<< From part two
1Ti 2:13-14 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
The words here are literal, but the context is disputed:
a) He wants them/her to not teach or usurp/ exercise authority because Adam was made first. (But then, God doesn’t want men to usurp or exercise authority either, so this face value meaning falls short.)
a1) Some complementarians teach that because Adam having been made first is an eternal truth about God’s order, God never wants women/ a woman to teach. Those complementarians say it is “rooted in creation.”
a2) Alternatively, a temporary command could be rooted in an eternal truth. For example: “Go for this opportunity, life is short.” Life is short, but that don’t mean that it will always be the right time to go for that particular opportunity. “Appreciate the view, God made the world beautiful.” God made the world beautiful, but you don’t have to appreciate the view of a few dark shapes you have in midnight in your room, or the view of a scrapyard. OR
b) If teaching and authentein should be a combined term (more…)
<< From part one
1Ti 2:12 But I
a) “I” refers to God. It is God who suffers not a woman to teach … OR
b) “I” refers to Paul. It is Paul who suffers not a woman to teach … OR
c) “I” refers to both God and Paul.
…do not allow
a) This statement has a permanent meaning: Paul/ God will never allow a woman (one of them, or all?) to do so. OR
b) This statement, according to those who understand Biblical Greek, is that in the Greek the tense for this word is more like “I am not currently allowing…” OR
c) This statement, suggests Biblical translator NT Wright, could be better translated as (more…)
From reading a multitude of articles about the subject, I compiled this list of ways that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is understood by those who believe in taking Scripture seriously. On some points, the complementarians do not accept the face value meaning of the text. On others, egalitarians do not. There is even an absurd place where some gender hierarchy supporters accept the face value meaning of the text, but not the face value meaning of other texts with a similar prohibition for all followers of Jesus.
If you know other interpretations that could be included, let me know. Every time I have an a) and b) (and further letters) under a point, the meanings are either a) or b) or c) or d) . When there are numbers like b1) and b2), both are compatible with b) but either/ or in relation to one another.
1Ti 2:11 Let the woman
Notice that :10 speaks of women, :11 to the middle of :15 of a woman and a man, and the rest of :15 of they. Three possible meanings were suggested:
a) To read it as we do in English: “A woman” means “women”, “a man” means “men.” That may sound obvious to the English hearer, but some Greek scholars don’t believe that.
b) Some scholars say that in Greek on face value, a woman means a particular female that Paul had in mind, and Timothy would have known who she was.
c) Wives and women are the same word in Greek. It may mean “a wife” and not “a woman.” Once again, a particular wife, or all of them?
a) “Let the woman learn” may sound patriarchal to postmodern ears, but was a liberating statement in the first century. At the time, women were kept at home unlearned, and Judaism said it is better to burn the Torah than teach it to a woman. A woman, claims this text, is not incapable or unworthy of learning. Many believe part of the reason for letting this woman/ women learn have to do with their education in the region’s Artemis worship – they need to learn to think in a different way. (more…)
Sometimes, people respond to me with things like: “You are wrong, see 1 Timothy 2:11-15” Most of the time, they will then cut and paste the entire passage, invariably from a translation which put “assume authority” in :12, never from one that choose another possible meaning. They will have nothing more to say, as if the passage is self-explanatory. Of course, in studying this topic I looked at 1 Tim 2:11-15. Here is what I will cut and paste next time someone does that: (more…)