Affirming the Ministry of Women in the Lutheran Church of Australia

1 Timothy 2:11,12: Total Ban or Local Restriction?

Peter F. Lockwood, Luther Seminary

Introduction

From the time of the early church 1 Timothy 2:8-151 Timothy 2:8-15
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8 I desire therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting. 9 In the same way, that women also adorn themselves in decent clothing, with modesty and propriety; not just with braided hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing; 10 but with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. 12 But I don’t permit a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in quietness. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; 15 but she will be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety.

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has been widely regarded as a clear prohibition of the ordination of women. That is the official position of the LCA. In raising the issue of women’s ordination afresh, our church’s theology commission is eager to reexamine the relevant texts, treating them with due seriousness as the authoritative word of God for church and society today. When Lutherans read the Bible we are committed to asking two questions: What does this text say, and what does the text mean for us today? First the text has to be explained and understood. This is the task of exegesis. Then it has to be applied to the current situation in church and society. This is the task of hermeneutics. We resist the widespread practice of lifting texts out of context and applying them without reflection to the issues and questions of today. The Bible is not a reservoir of proof texts to bolster personal positions.

Considering the historical, linguistic and cultural gap between the biblical text and the twentieth century, it is necessary to raise questions about the meaning of words and the historical setting of the text under review. That is never so true as when the meaning of a text is disputed. It is the purpose of this paper to study 1 Timothy 2:81 Timothy 2:8
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8 I desire therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.

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–15 closely, paying attention to the church-historical setting to which these words are addressed, the significant words used, and the thrust of the argument. As the text is studied we will keep coming back to the most important question of all, in the light of the current debate. Are Paul’s words an apostolic directive determinative for the world-wide church until the end of time, or are they a pastoral admonition that applies only to the church in Ephesus?

Paul’s major concern

Paul’s starting point in 1 Timothy is God’s will that all people on earth be saved (1 Tim 2:3,41 Tim 2:3,4
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3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 4 who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth.

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). In the light of that overarching concern Paul advises Timothy on matters pertaining to the worship life of the Ephesian church. First and foremost the church should offer prayers for all people, starting with kings and others in positions of authority, so that society may enjoy peace and quietness, and people more readily come to faith (1 Tim 2:1,21 Tim 2:1,2
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2 1 I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and givings of thanks, be made for all men: 2 for kings and all who are in high places; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence.

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).

The situation in Ephesus

Problems had arisen that hindered the purpose of God at Ephesus where Timothy was a pastor. Through the early ministry of Paul and Apollos the church was established in Ephesus, starting with the conversion of about twelve Jewish men (Acts 19:7Acts 19:7
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7 They were about twelve men in all.

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). Paul conducted an intensive three-year ministry in Ephesus, resulting in the conversion to the Christian faith of numbers of Jews, as well as gentiles who gave up their superstitious practices and their worship of the goddess Artemis (Acts 19:8-20Acts 19:8-20
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8 He entered into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for a period of three months, reasoning and persuading about the things concerning the Kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years, so that all those who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks. 11 God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and the evil spirits went out. 13 But some of the itinerant Jews, exorcists, took on themselves to invoke over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 There were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did this. 15 The evil spirit answered, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” 16 The man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived at Ephesus. Fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 Many also of those who had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds. 19 Many of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted the price of them, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. The 50,000 pieces of silver here probably referred to 50,000 drachmas. If so, the value of the burned books was equivalent to about 160 man-years of wages for agricultural laborers 20 So the word of the Lord was growing and becoming mighty.

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).

This miraculous growth, however, was followed by the entry of ‘savage wolves’ into the church, ‘not sparing the flock’ (Acts 20:29Acts 20:29
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29 For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

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). It is clear from the letters to the Ephesians and Timothy that a division soon arose between a faction influenced by ‘teachers of the law’ (1 Tim 1:71 Tim 1:7
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7 desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say, nor about what they strongly affirm.

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) who wanted to uphold the Jewish law in all respects, abstaining from certain foods and forbidding marriage (4:3), and a libertarian faction opposed to a strict adherence to Jewish law. The promotion of false doctrine (1:3) by teachers on both sides had made the members angry and argumentative (2:8; 6:4). The libertarians held that the resurrection of the dead had ‘already taken place’ (2 Tim 2:182 Tim 2:18
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18 men who have erred concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past, and overthrowing the faith of some.

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), and therefore the judgment was past and people could live as they pleased because salvation was assured. This resulted in wicked and godless behaviour (1:8-11; 2 Tim 3:1-52 Tim 3:1-5
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3 1 But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof. Turn away from these, also.

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), the wearing of ostentatious clothing and jewellery by certain women (2:9), and the pleasure-seeking and gossip-mongering of some widows (5:6-15).

The place of women at Ephesus

The numerous references to women throughout 1 and 2 Timothy indicate that women were heavily influenced by the teachings of the libertarian group, and they probably formed part of its leadership team (eg 1 Tim 2:9-15; 4:7; 5:13-15; 21 Tim 2:9-15; 4:7; 5:13-15; 2
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9 In the same way, that women also adorn themselves in decent clothing, with modesty and propriety; not just with braided hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing; 10 but with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. 12 But I don’t permit a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in quietness. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; 15 but she will be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety. 7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables. Exercise yourself toward godliness. 13 Besides, they also learn to be idle, going about from house to house. Not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. 14 I desire therefore that the younger widows marry, bear children, rule the household, and give no occasion to the adversary for reviling. 15 For already some have turned aside after Satan. 2 1 I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and givings of thanks, be made for all men: 2 for kings and all who are in high places; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 4 who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all; the testimony in its own times; 7 to which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle , a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 8 I desire therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting. 9 In the same way, that women also adorn themselves in decent clothing, with modesty and propriety; not just with braided hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothing; 10 but with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. 12 But I don’t permit a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in quietness. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; 15 but she will be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety.

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Tim 3:6,7). They wanted to play a major role in the teaching ministry of the church.

On two chief counts this was unthinkable. First of all, the founding members of the church were converts from Judaism (R Strelan 1996: 153-55). For them it was a question whether women could even be instructed in the scriptures, let alone become teachers. Paul’s saying that women could learn (2:9) would have represented a major and troublesome step forward for them. Rabbinical instruction in the Torah was generally speaking out of bounds to women.

Secondly, other newcomers formerly lived as hedonists, magicians, and idol worshippers (Acts 19:18-27Acts 19:18-27
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18 Many also of those who had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds. 19 Many of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted the price of them, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. The 50,000 pieces of silver here probably referred to 50,000 drachmas. If so, the value of the burned books was equivalent to about 160 man-years of wages for agricultural laborers 20 So the word of the Lord was growing and becoming mighty. 21 Now after these things had ended, Paul determined in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 Having sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while. 23 About that time there arose no small stir concerning the Way. 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen, 25 whom he gathered together, with the workmen of like occupation, and said, “Sirs, you know that by this business we have our wealth. 26 You see and hear, that not at Ephesus alone, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are no gods, that are made with hands. 27 Not only is there danger that this our trade come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be counted as nothing, and her majesty destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worships.”

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). Much of the appeal of the new faith lay in the gospel of grace that Paul promoted but their instruction in the faith was not thorough enough to make them appreciate that the Christian way involved making a clean break with their wicked past. They had gained the mistaken impression that Christ’s ministry meant immunity from the wrath of God. They wanted to teach and so flaunt their newly acquired status, they would wear whatever gaudy clothing they desired and so flaunt their freedom. But such ostentation was totally out of step with mainstream society. As newcomers to the faith and poorly instructed, it was important that they continue to learn, but not become involved in teaching. They were neophytes. They had a long way to go. They did not know the scriptures. They had picked up those snatches that took their fancy. For them Paul’s words, that they may learn quietly but not teach, would have been a troublesome step backward.

Universal ban or local restriction?

How can we ascertain whether a biblical command remains in force in the church today? If the text says explicitly that the command is in force in perpetuity there can be no doubt that that is so (eg Matt 26:29; 28:20Matt 26:29; 28:20
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29 But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” 20 teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

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; 1 Cor 11:261 Cor 11:26
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26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

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). The chief criterion is that the command stands in service of the gospel. On the other hand, the text may exhibit signs that the command applies to the specific situation for which it was intended. The church has decided not to enforce hats for women (1 Cor 11:2-161 Cor 11:2-16
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2 Now I praise you, brothers, that you remember me in all things, and hold firm the traditions, even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled dishonors her head. For it is one and the same thing as if she were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to have his head covered, because he is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man; 9 for neither was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this cause the woman ought to have authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is the woman independent of the man, nor the man independent of the woman, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, so a man also comes through a woman; but all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves. Is it appropriate that a woman pray to God unveiled? 14 Doesn’t even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if any man seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither do God’s assemblies.

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), prayers offered by men only with hands raised (1 Tim 2:81 Tim 2:8
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8 I desire therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.

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), and abstaining from meat with blood in it (Acts 15:29Acts 15:29
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29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.”

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). What follows is the evidence that 1 Tim 2:81 Tim 2:8
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8 I desire therefore that the men in every place pray, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.

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-15 has special application to the local situation Paul confronted in Ephesus and should not be necessarily applied to the church in every place till the end of time.

(a) When Paul says, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach’ (2:12), he is giving a ruling for all the places of worship in Ephesus (‘in everyplace’, v 8). He does not say that the instruction should be observed ‘in all the churches’ or ‘until the Lord comes’, thereby universalising and absolutising the admonition. Nor does he speak of his command as a command of the Lord. It is Paul’s directive for the specific situation that pertains in Ephesus.

(b) On every occasion that the verb ‘to permit’ is used elsewhere in the New Testament, with or without a preceding ‘not’, it refers to a highly specific situation, limited to the time and place where the order is given (Matthew 8:21; 19:8Matthew 8:21; 19:8
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21 Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.” 8 He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been so.

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; Mark 5:13Mark 5:13
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13 At once Jesus gave them permission. The unclean spirits came out and entered into the pigs. The herd of about two thousand rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and they were drowned in the sea.

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; John 19:38John 19:38
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38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked of Pilate that he might take away Jesus’ body. Pilate gave him permission. He came therefore and took away his body.

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; Acts 21:39,40; 26:1; 27:3; 28:16Acts 21:39,40; 26:1; 27:3; 28:16
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39 But Paul said, “I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city. I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.” 40 When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, beckoned with his hand to the people. When there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying, 26 1 Agrippa said to Paul, “You may speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand, and made his defense. 3 The next day, we touched at Sidon. Julius treated Paul kindly, and gave him permission to go to his friends and refresh himself. 16 When we entered into Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was allowed to stay by himself with the soldier who guarded him.

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; 1 Cor 16:71 Cor 16:7
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7 For I do not wish to see you now in passing, but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.

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; Heb 6:3Heb 6:3
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3 This will we do, if God permits.

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). It is not used in any of these texts for commands of our Lord or his apostle that are meant to be binding on the church for all time. Therefore it is highly unlikely that the situation is different when the word is used at v 12 in connection with women speaking in church.

(c) Throughout our text Paul uses terminology drawn from contemporary ‘rules for the household’ (see Eph 5:21Eph 5:21
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21 subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.

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–6:9; Col 3:18Col 3:18
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18 Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

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–4:1; 1 Pet 3:11 Pet 3:1
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3 1 In like manner, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any don’t obey the Word, they may be won by the behavior of their wives without a word;

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–7) which likewise spoke of modesty, decency, piety, respect, and an external deportment that reflected moderation in all things. Behaviour that deviated from these ideals undermined the mission of the church. Paul is therefore at pains to advocate a Christian life – style that conforms as closely as possible to codes of behaviour current in the society of his day (Phil 4:8Phil 4:8
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8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.

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). Adjustments must be made for a situation where totally different norms prevail. A church that behaves in ways at odds with best current practices will not be heard.

(d) Two concepts surround and control the text: quietness (vv 2,11,12) and salvation (vv 3,4,[5,6],15). In a quiet setting, both within society and the church, God’s saving mission is most effectively accomplished. The word ‘quiet’, used twice in our text (vv 11,12), is not the Greek word for absolute silence but the word for respectful quiet or tranquility. It speaks of a mood of gentleness and an attitude of humble receptivity (Acts 22:2Acts 22:2
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2 When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said,

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; 2 Thess 3:122 Thess 3:12
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12 Now those who are that way, we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

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; see also 1 Tim 2:2; 11 Tim 2:2; 1
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2 for kings and all who are in high places; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence. Paul’s First Letter to Timothy 1 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and Christ Jesus our hope; 2 to Timothy, my true child in faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 As I exhorted you to stay at Ephesus when I was going into Macedonia, that you might charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine, 4 neither to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which cause disputes, rather than God’s stewardship, which is in faith— 5 but the end of the charge is love, out of a pure heart and a good conscience and unfeigned faith; 6 from which things some, having missed the mark, have turned aside to vain talking; 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say, nor about what they strongly affirm. 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully, 9 as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine; 11 according to the Gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12 And I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he counted me faithful, appointing me to service; 13 although I was before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience, for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 18 This charge I commit to you, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies which led the way to you, that by them you may wage the good warfare; 19 holding faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust away made a shipwreck concerning the faith; 20 of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I delivered to Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme.

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Pet 3:4). In an environment that frowned on female rowdiness it was essential that Christian women hold their tongues and not disrupt the ‘quiet and peaceable life’ (v 2) in which the gospel has free course.

(e) Teaching as an exercise of female authority over men was probably excluded at Ephesus, but not necessarily throughout the church of the first century. It has become popular to argue that it is not teaching by women itself that Paul rules out, but teaching in a domineering way, or in a way that violates the truth (eg Barrett, Fairbairn, Guthrie, Dibelius and Conzelmann, Kelly, Simpson, Payne). It is pointed out that the verb translated ‘to have authority’ (authentein) appears only once in the NT, and outside the NT it usually refers to aggressive, assertive and even violent behaviour towards others. But the traditional translation ‘to teach and to have authority over a man’ is most likely correct. It has been ably demonstrated (see Koestenberger: 179) that in extra-biblical literature the word oude (nor), that connects ‘teach’ and ‘have authority’, always connects two verbs that are positive or two verbs that are negative, not a positive and a negative verb. Since ‘teach’ is always positive in the letters to Timothy, ‘to have authority’ must be positive also. It cannot mean ‘to domineer’. The evidence remains compelling, however, that women taught in the early Christian assembly. Admittedly Priscilla and Aquila first took Apollos aside before explaining to him the Christian faith ‘more accurately’ (Acts 18:26Acts 18:26
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26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside, and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

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). But Paul tells the older widows who were responsible for Christian instruction ‘to teach what is good’ (Tit 2:2Tit 2:2
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2 that older men should be temperate, sensible, sober-minded, sound in faith, in love, and in patience:

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). And the Corinthian prophets, among whom women were included, had a catechetical role in public worship (1 Cor 14:191 Cor 14:19
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19 However in the assembly I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in another language.

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). On balance it is probable that Paul ruled out all female teaching at Ephesus because of the problems it created. Elsewhere women did teach publicly in the New Testament church, so a general prohibition is impossible.

(f) As for Paul’s call for female subordination in our text, it is vital to note that he does not speak of women being subordinate to men. The submission, or obedience, of women has more to do with them knowing their proper place in church and society, and taking it. It has to do with conformity to social standards. The first converts to Christianity were predominantly Jewish, so Paul was eager to avoid offending people raised in the Jewish faith. In Judaism only men were allowed to learn the Torah and teach it. Women took their place in society alongside slaves and children, not as the equals of men. When they converted to Christianity women were obliged to maintain a respectful silence, let men take the lead, decline to contradict or argue with the male leaders of the congregation, appreciate that the domestic arena was the proper place for women, and adorn themselves in good works that would attract more converts to the Christian faith and do the church a power of good. That is what Paul means by subordination. It does not have to do with conforming to the structure of existence supposedly embedded in creation.

(g) It is inconsistent of the church to enforce the prohibition on women teaching in worship and then ignore other prescriptions and restrictions that are of equal weight in the Timothy text. The church has not seen fit to enforce the instruction in our text directed to men, that they pray ‘lifting up holy hands’ (v 8). Yet that is Paul’s will and it is expressed in words no weaker than ‘I do not permit a woman to teach’ (v 12). Similarly, Paul tells the Ephesians that men only should pray (v 8), yet it is rare for the church to forbid women from praying in public worship. In a different situation, Paul assumes that women do in fact offer prayers in church (1 Cor 11:51 Cor 11:5
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5 But every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled dishonors her head. For it is one and the same thing as if she were shaved.

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). No less weighty is Paul’s prohibition on braided hair, gold, pearls, and expensive clothes (v 9), but this is not enforced in most churches today. Consistency requires that these regulations be reintroduced if we are to maintain the ban on women preaching and teaching in public worship. We cannot pick and choose among instructions that carry equal weight in the biblical text.

Summary

Our text addresses a double audience at Ephesus: strict Jewish Christians steeped in the traditions of their faith, and more progressive converts from Judaism and the Greek world of the first century AD. The Jewish Christians, probably representing the founding members of the Ephesian church, had to be jolted into a new appreciation of the equality and liberty of the gospel as it applied to women. But Paul was willing to move slowly, one step at a time. Women are to be permitted to sit quietly and respectfully at the feet of the teachers and preachers and learn the scriptures. To go further and adopt a teaching role would be to cause undue offence. The strictures of Judaism had formed the mind of those embarking on this new faith venture. The time would come when the shock of having women take a more upfront position would abate. The time would come when women were sufficiently versed in the scriptures to do so. For the time being, and to avoid offence Paul’s pastoral admonition is that women maintain a low profile. Some converts on the other hand, both Jew and gentile, had to be urged to take things slowly. Excited by the freedom of the gospel and the equality of all people that it implied, some women were moving into teaching roles without thorough instruction, without appreciating that the Christian faith did not allow for libertarian excesses in terms of conduct and behaviour, and without due recognition of the offence they were causing in the church and the scandal they were creating in society at large. Paul advocates a middle position that has the effect of moving the Judaisers forward and restraining the progressives. This does not represent compromise, but concern for that which is of ultimate importance – stability and peace in church and society, so that the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ may be proclaimed and take root in human hearts without let or hindrance.

References

  • Koestenberger, Andreas J.
    1993 ‘Syntactical Background Studies to 1 Timothy 2.12 in the New Testament and Extra-biblical Greek Literature’, in Discourse Analysis and Other Topics in Biblical Greek, Stanley E. Porter and D. A. Carson eds, Sheffield Academic Press.
  • Moo, Douglas J.
    1980 ’1 Timothy 2:11-151 Timothy 2:11-15
    English: World English Bible - WEB

    11 Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. 12 But I don’t permit a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in quietness. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; 15 but she will be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety.

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    : Meaning and Significance’, Trinity Journal 1, 62l 1, 62
    English: World English Bible - WEB

    62 They made signs to his father, what he would have him called.

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    –83.
  • Payne, Philip B.
    1981 ‘Libertarian Women in Ephesus: A Response to Douglas J. Moo’s Article, “1 Timothy 2:11-151 Timothy 2:11-15
    English: World English Bible - WEB

    11 Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. 12 But I don’t permit a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in quietness. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; 15 but she will be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety.

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    : Meaning and Significance”,’ Trinity Journal 2, 169-97l 2, 169-97
    English: World English Bible - WEB

    Visitor anti-robot validation Dear visitor To reach the website securely, please fill in the characters shown below. Why is it necessary? Your IP address has been blocked for security reason. Probably your IP address has been used for violation of server security rules before. We have to make sure that this is not a malicious visit by an automated robot. Filling in the captcha is required to delist you IP address. Thank you. Remote address: 92.61.149.141 URI: /biblija.cgi?id14=1&pos=0&set=5&l=sl&t=3&m=l+2%2C+169-97 Agent: WP-Bible plugin/1.7.10

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    .
  • Strelan, J. G. and Pfitzner, V. C.
    1994 ‘Do 1 Corinthians 14:33-361 Corinthians 14:33-36
    English: World English Bible - WEB

    33 for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. As in all the assemblies of the saints, 34 let your wives keep silent in the assemblies, for it has not been permitted for them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as the law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home, for it is shameful for a woman to chatter in the assembly. 36 What? Was it from you that the word of God went out? Or did it come to you alone?

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    and 1 Timothy 2:11-151 Timothy 2:11-15
    English: World English Bible - WEB

    11 Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. 12 But I don’t permit a woman to teach, nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in quietness. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 Adam wasn’t deceived, but the woman, being deceived, has fallen into disobedience; 15 but she will be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith, love, and sanctification with sobriety.

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    clearly support the LCA’s stance on the Ordination of Women?’, an exegetical paper presented to the Commission on Theology and Inter-Church Relations (LCA), 6 October.
  • Strelan, Rick
    1996 Paul, Artemis, and the Jews in Ephesus, Berlin, New York, Walter de Gruyter.

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