Working Through a Difficult Passage

Today in iCharlie 101 – 🙂 we will look at the proper exegesis of a difficult passage.  Maybe this will help some of us as we have to explain these things to people who bring them up to us sometimes.

1 Timothy 2:13-14

For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into trangression.  Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

The “For Adam was formed first” part is said because Paul is explaining why women are not to teach men in church.  He is relating it back to the garden of Eden to show why this is the case.  But a confusing part can come with the next part that at first glace, seems to say the salvation of women comes from childbearing; which we know clearly violates what Scripture teaches.

I want to use my MacArthur Study Bible to clear this up.  He does such a great job.  Here we go:

2:15 she. That Paul doe not have Eve  in mind here is clar because the verb translated “will be saved” is future, and he also uses the plural pronoun “they.”  He is talking about women after Eve.  will be saved. Better translated in this context, “will be preserved.”  The Greek word can also mean “to rescue,” “to preserve safe and unharmed,” “to heal,” or “to deliver from.”  It appears several times in the NT without reference to spiritual salvation (cf. Matt. 8:25; 9:21,22; 24:22; 27:40, 42, 49; 2 Tim. 4:18).  Paul is not advocating that women are eternally saved from sin through childbearing or that they maintain their salvation by having babies, both of which would be clear contradictions of the NT teaching of salvation by grace alone through faith alone (Rom. 3:19, 20) sustanied forever (Rom. 8:31 – 39).  Paul is teaching that even through a woman bears the stigma of tbeing the inital instrument who led the race into sin, it is women through childbearing who may be preserved or freed from that stigma by raising a generation of godly children (cf. 5:10).  in childbearing. Because mothers have a unique bond and intimacy with their children, and spend far more time with them than do fathers, they have far greater influence in their lives and thus a unique responsibility and opportunity for rearing godly children.  While a woman may have led the human race into sin, women have the privilege of leading many out of sin to godliness.”

So there you have it.  I find his exegetical explanation very helpful.  Paul is saying women will be saved, preserved, rescued from their stigma attained via Eve in the Garden of Eden through raising godly children.

[Originally written July 8th, 2008.]

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Published in: on November 7, 2008 at 1:30 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. This are the comments transferred from their previous location. The author of each comment will be posted by name AT THE BOTTOM of each comment.

    Responses

    You, sir, are obviously a heretic.

    * Edit Comment

    By: Michael on July 8, 2008
    at 7:15 pm

    Yes, I am often referred to as that by the Fundamentalist Latter Day Childbirth Salvation NWT-only Society.

    * Edit Comment

    By: Charlie on July 8, 2008
    at 7:49 pm

    Hi Charlie. I am Tori’s friend from high school and I frequent her blog quite often and sometimes visit yours. I just happened to come across this post and thought I would reply. First, the denomination I come from, the Wesleyan/Holiness Tradition, or Church of the Nazarene, believes very firmly that both men & women are called to preach the gospel by God & that one is not better than the other and can do it equally well. Second, in response to 1 Timothy 14, Paul is not excusing Adam for his part in the fall. On the contrary, in his letter to the Romans Paul places the primary blame for humanity’s sinful nature on Adam (Romans 5:12-21). Just for argument’s sake, Eve got tricked by a supernatural personification of evil. Adam got tricked by a woman. Which one is less capable?:) Thirdly, if Paul is teaching that women, through childbearing & raising godly children, may be preserved or freed from that stigma of being the one who led the race into sin, then what happens to women who never have their own children, being biological or adoptive? Just a thought. Lastly, I do think that in the majority of cases, mothers do have a unique bond & intimacy with their children that fathers may not have and that mothers do normally spend more time with them than fathers. However, its not always the case and their are some father’s that spend more time with their children than the mother. What about mothers who work full-time outside of the home and father’s who stay at home? I know these cases are rare, but it does happen and have known a couple like this.

    I hope I have not overstepped my limits in replying to your blog, seeing that I have never responded before. This is just a topic that I feel very strongly about. I respect your views though & feel free to respond. I hope Tori doesn’t “excommunicate me as her friend:)”

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    By: Sarah on July 8, 2008
    at 9:46 pm

    Hi Sarah, I’m glad to have you take enough interest to comment on my blog. I think your remarks are very well said.

    Let me try to reply the best I can to your remarks.

    First, we come from different initial understanding of what the Scriptures teach on a lot of areas; many more in number and in more foundational issues than just this. My background is that of a Reformed Baptist (in a historical sense).

    I believe that the Scriptures teach what is commonly called a “complementarian” view of the roles of men and women. This is opposed to an “egalitarian” view. I believe the scriptures teach that men and women are of equal value, but they have different roles. I believe that men and women do both “preach” the gospel in a sense of through their lifestyle, but that Paul makes it clear that women are not to teach men in 1st Timothy. He shows that this is not just a cultural issue, by relating it back to the garden of Eden. To my modern, and culturally-influenced mind, I want to make an argument with this Scripture because it goes against the politically correct grain of today. I certainly believe women can be intellectual just as men are. But as one who believes in the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, I cannot pick and choose what parts of Scripture to accept and obey. The Scriptures do not teach a low view of women. As a matter of fact, you will find NO OTHER religious worldview that holds the role of women in such high regard. You can look at examples like what Jesus said about the woman who poured purfume on his feet; and that her story would be told wherever the gospel was preached. You can look at the fact that against the tradition of the day, Jesus first revealed himself after his resurrection to women; whose testimony was not even valid in court at the time and were considered property. Christ told men to love their wives as Christ loves the church. The tremendous meaning in that is not to be underestimated. Christianity holds a high view of women like no other.

    The ideas of roles is not a negative thing. God is a God of order. Jesus is the head of the church, we are his body. Jesus is the true head of a home, under him the husband, and under him is the wife. But Jesus tells men that they are to love their wife as He loved the church and be willing to lay their life down for her. He calls wives to submit to their husbands, but it is not hard to submit to a husband who loves his wife so much that he puts her above all else and would die for her. And although the husband had the spiritual authority in the home, that also means God gives him the responsibility for the spirituality of the home. With authority comes responsibilty.

    Plus, Paul does not teach that women cannot teach in any circumstance. Older women are told to teach younger women, and women are shown to teach children as well.

    As far as what happened in the fall…certainly Paul is not excusing Adam. As a matter of fact, the responsibility for the fall of mankind lays at the feet of Adam. If Adam would not have taken the fruit from Eve, sin would not have entered the human race. This is a preeminent example of a perverting of the “complementarian” view. Eve broke from the spiritual security of her husband and was deceived and sinned, and then Adam sinned by not following his spiritual authority – who told him not to eat the fruit in the first place. [That is not to say that God was not also Eve’s authority.] Adam was the head, and it was his eating that caused us all this trouble. As the Scriptures say, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned–” (Romans 5:12)

    As far as some women not being able to bear children, the part I quoted from the study Bible goes on to say that very thing. That not only are all women not to have children, but all women are not even called to marry, because singleness is a gift from the Lord. The idea Paul is making is not that all women must have children to “heal” this stigma, but that women in general do this. Womanhood does this. Sort of like how God cursed women with pain in childbirth. That doesn’t mean that all women shall all have pain in childbirth, but that women (in a general sense) will.

    Lastly, when you refer to times when mothers have the weaker bond with their children, and fathers the stronger…again, I do not think that the point being made is that this is the case in every circumstance. But it still true in the “general” sense. The most natural way that God created the family dynamic to work is for the mother to be the primary raiser of godly children. And this is her glory; just as the Bible says that a woman is the glory of a man.

    I hope that I have done an ok job of clarifying my position of what I believe the Scriptures teach in these areas.

    –Charlie

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    By: Charlie on July 8, 2008
    at 10:58 pm

    ^^^^Definitely a heretic.

    Side note: Does MacAuthur go on to say anything about God raising up a woman when no man is present/qualified for the preaching of the Gospel?

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    By: dec322 on July 9, 2008
    at 1:21 am

    Let me add this as well….(David I will come back to your question.)
    ——

    The following “Question” was asked by a member of the congregation at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and “Answered” by their pastor, John MacArthur Jr. It was transcribed by Anjela Paje of Spokane, WA, from the tape, GC 1301-Q, titled “Bible Questions and Answers Part 19.” A copy of the tape can be obtained by writing, Word of Grace, P.O. Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412 or by dialing toll free 1-800-55-GRACE. ©1980. All Rights Reserved.

    Question

    I got a controversial question on the gifts of teaching. 1 Corinthians 14:26-34. I have heard different interpretations of verse 34 where it says, “Let women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak…” My interpretation of what it’s talking about, and correct me if I am wrong, is that they do not possess any of the gifts listed in verse 26, which are teaching and edifying gifts. Maybe, you can help me there.

    Answer

    Well, I don’t think it has anything to do with gifts. In fact, I think, it may assume that they do have the gift of teaching. Otherwise, they would not have to control how it is used. Do you understand what I am saying? If he says, “Let the women keep silent in the churches,” that may mean that there will be a temptation on the part of the women to want to teach in the church, which indicates that perhaps they do have the gift, and so, it has to be regulated. In the public service of the church, the men were to lead. The women were to learn in subjection. But, the older women were to teach the younger women. And, there is nothing in the Bible at all that says that a woman cannot have the gift of teaching or other gifts. The point here is that in the assembly of the church, when the church comes together, the prophets were to take over. He said the spirit of the prophets were to be subject to the prophets, and the women are to be silent. This is affirmed in 1 Timothy, where it says, I permit a woman not to teach, nor to take authority over men, but to learn in all subjection and so forth. This is the God-ordained pattern. It does not mean women are dumb, it just means that God has designed women to be different, and their role is different within the church. But, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have the gifts.

    Question (continues)

    So, what about the teaching that is taking the pulpit today, leading Bible studies with other men present?

    Answer (continues)

    Right. We would believe that the New Testament clearly teaches that women are to teach other women and children. That they are to be taught to teach their children, instruct their children. But, women are not to take the place of teaching men or mixed groups. That is our perspective as we look at the scriptures.

    Now, people say that is chauvinistic, but that is not the point. The point is it is Biblical. And, it isn’t chauvinistic to put a woman in the place God intended her to be, which is a place of dignity, and so forth. The balance, you see, in 1 Timothy, it says, “A woman is not to teach.” Her influence is not to stand in the pulpit and teach. Where is her influence? The same passage says she should be saved in …what? Childbearing. And, God has marvelously balanced the thing. You ask my children, who has influenced them the most, and they have sat in church and heard me preach. But, you ask them who has influenced them the most and I doubt whether they can answer the question, because in my wife’s bearing them as children, and in the intimacy that a mother gives to a child there is a level of influence that cannot even be equal in a pulpit. So, the balance is there.

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    By: Charlie on July 9, 2008
    at 4:50 pm

    I appreciate your reply. I understand and know that we come from 2 different backgrounds, Wesleyan/Holiness and Reformed Baptist. I know that their are quite a bit of differences between the two. However, I want to reply to this issue at hand.

    Is 1 Timothy the only scripture you use to back up your views on why women shouldn’t teach men in the church? What about “outside” the church, how do you feel about women teaching men “outside” the church? Lifting isolated texts out of the broader story of God can all too easily lead to self-serving agendas and heresy. Now, I’m by no means saying your self-serving or calling your a heretic, Charlie, as your 2 friends have done:) (just kidding) I’m just saying that we need to hear and understand such passages as 1 Timothy 2:19-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-36 in light of the “full Scriptural canon” and the history of the Church. For example, as these texts are read in light of the situations which they address, we become aware that they were written to correct abuses regarding the orderliness of worship as these abuses were occuring in the churches. As some women in these congregations were interrupting the teachings of authorities in the Church, Paul finds it necessary to instruct them to cease from this practice and to ask questions of their husbands at home, so basically they won’t interrupt the service. I’m sure you have seen people at your own church who talk during the service and who are an interruption by doing so. We have an older lady at our church who does this quite often and it can be a distraction to those around her, and i’m sure, to the ones leading also. So, this is what Paul was talking about here. In Corinthian culture, women were not allowed to confront men in public and apparently some women, who had become christians, thought that gave them the right to question them in public. Because of this, it was causing division in the church. So, the purpose of Paul’s words was to promote unity, not to teach about women’s role in the church. In 1 Corinthians 11:5, Paul assumes that women will prophesy in the Church which recognizes that Paul is not in opposition to the prophetic role of women.

    One of my religion professors at the college I went to, and chaplain of the university, Tim Green, gave a great hypothetical illustration of this.
    “Suppose I had 2 students from the state of Alabama who continually talked during class. Having exhausted my resources, I ask my Provost, What should I do with them? In an e-mail he responds, Tell the students from Alabama never to speak again in public; they should only ask your question after class in your office. Hundreds of years later, the e-mail is discovered, and the school makes the pronouncement, It is written: All students from Alabama are only to ask questions in the professor’s office and are never to speak in class. Such a conclusion would be a complete misunderstanding of the context and purpose of the original statement.”

    I wanted to make another point. I assume when you are talking about how older women can teach younger women that you are referring to the passages in Titus 2. This is another example of how a passage has been isolated from its context. I do think that younger women can learn from older women just as younger men can learn from older men. However, in Titus 2:9, it begins to talk about slavery and how slaves should be subject to their masters in everything. So, does your interpretation of this passage change in the reference to slavery? Like Paul, Titus was speaking in the context of his day.

    I’m sure your familiar with these passages. Acts 2:16-18(NRSV) “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”

    Galations 3:28 “In Christ, there is no longer Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free.”

    I leave you with one last question. Why would the Church ever say “no” to those persons to whom God has said “yes”?

    * Edit Comment

    By: Sarah on July 9, 2008
    at 10:13 pm

    Hey Sarah,
    I’m unable to sit down and answer fully right now, but I did read your response. I would like to say that I appreciate hearing the notion of taking the Scripture in its full context, that is something that many do not do today.

    I have to do some traveling today, but my friend Jacob is coming back in down, and I may see if he can answer this further while I am away. (If not, I’ll try to later.)

    * Edit Comment

    By: Charlie on July 10, 2008
    at 9:07 am

    Sarah, I love to watch someone argue with Charlie. Usually I try to do it but its ok for others to jump in when they feel it necessary.

    My background: Delivered from Chaos by a Graceful/Merciful Savior.

    From reading your response it looks like the point is that the context was for that specific time. Unfortunately the example (why does it have to be about Alabamians….I’m in AL) does not make the point. Paul supersedes the context in his statement about the fall. His reason for the woman’s role of submission was stated simply in that Adam was formed first and the woman sinned first. This happened before any woman had the chance to interrupt the Pastor’s 2nd point of the sermon. I’m pretty sure that Charlie or MacAurther said the same thing.

    Another supporting leg was the context of Titus and slavery. I understand that slavery no longer exists (specifically in that manner of the word) but the end of slavery does not negate the rest of the passage or make the requirements given in Titus something of the past. For instance, Colossians 3:22 gives commands to husbands, fathers, wives, children and slaves. Does the mention of slaves (that no longer exist) make this passage weaker for us as children, husbands, wives, or fathers?

    I agree with Gal. 3:28. We are all equal but we have different roles. If we all had the same roles then nothing could be accomplished.

    Now I will go cook dinner while my wife cuts the grass…..j/k.

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    By: dec322 on July 10, 2008
    at 6:40 pm

    Now the issue in this passage is not addressing the condition of slavery. It is not discussing what kind of situation the slaves might have been in. It simply says that if you are one you have an obligation to so live your life as to draw attention to the saving power of God demonstrated through you. Slavery was a part of life in the Old Testament, it’s a part of life in the New Testament. Scripture regulates it very carefully and if you remember the commentary I wrote on Ephesians you can go back and read the section on Ephesians 6 and there I have done a rather full treatment of slavery as it’s outlined in the Scripture as to how it is to function. It is really nothing more when properly designed than an employer/employee relationship which is part of the whole structure of society. Serving someone could be very beneficial. If you served well and your master treated you well, just as being employed by certain companies can be a tremendous benefit, because of how they care for those who work for them. Slavery in the ancient times could be a very beneficial element of society because it allowed for folks who had resources to give those resources to those who worked for them and thus allowed them to have the dignity of work, to make a living, to prosper.

    In fact, some Old Testament slaves loved their masters so much that at the Jubilee Year, the fiftieth year, every 50 years they could all be free and go back to their original families, they wouldn’t do that. They refused to go back because they loved the families of which they were a part. They had a custom. The slave would get up against a door or a post and his ear would be held against the post and his master would drive an awl through his ear and pierce his ear and that was the way a slave said, “I serve freely and willingly.” That wonderful and beautiful imagery is picked up in the New Testament by the writer of Hebrews who is speaking for Christ says, “Mine ear hast thou digged.” Which means that Jesus Himself one day went up against the post, as it were, in heaven and let the Father drive an awl through His ear and that was His way of saying, “Father, I’ll go to earth, I’ll humble Myself, I’ll take the form of a servant, I’ll die on the cross and I’ll do it willingly because I know its Your will.” There’s nothing wrong with that kind of willingness. There’s nothing wrong with service. In fact, Jesus Himself said, “I came not to be served but to…what?…to serve and to give My life a ransom for many.” And Jesus said, “It’s not the one who lords it over you who is the greatest, it’s the one who serves.” There’s a marvelous dignity before God in work and service.

    And then the Lord and the Apostles used slavery as a motif for spiritual instruction by likening the Christian who belongs to Christ and serves Him as a slave. And therefore dignified and elevated and exalted one who serves.

    And so, there’s no concern here in this text about revolution or rebellion or equal rights or equal freedoms. But rather the responsibility that if you are an employee and you have someone over you, you are to conduct yourself in such a way that makes very evident that your life has seen the transforming power of God. There’s much instruction in the New Testament about how employers, masters, bosses and leaders are to act. But the instruction before us has to do with the servants because in general, you remember now, when the church came together, Paul said to the Corinthians, “There are not many noble and there are not many mighty.” And it seems to me that the greatest influx of Christians came from the lower echelons of society. And it was very important for them to conduct themselves in an appropriate way.

    There are three other marvelous texts that must be considered very briefly and I want to read and comment on them ever so briefly. Go back to Colossians chapter 3, for a moment, and this is simply setting the scene for what we will say in Titus. In Colossians chapter 3 I want to fix these things in your mind because they will come back again as we go through the text before us. The Apostle Paul is instructing the Christians at Colossae with regard to spiritual conduct, “If the Word of Christ dwells in them richly, if they are really controlled by Scripture then…verse 22 says…slaves will act like this, Spirit controlled, biblically controlled, mature, godly slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, that is just doing something on the outside when they’re watching, as those who merely please men but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance, it is the Lord Christ whom you serve, for he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done and that without impartiality.”

    source:
    http://www.gty.org/Resources/Transcripts/56-17

    * Edit Comment

    By: Anonymous on July 10, 2008
    at 7:04 pm

    I will try to reply to this tomorrow as it has been a long day and I’m pretty tired. After all, I’m almost 31 weeks pregnant and about to be saved through childbearing:)

    * Edit Comment

    By: Sarah on July 10, 2008
    at 10:39 pm

    Sarah, I’m a little bit in the dark about your interpretation of, “she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” What do think this means?

    * Edit Comment

    By: Charlie on July 11, 2008
    at 9:35 am

    ^^lol…..you’re so lucky :).

    * Edit Comment

    By: dec322 on July 11, 2008
    at 10:26 am

    Jacob, you are Jacob, right? Because I would feel pretty stupid if that wasn’t your name. I understand your comment about you being from Alabama b/c I was born in West Virginia and have heard my share of jokes too.

    Now, back to your comment about 1 Timothy 2:13 about Adam being formed first and then Eve sinned first. Some scholars see these verses about Adam and Eve as an illustration of what was happening in the Ephesian church. Just as Eve had been deceived in the Garden, so the women in the church were being deceived by false teachers. And just as Adam was the first human created by God, so the men in the church in Ephesus should be the first to speak and teach, b/c they had more training. So, Paul was not saying that women cannot preach to men here. Because man was created first, the woman derives her existence from man, as man does from Christ and Christ from God. In fact, Paul acknowledges, in 1 Corinthians 11:5, that women publicly prayed and prophesied. Also, I’m sure you would agree that the opening pages of scripture clearly assert that humanity, both male and female, is created as the image of God. So, to isolate the “image of God” to one gender is to misrepresent the biblical view of humanity as God’s image.

    Also, in response to the issue of slavery in Titus. What I’m trying to get at is that this passage cannot be used as a proof text to subvert slaves and women. And just as God has redeemd society beyond slavery, God should also be using us to redeem society beyond subversion of women. We also need to be careful not to “sugarcoat” slavery.

    And I agree with you Jacob to some extent about men and women having different roles in most cases. For example, women are usually the main caregivers of the children, etc., while the man is usually the provider, even if the woman works outside the home too. Not all cases though. My husband is a “jack of all trades.” He enjoys cooking and can do just as good job as I can on pretty much everything and even better (except keeping the house clean). I do believe that God has created men and women to be different, however, I believe that does not apply to preaching the word of God. Both men and women, by the grace God, can preach the gospel to others so that those who might not know him, come to know him.

    Charlie, the comment I made about childbearing was a joke, even though I am 31 weeks pregnant. I do agree with what you said about this, to an extent, I think that it means that women will be saved(not literally) by accepting their role as mothers and raising godly children. I agree that one of the most important roles for a wife and mother is to care for her family. The same is true of a husband and father. However, just because this is one of the most important roles of women does not mean she cannot preach just as it is of men too.
    Also, just a side note, I would like to say that some scholars have said that the childbearing mentioned here refers to the birth of Jesus Christ.

    I’m sure your familiar with the many women in the bible that had a prophetic role. Just a few examples are Deborah (Judges 4:4-6), who was a prophet and in charging the commander of the army, Barak, she declared, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you…” and proceeded to deliver the word of God to Barak. Huldah(2 Kings 22 14-15), the prophetess, who was consulted by Hilkiah, the priest, to receive an answer from God. Anna(Luke 2:38), a prophet who, upon seeing the young Jesus, carried out the prophetic task of speaking about him. These are just a few of many more women prophets in the bible.

    Peter and Paul had very different backgrounds and personalities, and they preached from different viewpoints and by the time of Peter’s writing, Paul’s letters already had a widespread reputation. They still held each other in high esteem though. In 2 Peter 3:16, Peter is referring to Paul when he says “speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters around to mean something quite different from what he meant, just as they do the other parts of Scripture-and the result is disaster for them.”(NLT)

    All in all, this discussion could go on and on and will continue to be debated, I”m sure, until the end of time. I guess we’ll just have to see who’s right until we get to the gates of heaven, lord willing:) Even though when we get there, I’m sure this will not even matter then and we may have forgotten all about it and will be too busy praising and worshiping the Lord together, men and women in one accord.

    * Edit Comment

    By: Sarah on July 11, 2008
    at 3:29 pm

    Ummm…..for the record I have not commented on anything…….just so everyone knows that……. b/c i’m not big anonymous posting…….

    * Edit Comment

    By: studentpastorjake on July 11, 2008
    at 4:35 pm

    Let me just paste your comments and reply as I go through…

    Now, back to your comment about 1 Timothy 2:13 about Adam being formed first and then Eve sinned first. Some scholars see these verses about Adam and Eve as an illustration of what was happening in the Ephesian church.

    ———–
    ————

    Yes, it is an illustration. Eve violated her role, and the women in this church were violating their roles. Paul very clearly states that this is because Eve was deceived first. This seems clear from the text.

    —————–
    —————

    Just as Eve had been deceived in the Garden, so the women in the church were being deceived by false teachers. And just as Adam was the first human created by God, so the men in the church in Ephesus should be the first to speak and teach, b/c they had more training.

    ———-
    ———-

    Sarah, I must say that this can not be truly derived from the text. Paul flatly states that women are not to teach men. This idea about training is simply not in the text. I believe that is actually the example of twisting the scriptures to fit a view.

    ———
    ———

    So, Paul was not saying that women cannot preach to men here.

    ——–
    ——–

    …but…that is exactly what he said. Verbatim, as a matter of fact.

    ———-
    ———
    Because man was created first, the woman derives her existence from man, as man does from Christ and Christ from God. In fact, Paul acknowledges, in 1 Corinthians 11:5, that women publicly prayed and prophesied. Also, I’m sure you would agree that the opening pages of scripture clearly assert that humanity, both male and female, is created as the image of God. So, to isolate the “image of God” to one gender is to misrepresent the biblical view of humanity as God’s image.

    ————
    ————

    In no way does not being able to teach men denigrate a women being made in the image of God; in the same way that Jesus being the “son” does not denigrate Him being God.

    ———–
    ———-

    Also, in response to the issue of slavery in Titus. What I’m trying to get at is that this passage cannot be used as a proof text to subvert slaves and women.

    ——–
    ——–

    This passage in no way suggests the subverting of women or slaves. Paul is simply making the point, that no matter what your station is in life, that you should live your life in such a way as to glorify God.

    ————-
    ————-

    And just as God has redeemd society beyond slavery, God should also be using us to redeem society beyond subversion of women. We also need to be careful not to “sugarcoat” slavery.

    ————-
    ————

    As the John MacArthur article states, the type of slavery mentioned here is not exactly a horrible thing. And it is not sugar-coating slavery to say that, just pointing out the facts. That is not to say the institution was not abused. As for the point about subvervting women, I say again that the text not one time subverts women. Fulfililng the complentarian role that God gave women is something done to the glory of God and is the sign of a godly woman.

    ———-
    ————

    And I agree with you Jacob to some extent about men and women having different roles in most cases. For example, women are usually the main caregivers of the children, etc., while the man is usually the provider, even if the woman works outside the home too. Not all cases though. My husband is a “jack of all trades.” He enjoys cooking and can do just as good job as I can on pretty much everything and even better (except keeping the house clean).

    ————
    ———–

    Sarah, with all due repect; that has nothing to do with anything. We all know the most natural way things operate, and they are as previously stated. I could take hormones and grow female anatomy, that does not mean that the passages talking to men in the Bible no longer necessarily apply to me.

    ———
    ———-

    I do believe that God has created men and women to be different, however, I believe that does not apply to preaching the word of God. Both men and women, by the grace God, can preach the gospel to others so that those who might not know him, come to know him.

    ———
    ——–

    They can preach the gospel in different ways, but as far as women teach men, the Scriptures show us how that is to be done.

    ——–
    ——–

    Charlie, the comment I made about childbearing was a joke, even though I am 31 weeks pregnant. I do agree with what you said about this, to an extent, I think that it means that women will be saved(not literally) by accepting their role as mothers and raising godly children. I agree that one of the most important roles for a wife and mother is to care for her family. The same is true of a husband and father. However, just because this is one of the most important roles of women does not mean she cannot preach just as it is of men too.

    ——–
    ——–

    That kind of threw me off a bit at first, because the point of my original (way back there) post was about that verse “being saved by childbearing”, not the role of women the in church. But I am happy to debate it anyway.

    ——–
    ——-

    Also, just a side note, I would like to say that some scholars have said that the childbearing mentioned here refers to the birth of Jesus Christ.

    ———-
    ———

    There are some places in Scripture where it might refer to the coming of Jesus, however this is clearly not one of them. Paul makes it very clear whom he is speaking to, and the practicality of his command.

    ——-
    ——–

    I’m sure your familiar with the many women in the bible that had a prophetic role. Just a few examples are Deborah (Judges 4:4-6), who was a prophet and in charging the commander of the army, Barak, she declared, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you…” and proceeded to deliver the word of God to Barak. Huldah(2 Kings 22 14-15), the prophetess, who was consulted by Hilkiah, the priest, to receive an answer from God. Anna(Luke 2:38), a prophet who, upon seeing the young Jesus, carried out the prophetic task of speaking about him. These are just a few of many more women prophets in the bible.

    ——-
    ——-

    None of the previous examples are in the situation that Paul is referring to. Paul is specifically talking about the doctrinal teaching that happens within the local church body.

    —–
    ——–

    Peter and Paul had very different backgrounds and personalities, and they preached from different viewpoints

    ———
    ——-

    different backgrounds and personalities, yes….I don’t know what you mean by different viewpoints. Their Scriptural writings were both inspired by God, and therefore infallible and never contradictory.

    ——–
    ——–

    and by the time of Peter’s writing, Paul’s letters already had a widespread reputation. They still held each other in high esteem though. In 2 Peter 3:16, Peter is referring to Paul when he says “speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters around to mean something quite different from what he meant, just as they do the other parts of Scripture-and the result is disaster for them.”(NLT)

    ————
    ———-

    If you mention that to say that we can not understand Paul’s letters (once again…inspired by God), I would say that is a grave mistake. I believe what Peter is speaking of there, is the fact that Paul’s letters tend to be extremely doctrinal in nature. (Take Romans for example). Some might try to take things like the letter to the Galatians, about throwing off the chains of legalism, and use it for immorality. But they Scriptures are very clear (even Paul’s epistles) and are inspired by God. I believe that is what Peter is explaining there.

    ——–
    ——–

    All in all, this discussion could go on and on and will continue to be debated, I”m sure, until the end of time. I guess we’ll just have to see who’s right until we get to the gates of heaven, lord willing:) Even though when we get there, I’m sure this will not even matter then and we may have forgotten all about it

    ————–
    ————-

    Yes, indeed. And indeed the Lord is willing that I will be there. There is no chance of it being otherwise. For the unmerited Grace that saved me, will keep me.
    ——–
    ——–

    and will be too busy praising and worshiping the Lord together, men and women in one accord.

    ———-
    ———

    Amen. Hopefully, having done our best to glorify God in the roles he has graciously given us.

    ———-
    ——–

    * Edit Comment

    By: Charlie on July 11, 2008
    at 5:36 pm

    I would like to begin by making a few acknowledgements. First, I am glad that everyone here can share their thoughts and feelings in an atmosphere of admonishment and encouragement and in love. Secondly, I in no way think that this blog will ultimately answer what so many different Christians have struggled with for centuries. I do believe though that in this case someone is right and someone is wrong and the bible must have the final say in that. And thirdly, I want to acknowledge and affirm biblical womanhood. Women are created in the image God as equally as Adam. Women share in salvation equally and will have an equal inheritance in glory. Likewise, women who are not saved will share in equal condemnation as unsaved men in hell. I would like to also mention that no one did more to affirm and elevate womanhood than Jesus. Jesus traveled with women which was culturally taboo, he let prostitutes wash his feet, he performed miracles for women, he showed compassion and mercy on women, he gave them a place in the kingdom, he appeared to them first after his resurrection when they could not have even testified in courts as a witness because they were women. I also believe that Paul and Peter affirmed these things as well (they do not contradict). All of these things were done in the face of the Jewish leaders who thanked God for 3 things each day. 1) Thank God that I am not a Gentile. 2) Thank God I am not uneducated, and 3) Thank God that I am not a woman.

    The issue at hand that I would like to share comments on is the issue of the biblical role of women in the church. I am going to share some texts and hopefully handle them properly to answer some of the questions that have been raised. I am not interested in personal opinions or traditions but only what the text says.

    The text at hand is 1 Timothy 2:9-15.

    9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, 10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. 11 A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self -restraint.

    The main issue in this text is the issue of authority and God’s created order. Notice that Paul does not mince his words in verse 12. He does not allow a woman to exercise authority over a man because of the created order. Any interpretation that does not make sense of Paul using created order as a buttress has missed the mark and forces Paul’s argumentation into nonsense. Paul is saying that women have to submit to God’s created order just like all must submit to the authorities/governments over us in verse 1 and 2 of this same chapter. Men have been given headship and authority in the marriage relationship (Eph. 5:23) and also in the role of leading the church (I will answer this in the next section). Therefore, women are not to exercise authority over men in the context of marriage or the church. This text does not say that women do not have spiritual gifts or that they cannot use them but only that they must follow God’s created order. Here are ten reasons showing male headship before the Fall:

    1. The order: Adam was created first, then Eve. (Genesis 2:7; 18-23)

    2. The representation: Adam, not Eve, had a special role in representing the human race. (1 Corinthians 15:22)

    3. The naming of woman: Adam named Eve. (Genesis 2:23)

    4. The naming of the human race: God named the human race “Man.” (Genesis 5:1-2)

    5. The primary accountability: God spoke to Adam first after the Fall. (Genesis 3:9)

    6. The purpose: Eve was created as a helpmeet for Adam, not Adam as a helper for Eve. (Genesis 2:18)

    7. The conflict: The curse brought a distortion of previous roles, not the introduction of new roles. (Genesis 3:16; Genesis 4:7)

    8. The restoration: Salvation in Christ reaffirms the creation order. (Colossians 3:18-19)

    9. The mystery: Marriage from the beginning of creation was a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31)

    10. The parallel with the Trinity: The equality, differences, and unity between men and women reflect the equality, differences and unity in the Trinity. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

    Other Scripture passages on the Father’s role of leadership and authority with respect to the Son:
    Ephesians 1:4
    Romans 8:29
    John 3:16
    John 1:3
    Hebrews 1:2
    1 Corinthians 8:6
    Romans 8:34
    1 Corinthians 15:28

    The idea of headship and submission never began; it has existed eternally in the very being of God.

    Source – Wayne Grudem

    Sarah has stated that I come from, the Wesleyan/Holiness Tradition, or Church of the Nazarene, which believes very firmly that both men & women are called to preach the gospel by God & that one is not better than the other and can do it equally well. In response I would like to call attention to the issue that preaching is not the same as holding a biblical church office. God has called all Christians to proclaim/preach the gospel to all creation, both men and women equally. God has not, however, extended the office of pastor/overseer/elder to women in the N.T., which makes this another matter of God’s created order.

    This leads to the second question which is can a woman hold the office of Pastor/Overseer/Elder in the church? The texts we will look at are 1Timothy 3:1-7 & Titus 1:5-9.

    1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
    1 Tim 3:1-7 (NASB)

    5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
    Titus 1:5-9 (NASB)

    Notice first that both of these texts are from Paul’s pastoral epistles that deal directly with the function of the church and its offices. The letters have the same express purpose to teach us how the church should operate and how we as Christians fit into the body. Notice next that in 1 Tim. 3:1 that the pastor/oversee/elder holds an office. Authority flows from the office because God has ordained the office. Also notice that the office of pastor/overseer/elder are one in the same in the N.T. The three words are used synonymously in Acts 20:17-28. Paul calls the elders of Ephesus and charges them to pastor the flock of which God has made them an overseer. Now look back at the texts above and notice that Paul says clearly in both texts that an elder must be the husband of one wife. Paul states in the Timothy passage that “he must” and that “a man must”, and in Titus he says that an elder must be a “man above approach”. What this means is that God has ordained in the realm of the church that only men are to hold the office of pastor. What this does not mean is that women cannot serve in other capacities or that they have not been given spiritual gifts for the edification of the body only that God’s ordained order is that Christ is the head of the church and the pastor is the under-shepherd and everyone else falls in below that. God the Father has headship over the Son without diminishing the Son’s equality, and men have headship over the home and the house of God without diminishing their equality with women as well.

    The last thing I would like to address a couple of objections that have been raised. One is the issue that maybe Paul is drawing attention to a culturally relevant event that does not apply to us. This is an extremely dangerous position; first, because Paul does not say this in the text, and secondly, because if Paul is not speaking to us now then how can I know that Jesus was talking to me in John 3:16 when the person He was talking to is Nicodemus. We do not have liberty to pick and choose what we believe based on what we like and do not like. The next objection is that Galatians 3:28 which says, “28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” abolishes male headship as described above. I believe this view is incorrect for several reasons. First, the context of this verse has nothing to do with biblical roles of men, women, or how they relate to the church. Paul calls the Galatians “sons” in the immediately preceding verse. If there are no men or women then there are no sons. The context is that the Law was given to bring condemnation on all without preference and that now Christ has come to save by faith without preference. It is a text on justification by faith through grace not based on works of the law which found all men guilty or based upon our roles in society. Praise God that even though the Law condemns men, women, slaves, free men, kings, paupers, and beggars that Jesus saves them all regardless of who they are.

    Thanks for reading.

    Jacob

    * Edit Comment

    By: studentpastorjake on July 11, 2008
    at 9:24 pm

    Just a note on egalitarianism by Wayne Grudem. He says….

    Our view of manhood and womanhood is a watershed issue that tests our obedience to the Bible.

    Egalitarianism does not advance on the strength of exegetical arguments.

    How does egalitarianism advance?

    1. Through incorrect interpretation of Scripture

    2. Through reading into Scripture things that aren’t there

    3. Through incorrect assumptions about meanings of words in the Bible

    4. Through incorrect assumptions about the history of the ancient world

    5. Through methods of interpretation that reject the authority of Scripture and lead toward liberalism

    6. Through rejecting Scripture as our authority and deciding on the basis of personal experience or inclination

    7. Through suppression of information
    Egalitarianism has two significant allies:

    1. Much of the secular culture

    2. Christian leaders who are complementarian but who lack courage to teach on it or take a stand
    Note Acts 20:26-27: “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”

    * Edit Comment

    By: studentpastorjake on July 11, 2008
    at 9:28 pm

    What he said.

    * Edit Comment

    By: Charlie on July 11, 2008
    at 9:36 pm

    I haven’t read all this but I’m David….studentpastorjake is Jacob.

    Also, Sarah, you crack me up because I was also born in West Virginia. Beckley, West Virginia. I get it from all sides….born in WV and live in AL.

    * Edit Comment

    By: dec322 on July 12, 2008
    at 9:10 am

    David, you start most of your comments with “i haven’t read this but……” you are a lazy reader indeed! haha

    * Edit Comment

    By: studentpastorjake on July 12, 2008
    at 1:52 pm

    He only has one good eye.


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