This is Good & Pleases God 1 Timothy 2 p. 1097 – 1098
This is good and pleases God The most discussed passage in the pastoral epistles Not what the passage is all about. Context: godliness and sound doctrine.
1. Right Understanding of Scripture Most people assumed/accepted the Bible taught that men were the leaders/providers. This is in line with cultural assumptions Wherever Christianity spread, role of women improved ! L.T. Johnson – “the text is remarkably stable” (few variants)
1. Right Understanding of Scripture Rise of the women’s rights movement in 20 th C. Forced Christians to re-examine Scripture. Some: Old cultural view Biblically mandated – Complementarian Others: Bible affirms equality of men & women – Egalitarian. Difficulty: Egalitarian view seems expedient. Suggests Paul doesn’t mean what he says Dangerous methodology.
1. Right Understanding of Scripture The Bible is the Word of God It should be obeyed Only Issue: Rightly understand it. Not first time the church had to review its opinion. E.g. Flat earth
2. The Importance of Words An example: Wives (1 Peter 3:1). “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, …” What is the most important word?
2. The Importance of Words Jesus (1 Peter 2:21-25): 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. … 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. … Wives should be like Christ !
2. The Importance of Words Husbands (1 Peter 3:7): “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. ” Husbands should be like Christ !
3. Paul’s Instruction to Women Part of a bigger whole – Paul is instructing Timothy – problems in Ephesus. False teachers – limited salvation for a few (1:3-4) Praying for “everyone” (v 1) Salvation is for “all” (v 4) Timothy: correct bad behaviour and false teaching.
3. Paul’s Instruction to Women Women: Spreading false teaching Dressing provocatively Abusive and disrespectful towards men. Demeanor should be: quietness & respect – not arrogance.
3. Paul’s Instruction to Women Key word “authority” Found nowhere else in NT – “authenteo” Usual word “exousia” (occurs 27 times in Paul’s writings) “Authenteo” not common in Greek writings. Has connotation of “dominate or abuse” Possible translation: “not abusively dominate” TNIV footnote Debate whether this negative meaning is meant by Paul.
3. Paul’s Instruction to Women Word “teach” The usual Greek word “didasko” Hendiadys – two words with one meaning? (e.g. hit & run) Words are not next to each other – Greek word order: [to teach] [but] [a woman] [not] [I permit] [nor] [to have authority] Moving back to more solid ground Not a hendiadys Word “authenteo” significant – esp. in Ephesus (Artemis priestesses)
3. Paul’s Instruction to Women The scope of Paul’s instruction: Specific to situation in Ephesus –or– for the whole church? The testimony of the rest of Scripture.
4. The Scope of the Instruction Letter addressed to Timothy alone (like Titus) Other personal letter – Philemon – to the house church too. Timothy as “co-worker” (also: Rom, 2 Cor, Phil, Col, Thess) He was an important minister of the Gospel.
4. The Scope of the Instruction Paul’s other writings: Priscilla & Aquila – “co-workers” (Rom 3:3-4) Other women: Tryphena, Tryphosa & Persis (Rom 16:12) Euodia & Syntyche “co-workers” (Phil 4:2-3) Junia “apostle” (Rom 16:7)
4. The Scope of the Instruction Phoebe a “deacon” (Rom 16:1) Deacon – a specific title of leadership in the church. “diakonos” – lit: One who waits at tables From Jesus’ instruction (Mk 9:43-44), used “servant” titles. E.g. Paul (Rom 15:15-16) “minister/servant … in priestly service” “Priestly” for a Jew was a role of honour and high spiritual status.
4. The Scope of the Instruction First “deacons” - Acts 6. Stephen (Acts 6:6-8) Deacon was an official church leader – Ignatius (< 50 yrs) Phoebe was a “servant-leader” of the church – Affirmed by Paul Women were active leaders in the church from beginning. 1 Tim 2:11-14 cannot be understood to contradict this.
Living it... A cursory and rushed review of scripture. The passage should be read with care and caution. Important word in ch 1 – “good conscience” (v 5,19) We should live prayerful, godly, holy lives. (2: 2-3)