1 Timothy 2 12-15 - One woman view?

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KGP

Puritan Board Freshman
Recently was given two books on the subject of women's roles in ministry; both in favor of an expanded and essentially egalitarian position.

I always look specifically for the authors treatment of this text in 1 Timothy when reading material in this vein.

The first book entitled 'Gender and Giftedness' was terribly weak on 1 Tim; stating that beyond saying that women are supposed to learn, we cannot be certain of what Paul intended to say, there is too much cultural difference between us. Totally unacceptable.

The second book was 'Why Not Women', authored by multiple men and published by YWAM (I think). Their interpretation of this text says that Paul was writing to Timothy about a single woman who should not teach or have authority over men; hence the transition from 'women' in v9 to 'a woman/she' in v12 then back to 'women/they' in v15. They propose this as an internal chaiasm in these vs dealing with women. So the prohibitive verses were was written to one woman who was left unnamed in the letter out of a charitable spirit; she'd been teaching heresies surrounding the origin of Christ and so on; but because she was a woman; she had not had the same opportunities to learn the truth as the men who were publicly called out for teaching heresy earlier in the letter. This is why Paul is reinforcing in v9 that in the new church of God; women are equal and deserve equal opportunity to learn; unlike in the synagogue. V15 is a reference then to the women being saved through submissively learning the correct understanding of the messiah's childbirth; which was the point at which they were promoting false teachings. So unlike the first book I was given; this one deals with the whole text and context and actually produces a coherent line of thought; even though i don't think it is correct.

What I am looking for is resources from church history or recent scholarship that deal specifically with this brand of 'one woman' interpretation that is found here. I would be glad to read items for or against it; just so long as they acknowledge it as an interpretation that must be reckoned with.

Personally I know there are problems with this interpretation, primarily that I have not encountered it before and it did not come from a scholarly publisher. In all my reading on this topic this is the first time I have heard it suggested; I've read a lot. The fact that it isn't really on the radar seems to confirm it's a novel reading of the text (what I am trying to confirm by seeking out other writings on the interpretation) I am not at all proficient in Greek but I think there are some flaws on that level, despite the amount of Greek support the author claimed.

Dr Don Carson was kind enough to reply to an email I sent him asking for resources or authors who espouse that position on a scholarly level; he said it was certainly a minority report.

So I'm imagining to find the same thing here; anyone else read/encountered this interpretation?


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PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
You may also consider Titus 1.

(Tit 1:5) This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—

(Tit 1:6) if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.


(Tit 1:7) For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,


(Tit 1:8) but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.


(Tit 1:9) He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.


(Tit 1:10) For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.


(Tit 1:11) They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.

I will look into it as I have heard and read a bit on it through the years and post more later. There are other qualifications attached to the situation also. It must also be remembered how Paul spoke about women, submission, and headship. Insubordination is a problem.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
I have encountered this interpretation. It is indeed a minority report, as Dr. Carson rightly said. I have found in my reading of commentaries that biblical scholars in general try far too hard to find chiasmus in everything and attempt to derive the bulk of their interpretation from it, even if it is spurious. Chiasmus is primarily a feature of poetry, and sometimes of narrative structure. I find a hard time believing it is a common feature of didactic/epistolary literature. I think that, in order for this interpretation to hold water, one must first demonstrate that the chiasmus is deliberate on the part of the author and, if it is, if it even has any bearing upon the meaning and is not just an aesthetically pleasing way of writing rhetoric. After all, if I say, "Do not murder. Men are made in the image of God; women are likewise in the image of God. Therefore, brethren, do not end an image-bearers life," does the fact that I just wrote in chiasmus change the meaning of the text (i.e., do not kill)? I think not.

In other words, I am not convinced.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Main thing to remember on this issue is that there are NO scriptures that would allow for having a female pastor leading a church, and that all of the recent attempts to allow for that is due to how out culture sees male leadership in church and the family as just a hangover when men rules women as their property...
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
a hangover when men rules women as their property..

First off I am not sure that has been a total view in history. Especially knowing the scripture. Women were co-heirs with men in the faith according to Peter and Lydia was obviously a woman who wasn't a man's property. I also would recommend reading Calvin's Sermons on Ephesians 5 on submission and headship. I read those many years ago and they were very enlightening.

You might find some good resources at the Resource Library of The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) also known as the Coalition of Biblical Sexuality.

At the following site type in 1 Timothy 2 in the search. There are some resources there.
http://cbmw.org/
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I agree with you, was just saying that many trying to get "Evangeical Femimism: into the Church would see supporting male headship as being stuck back in bilical times, and not getting with modern culture norms..
My view is that those patterns of leadership in church and family in the NT were not for that culture alone, but meant for all time!
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
patterns of leadership in church and family in the NT were not for that culture alone, but meant for all time

I don't think you will find any disagreement here. There is no prescription for the ordination of women in any office of the Church.
 

KGP

Puritan Board Freshman
I have found an egalitarian author who is critical of this view, quotes a man named Knight (last name) who is also egalitarian, I believe I have seen his name referenced elsewhere in literature supportive of that position.

Minority indeed.


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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The question of definingthe roles of Christian women in Church/family have been given to us by God, but problem is many reject His viewpoint, and want to accommodate contempoaray cultural views and norms.

Same thing for issues transgender/altrenate lifestyles, its like we think God was not aware of current new insights!
 
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