved (which appears doubtful) they somehow can never escape being “deceived” even with the guidance of the Holy Spirit – now that’s a BIG deception, when even the Holy Spirit can’t overcome it!

    I sat through many sermons in that comp/patri church I’ve mentioned before being told that women are still easily deceived and “silly women laden with sin.”

  16. Sigh. It just seems like crazymaking to me.

    I mean it seems that women are so deceived, and that is the reason we don’t understand the teachings! We have no chance of understanding it. We are deceived by the very nature of JUST being.

    WOW and it all started by not asking permission to talk to a snake. If she just asked ‘permission’ to speak maybe we would have had a chance! I mean he would have said NO right?

    Ugh.

  17. Kay, it is amazing, isn’t it, that these so-called Bible teachers and scholars will affirm first, on the one hand, that the Holy Spirit can keep men from being deceived and led astray; but then, on the other hand, affirm that he can’t keep women from being deceived and led astray? But this teaching clearly goes against the Apostle John’s teaching regarding the Holy Spirit and his leading of all believers into the knowledge of the truth necessary for both salvation and godly living:

    For the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth. So I am not writing you because you don’t know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies…So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us. I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true–it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

    1 John 2:20-27, NLT

    And while this passage doesn’t go against what it says elsewhere in the NT about how both church ministers and Christian parents are responsible to teach us the basics of the faith from Scripture, yet it is the Spirit who remains our Teacher and Counselor, leading us into a deeper, richer and more practical knowledge of Biblical truth, without some slavish dependence on human teachers. Or so I understand this passage.

  18. No, no, now Frank; I should have been more accurate. (tongue firmly in cheek) Hierarchialists do let the Spirit lead the women part time. You know – on the rare occasion that her husband asks her to outright sin.

    Seriously though, Frank – I agree – I’ve missed your commenting lately.

  19. From reading Neopatriarch’s post, I can see that some there are admitting that Neopatriarch is indeed the “Chris” the complementarian that used to post here. Neo writes:

    BTW, Schatz has misunderstood my position since she believes I’m making the salvation of any woman dependent on all women continuing in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. I believe Kostenberger has the right view on this in his paper ““Saved Through Childbearing? A Fresh Look at 1 Timothy 2:15 Points to Protection from Satan’s Deception” (see reference #7 in my post). Please read my references so you can better understand my position on this.

    Ironically, it seems that Schatz’s view is more vulnerable to this criticism than mine is. Schatz would have the salvation of that one specific woman dependent on the one specific man or perhaps the woman’s husband. In either case, the woman’s salvation through the Messiah is dependent on someone else.

    The “normal” interpretation of sozo is biblical salvation not safety from deception. While Neo appears to agree with Andreas Köstenberger that any women who stays within her proper function as wife and mother in the home will be kept safe from deception, this view makes God out to be an unfaithful one who does not keep his promises since many, many women who have stayed home with their children have fallen prey to the deception of the door-knocking Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Since my believe that the “they” is the woman herself and her husband, it is natural that his help in getting his wife away from the deception and into sound doctrine will be a part of her road to salvation. This is not a “problem” as Neopatriarch says it is. It is a natural interpretation that fits within the complete context of deception and the deceived teachers.

    Neopatriarch now says that he may revise his article one more time. Good for him. I hope he does for his article has many holes in it and I have soundly refuted his latest attempt. I am eager to hear how he will try once again to present a view without holes and attempt once again to refute my exegesis. No doubt I will have another “good try” award for him should he care to try once again.

  20. Hi Cheryl,
    Yesterday I stumbled upon this discussion as I was surfing through http://www.christianinteldaily.com. This is very enlightening. I was intrigued by the fact that “childbearing” is a noun and not a verb! Research verifies this truth! I thought your interpretation of it was then helpful. Today I was preparing a sermon on Christmas and came across this:

    “For as Eve was seduced by the word of an angel to flee from God, having rebelled against his Word, so Mary by the word of an angel received the glad tidings that she would bear God by obeying his Word.”
    -Irenaeus-

    This seems to give credit to your understanding of what Paul is doing here. Eve was deceived but through the birth of a Child all are saved. Thanks for helping us come to terms with what is being said in these passages!

    Joey

  21. Joey,
    Welcome to my blog! I really believe that these “hard” passages of scripture need extra attention paid to the inspired words and the inspired grammar. It is easy to miss that “childbearing” is a noun if one just takes the English word. And the fact that it is “the” childbearing is even more significant.

    Thanks for your comments and I hope that you feel comfortable enough to come back again and participate in our discussions.

  22. Hi Cheryl

    I’ve just recently come across your website and your articles on 1 Timothy, and the interpretation you have given on those troublesome verses of “woman be silent”! I was raised an IB (Independent Baptist) missionary kid and the whole “men in authority, and women in submission” is all I was ever taught, both verbally and by example (my mother was the ULTIMATE submissive woman, and my father was “THE MAN”). I cannot begin to explain the damage that this kind of brain washing has done not only in my spiritual life but also in my physical.

    For the first time EVER, I feel as though somebody has given me an interpretation that makes sense! I have a lot of studying and catching up to do, and I’ve ordered your DVD set, but already I cannot explain the sense of freedom from bondage I’m experiencing with just these little treasure snippets I’ve read! All these years, I’ve wondered why on earth God would give me a good understanding of Scripture (although obviously NOT so good, as I’ve never understood these passages!), and the ability to share it with others comprehensively, only to gag me because I was born female. This thinking has not only messed with my understanding of myself and my worth in God’s economy, but it also messed up my understanding of relationships with men, and ultimately the God I love. I am looking forward to getting to know Him better in TRUTH! And I cannot thank you enough for sharing what you have learned here!

    You may have already answered this question elsewhere, but I haven’t been able to find it. I’m wondering why you believe Paul uses “the woman” in vs 11 but then uses “a woman” in vs 12? Wouldn’t it have made more grammatical sense if he had of said “but I suffer not THE woman to teach..” if he was again relating to the woman of verse 11?

    Holly

  23. Hi Holly,

    I would like to take a stab at your question pending Cheryl’s response.

    You must have been brought up on the good old King James. That is one of the few translations which renders vs. 11 as “the woman”. Actually, the definite article is not present in either verse and so both should technically be translated “a woman”. I believe the intent of the King James with “the woman” in vs. 11 is still to imply a generic woman. In that light, “a woman” in vs. 12 flows just fine. In other words, I do not believe for a minute that the King James translators thought that a specific woman was in view.

    Now, Cheryl and many others including myself, do believe a specific woman is in view. In my opinion, the true Greek of the rest of the passage makes it perfectly clear that Paul is speaking of a particular woman and a particular man or set of men that she is engaged with in false teaching. So why was Paul not specific at the onset of the passage in vs. 11? One possibility is that this was a personal response to Timothy regarding issues Timothy had already written Paul about and therefore Timothy would have known exactly who Paul was speaking of, even though it is more obscure to us. Another possibility is that although Paul does get specific in the end, it may be that the problem was pervasive and so Paul was speaking about the type of situation in general to begin with, and then concluding with a specific remedy for the specific couple Timothy wrote about as a template for dealing with any couple that had similar issues.

    Whatever the reason, it does not negate two facts. One – the type of teaching that Paul is addressing is undeniably false teaching, so any application of this passage to stop women from teaching sound doctrine in the church is a great overreach. Two – a specific woman is clear by verse 14 and unmistakeable by verse 15 and therefore any application to women in general is completely unsupported.

  24. One more thing Holly. I have done an exhaustive review of over 80 English translations of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. I am sad to report that only one translation, the Concordant Literal New Testament, gets this passage completely correct from the Greek in terms of grammar. Here is the CLNT translation. Read it carefully and see if it gives you a better sense of what is going on and what Paul is talking about.

    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.

    Now, I have also done a paraphrase by cobling together parts of various translations which not only get the grammar right but use English words which seem to best carry the meaning of the equivalent Greek words. I think you will find this translation in stark contrast to what you have been taught about this passage:

    A wife should learn in peace, being ready to cooperate in everything. But I do not allow the wife to teach or to be domineering over the husband, rather, she is to remain at peace. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, having been deceived, has come to be in transgression. But she will be saved through the birth of the child, if she and her husband continue to live in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

    Remember that I did not make up any of that; it all comes from published English translations. What a contrast, wouldn’t you agree?

    Some other interesting tidbits from my scoring:

    The KJV had a score of only 20 out of a possible 60 points. That was actually about average.
    I am sad to say that my favorite translation, and the one I quote most, the NASB, scored only 10 points.
    The worst translation was the Contemporary English Version at -1 points.
    The best “mainstream” translation was the American Standard Version with 50 points.
    As I mentioned, the best overall with a perfect score of 60 was the CLNT.
    There were some translations that scored as well as the King James, but are much more damaging to women when they did go wrong. The worst possible single phrase I have ever seen, (and also the most unsupported biblically) comes from a version many young people use – The Message. Although The Message scored a 19, I was inclined to (but didn’t) fail it all together based on the paraphrase of the last half of vs. 14 where it says: “woman was deceived first – our pioneer in sin! – with Adam right on her heels.”

  25. Holly,
    Welcome to my blog! I am grateful that you have received a lot of help here and when the DVDs arrive, I am sure that they will be a great source of encouragement to you.

    Gengwall, thanks for stepping up to the plate. We are completely removing part of our house right now to get ready to construct a new video studio and office space. I am needed to help my husband every day this week until the deconstruction is complete. It is back breaking work and by the end of the day when I usually make the time for my blog, I am so exhausted, all that is left of me is to have a shower and go to bed. The long hours of physical labor are very tiring. Hopefully next week I will have time for my blog.

    Okay, enough of a break, I am back outside to help my husband in tearing down the rafters and removing all the nails.

  26. Hi gengwall

    Thank you for answering my question. And now I have a another one!

    You are right. I was brought up on the good old King James, and the King James is all I’ve ever used. In fact I’ve had the same Bible since I was 17, and that equates to 21 years! It is falling apart and I don’t have much room left to write notes in the margin so I’m thinking I’m going to have to part with my good ol’ faithful friend and venture into the scary territory of choosing another faithful friend! Yikes! (I’m not good at remembering verse “addresses”, but I can find everything I need quickly and easily with my Bible because I remember where they are on the page! lol)

    My dilemma then is, if we believe that not only is the Word inspired, but also the grammar, yet none of the translations seem to have it 100% right, then how do we know which is the inspired grammar and which isn’t? If the King James doesn’t have it all right… which one does??

  27. Hi Cheryl

    Whenever I have to do back breaking work (which isn’t very often seeing as I work long hours in an office), I just think of the muscle toning workout that I don’t normally get! Just try and think of all the kilo’s you’re losing (let alone the new studio) and it might make the exhaustion worth it! 😉

  28. Thanks Gengwall for your helpful research into all the translations.
    I noted that you said @27
    “In my opinion, the true Greek of the rest of the passage makes it perfectly clear that Paul is speaking of a particular woman and a particular man or set of men that she is engaged with in false teaching”.
    This reminded me of a question I had in relation to this passage.
    The specific woman is a false teacher. Vs 12, as translated says
    “But I do not allow the wife to teach or to be domineering over the husband”, – this sounds like both the false teaching and the domineering would be confined to the wife and her husband. This fits well with the “she” and “they” of v15.
    However, some of the discussion in these messages seems to suggest her false teaching was more widespread and more of a problem for the whole church. Any thoughts?
    Would anyone be able to give any example of the type of thing she may have been doing?

  29. Holly,
    The thing is that our English translations are just that – translations. It’s good to read from many translations because of the difficulty of translating anything from one language to another. For instance, if I say, “My husband is an ogre in the morning before his first cup of Joe”, consider the job of translating that into Chinese or German. We need to be like Bereans and study what’s behind the translations for a fuller understanding as well.

  30. Craig,
    Gnostic heresies in Ephesus at the time of Paul’s writing taught: “Knowledge of your origins via your family tree is important to salvation; Eve is the origin of all.” Notice Paul’s comment about genealogies, and his correction that Adam came first.
    Gnosticism taught: “Eve is worshipped as a perfect, spirit being, Adam’s creator and, united with the Serpent, the enlightener of mankind with the True Knowledge.”
    A common teaching was that Adam was deceived because he did not recognize the Serpent as the enlightener. Whereas Paul refutes this by reminding the reader that Eve was not perfect, but rather the one deceived…while Adam was not deceived.
    Gnosticism taught: “That which is physical is evil; spirit is good. Creating more vile flesh by having children is evil. Women who give birth will be hindered from entering Gnostic heaven.”

  31. Thank you Kay,
    I understand what you are saying about translations, and I do look into the Greek words and meanings as much as I can when studying, but I can’t claim to be a Greek scholar unfortunately.

    I do wonder how us poor English speaking countries can know which is the inspired grammar though, given the translation issues? I’ve always understood that the original 1611 KJV was the closest translation to the original manuscripts, but I’m not saying that is Gospel truth. How would I know?

    Whatever the case, this explanation of 1 Tim 2:11-15 by Cheryl has been by far the most “real” explanation I’ve ever heard. It fits best with the overall theme and context of Scripture and who Christ is and how He views His Church…

    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:20

  32. Thanks Kay.
    Do you think the passage is indicating that she was teaching things like you have mentioned just to her husband or was her influence more widespread? The grammar seems to indicate that it was just to her husband. Would this have been at home, or at church?
    If it was just to her husband alone, would Paul have expressed v12 like he does? Vs 12 sounds more like she was having a widespread influence- but how does this fit with the singular “wife” and “husband”.
    Confused as always 🙂

  33. Holly – the KJV only debate is a whole ‘nother can of worms. It boils down to quantity vs. quality.

    The Greek foundation of the KJV is called the “Received Text” because it was basically all we had “received” (very little) at the time of the translation. The term currently used for the same text with the addition of the many, many more manuscripts we now have available is “the Majority Text” because it is based on the vast majority of manuscripts. Please note that the KJV has been updated a number of times since 1611 and we have a few other “Majority” based translations like the New King James.

    The Greek foundation of almost all modern translations is based on just a few Greek manuscripts, but they are much older and more complete than what is used for the King James.

    Now, three things you must know.

    1) Even within a manuscript “family” there are variations. Not all of the King James based Greek manuscripts were completely in agreement which led to one of the major debates about the Greek leading up to the KJV, the inclusion of the so called (and extrabiblical IMO) “Johanine Comma” in 1 John 5:7-8. So, there are variations within and between families of manuscripts. That is why translators actually rely mostly on a consolodated Greek text to do their work, leaving the consolodation to other scholars. As mentioned above, that consolodated text for the KJV was the “Texus Receptus” (received text) which was compiled by Erasmus. Newer KJV-like bibles used the “Majority Text”. And all other modern translations use the Nestle-Aland text which uses those fewer but older and therefore presumably (in the view of the compilers at least) more reliable Greek sources. The bottom line is that no originals exist. Everything, even the oldest Greek manuscripts we have, are copies of copies of copies, often created hundreds of years after the original author penned his original gospel or letter.

    2) Despite all of this variety, the manuscript evidence for the bible is far, far stronger than for any other ancient writting.

    3) And even with the variation in the Greek sources, there is no variation in fundimental doctrines. It is not because of the Greek sources that we have these arguments, it is because of the introduction of cultural and editorial biases in the translation of those Greek sources.

    That is why it is important to use a variety of translations – some literal (i.e. KJV or NASB), some semi-literal (i.e. NIV), and some paraphrase (i.e. NLT) when doing a deep study. If one finds discrepancies or even stark contradictions between translations, that is the time to go back to the Greek and, in essence, do some translating yourself.

    There are many online resources that can help you, as well as hard copy resources. For hard copy translations of the NT, I have an 8 translation parallel bible (Get Here at Amazon). It includes KJV, NASB, NCV, CEV, NIV, NLT, NKJV, and The Message. For hard copy standard bible, I use the NASB, although as I noted above, it performs rather poorly on this passage. Online resources that many here use include http://www.blueletterbible.org which has really good multitranslation listings of verses, interlinear “view” (showing the Greek), and a great listing mechanism when you select a Greek or Hebrew word which shows all verses that use that word. Other people use http://www.studylight.org, which has an even better interlinear (Greek underneath English). For the best interlinear bible (both OT and NT) evah, we use http://www.scripture4all.org. You can also download thier interlinear bible as software with even greater functionality like a lexicon and search capabilities. It absolutely rocks and has been indispensible when it comes to understanding the underlying grammer (the Greek is fully parsed) and word order of a verse or passage. Oh, and this should make you happy, the current English translation being used is the good ole KJV (with the underlying Greek also being the “Received Text” which is the basis for the KJV).

  34. Craig – I have just begun reading a book called “I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking I Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence” which basically is looking at the passage with the pagan situation in Ephesus that you refer to as the main focus. I have not read very far yet but I think that they are going to make the argument that Paul is dealing with bunches of people, not an individual couple. I’m not sure but that seems to be the direction they are heading. (BTW – anyone read this book?) That doesn’t necessarily preclude Paul from addressing one couple as an example of the larger group. (In essence, that is what comps say he is doing, although the “one” is Eve and the larger group is all women, or at least all Christian women within the setting of the church service. To me, the evidnece is clear that “the woman” and “she” in verse 14 and 15 can not be Eve, so I reject their notion).

    The bottom line is we don’t have Timothy’s letter to Paul which prompted Paul to write. We simply can’t know for sure if there was only one couple involved or if one couple is emblematic of a broader problem. What we do know for sure is that “she” in verse 15 is a specific woman and she is not Eve, so the application of the prohibition of the passage to all women for all time is simply not supportable and the teaching that is involved must be false teaching.

  35. Thanks Gengwall.
    I would be interested in your thoughts after reading this book. Thanks for your honesty in acknowledging what you are sure about and what is more difficult to be sure about.
    You said
    “To me, the evidence is clear that “the woman” and “she” in verse 14 and 15 can not be Eve, so I reject their notion”.
    The thought that the Greek of v14 means that “the woman” is currently still sinning and therefore can’t be Eve seems relatively new to me. I don’t remember it from the DVDs (although I may have missed it) but I have seen it in comments dated over the past year or so. I don’t know much Greek, but it would seem a fairly significant fact if it is clear and unarguable. Do you know if comps acknowledge this from the Greek or not?
    If “the woman” of v 14 is not Eve, does Paul’s argument of v13,14 seem to be missing its ending?
    A lot of the comments about this passage relate to Adam not being deceived while Eve was deceived. This passage wouldn’t actually say that if v14 doesn’t refer to Eve. We would have to turn to 2 Cor 11:3 to get that information and the argument doesn’t seem to flow as well.
    Any thoughts?

  36. Just to clarify my question. I can understand how the “she” of v15 is the “woman” of v11,12. I am just wondering about “the woman” of v14 – is she Eve or the Ephesian woman? Thanks.

  37. Just thinking out loud about my own question.
    In v13, Paul mentions Adam and Eve by name. In v14 he mentions only Adam by name. If he had meant Eve, it would seem more natural to have mentioned Eve by name, just as he did Adam, rather than calling her “the woman”.
    This point seems to favor v14 being about the Ephesian woman.
    Does anyone agree/disagree?

  38. Thank you for the response Gengwell. Guess I’ve got much studying, reevaluating and praying to do.
    God bless

  39. Hi guys,
    Sorry that I have been out of it for a long period of time. Our renovation project has totally sucked my energy dry leaving no time for my blog.

    Craig,
    You said:

    If “the woman” of v 14 is not Eve, does Paul’s argument of v13,14 seem to be missing its ending?

    Paul ties in “the woman” to Eve in such a way that what is currently happening to “the woman” (at the time of Paul’s writing) is seen as another Eve situation. While Paul is talking about a specific woman in verse 14 his reference so relates to the original deception of the first woman that Timothy has to understand the seriousness of the situation. There are two deceived women who have husbands who are doing nothing about their wives deception. In verse 14 Paul’s words hint at Eve since Adam is mentioned, but the grammar cannot refer to Eve since it is an on-going consequence of the deception that brings a question in verse 15 about her salvation.

    There were several things that I was not able to put into the DVD series because it was already long and I had to cut a bunch of stuff about Adam and Eve and Genesis in order to meet the time restrictions for each session. Also it was pointed out to me after the DVDs came out that the grammar of verse 14 prohibits “the woman” from referring to Eve just as the grammar of verse 15 prohibits Eve from being “she”. I had caught the grammar in verse 15 but missed it in verse 14. What is interesting to me is that it was first pointed out to me by a complementarian and was expanded on by an egalitarian right here on this blog. So while some comps have said to me that if Paul had meant “a woman” to be a specific woman he would have called her “the woman”, verse 14 answers that challenge. Paul calls her “woman” in verse 11 and 12 but qualifies her as “the woman” in verse 14.

    What Paul is doing is drawing a conclusion about the specific Ephesian woman by painting a picture of her predecessor and then finishing with the issue at hand with the “second” Eve and her on-going transgression that is currently a matter of discussion has happened to her through the process of deception. Bear in mind that this passage has been an acknowledged difficult passage that up until now, most commentators on the Scriptures have acknowledged that Paul’s use of seldom used words, switching from singular to plural and perfect tense grammar which indicates a present state has made the passage very difficult to understand.

    I am going to paste a copy of the grammar of the perfect tense from verse 14 showing the present state:

    1-tim-2-14-fell-into
    perfect-tense
    …and also the future tense of verse 15 of the third person singular “she”.

    1-tim-2-15-future

  40. Craig,
    What I like about your comments is that you are trying hard to work this out so that you are not one who just accepts what others say, but you need to understand for yourself so that you are convinced by the text and the inspired grammar rather than just accept someone else’s opinion. This is truly a sign of one who is a Biblical Berean.

  41. The other comment I have on verses 14 & 15 is that I can completely understand how these verses have confused so many people for so long. What has complicated their understanding is the false belief that in this passage Paul’s purpose is to restrict women’s ministry. If one starts with this presupposition, it is very difficult to draw any sense from verse 15 in particular. For if Paul is intending to restrict all women from teaching men, why bring in the issue of salvation? And what has Eve’s deception to do with Christian women today? Why would Paul restrict all women and then question their salvation and then attach that to the bearing of children? Nothing really makes sense if one believes that Paul has created a brand new law that has never been written in God’s law before but Paul claims that it is a law founded in creation. How can that be when women have never been restricted in this way in the entire history of the Bible?

    But when one understands that Paul is not using the plural “women” because his restriction is not a universal restriction on all women. Rather, Paul is dealing with false teaching and a false teacher who has a husband who is just like the silent Adam. Timothy who Paul has encouraged before not to be timid must bypass the woman’s husband in order to silence her. Think about the culture of that time and how that culture gave a husband full authority over his wife. If the husband was the perceived “master” of his wife, it should not be hard to understand how sensitive this situation would be when Timothy needed to walk past the “master” to silence the wife’s teaching. It is no wonder that Paul specifically lists this one deceived teacher as a problem as he gives Timothy wise counsel on how to deal with this sticky situation. I love the way Paul ends his instruction to Timothy in verse 15 after saying to “let her learn” and Paul’s giving out of his own authority for Timothy to use to stop her from teaching. Here is what I love: Paul concludes with the positive promise that she will be saved if the silent husband will take an active role in the rehabilitation of his wife in order to walk alongside her in faith, in love for the truth and in self-control to stay away from false doctrine. Everyone who has been in a position of being deceived by a lie can be encouraged by the pathway to life that includes learning the truth, loving the truth and embracing the truth with self-control to stay away from the lie.

  42. Cheryl – your last paragraph in #45 is the most succinct description yet of the 1 Tim 2 passage and really pulls all of the discussions and analysis here in the last year or so together. Bravo. Here is the key to me. “If one starts with this presupposition [that Paul is making a global prhibition on women], it is very difficult to draw any sense from verse 15 in particular.” The converse is also true. If one looks at your summation above, the passage, and verse 15 in particular, make perfect sense. This evaluation of what makes “sense” is what really turned me around on this passage even before I started digging into the grammar. The comp viewpoint simply never made any sense. There were too many holes; too many contradictions. But now, thanks in great amount to the numerous discussions and “iron sharpening iron” that goes on here, Paul’s wisdom and instruction to Timothy makes perfect sense.

  43. Craig@36,
    Sorry, I wasn’t ignoring your questions – I’m helping my “expecting any day now” daughter. Feeding son-in-laws and chasing toddlers = little blog time. 🙂

  44. Craig – just to expand on what Cheryl said in relation to your questions @39-41. We know a specific woman is in view in verse 14 because of the use of the definate article. The Greek says literally “the woman” instad of simply “woman”. Now, it could be Eve since Eve is the most recent specific woman spoken of at verse 13. But, two circumstances steer us away from Eve.

    One is by implication which you have noted – Paul doesn’t repeat Eve’s name, but instead refers to some unnamed woman, where he does call Adam by name a second time in verse 14. It seems odd at best if Paul is referring to Eve still.

    But the second reason, the grammatical one Cheryl details, is conclusive. The deceived state is ongoing – there is no other valid conclusion based on the tense of the “to be” verb. How virtually all translators get this wrong is mind boggling, until one considers that most were men who probably had the same presupposition that this passage deals with all women (which would explain the translators even grosser error in dealing with singular and plural throughout the passage). But it doesn’t change the reality – Paul is talking about a specific woman who continues to be under decpetion at the writing of his letter. It simply can’t be Eve.

    We then look to see who it can be. Verse 15 refers again to a specific woman who can be saved (or redeemed) in the future. Again, this can’t be Eve, but the construction of 14 and 15 make it seem, at least to me, obvious that the same woman is being spoken of in both verses. But who is this woman? Was she pulled completely out of thin air? Did Paul suddenly have a “squirl!”* moment, becoming completely distracted? Or is it possible, considering the consistent use of the singular in verses 11-15, that this woman we know to be a specific human being from verses 14 and 15 is the same woman in the whole passage? To me, that makes perfect sense.

    Let’s imagine for a moment that Timothy had written Paul something like this:

    “I have this woman in the congregation who is immersed in pagan worship and teaching. More than that, she has brought this false teaching into her home and her husband seems either unwilling or unable to stop her. In fact, it appears that she completely dominates him as we rarely see him and when we do, she actually will not allow him to speak. I have even heard rumors that she has rejected the teaching of the church and abuses her husband if he tries to speak up. Never-the-less, I am uncomfortable bypassing her husband and challenging her directly. I am at a loss as to what to do. Is there any hope for this couple or should we remove them from the assembly?

    Paul responds (keep in mind that the letter from Paul has an implicit “regarding what you wrote me” in front of every instruction to Timothy. I have included how this might possibly have been interptreted by Timothy considering his close relationship with Paul)

    [Regarding what you wrote me about a particular woman] A wife should learn in peace, being ready to cooperate in everything. But I [Paul, as an apostle and authority in the church] do not allow the wife to teach or to be domineering over the husband [so go ahead and name drop Timothy], rather, she is to remain at peace. [Now let me describe for you a similar situation we are all familiar with] For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, [back to your situation] but this woman [like Eve], having been deceived, has come to be in transgression. But she will be redeemed through the birth of the child [just as I was – see chapter 1 of this letter], if she and her husband continue to live in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint [unlike what has been going on to date in their marriage].

    Makes perfect sense to me. We have to accept that Timothy and Paul were close enough that there was some reading between the lines and some things were perfectly left unspoken. That doesn’t mean we can;t apply what Paul teaches. But it does mean that we can’t jump to conclusions about what Paul is talking about without considering context at three levels – what was going on in Ephesus at the time, what Paul’s theme is, and how close Paul’s and Timothy;s relationship was.

    *Sorry for the reference if you haven’t seen the movie “Up!”. On the other hand, if you have, the reference as applied to Paul and this passage seems perfectly appropriate. If you accept the grammatical facts (most comps choose to ignore them) but still see this as a prhibition on women in general, then you have to conclude Paul went completely bonkers for a moment to find any “sense” in the whole passage.

  45. Thanks very much Cheryl and Gengwall for your helpful explanations and your encouragement. I really appreciate the time and effort you put into your answers, especially when there are many other pressures on your time.
    Kay, I hope and pray God’s blessing and grace for the whole family as your new grand daughter arrives.
    Holly, it is very interesting to hear your questions also- you seem to be on the same journey as me.

  46. Another question just for clarification.
    For comps, their explanation seems to stand or fall on the word “authentein” (spelling?) in v 12 meaning what they call normal “authority” (in contrast to domineering, or lording it over) that is OK for men to have over women, but not women over men, in the church and home.
    For egals, their explanation doesn’t depend on the meaning of this word because their is no legitimate authority. Any type of “authority” would be bad- for either men or women to exercise over the other. All the discussion about the meaning of “authentein” may be interesting but not critical to their position.

  47. Sorry, I meant that as a question to check my understanding. I should have finished with -am I correct?

  48. It’s dawning on me that I’ve always been taught and seen the Trinity in a hierarchical way,

    1) God the Father
    2) God the Son
    3) God the Holy Spirit

    even while at the same time saying that they are Equal and One…

    1) God the Father 2) God the Son 3) God the Holy Spirit

    and I’ve always been “ok” with this… yet it’s not even logical when I really think about it 🙁

  49. Craig… it does seem that I’m on a journey the same as you. I’m also in Australia (I read on a post elsewhere that you are too) so maybe there’s an “awakening” happening here! lol

    Must say that this new school of thought feels kind of like a “free fall”… You know, when a young adult first steps out from under the parent’s “authority” and kind of isn’t sure what to do with all this new found freedom…

    They say that a person who’s been in jail for years can’t handle it when they no longer have the “security” of the four walls caging them and the dictation of the wardens governing what/when/how they conduct their lives on a daily basis. I wonder how many women might feel that way when they discover that they are actually free and equal in Christ, in every way, contrary to what they’ve been taught all their lives.

  50. Craig – authenteo appears only once in the NT, in this verse. You are correct that comps view this as “normal” and “good” authority. Every Greek dictionary and lexicon proves otherwise. Here are the possible definitions from the lexicon on blueletterbible.org

    1) one who with his own hands kills another or himself
    2) one who acts on his own authority, autocratic
    3) an absolute master
    4) to govern, exercise dominion over one

    It should be clear that this is not a benevolent authority. Surely, it would not be any more correct for a male in the church to exercise this kind of authority over anyone, let alone his wife.

    It is also true that egals do not believe that any kind of authority should be exercised between believers, benevolent or otherwise. But that is not the main egal objection to this word. It is the dark malevolent nature of the authority this word expresses that proves it simply can not be the kind of benevolent authority comps believe is tolerable in marriage or the church. We are more interested in how comps have mischaracterised the word than we are in a general conversation about authority at this point in the passage. It comps took the word at its true meaning, they would disapprove of authenteo even if it was a male exercising it and they would reject the exercise of authenteo anywhere in the Body.

  51. “They say that a person who’s been in jail for years can’t handle it when they no longer have the “security” of the four walls caging them and the dictation of the wardens governing what/when/how they conduct their lives on a daily basis. I wonder how many women might feel that way when they discover that they are actually free and equal in Christ, in every way, contrary to what they’ve been taught all their lives.”

    Very astute observation. And that is a reasonable response. Normally, children, both male and female, are supposed to be given authority over their own lives in small doses so that they can learn the disciplines of making good and right decisions.

  52. “Any type of “authority” would be bad- for either men or women to exercise over the other. All the discussion about the meaning of “authentein” may be interesting but not critical to their position.”

    Craig, #51

    There are different kinds of authority. The worldly authorities of privilege and control are the ones that I believe Scripture speaks against.

    Matt. 20 “25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

    Lording over and exercising authority OVER is what we should not do with one another. Rather we are called to minister to one another the spirit and truths from God. We are to provoke one another to good works, bring healing, support, honor, encouragement, correction and so forth.

    There is an authority in speaking and acting within the unction and manifestations of the Holy Spirit. It is a power that is greater than any worldly privileged positions of control over others. It is only achieved in holiness and the love of God.

    Our problems come when churches are organized according to worldly requirements. There is a strong mix in most all churches of worldly authorities and spiritual authority. It would be difficult to correct and perfect.

  53. Thanks guys for helping out on the blog! My days have been incredibly busy with deconstructing parts of our house and preparing for the actual construction of the office and studio. I may be overwhelmed for awhile yet. Here is what we are facing today:

    digger-arrives

    The water line, sewer and gas need to be removed and relaid and a hole of at least 3 feet deep from my back door sloping to the end of the yard will remain by the end of today as we are preparing for the new construction. I am already behind in ministry work and my book is not yet finished so I will do the best I can here to pop in as I can, but I can’t promise anything because of the construction. Your help in answering questions and discussing this issue with those who are needing help is very much appreciated! Gotta run now, my house is shaking and the machine is removing our yard.

  54. Understood Cheryl! Our yard still looks like they have been testing missiles and our daughter’s wedding is now one month away. My wife and I are out there every night except tonight, which is my BD, so we are taking the day off.

  55. WOW! construction work with digging and major remodeling is both stressing and rejuvenating. New beginnings.

    Prayers are gone up for your success.

  56. @57 TL
    “Our problems come when churches are organized according to worldly requirements. There is a strong mix in most all churches of worldly authorities and spiritual authority. It would be difficult to correct and perfect.”

    Have any of you found a local church that operates or functions for the most part with what you would consider the right mix of equality and spiritual authority?

  57. I’ve known a few churches that have a reasonable mix. But IMO it is the mixing along with other things (like singular leadership, no manifestations of the HS, pastor doing all the preaching/teaching, etc.) that has limited the true spiritual effectiveness of churches.

  58. It was an interesting day for me. I was a “go-for” girl especially since the back yard was so dug up, I was the only one who was outside the “hole” that could run for things. We had two surprises. The first was hitting the 1939 sewer line and breaking it. We were planning to replace it – eventually. Know what happens when you break a vintage sewer line? Well some things don’t work.

    The second surprise was finding an old buried oil tank that we didn’t know was there. Thank the Lord there were no leaks in the tank and the excavator was able to get it out. The environmental guy who came to test the soil didn’t even know what should be done with it. I guess we find out tomorrow.

    Gengwall, I am impressed that you would find time for this blog when you too are so busy too! Kudos to you and a very happy birthday.

  59. Craig #51 you said:

    For egals, their explanation doesn’t depend on the meaning of this word because their is no legitimate authority.

    I am not sure if I agree. Although we are convinced by the Scriptures that there is no authority of one person over another, if the Scriptures refuted that and listed an authority given to one sex or one “kind” of person, I for one would have to submit to the Scriptures. However the Greek authentein in 1 Timothy 2:12 doesn’t grant that authority. After all comps make this verse say more than it does. The verse doesn’t say that men are allowed to authentein anyone. Why the term is used by Paul for “a woman” does not at all grant any man the right to authentein. Also if Paul had meant the ordinary kind of authority that the world recognizes, he would have used the term that was used and understood by all.

    Any type of “authority” would be bad- for either men or women to exercise over the other. All the discussion about the meaning of “authentein” may be interesting but not critical to their position.

    Some may feel this, but I believe that we cannot just discount any verse and force it into our own viewpoint. We have to sincerely want to understand the inspired words and the inspired context even though from the outset it adds nothing to the teaching that males have authority over females. Because the verse is God-breathed, we need to desire to know what God intended by placing this verse in the Scripture.

    Craig, thanks so much for all your poking and prodding! I think that this is very helpful and a good example to all of us.

  60. #53 Holly,

    You said:

    It’s dawning on me that I’ve always been taught and seen the Trinity in a hierarchical way,

    1) God the Father
    2) God the Son
    3) God the Holy Spirit

    even while at the same time saying that they are Equal and One…

    1) God the Father 2) God the Son 3) God the Holy Spirit

    and I’ve always been “ok” with this… yet it’s not even logical when I really think about it 🙁

    Don’t feel bad, I think we all have come to understand that we have accepted and believed things that we didn’t properly evaluate. I am just so glad that you are relooking at these things and seeing why your former understanding was not logical. I remember the time when I started to look through the Genesis account of Adam and Eve and questioning why I had accepted as truth so much that wasn’t written in the Scriptures. When it finally dawned on me that I had just accepted things as fact that really made no logical sense at all, I was so amazed that I had fallen for these traditions. And when I started to share my questions with others, they too were finally able to see the contradictions for themselves that they had believed. I really think that God is so patient with all of us as we take time to really get it.

  61. Time for me to call it a night. My life has been turned upside down with the construction and I am exhausted. My whole yard now looks like this:

    what-a-mess

    I am praying that we don’t get rain because we could have a giant mud bath.

  62. Gengwall and Cheryl,
    Thanks for your replies. From your responses I think I may have been a bit unclear in my comments/questions.
    I am thinking of a conversation I had recently with a comp friend after he had just preached a sermon on 1 Tim 2. He stated that it was unwise to base a doctrine ( or view of a passage) on a word that is used only once in the bible. He said that this is what egals do with “authentein” in 1 Tim 2. I replied that I thought comps did exactly what he said not to do because his view required a certain meaning of this word also. He had no answer to that, so that part of the discussion was “tied”.
    As I have thought about that more, it seems to me it shouldn’t be “tied” but egals should actually “win” this part of the debate. The egal view of women in ministry doesn’t depend at all on a particular meaning of “authentein”. If it were somehow proved that “authentein” meant what comps claim, there may be a slight alteration in the way 1 Tim 2 is interpreted but it would still be perfectly consistent with egalitarianism.

  63. I keep noticing things after I have sent a message. I noticed I forgot to thank you too TL- sorry about that.
    Don’t feel pressured anyone to answer my questions if you are too busy. I still have more stored away and I am thinking of more as I go. But I don’t want to make you push yourselves to exhaustion because you feel as though you have to answer straight away.

  64. “He stated that it was unwise to base a doctrine ( or view of a passage) on a word that is used only once in the bible. He said that this is what egals do with “authentein” in 1 Tim 2.”

    Excuse my filpancy but I find this quite amusing. First and foremost, the egal view of 1 Tim 2 does not at all “hinge” on the one word authentein. And although it occurs only once in the NT, it should be noted that there are other occurances in Greek literature which paint a pretty clear picture of the type of authority the word describes.

    This is actually a straw man argument on the part of comps. They claim that the egal argument relies on this one word. Then, rather conveniently, they say that you can’t base an argument on a word that only occurs once, thereby, supposedly, dismissing the egal argument in one mighty rhetorical flourish. Of course, the intial claim is completely false, hence the straw man.

    What is lost in this little slight of hand is that they have absolutely no evidence that authentein means what they say it means. A point you brilliantly made in your reply to your friend.

  65. “they have absolutely no evidence that authentein means what they say it means.”

    And that is the point we’ve been trying to make with them since the first time someone noted that the word used was authentein and not exousia. For some reason the comps/patris do not want to acknowledge that the word has a sketchy history, or that Paul must have had a particular reason for using such an unusual word.

    Craig,
    glad to hear that you are hanging in there.

    ===========
    Everyone,
    I’m having some trouble discussing the second coming of Christ with a full preterist. I think I’ve got some good points such as there is no history within the early church of such an event and Paul, Thomas, and John were still alive in 70AD and would have written about it. As well, there are tons of events that haven’t yet been fulfilled. If anyone knows of some good Bible research refuting the concept that Christ came in 70AD, I’d appreciate it. I’m still working on curriculum for the giftings of the Spirit. Sorry about the off topic request. 🙂

  66. Cheryl,
    Your poor backyard. 🙁

    Today my front yard is going to be dug up to get to a piece of pipe that needs to be replaced. I sympathize with you.

  67. It sounds like you are agreeing now and confirming my own conclusions so I am glad I rephrased my question.
    Next question. Cheryl @45,
    “Timothy who Paul has encouraged before not to be timid must bypass the woman’s husband in order to silence her. Think about the culture of that time and how that culture gave a husband full authority over his wife. If the husband was the perceived “master” of his wife, it should not be hard to understand how sensitive this situation would be when Timothy needed to walk past the “master” to silence the wife’s teaching. It is no wonder that Paul specifically lists this one deceived teacher as a problem as he gives Timothy wise counsel on how to deal with this sticky situation.”
    I have heard you say this sort of thing on several occasions. I am not sure that I fully understand the importance of it. What part of the passage are you addressing? What difficulty in interpretation are you addressing?
    (Questions addressed to anyone, not just Cheryl.)

  68. @71 TL

    I have some excellent Bible research refuting the concept that Christ came in 70AD that I can dig out when I get home tonight.

  69. Hi Cheryl

    My “Women in Ministry – Silenced or Set Free” arrived yesterday! So excited *big grins*! I went to my parent’s home and got them both to watch the first DVD with me last night. That was an interesting experience. I’m taking it to my aunt’s place to watch again tonight… and then my sister’s tomorrow… I MIGHT get to the second DVD over the weekend! lol Where is the best place for me to ask any questions I might have about them so that I’m not putting this post off topic?

    I know that you are really busy playing “Bob the Builder” right now so no stress with getting any answers to me.

  70. Holly #75,
    “Where is the best place for me to ask any questions I might have about them so that I’m not putting this post off topic?”
    I have a suggestion (but I am only new here so others may differ). If you look on the right hand column at the top of most pages there is a list of topics or categories. Click on the appropriate topic and then find the most recent post and discussion that is related to what you are wanting to ask or say. That is where I would put my question. And as a bonus, if you read the discussion already there, you may find some helpful material that answers your question (and raises more questions 🙂 ).

  71. TL

    I found a link online where you can download for free the information that I was going to dig out on Preterism. Actually there are quite a number of really good publications at this website. I’ve found the “Bible Prophecy Handbook” to be an excellent understandable source for understanding end time events.

    http://www.heraldofhope.org.au/books.html

  72. Thank you Craig.. I was looking through the list of topics on the right and yes, many of the answers to questions I had are there.. but one specific question bothering me I can’t find the answer to! I’ll keep reading.

  73. Hi Holly,
    You are welcome to ask questions here. If I can give a reasonably short answer I can do it here. If it needs more work I am refer you to a post where I can answer or if the question has already been answered, I can refer you to where the answer is. Go ahead and ask 🙂 .

  74. TL,
    Looks like there are at least three of us without work being done on our yards that can be disruptive. Hopefully the mess will all turn out for the good for all.

  75. Craig @73
    You said:

    Next question. Cheryl @45,
    “Timothy who Paul has encouraged before not to be timid must bypass the woman’s husband in order to silence her. Think about the culture of that time and how that culture gave a husband full authority over his wife. If the husband was the perceived “master” of his wife, it should not be hard to understand how sensitive this situation would be when Timothy needed to walk past the “master” to silence the wife’s teaching. It is no wonder that Paul specifically lists this one deceived teacher as a problem as he gives Timothy wise counsel on how to deal with this sticky situation.”
    I have heard you say this sort of thing on several occasions. I am not sure that I fully understand the importance of it. What part of the passage are you addressing? What difficulty in interpretation are you addressing?

    Thanks for asking! In verse 12 “a woman” is to be silenced from teaching. In 1 Timothy 1:3 Paul reminded Timothy that he was left behind for the purpose of stopping certain people from teaching false doctrine. Deception and false doctrine are a major theme in 1 Timothy and so when we see Paul lending his own name to the stopping of a person from teaching, we have to ask why would Paul single out one of the ignorant teachers who is teaching falsehood? Wasn’t the purpose of Timothy’s existence in Ephesus to stop false teachers? Was he given the command to stop any true teachers? If only false teachers were to be stopped from teaching, then why would Paul have to single out one false teacher?

    I believe that the answer to these questions rest with the gender of the false teacher. Any male teacher who was teaching error could easily be commanded to stop. There was no protocol that would stop an apostolic representative from dealing directly with a false male teacher.

    But dealing directly with a deceived female teacher was another story in that culture. If she was married and it appears that she was, and since the culture of that day made the husband king of his own home and his wife was under his authority, having a young man (Timothy) take control over another man’s wife would not have been seen as culturally appropriate. But if indeed she was deceived like Eve and her husband was silent like Adam and letting her carry on in her deception without correction, then someone needed to do something for her own spiritual good. Timothy was that someone. He was to go with Paul’s authority and in Paul’s name to stop her from teaching. Whatever fear that Timothy had to overstep a husband’s cultural “rights” would have been helped by Paul giving Timothy the right to stand behind Paul’s name as the author of the prohibition. So in verse 12 we have Paul giving the authority to stop a female false teacher by the authority of one of the doctrinal pillars chosen by the Lord Jesus.

    1 Timothy 2:12 (NAS)
    12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

    I think the term “I do not allow” to be highly significant as a “weight” behind Timothy’s marching orders. “Timothy you stop her from teaching her false doctrine, and you let them know I said so.”

    Craig, does this help to answer your question or have I somehow misunderstood what you were asking?

  76. @75 Holly,
    You said:

    My “Women in Ministry – Silenced or Set Free” arrived yesterday! So excited *big grins*! I went to my parent’s home and got them both to watch the first DVD with me last night. That was an interesting experience. I’m taking it to my aunt’s place to watch again tonight… and then my sister’s tomorrow… I MIGHT get to the second DVD over the weekend! lol

    I am happy that your DVDs arrived. Do you know how many people have told me that they watched the DVDs three times? More than I can count. It usually goes this way…they watch the first time to get the big picture. They watch the second time stopping and starting the DVDs so that they can look up each scripture I quote to make sure it is in context. Then the third time they watch again to pick up on all the things they missed the first time around. By the third time something just clicks and people tell me that they “get it”. I think it takes so many people three times because the DVDs are jam packed with information that it is difficult to absorb all of it at once.

    One very precious lady wrote me how the first time she watched the DVDs she was angry. Then she watched again and she read all of the verses that we quoted in the NASB, in her KJV so that she could make sure that the quotes were accurate. The third time around she was in tears but joyful that she was finally released from what had bound her for so many years. She also shed tears for all the years that she had buried her calling knowing that it was too late for her. I cried when I read her testimony as I do when I read the testimony of those who had buried their calling and their heart felt purpose because they believe that God can’t use women to teach in public. When they write me how God used what I have written to set them free I feel so honored and humbled to be an instrument to touch people’s hearts. Only God can do that and He is still working today!

    I would be interested to hear your story someday especially about the “interesting experience” watching the first DVD with your parents. I would venture to guess that they heard things that they had never considered before, but it may have been an uncomfortable experience for them.

    Anyways I do encourage questions here or they can be placed on the DVD page at http://strivetoenter.com/wim/women-in-ministry-silenced-or-set-free-dvd/ which is also the tab at the very top which says DVD.

    Blessings to you!

  77. Oh and I got a break from being Bob(ette) the builder today so that I could catch up on some important ministry to-do’s. I still haven’t caught up, but I am working on it.

  78. Thanks Cheryl for #82. This answered my question.
    “I do not allow” does seem an unusual way for Paul to begin the prohibition and you have given a good explanation of why he may have said this. Thanks.

  79. Craig, you are welcome.

    These things are going in the book that I am writing. I am writing especially for those who need to understand Paul by hearing him come to life. I believe it will help people to understand the cultural reasons why Paul spoke the way he did to Timothy and what challenges were made to Paul that resulted in his words about women in ministry. I sincerely believe that it will help a lot more people to receive freedom in Christ on the women’s issue.

  80. I am looking forward to your book, Cheryl.
    Sorry if this question seems a bit obvious or repetitive but I just want to sure I understand your view properly.
    I have asked this question before, because I know there are some different views amongst egals on it. Gengwall has mentioned a book he is reading which may have a slightly different view.
    Am I correct in thinking that in your view Cheryl,
    “teach” refers to false teaching by a particular Ephesian woman that may have been directed toward and influencing many people in the church – not just her husband.
    “to have authority over” (NIV) is just directed to her husband.
    In other words “to teach” and “to have authority over” don’t necessarily have to have the same target group.
    In discussing this passage with one comp fellow, he said to me that if it is just referring to a particular wife and her husband, it would be strange for a “false teacher” to be just “false teaching” her husband and no one else. He thought the “teach” and “authority over” would need to be directed just to the husband.
    But I don’t think you are saying that are you?

  81. Just clarifying my question a bit.
    My comp friend seems to think that the way Paul has written v12, “to teach” and “to have authority over” both need to be directed toward “a man”. If “a man” is interpreted as a particular woman’s husband then my friend thinks that would mean that the false teaching must only be towards the husband. This my friend thinks would be unlikely.
    I have said that I think the false teaching could be directed to many people while the “authority over” was to her husband. Am I correct? Is this what you are saying Cheryl or am I totally mixed up? I hope my question is clear and not mixed up 🙂

  82. Craig, while it may seem unlikely to your friend that ‘a man’ is really A man rather than many men, we are not privy to the actual situation. It is because some think it is unlikely that ‘a woman’ is really ‘A woman’ that some have changed it to ‘women’ in their interpretation. But we really must not mess with the written word that way. First, let’s establish that it does say “A woman” and “A man” and then fuss over whom the A woman is and the A man is. The woman is likely one of the people referred to in chapter one teaching error. The man is likely one of three. Either he is her husband or he is a teacher or he is someone else she’s been specifically harassing with her teachings. I’ve not heard any other plausible ideas. Cheryl is convinced the ‘a man’ is the woman’s husband.

  83. Hi All!
    I am back from holidays…great discussion happening!
    Happy BD GEngwall…I turned 40 on the 10th!
    Hi Holly…good to have another Aussie around!
    Other than that…I have nothing much to contribute except to say that I have really enjoyed Craig and Holly’s questions… 🙂
    Dave

  84. Thanks TL.
    Thanks for your reply. I know that Cheryl is convinced that the “a man” is the woman’s husband. You have now mentioned two other possibilities for who the “a man” is. All that you have said seems good and true, but I am sorry to say that it still doesn’t answer my specific question. I am not sure that I can express it any more clearly. My question is not “who is the ‘a man”? But can the false teaching according to the Greek be to a different group or does the Greek only allow for the false teaching to be be directed to the “a man”? And what is Cheryl’s view? Sorry if I am not being clear.

  85. @88 Craig
    Are you asking whether the verse could be read like this:

    “But I suffer not a woman to teach [false doctrine to anyone], nor to usurp authority over a man [a particular man], but to learn in silence.”

  86. @ 83 Cheryl
    I continued reading and studying and found the answer to the particular question bothering me. I’m sure though that more questions will come to mind as I continue studying. Thank you for your gracious willingness to give of your time and wisdom. Much appreciated!
    The woman who wept over the years of a talent or gift buried and wasted must (or will) touch home to many women I believe. But the new found freedom they have in Christ must also override any sense of loss I would think! That is if they allow the blinkers to come off and see.
    I’ve been sharing the first couple of DVD’s with a few men and women the past couple of days and had different responses – some skeptical, some excited, some angry, some scared about where this “new” teaching will go, and what affect it will have on their lives.
    I’m also holding a home Bible study group this week, using your DVD’s, for any who want to come and learn. I am excited to see what will come of all this and I’d be happy to share my experiences with you someday.

  87. Craig,
    You asked:

    Am I correct in thinking that in your view Cheryl,
    “teach” refers to false teaching by a particular Ephesian woman that may have been directed toward and influencing many people in the church – not just her husband.
    “to have authority over” (NIV) is just directed to her husband.
    In other words “to teach” and “to have authority over” don’t necessarily have to have the same target group.

    Again I am so sorry for my absence. I had some time yesterday but I used it to catch up on areas of ministry that I am behind on.

    Here is my answer to your question. I do not believe that “teach” and “authentein” are to two different target audiences. I believe that this was a private matter between the woman and her husband although it is probable that either one of them or both of them let others know that she is teaching him her newfound doctrine.

    There are two reason that I don’t believe that there were two different target audiences. First of all the grammar of the passage has two verbal clauses joined together by a conjunction with only one object “a man”. Nominal phrases typically have a subject and an object and since there is only one subject and one object, the normal way to take this grammar is that the “man” is the object of both actions. See my screen print below:

    1-tim-2-12-object

    Another example would be in Rev. 2:20 where Jezebel “teaches” and “leads” the same people which are identified as “my slaves”. There is not one group that she teaches and another group that she leads. The conjunction joins teaches and leads by Jezebel towards the one group. The same for 1 Tim. 2:12. The sentence structure would have to be different for the actions to be towards two different groups.

    The second reason why I believe from the context that she is teaching “behind the scenes” is that if she was publicly teaching, it would have been easier to stop her as she would have been lumped into the same group as all the other public false teachers. But the inspired grammar gives no indication that she was teaching any others. There were two things that she was doing that needed to be stopped and both actions were being done to “a man”. If you have a close look at Rev. 2:20 you will see the same connection.

    Craig, you said:

    If “a man” is interpreted as a particular woman’s husband then my friend thinks that would mean that the false teaching must only be towards the husband. This my friend thinks would be unlikely.

    I would agree. This is where the sticky situation comes in. Publicly a person can be rebuked, but a private teaching in the intimacy of the marriage is much harder to rebuke.

    I also believe that the man that she was teaching was her husband since men didn’t have private discussions with women unless they were their sons or husbands. And since Paul references Adam and Eve and the deception of Eve as a picture of the problem and the reason for the prohibition, it seems quite obvious that the “man” and “woman” were in a similar situation as the other married couple in the garden.

    So Timothy becomes aware that the husband is letting his wife teach him. He is allowing her to practice her deception and he is saying nothing. What does one do about a private teaching session between wife and husband when it is someone’s else’s wife and the husband is not correcting her? Do you see how sticky that can be? Public teaching brings a public rebuke but this kind of wrong that is done in the presence of only only one and with a woman that needs to be silenced but she isn’t your wife, well that is a truly sticky situation.

    Paul’s concern is mostly for her. In verse 15 he doesn’t say that “they will be saved….if…” He says “she will be saved…if…” The concern was for her salvation so obviously her husband knew better. The deception was being spoken in private not in public and allowing her to continue to practice her deception will not bring her to the truth.

    This is how I see it because I want to pay close attention to the grammar. It appears clear to me that the correction that comes in 1 Tim. 2:11-12 is separated from the other public false teaching because it is private and not public and the correction is especially difficult because it makes Timothy responsible to correct someone else’s wife for matters that have been done in their own private home. If there is any other grammar that would correct my understanding, I am open to it. But from what I can see, this is a private matter between a husband and a wife but her salvation is worth taking the risk to correct her in a way that would be culturally inappropriate.

    Does this help a little?

  88. Holly,
    You said:

    I’m sure though that more questions will come to mind as I continue studying. Thank you for your gracious willingness to give of your time and wisdom. Much appreciated!

    You are so welcome! I sincerely believe that teaching should be able to be challenged and that there are no stupid questions. I do not claim to have all the answers but I should be willing to work hard to find answers to things that I publicly teach. Paul was happy to have his own teaching tested by God’s Word. I too believe that it is a good thing to test what I teach for if I am wrong, I can be corrected and if what I say stands up to God’s Word, then the teaching of truth will be valuable to all.

    I’ve been sharing the first couple of DVD’s with a few men and women the past couple of days and had different responses – some skeptical, some excited, some angry, some scared about where this “new” teaching will go, and what affect it will have on their lives.

    I understand all of those reactions. In the beginning days I myself was not open to discussing the women’s issue and I wouldn’t even read a book that was given to me on this issue. It just seemed heretical to me to go against the tradition that I had been taught. And I would never have touched this issue with a ten foot pole unless I had not been forced into it by a friend’s comments to me. I now praise God for that friend’s prejudice towards me because it pushed me into the Word to study to find out for myself instead of staying in the position of fear of change.

    I look forward to someday hearing the “fruit” of your ministry using what I have learned.

  89. Dave @90,
    Sorry that your comment didn’t get posted right away. I just noticed it in my spam box. Not sure how it got there, but I can vouch for you. You are certainly not spam! 😉

  90. Cheryl @ 96,
    Thanks so much for all your work in this response. It answers my question exactly and helps me to much better understand what you are saying. Unfortunately it means that I was wrong in my suggested solution 🙁 and
    I will now have to deal further with my friend’s next question. So I will cheat a bit and get your help if I may 🙂
    He views the context from 2:1 to 3:16 as all about the church gathering (3:15). He thinks that a private matter between husband and wife in 2:11-15 would not fit the context.

  91. Craig,
    You said:

    He views the context from 2:1 to 3:16 as all about the church gathering (3:15). He thinks that a private matter between husband and wife in 2:11-15 would not fit the context.

    The context of 1 Timothy goes beyond chapter 2. The context that is highly important to understand is the very reason that Timothy was left behind in Ephesus.

    1 Timothy 1:3 (NKJV) As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

    The rest of 1 Timothy has to be understood within the key reason that Timothy was left behind. If you read through chapters 1 & 2 thinking about what Timothy was left behind to do, the passage will start to open up.

    The key then is not public vs private teaching but it is false teaching done by deceived teachers. This means that even private teaching is worthy of saving the deceived teachers from their deception. And having a single woman teaching a single man makes sense of verse 15. Without a single “woman”, the grammar of verse 15 “she” and “they” makes no sense at all.

    So don’t let him make you think that the issue of 1 Timothy is about public worship. The issue is about deception, false teaching and knowing that Jesus died even for those who have been teaching error through their deception (1 Timothy 2:4) There is hope for these deceived lost people!

  92. PS I could go through this passage verse by verse to show how it all is connected to the deceived lost people, but I don’t have time right now. Craig, see what you can do with the passage first and then push me for wherever you are stuck.

  93. I can see the context of false teaching in ch1 and 2 and clearly relate this to 2:11-15. Your argument from v14,15 concerning a particular woman and man seems conclusive to me.
    How would you relate 3:14,15 to 2:11-15?

  94. Holly @ 92,
    Thanks very much in helping to clarify my question. Us men really do need you women to help us out 🙂

  95. Cheryl – I don’t know how you do it. I get in at night and I can hardly type let alone think to give thought provoking and instructive answers. Bravo!

    Craig – Unfortunately I have not been able to dive into the book yet so I can’t tell you exactly where the authors are going to go. I am not sure that they believe the specific audience in 1 Timothy is multiple mne – time will tell. What I do know they are going to address is the types of false teaching that were prevalent in Ephesus at the time. So, it may turn out that they see the passage exactly as Cheryl does, but may also believe there is a broader application to Paul’s instruction than just this one couple. We shall see.

    Having said that, I am on board with Cheryl’s interpretation of the passage (and I should note that I have come a long way since I first started reading this blog).

    One more rather mundane reason to think that this is a husband and wife. The NORM in Greek when a man and woman are being discussed together in the same passage is for them to be related. (Greek had no words for “husband” and “wife”. The words for “man” and “woman” are used both for generic humans and for husbands and wives. Context determines which is being spoken of.) Since it seems sensible that this is not some parent child or other relational situation, husband and wife would be presumed. The exception, the ABNORMAL situation in Greek would be if this man and woman were not at all related.

  96. Craig @ 104
    It is a blessing to be of help 🙂

    To everyone
    This is a little off topic but I’ve just recently discovered a scientific fact that blew my mind.
    It seems to me that a lot of these “authority” issues in Scripture come from the use of the term “head” and how we relate to the head in terms of the body. We assume that the “head” is the singular decision making organ of the body and by use of this head/body analogy the man who is the “head” must also be the decision maker in the one flesh unit.

    The following is an excerpt from http://www.therealessentials.com/followyourheart.html

    QUOTE:
    Most of us have been taught that the heart is just a ten-ounce muscle that pumps blood and maintains circulation until we die. Medical science asserts that the brain rules all of the body’s organs, including the heart. However, it is interesting to note that the heart starts beating in the unborn fetus even before the brain has been formed.
    Neuroscientists have recently discovered exciting new information about the heart that makes us realize it’s far more complex than we’d ever imagined. Instead of simply pumping blood, it may actually direct and align many systems in the body so that they can function in harmony with one another.
    These scientists have found that the heart has its own independent nervous system – a complex system referred to as “the brain in the heart.” There are at least forty thousand neurons (nerve cells) in the heart – as many as are found in various subcortical centers of the brain.
    The heart communicates with the brain and the rest of the body in three ways documented by solid scientific evidence: neurologically (through transmissions of nerve impulses), biochemically (through hormones and neurotransmitters), and biophysically (through pressure waves). In addition, growing scientific evidence suggests that the heart may communicate with the brain and body in a fourth way – energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). Through these biological communication systems, the heart has a significant influence on the function of our brains and all our Systems.
    This new scientific evidence shows that the heart uses these methods to send our brain extensive emotional and intuitive signals. Along with this understanding that the heart is in constant communication with the brain, scientists are discovering that our hearts may actually be the “intelligent force” behind the intuitive thoughts and feelings we all experience.
    END QUOTE

    I’ve always read verses such as Proverbs 23:7, “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” and not given it too much thought… until now!

  97. I’m enjoying reading all of this. I must say I am quite floored at the humble, kind-heartedness of all the men here. You are so incredibly respectful and genuinely honoring of the women here. It’s extremely touching. And you seem to genuinely care about this issue, which in my observation men are generally incapable of caring about (regardless of how honorable they might be).

    How is it you have to come to genuinely care about this issue?

  98. Holly 106,

    That is exciting news. In my world profession I am a professional massage therapist. One of the things we learn right away is that the muscles are in a symbiotic nervous relationship with the brain. The brain doesn’t really of it’s own instigation tell the muscles what to do. Rather the brain responds to the information the brain sends. Thus, when muscles are stuck in chronic pain, we have many techniques to trick the muscles into sending happy comforting messages to the brain, so that the brain through the nervous system will help the muscles to relax. Much more complicated than many have assumed.

  99. To anyone
    Given the cultural barring of women from learning or speaking to men in public, why do we assume that women teachers are included within the deceived teachers of 1 Tim 1?
    If not wearing a veil would have culturally caused such shame to the woman’s husband (1 Cor 11), then surely a woman teaching a man would also have caused the same cultural status of shame? Are there any Scriptures that specifically say “let a woman teach”?

  100. TL @ 108
    That is so exciting to know… Once again God proves that He really is the Creator, and knows looooong before science ever does, the purposes and intents of the heart!

  101. Elastigirl @ 107 – “How is it you have to come to genuinely care about this issue?”

    I have seen both sides of this issue acted out in the lives of married couples, mostly in my and my wife’s family, both in my generation and in two generations back (I was fortunate to have all of my grandparents live into their 90’s). Without exception, the comp mindset brings heartache and strife in the marriage, especially to the wife. It isn’t always demonstrative, but I, and especially my wife who is far more perceptive and intuitive than I, can see it in their eyes and on their faces.

    That isn’t to say that the egals I have observed are without conflict. But at least the conflict isn’t about making wive’s “submissive” or elevating men to the authoritarian “head” of the family.

    The issue has become even more important to me because I now have a daughter getting married in a few weeks. I was just at a wedding for a Nephew a few weeks ago where the comp message was preached fairly loud and clear. I see how this Nephew already treats his new bride (he has already called her “the wife” on a facebook post) and I observe the male pride and authoritarian air in his words and actions. It makes me bristle and it makes me vocal because I am darn sure going to do what I can to ensure my daughter doesn’t end up in a hierarchical marriage like this Nephew and his parents and his grandparents (well, not so much) and his great-grandparents.

    I will give you an illustration. My wife could relate this better but I will do my best. My wife’s grandfather was the typical authoritarian “head of the family” through most of his marriage. His wife was the typical sweet, dutiful, supportive, “submissive” (in the comp sense of that word) wife. But inside, she was torn up and had some bitterness and heartache stored up. Now, keep in mind that these were loving Christians who were extreemly good willed and carign toward each other. But they were stuck in a comp paradigm built on the traditions of the conservative church and this misapplication of passages like 1 Tim 2. In other words, they simply didn’t know any better.

    Very close to her death, my wife’s grandfather had a revelation. I don’t know where it came from, but it was life transforming. My wife observed this strong, proud, authoritarian man break down and weep at the realization of how poorly and dishonoring he had treated his wonderful wife all those years. Fortunately for him, he was able to make a change and the few remaining years they had together were some of their happiest. Most of all, a fire lit in her grandmother’s eyes that my wife says she had never seen before.

    This is what complementarianism does to even the most dedicated and loving couples. Women have their spirits crushed and then told the lie that they should be happy about it because to push back is to rebel against God. Being a son, husband, and father of women, it gets my blood boiling to know that even some in my own family, and especially even in my own generation, have fallen to the lie.

  102. Holly@110,
    A very quick response –
    Titus 2:3 – “Older women (presbutidas)…”should teach (kalodidaskalous) that which is good”

  103. Holly – Cheryl will probably have a more in depth response when she has time. There is no specific “command” that women should teach per se. What we have in both the OT and NT are examples where women teach and lead where God has approved and even ordained that teaching and leadership coupled with no specific prohibition or “law” against women teaching (except, in the eyes of comps, in this passage).

  104. Holly,
    Paul, who had not yet been to Rome, sends Phoebe to deliver his letter (book of Romans). Phoebe was entrusted with the original scripture to carry to the Romans. Ancient letter carriers also were given verbal instructions to teach by explaning parts of the letter as *they* read it out loud to the recipients. Paul is clear that Phoebe was a prominent leader in the church of Cenchrea because she helped him and many others. Phoebe is referred to as ‘Prostatis’ which basically means “one who is the legal representative of the foreigner.” In Jewish communities it meant the legal representative or wealthy patron. Phoebe somehow was the legal protector of the Christians at Cenchrea.

  105. gengwall @ 114
    Thank you for your explanation. I agree that there are examples within Scripture of women being used by God in different ways, but unfortunately I’ve always been taught that this was God’s exception to His rules. Funny how we learn to read with blinkers on without knowing it. I was stunned when I went and reread the account of Deborah without reading any preconceived ideas into it and found that she wasn’t raised up as God’s last resort just because the men in that day were “weak”.
    With the oral laws and traditions of the Jews being so against women, so much so that Paul had to address the issue of head covering in such a way in 1 Cor 11, I’m wondering why he wouldn’t have had to address the issue of women teaching and learning in a public setting much the same way. In 1 Tim 2 we do see Paul letting a woman learn, but this example is within the bounds of husband/wife relationship, not seemingly in a “public” church setting.

    Kay @113
    I’ve never looked at Titus 2:3 as a permission for women to teach/preach in a public setting, especially where men were involved. Mainly because of vs’ 4 & 5 which say “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, [To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

    Kay @114
    I was reading again about Phoebe, and was astonished when I found that the KJV rendering of “servant” in Romans 16:1 comes from the exact same word Paul uses when he calls Timothy and Titus “servants” or “deacons” of their respective churches.

  106. May I point out that the only one anyone needs permission from to do any of the works of the HS from is God. He calls. He equips. We do not have permission from the Lord to decide who should do what or when. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line of history, Christians decided that we could determine who should do what and where.

  107. gengwell @112
    It is so refreshing to see a father caring for his daughter (and his wife) in such a way! What an exciting time for you. I pray that your daughter’s wedding goes well.
    I had never even heard of the terms “comps” and “egal” until a few weeks ago when I came across this website (by accident), but I can concur from experience that the comp view will ALWAYS crush a woman in some way, shape or form… even the “soft” comps.
    My mother was widowed at 19, had me 2 days after hearing the news, was saved in a bowling alley 6 weeks after her husband’s death, her life was transformed dramatically, and she headed off to Bible college six months after that with a little girl in tow, as she believed that God had a calling on her life for missions.
    However, at Bible college she was taught the woman’s “place” in the home, and was told that her calling by God would only be through her husband’s calling. She met her husband there and they came to Australia as missionaries 35 or so years ago.
    While she has the heart of an evangelist and has shared the Word with many, and has led many many people to the Lord over the years… it has all been done “outside of the church” of course. The only time she was ever able to “teach” within church where men were present, was when she gave her testimony… and she always made sure she got some little bit of “preaching” in there! lol
    To use your words, my father was also the “typical authoritarian “head of the family” through most of his marriage. And my mother was the typical sweet, dutiful, supportive, “submissive” (in the comp sense of that word) wife. But inside, she was torn up and had some bitterness and heartache stored up.
    To be given a gift and calling from God, but then to be told it is His will that you put it aside (literally bury it) and that your “place” is behind your husband to support him in all that he does, submit to him, be in the home (and that usually means the kitchen!… unless it is convenient to the husband for you to be out working a job), and that your “worth” is in childbearing and child-rearing, will eventually have its devastating soul-destroying effects, even if the woman does it willingly and lovingly as her “submissive sacrifice”. It not only affects the wife, but it also affects the views the children will have of God, and their worth in God’s economy.. especially for young girls.

    Cheryl… I am still studying and searching all these things out for myself, but I want you to know that I am so blessed to have come across this website, and to be learning about the egal view of Scripture. I’m so glad God has called you in this way, and that my own personal circumstances have pushed me into searching for answers so that I have been able share them with my parents, all the rest of my siblings/family and my brothers and sisters in Christ. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by not only the willingness of all those around me to look at it from this perspective (even the angry ones!), but also how quickly everyone is grasping it! I’m getting texts and emails and phone calls galore with wow! wow! wow! moments on other Scriptures that they’ve all found in support of this view. It is exciting to see people quickened and spurred on in faith with the truth of God’s Word.

  108. Holly @ 110,
    You said
    “Given the cultural barring of women from learning or speaking to men in public, why do we assume that women teachers are included within the deceived teachers of 1 Tim 1?”

    I am just thinking aloud, and I will mention a couple of points in case they are helpful.
    1. If the logic of your question is like this?
    The culture barred women from speaking to men in public.
    Therefore women couldn’t have been false teachers.
    Therefore Paul couldn’t have been referring to them in 1 Tim 1.

    It would then be just as logical to say
    The culture barred women from speaking to men in public.
    Therefore women couldn’t have been teachers.
    Therefore Paul couldn’t have been referring to them in 1 Tim 2:11-15.

    Both are not valid, because there obviously was some form of teaching going on (comps say correct teaching, egals say false reaching) for Paul to need to write 1 Tim 2:11-15.

    2. Also, as far as I am aware, 1 Tim 1:3 uses the Greek term for people, not just men.

    Feel free anyone to correct me anyone if needed.

  109. 3. Also Holly, if the barring was for speaking to men “in public” that would make Cheryl’s interpretation of just a husband/wife issue at home more likely.

  110. Elastigirl @ 107,
    You asked,
    “How is it you have to come to genuinely care about this issue?”
    For me, it has mainly been a search for truth. There was obviously more to the man/woman issue in the bible than I had been taught. I have wanted to find out what the bible really teaches, so that I know how God wants me to live.

  111. Holly,
    …about Titus 2 – what comps/hierarchists miss is that it does not say “they may ONLY teach the younger to love their husbands, love their children” etc… Obviously, teaching the younger women the rudiments of the faith would be of utmost importance as well, right? But this point seems to be lost on comp/hiers.
    In Acts 18:26 both Aquila and Priscilla taught Apollos: “THEY took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.”

  112. Regarding the teaching at issue. Cheryl has pointed out the other possibility – that the teaching of the woman in question was in private, not in public. Comps want to make this passage all about the corporate worship service. But the use of the singular points to a much more intimate setting.

    Cheryl may also point out that gatherings of the NT church was different than the traditional Jewish ceremonies. Women were permitted to attend and participate in those gatehrings. And of course, some pagan ceremonies were either exclusively female or totally lead by females. So, it at least appears that all bets were off in Ephesus regarding any prohibitions of women spekaing and teaching.

    The comp view is really unsupportable. In the comp view, Paul is trying to CORERCT a corporate problem and CHANGE the NT gathering to look more like the traditional Jewish ceremonies (where I believe males and females were physically separated) and even more, preventing women from uttering a peep in those gatherings. That goes against everything else Paul wrote about “church” and against everything Jesus did in engaging women in and through his ministry. It is, to refer back to our earlier “Princess Bride” distraction, inconceivable that Paul would be making such a radical lurch backward.

  113. Thank you, Gengwall and Craig, for your answers to my question as to how you have arrived at genuinely caring about this issue, which concerns primarily the welfare of women in general.

    It is so kind (not that you are merely making an effort to be kind for its own sake), and utterly fair and just.

    Very touching, and it means a lot. It’s the 1st time I’ve ever encountered this anywhere. Extraordinary.

  114. Elastigirl @ 125,
    “this issue, which concerns primarily the welfare of women in general.”
    I know what you mean, but men also suffer (although they may not realize it) if women are not allowed to contribute to the marriage or the church in the way God intends.
    Also the world suffers because “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few”.

  115. Craig @120
    Point 3 is more what I’m talking about. 1 Tim 2:11-15 is dealing with a woman teaching her husband, which is different than dealing with a woman teaching men in general. Just because a woman is found to be teaching false doctrine to her husband in 1 Tim 2 doesn’t automatically infer that she would also have been teaching a general assembly in 1 Tim 1. With the cultural barriers, a woman teaching a general assembly just seems unlikely if you are using these passages of Scripture alone.
    It is only by comparing other Scriptures that I am starting to get the idea that women were also teachers/deacons etc just as Gengwell commented @124

    Gengwell @124
    I agree that the teaching/learning of the woman in 1 Tim was in private and not Corporate Worship.

    Kay @122
    I’ve been “rebellious” for a couple of years now teaching Bible studies to young adults, both men and women, in my own home. I’ve not been sure what exactly the consequences of this “rebellion” might be. hmmm These young couples/singles (in their teens and 20’s) are not church goers but are willing to sit in my living room and learn of the gospel.. so I teach them. Some have gotten saved through my doing this. I’ve not understood why God would have me NOT share with those willing to listen, and I’ve always referred to Aquila and Priscilla teaching Apollos as an example of women teaching men at some points in Scripture. The other “hard” scriptures that have seemed to indicate my wrong doing, I’ve had in the “I don’t understand, but I’m sure God does” basket.
    I agree that Titus doesn’t say women can ONLY teach women, but it seems equally wrong for Egals to read into the passage that women CAN teach men from these verses.
    The passage does seem to be pointing out the “roles” of men and women, and Titus 2:5 says for wives to be “obedient to their own husbands”.
    The word “obedient”
    1) to arrange under, to subordinate
    2) to subject, put in subjection
    3) to subject one’s self, obey
    4) to submit to one’s control
    5) to yield to one’s admonition or advice
    6) to obey, be subject
    This verse seems to be indicating a hierarchical point of view?
    Why is it do you think, that there is no same directive for the men to be “obedient to their own wives” if all things are “fair and equal” with husbands having no “authority” within a marriage relationship?

  116. Holly, 127

    Titus 2:5 says for wives to be being under-set (hupotassomenas), which is a form of hupotasso for submit. It is not obedient, which is from hupakou, meaning to listen, heed. Wives are never told to be obedient to their husbands, only submissive and that submissiveness is in the same manner as Ephe. 5:21.

  117. TL @127
    The Blue Letter Bible Lexicon says the word in that verse is “hypotasso” and not “hypotassomenas”?

  118. “I agree that Titus doesn’t say women can ONLY teach women, but it seems equally wrong for Egals to read into the passage that women CAN teach men from these verses.”

    All believers are told to teach the truths of God. Thus there is no reason for women to have to have permission to do that which we are all to do. The HS does not prefer one group over another but chooses people according to His own standards.

    Thus really all that is needed is a strong case that God does not want women to teach, preach, or speak the truths of the Scripture to men. And there is no such admonition in all of Scripture.

  119. “So how do I know whether the Greek words given in a Lexicon are the right word or not?”

    It’s the right word, just missing the ends for tense, case, etc. The problem is more likely the definition given. Some lexicons are influenced by traditional interpretations and thus assign the meaning of obedience to hupotasso and it’s forms. But that is incorrect. Some lexicons are more accurate than others.

  120. Craig, 126

    Yes, everyone misses out if half the world is not allowed to let the explosive power of the Holy Spirit infuse all of their amazing and unique potential.

    A catastrophic loss, and a blow to the establishing of God’s kingdom. How can it seen otherwise?

  121. TL @130
    Most comps would agree that all believers are told to teach the truths of God. It is just that they think women should teach women and men should teach men, unless the man is in a position of authority such as a pastor/teacher etc and would therefore teach an assembly of believers. Within most comp circles I know, a man would not be caught dead teaching a group of women only.

    Concerning Lexicons – how do you gauge which one is giving the most accurate rendering of the Greek word?

  122. “Concerning Lexicons – how do you gauge which one is giving the most accurate rendering of the Greek word?”

    Lots of research. Most of them are decent except when it comes to controversial issues. The best ones do not rely upon the Bible for examples of usage, but rely upon the way the word was used in the era of the NT or OT. Scott and Liddell is good. I also have New International Dictionary of OT and NT Theology that has good research. There are also many studies on individual words by reputable scholars that will help. Cheryl has a good set of research tools she uses.

  123. Hi Guys and Gals,
    Thanks for your patience with me. I can see that I am really behind in my answers and hopefully I can catch up tomorrow. I will try to catch a few tonight before I go to bed. I used to be able to stay up late and answer in the wee hours of the morning, but with the physical labor I am tired and my mind isn’t working well with tired.

    Here is where I have been:

    plumbing

    Well actually this is a picture of my husband’s foot through the foundation of our basement. The new addition of ministry office and studio will be lower than the house so that we can have extra high ceilings. That means that the plumbing needed to come out and be replaced with the new pipe going under the footings. We can do the plumbing ourselves to save money. But it is dirty work and I had to spend my time in the foundation “hole” too. I was dreaming last night about mice getting into the house. Thankfully that part is now done and the hole boarded up and set for cement tomorrow.

    Okay, now on to the questions.

  124. Craig @103
    You said:

    I can see the context of false teaching in ch1 and 2 and clearly relate this to 2:11-15. Your argument from v14,15 concerning a particular woman and man seems conclusive to me.
    How would you relate 3:14,15 to 2:11-15?

    I would relate 1 Timothy 3:14, 15 first of all back to chapter 1 verse 3. Timothy was left behind to stop the false teaching and the false teachers. The topic of deception is a major topic in 1 Timothy and Paul is concerned that he may be delayed in coming to Timothy’s aid and so he writes his instructions to Timothy so that he has them in case Paul is delayed. So Paul’s instructions are specifically to Timothy regarding situations in Ephesus which Paul had the intention of coming to help Timothy deal with regarding deception.

    In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul says that if he is delayed he has this letter so that “you” (Timothy) may know how to conduct himself (literally “yourself” singular) in the house of God which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

    If the church is the pillar and ground of the truth, then this is the “hospital” where the “sick” (deceived) people are to get well. Deceived people need to learn the truth and the mature people in the church need to facilitate healing.

    Notice that Paul didn’t say that he is writing so that “you” (plural) will know how to conduct yourselves. He said that he wrote so that Timothy may know how to conduct himself. With the instructions from the letter, Timothy should be able to understand that he is to make sure that the woman of verses 11 & 12 of chapter 2 is to learn and stop her private teaching. Timothy should also be aware that he is to command and teach that the living God is the Savior of all men (1 Tim. 4:10, 11) and thus Timothy is to teach that those who have been deceived are also able to be saved. It doesn’t appear that any of the leadership of Ephesus was doing anything to help the woman of 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 and it is possible that they believed that the deceived are not able to be saved. Timothy is to correct this mindset and Paul has encouraged Timothy to believe that even the one difficult case of the special false teacher who is a woman will result in her salvation with someone walking alongside her in the faith.

    Timothy is also encouraged that in the body of Christ, he is not to let anyone look down on his youth. While he will be referring back to Paul’s will in the situation (Paul saying I am not allowing…) Timothy will still be acting in Christian maturity and no one should despise his mature actions in spite of his young age. Thus Timothy is to be an example to the believers in word, in conduct and in love (1 Tim 4:12).

    Timothy is to conduct himself in the body of Christ by feeding the body who desperately needs the milk and meat of the Word to combat deception (1 Tim. 4:13) and Timothy is also to give of his special gift and give himself entirely to the body (1 Tim. 4:14, 15). Timothy is also supposed to pay attention to doctrine and to continue on this road for doing so will ensure salvation for himself and for all those who will hear him:

    1 Timothy 4:16 (NAS)
    16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

    Paul’s encouragement to Timothy regarding Paul’s instructions to him regarding the body of Christ and those who desperately need salvation because of their deception, keeps coming up again and again. It relates to the false deceived teachers of chapter 1 and to the specific problem teacher in chapter 2.

    Unfortunately some have seen chapter 3 as a church manual telling all of us how we are to act in the church. Those who hold to this understanding have forgotten who the letter was written to and Paul’s specific inspired words that are in the singular not the plural in 1 Tim. 3:15. While we can learn a whole bunch of good truth in the book of 1 Timothy, we must understand that it was specifically written to Timothy and when people fail to realize this and they make universal applicatiosn out of this letter when Paul is giving specific instructions to Timothy about a specific situation in Ephesus, they open themselves up to confusion and bad doctrine that stifles and holds back God’s women.

    Craig, I hope that I have answered this one the way that you need to hear it. If I have miss judged your question, please feel free to poke and prod until you get what you need.

    It is important to remember for all here that questions are welcome on this blog and there are no stupid questions. In fact your questions help me to learn and understand where I need to dig deeper myself and say things that way others need to hear answers so that they too can understand.

    Well, that was a longer answer than I anticipated. I will have to leave the rest of the comments until tomorrow. My mind is falling asleep fast. Getting older really is a pain.

  125. Thanks Cheryl for your very thorough response. It was very helpful.
    Next question- I only just thought of this one now.
    1 Tim 2:11 “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.”
    1 Tim 2:12a “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man”
    1 Tim 2:12b “She must be silent.” (NIV)
    Your view Cheryl is that 1 Tim 2:12a is referring to a particular wife and husband (in the home).
    I just wanted to check whether you think that v 11, 12b also refer to just this wife and husband at home? (Or do v11, 12b refer to what should occur in the church meeting?)

  126. Craig – All of vs. 11 and 12 are singular. They form a distinct change in number from the preceeding verses which is not a mistake. Also, vss. 14b and 15 continue the instruction begun in vs. 11 and are directed at a specific woman (“THE woman was deceived…yet she will be saved”). Grammatically, vss. 11 and 12 simply can’t be about the congregation – they must be about a singal woman – or the whole passage is senseless.

    The confusing point is the final use of the plural “they” in vs. 15. Those who believe that the passage is about all women and their conduct in the congregation see “they” as confirmation that the passage has been talking about women all along. But that makes jibberish out of the use of “a woman” and “the woman” and “she” that have preceeded “they”. Logically, “they” has only two possibilities: the entire congregation (who should continue in faith love and holiness to benefit the fallen woman and aid her restoration) or the small set of people intimately involved in the problem – the woman and her husband.

    I originally was inclined to believe the former but now have more confidence that it is the latter after discussing this for over a year now on this blog. But either way, what is absolutely clear is that “the woman” of vss. 14 and 15 is the very same woman in vss. 11 and 12. Logically and gramatically that is the only conclusion that the text supports.

  127. Let’s be perfectly clear about what is going on – the comp view hinges on an interpretation which has the passage actually begining in verse 9: “In like manner also, that women…”. Therefore, they believe that the entire passage is about “women” in the congregation and the “they” in verse 15 ties everything back to the “women” of verse 9. There are a lot of problems with this interpretation (which comps tend to ignore), but that is where they get their belief.

  128. “what is absolutely clear is that “the woman” of vss. 14 and 15 is the very same woman in vss. 11 and 12. Logically and gramatically that is the only conclusion that the text supports.”

    When I was a new Christian and I first read this section of Scripture, not having been indoctrinated by churchianity, I also read the switch to singular as to a single woman and also read the ‘they’ as to husband and wife. It was later when I heard the things the churches taught, that I became confused. Listening to all the stuff the hierarchalists preach is confusing. My only salvation from their confusion was to divorce the things they said from my brain and start over with the Lord discussing it and researching it with God.

    We can do amazingly complex things with small sections of Scripture to confuse. However, when we make a list of everything that Scripture has on the subject we see that the pieces don’t fit in the hierarchalist interpretations. They have to adjust Scripture. They will say things like:

    1. “Deborah wasn’t really a primary Judge of the Nation, or she was only chosen because there were no good men, or really Barak did it all she just supported him, or she only made private counsels not public, or she may have made judgements but didn’t teach Scripture.” All of those statements are wrong, but the hierarchalists have to say them in order to support their theory that God doesn’t want women to teach, preach or lead men.
    2. “Miriam wasn’t really a leader of God’s people, or she only led the women in worship and didn’t do anything else, or because her brother was the primary leader of the 3 of them she was just following them. “None of those statements is true either.
    3. “Abigail was sinning when she went against her husband’s leadership, even though she saved their whole household from death she is not a good example of a godly wife.” Not true because she was praised for her wisdom and godly behavior in spite of the ‘fool’ her husband was.
    4. “ Huldah didn’t really lead the nation because her advice was only given to the King. “ What is missed with Huldah is that she was sought out by the King to teach them what the Scriptures meant and what to do about it. She was sought out instead of Zecharia and Jeremiah.

    They do the same twisted reasoning with all the women of the NT starting with Anna, the first to prophesy over baby Jesus. The hierarchalist position on women only holds when people do not search the Scriptures for themselves.

  129. “I just wanted to check whether you think that v 11, 12b also refer to just this wife and husband at home? (Or do v11, 12b refer to what should occur in the church meeting?)”

    Verses 11-15 are not about church meetings. They are about a certain situation to which Timothy was privy. Paul was giving advice to Timothy on how to handle a particular woman teaching error. The primary point and answer was that she was to LEARN, and she was to learn in the standard attitude of a student, quietness. Quietness is not eternal silence. Vs. 2 says that we are to lead a quiet and peaceable life, not a silent life. Same word.

  130. If v11-15 are not about church meetings at all, and it is all about what is going on at home, then who is the woman to learn from- only from her husband. I had assumed she possibly attended the church gatherings, had some interest in Christian things, but was deceived in certain things and not yet a Christian. Does it seem strange that Paul would not see the role of the whole body in helping this woman? The responsibility for teaching her lies with just her husband at home?
    Or are you saying she is totally outside the church. If so, why would she accept the apostle Paul telling her what to do?

  131. Craig, my view is that Paul is talking to Timothy about a variety of issues affecting daily life. This would cover behavior in Christian meetings, in homes, and everywhere. I get this because of this verse….

    3:14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

    The house of God, the outcalled of the living God, is comprised of the body of believers. It is not a place but a people. And we need to know how to conduct ourselves where ever we go because we ARE the temple(s) of God. He resides in us.

  132. Craig, also my take on the learning in quietness is that she learn from one of the teachers, because the phrase resembles the way students are spoken of while learning. But it could be either way. She could be needing to learn in quietness and submission from her husband or she could be needing to learn in quietness and submission from a teacher. There doesn’t seem to be enough information to nail it. After all it was a particular situation that Paul was speaking into. He was not setting standards for all women as he was in the previous verses.

  133. And actually come to think of it, Paul wasn’t setting “legal” standards for all women in the previous verses in 1 Timothy 2 either. Verses 8-10 had to also be addressing certain circumstances. We are not to be expecting men to always pray lifting up their hands. Nor can we expect women to never braid their hair or wear pearls or expensive clothing. These are all addressing issues that Timothy was dealing with.

  134. I am going to start today with a couple of the last questions at then work my way back.

    Craig,
    You said:

    If v11-15 are not about church meetings at all, and it is all about what is going on at home, then who is the woman to learn from- only from her husband. I had assumed she possibly attended the church gatherings, had some interest in Christian things, but was deceived in certain things and not yet a Christian.

    The previous verses would have been concerning public service of women as Paul isn’t telling women what they should wear in the privacy of their own home. But the sudden shift from plural to singular is the key to understand that Paul is going from general to particular and we will need to note what the context is regarding the forbidden actions.

    We can assume that the woman has attended Christian meetings since her deception was not about how to make money or how to raise children, but like that of all the other deceived teachers, her deception would be a perversion of Christian teachings concerning myths, endless genealogies and the law (1 Tim. 1:4, 7) . We know for sure that Paul did not instruct Timothy to stop the teaching of the truth, so the teaching that is being restricted would not be truthful, godly or Christian.

    Secondly we can know that her husband was a Christian since Paul only appears concerned about the salvation of “she” not “they”. Note that “she will be saved….if…” Some have speculated that her husband was one of the leaders at Ephesus. That certainly is a possibility. And it may be why she had come to the attention of Paul and Timothy if one of the leaders had repeated what she had spoken to him in private. If he was a leader and not doing anything about her deception, it would give a false message to the body that this kind of teaching was not in error or that it was not so bad.

    However Timothy came to know about the situation, both he and Paul were familiar with the problem.

    Does it seem strange that Paul would not see the role of the whole body in helping this woman? The responsibility for teaching her lies with just her husband at home?

    I do believe that Paul sees the whole body as a help to this woman. In verse 11, the implication is that she should take the stance of a disciple and this discipleship would be in the presence of and under the supervision of God’s gifted teachers. That is body ministry.

    I don’t see the husband’s responsibility as teaching her so much as bringing her to the place of submission to the teaching and to the church’s teachers so that she can unlearn the false the relearn the truth. He is necessary as a facilitator and an incentive to stay into the light of God’s word. It is the church itself who will teach her. But if he allows her to stray without correction and without encouragement to stay with the revealed word of God, she may not come out of her deception.

    Or are you saying she is totally outside the church. If so, why would she accept the apostle Paul telling her what to do?

    That is a great question! I don’t think that she is totally outside the church, but I think that she has been influenced outside the church in her deception. As far as accepting the apostle Paul’s telling her what to do, I don’t think that she would listen if it were not for her husband also going along with the instruction given by Timothy. I believe this is why Paul says that “she will be saved…if they continue…” Her husband is going to be key to helping her have an incentive to learn. He is also going to be key to helping her stay away from error and to respect the wisdom of the godly leaders and the instruction of Paul. He is also going to be key in stopping his silence. For her sake he must speak out about the deception and help his wife. Without that partnership she is in trouble for she truly believes she has the truth. I believe that verse 15 holds many keys to our understanding of the passage.

    1. There is only a concern about salvation for “she” not for the man.
    2. Her salvation is going to depend on his partnering with her in the truth as there is a condition of “they” have a continuing walk in the truth.
    3. Self control is a key to her salvation and this is where he can help her to stay within the boundaries of orthodoxy.
    4. Spiritual deception is no automatic death sentence if one can have help in exiting the deception that has taken over one’s mind and soul. Paul’s statement that she “will” be saved is a positive belief that her husband’s cooperation and the resources of the church will bring her to the foot of the cross. And God is more than able to take what was meant for evil by our common enemy and turn it around for good. After all the “childbearing” (definite noun) that came into the world through the very first deceived woman was God’s amazing ability to bring triumph out of a situation that looked bleak and hopeless. God specializes in taking the ones whom the enemy has deceived and uses them to remove victims from the kingdom of darkness once they have been set free.

  135. @ Elastigirl #107,
    I too am amazed at the gentleness of the men who come here. I am totally blessed by the men who are much more interested in truth than they are in holding a male privilege and who are willing to walk through these issues with us in a respectful and uplifting way! There are many forums where you could find a man who would be willing to speak out for his sisters in Christ, but here for some reason God has really blessed us with brothers in Christ who are truly brothers. Thanks for asking the question you did of them about why they are looking into this issue. I was pleased to read their comments too.

  136. @Holly #110,
    You asked,

    Given the cultural barring of women from learning or speaking to men in public, why do we assume that women teachers are included within the deceived teachers of 1 Tim 1?

    We can assume that at least one woman was among the deceived teachers in 1 Timothy 1 because Paul specifically sets out to stop “a woman” from teaching “a man” in chapter 2. When we understand that nowhere did Paul ever tell Timothy to stop the godly teachers from teaching the truth, we can assume that in the context of deception, that the teaching that was stopped in chapter 2 was deception. Would it seem reasonable that Paul was stopping the teaching of truth? That can’t be because when there were some who were teaching the truth of the gospel but their motives were bad, Paul didn’t stop them from preaching the gospel but rejoiced that the gospel was preached even if through impure motives.

    Philippians 1:15–18 (NAS)
    15 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will;
    16 the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;
    17 the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.
    18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice.
    Yes, and I will rejoice,

    If Paul would not stop those who were preaching the gospel in order to hurt him, then why would he stop the preaching of the gospel by a woman? The evidence is clear in Paul’s character and habits that he did not stop the preaching of the truth by anyone. He only stopped error and deception.

  137. Holly to continue,
    You said:

    If not wearing a veil would have culturally caused such shame to the woman’s husband (1 Cor 11), then surely a woman teaching a man would also have caused the same cultural status of shame?

    Although the culture said that a man was not to talk to a woman, off the bat I can’t think of any reference to a “shame” of having a woman teach him. And removing the veil was in a far different category. Removing the veil was a cultural sign of indecency about the same as lifting up her dress and showing off…ahem….well, showing off her private parts. The Talmud says that teaching your daughters the Torah is a shame, it doesn’t say that having a woman teach a man is a shame. After all most of their women didn’t have enough education to teach the men so it wasn’t even on their radar to think that way.

    Are there any Scriptures that specifically say “let a woman teach”?

    The Bible specifically commands those who have been gifted to use their gift:

    1 Peter 4:10–11 (NAS)
    10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
    11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

    In essence these verses are saying that “let every man or woman who is gifted use their gift so that God will be glorified in them”. Should woman who are gifted by God to teach, teach and not be prejudiced against men by withholding God’s gifts from them? Absolutely! The gifts aren’t ours. They belong to God as a gift to the church. When we don’t use our gifts and we withhold God’s gifts from some people because of their gender, God’s gifts are held back in prejudice rather than allowing God to choose whom He wants to gift. God’s gifts are meant for the church as those who have been gifted have no right to without what God has given.

  138. Holly,
    Also we do not need for God to specifically mention women unless there is a specific prohibition for them. All are assumed to have freedom unless the Bible takes away that freedom calling it sin. For example the Bible doesn’t say specially that women are allowed to eat the communion meal. We are to assume that all are allowed to participate regardless of gender unless there is a prohibition that is specifically given. For some reason we have it backwards when it comes to women. I think this is because of the natural prejudice that many men have towards women. For them (and for us who have been taught this through tradition) we assume that women can do nothing except for what has been given specifically for them permission to do. Men on the other hand are allowed to do anything except for what has been specifically set up for them as a prohibition.

    So if we take our minds away from this prejudiced way of understanding women, we should not have to hear any Biblical writer say that women are allowed to _____ (fill in the blank), as all are allowed to do good and righteous things and only forbidden by what is unlawful for them by the set law of God.

  139. @gengwall #140,

    You said:

    The confusing point is the final use of the plural “they” in vs. 15. Those who believe that the passage is about all women and their conduct in the congregation see “they” as confirmation that the passage has been talking about women all along. But that makes jibberish out of the use of “a woman” and “the woman” and “she” that have preceeded “they”. Logically, “they” has only two possibilities: the entire congregation (who should continue in faith love and holiness to benefit the fallen woman and aid her restoration) or the small set of people intimately involved in the problem – the woman and her husband.

    This sounds very logical. The problem that I see in having “they” refer to the entire congregation is that it has to refer back to the original noun. Where is the “congregation” listed where “they” can be referred back to? Paul talks about women dressing a certain way and men praying a certain way, but nothing about the congregation as a whole. And then we would have to pass by the very first logical “they” which is “a man” and “a woman” from verse 12. I think that the natural way is to take the very first “they” category that fits the bill and use it.

    I originally was inclined to believe the former but now have more confidence that it is the latter after discussing this for over a year now on this blog. But either way, what is absolutely clear is that “the woman” of vss. 14 and 15 is the very same woman in vss. 11 and 12. Logically and gramatically that is the only conclusion that the text supports.

    I am so happy that we were able to “reason from the Scriptures” together on this blog. I think that you have paid close attention to the reasons why things don’t fit and you thought carefully on this issue. You are an example of a good Berean and I am so very happy that you are one who comes here and dialogs with gentleness and respect!

  140. @116 Holly,
    You said:

    I agree that there are examples within Scripture of women being used by God in different ways, but unfortunately I’ve always been taught that this was God’s exception to His rules.

    The question comes to mind, if there is an exception, is there really a rule? In other words, sometimes it is a sin and sometimes it is not? That doesn’t appear to be the way God is because it would be condoning sin. It seems to me that it is the tradition of men that needs an excuse to explain why God uses women when they don’t think he should.

    I’m wondering why he wouldn’t have had to address the issue of women teaching and learning in a public setting much the same way. In 1 Tim 2 we do see Paul letting a woman learn, but this example is within the bounds of husband/wife relationship, not seemingly in a “public” church setting.

    I do believe that the teaching that the woman of verse 12 did with the man was private and not public, but I also believe that her learning in verse 11 (which is giving the solution before the problem is even mentioned) is to be public within the body of Christ.

    If we see the church “service” as a glorified home Bible study with praise and worship, not like today’s mega church with performers and one man shows that leave no opening for the majority to use any of their gifts in worship and service, then it is easy to see how natural it would be to have a home environment that would allow each person to freely share their gifts. If a woman could freely prophesy in the service of the body, then how hard would it be to accept her other gifts?

  141. @118 Holly,
    You said:

    Cheryl… I am still studying and searching all these things out for myself, but I want you to know that I am so blessed to have come across this website, and to be learning about the egal view of Scripture. I’m so glad God has called you in this way, and that my own personal circumstances have pushed me into searching for answers so that I have been able share them with my parents, all the rest of my siblings/family and my brothers and sisters in Christ.

    When I read your testimony and that of your mother I was very touched. I find myself choked up with tears by hearing from people who have been helped by this message. It has been a hard road for me and I have experienced my share of persecution for publicly giving the message about God’s freedom for His women. Previously I had been naive enough to think that most would want to hear the message, but when the persecution started to happen against me personally, I was shocked. I don’t think I could have kept going if I had not been called by God because when God calls, He strengthens and enables. Without Him we can do nothing. God has enabled me and empowered me to suffer for His name and for His body and this has really made me grow up as persecution often does. But whenever I hear a story of someone who has been helped by a small thing I have done I feel so privileged to serve. Thank you for sharing!

  142. Craig,
    You said:

    2. Also, as far as I am aware, 1 Tim 1:3 uses the Greek term for people, not just men.

    You are correct that the Bible uses the term tis meaning anyone. The actual grammar of this word is masculine but this is the default grammar just as all passages speaking about salvation where “any man” follows Christ, all of these passages are generic but with the masculine grammar. This does not mean that only men can be saved and only men can follow Christ or only men were false teachers. It is rather a generic term meaning people just as you thought.

  143. Thanks again everyone for all the time and effort you put into your comments in answering my questions in such a helpful way. I appreciate it very much.

  144. Cheryl, you said @ 156
    “I do believe that the teaching that the woman of verse 12 did with the man was private and not public, but I also believe that her learning in verse 11 (which is giving the solution before the problem is even mentioned) is to be public within the body of Christ.”
    This perfectly answers the question I was trying to ask in #139 and #145.
    The detail you give in #150 really help in making the whole situation come alive. Superb.

  145. I appologize for a brief interuption but I would like to ask for prayer for my wife’s sister’s family. There will be breaking news today about 3 groups of climbers that had to be rescued from Grand Teton mountain after getting caught in a thunderstorm. My brother-in-law was in one of the climbing groups that got struck by lightning 5 times. One of their party is still missing and presumed dead after falling off a cliff. Although my BIL was one of the least injured, it is traumatic for him because he knows the kid (17yo I believe) who fell and it is even worse for my wife’s sister because she is in constant fear of her husband going on these risky adventures and potentially killing himself.

  146. Gengwall, I have prayed as you asked.

    Cheryl– I have been lurking here a few days. I have not in the past been convinced of this view, but I am finding the grammatical arguments put forth by you and Gengwall to be quite persuasive– particularly the part about the grammatical construction that “the woman” “has come TO BE in transgression.” I always thought “she” referred to Eve (who was ‘redeemed” in a sense through the faithfulness of “they” — those of her descendents who come to and remain in Christ), but if “the woman” is STILL “in transgression,” obviously that can’t be right.

    But I still have some questions. First, are there any articles in Koine Greek equivalent to the English “this” or “that”? In other words, I have had trouble believing that Paul would say simply “woman” (which is translated “a woman”) when what he meant was “that woman.” In English, we can say “a woman” can or can’t do something, and mean it collectively, even though the construction is singular. It is my understanding that this can also occur in ancient Greek– which is the source of my reservations. Generally when we mean a specific unnamed person, we say “this person” not “a person.” But if the Greek doesn’t have a way to say “this person” or “that person,” that would make sense.

    I know you mentioned that in 1 Cor 5, Paul says “a man has his father’s wife,” and is referring to a specific man– but in the Greek, the word “man” does not appear in this passage. The phrase is not “aner has his father’s wife,” but actually says “someone has his father’s wife.” So I’m wondering if anywhere else in the New Testament, the word “man” or “woman” by itself can be used to refer to a specific man or woman when the context does not make it clear. I know that the stories about Jesus can begin with “A woman having an issue of blood” or “A man with a withered hand,” and we know by the context that it means “A CERTAIN woman or man.” But is this construction ever used elsewhere without such contextual clarifications?

    Another question is, why did God allow such a personal letter from Paul to Timothy, including “inside” references to people only they would understand about, to become canon? I’m reading a book on the history of women in the church, and apparently this passage has been misunderstood almost since Paul wrote it, as a prohibition on all women teaching all men. It’s puzzling to me.

    Any input from anyone here would be appreciated.

  147. Likewise, Gengwall, my prayers have been with you and your SIL’s family in this difficult time.
    I have been able to follow the main argument being presented here about 1 Tim 2:11-15 for a couple of months now, but the discussion over the last couple of weeks has been very helpful in clarifying the little details.
    I think I feel quite comfortable now with v11,12,14b,15. I still have some details of v13,14a that you may be able to help me with- no pressure on anyone and no hurry- just as you are able.
    There has been a fair bit of discussion on this blog about how bad Adam was (treachery, rebellion) and how good Eve was (not rebellious, just deceived). This may well be true, but I wonder whether that may not be what Paul is emphasizing here. He seems to be using Adam as a positive example, not a negative one. He seems to be saying “this deceived woman needs to learn (v11,12), because Adam was formed first (v13) (and thus learned a lot- seeing God at work in creation, naming the animals etc) and so was not deceived (v14a). This lack of deception is a good thing. The woman needs to learn doctrine just like Adam did so that she won’t be deceived.
    Is this the same or different to what you are saying?

  148. I have read things like “the situation between this husband and wife is just like an Adam and Eve situation”. Just clarifying in what way the situation is the same.
    In mentioning Adam and Eve Paul is NOT (emphasis, not shouting) saying
    “This woman shouldn’t teach because Eve taught Adam and this caused the fall.” In fact, Eve didn’t teach Adam at all in Gen 3:1-6.
    Paul is also NOT saying
    “This woman shouldn’t exercise authority over her husband because this is what Eve did and this caused the fall”. In fact Eve did not exercise authority over Adam at all in Gen 3:1-6.
    Paul is not referring to Adam and Eve in relation to the teaching or exercising authority of v12, but rather the need for learning v11 to prevent deception.
    Is this the same or different to what you are saying?

  149. Egals and Comps both accuse each other of assuming too much or reading too much into passages.
    I was wondering about the idea that the husband is like Adam in not doing anything about his wife’s deception. It sounds reasonable and may be true but I was wondering where it is necessary from the text of 1 Tim 2:11-15? Is it a possible extra similarity between the two couples or do you see it clearly come out of the text? It seems to read OK to me without it (at least it does at this particular moment 🙂
    Sorry for dumping 3 questions all at once. They all seemed a bit related.

  150. gengwall,
    I have prayed for your family’s situation and that God will receive praise for what He does because of the sad circumstances.

    Craig,
    I am determined to get to your three comments/questions later today.

    Holly,
    I know that I have missed some of what you asked and I will try to get through as much as I can today too.

    We have a busy day today and then a social function tonight so it is going to be a stretch, but I am very interested in getting to as many questions as I can so.

    Okay, I’m off to take care of breakfast and deal with the other necessities of the day and I will be back as soon as I can.

  151. Thank you all for your prayers.

    Kristen – There are others who are more educated on Greek articles so I will let them respond in depth about language issues. It may be too restrictive to look only for examples where a man or woman is the noun. I know that would be conclusive, but they are just nouns like any other, and so the focus should be on how any nouns can behave in Greek when the definate article is absent (there is no indefinite article in Koine Greek).

    But I don’t think we need to turn “a woman” in verse 11 into the specific woman of vs. 14. What I mean is that the vs. 11 woman can be a generic example. Now, comps say that as well. But they want to make her a generic example of ALL women, or even worse, all Christian women in the worship service. It is clear, though, from the text, that she is a generic example of a specific kind of woman – a deceived false teacher who is exercising violent domineering over her husband and whose potential salvation is in the future. It is unimaginable that this kind of woman represents the entire female population of the Body.

    Why the generic then? Why not just dive in by saying “this woman you wrote me about”? I believe the reason is two fold.

    First, I believe Paul is giving Timothy a general policy for dealing with similar situations. False teaching and paganism was rampant in Ephesus. It is very likely that Timothy would run into the situation again. If Paul had stayed specific the whole time, Timothy may have felt like he had to write Paul every time for instructions. Paul wanted to encourage Timothy as much as he wanted to instruct him. By laying out the general approach to similar situations, Paul is kind of saying “I trust you to apply this teaching where you see fit”. It is very empowering.

    But, and this is the second reason, the outcome may not always be the same as the potential positive outcome in Timothy’s specific test case. That wouldn’t change the prohibition. So Paul needs to deal with the problem generically first. But he then finishes with encouragement about the specific couple. At that point in the letter, Timothy could use some good news.

    Does that make sense? The vs. 11 generic woman, and her husband, are a specific kind represented by the real life couple that Timothy wrote about. In essence, Paul was saying “here is how you deal with these situations, and in this specific case, there is even some light at the end of the tunnel”.

  152. Gengwall,

    Yes, thank you, that makes sense. And it also applies to my question of why this was part of an inspired letter that God intended to be included in the canon of Scripture. If a later reader (who might be leading a church and be in a similar situation) can apply these instructions from the specific to the general as Timothy did, then it makes sense for the instructions to be there.

    Also, I read not long ago a scholarly essay about how the words “teach” and “domineer” were constructed grammatically so that they were meant to work together, as in “I am not permitting a woman to teach in such a way as to domineer over a man.” Your exegesis makes sense out of this construction as well. I appreciate it.

  153. Kristin,
    I have also read that the constuction can refer to one thing or two things, and that the direct object in Greek works so that if it is two things, “man” only applies to ‘authentein’- implying that if man is also a direct object of didaskein, then it is only one thing that is being discussed. From that, what is not possible is Paul saying, “I am not permitting *women* to teach a man nor authentein a man.” Also, if it’s two things being prohibited, then the scope of “not teaching” is unlimited – but we know from Titus, that women can teach younger women, so it must be a limited prohibition even if it’s two things being discussed. Also, comps cannot claim that it is permitted for men to ‘authentein’ other men. No Christian should be doing this.

  154. Well, that’s the thing, Kay. If *no one* should “authentein” anyone else, then Paul saying, “I don’t permit a woman to authentein a man” is stating something that doesn’t need to be said. The prohibition makes no sense as written, because neither are women allowed to authentein women, or men allowed to authentein men or women. This is why it has to be “teach and authentein” together, as one thought. It’s the kind of teaching that “authenteins” that Paul appears to be speaking of.

  155. Craig @166,
    Just thinking aloud and answering my own question 🙂
    You asked…. er I mean I asked
    “I was wondering about the idea that the husband is like Adam in not doing anything about his wife’s deception. It sounds reasonable and may be true but I was wondering where it is necessary from the text of 1 Tim 2:11-15?”
    Maybe Craig it is from “authentein” in v12, and “if they” of v 15 – both could indicate he is not pulling his weight in the relationship.

  156. Craig,
    Thanks for thinking out loud and answering your own question! Your answer is very good. I would only add an answer that is referenced in the passage but Paul saying (vs 14) And it was not Adam who was deceived…

    Connect this together with the original account and you have God’s assessment of Adam’s non-deceptive state when God says:

    Genesis 3:17 (NAS) Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have ….

    Hear God pronounces a curse on the land for two reasons. The first and most important reason for the curse is Adam’s listening to the voice of his wife. Notice that God didn’t say that Adam listened to his wife (as if she had commanded him) but that he listened to her voice. Vine’s complete expository dictionary gives this basic definition for the Hebrew word used for “listening”:

    Basically, this verb means to “hear” something with one’s ears, but there are several other nuances. In Gen. 37:17, a man told Joseph that he “heard” Joseph’s brothers say, “Let us go to Dothan”; in other words, he unintentionally “overheard” them say it. Shama? can also be used of “eavesdropping, or intentionally listening in on a conversation; so Sarah “overheard” what the three men said to Abram (Gen. 18:10). Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1996). Vol. 1: Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words (pg 107).

    Adam’s “hearing” of Eve’s voice was the conversation with the serpent. It was an intentional listening in on a conversation but it was not an intentional correction to the lie that she was being fed. Adam remained silent.

    The fact is that God knew Adam’s internal state and that Adam was not deceived. He also knew that Adam listened to the conversation between Eve and the serpent. Lastly He knew that Adam did not act for Eve’s benefit or for God’s benefit by saving Eve from the lie. Rather he allowed another human being to be ensnared by the enemy in his own watch. Adam was the watchman on the wall and the deliberate abdication of his watch by refusing to use his knowledge to benefit another and refusing to snatch them from the fire through his knowledge, an action which God identified as treachery in Hosea 6:7, was also identified by God as the initial reason why God brought a curse on the earth because of Adam’s sin.

    So is Adam’s silence of vital importance to the text in 1 Timothy 2:12-15? Absolutely! Adam was not deceived. Adam listened without acting on his state of non-deception. God cursed the earth for the first reason that Adam listened without action.

    What’s the moral of the story? We are responsible for what we know and staying silent with our knowledge in the face of deception brings God’s disfavor. And what is the correction of the specific problem in Ephesus? It is fixed with his participation (thus the importance of “they” in verse 15).

    I will bring up one more point in answer to another person’s question later.

  157. @124 gengwall,

    You said:

    Regarding the teaching at issue. Cheryl has pointed out the other possibility – that the teaching of the woman in question was in private, not in public. Comps want to make this passage all about the corporate worship service. But the use of the singular points to a much more intimate setting.

    That is exactly right! There is a sharp change in Paul’s grammar in verse 11. If verse 12 was meant to be one woman teaching men, Paul could easily have made it generic woman teaching generic men. Or he could have said generic women teaching generic men. That isn’t how it was written. And it isn’t a public reprimand that appears to be given.

  158. gengwall also said,

    Cheryl may also point out that gatherings of the NT church was different than the traditional Jewish ceremonies. Women were permitted to attend and participate in those gatherings.

    The NT church was mostly held in private homes and everyone was allowed to participate including women and slaves. It was nothing like today’s church where a pastor alone gives the message and everyone sits silently and listens.

    In the comp view, Paul is trying to CORRECT a corporate problem and CHANGE the NT gathering to look more like the traditional Jewish ceremonies (where I believe males and females were physically separated) and even more, preventing women from uttering a peep in those gatherings.

    This is one of the problems of the comp view as Paul doesn’t silence women’s gifts in the gathering of the church. Instead Paul encourages all to participate so that all may grow and be fed by the gifts meant for the common good.

  159. @127 Holly,
    You said:

    I’ve been “rebellious” for a couple of years now teaching Bible studies to young adults, both men and women, in my own home. I’ve not been sure what exactly the consequences of this “rebellion” might be. hmmm These young couples/singles (in their teens and 20’s) are not church goers but are willing to sit in my living room and learn of the gospel.. so I teach them. Some have gotten saved through my doing this.

    Praise God for your faithfulness!

    The other “hard” scriptures that have seemed to indicate my wrong doing, I’ve had in the “I don’t understand, but I’m sure God does” basket.
    I agree that Titus doesn’t say women can ONLY teach women, but it seems equally wrong for Egals to read into the passage that women CAN teach men from these verses.

    The reason that egals have no problem reading into the passage full body ministry is because this is what Paul consistently taught. In fact Paul taught that one part of the body cannot say to another member that they are not needed. If all of our gifts are needed, and if all of us are “sons” of God and all are part of the priesthood of the believer and all are joint heirs with Christ, then it is unnatural to assume a restriction. It would be like saying that all can teach except for Mexicans. Why can’t Mexicans teach? Well, because the Bible doesn’t specifically say that they can teach so unless the Bible says that Mexican believers can teach, we have to assume that they are restricted. Am I getting my point across?

    What I am trying to say is that with our being joint heirs together with our brothers in Christ then to assume restrictions for anyone as if they are somehow less-than the other parts of the body, would be a foreign way to interpret Scripture.

    More to come….

  160. Continuing with @127 Holly,
    You said:

    The passage does seem to be pointing out the “roles” of men and women, and Titus 2:5 says for wives to be “obedient to their own husbands”.
    The word “obedient”
    1) to arrange under, to subordinate
    2) to subject, put in subjection
    3) to subject one’s self, obey
    4) to submit to one’s control
    5) to yield to one’s admonition or advice
    6) to obey, be subject
    This verse seems to be indicating a hierarchical point of view?

    It isn’t indicating a hierarchical view because of several things.

    First of all what wives are asked to do is the same word as what is expected of every Christian. The word in Eph. 5:21 where we are to be subject to one another is the same as in Titus 2:5 of wives to husbands. If we make the term subject to as hierarchical in Titus 2:5 then we would have to make it the same in Eph 5:21 but it is impossible to have a hierarchy that is reciprocal.

    Secondly the context around the words does not support a hierarchy. In Ephesians 5:21, the subjection is one to another which is reciprocal. In Titus 2:5 the young wives are to be thoughtful (sensible), holy, blameless (free from sin) , stewards in the home as ones who watch and safe guard the home. The term workers at home is literally:

    to watch or keep the house, Aesch., Soph.: generally to keep safe, guard, Liddell, H. (1996). A lexicon : Abridged from Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English lexicon (546).

    Thus a woman can hire a maid to clean the toilets, but she is to be a watchman on the wall for her home to keep it safe. I love the lexicons which show the historic meaning outside of the New Testament. This helps to show the “normal” use outside of any religious bias.

    And in Titus 2:5, right before women are told to be subject to their husbands, they are told to be kind. The term means to be good, useful, beneficial. This is exactly what being subject means in its context. It means to submit oneself to be a benefit to one’s husband. Submission has two opposing angles of benefit. For one we submit to learn and receive from someone else and the other angle is that we submit to give benefit to someone else by putting their needs ahead of our own.

    What women are never commanded to do is to “follow” their husbands. In Ephesians 6:1 where the Bible says that children are to “obey” their parents, the Greek term is hypakouete. This primarily means to follow, obey:

    eph-6-1

    This is a word that has the meaning of being an adherent to, a follower, obedient. This gives the meaning of having to listen to someone because they are in a better position than you are. In fact only slaves and children are told to have this attitude of being a follower. Wives are never told that they must be a follower to their husband’s leadership. Instead they are told they they are to be responsible, in charge of the home, kind, holy, carrying out one’s responsibilities with a sensible and thoughtful attitude and their service is also to benefit their husbands. This is a giving of oneself to serve another by choice and not by compulsion. Hierarchy removes the service by choice as hierarchy and compulsion are two sides of the same door.

  161. Holly,
    I forgot to answer this question of yours:

    Why is it do you think, that there is no same directive for the men to be “obedient to their own wives” if all things are “fair and equal” with husbands having no “authority” within a marriage relationship?

    Husbands just like everyone else are told to be in subjection of “one to another” in Eph. 5:21. Wives are told to be in service and to receive service from their husbands, but they are never told to follow their husbands in obedience. Also they are never told to submit to their husband’s authority. Their submission is to a person, not to an authority. The Scriptures never once give the husband an authority over his wife. We need to ask ourselves why? We believe that the reason is that no authority of husband over wife exists and was never set up that way “in the beginning” nor is it mandated in the New Testament. Rather we are joint heirs, not hierarchical authorities. A hierarchical authority demands obedience and leaves out full submission in love, service and bonding in a one-flesh union. Submission is give and take. Hierarchy is unilateral authority with the one under the authority left with a child-like or slave-like inability to be anything other than a follower. But women are not set up as followers but as mature watchers of their home, responsible to assign duties to both children and maids so that what is under their authority will prosper and be cared for.

    There is one difference in the hierarchical model of marriage than what is set up for children and slaves. Children grow up and mature away from the authority. Slaves can buy their freedom or have other people buy freedom for them to be mature citizens with their own responsibilities. But wives in the hierarchy model never “grow up”, “mature” or have their freedom “bought” to take them out from under the male authority. Yet the Scriptural model shows that we are meant to be mature, grow up and make our own decisions because in the next life we will be judging the angels. The hierarchical model proves itself to be a model of the world. The servant model of one to another is the model of the Lord Jesus. It is doing good for others and thinking of them ahead of oneself, but with the empowerment of one’s own ability to make decisions and grow to full maturity as God’s “sons” who will rule the world.

    Does this make sense?

  162. @164 Craig,
    You said:

    There has been a fair bit of discussion on this blog about how bad Adam was (treachery, rebellion) and how good Eve was (not rebellious, just deceived). This may well be true, but I wonder whether that may not be what Paul is emphasizing here. He seems to be using Adam as a positive example, not a negative one.

    My question is, how can Adam be a positive example when he was not deceived, yet his silence left the woman in her deception? Is it possible that we have seen Adam as a positive example because we have seen the passage with a bias towards the male?

    He seems to be saying “this deceived woman needs to learn (v11,12), because Adam was formed first (v13)

    It isn’t the learning that is because Adam was formed first. Rather the prohibition is because Adam was formed first and was not deceived.

    You see, there would not be a need for the prohibition if the one who was not deceived was speaking out and doing something. The fact that the situation is akin to the first non-deception vs deception in the garden is the very reason why Paul is telling Timothy to do something. Adam was silent and the husband in Ephesus is silent.

    (and thus learned a lot- seeing God at work in creation, naming the animals etc) and so was not deceived (v14a). This lack of deception is a good thing.

    It is a good thing if it is being used to benefit those who need the knowledge. Is it truly a good thing if one sees the enemy coming and says nothing? If one is a watchman on the wall and fails to warn the city, will one get a pat on the back for seeing the enemy? Or does the good (seeing the enemy) become treachery when it is not used to warn the innocent?

    The woman needs to learn doctrine just like Adam did so that she won’t be deceived.
    Is this the same or different to what you are saying?

    She does need to learn doctrine, that is for sure. For correct Biblical doctrine that is held onto and believed will protect one from the enemy. But the problem with the woman at Ephesus is two-fold. She not only needs to learn the truth, but she needs to let go of the error. It is very difficult for one to have one’s eyes opened when one sincerely believes the lie. I know this because my ministry has focused for years on those who have been deceived by the lie in the cults. Those who are caught in the cults do not come out readily or easily. Their deception is firmly ingrained in their soul and they truly believe the lie and will fight like crazy not to have the lie exposed. The fact is that they need help. Rarely do they get out without help. And the woman in Ephesus will not get out without help. If her husband keeps quiet and does not expose her error, she will continue to believe that she has the truth and will trust her husband’s silence. When he speaks out and walks with her to get her help, she is on her way to being freed from the snare of the devil.

  163. @165 Craig,
    You said,

    I have read things like “the situation between this husband and wife is just like an Adam and Eve situation”. Just clarifying in what way the situation is the same.
    In mentioning Adam and Eve Paul is NOT (emphasis, not shouting) saying
    “This woman shouldn’t teach because Eve taught Adam and this caused the fall.” In fact, Eve didn’t teach Adam at all in Gen 3:1-6.

    Excellent point and good way to look at the passage from another angle!

    Paul is also NOT saying
    “This woman shouldn’t exercise authority over her husband because this is what Eve did and this caused the fall”. In fact Eve did not exercise authority over Adam at all in Gen 3:1-6.

    This is exactly how I started the process of figuring these passages out. It is very helpful to look at what the passage DOES say, but it is also very educational to see what the passage is not saying. Good job!

    Paul is not referring to Adam and Eve in relation to the teaching or exercising authority of v12, but rather the need for learning v11 to prevent deception.
    Is this the same or different to what you are saying?

    Absolutely and an A+ to you! Correct doctrine is not only the antidote for deception but it is preventative medicine.

  164. “This is why it has to be “teach and authentein” together, as one thought. It’s the kind of teaching that “authenteins” that Paul appears to be speaking of.”
    Kristin@171,
    The thing I see is that if the false doctrine Paul was refuting was gnostisim (Eve worshipped as a perfect, spirit being, Adam’s creator) or Artemis worship, then he may be using this in a two-fold fashion – reminding the reader that Eve was not perfect, but rather the one deceived…while Adam was not deceived.

    Cheryl, your thoughts?

  165. @163 Kristen,
    You said:

    But I still have some questions. First, are there any articles in Koine Greek equivalent to the English “this” or “that”?

    Yes. Houtos means this and you can find this word in Acts 6:13:

    Acts 6:13 (NAS) They put forward false witnesses who said, “This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law;

    Here it is a demonstrative pronoun.

    In other words, I have had trouble believing that Paul would say simply “woman” (which is translated “a woman”) when what he meant was “that woman.”

    It isn’t necessary in Greek to say “this” woman or “that” woman. In Acts 6:13 the demonstrative pronoun was used to identify which man was the culprit and their anger also was a reason to use the term “this man”. But Paul is not standing beside the woman to say “this woman” as if there were many options. Timothy did not need Paul to name her, nor did he need Paul to say “this” woman, not “that” one. The problem woman teacher was a clearly identifiable issue to both of them.

    Here is another case where Paul identifies a specific man without saying “the man” or “this man”:

    2 Corinthians 12:2 (NAS) I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.

    Most interpret this as Paul as the unidentified “man”. The Greek term is anthropos which means person or it can mean a generic man. But in this passage we can understand that Paul isn’t saying that any man was caught into heaven. It was a specific man but Paul did not want to name him and most people that he didn’t name him because it was Paul himself. If Paul isn’t going to identify himself, and he wants the “man” to remain unnamed, then he isn’t going to say, I know “this” man in Christ…

    In English, we can say “a woman” can or can’t do something, and mean it collectively, even though the construction is singular. It is my understanding that this can also occur in ancient Greek– which is the source of my reservations. Generally when we mean a specific unnamed person, we say “this person” not “a person.”

    A person without the definite article in Greek can mean a generic person or a specific person. It depends on the context.

    But if the Greek doesn’t have a way to say “this person” or “that person,” that would make sense.

    It does have the word for “this” but not only is it not necessary, but it would be used in person, not so much in writing. Timothy for sure knew who she was.

    I know you mentioned that in 1 Cor 5, Paul says “a man has his father’s wife,” and is referring to a specific man– but in the Greek, the word “man” does not appear in this passage. The phrase is not “aner has his father’s wife,” but actually says “someone has his father’s wife.” So I’m wondering if anywhere else in the New Testament, the word “man” or “woman” by itself can be used to refer to a specific man or woman when the context does not make it clear.

    In 2 Cor 12:2 that was given above, the “person” or “a man” is on the same level as 1 Timothy 2:12. In the Timothy passage, we can know that the woman is a specific woman because of the specific grammar in verses 14 & 15. In the 2 Cor. 12:2 passage, we can know it is a specific man because Paul says in verse 5 that he is boasting on behalf of that man.

    Notice also in this passage that the terms 2 Cor. 12:2, 3, 5 “such a man” is used three times. This is the same term as 1 Cor 5:1.

    More to come….

  166. to continue, Kristen asked:

    Another question is, why did God allow such a personal letter from Paul to Timothy, including “inside” references to people only they would understand about, to become canon? I’m reading a book on the history of women in the church, and apparently this passage has been misunderstood almost since Paul wrote it, as a prohibition on all women teaching all men. It’s puzzling to me.

    I believe that God allowed this because there is so much that we can learn through this situation. I praise God that He has kept the names of people who were deceived from being recorded for all of church history. We also learn that deceived people are still capable of being saved and that Jesus died for even them. In fact there are so many things in this letter that I hardly know where to start. Another very important thing is that Paul showed us in 1 Timothy 1 that God gives mercy to those who have been deceived and that Paul himself had received mercy having been in the same position.

    Paul was a person who has often been misunderstood, but he is an extremely deep person so that when we come to understand him, there is an amazing amount of things that we can learn from him if we work hard in the Scriptures. I am glad that there are Scriptures that are not just “milk” but real meat.

    I also think that our prejudices have kept us from understanding Paul but God has picked this time to bring us to the point that we can understand Paul with the amount of Biblical tools that are available to the common person that were not readily available years ago. I believe it is in God’s timing for Paul to be understood.

  167. @139 Craig,
    You said:

    Next question- I only just thought of this one now.
    1 Tim 2:11 “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.”
    1 Tim 2:12a “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man”
    1 Tim 2:12b “She must be silent.” (NIV)
    Your view Cheryl is that 1 Tim 2:12a is referring to a particular wife and husband (in the home).
    I just wanted to check whether you think that v 11, 12b also refer to just this wife and husband at home? (Or do v11, 12b refer to what should occur in the church meeting?)

    I believe that the change of grammar from plural to singular shifts from the general to the specific that starts in verse 11 is in reference to a specific woman. Verse 11 would be about her learning as a normal student in the congregation. Thus the answer is listed before the problem is even brought up.

    More about this in a moment.

  168. @168 gengwall,

    You said:

    But I don’t think we need to turn “a woman” in verse 11 into the specific woman of vs. 14. What I mean is that the vs. 11 woman can be a generic example. Now, comps say that as well. But they want to make her a generic example of ALL women, or even worse, all Christian women in the worship service. It is clear, though, from the text, that she is a generic example of a specific kind of woman – a deceived false teacher who is exercising violent domineering over her husband and whose potential salvation is in the future. It is unimaginable that this kind of woman represents the entire female population of the Body.

    I very much agree with the last part of this paragraph, but I have a different view from the first part. First of all I need to say that what you believe is possible from the text. And I could be wrong in what I believe. However if verse 11 is about general women who are deceived, then we would have a shift from general to specific in verse 12 without any signal of the shift. Or perhaps I just don’t understand what you are saying and I can grant that as a possibility.

    In verse verse 9 Timothy is talking about women in general and he uses the plural. What would make verse 11 to be about a certain group of women in general rather than about all women or about one woman? There is no hint found in verse 11 that Paul is talking about deception or that the generic “woman” is about a class of people. We don’t understand that deception is the problem until Paul stops the teaching in verse 12.

    If verse 11 is about a special kind of woman as representative of all deceived women, what Paul could have done to make this clear is to keep the general term “women” and then add something for us to know that it was the class of deceived women in general that need to learn.

    Then when we get to verse 12 we would have the same term “woman” now as a specific woman without any hint that Paul has just gone from a generic special group to a specific woman. At least when he went from plural to singular we knew that there was a change. I certainly could be wrong, but it seems to me that if we took verse 11 as a special group of women then we would have to take verse 12 as a special group of women too. That would complicate the “a man” to another special group of men and the “she” and “they” in verse 15 would now be, she = a special group of women (thus generic plural) and they = ? (Perhaps a special group of women plus a special group of men or only just a special group of men or ???) Looking at it this way seems to muddle everything up and makes the passage as if it is Paul’s attempt to confuse us.

    In my mind the only way that verse 11 could be about a special group of deceived women would be that verse 12 would be the same group. It would seem odd for Paul to change from the generic plural to a generic singular and then to a specific singular grammar. The switch from generic plural to singular is well documented. And the switch happens in verse 11 and not in verse 12. If Paul had in mind a specific woman in verse 12, why would he call all deceived women “she” in verse 11? And what exactly would alert us to a different usage for “she” in verse 11 from “she” in verse 12?

    I think the lesson that we can learn from what Paul writes to Timothy is about how deceived “people” come out of their deception. I don’t think that Paul is honing in on a small group of deceived “women” here other than one deceived woman. I think that if you go with generic language for verse 11 you open up a whole other problem. How can we know for sure that “she” in verse 12 is a specific woman if “she” in verse 11 is not?

    In coming to this passage I want to take the simplicity of the passage as best as I can because I sincerely believe that the passage was meant to be understood. I don’t think that taking “she” as meaning two different things in two verses without a signal of the change of meaning would be the simple way of understanding the passage. So while I agree with your basic application of the passage, I have to take a different view of verse 11.

    I believe that verse 11 is about one woman who was a problem and that Paul as a positive follower of Christ is so sure of her eventual salvation that he gives the solution before he gives the problem.

    If I am wrong, I am open to hearing another side that will make the passage clear. In any challenge I will want to know why I should believe that Paul meant a generic group in verse 11 without identifying which “group” he was referring to and why he changed again to a single person in verse 12 without letting us know by a grammar change?

    If I have missed something, fire away. This is great iron sharpening iron stuff and I LOVE discussing the Scriptures this way!

  169. @169 Kristen,
    You said:

    Also, I read not long ago a scholarly essay about how the words “teach” and “domineer” were constructed grammatically so that they were meant to work together, as in “I am not permitting a woman to teach in such a way as to domineer over a man.”

    Both verbs have the same weight just as both verbs in Revelation 2:20 have the same weight. Here Jesus said:

    Revelation 2:20 (NAS) ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

    “Teaches and leads” is akin to “teach and authentein”. Both have one word that normally has a good meaning – “teach” and both have a word that has a negative history. “Leads” in the Greek means “lead astray” or “deceive”. “Authentein” is never listed as a righteous trait and it is never commanded of a leader to do to the congregation. In fact because it is only listed one time in the whole Bible, authentein only has the meaning of what not to do in the Scriptures.

    So in Revelation we know that Jezebel is teaching error because the result is that God’s servants are lead astray. And in 1 Timothy 2:12 we know that the woman is teaching error because the teaching results in something that is forbidden. Good teachings are never forbidden in the Scriptures.

  170. @181 Kay,
    You said:

    The thing I see is that if the false doctrine Paul was refuting was gnostisim (Eve worshipped as a perfect, spirit being, Adam’s creator) or Artemis worship, then he may be using this in a two-fold fashion – reminding the reader that Eve was not perfect, but rather the one deceived…while Adam was not deceived.

    Cheryl, your thoughts?

    Paul does give us a little idea of what the false teaching was that had permeated Ephesus. He said that they were “strange doctrines” which means that they were not consistent with the gospel. There were also myths and endless genealogies and a teaching relying on the law.

    What we would need to do is to decide whether the example of Adam and Eve was meant to show the seriousness of the silence of one man on his wife’s error or whether the naming of Adam and Eve had anything to do with the actual false doctrine.

    It is my belief that the mention of Adam and Eve had nothing to do with the actual kind of false doctrine that was being taught, but was placing a historical event of the first deception and the first silence alongside the problem with this one woman.

    While Paul could have called her “a person” instead of “a woman” thus hiding her identity as a female, I believe that it was intentional to reveal that she was a woman because the parallel problem in the garden showed the opportunity for God to bring His good out of what the enemy meant for evil.

    ~One woman was deceived in the garden and her husband, the undeceived person remained silent.

    ~One woman was deceived in Ephesus and her husband, the undeceived person remained silent.

    ~God brought mercy to Eve because of her deception and unbelief parallels in chapter 1 to God bringing mercy to Paul because of his deception and unbelief and this parallels to Paul being sure that God will bring mercy to the Ephesian woman because of her unbelief and deception.

    ~The first deception resulted in the deceiver being destroyed through the woman’s seed.

    ~The deception in Ephesus will result in the deceived woman being saved through the seed of the first deceived woman.

    ~God brings justice to the serpent who is the deceiver. At the same time God brings mercy to the deceived.

    ~The story of Adam and Eve is used to parallel the plight of the deceived rather than a connection to the “kind” of deception. Eve’s status is not elevated as a source of Adam (a myth), but as the example of the mercy of God brought through the victim of the deceiver.

    With this understanding it doesn’t really matter what the deception was that had caught the woman. What matters is that she has the opportunity to receive mercy just like the very first deceived woman received mercy and just like Paul received mercy. And it is an example of once again where what the enemy meant for harm is turned around by God for good. It is a beautiful story of redemption from deception.

  171. In comment #164 I was attempting to solve two problems in my mind.
    1. v 12 seems to read primarily as a prohibition for the wife, rather than a prohibition on the husband’s silence.
    2. v14b doesn’t refer to Eve so the argument from Adam and Eve must come primarily from Adam.
    So I thought I would try relating Adam to the prohibition on the wife (rather than relating Adam to the husband and Eve to the wife as is usually done). I thought it may be possible that Paul was just appealing to the fact that Adam learned and therefore wasn’t deceived, rather than looking at the terrible thing Adam did with his lack of deception. I think you are correct and it is probably a silly idea. If Paul wanted to find an example of non deception through learning Adam would probably be the last one to pick. Oh well… I’ll keep trying.

  172. Is this one any better.

    Timothy visits Bill and Betty Permagos from the congregation at Ephesus.
    Timothy: ” I have just received news from the Apostle Paul and he has mentioned some things that are particularly important to the both of you.
    (Looking at Betty) You have been teaching and exercising authority over Bill, teaching him things that are contrary to the true Christian faith. Paul says he does not permit this, and says that you need to learn the Christian faith in quietness and full submission.
    (Looking at Bill) Paul does not permit Betty to teach or to have authority over you. Don’t just stand there and do nothing, because, Adam was formed first, then Eve. This gave him wonderful knowledge and meant that he wasn’t deceived, but he remained silent. He didn’t do anything to help. Don’t be like Adam.
    (Looking at Betty) Eve was formed after Adam, and had less knowledge, and just like her you are deceived and have become a sinner. But you will be saved through Jesus if
    (Looking at both Bill and Betty) you both continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

  173. Craig,
    You said:

    1. v 12 seems to read primarily as a prohibition for the wife, rather than a prohibition on the husband’s silence.

    Correct.

    2. v14b doesn’t refer to Eve so the argument from Adam and Eve must come primarily from Adam.

    However verse 13 does refer to Eve in conjunction with Adam and the comparison here is one who is deceived to one who is not deceived.

    Since Paul is referring back to the Biblical account of the fall we must ask what was God’s “take” on the issue of Adam’s non-deception? Was it a good report or a bad report? We will find the answer in Genesis 3:17.

    So I thought I would try relating Adam to the prohibition on the wife (rather than relating Adam to the husband and Eve to the wife as is usually done). I thought it may be possible that Paul was just appealing to the fact that Adam learned and therefore wasn’t deceived, rather than looking at the terrible thing Adam did with his lack of deception.

    Good for you for thinking outside the box! That is a valiant way to try to work through the passage. The question though at the end of the day will be what is Paul’s “take” on Adam? Is it a good review or a bad review? What is the evidence?

    We know that Adam was taken the blame for the entire fall and this is evident through the writings of Paul, agreed? Would Paul now give Adam a break and commend him on his knowledge?

    The Scripture shows us that there is such a thing as a dead faith. Faith that is “dead” is faith that has no practical evidence so that what is claimed is unfruitful. If we put Adam to the test, would we not have to say that his knowledge was a “dead” knowledge since he did not take it out of its sheaf and use it as a sword to fight the enemy?

    Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1 that he used to be a violent man, a persecutor and a blasphemer but he did this ignorantly in unbelief. Would Adam now be given mercy and be considered acting ignorantly in unbelief so that he is now set up by Paul as the good example while his deceived wife is set up as the bad example? Think this one through because it is quite important to Paul’s point. Is this really what Paul is saying? How could we know for sure?

    Then look at verse 15. Is there something that is set up for the man that must change from what he is doing now? If he is the good example like Adam, then why must he do something different?

    I think you are correct and it is probably a silly idea. If Paul wanted to find an example of non deception through learning Adam would probably be the last one to pick. Oh well… I’ll keep trying.

    No, no, no! It isn’t a silly idea. This is the way that we think these things through. The more you practice to pick these Scriptures apart and look at them from every possible angle, the more your eyes will be opened to what God wants to say through the text. These are very hard passages. They will take thinking like you are doing to work through them. And when you are done looking at all the angles, you will know that you know what isn’t the truth and often just by a process of elimination, you will find what is remaining is the truth.

    Keep up the good work! I love to see independent thinking and reasoning through the Scriptures. When you continue to practice this testing everything by asking who, what, where, when and why, you are going to be able to understand these hard passages for yourself.

  174. Craig,
    Looks like you commented again while I was responding to your first comment. Good work! It just needs a little fine tuning.

    Timothy visits Bill and Betty Permagos from the congregation at Ephesus.

    Great names! Made me laugh out loud.

    Timothy: ” I have just received news from the Apostle Paul and he has mentioned some things that are particularly important to the both of you.
    (Looking at Betty) You have been teaching and exercising authority over Bill, teaching him things that are contrary to the true Christian faith. Paul says he does not permit this, and says that you need to learn the Christian faith in quietness and full submission.

    Slight change in the word to Betty. “You have been teaching and practicing authentein a thing which Paul never allows a believer to do to another person. Paul has written that you must stop this and submit to the truth by laying aside your teaching and learn the full truth of God. Paul says that you are to do this quietly just like any other rabbinical student and with full submission to your husband’s help in the faith.”

    (Looking at Bill) Paul does not permit Betty to teach or to have authority over you.

    Since authentein is not the Greek word for God-given authority, I typically just keep the word in tact showing that it is an ungodly, not a godly activity that is being restrained.

    Don’t just stand there and do nothing, because, Adam was formed first, then Eve. This gave him wonderful knowledge and meant that he wasn’t deceived, but he remained silent. He didn’t do anything to help. Don’t be like Adam.

    Good! I would just add that knowledge without using it to benefit others will cause us to walk in selfishness. It isn’t God’s way. To those whom much is given, much is required. His knowledge is required to help his wife.

    (Looking at Betty) Eve was formed after Adam, and had less knowledge, and just like her you are deceived and have become a sinner. But you will be saved through Jesus if
    (Looking at both Bill and Betty) you both continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

    Another good job! I would just add that “You will be saved through the fruit of God’s mercy that came through the first deceived woman if you will submit yourself to Jesus as your husband has and learn to love God, continue in the real truth and stay away from authentein and false knowledge that takes one away from the truth.

    But then I am the wordy one. You were more concise. Kudos!

  175. I can’t remember if this was in the DVDs or on this blog somewhere, or it may be a new thought to me just recently, but do you think when naming the animals, Adam would have named the serpent and may therefore have had prior knowledge of his evil nature? I remember reading things about Adam learning about the character of God from seeing God at work in creation but knowledge of the serpent may have also led to him not being deceived. Eve may not have known about the serpent and so was more easily deceived by him. If Adam new about him, he should have warned her and helped her. Any comments?

  176. Craig,
    I have struggled with the issue of the serpent and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Both seem to be “bad” yet we know that all that God created was “good”. How do we reconcile this?

    I do believe that Adam named the serpent and the Bible says that the serpent was subtle. I am going by memory here as my Bible program isn’t yet open. It is a possibility that God created a creature that was normal and after God created it, satan entered into him and he started talking and then Adam named him knowing that he was different than all the other animals. I believe that Adam was aware of a difference, but I do believe that the key reason that Adam was not deceived was because of his knowledge of God and God as creator.

    As far as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, this tree had no seed bearing fruit, therefore no life in its fruit. It also had an effect of poison since it was not good for food. Since all that God makes is good and the good is not distorted until after the fall when God curses it, I wonder if this tree was not a “plant” by satan. Since Adam was there when the garden was planted by God, he may have seen the tree that was put there by satan. The Bible doesn’t tell us for sure, but we can know some things by knowing what can’t be true.

    We know that all that God does is good. All fruit trees with seed were given to Adam and Eve and they were good. The only tree that was not good for food was the ONE tree. Did God create that tree? If so why didn’t it have life in it?

    What do we know about the serpent? We know that it was different than all the other animals. Why is that? Is it because satan had permission to enter this one animal and use it for his own means? I don’t see how Adam would not have known that, but it is clear to me that he knew it was different than the rest as more subtle.

    What we do know is that Adam was not deceived. He was not deceived by the tree or the serpent or by satan.

  177. Thank you Cheryl for your replies to my questions.

    @ 178
    I appreciate the picture you have painted about a woman “under authority” never being allowed to mature, or grow up, as per Christ’s intention for the Christian’s life. I’ve never thought of it like that but it makes perfect sense.

    I’m sorry if my questions seem obvious and repetitive but I just have to ask until I can get my head around some of the answers. I realise that in Eph 5 all Christians are taught to be in submission to one another which would include a husband and wife relationship, but I still wonder how come it is that there are at least two places where a wife is directly told to be in submission, or obedience, to her husband, while there is never the same clear-cut directive for a husband to be in submission to, or obedient to, his wife?

    It would seem to me that the natural inclination of man “to rule over” his wife since the fall would mean that men in general would be the ones that need the clear cut directive to be in submission to his wife rather than the other way around. Why do you think that this is not the case?

    Also, why do you think the use of the word “authentein” is used exclusively in this husband/wife relationship concerning false teaching and not used in other portions of Scripture where false teaching is also being addressed? Surely a false teacher in any situation would be practicing spiritual “authentein” over their listeners and would require the same sinister term for this type of authority that Paul used in 1 Tim 2.

  178. “Surely a false teacher in any situation would be practicing spiritual “authentein” over their listeners and would require the same sinister term for this type of authority that Paul used in 1 Tim 2.”

    This is why some of us are wondering if the reason that Paul chose that unique word was because of it’s sensual connotations as well. Perhaps, the woman it was referring to was practicing some of the temple sexual dominations.

  179. Holly,
    You said:

    I realise that in Eph 5 all Christians are taught to be in submission to one another which would include a husband and wife relationship, but I still wonder how come it is that there are at least two places where a wife is directly told to be in submission, or obedience, to her husband, while there is never the same clear-cut directive for a husband to be in submission to, or obedient to, his wife?

    I believe that Christianity freed these women from the cultural mandate to obey their husbands with their husbands as masters. However in Christianity our character is to be modeled after Christ so submission with a willing spirit in love is the Christ-like way. This is unlike the cultural obedience that was more slave-like than anything. But to women who are freed from the oppression of male-dominated mastery, they may not feel like they want to act in submission to their husbands.

    I believe that the Bible stresses submission to women in marriage since it would be easy for women to think that they are to submit to the body but don’t have to submit to their husbands since they are now free. Free women need to be reminded that they are slaves to Christ and the highest form of acting out that position is through submission in love even to their former husband-masters. Think about one of these women who has received freedom in Christ. She knows that her husband is not to be her boss or her master as she has one Master – the Lord Jesus. With that new found freedom, how easy is it to accept submission to her husband as a Christian? If the Bible didn’t stress her submission, I think these women would believe that there was no need for submission in marriage. And because many women were abused with the absolute domination of their husbands, submission would be an area of weakness for them after experiencing freedom in Christ. Because of this, submission for wives would be a concept to remind women of their obligation in Christ.

    Also the Bible shows the area of weakness for husbands. Giving up their selfish lifestyles by putting their wive’s needs and her well-being first would not be natural for a husband in that culture. Husbands reminded to act our their Christianity in a way that they were not naturally inclined before coming to Christ. That culture raised naturally selfish males and the Bible deals with this by telling husbands to act like Christ in giving up of themselves fully for their wives. This is not a weak area for a woman since as a mother she is used to giving up of her own needs for her family. But it is a weak area for a man that makes the instruction of sacrifice especially needed for him.

  180. Holly,
    You also said:

    It would seem to me that the natural inclination of man “to rule over” his wife since the fall would mean that men in general would be the ones that need the clear cut directive to be in submission to his wife rather than the other way around. Why do you think that this is not the case?

    Submission is not as strong a concept as telling a man to give up completely of himself for his wife even sacrificing himself to the point of dying for her. That kind of sacrifice is more than submission and is more of an opposite of dominating rule than submission is.

  181. Holly,
    The last thing you asked is:

    Also, why do you think the use of the word “authentein” is used exclusively in this husband/wife relationship concerning false teaching and not used in other portions of Scripture where false teaching is also being addressed? Surely a false teacher in any situation would be practicing spiritual “authentein” over their listeners and would require the same sinister term for this type of authority that Paul used in 1 Tim 2.

    I think it has to do with the tightness of the relationship. Also “authentein” is a very unusual word and would not work well with books written for the average Christian congregation. But in 1 Timothy Paul is writing to his close companion who was on an apostolic mission representing Paul at his request. It was a personal letter written from one friend to another with both of them understanding what kind of problems were in the church. The term was an appropriate “personal” term knowing that Timothy would understand him and the message Paul was trying to get across to Timothy. But if this extremely seldom-used word would have appeared in a letter written to the first century Christian congregation, it likely would have caused more confusion than understanding. Therefore its use would only be appropriate to one who had understanding of Paul’s communication.

    I hope this helps!

  182. Holly, with regards to Paul’s instructions for wives (and slaves and children) to be submissive– it was also very important that Christianity in its fledgling years in Gentile culture, maintain a good reputation. Paul was very interested in making the message palatable to the peoples who received it (see 1 Cor 9- “I become all things to all people, that I might by any means save some.”) Paul’s focus was on the spread of the gospel, not on social reconstruction; indeed social reconstruction would have worked counter to the spread of the gospel in that time and place.

    Hence Paul’s instructions that those who were under authority in that culture, not buck that authority.

    It is in his words to the various authorities (husbands, fathers, slave owners) that we really see the changes Paul is advocating. But the changes are to be from the inside out, not the outside in.

  183. @ 201
    “Submission is not as strong a concept as telling a man to give up completely of himself for his wife even sacrificing himself to the point of dying for her. That kind of sacrifice is more than submission and is more of an opposite of dominating rule than submission is.”

    I agree with your statement here and it would be “nice” if men and women of God understood this concept and applied it to their lives more. However, it seems that people in general “get” more specific statements like “wives submit/obey your husbands” as the last 2,000 years have proved as Christian men have still “ruled” and excercised “authority” over their “submissive” wives in many cases to the point of abuse since the days of Paul (I’m not implying that all are abusive as I’ve seen many lovely men of God love their wives sacrificially even while believing they were the final authority).
    True that many men and women in churches are ignorant sheep, not reading and comparing all of Scripture, nor dividing rightly as we are told to do, but rather following ignorantly what man teaches. However, there have been so many great men of God throughout the centuries that have stood for sound doctrine, yet still have believed and taught the complementarian/hierarchical point of view. I find it difficult to comprehend why this egal understanding has been so “hidden” for so long, and it seems that a simple “husband submit to your wives as unto the Lord” would have saved a lot of women (and men because of their greater burden of “responsibility” than was necessary) a lot of pain and suffering over the years.

  184. Holly,
    If Paul had said, “husbands submit to your wives as to the Lord,” it would have been viewed as subversive by the Roman authorities, who did have agents that intercepted and read letters. The last thing the young Church needed was the Roman authorities deciding they were inciting rebellion against the established order of husband-rule! And that is how the Romans would have seen it.

  185. Cheryl – “I certainly could be wrong, but it seems to me that if we took verse 11 as a special group of women then we would have to take verse 12 as a special group of women too.”

    I am not taking vs. 11 to be a plural special group of women but as a singular generic example of “the woman”. Certainly, there is potential that there were other marriages in Ephesus being conducted like that of “the woman”. But it also seems probable, if there were, that other such marriages may not have as positive of a prognosis as Paul has for “they” (the specific woman and her husband). So it would make sense for Paul to give a general prohibition but be specific about a potentially positive outcome.

    “That would complicate the “a man” to another special group of men and the “she” and “they” in verse 15 would now be, she = a special group of women (thus generic plural) and they = ? (Perhaps a special group of women plus a special group of men or only just a special group of men or ???)”

    Not at all. Vs. 12 would read “a wife…a husband” and we would presume that the generic husband is the husband of the generic wife. There are no groups. Yet we would read “they” in vs. 15 to be “the woman (from vs. 14 and earlier in vs. 15) and her husband”, the specific couple on whom the generic is based.

    Let me say I am not relating an opinion that I have a strong conviction about. What I am trying to do is think through why Paul would not have used the definite article right off the bat. So, I’m responding just to pursue the intellectual exercise.

    My reaction to vs. 12 in this light is that it also does not yet have to be about the specific man and woman. There is no reason why verse 12 couldn’t still be generic: “I do not permit a woman to teach [false doctrine] or exercise violent dominion over a husband”.

    There are two things we know for sure. One is that there is a distinct and intentional change from plural to singular between vss. 10 and 11. But two, there is also a distinct (and also intentional???) change from indefinite singular to definite singular between vss. 12 and 14. As we know, the indefinite singular can refer to a generic. It is not a “set” of deceived women per se, but a single generic woman.

    So why these shifts in grammar? It is clear that the first shift between 10 and 11 signifies a change in subjects (although not the overall topic of false teaching per se). The women in vs. 10 needed a correction for behavior in the worship service that was inhibiting the spread of the gospel. Vs. 11 has nothing to do with that at all. Verse 10 is a wrap up; vs. 11 is a beginning.

    So vs. 11 starts a new section. But now Paul has a specific example (a “she” from Timothy) instead of a group (the women in the Ephesian church). But Paul still needs to address not only the “she” and her husband but any other couple who Timothy also might encounter who has a similar situation. So Paul begins by describing generally how to handle the situation in question by dealing with a generic woman and her husband who are based on the specific couple Timothy wrote about. Then he concludes by offering encouragement about that specific couple because unlike some couples similarly situated, they in particular have hope.

    We can’t ignore the shift between 12 and 14 as if it doesn’t exist (well, we can, but I am choosing not to for this discussion). Vss. 11 and 12 simply do not say “the woman”, “this woman”, “that woman”, “a certain woman”, or any other such thing. So what if vss. 11 and 12 are indefinite not only grammatically but intentionally? Does that make the egal case fall apart…or support the comp case?

    Not if “a woman” is a generic representation (of which there may have been many in Ephesus) of “the woman”. Not if “a woman” like “the woman” needs to have the same prohibition applied. And not if “a[nother] woman” like “the woman” may not have the same potentially positive outcome as “they” (“the woman” and her husband) do.

    And why would Paul do this? Why wouldn’t he just deal with the specific case? Possibly because he wanted to empower Timothy to act on his own. Possibly becasue he didn’t want Timothy to keep writing him over and over about basically the same problems. Who knows? Or maybe it is much ado about nothing. All I’m saying is that the egal case stands strong even if we accept an interpretation of “a woman” that follows the indefinite grammar.

  186. Holly – “I’m sorry if my questions seem obvious and repetitive but I just have to ask until I can get my head around some of the answers. I realise that in Eph 5 all Christians are taught to be in submission to one another which would include a husband and wife relationship, but I still wonder how come it is that there are at least two places where a wife is directly told to be in submission, or obedience, to her husband, while there is never the same clear-cut directive for a husband to be in submission to, or obedient to, his wife?”

    Keep in mind that wives are also never instructed in scripture to agape their husbands, yet we know they should and do. In Eph 5, as Cheryl points out, Paul is addressing each gender with the parts of Christian conduct that are most difficult for that gender within the relationship of marriage. Just because Paul doesn’t tell husbands to submit to their wives doesn’t exempt husbands from submission. It simply means that the mutual submission Paul describes in Eph 5:21 will be particularly hard to live out when it involves wives submitting to their husbands just as the mutual agape all Christians are repeatedly commanded to have for one another will be particularly hard to live out when it involves husbands selflessly loving their wives.

  187. @207 gengwall,
    You said:

    I am not taking vs. 11 to be a plural special group of women but as a singular generic example of “the woman”.

    I am not sure if I understand you correctly. Are you saying that Timothy was to understand Paul in verse 11 that “any woman” who is deceived is to submit to learn? And in verse 12 “any woman” who is teaching and “authentein” her husband, Timothy is to stop (any women who is doing that). And that a specific woman is not in view until verse 14?

    “Authentein” is a very rare word and with a specific meaning to Timothy. Are you saying that there would be many more women who were doing this to their husbands? If there are many more potential women who are doing the same thing, would there be women in other churches practicing “authentein” or this is an Ephesian anomaly?

    If this is what you are saying, then is there anyone in particular that Timothy is to stop from teaching per verse 12 or is this just in case there is anyone like this, this is what you are to do?

    If verse 11 is generic, would it not have been natural for Paul to continue with the term “women” instead of “woman”? And if verse 11 and 12 are generic “woman” and not a specific woman, then is the “they” of verse 15 also generic women who are deceived?

    I can’t do anything more than this tonight as my mind is totally gone and I am exhausted. I hope that what I have written and my questions make sense.

  188. Good questions Cheryl. Let me say first that I’m not “saying” anything really. I’m just suggesting a reason why Paul might have begun with indefinate singular nouns and ended with definite. So…

    Are you saying that Timothy was to understand Paul in verse 11 that ‘any woman’…

    Yes – I’m saying that maybe Paul wanted Timothy to understand vs. 11 and 12 to mean “any” couple who were in similar circumstances. That doesn’t mean that Timothy’s specific woman isn’t in view exactly. It just means that she isn’t the only one.

    “Authentein” is a very rare word and with a specific meaning to Timothy. Are you saying that there would be many more women who were doing this to their husbands?…

    Ephesus was a very pagan city with, female dominated cults. It isn’t too far of a stretch to believe that there might have been others involved in similar “authentein” behavior. Although I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was unique to Ephesus, it may be that it was predominant in Ephesus.

    If this is what you are saying, then is there anyone in particular that Timothy is to stop from teaching per verse 12 or is this just in case there is anyone like this, this is what you are to do?

    Timothy is to stop his example woman and any others he may run into per vs. 12. His specific woman certainly is not exempt from the prohibition. Nor may she be the only one needing prohibition.

    If verse 11 is generic, would it not have been natural for Paul to continue with the term “women” instead of “woman”? And if verse 11 and 12 are generic “woman” and not a specific woman, then is the “they” of verse 15 also generic women who are deceived?

    Paul could have continued in the plural but Timothy provided a specific example, and one that was taking place in a marriage setting, which necessitates a shift to singular. That also excludes the “they” of vs. 15 from referring to a group of deceived “women” because “women” have not been the object of the teaching, “a [generic] woman” has. As you have often pointed out, “she” can not be a “they”. The only “they” that has ever been in view is an individual wife and her husband, whether they are generic or Timothy’s example couple. Since the focus has shifted in vs. 14 away from the generic and to the specific couple, the most immediate “they” is that specific couple.

    I want to emphasize that I am not insisting it has to be this way. But many people struggle with the lack of the definate article in vss. 11 and 12. This is a possible explanation for that grammar which doesn’t detract at all from Paul’s central instruction nor leave Timothy’s specific couple out in the cold.

  189. I don’t know gengwall. The concept of using an example fictitionist person or persons does not fit Paul’s ways of writing IMO. I think he was talking about a real woman who needed to learn and be quiet while learning and not authentein anyone. Who the anyone is could be a husband and could be a teacher and even could be a husband teacher. But again I don’t think it’s a fictitionist person, but someone in particular that Timothy and Paul were privy to.

  190. I agree TL. But that conclusion begs two questions. First, why not start immediately with the definate article in vs. 11. Second, what should Timothy do with other couples who might be in the same boat? If we could be certain that there was ONLY this one couple in Ephesus that had this problem, I would say there is no reason to stray into a general prohibition. But I don’t believe we can be certain of that. In fact, I we can’t even be certain that Timothy wrote only about the one couple. Timothy could have said “we have some trouble in a few marriages in the congregation. One such troubled marriage is that of Jhn and Jane Doe, but they are simply emblimatic of several others. Here are Jane and John’s specifics…” I mean, we really don’t know whether or not Timothy wrote anything beyond of his specific couple. But we do know that Paul did not begin his instructions for this problem by clearly identifying a the specific couple.

  191. “Second, what should Timothy do with other couples who might be in the same boat?”

    Well, you would use the example of this couple as an idea what to do with anyone else that had the same problem. We do that with all of Scripture. All of the real life examples are for our benefit to learn from. I wouldn’t go so far though, as to say that Paul gave a fictitious example. However, you could assume that Paul made a point to speak of them because there were others doing the same. That is a possibility.

  192. Definately a possibility, but it doesn’t fit with the fact that Paul began without being definite about who he was speaking of. It is just as likely IMO that Paul would go from general to specific as it would be that he would go from specific to general, and the former fits the grammar.

  193. BTW – I’m not saying that Paul is giving a fictitious example. I am saying that Paul is using a specific example to address a generic issue. They are two very different things. Paul isn’t pulling his prohibition out of a hat to deal with some made up problem, and then, lo and behold, he remembers that Timothy wrote of a specific couple that just happen to work as an example. Paul has the specific couple in mind all along, but he begins by addressing the general issue of wives authentein’ing their husbands. Then, as it pertains to Timothy’s specific couple, he encourages Timothy that there is hope for them (and presumably some, but not all, others) because of their unique circumstances within the general realm of couples with this general issue.

  194. Think of it the other way. Had Paul used the definite article from the beginning, then ONLY this specific real couple are being addressed and we have no basis to make a general application. If Timothy had run into a similar but not exactly the same situation with another couple, a very likely possibility in Ephesus, he would have to write Paul all over again because he could not be certain that the specific prohibition for a specific couple would be applicable.

    In judicial terms, Paul’s opinon would have to be considered very narrow, and Timothy would have to bring other cases, even very, very similar cases, in front of Paul again for more clarification and remedy. That is why, in America, we see case after case that seem almost identical being tried. It is because the court’s judgements are often so narrow that they literally can only be applied to the one specific case. On the other hand, a more general opinion, even though based on a specific case, gives the courts more guidance on how to proceed in the future.

    Isn’t it possible that Paul wanted to provide Timothy with more than a narrow remedy for a specific case? Isn’t it possible that Paul recognized that conditions in Ephesus could bring about similar situations and therefore he wanted to provide Timothy with some general guidance as well as some encouragement about the specific case? Wouldn’t the grammar we are presented with be exactly the way to do that?

  195. “BTW – I’m not saying that Paul is giving a fictitious example. I am saying that Paul is using a specific example to address a generic issue.”

    oh, OK. That is possible. 🙂

    The more I dig into Scripture, the most often I am coming to things where I find I must say something to the effect that we don’t know precisely how this was meant. It could be A or B or both. Changes how I teach.

  196. I agree. Either way, the prohibition stands on its own. And either way, there is still no way the passage is talking about the conduct of godly women in the worship service.

  197. All I can say, Gengwall, is that you’ve convinced me. I’m a paralegal, and I understand exactly what you’re talking about.

    But even from a non-legal perspective, this makes sense. I mean, I’m the lead administrative assistant/paralegal for a small law firm. Suppose I were going on vacation, and before I left, one of the other assistants said, “I’m worried that we might have [a particular trouble] with client Jane Doe.”
    I would not necessarily just say to her, “If Jane Doe does A, you say B.” I would say, “If a client does something like A, we would do B.” And then I might go on and say, “Now as to Ms. Doe herself. . .”

    The thing is that Paul wrote this letter to Timothy to delegate to Timothy the authority to act as Paul would act, in Paul’s absence. Some of the things in the letter are probably things Timothy already knew (I mean, was it absolutely necessary to repeat, “As I told you, stay in Ephesus”?) The point is that if anyone objected to Timothy’s actions, Timothy could show them the letter and say, “Look, Paul laid down these policies. I’m just following them.”

    So it makes sense for Paul to deal with this one situation (a wife “authenteining” her husband), in terms of policy not just specifics. And it totally explains why he uses “a woman” and “a man” rather than “this woman” and “that man” in his opening statement. As such, it completely removes all objections I had to this interpretation and turns it in my mind from a likely interpretation, to the most likely interpretation.

  198. @205 Holly,
    You said:

    it seems that a simple “husband submit to your wives as unto the Lord” would have saved a lot of women (and men because of their greater burden of “responsibility” than was necessary) a lot of pain and suffering over the years.

    Are you sure? It seems to me that with the direct command for husbands to give up themselves for their wives still allowed men to hold to their male tradition, if the Bible would have directly said what you quoted above, the additional command would have been bypassed in the same way. Male privilege does not get laid at the feet of Jesus easily. Men need to be willing to have a heart change that goes against their fleshly desires and against the culture and against tradition. That is no small feat.

  199. “it seems that a simple “husband submit to your wives as unto the Lord” would have saved a lot of women (and men because of their greater burden of “responsibility” than was necessary) a lot of pain and suffering over the years.”

    It seems to me that the Holy Spirit is often not that plain. Rather, we must have a readiness of heart to see and then we will see what Jesus and the apostles are really saying. This way the obstinate cannot just write of the NT admonitions as foolish radical talk.

  200. @207 gengwall

    I think I failed to congratulate you on thinking outside the box. Even if your view does not agree with mine, the fact that you are thinking for yourself and considering all the options is a wonderful and commendable thing. Good going!

    You said:

    There are two things we know for sure. One is that there is a distinct and intentional change from plural to singular between vss. 10 and 11. But two, there is also a distinct (and also intentional???) change from indefinite singular to definite singular between vss. 12 and 14. As we know, the indefinite singular can refer to a generic. It is not a “set” of deceived women per se, but a single generic woman.

    You made a mistake here. There isn’t an “indefinite” singular. It is just singular. There is no indefinite in the Greek. And the singular can be definite without the definite article. So there isn’t such a change from singular to definite singular since both can (and I believe does) mean the same thing.

    So let’s have a closer look at the changes within the text. Paul goes from plural to singular. Is the plural generic for all women in verse 10?

    1 Timothy 2:10 (NAS)
    10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.

    This is a statement about all women “who are making a claim to godliness”. It appears that these are women who claim to have maturity and are godly examples of the faith.

    The women in vs. 10 needed a correction for behavior in the worship service that was inhibiting the spread of the gospel.

    I am not sure where you are getting this from other then this is typically what comp teachers say. Is the “correction” that Paul is giving a correction for behavior that is inhibiting the spread of the gospel, or is the correction the proper way to show their godliness through their inner character and not through expensive dresses and jewelry?

    Vs. 11 has nothing to do with that at all. Verse 10 is a wrap up; vs. 11 is a beginning.

    I agree. Verse 10 is about a general “kind” that are claiming godliness and verse 11 is about a woman who has a need to become a disciple and to learn from instruction.

    Is verses 11 & 12 about a general “kind” of woman who is deceived and who needs to stop teaching her husband her errors and who needs to learn while verse 14 is about a specific woman who is called “the woman”? This would seem a bit odd if we consider that only one is said to be still in the transgression and results of it. Are we to think that there could be many women who are teaching their husbands false doctrine and none of the husbands are correcting them yet none of them are still in the transgression but one? If that would be the case, then there would be no reason for a generic example needed. I think that Timothy is smart enough to take Paul’s way of dealing with the specific case and using that as a template to deal with any further issues that may come up in the future.

    It would also seem odd if there were potential on-going problems with many women teaching false doctrine to their husbands and Paul is only convinced that one can be saved (verse 15). After all he made a huge point in chapter one that one who has been deceived and acted ignorantly with unbelief could obtain mercy. Why would Paul then say that only one woman who was doing what lots of others were doing in Ephesus would obtain mercy? Would it not also be true that all of those who have been deceived would be eligible for mercy from God if they all submitted to learning the truth, and all were helped with a mentor who would walk alongside them in staying in the truth, staying true to a love for God and living a holy life for God by staying away from the error?

    If Paul is indeed giving this example so that we can be sure that God has not rejected those who are lost in the cults and in aberrant movements, then wouldn’t it be contradictory of Paul to turn around and say that we can ignore some because we can judge some who have been deceived as unworthy to receive mercy? I just don’t think that fits.

    So we are back to why did Paul use the singular in verses 11 & 12 without the definite article and then choose to use the definite article in verse 14? Here is what I think. I believe that his pattern has been to not use the definite article when the context is clear to the audience that a specific person is in mind. When Paul went from the plural to the singular, he made a switch to those who are going to be part of the solution (those who claim godliness) to the problem teacher who needs teaching herself. There is no doubt in my mind that Timothy knew exactly who this teacher was that he was to stop from teaching. However there is a complication in verse 14 that seems to require a definite article.

    In verse 13 Paul has named Eve in connection to Adam. He does this because the problem in the garden directly correlates to the problem in Ephesus with this one woman. But Paul is now going to add the woman into the equation showing Timothy that the seriousness of her situation is just like what was going on with Eve. So where we would expect Paul to use Eve with Adam in verse 14, here Paul switches from the original problem that existed in now dead people, as an overlay to the current problem with an alive person. In order to make sure that Timothy understands the direct connection and that he isn’t talking about Eve but the specific woman, he contrasts the dead with the living by specifically identifying her as “the” woman and then uses grammar that shows that the effects of her transgression are on-going.

    So I think that the unexpected use of the definite article is the area that we should concentrate on and why Paul used the definite article when he has in the past used no article when he was identifying a specific person.

    Lastly I think that if “woman” of verse 12 was not a specific woman that was doing a specific thing with a specific man then Paul’s command to Timothy had no real teeth since it would be an “if” command instead of a definite command to do something. In other words if Paul was using generic terms like any woman who is deceived needs to learn and to stop teaching her husband, the question would be why Paul would give a command regarding potentially deceived women. It wasn’t his modus operandi to give out commands for “what if’s”. His commands seem to be about specifics.

    Paul also didn’t give up on people seeing them as unable to be saved very easily. He did treat the deceivers differently than the deceived but the deceivers were not turned over to the church to be taught. They were turned over to satan and it was the deceived who were turned over to the church to be taught.

    So if your alternate suggestion is true, one would have to explain

    1. Why would Paul command regarding possible scenarios?

    2. Was “the woman” from verse 14 & 15 also to be commanded not to teach her husband? How could we be sure if verse 12 was only about “if” situations?

    3. Why would there not be a generic “woman” who was still in the transgression and the results of that transgression in verse 14? Why would Paul seem to teach that any woman could be deceived, but it is only “one” woman who is still in the transgression?

    4. Why would Paul who was confident that those who were deceived in unbelief be eligible for mercy turn around and deny that all but one was eligible for mercy by making the “she” of verse 15 about only one woman?

    I think that making the woman of verses 11 & 12 to be any woman who is deceived takes the punch out of Paul’s command and makes the passage less clear and with irreconcilable problems about who can be saved. This is why I hold to the thought that the singular is a consistent change to a specific example of one particular woman and one particular man. It just fits the verses without the problems that making a generic woman out of “she” and then changing the “she” in verse 15 to be specific.

    And if the “she” in verse 15 is the specific woman of verse 14 PLUS the unspecified generic woman of verses 11 & 12, the “they” of verse 15 becomes very confusing. We can make “they” the specific woman of verse 14, but who would “they” be that must walk with her to help to assure her salvation? “The” woman of verse 15 isn’t connected to “the” man and we can’t assume that “any” woman who is a false, deceived teacher has a husband who is a believer. But if verses 11 & 12 are about one woman and one man, then the example that Paul gives of the very first husband and wife in the garden, and the fact that it is only “she” whose salvation is in question, shows that this one couple are exactly like Adam and Eve. She is deceived. He is silent. She is in need of true knowledge. He has the truth and has done nothing with it.

  201. @208 gengwall,
    You said:

    Keep in mind that wives are also never instructed in scripture to agape their husbands, yet we know they should and do.

    Actually that is a tradition that has been circulating in the church but it isn’t true.

    Paul instructed through Titus:

    Titus 2:4 (NAS)
    4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,

    I do agree with everything else that you say about mutual submission and a general command to love one another.

  202. It will take me a while to digest #222, so let me briefly address #223. In Titus, wives are instructed to philandros their husbands, not agapao. I’m afraid you have fallen into the “rely on the English translation” trap. So actually, my statement is quite true.

  203. First, to dispense with some #222 incidentals:

    I think I failed to congratulate you on thinking outside the box……

    hahaha. Buttering me up before you drop the hammer.

    You made a mistake here. There isn’t an “indefinite” singular. It is just singular. There is no indefinite in the Greek. And the singular can be definite without the definite article. So there isn’t such a change from singular to definite singular since both can (and I believe does) mean the same thing.

    LOL – toMAtoe; tomatoe. the point is there is a shift. If you want to call it from “singular” to “definite”, that’s fine with me.

    I am not sure where you are getting this from other then this is typically what comp teachers say. Is the “correction” that Paul is giving a correction for behavior that is inhibiting the spread of the gospel, or is the correction the proper way to show their godliness through their inner character and not through expensive dresses and jewelry?

    The answer to your either/or is “Yes”. The two things are intertwined.

  204. Now, as to your questions/rebuttal:

    Are we to think that there could be many women who are teaching their husbands false doctrine and none of the husbands are correcting them yet none of them are still in the transgression but one?

    I see no reason to make that leap. Timothy gave only one example. Paul shifts to speaking directly about that one example. Any other women who are still in transgression are still in need of the prohibition, and those that were deceived into that state are due mercy.

    I think that Timothy is smart enough to take Paul’s way of dealing with the specific case and using that as a template to deal with any further issues that may come up in the future.

    Really? If Timothy is so smart, why ask Paul at all. It seems to me that a great deal has been said about Timothy’s youth, lack of experience, need for guidance, and need for encouragement. I don’t picture him at all as being able to “take the ball and run with it”.

    It would also seem odd if there were potential on-going problems with many women teaching false doctrine to their husbands and Paul is only convinced that one can be saved (verse 15). After all he made a huge point in chapter one that one who has been deceived and acted ignorantly with unbelief could obtain mercy. Why would Paul then say that only one woman who was doing what lots of others were doing in Ephesus would obtain mercy?

    Because there is only one for which Timothy has provided specifics. Others may not have the very same circumstances. Even with chap 1, Do you believe that any other woman who might fall into transgression in a like manner to this woman will automatically receive salvation regardless of other extenuating circumstances? Paul is not proclaiming either a singular salvation or a global salvation. He is simply addressing the one case for which he has all the facts.

    Your interpretation stands on its own. I see no reason to doubt it as a possibility or rebutt it.

  205. I wanted to reply to Cheryl here:

    Timothy 2:10 (NAS)
    10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.

    This is a statement about all women “who are making a claim to godliness”. It appears that these are women who claim to have maturity and are godly examples of the faith.
    Would Paul really be saying that only those women who claim to have maturity and are godly examples, should be dressing modestly? That only they should be focusing on inner character rather than outward adornment– while those women in the church who are immature Christians are exempt? This doesn’t seem likely. It seems to me that Paul is talking about all the women in the church here, as he was talking about all the men a verse earlier. Just as the men are to “lift holy hands,” the women are to dress modestly. “As is proper for women making a claim to godliness” seems to me to be saying, “Women who consider themselves Christians (ie., have repented of their sins and left their old way of life, thus making a claim to godliness) should dress modestly.”

    “The women in vs. 10 needed a correction for behavior in the worship service that was inhibiting the spread of the gospel.”

    I am not sure where you are getting this from other then this is typically what comp teachers say. Is the “correction” that Paul is giving a correction for behavior that is inhibiting the spread of the gospel, or is the correction the proper way to show their godliness through their inner character and not through expensive dresses and jewelry?
    I’m not sure whether or not Paul is making a correction to the Ephesian church’s behavior or not. I think he’s simply saying, “In order to be a good witness to the surrounding culture, the men should have “holy hands” and the women should have “holy dress.” This doesn’t mean that women shouldn’t also have “holy hands” or that men shouldn’t also have “holy dress,” but it is referring areas of focus that are particular to women and to men, where the other area (holy hands for women and holy dress for men) does not need that focus.

    Is verses 11 & 12 about a general “kind” of woman who is deceived and who needs to stop teaching her husband her errors and who needs to learn while verse 14 is about a specific woman who is called “the woman”? This would seem a bit odd if we consider that only one is said to be still in the transgression and results of it. Are we to think that there could be many women who are teaching their husbands false doctrine and none of the husbands are correcting them yet none of them are still in the transgression but one? If that would be the case, then there would be no reason for a generic example needed. I think that Timothy is smart enough to take Paul’s way of dealing with the specific case and using that as a template to deal with any further issues that may come up in the future.
    I think it’s simpler than that. There is indeed ONE woman that both Paul and Timothy have in mind. But because Paul’s letter is about Timothy fixing the church, he speaks at first in terms of policy. He uses the non-definite singular to show that this policy COULD apply to any woman who might (theoretically, in the future) get into the same situation as this specific woman they both know they are really talking about.
    An analogy would be a head boss giving a supervisor instructions on how to deal with a particular employee situation. They would both know they were talking about one employee, but the boss would be most likely to frame the issue in terms of policy (saying, in effect, this is nothing personal; this is not a singling out of this one employee– any employee who did the same thing would face the same policy). The supervisor might say, “Hey, John Smith keeps talking to his wife on the phone when he’s supposed to be working.” The head boss might reply, “An employee is not to make personal phone calls during his shift [stating policy]. The employee [now referring to John Smith in particular] is to be given a warning.”
    No other employees are breaking the policy, but the head boss still makes his statement in terms of policy. It makes sense to me that this is what Paul could be doing here.

    So we are back to why did Paul use the singular in verses 11 & 12 without the definite article and then choose to use the definite article in verse 14? Here is what I think. I believe that his pattern has been to not use the definite article when the context is clear to the audience that a specific person is in mind.
    It could be as you say– but the examples you have given so far– “I know a man who was caught up to the third heaven,” for example– seem to always contain some kind of qualifier: a “who” statement that MAKES the context clear. I agree that possibly Paul was simply referring to this one woman both in verses 11 and 12 and in verse 14– but then (when it comes to verse 11, at least) we lose the strength of “let a woman learn!” as a POLICY. We also lose the “this is nothing personal, I’m not singling her out” idea that I think may very well be what Paul is saying here.
    I do think that in verses 14 and 15 Paul is definitely talking about this one woman’s situation, this one woman’s salvation, and this one couple’s need to walk in sanctification.

    I hope that makes it clearer why I like Gengwall’s interpretation so much.

  206. So, Gengwall: basically, you’re an egal who believes that Paul was basically saying that all women should not practice false teaching/dominion over their husbands?

  207. I think the idea that “women should not practice false teaching/dominion over their husbands” is what we all believe, regardless of comp or egal. So I guess my answer is “yes”, although I feel like you are trying to get some kind of confession or concession out of me and I’m not sure what it is.

  208. I’m simply trying to confirm where you stand. Are you an egal who believes women are not forbidden to teach men?

  209. Geesh, it wasn’t in doubt. I arrived here at the end of numerous comments, saw that you and Cheryl were disagreeing about the semantics of something and took a while to decipher it. I just wanted confirmation since you were using details and words about the original language I’ve never heard before. Thanks.

  210. No problem. It is tough coming in at the end of one of these long posts. Sorry I sounded defensive – it was unintentional.

    Anything I can help you with regarding the current discussion? It is primarily about Paul not using the definite article “the” in verse 11 (translated “a woman” in most bibles but actually just “woman” in the Greek), but then introducing it in verse 14 (“but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience” – Hebrew Names Version).

    Cheryl and I agree about 99% of this passage but are quibbling over why the definite article was not introduced at the beginning. Neither of our positions alters our egal stance.

  211. No problem at all. Thank you for the offer, but I’m happily caught up 🙂 I’ll probably be reading the first several comments later today. After reading some of your words, I just wanted to double-check your stance; the first thing I saw were you and Cheryl dissecting Scriptural details and the thought, “Oh no, it’s another difficult comp” ran through my head. After reading some of the details, though, I was greatly relieved to see that you were actually presenting what looked like an air-tight case for the egal position; just wanted to make sure 🙂 Many thanks for presenting this passage so painstakingly. Your conclusions are greatly encouraging!

  212. @224 gengwall,
    You said:

    In Titus, wives are instructed to philandros their husbands, not agapao. I’m afraid you have fallen into the “rely on the English translation” trap. So actually, my statement is quite true.

    You are right. That is my fault. I apologize for translating it in my head to “love”. I blame it on my tired existence as this renovation/addition progresses. I have heard so many people say that the Bible never tells women to love their husbands, that I just grazed over what you were trying to say and thus gave a wrong answer. Please forgive me for that.

    Now let me try once again with my brain more alert. While the Bible never directly says that words that wives are to agapao their husbands, yet it also directly says that all of us are to agapao one another. Romans 13:8, John 13:34 are just some examples and Eph 5:2 says that we are to walk in agape. Thus we know for sure that wives are to agapao their husbands because all of us are to agapao each other.

  213. @225 gengwall,
    You quoted me and said:

    I think I failed to congratulate you on thinking outside the box……

    hahaha. Buttering me up before you drop the hammer.

    Actually I realized that I was giving special attention to the new people who were thinking outside the box and not giving the proper affirmation to you. It doesn’t matter whether I agree with what you come up with, the fact that you are continually trying to work through these matters and think outside the box is a very commendable thing. For some reason I seem to take you for granted because you have been here longer, but I don’t want to keep doing that. You are greatly appreciated and your ability to think outside the box is awesome! Keep it up.

    You made a mistake here. There isn’t an “indefinite” singular. It is just singular. There is no indefinite in the Greek. And the singular can be definite without the definite article. So there isn’t such a change from singular to definite singular since both can (and I believe does) mean the same thing.

    LOL – toMAtoe; tomatoe. the point is there is a shift. If you want to call it from “singular” to “definite”, that’s fine with me.

    My point is that there is not a shift. A noun can be definite with or without the article. The only way that there would be a shift is if Paul meant “woman” to mean a generic woman and then later in verse 14, he switches to a definite woman. But that hasn’t been proven yet and frankly I am not convinced by your view so I don’t see this as a shift from a generic woman to a definite woman. You have to first prove that there is a shift and then I could agree with you that a second shift occurs.

    Is the “correction” that Paul is giving a correction for behavior that is inhibiting the spread of the gospel, or is the correction the proper way to show their godliness through their inner character and not through expensive dresses and jewelry?

    The answer to your either/or is “Yes”. The two things are intertwined.

    Actually I don’t see where Paul is saying that how expensive a dress a godly woman wears is inhibiting the gospel. Perhaps you could share how you get that from the text.

  214. @226 gengwall,

    Thanks for sparring with me! When I questioned you about why there was only one who was said to be still in the transgression if Paul was talking about many who were teaching their husbands false doctrine, you said:

    I see no reason to make that leap. Timothy gave only one example. Paul shifts to speaking directly about that one example. Any other women who are still in transgression are still in need of the prohibition, and those that were deceived into that state are due mercy.

    I find this unconvincing. If Paul was wanting to make 1 Timothy 2:11-12 generic for all those who were teaching false doctrine to their husbands and he was not talking about one special false teacher and that special circumstance between one couple, then why not carry it through with the generic? After all if this one couple is not special and they are just like all the others, then there is no real reason to pick them out of the crowd is there? By listing only one woman as being in the transgression, what would be the point of that? How then would we know if the others are okay now and not still in their deception, yet they are still not allowed to teach? Only one is still in the transgression, still in the deception, but all cannot teach? It makes the water more muddy as if all women generically can’t teach whether they are still deceived or not. It also doesn’t make the passage flow because “woman” is not of necessity generic to begin with and how would we be sure that the “woman” in verses 11 & 12 cannot be a specific woman? What makes it truly clear that the anarthrous noun in verse 11 & 12 is absolutely not connected to “the woman” of verse 14?

    I had said to you:

    I think that Timothy is smart enough to take Paul’s way of dealing with the specific case and using that as a template to deal with any further issues that may come up in the future.

    You answered:

    Really? If Timothy is so smart, why ask Paul at all. It seems to me that a great deal has been said about Timothy’s youth, lack of experience, need for guidance, and need for encouragement. I don’t picture him at all as being able to “take the ball and run with it”.

    I think the point that I have been making a lot about Timothy was his youth in his lack of experience not his lack of intelligence. So for Timothy to step into a marriage situation to bypass the woman’s husband would have been a hard thing for him to do. I don’t think that as a mature person spiritually who was given the privilege of being Paul’s representative in Ephesus, that Timothy would miss taking one solution and therefore miss the opportunity to use the courage he received from Paul to help any other similar situations. The fact is that although Timothy was young, he was a mature Christian in knowledge. But his inexperience in how to overstep a wimpy, silent husband and a culture that made what he was instructed to do a no-no made Paul’s instruction that the prohibition was coming from him, a very understandable answer to Timothy’s dilemma. So inexperienced in overcoming cultural barriers, sure. Was he stupid or unable to apply the solution to other problems? Hardly seems possible that such a senseless person would have been in charge of the problems.

    More in a bit.

  215. gengwall, you also said that Paul was only convinced that one woman would be saved (on condition…) and the reason, you said is:

    Because there is only one for which Timothy has provided specifics. Others may not have the very same circumstances.

    That would be a problem because the only circumstances that are provided for the prohibition are for the generic “woman” situation. What exactly was the prohibition for the specific woman? It isn’t given unless “the woman” is to be seen in verses 11 & 12.

    Even with chap 1, Do you believe that any other woman who might fall into transgression in a like manner to this woman will automatically receive salvation regardless of other extenuating circumstances?

    I think if we take careful note of the conditions that Paul creates in verse 15, any woman should fall under this “saved..if…” statement. It is the conditional “if” that makes all the difference.

    Paul is not proclaiming either a singular salvation or a global salvation. He is simply addressing the one case for which he has all the facts.

    I am not sure what you mean by this statement. What do you mean that he is not proclaiming a singular salvation that is conditional?

    Your interpretation stands on its own. I see no reason to doubt it as a possibility or rebutt it.

    Well, again I am not saying that I am infallible and that your version cannot be correct, but I am unconvinced and it seems to me that it has some issues that doesn’t make it seem likely.

    My question to you would be, why would Paul have to make a strict prohibition about generic “woman” whom he has little information about their circumstances? And what would the need be to even talk about a specific woman if she fit in with the generic “woman” statements. Wouldn’t Paul have to make a clear statement in verse 15 that “the woman” (not just a generic she) alone will be promised salvation if…? How come no definite article in verse 15 to make it clear that the “she” is absolutely not the generic “woman” from verses 11 & 12?

    I believe these kinds of problems are not there in my interpretation of “a woman” of 1 Tim. 2:11, 12 being the same “woman” of verses 14 and verse 15. I also believe that our own interpretation should be held up to inspection and challenge. For if it is truth, it will stand firm. I am certainly willing to listen to your explanation that might make your understanding in a better position of being without problems.

    Carry on, my friend!

  216. “Now let me try once again with my brain more alert. While the Bible never directly says that words that wives are to agapao their husbands, yet it also directly says that all of us are to agapao one another. Romans 13:8, John 13:34 are just some examples and Eph 5:2 says that we are to walk in agape. Thus we know for sure that wives are to agapao their husbands because all of us are to agapao each other.”

    Exactly. That was my point. Just because the bible doesn’t tell husbands directly to submit to their wives doesn’t mean the bible doesn’t include husbands in mutual submission. Remember the question was “why didn’t Ephesians 5 just say husbands submit directly?” I also doesn’t say wives agape directly. But wives and husbands are never-the-less still commanded along with everyone else to mutually agape and submit.

  217. @227 Kristen,
    You asked:

    Would Paul really be saying that only those women who claim to have maturity and are godly examples, should be dressing modestly? That only they should be focusing on inner character rather than outward adornment– while those women in the church who are immature Christians are exempt?

    I believe that Paul is specifically pointing out the ways that godly women are to show their godliness. While proper dressing can be applicable to all of us, we can let things go with new converts or those who are not even Christians yet. For example if a man thought that the expression of his spiritual maturity was a leather jacket, but he wasn’t spiritual without that leather jacket, then this is where he could have some instruction on the proper way to express his godly maturity.

    Remember that the clothing was not immodest as if it is revealing or skimpy clothing. It is way overdone “call attention to me” clothing that seeks to show godliness through stand-out clothing rather than from an inner character. Those who were not yet saved would not have a restriction on their clothing so that they couldn’t come to the gathering with elaborate hairstyles. That would be overlooked for those who are not yet Christians or who may be immature yet in their faith. But those who claim maturity need to know how to express spiritual maturity through ways other than elaborate clothing.

    It seems to me that Paul is talking about all the women in the church here, as he was talking about all the men a verse earlier. Just as the men are to “lift holy hands,” the women are to dress modestly.

    Paul uses the definite article “the men” and the term “holy” hands is “of persons who live right before God holy, devout, dedicated” from the Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament.

    These too are ones claiming that they are holy, living rightly, setting the example. Paul tells both the men and women who are claiming holiness how to express that maturity outwardly. While there are a lot of things that all can learn here, I do believe that Paul is specifically talking to leadership, both men and women, and not to those who do not yet have a mature Christian lifestyle where they could claim to have “holy” hands.

    I’m not sure whether or not Paul is making a correction to the Ephesian church’s behavior or not. I think he’s simply saying, “In order to be a good witness to the surrounding culture, the men should have “holy hands” and the women should have “holy dress.”

    I don’t think that Paul is talking about outside of the Christian gatherings. I don’t think he is telling the men to walk down the streets lifting up “holy hands” nor that women cannot wear elaborate dress and elaborate hair styles at any time or any place. But in the family of God that gathers together there is an appropriate way for those who claim godliness to express that godliness. The term for women expressing “godliness” is piety, reverence for God, God-fearing. Both terms used for the men and women are a claim to a strong devout faith.

    Then in regards to whether the generic is used in 1 Tim. 2:11, 12 you said:

    It could be as you say– but the examples you have given so far– “I know a man who was caught up to the third heaven,” for example– seem to always contain some kind of qualifier: a “who” statement that MAKES the context clear. I agree that possibly Paul was simply referring to this one woman both in verses 11 and 12 and in verse 14– but then (when it comes to verse 11, at least) we lose the strength of “let a woman learn!” as a POLICY.

    I understand that this is what complementarians claim Paul is saying – that there is a policy being made here of letting women learn rather than excluding them as the Jews did. The problem with this is that if Paul is talking generically about all women, it would seem that there is a new policy being created as if there has been a policy like the Pharisees who didn’t let women learn. But this has not been the case. Jesus always had female disciples and Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 14 that the spiritual gifts were to be used by all so that all may learn. There was a general acceptance that all disciples learned together and a woman’s learning was never segregated from the men. Paul said nothing in 1 Timothy 2 about anybody stopping women from learning so it doesn’t seem to fit that a new policy is being created that will let women now learn the Scriptures. It is only as a solution to the problem (learning doctrine solves the problem of deception) that letting her learn is emphasized as deception is the very reason for the prohibition that follows.

    We also lose the “this is nothing personal, I’m not singling her out” idea that I think may very well be what Paul is saying here.

    If that is the case then all women were stopped from teaching because of verse 12 so that no woman would be singled out. I don’t think this works with the complete context of the passage. Complementarians have forced a generic rendering of this passage and this has been the problem. When no difference is seen between the “women” from verse 10 and “a woman” from verse 11, verse 15 cannot make proper sense but becomes a sore thumb force-fit into the passage.

    I do think that in verses 14 and 15 Paul is definitely talking about this one woman’s situation, this one woman’s salvation, and this one couple’s need to walk in sanctification.

    But how then can one have a specific prohibition to all with one woman’s situation? How does her problem relate to what all women are forbidden from doing?

    I hope that makes it clearer why I like Gengwall’s interpretation so much.

    Well I am glad for gengwall’s sake that he has a good supporter. He has not convinced me at all because I see way to many inconsistencies and problems with that view. He will have to work out the problems to be convince me that there is more than one way to see this passage.

  218. gengwall said:

    Cheryl and I agree about 99% of this passage but are quibbling over why the definite article was not introduced at the beginning. Neither of our positions alters our egal stance.

    I agree! My point is that the definite article in verses 11 & 12 is not needed to make the passage to be about one woman and one situation but that the definite article in verse 14 is clearly used to identify one women with Eve her predecessor. Your position seems to be that “the” separates a specific woman from generic woman, while I believe it separates a specific unnamed woman from Eve rather then letting anyone be confused by thinking that all womankind are a type of Eve, and in the same kind of deception. This view was quite prominent (that all women were deceived) a few hundred years ago.

  219. Cheryl – as I said early on my objective isn’t to convince so much as to provide food for thought. I think this has been a good intellectual exercise. At the very least, it helps prepare us for the inevitable comp question about the anarthrous woman of vs. 11. (And BTW – I would love more instruction on anarthrous nouns since we have such a prominent one here).

    I can keep responding if you think there is value in continuing the debate. Or we can let each explanation stand as is in anticipation of future dissection. Your call.

  220. gengwall,

    Cheryl – as I said early on my objective isn’t to convince so much as to provide food for thought.

    I think it is always valuable to provide food for thought as it stimulates our minds to stretch beyond where we are (stuck). My concern in this one is that if there is no weight of evidence to have Paul go from a generic prohibition to a specific example that gives no background on the specifics, the generic prohibition will be turned around as a universal prohibition against all women’s teaching to men for this is where the comp position gets its universal prohibition from. If Paul isn’t stopping false teaching and the woman’s transgression and deception which is ongoing, the specific example will be seen as a byproduct of what is forbidden for all women. i.e. all women are forbidden to teach men and when one woman doesn’t listen and is teaching her husband, she is sinning. If it opens the way for comps to reaffirm a universal prohibition on all women, then it needs to be especially evaluated to see if it holds weight because I guarantee it will be used against egal women who are sincerely seeking to serve the Lord by using their gift of teaching for the benefit of the body. A generic view of verses 11 & 12 has always been used for a universal prohibition against all women. And if one woman’s transgression (vs 14) is not tied to one woman’s prohibition (vs 12) and the two can be seen as separate instead of tied together in context, then a universal prohibition against all women will be against godly teaching by women instead of dealing with the deception of a particular woman. Therefore testing this view is highly important.

    You rightly bring up the issue of the anarthrous noun and its importance. The question is whether we divorce the presence of the definite noun for “the woman” in verse 14 from “a woman” in verses 11 & 12. Why would Paul not use “the woman” in verses 11 & 12 to begin with?

    First of all it was not necessary to use the definite article to show that this was a specific person. Timothy was very aware of the sticky situation that he needed Paul’s help on and when Paul went from the plural to the singular and placed a prohibition using the singular, there would have been no doubt in Timothy’s mind what Paul was doing and why.

    The next question would be why Paul had to use the definite article in verse 14. How would comps see verse 14 if it was anarthrous? Would all women be set up as having being permanently weak, deceived and sinners by nature while all men would be seen as leaders, strong and unable to be deceived? What do you think?

  221. I think you are overly concerned about a supposed connection of the “women” of vs. 10 and a generic woman in vs. 11. There are many stark indicators that paul has changed subjects beyond the obvious change in grammatical number. Just the introduction of authentein alone makes this a very different situation. As we all know, comps make illogical leaps of reading into the text all the time and your explanation for the anarthrous woman in vs. 11 won’t put a stop to that behavior.

    So, your argument has a flavor to it that strikes of fear that it must be your way or egalitarianism can not survive. Put another way, you see a lot of danger in my position which I think simply doesn’t exist. I see a similar panick in the inter-church creation debate, where young-earth creationists insist that there can be no other interpretation because an old earth would guarentee victory to the evolutionists. It simply isn’t so.

    The fundimental reason why my position doesn’t grant an inch to comps is that I am still arguing for an individual woman in vs. 11, just as you are. Mine is generic to be sure but she does not lose connection to yours, who is the archetype. Kristen’s example from the workplace is indeed a great analogy and makes perfet sense to me. I see no reason why Paul and Timothy couldn’t have had a similar dialog.

    What needs to be established, and what I think is clearly established in the text, is that the topic is false teaching. Once that is accomplished, the separation from vss. 8-10 is complete and there is no threat from a generic woman in vs. 11.

  222. gengwall,
    You said:

    I think you are overly concerned about a supposed connection of the “women” of vs. 10 and a generic woman in vs. 11.

    Actually I do see a connection between the two. The godly women of verse 10 would be part of the solution in teaching that is done in verse 11. Their maturity would be used to teach the problem woman when she is brought into the place of submission to learning the truth. The concern that I have is making verses 11 & 12 being about any woman thus having a universal prohibition applied to any woman generically.

    There are many stark indicators that paul has changed subjects beyond the obvious change in grammatical number.

    However if verses 11 & 12 are about any woman, then this would include the women in verse 10. That would make them not part of the solution to the problem, but they would also be a part of the prohibition. Do you see that?

    Just the introduction of authentein alone makes this a very different situation.

    The introduction of authentein should limit this to an unusual situation rather than an application to all. The use of a very unusual word seems to take away a universal application. The word is not widely used to make it applicable to any woman.

    As we all know, comps make illogical leaps of reading into the text all the time and your explanation for the anarthrous woman in vs. 11 won’t put a stop to that behavior.

    I agree with you about those whose mind is already made up. However for those who want to know the truth about the passage, we can reason from the Scriptures with them.

    So, your argument has a flavor to it that strikes of fear that it must be your way or egalitarianism can not survive.

    That would be overstating my case and that is not what I said. What I did say was more along the line that one is giving them a foothold to use an egal reasoning to push the universality of a specific prohibition. If the reasoning is solid then that is a foothold that is given that is necessary. But if your reasoning has problems, then there is a better solution to the problem of these verses that does not give an opportunity of a universal prohibition in the context.

    Put another way, you see a lot of danger in my position which I think simply doesn’t exist.

    That is why it is always helpful to work through these issues so that we can see things from each other’s viewpoint even if we still end up disagreeing. Discussion like this helps people not to put their own understanding into another person’s viewpoint thus there will be no misrepresentation.

    I see a similar panick in the inter-church creation debate, where young-earth creationists insist that there can be no other interpretation because an old earth would guarentee victory to the evolutionists.

    I think that is far too simplistic in representing the concern. The issue is far more about the clarity of God’s word and the acceptance of what God has written in context. I think the same thing is the issue in the women debate. Has God written His words so that they can be understood in the complete context? This is why I have made it a practice not to run away from hard passages but to keep my nose in the midst of the passages until there is an understanding from the context. I don’t believe that God intends to contradict Himself and anything that is contradictory is not His fault but our own mis-understanding.

    The fundimental reason why my position doesn’t grant an inch to comps is that I am still arguing for an individual woman in vs. 11, just as you are. Mine is generic to be sure but she does not lose connection to yours, who is the archetype.

    I just don’t see that. Arguing for a generic woman means that any woman can fit into that category thus a generic woman is not much different than all women except it is one at a time instead of a group. It still rejects one specific woman alone.

    Kristen’s example from the workplace is indeed a great analogy and makes perfet sense to me. I see no reason why Paul and Timothy couldn’t have had a similar dialog.

    The problem with Kristen’s example is two fold. First of all it is stated as not singling one woman out but then in verse 14 it is doing just that. Second of all using the phone for private matters while you are being paid to do company matters is not the same as saying one cannot use the phone at all at any time. However verse 12 says that “a woman” is not allowed to teach a man. It doesn’t say that she can’t teach him in church but she can teach him at home. It says that she is not allowed to teach him period. The reason is stated both before and after the prohibition. Before the prohibition it is stated that she needs to learn. After the prohibition the issue of deception is used as a reason for the prohibition, but the fact is that one of the things she is to stop doing is teaching him.

    Now if the illustration Kristen used would be that all employees are forbidden to use the phone at any time, then this would affect both the person who is misusing company time as well as those who call out on their breaks. That would lump the offender in with all those who are being respectful. Is Paul really doing that? Is he stopping any woman from teaching men just because one woman was teaching her deception to her husband? I am not persuaded at all that this is Paul’s intention. It is not like him to forbid godly actions because of one person who is doing something wrong. I would like to ask if you have any Biblical precedent for Paul stopping the freedom of any person from doing something because of one person doing wrong? If Paul did that then it could be seen as a precedent to stop any godly woman teaching any man just so that one deceived woman doesn’t think that she is being singled out.

    What needs to be established, and what I think is clearly established in the text, is that the topic is false teaching. Once that is accomplished, the separation from vss. 8-10 is complete and there is no threat from a generic woman in vs. 11.

    But the problem with making verses 11 & 12 as generic is that false teaching is not identified here. It is not until the issue of a specific woman is identified with the deception of Eve that we see deception. But then we have to ask ourselves why any woman is to be stopped from teaching because someone else is deceived? A generic woman would not be equal to a deceived woman since deception is not generic.

    Do you see a threat in the passage that would spoil anything by making the woman of verses 11 & 12 as a specific woman rather than any Pam, Patricia or Mary?

  223. Just an update on our building project.

    cement-walls

    The cement walls are up. Today is a holiday in Canada so the workmen are not here today. And it is raining too or we would be outside rearranging some piles in order to clear an area for next phase of building. It’s my day to catch up on ministry things.

  224. I don’t see a generic woman either. The switch is too unusual. Plus, I don’t know of any other instance when Paul has used a generic person in this way. We can of course, take any situation, any real example and use it generically for anyone that fits the same circumstances. But that is a bit different than saying the example given is not a real person and the situation is not a real situation.

  225. …and that very real prohibition doesn’t qualify as a “law” since it has no connection to the OT, no connection to God’s prohibitions, and never repeated anywhere. A very odd way to do business to try to keep a person from being singled out but then singling them out anyway by saying “the woman” is still in the transgression and in her deception. If that isn’t singling out a person, honestly I don’t know what is.

    The generic application doesn’t seem to fit although we can allow others to keep trying to make it fit. It is part of thinking outside the box so it is an activity that is very useful at least in trying.

  226. Cheryl, 248 & 249

    LOL good way of putting it. It’s an exercise in logic. One woman taught wrong and even dominated others into doing so also. So, because she was a woman, her correction applies to all women. Bad logic. One cow is blue, thus all cows must be blue or they aren’t cows. 🙂 or some such……

  227. Actually I think that if Paul was intending on giving an answer to the problem by hiding the fact that it was about one woman, we would not have known that it was one woman. It would have been given as generic all the way through if he really was trying to protect her situation from being known. But can we really say that Paul has protected her situation? We can say that Paul has protected her identity. But the fact that he said that she was still in transgression because of her deception lets the cat out of the bag and no putting that cat back in with a subtle switch to generic in verse 12 will do at all.

  228. We can only assume. My guess is that Paul wanted to give the woman opportunity to correct herself and learn, while not giving her identity to everyone where ever the letter was read. However, Paul gave enough information that the local community where she was would know what Paul’s thoughts and wishes were on the subject.

  229. No doubt at all, TL, that the local leaders who were to be mature Christians capable of correcting her errors would know what this was all about. But for us, well, we don’t need to know her name. Think what notoriety would follow publishing the name of a deceived person who you are sure will come out of her deception if she was given the opportunity to unlearn the false and learn the truth. When a name is made known like that you can never live down the reputation.

    What do these names signify? Judas. Jezebel. Would anyone even want to have a notorious name picked out for them that was listed as a false teacher (but who had been deceived into that position)? I am so glad that the Holy Spirit chose not to name her and that we also have our shame covered as we live as forgiven Christians.

  230. “The concern that I have is making verses 11 & 12 being about any woman thus having a universal prohibition applied to any woman generically.”

    But it isn’t about any woman and that is so clear. It is about a particular kind of woman based on a real example from Timothy. The prohibition isn’t for any woman, it for only a woman who is teaching false doctrine and domineering her husband. You are confusing “generic” with “general”. A generic woman is built on an archetype and the archetype here is plainly described. In addition, we have a specific example on top of all of that. There is nothing in the passage that would connect the prohibition to the women in vs. 10 but it is very clear that the prohibition is associated with the type of real woman brought forward in vs. 14.

  231. “However if verses 11 & 12 are about any woman, then this would include the women in verse 10. ”

    I have never implied or even considered that verses 11 and 12 are about “any” woman. I am not sure why you are stuck on that thought but it colors your whole analysis of my argument.

  232. I’m not going to go through this sentence by sentence. Just about every supposed argument of mine that you rebutt is not an argument I am making. I’m going to step back for a bit and try to pull out all the straw I find suddenly attached to me.

  233. hang in there, gengwall. Text only communication is always easy to misconstrue. I mistook you on something similar I think, as well. And it’s a confusing section of Scripture that has been so very messed with.

    hugs IN Christ,
    TL

  234. gengwall,

    I’m going to step back for a bit and try to pull out all the straw I find suddenly attached to me.

    Ah@! No way, don’t leave!
    straw1

    Let’s discuss the meaning of generic woman. K?

  235. What is a generic woman?

    of, applicable to, or referring to all the members of a genus, class, group, or kind; general.

    What is the class or kind in general? Woman.

    What would Paul have said if he meant all false teachers? Would not the “class” have been the deceived or false teachers?

    The complementarian argument has always been that “a woman” is generic thus it is about the woman class thus a universal prohibition. Agreed?

    What is it in verse 11 that would make the generic usage about something less than the “woman” class?

    For if you get into this arena, you are stuck with all of the ramifications of a generic class of “woman”.

    bull

    It indeed is waving the red flag to comps and others because that is how a generic woman is taken by definition. Eh? Or olay?

  236. gengwall,
    You said:

    But it isn’t about any woman and that is so clear. It is about a particular kind of woman based on a real example from Timothy. The prohibition isn’t for any woman, it for only a woman who is teaching false doctrine and domineering her husband. You are confusing “generic” with “general”.

    Is it really so clear?

    I included what “generic” meant in my comment #259 above. How am I confusing this with general? If you read neopatriarch’s “refutation” he is consistently using the term “generic” and he means just what the dictionary gives for the term “generic”.

    A generic woman is built on an archetype and the archetype here is plainly described.

    The only plain described type that I see is the deceived woman who is compared to Eve. But if there is one woman who is compared to Eve, where are we to see an entire “class” compared to Eve to get an archetype for a special “class” that goes beyond the regular “woman” class if “a woman” is merely generic and not a specific person?

    In addition, we have a specific example on top of all of that. There is nothing in the passage that would connect the prohibition to the women in vs. 10 but it is very clear that the prohibition is associated with the type of real woman brought forward in vs. 14.

    Verse 14 is not set up as a “type” of woman. In fact the only “type” that is set up in the book of Timothy is not attached to a gender but is either those who are deceived or those who are deceivers. Why would Paul set up a “type” attached to a woman? Would that not be assuming that deceived people that teach their spouse their deception are only women?

  237. I have never implied or even considered that verses 11 and 12 are about “any” woman.

    Then why did you call her “generic” woman? A generic woman by definition is any woman. This is why the comps ALWAYS make her a generic woman. Again, reread Neo’s argument above and you will see that the generic woman in singular or plural means:

    “she” refers to any woman, and “they” refers to every woman….quote from Neopatriarch

    Well the rain has stopped and so I am back to work outside.

    Talk to you later.
    alligator
    Alligator

  238. Okay, I’m back and just going to catch up on gengwall’s comments that I didn’t address.

    Gengwall @210 you said:

    Yes – I’m saying that maybe Paul wanted Timothy to understand vs. 11 and 12 to mean “any” couple who were in similar circumstances. That doesn’t mean that Timothy’s specific woman isn’t in view exactly. It just means that she isn’t the only one.

    Then why should Paul just leave it with a generic couple(s)? With this view he is giving a specific prohibition to more than one couple who may or may not exist. Yet he appears in that view to not be concerned that about deceived men learning, but only the (representative) deceived woman. This seems so unlike Paul. If Paul was going to make this about a generic deceived person, he would not have put in the gender since clearly he wants all deceived people to learn the truth and he believes that if he could receive mercy from God when he was the worst of the worst, then surely all deceived people are in the place to receive mercy from God “if”…

    So for Paul to create a specific “class” because of one deceived woman and then leave all the other deceived people out as he only believes one woman can be saved, just doesn’t fit the positive message of chapter one that even the worst of the worst of the unbelieving deceived persons (himself) can be brought to God through God’s own mercy. To change that positive message in chapter two to make only one person eligible for God’s mercy is a clear contradiction to Paul’s message in my opinion.

    Ephesus was a very pagan city with, female dominated cults. It isn’t too far of a stretch to believe that there might have been others involved in similar “authentein” behavior. Although I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was unique to Ephesus, it may be that it was predominant in Ephesus.

    If this was the case then there was no need at all to list one specific woman who was doing these things. No need at all because why pick out one woman from a whole “class” of women doing the same thing? That wouldn’t be Paul’s style. Paul lumps all the false deceived teachers together in chapter 1 and are we to believe that he now will separate one woman out of a myriad of false deceived women teachers, such woman alone is capable of being saved?

    Timothy is to stop his example woman and any others he may run into per vs. 12. His specific woman certainly is not exempt from the prohibition. Nor may she be the only one needing prohibition.

    If this is the case there is no need to pull one woman out of the group. Just stop them all.

    Paul could have continued in the plural but Timothy provided a specific example, and one that was taking place in a marriage setting, which necessitates a shift to singular.

    This confuses me. Aren’t you saying that there are possibly many women who are teaching their husbands? Then why would Paul have to switch to singular if it is one real person plus many more possible same-case problems? And how would we know who the “she” is from verse 15? Would it be the generic “woman” from verse 11 or only “the woman” from verse 14? How could we be sure?

    The only “they” that has ever been in view is an individual wife and her husband, whether they are generic or Timothy’s example couple.

    So we can never really know what Paul meant then she he has been going back and forth between a generic couple and a real couple?

    Since the focus has shifted in vs. 14 away from the generic and to the specific couple, the most immediate “they” is that specific couple.

    But then does it fit Paul’s positive belief that if he could be saved, God could have mercy on anyone, if only a specific woman can be saved and the other “generic” woman cannot be saved? What kind of message would that be telling to Timothy and then through the letter to the church? Is this really consistent with Paul and the rest of his letter?

    I want to emphasize that I am not insisting it has to be this way.

    Well, that is good. But it seems to me that you do not believe that there is only one woman involved in verses 11 & 12 so there must be another explanation for who “woman” is in these verses. Is it okay if I take a passionate defense of my position, questioning the possibility that there are other women in similar situations who will not be assured that they can be saved too? I believe that it is when we push and prod each other, that we can see through some of the uncertainties and have an iron sharpens iron moment now and again including me learnin things too.

    But many people struggle with the lack of the definate article in vss. 11 and 12.

    There should be less struggle if people realize that the lack of the definite article does not mean that the noun is not definite. The context will help us understand whether it is generic or whether it is a particular couple that Paul and Timothy both know about.

    This is a possible explanation for that grammar which doesn’t detract at all from Paul’s central instruction nor leave Timothy’s specific couple out in the cold.

    But does it not detract from the positive message that anyone who has been deceived can come out of this deception? The very fact that Paul lists a singular woman who will depend on at least one other to come out of her deception leaves other couples out in the cold. Surely one woman will be depend on other deceived couples in order for her to be saved. Verse 15 is so specific that any other explanation seems to become nonsense other than one deceived woman who is in Ephesus and the help of her husband to bring her to correct teaching with her willingness to submit to the truth, will bring her salvation through the only Savior we all have who came as a result of a promise because of the deception of the first woman. It is a brilliant plan of God’s, I believe, to take what the enemy meant for harm and release the captive by God’s mercy and grace.

  239. gengwall,
    You said:

    First, why not start immediately with the definate article in vs. 11. Second, what should Timothy do with other couples who might be in the same boat? If we could be certain that there was ONLY this one couple in Ephesus that had this problem, I would say there is no reason to stray into a general prohibition.

    I am very glad to read this and I think the proof is the fact that Paul only is discussing only one deceived woman teaching her husband because Timothy is given the promise that she will be saved if… If there were other couples in the same situation can anyone read Paul’s claim to be the worst of the worst and then not believe that Paul would also have faith that they too could be saved if…?

    But I don’t believe we can be certain of that. In fact, I we can’t even be certain that Timothy wrote only about the one couple.

    I believe the proof is in the fact that only one woman is said to be still in the transgression and only one woman’s salvation is questioned. These two things would be out of order if there was more than one woman that was included in the special prohibition.

    Timothy could have said “we have some trouble in a few marriages in the congregation. One such troubled marriage is that of Jhn and Jane Doe, but they are simply emblimatic of several others. Here are Jane and John’s specifics…” I mean, we really don’t know whether or not Timothy wrote anything beyond of his specific couple.

    Then it appears that it is safer to just accept what is written and not to speculate about what is not written and what may be going on in Ephesus beyond what God wanted us to know about.

    But we do know that Paul did not begin his instructions for this problem by clearly identifying a the specific couple.

    This is not true. An anarthrous noun does not mean that it isn’t about a specific man or woman. It is not about the definite article that is not there in the beginning that would disqualify this to be about one couple. It is the context. I believe that verse 15 would be written in a prejudicial way if Paul was ignoring all deceived women to claim that one of them could be saved. And the fact that the prohibition hinges on the deception of Eve and she is compared to a specific woman is just more evidence that not all women are “like” Eve but this specific woman was in the same boat as Eve was.

    I am not the brightest tool in the tool shed, but I could figure out how to deal with similar problems but different by working through the one example given by Paul. Paul doesn’t have to be generic for Timothy to understand a principle given because of one deceived female teacher.

    Now I would seriously consider other examples of where Paul spoke this way about other examples or used generic examples of specific problems, but I don’t know of any other examples that would prove that Paul had a whole whack of unidentified people in mind so that he had to create a generic example. It just doesn’t fit in my mind. Perhaps someone can make this one fit, but honestly I can’t see it because there are so many improbabilities.

    Definately a possibility, but it doesn’t fit with the fact that Paul began without being definite about who he was speaking of. It is just as likely IMO that Paul would go from general to specific as it would be that he would go from specific to general, and the former fits the grammar.

    I think you are stuck on thinking that “woman” without the definite article cannot be a specific woman. Just as “man” without the definite article cannot be a specific man. Paul has used this grammar before, but I don’t think this is going to make you accept an anarthrous noun because you are stuck in a general thinking pattern. Maybe we just need to let this one go and perhaps you may be more open to seeing that it is possible (and consistent) for Paul to be speaking about a particular woman and a particular man and them alone in 1 Timothy 2:12.

  240. I think we must accept it as a quirk that Paul did not say ‘the’ or ‘a’ woman and instead just said woman. The thing is that regardless, one can still interpret it as generic if one was determined to, EVEN with the “the” included. The one thing that makes the difference in my mind is the deliberate shift from speaking in plural concerning all women, into speaking about a woman and a man. It is not a woman and all men, but rather a woman and a man. With or without the ‘a’, we can see the shift is deliberate and continues until verse 15.

  241. TL,

    It is not a woman and all men, but rather a woman and a man. With or without the ‘a’, we can see the shift is deliberate and continues until verse 15.

    That is what convinced me – the unity from verses 11 – 15 with the deliberate shift between verse 10-11. And the “gotcha” to the deceiver through the seed of the deceived really was icing on the cake. Paul saw the positive and that really touches me especially as he had described himself as the worst sinner.

    Also there is no indefinite article in Greek so our English “a” woman is just “woman” in Greek.

    Thanks for your comments!

  242. I’ve been away at a family reunion, and I don’t have time tonight to read through all new comments since my last, but I did want to address this:

    Cheryl said:
    “If that is the case then all women were stopped from teaching because of verse 12 so that no woman would be singled out. I don’t think this works with the complete context of the passage.”

    I believe the sense of the passage is not about “teaching” but about “teaching-and-authenteining.” The way I’m reading it, the policy is “no woman shall teach-and-authentein” her husband. So no, I don’t believe all women were stopped from teaching. I believe a general policy that women should not teach their husbands in such a way as to authentein them, is what is being stated. (Of course, men are not to teach-and-authentein either, but Paul is specifically addressing a problem having to do with a woman and her husband.)

    I hope that clarifies. I’m tired now from our journey but will try to get back to this tomorrow.

  243. Kristen,
    “Teach” and “authentein” are both connected to deception. I do not believe that authentein describes the kind of teaching, but that authentein and teaching in this case are both verbs that are showing how deception was being expressed.

    For example look at the parallel to Rev. 2:20-

    Revelation 2:20 (NAS) ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

    Here we see the same construction where two verbs are joined together by a conjunction. Now Jezebel was not teaching in a leading way as if it was okay for her to teach but just not in a leading way. She was teaching immorality and leading in immorality.

    God is not saying in Rev. 2:20 that all women are not allowed to teach or lead a congregation. He is saying that the immorality that is expressed in her teaching and immorality was a sin. I believe that Rev. 2:20 has the very same connection to sinful error as 1 Timothy 2:12. The only difference is that the term “authentein” is so unusual a term that it is found only in this verse (1 Timothy 2:12) in the entire Bible so we cannot completely put our finger on what was being forbidden other than the term always has a negative identity in secular sources and the prohibition that includes “authentein” is connected to deception.

    Now as far as the challenge that gengwall gave me regarding why Paul would use the term “woman” without the definite article first before he introduced “the” woman in 1 Timothy 2:14, I have found the answer. It is a linguistic term called an anaphoric reference and I just made a new article explaining this here http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2010/08/03/a-woman-anaphoric/

    I hope this helps.

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