UNDERSTANDING WHY WOMEN SHOULD BE SILENT IN THE MEETING PLACE. BREAKING DOWN 1 TIMOTHY 2:11

1 Timothy 2:11 – Women are not to teach men in the church but are to submit and defer to male leadership (read 12, 13, 14).

1 Timothy 2:12 I DO NOT PERMIT. Paul sell-consciously writes with the authoriy of an apostle (1 Thess 4:1; 2 Thess 3:6), rather than simply offering an opinion. This statement is given in the context of Paul’s apostolic instructions to the church for the ordering of church practice when the church is assembled together. In that context, two things are prohibited: (1) Women are not

permitted to publicly teach Scripture and/or Christians doctrine to men in church (the context implies these topics), and (2) women are not permitted to exercise authority over men in church. (The reference for both “teaching’ and “exercise authority” here is within the context of the assembled church.) Women teaching other women, and women teaching children, are not in view here and both are encouraged elsewhere (on women teaching women, cf, Titus 2:4; on women teaching children, cf 2 Tim 1:5). Nor does this passage have in view the role of women in leadership situation outside the church (e.g,. business or government). The presence of the word or (Gk. oude) between “to teach” and “to exercise authority” indicates that two different activities are in view, not a single activity of “authoritative teaching.” “Exercise authority” represents Greek authente’o, found only here in the NT, Over 80 examples of this word exist outside the NT, however, clearly establishing that the meaning is “exercise authority” (not “usurp authority” or “abuse authority,” etc, as sometimes has been argued). Since the role of pastor/elder/overseer is rotted in the task of teaching and exercising authority over the church, this verse would also exclude women form serving in this office (cf 1 Tim 3:2). Thus when Paul calls for the women to be quiet, he means “quiet” with respect to the teaching responsibility that is limited in the assembled church. Paul elsewhere indicates that women do speak in other ways in the church assembly (read 1 Cor 11:5). Also read 1 Cor 14:34-35.

1 Timothy 2:13For introduces the biblical basis for the prohibition of v. 12. Paul indicates that the prohibition is based on two grounds, the first being the order of creation (Adam was formed first), and the second being the deception of EVE (v 14). “Formed” (Gk plasso’) is the same term that the Septuagint uses in Gen 2:7, 8, which evidently refers to creation (cf 1 Cor 11:8-9). Paul’s argument indicates that gender roles in the church are not simply the result of the fall but are rooted in creation and therefore apply to all cultures at all times. The meaning of this passage, however, is widely contested today. Some interpreters argue that the prohibition of 1 Tim 2:12 does not apply today because: (1) the reason for Paul’s command was that women were teaching false doctrine in Ephesus; or (2) Paul said this because women in that culture were not educated enough to teach; or (3) this was a temporary command for that culture only. But Paul’s appeal to the creation of Adam and Eve argues against those explanations. In addition, the only false teachers named in connection with Ephesus are men (1:19-20; 2 Tim 2:17-18; cf Acts 20:30), and no historical evidence exists of women teaching false doctrine in first-century Ephesus. Moreover, ancient inscriptions and literature speak of a number of well-educated women in that area of Asia Minor at that time (cf also Luke 8:1-3; 10:38-41; John 11:21-27; Acts 18:2-3, 11, 18-19, 26; 2 Tim 4:19). Finally, some have claimed that this passage only prohibits a “wife” from teaching or exercising authority over her “husband,” since the Greek words gyne and aner (translated “woman” and “man” in 1 Tim 2:12) can also mean “wife” and “husband” in certain contexts. Given the immediate context of vv. 8-9, however, the most likely meaning of the Greek words gyne and aner here in vv 11-14 would seem to be “woman” and “man” (rather than “wife” and “husband”).

1 Timothy 2:14 Adam was not deceived, but the woman was. Paul’s second reason (cf v. 13). Though Eve sinned first as a result of being deceived, Adam’s sin was conscious and willful, with devastating consequences for the whole human race (read Rom 5:12)

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