1 Timothy 2

 

Scripture

1 Timothy 2:11-12
woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

Observation

In the second chapter of Paul’s first pastoral epistle to the young pastor, Timothy, Paul instructs that he encourage his flock to pray for people in general and persons in positions of authority is specific – both for the blessings of peace and quiet that they will enjoy as a result of their intercession and because it pleases God that they do so. Paul reminds Timothy that the ability to pray, give thanks and intercede is made possible solely by the salvation and mediation of Christ Jesus. After giving instructions regarding proper practice and attitude in worship, Paul gives Timothy counsel to share with regarding how women should dress; the inner source of their true beauty; and the proper roles and hierarchy between men and women concerning learning and teaching within the Church.

Understanding

Of the many verses of the Bible that have been warped and refashioned to fit into current societal and cultural standards, 1 Timothy 2:11-12 has been one of the most debated and has suffered the most re-invention. I believe that the text is plain, understandable and, because it is in agreement with the full revelation of all other biblical doctrine and scripture, it is not in need of re-definition due to changing gender roles and responsibilities. The verse and instruction is valid today because…

  • It addresses and re-affirms God’s order and hierarchy of leadership and submission between men and women established at Creation; reinforced within the marriage covenant and intended for perpetuity.
  • Paul is instructing Timothy regarding proper gender roles because his church was suffering dysfunction and disruption as a result of men and women not operating in those ordained roles.
  • It recognizes the value and honor placed upon women by Jesus and the ushering in of a new era of respect, freedom and access for women heretofore unknown in the culture.
  • It affirms the intellect, gifting and ministries of women and encourages their empowerment and operation.
  • It recognizes the wisdom, harmony and blessing that results when men and women operate in their calling and passion while accepting and embracing God ordained leadership and submission.
  • It exalts the Church as the context within which God displays His wisdom and will for all mankind
  • The wisdom of God’s word transcends changing values, mores and norms.   

Life Application

I need to be careful not to let what the world declares as true and right to cloud my understanding of God’s word. God’s word is never to be bent, fashioned and re-cast to fit current mindsets and definitions. Rather, it is God’s word to which the world is to conform and the means by which men and women are to have their minds transformed and renewed (Romans 12:1-2). While context is one of the most important considerations when understanding scripture, I need to remember that context never updates, redefines or changes the foundational truths of God’s word and character. When the plain understanding of God’s will and word contradict and challenge present understandings and liberal interpretations I need to courageously and unapologetically stand on His unchanging and eternal word.
 
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-Gary Parker