1 Timothy 2:11-15 specific woman or a faceless generic?

June 25, 2011 — 69 Comments

One woman 1 Timothy 2:12 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

This post will be an expansion on the reasons why I believe that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is about one specific woman and why a general reference to women does not line up with the grammar within the surrounding context.  I will also consider the challenge to my view from the new verbal aspect theory.  To start I will summarize my reasons from the text for believing that Paul had a specific woman in mind.  After that I will expand on each point trying hard to bring it down to a general level of understanding.

1.  There is a grammar change along with a topic change starting with 1 Timothy 2 verses 11 and 12 that points to a single woman rather than a group. 

2.  There is an anaphoric reference in verse 12 (the anarthrous noun “woman”) that has as its referent the definite noun (the woman) in verse 14 as an antecedent.  This clarifies the non-specific noun (woman) in verse 12 as a specific woman rather than generic woman.

3.  The woman in verse 14 is in the perfect tense as she is existing in a present state and therefore the woman cannot be made to fit a dead person such as Eve.  The challenge of the new verbal aspect theory will also be dealt with under this point.

4.  The she in verse 15 is in the future tense and cannot be made to fit a dead person such as Eve who cannot do anything in the future concerning her salvation.

5.  Paul creates an outline or pattern of Eve  in verse 13 that fits the situation of a one specific deceived woman referred to in 1 Timothy 2:14 as the woman.

6.  Timothy receives an assurance about a particular “she” whose salvation would still be in the future at the time of Paul’s writing.

7. Paul uses both the singular and plural in verse 15 and proper grammar disallows referencing both “she” and “they” in the same sentence as being the same thing.  The grammar supports a single woman along with at least one other person in order to make a plural “they”.

8. Eve cannot be a pattern for all women since not all women are deceived.  Eve can be a pattern for another deceived woman.

Expansion on the first four points (the expansion on the next four points will come with the next post in this series)

1. There is an unusual grammar change in 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 that is unnecessary and very irregular if Paul was writing about women in general.  However the grammar change is a natural change if Paul is switching gears and changing subjects.

A logical continuation of the general topic of women should have kept Paul using the term “women” in verses 11 and 12.  This would have been straightforward and understandable if Paul was not changing the subject and if he was referring to the same group.  Paul could have easily said “I am not allowing women to teach or authentein men.”  This is indeed what complementarians are saying that Paul meant, but if that is what Paul meant to write, he did notwrite what was natural in that continued flow of  discussion.  Rather than continuing with the plural form, Paul abruptly switches to the singular woman in verses 11 and 12.  It is an abrupt change in grammar and we need to ask why?  Was the Holy Spirit trying to confuse us through this difficult passage penned by Paul?  Or is this one of the passages that we need to pay especially close attention to each point of grammar in order to rightfully divide the Word of Truth?  I would like to suggest that we have speculated far too long on what Paul meant and by speculating we have dismissed the grammar as if it has no real relevance.  Dismissing the grammar has caused us to veer off course and has caused much confusion in the church.

Paying close attention to the grammar allows 1 Timothy 2:11-15 to be one continuous text that is presented in a logical and compelling order. It is also in contrast with the previous verses.  For example in 1 Timothy 2:9, 10 Paul is talking about godly women who have good works. These godly women are to be given instruction by Timothy on how to model godliness by dressing modestly without placing undue emphasis on their attire.  Then comes the shift.  The prohibition in verse 12 shows that these verses are not talking about godly women nor about good works but about a sinner and about bad works.  There is a shift in the grammar (from plural to singular) and from good and godly things to bad and ungodly things which are markedly similar to Paul’s own ignorance, unbelief and violent aggression (1 Timothy 1:13) that he displayed before he found God’s mercy.  Paul himself said that he was set up as a pattern for those who were going to believe on Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:16 (NKJV) However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

Paul was set up as a pattern as one who was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor (1 Timothy 1:13) yet Paul found mercy. The Greek noun that is translated a violent aggressor means:

an act which invades the sphere of another to his hurt, a “trespass,” a “transgression” of the true norm in violation of divine and human right. Arrogance of disposition is often implied

Vol. 8: Theological dictionary of the New Testament.  (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.)

A similar kind of word is used in 1 Timothy 2:12 as the extremely rare Greek word authentein also has a violent root even at times being equated with murder by one’s own hand.  Thayer’s Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament defines this unusual word as:

one who with his own hand kills either others or himself.

Zodhiates The complete word study dictionary writes this about authentein:

murderer, absolute master, which is from autos (846), himself, and entea (n.f.) arms, armor. A self–appointed killer with one’s own hand, one acting by his own authority or power.

So while Paul in his pre-Christian state thought he was working for God, his ungodly acts were violent aggression against both God and man. In chapter 2 Paul takes the pattern of his example and lays it as a pattern over the case of a woman who is unwittingly doing evil, but who is also eligible to receive God’s mercy.  Paul links her to the deception of Eve and in her deception she is to be stopped from teaching and committing the act of autentein towards a man. A deceived person who is teaching their deception is a bad work and deception veers one onto the path of ungodliness.  It is important to note that Paul never ever stops the teaching of true doctrine.   Even those who teach the truth yet with an ungodly motive are not stopped from teaching.  In Philippians 1:15-18 Paul brings this out very clearly.

Philippians 1:15–18 (NASB95)

15Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will;

16the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;

17the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.

18What 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,

So we can see that starting in 1 Timothy 2:11, 12 there is a grammar change from plural to singular and a topic change from godly women to the bad works of one who is deceived.  We can know for sure that the topic has changed because true teaching is never stopped by the Apostle Paul even with those who display an ungodly, bad motive.  Paul’s pattern was always to stop false doctrine, but never did he stop the preaching of the truth.  To summarize, the transitional words to signal the change in topic are the change from plural to singular and from the topic of godly to the topic of deception.  We would expect that Timothy completely understood the topic change because he knew the specific situation in Ephesus.  We would certainly not expect Timothy to connect instructions for godly women on their appearance to instructions for one who is under deception.  Ignoring the topic and grammar change has caused many to lump godly women into the category of the deceived.  We must change this faulty tradition so that the church can go forward in unity and in the strength and the inter-connective nature of each member and each God-given gift.

Note:  Those who are disagreeing with me, need to provide reason for the irregular and unusual grammar change if they believe that Paul continues to write about women in general.  Also those who believe that Paul was stopping godly teaching need to provide proof that Paul ever stopped the teaching of the truth of the gospel. Please document additional places where such an unusual grammar change happened in the Scriptures where there is no change of subject and please provide proof that Paul ever practiced silencing the truth of the gospel.  If you cannot, then please consider that Paul has changed the subject from godly to ungodly and the application from general to a specific case.

2. There is an anaphoric reference in verse 12 that links the anarthrous noun “woman” to the antecedent reference “the woman” in verse 14.

Anarthrous means “used without the article”.  An anarthrous noun does not mean that it is indefinite just  because it does not have the definite article.  It can properly be attached to a repetition of the noun and the repetition does provide the definite article.  Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries defines it this way:

Normally when an anaphoric use is in view, the preceding use of the noun will lack the article. It will not be articled. And if you read Greek then you will know that in James 2:14 when it says that a person says they have faith (ean pistin lege) pistin does not have an article, so this is a classic example where you have a noun, then you have the repetition of the noun later with an article, that article is pointing us back to the preceding use of the noun. This is called the anaphoric use of the article.

You can hear the audio clip on this topic here James White on Anaphoric reference.

So we have “woman” in 1 Timothy 2:12 that lacks the article and a repetition of the singular “woman” in verse 14 that has the article.  The repetition of the noun with the article will point us back to the preceding use of the noun and identifies a specific woman is in view.

Since Timothy knew the problems in Ephesus that Paul was alluding to, we can know for certain that Timothy was not confused by Paul using the general term “woman” and then adding the specific term that defines a specific woman when Paul links her to the very first deceived woman.  Timothy was not confused.

Note:  For those who do not agree that Paul used an anaphoric reference in verse 12 attached to the repetition of the noun with the article, then please show me why such a use of the reference cannot fit the reason why Paul changed from the plural “women” in verse 10 to the singular “woman” in verses 11 and 12.

3.  The woman in verse 14 is in the perfect tense as she is existing in a present state of affairs and therefore the woman from verse 14 grammatically cannot be made to fit a dead person such as Eve.

The perfect tense in Greek is defined this way:

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

There are those who claim that the new verbal aspect theory allows them to change the perfect tense in 1 Timothy 2:14 to a dramatic or historical perfect.  Unfortunately this cannot be done in this passage.

In my work as a apologist I have seen the same claim about the present tense where some have tried to deny the Deity of the Lord Jesus by claiming that Jesus’ words in John 8:58 “I am” is not to be seen as a present tense but a historical (or dramatic) present.

John 8:58 (NASB95)

58Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

Jesus was saying that before Abraham came into being, Jesus as the Word of God already existed. He was contrasting the existence initiated by birth with Himself as an absolute existence, the same existence claimed by God in Exodus 3:14.

Exodus 3:14 (NASB95)

14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

Instead of taking this as an eternal present, Jehovah’s Witnesses have claimed that it is to be taken as a historical present.  Daniel B. Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics on page 526, he writes this about the historical present:

1. Definition

The historical present is used fairly frequently in narrative literature to describe a past event.

2. Amplification/Semantics

a. Reason for Use: Vivid Portrayal

The reason for the use of the historical present is normally to portray an event vividly, as though the reader were in the midst of the scene as it unfolds…The present tense may be used to describe a past event, either for the sake of vividness or to highlight some aspect of the narrative….

The problem for those who deny the Deity of Jesus, is that Jesus’ wording using the present tense is not in a narrative.  It does not qualify as a historical present.  A narrative passage would be one which is telling a story:

Matthew 1:19–20 (NKJV)

19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

20But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was not telling a story but was giving a testimony to His enduring existence.

But what of those who claim that the perfect tense in 1 Timothy 2:14 can also take the route of being a historical perfect?  There are two things that remove 1 Timothy 2:14 as having the possibility of being a historical or dramatic perfect.  The first thing is that the perfect tense needs to be aorist not  indicative as the perfect tense is in 1 Timothy 2:14.  The second important point is that it has to be in a narrative context which 1 Timothy 2 is not.

Here is the definition of the perfect tense according to Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics pg 573

Definition

The force of the perfect tense is simply that it describes an event that, completed in the past (we are speaking of the perfect indicative here), has results existing in the present time (i.e., in relation to the time of the speaker.) Or as Zerwick puts it, the perfect tense is used for “indicating not the past action as such but the present ‘state of affairs’ resulting from the past action.

BDF suggest that the perfect tense “combines in itself, so to speak, the present and the aorist in that it denotes the continuance of completed action…”

Here is how Dr. Wallace defines the boundaries around the historical perfect tense on page 578 of his Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics:

C. Aoristic Perfect (a.k.a. Dramatic or Historical Perfect)

1. Definition

The perfect indicative is rarely used in a rhetorical manner to describe an event in a highly vivid way. The aorist/dramatic perfect is “used as a simple past tense without concern for present consequences…”

In this respect, it shares a kinship with the historical present. There are but a handful of examples of this in the NT, occurring only in narrative contexts. Thus this use is informed by contextual intrusions (narrative). The key to detecting a dramatic perfect is the absence of any notion of existing results.19  (19 footnote – Cf. Burton, Moods and Tenses, 80, 88. Burton doubts that any genuine examples actually occur in the NT.)

The perfect tense of 1 Timothy 2:14 is not in the aorist tense but in the indicative which is said to be rarely ever used this way.  It is also not found within a narrative context.  Lastly the perfect tense in 1 Timothy 2:14 is not identified only with the act and not the consequences.  In fact verse 15 goes on to describe how “she” will come out of the consequences of being in the transgression (perfect tense) that is found in verse 14.  Thus 1 Timothy 2:14 is not a historical perfect.

One other set of quotes are found in the book Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek by Constantine R. Campbell.  In this book he admits that verbal aspect “represents a controversial area of research” and he does deal with the historical perfect that does not deviate from Wallace’s work.  Campbell writes:

Historical Perfect

The perfect tense-form is often used in nonpresent contexts, most often past-referring. These are best translated like aorists, though are not the same as aorists in meaning. There are two basic types of historical perfects: those that introduce discourse and those that employ lexemes of propulsion. In this way, the historical perfect parallels the historical present almost exactly; the same functions are observed with the same group of lexemes…As with the historical present, such lexemes may also be used to refer to the present rather than the past. The point is, rather, that these lexemes may refer to the past when found in past contexts.

Campbell also writes:

Perfect tense-forms sometimes end up depicting a process or action in progress. This usage of the perfect tense-form is not widely acknowledged, though is a natural expression of imperfective aspect…As long as this progressive sense is not overruled by context, the Aktionsart may be progressive.

A word of caution: sometimes it is difficult to decide whether a perfect is progressive or historical when the context would allow either. Care must be exercised here, as the outcome can be quite different either way.

It is no wonder that some have tried to claim that the perfect tense in 1 Timothy 2:14 should be seen as a dramatic or historical perfect because leaving the perfect tense as is would disqualify “the woman” from referring to Eve and this is a problem for them.  Instead of paying attention to the inspired grammar, some want to see it as a simple past tense by claiming the historical perfect.  Unfortunately the boundaries around the historical perfect completely take 1 Timothy 2:14 outside the possibility that it qualifies as a historical perfect.

While Campbell warns people to be cautious in deciding that a perfect tense is a historical perfect, Wallace’s three points of  determining the difference between the two remains solid. And the pivotal point still remains: The key to detecting a dramatic perfect is the absence of any notion of existing results. 1 Timothy 2:14 does not qualify in any sense of the word, to be a historical or dramatic perfect for verse 14 is attached to verse 15 which gives the expected final outcome from the existing condition.

Note:  Those who take a contrary position will have to explain how a perfect tense can take the form of a historical perfect without any of the qualifying markers present in the passage.

4.  The she who “will be saved” in verse 15 is in the future tense and cannot be made to fit a dead person such as Eve who cannot do anything in the future concerning her salvation.

Paul uses sozo (saved) in the future tense and he attaches it to a conditional conjunction – “if”.  The “she” who has to do something to be in the place of salvation is connected to “the woman” from verse 14 who is in the present state of affairs of resulting consequences from her transgression.  The perfect tense, the future tense and the conditions for future salvation all point to “the woman” as a single woman in Ephesus.

Paul wrote 1 Timothy to Timothy about specific problems in the Ephesian church.  We can know that of anyone who would certainly understand what Paul was writing in this passage, it would be Timothy.  Timothy was not confused.  While Paul wrote Adam and Eve in 1 Timothy 2:13, he wrote Adam and “the woman” in verse 14.  There is no such reference to Adam and “the woman” in the Old Testament.  Where Adam’s name is connected to “woman”, it is listed as Adam and his wife.  Thus the personal pronoun “his” is always attached to woman which makes it a definite woman through possession.  In 1 Timothy 2:14 no such pronoun is attached to “the woman” to make her Adam’s woman.  And when Paul continues to speak about her salvation, Timothy cannot help to know that this particular woman who has her salvation yet in the future, is not the first deceived woman attached to Adam, but one like her that Timothy is dealing with at the time of the letter.  Timothy is certainly not confused about Paul’s grammar thinking that “the woman” is Eve who has salvation yet to come.  The connection between Eve and “the woman” would be clear to Timothy because he knew “the woman”. Timothy would not be confused that this deceived woman was Eve.

I believe the key to verses 13-15 of 1 Timothy 2 is the continuing effects and the future tense because of deception.  I do not think that Paul’s point is to identify the deception but the seriousness of deception in regards to one’s salvation.  Timothy knew the problems and Timothy surely knew any conversations that he had participated in with Paul about why he was left behind in Ephesus.  Timothy did not need to be told what the deception was because he knew all about the problems.  Timothy needed to be encouraged to take action because the situation was serious.  Paul’s connecting the present situation to the first deception in the garden is brilliant.  It was a picture set up for Timothy to relate to that emphasized the seriousness of the current situation.

Adam’s neglect to enter into the conversation with the serpent as a savior towards one who was being deceived and then his participating in the act of sin with his eyes wide open to the deception and the consequences, should propel Timothy on to understand that deception is not to be ignored but to encourage the watchman on the wall to enter in to the situation.  Out of the two people listed in 1 Timothy 2:12 “a man” and “a woman”, only the “woman” is said to have her salvation questioned according to verse 15. The one who is not deceived must not be silent but help the one who is deceived.  The repetition of the garden deception was not be repeated.  Timothy’s instruction and the instruction for the non-deceived man was that he was needed to get involved in her learning and in her need to stay away from deception.  Whether he had been dominated by her to stay quiet or not, the fact was that he had not been encouraging to her to stop her deception and he had not been involved in her learning the truth.  Timothy could step in and get involved by helping them both.  The man needed to be encouraged to walk alongside his wife in truth and the woman needed to be encouraged to learn and to stay away from error.  Thus verse 15 says that “she will be saved…if they….”

Note: Those who disagree with me about “the woman” being a deceived woman in Ephesus, need to explain why Paul called Eve “the woman” rather than “his (Adam’s) wife”.  Why does the Scriptures always resort to the possessive pronoun when referring to Eve and Paul did not use the possessive?  It would have been normal for Paul to say either Adam and Eve or Adam and his wife.  But never is there a reference to Adam and the woman.  Why did Paul write this way? Also why would Paul speak about Eve as if her salvation is still future?

The last 4 points will be in the next post.

Cheryl

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69 responses to 1 Timothy 2:11-15 specific woman or a faceless generic?

  1. Sorry folks, that I took so long to get this post up. As you can see it is quite detailed and it took me quite some time to edit it, as well I have been extremely busy as I am preparing to give three talks in July along with corresponding powerpoint presentations. My upcoming talks are a high priority right now so part two of this post may take a bit to post. Hopefully everyone will have patience with me. Thanks!

  2. For example in 1 Timothy 2:9, 10 Paul is talking about godly women who have good works.

    I’m glad you brought this up because it came to mind when i was wondering about the “troubling” surrounding context.
    I’m thinking that since it is “Godly” in the mind of the comp for women to not teach men that therefore this part of the context will be merely over looked and not put in contrast to vv11-15.

  3. Thanks Cheryl for putting up this post!

  4. You’re welcome pinklight!

  5. The thing that has really stuck in my mind is that fact that Paul did not consider it “godly” to stop someone from preaching the truth of the gospel. How can we then say that Paul was stopping godly women from teaching the truth of the gospel to men? It just doesn’t fit.

  6. Good morning all. Just waking up. :)

    So, where is that Scripture where Jesus is telling some of the disciples about not worrying about others who are teaching the truth even through they are not ‘one of them’. Anyone remember?

  7. Mark 9:38, 39 Is this the verse you were thinking about?

  8. Gal 4:22-26 speaks of Abraham and the bondwoman in past tense and then switches to present tense and explains that he is is using an allegory: “For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”

    Church fathers viewed Eve as a “type” of the church- “Eve from the side of the sleeping one, the church from the side of the suffering one” -Augustine. Paul uses childbirth as a metaphor for the formation of Christ within (Gal 4:19).

    Could Paul be saying?:
    Eve (church/you and I whether male or female) having been deceived, into transgression came, and she (you and I whether male or female) will be saved through the child-bearing (the formation of Christ within) if they remain in faith, and love, and sanctification, with sobriety. (Read “they” as the union with the second Adam, so if Eve/church/you and I remain united with CHRIST “in faith, and love…”, she/Eve/church/you and I will be SAVED)

  9. Charis, I don’t think that Paul would go into a complex allegory without saying so. After all, Paul made it clear that the two people he was talking about in Galatians 4 as allegory, were allegory stating this as clear as can be in Gal 4:24. Why then would Paul resort to a more complex allegory in 1 Timothy 2 without ever stating that it is allegory and what the allegory means? Should we take this further to make the attire spoken of in 1 Timothy 2:9 as allegory with the pearls representing Christ being attached superficially to their hair when he should instead be attached to their inner beings? We have to be very careful as allegory can be used to remove the clear teaching of Scripture and instead be used arbitrarily to mean whatever we think it should mean. While Paul went into great detail to give the application of the allegory in Gal 4, no such application is given in 1 Timothy 2.

    Also if we see this as an allegory about the church, then the church is not saved. Does the Scripture define the church as those who are not saved? Never. The Scripture talks about the church as those who are born from above, not those who are still existing in the results of the transgression. The church is never given as an allegory of the deceived ones nor is the salvation of the church from death to life said to be something in the future that follows things that she, the church must do. Lastly the salvation of the church is not said to be dependent on whether the last Adam remains in faith with us. There is never a conditional if attached to the last Adam. Hebrews makes it clear that there is no if attached to the resurrected Christ. He cannot die again and our faith is not attached to one who may or may not remain in faith (thus qualified as being attached to an “if”). How would such an iffy allegory be consistent with the rest of the Scriptures?

    We can tell that the Scripture is giving an allegory if the author says that it is an allegory or tells us what the allegory means. If we make the entire Scripture an allegory then we will have lost our foundation for truth as truth then becomes an allegory based on our own interpretation. We should never look to a passage that is not identified as an allegory, to be an allegory especially if the meaning of the passage can be understood in the way it is written. I believe very strongly that the specific grammar of this passage shows a specific meaning that can be understood exactly as it is written. There is no such marker that makes this an allegory.

  10. For those who might also think Paul is giving an allegory for the church, I ask, where is the marker that qualifies this as being an allegory? Where is the meaning of the allegory listed? Where is the church said to be unsaved? If there is no answer to my questions, then how would we ever have a Scriptural tool how to identify this as an allegory, unravel the meaning of the allegory, check to see if our understanding is correct and then apply the allegory?

  11. Can’t wait to dig in. As you know, I am not completely averse to a generic woman at the beginning of the passage. This gives us the perfect platform to pursue the truth. Onward!

  12. gengwall,
    As to the generic woman at the beginning of the passage, Craig found a resource The Greek NT by Ward Powers on page 32 that shows that the first word of the Greek sentence doesn’t necessarily have to have a definite article to be definite. This would apply to 1 Timothy 2:11.

    Learn to read the Greek NT by Ward Powers on p32 on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

  13. I just thought it would be an interesting exercise to actually try and find some of these nouns that do not have the definite  article in Greek and yet are generally considered to be definite and so can be translated as “the ….” rather than “a ….” in English.
    I thought I would have to look for a while, and I thought it may only occur when the noun is at the beginning of the sentence as the text book quoted in #12 says.
    I thought I would begin in 1 Timothy.
    So far, after just reading through Ch 1 & 2, I have found  at least 12 examples – and that doesn’t include 1 Tim 2:11,12! Also these examples aren’t even at the beginning of the sentence for emphasis!
    1 Tim1:1 “the command”, “the Lord”
    1 Tim 1:9 “the ungodly”, “the unholy”
    1 Tim 1:15 “the worst (first)”
    1 Tim 1:16 “the worst (first)”
    1 Tim 1:17 “the only God”
    1 Tim 2:4 “the truth”
    1 Tim 2:5 “the man Christ Jesus”
    1 Tim 2:7 “the truth”, “the true faith”, “the Gentiles”
    Those who have some knowledge of Greek please correct me if I am wrong. But all these examples seem to me to have no article in Greek, and yet are translated as “the …” in the NIV.
    I have been told by comps in the past, that because there is no article in v11,12, Paul is referring to an indefinite woman, and so should be translated as “a woman”.
    If I am understanding these examples properly, they contradict what the comps are saying. There are in fact many examples of nouns without the article translated as “the ….” and according to the text book, this would be even more true if the noun begins the sentence like “woman” does in 1 Tim 2:11.
    Surely Paul is not referring to “a Lord” rather than “the Lord”!
    Any thoughts? Am I just showing my ignorance or am I making sense?

  14. Just looking over those examples a bit more I may be showing my ignorance and too eager to put something out there for your thoughts. Sorry about that.
    Lord (kurion) in 1:1 is only in some Greek texts and the “the” is only in my interlinear translation- not in the NIV.
    “Only God” in 1:17 may be definite enough in Greek without adding a “the”.
    Some of the others as I think about them don’t seem really good examples either :(
    Does anyone see anything here worth pursuing or am I on the wrong track?
    Thanks for letting me toss out my thinking in a friendly environment so that I can learn and hopefully help others.

  15. Craig, keep looking. Great idea and good info.

  16. Also if we see this as an allegory about the church, then the church is not saved.- Cheryl

    I disagree. The passage says she shall be saved through the childbirth.

  17. Why then would Paul resort to a more complex allegory in 1 Timothy 2 without ever stating that it is allegory and what the allegory means?- Cheryl

    How about?
    Paul was writing this letter to Timothy and they had a shared context. Timothy could have already been familiar with the allegory.

    Paul compares the church to Eve in 1 Cor 11:3. Paul compares the relationship of Christ and the church to a marriage in Eph 5. Paul equates childbirth with the process of “Christ formed in you” in Gal 4:19. Paul uses Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar allegorically to describe salvation. Taking all these clues together, ancient church fathers understood Eve as a “type” of the church.

    The NT’s depiction of the Church as the bride of Christ, together with Paul’s parallel between “the first man Adam” and Christ “the last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), led to an explicit association in the writings of the Church Fathers between Eve, mother of the living, and “mother” church, mater ecclesia. Zeno of Verona declared that just as Eve was created from the side of Adam, so the Church was created from the side of Christ, from which flowed blood and water, figuring the martyrdom and baptism wherein the Church actually took its beginning. In this way, says Zeno, “Adam is restored through Christ, and Eve through the church”. The same idea is expressed by St. Augustine “Eve from the side of the sleeping one, the Church from the side of the suffering one.” This parallel became commonplace in the Middle Ages and was endorsed, e.g. by Thomas Aquinas and by St. Bonaventure. (source)

    To the understanding of Augustine, et al, add that of Katharine Bushnell: “827. The ‘childbearing’ of Revelation 12 is that same ‘childbearing’ of 1 Timothy 2:15”

  18. PS. Here’s another scripture where Paul uses his (marriage and) childbirth metaphor:

    Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. Romans 7

    Who was the first person whose “sinful passions were aroused by the law to bear fruit to death”?

  19. “The NT’s depiction of the Church as the bride of Christ, together with Paul’s parallel between “the first man Adam” and Christ “the last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), led to an explicit association in the writings of the Church Fathers between Eve, mother of the living, and “mother” church, mater ecclesia.”

    Maybe so, but Paul never made such a leap.

  20. I may not be understanding you properly Charis. Are you suggesting that Paul is saying “I do not permit women to teach men, because the church is deceived, but shall be saved, if those in the church continue in faith?
    Besides the typology questions, does this make sense to you? For example, how does the bit after “because” give the reason for the bit before the “because”? Maybe I have misunderstood, but I don’t yet follow how this explanation could be likely.

  21. I just noticed that in 1 Tim 2:14b the Greek word translated “was deceived” in the NIV (exapatetheisa) is called an “aorist active participle” here http://interlinearbible.org/1_timothy/2.htm

    Does this mean that the woman was not actually the one who was deceived (passive), but rather the one who deceived one or more other people (active)? Should it be translated as “having deceived” rather than “was deceived” or “being deceived”. Is any of this significant?

  22. In contrast, Adam’s non-deception is in the passive voice. I don’t know if these things are significant. I’m just pointing them out in case someone may know.

  23. Craig,
    I don’t know why the link shows an active voice. I looked up a couple of my interlinears NASB based and KJV based and they are both showing the passive.

    1-tim-2-14-deceived on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

  24. #16 Charis,
    You said:

    I disagree. The passage says she shall be saved through the childbirth.

    That is what I quoted for if “she shall be saved” is future, then she isn’t saved at the present time. So if “she” is the church then the church is made up of unsaved people who will be saved sometime in the future. How would this make any sense?

  25. #17 Charis,
    You said:

    How about?
    Paul was writing this letter to Timothy and they had a shared context. Timothy could have already been familiar with the allegory.

    So where would the original allegory be found? 1 Timothy was written to Timothy but it was also inspired by the Holy Spirit and so it was meant to be understood. How could a hidden allegory that was known only to Timothy and Paul have been understood to make the words worthy enough to have been saved for our benefit? You said:

    Paul compares the church to Eve in 1 Cor 11:3.

    Where does Paul compare the church to Eve in 1 Corinthians 11:3? Next you said:

    Paul compares the relationship of Christ and the church to a marriage in Eph 5.

    That doesn’t follow that the church is compared to Eve anymore than I can say that the church is compared to me because I am married.

    Paul equates childbirth with the process of “Christ formed in you” in Gal 4:19.

    No, that is not true. Paul is equating the pain of childbirth with the anxious concern he has for his spiritual children. He is not saying that he is giving birth to Christ in them. The pain is his pain, not Paul giving birth to little Christs within us. You said:

    Paul uses Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar allegorically to describe salvation. Taking all these clues together, ancient church fathers understood Eve as a “type” of the church.

    While Paul does equate Abraham and Sarah with our inheritance through faith and Hagar is equated with the old covenant that cannot bring life, you are taking unrelated verses and stringing them together to say something that the Bible never says. The Bible is not about hidden “clues” that have to be uncovered to form a secret knowledge that has been hidden. Eve is not set up to be a form of the church. This would be reading into the text rather than seeing what the text actually says.

    There are many who have made a link between Eve and “mother” church even going so far as to claim that there has to be a mother God who is married to the Father God. The Personal gleanings of those who went before us are not inspired and the Bible never explicitly says that Eve is a picture of the church or that the church can be said to be in the state of deception and not yet saved.

    To the understanding of Augustine, et al, add that of Katharine Bushnell: “827. The ‘childbearing’ of Revelation 12 is that same ‘childbearing’ of 1 Timothy 2:15?

    It isn’t even close to being the same grammar as 1 Timothy 2:15 is a definite noun and Revelation 12:2 is a verb.

  26. #18 Charis,
    You said:

    PS. Here’s another scripture where Paul uses his (marriage and) childbirth metaphor:

    Where exactly in Romans 7 are you equating marriage and childbirth?

  27. Thanks Cheryl @23. Passive would certainly make more sense. I was surprised to see it called active. It looks like your source is correct. I just clicked on the Strong’s number above this Greek word where it says it is active, and it took me to http://concordance.biblos.com/exapate_theisa.htm where it says it is passive!

    “Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience;
    Verb: Aorist Passive Participle Nominative Singular Feminine”

    It is good that it makes more sense, but I was hoping to be able to rely on this sort of information on Greek things. It seems you have to double check everything :( .

  28. Craig,
    I think it was just an internet typo that you found and yes it is good to double check before we solidly hang our hat on it.

    Also if it was active and Eve was the deceiver it would make her unlike Paul who was not a deceiver but who was deceived. It would also make it far less likely that she would be treated as one who needs to be taught. Deceivers are not sent to the church to be taught, but are turned over to satan to learn not to blaspheme. Paul’s assurance that “she will be saved…” and that she must learn and of course the grammar that says that she was deceived, makes it clear to me that she is not in the category of the deceivers.

    But as usual you find such good things to check out because you are digging deep in order to uncover only truth. Good show!

  29. anyone home here? :)

  30. TL,
    On another discussion here, Cheryl said she is tied up with work on another DVD at the moment. Seems she has to limit her time spent on the blog.

  31. Thanks, Elaine. Miss her. But will look forward to the new DVD. :)

  32. Just thought some here may be interested in a comment I just read at equality central.
    http://equalitycentral.com/forum/index.php?topic=2439.msg27968#msg27968
    Concerning Gene Edward’s book The Christian Woman… Set Free.

    In Chapter 20 Gene says that authentein means “to dominate” and that the present tense of epitrepô means the situation he was addressing was “something specific, timely and temporary.” (p. 117)

    “In a specific situation, a woman was teaching. She was unqualified to teach, by reason that she was domineering a man. Timothy was there to put an end to this and to do so at the instruction of Paul.

    “The problem was not that women were teaching and should not, nor even that a woman was teaching a man. Rather, it was that someone was domineering a specific man and therefore had no business teaching.” (p. 117)

  33. Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for the clear post layout. It was especially helpful to highlight where you want the people who disagree with you to focus on.
    Can i look at Note 1 regarding the change of grammar/topic issue.

    Let me tell you a story to help illustrate,

    Last weekend was my daughter’s 16th birthday party. She had several friends staying over. Simultaneously her 17 year old brother had several friends over. Our house was very crowded. Being the good father i am i gave the following directives,

    “I desire all the men to remain upstairs in the rumpus room. Likewise, i want all the women to remain downstairs in the back loungeroom. I do not permit a women to be upstairs at any time alone with a man. She must either stay downstairs or be accompanied with another…

    Now my point is really simple. Given the example above, is the shift from plural to singular grammatically or topically different? Within the context it is clear that the singular still applies to the generic. I don’t see why 1 Tim cannot be any different. This answers your first request to explain the shift.

    As for the second issue regarding Paul stopping true teaching i would direct you to 1 Corinthians 12-14. Granted it is not ‘teaching’ per se, but nonetheless, clearly spiritual gifts, although being a good God given gift, were being abused and needed to be reined in. Clearly then, Christians can abuse something that otherwise, in different contexts and circumstances, would be a good ministry.

    So the parallel i would draw would be like this. Can a woman teach? Yes absolutely, but within a limited context. Can a person speak in toungues? Yes absolutely, but within a limited context.

    Hope you can roughly see my point. I’ll leave it at that.

    Blessings

  34. ” Given the example above, is the shift from plural to singular grammatically or topically different? “

    Yes, it is. First you were referencing all the men and all the women. Then you shifted to a single woman with a single man. This changed the dynamics. In your example the general topic was the same, men and women being around each other and a man and a woman being alone. Though being alone was different involving possible intimacy, than general mingling, it was still within the same topic of physical presence.

    However, the shift in Paul’s advice to Timothy related the topic back to the section in chapter one where he was addressing teaching. Verses 9-10 were about attire and modesty, while praying and not fighting as the men were also instructed. Actually, everything in chapter two relates back to chapter one in some way.

    But in verses 11 the shift gets more personal with a reference to one woman with one man. Unfortunately for our understanding the one man is not identified. Is it a teacher, a husband, or a particular man from a particular incident that Paul isn’t naming but Timothy wrote Paul about? Or was it all 3, her husband who was a teacher that she was publicly usurping his authority, his guidance, etc. We don’t know precisely. But the message is clear enough that whoever that woman was, Paul told Timothy to let her learn. This gives us another clue that she was likely misguided in her understanding on something, just like the people in chapter one were desiring to be teachers but according to Paul “understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm. ” They did not have sound doctrine. But instead of throwing her out of the community of believers as Paul recommended for Hymenaeus and Alexander, Paul tells Timothy to let her learn in the demeanor of a student, in submissive quietness. Still talking about learning, Paul tells Timothy that he, Paul, does not want such a woman to teach or exercise coercive authority (authentein) over the man (teacher, husband, or whoever she was doing this to). Then Paul points out a few points from Scriptural doctrine. Again we don’t know the point he was aiming at so we’re not clearly certain why he brought them up, and there could be a couple reasons. And the statements are still on the subject of why the woman must be allowed to learn.

  35. Another point. This was clearly not about Paul giving instructions to all women. It was clearly about a specific incident, some specific individuals, and Paul’s specific instructions to Timothy on how to handle it. Paul did not make a law, did not carry it into the future. However, if these same circumstances came about (a woman in ignorance as in chapter one – overriding, using coercive behavior, on a teacher/leader/husband), it is reasonable to handle it in the same way that Paul recommended to Timothy.

  36. Thanks TL,

    But you have not engagd in my comments apart from restating Cheyl’s position and claiming it was ‘clear’. I doubt this is true considering the understanding of this passage over the last two millenium.

    My example was simply to show that within the context of a generic discussion, one can use a singular with the clear undertanding that it applies to the whole, as per Cheryl’s request.

    When i said a woman must not be upstairs, given the context i’m not sure anyone assumed i was talking about a specific woman- it seems too unnatural to the flow of the context plus is equally a poor grammatical construct (at least in English).

    Nonetheless, Cheryl asked for a good reason- i think i provided that. Furthermore, you didn’t discuss the second point i made regarding 1 Cor 12-14. Understadable though, since it’s not your blog.

    Blessings

  37. TL,

    I should have also pointed out that the change in topic is something Cheryl’s view endorses. Given the traditional understanding that the whole pericope is dealing with ‘Public Worship Issues’, the small change of topic is neither here nor there, it’s still within the overall contextual framework.

    So you can assert that there is a relative shift in topic by adopting Cheryl’s view, but the context does not require that as the only possible meaning

  38. Patrick,

    So you can assert that there is a relative shift in topic by adopting Cheryl’s view, but the context does not require that as the only possible meaning.

    Actually the Full context does require such once one reaches v15, which is the key to understanding Paul’s shift in grammar. Could you explain your view of v15 to me?

  39. #32 Craig,
    Thanks for the link and the quote from Gene Edwards book. It is also interesting to see that his book is copyrighted one year before my DVD was produced and his understanding that Paul was speaking about one woman and one man certainly parallels my understanding.

    I am really busy for about another week due to company arriving and a couple of deadlines that must be dealt with. I will answer what I can on the blog tonight, but I probably won’t be back for about another week. Sorry for being so slow in answering some of the posts here.

  40. TL,

    Let me try a slightly different tact. You are now asking me to exegete v15 because for you it is the key to understanding v11 (and 12?), ie the singular.

    As with your previous comments this is irrelevant for me because i have not come to the text with the preconcieved notion that the context is a singular woman/man dealing with false teaching (as per chap 1). Therefore, v15 is not the interpretive key unless you start with the assumption a priori that it is.

    Therefore you are asking me to justify the singular but only on the basis of accepting your contextual construction and historical scenario. Since i accept neither, v15 is irrelant to my point.

    So to get back to my first post, hopefully i have shown that the singular can, i think, be understood generically- my example shows this. You may disagree, and that’s fine, but you cannot disagree simply because i don’t start with your same base assumption regarding context. To do this, you need to first prove your contextual and historical arrangement.

    So i think my point remains. If we adopt the historical understanding of the context (public woship issues), then it remains entirely valid for the singular to be generic.

  41. Hello Patrick. I’ve a few minutes to spare.

    The reason that your example doesn’t work is because upstairs or downstair the subject is the same, no mingling of the boys and girls.

    Paul switched subjects from modesty and attire of all the women to a particular woman learning. Two different subjects. Two different settings. And the switch from plural to singular was part of it.

  42. #33 Patrick wrote:

    “I desire all the men to remain upstairs in the rumpus room. Likewise, i want all the women to remain downstairs in the back loungeroom. I do not permit a women to be upstairs at any time alone with a man. She must either stay downstairs or be accompanied with another…

    Now my point is really simple. Given the example above, is the shift from plural to singular grammatically or topically different? Within the context it is clear that the singular still applies to the generic. I don’t see why 1 Tim cannot be any different. This answers your first request to explain the shift.

    Your example was flawed if you are trying to compare it to the grammar of 1 Timothy 2. First of all you present one topic about men and women remaining in their place. Paul doesn’t present such a unified topic as the topic changes from the outside dress that presents a godly claim and the other is about teaching and authentein of “a woman” respecting “a man”. There is no upstairs/downstairs similarity here.

    Secondly in your example, you are actually permitting two women from being in the presence of one man. Thus all women are to remain downstairs but two women can accompany each other and go upstairs.

    Thirdly, it is not altogether clear who she can be accompanied by in your story. While you want all women to remain downstairs, she can go upstairs if she is in the presence of two men rather than just one. As long as she is accompanied, apparently.

    In Paul’s words, changing from the plural to the singular, there is a relationship that is added that is not in the plural. “A woman” now is doing something to “a man”. It is not “a woman” is not allowed to teach…”men”, so if this statement of Paul’s to Timothy is generic then at the very least a single woman is not allowed to teach a single man and that is a problem with what Priscilla did. She not only instructed a man, but she corrected him to boot.

    I am very happy that you tried to bring up a scenario using “women” and “woman”, your try does not even touch Paul’s unity of thought in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Paul ends his thought with a positive statement about the salvation of “she” by bringing “they” into the mix. There is no grammar that would ever rightfully equate the singular “she” as being the same as “they” in the same sentence. And because Paul includes the entire package of verses 11-15 within the instruction to Timothy and to the conclusion of the problem, the failure to bring about a modern day equivalent is quite telling. But I really do appreciate, Patrick, that you tried. That shows that you are trying to think this one through.

  43. Patrick,
    You also said:

    As for the second issue regarding Paul stopping true teaching i would direct you to 1 Corinthians 12-14. Granted it is not ‘teaching’ per se, but nonetheless, clearly spiritual gifts, although being a good God given gift, were being abused and needed to be reined in. Clearly then, Christians can abuse something that otherwise, in different contexts and circumstances, would be a good ministry.

    Apparently you can see that true teaching is not the same thing as a half a gift. Paul makes it clear that the public speaking of tongues is always to be attached to public interpretation. But if we were to equate public speaking in tongues and interpretation, Paul never ever said that a woman is not allowed to give a message in tongues with an interpretation because she is a woman. To say that a God-given gift is bad just because of the gender of the person who has the gift or just because of the gender of the person who receives the gift, is something that is never found in the Scriptures.

  44. Patrick,
    You also said:

    So the parallel i would draw would be like this. Can a woman teach? Yes absolutely, but within a limited context.

    The only limited context that Paul ever exercised for anyone regarding teaching, was that error was forbidden to be taught, while truth was given wide exposure. No other context but truth is limited by Paul.

  45. Patrick,
    You gave one other thought:

    Can a person speak in toungues? Yes absolutely, but within a limited context.

    It is interesting to note that the only gift that is limited is the gift where the church has no edification at all without the corresponding gift to impart grace to the hearer. Gender is never used to limit the Spirit’s gifts, nor is gender used to limit the reception of the gifts. Men are never said to be in sin for receiving the Holy Spirit’s gifts through a woman.

  46. Cheryl,

    Don’t get to caught up in the story, it’s not meant to be analogous in every way to 1 Tim 2, so many of your points made above aren’t really applicable. All i was trying to show was (a) within a overall context of generic men and women, one can use a singular and it still be understood generically and not necessitate the claim that it is a specific woman/man.

    If you think otherwise, can you show me how in my example the singular would be understood by all as not applicable to them.

    Also, please avoid straw men that you then proceed to knock down, e.g “To say that a God-given gift is bad just because of the gender of the person who has the gift or just because of the gender of the person who receives the gift, is something that is never found in the Scriptures.”

    I never said such a thing. Again my point was simple (or so i thought). 1 Cor 12-14 shows the limiting of speaking in toungues. Presumably, such a gift was good and encouraged and taught the congregation, although only if used appropriately. I see a similiar parallel to 1 Tim 2. Therefore, it is not only false teaching that Paul prohibits, but as seen in 1 Cor 12-14, a good God given gift that was being abused.

    Blessings

  47. TL,
    I think you answered Patrick’s thought quite well.

    Patrick, you said this about TL:

    But you have not engagd in my comments apart from restating Cheyl’s position and claiming it was ‘clear’. I doubt this is true considering the understanding of this passage over the last two millenium.

    Actually TL did engage your comments and then went on to state other things. There is a flaw in your argument and TL saw it. As far as the passage being “clear” over the last “two millenium”, Paul’s very detailed wording has caused lots of problems for people who see Paul through human tradition. Paul becomes much more clear when we don’t stop with verse 12 but continue on to verse 15 with the outcome of Paul’s instruction which is “clear” that this is an issue of salvation, thus the teaching that is being stopped is not the true teaching of a true Christian, but the error of an unsaved person.

    My example was simply to show that within the context of a generic discussion, one can use a singular with the clear undertanding that it applies to the whole, as per Cheryl’s request.

    If that is what you were trying, then you need to rethink your example as your example shows that two women who accompany each other are allowed to do what generic women cannot do. It is a problem for sure, and if you really said that, I’ll bet some industrious teenagers could figure it out, that you aren’t stopping women generically from going upstairs after all.

    When i said a woman must not be upstairs, given the context i’m not sure anyone assumed i was talking about a specific woman- it seems too unnatural to the flow of the context plus is equally a poor grammatical construct (at least in English).

    I think you are likely right here about not meaning a specific woman. But then you did not add anything about “the woman” (verse 14) and “she” and “they” that give Paul’s meaning more body.

    Nonetheless, Cheryl asked for a good reason- i think i provided that.

    No, I don’t think you did, but you gave it a jolly good try, and for that you should be commended!

    Furthermore, you didn’t discuss the second point i made regarding 1 Cor 12-14. Understadable though, since it’s not your blog.

    Well, I did cover it and it is my blog 😉 But I noticed that you didn’t actually deal with the fact that Paul never stopped the teaching of the truth by anyone. Perhaps it would be an appropriate time to ask why one should assume that Paul was stopping the truth of the gospel in verse 12 rather than applying his stated purpose to have Timothy stop the teaching of error?

    Thanks for stopping by, Patrick. I apologize in advance if I don’t get to any new comments in a timely fashion. I have a very busy ministry schedule, but I am much more flexible when I don’t have deadlines. Things should lighten up a bit in a week.

  48. In an effort to finish Patrick’s comments before I go to bed, here goes on the next comment:

    I should have also pointed out that the change in topic is something Cheryl’s view endorses. Given the traditional understanding that the whole pericope is dealing with ‘Public Worship Issues’, the small change of topic is neither here nor there, it’s still within the overall contextual framework.

    It isn’t just the change of topic, but the unusual change from plural to singular, when the continuation of a topic would not warrant such a change. And of course there is the problem of the issue of salvation in verse 15 that would make a generic application out of the scope of the entire Bible.

    By the way, Patrick, have we dialoged before? Your way of expressing yourself sounds very familiar to me.

  49. Ah, I see that while I was typing, further comments came in. I will try to get a few more answers in before I retire for the night.

    Patrick you said:

    Don’t get to caught up in the story, it’s not meant to be analogous in every way to 1 Tim 2, so many of your points made above aren’t really applicable. All i was trying to show was (a) within a overall context of generic men and women, one can use a singular and it still be understood generically and not necessitate the claim that it is a specific woman/man.

    The issue is 1 Timothy 2. My comments to you show that when you change from plural to singular, the nuances change. I am not saying that the use of the singular necessitates the meaning of a specific woman. I am saying that the change of the plural to the singular needs to be noted especially when the change is unnecessary. The context will define whether it is a specific woman or not. The context will also remove the generic application with specific language.

    If you think otherwise, can you show me how in my example the singular would be understood by all as not applicable to them.

    Sure. When you said that a woman is not to be upstairs “or be accompanied by…” This is a statement of allowance not of unilaterally restricting all of those women invited to your house.

    Also, please avoid straw men that you then proceed to knock down, e.g “To say that a God-given gift is bad just because of the gender of the person who has the gift or just because of the gender of the person who receives the gift, is something that is never found in the Scriptures.”

    I never said such a thing. Again my point was simple (or so i thought). 1 Cor 12-14 shows the limiting of speaking in toungues.

    Actually that is not true regarding any permanent limiting of the gift. While only two or three are to speak in one meeting so that the edification of the church can happen unhindered, the one with the gift is free to speak at another time as there is no permanent injunction. Also Paul makes it clear that the one with the gift for tongues is to pray and ask God to give him/her the interpretation, thus the 1/2 gift will become the full gift without a hindrance. This is completely unlike the tradition that stops the teaching of the truth of the gospel for the common good.

    Presumably, such a gift was good and encouraged and taught the congregation, although only if used appropriately. I see a similiar parallel to 1 Tim 2. Therefore, it is not only false teaching that Paul prohibits, but as seen in 1 Cor 12-14, a good God given gift that was being abused.

    As Paul relates, the purpose is for public edification. It is not for purpose of restricting any of God’s gifts as the one gifted is instructed to ask for the corresponding gift. Encouragement to release the gifts by asking God for the corresponding gift in no way corresponds to a universal prohibition of a gift for the benefit of males.

    I would sure like to hear your explanation of why Paul never stopped the teaching of the truth even by those who had less than pure motives? Paul’s actions were very consistent with a sincere desire that everyone should participate with God’s gifts that edify the church and that all should be allowed to speak for the common good.

  50. Thanks Cheryl,

    #49- “I am not saying that the use of the singular necessitates the meaning of a specific woman. I am saying that the change of the plural to the singular needs to be noted especially when the change is unnecessary. The context will define whether it is a specific woman or not. The context will also remove the generic application with specific language.”

    I agree with most of this, the singular does not necessitate a specific singular woman. I agree the singular needs to be noted, yet your argument that it is unnecessary i’m not convinced of. It is only unnecessary if you adopt your contextual understanding. However, if we adopt the traditional approach regarding corporate worship then it is a non-issue. As you yourself note, a singular can simply have a generic meaning. I agree that the context decides whether it is a specific woman, so it appears therefore that it is here where the real disagreement lies.

    Now since you explained yourself well, i therefore find it intriguing why you even offered this challenge,

    “Those who are disagreeing with me, need to provide reason for the irregular and unusual grammar change if they believe that Paul continues to write about women in general. Also those who believe that Paul was stopping godly teaching need to provide proof that Paul ever stopped the teaching of the truth of the gospel.”

    You answered yourself, did you not, by affirming that a singular can be generic. What it appears that you are asking is to show the reason for the “irregular and unusual grammar change” based on the acceptance of your contextual understanding. But surely you must realise that this type of language is based on your preconceived conclusion and understanding of the context. It is not irregular and unusual if we adopt the traditional hypothesis. On the contrary, it is only unusual if you believe a priori that it is referencing a new topic with a new specific woman.

    I appreciate your understanding, but given what you have discussed, i find it much harder to accept your contextual understanding which has Paul shoot off in a rather different direction between v10-11 which can only be understood by reference back to earlier parts of chapter 1. This for me, seems like the irregular and unusual approach.

    Take care

  51. Finally, alot of your other points are really quite off topic from my initial discussion, so i’ll avoid engaging with them for the sake of simplicity and clarity. I would ask you again, however, to be careful of the many straw men you are attacking. Here are some examples to show you what i mean.

    #47- “Perhaps it would be an appropriate time to ask why one should assume that Paul was stopping the truth of the gospel in verse 12 rather than applying his stated purpose to have Timothy stop the teaching of error?”
    I never said Paul was stopping the truth of the gospel in verse 12, that is your assumption. I did say Paul was putting some sort of prohibition on women teaching. I never said he was stopping the truth of the gospel. The two are not necessarily compatible.

    #49- “Actually that is not true regarding any permanent limiting of the gift. While only two or three are to speak in one meeting so that the edification of the church can happen unhindered, the one with the gift is free to speak at another time as there is no permanent injunction.”
    I never said Paul was imparting a ‘permanent’ injunction on the gift of tongues.

    #49- “This is completely unlike the tradition that stops the teaching of the truth of the gospel for the common good.”
    Here you parallel the false argument that i did not give (permanent injunction) with some sort of tradition that you are describing. Given the context, it’s obviously meant to be negative which is all the more troubling when you apply an argument to me that i myself did not give.

    #49- “Encouragement to release the gifts by asking God for the corresponding gift in no way corresponds to a universal prohibition of a gift for the benefit of males.”
    Again you attack an argument i did not make. I never said there was a universal prohibition on the gift of tongues.

    I highlight this because it can become frustrating and difficult to try and engage over a blog when straw men are constantly employed.

    Blessings

  52. Too many comments to get into them all. I’ll take just one.

    Patrick – “I never said Paul was stopping the truth of the gospel in verse 12, that is your assumption. I did say Paul was putting some sort of prohibition on women teaching. I never said he was stopping the truth of the gospel. The two are not necessarily compatible.”

    If Paul is “putting some sort of prohibition on women teaching” and the teaching Paul is putting said prohibition on is “truth of the gospel” teaching than Paul is “stopping the truth of the gospel”.

    Your argument not only implies but directly declares that Paul is “putting some sort of prohibition” (i.e. “stopping”) “on women teaching” (“the truth of the gospel”, yes?) Unless, you do not believe the teaching in question is truth but false teaching. In your view, is the teaching in verse 12 true or false teaching? If it is true teaching, then “putting some prohibition on women teaching [truth]” and “stopping the truth of the gospel [from being taught by women]” are entirely synonymous phrases. The are not only compatible, they are identical.

  53. Patrick are you actually Mark?

  54. The questions deserve to be answered. But if Mark is posting as Patrick, and then once again we have someone who refuses to answer the hard questions taking the position of one who accuses others of having straw men arguments rather than answer the questions posed to him.

    Patrick: It is a good test of integrity to admit that you are Mark posting under Patrick’s name. Someone who is going into the pastorate and may even be a comp pastor by now wouldn’t lie about that, would he? Let’s keep this on the up and up and move on to discuss your questions with integrity. Fair enough?

  55. ”You answered yourself, did you not, by affirming that a singular can be generic.”

    Of course it CAN be. Anything can be anything, but it is context that determines.

    ”What it appears that you are asking is to show the reason for the “irregular and unusual grammar change” based on the acceptance of your contextual understanding. But surely you must realise that this type of language is based on your preconceived conclusion and understanding of the context.”

    Based on the context of skipping from modesty and attire of all women, to a new topic of a specific admonishment from Paul to Timothy to allow a woman to teach a man, we can see that something quite different is being addressed. And in that the singular has specific significance. Instead of general encouragements of activity, now it is about allowing a particular woman to learn (something women were not encouraged to do by the Judiaizers) in the manner and attitude of a student (quietness and submission). The not teaching and not usurping of authority of a singular man are also unusual and require the good reader to go back and look for the full subject matter that is being dealt with here, which is found in chapter one.

    ”i find it much harder to accept your contextual understanding which has Paul shoot off in a rather different direction between v10-11 which can only be understood by reference back to earlier parts of chapter 1. This for me, seems like the irregular and unusual approach.”

    On the contrary, good exegesis ALWAYS looks for how the author has been building up to a point to see the conclusion more accurately. The concept that a sentence or two can be understood clearly without reading before and after it is irresponsible reading. And from there one builds irresponsible doctrines with errors in them. And errors in doctrines will always hurt the people of God somewhere, somehow.

  56. “The concept that a sentence or two can be understood clearly without reading before and after it is irresponsible reading. And from there one builds irresponsible doctrines with errors in them. And errors in doctrines will always hurt the people of God somewhere, somehow.”

    Which is also why you can not possibly read vss. 11-12 without reading all the way through 15. If vss. 11-12 are related to 9 and 10, then 15, as the conclusion of the thought, also has to be. So where is the vs. 15 equivalent in your story, Patrick? It has to be there or you have proposed an incomplete comparison and argument. Where is the specific “she” in your home that will be “saved” or somehow otherwise be positively changed/redeemed by, I don’t know, continuing to remain downstairs?

    The problem with trying to make vss. 11 and 12 an extension of the thought of 9 and 10 is that verses 13-15 turn the whole thing into gibberish. I suspect that is why Patrick is avoiding inclusion and consideration of those last verses.

  57. Thanks gengwell and Tl and Cheryl,

    But let me just say this last point since hopefully it will clarify. My example did not include v13-15 because that was not what Cheryl asked those who disagree with her to show. She simply asked to give a reason for the shift from v10-11. Therefore my example simply did that.

    Now considering that we are all in agreement that it is grammatically possible for the singular to be generic, it is obviously therefore not ‘unusual’ for this to happen. It can be a normal part of grammar.

    So my example showed how contextually shifting to the singular makes sense and by extension still apllies to the whole. I then pointed out that this fits fine with the traditional contextual understanding.

    Now, clearly this hasn’t satisfied you and that is ok, but i only wanted to point out that it is possible and that Cheryl’s challenge relies on the faulty premise that one accept her contextual approach. Many other points/questions have appeared which are really irrelevant to this point so i have not engaged with them, like i said, for simplicity and clarity.

    So i will leave it at that. I see no real benefit continuing to discuss side topics when it has been difficult enough to get a good, healthy discussion on this one. I’m not really interested in straw men and ad hominem attacks (and no Cheryl, i’m not Mark??). I sure hope you don’t label me as someone who refuses to answer the tough questions.

    Blessings

  58. “Now, clearly this hasn’t satisfied you and that is ok, but i only wanted to point out that it is possible and that Cheryl’s challenge relies on the faulty premise that one accept her contextual approach.”

    That would be incorrect. Cheryl’s challenge relies on honest exegesis of a particular troubling section of Scripture that has been misinterpreted for much of Christianities history. And the point she has challenged you on has been overlooked and not adequately addressed by those who prefer to see gender hierarchy in the Body of Christ and life revolve around who has authority to rule over others and who doesn’t. Cheryl did not demand that you accept her approach, only explain how your view handles certain words. You have not done that. Instead you ignore their relevance and pretend it doesn’t matter.

  59. Does your conscience bother you “Patrick”? I really thought that you would ignore my question as is your habit rather than be untruthful on a public forum. Do you think that adding some question marks after your name doesn’t make it a lie? Have you forgotten that as administrator I have access to your email address? This greatly saddens me and this is part of the reason why I really long to have godly complementarian men and women come to visit my blog – ones who love the truth. I am so tired of the unloving tactics of many complementarians. When it becomes okay to publicly lie rather than to confess the truth and go on from there, what kind of witness is that to the church and to the world? No one is perfect and everyone should be given a second chance, but I have a strong aversion to those who practice deception. It isn’t befitting the Lord Jesus nor is it befitting a pastor.

  60. For those who are interested in my answers.
    #50 “Patrick” writes:

    I agree with most of this, the singular does not necessitate a specific singular woman. I agree the singular needs to be noted, yet your argument that it is unnecessary i’m not convinced of.

    If Paul was continuing on with generic discussion about godly women “women who claim godliness” then it is unnecessary to resort to the singular unless he was changing the topic or changing the meaning of the generic (i.e. no single woman can teach a single man but a group of women can teach a man) as the change is not only unnecessary but confusing. The fact is that we cannot disregard the grammar change as if Paul has not changed from the plural “women” The wording is inspired and we need to pay close attention to the grammar change as it is inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    It is only unnecessary if you adopt your contextual understanding. However, if we adopt the traditional approach regarding corporate worship then it is a non-issue.

    That simply isn’t true. Paul’s previous words are about godly women. The change in plural to singular that goes along with an instruction to godly women that has never been found in the entire history of the Scripture is not a corporate worship issue. No godly woman was ever stopped by God in speaking God’s words to God’s people either corporately or individually. A universal restriction against godly women would be unprecedented. We must pay attention to what Paul is saying and not add in a command that doesn’t exist in the Scripture nor in Paul’s direct words.

    As you yourself note, a singular can simply have a generic meaning. I agree that the context decides whether it is a specific woman, so it appears therefore that it is here where the real disagreement lies.

    A singular can have a generic meaning just as a plural can have a generic meaning, but consistency is expected. A change in grammar is not haphazard. God has a reason for the change and we need to explore the reason from the context.

    You answered yourself, did you not, by affirming that a singular can be generic. What it appears that you are asking is to show the reason for the “irregular and unusual grammar change” based on the acceptance of your contextual understanding.

    Actually I asked for a reason based on the comp understanding that would fit with Paul’s grammar. I have not yet received a logical or thoughtful answer that fits the context of Paul’s writing in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Paul’s change from plural to singular is inconsistent with his instructions to godly women as a whole and the negative rather than the positive is highlighted as attached to a singular “woman” rather than generic godly “women”.

    But surely you must realise that this type of language is based on your preconceived conclusion and understanding of the context.

    Not true. I originally had no preconceived conclusion when I came to the context. What I find so amazing is that comps would conclude that Paul was creating a new law that never existed and accept that godly women are all forbidden to teach men when no such application was ever supplied by the Bible, Jesus, or any of the apostles. How can we jump to a universal application when such an application is inconsistent with all of Paul’s practices?

    It is not irregular and unusual if we adopt the traditional hypothesis. On the contrary, it is only unusual if you believe a priori that it is referencing a new topic with a new specific woman.

    It is especially irregular when we try to square it with the traditional view. It is not unusual at all if we see that Paul is no longer dealing with godly women but a situation that would require the stopping of teaching that was not God honoring.

    I appreciate your understanding, but given what you have discussed, i find it much harder to accept your contextual understanding which has Paul shoot off in a rather different direction between v10-11 which can only be understood by reference back to earlier parts of chapter 1. This for me, seems like the irregular and unusual approach.

    It is not irregular at all if we consider the entire book of 1 Timothy from the stated reason why Timothy was left behind in Ephesus. The rampant false teaching that required Timothy to be there in the first place cannot be disregarded as if chapter breaks in a personal letter were inspired by God. What is irregular is the thought that Paul was not stopping false teaching but was stopping the teaching of the truth. The stopping of the teaching of truth was never initiated by God, nor practiced by Paul and to insert this foreign concept into Paul’s letter to Timothy is not only irregular but highly suspect of the “tradition of men” rather than the law of God.

  61. #51 “Patrick” wrote:

    I would ask you again, however, to be careful of the many straw men you are attacking. Here are some examples to show you what i mean.

    #47- “Perhaps it would be an appropriate time to ask why one should assume that Paul was stopping the truth of the gospel in verse 12 rather than applying his stated purpose to have Timothy stop the teaching of error?”
    I never said Paul was stopping the truth of the gospel in verse 12, that is your assumption. I did say Paul was putting some sort of prohibition on women teaching. I never said he was stopping the truth of the gospel. The two are not necessarily compatible.

    Not at all. If Paul is continuing his instruction for godly women and he stops these godly women from teaching men, then the assumption is that he is stopping godly teaching. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot say that you believe Paul is not stopping the teaching of the truth of the gospel to men if Paul is stopping godly women from teaching men. Are you willing to say that it is okay for women to teach men the truth as long as they don’t teach men error? I know you are not. WE all agree that error needs to be stopped. The only disagreement is what we do with the teaching of the truth. So let’s have you create the proper identification of what Paul was stopping. There is truth and there is error. Was Paul stopping the teaching of truth by women to men? If you say this is a straw man, then define exactly what kind of teaching that Paul was stopping. Let’s verify this right now. Define your meaning so that we can all verify whether what I have said is a straw man or not.

    #49- “Actually that is not true regarding any permanent limiting of the gift. While only two or three are to speak in one meeting so that the edification of the church can happen unhindered, the one with the gift is free to speak at another time as there is no permanent injunction.”
    I never said Paul was imparting a ‘permanent’ injunction on the gift of tongues.

    You are the one who compared teaching to the gift of tongues. How are the two situations comparable if one results in a permanent injunction while the other does not? How are the two situations comparable if one stops women from teaching and the other does not stop speaking the words of God? Please explain.

    #49- “This is completely unlike the tradition that stops the teaching of the truth of the gospel for the common good.”
    Here you parallel the false argument that i did not give (permanent injunction) with some sort of tradition that you are describing. Given the context, it’s obviously meant to be negative which is all the more troubling when you apply an argument to me that i myself did not give.

    You are the one who compared the stopping of one gift with the stopping of teaching. If you are comparing the two saying that neither is a permanent injunction so that they can be compared, then come out in the open and provide your reasoning for now saying that the injunction against a woman teaching a man in the assembly is not a permanent injunction. Please explain for you appear to be talking out of both sides of your mouth and this kind of confusion is not helpful for discussion.

    #49- “Encouragement to release the gifts by asking God for the corresponding gift in no way corresponds to a universal prohibition of a gift for the benefit of males.”
    Again you attack an argument i did not make. I never said there was a universal prohibition on the gift of tongues.

    In this quote, I did not even mention a universal prohibition on the gift of tongues. I was showing you the flawed method of comparing a restriction that did not result in a universal prohibition with a restriction that does result in a universal prohibition of women teaching men (if the comp position is right). You appear to have a problem understanding something other than your own position. Let’s get this one nailed down too. Are you saying that there is a universal prohibition against a woman teaching a man in the assembly? Yes or no?

    I highlight this because it can become frustrating and difficult to try and engage over a blog when straw men are constantly employed.

    Frustration comes from trying to nail jello to the wall. It works for you to not give any definitions except that you are a typical comp, and any stating of your position is said to be a straw man. You won’t answer questions so why are you here?

  62. Patrick,

    Now considering that we are all in agreement that it is grammatically possible for the singular to be generic, it is obviously therefore not ‘unusual’ for this to happen. It can be a normal part of grammar.

    What kind of logic is this? Because it is grammatically possible that the noun can be generic therefore it is not unusual? Just because it’s possible grammatically does not mean that it is unusual contextaully.

    Anti-spam: “back” as in “back up”

  63. I meant, ofcourse: Just because it’s possible grammatically does not mean that it is NOT unusual contextaully.

  64. Like we need your scenario, Patrick, to know that it is possible grammaticaly for the singular to be generic. It’s possible to begin with (!) but it’s the context that tells us whether or not it is being used genericaly and context comes before and after what’s in question, not just before as you would like to have it.

  65. Patrick,

    You said:

    But let me just say this last point since hopefully it will clarify. My example did not include v13-15 because that was not what Cheryl asked those who disagree with her to show. She simply asked to give a reason for the shift from v10-11. Therefore my example simply did that.

    Cheryl said:

    Note: Those who are disagreeing with me, need to provide reason for the irregular and unusual grammar change if they believe that Paul continues to write about women in general.

    Patrick, right, Cheryl asked for anyone to lift a verse(s) out of context – ROTFLOL!!

  66. #57 Patrick (Mark) wrote:

    Now considering that we are all in agreement that it is grammatically possible for the singular to be generic, it is obviously therefore not ‘unusual’ for this to happen. It can be a normal part of grammar.

    That is not what I asked. It is not unusual for the singular to be generic, but it is highly unusual for the generic to be plural and then suddenly change to singular. I asked for any comp to give the reason for the shift from the generic plural to the generic singular if the topic had not changed from the topic of women in general.

    I have also pointed out that Paul’s topic previously concerned godly women and the way to show their godly character through their appearance. The switch comes when godly women are no longer in site and Paul’s communication to Timothy changes to state his will about “a woman” who is not said to be godly but whose salvation is in question. That kind of topic change and that kind of grammar change must be noted by complementarians and it must be answered if they continue to insist that Paul continues to talk about all godly women in verse 12.

  67. “Patrick”:

    Now considering that we are all in agreement that it is grammatically possible for the singular to be generic, it is obviously therefore not ‘unusual’ for this to happen. It can be a normal part of grammar.

    Cheryl’s response:

    That is not what I asked.

    I was going there next. He didn’t even answer what you asked. Lame.
    Cheryl, *smiles* for your comment #66 :) :)

  68. I think this is a marvelous explanation of the passages by Paul… but for what reason, I wonder?

    Seems to me you are wrestling a paper tiger. The presumption of the authority of this writing belies any true scholarship of it.

    No one… Christian, Jew or Buddhist … needs Paul telling us what is right or wrong. (Especially when it comes to women, lying or preaching the Gospel).

    Authority of scripture comes from its TRUTH, not from its existence. When scripture strays from truth, it has no authority. All scripture that is inspired by Godliness is suitable for teaching… but not all scripture.

  69. Charlie,
    Welcome to my blog.
    You ask what reason would I have to explain Paul? It is because I am fully convinced that the Bible is God-breathed and it is truth. I am also very interested in having people set aside faulty tradition in order for them to see the truth of God’s Scripture. If indeed God’s Word is truth, and if it is indeed God-breathed, then it CANNOT stray from truth.

    My premise starts first of all that God’s Word is truth and that some passages are more difficult to understand and take lots of work. Some will dismiss parts of Scripture that are not easy to understand, but I believe that all Scripture is God-breathed and all of it is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and training in righteousness.

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