1 Timothy 2
1 Timothy 2:1-3:13-Paul’s Instructions for Establishing the Organization of the Church
Paul explains why he has given these Instructions, “I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church…” (3:15).
1 Timothy 2:1-8-Instructions Concerning the Focus of Prayer
- Supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks: These terms describe the wide categories of our communication with God.
- Supplication is simply asking for something. Prayer should never be all asking, but it should ask in bold confidence from God's Word.
- Prayers is a broad word, referring to all communication with the Lord.
iii. Intercessions refer to the requests we make on behalf of others. As we pray, there should be time when the needs of other find a place in our prayer before God's throne.
- Giving of thanks is an essential part of our walk with God. Those who lack a basic sense of gratitude in their lives lack a basic Christian virtue.
David Guzik :: Study Guide for 1 Timothy 2,
1 Timothy 2:1-2-Pray for all people to have peace
Paul encourages the church to pray for there to be peace (“a tranquil and quiet life”) among people in all arenas of life. But he encourages them to especially pray for those who are in a position to have an influence across all of society.
1 Timothy 2:3-4a-Pray for all people to be saved
God desires for all people to be saved. It is only then that there would truly be peace.
1 Timothy 2:4b-8-Pray for all people to know the truth about salvation
Paul emphasizes that there is only one God and that Jesus is the one “mediator” between that one God and man.
lit., "a go-between" (from mesos, "middle," and eimi, "to go"), is used in two ways in the NT,
(a) "one who mediates" between two parties with a view to producing peace, as in 1Ti 2:5, though more than mere "mediatorship" is in view, for the salvation of men necessitated that the Mediator should Himself possess the nature and attributes of Him towards whom He acts, and should likewise participate in the nature of those for whom He acts (sin apart); only by being possessed both of deity and humanity could He comprehend the claims of the one and the needs of the other; further, the claims and the needs could be met only by One who, Himself being proved sinless, would offer Himself an expiatory sacrifice on behalf of men;
(b) "one who acts as a guarantee" so as to secure something which otherwise would not be obtained. Thus in Hbr 8:6; 9:15; 12:24 Christ is the Surety of "the better covenant," "the new covenant," guaranteeing its terms for His people.
In Gal 3:19 Moses is spoken of as a "mediator," and the statement is made that "a mediator is not a mediator of one," Gal 3:20, that is, of one party. Here the contrast is between the promise given to Abraham and the giving of the Law. The Law was a covenant enacted between God and the Jewish people, requiring fulfillment by both parties. But with the promise to Abraham, all the obligations were assumed by God, which is implied in the statement, "but God is one." In the Sept., Job 9:33, "daysman."
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3316&t=NASB
Paul makes certain that he emphasizes that Jesus is the one mediator to God for all men because He had given Himself as a “ransom for all”. Paul then relates that he had been appointed to be a preacher, an Apostle, and a teacher to the Gentiles. There had been much turmoil and bitter resistance among legalistic Jews (Judaizers) who had accepted Jesus as their Savior concerning Gentiles coming to Christ. They taught that these Gentiles had to come by faith…but, that they must also keep the Jewish rituals, beginning with circumcision. Paul’s point here is that this is unnecessary since Jesus was the “ransom” for Jew and Gentile, alike. He had paid the price (the ransom) on the cross for all of their sins. So, there is no need for any of them (Jew or Gentile) to have to keep the Law in an effort to pay for their own sins. His point (:8) is that the church should pray for peace among these men who were continuing to cause such turmoil over this subject because it was hindering the spread of the Gospel among the Gentiles.
1 Timothy 2:9-15-Instructions Concerning the Role of Women
1 Timothy 2:9-10-A woman’s persona should display a godly character
“Likewise, I want women to…” simply means, “Just as there are practices for prayer that are appropriate in the church there are also practices for women that are appropriate in the church.” Notice that Paul doesn’t just give guidelines for women…but he continues with guidelines for Bishops (3:1-7) and Deacons (3:8-16), as well.
1 Timothy 2:11-12-A woman’s ministry should reveal a submissive attitude
This is not a total forbidding of women teaching. But rather, that they are to submit to the spiritual authority that God has assigned to men in the church. This has particular implications in the establishment of doctrine and its practice. It is a sign of their faith in God and His decision concerning the roles of men and women in the church. We can paraphrase verse 12…
I do not allow women to teach with an authority of their own, or to exercise authority over men, but they should submit to the authority that God has assigned to men.
Church Activity of the Women (2:11–12)
The church life that this section presupposes allows more congregational involvement than most twentieth-century churches practice. Probably varied speakers arose to teach, exhort, and prophesy; and in this situation Paul commanded that the women learn. Women may have rudely interrupted speakers, and Paul found it necessary to confront this insubordination as well as the previously mentioned immodesty.
2:11 Paul’s words here spotlight a role women are to play in church meetings. They are to learn spiritual truth. Lenski suggests that the use of the singular “woman” indicates that the issue concerns all women and not merely wives. Paul’s command that the women “learn” reflects Christian practice which differed from the customs of Judaism. Judaism would enforce physical silence on women without concern for their growth in knowledge. At this point Paul was not borrowing from his Jewish heritage but was reflecting as a Christian a greater appreciation for the role of women in spreading the gospel. Paul’s commands encourage the women to give attention to God’s message in order to learn the essentials for Christian growth and development.
Paul specified two features about a woman’s attitude in learning. First, she was to learn in “quietness.” The word hēsychia emphasized the attitude or spirit with which the woman was to learn and prohibited her dashing about as a busybody (5:13). Paul was not demanding physical silence but a teachable spirit. Second, she was to learn in “full submission.” Paul was not specifying to whom the submission was due, but it at least included the leaders of the congregation, who were responsible for giving instruction in doctrine. The submission did not demand a surrender of the mind or conscience or the abandonment of the duty of private judgment. It was a warning against abusing the leadership of the congregation by disrespectful, boisterous actions.
2:12 Paul referred to activities in the public meetings of the congregation, and he continued to speak of females in a primarily generic sense. The role of these women as wives and mothers, however, was not far from Paul’s mind. His comments call for three observations.
First, Paul did not permit a woman to teach. He used the Greek present tense for “I do not permit” (epitrepō). This tense indicates that Paul was delivering authoritative instructions for the situation he encountered at Ephesus, but it is tenuous to decide for or against the permanence of Paul’s injunctions based on the evidence of tense alone.
Teaching involved official doctrinal instruction in the Scriptures (1 Tim 5:17) and was a task delegated to the pastor-teacher (Eph 4:11). The heavy emphasis in the Pastorals on proper doctrine (1 Tim 1:10; 4:6, 13, 16; 6:1, 3; didaskalia) implies the need for a trusted source of doctrine. The fact that Paul next discussed the elder/overseer (3:1–7) who needed to be “able to teach” may have indicated that he viewed the occupant of the position as the official declarer of doctrine. Doubtless, the immediate occasion for Paul’s prohibition against teaching by the Ephesian women was due to their gullibility and instability (1 Tim 5:11–13; 2 Tim 3:6–7). However, Paul consistently refrained from appointing a woman to a place of authoritative teaching responsibility in a congregation.
Second, Paul did not permit a woman to “have authority over” a man. This rare word (authenteō) occurs here only in the New Testament, and its meaning is greatly disputed. The best evidence suggests that it refers to the authority a teacher has over those who are learning.
Why would it have concerned Paul if the teacher were a woman? Two reasons may have been in his mind. The first stems from the likelihood that the women would have authority over any other elder/overseer in the congregation. If the elder/overseer were under the authority of the woman teacher in the church, it could hinder his ability to manage his household in private; and hence it could hinder his ability to manage the church of God (1 Tim 3:4–5). Barnett points out that the submission of the elder/overseer to the woman teacher would limit his ability to serve as a role model to other married men in the church and could prove to be a liability.
A second reason may be related to Paul’s concerns about marriage and the raising of children. There is evidence in 1 Timothy that some women were neglecting their roles as wives and mothers (1 Tim 5:11–15). Paul may have feared that a combination of personal ambition and the demands of the office of elder/overseer would prevent the women from serving effectively as wives and mothers. He was perhaps taking steps to prevent this situation from developing further. Nothing in Paul’s words need be seen as a suggestion that women were incompetent to serve in the office of elder/overseer. His concern was for marriages in the church and the mothering role.
Third, Paul wanted the women to “be silent” (lit. “to be in silence”). The word for “silence” is identical to “quietness” in v. 11 and calls for the women to demonstrate a teachable spirit. Most modern translations suggest Paul intended that the women show their teachable attitude by remaining physically quiet (cf. “she must keep quiet,” Williams). It is more likely that Paul was banning disruptive behavior rather than enforcing complete silence on women in worship settings. (See 1 Cor 11:5, where Corinthian women prayed and/or prophesied.)
The role of the teacher mentioned in this passage is most closely linked with the office of the pastor or senior pastor in contemporary churches. The normative principle behind Paul’s directive is that the woman should not carry out the role of senior pastor. This does not amount to a prohibition against a woman’s teaching or against her ministry to men. The New Testament has examples of significant teaching roles by women (Acts 18:26—both Priscilla and Aquilla were involved; Titus 2:3–4; 2 Tim 1:5; 3:15—women teach the faith to other women and children; 1 Cor 11:4–5—women prayed and prophesied). Paul was not suggesting that the woman is incompetent to occupy the role of pastor/teacher. His concern related to the effect the woman’s position would have on marriages in the church and on the value of the mothering role. Paul would assert the value of the role of motherhood in v. 15. For additional discussion on the normative principles of this passage, see Excursus 2: Women in Ministry.
Lea, T. D., & Griffin, H. P. (1992). 1, 2 Timothy, Titus (Vol. 34, pp. 97–100). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, Logos Bible Software
For a similar explanation of these verses see:
1 Timothy 2:13-15-A woman’s confidence should reveal an obedient life
This can be a very difficult verse to understand. Generally, there have been four possible interpretations…
- Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing: Many people regard this as one of the most difficult passages in the whole Bible. On the surface, it could be taken to mean that if a woman continues in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control, that God will bless her with survival in childbirth - which was no small promise in the ancient world.
- Yet this interpretation leaves many difficult questions. Is this an absolute promise? What about godly women who have died in childbirth? What about sinful women who have survived childbirth? Doesn't this seem like just a reward for good works, and not according to God's grace and mercy?
- Saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self control: Some approach this passage saying saved refers to gaining eternal life. Yet this interpretation is even more difficult. Are women saved eternally by giving birth to children - but only if they continue with godly virtues? What about women who can't have children? Are they denied salvation?
- She will be saved in childbearing: Some say that Paul "Has mostly in mind that child-bearing, not public teaching, is the peculiar function of woman, with a glory and dignity all its own." (Robinson) The idea is that one should let the men teach in church and let the women have the babies.
- She will be saved in childbearing: A better way to approach this passage is based on the grammar in the original Greek language. In the original, it says she will be saved in the childbirth. This has the sense, "Even though women were deceived, and fell into transgression starting with Eve, women can be saved by the Messiah - whom a woman brought into the world."
- Probably, the idea here is that even though the "woman race" did something bad in the garden by being deceived and falling into transgression, the "woman race" also did something far greater, in being used by God to bring the saving Messiah into the world.
- The summary is this: Don't blame women for the fall of the human race; the Bible doesn't. Instead, thank women for bringing the Messiah to us.
David Guzik :: Study Guide for 1 Timothy 1,
Of these four possible interpretations, the fourth seems to be the least troublesome…thought it does not seem to fit into the flow of Paul’s thought or the context of what he is teaching. To correctly interpret this verse, we must take into account both its immediate context in the letter and Old Testament context that it makes reference to.
Genesis 2:16-17; 3:13,16-17 (NASV)
2:16. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17. but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
3:13. Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”…
- To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” 17. Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
1 Timothy 2:12-15 (NASV)
- 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.
Both of these passages deal with the matter of authority for spiritual leadership as belonging to the man. Originally, God gave the responsibility for that leadership to Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:16-17)…notice that Eve had not yet been created. In fact, the creation of Eve would take place immediately after God had given this authority to Adam.
Later, Eve would listen to the perverted line of reasoning of the serpent and decide to act in a manner that was disobedient to God’s command. When God confronts Eve she replies that she had been “deceived” (Genesis 3:13) by the serpent. She doesn’t deny that she had sinned. But, she tries to worm her way out by saying that she had been “deceived” into sinning. In doing so, she may have hoped that she could convince God to excuse her for sinning because she was “deceived”. However, it didn’t work. Regardless of why we sin…we are still responsible and there are still consequences. God’s punishment for her sin (“I will greatly multiply your pain during childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children...”-Genesis 3:16) serves two purposes: One, it shows that we are responsible for our sin and that there are consequences. Two, it serves as a permanent reminder to all women that they are under the spiritual authority of men. Each time a woman, who is familiar with this passage in the Bible, has a baby she is reminded by the pain of childbirth that women are under the spiritual authority of men. Eve’s decision to sin was basically a decision to change the basic content of her belief about God. Previously, she had believed God to be loving, kind and benevolent…to always have her best in mind. This was what she had been taught by Adam. Now, after listening to the serpent, she believed that God was holding out on her. He was trying to keep her from eating fruit from the tree in the middle of the Garden because He knew that if she did she would become like Him, “knowing good and evil.” Essentially, Eve made a decision on her own, without submitting to the authority of Adam in this spiritual matter, to accept a theology, a belief about God, that was different from what God had revealed to Adam (Genesis 2:17)…and which Adam had obviously communicated to Eve (Genesis 3:2-3). As a result, there were the consequences previously mentioned.
In 1 Timothy 2:11-12, Paul makes a blanket statement that women are to submit to the spiritual authority of men. In verses 13-14, he explains why this is to be so. His reference to Adam and Eve suggests that women are more susceptible to being deceived about spiritual matters…because God has not called them to make such decisions. It is not that men are more spiritual than women…more righteous, or closer to God. But, that has given this role to men, not to women. This is not a question of spiritual superiority, but of spiritual responsibility. In reality, this submission is not to the whims and desires of men...but to the sovereign choice of God concerning how He has determined to administer His Kingdom and faith in Him that it will be done as He wills. This is based on what is found in Genesis 2-3. Then, in verse 15, Paul makes an observation concerning the results of when a woman is submissive. When a woman is submissive to the spiritual authority of men…she will not suffer (as Eve did) the consequences of making decisions concerning spiritual matters on her own. She will be “saved” (preserved, protected) from the possibility of being “deceived” and from suffering similar consequences. The words, “through the bearing of children” serve as a summary reminder of the events that transpired when Eve was deceived by the serpent, sinned, and suffered the consequences. The evidence of a life of submission is “faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint”.
Prayer: Father, I pray for those who are in positions of leadership in our community, state, and country. Please speak to their hearts and draw them to You. Save them, Lord.